The Predictalator has run every Week 10 2014 NFL game 50,000 times. Below we present the up-to-date top three at each fantasy position for the week, a sleeper likely to have a breakout game (generally chosen as the best $/FP value on daily fantasy sites), a player to avoid (the worst $/FP value) and some injury situations to monitor heading into the week. Also, check out free projections for every player in every future week in our Rest of Season Fantasy Football Rankings.
1. Peyton Manning 28.2 (DEN @ OAK) – In this matchup of the first versus last team in our NFL Power Rankings, the biggest question surrounding Manning's performance may be, how long will he play? Even in his 14+ point victories this season, Manning is averaging 330 yards passing, 3.5 touchdowns and just 0.5 interceptions.
2. Aaron Rodgers 27.7 FPs (GB vs. CHI) – Rodgers is back after the Packers' bye. Green Bay hosts the Bears. In his career, Rodgers has averaged 288 yards passing and has an 12:2 touchdown-to-interception ratio (he is 6-0 against-the-spread in those games as well). And against the Bears (removing last year at home versus Chicago in which he threw twice before leaving with injury), Rodgers has averaged 259 passing yards with a 25:8 TD-to-INT ratio in 12 games.
3. Russell Wilson 22.9 FPs (SEA vs. NYG) – The Giants are giving up a league-worst 6.2 yards-per-play and the weather looks decent Sunday. Most Seahawks should post big numbers.
Breakout Candidate: Josh McCown 19.2 FPs (TB vs. ATL) - McCown was a bit of a surprise starter this week after Mike Glennon had started the previous five games. McCown faces a porous Falcons defense that is allowing more than eight yards-per-pass attempt. He ranks #11 in fantasy quarterback rankings this week and is the top value play for most daily fantasy sites according to our projections.
Must Avoid: Ryan Tannehill 16.6 FPs (MIA @ DET) – Going into the season, the Predictalator loved Tannehill's chances of finishing as a top ten quarterback as a mobile threat in Miami's new high-tempo, run-oriented attack. Tannehill and the Dolphins have lived up to that recently, but don't expect another strong week against the Lions elite front seven.
1. Marshawn Lynch 19.8 FPs (SEA vs. NYG) – The nugget above about the Giants' major defensive issues is even more applicable to Lynch who looks like a strong bet to top 20 touches after getting 26 last week. Twenty-plus touches should yield over 100 yards and a very good chance of scoring.
2. DeMarco Murray 18.9 FPs (DAL @ JAC) – We accurately projected that Murray would fail to rush for 100 yards leading into last week's contest with the Cardinals. He should bounce back this week with another 100+ yard game (we project 110+ yards) in London against the Jacksonville Jaguars defense.
3. Matt Fore 16.3 FPs (CHI @ GB) – As talented as the other skill position players are on this team, it's of note that Forte accounts for more of his team's offense than any other player in the league (Forte's 69% team rush percentage is third in the NFL, while his 23% target rate for the Bears is tops among running backs).
Breakout Candidate: Peyton Hillis 6.2 FPs (NYG @ SEA) - Hillis is a deep sleeper, but at #36 for standard leagues and #32 in PPR leagues, Hillis is a fringe starter as an RB3 or Flex player in many leagues. Andre Williams is not a receiving threat. He caught zero passes last season. Hillis, the backup to Williams while Rashad Jennings remains out, saw six targets last week against the Colts and ended with 70 total yards in the blowout loss. He rushed for five yards-per-carry and averaged ten yards-per-catch. The Giants are likely to get behind again and may call on Hillis to catch the ball out of the backfield and/or run out the clock in late garbage time.
Must Avoid: DeAngelo Williams (CAR vs. PHI) – Williams is a starting running back who ranks behind Hillis for Week 10. He had just 50 total yards in his return from injury last week and fellow Panther running back, Jonathan Stewart, is more efficient on the ground (as is quarterback Cam Newton).
1. Jordy Nelson 15.3 FPs (GB vs. CHI) – Using a similar exercise to our Rodgers comparison above, Jordy Nelson has averaged 20.8 PPR fantasy points a game against the Bears, including three games with double-digit catches and two with multiple touchdowns (like in Week 4 earlier this season).
