Here are my picks to roll, and get rolled, in Week 10 of the 2016 season.
Watch ‘em roll
Carson Palmer, QB, Cardinals vs. 49ers. Coming off a much-needed week of rest, the aging gunslinger should be as sharp as he’s been all season. With speedy new starter J.J. Nelson coming into his own at wideout, Palmer is fully armed and poised to exploit the 49ers’ generous pass defense.
Jeremy Hill, RB, Bengals at Giants. Despite sharing carries with Giovani Bernard, Hill is managing to remain start-worthy thanks to his nose for the end zone. The Giants coughed up TDs to both Eagles backs last week, and that scenario should unfold again on Sunday. Cincinnati’s backfield is firing on both cylinders, so ride them while they’re hot.
Jordan Howard, RB, Bears at Buccaneers. Howard has his coming-out party two weeks ago against the Vikings, of all defenses. With an extra week to prepare, the Bucs’ rush defense may look like a JV squad to him. He should run wild – and catch a handful of balls, too – in the Big Sombrero.
Tyrell Williams, WR, Chargers vs. Dolphins. Don’t let Miami’s statistically stingy pass defense dissuade you from rolling with Williams. Travis Benjamin (knee) will likely sit out, meaning Philip Rivers will be locked on both Williams and Antonio Gates, who will get plenty of opportunities to soar against their cross-country visitors.
Davante Adams, WR, Packers at Titans. Even with a semi-healthy Randall Cobb working his way back into the groove, Adams was productive against the Colts’ sorry secondary. That trend should continue in another highly favorable matchup. Thanks in part to his depleted backfield, Aaron Rodgers is throwing early and often, and his wideouts are prospering.
More thumbs up (excluding the no-brainers): QBs Ben Roethlisberger, Dak Prescott, Eli Manning, Jay Cutler, Marcus Mariota, Jameis Winston; RBs Jay Ajayi, Mark Ingram, Matt Forte, Lamar Miller, Jonathan Stewart, LeGarrette Blount, Darren Sproles; WRs Demaryius Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders, Larry Fitzgerald, J.J. Nelson, Alshon Jeffery, Dez Bryant, Sterling Shepard, Jordan Matthews, Kelvin Benjamin, Stefon Diggs, Brandon Marshall.
Roll ‘em back
Kirk Cousins, QB, Redskins vs. Vikings. In eight games, Minnesota has surrendered just eight passing scores. That tells you the hill that Cousins and his receivers will need to climb on Sunday. Despite coming off a bye, the ceiling is just too low to justify starting him.
Doug Martin, RB, Buccaneers vs. Bears. All signs point to Martin (hamstring) returning to action on Sunday, and the Bucs need him in the worst way. That said, Chicago’s run defense is better than advertised, and Martin is unlikely to see enough carries to make you glad you started him. Wait till next week.
Todd Gurley, RB, Rams at Jets. Sure, Jay Ajayi put up 130 combined yards and a TD against the stingy Jets run defense last week. Sadly, Gurley is no Ajayi, which is a sentence I never thought I’d write. Gurley needs to make up in volume what his offensive line denies in yards-per-carry; but that’s not in the Rams’ game plan these days.
Brandin Cooks, WR, Saints vs. Broncos. You’d have a hard time convincing me to bench Drew Brees regardless of the matchup, and Denver’s secondary is arguably the worst of them all. But I would lower your expectations for Cooks, who has been losing favor to rookie Michael Thomas. Cooks will be blanketed by the Broncos’ outstanding corners, leading to a potentially long and unproductive outing.
Doug Baldwin, WR, Seahawks at Patriots. Baldwin hasn’t sniffed the end zone since Week 3, and that’s unlikely to change in Foxboro. New England will surely focus its attention on shutting down Seattle’s shaky passing attack, knowing that Christine Michael is unlikely to do much damage on the ground. It should be another frustrating evening for Baldwin and his owners.
More thumbs down: QBs Russell Wilson, Blake Bortles, Alex Smith, Ryan Tannehill, Sam Bradford, Case Keenum, Colin Kaepernick, Ryan Fitzpatrick; RBs Jerick McKinnon, Christine Michael, Ryan Mathews, James White, Rashad Jennings, Rob Kelley, Matt Asiata, Charcandrick West, Chris Thompson; WRs Jamison Crowder, DeSean Jackson, Michael Floyd, Tyler Boyd, DeVante Parker, Kenny Britt, Tavon Austin, Allen Hurns, Tajae Sharpe, Quincy Enunwa, Will Fuller, Danny Amendola.
TAKING A FLIER
Trevor Siemian, QB, Broncos at Saints. Let’s put it this way: Colin Kaepernick put up 398 passing yards and 2 TDs against this defense last weekend. And he doesn’t have nearly the talent at wideout that Siemian has at his disposal. When throwing a Hail Mary, it’s best to do it against the NFL’s worst pass defense.
DON’T BE THE BONEHEAD WHO…sits Tom Brady because your fantasy app tells you to. I keep getting alerts that Dak Prescott and Carson Palmer are projected to out-score Brady, due to his “tough” matchup with the Seahawks. Puh-leeze. First off, Seattle’s pass defense is good, but it isn’t impenetrable. Second, they’re traveling cross-country. And third, it’s Tom Brady, for crying out loud. The only person who will be relieved to see him on your bench is your opponent.
Ladd Biro is a four-time finalist and two-time winner of the Football Writer of the Year Award by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. Follow all his advice daily at the Fantasy Fools blog (fantasy-fools.blogspot.com), on Facebook and via Twitter (@ladd_biro).