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Flex Heroes and Zeroes - Week 10 Fantasy Football Picks


The playoffs are coming... but not yet. With all the talk of trade deadlines and ROS prep, we should keep one thing in mind - you have to get there first. I've seen teams sell high and buy low right out of contention because they forgot to actually win games in the process of preparing for their championship run. Not saying I've done it personally... I just know a guy who has a cousin whose boss told him about that particular turn of events.

This week's heroes may not be appealing the rest of this year, maybe not in a single game the rest of the way. But they could help you win Week 10. Likewise, don't give up on these zeroes altogether because as they say, it's a weekly game. Except for Agholor, that guy's value is toast.

Now, here are my fantasy flex and streamer "heroes" and "zeroes" at each position for Week 10 of the NFL season. These players are borderline start considerations for your flex (and superflex) spots that I believe will perform unexpectedly well or that might fare poorly relative to expectations in this week's matchups. To see how our staff feels about all the players you might possibly care about, look no further than our very own RotoBaller consensus weekly rankings.

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!

 

Week 10 Lineup Heroes

QUARTERBACK

Josh Rosen, Arizona Cardinals

Andy Dalton and Alex Smith are both trap plays this week, Eli Manning can't be trusted, and I'm not buying into Marcus Mariota after his once-in-a-blue-moon quality game. An off-the-radar name that my gut tells me is a sneaky good play this week is Josh Rosen. The gut is the overlord of all decision-making processes after all. Rosen hasn't put together a great game just yet but the same could be said for the entire Cardinals offense. Hope springs eternal after a switch at OC and a bye week to figure things out. There's promise also in the fact that Rosen's pass attempts have gone up for each of the last four games, up to a season-high of 40 in Week 8 under Byron Leftwich. They may have no choice but to unleash him in Kansas City this weekend, as their defense will try to avoid becoming part of the Pat Mahomes highlight-reel package that will air on ESPN's New Year Special. The Cards should be throwing more than ever, even if it's strictly garbage time. Many a QB on a bad team has become a fantasy hero through garbage time - it's about time the rookie gets a taste of what's to come in the next few seasons. It'll take a deep TwoQB or superflex league to make Rosen a starter this week but I'd go so far as to say he might outscore guys like Matthew Stafford this week.

RUNNING BACK

Austin Ekeler, Los Angeles Chargers

Yes, this is mainly due to the fact the Raiders suck. They allow the fifth-most fantasy points to running backs this season and are actively working to get worse on defense by releasing Derrick Johnson and Bruce Irvin, two of their top veterans. While Melvin Gordon is a no-brain top running back this week, Ekeler is also worth flex consideration as he could get more work than usual. He's been quiet recently and didn't take advantage of Gordon's absence in Week 7 when his hamstring betrayed him, so you may be gunshy about using Ekeler. He is still being uber-efficient, ranking seventh in points per opportunity after finishing third last year in fantasy points per touch. If this game goes as expected, Ekeler could see double-digit carries with a handful of receptions. That might be good enough to earn him between 12-15 points in full PPR leagues based on how explosive he is with the ball.

WIDE RECEIVER

Tyler Lockett, Seattle Seahawks

Doug Baldwin reappeared on the fantasy radar with 77 yards last week. David Moore has emerged as a viable target. Tyler Lockett finally went a game without a touchdown last week. All things considered, he might be forgotten among the myriad of WR3 options out there. There is still good reason to have faith in the speedy receiver, however. Any receiver facing cornerback Marcus Peters has a great chance to come away with a big play. Lockett did just that in Week 5, catching three balls for 98 yards and a touchdown. The fact this game is in L.A. doesn't hurt whatsoever since Lockett is better in several statistical categories on the road this year and the Hawks will likely be passing more than recent weeks, especially if Chris Carson is a no-go. The floor is low, but Lockett can deliver a high point total as well as anyone.

TIGHT END

Jack Doyle, Indianapolis Colts

The beginning and end of my recommendation lies with this statement: Doyle shouldn't even be a flex consideration, he's an every-week TE1 the rest of the season. Many owners forgot about Doyle's value or simply didn't want to burn a roster spot stashing him through his weeks-long injury, as he was barely 30% owned prior to last week. The fact he is only 58% owned and currently starting in 27% of fantasy lineups after putting up a 6-70-1 line last week says there is still a lot of doubt out there. Is it the existence of Eric Ebron, which we never possibly imagined would be a thing again? Shouldn't be - Ebron was active and played 22% of the offensive snaps in their last game while Doyle played 73% of them. It's probably a bit of forgetfulness and the fact that the Colts face the Jaguars. While I fully acknowledge the Jags are still an elite pass defense, they aren't the best of the best against TEs (ninth actually) and are banged up in the secondary with A.J. Bouye out and Barry Church coming off the concussion protocol. Doyle is going to be a set-it-and-forget-it tight end down the stretch - a stretch that begins in Week 10.

