Before we get started, click here for my Week 10 NFL picks.

Time for another edition of Fantasy Football Out on a Limb. I scour the rosters to select a player who I feel will outperform a higher profile player in that given week. I base my decisions on matchups, how the players are trending, and the ever-important hunch. To mix things up I’ll occasionally do some two on one matchups or even pit RB or WR duos against each other. Sometimes I’ll spot a player some points.

6 points for rushing or receiving TD
4 points for a passing TD
0.1 points per yard for rushing or receiving
0.05 points per passing yard.

Last Week

Matt Hasselbeck over Tony Romo: Winner Hasselbeck 20.95, Romo 19.05
Maurice Jones-Drew over Knowshon Moreno and Rashard Mendenhall (combined):
Winner MJD 19.4, Moren & Mendenhall 16.7 (Moreno 0
.3, Mendenhall 16.4)
Ryan Grant over Cedric Benson: Loser Grant 15.6, Benson 17.7
Kevin Walter +2 over Brandon Marshall: Loser Walter 8.7 (6.7 actual +2), Marshall 11.2
Nate Burleson over Derrick Mason: Winner Burleson 7.5, Mason 3.1
Jamaal Charles over Laurence Maroney: Loser Charles 5.5, Maroney 14.2

Regular Picks:  3-2
Super Stretch Picks:  0-1
Overall:  3-3

Season Record
Regular Picks: 20-23
Super Stretch Picks:  3-8
Overall: 23-31

Week 10 Picks

Baltimore Ravens 2009 Football Headshots
Carson Palmer
Joe Flacco over Carson Palmer
It seems like ages since Flacco’s Week Six monster effort against the Vikings. Since then he’s had a bye and faced two of the league’s toughest defenses in Denver and Cincinnati. This week he’ll remind fantasy owners how good he was before the bye. Palmer heads out on the road to take on a Pittsburgh defense that’s regaining its championship form.

Running Backs
Tim Hightower profile Matt Forte
Tim Hightower over Matt Forte

Both of these backs are active in the passing game, which helps their cause. Forte has to play during a short week on the road against the 49ers’ #4 run defense. Hightower plays the Seahawks, who are not pushover with the 11th ranked run defense. However, he’s more likely to score a TD, which is what I feel will put him over the top this week.

New England Patriots 2009 Football Headshots Ryan Grant Profile
Laurence Maroney over Ryan Grant

Maroney faces the Colts’ 14th ranked run defense while Grant squares off against Dallas’ 12th ranked run defense. The Cowboys have allowed half as many rushing TDs (3) as Indianapolis has.  Green Bay will likely be down early, which would take Grant out of the equation.

Wide Receivers
Braylon Edwards profile
Jacksonville Jaguars 2009 Football Headshots
Braylon Edwards over Mike Sims-Walker
Braylon takes on the Jaguars’ 26th ranked pass defense while Sims-Walker faces the Jets 2nd ranked pass defense. Jacksonville has allowed ten more passing TDs, and Sims-Walker will have to deal with shutdown corner Darrelle Revis.

Miami Dolphins 2009 Football Headshots Justin Gage profile
Davone Bess over Justin Gage
Bess has at least three receptions in every game this year, and is primed to pick up his first TD against Tampa Bay, who is 30th in the league with 18 TDs allowed. Even if he doesn’t score, he’s  a good bet to put up solid yardage against the Bucs.

Vince Young is locking in to Gage to the tune of 138, or 46.5 percent, of the 297 yards he’s thrown for the past two weeks. However, Buffalo is 10th in the league in pass defense, and Tennessee will most likely rely on Chris Johnson this week.

Kansas City Chiefs 2009 Football Headshots Marshawn Lynch
Jamaal Charles over Marshawn Lynch

I’ll give Charles another chance to prove himself. If he can’t do it against the Raiders and their 29th ranked run defense, I don’t know when he’ll be able to do it. Lynch takes on the resurgent Tennessee Titan team on the road. Buffalo has struggled to move the ball through the air, so the Titans will be able to key in on shutting down Lynch.

Before we get started, click here for my Week 10 NFL picks.

I’m going to look at the matchups each week and pick five fantasy starters that could be in for a tough week. Here’s a look at players who could struggle this week.

With the bye weeks upon us, you can’t necessarily sit the guys on this list unless you have great depth, but expect a drop in production.

Carson Palmer, Cincinnati Bengals
Palmer beat the Steelers in Week Three at home, but was hardly a productive fantasy QB. He didn’t face Troy Polamalu in that game. This time Polamalu is back, and the game is in Pittsburgh.

Steven Jackson, St. Louis Rams
S-Jax has been able to produce regardless of the match-up, but this week could be different. Not only will the Rams likely be down big, but the Saints’ strong D could limit Jackson’s effectiveness.

Matt Forte, Chicago Bears
The Niners are a tough team to figure out, but their defense usually plays hard for Coach Mike Singletary. He’s been more active in the passing game, and will likely need to do so this week to be a viable fantasy option. Since this is a road game, where he’s averaged just 67.5 total yards without a TD, I am not high on Forte this week.

