Carolina Panthers

Return of stars from week off offers fantasy boost

You’ll see a theme of strong plays this week for players returning from a bye, both with the extra week to prepare and many with solid matchups.

Look for Calvin Johnson to return to fantasy dominance, making Matthew Stafford a strong play this week. Stafford averaged 312 yards passing and 2 TDs per game the past two games without Johnson. Stafford has yet to have a 3-TD game this year but I think he gets one here.

Eddie Lacy has scored a touchdown in every game against the Bears in his NFL career, and Lacy pounded them for 150 yards on 22 carries the last time he faced the Bears at home. Look for Lacy to get his first 20-carry game of the season this week.

Julio Jones should get back to big stats this week. Jones has owned Tampa Bay in his NFL career, averaging 5.6 receptions and 111 yards per game with 5 TDs in five games. Tampa Bay is fourth-worst in fantasy points per game against wide receivers.

Last week’s lineup was a winner in my 20-man league – let’s keep the streak going. My Week 10 FanDuel fantasy football lineup: QB Matt Ryan ($7,800), RB Ronnie Hillman ($7,400), RB Bobby Rainey ($6,700), WR Calvin Johnson ($8,800), WR Julio Jones ($8,000), WR Mike Evans ($6,600), TE Mychael Rivera ($5,700), K Matt Bryant ($4,500), Green Bay Defense ($4,500).

Week 10 sleepers

With Nick Foles out in Philadelphia, Mark Sanchez – as crazy as it may sound – is an attractive option. Sanchez played well in relief last week completing 15 of 22 passes with two touchdowns while Carolina allows the sixth-most fantasy points per game to quarterbacks.

Bobby Rainey (Tampa Bay) could be a Top 10 running back this week. In his three starts this season, Rainey averages 17 carries for 90 rushing yards and 3.7 receptions with 43 receiving yards, while Atlanta has been the most fantasy-friendly team to opposing running backs.

Justin Hunter (Tennessee) also comes off a bye and a game where he saw the most targets (10) in his NFL career. The extra practice time should help rookie quarterback Zach Mettenberger. Starting Hunter is not for the faint of heart, but it only takes one big play for him, and the Ravens’ secondary has been burned deep consistently this year.

The stars seem to be aligning here with tight end Mychal Riveria (Oakland) if you are need to fill for Dwayne Allen, Antonio Gates, or Rob Gronkowski on a bye. Riveria has 15 receptions the past two weeks and the Raiders should quickly be in catch-up mode against Denver. No team is passing at a higher rate than the Raiders (67.2% of plays).