Week 10 Fantasy Football Matchups: Starts and Sits
By Chris Mangano (@ChrisMangano)
Welcome to our Week 10 matchups analysis and starts/sits column for fantasy football. We’ll be covering every matchup from every Sunday game to help you make the best decisions for your fantasy lineups. We’ll also be updating this as injury reports come in so check back often.
This is crunch time for most leagues so making the right start/sit decision is crucial. Lots of teams in must win mode and can’t afford to leave points on the bench. Let’s help you make the right choices and get the guys with the best matchups in your lineups.
I’ll be on Reddit each Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning to answer all your start/sit questions as well. You can also reach me directly on Twitter @ChrisMangano if you can’t wait.
Week 10 NFL Matchups – 1:00 PM ET Games
Important note and credits about data used in this article:
- All snap counts taken from Football Outsiders. Adjusted line yards also taken from Football outsiders.
- Success rate is taken from Sharp Football Stats (Warren Sharp).
- Wide receiver snap percentages and corner grades/stats are taken from Pro Football Focus.
Teams on bye: Ravens, Chiefs, Raiders, Eagles
Packers at Bears
Matchups We Love:
Matchups We Hate:
Brett Hundley (QB, GB)
Hundley looks completely lost on the field and seems scared to pull the trigger even when players are wide open downfield (hello, Jordy Nelson). The Bears present a brutal matchup as they rank 11th in yards per game allowed, fourth in touchdown percentage allowed and seventh in sack rate. Hundley will be facing tons of pressure and can’t even be considered a QB2 in this matchup.
Richard Rodgers (TE, GB)
With the Packers surprisingly cutting Martellus Bennett, Rodgers now becomes the teams defacto starting tight end. The matchup is tough as the Bears rank fourth in success rate on throws to tight ends and 14th in yards per attempt. Rodgers can’t be trusted in any format.
The Packers backfield appears to be a RBBC as Aaron Jones (RB, GB) and Ty Montgomery (RB, GB) each saw five carries in Week 9. Coach Mike McCarthy hinted this week that both would be used going forward. While the Bears are not a daunting matchup for running backs, neither can be trusted as more than flex plays at the moment until we get more clarity.
Davante Adams (WR, GB) led the team with 10 targets in the second start of Hundley’s career and seems to be his preferred option. Adams plays over 80% of his snaps on the outside and gets an OK matchup against the Bears outside corners who are allowing 1.49 PPR points per target. Unfortunately, Hundley drags down his value and Adams can’t be considered more than a WR3 on volume. Jordy Nelson (WR, GB) gets the better matchup as he lines up more in the slot, but it’s still not great. Overall the Bears allow 1.53 PPR points per target and Nelson has seen just 11 targets in Hundley’s two starts. Nelson is little more than a flex play this week. Randall Cobb (WR, GB) has the best matchup against Bears slot corners who are allowing 1.66 PPR points per target but he has just nine targets over Hundley’s two starts. He is barely a flex play in deep PPR formats.
Mitchell Trubisky (QB, CHI) is in a good spot against a Packers defense that ranks 20th in yards allowed per game, 16th in touchdown rate against and just 27th in sack rate. The problem is the Bears will likely lean on the ground game with Jordan Howard against a Packers team that can’t score points with Hundley at quarterback. Trubisky is a low-end QB2 play.
Jordan Howard (RB, CHI) now has 18 or more carries in each of his last six games and 20 or more in four. The Bears defense should have no trouble shutting down a Packers offense led by Brett Hundley, and Howard should once again see 20+ carries. The Packers are a good run-stopping unit, ranking eighth in adjusted line yards and 11th in yards per attempt, but have allowed four, top-12 scoring weeks. Howard is an easy RB1 play. Tarik Cohen (RB, CHI) now has just three targets in each of the last three games and just four carries over that span. Even against a unit that ranks 26th in success rate on throws to running backs, and 16th in yards per attempt, Cohen is barely flex-worthy in PPR formats.
Kendall Wright (WR, CHI) led the team with eight targets in Week 9 but had just 12 over the previous three games combined. Wright gets a good matchup against the Packers slot corners that have allowed six touchdowns and give up 1.94 PPR points per target. Still, Wright is a huge risk as his weekly usage is completely unpredictable. He is nothing more than a desperation flex play in deep PPR formats.
With Zach Miller done for the season, Dion Sims (TE, CHI) saw a season-high five targets but could only turn them into three catches for 15 yards. The matchup against the Packers is just OK as they rank 20th in success rate but second in yards per attempt and have yet to allow a top-12 scoring week to the position. Sims is barely on the TE2 radar.
Browns at Lions
Matchups We Love:
David Njoku (TE, CLE)
Njoku has now out-targeted Seth DeValve (TE, CLE) in three straight and has at least five in each of those games. The Lions rank 24th in success rate and dead last in yards per attempt on throws to tight ends. Njoku makes a high-end TE2 play this week.
Matthew Stafford (QB, DET)
Stafford has looked great this year and gets a great matchup against a Browns defense that ranks 17th in yards per game allowed, 29th in touchdown rate against and 19th in sack rate. They’ve allowed four top-seven fantasy performances in the last six weeks and Stafford should have no problem adding to that.
