Sunday 10:00am PST
The story line of the Eagles’ passing attack is focused on the X-receiver. The return of the oft-injured Alshon Jeffery has some concerned over Travis Fulgham’s role in the offense. Some risky assumption of rational coaching must be done here but Fulgham managers should rest assured that their in-season acquisition isn’t going anywhere. Alshon Jeffery is an undoubtedly talented receiver but it’s been three years since he’s provided a meaningful, reliable, presence for Philadelphia. Travis Fulgham bears the size (6’2”, 215lbs) and speed requirements for true No. 1 receiver responsibilities — those shuttle drills tell us all we need to know about his route running/cutting ability. Most importantly, when the team was destitute in pass catching talent, Fulgham rose to the challenge, producing a sterling five-game receiving stat line (29/44 - 435 - 4) en route to overall WR1 honors in .5PPR scoring during that time span. Jeffery will provide a wonderful rotational presence as both an X and a downfield receiver, but as far as Fulgham is concerned this receiving corps belongs to the new guy.
In Philly’s Week 7 date with the G-Men, Fulgham passed the James Bradberry test with respectable receiving numbers (5/11 - 73), doing so as the focal point of the Giants’ defense. The Eagles were missing running back Miles Sanders, tight ends Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert, and downfield rookie dynamo Jalen Reagor — Fulgham was operating as a one man band. With Sanders, Goedert, and Reagor now back in action, Fulgham should have a much easier outing in Week 10. Tee him up as a confident WR2. With the return to health of the pass catchers comes an enhanced outlook for quarterback Carson Wentz as well. Wentz is a streamable QB2.
In each of the last three contests, including Week 7 against the Eagles, the Giants’ secondary has surrendered a bevvy of 20+ yard chunk gains, highlighted by the not-so-fearsome Washington Football Team’s performance. Downfield receiver Jalen Reager can be started as a reasonable and reliable flex option. Slot man Greg Ward is of the same fantasy variety, with an edge over Reagor is full-point PPR leagues.
Tight end Richard Rodgers was kicked to the curb with the return of Dallas Goedert last week. Although Goedert didn’t pop off in the box score, fantasy managers should trust him to resume high-end TE1 duties, in line with his team-leading target totals during his fully healthy Weeks 1 and 2.
Prior to his Week 6 MCL sprain, running back Miles Sanders was a snap share albatross, hogging backfield snaps and touches to the point of fantasy irrelevance for No. 2 back Boston Scott. It’s possible Scott sees a slightly higher than normal snap share, should head coach Doug Pederson want to ease Sanders back, but fantasy managers can comfortably expect at least 65% of the snaps to head Sanders’ way. Against a Giants’ defensive-front allowing the 10th-most .5PPR fantasy points to opposing backfields per game (21.9), Sanders is a shoe-in RB1. Get excited about the dual threat’s prospects as NYG is allowing the 5th-most receptions (6.6) and 2nd-most receiving yards (55.9) to opposing RBs. Scott is just a low-end flex play.
The Eagles’ fearsome pass rush is generating pressure at a rate of 25.4% of snaps, 6th-most in the NFL. In Week 7’s bout against them, QB Daniel Jones’ passing suffered but being flushed from the pocket ended up having a enhanced effect on his rushing production (4 - 92), en route to QB11 honors on the week. That kind of rushing production will be hard to replicate though, making him an undesirable QB2/QB3.
Wide receiver Sterling Shepard and tight end Evan Engram have dominated the Giants’ target market share in each of the last three weeks, a trend that should continue as this week as New York tries to keep pace with Phildelphia. Shepard is a volume-driven low-end WR2/high-end flex option. Regarding Engram, that kind of usage (29 targets in three games) can’t be ignored — but his 5.5 average targeted air yards is fourth lowest in the NFL. Forcing a player to rely on run-after-catch ability is not a winning strategy, especially when they aren’t necessarily being schemed into space. He’s a volume-dependent TE1.
With downfield receiver Darius Slayton now being treated as merely a one-trick pony, he can only be counted on for boom/bust flex results.
Golden Tate is not a recommended play but he does have the revenge narrative, facing his former team.
With washed up lead running back Devonta Freeman being placed on Injured Reserve today (hamstring), Wayne Gallman retains rights to the team’s No. 1 RB duties. Gallman’s majority ownership of red zone carries (6, to the rest-of-team’s 5) over the last three weeks has buoyed Gallman’s fantasy production up to the overall RB5 — on just 14.3 touches per game. On the one hand, that efficiency is unlikely to hold. On the other, as long as he retains, rights to the RZ rusher role, he has a shot at a score every week. He’s a sturdy flex play.
