Keith Jordan
Fantasy 411 - Week 10

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There is no better place to start this week than with the seven-touchdown performance of Nick Foles. This season has been a mixed bag for Foles, ranging from tortuous outings to injuries and even the occasional productive outing. Many experts are not convinced of Foles’ ability to lead a Chip Kelly offense for the long haul, but with his performance Sunday, and Michael Vick ’s lingering injury issues, he appears to have a stranglehold on the starting job for now.

With several highly drafted quarterbacks yet to live up to their draft day expectations, Foles and a largely favorable schedule down the stretch are a combination you might want to take a look at him for your fantasy team.

Danny Amendola finally was able to turn in a productive outing in Week 9 for the New England Patriots. Fantasy owners have been waiting on Amendola to break out since Week 1, and more importantly stay healthy. The Patriots ran up 55 points on the Pittsburgh Steelers and Amendola was able to eclipse the 100-yard mark receiving while hauling in a touchdown. It is worth noting that Amendola did his damage on only four catches. Amendola will look to expand his role as he continues to nurse his groin injury. Sunday, the Patriots elected to not play the shifty, slot receiver in two receiver sets, limiting his opportunities.

The Patriots are also easing Rob Gronkowski in to an every snap role and his presence stands to help Amendola find holes in opposing defenses. His health will always be an ongoing concern, but Amendola deserves weekly consideration for your starting lineup.

Amazingly in 2013, being a starting running back in the NFL does not mean that you are a must own in fantasy football. Zac Stacy and Mike James are perfect examples of starting running backs that are sparsely owned in many leagues. Their circumstances and outlook are vastly different in my opinion.

The St. Louis Rams appear to be centering their offensive game plan around Stacy and the rushing game. For what it’s worth, Stacy is also a force in the receiving game, piling up 51 receiving yards in Week 9. The schedule down the stretch is hit-and-miss, but the Rams will face off with New Orleans and Tampa Bay in Weeks 15 and 16, making Stacy a serious contender for a spot in your lineup in two pivotal weeks.

Nearly everyone wrote James off before he could even get started. If Doug Martin was having that tough of a time getting rolling, certainly James couldn’t contribute to your team. On the heels of his 158-yard rushing performance against the normally stingy Seattle defense, its time to take a second look. I have no empirical evidence to back this up, but my gut simply tells me that this is a fluke and will not repeat. The Buccaneers offense raced out to a quick 21-0 lead in the second quarter and nursed the lead before losing in overtime.

There is no definitive timetable for Martin to return and the Buccaneers’ anemic offense doesn’t figure to be up in many games, leaving James with limited opportunities to contribute for your team.

The disappointing season continues for Steven Jackson and the Atlanta Falcons. Jackson joined the Falcons in the offseason with hopes of adding a Super Bowl ring to his list of accomplishments, but for much of the season Jackson has been sidelined with injuries. While the injuries to Jackson, Roddy White and Julio Jones have been much publicized, the Falcons offensive issues lie in their offensive line. Michael Turner and Jacquizz Rodgers each only averaged a paltry 3.9 yards per carry last season. In the offseason, the Falcons released Tyson Clabo and saw veteran anchor Todd McClure retire. A training camp leg injury has cost emerging force Mike Johnson the season and the Falcons have been reeling. I have very low expectations for Jackson going forward. I see him as a weekly flex play as a best case scenario.

I can’t remember the last time that I owned the top-scoring defense. I always draft a defense late, but this season I was able to grab the Kansas City defense off waivers early in the season. But this leaves me with a whole new dilemma with the Chiefs on a bye. I never carry two defenses, but the Chiefs are way too hot and valuable to drop them this season.

Through Week 9, the Carolina Panthers defense has only allowed a little more than 100 points and they would make a solid pickup for owners looking to plug in a quality defense during the Chiefs’ bye week.