Oakland (+7) at San Diego, Thursday 8:20 p.m.
Comments: The Raiders have lost two straight games, both at home by division opponents by a differential of 42 points, and have had big problems scoring since Jason Campbell got hurt. Carson Palmer has thrown six interceptions over six quarters since joining Oakland, but he's becoming more acclimated with the playbook and got 9.5 YPA last week while exhibiting improved arm strength. Darren McFadden (foot) is out, and Darrius Heyward-Bey appears to be in the doghouse (although it remains unclear why he acted as the team's WR5 last week after averaging 96.3 yards receiving over the previous four games), making Jacoby Ford and Denarius Moore interesting fantasy options in deep leagues, although a wait-and-see approach best fits here. Michael Bush is a top-12 fantasy back with McFadden out... After winning four of their first five games, the Chargers have lost three straight, although last week was their first defeat at home in 2011, and it came against a Green Bay team that has won 14 straight games. Philip Rivers has more interceptions this year compared to last over half as many games, but he's maintained a strong 8.1 YPA mark, and his receiving corps is finally healthy. Ryan Mathews (groin) is also expected to play Thursday, so the team is close to full strength. Still, even when healthy, a superior-looking San Diego team on paper has consistently underperformed with Norv Turner as head coach, so it wouldn't be a shock if the division rival Raiders made it a close game Thursday night.
Predictions: Carson Palmer throws for 260 yards with a touchdown to Jacoby Ford, while Michael Bush adds 100 yards from scrimmage with a TD run. Ryan Mathews counters with 90 total yards, while Mike Tolbert punches in a goal-line score. Philip Rivers adds 275 yards with a scoring strike to Antonio Gates, as the home team prevails. Chargers 26-20.
Jacksonville (-3) at Indianapolis, Sunday 1 p.m.
Comments: The Colts enter winless and with one of the worst point differentials in NFL history at this point of the season. The offense has scored more than 20 points just once this year, as Curtis Painter has got 4.7 YPA with a 1:5 TD:INT ratio over the past four games. He's also failed to throw for 100 yards in two of his past three contests, and the Jags have allowed just 6.5 YPA in 2011, as their defense has been a strength. Dallas Clark is out, and Reggie Wayne is no longer a fantasy option. Only Pierre Garcon looks usable for fantasy purposes right now... Jacksonville is 1-6 over its past seven games, with its lone win curiously against the Ravens. They hardly seem like a team that should be three-point favorites on the road, but they are coming off a bye and playing the league's doormat. Blaine Gabbert has got 3.9 YPA over the past three games, but he faces an Indy secondary that has allowed an NFL-high 112.1 QB rating to opposing passers this season. Maurice Jones-Drew also has a plus matchup against a Colts defense that has yielded the second-most fantasy points to running backs in 2011.
Predictions: Curtis Painter throws for 220 yards with a touchdown to Pierre Garcon, while Delone Carter scores from the goal line. Maurice Jones-Drew counters with 100 yards from scrimmage and hits pay dirt, while Blaine Gabbert adds 200 passing yards with a TD toss to Marcedes Lewis, as Indy remains winless. Jaguars 23-17.
Denver (+3) at Kansas City, Sunday 1 p.m.
Comments: The Broncos have won two of Tim Tebow's three starts, and the new read offense seems to be a fit (although defenses will surely react soon enough). Willis McGahee showed surprising breakaway speed during a 60-yard TD run last week, and he continues to act as a true feature back. Eric Decker is on pace to finish with 12 receiving touchdowns, but it will be tough for him to rack up high yardage totals with the inaccurate Tebow throwing him the ball. Still, Tebow's ability to run makes him a QB1 for fantasy purposes... The Chiefs are 4-4 and in the thick of the AFC West division, but during their four losses, they have been outscored by a whopping 110 points (including one by just a field goal), so it's unclear what to make of their recent four-game winning streak that came to an end last week. Ultimately, Kansas City looks like a thoroughly mediocre team, but with Arrowhead in their favor Sunday and after getting embarrassed by a previous winless team last week, expect a strong effort in Week 10 against a middling Denver team.
Predictions: Tim Tebow throws for 225 yards and a TD to Eric Decker, and he also runs for 50 yards and a score. Willis McGahee adds 80 rushing yards, while Jackie Battle answers with 70 yards and a TD run. Matt Cassel adds 240 passing yards with scoring strikes to Dwayne Bowe and Steve Breaston, as the home team prevails. Chiefs 24-20.
