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Fantasy football buy or sell: James Washington is the Steelers best fantasy receiver

Determining which Week 10 storylines are for real and which are fake.

USA Today/Pete Rogers Illustrations

The Steelers offense has been far from what we thought it would be this season. Obviously injures have a big hand in that as Ben Roethlisberger hasn’t played a game since Week 2 and James Conner has been in and out of the lineup more times than Michael Scott’s gotten a vasectomy. But JuJu Smith-Schuster has not been injured and also has not been the WR1 many drafted him to be this year. (He hasn’t seen double digit targets once this season, something that happened 10 times has year.)

Against the Rams Sunday, it wasn’t Smith-Schuster who carried the Steelers passing attack, but rather second year receiver James Washington, who saw a team leading seven targets, catching six of them for 90 yards and a touchdown. Is it possible that we’re seeing a new number one receiver in Pittsburgh emerging?

It feels like each week this NFL season has had more than a few crazy, wild storylines and stats to come out of it. Ryan Tannehill beat the Chiefs for Pete’s sake and the Buccaneers may finally have a ground game! Let’s determine together which of these Week 10 reactions are worth buying and which you can sell.

I get it. I get that it’s hard to think that if the Steelers passing game wakes up, the majority of work would go to anyone other than JuJu Smith-Schuster. That being said, we’ve now seen Washington out gain JuJu in receiving yards in three out of the last four games.

I firmly believe there are few things more important to a young quarterback still finding his footing in the league than comfort with a wide receiver. The fact that Mason Rudolph and Washington went to Oklahoma State together makes me think that, when pressured or simply needing to get the ball moving, Rudolph will continue to look Washington’s way. Besides, what has JuJu really shown this season to prove that he’d be impossible to supplant rest of the year?

The next three games will be a great test for which receiver reigns supreme in Pittsburgh as the Steelers face the Browns twice and the Bengals, defenses that can be exploited in the passing game. Personally, I’m buying James Washington stock and wouldn’t be surprised to see him continue to have fantasy relevance and even outperform JuJu moving forward.

Verdict: BUY

Ryan Tannehill is a fringe QB1 rest of the season

I was worried about Tannehill going into Sunday’s game against the Chiefs. Their pass defense was ranked fourth overall in DVOA despite their recent struggles against the Packers and Vikings. Tannehill proved Sunday that no stage is too big for him and that he is a fantasy God here to carry your team to glory, throwing for 181 yards and two touchdowns. Hallelujah!

Since starting back in Week 7, Tannehill has scored over 18 fantasy points, including two 20+ point performances. There will likely be plenty more solid fantasy performances for him with teams like the Jaguars, Raiders, and Texans twice still on the schedule.

Meanwhile, Philip Rivers and the Chargers seemingly can’t play good offense two games in a row, Jared Goff and the Rams are imploding (while still having to face the eighth hardest schedule for QBs), and Baker Mayfield for only the second time this season, hasn’t thrown an interception! Honestly though, the Browns schedule is super easy so Baker might be the guy that breaks me on this, but Tannehill has taught me that doubting him is stupid and futile and so I shall not do it!

Verdict: Buy (at least until Baker Mayfield and the Browns passing game looks good)

Brian Hill should be your #1 waiver wire target

Anytime you can get your hands on a starting running back late in the fantasy season, you got to do it. I totally understand that. That’s why I told you to still pickup Kalen Ballage despite the fact that he did a whole bunch of nothing in Week 10. However, I’m going to ask that you proceed on Brian Hill with caution. If you are looking for a bye week filler or a spot start, Hill is the man to get; the Falcons take on the Panthers in Week 11, a defense that’s allowing the fourth most fantasy points to running backs this season.If you need Hill to be a long term solution for your team heading into the fantasy playoffs, I politely ask you to look elsewhere for help.

The rest of the Falcons schedule is not super favorable to running backs as after the Panthers they play the Buccaneers (ranked 2nd in fewest points allowed to RBs this season), Saints (4th), Panthers again (they suck), 49ers (3rd), Jaguars (7th best in the last four weeks) and end with Buccaneers once more. And it’s not as though he’s walking into a stud fantasy spot. Devonta Freeman wasn’t doing much of anything in the Falcons backfield, partly because of him but partly because he was only getting 11.5 carries per game since the Falcons always had to throw the ball to stay in games.

I wouldn’t expect Hill to be much more than a fringe Flex play rest of the year (outside of those games vs Panthers).

Verdict: Buy in the short term, sell in the long term

Ronald Jones is an RB2 rest of the season

It’s doubtful he’s still available in your leagues but if he is, he’s one billion percent your #1 waiver wire target. Finally we’re seeing Jones as the lead back in Tampa Bay and he has been rewarding the Bucs and fantasy owners alike, recording over 180 all purpose yards and two touchdowns in those two games. Even the end-of-the-game touchdown Peyton Barber scored last week could have been Jones had he not fumbled earlier in the game, forcing Bruce Arians to put the ball in Barber’s hands.

With two games verse the Falcons and ones against the Lions and Texans still on the schedule, I like Jones to finish a top 24 running back from this point forward.

Verdict: A confident buy

Nick Chubb owners should be worried about Kareem Hunt

I don’t know how to feel here. Honestly, I was kind of hoping you the people would come to a clear conclusion and save me from having to make a definitive statement either way. But since this is more or less split down the middle, I’ll have to just figure things out for myself.

On the one hand, Chubb still was the led back in Cleveland, doubling Kareem Hunt’s touches, 22 to 11 Sunday against the Bills. On the flip side, 11 touches for a man just playing in his first NFL game this season seems high and could mean that Freddie Kitchens and the Browns offense think of him as a big time player in this offense, which would diminish Chubb’s value moving froward.

My biggest worry is who will get the majority of the workload in a game where the ground game is struggling and there isn’t plenty of work to go around. The talent arrow points in Chubb’s favor but can the Browns see that arrow? After all, they’ve managed to do the unthinkable and reduce Odell Beckham Jr into a role player. Even Eli Manning’s noodle arm was unable to do that.

I’m know taking the easy road here, but...

Verdict: Let me see what this offense does against the Steelers in Week 11 (but also buying)