It’s Week 10 and you know what that means: fantasy playoffs are just around the corner. Now, more than ever, is the time where you need to have big games to keep your playoff hopes and dreams alive; to keep jockeying for that number one seed; to keep proving to your leaguemates that you truly are the team to beat.
On the flipside, if you’re out of playoff contention and your team sucks and you’ve given up on fantasy football and decided that it’s just a dumb game for dumb people (as one is want to do when you’re currently sitting in a 1-8 hole because Le’Veon Bell and Leonard Fournette just haven’t played a lick of football this year) this time is still very important because no one wants to lose their league. Better to sneak into the playoffs only to be eviscerated then to try to sludge your way through the shitoffs (that’s what we call the anti-playoffs in one of my leagues) and try not to lose.
So to summarize, regardless of where your team is in the standings, this is an important time of year. I’m here to help.
Here are five players that I am SUPER high on this week and if they’re on your team, they need to be in your starting lineup. I made an effort to pick players that you might be debating on since a “must start” article is kinda dumb if it’s filled with RB1s and WR1s. To make things fun, I’ve including a ranking with each player where I think they’ll finish this weekend in PPR scoring.
Last week’s picks: 3-2
Season’s picks: 5-10
I can build on this, bring on Week 10!
RB Duke Johnson vs Atlanta Falcons
Week 10 rank: RB10
I’m riding Freddie the Chef Kitchens until Freddie the Chef Kitchens let’s me down, which will be never, because Freddie the Chef Kitchens is a God and you can’t tell me otherwise. In his first game as the Browns’ new offensive coordinator, Johnson led the team in targets and receptions, both at nine. I’m fully expecting another big outing from him this week against a Falcons’ defense that’s given up the most receptions to running backs and fourth most receiving yards this year.
WR Josh Gordon vs Tennessee Titans
Week 10 rank: WR12
I’m doubling down on my lock of the week (for those who listen to the RB1 podcast) because I reeeeaaaally think everyone who has Josh Gordon should be starting Josh Gordon. Not only is he peaking at the the perfect time—gaining Tom Brady’s confidence and making big plays all over the field—he’s likely getting the best matchup on the field: s struggling Malcolm Butler. I love Malcolm Butler to death (he’s tattooed on my arm after all) but to say he’s been having a tough year is to put it mildly. Butler is giving up 618 receiving yards seven touchdowns in coverage this season, both league-highs. I think there’s at least one long touchdown in Gordon’s future this weekend.
WR Tyrell Williams vs Oakland Raiders
Week 10 rank: WR17
Remember when I couldn’t pick between the two Williams’ in my waiver wire article? Well after a week of digesting and thinking and pondering on the matter, I’ve made my decision. While I think Mike Williams also has fantasy relevance this week, because Oakland’s defense is just that bad, it’s Tyrell Williams that I’m urging you to start this week. Both receivers have been targeted a similar amount the last three weeks (Tyrell’s 11 to Mike’s 10) but Tyrell has caught more (9 to 3) and done more with them (259 to 89). Tyrell has my vote this week.
RB Aaron Jones vs Miami Dolphins
Week 10 rank: RB18
I’m speaking an Aaron Jones breakout game into existence. You’re welcome Packers fans. Jones has now had 14 or more touches in back-to-back games which is a big deal for a guy who’s biggest issue has been not seeing enough playtime. It seems Mike McCarthy has finally come to his senses and is looking to get Jones and the run game more involved in the Packers offense. They have a nice matchup this week as the Dolphins come in giving up the seventh most fantasy points to running backs (23.6 per game) and the most rushing yards in the league. For a man who’s averaging six yards a carry, I like this matchup very much.
WR Maurice Harris vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Week 10 rank: WR18
I now feel pretty stupid for not including Harris in my waiver wire adds. My reasoning, just so you don’t think me a total fool, was that games like this do happen, where a receiver will come out of nowhere to have a big game and then disappear into nothingness the very next week. I’ve been burned by many such players in the past and as such I was hesitant to promote adding him to your team. Well, past Pete was real wrong. You not only should add him, you should start him. Harris is coming off a game where he saw 12 targets, a first in Washington as no receiver till that point had topped SEVEN targets. (Good lord Alex Smith, throw the ball downfield won’t ya?) With Paul Richardson out and Jamison Crowder a question mark, Harris is in line for another heavy workload against the Buccaneers, a defense that we all love stacking against as they’ve given up the second most points to receivers and are allowing 1.8 touchdowns to receivers each week.
Who’s most likely to live up to my rank?
This poll is closed
Duke Johnson RB10
Josh Gordon WR12
Tyrell Williams WR17
Aaron Jones RB18
Maurice Harris WR18