Hey, hey, hey. It’s okay. Calm down. You’re not even close to the only one who didn’t start Nick Foles this week. It’s understandable. I mean, who in the world could’ve known that he would’ve tied the NFL single game touchdown record? Who could’ve guessed that he would’ve had a 158.3 passer rating (nearly perfect), by throwing more touchdowns than completions?
Not even the great Matthew Berry could’ve predicted it, so really, everything’s okay. Now, breathe a little bit. Maybe you’re tempted to pick him up immediately, and that’s okay, he’s a solid back up. I mean with Michael Vick’s injury uncertainty, and Nick Foles’s aforementioned unheard of performance against the Raiders, he’s definitely not going to stay in free agency very long. But don’t let his Manning-esque game throw you off too much. I would still keep your solid starter in if you have one. Don’t get all hyped up on Foles and yank Tom Brady or Drew Brees from your starting roster. But still, if you’ve got a Matt Ryan who’s been letting you down (who will most likely continue to let you down due to the impeccable Seattle defense he’s facing next week) or a Colin Kaepernick who’s battling a pretty decent Carolina secondary, you might consider throwing Foles in for a week. A huge part of fantasy football is instinct. Even with the statistics and the expert predictions and the history, anything could happen. For example, Ray Rice came into the season looking to capitalize on last year’s Super Bowl victory, as he was expected to. But much to my (and many others’) despair, he did the exact opposite. Ultimately, you really have to reach deep down and pick who you think is going to have the best game.
Week 10 seems to have been yet another underdog week, with so many players breaking out against solid teams. So put in your Andrew Lucks, your Le’veon Bells, your Chris Ivorys and your Nick Foles’s, because the underdogs aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. And I mean really, there weren’t a lot of us who expected the Kansas City Chiefs to be undefeated by week 10?
Quarterbacks I Like:
- Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints (vs. Dallas Cowboys): YES YES I know I’m a Saints fan, but for real, going up against a team who is 31st in most passing yards given up per game, in the superdome, with one of the most versatile receiving cores in the NFL, AND the best tight end in the NFL? I’d say Drew Brees is probably a good call.
- Eli Manning, New York Giants (vs. Oakland Raiders): Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against Nick Foles. He’s a two year veteran with plenty of experience granted Michael Vick’s constant injuries. Which is why I love Eli Manning against the Raiders. Even though the Giants have had the worst season they’ve had in a loooooong time, if Nick Foles can do what he did against the Raiders, something tells me Eli can reach down there and pull something out to produce a few more points than normal, ESPECIALLY with Victor Cruz ready to suit up since his injury against the Eagles in week 8.
- Robert Griffin III, Washington Redskins (@Minnesota Vikings): Not much to say here. The Vikings have a horrid secondary. Griffin has Pierre Garcon.
Honorable Mention: Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts (vs. St. Louis Rams): Even though Jake Locker threw two interceptions and no touchdowns against the Rams last week, something tells me Andrew Luck can prove to be a little better than Locker against a secondary that sits about at the half way point in passing yards given up per game. He and T.Y. Hilton absolutely shredded the Houston defense this past weekend. Although his completion rating was subpar (18 of 40 attempts completed), he threw all three of his touchdowns to Hilton. Luck has a bright future ahead of him for sure.
Quarterbacks I don’t like:
- Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons (vs. Seattle Seahawks): I actually have Ryan, but I’ve sat him two weeks in a row. I have a lot of faith in him, but without his two star receivers Roddy White and Julio Jones, he doesn’t have many options. Going up against a stellar Seattle defense also doesn’t bode well for Matty Ice. If you have another option that isn’t Brian Hoyer, I’d throw them in.
- Jake Locker, Tennessee Titans (vs. Jacksonville Jaguars): He threw for two interceptions and no touchdowns against the Rams last week. With the Jacksonville Jaguars currently sitting at number one for most rushing yards given up per game, I’d put my faith in Chris Johnson to handle most of the workload.
- Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers (vs. Carolina Panthers): If you’re like me, you came into this season thinking “he’s young, he did amazingly well in just the fraction of the season he played last year…Kaepernick all the way.” Unfortunately that didn’t last long. Going up against a not-so-generous Carolina secondary who shut down Matt Ryan to just one touchdown and three interceptions last week (that’s 7 fantasy points), Kaepernick should probably stay on your bench.
Running Backs I like:
- Chris Johnson, Tennessee Titans (vs. Jacksonville Jaguars): Do you really need an explanation for this? Yeah, he’s been pretty under the radar recently. But he ran up the points on the Rams, and he’s going against the worst run defense in the league next week. Play him.
- Reggie Bush, Detroit Lions (@Chicago Bears): Eddie Lacy ran for 150 yards on 22 attempts against the Bears. Reggie Bush should prove just as good if not better against a run defense that has given up 10 touchdowns in just 9 weeks to opposing running backs this year.
