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Ricky's number, and other Week 10 decisions

11/13/2009

Remember the years when the Indianapolis Colts would place multiple wide receivers in the top 10 for fantasy football scoring? One year they even made it three players as Brandon Stokley joined the dynamic duo of Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne. Think about how rare something like that is, to have more than two players at the same position from the same team have so much success. From a fantasy standpoint, you might wonder if all options are usable each week. Of course they are!

This phenomenon of multiple weapons in fantasy at the position probably happens at wide receiver more than you think. The Arizona Cardinals had two top wide receivers last season, and sans injury might have done it again this year, just as the New England Patriots did in the Tom Brady record-setting season, and could do it again. But what about at running back? How can that possibly happen?

The Miami Dolphins currently place Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams in the top 10 for running back scoring, at 9 and 10. I think this is incredible, especially since Williams seems to be on most fantasy benches each week, or like with one of my trades this week, he was merely a throw-in to a bigger deal. One would assume Brown can remain in his spot, but most remain skeptical Williams can maintain his pace. Why is this? It's Week 10 already and he's showing few signs of stopping. This week, he and Brown face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, which should be fun for all. I'd take Frank Gore, Steven Jackson and Pierre Thomas over Williams the rest of the way in fantasy and for the season, but Williams still could finish in the top 10, and definitely top 15 at running back. That in itself is amazing.

Early in the season, I admit I was a bit skeptical Williams would continue his success and I rarely ranked him among the top 20 running backs. Now he's a staple there. Think about how tough it is for someone at that position to produce each week on so few touches. Well, Williams touches the football more than you might realize. Gore and Thomas haven't played each week, but those guys and Williams post very similar numbers, including the receiving part of things. The Dolphins don't have much of a passing game, but man, they can run. They will be running this week. I have Williams on an important team now, acquiring him for so little it was embarrassing, and I'm going to play him.

My late-week rankings changes: Obviously I removed all Chicago Bears and San Francisco 49ers from the lists, since those teams played Thursday. Man, that was a painful game to watch, wasn't it? I decided to vault Matt Cassel over Matt Ryan this week, just by one spot because Ryan is showing no signs of good production, and Joe Flacco moved up from 14 to 12, though I remain cautious, despite the tasty matchup with the Cleveland Browns. At running back, I ignored the pleas to switch Adrian Peterson and Chris Johnson; I expect Johnson to approach 175 yards, but Peterson won't disappoint, either. I did move Marshawn Lynch up a bit into the top 20, and Knowshon Moreno just missed. I feel better about them than I did a few days ago, after studying the trends a bit more. I backed off Mike Sims-Walker just a bit, but left him at 15. He can still be productive against the New York Jets.

My key lineup decisions: I've decided I can't really afford to rely on LaDainian Tomlinson in one league this week, opting to trade for Tim Hightower instead. The price was cheap, but still, I can't believe LT has fallen so far. I finally had it with Anthony Gonzalez filling a roster spot in one league, so I added Chris Chambers. Again, never thought back in August that would occur! Bernard Berrian or Devery Henderson? My rankings say Berrian, but I am a bit concerned that Brett Favre won't need to throw much. For now I leave Berrian active. And I decided the New York Giants defense isn't so formidable that I need to create a bench spot for it, so with the G-men on bye, I'll rotate with what's available in that shallow league, and take my chances with the Cincinnati Bengals this week. Amazing indeed.

Decisions in our other games: In Eliminator Challenge I've won each week except one, which obviously was enough to eliminate me, but I'll keep trying. No teams are getting more than a quarter of the public's vote this week, but I think part of the reason the New Orleans Saints and Minnesota Vikings aren't more popular is because most people have already used them. Like me. I don't have the Baltimore Ravens left either. I do still have the Dolphins, though. Can Josh Freeman do it again? I say no. In Gridiron Challenge I slipped to the 86th percentile, and I decided to alter my plan to add a few big-money guys (Drew Brees, Chris Johnson) and play it cheap at wide receiver (Austin Collie, Miles Austin). In Pigskin Pick'em, I'm in the 95.3 percentile, which is nice, but down from last week after winning only six games. I've got the Saints and Vikings covering very large spreads, but think the Bengals, Panthers, Eagles, Packers and Patriots not only cover, but win.

Enjoy your weekend!