Week 10 in the NFL features a great Sunday Night game between a pair of 7-1 teams and then a potetial dud of a Monday Night game between the quickly-gaining-momentum Steelers and the quickly-collapsing Chiefs. Here’s all my picks for this week against the spread (taken from ESPN’s Pigskin Pick’Em) and a fantasy sleeper to check out if you need last minute lineup help.
New York Giants at Cincinnati Bengals (+4.5)
Pick: The Giants have looked less than dominant the last three weeks since beating down the Niners, but I think they’ll be able to cover against a Bengals team that has lost four in a row with three of those four at home. They’ve lost the last three weeks by more than 4.5 and I think Eli will bounce back and get the Giants the win and the cover this week.
Potential Sleeper: The Bengals should be able to move the pass through the air. That means continued for success for TE Jermaine Gresham who makes a borderline top ten play. Mohamed Sanu is a deep sleeper who is starting to be move involved in the Bengals pass attack but hasn’t had more than two receptions in any game this season.
Tennessee Titans at Miami Dolphins (-6.5)
Pick: This seems like a lot of points, but the Titans have struggled mightily on the road. They’re 1-3 and have lost by 28 to the Chargers, 24 to the Texans, and 23 to the Vikings. Last week they got rolled over by the Bears, and I expect the Dolphins to get past them fairly easily again this week.
Potential Sleeper: The Titans have given up the fourth most fantasy points per game to running backs which should mean a big game for Reggie Bush. I think Daniel Thomas should also get some solid yardage and could be useful as a flex fill-in. He had 37 yards rushing and 25 yards receiving last week and has three touchdowns in his last five games. He’s no more than a last-minute plug-in but if the Dolphins get ahead they may try to give him more of the workload this week.
Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings (+2.5)
Pick: I’m tempted to take the Vikings here, but with the loss of Percy Harvin I have to go Detroit. Minnesota has lost its last two to a surprising Tampa team and on the road to a tough Seahawks team. The Lions have looked better the last two weeks beating Seattle in Detroit and then going on the road to beat the Jags last week. Detroit though still seems a bit fragile and the Adrian Peterson-led Vikings will be tough at home. Without Harvin though, I don’t think that they’ll be able to pull it out.
Potential Sleeper: With no Percy Harvin, Jerome Simpson could be in store for a big week. He led the team in receiving last week (granted, it was with a paltry 14 yards), and had seven targets on Thursday Night Football two weeks ago. Simpson is best known for his viral touchdown with a forward flip at the end, but fantasy owners may remember him as they guy they grabbed off waivers who carved up Detroit this week at the Metrodome.
Buffalo Bills at New England Patriots (-11.5)
Pick: New England coming off a bye will be ready to deal out the punishment to the struggling Bills. Buffalo lost by 12 last week on the road in Houston and by one the game before at home to Titans. New England blew them out 52-28 in Buffalo back in week 4. It’s a lot of points, but I’ll take the Pats to cover.
Potential Sleeper: The Bills can be beaten on the ground as the Pats proved in their week four game and even Chris Johnson looked good against them three weeks ago. Stevan Ridley should have a good game, but he’s no sleeper after his big start so I’ll take Shane Vereen to fill-in for the now-suspended Brandon Bolden who had over 100 yards against the Bills in the teams’ first meeting. In New England’s last game (in London two weeks ago) Vereen had 22 yards and a touchdown along with a 17-yard reception.
Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints (+2.5)
Pick: I’m taking the Saints to end the Falcons perfect season at home in the Superdome this week. The Falcons have had a great run, but have also played teams at less than their best levels and have survived a number of close calls. Drew Brees and the Saints aren’t to be taken lightly and have won their last two home games and three of their last four. I think they’ll cover and win outright in this one.
Potential Sleeper: After his big Monday Night Football performance, Chris Ivory may not be much of a sleeper but he’s still owned in just 2.1% of ESPN leagues. Ivory had 48 yards and a touchdown on a team-high 10 carries and should get considerable run again this week with Darren Sproles again sidelined.
San Diego Chargers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-3.5)
Pick: The Bucs are have won their last two on the road and return home to host the inconsistent Chargers. San Diego hasn’t beaten anyone not named Kansas City, Tennessee, or Oakland this year and have a tendency to self-implode. The Bucs haven’t done that this season and seem to be headed places under new Head Coach Greg Schiano.
Potential Sleeper: Tampa has this running back named Doug Martin maybe you’ve heard of him… If you’re looking for a real sleeper, check out Denario Alexander who played his first game with San Diego last week and led them in receiving with 61 yards hauling in three catches on three targets. He could be a big part of the Chargers passing game and teams have shown the ability to throw on the Bucs.
Denver Broncos at Carolina Panthers (+3.5)
Pick: The Panthers keep this one close I think and get at least the cover. They really haven’t looked bad since the Giants game losing to Atlanta by 2, Seattle by 4, Dallas by 5, and Chicago by 1 before getting back in the win column against Washington last week. This seems like the home ‘dog that pulls the upset this week to me.
