This is the fantasy column you've been waiting for. You’ve been dying of anticipation and now it’s finally here!
What does the magic crystal ball say will happen in Week 10? Which superstar will truly shine bright or which under-the-radar player will make a name for himself? Will one of your players score 40 fantasy points this week? The possibilies are endless, but you can be sure of one thing: whatever is mentioned below will be BOLD.
Teams on bye: Atlanta, Indianapolis, San Diego, San Francisco
Eli Manning Out-Duels Tom Brady
Of course this is crazy, but stranger things have happened. Like when the Giants beat the Patriots in Super Bowl XLII in 2008 and crushed their undefeated season. I still have an 18-1 t-shirt in my house somewhere. There’s no doubt that Brady isn’t going to have a big game against a very weak Giants defense, but when this defense bends (and bends a lot), but doesn’t break, it’s going to be LeGarrette Blount once again scoring the touchdowns. With the Patriots up by two scores in the second half, Manning will lead the Giants to an improbable comeback and thanks to Odell Beckham Jr. (who should also have a big game), Manning will throw for well over 300 yards and at least three touchdowns. Who will win the game? This is a bold fantasy predictions article silly, not a pick’em article.
Tavon Austin Scores More Fantasy Points Than Todd Gurley
Yes, you read this right. Notice how that does not say Todd Gurley. It says Tavon Austin. How is that even possible? While it’s true that Todd Gurley will do his usual thing and run for more than 100 yards and a touchdown against the Chicago Bears, it’s Tavon Austin that will score more fantasy points. The Bears know that the only way the Rams can win is by using Gurley all the time, so they are going to do everything in their feeble powers to stop him. When the Rams’ offense starts to sputter, and you know it will because Nick Foles is their quarterback, the team will turn to multi-purpose threat Austin, who will have more than 150 total yards and score two touchdowns.
Gray Barnidge Retakes His Throne as Fantasy’s No. 1 TE
Has there been a bigger fantasy surprise than Barnidge? The Josh McCown-to-Barnidge combination is something to be reckoned with. Barnidge has at least 100 receiving yards and/or one touchdown in the last six games started by McCown. Guess who will start at quarterback this week for the lowly Browns? That’s right, McCown, if he’s healthy enough. Even in a game against the Steelers without Ben Roethlisberger, things could get ugly fast for Cleveland. That means more McCown to Barnidge magic that we have grown so accustomed too. Plus, throw in the fact that the Steelers have allowed the third-most fantasy points to tight ends this season and Barnidge could easily score over 20 points this week.
Kirk Cousins Finishes Sunday as a Top-3 Fantasy QB
This really isn’t as bold or as crazy as you might think. All you really need to know is that Cousins and the rest of his Washington teammates are playing host to the New Orleans Saints, who have by far the worst defense in football. The Saints are allowing 292 passing yards per game and a league-high 24 TD passes on the season. Plus, they’ve allowed the most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. If you add into the mix that Drew Brees is back to his gun-slinging ways, with 10 TD passes in his last two games, and this one will no doubt be high scoring. Look for Cousins to replicate his Week 7 seven numbers, when he scored 30.18 fantasy points thanks to 317 yards passing and three touchdowns.
Mark Ingram, Not DeAngelo Williams Finishes the Week as the No. 1 RB
So Ingram was supposed to have a huge game last week against the Tennessee Titans since his main competition for touches, Khiry Robinson, is out for the year. Unfortunately, all Ingram was able to do was score 9.6 fantasy points thanks to only 54 yards on 22 carries and four catches for 42 yards. But one bad game doesn’t make a season. Ingram has been very consistent from a fantasy standpoint. He’s scored double-digit fantasy points in six of his nine games. This week he gets to play against a Washington Redskins defense that has allowed 100-plus rushing yards in each of the past four games and has been pretty decent in defending the pass. This game looks like one where Ingram will touch the ball around 30 times and get over 150 total yards of offense with two touchdowns.
Carson Palmer Throws for More Than 300 Yards and 3 Touchdowns in Seattle
Seattle’s dreaded “Legion of Boom” defense is starting to show some cracks in its armor. The Seahawks are no longer the shutdown unit that led the team to back-to-back Super Bowl appearances. In Week 6 Cam Newton led a Carolina comeback in Seattle, finishing with 269 passing yards and a TD. That’s something that never would have happened the year before or even last year. This week Palmer and the Arizona Cardinals come to town fresh off their bye week. You know that head coach Bruce Arians has been brewing up a special offensive scheme that will help Palmer utilize all his weapons (Larry Fitzgerald, John Brown and Michael Floyd). There’s no doubt that Palmer will have to be at his best on Sunday in Seattle, but if the Cardinals are going to be considered serious contenders in the NFC, this is a game that Palmer and the rest of the Cardinals need to stand up and make everyone take notice.
— Written by Michael Horvath, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Horvath is a Canadian who also happens to be a fantasy football (not to be confused with CFL) and fitness nut. Follow him on Twitter @realmikehorvath.