Lions and Bengals and Bears – Oh My! Fantasy Football in Week 10 of the NFL by Sydney Stone
Last night we saw the Chargers and the Raiders go head-to-head in this season’s debut of Thursday Night Football, but to the Chargers’ dismay, it was Carson Palmer who impressed viewers with his performance. Surprisingly, the Raiders now sit on top of the AFC West, which just goes to show how important these next few weeks are for making the postseason in both the NFL and Fantasy Football Leagues. Now is the time when the playoff contenders separate themselves from the playoff pretenders and Fanagers hoping to make the postseason should take note as some teams on the bubble inevitably have their’s burst.
Pittsburgh Steelers (6-3) @ Cincinnati Bengals (6-2)
The Bengals have been one of this season’s shockers and this AFC North division game will determine whether these young guns are the real deal. The rookie tandem of Andy Dalton and A.J. Green have been nothing short of remarkable so far, but they face a real test against the notorious Steelers Defense in the 1st of 4 straight division games for the Bengals. Ben Roethlisberger and his team struggled early out of the gate, but lately have looked like the team that made it to the Super Bowl last year (though they did allow the Baltimore Ravens to hand them their first loss last week after 4 consecutive wins).  The Bengals have only allowed more than 20 points once this year (granted it was against the Broncos then led by Kyle Orton) and are in the top 8 in fantasy points against for all opposing positions.  The Steelers are also a nightmare for Fanagers as they are in the top half of all categories in fantasy points against, but most notably are 2nd-best in fantasy points to opposing Wide Receivers. No doubt both sides will have their hands full in this one.
Detroit Lions (6-2) @ Chicago Bears (5-3)
This Lions started the season off hot, but have since cooled down. The Lions have not been fortunate in their running game as starting Running Back Jahvid Best continues to deal with concussion issues and his back up, Maurice Morris, struggles to get anywhere.  However, the Lions beat the Bears in Week 5, are 4-0 on the road, and are coming off a bye week, so if they want to remain a contender in the NFC North, they need to get the W over the Bears. The Bears handed Phili a disheartening loss last week and looked like they were finally getting something going with their passing game, but whether or not Jay Cutler will be able to find Earl Bennett against the Lions’ 5th-ranked passing defense will remain to be seen. Either way, I would be looking for Matt Forte to put up his usual ridiculous numbers as the majority of the Bears’ offense.
New York Giants (6-2) @ San Francisco 49ers (7-1)
The NFC East is the Giants’ division to lose at this point, but considering their only 2 loses were to the Redskins and the Seahawks, I wouldn’t exactly put it past them.  Eli Manning has been playing great, shutting down the Patriots in Foxborough last week despite the absence of Hakeem Nicks and Ahmad Bradshaw. Bradshaw is doubtful to play again this week, but it might not make a difference against the ‘Niners 1st-ranked rushing defense. Like the Bengals, the 49ers have surprised many with their quick turn around from last season, although their dominance in the NFC West could have been expected considering their competition (the Seahawks did make the playoffs with a losing record last season). Alex Smith isn’t the most explosive Quarterback in the game, but he does seem to have found his stride as a game manager. As long as Frank Gore and the 49ers defense can keep this ship afloat, Smith should be able to steer them in the right direction.
Washington Redskins (3-5) @ Miami Dolphins (1-7)
Just kidding…