Eric Ebron (TE, DET)
Ebron has 10 targets over the last two games and seems to have taken back control of the tight end position on this offense. He’s in a great spot this week against a Browns defense that ranks 30th in success rate and has allowed a top-12 scoring week in six games. Ebron is a fringe TE1 play.
Matchups We Hate:
Ameer Abdullah (RB, DET)
Abdullah handled 21 carries on Monday night and five red-zone carries, but fumbled twice one of which was at the goal-line. It remains to be seen how those fumbles will impact his usage. Regardless, he draws one of the toughest defenses as the Browns rank second in adjusted line yards, yards per attempt and success rate against. They have held four running backs to finishes of 26th or worse and only three have cracked the top-19. Abdullah is a low-end RB2 in a tough spot.
DeShone Kizer (QB, CLE) gets a fine matchup against a Lions defense that ranks 27th in yards per game allowed and 22nd in sack rate, but does give up the seventh-lowest touchdown rate. Kizer has not been the answer for the Browns this year and whether that is due to the fact he has been mismanaged or talent doesn’t really matter for fantasy purposes. He is a low-end QB2 play.
Going into the Week 9 bye, Isaiah Crowell (RB, CLE) had out-carried Duke Johnson (RB, CLE) 28 to 13 and had as many targets (12). The matchup against the Lions is fine as they rank 23rd in adjusted line yards and have allowed four, top-10 scoring weeks. Against pass catching backs they rank 14th in success rate and 17th in yards per attempt, so both backs should be fine in that regards as well. Crowell can be viewed as a RB2 while Johnson is a flex play.
Ricardo Louis (WR, CLE) has at least six targets in five of his last six but has done very little with them. That trend could continue against the Lions outside corners who are holding opposing receivers to just 1.47 PPR points per target. Louis is best left on benches in this matchup.
Theo Riddick (RB, DET) could see more work if the coaching staff is worried about Adbullah’s fumbles, but he has just 17 carries over the last five games and just 20 targets. The Browns aren’t a great defense when it comes to stopping pass catching backs, ranking 19th in success rate and 25th in yards per attempt. Riddick remains a flex in PPR formats.
Golden Tate (WR, DET) has now seen eight and nine targets since returning from injury and draws an OK matchup against the Browns slot corners who are allowing 1.5 PPR points per target but have given up just one touchdown. Tate is always a great start in PPR formats and should be one again this week. Marvin Jones (WR, DET) has seen 11 targets in each of the last two games but will likely draw shadow coverage with the return of Jason McCourty. McCourty has been great this year allowing just one touchdown and 1.57 PPR points per target. Despite the tough matchup Jones is still a solid WR2 play.
Steelers at Colts
Matchups We Love:
Ben Roethlisberger (QB, PIT)
Roethlisberger has had an up-and-down season but could be up this week against a Colts defense that ranks 31st in yards per game allowed, 15th in touchdown percentage against and 23rd in sack rate. They have allowed five, top-12 quarterback finishes and seven, top-14 finishes. Roethlisberger is a low-end QB1 with upside.
Le’Veon Bell (RB, PIT)
Over the last five games Bell has carry totals of: 35, 15, 32, 35 and 25. He could push for another 30+ carry day in a game the Steelers should win easily. The Colts rank 19th in adjusted line yards and 22nd in yards per attempt, and have given up three, top-7 running back finishes over their last four games. Bell is a locked-in, must start.
Antonio Brown (WR, PIT)
Brown gets a Colts defense that just allowed a six catch, 86 yard, one touchdown day to DeAndre Hopkins and will be without their best corner Vontae Davis who was cut after opting for groin surgery. Brown has at least nine targets in every game and is an easy start this week and could finish as overall WR1.
Matchups We Hate:
Jacoby Brissett (QB, IND)
While Brissett’s legs give him a nice weekly floor, he may struggle through the air as the Steelers rank 2nd in both yards allowed per game and touchdown percentage against, and third in sack rate. Despite the tough matchup, Brissett is still a solid QB2 play.
T.Y. Hilton (WR, IND)
Hilton had a monster performance against an awful Texans secondary in Week 9, but now has to go against one of the toughest secondaries in the league. On the season the Steelers have allowed just two touchdowns and are giving up 1.35 PPR points per target. Hilton has been boom/bust this year and this is likely a bust spot.
Jack Doyle (TE, IND)
Doyle has been an absolute stud at the position and now has seven or more targets in each of the last five games. While he should once again be heavily targeted, he may find it tough against a Steelers defense that ranks eighth in success rate and first in yards per attempt. They’ve only allowed two top-12 finishes on the season and Doyle will need to see a lot of volume to make it a third. Still, in the current tight end landscape Doyle has to be considered a fringe TE1 play.
JuJu Smith-Schuster (WR, PIT) exploded for 10 targets catching seven passes for 193 yards and one touchdown. While he has etched out a solid role for himself in this offense, it would be a little much to expect another 10 target outing for a player who only had 22 targets over the previous five games. The matchup is just OK as the Colts actually do well against slot corners and have yet to give up a touchdown. Smith-Schuster is a WR3 play.
Jesse James (TE, PIT) has just 15 targets over the last five games but is in a good spot against a Colts defense that ranks 18th in success rate and 23rd in yards per attempt. Still, with his low usage in the offense he isn’t a guy you want to be starting in any format.
