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Fantasy Football Starts and Sits: Matchups Analysis for Week 10


Welcome to our Week 10 matchup analysis and start/sit column for fantasy football. We'll be covering every single contest from the Sunday slate in one convenient location, helping you make the best decisions for your fantasy lineups. Be sure to check back regularly because this article will be updated as news comes in regarding injuries and other important information.

Spencer Aguiar will start off by covering the first set of games that begin at 1:00 PM ET on Sunday, and Chris O'Reilly will take you home with his analysis of the late afternoon and evening games.

If you have any additional lineup questions, follow us on Twitter @Teeoffsports and @cjoreillyCLE and feel free to ask away! Without further ado, let's get started.

Editor's Note: Get any full-season NFL Premium Pass for 50% off. Our exclusive In-Season Lineup Tools, Lineup Optimizer and over 150 days of Premium DFS Research. Sign Up Now!

 

Matchups Analysis - 1:00 PM ET Games

Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals

Matchups We Love:

Lamar Jackson (QB, BAL)

Even if you like the Cincinnati Bengals as a bet this weekend at over 10 points (which I do), it is going to be challenging for them to contain Lamar Jackson on the ground. The Ravens QB scrambled for 152 yards and a score during their first meeting at home in Week 6, although it is worth noting that the Bengals were still able to keep that contest within one score. Jackson has too much upside to consider benching in any matchup and should find a way to produce a plethora of points against the last winless team in the league.

Marquise Brown (WR, BAL)

All in all, Marquise Brown had a respectable return from an ankle injury in Week 9. The rookie hauled in three passes for 48 yards against the New England Patriots, and a matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals should add even more optimism, as the Bengals' secondary have allowed 14% of passes to grade out explosively - the second-worst in the league. Speed kills, and Brown's is next level.

Matchups We Hate:

Auden Tate / Alex Erickson (WR, CIN)

It wouldn't shock me to see one of Auden Tate or Alex Erickson be able to develop chemistry with QB Ryan Finley as the teams' third passing option, but a matchup against the Baltimore Ravens leaves both firmly on the bench.

*** UPDATE: A.J. Green being out indefinitely will give a boost to both players, but they still remain risky flex options against the Ravens Defense

Other Matchups:

Ryan Finley (QB, CIN)

I like Ryan Finley. I think it is smart that the Bengals have decided to see what they have in him leading up to next year's draft, and the rookie does have nice size and vision to beat blitzing defenses. The Ravens currently blitz passers on 49.1 percent of dropbacks this season, the second-highest rate in the NFL, but it is still difficult to trust Finley against an NFL defense in his first pro start. Head coach Zac Taylor will most likely keep things as simple as possible on Sunday, but there is potential to be had going forward.

Mark Ingram (RB, BAL)

After three straight weeks of failing to eclipse 4.0 yards per carry on the ground, Mark Ingram exploded for an average of 7.7 yards per tote against the New England Patriots in Week 9. Ingram has a positive game script on tap against the Cincinnati Bengals and looks like a good bet to find the endzone, but it is difficult to tout the Ravens back as a "love" selection when he lacks involvement in the passing game. I believe we see him go for close to 100 yards and at least a score, but there is a big difference between 100 yards, 1 catch and two touchdowns and 100 yards 1 catch and no touchdowns in PPR leagues.

Joe Mixon (RB, CIN)

The potential of A.J. Green returning would be massive news for Joe Mixon owners. Mixon has struggled to find much space on the ground this season - averaging just 3.2 yards per attempt. A bye week, change in QB and return of perhaps the teams' best player could do wonders for the whole offense, so I am not actively looking to bench Mixon this Sunday. There is potential there.

A.J. Green / Tyler Boyd (WR, CIN)

In 2018, Tyler Boyd averaged 8.22 targets, 6.11 receptions, 79.67 yards per game and 17.44 fantasy points per contest when Green lined up on the field with him. However, when Green was forced out of action, we saw Boyd's statistics plummet across the board, producing 6.8 targets, 4.2 receptions, 62.2 yards and 12.82 fantasy points per game. If you drafted Boyd expecting better production this season, the potential return of A.J. Green might be able to provide him a boost. Unfortunately, both players will be hard to trust with a rookie QB at the helm in Week 10, but this offense is on the upswing.

***UPDATE: After suffering a setback, A.J. Green very well might not be suiting up at all this season. If you own him in redraft, he can be dropped. Give boosts to Auden Tate and Alex Erickson. 

Tyler Eifert (TE, CIN)

I've said it before, but tight ends can sometimes serve as safety valves to younger QBs. The ability to get a quick release can help avoid turnovers, so Tyler Eifert is probably in a better situation than he was with Andy Dalton. That doesn't necessarily turn Eifert into a must-start against the Baltimore Ravens, but he is an intriguing name to monitor for TE desperate teams.

Mark Andrews (TE, BAL)

The quality of success the Cincinnati Bengals have had against TEs might be slightly misleading. Outside of George Kittle and Mark Andrews, the team has failed to face too many upper-echelon players at the position. Andrews' catch rate of 52.6% in his past three games is less than ideal, but he remains a TE1 if you own him.

 

Buffalo Bills at Cleveland Browns

Matchups We Love:

Nick Chubb (RB, CLE)

For as great as the Buffalo defense has been this season, they are ranked just 30th in the league when it comes to explosive rushes allowed. It has become clear that Baker Mayfield can not be trusted with the ball in his hands, so expect head coach Freddie Kitchens to draw up a heavy dosage of running plays against the third-ranked defense in passing efficiency. Chubb should be rolled out as an RB1 option in Week 10.

Matchups We Hate:

Frank Gore (RB, BUF)

Did the baton get passed in Week 9 from Frank Gore to Devin Singletary? It sure looks like it. Gore only saw 11 carries for 15 yards, and a lack of usage in the passing game kills his value if volume is not there. I can't get myself to take that risk that we see him included in the gameplan again, so I am out if I can avoid having to play him.

Cole Beasley (WR, BUF)

Touchdowns in three straight games for Cole Beasley have helped him to emerge as a startable fantasy asset, but touchdown dependency - especially for a player that hasn't shown that level of consistency during his career - is a tough pill to swallow. The Browns are not fully healthy on defense, but a letdown might be on its way for Beasley, who most likely can't keep up this pace.

Dawson Knox / Tyler Kroft (TE, BUF)

Tyler Kroft has been used more for run blocking, while Dawson Knox hasn't caught over three balls in a game this year. The position might be desolate of talent, but you can do better.

Ricky Seals-Jones / Demetrius Harris (TE, CLE)

Ricky Seals-Jones was forced out of Week 9s game against the Denver Broncos with a knee injury. If he were forced to miss the contest, Demetrius Harris would garner slight streaming upside, but neither man should be trusted if both are active and healthy.

***UPDATE: Ricky Seals-Jones' injury status as of Friday afternoon is listed as a game-time decision for Sunday.

Other Matchups:

Josh Allen (QB, BUF)

Josh Allen will have an opportunity to find success against a Cleveland Browns squad that has arguably been the biggest disappointments of the season but don't be shocked if we see the Brownies show up at home. A lot of Cleveland's defensive metrics have come without cornerbacks Greedy Williams and Denzel Ward, and the team has been somewhat stout against opposing QBs if you get rid of a few of the outliers against Tennessee, Baltimore and Seattle. This game looks like it will be a grind it out affair with both run games having an advantage, so while Allen does have some appeal with his legs, he might struggle to eclipse 200 yards through the air. If you want to play him as a QB2, sure. But there is some bust potential if his legs don't rack up the points for you.

Baker Mayfield (QB, CLE)

No interceptions for Baker Mayfield last weekend for the first time this year! Unfortunately, that didn't help propel the team to a win, and a matchup against a formidable Buffalo Bills Defense won't benefit him either. I don't believe Mayfield is nearly as bad as some of the numbers suggest, but it is an impossible sell to recommend him as anything more than a mid-end QB2 until something changes. Hate is a strong word, but it will be difficult to trust him on Sunday.

