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November 5, 2008

Week 10 Fantasy Recommendations for Thursday Night Denver @ Cleveland

QB – Brady Quinn – If you are in need of a QB with potential fantasy upside, Quinn is a nice pick up, but you probably shouldn’t expect an immediate return on your investment. Quinn has all of 8 career passes under his belt, and those came in mop up duty against the 49ers last season, and he only completed 3 of those passes. He is also coming into this game on a short week of practice which is not favorable for a guy making his first ever NFL start. The silver lining is that Quinn probably won’t see a better match up the rest of the season than the one in week 10 against Denver’s 27th ranked pass defense. The Broncos secondary is beaten up and they have been consistently bad throughout the season. While the match up is promising, it would be ill advised to throw him into your fantasy line up if you already have a proven option. If you have little to lose, we say go for it. Quinn could do some damage with this match up, but you are better served to take a wait and see approach.

RB – Jamal Lewis – He isn’t on pace to set any rushing records this season, but considering the brutal run defenses that he has faced thus far, Lewis hasn’t been all that bad. A week 10 match up against a porous Denver run defense should provide him with his best chance for success all season. The Broncos are easily the worst run defense Lewis has faced so far this season allowing 145 rushing yards per game and 10 rushing TD’s through 8 games. Despite the favorable match up, you probably shouldn’t expect a monster game from him, but Lewis should provide solid production, and he is certainly worth using as a RB2 or flex option in week 10.

WR – Braylon Edwards – While he is starting to show promise again on a weekly basis, we have mixed feelings about his week 10 potential. On the one hand, he will be facing one of the worst pass defenses in the NFL. On the other hand, he continues to battle a severe case of butter fingers and he will be working with a QB that has never started a regular season NFL game. There is a slight risk, but this match up is way too favorable to pass up. Edwards should be in your week 10 fantasy line up as a WR2.

WR – Donte’ Stallworth – After missing week 9 with a strained quad, Stallworth practiced on a limited basis on Tuesday. He will likely be listed a questionable for Thursday night’s game and we don’t anticipate him playing on a short week of rest. Even if he was fully healthy, we probably still wouldn’t recommend using Stallworth. The match up against Denver is favorable, but he has done little to impress so far and he is an obvious injury risk. Keep him on your bench or better yet, dump him from your roster all together. Check injury report: quadriceps

TE – Kellen Winslow – He hasn’t been the consistent juggernaut at TE that everyone expected heading into the season, but Winslow has had his moments, and a solid week 9 performance was promising. He should be even better in week 10 against a very poor Broncos pass defense. Not only is Denver’s pass defense bad in general, they are especially bad against TE’s giving up the fifth most fantasy points to TE’s in the NFL. He will be working with first time starting QB Brady Quinn, which provides some risk, but that could also work in Winslow’s favor as Quinn will probably target him often as a safety option. Winslow is back to being a TE1 for your fantasy team in week 10.

K – Phil Dawson – While Dawson hasn’t proven especially useful through the majority of the first half of the season, he has been great the last 2 weeks. We expect that to also be the case in week 10 as the Browns should move the ball well against a poor Broncos defense. Dawson is a solid kicker and he should have ample opportunity to produce with this match up. Kickers are always tough to predict, but we would suggest starting Dawson in week 10.

Cleveland Defense – The Broncos offense is struggling a bit of late, but they are still extremely dangerous. While Cleveland is capable of producing turnovers in this match up, they are giving up way too many points each week and their run defense is especially vulnerable. The Browns defense has potential with this match up, but the risks heavily outweigh the potential rewards. The Browns defense is not a safe fantasy play for week 10.

QB – Jay Cutler – Despite a productive week 9 all in all, it is somewhat bothersome that Cutler threw 3 interceptions and now has 5 picks in his last 2 games. The reason being that the Cleveland pass defense has 9 interceptions on the season (2 for TD’s). Other than that one concern, we have fairly lofty expectations for Cutler in his week 10 match up against the Browns. While the Cleveland pass defense has been fairly solid for the most part this season allowing a respectable 200 yards per game and just 9 passing TD’s in 8 games, they have been very shaky the last 2 weeks allowing 283 yards, 2TD’s and 0 interceptions in week 8 against Jacksonville QB David Garrard and 248 passing yards, 2 TD’s with no interceptions in week 9 against Baltimore’s rookie QB Joe Flacco. If the trend continues, Cutler should chew up the Browns secondary and he makes for a great week 10 fantasy option.