Chargers at Jaguars
Matchups We Love:
Melvin Gordon (RB, LAC)
The Jaguars remain one of the league’s worst run-stopping units ranking 31st in yards allowed per game and yards per attempt. Gordon has at least 18 carries in three of the last four games and is setup for another big week. He’s an easy RB1 start.
Leonard Fournette (RB, JAC)
Fournette was surprisingly suspended by his team just before the game but is expected to be back on the field this week. In the three prior games Fournette played he saw 24, 28 and 21 carries and there is no reason to think he won’t see 20+ once again facing a Chargers defense that ranks 29th in adjusted line yards and 30th in yards per attempt, and has given up five, top-12 performances in their last seven games. Fournette is a must-start RB1.
Matchups We Hate:
Phillip Rivers (QB, LAC)
You know the drill by now. If you have a quarterback or wide receiver playing the Jags you bench them. The Jags rank first in yards allowed per game, touchdown percentage against and sack rate. The best finish against them is QB19. Rivers is a risky start and can’t be considered more than a QB2.
Keenan Allen (WR, LAC)
Allen lines up in the slot on half his routes, but also spends over 30% of the time on the left. That means he will avoid Jalen Ramsey most of the day but that doesn’t make things much easier. A.J. Bouye and slot corner Aaron Colvin have yet to allow a touchdown on the season and are giving up just 1.15 PPR points per target. Allen can’t be cosidered more than a WR3 in this matchup.
Tyrell Williams (WR, LAC), Travis Benjamin (WR, LAC)
The Jaguars on the year have given up just one touchdown through the air and are allowing just 1.08 PPR points per target. Williams and Benjamin should both be benched this week if possible.
Hunter Henry (TE, LAC)
After seeing 20 targets over a three game span, Henry saw just two before the team’s Week 9 bye. He should definitely be involved more heavily but will find things tough against a Jaguars defense that ranks 12th in success rate and 15th in yards per attempt, and has not allowed a tight end finish higher than 13th since Week 2. Still, even in a tough spot, Henry should be viewed as a fringe TE1.
Blake Bortles (QB, JAC)
The Chargers rank eighth in yards per game allowed, 10th in touchdown percentage against, and fourth in sack rate. Bortles is never a guy you want to rely on but things could be even worse in this matchup. It’s likely the Jags will rely on the run game and that makes Bortles nothing more than a low-end QB2.
Even with Fournette back, Chris Ivory (RB, JAC) still holds low-end flex value in deeper leagues as he saw 19 carries and 13 targets in the last three games Fournette played. In such a good matchup he could do enough damage with his limited usage.
Marqise Lee (WR, JAC) is likely to see shadow coverage from Casey Hayward, who struggled early but has turned it on of late. Still, Hayward is allowing 1.65 PPR points per target so this is by no means a complete avoid spot. Lee has seen 10, 6 and 12 targets over his last three games so the volume should be there. He’s a WR3 play. Allen Hurns (WR, JAC) has seen more than four targets just once over the last four games and could once again be the odd-man out in a game the Jaguars will try to control on the ground. His matchup is just OK as the Chargers slot corners allow just 1.45 PPR points per target. Hurns is a flex in deep PPR formats only.
Marcedes Lewis (TE, JAC) is coming off a six target game, but had just 11 targets combined over the previous four. He’s in an OK spot here as the Chargers rank 19th in success rate and 24th in yards per attempt, but have allowed just four, top-24 scoring weeks. Lewis is barely a TE2 play in deep formats.
Saints at Bills
Matchups We Love:
LeSean McCoy (RB, BUF)
While the Saints rank 12th in adjusted line yards, but rank 24th in yards per attempt and have allowed six, top-12 finishes including three in a row. McCoy should have no problem bouncing back from his poor Week 9 performance and is a locked in RB1.
Jordan Matthews (WR, BUF)
Matthews should continue to play out of the slot and gets a great matchup against the Saints slot corners that are allowing 1.94 PPR points per target. Matthews saw eight targets in Week 9 as the Bills were in catch-up mode, but just seven total the previous two weeks. Even in a plus matchup he remains nothing more than a flex play.
Matchups We Hate:
Mark Ingram (RB, NO)
Ingram only saw 16 carries in Week 9, his lowest total since the Adrian Peterson trade, but still was the featured back over Alvin Kamara. He did get just one target which could be a concern going forward, but we’re willing to chalk this game up as a blip. Regardless, the matchup is tough as the Bills rank sixth in adjusted line yards and have held six running back units to finishes of 20th or worse. You can’t bench Ingram but owners should temper expectations.
Tyrod Taylor (QB, BUF)
Taylor is another quarterback who has a safe weekly floor due to his running ability, but draws a tough test against a Saints defense that ranks 12th in yards allowed per game, eighth in touchdown percentage against and ninth in sack rate. They have allowed quarterback finishes of 19th, 22nd and 21st over the last three. Taylor has been a great option this season and even in a tough matchup has fringe QB1 value.
Kelvin Benjamin (WR, BUF), Zay Jones (WR, BUF)
It’s still a guessing game as to how things will shake up at the receiver position for the Bills, but best guess is Benjamin takes most of the work from Deonte Thompson (WR, BUF) while Jones continues to work on the other side. Regardless of who it is, the matchup is tough as the Saints outside corners are allowing just 1.37 PPR points per target. Both Benjamin and Jones can’t be considered more than flex plays this week.