QB Jake Luton offers sneaky, desperation streaming viability against the Jaire Alexanders-less Packers’ defense (concussion). The Pack have been unable to generate pressure all year, recording just a 18.1% pressure rate — fourth worst in the NFL.
With ascending rookie Laviska Shenault (hamstring) out this week, D.J. Chark has another shot at target dominance after a dynamic outing in Luton’s debut last week (7/12-146-1). Without Alexander there to rain on the parade, Chark is an all-systems-go fantasy WR1.
Although Luton’s Week 9 showing didn’t indicate him having an affinity for any other the other Jags’ receivers, if Richie James can hang an 9/13-184-1 stat line on Green Bay, Keelan Cole and Chris Conley are absolutely viable boom/bust flex plays.
Life was breathed into tight end Tyler Eifert’s 2020 season with a 4/5-48 receiving line, showing the statuesque passer likes a big-bodied safety blanket. Backup tight end Ross Dwelley caught a perfect 3-of-3 for 52 against the Packers last week, signalling a streamable match-up for Eifert this week.
An outing against the Packers’ woeful front-seven is every running back’s dream. GB is surrendering the 2nd-most .5PPR points per game to opposing backfields this year (30.1), keyed by their complete inability to keep rushers out of the endzone (1.4 rushing scores allowed per game — most in the NFL). Even if one takes out the uniquely talented Dalvin Cook’s 3 rushing scores from Week 8, they’re still allowing more than a touchdown per game. Furthering running back James Robinson’s Week 10 outlook is Green Bay’s league-leading 59.1 running back receiving yards per game. Robinson, the league’s 11th-most targeted back in the league (34) is in line for elite RB1 production. He’s this week’s overall RB4.
Seldom-used pass catching back Chris Thompson makes for deep league flex viability in full-point PPR formats.
In what’s shaping up to be an exciting back-and-forth affair, Aaron Rodgers comes in as this week’s overall QB6 against a talent-depleted Jacksonville secondary allowing the 3rd-most fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks (23.4).
Davante Adams continues his Faustian 2020 campaign against a Jags’ DB group that’s been routinely burned to the ground by opposing alphas. Exhibits A and B are the performances of Keenan Allen (Week 7: 10/13-125) and Will Fuller (Week 9: 5/5-100-1). Adams is the overall WR1 in fantasy football for the foreseeable future.
No. 2 pass catching duties in GB are up in the air with the potential return of WR Allen Lazard to the starting linup (core — game-time decision). Lazard is a Rodgers-favorite and Tonyan has popped off when the GB receivers are short-staffed. The smart money may be on deep threat speedster, Marquez Valdes-Scantling. MVS has burned every fantasy player on earth at some point in their fantasy careers but in the aforementioned match-ups in Weeks 7 and 9, Jacksonville somehow permitted three completions of 57-yards or more — with two clearing 70-yards. MVS is a high-risk/high-reward flex play. Lazard would be a high-floor one if active, while Tonyan remains a roller coaster TE1/2.
Bellcow RB Aaron Jones, having made it through last week’s return from injury (calf), is now averaging a whopping 5.5 targets per game (3rd-most in the NFL) — a trait uniquely suited to pummel a Jags’ front-seven allowing 6.1 receptions per game to opposing RBs (9th-most in the NFL). He’s this week’s overall RB3. No. 2 RB Jamaal Williams is subtle flex play.
The Football Team’s fantasy-relevant circle is deliciously small with Captain Checkdown, Alex Smith at the helm. Despite the solid match-up, Smith’s pea-shooter arm relegates him to the QB3 ranks.
Alpha dog receiver “Scary” Terry McLaurin reassuringly produced a 7/8-115-1 receiving line in Smith’s return to action last week, locking McLaurin in as a back-end WR1 against a talent-deficient DET secondary.
Downfield receiver Cam Sims came out of nowhere in Week 9’s game but he’s tough to count on as he’s been a ghost otherwise — boom/bust flex play.
Tight end Logan Thomas cannot be trusted as anything more than a boom/bust TE2.
The team leader in targets last week though was receiving-only back J.D. McKissic. We may not like it but 14(!) targets is far too many to ignore. McKissic is a high-end RB2 in a dreamscape match-up. True No. 1 back Antonio Gibson likewise has the chance to pop off against a Lions’ front-seven allowing the 2nd-most rushing yards (134.9) and 4th-most RB rushing touchdowns (1.2) per game. With above average pass catching ability of his own, Gibson is a back-end RB1.