Pittsburgh (-3) at Cincinnati, Sunday 1 p.m.
Comments: The Bengals enter riding a five-game winning streak and with just one loss at home this season, yet find themselves as three-point dogs in Week 10. A.J. Green continues to impress, and while Pittsburgh has intercepted just two passes this year, they have also allowed just 5.9 YPA - the second-lowest in the NFL - so it's a tough matchup Sunday. A plodding Cedric Benson doesn't figure to do much damage either, so this is going to be a defensive battle, with big implications in the AFC North... The Steelers have three losses this season - two of them coming against the Ravens, including last week in a last second defeat at home. The other loss came in Houston, so this is still a team that needs to be considered among the best in football. Two of their next three games come against the Bengals in a scheduling quirk, and while Cincinnati needs to be taken seriously, the Steelers rightfully remain the favorites Sunday. The Bengals have allowed an NFL-low 3.3 YPC this year, so Ben Roethlisberger will have to continue to play well for Pittsburgh to win this week.
Predictions: Andy Dalton throws for 180 yards with a touchdown to A.J. Green, while Cedric Benson fights for 70 rushing yards but doesn't score. Rashard Mendenhall produces a similar line, while Ben Roethlisberger throws for 230 yards with scoring strikes to Antonio Brown and Heath Miller, as Pittsburgh comes out on top. Steelers 20-16.
Buffalo (+5.5) at Dallas, Sunday 1 p.m.
Comments: The Bills are 2-3 over their past five games, but they shouldn't be ashamed of any of their losses, although their schedule only gets more difficult moving forward, with three straight road games (and four of five), including a matchup in Dallas on Sunday. Fred Jackson could exploit a Cowboys run defense that has looked like a sieve in recent weeks, including making Marshawn Lynch look good last week. But Ryan Fitzpatrick will go against a Dallas defense that has recorded 22 sacks with a 11:10 TD:INT ratio on the road, so while a shootout may occur, Buffalo's defense better show up... The Cowboys got back into the win column last week, but they didn't exactly impress as huge favorites versus Seattle. Miles Austin is once again out with a hamstring injury, and Dez Bryant continues to disappoint. As a result, Laurent Robinson is a worthy fantasy play in Week 10. Moreover, DeMarco Murray could easily be considered a top-10 fantasy back right now, especially if his involvement as a receiver Sunday is a sign of things to come. He looks like an absolute stud, and while Dallas' offense has been disappointing, it should improve moving forward. Murray has got 6.3 YPC or better in each of his past three contests, including against the team that entered with the NFL's top run defense last week, and his 3.9 YPC after contact leads the NFL (minimum 75 rushing attempts). He appears to be the real deal.
Predictions: Ryan Fitzpatrick throws for 225 yards with touchdowns to Stevie Johnson and David Nelson, while Fred Jackson adds 120 yards from scrimmage with a TD run. DeMarco Murray counters with 150 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown, while Tony Romo adds 275 passing yards with scoring strikes to Laurent Robinson and Dez Bryant, as Dallas comes out on top. Cowboys 27-24.
New Orleans (pick 'em) at Atlanta, Sunday 1 p.m.
Comments: The Saints have outscored their opponents by 82 points this season, whereas the Falcons have done so by just 19 points, but New Orleans is just 2-3 on the road and has benefitted from a fairly easy schedule. Drew Brees is on pace to set passing records, and he's the only quarterback yet to fumble this season, but he's also thrown 11 interceptions. Marques Colston should bounce back, but he's been a fantasy disappointment the last two weeks... The Falcons have plenty of flaws, but they typically play well at home, and Michael Turner has a favorable matchup this week against a New Orleans front seven that has allowed an NFL-high 5.3 YPC. With Julio Jones (hamstring) back to health, this offense can be dangerous, even if Matt Ryan isn't a star. If healthy, Jones looks like a top-tier fantasy WR, with a good chance he has more value than teammate Roddy White from here on out. It should be a close battle Sunday, with home field being the difference.
Predictions: Drew Brees throws for 275 yards and two touchdowns, with Marques Colston and Jimmy Graham the recipients. The Saints' RBBC produces 100 yards, while Michael Turner responds with 110 rushing yards and a TD run. Matt Ryan adds 240 passing yards with touchdown tosses to Tony Gonzalez and Roddy White, as the home team prevails. Falcons 24-23.
