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I just couldn't resist the urge, so you'll have to bear with me for a few more sentences while I gloat a bit. Sometimes it feels like we are wrong more than we are right in the world of fantasy football, yet we keep coming back or more like the addicts we are. Nothing feeds this compulsion more than the thrill of victory, but when you publicize your top picks and sleepers for all to see, then use several of those players in your own leagues and hit the nail right on the head, that's just like an injection of pure adrenaline straight into the veins. What I'm trying to see is I made a lot of good picks last week.

My only regret for Week 9 is not ranking Jared Goff even higher, but both he and Matthew Stafford were among the best QB picks last week and I think they each continue their ascent. Touchdowns by under-the-radar plays like Javorius Allen, Damien Williams, Mohamed Sanu, and Sammy Watkins (don't pretend you were still playing him) all justified my love, er, hero status. If only Jermaine Kearse had hit paydirt, I'd be looking at 100% batting average on the plus side, while Marshawn Lynch was the only zero to even be playable last week. Let's see if the good fortune continues, as we are done with the two-week Byepocalypse.

Now, let's get to my fantasy "heroes" and "zeroes" at each position for Week 10 of the NFL season. For a full set of rankings, look no further than our very own RotoBaller consensus weekly rankings.

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Week 10 Lineup Heroes


Eli Manning, New York Giants

This is it. This is the week that we can play Eli Manning, maybe for one last time, and not kick ourselves in our own asses for doing so. Manning goes up against the defense that has allowed the most fantasy points to quarterbacks this season. The 49ers have a slew of injuries on both sides of the ball and are clearly playing for a high draft pick anyway. This won't be a shootout by any means, but the Giants don't have enough of a running game to bowl over the Niners that way. Expect tight end Evan Engram to be heavily involved while Manning throws multiple scores before finally ceding way to Geno Smith the rest of the season after they get clobbered by Kansas City next week. See you in the HOF, Eli!

Mitch Trubisky, Chicago Bears

It should go without saying that this recommendation is for superflex or two-QB leagues only. When you start scraping the bottom of the barrel for QB2 rankings, things look bleaker than ever this week. Philip Rivers faces the Jags (#1 Def vs. QB), Jacoby Brissett faces the Steelers (#2 Def vs. QB), Blake Bortles faces the Chargers (#9 Def vs. QB) and you really don't want to rely on CJ Beathard, Brock Osweiler, Brett Hundley or Ryan Fitzpatrick, do you? The week of rest and preparation and a matchup against the struggling Packers might provide the recipe for a breakout of sorts for the rookie. While it's doubtful the Bears will go all game without punting, Trubisky could turn to new receivers Dontrelle Inman and Tre McBride frequently.



Jerick McKinnon, Minnesota Vikings

In case you forgot how effective McKinnon had been before his team's bye week, here's how he finished each week since the Dalvin Cook injury: Week 5 - RB3,  Week 6 - RB4, Week 7 - RB31, Week 8 - RB3. Washington's run defense started out as one of the best units in football the first three weeks of the season, but various injuries and an ineffective run game of their own have conspired to reverse their fortunes. In the last three games, Washington has allowed 444 rush yards for an average of 148 YPG. He brings value as a receiver alone, but could have his best rushing game of the season to boot. He's a surefire RB1 this week and beyond.

Bilal Powell, New York Jets

Stacking against the Bucs has never looked like a better idea. They'll be without their starting QB and best WR, but are still stuck with the same bottom-dwelling defense. Matt Forte was my original pick here after he scored his first two touchdowns of the season in Week 9, but he's now been downgraded to doubtful. Why can't the Jets have nice things? Forte was up to almost 50% of the offensive snaps, relegating Bilal Powell to a 22% snap share, but now Powell may take over completley. If Forte sits, Powell definitely has RB2 potential in this matchup.

Duke Johnson, Cleveland Browns

If you're in a full-PPR league, you probably have a flex spot reserved for him each week anyway. The Browns will rely on him more than ever to try to move the chains while playing catch-up with a Lions team firing on all cylinders offensively.



Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals

The first game without Carson Palmer didn't go too badly. The Cards won (yes, I know it was against the Niners) and Drew Stanton acquitted himself fairly well. Larry Legend came down with five of nine targets for 70 yards. While the matchup shifts from the second-worst team in football to one of the best, at least it's not in Seattle. Fitzgerald shouldn't be faded, though, because he will spend a lot of time against new slot corner Justin Coleman, avoiding Richard Sherman for much of the day.

JuJu Smith-Schuster, Pittsburgh Steelers

The bye couldn't have come at a worse time for the hype machine building around J²S² but he's back in action for Week 10. The speculation of how much time Martavis Bryant will get on the field can be safely ignored. The team knows what they have in their second-round pick and will continue to integrate him as the number two receiving target. He's got as easy a matchup as he'll face the rest of the season in career backup/journeyman Pierre Desir on the other side, so find a spot for him in your lineup.