Charles Clay (TE, NO)
It looks like Clay is set to return this week, but unfortunately for his owners he’s in a brutal spot as the Saints rank fifth in success rate and third in yards per attempt. They’ve allowed just one finish higher than 13th all year and it will be tough for Clay to make it a second. In his first game back from injury Clay should be viewed as a high-end TE2.
After being one of the top defenses through the first five weeks, the Bills are trending in the wrong direction. They now rank 26th in yards allowed per game and 28th in sack rate, though they are third best in touchdown percentage against. Drew Brees (QB, NO) hasn’t been asked to do as much this year and that has hurt his fantasy value, but he still has to be considered a solid QB1 play.
Alvin Kamara (RB, NO) may have an easier time of it against a Bills defense that ranks 27th in success rate on throws to running backs and 20th in yards per attempt. Kamara has seen seven or more targets in three of the last five and could do so again if the ground game struggles.
Michael Thomas (WR, NO) continues to be a consistent fantasy producer at the receiver position and now has 11 targets in three of the last five and at least six in each. It seems likely the Bills top corner E.J. Gaines will return this week which would make things tougher for Thomas. With Gaines in the lineup the Bills are allowing 1.5 PPR points per target versus 1.67 without Gaines. Regardless, Thomas is a solid WR1 play. Ted Ginn (WR, NO) has seen just 4, 7, 4 and 5 targets over the last four but he is making the most of them. While this is by no means a great matchup, Ginn will have chances and is a solid flex play.
Jets at Buccaneers
Matchups We Love:
Josh McCown (QB, NYJ)
McCown has now scored 15 or more fantasy points in four straight games and at least 14 points in every game but two. The matchup couldn’t be better this week as the Buccaneers rank 30th in yards allowed per game, 25th in touchdown percentage against and 32nd in sack rate. McCown makes a great streaming option this week and should be in the low, QB1 discussion.
Robby Anderson (WR, NYJ), Jermaine Kearse (WR, NYJ)
Anderson has just one more target than Kearse over the last three but he would be the preferred play due to his deeper routes. Both are in good spots, however, as the Buccaneers allow the third most points to receivers and are allowing 1.7 PPR points per target. Anderson is a WR3 play while Kearse is a flex.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins (TE, NYJ)
Seferian-Jenkins surprisingly saw only two targets in Week 9 after seeing at least five in four straight games. He should once again be more involved against a Buccaneers defense that ranks 25th in success rate and 21st in yards per attempt. Jenkins is still a solid TE1 play.
Adam Humphries (WR, TB)
Humphries will get a boost in Week 10 not only from Mike Evans being out, but from Ryan Fitzpatrick starting at quarterback. In the second half last week only Evans was targeted more by Fitzpatrick. The matchup helps too as the Jets slot corners are allowing 2.15 PPR points per target. Humphries is a safe flex play in PPR formats with big upside.
Cameron Brate (TE, TB)
Brate had just one catch for nine yards in a tough spot on Sunday, but is set to bounce-back against a Jets defense that ranks 16th in success rate and 17th in yards per attempt, but has given up four straight top-12 scoring weeks. Brate is an easy TE1 play.
Matchups We Hate:
It appears Matt Forte (RB, NYJ) has broken away somewhat from the three-headed committee that plagued this backfield and he’s coming off a 14 carry, four target game. The matchup with the Buccaneers is good as they rank 18th in adjusted line yards and 16th in yards per attempt. They also struggle a bit against pass catching backs ranking 21st in success rate and 20th in yards per attempt. Forte is pushing towards low-end RB2 territory especially in PPR formats. Bilal Powell (RB, NYJ) broke some big runs with his limited opportunities (nine carries, zero targets) but can’t be considered more than a flex play until his usage increases.
The Buccaneers decided to shut down Jameis Winston (QB, TB) for a “few weeks” and that will leave Ryan Fitzpatrick (QB, TB) as the team’s starter. The matchup is a plus as the Jets rank 19th in yards allowed per game, 28th in touchdown percentage against and 24th in sack rate. They have given up seven, top-12 scoring weeks as well. Fitzpatrick is a solid streaming option and a high-end QB2 play.
After seeing double-digit carries in every game this year, Doug Martin (RB, TB) was limited to just eight as the Buccaneers played catch-up against the Saints. He should be relied upon more this week but draws a Jets team that is no easy matchup ranking ninth in adjusted line yards and 12th in yards per attempt, but have allowed five, top-10 scoring weeks. Martin should be considered a RB2 play.
Chris Godwin (WR, TB) appears set to replace Mike Evans for one week and both he and DeSean Jackson (WR, TB) are in good spots as the Jets outside corners allow 1.84 PPR points per target and have given up 10 touchdowns. The problem is Ryan Fitzpatrick may just play check-down all game which would really hamper both of their values, especially Jackson. Jackson should be viewed as a WR3 play while Godwin is a risky flex start.
Vikings at Redskins
Matchups We Love:
Jerick McKinnon (RB, MIN)
While the Redskins are an OK matchup on the ground, they are terrible against pass catching backs, ranking 31st in success rate and 19th in yards per attempt. McKinnon has seen at least 14 carries in the four games since Dalvin Cook’s injury but more importantly, he’s seen 25 targets over that stretch. McKinnon is a high-end RB2 with upside.