Devin Singletary (RB, BUF)

My only concern for Devin Singletary comes down to the game script on Sunday. The Bills are a run-heavy team that will want to get their rookie involved after accumulating 140 scrimmage yards in Week 9 - the most by any Bills player in the last two seasons, but I do think we get a feisty effort from the Browns on Sunday. If that places Buffalo down in the game, I could see a reduced workload and potential for a disappointment. Cleveland is allowing the fifth-most yards on the ground to RBs this year, so the matchup is promising, but it isn't a bulletproof situation.

Odell Beckham Jr. (WR, CLE)

The curious case of Odell Beckham Jr. Or is it? I know you aren't thrilled with the production you have received from your first or second-round pick this season, but are things really as bad as they seem? Through eight games, Beckham is on pace for his fifth career 1000-yard campaign, and if we remove his two clunkers in Weeks 4 and 5 against two of the more impressive defenses in the league, the 27-year-old had averaged 5.83 catches and 88 yards per game. There is a huge buy-low window available for fantasy teams that find themselves in the hunt for the title, and Sunday's game might be the last difficult test he has until Week 16. After Week 10, Pittsburgh (twice), Miami, Cincinnati, Arizona and Baltimore will be his closing stretch, so you might want to see if you can get Beckham for cheap.

Jarvis Landry (WR, CLE)

Similar to Odell Beckham Jr, Jarvis Landry is about to see his schedule lighten in terms of strength after this week, but is that a good thing for him? Landry has hauled in 23 targets in the past two weeks and has been Baker Mayfield's go-to option during crunch time moments. While you have to be encouraged if you own Landry, I believe there is actually an interesting sell-high window available for him. Beckham should take over as the man here shortly, which will move the four-time Pro-Bowler into a secondary role. There is some flex appeal available this weekend, but I would tread very lightly.

John Brown (WR, BUF)

I liked John Brown coming into the year, but I can't say I saw him being a high-floor fantasy option. Common sense would have dictated that the 29-year-old would have been more of a boom-or-bust weekly flier, but Brown has shaken that narrative by grabbing at least four balls in every game. In fairness, Brown has been somewhat limited by either catching just four or five passes in six of his eight games, but back-end WR2 numbers should not be scoffed at weekly. I see no reason why that level of consistency alters in Week 10, so roll him out as a bottom-end WR2 in 12-team leagues once again.

 

Detroit Lions at Chicago Bears

Matchups We Love:

David Montgomery (RB, CHI)

Despite all the rest of the issues the Bears have had offensively, it looks as if the David Montgomery show is finally in full effect. For the second straight week, Montgomery found success fantasy-wise - rushing for two scores against the Philadelphia Eagles en route to his second straight 20+ PPR scoring performance. While the rookies' yards and average per carry left a lot to be desired, Montgomery's recent usage has been the biggest takeaway of them all. The Lions have allowed 53% of rushing plays to grade successfully (28th best) and could have their hands full in Week 10.

T.J. Hockenson (TE, DET)

Love might be too strong of wording here, but T.J. Hockenson deserves to be treated as a playable TE1 against the Chicago Bears. The Bears Defense has been prone to giving up short passes all season, which helps to explain why they are ranked inside the bottom-five to tight ends on the year. It is hard to find consistent production out of the position, and Hockenson has a strong chance to catch fives or more passes on the day - placing him as a serviceable streaming option.

Matchups We Hate:

Kenny Golladay (WR, DET)

I am not an advocate of benching your studs, but this has nightmare written all over it for Kenny Golladay. The Lions wideout enters the week ranked eighth in air yards, but Chicago's lack of big plays given up mixed with Golladay's explosive nature that he has been needed recently to achieve some of these performances doesn't make me thrilled about his prospects. I don't believe he is a must-start top-24 wideout and is more inside of the flex territory.

Trey Burton (TE, CHI)

The matchup is winnable, but Trey Burton has failed to exceed six PPR points this season. If you have been holding onto him expecting more, the only upside he has is finding the endzone.

Other Matchups:

Mitch Trubisky (QB, CHI)

If you are willing to roll Mitch Trubisky out at QB on Sunday in deeper settings or two-QB leagues, you have to at least be willing to accept the idea that the third-year quarterback is in some danger of getting benched mid-game. Last Sunday, Trubisky failed to throw a touchdown for his fourth time in six full games and Chicago fans are getting tired of this weekly level of disappointment. It is worth noting that the Detroit Lions have been handled by opposing QBs in seven of their eight games this season, so there isn't complete negativity around the situation.

Matthew Stafford (QB, DET)

After providing at least 23.4 fantasy points in four of his past five games, Matthew Stafford will look to do it again this weekend on the road against the Chicago Bears. The Bears have been an interesting unit defensively - giving up the seventh-fewest points per contest to the position, but they have allowed quarterbacks to be successful through the air - ranking 21st in the league in success rate against the pass. The reason for this disparity comes down to the Bears trusting their open-field tackling, but something is going to have to change if they want to improve on their 3-5 record. I think a lot of owners are going to play Stafford thinking he will be able to find success, but I would be very cautious when it comes to falling for this potential trap.

Tarik Cohen (RB, CHI)

Detroit's woes against the rush won't exactly benefit Tarik Cohen, as the former North Carolina AT&T State Aggie does most of his work through the air. Mitchell Trubisky's lack of success this season hasn't helped Cohen find a consistent floor, and he remains not much more than a dart flex play on Sunday.

Ty Johnson / J.D. McKissic (RB, DET)

The lack of clarity around Ty Johnson's and J.D. McKissic's split puts us in a precarious spot. Johnson has completely failed to take advantage of his opportunity so far, while McKissic has shown some promise catching passes through the air. The Bears have been defeated by rushing attacks this year, but it is hard to treat either as anything more than flex play because of the uncertainty.

Marvin Jones Jr. / Danny Amendola (WR, DET)

My reasons behind hating Kenny Golladay could also be placed on Marvin Jones, but the 29-year-old has been a little more than a big-play specialist this season. The matchup puts him in the WR3/WR4 range. On the other hand, Danny Amendola does have a decent game script with how the Bears like to defend offenses. It is difficult to trust him as better than a WR3/WR4 himself, but it wouldn't shock me to see him receive eight or more targets.

Allen Robinson (WR, CHI)

Allen Robinson gets a nice bounce-back spot on paper against a Detroit Lions secondary that has struggled to defend wideouts this year but will get downgraded slightly by having to face CB Darius Slay. Add to those issues a quarterback in Mitch Trubisky that has regressed in his third season, and you have a suboptimal picture starting to form. Robinson has enough upside to be treated as a back-end WR2, but he isn't in that range by a whole ton.

 

New York Giants at New York Jets

Matchups We Love:

Saquon Barkley (RB, NYG)

If we look at pure rushing statistics, the New York Jets have been brilliant on the season against the rush. Only 36% of plays have graded out successfully (second-best in the league) and only one team has broken 100 yards on the ground against them. The issue has been their secondary, which has allowed teams to run up scores and put their front four into precarious positions near their goal line. It hasn't helped that the Jets have surrendered over 50 receptions to backs this season, so look for Saquon Barkley to be used heavily in all facets of the game.

Golden Tate (WR, NYG)

Even if Sterling Shepard returns for the New York Giants, Golden Tate is going to remain fantasy-relevant for the rest of this season. Tight end Evan Engram is dealing with a foot injury that could cost him multiple weeks, and Tate has been the best playmaker during Shepard's absence, averaging 6.5 catches in his last four games.

Jamison Crowder (WR, NYJ)

Jamison Crowder, the NFL's checkdown machine, was targeted nine times in Week 9 and will most likely be used in a similar fashion against a leaky Giants secondary. The Giants have allowed the third-most fantasy points per game to wide receivers at 41.6 in PPR leagues, which helps Crowder's case as a potential WR2 on the day.

