Fantasy Football Insider - Week 10

by Tim Heaney and Bryce McRae on November 13, 2009 @ 17:00:00 PDT

 


Here's what KFFL's inside sources are saying this week.

Quarterbacks

  • It may make the field smaller, but the Green Bay Packers could look to send Aaron Rodgers out on bootlegs or sprint-outs to keep him away from the Dallas Cowboys' DeMarcus Ware and co.
  • There isn't too much panic coming from it, but our Atlanta Falcons observer noticed Matt Ryan's passes are coming out a bit higher, and more passes are sailing as a result. His release point looks the same, but he may not be following through. Ryan remains aggressive in throwing downfield, but he just isn't connecting as often.
  • Denver Broncos QB Kyle Orton
    Mile High, not Mile Deep
    Despite Kyle Orton's success this year, the Denver Broncos still don't boast a true deep-play threat outside of maybe tight end Tony Scheffler, whom they use sparingly. They'll continue to take what is given to them.
  • Vince Young's return has helped open up the Tennessee Titans' playbook - they called more options, QB draws, etc. last week. Don't expect OC Mike Heimerdinger to slow down the creative juices, which will also help free up tailback Chris Johnson.
  • Though the Green Bay Packers couldn't necessarily pressure him, Josh Freeman delivered in his first start for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He showed a solid pocket presence but had trouble identifying blitzes and coverages. We'll see what happens against a more formidable Miami Dolphins pass rush.
  • Detroit Lions rookie Matthew Stafford underthrew his target on a couple of picks last week, and tried to force the issue and attempt perfect pass placement on other throws. Speculation is he's probably still being bothered by his knee injury.
  • This could be a make-or-break game for Trent Edwards' (concussion) future with the Buffalo Bills. Of course, the notion of bringing in a certain No. 7 to receive snaps - Michael Vick, not J.P. Losman - looks like pure speculation.
  • According to Cleveland Browns head coach Eric Mangini, Brady Quinn doesn't trust what he sees and has been hesitant to throw when he has guys open. Mangini would like to see Quinn trust his instincts more.

Running backs

  • If the questionable DeAngelo Williams (knee) can't go in Week 11, expect Tyrell Sutton and Mike Goodson, in that order, to see token Carolina Panthers carries behind Jonathan Stewart (Achilles'), who'd be the starter.
  • The Indianapolis Colts likely have been careful with Donald Brown; he should be good to carry at least a 40 percent share of the workload this week with Joseph Addai. It might even be closer to 50-50. Brown is rested and has practiced all week. He could be used late in the game; he runs harder than Addai, which could be more beneficial in the final stanzas.
  • History is on the Detroit Lions' side with stuffing the Minnesota Vikings' Adrian Peterson. He has never rushed for more than 116 yards against them and has more fumbles than touchdowns. Most of his damage against them came on two plays earlier this year when corners failed to contain him. We're not saying he isn't a top play, though.
  • Don't be surprised to see a 50-50 work split between LeSean McCoy and Brian Westbrook (concussion, ankle) for Week 10. The Philadelphia Eagles probably won't push Westy too hard.
  • The final split at running back for the New York Jets could be similar to what we saw in Week 8: 28 utilizations for Thomas Jones to nine for Shonn Greene. At the very least, our insider didn't feel Greene would get more than that.
  • The Washington Redskins' Clinton Portis (concussion) hasn't even hit the practice field yet and still has ringing in his ears. Don't expect to see him back until after next week, at the earliest.
  • Ladell Betts (ankle) is hurt, too, but he's expected to play and could receive up to 90 percent of the touches out of Washington's backfield. Rock Cartwright would be next in line.
  • The Seattle Seahawks will look to work in more screen passes to the backfield on first and second downs, instead of trying to force unsuccessful interior carries. Julius Jones has shown marked improvement after the catch, gaining better reads of blocks and timing on screens. Expect Seattle to incorporate Louis Rankin, too, if they can keep their Week 10 game close.
  • The Denver Broncos started Correll Buckhalter in Week 9. A big part of this probably came from their desire to bolster their pass protection. Against the blitz-heavy Pittsburgh Steelers, they probably felt more secure with Buck starting in the back. We wouldn't be shocked if Knowshon Moreno takes the field first this week.
  • Dallas Cowboys RB Felix Jones
    Felix needs work
    Though it's hard to etch their backfield management in stone, the Dallas Cowboys want to involve Felix Jones more in the offense, preferably in open-space situations. He isn't as good a receiver as he's hyped to be outside of swing receptions.
  • The Arizona Cardinals' backfield touch split between Tim Hightower and Beanie Wells shown in recent weeks will remain par for the course.
  • Earlier this week, Jamal Lewis asserted Cleveland Browns head coach Eric Mangini works the team too hard. Lewis later said the media blew his comments out of proportion, but that's a stretch. The vet hasn't had to endure rough practices in a while before Mangini's arrival. Is this a big reason for his impending post-2009 retirement?
  • The Baltimore Ravens are trying to welcome Willis McGahee back into the offensive fold. Their red zone trips haven't been often enough to give him enough work, but they want to give him a series here and there.
  • Though it's a risky fantasy play, we could see the New England Patriots look to open up Kevin Faulk on screen plays as a way to counteract the Indianapolis Colts' speed rush. This could be another outlet for Laurence Maroney, too.
  • Jamaal Charles and Kolby Smith will probably see something close to a 50-50 carry split this week, but the Kansas City Chiefs eventually want Smith to be the main between-the-tackles option. They don't want Charles to carry the load. Dantrell Savage remains the No. 3 back in line for sprinkle duty.
  • The Chiefs all but abandoned the run in Week 9 because the Jacksonville Jaguars surprised them with a 4-3 defensive alignment and a heavy dose of run blitzes. Expect them to work more toward a balance if possible against the Oakland Raiders.
  • The Green Bay Packers' Ahman Green looked better last week and could garner six to 10 touches as the No. 2 back.
  • Packers linebacker Aaron Kampman (concussion) might not cover well, but he has been solid against the run this year. He'll miss Week 10, bringing Brad Jones into the lineup. The Dallas Cowboys could run the Marion Barber III at Jones often, especially as they have some strong run blocking linemen on that side of their offensive line.

