Wondering whether or not to start Peyton Manning and Andre Johnson, or to bench Chad Henne and Joseph Randle? The network bozos specialize in that kind of advice. If you’re looking for help with your real starting lineup conundrums, read on.
Here are my picks to roll, and get rolled, in Week 10 of the 2013 season.
Watch ‘em roll
Nick Foles, QB, Eagles at Packers. I realize you would have appreciated this recommendation a lot more last week; but with Foles still available in roughly 60 percent of all leagues, it appears he has quite a few doubters out there. The Packers gave up 271 yards and 2 TDs, without an interception, to Josh McCown on Monday night. There’s no reason to think Foles won’t exploit them even more.
C.J. Spiller, RB, Bills at Steelers. With E.J. Manuel back under center, Pittsburgh can’t afford to stack the line against Buffalo’s dual-threat rushers. Besides, they’ve coughed up three rushing TDs each to Oakland and New England in consecutive weeks. Spiller may not be 100 percent yet, but he finally looked good enough last week to merit a starting assignment. Fred Jackson remains an every-week play.
Mike James, RB, Buccaneers vs. Dolphins. The rookie has proven to be a worthy stand-in for Doug Martin. In fact, I submit James’ performance against the Seahawks last week was more impressive than anything we saw from Martin this year. James should continue to excel against Miami’s generous rush defense on Monday night.
Golden Tate, WR, Seahawks at Falcons. With Sidney Rice out and Percy Harvin still working himself into game shape, Tate has only Doug Baldwin to compete against for Russell Wilson’s affections. Tate was marooned on Revis Island last week, but should see smooth sailing against the vulnerable Atlanta secondary.
Hakeem Nicks, WR, Giants vs. Raiders. You saw what Riley Cooper did against Oakland’s secondary last week, right? As inconsistent as Nicks has been this season, you have to love his chances on Sunday. After getting blanked in Week 8, Reuben Randle can’t be trusted. But Nicks is still averaging more than 10 targets per game over the last five outings.
More thumbs up (excluding the no-brainers): QBs Matt Stafford, Jay Cutler, Philip Rivers, Ben Roethlisberger; RBs Reggie Bush, Chris Johnson, DeMarco Murray, Knowshon Moreno, Eddie Lacy, Zac Stacy, Pierre Thomas; WRs Keenan Allen, Lance Moore, Alshon Jeffery, DeSean Jackson, Antonio Brown, T.Y. Hilton, Torrey Smith, Stevie Johnson, Denarius Moore, Mike Wallace, Larry Fitzgerald.
Roll ‘em back
Matt Ryan, QB, Falcons vs. Seahawks. Aside from one strong outing against the Bucs in Week 7, Ryan has been a disaster without his starting wideouts on the field. He’s thrown seven interceptions and only two TDs in his last two outings, and now he’ll face a Seattle defense that has accumulated a league-leading 13 picks. Oh, the humanity!
Ben Tate, RB, Texans at Cardinals. After adding a back injury to his hamstring woes, Arian Foster’s prospects appear dim for this weekend’s tilt. That would normally be good news for Tate, but he remains a very risky bet as he’s fighting through four cracked ribs. Tate admits the pain is severe, which is not what you want to hear from your starting RB. Third-stringer Dennis Johnson looked good on Monday night and could see a heavier load against Arizona, which has been very stingy against opposing rushers.
Rashad Jennings, RB, Raiders at Giants. Though Jennings performed admirably last week after Darren McFadden sustained yet another hamstring injury, he’s hard to trust against a New York defense that has stifled LeSean McCoy and Adrian Peterson over its last two games. Remember, Jennings left a lot to be desired the last time he was pressed into service for Run DMC.
Jarrett Boykin, WR, Packers vs. Eagles. His value took a big hit when James Jones returned to the field. Then disaster struck with Aaron Rodgers’ injury, reducing the Packers’ passing attack to average, at best. Boykin’s days as a fantasy-relevant wideout may be over for this season.
Anquan Boldin, WR, 49ers vs. Panthers. Boldin is one of those guys that produces when you least expect it. That said, he’s becoming an afterthought in the 49ers’ passing game, with Vernon Davis getting all the love. Now that Mario Manningham is back in the mix, Boldin’s role is likely to diminish even further. Carolina’s pass defense is awfully stingy as well.
More thumbs down: QBs Colin Kaepernick, Carson Palmer, Joe Flacco, Seneca Wallace; RBs Trent Richardson, DeAngelo Williams, Jonathan Stewart, Gio Bernard, BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Andre Brown; WRs Marques Colston, Hugh Douglas, Tim Wright, Marlon Brown.
TAKING A FLIER
Garrett Graham, TE, Texans at Cardinals. For those of us left scrambling with both Rob Gronkowski and Jordan Cameron idle this week, Graham offers a solid, if not spectacular, option. Not only is Case Keenum targeting him regularly, but he’ll be facing an Arizona defense that has allowed the most fantasy points to opposing tight ends this season.
DON’T BE THE BONEHEAD WHO ... benches Jordy Nelson just because Rodgers won’t be under center. While his visits to the end zone will surely dwindle, Seneca Wallace has little choice but to keep looking Nelson’s way. It helps that the Packers face one of the league’s worst pass defenses at home this week.
Ladd Biro was named Football Writer of the Year by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association for two consecutive years (2010, 2011). Follow all his advice daily at the Fantasy Fools blog (fantasy-fools.blogspot.com), on Facebook and via Twitter (@ladd_biro).