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Harsh Reality, Week 10: Backups and matchups doom your fantasy league once again

Jonathan Daniel

Entering the stretch run of your fantasy season? You might not want to be starting these players in Week 10!

Another week, another meek. With names like Seneca, Kellen and Keenum, who knows what to expect anymore? It's not necessarily that all of these players are bad, or that they will do bad, but it just goes to show how fragile the human body is. Especially in a sport where they are smashing their human bodies up against one another.

We aren't quite in the home stretch of the NFL season, but now that it is Week 10, we are likely beginning the stretch run of your fantasy league. Every decision is crucial, every benching has the potential to come back to haunt you. You may want to consider benching the following players.

And then if I'm wrong, I'll be the one that haunts you. Enjoy!


32. Chad Henne, Jaguars at Titans

The football in Tennessee will be stuck between a rock and a hard place when it's in the hand of Henne vs. a defense that's allowed the fewest passing touchdowns in the league.

31. Mike Glennon, Buccaneers vs Dolphins

Are the Bucs really in better hands with Glennon than they were with Josh Freeman? He's averaging fewer yards per attempt than Freeman did in Tampa Bay (though Freeman's overall mark with two teams is worst in the NFL), and has fumbled five times in five games. Football Outsiders ranks the Dolphins pass defense as sixth-best in the league.

30. Kellen Clemens, Rams at Colts

This goes to show you how down I am on Mike Glennon right now.

29. Seneca Wallace, Packers vs Eagles

Despite being one of the least-exciting starters in the NFL right now, and being cut more often in the last two years than he has started games, Wallace has weapons to work with and faces off against the Eagles in his first start for Green Bay. Not only is he not the worst start of the week, he's actually kind of an interesting start too.

But not that interesting.

28. Case Keenum, Texans at Cardinals

I don't want to put Keenum here, because I'm rooting for Keenum to succeed. He's already passed tests against the Chiefs and Colts, but the Indy pass defense might be a little overrated. The Cardinals pass defense is not. If Case pulls an Ace in the AZ, he might just be legit.

Surpriser of the Week - Matt Ryan, Falcons vs Seahawks

As if you weren't already shy on Ryan, who has thrown seven interceptions over his last two games and is now working with an ailing Roddy White, an aging Tony Gonzalez, and a not-here-anymore-this-year Julio Jones, Ryan now faces off against the best pass defense and secondary in the NFL.

Ryan has been asked to take on more responsibility over the past two seasons, and four of his five career 3+ interceptions games have taken place in the last 13 months. Even though he's on pace for 30 touchdowns and nearly 5,000 yards, can Ryan be trusted against a team over two turnovers per game?

Running backs

32. BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Bengals at Ravens

I have two questions about Law Firm:

- Calling him "Law Firm" implies that "Ben" is a common last name. Does anyone have the last name Ben?

- Despite having 50 more carries than Gio Bernard, he's been far less effective on the ground but especially through the air. Against a Ravens defense that has still only allowed one rushing touchdown this season, is there any chance he's going to have value in fantasy this week?

I'll say that the answer to both is "No."

31. Le'Veon Bell, Steelers vs Bills

It used to be that we liked rookie running backs, were fairly high on rookie receivers but not nearly as much as running backs, and hated rookie quarterbacks.

Now we hate rookie running backs (and almost all running backs), love rookie receivers, and are enamored with rookie quarterbacks.

Welcome to the 2013 NFL, where a rookie starting running back for the Pittsburgh Steelers is hardly even a good flex play. The Bills are allowing 3.9 yards per carry and 0.25 rushing touchdowns per game.

30. Lamar Miller, Dolphins at Buccaneers

In the midst of everything, don't forget one thing: The Miami Dolphins have lost two starters on their offensive line. The Bucs might be 0-8, but they're still one of the best run defenses in the NFL and Miller could struggle on Monday night.

29. Ryan Mathews, Chargers vs Broncos

Once you're out with Mathews, like rushing for 100 yards in consecutive games two weeks ago, he pulls you back in.

