It’s time to make a move. There is a good chance that a group of teams is bunched near the top of your league. There is also a good chance some teams may already be in preparation for next season. Here’s hoping you are in that conglomerate near the top, but even if you are somewhere in the middle, there’s an opportunity to change that. Now is the point in the year to separate from the pack and solidify your spot as a playoff team.
With nine weeks gone by, some running back situations are becoming clearer. Zac Stacy is the obvious go to back in St. Louis. While Rashard Mendenhall is supposedly on his way back, Andre Ellington has proven that if the Cardinals want to win, they better give him the rock. And Eddie Lacy is running over defenders like a dump truck in Green Bay.
Other situations remain murky. Can Knowshon Moreno maintain his stranglehold as Denver’s main tailback during the meat of their schedule? Will Cincinnati realize that more Gio Bernard touches are good?
There isn’t a lot of time left to make sure you’ve got a shot to come out on top. Hopefully you have someone like Stacy or Ellington. But, even if you don’t, or are still looking for someone to start this Sunday, here are some sleepers for Week 10.
Tashard Choice (BUF)
The Bills operate a two-back system, and those two back’s last names are Jackson and Spiller. Furthermore, it seems that both are getting healthier each week (even if Spiller’s ankle isn’t at 100 percent). However, Choice may become a factor because of what is going on for Buffalo at quarterback. Yes, EJ Manuel will play for the first time since getting injured in Week 5, but they haven’t had much luck with the position all year.
If Jeff Tuel was half-competent, they would have beaten the Chiefs last week, and just because Manuel is coming back, doesn’t mean that he will be full-strength.
Plus, it seems prudent for the Bills to rely on their running game this week against Pittsburgh. The historically tough Steelers defense is 31st against the run; they allow 4.2 yards per carry and have surrendered 12 touchdowns. Jackson and Spiller will get carries, but Choice might be able to sneak a touchdown in near the goal line or closing out one of the halves.
Joique Bell (DET)
If Jim Schwartz is worth his salt as an NFL head coach, he’ll have a good game plan for his team coming off their bye. They should be well-rested and they are going against a Chicago Bears defense that played on Monday night. While the Bears pulled out the win, they got owned by the aforementioned Lacy and the Packers running game. Reggie Bush has been more than effective in the high octane Lions’ offense, but Bell actually has more touchdowns (4) on the season than Bush (2).
This is a game that looms large in the NFC North race, and has a lot at stake fantasy-wise. The Bears are 29th against the run and have given up 4.4 yards per carry. They aren’t much better against the pass, ranked 23rd, but running the ball with a purpose could be the key to winning this game and positioning the Lions at the top of the division.