RB – Ryan Torain – Now that Michael Pittman and Andre Hall have been placed on injured reserve, the promising rookie RB is expected to see a prominent role in the Broncos running game. He is likely to share carries with Selvin Young, but Young is battling an injury himself which could force Torain into a feature role. While Torain still has a lot to prove, he should get plenty of opportunities to do so in week 10 against a porous Browns run defense. Cleveland ranks just 28th against the run allowing 148 ground yards per game and they have also given up 9 rushing TD’s in 8 games. Torain is a bit risky as an unproven fantasy option that will likely share carries with Selvin Young (if healthy) and possibly even Peyton Hillis, but expectations are high, and he is usable as a RB2, bye week fill in or flex depending on your other options at RB with the favorable week 10 match up.

RB – Selvin Young – He did practice on Tuesday on a limited basis, but Young remains questionable to play in week 10 with a groin injury. If Young is able to play, he will likely see a few carries at least in order to take some of the load off of rookie Ryan Torain. While the match up against a weak Cleveland run defense is favorable, there are too many question marks to recommend Young for fantasy use in week 10. He is not safe. Check injury report: groin

RB – Peyton Hillis – He was the top pass catcher for Denver in week 9 with 7 receptions for 116 yards and a TD. While he should play a more prominent role in Denver’s offense moving forward, he must show consistency to be seriously considered for fantasy use. It seems logical that he could steal some carries in week 10 against the Browns with the Broncos RB corps plagued by injury, but that is purely speculation on our part. Hillis is definitely a guy to keep an eye on, but he is far too risky to use on your fantasy roster at this point and time.

WR – Brandon Marshall – He is coming off of a poor week 9 performance, but in all fairness, Marshall did have a 77 yard TD reception called back on a questionable offensive pass interference call. That said, we like his chances to rebound nicely in week 10. He will face a Cleveland secondary that has been solid for the most part, but they are not without weakness, and the Browns have been torched by opposing #1 WR’s in their last 2 contests. Jag’s wide out Matt Jones had 8 catches for 117 yards and a TD against them in week 8, while Derrick Mason embarrassed them again last week with 9 receptions for 136 yards and a score. If those guys can dominate the Cleveland secondary, we see no reason why Marshall can not continue the trend. He is a must start for week 10.

WR – Eddie Royal – He has been a hit or miss fantasy option this season, but Royal was excellent in week 9 with 7 catches for 69 yards and a TD, and now has 2 solid performances in a row. He should continue the trend in week 10 against a Browns secondary that has proven to be vulnerable over the last 2 weeks. Royal should be on your fantasy roster as a WR2, WR3, or flex depending on your options for week 10.

WR – Brandon Stokley – He is going to have a nice game here and there, but Stokley is too far down on QB Jay Cutler list of potential targets to have any real consistent success. Stokley is not recommended for fantasy use in week 10. You should be able to find a more reliable WR on the waiver wire.

TE – Tony Scheffler – When healthy, Scheffler is a viable fantasy option week in and week out. Unfortunately, he is currently battling a groin injury. If he is healthy enough to play in week 10, the match up is favorable, but Scheffler is probably going to be rusty and remains an injury risk. Therefore, he is not highly recommended as anything more than a risky bye week fill in at best. Check injury report: groin

K – Matt Prater – Hitting true on 14 of 16 field goals, including 5 for 5 beyond 50 yards, Prater has been a pleasant surprise amongst fantasy kickers this season. With a solid track record under his belt, Prater should be money once again in week 10. Denver’s offense will likely have plenty of success moving the ball on Cleveland which should provide ample opportunity for Prater field goals and extra points. He is a nice fantasy play with this match up.

Denver Defense – We wouldn’t start this defense against a mediocre college team, much less the Browns. You would have to be extremely desperate to even consider them for fantasy use at this point. Do not use the Broncos defense this week or any week, that is if you actually like winning in fantasy.

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