Matchups We Hate:

None

Other Matchups:

Daniel Jones (QB, NYG)

With the New York Jets ranked 26th in success rate against the pass, Daniel Jones enters the streaming conversation in Week 10. Jones has attempted 39 passes per game in his past three contests, and the Jets have allowed six total touchdowns to Gardner Minshew and Ryan Fitzpatrick during the last two weeks. All those things add up to the rookie being streamable for potential QB1 production.

Sam Darnold (QB, NYJ)

If you are desperate for an option in extremely deep leagues, Sam Darnold might be a sufficient choice. The second-year pro has thrown nine interceptions in his previous four games, but a lot of his issues have stemmed inside the red zone - throwing a league-high four interceptions. It is almost impossible to trust him in 12-man settings, but two-QB participants and deeper leagues should have him on their radar.

Le'Veon Bell / Ty Montgomery (RB, NYJ)

The matchup is a good one for Le'Veon Bell, and you are playing him as an RB1 if he suits up, but after netting 25 touches in Week 9, the Jets RB underwent an MRI for his knee on Monday. That has at least put his availability in question for Sunday and could limit his usage rate.

***UPDATE: Le'Veon Bell was listed as a limited participant in Friday's practice, but the Jets are optimistic he will play on Sunday.

Sterling Shepard / Darius Slayton (WR, NYG)

Sterling Shepard was forced to re-enter the league's concussion protocol ahead of Monday night's game against Dallas. That is obviously not good news for his potential to return on Sunday and could mean the Giants are without their wideout once again. It looks unlikely that Shepard will practice at all this week, so you most likely will have to look elsewhere for production. Assuming Shepard does indeed miss the game, Darius Slayton would carry some marginal flex appeal against a poor Jets squad, although he has failed to catch over four passes in any game this season.

***UPDATE: Sterling Shepard has officially been ruled out for Sunday's game.

Robby Anderson (WR, NYJ)

If you are looking for air yards, Robby Anderson has you covered. But if you are looking for consistent production, the Jets speedster has failed to provide any this season. There is a chance we see Anderson explode against a weak Giants secondary, but there is just as good of a shot that he fails to provide much on the stat sheet. Consider Anderson a risky flex option that has a great matchup.

Rhett Ellison (TE, NYG)

With Evan Engram sidelined for Sunday's game, Rhett Ellison is expected to inherit the starting role. However, I'd be careful in placing too much faith into the 31-year-old in Week 10. If you are desperate for a streaming option, that is fine. But Ellison doesn't all of a sudden become a must-start player.

Chris Herndon IV / Ryan Griffin (TE, NYJ)

Are we even sure Chris Herndon is real at this point? Between the offseason hype and the weekly misfortunes that have prevented him from suiting up at all this season, it is hard to take any report that comes out about him too seriously. With that being said, Herndon has been limited in practice this weekend, and head coach Adam Gase has claimed that his big man will be able to practice fully at some point this week. Hmm. Why do I feel like I have heard this before? Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me 1,000 times, shame on me! I will believe it when I see it. Ryan Griffin has done more than an adequate job in recent weeks, catching 10 passes in his previous two games, but his stock will plummet if the mythical Herndon does find a way to make it onto an NFL field any time soon.

***UPDATE: Chris Herndon remains questionable as of Friday afternoon, but Adam Gase has expressed optimism in his availability for Sunday's game.

 

Kansas City Chiefs at Tennessee Titans

Matchups We Love:

Patrick Mahomes / Matt Moore (QB, KC)

If you exclude the Titans' Week 1 and 6 drubbings over the Cleveland Browns and Denver Broncos, their defense against QBs has not been as good as it looks on paper. Assuming Patrick Mahomes is able to return to the lineup on Sunday, don't overthink this decision. Mahomes is the premier quarterback in fantasy football for a reason and should be rolled out with confidence.

***UPDATE: Patrick Mahomes is on track to play Sunday. Keep an eye on his status throughout the weekend to account for any setbacks, but it appears safe to place him in starting lineups as of now.

Derrick Henry (RB, TEN)

Derrick Henry's lack of usage in the passing game will always hurt his value, but his three-catch, 36-yard and one-touchdown performance through the air in Week 9 was a pleasant surprise to his fantasy owners. The Chiefs have allowed the third-most rushing yards to tailbacks this season and are ranked 31st in success rate against the rush. Henry was a beatable matchup on Sunday and should be considered in the RB1 range, even if his lack of usage through the air inevitably hurts his ceiling.

Travis Kelce (TE, KC)

While Travis Kelce has been solid during Patrick Mahomes' vacancy, the physical TE will be glad to get his QB to return in Week 10 if he is healthy enough to go. The Titans have been average against the position this season, but Kelce is perhaps the most elite player in the NFL when it comes to tight ends.

Matchups We Hate:

Mecole Hardman / Demarcus Robinson (WR, KC)

I am interested to see how the offense looks at the third WR spot with Patrick Mahomes potentially back as the starting option. Demarcus Robinson has gotten more run recently, but Mecole Hardman seems like the better big-play option for the Chiefs' offense. Until we get better clarity behind what the team is going to do moving forward, both should be left on the bench.

Other Matchups:

Ryan Tannehill (QB, TEN)

If we look at the quarterbacks the Kansas City Chiefs have faced this season, you start to realize that they have not received much of a break. Lamar Jackson, Matthew Stafford, Deshaun Watson and Aaron Rodgers have all had their crack at them since Week 3, so you might want to be careful in thinking that the Chiefs are a beatable secondary - even if they are in the bottom-10 in points allowed to the position. Ryan Tannehill has been brilliant since taking over for Marcus Mariota in Week 7, but there is some risk involved on Sunday. View Tannehill as a QB2 against the Chiefs.

Damien Williams / LeSean McCoy (RB, KC)

The split in Kansas City has been more confusing than we are used to seeing from head coach Andy Reid. After a poor performance in Week 8 for LeSean McCoy, Damien Williams was placed back into the main role - rushing for 125 yards on 12 carries. Ninty-one of those yards did come during his scoring scamper, but Williams' big-play ability should earn him more work in Week 10. Consider Williams a flex option due to his uncertain workload, while McCoy is more of a desperation flex play himself.

Tyreek Hill / Sammy Watkins (WR, KC)

The Titans have limited wideouts to just 157 yards per game this season. Those statistics obviously can be thrown out the window when facing a quarterback like Patrick Mahomes, but it is going to be difficult for both men to find a ton of success on the day. Hill is probably closer to a WR2, whereas Watkins is more in the back-end WR2 or high-end WR3 range.

Corey Davis / A.J. Brown / Adam Humphries (WR, TEN)

For as much slack as the Kansas City Chiefs get defensively, they are a very stout secondary. Ranked 12th in success against the pass and third in fewest yards given up to wide receivers, Corey Davis, A.J. Brown and Adam Humphries are all risky plays in Week 10. Davis has been limited in practice with a hip injury, Humphries is only providing low upside potential as of late and Brown has been the best playmaker on the team with three straight respectable performances but has been underutilized in the game script. I included Humphries into this section because he at least has a built-in floor better than most, but I have no interest in playing him this weekend. Davis' injury scares me off of him as anything more than a low-quality WR3, but that is even potentially too high, and Brown would be the option I would be most interested in playing if I was looking for a potential dart throw at flex.

Jonnu Smith / Delanie Walker (TE, TEN)

It doesn't look likely that we see Delanie Walker return this weekend, although he is inching closer to being healthy enough to play. Assuming Walker does miss the game, Jonnu Smith will remain in his TE1 streaming role and has a winnable matchup with Kansas City allowing the fifth-most catches and 10th-most yards per game to tight ends. We did see how low Smith's floor could be during his three-catch and 18-yard performance last weekend, but the targets should be there in Week 10 to find production.