Lee Evans, Buffalo Bills
Evans has played better of late, but so has Tennessee’s secondary, particulary against #1 WRs. They held Mike Sims-Walker to nine yards in Week Eight and Michael Crabtree to 30 yards this past week. In case you didn’t get the memo, the Titans are no longer a pushover for #1 WRs.

Santonio Holmes, Pittsburgh Steelers
They are playing at home, which should help, but he’ll likely be mirrored by Leon Hall most of the day. Not to mention the fact that he has to share with Hines Ward, Rashard Mendenhall, and Heath Miller.

For a look at some possible replacements for these tough match-ups, check out my Week 10 Fantasy Fill-ins (click to read the article).

Putting the final piece of your fantasy football puzzle together

The last bye week is here.  I’ve uncovered some guys you can plug in to your lineup if you are dealing with byes, an injury, or tough matchups.   Check back following the games to see the stat line of guys profiled.

Matt Ryan
 - Ryan should be involved in a shootout as his Falcons take on the Saints.  He has great poise for a Rookie QB and should have no problem discecting New Orleans’ weak secondary. 
Stat Line:  16 of 23 for 248 yards, 2 TDs

Jamaal Charles
- Charles had a nifty little game last week with San Diego on deck.  San Diego’s D is far from the one you feared just last year.  With Kolby Smith banged up and LJ being a clown, Charles is in charge.  Now if he can just score like Scott Baio. 
Stat Line:  3 carries for 8 yards.  Sorry.

Ray Rice – His situation isn’t as wide open as Jamaal’s.  McGahee and McClain are still lurking, but McRice has been the most explosive Raven RB this year.  He should get around 100 total yards with the opportunity to break one vs. the Texans.
Stat Line:  7 carries for 17 yards Sorry

Michael Jenkins - I know, where was I last week with this prediction.  I did give you Camarillo who had a fine game.  I see no reason why Jenkins doesn’t continue his fantasy dominance this week.  I don’t see another pair of TDs, but 80 and a score isn’t out of the question vs. New Orleans.
Stat Line:  6 catches for 72 yards

Donald Driver - Driver typically plays the Vikings tough.  Last week Minnesota made it a point to shut down Andre Johnson.  In doing so, Owen Daniels went wild.  If they try that against Jennings, Driver is the guy I see benefitting the most.
Stat Line:  5 catches for 46 yards

Donald Lee - While I think Driver will do well, I still think there will be plenty of leftovers for Donald Lee.  Tight Ends have been having their way with Minnesota since E.J. Henderson went down. 
Stat Line:   1 catch for 6 yards

Dan Carpenter
- What the heck.  I’ll roll with the Carpenter back-to-back weeks.  This week he faces Seattle, who have allowed a league worst 21 FGs and 84 Kicker points.  They should have no problem moving the ball against the Seahawks, but they could stall out in the red zone leading to multiple Carpenter FGs.
Stat Line:  3 PATs.  Sorry

- The Jags D just hasn’t met expectations this year.  They should be fine this week though as they face the Detroit Lions.  Duante Culpepper is supposed to get some snaps this week.  He should be good for a few Sacks and a few Turnovers.  He loves to fumblet he ball.
Stat Line: 7 Sacks, INT

Check back after the games to see an updated stat line.

Time for another edition of Fantasy Football Out on a Limb.  I scour the rosters to select a player who I feel will outperform a higher profile player in that given week.  I base my decisions on matchups, how the players are trending, and the ever-important hunch.  To mix things up I’ll occasionally do some two on one matchups or even pit RB or WR duos against each other.  Sometimes I’ll spot a player some points. 

6 points for rushing or receiving TD
4 points for a passing TD
0.1 points per yard for rushing or receiving
0.05 points per passing yard. 

Last Week
Aaron Rodgers
(20.8) beat Kyle Orton (12.1) WHICH I LOST.
Michael Turner (13.9) over Clinton Portis (12.4) WHICH I WON.
Brandon Jacobs (17.7) beat Earnest Graham (13.25) WHICH I LOST.
Calvin Johnson (14.8 ) beat Donnie Avery (2.6) WHICH I LOST.
Terrell Owens (9.6) beat Devin Hester (5.3)  WHICH I LOST.
Super Stetch:  Tim Hightower (16.8) over Jamal Lewis (6.2) WHICH I WON

Regular Picks:  1-4
Picks:  1-0  
Overall:  2-4  

Season Record
Regular Picks:  28-17
Super Stretch Picks:  3-5
Overall:  31-22

Matt Ryan
over Eli Manning 
I’m taking my chances with the Rookie over the Super Bowl champion.  Ryan is playing at home in what appears to be a shootout with New Orleans.  He’s going to have to get the ball to his playmakers for the Falcons to keep pace.  Meanwhile, Eli travels to Philly to take on the Eagles in what appears to be a Defensive struggle. 

Running Backs
LaDainian Tomlinson over  Matt Forte and Steve Slaton (combined)
I don’t recall using LT yet this year so why not start his Out on a Limb season off with a bang taking on two of the league’s top rookies.  LT has a cake matchup against Kansas City, which should render him the highest scoring RB this week.  The two rookies square off against tough Defenses in Tennessee (Forte) and Baltimore (Slaton). That should hinder them enough for LT to pull this off.

