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Starts, Sits & Smashes

Willis McGahee and Plaxico Burress have to be licking their chops entering Week 10. Joe Fortenbaugh

Print This November 11, 2011, 01:30 PM EST

SIT ‘EM DOWN

Josh Freeman, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (vs. Houston): Freeman’s averaging just 1.0 touchdown passes per game this season and currently boasts an unimpressive QB rating of 76.8. Not good. What’s also troubling for Freeman owners is the fact that Houston is coming to town this weekend and they’re bringing the NFL’s top-ranked defense. Keep in mind that opposing quarterbacks are putting up an average of just 14.2 fantasy points per game against the Texans this season (4th-fewest in NFL), so it’s probably best if you leave Freeman on the bench and go in a different direction.

The line: Houston -3/45.5

Vegas notes: The Texans are 6-1-1 against the spread in their last eight games on grass, while the Buccaneers are 3-14 ATS in their last 17 games as a home underdog.

The pick: Texans -3 (I’ll buy it to HOU -2.5).

Brandon JacobsICONJacobs looked awesome last week vs. New England, but has a much tougher test in store for Week 10.

Brandon Jacobs, RB, New York Giants (at San Francisco): Jacobs did a terrific job at New England last Sunday in place of the injured Ahmad Bradshaw as the big bulldozer racked up 100 total yards and a touchdown on 22 touches. With Bradshaw out again this week, we’re sure many of you are already banking on another big day from Jacobs. Sorry to crash your party, but it ain’t happening. The 49ers currently lead the NFL in run defense (70.8 yds/gm) and are surrendering fewer fantasy points to opposing running backs this season than any other team in the league (10.4 pts/gm). An encore performance in Week 10 doesn’t look likely for the big man.

The line: San Francisco -3.5/42.5

Vegas notes: The Giants are 19-7 against the spread in their last 26 road games against a team with a winning record, while the 49ers are 8-0-1 ATS in their last nine games overall.

The pick: Giants +3.5

Reggie Wayne, WR, Indianapolis Colts (vs. Jacksonville): He hasn’t scored a touchdown since Week 1 and has failed to eclipse 75 receiving yards in a game in seven of his last eight starts. For those of you still holding out hope that Wayne will turn it around this season, it’s probably time to jump ship. In addition, it doesn’t help matters that the Jaguars are surrendering just 16.1 fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers this season (5th-fewest in NFL). There’s very little upside when it comes to the Indianapolis offense (or defense for that matter).

The line: Jacksonville -3/37.5

Vegas notes: The Jaguars are 5-1 against the spread in their last six games as a favorite, while the Colts are 0-8 ATS in their last eight games against a team with a losing record.

The pick: There’s nothing appealing about this game, but if I’m forced to choose, I’ll take the Jags -3 because they can play some defense.

Vernon Davis, TE, San Francisco 49ers (vs. NY Giants): In his last three games, Davis has caught a combined nine passes for 76 yards and zero touchdowns. That calculates out to a whopping 2.0 fantasy points per week when you break it down game by game. Don’t expect the Pro Bowl tight end to reverse the trend this Sunday against a New York Giants defense that is surrendering an average of only 6.7 fantasy points per game to opposing tight ends (6th-fewest in NFL).

The line: San Francisco -3.5/42.5

Vegas notes: The OVER is 12-3-1 in the Giants’ last 16 games following an against the spread win and 5-1 in the 49ers’ last six home games.

The pick: “There’s only one way to win in New York and that’s DE-FENSE!” (Giants -3.5)

Brian UrlacherUrlacher and the Bears look for revenge Sunday at Soldier.

Chicago Bears, D/ST (vs. Detroit): The Bears looked nasty on Monday night as they held Eagles quarterback Michael Vick to just 247 total yards and zero combined touchdowns in a 30-24 win in Philadelphia. VERY impressive, but don’t hold your breathe for a repeat performance Sunday, as the Monsters of the Midway welcome in a Detroit Lions offense that currently ranks third in the NFL in scoring (29.9 pts/gm) and is giving up an average of just 6.3 fantasy points per game to opposing D/STs. This should be a really good football game, but from a fantasy perspective, you may want to look for another defense to play in Week 10.

The line: Chicago -2.5/45

Vegas notes: The OVER is 6-0-1 in the Lions’ last seven road games and 4-0 in the Bears’ last four games as a home favorite.

The pick: OVER 45

Jay Cutler, QB, Chicago Bears (vs. Detroit Lions): Just like the Bears defense, Cutler put on an impressive display last Monday night in Philadelphia. But we can’t help but think back to Week 5 when the Detroit Lions limited the Chicago quarterback to just one touchdown pass while sacking him three times. Things are certainly looking up in Chicago, but we consider Cutler a “fringe” player for Week 10, meaning you can start him if you have no other options and sit him if you have a quarterback with a more favorable matchup. Remember, the Lions are giving up an average of just 15.5 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks this season (7th-fewest in NFL).

The line: Chicago -2.5/45

Vegas notes: Already covered above.

The pick: Already made above (Bears and the OVER).

Rashard Mendenhall, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers (at Cincinnati): Mendenhall may have found the end zone against the Ravens last week, but the guy is averaging only 59.1 rushing yards per game this season and just 3.9 yards per carry through eight games. Don’t be surprised if those numbers hold steady in Cincinnati this Sunday against a Bengals defense that currently ranks second in the NFL against the run (84.5 yds/gm) and is surrendering just 16.1 fantasy points per game to opposing running backs (7th-fewest in NFL). This game is going to be a good one.

The line: Pittsburgh -3/41.5

Vegas notes: The Steelers are 6-0 against the spread in their last six games following a straight-up loss, while the Bengals are 9-0 against the spread in their last nine games against AFC opponents. Something has to give.

The pick: I love what the Bengals are doing this season, but I’m taking the Steelers and the points in this one.

Brandon Marshall, WR, Miami Dolphins (vs. Washington): The Dolphins are coming off their first win of the season and Marshall is a big reason why, as the Pro Bowl wide receiver hauled in eight receptions for 106 yards and a touchdown at Kansas City last week. However, be advised that that was the only time Marshall has found the end zone over the last six games. Not only that, but for as bad as the Redskins have been this season, the team still ranks 11th in the NFL against the pass (218.8 yds/gm) and is surrendering an average of only 17.3 fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers (6th-fewest in NFL).

The line: Miami -4/37.5

Vegas notes: The Redskins haven’t covered a spread since October 2.

The pick: Miami -4

Hit me up on Twitter: @JoeFortenbaugh

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