 

Arizona Cardinals at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Matchups We Love:

Jameis Winston (QB, TB)

After two straight heartbreaking losses, which will require the second-longest trip this weekend in terms of miles from Seattle back home to Tampa Bay, Jameis Winston will have a few things going against him against the Arizona Cardinals. Still, though, it is difficult to imagine Winston won't be able to produce a fantasy-relevant performance against a struggling Cardinals Defense, and that alone makes him worth a start in one-QB leagues.

Kyler Murray (QB, ARI)

It will be interesting to see if CB Carlton Davis is able to go on Sunday. He was sorely missed last weekend against the Seattle Seahawks, which helps to explain why three of Russell Wilson's five touchdowns came against rookie Jamel Dean. If Davis does end up being inactive again, Murray has the potential to be one of the top fantasy scorers on the day against a demoralized Buccaneers squad.

Christian Kirk / Larry Fitzgerald (WR, ARI)

The Arizona Cardinals offense has sputtered at times this season, but a clash against the Tampa Buccaneers should be what everyone needs to get back on track. As a whole, I thought the Cardinals provided an encouraging performance on Thursday against the San Francisco 49ers, and extra rest time should be beneficial to all. The Buccaneers are ranked 23rd in the league in success rate against the pass and might be without their top corner, who is Jamel Dean. I know Christian Kirk and Larry Fitzgerald have been aggravating to play at times, but consider Kirk a WR2 and Fitzgerald a WR3/flex - with the potential for even better than that.

Mike Evans / Chris Godwin (WR, TB)

Mike Evans is the number two PPR wideout, and Chris Godwin is the fourth-ranked WR. With Arizona being ranked 31st against the pass, do I really need to say more? The biggest concern is that Jameis Winston has taken turns peppering each pass-catcher in different games, but there is no reason to guess who will be the one that produces Sunday. It very well could be both, so view each as WR1 options.

O.J. Howard (TE, TB)

I can't believe I am actually getting myself to type this, but I like O.J. Howard a lot this week if he plays. No team allows more points to the position than the Arizona Cardinals, and Howard is the perfect replacement for teams needing bye week help. If Howard is unable to suit up, Cameron Brate would jump into the same equation as Howard.

***UPDATE: O.J. Howard does not have an injury designation heading into the weekend. He is set to play in Week 10.

Matchups We Hate:

Kenyan Drake (RB, ARI)

Kenyan Drake looked fantastic in his Arizona Cardinals debut, but let's pump the brakes before anointing him as anything more than David Johnson's backup. The aforementioned Johnson is trending towards playing - further hurting Drake's fantasy outlook, and the Buccaneers will provide a stiff test in any situation, as they rank first in success against the run.

Peyton Barber (RB, TB)

I can see it now: After head coach Bruce Arians praised Ronald Jones and called him the new primary ball-handler, Peyton Barber will come back from the dead to stifle production from the teams' new starter. As a frustrated Jones owner in some settings, it would be all too fitting. However, that isn't necessarily something we should expect to happen, as Barber was held to just four rushes last weekend and has been demoted on the depth chart. Crazier things have happened, but Barber looks droppable right now.

Other Matchups:

David Johnson (RB, ARI)

Assuming David Johnson is healthy and ready to play, a showdown against the Buccaneers isn't quite as bad for him as it might be for another RB. Johnson has gotten most of his fantasy value this season through the air, so if he is active, you probably will still need to start him.

Ronald Jones II (RB, TB)

The news of Ronald Jones being named the starter is promising, but expectations should be tempered slightly. Double-digit carries and some passing game work should make Jones an RB2 for most weeks, but there will be volatility from a week-to-week basis. With that being said, a  Week 10 matchup against the Arizona Cardinals is a promising one, so I am fine treating him as a top-24 back on Sunday.

 

Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints

Matchups We Love:

Drew Brees (QB, NO)

I believe a legitimate case can be made that Drew Brees is the top QB on the board in Week 10. The Atlanta Falcons are ranked dead last in success rate against the pass and have allowed five QBs to surpass 20 points this year in fantasy scoring. To reach that level, Brees may need the Falcons to provide a fight so he has to remain aggressive in the second half, but a 20-point showing is well within grasps and should be expected.

Alvin Kamara (RB, NO)

It looks like the bye week did Alvin Kamara well, as the dynamic back has looked like he will be ready to take the field after a two-game absence. A showdown against the Atlanta Falcons provides a blowup spot for Kamara, and he should be treated as one of the top options on the slate if he plays.

Julio Jones (WR, ATL)

Julio Jones hasn't found the end zone since Week 3, but the All-Pro wideout has totaled 24 receptions for 353 yards in his past three games. With QB Matt Ryan supposedly back behind center for the Falcons, look for Jones to continue his ridiculous pace.

Michael Thomas (WR, NO)

Michael Thomas has been the best WR in the NFL this season and is someone you aren't leaving on the bench in any situation. It doesn't hurt that the Saints have had a week off to prepare for this game, so Thomas has all the makings to explode again in Week 10

Matchups We Hate:

Russell Gage (WR, ATL)

After Mohamed Sanu was traded to the New England Patriots, Russell Gage burst onto the scenes in Week 8 with seven catches for 58 yards. While the level of production is encouraging when it comes to his value for the rest of the season, Gage did all his work with QB Matt Schaub under center and will need to find a rhythm with Matt Ryan. That is enough of a reason for me to not view Gage as anything better than a WR4 for the time being.

Other Matchups:

Matt Ryan (QB, ATL)

Matt Ryan barely missed Week 8s game against the Seattle Seahawks and drew a bye at the perfect time to get rested for a Week 10 showdown in New Orleans. Ryan shouldn't be avoided with the amount of passing work that will be presented to him on the day, but if we exclude the Saints' generous donations to Deshaun Watson and Russell Wilson in terms of fantasy points, this defense has not been easily beaten. The Saints are ranked sixth in success rate against the pass and should find multiple opportunities to turn Ryan over on the day. There is enough volume to expect a 10-point floor, but there isn't necessarily the upside that may appear on the surface.

***UPDATE: Matt Ryan has been cleared to play on Sunday.

Latavius Murray (RB, NO)

I'm not so sure we see the New Orleans Saints go completely away from Latavius Murray after his monstrous performances during Alvin Kamara's injury, but it will be nearly impossible to trust Murray as anything more than a low upside flex option if Kamara is able to return to the lineup. It wouldn't shock me to see Murray score a touchdown, which is why he will avoid the hate list, but expectations need to be tempered.

Devonta Freeman (RB, ATL)

As long as Devonta Freeman keeps getting used in the passing game, fantasy owners should remain happy with the production they are receiving. Freeman has only averaged 3.4 yards per carry this season and has failed to score a rushing touchdown, but his 35 receptions and three scores through the air have saved his season. With the Saints not allowing a 100-yard rusher in 30 straight games, it seems likely we see Freeman struggle on the ground, putting all his potential on his pass-catching acumen. In my opinion, that makes him a risky RB2.

Calvin Ridley (WR, ATL)

Calvin Ridley's production has been scattered since his quick start to the year, but the second-year pro has received at least six targets in all games but one this year. The results haven't always been consistent, but Ridley has enough volume to warrant WR2 production in all formats.

Ted Ginn Jr. (WR, NO)

With so much of the offense running through Michael Thomas and the Saints' running game, you are looking for a big-play touchdown if you start Ted Ginn Jr. It is possible that you get it on Sunday against a Falcons Defense that is ranked 28th in explosive passes allowed, but Ginn should still not be viewed as much more than a desperation flex target.

Jared Cook (TE, NO)

It is still not guaranteed that Jared Cook will be healthy enough to reclaim his starting whole after suffering from an ankle injury for the past few weeks, but his full participation during Wednesday's practice should alleviate most concerns. A matchup against the Atlanta Falcons is favorable, but Cook's has failed to surpass 41 yards in any game this year.


