Nov. 16, 2017
NFL Week 10 Preview and Predictions
Week 10 Headlines
Elliott’s Injunction Denied: The U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals has denied Ezekiel Elliott’s and the NFLPA’s request for an emergency injunction. This means that Elliott’s six-game suspension is back on…again.
Jones vs. Goodell: Reports surfaced this week that Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones is hiring a lawyer to block Roger Goodell’s contract extension.
Colts Release Davis: The Indianapolis Colts released veteran cornerback Vontae Davis following news of his season-ending groin surgery.
Evans Suspended: Buccaneers’ Reciever Mike Evans has been suspended one game for a cheap shot delivered to Saints’ Cornerback Marshon Lattimore.
Fantasy Football Start Em/Sit Em
Starting Quarterbacks: Dak Prescott, Matthew Stafford, Ben Roethlisberger, Matt Ryan
Sitting Quarterbacks: Philip Rivers, Kirk Cousins, Jay Cutler, Jacoby Brissett
Starting Running Backs: Jordan Howard, Jerrick McKinnon, Carlos Hyde, Matt Forte
Sitting Running Backs: Ameer Abdullah, Joe Mixon, Doug Martin, Aaron Jones
Starting Receivers: Jarvis Landry, Golden Tate, Robert Woods, Robby Anderson
Sitting Receivers: Jordy Nelson, Keenan Allen, Kelvin Benjamin, Will Fuller
Starting Tight Ends: Cameron Brate, Evan Engram, Hunter Henry, Delanie Walker
Sitting Tight Ends: Julius Thomas, Jason Witten, Coby Fleener, Austin Hooper
Starting Defenses: Lions, Rams, Steelers, Patriots
Sitting Defenses: Broncos, Bills, Cowboys, Texans
Seahawks vs. Cardinals: This week’s edition of Thursday Night Football could feature a close game if Seattle isn’t careful. Arizona has the capability to pressure and contain Russell Wilson at times and they’ll be focused on running the football often on offense. While the Seahawks defense is to still be respected, their run defense has seen regression this year. Fortunately for Seattle, Drew Stanton provides zero fear factor and zero ability to consistently score against them through the air. With Wilson, the Seahawks should be able to make enough big plays to win the game.
Jets vs. Buccaneers: Coming into the season, Tampa Bay was supposed to be the sleeper and the Jets were supposed to be the mediocre on-field product. At the halfway point in the season, the roles have reversed. Not only are the Jets a better team, but a combination of injuries and suspensions on the Bucs side makes the game easier for them to win. Jameis Winston and Mike Evans will miss the game. That leaves Ryan Fitzpatrick under center against his former employer. With a weakened Bucs offense and Josh McCown playing well, the Jets should be able to pick up a win here.
Saints vs. Bills: New Orleans is one of the hottest teams in the league right now and will provide a tough game for the Bills. Buffalo wants to play tough in the trenches and run the ball. Against past iterations of the Saints, that would be a good place to start a successful game against them. This year, the Saints actually have a defense and they can stop the run and apply pressure on opposing quarterbacks as well. On defense, the Bills implement a lot of zone defense in an attempt to limit big plays. Against Drew Brees, a zone defense simply isn’t good enough. The only thing going for the Bills is that the game will be played in western New York and outdoors. However, the Saints are also capable of running the ball well. This is a mismatch that favors the Saints.
Browns vs. Lions: It’s that time of the year again for Browns fans. With eight games to go, you have to wonder if they’ll be able to win a game. Fortunately, they have future matchups against an injured Packers team and the only team they beat a year ago in the Chargers. This week, won’t end well for them. Matthew Stafford will tear them apart if given time to do so. And even if that goes wrong, I don’t trust the Browns offense to do anything special. So I’ll go with Detroit to win.
Bengals vs. Titans: The matchup to watch in this game is between the Cincinnati defense and the Tennessee offense. The Bengals defense remains one of the best in the league right now and they have the ability to contain the run and defend the pass. The Bengals won’t be afraid to fold the box and stop the run. It will likely fall to Marcus Mariota to lead the charge with the passing game. While Tennessee’s defense isn’t terrible, their real strength is the schemes they implement. In combination with the Bengals offensive line problems, the Titans should be able to disrupt the Bengals offense. With that said, I believe the Titans make one more play than the Bengals to win the game.
