1. Drew Brees (NO) – He heads into week 10 fresh off of a bye week and a dominating week 8 performance in London. If history repeats itself, and it usually does, Brees’ week 10 match up against Atlanta bodes extremely well. In his last 3 contests against the Falcons, he has accumulated 7 passing TD’s with only 1 interception, while averaging 299 passing yards per game against them. The Atlanta secondary has shown improvement in recent weeks, but they still only rank mid pack in the NFL with regard to pass defense, and they have yet to face a passing attack as potent as the Saints. Brees should pick them apart.
2. Kurt Warner (ARI) – With an average of 304 passing yards per game with 16 TD’s and only 6 interceptions, we can safely say that Warner has been the most consistently productive fantasy QB through the midway point of the season. Barring injury, we also feel fairly confident in saying that Warner should continue that trend in the second half of the season as well. He will begin that quest with a week 10 match up against San Francisco. In his last 2 home games against the 49ers, Warner has thrown for a combined 785 yards, 5 TD’s and 2 interceptions. While the 49ers were able to hold Warner in check to some extent back in week 1 at home, the circumstances have changed dramatically since then, and you should see a much different result this time around in Arizona.
3. Phillip Rivers (SD) – He has faced few, if any, upper echelon pass defenses this season, but you can not argue with his NFL leading 19 TD passes. Fortunately, Rivers will have the luxury of facing yet another cup cake pass defense in week 10. The Chiefs rank just 22nd against the pass and that ranking would probably be worse if teams didn’t spend so much time running against them. Rivers doesn’t have a great track record against Kansas City historically, but this is far from the Chiefs defense of yester year, and Rivers has shown drastic improvement in both production and consistency in his ’08 campaign. He may not light them up, as the Chargers will probably lean heavily on RB LaDainian Tomlinson with this match up, but he is a pretty safe bet for a solid game.
4. Aaron Rodgers (GB) – He hasn’t posted huge numbers in his last 2 games, but considering the opposition (Titans & Colts), Rodgers fared better than expected. A week 10 match up against Minnesota’s 23rd ranked pass defense should be a welcome relief. While Rodgers only managed to throw for 178 yards against the Vikings back in week 1, he did score 2 TD’s and did not throw a single interception. Now that Rodgers has settled into his starting role and the immense pressure he faced back in week 1 is no longer an issue, we like his chances for a great week 10 performance. Check injury report: shoulder
5. Chad Pennington (MIA) – He is not an elite fantasy QB, but given the right match up, Pennington can be extremely effective. That said, he has an excellent match up for week 10. Pennington will face a Seattle pass defense that ranks 31st in the NFL and has allowed 13 TD’s through the air in 8 games. The Seahawks have also allowed more pass plays over 20 yards than anyone else in the NFL with 30. While Pennington did meet our expectations last week at Denver, we think he will put up strong numbers against the Seahawks at home. 5 of his 7 TD passes this season have come at home and Pennington makes for a stellar bye week fill in.
6. Jake Delhomme (CAR) – He probably couldn’t have asked for a better first half schedule with regard to the quality of pass defenses he has faced, yet, his production has been fairly pedestrian over all. The good news is that Delhomme has looked much better in his last 2 games which bodes well for the second half. If he can just develop some semblance of consistency, Delhomme should be much more productive down the stretch. He will have a great chance to do so starting with a great week 10 match up against Oakland. The Raiders have a very mediocre pass defense and the Carolina passing attack matches up very well against their unbalanced secondary. For that reason, Delhomme should be in your week 10 fantasy line up.
7. Matt Ryan (ATL) – While he hasn’t quite reached top flight status, the rookie signal caller’s extraordinary progress has garnered our endorsement as a fairly solid week to week fantasy option at QB. In week 10, Ryan will face the Saints who claim one of the worst pass defenses in the NFL, ranking 25th. New Orleans has allowed 12 passing TD’s through 8 games and only 2 teams have given up more pass plays over 20 yards so far this season. Ryan should find Roddy White early and often with this match up, and it holds the potential to be a big game for both of them.
8. David Garrard (JAX) – With a battered offensive line, mediocre receiving corps, and no help from a lack luster running game, Garrard has certainly had the deck stacked against him this season, and he has still managed to post solid numbers from time to time. Week 10 appears favorable to be one of those times. Garrard will face a horrible Lions pass defense this week that ranks 29th in the NFL. Detroit has given up 13 TD’s through the air this season with only 2 interceptions to their credit. It shouldn’t take much in the way of assistance for Garrard to be productive against this secondary, so consider him a solid week 10 starting option for your fantasy roster.
9. Brett Favre (NYJ) – We realize that Favre has been stinking it up lately and we wouldn’t blame you if you wanted to sit him, but before you do, hear us out. Week 10 is not exactly the most promising for QB’s all in all and Favre is one of the few that has a very favorable match up. In fact, the week 10 meeting with St. Louis is probably the most promising match up he has had in weeks. The Rams rank 28th in pass defense and have allowed 12 passing TD’s on the season. This doesn’t mean he won’t throw an interception, because he probably will, but Favre is well overdue to break out of his slump, and this will be his best chance to do so. He is a risky option based on his recent struggles, but comparatively, Favre has a better shot at putting up solid numbers against a shaky Rams defense than the majority of his fellow QB’s with bad match ups.