Michael Turner over Brian Westbrook +1
I will take Michael Turner, the King of the Bad Matchups, over arguably the league’s best fantasy player when healthy.  Turner squares off against New Orleans, who is pretty weak on D.  I’ll even spot Westy ten yards as he faces the G-Men. 

Wide Receiver
Michael Jenkins over Reggie Wayne
I am going with Atlanta’s #2 over Indy’s #1 based on matchups.  Jenkins gets to go up against New Orleans, who if you haven’t figured out has a D that fails to impress me.  He scored on a couple of passes last week and could find the end zone again.  Wayne has a tough matcup with Pittsburgh.

Devery Henderson
over Randy Moss
Just to prove I don’t think Atlanta is going to roll all over New Orleans, I’m offering Henderson up to have a good game.  He’ll need to get deep to win, but I think he’s capable.  I’m banking that he will outscore Randy Moss, who plays a tough Buffalo team for First Place in the AFC East.

Brady Quinn
over  Jake Delhomme
I’ll take the risk and throw Quinn out there despite having just 8 career passes.  He’s just the spark this team needs to get moving.  Maybe Braylon Edwards will actually hang on to the ball.  Delhomme’s matchup with Oakland is a good one, but perhaps too goo.  They should dominate with their rushing attack and need little from their D.  Once they get up big, Carolina will basically shut down the passing game.

I’m going to look at the matchups each week and pick five fantasy starters that could be in for a tough week.  Here’s a look at players who could struggle this week.

Peyton Manning
- Manning makes a return trip to the Pitfalls.  Last time, he responded with 271 yards and 3 TDs vs. Baltimore.  Personally, I wouldn’t mind the same results as he’s my QB in my main league.  However, I’m not predicting a good week for Eli’s big brother vs. Pittsburgh.

Running Backs
Steve Slaton
- There sure have been a lot of good Rookie RBs this year.  Slaton is definitely one of them. I don’t think this is his week though as he goes up against Baltimore.  His ability to catch the ball out of the backfield help him with total yardage, but I’m not expecting him to score a TD this week.

Marshawn Lynch - Lynch is taking his game on the road.  The destination is Foxboro.  First Place will be on the line.  I’m guessing the Patriots get up for this one making it tough on Lynch and the Bills to get going on Offense.

Wide Receiver
Plaxico Burress
- Plaxico takes on the Eagles this week, assuming he doesn’t do something to get him suspended along the way.  Besides that risk, Philly’s secondary creates a tough matchup for Plax.  I’m not banking on a strong performance out of him.

Hines Ward - The Colts aren’t having the year that their fans have grown accustomed to, but their Pass D has been strong all year long.  That’s not a good thing for Hines Ward, who faces them this week.  The one thing he has going for him is the fact that it’s a home game.  I still don’t expect a strong showing.

This is the last bye week.  Cincinnati, Dallas, Tampa Bay, and Washington get the week off.  You’ll be without some key contributors.  Let’s take a look at some attractive alternatives.

The ony QB that will really be missed is Jason Campbell.  He has put together a real nice season.  Jeff Garcia has been solid.  He’s possibly been called into action if you had Brady, Palmer, or Romo.  Dallas and Cincy are working with scraps with Ryan Fitzpatrick and Brad Johnson.  Hopefully you weren’t counting on them.  David Garrard goes up against Detroit. Brett Favre faces St. Louis.  Matt Ryan plays the Saints.  Chad Pennington draws the Seahawks.

Running Back
Clinton Portis and Marion Barber will put team’s in a bind.  Sorry, but they can’t be replaced.  You’ll just have to hope for the best.  Earnest Graham is having a decent year, but he will be easier to replace.  Warrick Dunn and Cedric Benson have been decent of late.  If you’re counting on them, my sympathies.  Oh yeah, you’ll need to plug somebody else in.  Willie Parker or Mewelde Moore face Indy.  Thomas Jones faces St. Louis.  Jamal Lewis goes against Denver.  DeAngleo Williams and Jonathan Stewart face Oakland, and Fred Taylor could have a nice game against Detroit.  

Wide Receiver
Terrell Owens, Housh, Chad Ocho Cinco.  These guys need to be replaced, but the one who will be missed the most is Santana Moss.  Antonio Bryant, Joey Galloway, Roy Williams (bet you didn’t expect two byes for him), and Antwaan Randle El will be missing in action as well.  Donald Driver usually does well against Minnesota.  Derrick Mason makes a nice play against Houston.  Michael Jenkins could produce vs. New Orleans.  Eddie Royal faces Cleveland.  I like Lance Moore against Atlanta.

Tight End
You’ll have to deal with Jason Witten and Chris Cooley being out.  That won’t be fun.  Tampa’s Alex Smith and Jerramy Stevens may have found their way into some lineups.  The Bungles don’t really have a TE that matters.  I like Marcedes Lewis vs. Detroit.  Donald Lee could have success vs. Minnesota.  I also like Anthony Fasano vs. Seattle and John Carlson vs. Miami in a head-to-head battle.

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