Some predictions work out well, and some don’t – that’s life. But last week, I had the mother of all misfires when I recommended benching Cardinals QB Kurt Warner, who threw for 261 yards and FIVE TOUCHDOWNS against the Bears.
I got off a plane Sunday night, checked the scores and stats on my Blackberry, and felt sick about the Warner snafu for the next day or so. I think I’m over it now, but if the recommendation caused you to lose your fantasy game for the week, please e-mail me with details so I can be miserable all over again. Ugh.
As always, all this week’s recommendations aren’t included below. There will always be a few more players you need to know about, and to find out who they are, you’ll need to watch the weekly Wide Write video blog, which can be accessed in the column to the right.
Read on for your Week 10 fantasy football recommendations. If you have any questions, comments or insults, send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who’s off in Week 10: Giants, Texans. After that, it’s bye-bye, bye weeks.
Also: The Bears and 49ers kick off the Thursday night games. Make sure to set your lineups on time.
Start him: Jay Cutler, Bears
In the first four games of the season, Cutler averaged 32 pass attempts and 225 yards. In the second four games, he averaged 39 attempts and 286 yards. Sure, two of those last four were blowout losses, but the Bears have seemed content to abandon the run at any opportunity. Matt Forte’s owners must be thrilled beyond belief.
The Bears might not be a very good team, but it looks like they’ll go as far as Cutler’s bazooka arm will take them. He should put up some nice numbers Thursday night against the 49ers’ 24th-ranked pass defense.
Sit him: Matt Ryan, Falcons
What the heck happened to this guy? Ryan appeared ready to take a step toward stardom this season. Instead, he’s been picked off 10 times in eight games, and has surpassed 230 yards just twice. This week’s opponent, the Panthers, are pretty mediocre, but they defend the pass well. Give Ryan a seat on your fantasy bench for this road game.
Pick him up: Mark Sanchez, Jets
Quarterbacks are very tough to recommend in this spot. Figure that in a 12-team league, 24 QBs are already owned, so there are eight left to choose from. I can only push Vince Young on you so many times, right? The Jets host the Jags and their 26th-ranked pass defense this week, and Sanchez has thrown for three TDs and no picks over the last two games. That’s pretty much my reasoning for suggesting him as a pickup. Also, he’s dreamy. Good luck!
Start him: Jonathan Stewart, Panthers
Here are Stewart’s weekly rushing yardage totals for the season: 35, 65, minus-one, 39, 110, 25, 87, 24. He’s about as consistent as Dick Cheney’s EKG. With that said, his overall numbers are pretty good, and he has a friendly match up at home against the Falcons this week. Go ahead and start him. Even as second fiddle to DeAngelo Williams, Stewart can be productive.
Sit him: Julius Jones, Seahawks
Speaking of inconsistent, in fantasy terms I hate the unreliable Jones with a passion. He gains over 100 yards when you bench him, like in Week 1 against the Rams, and 11 yards when you start him, like in Week 2 against the 49ers. Jones is averaging 31 yards per game and 2.6 yards per carry over the last five weeks, and this week the Seahawks visit the Cardinals and their third-ranked rushing defense. If a guy was ever screaming to be benched by his fantasy owners, it’s Jones this week. If he plays well to spite me, I might have to slash his tires or something.
Pick him up: Ladell Betts, Redskins
This recommendation has an expiration date, and it’s whenever Clinton Portis returns from his concussion. Head coach Jim Zorn called Portis “doubtful” for this week, so Betts should get plenty of action at home against the Broncos. He had 70 yards and a touchdown after replacing Portis in Week 9, and while I’d like to get excited about the fact that Betts averaged 128 yards in a six-game stretch the last time he got a starter’s workload, that was in 2006. Picking him up for this week is still a good idea, but don’t expect the second coming of Barry Sanders.
Start him: Percy Harvin, Vikings
Harvin says he’s completely healthy now after battling assorted nicks and maladies during the first half of the season. He caught five passes for 84 yards and a score last week, and with a home match up against the Lions on tap, I have visions of him returning kickoffs, catching passes, running reverses, dodging enemy fire and jumping through flaming hoops for touchdowns. Seriously, Harvin is explosive, so the more often he gets the ball, the more chances there are for great things to happen.
Sit him: Roy E. Williams, Cowboys
I heard a lot on Sunday’s broadcast about how Williams and QB Tony Romo were finally on the same page, since Williams caught five passes for 75 yards against the Eagles. However, most of his looks were on assorted short passes, so don’t expect him to bust out any time soon. If you’re tempted to get Williams back in your lineup based on his Week 9 performance, wait one more week to see if he’s really legit. Ten bucks says he isn’t.
Pick him up: Lance Long, Chiefs
New Chief Chris Chambers caught three passes for 70 yards and two touchdowns last week, and you’re probably dying to pick him up. Aside from the fact that Chambers is probably the most overrated receiver in history, there are other reasons to look elsewhere in the Chiefs’ offense. Long has been targeted 16 times in the last two weeks, and had eight receptions for 74 yards in Week 9. If Long keeps up his strong play, he might push Houston’s Kevin Walter for the second WR spot in the Caucasian Pro Bowl. Wes Welker obviously has the top spot locked up.
Also: RB Darren McFadden might be back for the Raiders after missing a few weeks with a knee injury … Eagles RB Brian Westbrook could miss another game this week because of a concussion, ankle, etc. Shocker … Trent Edwards appears on track to reclaim his starting QB job in Buffalo after missing a couple of games with a concussion.
Thanks for reading, and once again, make sure to watch this week’s edition of the Wide Write video blog by clicking here. Share it with your friends, post it on your Facebook page – really, I’d like to be just about everywhere if it’s OK with you.
John Halpin writes Wide Write and hosts an accompanying video blog every week throughout the NFL season. He also writes fantasy columns and early-morning blogs four days a week at FOXSports.com/fantasy. You can receive more fantasy news and contact John by following him on Twitter (@jhalpin37).