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Dear National Football League,
Before I begin, I would like to thank you for the many years of entertainment you have given me and the millions of other football fans in the country. Your league has surpassed the rest and is truly the new “national pastime.” For five months every fall and winter, you have won my attention every Sunday and Monday night, filling my viewing life with thrills and chills, and for that, I thank you.
But for God’s sake, enough with the Thursday night games. I’ll give you Thanksgiving…it’s tradition after all, but these ridiculous Thursday night games are unnecessary. I realize that you’re strong attempts at taking over the entire sports landscape worldwide are undying. But many of us already struggle to win the television remote battle over our significant others two days a week, sending our girlfriends and wives to the bedroom to watch “How I Met Your Mother” or “Brothers & Sisters” on the smaller, inferior TV, while we bask in the glory of big-screen, high-definition heaven.
If Sunday and Monday night are World Wars I and II, this new Thursday night phooey is certainly World War III. My relationship is going to be listed as “doubtful” on the weekly report if I ask the other half for another night of your glorious sporting product. I haven’t even touched upon the Saturday night games you’ll throw at us later this season. I can see my dresser drawers being dumped out the window in a fit of rage when I throw the Saturday night stuff at the Mrs.
So I beg you, next season, enough with the Thursday and Saturday night stuff. You dominate Sundays and Monday nights, don’t water down the slate of Sunday games by spreading them out across more of the week. Our relationships and livelihood depend on fixing this issue.
Thank you for time and attention to this matter.
Joe Football Fan
Ok, now that that’s off my chest, time to focus on Week 10 of the fantasy football season. Needless to say, if you have Matt Forte, Jay Cutler, or Frank Gore on your roster, you have already begun your Week 10 fantasy addiction. For the rest of us, we now take a look at some folks who should fly high and others who should flop with a thud.
Matt Schaub, QB: 32 of 43 passing, 311 yards, 1 TD, 2 INTs (not great, too many turnovers)
Jamaal Charles, RB: 6 carries for 36 yds., 3 catches for 19 yds., 0 TDs (not the way to earn a permanent starting job)
Ray Rice, RB: 12 carries for 48 yds. and a TD, 8 grabs for 87 yds. (this guy will be a top-5 fantasy RB next season)
Wes Welker, WR: 9 catches for 84 yds., no TDs (good stats for a PPR league, just OK in a standard league)
Green Bay Defense: 38 points against, 279 total yards, just 1 INT and 1 sack (ugly loss to a previously winless Bucs team)
Matt Ryan, QB: 17 of 24 through the air for just 135 yds., 1 TD and 1 INT (sophomore slump, maybe?)
LaDainian Tomlinson, RB: 12 carries for just 22 yds., 2 catches for 8 yds., no TDs (is it over for LT?)
Knowshon Moreno, RB: an ugly day, 5 carries for just 3 yds., no TDs (is it over for KM before it even began? Likely not…)
Steve Smith, WR (the Panther, not the Giant): 4 grabs for 64 yds., no TDs (stay away from Panthers the rest of the year, really tough schedule the rest of the way)
Heath Miller, TE: 3 catches for 18 yds., no TDs (early season stud, has leveled off lately)
Flacco has struggled in his sophomore season, especially lately. He hasn’t eclipsed the 200-yard passing mark in 3 of his last 4 games, excluding his 385-yard explosion against the Broncos. In last week’s loss to Cincy, he threw his first two INTs since Week 5. Sounds like all bad news for the former Delaware Blue Hen, eh? Throw all of it out the window…the Browns are in town! Cleveland’s 22nd-ranked pass defense is just what the doctor ordered for Mr. Flacco. Start him with confidence.
The Jets’ rookie signal caller has been playing well at home lately, and coming off a bye, Sanchez should see more success this weekend against Jacksonville and their 26th-ranked pass defense. Look for Sanchez to have a big day, along with Braylon Edwards and Jerricho Cotchery as well.
You’re starting him, we already know that. But this week against Carolina’s porous run defense (23rd in the league), Turner should be a burner. The Falcons rusher has a touchdown in seven straight games, and will be looking for his third straight 150+ yard performance on the ground. He might not get up that high if the Falcons are way ahead, but Turner will be among the top fantasy performers this week, most definitely.
Jackson was seen on Week 9 highlight reels all week long this past week, after catching an 18-yard touchdown pass from Phillip Rivers in the final minute, vaulting the Chargers over the Giants 21-20 at the Meadowlands. It was Jackson’s 2nd TD of the game, and 4th straight game with a trip to the end zone. This week he faces a weakened Eagle secondary…start V-Jack and enjoy.
The Seahawks face the Cardinals this week, a team that was torched by the opposing tight end last week, when Chicago’s Greg Olsen made three trips to the end zone in a blowout win for the Cards. Carlson is coming off a Week 9 win over the Lions that saw him with six catches, the most for him since Week 2. Carlson hasn’t seen the end zone since he scored twice in the opening week…let’s see if Carlson can get back on track this week against the Cards.
Barber and his bum thumb will take on a hungry Packers team up at the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field. Barber has just one TD in his last four games, and no 100+ yard performances since Week 2. His carries are getting vultured by fellow Dallas backs Tashard Choice and Felix Jones, and the trio should have their hands full against Green Bay’s top-10 rush defense.
Benson has had an MVP-caliber start to the season, but facing Pittsburgh at Heinz Field may be too formidable a task for the Bengals’ leading rusher. He had some mild success earlier this year against the Steelers, rushing for 76 yards and a score, but Pittsburgh is currently enjoying a 26-game streak of not letting an opposing rusher notch 100 yards against them, and that streak should continue on Sunday.
Jets’ cornerback Darrelle Revis should be locked on Sims-Walker all afternoon long. The Jets haven’t given up 100+ yards to a wide receiver all year. They’ve given up just 3 TDs to opposing wide receivers this season. All signs that point to a tough day for M.S-W.
Ok, maybe I’m picking on the Cowboys by putting two of them in my Low Five this week, but listen, it’s my column, and if I want my personal hatred for everything Dallas Cowboys to shine through, then let me have my cake and eat it too.
Witten hasn’t had a TD in his last six games, and has just one all year. With Miles Austin emerging as Tomy Romo’s new favorite toy, Witten is left more often than not in a blocking role, rather than on the receiving end of Romo’s short passes. Witten’s a stinker, and that’ll continue this week against Green Bay.
Cross-country trips are never a positive thing for teams, especially this late in the season when the year has already taken a toll on the bodies of these NFL bruisers. Couple that with Philly’s thin secondary, with Ellis Hobbs injured and out for the year, and Joselio Hanson sidelined for the next four games with a drug suspension, it’ll be left to Asante Samuel and Sheldon Brown to shut down the high-flying Charger attack. The Eagles are usually a dependable fantasy defense, but give them a week off this week.