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Fantasy Football Risers and Fallers - Week 10

Whether due to their own play, the play of others, or injuries, players' stock increases and decreases on a weekly basis. Perhaps more than any other, the NFL is a league that experiences ups and downs at a rapid pace. With only 16 games, there’s little room for error and seemingly endless opportunities for improvement. The same goes for fantasy football; managing rosters effectively is key to winning that championship.

Throughout the season, players get hot and see an increased role while others struggle and fight to stay relevant. Experienced fantasy players know this happens every year. In this weekly column, we’ll showcase those who have taken important steps forward and those who have taken steps back.

These are the key risers and fallers heading into Week 10 of the NFL season. Dynasty owners, check out our separate Dynasty Risers/Fallers segment as well.

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Week 10 Risers

Amari Cooper (WR, DAL)

It really wasn't going to take much to increase Amari Cooper's fantasy value. Eight targets and a touchdown in his Cowboys debut did the trick. Cooper was barely a WR4 until he was shipped out of Oakland. The Cowboys may be a terrible team with a low volume passing offense, but Cooper will be the focal point. He's at least a WR3 now, which more than we can say about him for each of the past two seasons.

Marquez Valdes-Scantling (WR, GB)

I am of the belief that Equanimeous St. Brown (whose name I can spell without looking it up, thank you very much!) is the second most talented WR on the Packers, but it is Marquez Valdes-Scantling that is getting the push. MVS is not a bad player by any means and with Geronimo Allison out and Randall Cobb having never actually been good at football, MVS is now the second option in an Aaron Rodgers offense. That is enough to make him a must-own in all leagues and, at a minimum, a weekly WR3.

Tevin Coleman (RB, ATL)

Finally, Steve Sarkisian got with the program and threw the ball to Tevin Coleman. After not seeing more than two targets in each of his last three games, Coleman saw seven last week. Unsurprisingly, the elite pass catcher turned those seven targets into a season-high five receptions, a season-high 68 receiving yards, and a season-high two receiving touchdowns. Coleman played 57% of the snaps against Ito Smith's 41%, which is just fine to allow him to be an every week RB2.

Mike Davis (RB, SEA)

Chris Carson tried to play through a hip injury. It did not work. Enter Mike Davis. He's like Carson, except actually good at football. Davis touched the ball 22 times for a total of 107 yards. Carson is almost certainly out this week and there's no guarantee that when he returns, there is a role waiting for him. Since the Seahawks apparently hate Rashaad Penny, Davis is locked into starting duties and he is also an adept pass catcher for when the running Seahawks inevitably fall behind opponents that know throwing the ball is how you score points. Davis needs to be universally owned.

O.J. Howard (TE, TB)

It is official. O.J. Howard is an elite TE1. If you remove the game where he sprained his MCL and left early, Howard has double-digit fantasy points in every game except Week 1 this season. Ryan Fitzpatrick treats Howard like the elite weapon he is and looks for him in the red zone. Travis Kelce and Zach Ertz are still in a tier of their own, but George Kittle and O.J. Howard are right on their heels.


Week 10 Fallers

Tom Brady (QB, NE)

It is true that Tom Brady is declining. However, it is quite gradual. He is still one of the best in the league. The problem for fantasy is that Brady doesn't "Brady" anymore. Gone are the days where the Patriots will throw and throw and throw some more to stick it to opponents. The Patriots basically cruise through the regular season and are playing for the postseason. Brady can still duel when he has to; he just rarely has to. Brady has just one passing touchdown in his last two games, both of which were noncompetitive. And things aren't getting better. The Patriots don't project to have a competitive contest until Week 15 at Pittsburgh. Maybe Week 13 at Minnesota will be a game where Brady has to throw. Other than that, you're getting the running Patriots. Not good for Brady's fantasy outlook.

Latavius Murray (RB, MIN)

This is not a hard conclusion to draw. Latavius Murray went from the Vikings feature back to just a handcuff with the return of Dalvin Cook. Murray punched in a short touchdown, but was otherwise useless as an allegedly limited Cook dominated snaps and touches. Murray is worth holding onto because of his upside should Cook reinjury his hamstring, but you can't start him while Cook is healthy.

Kerryon Johnson (RB, DET)

The schedule monster is coming for Kerryon Johnson. Well, that, and the fact that Matt Stafford forgot how to football. The next three weeks are going to be challenging for Johnson from a rushing standpoint. And then when the schedule opens up for a date with the Rams, the Lions are going to have to go back to being the throwing Lions to keep up, which means more Theo Riddick. The stars are coming firmly out of alignment for the upstart rookie and it's not really his fault.

Adrian Peterson (RB, WAS)

I keep being wrong about Adrian Peterson so I'm not going to talk about Adrian Peterson. This is about the Redskins offensive line, which is in shambles. Just like last season, the Redskins are pretty much calling guys off the street to come and try and block for them. They've lost their left tackle and both guards. AP is going to have nowhere to run.

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