Driven Stronger: Murray, Wilson in line for big games


Even though plenty of players had extra motivation to perform last week, most of them failed to deliver in the stat sheets. Because of that, Russell Wilson and Mike Wallace are making repeat appearances in our "Driven Stronger" column, as they're extra motivated to perform. Looking ahead to Week 10, whether these players are looking to bounce-back, face a great matchup or want to silence critics, each name below should have a little extra something to propel them to the tops of the fantasy ranks.

Quarterback -- Russell Wilson

Wilson has had two 34-plus point performances in his last five games. Unfortunately, the other three have all been less than 14 points, including his last two. This is why I'm doubling down on Wilson as a "Driven Stronger" candidate for Week 10. Wilson and the Seahawks will need a win to keep pace in the NFC playoff race, and the offense will likely lean on him to carry the team to victory.

Running back -- DeMarco Murray

Even with Tony Romo out of the lineup, Murray posted his lowest fantasy output of the year with just nine fantasy points. It was the first time all season he failed to eclipse the 100-yard plateau, ending his streak at eight straight games with 100-plus rushing yards to start the season. With Romo's status in question, and the Cowboys desperately needing to get back on track, expect a big game from Murray.

Running back -- Justin Forsett

Forsett has been putting up decent fantasy numbers, but hasn't found the end zone since Week 5. With the Ravens needing a win to get back into the AFC playoff race, expect them to lean on their most effective running back to keep the pressure off of Joe Flacco. This might just be the week Forsett breaks his streak and finds paydirt once again.

Wide receiver -- Dez Bryant

Despite receiving 10 targets last week, Bryant only managed two catches for 15 yards and a garbage time touchdown. That's not good enough for Dez, and he'll be the first to tell you that. With the Cowboys in need of a win to end their two-game losing streak, expect Bryant to be featured early and often as he tries to do everything he can to get back on track.

Wide receiver -- Mike Wallace

After catching a touchdown in five of his first six games, Wallace has cooled off significantly. He hasn't scored a touchdown or accumulated more than 60 receiving yards in back-to-back weeks. Ryan Tannehill has been spreading the wealth among his targets, but with a tough matchup on the horizon against the Lions he could look more frequently to his top option in Wallace -- especially on the deep ball, which Wallace has been clamoring for lately.

Tight end -- Jordan Reed

Reed missed most of the first five games of the season due to injury, but in his first three games back he averaged over 60 yards per game. That number took a hit last week (Robert Griffin III's first back from injury), when Reed was only targeted once. Reed did catch that pass for 17 yards, but it was a farcry from the type of production you want/expect out of a TE1. Look for him to rebound as he and RGIII get more in sync.

Kicker -- Graham Gano

Gano was held to just four fantasy points as the Panthers offense struggled to generate scoring opportunities against the Saints on Thursday Night Football. Look for him to be motivated to rebound to keep the Panthers in the playoff hunt against the Eagles this weekend.

Defense/Special teams -- Denver Broncos

The Broncos defense surely knew they had a tough matchup against Tom Brady and the Patriots in Foxborough, but I'm guessing they didn't intend to put up minus-one fantasy points. This unit will be extra motivated to perform on Sunday against the Oakland Raiders and their talented, but turnover-prone young quarterback in Derek Carr.

Alex Gelhar is a fantasy and features writer at Follow him on Twitter @AlexGelhar.