- Don’t second guess yourself about starting Drew Brees against the Steelers this week. Pittsburgh’s defense has performed well against weak QBs (Daunte Culpepper, Byron Leftwich, and Andrew Walter), but they’ve been torched against guys like Carson Palmer, Michael Vick, and Jake Plummer. The Steelers allowed 3+ passing TDs to each of them. Brees is among the league’s best at the position and should give Pittsburgh fits.
- Weigh all your options before inserting Jake Delhomme into your lineup for Monday night’s tilt against the Bucs. He has been ice cold against Tampa of late and has just one TD in his last three meetings with Carolina’s division rival.
- The Eagles come off a bye week with all of their key offensive weapons healthy, including Brian Westbrook and Donte Stallworth. The time off should prove to be a big benefit to Donovan McNabb. Look for him to be among fantasy football’s top performers in Week 10. He’ll square off against a Redskins defense that has given up more passing TDs than anyone. They’ve been abused by Tony Romo and Peyton Manning in the last two weeks.
- Lions QB Jon Kitna is an excellent play this week against the 49ers. Kitna has averaged 313.7 yards in his last three home games. Although the 49ers shut down the Vikings last week, you can safely write off the performance as an anomaly. San Francisco ranks last in the NFL in total defense and they’ve given up 15 passing scores this season (tied for second most in the league).
This Week’s Sleepers: Jon Kitna, Damon Huard, David Garrard, and Brad Johnson
- Anthony Thomas was the top free agent pickup this week and can probably be plugged in if you need him Sunday against the Colts. Indy is worst in the league against the run, so Thomas should have some beefy holes. The only danger is that the Colts could jump out to a big lead and force the Bills to pass. It’s a risk I’d be willing to take. Buffalo fields a top 12 defense and should be able to keep within two TDs into the second half. The Colts are coming off an emotional win against the Patriots and could be in for a letdown.
- Houston rookie Wali Lundy pasted a 93-yard 1-TD performance on the Jags a few weeks ago. Lundy owners might be looking for a repeat performance, but don’t bet on it. The Jags play tougher at home, where they’ve held opposing starting RBs to just 65 yards per game on the ground with one TD. Start Lundy if your other options look grim. Just be sure to lower your expectations.
- I’m not impressed with Jamal Lewis and his pedestrian 3.5 ypc average. But what I am impressed with is that the Brian Billick is giving him a heavy workload. Lewis has touched the ball 58 times in the last two games. If that trend continues, he should post some solid stats this week against Tennessee. Teams have averaged a whopping 171.6 yards rushing per game over the last three weeks against the Titans, who rank 31st in the NFL against the run.
- Ahman Green has rolled off three straight 100-yard games, but that streak may be in jeopardy when the Packers take the field in the Metrodome this week. The Vikings are the best in the NFL at stopping the run—even better than the Bears and Ravens. Move Green to your bench if you have a decent alternative.
This Week’s Sleepers: Anthony Thomas, Jamal Lewis, Maurice Jones-Drew, and Laurence Maroney
- Roy Williams is finally living up to his potential. The third-year wideout ranks third in the NFL in receiving yardage and has posted TDs in three straight games. He should have a field day against the 49ers, who have given up 15 passing TDs this season—tied for second most in the NFL. Williams is my pick to be the top point getter among fantasy wideouts in Week 10.
- How does rookie phenom Marques Colston stack up against the best rookie wideouts from years past? Quite favorably. Colston is on pace for 88 receptions, 1,400 yards, and 14 TDs. In 1998, Randy Moss set the standard with 69 receptions, 1,313 yards, and 17 TDs. Four years later, Anquan Boldin posted 101 receptions, 1,377 yards, and 8 TDs. Colston is a must-start every week and should continue his hot streak against Pittsburgh. The Steelers are coming off a game in which they were embarrassed by Denver’s Javon Walker. Colston has a lot of the same qualities as Walker but is even more physical. He could give the Steelers simliar matchup problems.
