Fantasy Football Forecast: Week 10 Starters & Benchwarmers

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By LADD BIRO

Fantasy Fool

Wondering whether or not to start Tom Brady and DeAndre Hopkins or to bench ThomasRawls and Justin Hunter? The network bozos specialize in that kind of advice. If you’relooking for help with your real starting lineup conundrums, read on.

Here are my picks to roll, and get rolled, in Week 10 of the 2015 season.

Watch ‘em roll

Blake Bortles, QB, Jaguars at Ravens. Imagine the fun you could have trash talking youropponent about beating him or her with a Jacksonville QB! And you could, as Bortles has

been airing it out nicely (even lighting up the solid Jets secondary last week). Now he’llbe facing one of the NFL’s most generous pass defenses in Baltimore. Even if AllenHurns (foot) can’t go, Bortles has other weapons he can deploy against this poor unit.

James Starks, RB, Packers vs. Lions. What has been apparent for weeks is now official:Starks is Green Bay’s “number one back right now,” according to head coach Mike

McCarthy. Though Eddie Lacy will still get some carries (assuming he plays with hissore groin), Starks will be the biggest beneficiary of Detroit’s sieve-like run defense onSunday.

Jeremy Langford, RB, Bears at Rams. You wouldn’t sit a healthy Matt Forte against theRams (or anybody); and after his performance on Monday night, I would give the samebenefit of the doubt to Langford. The rookie showcased his talents as both a runner andreceiver, and he should remain very active in this tough matchup as well. He’s a solidstart, especially PPR leagues.

Stefon Diggs, WR, Vikings at Raiders. It looks as though Teddy Bridgewater will becleared from the concussion protocol in time to play, which would address the onlyremaining worry about Diggs’ starting status. The rookie was en fuego until last week’stough matchup with the Rams. Oakland’s secondary is awful, so Diggs could soar even ifShaun Hill is under center.

Pierre Garcon, WR, Redskins vs. Saints. Washington can’t run and New Orleans can’tdefend the pass. DeSean Jackson is still working his way back into shape while KirkCousins is getting “better” (albeit that involves stepping over a very low bar). Garcon isseeing a consistently high volume of targets, and he should convert those into one or twoexplosive scoring plays on Sunday.

More thumbs up (excluding the no-brainers): QBs Joe Flacco, Andy Dalton, CamNewton; RBs DeAngelo Williams, Mark Ingram, Justin Forsett, Giovani Bernard,DeMarco Murray, Darren McFadden, Latavius Murray (check concussion status), LamarMiller; WRs Allen Robinson, Brandon LaFell, Brandin Cooks, Kamar Aiken, TravisBenjamin, Randall Cobb, Davante Adams, Jordan Matthews, Mike Evans, Amari Cooper,Emmanuel Sanders, Jarvis Landry, Marvin Jones.

Roll ‘em back

Peyton Manning, QB, Broncos vs. Chiefs. It’s no secret that the 2015 Manning is a shellof his former shelf. But he looked sharper last week and his best game of the season cameagainst the Chiefs in Week 2. Still, I would avoid him in this difficult matchup against arested team coming off its bye.

Rashad Jennings, RB, Giants vs. Patriots. Not only is this backfield a four-headed mess,but they’ll be squaring off against one of the NFL’s premier run defenses. The Patriotsobviously benefit from opponents regularly playing from behind, and that is likely to bethe case again on Sunday.

Charcandrick West, RB, Chiefs at Broncos. Just as the rookie was coming into his own,he’ll be facing a (slightly cracking) brick wall in Denver. Though the Broncos have beenmore accommodating than usual in recent weeks, they are still a ferocious defense thatshould have little trouble stifling the Chiefs’ average-at-best offense.

John Brown, WR, Cardinals at Seahawks. There’s obviously a risk in sitting Brown,who has proven he can produce even when not at 100 percent. But even after the bye,he’s still limited by a sore hamstring, and he’ll be facing the Legion of Boom in theirunfriendly home stadium. A least one Arizona wideout is going to be shut down Sundaynight, and Brown is the most likely candidate.

James Jones, WR, Packers vs. Lions. Despite the favorable matchup, it’s hard to trustJones now that Davante Adams is back at full strength. There just aren’t enough balls togo around to everyone, and with Randall Cobb, Adams and even Richard Rodgers gettingtheir share, Jones looks like the odd man out.

More thumbs down: QBs Eli Manning, Alex Smith, Jay Cutler, Nick Foles, MarcusMariota, Jameis Winston, Landry Jones; RBs Eddie Lacy, Chris Johnson, T.J. Yeldon,Jonathan Stewart, Ronnie Hillman, Alfred Blue, Ameer Abdullah, Isaiah Crowell, AlfredMorris, Matt Jones, Antonio Andrews; WRs Jeremy Maclin, Doug Baldwin, ReubenRandle, Kenny Stills, Vincent Jackson, Nate Washington.

TAKING A FLIER

Ryan Mathews, RB, Eagles vs. Dolphins. Though he’s playing second fiddle to Murray,Mathews is still getting enough touches to be a productive fantasy contributor. FacingMiami’s pathetic run defense, there should be more than enough touches available forboth backs to please their owners.

DON’T BE THE BONEHEAD WHO …puts your trust in a New England running back,unless you just enjoy playing the lottery. Bill Belichick revels in keeping opposingdefenses guessing (I doubt he thinks twice about us fantasy enthusiasts), so just when itappears that LeGarrette Blount will be featured even more prominently with Dion Lewisout, it could just as easily be the James White or Brandon Bolden show on Sunday.

Remember Jonas Gray?

Ladd Biro is a two-time winner and four-time finalist of the Football Writer of the YearAward by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association.Follow all his advice daily at theFantasy Fools blog (fantasy-fools.blogspot.com), onFacebookand viaTwitter(@ladd_biro).

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