Vernon Davis, Washington Redskins

If Doyle isn't a deep enough pick then, for what it's worth, I'm starting Vernon Davis in a couple of leagues this week. The Bucs are an abomination on defense, including a league-worst ranking against the tight end. Jordan Reed is starting to accumulate those bumps and bruises and was limited in practice mid-week. Davis may actually be the safer pick between the two.

 

Week 10 Lineup Zeroes

QUARTERBACK

Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals

By now, you should be aware that A.J. Green is out for multiple weeks. Some may argue that Tyler Boyd is now the WR1 in Cincinnati anyway, but that's a debate for another time. With Green and his team-leading 79 targets (26% share) gone, someone else will have to get involved, whether it's John Ross, C.J. Uzomah, or Gio Bernard. Do any of these options sound enticing enough to keep Dalton in your lineup? A matchup with the Saints and their 31st-ranked pass defense might entice some to give him a shot in superflex. Don't do it. The Saints have given up some huge games to opposing QBs but have also held four of them under 280 passing yards with one or zero touchdowns. If ever a defensive unit was boom-bust, it's the Saints. That said, Dalton is known to bust quite a bit himself. Plus, the last time Green missed extended time, from Weeks 10-17 in the 2016 season, Dalton averaged 236 yards and 1.1 TD per game, a drop of almost 50 yards from the first half of that season. Don't let the matchup fool you, Dalton should be avoided this week.

RUNNING BACK

Kerryon Johnson, Detroit Lions

Hope you didn't invest too much in Johnson as a buy-low candidate before the trade deadline. This is a good time to remind you that he is indeed a running back on the Detroit Lions not named Sanders. Not only does this make it hard for me to have interest in him, the misleading label reminds me for some reason of Winnie the Pooh, which is never a good comparison for a running back.

Also like Pooh, he's not getting enough hunny to keep his owners happy. Johnson is averaging 11.1 rush attempts per game on the season. Even sadder, his huge day in Miami spurred no uptick at all in usage, as he went from 19 carries for 158 yards in that game to a total of 20 carries the next two weeks for 59 yards. The return of Theo Riddick also promptly ate into his snap share and that trend should continue. Going on the road to face the Bears, the second-toughest defense toward RBs, one can't be too inspired that it will improve. This could be a week to keep him on the log... er, bench.

WIDE RECEIVER

Nelson Agholor, Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles recently acquired Golden Tate to give them another weapon in the passing game. Wait, what happened to Agholor's breakout third season in 2017? Apparently it wasn't good enough for the Eagles, who instead of opting for bigger-bodied Demaryius Thomas or Dez Bryant, chose to add Tate instead. His presence moves Agholor to the outside once more, which go so great the first time around. Agholor struggled in his first two seasons with a catch rate well below league average. It dipped even further as depth of target increased, as shown by the chart below courtesy of airyards.com.

Only once he moved to the slot was he able to be an effective weapon. It's enough reason to have concern about Agholor for the rest of the season, but the fact he will face stud CB Byron Jones in this week's matchup for much of the night makes him a must-sit everywhere.

TIGHT END

Austin Hooper, Atlanta Falcons

For the record, I don't feel great about this pick but there's only so far you can go down the TE rankings before it gets to Jonnu Smith, Ed Dickson, MyCole Pruitt, Gary Barnidge, and the ghost of Dave Moore (who was my backup TE in the 2001 season and I believe is still alive and kicking). Hooper is a fringe TE1 in 14-team leagues as usual, but perhaps a bit fringier because of his inconsistent usage. Once Calvin Ridley had his breakout game and scoring binge, Hooper suddenly became a factor over the next two weeks as defenses focused their attention on Ridley. It also helps that the Falcons faced the Steelers and Bucs, two of the worst teams defending tight ends. The last two weeks, Hooper has dropped down to four and three targets respectively and hasn't been worth our attention. Truth be told, Hooper should only start in the easiest of matchups. While the Browns might typically qualify in that category, we can't call them the worst team in the NFL any more (thank you Oakland). Hooper will be TD-dependent, much like our old dear friend, Dave Moore.

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