Kyle Rudolph (TE, MIN)
Rudolph has 33 targets over the last four games and should continue to be heavily involved against a Redskins defense that ranks 27th in success rate and 31st in yards per attempt. They’ve allowed five top-12 finishes on the season and Rudolph should make it a sixth. He’s a solid TE1 play.
Matchups We Hate:
Stefon Diggs (WR, MIN)
Diggs should be healthy coming out of the bye but gets a tough matchup against the Redskins outside corners who have allowed just two touchdowns and 1.28 PPR points per target on the year. Diggs is a must start but owners should temper expectations.
Kirk Cousins (QB, WAS) has had two disappointing fantasy games in a row and could make it a third against a Vikings defense that ranks seventh in yards allowed per game, fifth in touchdown percentage against and fifth in sack rate. They’ve given up only two, top-12 finishes on the year. Cousins can’t be considered more than a high QB2.
Rob Kelley (RB, WAS)
Kelley saw his highest carry total since returning from injury with 14, but was able to get just 18 yards against a Seahawks defense that has improved against the run of late. He did get two touchdowns to save his day but draws another tough matchup against a Vikings defense that ranks sixth in yards per attempt and has allowed just one, top-12 week on the season. Kelley can’t be considered more than a RB3.
Chris Thompson (RB, WAS)
Thompson has 25 targets over the last four games but may find things difficult against a Vikings defense that ranks second in success rate on throws to running backs and in yards per attempt. Thompson is a great weekly start in PPR formats but can’t be considered more than a RB2 in this matchup.
Jordan Reed (TE, WAS), Vernon Davis (TE, WAS)
Reed has been doing individual drills in practice thus far so there is real concern he won’t suit up for the second straight game. If he doesn’t, Davis will once again take over as the team’s number one tight end. Whoever does end up playing will be in a tough spot against a Vikings defense that ranks 11th in success rate and fourth in yards per attempt. If Reed starts he can be considered a low-end TE1, while Davis would be a high-end TE2 if Reed sits.
Case Keenum (QB, MIN) is coming off an 18 point fantasy game before the bye and gets a Redskins defense that ranks 16th in yards allowed per game and 18th in touchdown percentage against. They have allowed four, top-6 finishes on the season. Keenum should be considered a high QB2.
Latavius Murray (RB, MIN) has seen 15, 18 and 19 carries over the last three weeks but has been extremely ineffective and it’s curious why the Vikings continue to use him so much. The Redskins are an OK matchup ranking 28th in adjusted line yards but 10th in yards per attempt, and have only allowed three, top-12 weeks on the season. Murray can’t be considered much more than a RB3.
With Diggs back, Adam Thielen (WR, MIN) returned to his slot role and will have an OK matchup against the Redskins slot corners who allow just 1.41 PPR points per target. Thielen has seen double-digit targets in three straight, but could see that trend in as Diggs returns to health. Still, he is a solid WR2 play.
Jamison Crowder (WR, WAS) has been limited in practice and is considered day-to-day with a hamstring injury. He saw a season-high 13 targets in Week 8 before missing Week 9 and now has at least five targets in three straight. The matchup is just OK as the Vikings slot corners allow 1.5 PPR points per target. Still, with no true number one option Crowder would make a nice flex play if he suits up. Josh Doctson (WR, WAS) has seen more than three targets just twice in the last five games but seems to be trending up. The Vikings outside corners do a good job against receivers giving up just 1.51 PPR points per target. Doctson remains nothing more than a low-end flex play.
Bengals at Titans
Matchups We Love:
A.J. Green (WR, CIN)
Green is coming off his worse game of the season that culminated in him being ejected in the second half after fighting Jalen Ramsey. Things should be much better this week against the Titans outside corners who have allowed eight touchdowns and are giving up 1.65 PPR points per target. Green is an easy must-start.
Delanie Walker (TE, TEN)
Walker returned from his one game absence and saw five targets, catching all five for 71 yards. He could improve on that performance against a Bengals defense that ranks 31st in success rate and 28th in yards per attempt. Walker is an easy TE1 play.
Matchups We Hate:
Joe Mixon (RB, CIN)
Despite Jeremy Hill missing Sunday’s game, Joe Mixon (RB, CIN) had just 13 carries and one target. He now has only 31 carries in the three games since the team’s bye after having 32 in the previous two games. On the plus side, he has completely taken over this backfield as even Gio Bernard (RB, CIN) is barely getting looks. The downside is Mixon has not been very good and now gets a Titans defense that ranks fourth in yards per attempt and just two, top-12 scoring weeks. Mixon is barely in the RB2 discussion.
Tyler Kroft (TE, CIN)
Kroft has been great in replacement of Tyler Eifert and has scored at least 7.8 PPR points in each of the last five games, ranking TE8 over that stretch. The matchup against the Titans is tough as they rank sixth in success rate and yards per attempt. Kroft is a big part of the offense but may struggle in a tough spot. He should be viewed as a solid TE2 play.
Marcus Mariota (QB, TEN)
Mariota has not lived up to the expectations from 2016 and that could continue against a Bengals defense that ranks fifth in yards allowed per game, ninth in touchdown percentage against and 11th in sack rate. They have only allowed three, top-12 quarterback finishes on the season. Mariota is can’t be considered more than a QB2 in this matchup.
