It's Week 10 already, which means you really only have a couple more weeks of the fantasy regular season. Every match-up counts on your way to your league's championship, and making one wrong move could cost you a victory.
So here is a list of players you should either start this week (if you happen to have them on your roster or can pick them up off waivers) or sit on your bench. Clearly I tried by best at picking guys to start that aren't obvious answers, but there still may be a couple of them on there:
Ben Roethlisberger, PIT vs. KC
Now that there have been injuries depleting the Steeler backfield this season, Roethlisberger has completely taken over the reins of the offense. As one of the more underrated fantasy passers, Ben has put up 20+ on four separate occasions thus far. And he usually fares pretty well against the Chiefs (2-1 record, 6 TDs, 3 INTs) and on Monday night's (8-3 record).
Tony Romo, DAL vs. PHI
Atlanta and Philadelphia's pass defense are ranked No. 11 and 12, respectively. Romo put up great (fantasy) numbers against Atlanta last week and even nearly came up with a victory too. Putting up nearly identical numbers with Atlanta's Matt Ryan made Romo look pretty good last week, meaning there's no doubt Dallas can keep up with Vick and the Eagles this week.
Josh Freeman, TB vs. SD
Likely one of the top QBs on the waiver wire, Freeman got off to a slow start to the season. Through the first four weeks of the season Freeman put up no more than 17 fantasy points in a game (10, 7, 17, 15). But after the Bucs' Week 5 bye, Freeman turned it on and his own % sky-rocketed quickly. Over the last four games he's put up 21 or more each week, including a 33-point and a 37-point performance in back-to-back weeks. I'm expecting between 20-25 points this week, so if your QB has a bye this week, snag Freeman.
Ray Rice, BAL vs. OAK
After watching Tampa Bay's rookie Doug Martin tear up Oakland's defense for 251 yards and 4 TDs last week, it's likely the Ravens will give the Raiders a heavy dosage of Rice early on. He'll get 25+ carries and a couple of TDs for you if you keep him in your lineup.
Adrian Peterson, MIN vs. DET
If you're unsure whether or not AP can keep up his tear against Detroit's run defense (ranked 5th in terms of points allowed to opposing RBs), the answer is yes. Normally I'd be a little more skeptical against a defense that has surrendered just 2 rushing TDs all season. But Peterson is completely healed and is on a roll, scoring 4 TDs in the past three games with 100-yard performances in each. Peterson will put up 140 and 2 TDs against Detroit.
Doug Martin, TB vs. SD
Only one team has rushed for more than 120 yards against the Chargers this season, but if anyone has the hot hand it's "Muscle Hamster." Following his record-setting performance against Oakland, Martin is looking to record his third consecutive 100-yard game and I don't have a doubt he'll accomplish it this week.
Mike Wallace, PIT vs. KC
Wallace has yet to really put up eye-popping numbers this season, as he did in 2011. But with Antonio Brown to miss Monday night's showdown with Kansas City, I'd expect this to be Wallace's game to do so. A little bit of rain isn't going to stop Ben Roethlisberger from throwing the ball.
Vincent Jackson, TB vs. SD
Is playing your old team motivation to play well? Why, yes it is. In Jackson's case anyways. Philip Rivers and his Chargers have struggled at times, and have shown that he misses his big target in Jackson. So what's Jackson going to do? Catch eight passes for 120 yards and a TD against his former team of course.
Antonio Gates, SD vs. TB
He finally appears to be healthy. Combining for just 25 points over the first five weeks of the season before breaking out for 26 in Week 6, Gates' entire season has been filled with disappointment. But he finally appears to be a weekly weapon again after battling a rib injury early on. Tampa Bay allowed 26 points to TEs last week against Oakland, so that's a good sign for Gates too, right?
Michael Vick, PHI vs. DAL
Vick has cut down on his interceptions lately, at least. But he was eaten alive last Monday against the New Orleans front. He was sacked 7 times and threw yet another pick-6 in the red zone, which of course was returned 99 yards for a NO touchdown. Against Dallas, things wont get much better for Vick, especially if he is given as much time as he was given against the Saints. Lets just say you may be in trouble if Vick is your weekly starting quarterback.
Matt Schaub, HOU vs. CHI
First of all, I hope Schaub isn't your No. 1 QB every week, because he has been underperforming in the fantasy world this season. Second of all, if he is, please place him on your bench. You're likely better off picking a guy such as Carson Palmer or Andy Dalton off waivers for this week than starting Schaub against Chicago's defense. The Bears have held two different QBs to -1 points this season. Enough said.
Jay Cutler, CHI vs. HOU
Clearly the theme of today is "don't start any offensive players from the Sunday night match-up" (you'll find one more if you keep reading). But that's clearly because two of the league's top defenses are going head-to-head, which will likely result in a 14-10 final score. Cutler's been inconsistent (24 pts last week, 4 the week prior) and I don't trust him against Houston's 8th-best defense vs. opposing QBs this season.
Arian Foster, HOU vs. CHI
This is a shocker, I know. I'm even shocking myself by putting Foster on the "sit" list. But going up against Chicago's defense, which happens to be 3rd against opposing RBs this season, I'm worried for him. He's put up at least 14 points each week in ESPN's standard scoring leagues, but the Bears have allowed just one 100-yard team performance (last week vs. TEN) and have held teams under 90 yards in all 7 of the other games this season.
Chris Johnson, TEN vs. MIA
Johnson is coming off a 141 yard, 1 TD performance last week vs. the Bears and has rushed for 90 or more yards in each of the last four weeks. But his inconsistency continues to plague his reputation and his opponent, Miami, has allowed just 16.3 points to RBs this season, good enough for 5th in the league.
Ahmad Bradshaw, NYG vs. CIN
It's been announced that Bradshaw will, in fact, be active today. But as a fantasy owner that doesn't mean you stick him in your lineup right away. Have you seen his numbers lately? A total of 10 points in the last two games (ESPN standard). Even if he finally is healthy again, Andre Brown and David Wilson have been taking carries away from him. The days of Bradshaw being a viable second RB in fantasy lineups appear to be over.
Demaryius Thomas, DEN vs. CAR
Carolina has been one of the best at containing wideouts this season, and are top 10 against the pass. Thomas' teammate Eric Decker will likely get more action as he has caught 7 TDs in his last five games. Carolina has surrendered just 5 receiving touchdowns to wideouts this season and over 200 yards one just one occasion. So, if you have to choose between which Bronco receiver to start (Thomas or Decker), choose Decker not Thomas.
Wes Welker, NE vs. BUF
Welker has fared very well in the team's last three meetings with the Bills (397 yards, 2 TDs), but after rolling his ankle in Week 8 against the Rams, there's reason for concern. With a bye week last week, he appears to have gotten plenty of rest and is ready to go, but I'm not completely sold. Not to mention Brady has plenty of other viable options and it wouldn't be surprising to see Welker get only a few targets.
Owen Daniels, HOU vs. CHI
Daniels hurt his hamstring earlier in the season before injuring his hip last week vs. the Bills. Daniels' production has been there all season, but listed as questionable and expected to be a game-time call, it appears as though it'd be the safe bet to sit him and start a TE off your bench (if you even keep a second tight end on your roster) rather than risking it. Even if he does play he likely wont be as productive as he has been in recent weeks.
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