'The NFL Beat': Week 10

'Chronicle' fantasy column debuts

'The NFL Beat': Week 10

My name is Alex. Welcome to my first NFL news and fantasy column for The Austin Chronicle's Sports blog, The Score. I am an Austin musician who has partnered with a statistical game theory expert and a frugal hired-gun jazz drummer nicknamed “The Trashman” to create an Epic Fantasy Football Dynasty. Obviously, my fiancée hates me.

On the heels of a Top 8 finish in Overall Rankings Accuracy World-Wide for NFL Week 9, we now turn our attention to Week 10.

Raiders (4-4) @ Chargers (4-4)
Raiders RB Darren McFadden will not go on Thursday. Michael Bush will once again get the bulk of the Raiders carries. Chargers RB Ryan Mathews has returned to full practice after missing a week, and will play Thursday (until he gets injured again).
On the Waiver Wire:
Marcel Reece RB (OAK): Who? He has averaged a very serviceable 8 fantasy points a game when healthy this season, and is available in 92% of standard leagues.

Bills (5-3) @ Cowboys (4-4)
Over the last five weeks, the Cowboys have gone from a defense that kills fantasy RBs to one that is exceedingly friendly, ranking eighth best for opposing runners. Look for Bills RB Fred Jackson to have a big game as usual.
On the Waiver Wire:
Scott Chandler TE (BUF): The Cowboys are the second-most friendly defense to opposing TEs, and Chandler is the No. 1 red zone target if nothing else.

Saints (6-2) @ Falcons (5-3)
The Falcons have become a stifling defense against opposing runners since Week 5, and the only Saints RB I like in this division matchup is Darren Sproles. He serves as an extension of the run in the screen game, and a safety valve for QB Drew Brees.
On the Waiver Wire:
Chris Ivory RB (NO): If Ingram is out, look for Ivory to get a shot at a cheap TD.

Texans (6-3) @ Bucs (4-4)
Two words. Arian Foster. The Bucs are the best fantasy RB matchup as of late, and Arian is a sick, sick man. I even like Texans backup RB Ben Tate to go big in mop-up duty.
On the Waiver Wire:
Joel Dreesen TE (HOU): In the last five weeks Owen Daniels has caught zero TDs while backup “Fat Blocking TE” Joel Dreesen has caught three. Tampa Bay is the third best matchup for opposing fantasy TEs.

Rams (1-7) @ Browns (3-5)
What a crappy game. Cleveland fans/media are not exactly sold on Colt McCoy as a long-term viable option at QB just yet, and the “general vibes” from the organization echo this sentiment. He needs to be more accurate to be a legitimate threat in what head coach Pat Shurmur likes to call a “True” West Coast Offense.
On the Waiver Wire:
Josh Cribbs WR (CLE): Cribbs will likely get a few carries in set packages as a runner, adding to his value as a burgeoning WR1, registering 50-plus yards and a TD last week.

Steelers (6-3) @ Bengals (6-2)
If you look at our Matchup Tool, you’ll see why I really don’t love any one player in this matchup.
On the Waiver Wire:
Jerome Simpson WR (CIN): After scoring TDs in two of his last three games and going for more than 100 yards in the other, it is becoming apparent that A.J. Green is not the only valuable piece in that receiving corps.

Redskins (3-5) @ Dolphins (1-7)
Garbage. I’ll be watching to see if Redskins RB Roy Helu gets anything going as the clear choice moving forward as the teams RB1 after an impressive all-around debut performance starting against the league’s toughest defense in San Francisco last week.
On the Waiver Wire:
Jabar Gaffney WR (WAS): Second biggest beneficiary of the Santana Moss injury behind TE Fred Davis.

Titans (4-4) @ Panthers (2-6)
The Panthers run defense is absolute crap – and so is Titans RB Chris Johnson as far as I’m concerned, but I think he might go bigger than usual this week.
On the Waiver Wire:
Javon Ringer RB (TEN): If CJ.8K’s owner hasn’t already handcuffed him, the emerging backup RB could be could be a sneaky spot play this week if you’re strapped.

Cardinals (2-6) @ Eagles (3-5)
Eagles RB LeSean "Shady" McCoy is gonna go huge, and Mike Vick will be smiling at the camera with a true joy reserved for nonfake community service photo ops.
On the Waiver Wire:
Eagles RB Ronnie Brown did get a set of goal-line carries resulting in a TD Monday, but you are really Dumpster diving at that point.

Broncos (3-5) @ Chiefs (4-4)
Tim Tebow throws like a junior high foreign exchange student, but he puts up fantasy numbers with his run production. I have him ranked QB9 Week 10.
On the Waiver Wire:
There is no one of value from either of these teams on your waiver wire. I can count the few of value that are actually owned on one hand, honestly.

Jaguars (2-6) @ Colts (0-9)
Two worthless teams face off in a matchup that only owners of Jaguars RB Maurice Jones-Drew will care about.
On the Waiver Wire:
Donald Brown RB (IND): Former first-round pick who has become fantasy relevant, getting more involved (finally) with the on/off health of RB Joseph Addai.

Ravens (6-2) @ Seahawks (2-6)
The Seahawks defense is not an easy fantasy matchup at any position (especially at home) and I would temper my expectations for Ravens skill players this week.
On the Waiver Wire:
Tarvaris Jackson QB (SEA): One of the only starting QBs that may be on your waiver wire. He has a true downfield threat in Sidney Rice and auxillary outs in Baldwin, Willliams, and Obamanu – plus he gets valuable rushing yards.

Giants (6-2) @ 49ers (7-1)
The 49ers have not allowed a 100-yard rusher in a record 30 games, and have not allowed a rushing TD this season. They are a nightmare matchup across the board defensively.
On the Waiver Wire:
Kendall Hunter RB (SF): If you are a Frank Gore owner, you must acquire his back-up, Hunter.

Lions (6-2) @ Bears (5-3)
This game will be higher scoring than traditionally usual, but the only easy place to count on production is from Lions QB Matt Stafford to WR Calvin Johnson, a robot sent from outer space.
On the Waiver Wire:
Earl Bennett WR (CHI): My biggest mover in Week 10 Rest-of-Season Rankings. He is finally healthy and Bears QB Jay Cutler absolutely loves his college teammate.

Patriots (5-3) @ Jets (5-3) A Sunday Night Game that is sure to have you ignoring your significant others and families (you know, the important things). I like the Jets WRs in this matchup and I am a little lower than usual on Pats QB Tom Brady as he attempts to break out of his recent mini-slump.
On the Waiver Wire:
Danny Woodhead RB (NE): With RB Benjarvus Green-Ellis dealing with a lingering turf toe, look for Woodhead, who is healthy, to get more play.

Vikings (2-6) @ Packers (8-0)
Packers QB Aaron Rodgers is the best player in fantasy, and I fully expect that to continue this Monday night.
On the Waiver Wire:
Christian Ponder QB (MIN): The Vikings will be playing from behind and having to air it out against a terrible pass defense. The rookie has shown he can produce and is a sneaky spot start in Week 10.

[Alex Dunlap is the host of RosterWatch on 104.9FM ESPN Radio Austin, founder of Rosterwatch.com, and a featured expert contributor to the FantasyPros.com network.]

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