Rishard Matthews (WR, TEN), Corey Davis (WR, TEN)
Matthews saw a team-high seven targets in Week 9 while Davis saw five in his first game since Week 1. Davis could see his workload increase but both he and Matthews are in a tough spot against the Bengals outside corners who are allowing just 1.39 PPR points per target. Matthews should still be considered a WR3 while Davis is a flex play.
Andy Dalton (QB, CIN) has been sacked on 9.23% of his drop backs but could have a clean pocket against a Titans defense that ranks 31st in sack rate. They give up the 18th most yards per game and the 22nd highest touchdown percentage. Dalton is in a good spot and can be considered a fringe QB1 play.
Coming out of the bye the Titans used more of a split as DeMarco Murray (RB, TEN) got nine carries and two targets while Derrick Henry (RB, TEN) got eight and two. The Bengals are a good matchup as they rank 26th in adjusted line yards and have allowed four, top-9 running back scoring weeks. Murray has seemed to be the preferred option for this team but both players can’t be considered more than high-end flex plays.
Eric Decker (WR, TEN) could build on his Week 9 performance as he draws the best matchup against the Bengals slot corners who are allowing 1.63 PPR points per target. Still, Decker remains the fourth option in this passing game and is nothing more than a flex play.
NFL Week 10 Matchups – 4:00 PM ET Games
Texans at Rams
Matchups We Love:
Lamar Miller (RB, HOU)
The Rams are one of the friendliest run defenses ranking 28th in yards per attempt while having allowed four, top-6 scoring weeks. Unfortunately with the loss of DeShaun Watson, Miller is going to be in a lot of negative game script and will be facing plenty of eight man boxes. Thus even in good matchups his value will be limited and he can’t be considered more than a RB2.
Jared Goff (QB, LAR)
Goff has posted 19 and 28 fantasy points over his last two games and gets a Texans defense that ranks 21st in yards allowed per game, 31st in touchdown percentage and 14th in sack rate. They’ve allowed finishes of QB1, QB4, QB1 and QB9 in four of the last six games. Goff is a solid QB1 play this week.
Robert Woods (WR, LAR)
Woods had a huge Week 9 against a terrible Giants defense and gets another great matchup against a Texans defense that just gave up a five catch, 175 yard, two touchdown game to T.Y. Hilton. The Texans outside corners are giving up 1.92 PPR points per target making Woods a solid WR2 start with upside.
Cooper Kupp (WR, LAR)
Kupp tied Woods for the team lead in targets on Sunday and now has 33 over his last five games. He is in a great spot against the Texans slot corners who allow 1.98 PPR points per target but have allowed just one touchdown. Still, Kupp is an easy flex start who could push into WR3 territory.
Matchups We Hate:
Tom Savage (QB, HOU)
Savage didn’t look particularly great against a terrible Colts secondary, and now has to face a Rams defense that ranks ninth in yards allowed per game, 11th in touchdown percentage against and fifth in sack rate. Only two quarterbacks have a top-12 finish against them while five have finishes of 20th or worse. Savage is barely a QB2 play in deep formats.
Todd Gurley (RB, LAR)
Gurley has been an absolute beast and has returned to his 2015 form that made him a top draft pick last season. He does draw a tough matchup this week, however, against a Texans defense that ranks fourth in adjusted line yards and third in yards per attempt, and has held five running back units to finishes of 22nd or worse. Still, Gurley is a locked-in must start even in a tough matchup.
DeAndre Hopkins (WR, HOU) is likely to see shadow coverage from Trumaine Johnson, but Johnson is beatable as he allows 1.42 PPR points per target but has yet to give up a touchdown catch. Hopkins has seen a 35% target market share in games Tom Savage has started and finished, so the targets will be there but the efficiency will not. Regardless, Hopkins is a weekly must start. Will Fuller (WR, HOU) was second in targets with eight but had just two catches for 32 yards. Things just aren’t as easy without DeShaun Watson, obviously, and the Rams do a good job on outside receivers having allowed just one touchdown and 1.4 PPR points per target. Fuller can’t be considered more than a flex play with Tom Savage under center. Bruce Ellington (WR, HOU) could be emerging as Savage’s number two favorite target as he saw a season-high eight. He was only able to catch three for 22 yards, however, and remains nothing more than a player to keep your eye on.
Ryan Griffin (TE, HOU) has just two targets over the last two games and will likely lose more targets and playing time with the expected return of C.J. Fiedorowicz (TE, HOU). The Rams are one of the toughest defenses against the tight end as well, ranking third in success rate and eighth in yards per attempt. Neither Griffin or Fiedorowicz are worth a start this week.
Cowboys at Falcons
Matchups We Love:
Devonta Freeman (RB, ATL)
Since the team’s Week 5 bye, Freeman has seen carry totals of just 9, 12, 12, and 11 and 15 total targets. This could be a spot were the Falcons rely on the run game more as the Cowboys rank 24th in adjusted line yards and 26th in yards per attempt. Freeman is a low-end RB1 play this week.
Julio Jones (WR, ATL)
Jones has 13 and 12 targets in two of his last three, and dropped what would have been an easy 39 yard touchdown in Week 9. He could get a chance to make up for that against a Cowboys secondary that has given up nine touchdowns to outside receivers and is allowing 1.82 PPR points per target. Jones is an easy WR1 play.
