Donald Brown figures to get the start once again this weekend against the Cincinnati Bengals. Joseph Addai and Mike Hart are still nursing injuries and haven’t practiced all week, so Brown is fantasy relevant for at least another week. Cincinnati does have a decent run defense, but I really like Brown’s match up in Week 10 and consider him an RB2. He’s been improving week-by-week and ran very hard last Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles, so owners should feel confident rolling him out there again. He should at least get the same amount touches that he got in Week 9 (18), but don’t be surprised if he gets even more as he impressed the coaching staff last week with almost 100 total yards. I can see Brown getting 20 touches this weekend and finding pay dirt as well. He should help out owners simply because there is no one else for the Colts in the running game.
Indianapolis isn’t the only team banged up in the backfield. Carolina has both DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart hurt right now. Stewart has already been named inactive for Week 10, while Williams is very doubtful. The Panthers have already announced that Mike Goodson will be their starter on Sunday against Tampa Bay. This is a very interesting situation for fantasy owners looking for a spot start because the Buccaneers allow nearly 150 rushing yards a game and Goodson should get the majority of the workload for Carolina. Throw in the fact that Goodson is also a very good receiving back (17 receptions, 140 yards) and he could be in line for a sneaky good day on the fantasy front. He could shock a lot of people this weekend.
Cedric Benson isn’t having the kind of year he had in 2009, but he’s still been effective for fantasy owners. He did manage close to 80 total yards and a touchdown against a dominant Pittsburgh defense in Week 9 and is averaging 75 rushing yards a game in 2010. He should have a big game this weekend against the Indianapolis Colts as it seems like everyone runs for 100 yards against them. As long as Carson Palmer keeps getting the ball downfield to Terrell Owens, the running game will be wide open for Benson to operate and put up a solid game. He has averaged more than 20 carries a game over the last four weeks so expect that same amount of touches again on Sunday with room to run.
Josh Freeman, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
I’m still trying to figure out how Freeman is started in less than 40 percent of most fantasy leagues. He’s almost a lock to throw for at least 200 yards every game and his running abilities balance out any turnovers that he commits. He’s been improving vastly in 2010 and should provide a solid Week 10 performance for owners against the lowly Panthers. In my opinion he is a must-start on Sunday, but he is available in many leagues so he qualifies as a sleeper this week. Carolina is allowing almost 22 points per game and only has 12 sacks on the season, so Freeman should have plenty of time to operate down the field or create opportunities for himself with his feet. He should be a lock for at least 15 fantasy points in Week 10 so take a shot with him.
Fred Jackson, RB, Buffalo Bills
Jackson had a tough Week 9 against the Chicago Bears. He did score a touchdown and had five receptions, but also lost a fumble and only managed 16 yards on eight carries. The good news is Jackson gets to try and bounce back against the Lions, who are pitiful against the run. Buffalo will absolutely want to establish their rushing attack early, so look for Jackson to be busy in both the running and passing game. At the very least he should put up a low double-digit fantasy effort, but he has way more upside in this matchup. Don’t be surprised if Jackson scores a few times and has one of those monster fantasy days for an owner. He should be starting across the board in Week 10.
Davone Bess, WR, Miami Dolphins
Bess has been very consistent over the past month, averaging more than five catches and 50 yards a game with a couple touchdowns. News just came out yesterday saying that the Dolphins will be starting quarterback Chad Pennington for the rest of the season and many think this doesn’t help Bess too much in terms of fantasy, but don’t give up on him just yet. Remember, it was Pennington who was the signal caller in 2009 when Bess caught 76 passes on the season. The targets will be there for him, especially this week against the Tennessee Titans, and he is due for a touchdown. Miami has been throwing the ball a lot more this season because the running game just hasn’t been there so look for Bess and Brandon Marshall to have good games against Tennessee. Bess should be considered a WR3 in standard leagues and a solid WR2 in points-per-reception leagues.
Lock of the Week
Braylon Edwards, WR, New York Jets
I have been right on the money with my pick over the last couple weeks, but this week I’m really making a bold prediction with Edwards. It’s been all or nothing with him in 2010. He either has a quiet game with a few catches and not many targets or he catches a long touchdown. Edwards already has touchdown catches of 67, 41 and 74 on the season and I fully expect him to add another scoring strike to this list in Week 10. He will be playing in Cleveland, the team the drafted him, on Sunday, and it’s no secret that him and the fans do not get along too well. Browns’ fans have always had a chip on their shoulder about Edwards because he’s a Michigan alum and Braylon came out this week talking a little smack to them about his return. You know head coach Rex Ryan is going to do everything in his power to get Edwards involved early on just to make Cleveland angry, so look for the Jets’ receiver to find pay dirt for the sixth time this year.