Wide receivers

Tight ends

Place kickers

Defensive teams

  • Look for the New England Patriots to try to jam the Indianapolis Colts' two big weapons at the line of scrimmage. The Pats have a deep secondary, meaning they can rotate options in guarding Colts wideout Reggie Wayne and tight end Dallas Clark.
  • The San Diego Chargers' pass rush has improved, partly due to the improved comfort of linebackers Shawne Merriman (foot) and Shaun Phillips (ankle), who oddly enough are both injured heading into Week 10. Regardless, defensive coordinator Ron Rivera has mixed up his blitzes, which has helped them gain better penetration.
  • The Tennessee Titans' bettered pass rush in the last two weeks has included more blitzing from safeties and linebackers. Of course, the secondary regaining starting cornerback Cortland Finnegan has helped buy more time for their front seven, too.
  • Is Ed Reed playing more tentatively because of his lingering soreness? The Baltimore Ravens say he's fine, and they won't sit him. Expect Reed's pain to have a game-to-game effect on his play, though.
  • The Jacksonville Jaguars have returned to the 4-3 defense because the ends weren't applying enough pressure. Fantasy owners shouldn't try to find out if this change will work.

Around the league

  • Fast fact: The Baltimore Ravens are 4-0 when they record more than 20 carries this year, and they're 0-4 when they tally fewer than 20. Baltimore has bought into OC Cam Cameron's approach, but to bring it to the next level next season, they'll need to pursue a high-level No. 1 wideout.
  • The Pittsburgh Steelers' O-line has grown this year, led by left tackle Max Starks' maturity and improved footwork.
  • Another O-line riser: Tennessee Titans tackle Leroy Harris, who should start next season after he climbs out from behind veterans blocking him on the depth chart.
  • Seven players scored a touchdown for the New Orleans Saints the last time they played a team as bad as the St. Louis Rams (Week 1 against the Detroit Lions).
  • The no-huddle has been a bugaboo for the Denver Broncos recently - mainly because of poor substitutions and package matchups, not conditioning.
  • Another reason to be down on the Buffalo Bills: their reluctance or inability to build up offensive line depth via free agency or a trade. Head coach Dick Jauron's Langston Walker experiment doesn't earn him much sympathy.
  • It looks like Jerry Jones is leaving things open for bringing head coach Wade Phillips back to the Dallas Cowboys next season. New veteran defensive leadership from Keith Brooking and Igor Olshansky has given Phillips some disciplinary legs to stand on.
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About Tim Heaney

Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum, who competes in the prestigious LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.

He appears frequently, including every Sunday, on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, as well as every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.

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