Fantasy Football Insider - Week 10

by Tim Heaney and Nicholas Minnix on November 13, 2010 @ 01:36:14 PDT


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


  • As long as Colt McCoy plays well (i.e., avoids turnovers), expect him to remain the Cleveland Browns' starter. If Cleveland is on the playoff bubble and they have a rough couple of games, they could make a switch, but otherwise, it doesn't appear likely.
  • The Dallas Cowboys won't tank it this season; they made the switch to Jason Garrett. Thus, the likelihood that "The Return of Tony Romo" will air in December is much greater, assuming he doesn't have a setback in his recovery from a broken clavicle.
  • New England Patriots QB Tom Brady
    Not "(shoulder), PROB" anymore
    Don't scoff at the Miami Dolphins' move to start Chad Pennington. His mistake-minimizing approach outweighed his noodle arm in this case; Miami hopes to be more efficient in the red zone and more careful with the pigskin. If he tanks in the next few games, expect Miami to decide between the deposed Chad Henne and Tyler Thigpen and hopefully identify which has the better long-term potential.
  • The Minnesota Vikings could utilize the no-huddle offense more often, maybe as soon as this week against the Chicago Bears. Brett Favre (ankle, foot, calf) didn't have many issues running it in crunch time last week.
  • Tom Brady's inclusion on the New England Patriots' injury report is a given. But now, there might be legit reason for concern. This week's practice report isn't the first sign of Brady's foot injury. It affected his play noticeably against the Browns and could do so for weeks.
  • There are strong indications that the Philadelphia Eagles will approach Michael Vick's agent about a contract extension. Expect them to be rebuffed. Vick won't get max dollars right now. But Philly is interested in bringing him back, and the potential threat of something like a franchise tag (depending on CBA status) could be a factor.
    Somewhat related: Vick, 30, still appears to have no interest in learning how to slide properly. The Eagles won't force him. He has to make it to free agency before he can capitalize on it.
  • Our San Francisco 49ers source is on the Troy Smith bandwagon. Smith just needs to keep them competitive to hold off Alex D. Smith (shoulder). Though Frank Gore and Vernon Davis are proponents of Alex D. Smith, head coach Mike Singletary didn't give Alex job security for a reason. Over the bye week, San Fran worked to incorporate more running plays for Smith, who didn't have a chance to employ those skills outside eluding sacks in Week 8.
  • The Seattle Seahawks were disappointed in Charlie Whitehurst's first NFL start. He had trouble hitting open wideouts. The defense wasn't a big problem for Seattle because they ran a bunch of max protect sets.
  • Donovan McNabb met with OC Kyle Shanahan to hash out their differences. The Washington Redskins' signal caller isn't yet on the same page with his coordinator, but Shanahan has refuted reports of McNabb's poor work habits. Cue Jimmy Carter.

Running backs

  • If Beanie Wells (knee), a game-time decision, can't suit up for the Arizona Cardinals, Tim Hightower will start and get the bulk of the carries. If Wells plays, he'll probably cede the majority of the work to Hightower. Expect a sprinkling of LaRod Stephens-Howling either way.
  • With DeAngelo Williams (foot), Jonathan Stewart (concussion) and Tyrell Sutton (ankle) out, it'll be the Mike Goodson show for the Carolina Panthers, with Josh Vaughan and Andre Brown possibly seeing some touches. Goodson will face a ton of eight-man fronts with Jimmy Clausen at QB.
  • Goodson has impressed: His receiving skills are top-notch. He's also at 215 pounds after coming into the league at 185. Goodson could be an every-down back at some point, especially given how hard he has worked on his blitz pickup. Even with the uncertainty about the collective bargaining agreement and the Panthers' coaching staff, an excellent Goodson performance from here on out might make Williams, an impending free agent, expendable.
  • Our Chicago Bears source wasn't confident that offensive coordinator Mike Martz could remain patient to stick with the increased rushing attack. He's afraid it'll be "bombs away" once again if the ground game of Matt Forte and Chester Taylor stalls anymore.
  • Peyton Hillis owners don't have to worry. Cleveland Browns coach Eric Mangini just wants to give his big back a breather, so he doesn't get the crap beat out of him. Hillis' running style might draw questions about whether he can hold up, but there's no evidence yet that it's an issue.
  • Sooner or later, the Dallas Cowboy have to give Tashard Choice a real shot, right? New coach Jason Garrett doesn't appear to be in any hurry to do so.
  • With their desired offensive line back together, the Denver Broncos will try to involve Knowshon Moreno more often. They've been getting into too many unfavorable down-and-distance situations, and that has prevented the run from stepping up a notch.
  • To protect active but injured quarterback Shaun Hill (forearm), expect the Detroit Lions to try having Jahvid Best (toe) carry a bigger workload this week.
  • Waiting for Donald Brown to step up in the absence of Joseph Addai? Bring a book. Our insider just doesn't see the spring in Brown's step, and the UConn product gave up a sack last week. The Colts need someone to step up NOW. If Javarris James can pick up the blitz and is at all effective, it wouldn't be a shock to see the Colts turn to him this week.
  • Washington Redskins RB Clinton Portis
    Washington backfield in flux
    Our Miami Dolphins scribe doesn't think the Tennessee Titans' Chris Johnson will go nuts on Miami's D. The Dolphins haven't been so bad against quick backs.
  • The return of Logan Mankins could make what was already a solid ground game for the New England Patriots into a top-10 rushing attack. Mankins looked better than expected last week. He'll play most snaps this week.
    This development could mean good things for Fred Taylor (toe), who may return this week but won't be a factor for a few. The Pats are hoping to ride a healthy Taylor in December. BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Danny Woodhead have proven to be reliable, so New England won't be in bad shape, regardless.
  • The New York Giants' talk of giving more work to Danny Ware is overblown coach speak. Their Week 9 blowout win allowed Ware to have a successful day while killing clock. In normal, non-injury reps, how much can the Giants really take away from the successful duo of Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs?
  • Though reports of LaDainian Tomlinson's demise are greatly exaggerated - he faced some decent run defenses recently - the New York Jets still want Shonn Greene involved more. Not in a true 50-50 work split, but as close as possible. Greene impressed the staff with the way he ran against the Detroit Lions last week; he looks like a better matchup play against the Cleveland Browns' 3-4 defense this weekend.
  • Big blow: losing Max Starks (neck) for the rest of the season. Insult added: Chris Kemoeatu (knee, ankle) won't go this week. Who suffers for the Pittsburgh Steelers? Rashard Mendenhall - don't expect him to come even remotely close to reproducing Hillis' Week 9 effort versus the Pats.
  • Clinton Portis (groin) and Ryan Torain (hamstring) are game-time decisions for the Washington Redskins. We probably won't know their statuses until Monday night. We could see an even split three ways if they both play, with Keiland Williams entering the fray. Williams would probably earn 50 percent of the load if it's either Torain or Portis suiting up. Our source guessed Portis will play, based on Portis' pleasant demeanor in practice. Watch to see if Washington makes a promotion from the practice squad Sunday - that'll hint at the backs' availabilities.
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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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