You can never really trust a Mike Shanahan backfield, but it’s starting to look like Roy Helu may have a lock on the starting running back spot in Washington, for now. Ryan Torain has fallen out of good graces with the coaching staff so it could be Helu’s show now. Helu is coming off a very intriguing Week 9 where he only rushed 10 times for 41 yards, but had 14 catches for 105 yards. Fourteen receptions in one game for any player is incredible, let alone a running back, so Helu will definitely be a hot play come Sunday. He is going up against a solid run defense in Miami, but the pass defense is very soft. I see him contributing very similar to last week’s effort. It’s almost a certainty that Helu won’t crack 14 receptions again, but look for him to get around 20 touches. This kind of workload out of a running back is plenty reason to get him in your starting lineups for Week 10.
It looks like the New York Jets are finally back to their ground-and-pound ways and this bodes very well for Shonn Greene and his fantasy owners. In his last four games, Greene has received a total of 81 carries and has run for 345 yards. He doesn’t offer you much in the receiving area, but getting 20 carries a week is very solid for a running back these days. Take advantage of that and keep him in your lineup. The Jets have done a great job in the last month of spreading the ball around and opening up running lanes, so he should continue to have success as the season progresses. Greene gets the slumping New England Patriots this weekend that just cut nose guard Albert Haynesworth, so there should be some holes to run through. The offensive line is getting stronger and stronger and this only adds to the notion that Greene is a must start in fantasy every week.
A few weeks into the season it appeared that Daniel Thomas was going to be the premier running back for Miami, but a nagging hamstring injury has forced him to play sparingly over the last month. With that, Reggie Bush has taken full advantage. Bush is averaging close to 18 touches a game the last two weeks and is coming off his best performance of the year in Week 9 where he ran for 92 yards and a touchdown and caught three passes for 50 yards. Perhaps the most impressive stat of all for Bush is that he has been getting seven yards per carry during this two game span and 4.9 yards per carry for the season.
Thomas has practiced fully this week, but Bush will still be starting for the Dolphins against Washington on Sunday. He’s hot right now, so you have to roll with him until he proves otherwise. The Redskins have given up the eighth-most fantasy points to running backs over the last month. Look for Bush to make it three straight weeks of double-digit fantasy scoring.
Earl Bennett, WR, Chicago
Bennett missed five games due to injury, but burst back onto the scene in a big way last week for the Bears. He had five grabs for 95 yards and a touchdown in Chicago’s 30-24 victory over Philadelphia last Monday night. It was a very impressive showing for Bennett, who made a few long catches and looked completely healthy. With tight end Greg Olsen playing for Carolina this season, Jay Cutler’s favorite target has been Bennett. They did play together in college and have always had very good chemistry, so look for this connection to remain constant as long as both are on the field. The Bears draw the Detroit Lions in Week 10, and as long as Cutler gets some time in the pocket then Bennett should have another solid fantasy performance. You never know with that Chicago offensive line, though, so keep your fingers crossed.
Laurent Robinson, WR, Dallas
Robinson has fit in nicely for Dallas and has benefited from some injuries to his teammates as well this season. He’s caught five balls and scored a touchdown in each of the last two games and is averaging more than 15 yards per catch on the season. The most encouraging news for Robinson is that Miles Austin is out at least the next two weeks with a hamstring injury so he will be getting the start in his place. When he gets playing time, Robinson has shined. He has two 100-yard games on the season and is in good shape to get a few more with the absence of Austin. If you need receiving help this week see if Robinson is available and plug him in. He goes up against a Buffalo Bills secondary that has been slumping as of late.
Dustin Keller, TE, New York Jets
After starting off the season as one of the best tight ends in the NFL, Keller has been pretty quiet since. He had 11 receptions for 162 yards and two touchdowns combined in the first two weeks of the season, but hasn’t found paydirt since. The last two weeks, though, the Jets have been getting Keller more involved in the passing game again. He was having a big game against the Buffalo Bills last week (4 receptions, 64 yards) until he fell on his head and left for good in the first half. Concussion tests came back negative and he is good to go against the New England Patriots Sunday night. In his young career, Keller has been a Patriot killer and could be in line for a solid effort in Week 10.
Lock of the Week
Steven Jackson, RB, St. Louis
Jackson is on probably his best two-game stretch in his career and should continue his fantasy hot streak for a third straight week. In this two-game span, he’s run for 289 yards and two scores, while also chipping in five receptions for 44 more yards. He’s clearly been the St. Louis workhorse as well, totaling 54 carries the last two weeks. Jackson gets a very promising matchup against the Cleveland Browns in Week 10, so expect at least 20 carries and probably close to 30 touches overall. Cleveland has allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to running backs over the last five weeks and Jackson has been running very well so he should put up one of the best point totals in all of fantasy come Sunday.
Revis gets New England on Sunday and round two with Wes Welker. As you recall back in Week 5, Welker did have five catches for 124 yards against the Jets, but he had one reception go for 73 yards when Revis wasn’t guarding him so take that out of the mix and he put up a 4-for-51 line against the shutdown corner. Revis will be on him a lot more frequently this time around and though I think Welker is going to have at least a handful of receptions, I don’t see him putting up many yards or finding the end zone. Owners have to start Welker every week no matter what. Just don’t plan on seeing the usual output out of him on Sunday.