Punch Drunk Wonderland

Week 10 Start ‘Em/Sit ‘Em

Cam Newton NFC Divisional Playoff

Week 10 is here and it’s time to continue the fun that is managing a fantasy football roster during bye weeks coupled with injuries galore. Each week I’ve taken a look at some players with favorable matchups that are start-worthy and others with not-so-favorable matchups that you should keep on the bench. Be sure to check back often for updated player rankings, weekly waiver wire targets, and weekly deep sleepers.

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Start ‘Em

Ben Roethlisberger (QB, Pittsburgh Steelers) at New York Jets

Icon-Thumbs-UpBig Ben can’t keep up the trend three weeks in a row, right? The likelihood of Roethlisberger having a third 6 TD week in a row is pretty slim, but the matchup is certainly favorable in Week 10. The Steelers will be facing a Jets defense that is giving up the most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. It may not be another six touchdown week, but Roethlisberger is as solid as a play as you can ask for this week.

Cam Newton (QB, Carolina Panthers) at Philadephia Eagles

Week 9 wasn’t so hot and fantasy owners have been waiting for Newton to pick up the pace after getting off to a slow start in 2014 largely due to injury. This could be the start of Cam’s upswing as the Panthers will be up against a nice matchup in an Eagles defense that is giving up the fourth most fantasy points to quarterbacks. Newton is very nice start in Week 10.

LeSean McCoy (RB, Philadelphia Eagles) vs. Carolina Panthers

McCoy owners have been frustrated for much of the 2014 season as he has under-produced nearly the whole way thus far. Going forward with Mark Sanchez under center the Eagles are likely going to be relying on McCoy’s talents fairly heavily, so now is the time for McCoy’s fantasy owners to buck up and get ready for a strong stretch. The matchup is good this week against a Panthers defense that is giving up an average of 23.6 fantasy points to opposing running backs.

Lorenzo Taliaferro (RB, Baltimore Ravens) vs. Tennessee Titans

Rookie Taliaferro could be a sneaky flex start in Week 10 versus the Titans. He has seen his number of touches increase of recent weeks and he’s emerged as Baltimore’s definitive goal-line back. Taliaferro could see some goal-line opportunities and extended snaps against a bad Tennessee defense. The Titans are giving the seventh most fantasy points to opposing rushers. I like the rookie this week.

Kelvin Benjamin (WR, Carolina Panthers) at Philadephia Eagles

KBenj has been up and down in recent weeks, but look for the rookie to have a nice Week 10. The Panthers offense should have a good week versus the Eagles, and the matchup for Benjamin is very favorable. Philly’s defense is giving up the fifth most fantasy points to wide receivers this season.

Mike Evans (WR, Tampa Bay Bucs) vs. Atlanta Falcons

It’s rookie week on the Start ‘Em/Sit ‘Em. Evans has been hot in recent weeks having put up 202 yards on 11 receptions and 2 touchdowns over the last two weeks. Evans is emerging a matchup nightmare and real offensive threat for the Bucs. He and the Bucs will be facing an Atlanta defense that is giving up an average of 26.2 fantasy points to wide receivers. Evans has WR2 potential this week.

Heath Miller (TE, Pittsburgh Steelers) at New York Jets

Miller is definitely on the downside of his career, and he hasn’t had much production to speak of in 2014. That said, his quarterback in on a hot streak and they are going to see a very favorable matchup in Week 10 against the New York Jets. The Jets are allowing the second most fantasy points to tight ends this season.

Kansas City Chiefs D/ST at Buffalo Bills

The Chiefs defense hasn’t been the strong fantasy start that we saw in 2013, but they’ve shown flashes. Look for them to cause havoc for Kyle Orton in Week 10.

Sit ‘Em

Ryan Tannehill (QB, Miami Dolphins) at Detroit Lions

Icon-Thumbs-DownTannehill has been a nice start at times this season and he’s certainly shown great fantasy potential. That potential needs to be set aside this week, however. The Dolphins will be facing the NFL’s most stingy defense in the Detroit Lions.  They are giving up the fewest fantasy points to QBs this season.

Eli Manning (QB, New York Giants) at Seattle Seahawks

Manning’s fantasy numbers have been decent lately, but don’t be fooled. In Week 9 he struggled mightily and fantasy owners more or less lucked into a few late touchdowns in garbage time. It’s tough to count on Eli right now. That’s especially the case in Week 10 as the Giants will be facing a tough Seattle defense. The Seahawks are giving up an average of just 15.0 fantasy points per week to QBs.

Tre Mason (RB, St. Louis Rams) at Arizona Cardinals

Mason has been seeing a much increased workload in recent weeks, and he’s performed well.  The Rams could be looking to give him a significant chunk of the snaps going forward to test the waters on his value. That said, Mason isn’t worth risking in Week 10 as St. Louis faces the Arizona Cardinals. Arizona’s defense is allowing the fewest fantasy points to RBs this season.

Ben Tate (RB, Cleveland Browns) at Cincinnati Bengals

The running back picture in Cleveland is getting cloudy the longer the season progresses. The once prolific running corps has stagnated in recent weeks, and the Tate seems to be getting less carries than earlier in the season prior to his injury. As confusing as it is, the Browns seem to have focused on giving a look at Terrance West for the time being. At least, that’s what the snap counts suggest. Until his status, opportunities, and production improve Tate is worth avoiding.

Mike Wallace (WR, Miami Dolphins) at Detroit Lions

Similar to the Tannehill warning above, Wallace isn’t getting a good matchup in Week 10. The Dolphins will be facing a Lions defense that is allowing the fewest fantasy points to wide receivers this season. This is a week to look elsewhere when it comes to Wallace.

Rueben Randle (WR, New York Giants) at Seattle Seahawks

See a theme? The Giants offense has been struggling lately and tough matchups certainly aren’t going to help matters. In Week 10 the G-Men face a tough Seattle defense that is allowing the second fewest fantasy points to wide receivers. Look for Randle to struggle on an already struggling offense.

Vernon Davis (TE, San Francisco 49ers) at New Orleans Saints

Davis is seeing the fewest targets of his career this season, and has struggled to produce. Week 10 shouldn’t mark much improvement as he and the Niners are facing a Saints defense that is giving up the second fewest fantasy points to TEs.

New York Jets D/ST vs Pittsburgh Steelers

The Jets are catching Roethlisberger and the Steelers on an unprecedented hot streak. You can’t expect the pace to keep up, but it’s certainly a matchup nightmare for the Jets. Steer clear of the Gang Green defense in Week 10.



K. Smelser About K. Smelser
Kelly Smelser is Owner/Senior Writer for Punch Drunk Wonderland and PDFantasy Sports. Architect of the PDW fantasy football world and general spinster of NFL and Fantasy Football news and analysis. Long walks on the beach, sunsets, and other such niceties are also fine...