Last week’s god awful showing against the hapless Vikings’ defense does not bode well for wide receivers Marvin Jones Jr. and Danny Amendola. Amendola got the volume and Jones caught the touchdown. This is much more difficult match-up though. Both are low-grade flex plays with Amendola only usable in full-point PPR leagues.
Marvin Hall and Quintez Cephus are not fantasy-relevant.
The Lions’ backfield is a poor man’s version of the Colts. All three backs — D’Andre Swift, Adrian Peterson, and Kerryon Johnson — will get work this week with the only halfway decent option being Swift. The hope is that the Washington pass rush forces outlet passes his way — but it’s far from certain. He’s just a mid-tier flex play.
The Browns’ startlingly bad defense serves as a fire-the-cannons opportunity for fantasy managers with Texans on their roster. Since head coach/general manager Bill O’Brien’s firing after Week 4, Deshua Watson has averaged 26.82 fantasy points per game, 4th-most in league. Notably, Watson’s rushing attempts and production have gone form 4.25 attempts and 14.5 yards per game to 5.75 rushing attempts and 34.75 rushing yards per game during that span. Facing a Browns’ defense allowing the 11th-most points per game to the position (20.6), Watson is an elite QB1.
Although slot receiver Randall Cobb has made noise in the box score from time to time, this receiver corps is run by Will Fuller and Brandin Cooks. Since BOB’s departure, Cooks ranks are .5PPR’s overall WR9 with Fuller hot on his tail as the WR13. The 2-man wrecking crew should have no issue registering Top 12 .5PPR numbers against a Browns’ secondary allowing the 4th-most .5PPR points to opposing receivers (36.7). Cobb is a PPR flex option.
Tight ends Darren Fells and Jordan Akins cannibalize each other’s fantasy output but it’s possible one could find the endzone this week. Fells has been more productive on the year due to Akins’ injury-caused absence.
With lead back David Johnson out this week (concussion), No. 2 back Duke Johnson Jr. should inherit No. 1 back duties. After toiling away for years on Cleveland’s bench, Duke can be expected to give it his all in front of the city who traded him away. Count on the dynamic dual threat back to produce high-end RB2 numbers with easy Top 12 upside.
Houston’s pass defense finds itself one spot ahead of Cleveland’s in fantasy points allowed to opposing signal callers (20.9), 10th-most in the league. With Houston allowing Top 7 (34.6) and Top 10 (11.7) .5PPR numbers to WRs and TEs, respectively, QB Baker Mayfield should have an efficient, streamable outing on his hands this week.
As evidenced by the outings of slot receivers Laviska Shenault (team-best 7/8-79) and Adam Humphries (6/6-64-1), Jarvis Landry should eat this week as a high-end flex option/low-end WR2, as the team’s No. 1 pass catcher.
Downfield specialists Rashard Higgins and rookie Donovan Peoples-Jones both deserve boom/bust flex consideration as long-touchdown opportunists against Houston’s leaky back-end. Deep league managers should monitor early-season route runner Khadarel Hodge as he’s recently returned from injury.
Snap-dominator tight end Austin Hooper is back from his appendectomy, ready to rock the house as one of Mayfield’s favorite go-to’s. He’s a Top 12 option at the position.
Rookie tight end Harrison Bryant and David Njoku will rotate at the No. 2 tight end spot, in Cleveland’s two-tight end base offense. Bryant has played very well as of late and could be deployed as a sneaky high-end TE2.
Nick Chubb is set to return from his early-season MCL sprain in a glorious match-up with the Houston Texans’ saloon-door front-seven. No. 2 back Kareem Hunt failed to snatch the job from Chubb in Chubb’s absence so a return to his 15+ touch rotational role can be safely expected. Hunt will operate as the team’s dynamic pass catching back while Chubb rumbles for gaudy rushing totals on 20+ touches per game. With Houston allowing 144.9 rushing yards per game (most in the NFL) and 1.2 rushing touchdowns per game, Nick Chubb is a shoe-in RB1 with Hunt firmly on the RB1/2 borderline.
Tom Brady and Co. should have little issue imposing their offensive will against the rookie-led Panther defense, making Brady a stout QB2.
