There were a few surprises last week, like Tampa Bay jumping up by 21 points on Seattle in Seattle, and Minnesota being up on Dallas with four minutes left in their game, but everything settled and most winners were predictable. The only real surprise I think for most was the Jets beating New Orleans, but I predicted that here on the Fantasy Ace. Glad you were paying attention. Now, we turn our attention to Week 10, with another crew of teams on bye, most notably the unbeaten Kansas City Chiefs, which steals Jamaal Charles away from my favorite fantasy team for the week, but I’ll get over it eventually. Here are my Week 10 picks…
Washington @ Minnesota – The Vikings have played good enough to win the past two weeks, but they lost both of those games. Ponder has looked relatively good returning to the starting role and Peterson has been getting some room to run. Throw in a really bad Redskins’ defense and you’re looking at a blowout. However, Minnesota’s defense has been giving up points in bunches, too, and if they can’t get to RGIII he will make things happen with his feet. It will be a close game, with Peterson being the difference. Minnesota finally wins a close one at home. Pick – Minnesota.
Detroit @ Chicago – Fresh off of a win against division foe, Green Bay, the Bears look to duplicate the feat against a tough Detroit team with a red hot Matthew Stafford. The problem for the Lions is that the Bears defense is looking a lot more like the Bears defense these days, and they can and will get to Stafford. I predict turnovers will be the story of this game, and with Jay Cutler back at the helm, I think Chicago finds a way to win another close one. Pick – Chicago.
Jacksonville @ Tennessee – I don’t care which week it is, or who they’re playing, I just won’t trust Jacksonville to win a game until they’ve actually done it. So I guess I’ll be wrong about them one week when they shock the world, but I highly doubt this will be that week. The Tennessee defense has been playing well of late, Chris Johnson has finally got going in the ground game, and Locker will do enough to protect the ball. I don’t see this one even being close. In fact, it’s my pick of the week. Tennessee all over Jacksonville. Pick – Tennessee.
St. Louis @ Indianapolis – Throw out that blowout against Houston a few weeks ago, and St. Louis has looked very bad, especially on the road. Without Sam Bradford for the rest of the season, the only really bright spot they have comes from Zac Stacy, and he won’t be enough to overcome an Indianapolis team that has already beaten the likes of Denver, Seattle, and San Francisco this year. For some reason I still see it being close, but Indianapolis wins it. Pick – Indianapolis.
Oakland @ Giants – This seems like an easy one, with Oakland traveling east to face a team that is on a two-game win streak, but those games for the Giants came against Matt Barkley and a lackluster Minnesota team that is still sitting on one win for the season. I mean, the Eagles didn’t even score an offensive touchdown against them and were still in it at the end because the Giants didn’t score any touchdowns that week. They don’t match up well against Terrelle Pryor either, and I think he plays in this one. The Giants are about to come back down to earth. This is my upset pick of the week. Pick – Oakland.
Buffalo @ Pittsburgh – Never count out this Buffalo team who has kept it close in every game so far this season. Sure, they lose their fair share, but this Pittsburgh defense just gave up a ton of points to the Patriots and is looking worn down. The Buffalo defense has played fairly well all season, and with C.J. Spiller back to almost full strength, the running game of the Bills will wear down that defense even more. Throw in the fact that E.J. Manuel will be back for this game, and you’ve got the makings of an upset in Pittsburgh. Pick – Buffalo.
Philadelphia @ Green Bay – Seneca Wallace will get a start for Green Bay, but if he plays as poorly against Philadelphia as he did last week versus Chicago, he won’t get a second one with Aaron Rodgers sidelined for at least the next few weeks. And Philly comes in hot, too, with Nick Foles having the hot hand and Riley Cooper going bananas on the receiving end. I think Foles keeps up the great play against a poor pass defense in Green Bay, and the Packers lose two in a row at home for the first time in a long time. Pick – Philadelphia.
Seattle @ Atlanta – No one gives Atlanta a chance anymore because they have not proven to be resilient this season. It’s almost like they’re phoning it in now, even with the possible return of Roddy White. Matt Ryan just looks lost, and against an opportunistic Seattle defense, that is not a good quality to have. He will turn the ball over more than once, which will be enough for Seattle to steal this one on the road. Pick – Seattle.
Cincinnati @ Baltimore – This one seems easy on paper. Cincinnati has played a lot better than Baltimore on the season. They have a solid running game with the Law Firm and Giovani Bernard, their receivers have been playing lights out, and Andy Dalton, while not great last week, has been relatively consistent throughout the season. They also have a great defense. Now, all that stuff I said Cincinnati, throw it out the window because they’re playing Baltimore. For some reason they don’t play great against Baltimore, no matter what kind of a roll they’re on. I think it changes here, though, and they take this one. Pick – Cincinnati.
Carolina @ San Francisco – The Panthers travel west to play a team playing like the powerhouse they were supposed to be when the season started. While the Panthers have a great defense and their offense has been playing better lately, the 49ers have so many dimensions to their game on both sides of the ball. Kaepernick makes the difference here, with Gore chipping in a ton of yardage on the ground. San Francisco wins at home. Pick – San Francisco.
Houston @ Arizona – Case Keenum looked good enough to convince me last week, but that defense just got shredded late by Andrew Luck and Co. Will that be repeated this week in the desert? I say it won’t, that the Houston defense is on the rebound, and that Keenum is definitely the answer, even if he takes a lot of risks. Andre Johnson rises to the occasion once again and the run game gets going with Ben Tate shouldering the slack for an ailing Arian Foster. Houston wins a tough one on the road. Pick – Houston.
Denver @ San Diego – The bye week helped Denver rest, which was its purpose. Now that they’re rested Peyton Manning gets it going again, but he won’t have to shoulder the load. Knowshon Moreno will dominate this game, Phillip Rivers will have to catch up and throw a couple of picks, and Denver comes away with another impressive victory even on the road. Pick – Denver.
Dallas @ New Orleans – The Saints are reeling from a loss in New Jersey to the Jets, but they’re back on familiar ground where they don’t lose that often. Plus, the Dallas defense is in no way comparable to the one fielded by the Jets, which is a bad thing for Dallas an a good thing for the Saints. Brees will throw all over that defense, Jimmy Graham will continue to get his, and while this one may be close, New Orleans wins a shootout. Pick – New Orleans.
Miami @ Tampa Bay – The win last week for the Dolphins was a fluke, the result of Andy Dalton playing poorly at the wrong time. And yeah, I blame Thursday for it too. Thursday just seems to be a curse sometimes for everyone but running backs. Regardless, the Bucs have to win at least one this year, so why not at home in front of a raucous crowd? This will be that victory against Tannehill and Co. Pick – Tampa Bay.