Who says rookies need to pay their dues while evolving into capable NFL starters? If that’s the case, somebody forgot to give Tampa Bay Bucs running back Doug Martin the memo, as the former Boise State standout has amassed 486 total yards and six touchdowns over his last two games en route to becoming the highest scoring fantasy running back through the first nine weeks of the season.
The Tampa Bay front office has to be feeling pretty pleased with themselves at the moment.
Start ’em up
Ben Roethlisberger QB, Steelers: The Chiefs aborted a factious relationship between GM Scott Pioli and head coach Todd Haley last December when Haley was handed a pink slip and told his services were no longer needed. And guess where Haley is working now? That’s right, the former Kansas City coach is now calling the plays in Pittsburgh and will no doubt be looking to stick it to his former team on Monday night. As for Big Ben, he’s averaging 275.4 passing yards per game this season, with five TD’s over his last two starts. Pittsburgh should cruise in this one.
Stevan Ridley RB, Patriots: The second-year running back is coming off the bye week and preparing for a divisional showdown with a Buffalo Bills team that ranks No. 31 against the run (169.5 yds/gm) and is surrendering an average of 26.9 fantasy points per game to opposing RB’s (second-most in NFL). Take note that Ridley ran for 106 yards and two scores when these two teams got together back in Week 4.
Malcom Floyd WR, Chargers: Pro Bowl-caliber production it is not, but Floyd did find the end zone last Thursday night in San Diego’s blowout win over Kansas City. We’re anticipating a high-scoring affair in Tampa next Sunday when Floyd and the Bolts take on a Buccaneers defense that ranks dead last in the NFL against the pass (321.1 yds/gm), while giving up an average of 28.3 fantasy points per game to opposing receivers this season (third-most in NFL).
Matt Schaub QB, Texans: Schaub has thrown 4 TD passes over his last two starts, but runs into a living, breathing brick wall in Week 10 known as the Chicago Bears. Lovie Smith’s team currently ranks second in the league in scoring defense (15.0 pts/gm), first in takeaways (26) and is surrendering an average of just 14.2 fantasy points per game to opposing QB’s (second-fewest in NFL). Points will come at a premium when these two elite defenses get together Sunday night.
Jamaal Charles RB, Chiefs: His team is pathetic, his head coach clueless. Despite being the best player on the roster, Charles has been handed the ball just 29 times over his last three starts. Throw in the fact that Pittsburgh ranks seventh in the league in run defense (88.6 yds/gm) and owners have no choice but to fear the worst for the fourth consecutive week.
Sidney Rice WR, Seahawks: Rice has found the end zone in three of his last four starts but will have difficulty producing a favorable stat line in Week 10 against Jets CB Antonio Cromartie. New York currently ranks sixth in the NFL in pass defense (205.6 yds/gm), is coming off the bye and allows fewer fantasy points to opposing wideouts than any other team in the league (15.3 pts/gm). We anticipate a heavy dose of the ground and pound from Pete Carroll and the Seahawks on Sunday.
Joe Fortenbaugh, worked as an NFL Agent from 2003-2006 at JB Sports, Inc. Follow Joe on Twitter @joefortenbaugh, and check out his website at NationalFootballPost.com. You can reach him at [email protected].