Austin Hooper (TE, ATL)

Numbers don't lie, and Austin Hooper is currently ranked as the best TE in PPR fantasy football leagues. The New Orleans Saints have been respectable against tight ends this season, but if you own Hooper, you are playing him.

 

Matchups Analysis - 4:00 PM ET Games

Miami Dolphins at Indianapolis Colts

Matchups We Love:

Marlon Mack (RB, IND)

The Dolphins held Le’Veon Bell to 66 rushing yards on 17 carries last week, which amounts to an admirable 3.9 yards per carry if you’re on the defensive side of that total. Even after that commendable effort, Miami still leads the NFL in rushing yards allowed to opposing backs. Marlon Mack has seen at least 18 carries in his last four games, and has averaged over four yards per tote in three of them. With Indy’s best-case scenario at quarterback being a hobbled Jacoby Brissett and its worst-case involving Brian Hoyer, expect the Colts to rely heavily on Mack to control the ball and the clock. He’s a solid bet to return high-end RB1 numbers in an extremely favorable matchup.

Matchups We Hate:

Kalen Ballage (RB, MIA)

By process of elimination, Kalen Ballage figures to take over as Miami’s lead back for at least the next four weeks. Even so, he has done next to nothing to actually earn an increased workload, and doesn’t inherit the softest matchup in the Colts. Indy hasn’t allowed an individual running back to gain more than 88 yards on the ground, and has permitted just three rushing touchdowns on the season. Ballage is in unique territory as a workhorse back that can be straight-up ignored in fantasy unless he gives us a reason to believe otherwise.

Other Matchups:

Jacoby Brissett / Brian Hoyer (QB, IND)

One way or another, I’m not anticipating an aerial onslaught out of the Colts this week. With T.Y. Hilton out for a couple of weeks and a terrible Miami run defense coming to town, this game has Marlon Mack written all over it. Even if Jacoby Brissett is given the green light to play in Week 10 following his MCL sprain, it’s tough to imagine him going out there and putting up 300 yards and multiple scores through the air. Brian Hoyer, for obvious reasons, is even less of a candidate to produce big-time numbers in a game where the Colts should be able to rely on the run.

***UPDATE: Jacoby Brissett is listed as a game-time decision heading into the weekend. Prepare accordingly now in the event you need to make a quick switch on Sunday, especially since this game kicks off in the late afternoon.

Zach Pascal / Chester Rogers / T.Y. Hilton (WR, IND)

Indy’s depth at WR will be tested in the near future, with T.Y. Hilton expected to miss multiple games due to a calf injury. He is currently listed as doubtful so I am including him here on the off chance he plays, but it is best to prepare as if he will be unavailable. Further depleting this group is a potentially season-ending injury to Parris Campbell, who was emerging as a half-decent fill-in for Hilton until he broke his hand last week. That leaves us with Zach Pascal and Chester Rogers, both of whom caught touchdowns in Week 9. Pascal is the only one you can seriously count on in fantasy lineups for Week 10. He’s gone for at least 53 yards and/or at least one touchdown in four of his last six games. Miami is tied for the league lead in touchdowns allowed to wide receivers, setting Pascal up for a potentially solid fantasy day--with the caveat that his QB could be a backup or a banged-up Brissett.

Jack Doyle / Eric Ebron (TE, IND)

There’s just too even a split between Jack Doyle and Eric Ebron to count heavily on one or the other when both are active. Neither has caught more than four passes in a game this season, and Ebron has only reached that threshold once. They’re a touchdown-dependent pair, and the odds are stacked against you when trying to predict which one will score; their splits in the red zone are just as even as they are everywhere else on the field.

Jordan Wilkins / Nyheim Hines (RB, IND)

Miami hasn't been as embarrassing in recent weeks as they were when the season began, so we can't just automatically chalk this game up as a blowout win for Indianapolis. That said, there is a decent chance the Colts find themselves up by at least a safe margin, in which case Jordan Wilkins and Nyheim Hines may see some run. These guys are only for the truly desperate at running back or flex, but there are six teams on bye, and both players have a reasonable shot at a one-day increase in work.

Devante Parker (WR, MIA)

Preston Williams was closing in on something of a breakout year in an otherwise lost season for the Dolphins, so his season-ending injury is truly gutting whether you have him on your fantasy roster or not. My gut tells me DeVante Parker gets a bigger boost with Williams out than any secondary pass-catching option that may step into a more involved role. Ryan Fitzpatrick is 36 years old; he wants to play well and win even if his team is bad, and he’s going to look to the guy he trusts the most. Parker has averaged eight targets in the three full games since Fitzpatrick reclaimed the starting role, and I like him to see an uptick going forward. He’s caught a touchdown in four of his last five games, so the real question is… why not? As for Albert Wilson, Jakeem Grant, Allen Hurns, or any other wide receiver who may see more playing time without Williams, you’re doing your fantasy team a disservice if you start them. The Colts are allowing 11 receptions per game to wideouts, and Parker is probably going to take more than half of those for himself.

Mike Gesicki (TE, MIA)

If I’m going to throw a dart at any Miami pass-catcher in the wake of Williams’ injury, I’d actually prefer Mike Gesicki. Gesicki ranks fifth among all tight ends in yards before catch per reception at 8.5. The problem is he only has 21 catches, though it’s worth noting he just had his best game of the season in Week 9 with six catches on as many targets for 95 yards. The Colts haven’t been the most exploitable defense against tight ends, but they have given up four touchdowns to the position along with 9.46 yards per catch. I’d hesitate to start Gesicki in any format for Week 10, though I’m in favor of playoff-bound teams with deep rosters adding him as a bench stash in case he emerges as a solid option in the second half of this season.

Ryan Fitzpatrick (QB, MIA)

The Colts last allowed multiple touchdown passes in a game to Derek Carr all the way back in September. Part of this sample includes games against Deshaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes, so it’s not as though Indy has been solely shutting down incompetent pass offenses. Considering how short-staffed Miami is on the ground, Ryan Fitzpatrick should be asked to throw the ball enough to give him a chance to break this pattern. He’s still not exactly a safe bet to produce start-worthy fantasy numbers, as turnovers continue to be a part of the package regarding the veteran.

 

Carolina Panthers at Green Bay Packers

Matchups We Love:

Christian McCaffrey (RB, CAR)

The Packers have been up and down against the run, but the key thing to keep in mind is that their downs have mostly been at the hands of teams whose offenses rely heavily on running back(s). Josh Jacobs, Melvin Gordon, and the tandem of Jordan Howard and Miles Sanders have all burned this Green Bay run front this season. No team relies on its running back more heavily than the Panthers, as Christian McCaffrey is averaging just south of 26 touches per game. Add in the fact that he has scored 13 total touchdowns, and I wouldn’t be worried about McCaffrey against the Pack (11 total touchdowns allowed to RBs) on Sunday.

Aaron Jones (RB, GB)

Aaron Jones was bound to fall victim to gravity at some point, and it happened in Week 9. After catching 28 of 34 targets in his last five games leading up to Sunday’s game against the Chargers, Jones caught just one pass in the surprisingly lopsided defeat. He also failed to reach the endzone for just the third time all season. Let’s chalk this dud up to game flow. The Packers were down big early, which led to Jones only seeing eight carries on the day. Green Bay won’t often be draped under multi-score deficits, so Jones will rarely be rendered such a total non-factor. Carolina has allowed the most total touchdowns to running backs in the entire league, is giving up 4.9 yards per carry, and is statistically the worst red zone defense in the NFL. A big bounce-back should be on the way for Jones.

Matchups We Hate:

Jimmy Graham (TE, GB)

Jimmy Graham has posted just three double-digit PPR outings, and he needed touchdowns to do so in two of them. Only four teams have allowed fewer receptions to tight ends than the Panthers, meaning Graham will likely once again need to score to provide solid value on Sunday.