St. Louis (+2.5) at Cleveland, Sunday 1 p.m.
Comments: The Rams have just one win this season, but that victory occurred two weeks ago and last Sunday's game went into overtime and took a 99-yard punt return in overtime to lose, so the team has played better of late. Sam Bradford is back in action, and he has the best receiver he's ever had at his disposal in Brandon Lloyd now. Steven Jackson has also played extremely well of late, so it's important to note that while St. Louis looks like a league doormat, their tough schedule over the first half of the year needs to be taken into account... That said, St. Louis' opponent Sunday, the Browns, also appear to be amongst the dregs of the NFL so far. The defense has been a problem, and Colt McCoy has got just 5.7 YPA, and he's also lucky just two of his eight fumbles have been recovered by opposing teams. Greg Little is tied for the NFL-lead in broken tackles among wide receivers, but it hasn't translated to fantasy value in such an inept offense. Chris Ogbonnaya should be worth using as a flex in deep leagues thanks to the volume of touches he should receive, but he's proven to be one of the worst featured running backs in football.
Predictions: Sam Bradford throws for 200 yards with a touchdown to Brandon Lloyd, while Steven Jackson adds 100 yards from scrimmage and a TD run. Colt McCoy throws for 200 yards with a touchdown to Greg Little, while Chris Ogbonnaya also adds a rushing score, as Cleveland wins on a last second field goal. Browns 20-17.
Washington (+4) at Miami, Sunday 1 p.m.
Comments: After starting the season 3-1, the Redskins haven't won since Week 4, thanks mostly to an offense that has been miserable, especially since John Beck took over quarterback duties. The offensive line has also struggled through injuries, although Roy Helu has finally emerged as a fantasy option. He caught 14 of a whopping 17 targets last week and should be treated as an RB3 right now until proven otherwise... Miami finally got into the win column last week, with an impressive 31-3 victory in Kansas City. Matt Moore has been competent at QB, and the opportunity to buy low on Brandon Marshall in fantasy leagues has come and gone. Reggie Bush is surprisingly coming off back-to-back big weeks, and he looks to have overtaken Daniel Thomas as the team's lead back.
Predictions: John Beck throws for 180 yards with a TD toss to Fred Davis, while Roy Helu totals 90 yards and scores. Reggie Bush gets 100 yards from scrimmage, while Matt Moore adds 230 passing yards with scoring strikes to Brandon Marshall and Brian Hartline, as Miami wins it. Dolphins 20-17.
Houston (-3) at Tampa Bay, Sunday 1 p.m.
Comments: Tampa Bay are losers of three of their past four games and have been outscored by nearly 50 points this season despite their .500 record. Josh Freeman has taken a major step back, as has Mike Williams, who's averaging a paltry 9.8 yards-per-catch and hasn't reached the end zone since Week 1. The Texans have allowed the lowest QB rating to opposing passers this year, so it's a touch matchup for the Bucs. LeGarrette Blount's fantasy value continues to be capped because he comes off the field on all passing downs... Houston has won three straight and is currently the favorite to finish as the No. 1 seed in the AFC. Matt Schaub has a modest four touchdown passes over the past four games, as the team's ability to run the ball has hampered his fantasy value. Houston is expected to be without Andre Johnson (hamstring) once again Sunday, which makes sense with an upcoming bye. Arian Foster is arguably the No. 1 fantasy player, and even Ben Tate has emerged as an RB3 for fantasy purposes.
Predictions: Josh Freeman throws for 220 yards with a touchdown to Mike Williams, while LeGarrette Blount adds 80 rushing yards and scores. Arian Foster totals 110 yards and hits pay dirt, while Ben Tate adds 60 rushing yards and a TD run of his own. Matt Schaub adds 225 passing yards with a TD toss to Owen Daniels, as the road team prevails. Texans 27-20.
Tennessee (+3) at Carolina, Sunday 1 p.m.
Comments: After winning three of their first four games to open the season, the Titans have dropped three of their past four contests. Matt Hasselbeck has a touchdown pass in every game this year and has done well avoiding sacks, but he hasn't surpassed 6.8 YPA in a game since Week 4. Chris Johnson had a productive game last week, but it's hardly a guarantee he's turned the corner. The Panthers are tied for the NFL-high 11 rushing touchdowns allowed this season... Carolina comes in 2-6, but they have been outscored by only 20 points this year. The team's running back by committee remains a mess for fantasy owners, but Cam Newton continues to be a beast, although Tennessee has given up just 6.4 YPA in 2011. Nevertheless, Steve Smith remains an obvious must-start, as he's on pace to eclipse 1,800 receiving yards this season.