Although all of the primary pass catching options — wide receivers Chris Godwin, Mike Evans, and Antonio Brown, tight end Rob Gronkowski, and running back Leonard Fournette — have little to worry about from Carolina’s side of things, their box score outlook is stunted due to the crowded nature of the pass catching corps. Godwin and Brown are both strong candidates for decent yardage and catch-totals. Evans and Gronkowski simply dominate the red zone target market share and Fournette has the pesky Ronald Jones to vie for touches with. Godwin, Brown, and Evans are high-floor/capped-ceiling flex options. The running back duo does have a great match-up on its hands as the Panthers are allowing the 5th-most .5PPR points to opposing backfields (25) but they take turns hurting each other’s ceilings. Fournette is a back-end RB2 while Jones is a solid flex play.
Outside of last week’s flub against the Saints, the Bucs defense has largely been a shutdown unit. This Joe Brady-led offense that the Panthers are rolling with though should be able to keep pace with Tom Brady and Co. Teddy Bridgewater is a high-end QB2.
It took the coaching staff a while to figure out how to best use the dynamic Curtis Samuel but over the last three games, they’ve nailed it. Finally getting him involved in the run game, Samuel has posted a pair of scores both through the air and on the ground. Lock Samuel into you flex and throw away the key — especially with games against Detroit and Minnesota in Weeks 11 and 12.
Luckily for Robby Anderson, Samuel’s ascent has hurt D.J. Moore more than Anderson as his 8, 8, 13 target line over the last three weeks shows us. Anderson is a high-end WR2 in a tough match-up.
All Moore managers can do is hold their breath and wait. Per Josh Hermsmeyer’s Weighted Opportunity rating , Moore (0.46) is still seeing outrageously valuable usage in the Panthers’ offense over the last three games. He’s a high-risk/high-reward flex play.
With Christian McCaffrey out (shoulder), Mike Davis is back in the driver’s seat as Carolina’s bellcow back. Tampa Bay offers wonky fantasy prospects to opposing backfields. Although they’re allowing just 18.9 .5PPR points per game (11th-fewest), the hemmorage receiving production to the position with 6.6 receptions per game allowed (3rd-most) and 46.3 receiving yards per game (8th-most). As evidenced by his 8/8-74 receiving line against the Bucs in Week 2, filling in for the injured McCaffrey mid-game, Davis can get the job done as a mid-tier RB1.
Sunday 1:00-1:25pm PST
Rookie QB phenom Justin Herbert heads to sunny Miami for a date with the rapidly ascedning Dolphins defense, generating pressure at a respectable 22.9% rate with their 4th-ranked blitz percentage (41.6%). The Dolphins have surprisingly allowed just 11 passing touchdowns on the season (3rd-lowest total in the NFL), en route to batting down the 3rd-highest number of passes (43 passes defended) while registering the 5th-highest interception total (7). Of course, when Herbert faced the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in just his third NFL start, he deftly racked up 290 passing yards, 3 touchdowns, and just one interception, and took just 2 sacks. He also led the team with 14 rushings yards. The Bucs have produced the 2nd-highest pressure rate in the league 27.4%, the NFL’s highest blitz percentage (43.5%), registered 42 passes defended, and a league-leading 11 interceptions. In short, Justin Herbert’s already faced a superior version of the Dolphins defense and he turned in the overall QB7 performance doing so. He’s a no-brainer QB1 option.
Do not fear the Dolphins stud CBs in this one. Keenan Allen is a non-stop fantasy WR1, hauling around his 10.8 targets per game — second only to Green Bay’s Devante Adams.
Mike Williams is on another up and down, injury-altered receing campaign — but he’s healthy right now and has been killing it over the last two weeks, registering overall WR11 .5PPR results. A Top 24 outing is well within reason, even in the tough match-up.
Jalen Guyton continues to run as the team’s No. 3 receiver but Tyron Johnson and Joe Reed have made a little noise in the box score. All three are in a wait-and-see stage.
With the Dolphins deprioritizing stopping the run, as an analytically run organization is wont to do, opposing backfields are averaging the 10th-most .5PPR points per game against them (22.1). As it stands, Justin Jackson is out (knee) and Troymaine Pope is expected to clear the league’s concussion protocol after a full week of practice participation. That means the Chargers will bring Pope, last week’s stud Kalen Ballage, and Joshua Kelley into their plus match-up in Week 10. Pope crushed it in Week 8, Ballage did so in Week 9, and Kelley has been rather modest as of late. With the Chargers head coach, Anthony Lynn, being of the old school variety, there’s a good chance that Kalen Ballage is granted lead back duties this week — both because of his solid performance last week and for revenge-sake, as Miami is Ballage’s ex-team. Expect solid flex resuls from both Ballage and Pope with Kelley as a true wildcard.