Potential Sleeper: Everyone continues to overlook Greg Olsen as a top-tier tight end, but he led the Panthers in targets and catches last week (nine and five) with 48 yards receiving. The Broncos have been third-worst at allowing fantasy points to tight ends, and I think Olsen has a big game today.
Oakland Raiders at Baltimore Ravens (-7.5)
Pick: There’s not much I like about this game. It’s ugly is lots of ways. I hate laying 7.5 with the Ravens who haven’t really looked good since their Monday Night opener. I hate taking the Raider though as their down to their third running back and haven’t won on the road except for at Kansas City. Ultimately, I’ll go with Baltimore based on the West Coast team coming east argument and the fact that the Raiders managed to get rolled over by the Dolphins on their only East Coast trip this year.
Potential Sleeper: The obvious picks here are Marcel Reece and Taiwan Jones who will be pressed into service in the Raiders backfield after injuries to Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson. In PPR leagues, Reece is the one you want, but Jones is expected to receive the bulk of the carries. In my opinion, neither makes more than a flex-play though… Baltimore coaches have promised to get Jacoby Jones more involved, but don’t start him yet. Just check to see if they actually follow through and make a waiver claim next week if Jones is a part of a more open offense. Believe it only after you see it in this case however.
New York Jets at Seattle Seahawks (-6.5)
Pick: Seattle is 4-0 at home. They’ve beaten the Cowboys and Vikings easily and upset the Patriots and Packers with late TDs. The Jets are 1-2 on the road and were dominated by the Dolphins before the bye. They don’t seem like a team that can go to CenturyLink field and win so I’ll role with the ‘Hawks.
Potential Sleeper: Last week against Minnesota, Russell Wilson threw for 173 yards and three touchdowns. At home this year he’s not only undefeated he has yet to throw an interception while connecting for nine touchdowns and throwing for 747 yards. At home against a struggling Jets defense, Wilson makes a decent play in two QB leagues and could even be used as an Aaron Rodgers bye-week fill-in.
Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles (-1.5)
Pick: Both these teams seem to have multiple personalities making it tough to know which will show up on any Sunday. The Eagles are playing on a short week after losing in New Orleans last Monday night and the Cowboys played decently but lost at Atlanta on Sunday night. I’ll take Dallas only because I think the Eagles offensive line is likely to get Vick pummeled into submission.
Potential Sleeper: The Eagles are in the top five in fantasy points allowed per game to opposing D/ST units this season. The Dallas D/ST should be able to generate turnovers and pile up the sacks. I think they’re a nice pickup from many waiver wires if you need a matchup play this week.
St. Louis Rams at San Francisco 49ers (-11.5)
Pick: San Francisco should be able to cover at home. Since both teams are coming off of bye-weeks, let me remind you of their last games. San Francisco demolished Arizona on the road 24-3 and St. Louis got crushed 45-7 in London. This game should be a solid division win for San Francisco as they continue to push for the playoffs.
Potential Sleeper: The Rams expect to have Danny Amendola back so if someone dropped him grab and stash him for future games when he’s up against less formidable defenses… On the Niners side, don’t overlook Mario Manningham who continues to more involved in the passing game with Alex Smith. He hasn’t had less than four catches in his last three games but has only found the endzone once.
Houston Texans at Chicago Bears (-1.5)
Pick: In the best game of the week, I think the Bears will get the win at home. Houston hasn’t really played a quality opponent this season except the Packers who beat them three weeks ago. The Broncos win stands out as a nice road win but Peyton wasn’t back to Peyton yet. Chicago’s lone loss was all the way back in week two to the same Green Bay squad but they’ve been blowing people out for the most part and their defense is doing what it takes to win. I think they’ll be able to create turnovers against Houston and get the win in an extremely intense defensive struggle.
Potential Sleeper: The Bears continue to play without rookie wide receiver Alshon Jeffery meaning Earl Bennett will keep getting the targets from Jay Cutler. In his last three games, Bennet has a total of 10 catches for 96 yards. He’s been targeted 18 times in that span. He’s still way behind Brandon Marshall but Bennett can be grabbed on the waiver wire and held as a insurance policy if you have an earlier game time decision
Kansas City Chiefs at Pittsburgh Steelers (-12.5)
Pick: The Chiefs are really that bad. I think I’d take Pittsburgh even if they gave 20 in this one. The Steelers beat the Giants in New York last week and return home to face the Chiefs who have just one win this year, have led for exactly zero seconds in any game at any time, and have lost their last three by double-digits to the Bucs, Chargers, and Raiders. The Steelers are on the rise and the Chiefs are working on securing the #1 pick in the draft.
Potential Sleeper: Antonio Brown is expected to be out meaning Emmanuel Sanders will get the start for the Steelers. He’ll definitely get a chance for a solid yardage total and was able to find the endzone last week. Big Ben has a number of solid targets, so it’s a risky pick, but I think Sanders is startable as a flex or WR3 this week against the Chiefs.