Predictions: Matt Hasselbeck throws for 200 yards with a touchdown toss to Nate Washington, while Chris Johnson adds 70 rushing yards and scores. Carolina's RBBC produces 100 total yards, with a TD run by Jonathan Stewart. Cam Newton produces 50 rushing yards and adds 240 passing yards with scoring strikes to Steve Smith and Jeremy Shockey, as the home team comes out on top. Panthers 24-20.
Arizona (+14) at Philadelphia, Sunday 1 p.m.
Comments: Arizona ended a six-game losing streak last week, thanks to a 99-yard punt return for a touchdown in overtime. Kevin Kolb (toe) is out once again this week, leaving John Skelton to start. The Eagles' defense has been inconsistent this season, but they have to be licking their chops in anticipation of this matchup at home Sunday. Chris Wells is clearly limited by his knee injury, but he's fully expected to play and gets a Philadelphia front seven that has allowed 5.0 YPC on the year... One week after beating the Cowboys in dominant fashion, the Eagles lost at home in primetime Monday night against the Bears. As a result, Philly is 3-5, so they likely have to go 7-1 over the second half of the year to have any chance at making the postseason. They should be focused and can ill afford to overlook a Cardinals team that enters as this week's biggest underdog. DeSean Jackson has been a huge fantasy disappointment, as Jeremy Maclin has surpassed him as the team's No. 1 wideout. LeSean McCoy has scored in every game this season, and there's an argument he's the No. 1 overall fantasy player.
Predictions: John Skelton throws for 180 yards with no touchdowns, while Chris Wells adds 75 rushing yards with a TD run. LeSean McCoy totals 150 yards and reaches the end zone, while Michael Vick also adds his first rushing score of the season. Vick also adds 280 passing yards with scoring strikes to DeSean Jackson and Brent Celek, as Philly wins handily. Eagles 28-16.
Baltimore (-7) at Seattle, Sunday 4:05 p.m.
Comments: The Seahawks have lost three straight, failing to score even 14 points in any of the contests. Tarvaris Jackson has actually got 7.9 YPA over the past four games, although that has been accompanied by seven interceptions, and Baltimore's secondary has ceded just 6.5 YPA and only six passing scores this season. Marshawn Lynch had a nice game last week, but he's not an enticing fantasy option Sunday against a Ravens' front seven that has yielded just 3.4 YPC on the year... Coming off a big win in Pittsburgh in primetime last week, Baltimore will need to fight off having a letdown game, and while a clear mismatch on paper, Seattle is still a tough environment to play in. Joe Flacco remains inconsistent, although the emergence of Torrey Smith as a deep threat certainly helps. Ray Rice has got just 3.0 YPC over the past three games, but he's scored four touchdowns over the past two contests. Seattle has allowed just 3.4 YPC on the year, which is the second-lowest mark in the NFL.
Predictions: Tarvaris Jackson throws for 170 yards with a TD toss to Sidney Rice, and while Marshawn Lynch is shut down, Seattle scores a special teams touchdown. Ray Rice counters with 80 yards from scrimmage and reaches the end zone, while Joe Flacco adds 225 passing yards with a touchdown toss to Ed Dickson, as Baltimore comes out on top. Ravens 23-17.
Detroit (+2.5) at Chicago, Sunday 4:15 p.m.
Comments: The Lions are coming off a bye and travel to Chicago on Sunday with a perfect 4-0 record on the road this season. Jahvid Best remains sidelined while still dealing with the effects of a concussion, and at this point, his season is in doubt. Matthew Stafford is on pace to finish with 38 passing touchdowns, but his 7.3 YPA mark isn't overly impressive. The Bears have allowed 5.2 YPC this season, but the Lions can't run the ball, so Stafford will be asked to carry the offense like usual... Chicago has won three straight and four of five and play three of their next four games at home, so they are firmly in the playoff race. Jay Cutler is coming off a terrific performance in an upset victory Monday night in Philadelphia, but he gets a Lions' secondary this week that has allowed an NFL-low 5.8 YPA with a 9:11 TD:INT ratio this season. Matt Forte will once again be a big part of the offense in a plus matchup versus a Detroit defense that has allowed 5.2 YPC on the year.