Packers vs. Bears: It’s becoming more and more clear that the Packers are doomed without Aaron Rodgers under center. That makes the Bears a tougher matchup than usual. Chicago’s defense has proven it is capable of swinging games in the team’s favor. The combination of Chicago’s front seven and Green Bay playing without Bryan Bulaga spells bad news for the Packers. The Packers simply aren't going to be able to move the ball against Chicago's defense with any consistency. If the Bears can find a way to move the ball with any form of consistency, they win this game.
Chargers vs. Jaguars: Jacksonville is slowly emerging as the team to beat in the AFC South. Their defense is proving to be an elite unit and their running game offsets any problems they may encounter with their passing game. Against the Chargers, they have some advantages. Their defensive pressure will prove difficult to handle for Philip Rivers. Also, the Chargers rank 31st in run defense. This means Leonard Fournette may be in for a big game. Blake Bortles just needs to play well enough so the Chargers won’t focus solely on the run. As for the Chargers, I don’t believe they’ll be able to move the ball consistently enough to win this game.
Vikings vs. Redskins: After getting out of Seattle with a big win, the Redskins now have to find a way to deal with the Vikings defense. While Washington has playmakers on offense, they haven’t faced a unit as good as the Vikings defense. The key will be to force mistakes out of a Vikings defense that has somehow avoided bringing catastrophe to the Vikings season. They’re very balanced with Stefon Diggs, Adam Thielen and their two-pronged attack from the backfield. So long as Case Keenum avoids the big mistakes, Minnesota is competitive in every game. While the Washington defense is playing well, I still believe the Vikings do just enough to win.
Steelers vs. Colts: The Indianapolis defense is one of the worst in the league. I don’t see the Steelers having any trouble putting up enough points to beat the Colts.
Texans vs. Rams: It’s a shame to say, but the injuries have completely changed the Texans for the worst. Without Deshaun Watson, the offense is stagnant and the defense is vulnerable without J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus. Now they face the NFL’s surprise team of the year in the Rams. Their offensive schemes are among the best in the game and they’re on pace to be the first to go from worst to first in offense. Meanwhile, their defense is very good as well. The Rams are capable of causing problems in every facet of the game for Houston. Which is why I believe the Rams will win this game.
Giants vs. 49ers: Both teams are likely looking ahead to the draft at this point of the season. In the end, I trust Eli Manning more than C.J. Beathard. So I’ll pick the Giants to win.
Cowboys vs. Falcons: It’s clear that the Falcons are likely suffering from a Super Bowl hangover. It’s the only way to explain how a team with so much talent is barely treading water with a .500 record. Their defense is in for a tough matchup. Their 18th ranked defense will have their hands full even if Ezekiel Elliott isn’t playing. The Cowboys have a committee of running backs ready to take his place. Also, the Falcons defensive speed sometimes translates into overaggressiveness. Dak Prescott has the talent to take advantage of those things as well. As for Atlanta, their pass protection needs to be prepared for Dallas. The Cowboys front has proven to be capable and the Falcons are coming off of a game where the Panthers were able to apply pressure. If the Falcons can get protection, Matt Ryan had better find his MVP form and shred that Cowboys secondary. But ultimately, this comes down to the Falcons ability to stop the run. If their offense is on the bench, they cannot beat the Cowboys. I believe the Cowboys running game plays well and leads the Cowboys to victory.
Patriots vs. Broncos: Denver should be eager to hit the field after last week’s lackluster performance. Also, their struggling offense gets to see a below average Patriots defense. However, the Patriots had an extra week to prepare. So expect to see a sharper performance on both sides of the ball. Denver’s defense has proven themselves capable of flustering Tom Brady in the past, but never really shut him completely down. I believe that trend will continue, but it will result in a close win for New England.
Dolphins vs. Panthers: Despite losing to the Raiders a week ago, the Dolphins showed a few positives. It seems that their offense won’t miss Jay Ajayi too much as they still have weapons available and Jay Cutler is playing well. Their defense is also stout up front and could cause havoc in the trenches. However, the Panthers are better on both sides of the ball. Their defense will be a good test to see if Cutler’s play is just an aberration. On offense, Cam Newton has been running the ball with increasing success as the weeks go by. As long as those two things remain true, Carolina will win this game and keep pace in the NFC.