10. Sage Rosenfels (HOU) – Sure, he takes a lot of risks and he will throw interceptions, but Rosenfels also knows how to make big plays and find the end zone. In 9 games last season (5 as a starter), he threw for 15 TD’s and ran for another. In 2 games this season (1 as a starter), Rosenfels has 3 TD passes and 470 passing yards. He doesn’t have the best of match ups in week 10 against Baltimore’s 4th ranked pass defense, but the Ravens secondary has been pretty shaky over the last few weeks, and Rosenfels has some great weapons to work with. He isn’t the ideal fantasy QB, but you could do worse.
11. Tyler Thigpen (KC) – It feels a little ridiculous to have Thigpen ranked ahead of the Manning brothers and Donovan McNabb this week, but the bottom line is that has a better match up than the afore mentioned trio and he has 2 very solid weeks in a row under his belt. Thigpen could not ask for a better week 10 opponent than San Diego. The Chargers currently rank dead last against the pass and they have allowed 14 passing TD’s already this season. Is he a fail safe starting option you may ask? Absolutely not, but Thigpen is probably worth the gamble given the overwhelming difficult match ups facing some of the bigger name QB’s this week.
12. Peyton Manning (IND) – Even though Manning has shown some indication of righting the ship over the last couple of weeks, his numbers remain far below par for a QB of his caliber. That said, it is extremely difficult to recommend him for fantasy use with a brutal week 10 match against Pittsburgh. The Steelers currently boast the best pass defense in the NFL and their 32 sacks also lead the league. While we recognize Manning’s improved play and potential, we can not see him doing much damage against this defense. If you have another option, we suggest using it.
13. Shaun Hill (SF) – He is a week 10 long shot for obvious reasons, but we like his chances for two reasons. Hill has a proven and productive track record as a starter and he has an excellent week 10 match up against Arizona. The Cardinals secondary is mediocre at best and they have allowed more passing TD’s (16) than any other defense in the NFL. Hill is a risky start given the circumstances, but we would be surprised if he didn’t prove useful as a bye week fill in.
14. Eli Manning (NYG) – He was able to find the end zone 3 times in week 9 against a battered Cowboys secondary, but Manning failed to reach 200 passing yards again for the 4th consecutive game. Chances are he will extend that streak to 5 games with a week 10 match up against the Eagles. Philadelphia ranks 8th in the NFL giving up 191 yards per game through the air. In addition, Manning only averaged 177 passing yards in 2 games against them last season. He is a pretty safe bet to find the end zone again, but that is about as much as you can count on. You could probably do better with another QB in week 10.
15. Donovan McNabb (PHI) – While McNabb is coming off of one of his better fantasy performances of the season, he probably isn’t your best option for week 10 against the Giants. The Giants rank 2nd in pass defense and their 30 sacks rank just behind Pittsburgh’s 32. In addition, McNabb has a horrible track record against the G-Men. In 2 games against them last season, McNabb had only 1 TD, while averaging just 158 passing yards and he was sacked a combined 15 times, fumbling 3 times. McNabb is a capable fantasy QB, but we would look elsewhere for week 10 with this match up.
16. Joe Flacco (BAL) – You certainly can’t expect Flacco to dominate any secondary, but he is starting to put up decent fantasy numbers on a consistent basis. Flacco has thrown 4 TD passes in his last 3 games and more importantly, not a single interception during that stretch. He will face a middle of the road Houston pas defense in week 10, and while you probably can’t expect a bunch of yards, the Texans secondary is susceptible to passing TD’s giving up 12 on the season. Flacco is showing improvement, but he isn’t quite a week to week fantasy option yet. He makes for a decent bye week fill in.
17. Gus Frerotte (MIN) – He is starting to produce fairly consistent fantasy numbers every week, and a 3 TD performance in week 9 was impressive. Frerotte will have his work cut out for him to continue the trend with a tough week 10 match up against Green Bay. The Packers currently boast a top 5 pass defense while leading the NFL with 13 interceptions. In addition, the Green Bay secondary has only allowed 9 passing TD’s in 8 games. Frerotte is capable of decent production, even with the difficult match up, but he should only be used as a bye week fill in.
18. Marc Bulger (STL) – He still isn’t back to Pro Bowl form, but Bulger is starting to take shape which is reflected by his respectable fantasy output in the last 2 weeks. Bulger should carry the momentum into a favorable week 10 match up against the Jets 24th ranked pass defense. He should have success against this secondary, but the Jets do have a fierce pass rush which is a concern. In addition, Bulger could have trouble getting the passing game going if the running game isn’t clicking, which is a real possibility with Steven Jackson injured. The match up is promising, but there are too many question marks to suggest using Bulger as anything more than a risky bye week replacement.
19. Trent Edwards (BUF) –He has had one favorable match up after another throughout the season and while he hasn’t been bad, Edwards is barely putting up acceptable fantasy numbers for a bye week fill in. He has yet to log more than 1 passing TD in a game all season. Edwards is capable of producing decent numbers against a middle of the road Patriots secondary in week 10, but that is as much as you can hope for.
20. Ben Roethlisberger (PIT) – When healthy, Roethlisberger can be an extremely effective fantasy QB. Unfortunately, he is far from healthy right now, and may not even play in week 10. Even if he does play, Roethlisberger is an injury risk with a bad match up against the Colts 3rd ranked pass defense. We suggest going with a different option on your fantasy roster. Check injury report: shoulder