Predictions: Matthew Stafford throws for 250 yards and two touchdowns, with Calvin Johnson and Brandon Pettigrew the recipients, while Detroit's RBBC is held in check. Matt Forte answers with 130 yards from scrimmage with a TD run, while Marion Barber punches in another score at the goal line. Jay Cutler adds 240 passing yards with a touchdown toss to Earl Bennett, as Chicago wins it. Bears 24-20.
New York Giants (+3.5) at San Francisco, Sunday 4:15 p.m.
Comments: The 49ers enter a surprising 7-1 and in complete control of their division, with three of their next four games at home as well. Alex Smith has an 8:1 TD:INT ratio over the past five games, but the Giants lead the league with 28 sacks. New York can be run on, however, so expect Frank Gore to once again be the centerpiece of San Francisco's offense. This should be a physical battle and projects to be one of the better games in Week 10... The Giants are 6-1 over their past seven games, with their lone loss coming at home to the lowly Seahawks. Coming off a big victory in New England last week and having to travel across the country, this isn't an ideal spot for New York, who is in the midst of a brutal stretch in their schedule. Ahmad Bradshaw (foot) has been ruled out, but barring a setback, Hakeem Nicks (hamstring) looks likely to return to action. Eli Manning has got 8.5 YPA on the year and has been sacked just once over the past three games. Brandon Jacobs has a tough matchup against a San Francisco front seven that is the only team in the NFL yet to allow a rushing score and has ceded the fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs this season.
Predictions: Alex Smith throws for 225 yards with a touchdown to Vernon Davis, while Frank Gore totals 100 yards and hits pay dirt. Brandon Jacobs counters with 70 rushing yards and a goal-line score, while Eli Manning adds 250 passing yards with a TD toss to Mario Manningham, as New York pulls off the upset. Giants 23-20.
New England (+1) at New York Jets, Sunday 8:20 p.m.
Comments: The Jets have followed up a three-game losing streak by winning three straight, and they get the Pats on Sunday night for the second time this season in one of the week's marquee matchups. Mark Sanchez has a favorable matchup against a New England secondary that has allowed 8.0 YPA on the year, but Plaxico Burress is questionable with a lingering back injury. Santonio Holmes, who has yet to drop a single ball this season, continues to be underused. Shonn Greene has 85 touches over the past four games and should continue to be heavily used Sunday... The Patriots have lost back-to-back games following their bye, so Sunday's matchup is important, as three teams sit at 5-3 in the AFC East. After throwing four interceptions all of last season, Tom Brady has been picked off five times over the past four games and gets a Jets' defense that has produced a 5:13 TD:INT ratio this season. BenJarvus Green-Ellis totaled 149 yards and scored two touchdowns the last time these teams met, and he might again be a big part of New England's game plan Sunday night.
Predictions: Mark Sanchez throws for 275 yards with TD tosses to Santonio Holmes and Dustin Keller, while Shonn Greene adds 70 rushing yards. LaDainian Tomlinson scores from the goal line, while BenJarvus Green-Ellis answers with 70 rushing yards and a TD run. Tom Brady adds 240 passing yards with scoring strikes to Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski, as New England wins on a late field goal. Patriots 24-21.
Minnesota (+13.5) at Green Bay, Monday 8:30 p.m.
Comments: The Vikings are coming off their bye but face a tough task having to travel to Green Bay to play Monday night. Christian Ponder looks competent as a rookie, but he'll have to protect the ball this week against a Packers secondary that has recorded an NFL-high 16 interceptions this season. Adrian Peterson has seven touchdowns over the past four games, as he continues to play at an extremely high level. Monday's forecast calls for temperatures in the 40s with the possibility of rain... Green Bay enters undefeated and looking unstoppable, especially on offense. They had a tough time against these Vikings when they last played just three weeks ago, winning by less than a touchdown in Minnesota. Of course, the Packers are home this week and should be focused during a game in primetime. Aaron Rodgers has got 10.5 YPA with a 16:2 TD:INT ratio over his last five games, as he's become the most valuable commodity in professional sports.
Predictions: Christian Ponder throws for 200 yards with a TD to Percy Harvin, while Adrian Peterson adds 100 total yards and scores. Green Bay's RBBC produces modest results, while Aaron Rodgers throws for 300 yards and three touchdowns, with Jermichael Finley, Jordy Nelson and Greg Jennings the recipients, as the home team wins easily. Packers 30-17.
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