2. Demaryius Thomas 14.8 FPs (DEN @ OAK) – As goes Peyton Manning, so often goes Demaryius Thomas. Thomas has averaged 8.2 catches on 12 targets for 150.6 yards-per-game in his last five games (four of which were 14+ point victories). He also has five touchdowns in that span.
3. Antonio Brown 14.1 FPs (PIT @ NYJ) – Write Brown down for at least five catches for at least 800 yards and a better than 50% chance at a receiving touchdown. The last time Brown fell below five receptions in a game was December 30 of 2012.
Breakout Candidate: Justin Hunter 8.7 FPs (TEN @ BAL) – The Titans want to see what Hunter can do, especially in conjunction with rookie quarterback Zach Mettenberger. Amidst reports that fellow wide receiver Nate Washington was being shopped at the trade deadline, Hunter was targeted ten times in Mettenberger's first start. This included a second half touchdown while Mettenberger was playing well. Add to it that Baltimore is without it's top cornerback, Jimmy Smith, and Hunter could have a great day.
Must Avoid: Rueben Randle 5.9 FPs (NYG @ SEA) – We loved Randle before the season and the opportunities have been there for him all year. Randle ranks in the top 20 among all players in the NFL receiving 24.5% of his team's targets. He ranks last in that group with just 5.4 yards-per-target. This week, against an obviously great Seahawks defense, Randle ranks just #51 at wide receiver.
1. Jimmy Graham 10.3 FPs (NO vs. SF)
2. Julius Thomas 9.1 FPs (DEN @ OAK)
3. Martellus Bennett 8.9 FPs (CHI @ GB)
Breakout Candidate: Luke Willson 6.5 FPs (SEA vs. NYG)
Must Avoid: Heath Miller 6.0 FPs (PIT @ NYJ)
1. Justin Tucker 10.4 FPs (BAL vs. TEN)
2. Steven Hauschka 10.4 FPs (SEA vs. NYG)
3. Cody Parkey 9.7 FPs (PHI vs. CAR)
Breakout Candidate: Nick Folk 9.1 FPs (NYJ vs. PIT)
Must Avoid: Josh Brown 5.1 FPs (NYG @ SEA)
1. Denver Broncos 12.1 FPs (DEN @ OAK)
2. Arizona Cardinals 10.3 FPs (ARI vs. STL)
3. Seattle Seahawks 9.5 FPs (SEA vs. NYG)
Breakout Candidate: Buffalo Bills 9.0 FPs (BUF vs. KC)
Must Avoid: St. Louis Rams 1.9 FPs (STL @ ARI)
Injuries to Watch
1. Patrick Willis - Willis is a defensive player, but his value to offensive players this week is very tangible. Willis is the league's best coverage inside linebacker as well as being an elite run defender. He was practicing for much of Week 9, but ultimately sat out that game against the Rams. He is not practicing in full this week and appears just as questionable as he was last week. Jimmy Graham is already the top running back, but he would actually get a major boost without Willis on the field and good make or break many fantasy matchups. Mark Ingram, who may be the Saints lone healthy option on the ground again this week, also gets a bump up without Willis on the field. Ingram is a top five running back play with no Willis in this game.
2. Tony Romo - Tony Romo appears likely to play this week in London after sitting out last week. He ranks #7 in our quarterback rankings. If he misses the game, Weeden would not be a top 12 quarterback. However, missing time would affect other players. Running back DeMarco Murray and wide receiver Dez Bryant would still be decent plays for the Cowboys, but it would end there for Dallas' startable players without Romo.
3. Fred Jackson - Jackson was expected to miss significant time after suffering a groin injury in Week 7. However, coming out of the Bills' bye week, Jackson is already back and practicing. If he plays this week, Jackson could take over feature back duties - something he has not had all season due to C.J. Spiller's prowess on the ground, but Spiller is out for the rest of the regular season - and be a strong fantasy asset against the Chiefs. Fellow Bills Bryce Brown and Anthony Dixon are fringe starters this week without Jackson. Jackson is a must-start if fully healthy.