QB Tua Tagvailoa’s Week 10 prospects garner streaming consideration against an injury-depleted Chargers’ defense. His 3-wide receiver set should consist of DeVante Parker operating as the clear-cut top dog, with diminutive speedball Jakeem Grant running opposite him, and Mack Hollins in tow. Parker can be expected to receive target-hog usage with No. 2 receiver Preston Williams (foot) out. He’s a solid WR2. Grant offers sneaky flex-play upside as the team’s primary kick and punt returner. For league’s that award points for return yardage and touchdowns, Grant is a safe flex play. Hollins does not deserve serious fantasy consideration though.
Mike Gesicki remains an outrageously talented, yet underused tight end. He’s somewhere in the back-end of the position’s Top 15.
The reasonable group of pass catchers, his own talent, and the nice match-up bring Tua to the high-end QB2 ranks. His willingness to run when needed (7 carries, 35 yards last week) solidifies his floor.
the Dolphins’ running back group is a minefield that should be avoided for fantasy purposes. Matt Breida would be the primary ballcarrier, if he’s able to play (hamstring), but mystery man Salvon Ahmed, Patrick Laird, and Jordan Howard will all see work as well. That the Chargers’ defensive line is getting healthier and healthier makes things worse for the Dolphins’ RBs as well.
A pair of talented, yet developing offenses facing terrible defenses? This is exactly what we’re looking for in fantasy football.
Drew Lock is quickly establishing himself as a devil-may-care passer, which is great for fantasy purposes. With a Raiders secondary on deck that’s allowed the 10th-most passing yards (2,137) and 2nd-fewest interceptions (3), Lock can be safely teed up as a rock-solid QB1.
Rookie Jerry Jeudy, Tim Patrick, and K.J. Hamler have solidified themselves as the 11 personnel trio in the Broncos’ offense. Jeudy is hot off back-to-back outings with double digit targets, establishing himself as the team’s true No. 1 receiver, while Patrick has taken on a prominent red zone role and Hamler that of a high-volume slot receiver. Fire up Jeudy as a WR2. Patrick and Hamler are flex plays with Hamler the preferred in full-point PPR leagues.
With Lock-favorite, Albert Okwuegbunam on Injured Reserve (ACL), tight end Noah Fant resumes target-hog duties as the Lock’s favorite big-bodied safety blanket. Fant’s a no-brainer TE1.
Melvin Gordon has retained rights to the lead back job, despite being out-played by No. 2 back Phillip Lindsay for a few weeks now. Las Vegas struggles mightily to slow opposing run games though, allowing the 4th-most .5PPR points per game to the position (26.4). The match-up keeps Gordon in play as a back-end RB2, with Lindsay a high-end flex.
As the Broncos score at will, Las Vegas should be pushed into a high-volume passing affair to keep pace. Expect Derek Carr to chuck it as much as he ever will — and against a lacking Broncos’ pass defense currently allowing the 7th-most fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks (21.2), Carr is a shoe-in QB1.
Steady as a Cadillac, tight end Darren Waller carries a bulletproof, league-leading 9.0 targets per game with him into every contest. He’s an elite TE1 play as Carr’s go-to pass catcher.
The next two pass catchers of note are surprisingly not talented rookie receivers Henry Ruggs and Bryan Edwards. Edwards hasn’t done a thing as of late and Ruggs has had his downfield role stolen from him by journeyman deep threat Nelson Agholor. Agholor’s 14.2 average intended air yards are going to be extremely valuable in this surefire shootout. Excluding his (classic Agholorian) Week 8 goose egg, Agholor has averaged 4.5 targets, 3.25 catches, 68.25 yards, and a full touchdown. Fire him up as we high-end flex play.
Slot receiver Hunter Renfrow can be safely relied upon as a solid floor-play in your flex.
Ruggs can be started, based on talent, with the manager’s acknowledgement that he’s a high-risk/high-reward option. Fellow rookie Edwards should be avoided.
As always, running back Josh Jacobs is a mid-tier RB2. His lack of usage in obvious passing situations and the 2-minute drill makes him gameflow-dependent.
Jalen Richard owns rights to the pass catching role and Devontae Booker has suddenly earned a rotational role. Richard has an outside shot at returning flex value should Las Vegas fall behind on the scoreboard.
Despite the fact that the Cards have held the cadre of most middling signal callers in check through nine weeks, the exceptions being Russell Wilson (338-3-3 passing and 6-84 rushing) and Teddy Bridgewater (276-2-1 passing and 6-32-1 rushing), Josh Allen has a terrific match-up on his hands. Oftentimes all it takes for fantasy goodness is for the two offenses to push each other in the box score — and that’s exactly what we have here. Arizona is 6th in scoring (29.3) and Buffalo is 14th (26.9) Count on Allen to put his rushing prowess to use, just like Wilson and Bridgewater did, when the passing lanes aren’t there. He’s a Top 3 option this week.