Matchups We Hate:
Jason Witten (TE, DAL)
Witten has only 10 targets through the last three games, but could see a bump especially if Bryant can’t play. He’s in a tough spot, however, as the Falcons rank second in success rate and ninth in yards per attempt. Witten is nothing more than a TE2 play with the tough matchup.
Mohamed Sanu (WR, ATL)
Sanu has been a great play for the past few weeks but may struggle against the Cowboys slot corners who have allowed just one touchdown on the year and are giving up 0.99 PPR points per target. Sanu has 20 targets over the last three games but can’t be viewed as more than a flex in a tough spot.
Dak Prescott (QB, DAL) has once again been great in 2017 but draws just an OK matchup against a Falcons defense that ranks 10th in yards allowed per game and 14th in touchdown percentage against. They’ve only allowed three, top-12 finishes on the year but no quarterback has finished worse than 18th. Prescott is a locked-in weekly must start.
Well it’s official (I think), Ezekiel Elliott (RB, DAL) will be suspended and not eligible to return until Week 16. In his absence the Cowboys will likely use some sort of committee led by Alfred Morris (RB, DAL) with Darren McFadden (RB, DAL) mixing in and Rob Smith (RB, DAL) used in the passing game. The matchup is good as the Falcons rank 21st in adjusted line yards and 19th in yards per attempt, and have allowed four, top-12 scoring weeks with no unit finishing worse than 17th. Still, until we get more clarity Morris can’t be considered more than a low-end RB2, while McFadden is a flex and Smith should likely be benched.
Dez Bryant (WR, DAL) is dealing with a knee/ankle injury (depends who you listen too) but insists he will play. If he does he is in a good spot against the Falcons outside corners who are allowing 1.63 PPR points per game and have given up five touchdowns. He is a must start if he plays. If Bryant sits, Terrance Williams (WR, DAL) will get a boost though he is dealing with his own knee injury but looks on track to play. If Bryant is out he can be considered a WR3 but he does offer some low-end flex value even if Bryant suits up. Cole Beasley (WR, DAL) saw six targets for just the third time in the last five games but could be in line for more work as the Cowboys cope with the loss of Elliott. The Falcons do a good job against slot receivers having yet to give up a touchdown and allowing just 1.44 PPR points per target. Beasley is a risky flex start.
Matt Ryan (QB, ATL) has been the biggest disappointment at the quarterback position but gets a good matchup against a Cowboys defense that ranks 15th in yards allowed per game and 21st in touchdown percentage against, but does rank sixth best in sack rate. Ryan is a high-end QB2 play.
Tevin Coleman (RB, ATL) saw just five carries and two targets in Week 9 but could be more involved against a bad Cowboys run-stopping unit. He remains a viable flex play.
Austin Hooper (TE, ATL) now has six targets in each of the last two games and seems to be getting more involved in the game plan. The Cowboys rank 26th in success rate and 18th in yards per attempt, but have allowed just one, top-12 scoring week. Hooper can be considered a high-end TE2.
Giants at 49ers
Matchups We Love:
Eli Manning (QB, NYG)
Manning is in a good spot against a 49ers defense that ranks 23rd in yards allowed per game, 26th in touchdown percentage against and just 25th in sack rate. They have allowed finishes of QB1, QB1, QB8 and QB19 (Drew Stanton) over the last three games. Manning is an easy QB2 play who could push into the QB1 range this week.
Orleans Darkwa (RB, NYG)
Darkwa now has 21, 9 and 16 carries over the last three games and has taken firm control of this backfield. The 49ers rank 20th in adjusted line yards and 21st in yards per attempt, and have allowed a top-12 scoring week in every game but two. Darkwa may have trouble cracking the top-12 this week but he is a solid RB2 play.
Sterling Shepard (WR, NYG)
Shepard returned from injury and finishes second behind Evan Engram with nine targets. He is the clear number one receiver now and continued to operate primarily from the slot. That gives him a good matchup against the 49ers slot corners who are allowing 1.63 PPR points per target. Shepard is a solid WR2 play.
Tavarres King (WR, NYG)
King finished third on the team with six targets and could be emerging as the number two receiver along side Shepard. If he sees another six targets he could once again produce against the 49ers outside corners who have given up eight touchdowns and are allowing 1.71 PPR points per target. King is a risky flex start with upside.
C.J. Beathard (QB, SF)
Congrats Giants, you have now overtaken the Buccaneers as the friendliest pass defense on the planet. The Giants rank 29th in yards allowed per game, 31st in touchdown percentage against and 30th in sack rate. Getting Janoris Jenkins back will help, but this is a defense that has allowed QB7, QB8, QB8, QB4 and QB1 over the last five games. Beathard makes a safe QB2 play and has big upside.
Marquise Goodwin (WR, SF)
Goodwin now has eight targets in two of the last three games and could once again see eight or more as the 49ers new number one receiver. He gets a great matchup against a Giants secondary, that even with the return of Janoris Jenkins, has given up eight touchdowns and is allowing 1.7 PPR points per target. Goodwin is a WR3 with upside.
Aldrick Robinson (WR, SF)
Robinson tied Goodwin with eight targets and is in an even better spot as he’ll get chances against the Giants slot corners who are allowing 2.22 PPR points per target. Robinson is a better play in PPR formats and is a solid WR3 start.
