It’s nearly time for the bulk of games to get underway in Week 10 of the NFL season. Which players, who suit up for NFC clubs, are those that you should be paying special attention to, be it because of their matchups or their hot play of late?
Miles Austin has a touchdown or 100 yards in seven of his last nine games. He scored the last time he faced the Eagles.
Sam Bradford has a tough matchup on paper versus the Niners, but he gets Danny Amendola back (almost certainly) and he has had success in the past against the team from SF with a 73.4 completion percentage and 543 passing yards in two games. Of course, he’s only thrown for two touchdowns so it’s not likely to be a huge after for Sammy B.
Marques Colston has six scores in his past five games and has 15 receptions for 194 yards an a TD in his last two against the Falcons.
Michael Crabtree has scored in 4-straight games against the Rams. He’s totaled five touchdowns in that time. He’s also averaging 91.3 yards and 5.5 receptions in those four games.
Jay Cutler had a 138.1 QB Rating last week to move to 26-0 when he hits triple-digits. The Texans have a stout pass defense that has held QBs to just 204 yards passing while picking off nine passes and turning in 25 sacks, the third highest mark in football.
Vernon Davis has been invisible for weeks. He had eight receptions for 118 yards the last time he faced the Rams. The Rams are also poor against the tight end allowing the 7th most point to the position (though, oddly, only three scores in eight games).
Josh Freeman has thrown for 11 scores and just one interception in his last four games. He’s somehow done that while completing only 56.7 percent of his passes.
Frank Gore is averaging 114 yards from scrimmage in his last three games against the Rams. He’s averaging 97.1 yards from scrimmage per game this season.
Jimmy Graham has a TD reception in eight of 10 games. He’s also scored in 4-straight games versus a divisional opponent an in each of his last three outings against the Falcons.
Vincent Jackson has scored five times in his last five games. Faces his former team, the Chargers, who have allowed 11 scores to the wide receiver in eight games.
Calvin Johnson has scored one touchdown this season. I know, amazing. He faces a Vikings club that he burned for seven catches, 108 yards, and two scores in their last meeting.
Charles Johnson is looking for a third straight game with at least two sacks when the Panthers take on the Broncos. Johnson also had a sack the last time the two teams met.
Julio Jones has caught five balls for 120 yards in 2-straight games. The last time he faced the Saints he caught eight balls for 128 yards an a touchdown. The last time Roddy White faced the Saints all he did was catch 111, or maybe it was just 11, balls for 127 yards.
Marshawn Lynch is dealing with an ongoing back situation, and a wrist issue, but he has run for 100 yards in his last three games and since November 2011 he leads the NFL in rushing yards with 325 more than Ray Rice. The Jets have the 29th best run defense in the NFL. You figure it out.
He’s been a woeful disappointment this season, but Jeremy Maclin has scored the last two times he’s faced the Cowboys.
Brandon Marshall’s average of the past five games equates to 8.6 receptions, 116.6 yards and 1.2 touchdowns. The Texans allow the 9th fewest points to the wide receiver position but that hardly seems to matter at this point.
LeSean McCoy is dealing with the flu, but he will play this weekend. The last time he faced the Cowboys at home he ran for 185 yards and two scores. He’s also crested 100 yards in two of his last three outings against the ‘Boys.
Adrian Peterson has run for four scores and an average of 153 yards a game on the ground in his last three outings. In fact, he’s aiming for a 4th straight game with a score and 120 yards rushing. It’s a tough matchup though as the Lions have allowed only two rushing scores all year and as a unit they are permitting 106.3 yards a game on the ground.
Brandon Pettigrew has caught 193 passes since the start of the 2010 season, third most among tight ends in football. The last time he faced the Vikings he caught 11 passes for 112 yards. The Vikes are about middle of the pack this year allowing tight ends the 14th most points in a PPR setup.
It was five years ago, but the last time Antrel Rolle faced the Bengals he intercepted three passes and returned two for touchdowns to tie the NFL record for TD returns in a game.
When Matt Ryan throws for three scores the Falcons are 15-0. The Falcons are also 29-0 when Ryan has a 100 QB Rating or better. Ryan has posted a QB Rating over 100 each of his last two games but he has thrown for only six touchdowns in his last four games.
The Saints snap count for runners in Week 9 follows: Pierre Thomas (21 of 56), Mark Ingram (18), Chris Ivory (13), Travaris Cadet (six). I’d favor Thomas who has six TDs in five career home games against the Falcons in Week 10, but good luck counting on this situation.
Alex Smith has gone 6-1 in his career against the Rams, and he’s also 9-1 in his last 10 against the division. Smith threw for three scores, no interceptions, and 487 yards in two matchups last season.
Justin Tuck had two sacks last week and he has five sacks in his last four games against the AFC. Jason Pierre-Paul has five sacks in his last four games and eight in his last seven. Andy Dalton better have his track shoes on.
Michael Vick has thrown for four touchdowns, no interceptions and 572 yards the last two times he has faced the Cowboys.
Watch out for DeMarcus Ware this weekend. Not only is Philly having a terrible time blocking for Michael Vick, Ware has a history of flat out dominance against the Eagles – nine sacks in the last three games. Nine.
DeAngelo Williams ran for a touchdown last week and has three rushing scores in his last two games against the AFC. He also had a touchdown the last time he faced the club from Denver. He faces a Broncos club that has allowed a mere five rushing scores in eight games this year.
RANDOM START OF THE WEEK
(That one player you would never consider starting but for some reason he might be worth a look if you’re desperate.)
Russell Wilson, QB, Seahawks
Wilson has gone 4-0 at home this season with nine touchdown passes, no interceptions an a 120.2 rating. He’s also thrown for eight scores in his past four games overall (two at home and two on the road). The Jets are still a tough defense against the pass allowing an average of 206 yards and 1.13 scores per game so it’s not at all likely to be a cakewalk for Wilson and his mates.
Ray Flowers can be heard daily on Sirius/XM Radio on The Fantasy Drive on Sirius 210 and XM 87, Monday through Thursday at 7 PM EDT and Friday’s at 9 PM EDT. Ray’s analysis can be found at BaseballGuys.com and his minute to minute musings can be located at the BaseballGuys’ Twitter account.