Other Matchups:

D.J. Moore / Curtis Samuel (WR, CAR)

Green Bay is allowing a whopping 17.4 yards per catch to receivers, so there is big-play potential for the Panthers passing game in this one. From a PPR standpoint, I’d be concerned about the outlooks for D.J. Moore and Curtis Samuel this week. The Pack has allowed fewer than 10 receptions per game to wide receivers. If you’re going to bank on anyone, it has to be Moore. He has seen at least eight targets in his last four games, and has turned in double-digit PPR outings in three of those. Samuel has a wider range of outcomes, as he has caught four or fewer passes in five straight games. Still, it’s hard to completely lose faith in a guy averaging 7.5 targets per game in what has become a two-pronged downfield passing attack. I can understand if you hesitate to start Samuel this week, but I can’t bring myself to suggest benching Moore.

Greg Olsen (TE, CAR)

The fantasy woes continued for Greg Olsen’s investors in Week 9, as he caught just three passes for 40 yards and was held scoreless for the fifth consecutive game. On the bright side, he was targeted six times. You’d like to think he’s poised for a reemergence against a Packers Defense allowing over five receptions and just under 60 yards per game to tight ends, along with five total touchdowns. But Olsen is nearing the end of the line in terms of getting an automatic benefit of the doubt in fantasy lineups.

Kyle Allen (QB, CAR)

For better or worse, the starting quarterback job in Carolina belongs to Kyle Allen for the rest of this season. It’s not often I’d refer to a quarterback as “touchdown-dependent,” as scoring is usually part of the deal at that position, but if anyone qualifies as such, it’s Allen. He’s completed under 65% of his passes in four straight games, and well under 60% in three of those. He has yet to break 300 yards passing in a game, and has only gone over 250 once. The Packers are a bend-but-don’t break pass defense, permitting 272.1 yards per game to QBs but only 11 passing touchdowns in nine games. Factor in that they’re also a top-10 team in terms of forcing turnovers, and I’d look somewhere other than Carolina for my streaming QB for Week 10.

Aaron Rodgers (QB, GB)

The Panthers are a strange team defensively. In general, they present a pretty tough matchup for quarterbacks. They own the league’s second-best sack rate, the third-highest turnover and interception rates, and have picked off more passes than they’ve allowed touchdowns through the air. They’re also holding opponents under 230 yards passing per game, and though they’ve allowed the most catches per game (15.9) to wide receivers, that hasn’t translated into a ton of success (11.3 yards per catch, five touchdowns). Working against them is a surprising league-high 69.2% touchdown rate on opponents’ red zone possessions, and they’ve started showing susceptibility to the run in recent weeks as well. All of this adds up to a game script that could very easily feature Aaron Rodgers feeling rushed in the pocket and settling for intermediate-range passes and dump-offs, with an extremely heavy dose of Aaron Jones. Rodgers looks like more of an efficiency option in fantasy lineups this week, as opposed to a QB with super-high upside.

Davante Adams (WR, GB)

From a sheer PPR standpoint, Davante Adams should be in line to produce one of the highest floors of any WR1 in Week 10. The Panthers are giving up nearly 16 receptions per game to the position, and you know Adams is going to see enough opportunities to get at least half of that average on his own. Adams has missed four games, and he still leads all Green Bay players in targets for the season. Think about that. What I’m concerned about is his upside, considering Carolina’s bend-but-don’t break metrics against wideouts. Adding further murkiness to his outlook is that the toe injury that kept him out for a month has been slowing him down in practice again this week. I love him as a near-lock to put up double-digit PPR points this week, but a touchdown would be a bonus, and 100-plus yards will be a tough ask.

Other Packers Wide Receivers (WR, GB)

This shouldn’t come as a surprise, but Adams’ return last week relegated every other Green Bay pass-catcher to background roles. Running back Jamaal Williams actually saw the second-most targets on the team behind Adams’ 11, which is especially concerning when you factor in that the Packers had virtually no choice but to throw a ton. While Rodgers’ ability and willingness to spread the ball around makes the Packers a dangerous team to prepare for in real life, it makes them an equally dangerous team to rely on in fantasy unless you have Adams. I’m lumping this entire receiving corps under one big “tread with caution” umbrella if Adams is once again active in Week 10. Marquez Valdes-Scantling is dealing with injury concerns of his own, so monitor his status heading into the weekend. In the event Adams suffers a setback and is inactive, a healthy Valdes-Scantling rejoins the PPR conversation, along with Allen Lazard and Geronimo Allison. Even so, I have to point out that none of these three have caught more than five passes in a game since Week 3, with or without Adams out there to vacuum up targets.

Jamaal Williams (RB, GB)

Jamaal Williams has quietly scored a receiving touchdown in four straight games, and in Week 9 posted season-highs in targets (six), receptions (six), and receiving yards (39). He’s still a very volume-based PPR option, as last week marked his third straight contest with single-digit rushing attempts. In fact, he’s only carried the ball more than 10 times twice this year. The Panthers present one of the more unfriendly matchups for pass-catching backs, and have allowed the third-fewest receiving yards to the position. Williams will probably have to get into the endzone again to return start-worthy fantasy value.

 

Los Angeles Rams at Pittsburgh Steelers

Matchups We Love:

None

Matchups We Hate:

JuJu Smith-Schuster (WR, PIT)

JuJu Smith-Schuster has had as rough a fantasy season as anyone, and now he’s likely to have a well-rested Jalen Ramsey in his face for much of Sunday. Even his target share is barely worth hanging your hat on at this point, as he’s seen five or fewer passes thrown his way in three of his last five games. I understand that it’s hard to bench a player you likely drafted in the second round, even with all the evidence that suggests it would be a prudent decision. Still, this is a matchup in which his name and draft position alone aren’t the end-all in determining whether to start him. If you have a deep WR corps on your roster, I wouldn’t be opposed to turning to a higher-floor PPR option against the Rams.

Other Matchups:

Todd Gurley (RB, LAR)

Usually when a player is labeled touchdown-dependent, you’re scared of his floor in any given week. At least with Todd Gurley, touchdowns aren’t few and far between. He has seven of them (six rushing, one receiving) in as many games. Continuing this trend on the road against a Pittsburgh team that has permitted just four running backs to score all year will prove difficult. It doesn’t help that the Steelers are also giving up under four yards per carry and well under 100 yards per game to RBs. This is one week in which I would worry about Gurley’s floor, as he has gained an average of 3.9 yards per carry on the season.

Malcolm Brown / Darrell Henderson (RB, LAR)

Malcolm Brown remains limited with the injury that held him out of the Rams’ last two games before their Week 9 bye, so his status should be closely paid attention to heading into the weekend. Even if he’s active, it’s worth noting that Darrell Henderson was given more work as Gurley’s understudy than Brown had seen earlier in the season. Henderson didn’t exactly run away with the second-string role, averaging just 3.63 yards per attempt on 22 totes, but the Rams’ willingness to give him chances should at least cloud this backfield beyond Gurley for the moment. Considering the matchup against a tough Pittsburgh run defense, I don’t know that you can confidently roll with either Brown or Henderson for Week 10.

***UPDATE: Malcolm Brown was a full participant in Thursday's practice, and has shed his injury designation as a result. The Rams appear set to have three running backs available for Sunday's game.

Jared Goff (QB, LAR)

No team in the league has forced turnovers at a higher rate than the Steelers, and they rank second in pressure rate as well. Pittsburgh is also a relatively blitz-heavy team, and Jared Goff’s numbers against the blitz aren’t particularly inviting: 54.13% completion rate, four touchdowns, three interceptions. Goff has tossed eight of his 11 touchdowns in the red zone, where the Steelers rank as the 10th-toughest team to score on. Goff looked like a fine fantasy option in back-to-back games versus pathetic defenses preceding the Rams’ bye, but I’m tempering expectations on the road in Pittsburgh.