- Zac Stacy, St. Louis Rams (@Indianapolis Colts): Zac Stacy has proven experts wrong everywhere. If anyone was under the radar at the beginning of the season it was Zac Stacy. Then, he blew us away against Carolina in week 7, Seattle in week 8, and Tennessee this past week. The Colts run defense isn’t too great either, which just adds to the probability of a big game for Stacy.
Honorable Mention: Le’veon Bell, Pittsburgh Steelers (vs. Buffalo Bills): Bell had a wonderful game against New England last week, running for 74 yards on 16 attempts, as well as going 65 yards on 4 receptions. Bell is battling against a Bills run defense that has given up an average of 115.2 rushing yards per game this season. If you don’t have a solid RB2 choice, I’d go with Bell.
Running Backs I Don’t Like:
- Jacquizz Rodgers, Atlanta Falcons (vs. Seattle Seahawks): It would seem that with Steven Jackson out, Rodgers has been the Falcon’s first choice (along with Jason Snelling). But now, Jackson is back. This may seem like a pretty obvious choice, but some of you may think since Jackson was out for so long, he may not play too much. He’s a big kid, he’s bound to be back full force.
- Ray Rice, Baltimore Ravens (vs. Cincinnati Bengals): This is a tough one. Ray Rice was my first pick this season, but he’s let me down more than he has lifted me up. I don’t want to say I don’t like him, but I don’t want to say I do like him. It’s risky not to play him, but it’s also risky to put him in. I’d say he’s a safe RB2 choice, just in case he has that huge game he’s due for. Don’t put too much faith in him though, as there are many other consistent choices you could make.
- DeAngelo Williams, Carolina Panthers (@San Francisco 49ers): Williams had a subpar game against the Falcons last week. And going up against Patrick Willis and the 49ers probably won’t allow Williams any breakout performances.
Wide Receivers I like:
- Pierre Garcon, Washington Redskins (@Minnesota Vikings): Pierre Garcon is probably always a good choice. But this week should prove especially prosperous for the receiver, as the Vikings have given up 2329 passing yards this season. Robert Griffin should connect pretty well with Garcon this week.
- T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts (vs. St. Louis Rams): Darius Heyward-Bey has been pretty mediocre this season, and T.Y. Hilton seems to be Andrew Luck’s favorite (at least recently). He caught three touchdowns against Houston last week. The fairly generous matchup against the Rams should prove well for Hilton’s performance.
- Riley Cooper, Philadelphia Eagles (@Green Bay Packers): Last week Nick Foles and Riley Cooper connected to give Cooper 33 fantasy points. Don’t expect those connections to stop against the Packers. The Packers have given up an average of 12.5 yards per reception against opponents this season. Expect Cooper to capitalize on that.
Honorable Mention: Jerricho Cotchery, Pittsburgh Steelers (vs. Buffalo Bills): The Bills gave up 194 and three touchdowns to Ryan Tannehill in week 7. They then gave up 332 yards and five touchdowns to Drew Brees in week 8. Total, the Bills have given up 2404 receiving yards this season. Cotchery went for 96 yards on 7 receptions last week against the Patriots. Expect him to continue that against the Bills.
TEs I like:
- Jimmy Graham, New Orleans Saints (vs. Dallas Cowboys): I really don’t think Jimmy Graham counts as someone that needs to be mentioned. I mean even with a torn plantar fascia, he went 37 yards on 3 receptions and two touchdowns against the Bills in week 8, and then last week he went 116 yards on 9 receptions and two touchdowns against the Jets. You can’t stop him, you just can’t. You know what they say, even when he’s covered, he’s open.
- Tony Gonzalez, Atlanta Falcons (vs. Seattle Seahawks): I know I said I don’t like Matt Ryan this week, but without their top receivers, Matty is gonna be looking at Harry Douglas and Tony Gonzalez for any and all receptions. With Gonzalez’s size and experience, he’s gonna get a lot of looks when they do pass. Even with Seattle’s secondary it’s gonna be hard to stop a train like Tony Gonzalez, especially when he’s really the only train they’ve got, that hasn’t been out for the past weeks (i.e. Steven Jackson).
- Coby Fleener, Indianapolis Colts (vs. St. Louis Rams): With T.Y. Hilton as Luck’s main target and Darius Heyward-Bey still questionable, you can expect Fleener to get some looks this weekend. Tight ends have become more and more vital to quarterbacks these past few years, and not to mention Luck and Fleener played together at Stanford. Even though the Rams have allowed the second fewest amount of fantasy points to tight ends this season, Coby should get some serious thought when it comes to your starting line up.
Honorable Mention: Heath Miller, Pittsburgh Steelers (vs. Buffalo Bills): I know it seems that I’m targeting some specific teams here, but I can’t help the match ups. Like I said, the Bills have given up some serious yardage through the air. Although Miller has had nothing more than an average season so far, he’s bound to get some looks from Big Ben. I’d give him some thought.
–Taylor Lust is participating in his third year of fantasy football. He was champion his first year, made it to the playoffs his second year, and is currently tied for first place in his league this year. He contributes fantasy football stats and predictions for HottyToddy.com.