Getting John Brown back to full health last week paid huge dividends for Allen who propelled himself back into MVP contention by taking down Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks. The dynamic downfield tandem of Brown and Stefon Diggs can take the roof off of any secondary. Diggs is a shoe-in WR1 with Brown a boom/bust WR2.
As evidenced by the Week 9 target totals, the passing treat is tightly condensed at the top. Slot receiver Cole Beasley is a great outlet man for Allen but he takes a backseat to Brown. Consider Beasley just a full-point PPR high-floor play.
Gabe Davis is a zero-floor/high-ceiling flex play.
There are no tight ends of fantasy relevance in Buffalo at the moment.
Running back Zack Moss has stormed his way to lead back duties in Buffalo, putting former lead back Devin Singletary in the corner. Although he’ll have to contend with Josh Allen’s rushing, especially in the red zone, he’s got a prominent role there too. Over the last two weeks, Moss has drastically outscored Singletary in .5PPR scoring — RB4 to RB31. In what should be a high-scoring affair, count on Moss as a low-end RB2/high-end flex option. Singletary is a just a capped-ceiling flex.
QB Kyler Murray’s 543 rushing yards are 8th in the NFL and his 8 rushing scores are 4th. Production like that, on top of 266.3 passing yards per game and his 11th-ranked 16-touchdowns, make him an elite play regardless of opponent. It just so happens this is a surefire shootout. He’s the QB2.
Talent keeps DeAndre Hopkins as a WR1, despite the upcoming bout with lock-down cornerback Tre’Davious White. Christian Kirk, and his 11th-ranked average targeted air yards (14.3), makes for an enticing WR2 start as he’ll largely be running free in the Tre’Davious-less land. Kirk’s 4-game streak, averaging 17.7 .5PPR points, has him as fantasy’s overall WR5. Lock him into that lineup as a steady WR2 and throw away the key.
Larry Fitzgerald offers high-floor/zero-ceiling flex viability.
Like their opponent this week, there are no tight ends of note in Arizona.
Chase Edmonds’ RB1 prospects were derailed with Kenyan Drake managing limited participation in every practice this week. With Drake back, some sort of committee will be deployed. Edmonds is likely to go back to seeing all of the RB passing game work with some carries sprinkled on top. He’s earned more work though as Drake’s rush-only production has been lackluster. Edmonds is a 12-15 touch low-end RB2. Drake is just a mild flex option.
New Orleans looks to have tightened the screws on defense but they’ve had some real up and down performances this season. Regardless, it’s tough to trust backup QB Nick Mullens who’s missing TE George Kittle (IR), WR Deebo Samuel (hamstring), and RB Raheem Mostert. Mullens can’t be trust for fantasy purposes.
WR Brandon Aiyuk should see a heavy workload, now back form the COVID-19/Reserve list. The talented run-after-catch receiver will be given all he can handle — downfield targets, WR screens, handoffs, you name it. Aiyuk is a locked-in WR2 with likely-touchdown upside.
After his thunderous showing last week against the Packers (9/13-184-1), Richie James has no doubt earned a full-time role in this offense, kicking Kendrick Bourne to the curb. James is a safe flex option, while Bourne should remain on waivers.
WR River Cracraft is not fantasy relevant.
TE Ross Dwelley has taken over the team’s No. 1 TE job, relegating Jordan Reed to an afterthought. Dwelley is a low-end TE1.
Kyle Shanahan silenced any questions as to whether or not he believes Jerick McKinnon can be a full-time bellcow back last week, giving McKinnon 74% of the running back snaps and 15 of the 21 RB touches. The Saints provide a stiff competition for opposing backfields, allowing just 16.5 .5PPR points per game (4th-fewest in the league) but McKinnon’s stranglehold on the No. 1 RB job keeps him in the RB2 conversation.
JaMycal Hasty is just a handcuff.
Michael Thomas made it through his injury-return last week without setbacks. Expect a King Kong showing from the dominant wide receiver this week.
Of the non-Thomas pass catchers (Emmanuel Sanders, Tre’Quan Smith, and Marquez Callaway), none carry too much fantasy value. Smith handily out-snapped the rest in Thomas’ return last week but was a took a clear backseat to Sanders on the target tree. Sanders is a flex-worthy player but it’s not a great situation.
