I had a better fantasy football experience in Week 10, leading the Sky Sports studio with 111 points thanks to 22 points from Matt Ryan ($3 million) and 24 points from the Dallas Cowboys defense ($1 million), both of whom were recommended in this very column last Wednesday.
Now, I will just clarify that I am still in last place overall in Sky’s fantasy competition, but this is not about me – this is about finding you the very best team possible and getting you into that draw to win a trip to Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans.
So I’ve teamed up with my statistical friends from ProFootballFocus.com to help you load up on points-scoring talent for your upcoming fantasy football weekend.
25 and 69... In nine games this season, the starting offensive tackles for the Arizona Cardinals – Bobby Massie and D’Anthony Batiste – have given up 25 sacks and 69 quarterback hurries. That is not just bad, that is dangerously bad and is a key reason why the Cards have lost five in a row after a 4-0 start. While the Saints put plenty of points on the board last weekend, I would recommend taking a good look at the Atlanta Falcons defense ($1 million) on Sunday. The Falcons will also fancy their chances of creating a turnover or two against Arizona’s under-fire quarterback John Skelton.
115.9... That is the quarterback rating posted by Josh Freeman ($2 million) over the past five weeks as he has led the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to four wins in that period. Freeman and the Bucs are averaging more than 35 points per game over the past five weeks and face a less-than-stellar Carolina Panthers defense this weekend. Freeman is in a very good run of form. He has not thrown an interception in his last four games and has topped the 100 mark in passer rating for five straight contests. During the past five weeks, Freeman is averaging 293 passing yards per game and has thrown 13 touchdowns and just 1 interception.
814 and 6... The New England Patriots have made a strong effort to run the football this season and that means Stevan Ridley ($2 million) could feature heavily in Sunday’s meeting with the Indianapolis Colts. The Patriots are 6-0 when they rush for more than 100 yards this season and 0-3 when held under 100 yards. Even on an offense loaded with passing talent, the Patriots want to run the ball and have played their best when Ridley has a good game this season. Ridley leads the Patriots with 814 yards and 6 touchdowns and might be a good option for your fantasy team this weekend.
782... Given that his team falls behind all too often and he has to come out throwing, Oakland Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer ($2 million) might be a good start against a New Orleans Saints defense that shipped more than 400 passing yards to Matt Ryan last weekend. Palmer has thrown for 782 yards in the last two games – that is the most in back-to-back games by a Raiders passer since Rich Gannon in 2002. If the Saints start scoring early, expect Palmer to come out slinging the rock – particularly with running backs Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson banged up – throughout the course of the game, padding your fantasy points in the process.
15 and 116... Tight ends should remain a key part of your fantasy football attack. Tight ends combined to score 15 touchdowns in Week 10 and that position has produced 116 touchdowns this season – the most through 10 weeks in NFL history. While Rob Gronkowski ($4 million) is always a good option with his 8 touchdowns, a cheaper alternative might be Buffalo’s Scott Chandler ($1 million), who caught a touchdown last week and has 350 receiving yards and 5 scores on the season.
17 of 17... The Cleveland Browns may not score many touchdowns, but they do kick field goals and have arguably the league’s most reliable kicker on their books in Phil Dawson ($1 million). The veteran kicker has nailed 17 of 17 field goals this season and is likely to get a few more opportunities against the Dallas Cowboys this weekend. With Brandon Weeden and a young offense still finding their feet, Dawson remains one of the few constants for the Browns.