Cooper Kupp (WR, LAR)

This is an odd situation in which I like Cooper Kupp better than his positional teammates, but I don’t love the matchup for any Rams wideout. The Steelers are holding opposing receivers to just over 11 catches per game. Kupp is among the safest bets in the league to come close to catching that many passes all by himself, and perhaps I’m not giving him enough credit for going over 100 yards in five of eight games. I’m just not overly fond of his quarterback in road games, much less road games on the other side of the country. The Rams have also started to resemble a more structured team defensively in their last two games, so I’m not sure a Goff-centric game plan is their best formula for a victory against Pittsburgh. Kupp is an obvious WR1 in just about any matchup, just know that he’s not always going to go for more than 100 yards and score a touchdown.

Robert Woods / Josh Reynolds (WR, LAR)

Robert Woods has one of the more disappointingly volatile fantasy profiles of any WR who was highly regarded coming into the season. His fourth-best fantasy day was a game against San Francisco in which he caught zero passes and just happened to score a rushing touchdown, for crying out loud. He hasn’t scored a receiving touchdown all year long, and has caught fewer than five passes in four of eight games. Even a 19% target share (second on team) hasn’t been enough to propel him into fantasy relevance on a weekly basis. Maybe he’ll begin to take off with Brandin Cooks out, but that’s a wait-and-see prospect. I’d consider him a volume-dependent PPR flex play for Week 10 in a matchup that isn’t very conducive to high-upside PPR outings. As for Josh Reynolds, I’m only listing him here because of his potential increase in opportunities with Cooks sidelined. It’s certainly encouraging that he went for 73 yards and a touchdown in Week 8 when Cooks was initially injured, but you’re going to want to see more from a guy who’s caught five passes all season before locking him in fantasy lineups with confidence.

Gerald Everett (TE, LAR)

Speaking of volatility, I guess Gerald Everett wouldn’t be a true fantasy tight end if there weren’t some frustrating ups and downs in his spectrum of outcomes. Here are his catch, target, yardage, and touchdown outputs in his last four games: 7/11/136/0, 2/5/9/0, 4/10/50/1, 2/3/15/0. At his position, you just have to look to those two good outings and hope this pattern continues into Week 10. The Steelers are tied for the third-most touchdowns allowed to tight ends with five. Look at it this way: there aren’t 10 or 12 definitively better options at tight end, so you’re rolling him out there on Sunday.

Mason Rudolph (QB, PIT)

The Rams caught a bad rap for losing three games in a row earlier in the year, especially because their once-vaunted pass defense was shredded to atoms in two of those games. They began to return to form in their final two games before last week’s bye, and even if they aren’t who we thought they were in the long run, they’re good enough to shut down Mason Rudolph for 60 minutes. Los Angeles pressures the quarterback at the fourth-highest rate in football, which should be enough to speed the game up for a Steelers quarterback who already possesses one of the lower fantasy ceilings of any real-life starter. I’d list him among the hates if I thought you had any reason to start him in the first place.

Diontae Johnson (WR, PIT)

With his teammate presumably getting blanketed by Jalen Ramsey all day, I can envision a scenario in which Diontae Johnson is the most heavily-targeted receiver on the field for the Steelers this week. The issue is banking on that to translate into production. Mason Rudolph ranks 30th in the NFL in yards gained per pass attempt, due in large part to the Steelers’ tendency to rely on their running backs in the passing game ever since Ben Roethlisberger went down. Without any consistent or sustained PPR production on his dossier, Johnson factors in as a touchdown-dependent flex play at best for Week 10.

Jaylen Samuels / Trey Edmunds / James Conner (RB, PIT)

Jaylen Samuels will retain a decent PPR floor as long as the Steelers insist on settling for the short passing game, but there’s not much incentive to abandon that formula considering it’s translating into wins. Samuels’ rushing value is a different question entirely, as he somehow took a back seat to previously anonymous Trey Edmunds in the ground game last weekend. Edmunds is listed as questionable at the moment, but he took 12 carries for 73 yards in last Sunday’s win over the Colts. If he shakes off the injury that’s limited him in practice this week, this presumably remains a split backfield heading into the weekend. I’d prefer the PPR appeal of Samuels over Edmunds; the Rams are holding backs to 3.82 yards per tote. James Conner is listed as doubtful, so it’s best to prepare as if Samuels will head this backfield with Edmunds in tow for the second straight week.

***UPDATE: James Conner has officially been ruled out for Week 10. Trey Edmunds practiced in full on Friday, which should render him available for Sunday's game.

Vance McDonald (TE, PIT)

Vance McDonald’s seven targets in Week 9 tied his season-high from all the way back in Week 2. He made good on the refreshing increase in work by hauling in five catches and scoring a touchdown. It’s hard to look at this one-week uptick in usage and production as anything other than a blip on the radar, but it’s worth keeping an eye on McDonald again this week. After all, the Steelers have become a short-range passing offense with Rudolph at the helm, and McDonald can reasonably be expected to benefit from that. The Rams are allowing double-digit PPR points per game to tight ends, so McDonald isn’t the worst option if you’re scrambling.

 

Matchups Analysis - Sunday Night Football, 8:20 PM ET

Minnesota Vikings at Dallas Cowboys

Matchups We Love:

None

Matchups We Hate:

None

Other Matchups

Dalvin Cook (RB, MIN)

With the exception of The Aaron Jones Game, the Cowboys haven’t been beaten much by opposing running backs. They’ve allowed just seven touchdowns to the position, and Jones accounted for four of them. They’re allowing a respectable 4.2 yards per carry, and have permitted just two 100-yard individual rushers all season (Jones and Saquon Barkley, all the way back in Week 1). Dallas is also tied (with Cincinnati, somehow) for the third-lowest percentage of opponents’ red zone drives ending in touchdowns. Is Dalvin Cook good enough to go for 100 yards and a touchdown against Dallas? Sure. But that’s because he’s Dalvin Cook, and not because the Cowboys are a soft run defense. Cook should be fine in any case, as he’s been pretty heavily involved in the passing game and the Cowboys are permitting more than six catches a game to RBs.

Stefon Diggs / Adam Thielen (WR, MIN)

I know I said last week that Stefon Diggs could be in for a tough game against Kansas City, but I didn’t think he’d catch one pass for four yards. Yikes. I’d say he’s due to bounce back, but almost literally anything other than his Week 9 output would qualify as an improvement. Anyway, he has another tough matchup against a Dallas defense holding opposing WRs under 11 catches per game. They’re also giving up the fourth-fewest yards per game to wideouts, and have surrendered only four touchdowns. You’re hoping for a high-volume day out of Diggs, but it might be best to set expectations around mid-level WR2 territory unless he can get into the endzone. As for Adam Thielen, he left Minnesota’s Week 9 game early after his hamstring acted up, and looks poised to miss this Sunday night contest. You’re putting yourself in a bind if you count on him for Week 10 considering the 8:20 PM EST kickoff. If he miraculously plays, temper expectations.

***UPDATE: Adam Thielen has been declared inactive, and has rather alarmingly been labeled "week to week" by head coach Mike Zimmer. Thielen's fantasy owners should begin making relatively long-term replacement plans immediately.

Kirk Cousins (QB, MIN)

The Cowboys Defense ranks eighth in pressure rate and seventh in turnover rate, is tough to score on in the red zone, and is adept at taking their opponents’ wideouts out of the equation. With one of his favorite targets potentially missing what is already a difficult matchup, I’m not sold on Kirk Cousins as a safe streaming option for Week 10.

Alexander Mattison (RB, MIN)

Alexander Mattison's usage pattern continues to suggest his fantasy-friendly workloads will only arrive in games the Vikings win going away. Dallas is as fickle as the day is long, but it's tough to imagine Minnesota steamrolling the Cowboys in their own house. Until Mattison begins to see a more sustained role in the offense, he's nearly impossible to trust as a surefire fantasy option.