Garrett Celek (TE, SF)
Early in the week it was announced that George Kittle (TE, SF) would not play which leaves Celek as the team starting tight end. Celek is not a guy you want to rely on, but he gets a great matchup this week against a Giants defense that has allowed a top-12 finish in every single game. Celek is a great streaming option for those in need and is a fringe TE1 in this matchup.
Matchups We Hate:
Evan Engram (TE, NYG) now has seven, 10 and 12 targets in the three games without Odell Beckham, Jr. and continues to be a weekly must start at the position. The 49ers are a good defense against tight ends ranking eighth in success rate and 10th in yards per attempt, but have allowed four straight, top-12 finishes. Engram is a solid TE1 start.
Carlos Hyde (RB, SF) appeared to be the biggest benificiary of the Pierre Garcon injury as he led the team with 11 targets in Week 9 while adding 12 carries. The Giants rank 22nd in adjusted line yards and 18th in yards per attempt, and do a good job stopping pass catching backs as well ranking fourth in success rate. Still, Hyde is a must start and is in the RB1 discussion.
NFL Week 10 Matchups – Sunday Night Football
Patriots at Broncos
Matchups We Love:
Brandin Cooks (WR, NE)
Cooks has seen seven or more targets in four of the last six, and could get a boost with Chris Hogan (WR, NE) expected to miss at least this week. The Broncos outside corners have given up seven touchdowns and are allowing 1.64 PPR points per target. Cooks is a solid start this week and could push towards double-digit targets.
Danny Amendola (WR, NE)
Amendola has at least five targets in five of the last six games and could also get a boost with Hogan out. The Broncos slot corners are allowing 1.79 PPR points per target and Amendola looks like a safe flex play in PPR formats.
Rob Gronkowski (TE, NE)
Gronk has 26 targets over the last three games and gets a great matchup against a Broncos defense that ranks 27th in success rate, 29th in yards per attempt and has allowed five, top-5 scoring weeks. Gronk is a locked-in must start.
C.J. Anderson (RB, DEN)
Anderson’s usage has taken a hit of late as the Broncos have been in negative game script. They will likely be in negative script again this week though the matchup is good as the Patriots rank dead last in both adjusted line yards and yards per attempt. Still, without a locked-in workload Anderson can’t be considered more than a low-end RB2.
Demaryius Thomas (WR, DEN)
As pointed out by yours truly on twitter, in 2015 in the eight games Brock Osweiler attempted at least 20 passes, Thomas was on a 88 catch, 1,136 yard, nine touchdown pace. In his first game in 2017 with Osweiler, Thomas went for eight catches, 70 yards and his first touchdown of the season. While he is likely to spend most of the game being shadowed by Stephon Gilmore, it’s a matchup Thomas should win as Gilmore is allowing 1.97 PPR points per target. Thomas is a high-end WR2 play.
Matchups We Hate:
Dion Lewis (RB, NE)
Lewis has been trending up for weeks having seen his carries increase from seven in Week 6 to 11 in Week 7, 13 in Week 8 and 15 in Week 9. He should continue to operate as the lead back but is in a brutal spot against a Broncos defense that ranks third in adjusted line yards and fifth in yards per attempt. No running back unit has finished inside the top-12 against them and Lewis likely won’t either. He can’t be considered more than a flex this week.
James White (RB, NE), Rex Burkhead (RB, NE)
White had just one carry in Week 9 and lost some targets to Burkhead, who actually out-targeted White seven to six. The Broncos do an excellent job against pass catching backs ranking 10th in success rate and third in yards per attempt. With White and Burkhead splitting the passing down work both are low-end flex plays in deep PPR leagues.
How quickly things change in the NFL. The Broncos, once a team you couldn’t throw on, is now just an average pass defense. That is good news for Tom Brady (QB, NE) as he’ll face a defense that is giving up just the fourth fewest yards per game, but ranks dead last in touchdown percentage against and just 15th in sack rate. Carson Wentz just torched them for four touchdowns. While Brady likely won’t repeat that he is still a must start QB1.
The Patriots defense has been trending in the right direction, but this is still a good spot for Brock Osweiler (QB, DEN). The Patriots are still allowing the most yards per game, and rank 27th in touchdown percentage against and 26th in sack rate. After allowing a top-12 finish in five of the first six, they haven’t allowed a finish better than 12th. Osweiler could rack up garbage time points but is best left on benches if possible.
Devontae Booker (RB, DEN) has received six carries in each of the last two games, but just three targets each after seeing 10 the first two games he played. The Patriots struggle against the run and against pass catching backs, but with such a small role Booker is nothing more than a flex play in PPR formats.
Emmanuel Sanders (WR, DEN) saw just five targets in Osweiler’s first start and likely takes a bigger hit with him under center. Still, the matchup is good as the Patriots corners allow 1.77 PPR points per game. Unfortunately with Osweiler at the helm Sanders has to be considered more of a WR3 play.
A.J. Derby (TE, DEN) now has four or more targets in four of the last five games and gets a good matchup against a Patriots defense that ranks 29th in success rate and 16th in yards per attempt. They’ve allowed five, top-12 scoring weeks though you shouldn’t expect Derby to add to that total. Still, he makes a solid TE2 play.