- Lower you expectations for Santana Moss significantly this week. Moss, who missed Washington’s last game with a hamstring injury, isn’t running at full speed in practice. Even if he does play, he would be a longshot to put up good numbers against Philly. The Eagles have done a good job of bottling up Moss, holding him under 90 yards and keeping him out of the endzone the last two times the teams met.
- Start both Donte Stallworth and Reggie Brown this week against the Redskins. Washington has been burned by receivers of late, allowing wideouts to score five times over the last two weeks. Stallworth and Brown return to action this week well-rested, well-prepared, and healthy. I anticipate 140-150 yards and two scores between the two receivers.
This Week’s Sleepers: Donte Stallworth, Reggie Brown, Travis Taylor, Antonio Bryant, and Mike Furrey
- Tampa TE Alex Smith is a sneaky play this week against the Panthers. Carolina has allowed TE scores in three straight games. Plus Smith gave the Panthers problems earlier in the season, catching four passes for 72 yards.
- No team in the NFL is tougher on TEs than the Bears. Chicago hasn’t allowed a TE score all season long and they rarely let one even approach 50 yards receiving. New York’s Jeremy Shockey doesn’t look like a very good option this week.
This Week’s Sleepers: Alex Smith, Desmond Clark, and Ben Watson
- After a fast start, David Akers has fallen out of the top 20 kickers in scoring. Even so, make a point to get him in your lineup this week against Washington. The Redskins give up field goals by the bushel—15 in their last five games. I see a double-digit week in Akers’ future.
- Owners in need of a sleeper kicker for Week 10 may want to take a look at Detroit’s Jason Hanson. Hanson has connected on multiple field goals in all but one home game this season. The Lions will play host to the 49ers, who have allowed 8 or more points to place kickers in five of the last six games.
This Week’s Sleepers: David Akers, Jason Hanson, and Ryan Longwell
- The last time the Baltimore Ravens faced a rookie QB was Week 17 of last season against Cleveland’s Charlie Frye. They ended the day with five sacks, three turnovers, and a defensive TD. Look for a similar performance this week against Vince Young, who took a step back last week when he threw three interceptions.
- If your regular defense has been a source of frustration lately, give the Indianapolis Colts a look this week. The Colts will face erratic QB J.P. Losman of the Bills. Losman kept his cool last week against the Packers and avoided throwing an interception. However, he’s still holds onto the ball too long and was sacked five times. Adding to the challenge for Losman is that his team will be without its best offensive weapon Willis McGahee. If the Colts get a big lead, Losman is likely to make his share of mistakes trying to get his team back in the game.
This Week’s Sleepers: Indianapolis Colts and Kansas City Chiefs
This Week's 6-Pack: Pacifico Claro
Appearance: Pacifico came in a brown bottle that’s taller than the normal longneck. After pouring, it resembled apple cider in my pint glass. The head rapidly climbed to the top and looked like soap suds, but faded within seconds. I sampled without a lime for my first taste and with the second time around.
Smell: Minimal aroma. If anything, it smelled a bit like sweet corn or corn husks.
Taste: Without the lime, Pacifico was very one dimensional and lacked character. It didn’t have the skunk of Corona, but it was crisp and had a hoppy edge in the background. Something about it was a bit harsh. It was much more refreshing and easier to drink with the lime.
Mouth-feel: Light-to-medium body with high fizzy carbonation.
Drinkability: Pacifico was crisp and refreshing, but after a couple it left me feeling full. I’d have a hard time drinking these all day.
Last Call: Pacifico doesn’t have the raunchy dish water flavor of Corona, but it’s far from perfect. If you’re spending the afternoon on the beach on a hot day or you’re scarfing down a plate of enchiladas, it’s a decent choice. I’d recommend trying it from the bottle with a wedge of lime and an open mind. Two stars out of five, but maybe a bit higher if the atmosphere is right.
Next Week’s Beer: Hansa Plisner