Tight end Jared Cook remains a steady, back-end TE1.
Despite seeing double-digit touches in all but one game this season, No. 2 back Latavius Murray largely stays quiet in the box score. This is Alvin Kamara’s offense and his outrageous dual threat usage keeps him in the Top 3 conversation regardless of the opponent.
Hawks at Rams features the 3rd-highest total on this week’s slate (54.5), signalling a surefire shootout on Sunday afternoon. Russell Wilson and his cadre of pass catchers should have no issue doing there part to hit the over. Wilson once again takes the cake as this week’s overall QB1.
D.K. Metcalf will likely have to face CB Jalen Ramsey’s shadow coverage for much of the divisional showdown but .5PPR’s overall WR2 in scoring is just too talented to be considered as anything but a high-end WR1. Given the expected Ramsey coverage for Metcalf though, we can expect a couple more targets to be slid over to slot receiver Tyler Lockett’s plate, making him an equally enticing WR1.
No. 3 receiver David Moore continues to show starter-on-any-other-team talent every week. Having delivered .5PPR WR16 results over the last two weeks, Moore can be flexed as a high-risk/high-reward option whose number is likely to be called upon in an all hands on deck affair.
Tight end Jacob Hollister has quietly ascended to the TE1 job in Seattle over the last three weeks. He’s on the TE1/2 borderline.
With Chris Carson (foot) and Carlos Hyde (hamstring) out this week, another helping of DeeJay Dallas, Travis Homer, and Alex Collins is on tap. Although Homer was the snap leader last week, DJD is the man to start with confidence.
As evidenced in the chart above, created by the esteemed Sam Hoppen, Dallas is seeing 50% of his targets in the red zone and endzone over the last three games. Over the last two weeks, Dallas has racked up 12 red zone carries while all remaining Seahawks saw a total of 3. Being the scoring-position back for one of the NFL’s best offense will pay dividends again this week. Dallas is back-end RB1.
Travis Homer, meanwhile, is a totally reasonable flex option.
Alex Collins is mostly there to run cardio.
The Seattle Seahawks are averaging 50 more passing yards allowed than any other team in the NFL (272.5). Jared Goff is an outstanding streamer option this week who can be counted on for back-end QB1 numbers.
With Seattle allowing a full 10 more .5PPR points to the receiver position than any other team in the NFL (48.3), Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp are must-starts this week. Woods is a high-end WR2, while Kupp is a locked-in WR1. Perhaps most intriguingly, Sam Hoppen pointed out on twitter, that Josh Reynolds has sewn up the downfield role in the Rams offense which bodes very well for his Week 10 flex viability.
Van Jefferson does not have a strong enough role to count on this week, even with the great match-up.
Tight ends Gerald Everett and Tyler Higbee offer borderline TE1/2 prospects in the projected high-scoring affair. Everett has pulled ahead of Higbee in .5PPR scoring over the last three weeks. The duo does more to hurt each other’s box score than they do to help themselves though.
Running backs Darrell Henderson Jr., Malcolm Brown, and Cam Akers render each other as low-floor prospects but someone is going to get red zone carries, and that someone is likely to bring worthwhile fantasy value. Henderson got all 5 of the team’s red zone carries in Week 6, he out-carried Brown 3-1 there in Week 7, and the trio of Brown, Henderson and Robert Woods combined to match his total (3) in Week 8, before their Week 9 bye. Accordingly, Henderson is the back to trust for high-end flex value this week but understanding, the three-headed nature of the backfield makes all of them risky propositions.
QB Joe Burrow has his work cut out for him this week against Pittsburgh’s blitz-happy defense. The Steel Curtain’s 42.1% blitz rate is third highest in the league — and it’s also the most successful, generating a league-leading 36.1% pressure rate. Burrow’s been able to deliver reasonably well on his 330 pass attempts (3rd most in the league) though, as he currently sits in the 15th in fantasy points scored. He remains in the mid-tier of the QB2s this week.
Perhaps due to game script, the Steelers have surprisingly given up the 8th-most .5PPR points per game to opposing receivers (33.8), with an especially regular knack for giving up big days to players running routes out of the slot. Exhibits A and B are Willie Snead IV (Week 8: 5/7-106) and CeeDee Lamb (Week 9: 4/7-71-1). Slotster Tyler Boyd is a cocked and locked WR2.
Unmotivated veteran A.J. Green continues to see bulletproof snaps and targets but rarely delivers. Tee Higgins has seen 12 fewer targets but has outscored Green 86.1 (WR30) to 47.1 (WR75). Green is just a low-end flex candidate while Higgins offers firm flex returns.