Kyle Rudolph / Irv Smith Jr. (TE, MIN)

Kyle Rudolph has found the endzone in two of his last three games, and with Adam Thielen potentially sitting out on Sunday night, could remain in line for increased usage. Irv Smith has seen a noticeable increase in his own usage with Thielen out, having been targeted 15 times in Minnesota’s last three games. One area on the defensive side in which the Cowboys are flawed is in preventing production from tight ends. Only five teams have given up more receptions to the position, and they’ve allowed three touchdowns for good measure. It’s an even enough split that I’m not sure you can definitively lean toward Rudolph or Smith, but the touchdown pendulum certainly swings in Rudolph’s favor based on recent trends. Both will see their value take a hit if Thielen is active on Sunday night.

Ezekiel Elliott (RB, DAL)

In this matchup of two of the game’s best running backs, I feel similarly about Ezekiel Elliott as I do about Cook. The Vikings aren’t impenetrable in the ground game, but 4.4 yards per carry isn’t overly inviting either. Further carving Elliott’s work out for him is that Minnesota has allowed just two rushing touchdowns on the season. He’s a fine volume workhorse who had caught 19 passes in four games before hauling in zero against the Giants on Monday night. Expect Dallas to offset the relatively tough run defense by once again involving Elliott in the passing game.

Jason Witten / Blake Jarwin (TE, DAL)

I guess I have to include Blake Jarwin here on account of the fact that he keeps scoring touchdowns for some reason, but let’s not get reeled into a trap. He’s been targeted twice in his last two games, and just happened to catch both of them for scores. His season-high in targets is four. What Jarwin has done from a fantasy perspective, however, is steal from Jason Witten’s ceiling--particularly the one-yard touchdown grab in Week 8 against the Eagles, which just as easily could have gone to the Cowboys’ number-one guy. The Vikings have allowed the second-most receptions to tight ends, so pencil Witten in for a serviceable PPR day. As for the touchdowns, Minnesota is the only team that hasn’t given one up to a tight end.

Amari Cooper / Michael Gallup (WR, DAL)

Amari Cooper is working his way through a knee injury, but it appears as though he’ll play on Sunday night. Stay in the loop regarding his status, as you don’t want to find yourself handcuffed by the late start time of this game. If he plays, he gets a Minnesota secondary that has allowed WRs the most receptions of any team in the league. Only the Dolphins, Texans, and Giants have surrendered more touchdowns to wideouts. Cooper is a no-doubt WR1 assuming he’s given the go-ahead. Michael Gallup is a solid option in lineups regardless of whether Cooper plays or not, though inconsistency has plagued the second-year receiver. His target share lends itself to the idea that he’ll ramp back into action sooner than later, as he’s seen at least six passes thrown his way in three of four games since returning from injury in October. Still, you’d like for him to be less reliant on touchdowns than he has been recently, especially since he only has two on the season.

***UPDATE: Amari Cooper carries a questionable tag into the weekend despite confidence from Cowboys higher-ups that he'll be ready to go for the Sunday night game. Cooper's fantasy owners may want to grab an extra WR from this contest or the Monday night game to stash on their bench just in case an emergency fill-in is needed if Cooper is suddenly inactive.

Dak Prescott (QB, DAL)

For a game with as much talent at the skill positions as this one has, you’re probably surprised to see the entirety of fantasy-relevant players listed as “other matchups.” Suffice it to say I am envisioning a relatively low-scoring affair in which you’re hoping for volume and opportunity to offset tough defensive matchups on both sides--with the above-mentioned Cooper being the one guy I’d bet on to go off if I had to pick someone. The Vikings force turnovers at the eighth-highest rate in the league, are the ninth-most difficult team to score against in the red zone, and have held six of their nine opponents under 250 total yards passing. Rely on Dak Prescott’s efficiency and hope for him to flash the rushing prowess that has the ability to give him a high floor.

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This could be the most exciting installment of waiver wire adds in a while. Not that any of these choices are necessarily league-winners but at least we have a bunch of new names to ponder. Bye weeks are nearly over but this one will be particularly tough with the high-scoring Chiefs, Vikings, Chargers, and Cardinals... Read More


Week 12 Defense (DEF) Streamers and Starts - 2019 Fantasy Tiers, Rankings

Almost out of time to make that last push for the playoffs--no time like the present to squeak out a win because you picked the right defense. Below are RotoBaller's Week 12 defense tiers and rankings, or which defenses to stream, start and target off the waiver wire for Week 12 of the NFL and... Read More


Week 12 Kicker Streamers and Starts - 2019 Fantasy Tiers, Rankings

It's Week 12, and the fantasy football playoffs are just around the corner. Teams are jostling for playoff position both in the real world and the fantasy world. You gotta have the right kicker at the right time in the right matchup, and it matters now more than ever. The margin for error in these... Read More


Running Back Waiver Wire Pickups - Week 12

The regular season continues to advance at a relentless pace as we have now entered the planning process for Week 12. Some of you are concentrating on building lineups that will commandeer a spot in the fantasy playoffs, while others are making slight adjustments to teams that have already secured their place in the postseason.... Read More


Wide Receiver Waiver Wire Pickups - Week 12

Week 11 is behind us and we're getting closer and closer to the end of the fantasy regular season. For some of us, Week 12 represents the final chance to get into the postseason, while for others we have another week or two left. Here, to help you get ready for the playoffs, is a... Read More


Week 12 Tight End Waiver Wire Picks and Streamers

With fantasy football leagues only a couple weeks away from their playoffs, this is not the time for teams to be short a tight end. Not only do fantasy footballers have no Travis Kelce or Hunter Henry during this crucial week in their fantasy seasons, they do not get to take advantage of using a... Read More


Quarterback Waiver Wire Pickups and Streamers - Week 12

We saw some monster weeks at the quarterbacks position, with four quarterbacks topping 37 points, and ten scoring over 25 points. These weren't all big names putting up these points either, as low-owned quarterbacks like Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold, and even Jeff Driskel had some big numbers in Week 11. That means we've got plenty... Read More


Waiver Wire Express - Week 12 Lightning Round

We're onto Week 12, which means the last of the bye weeks approaches. The Cardinals, Chargers, Chiefs and Vikings hit the hammocks as we can finally start to look at players without worrying about future offweeks. To help you look towards those precious playoff weeks, here is the waiver wire lightning round heading into Week... Read More


Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Pickups List

Back by popular demand in 2019... RotoBaller has brought back for the NFL season our Ultimate 2019 Fantasy Football Sleepers and Waiver Wire Pickups List.  Be sure to also try our other lineup tools below. Using your phone? Be sure to also download our free app which includes news, notifications, injury alerts & articles.   Rankings WizardWeekly... Read More


Week 11 Surprises? We Must Overreact - Jeff Driskel, Bo Scarbrough, Ryan Griffin

In Week 11, Josh Allen scorched the Dolphins Defense for three touchdowns through the air and one touchdown on the ground, finishing as the No. 1 quarterback on the week. As expected, Lamar Jackson and Dak Prescott finished as top-five quarterbacks, while Sam Darnold rebounded in a "get well" matchup against the Redskins. Kyle Allen... Read More


Holiday Shopping - Who To Buy For The Playoffs Run

As the fantasy football season nears the home stretch, most owners should begin turning their eyes towards the remaining six weeks of the fantasy schedule. Either you're comfortably in the playoffs and need to see who you should be rostering in order to get the best matchups or you need that extra boost to qualify... Read More


The Cut List - Players on the Chopping Block (Week 12)

This is your weekly list of players to drop. I will do my best to limit this list to injured players and players you might consider holding. If you roster pure handcuffs or backups, obviously you can let them go at any time. The players on this list will, ideally, be guys that aren't clearly... Read More


Fantasy Football News and Injuries - Running Updates

Below is a quick-hit list of running notes on relevant injuries and player news, including pre-game reports and live in-game updates. Stay tuned for updates all throughout the week and on Sunday morning game day:   Week 11 Marlon Mack has been diagnosed with a broken hand and may be out several weeks. Emmanuel Sanders (ribs)... Read More