28. Arian Foster, Texans at Cardinals

Another top five pick that has bitten the dust. Along with the likes of Doug Martin and Ray Rice, Foster have been a major disappointment with just two touchdowns in half-a-season. Now it's Arizona, one of the best run defenses in the NFL.

Surpriser of the Week - Frank Gore, 49ers vs Panthers

Who would've thought that in Week 10, the potential game of the year would be Carolina at San Francisco? Both teams come into this one red hot and both teams need a win to stay in their respective divisional races. Gore is ageless and has seven rushing touchdowns, but the Panthers defense is potentially the best in the NFL and is definitely the number one scoring defense in the league.

Wide receivers

32. Steve Smith, Panthers at 49ers

It seems like for the first time in a long time, Smith is in a ball-share situation in Carolina. Four prime targets for Cam Newton, and none of them get much more than any other. That's been great for the Panthers, but bad for Smith owners. And it won't get easier against San Francisco.

31. Harry Douglas, Falcons vs Seahawks

Not only is the 29-year-old Douglas on pace for his first 1,000-yard season, but he's already notched a career-high in yards with 571. Perhaps more interesting is that even with the added attention from Matt Ryan, he's still only at one touchdown, his fifth-straight year with exactly one touchdown.

With Julio out, Roddy White hurt, Douglas is the number one for Atlanta. And this week that means he gets to be the focus of Richard Sherman. He was better off as the number three.

30. Cecil Shorts III, Jaguars at Titans

With Alterraun Verner having a great season, the Titans are ranked number one in the NFL against number one receivers by DVOA. With Justin Blackmon out for the year (at least) there's nothing else to call Shorts but a number one receiver, and there's no one left to draw attention away from him.

29. Jerricho Cotchery, Steelers vs Bills

I nearly picked up Cotchery last Sunday morning and spot started him, and I lost because I didn't do just that. He's coming off of a 3-touchdown game and is just one touchdown shy of matching his career-high, but this week he faces Buffalo. The Bills are locking down options outside of a team's number one receiver.

That's good news for Antonio Brown, but could make it difficult for Cotchery and Emmanuel Sanders.

28. Denarius Moore, Raiders at Giants

For as much as we are making fun of the Giants this year, it seems like just maybe they're putting it together and a tiny bit underrated. Or maybe it's just a flash in the pan. Either way, they've done well against a team's top receiving options and they've allowed just 14 points over the last two games.

Oakland has been hit or miss all year, and Terrelle Pryor still has a ways to go as a passer before the Raiders are lighting up the fantasy boards.

Surpriser of the Week - Andre Johnson, Texans at Cardinals

Nobody is benching Andre Johnson, and for good reason, but he faces a tougher test this week than he did against Indy last week. Patrick Peterson and the Cards defense are ranked fourth against a number one receiver and it would be a lot more surprising to see Johnson go for 200+ yards against Arizona than against the Colts.

Surprising, but not impossible.

Fright ends

Greg Olsen, Panthers at 49ers

Out of all the Carolina options, Olsen leads the team with 426 yards. However, San Francisco locks down tight ends with their elite group of linebackers. Newton might be forced to use Ted Ginn and Brandon LaFell more, as well as using his legs to move the ball on Sunday.

Heath Miller, Steelers vs Bills

Miller is a favorite of Ben Roethlisberger's, but since coming back from injury he has just one touchdown in six games. That's a far cry from the eight touchdowns he put up a year ago. If he gets it back on track, it likely wouldn't come against the Bills, ranked third in the league against tight ends by DVOA.

Surpriser of the Week - Tony Gonzalez, Falcons vs Seahawks

Another Falcon, which should come as no surprise in such a disappointing season for Atlanta. One of the only steady mainstays so far this year is the veteran Gonzalez. The team and player did not part ways at the trading deadline and not only does that mean that Gonzalez likely won't be winning a Super Bowl this year, but he also gets to face off against a team that could've really used him for a second half run.

And a team that Football Outsiders ranks as second-best against tight ends.

Gonzalez could be looking across the field and wondering what could have been. And possibly at a goose egg in fantasy.

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