The 2014 Fantasy Football campaign is entering Week 10, and Jake Ciely of RotoExperts.com will be providing exclusive Fantasy coverage for NewOrleansSaints.com all season. Jake will give you the expert deal on Saints players from fantasy perspectives with his in-depth game previews every week.
It feels like so long ago when the New Orleans Saints played, thanks to a Thursday night game. All of that time should have allowed you to relish in the Saints seizing first place with a convincing win over the Panthers. They will look to keep things rolling in a tough test this week with the 49ers in town.
You're never sitting quarterback Drew Brees, no matter the matchup. Let's not forget that Brees is averaging 20.09 Fantasy Points Per Game (FPPG) on NFL.com since Week 3. Brees has thrown for at least one touchdown in every game and has two or more in six games. He's also topped 292 yards in all but one game. The 49ers actually aren't a matchup that should scare you anyway. While they have allowed only 11 passing touchdowns, they let Jay Cutler and Peyton Manning each throw for four touchdowns with no interceptions. Plus, we all know how good Brees is at home.
There is a chance that both Pierre Thomas and Khiry Robinson could return this week. Having all four running backs (Mark Ingram, Travaris Cadet) changes the picture a bit. Where Ingram saw 24 and 30 rushing attempts the past two games, he could now be in the mid-teens. That doesn't mean you're not starting Ingram, though. Ingram is still a supremely valuable RB2, averaging 5.04 YPC over the past two games. If he scores, Ingram will bring RB1 value yet again. Given the thin week because of six NFL teams on byes, Robinson and Thomas have borderline RB3/flex value. There is upside, as there is every week with this offense, but the presence of more RBs forces us to move cautiously until we have a clearer picture of Sean Payton's plans.
Receiver Kenny Stills has the most FPPG over the past three games for the Saints. His big-play potential is evidenced in that statistic. Rookie Brandin Cooks continues to be a solid WR3 in PPR leagues with the potential for more. While Stills is the high upside play, Marques Colston is your safe play. Last week, Colston posted his lowest output, but still was far from shut out with 3.6 fantasy points. Colston has at least 49 yards and 4.9 points in every other game with two double-digit performances. All three Saints receivers are worthy of a WR3 spot given the heavy bye week.
It's obvious that tight end Jimmy Graham is back to his old self. In back-to-back games, Graham has found the end zone and caught at least five passes for 59 yards or more. Graham is the clear No. 1 tight end option in Fantasy Football for Week 10. It was a quieter week for Shayne Graham since it was all touchdowns for the Saints last Thursday. Nevertheless, Graham has quietly moved up to near K1 status with the third most FPPG since Week 5. The same goes for the Saints defense/special teams quietly having value. Over the last three games, the defense is averaging 6.0 FPPG and should reach that number again versus the 49ers.
Mark Sanchez is the hottest name at quarterback. I like Sanchez's potential a lot, and if I need a quarterback to start, I'd give him strong consideration. Sanchez looked real good after replacing Nick Foles last week. Ryan Tannehill is the seventh best quarterback in Fantasy Football and is averaging 21.2 FPPG on NFL.com over the last five weeks. The rushing numbers (averaging over 40 YPG) are boosting his value. Russell Wilson is primed to bounce back with a home game against the Giants' secondary.
If Giovani Bernard is out, Jeremy Hill has RB1 value yet again. The Browns give up 20.9 FPPG to running backs. Take a guess who has the second-most rushing yards over the past three games? It's Denard Robinson with 329. Don't be one of the doubters. Darren Sproles is 10th on the year for receiving yards even while missing two games. He makes for a great RB3/flex with upside for more in PPR leagues.
Don't let one off week sway you. Even after not being involved in Week 1, Allen Robinson is 31st in fantasy points (60.80 on NFL.com), 15th in receptions (43) and 26th in yards (488). With A.J. Green back, Mohamed Sanu still put up 16.40 FP, is ninth on the year and has the 13th most yards (628). Roddy White has taken advantage of the favorable matchups this year, and he gets the best one possible in the Buccaneers this week. The Bucs allow 28.92 FPPG to receivers, so make sure White is starting for you.
Mychal Rivera has 20 targets, 15 receptions and 24.10 FP over the last two games. Listen to the waiver podcast, where I call Rivera the streaming tight end pick of the week. Charles Clay had a good game against a tough defense (Chargers) and makes for another nice fill-in this week. Owen Daniels returned last week and looked good on the field. He's a Top 10 play in a bye-heavy week.
The Broncos DST is middle of the pack on the season but is one of the best plays against the Raiders this week. The Ravens are the sixth-best DST since Week 6 and get the Titans with a rookie at quarterback. If you didn't pick up the Cardinals last week, make sure you do for a matchup at home against the Rams. Cody Parkey continues to be one of the best kickers, has a great matchup against the Panthers and is available in over 41 percent of leagues. Caleb Sturgis and Randy Bullock are sixth and seventh on the year, but somehow owned in only 2.8 and 8.3 percent of leagues, respectively.
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