James Morris hails from Rio Rancho, NM and has been playing fantasy sports for well over a decade. Not only does he write the Bengals fantasy section, but he also does the Jacksonville Jaguars and San Diego Chargers fantasy sections, as well as the Indiana Pacers, Minnesota Timberwolves and Utah Jazz fantasy basketball sections in the NBA. Last season James finished with an 82 percent accuracy rating for fantasy predictions and will be here to answer any questions you may have about your specific team. Just send him an email and he will reply back the same day with your answer.
Week 10 for the NFL season marks the start of the Thursday night games. This week the 49ers host the Bears so make sure you get your players set up before kickoff of this game. But, more importantly are the fantasy playoffs, which are right around the corner. I'm going to give you a few hints here that may help you navigate the rocky waters of the trade deadline and the playoffs.
- The most important tip is to do what got you here. Don't try and be cute and go for the sleepers. Just play the normal starters and forget about the names.
- When looking at trades, look at the Weeks 14, 15 and 16 schedules. Teams like Minnesota and New Orleans won't have anything to play for, so guys like Marques Colston and Brett Favre are going to be offered in trades since their playoff value will dip.
- Now that all the bye weeks are done (Texans and Giants are this week), you don't need that backup/bench depth anymore. See if you can package your RB2 or WR3 with some bench depth and grab you a RB1/WR2.
- Do what got you here! I know I said it in 1), but it is that important. I get far too many emails asking if someone should play say T.O. this week and I tell them all "No, keep doing what got you here. Of course play the matchups, but did you start Owens yet this season? Then why start him now?"
Byes: Texans, Giants (last week)
Ben Roethlisberger: The Bengals pass rush isn't the same without Antwan Odom and they are ranked 25th in the NFL with 241.6 passing YPG allowed. I'm looking for Big Ben to finish the week in the top 5 for fantasy QBs and I have no problems starting him after Brees, Peyton Manning and Rodgers.
Brett Favre: OK, so I've finally shown Favre some love in the fantasy Start 'Em section. This week the Vikings host the helpless Detroit Lions, and doesn't it just seem like when you watch the Discovery Channel and you see the lion stalking the poor zebra? You know he is about to get eaten, yet the zebra has no clue what is about to happen to him. As a change the Lions will be played by the Vikings and the zebra will be played by the Lions.
LeSean McCoy: Since there is a Thursday game this week and a lot of rosters will lock early, I will have to give McCoy a start this week against the San Diego Chargers. McCoy is a capable back that has shown the talent to handle the load while Westbrook is out and I wouldn't have a problem putting him in the flex spot even if Westbrook is active for this game.
Ricky Williams: Sticky Ricky is someone that I normally wouldn't put on the start list because he is a backup to Ronnie Brown. However, the Buccaneers are ranked 30th against the rush (163.4 YPG) and since the Dolphins are a run first, second and third team, Williams is a top-tier RB2.
Wes Welker: Welker is the No. 2 to Randy Moss, but since I think the Sunday night game will be a passing game, I like Welker as a low end WR1. I could see close to 100 yards and a score from him.
Sidney Rice: I'm not a big fan of Rice, but since Favre should tee off against the Lions Rice is an interesting WR2 pick this week. Favre has found his go-to guy in Rice and you should feel safe playing him this week.
Kellen Winslow: I am not excited to play anyone on the Tampa Bay team. But, Winslow is about all the Bucs have to rely on and they will need him to play up to his talent level against a tough Dolphins defense.
Denver Broncos Defense: The Broncos defense will have the task of shutting down a Redskins offense that can't get itself started. Clinton Portis is out, Jason Campbell is dealing with an ankle injury, and they lost their failsafe in Chris Cooley. Denver is my No. 1 ranked defense this week.
Trent Edwards: Those in two QB leagues or deeper leagues may be looking at Trent Edwards since he has regained the starting role in Buffalo. Even those who have guys like Matt Stafford or Matt Cassel are looking at Edwards as a possible late season savior. He will have a lot of rust to shake off this week and Terrell Owens is dealing with a mysterious hip strain. I'd let him show something before I put any faith in a QB from Buffalo.
Kyle Orton: Orton reverted back to the Orton of old last week as he failed to throw a TD yet threw three interceptions. Orton hasn't thrown a TD in the past two weeks and the Redskins are ranked No. 1 against the pass with their 159.9 passing YPG. If you have any other options, use them this week.
Ledell Betts: many people are rushing out to snag Betts off the waiver wire, but I wouldn't be so quick to do so. The Broncos are ranked eighth against the run and Washington is ranked 24th in the league for rushing attempts.
Kevin Smith: I had some high hopes for Smith since the rest of the Lions are terrible, but Smith has hit the 100-yard mark just once this season and that was back in Week 3. Since then, he hasn't had more than 67 yards rushing and hasn't scored in the last four weeks.
Mike Sims-Walker: This is a week I think the Jaguars will have a hard time moving the ball on offense and Sims-Walker is going to suffer. The Jets are ranked No. 2 against the pass and David Garrard has been up and down all season long.
Roy E. Williams: I am not a big fan of Williams to begin with, so playing the Packers eighth-ranked passing defense doesn't make me feel any better for his chances. Add to that the fact that Miles Austin has taken over the No. 1 WR role in Dallas and I would sit Williams this week.
Visanthe Shiancoe: I've seen rankings that have Shiancoe ranked in the top 5 for fantasy TEs this week. I, however, do not feel the same about him and think he will finish the week out of the top 12, making him not worth starting.
Green Bay Packers Defense: While I don't like Williams at WR, I do think Marion Barber, Miles Austin, Jason Witten and Tony Romo will do enough damage to make the Packers defense not worth playing this week.
Q: I'm trying to decide between Darren McFadden or Cadillac Williams for one of my RB starting spots. Do you think McFadden will be ready to do any damage against K.C. in Week 10? Thanks for all the great advice!
--John Brigham, the big blue rock 3rd from the sun
A: I would go with Cadillac Williams because Oakland is terrible and Darren McFadden has some rust to shake off and prove that he can be the playmaker on that team we all drafted him to be. Right now, the Raiders aren't firing on any cylinders and I'm not sure McFadden is a sparkplug or a wrench in the engine.
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