Auden Tate and Mike Thomas don’t see enough work to be trusted at the moment.
TE Drew Smaple is not fantasy relevant.
QB Ben Roethlisberger enters another lift-off spot against a Junior Varsity-level Bengals defense. He and his array of pass catchers will have themselves a day. He’s a Top 5 option this week.
The biggest issue for Steelers pass catchers is the embarrasment of riches that they have at the position. Diontae Johnson (twice), Chase Claypool (twice), and JuJu Smith-Schuster (once) have all hit double-digit targets over the last three games. Count on all three as varying types of WR2s. Josh Hermsmeyer’s Weighted Opportunity model (WOPR) actually likes JuJu’s usage the most, coming in with a team-leading 0.54 score — curious given his 7th-shallowest (league) average depth of target, 5.9 yards. Johnson and Claypool are hot on his tail in WOPR with respective 0.51 and 0.46. Claypool offers slightly higher big play likelihood than Johnson as his average targeted air yards (11.7) bests Johnson’s by 3.2 yards (8.5).
James Washington should only be considered in contrarian DFS lineups.
Tight end Ebron offers reliable Top 12 viability as he’s turned in three-straight solid performances, resulting in .5PPR TE4 results. Ebron’s prospects are helped by Cincinnati giving up the 2nd-most .5PPR points to the position this year (14.7).
Running back continues to kick haters in the teeth, posting overall RB9 in .5PPR formats since his Week 1 ankle scare. Additionally, the Bengals continue to roll out the red carpet for opposing backfields, allowing the 4th most rushing yards to opposing ballcarriers (119.5).
The pair of juniors, Benny Snell Jr. and Anthony McFarland Jr. are not fantasy relevant.
Sunday Night Football
The Baltimore Ravens offer shaky fantasy prospects from top to bottom.
Lamar Jackson strangely revealed, on a Rich Eisen appearance, that defenses are calling out Baltimore’s plays before the snap — which may or may not account for his apparent dip in accuracy from last year to this year. Jackson concluded 2019 with a positive (0.8%) Completion Percentage Above Expectation but currently sits with a negative rating of -2.1%. To this point in the year, top pass catchers WR Marquise Brown and TE Mark Andrews have fallen drastically short of expectation as a result. It’s fair to point out that the Patriots have been gashed by downfield receivers this year, as evidenced by performances from players like D.K. Metcalf (4/6-92-1), Stefon Diggs (6/9-92), and Breshad Perriman (5/7-101-2), Brown’s WR46 (68.8 points) .5PPR results make him tought to trust. Lamar Jackson’s rushing ability keeps him on the QB1/2 borderline for now and Brown can be started as a match-up-based boom/bust flex option.
It’s understandable if better options aren’t available but a streaming option would be recommended over TE Mark Andrews. the Patriots are holding opposing tight ends to the fewest .5PPR points per game in the NFL (5.9).
Wide receivers Devin Duvernay, Myles Boykin, and Willie Snead IV are all poor flex options. One could chase the aforementioned downfield weakness of the Pats with Duvernay but there are far better choices available.
If Mark Ingram is indeed set to return (ankle) a wrench has been thrown into this underwhelming backfield, which is a shame because it’s a decent match-up. J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards had formed a decent fantasy duo in Ingram’s multi-game absence with Dobbins getting the pass catching work and Edwards acting as the primary red zone battering ram. Should Ingram play, it’s best to avoid all three. If he sits, Edwards and Dobbins are high-floor flex options.
With slot receiver Julian Edelman on Injured Reserve, WR Jakobi Meyers has thunderously established himself as the top dog in New England while ending any question as to whether or not he belongs in the NFL. His comical 12/14-169 receiving line from last week is a sign of good things to come. N’Keal Harry’s availability is as of now undetermind (concussion) and Damiere Byrd has more or less failed as the team’s downfield receiver. It’s Cam Newton and Jakobi Meyers who are carrying this passing game. Trust Meyers as a low-end WR2/high-end flex option in an albeit tough match-up. Cam, meanwhile, can be trusted as a high-end QB2 thanks to the emergence of Meyers — and his ever-steady rushing floor/red zone rushing prowess.
The only fantasy-relevant Patriots of note are running backs Damien Harris and Rex Burkhead. Harris is a moderate flex play, assuming he’s active (ankle, chest), which would render Burkhead obsolete. Should he sit, Burkhead would likely absorb the rush-heavy RB role, making him a mild flex play.