Chris Godwin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

You know, Ryan Fitzpatrick isn't terrible...  *ducks under desk 

Disgruntled Jets fans have cast him aside long ago, but for a backup QB he's got a lot more upside than most. He filled in admirably for Jameis Winston in Week 6 and in the second half of last week's game. Now gets the whole week to gameplan for his ex-team. While I wouldn't necessarily roll out Fitz in fantasy, there's another fill-in that might be worth using if you're the gambling type. Rookie Chris Godwin will take over for Fightin' Mike Evans and become the primary red zone target among WRs. He hasn't been targeted more than three times all year and has caught exactly one ball for less than 10 yards in each of the last five games, but that goes out the window now that his snap share will surge. Among other WR4/flex types like Eric Decker, Jordan Matthews, or Donte Moncrief, I'd take a chance that Godwin makes an impact first.



Garrett Celek, San Francisco 49ers

Every week. Not most weeks, not 9 out of 10. EVERY WEEK a tight end scores a touchdown against the Giants. George Kittle would be the obvious play here, except that he's out of the lineup with an ankle injury and therefore has a 0% chance of scoring. Backup TE and brother to Brent, Mr. Celek has been very Chris Godwin-like in his production lately, catching exactly one pass in each of the last five games. He might only catch one pass in Week 10. It doesn't matter, because it'll be a touchdown.

Tyler Kroft, Cincinnati Bengals

He's never a "boom" play per se, but Kroft finds a way to contribute each week. He only saw two targets last week, but turned those into 79 yards. He only had 46 yards the previous week, but caught five passes. 23 yards before that, but he had a touchdown. You get the drift. Tennessee has plenty of soft spots in the defense that he can exploit and he's about due for a touchdown given his recent target/score ratio.


Week 10 Lineup Zeroes


Kirk Cousins, Washington Redskins

Captain Kirk led his team to a comeback victory last week, but Fat Rob took the fantasy glory with two touchdowns. Incidentally, why is it that the team with the worst name that should be banned by now has the players with the best nicknames? Anyway, the victory can't mask the fact that Cousins has only tossed one TD in the last two games and his schedule isn't letting up. Washington faces Minnesota on the road in Week 10, which drops Cousins to low-end QB2 status. The Vikings have allowed eight passing touchdowns all year and a total of six scores in five home games. Incidentally, you might want to bench Terrelle Pryor too. Just saying.

Jay Cutler, Miami Dolphins

They're not in the cellar any more! Sort of. The Dolphins still rank worst in the NFL in total points scored and yards per play, but they're only third-worst in passing offense now! Last week, Cutler looked like the vintage Denver version (that one year) but that was against the Raiders. This week's opponent, Carolina, allows the third-lowest scoring rate to opponents and will have the home field advantage. Pump your brakes before sending him into battle, even in your two-QB leagues. Instead, try Keenum, Bortles, or... Trubisky?



DeMarco Murray, Tennessee Titans

Knee, shoulder, and hip injuries have set back the Titans offensive skill players this season. Wait, my bad, that's just DeMarco Murray's recent health report. Murray has never been the model of good health and this season has been a frustrating one for fantasy owners. He hasn't actually missed multiple games, he's just been limited and/or ineffective in most of them. This week he is probable, but we know he's not 100%. The Bengals don't strike fear into the hearts of opposing teams with their defense, but they've only yielded two rushing touchdowns and three total to RB, making them a top-10 defense against the position. Derrick Henry keeps eating into his touches, making Murray an RB3 this week.

Frank Gore, Indianapolis Colts

I love me some Frank Gore, but not this week. The Colts will be behind the 8 ball early and the running game may not be too effective either. While Gore out-snapped Marlon Mack 60/40 last week, Mack had gotten more run the previous two weeks. Mack is still the better play down the stretch.



DeSean Jackson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

While I'm bullish on Godwin garnering some value, I'm wary of Jackson. He's been remarkably inefficient this year, ranking fourth in total air yards, yet 33rd in yardage with a 49% catch rate. You might think his target share would go up this week, and it probably will, but that doesn't mean he'll do anything with them. Connecting on the deep ball requires practice and repetition, which is something he doesn't have down with backup QB Ryan Fitzpatrick.

Marqise Lee, Jacksonville Jaguars

He finally scored a touchdown and it only took eight games and 58 targets. Lee has never been a red zone threat, scoring just five touchdowns over his first three seasons, so we shouldn't be surprised that he's giving standard league owners hardly any value. He enters this contest with a gimpy knee already. If he does play, he'll get the shadow treatment from Casey Hayward. Avoid.



Ed Dickson, Carolina Panthers

The starting tight end for Carolina was a complete zero last week, as in zero catches for zero yards. He had seen at least five targets in each of the previous four games, but was a mysterious non-factor in what should have been a good matchup. The Dolphins don't exactly lock down the tight end, but temptation to stream him should be resisted as this could be a low-scoring slogfest.


More Week 10 Lineup Prep