Week 10 Fantasy Game Previews
Game previews are always difficult to do. You never know how divisional games are going to play out, or if somebody has a surprise game, or if a team just clicks for the week. That’s what’s exciting about the NFL, but I’m going to attempt to give an analytical breakdown for each game for week 10 for fantasy purposes. The good, the bad and the ugly. Let’s go.
BYE WEEK: Kansas City Chiefs, New York Jets, Dallas Cowboys, Atlanta Falcons
TNF: Indianapolis Colts @ Tennessee Titans
This is a Thursday Night Football game that I can get behind. Two division rivals, battling for the top of the division, going into a short week where there’s a smaller amount of preparation. First, let’s drive into Indy.
Phillip Rivers has limited the passing ability of the Colts’ offense. In yet another desperation year, Rivers has thrown for 2,087 yards, 10 TD’s and 7 picks and has stagnated the Colts’ air attack. Their current leading receiver, Zac Pascal, only has 24 catches and is under 300 yards on the season. Most of Rivers’ damage comes over the middle of the field on short passes to the slot receiver (Pascal), tight ends or running back. Look for Rivers to have an above average day though against the eighth worst passing defense in the NFL. Jonathon Taylor will continue to see his normal workload coming off an ankle injury in week 8, and look for Michael Pittman Jr. to get involved in the offense this week as he continues to work his way back from the early season injury. The sneaky play for the Colts though? Mo Alie-Cox. With Jack Doyle injured again, look for MAC to resume his role as the red zone tight end.
Potential Starts: Phillip Rivers (deep league), Jonathon Taylor, Mo Alie-Cox, Michael Pittman Jr. (deep league)
If you read my start/sit article, you know how I feel about the Titans’ offense this week going up against the leagues’ best defense. Ryan Tannehill had a shaky week against an above average Bears defense and the road doesn’t get any easier for him at home this week against a defensive unit that is the best in the NFL. Indianapolis will give Tannehill foreign looks that he’s not used to seeing and ultimately may force a couple turnovers. Additionally, the Titans have already ruled out OT Isaiah Wilson and DE Jadeveon Clowney so it seems as though they will be shorthanded against the Colts. If you don’t have any “must starts” on your team from the Titans’ roster, don’t make a Hail Mary play from this team.
Potential Starts: A.J. Brown, Derrick Henry, Jonnu Smith
Philadelphia Eagles @ New York Giants
Carson Wentz looks like a shadow of his former self. Failing to surpass 2,000 yards at the middle point of the season suggests that he will be unable to replicate his performance from 2019 and after throwing just 21 interceptions combined through his previous three seasons, is now on pace to finish the year with 24 interception and just 24 touchdowns. The bright side of Carson Wentz is that he’s using his legs more frequently, with a rushing touchdown in a career-high four straight games now. Additionally, it seems as though the return of Miles Sanders, Dallas Goedert, Alshon Jeffery and starting left guard Isaac Seumalo are on the horizon. Couple all of this with the resurgence of Travis Fulgham and Jalen Reagor seeing starter snap numbers, Carson Wentz may be a smart, low-key play this week. On the inverse, Miles Sanders may not be the wisest play this week. Coming off missing three straight weeks, Miles will return against a Giants front seven that is currently eighth in the league in rush defense. Combine that with teammate Boston Scott’s gaudy games against New York and it could be a slow week for Miles.
Potential Starts: Carson Wentz, Miles Sanders, Dallas Goedert, Travis Fulgham
New York Giants:
Daniel Jones is a no-go for me in fantasy football. Especially going up against a division rival at home does not change that at all for me. The turnover machine actually managed to play turnover free football on Sunday against The Washington Football Team for just the sixth time in his CAREER. Not this season, you read that right, his CAREER. Wayne Gallaman could be a good spot start for the injured Devonta Freeman if your team is dealing with injuries. He posted an RB13 finish last week, in a week where RB points were hard to find. Sterling Shepard is my go-to Giants receiver this week, as he will be seeing a lot of slot work for suspended teammate Golden Tate. Shepard posted a passable performance in Week 7 against the Eagles with 6-59-1.
Potential Starts: Sterling Shepard, Wayne Gallaman, Evan Engram
Houston Texans @ Cleveland Browns
If you’re involved in the passing attack of the Houston Texans, I’m going to need you rostered on my team this week. Deshaun Watson gets the luxury of facing a banged up Browns secondary that is allowing the eleventh most passing yards in the league, coming off a week where he put up QB1 numbers against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Although veteran running back David Johnson is in the leagues concussion protocol, Duke Johnson filled in admirably and finished the day just outside of RB1 territory. The Browns are allowing a QBR of 97.1 to opposing quarterbacks and have given up 17 touchdowns to just seven interceptions. Additionally, Will Fuller and Brandin Cooks should be able to find enough holes in the Browns’ secondary to make for a good game for both parties. The Browns have actually limited the amount of chunk plays allowed (24 rec of 20+/2 rec of 40+) but have yet to see speed like Cooks and Fuller possess.
Potential Starts: Deshaun Watson, Brandin Cooks, Will Fuller
We will get to see a Browns team that’s adjusting to life after Odell Beckham Jr., as the star receiver had successful knee surgery to repair numerous tears in crucial ligaments sustained while making a tackle on an interception thrown by QB Baker Mayfield. However, this may not be a bad thing for the Browns’ offense. Kevin Stefanski is known for his high volume rushing attack lead by a high percentage of 12 personnel ran. This sets up beautifully for backfield mates Kareem Hunt and, potentially, Nick Chubb. As of this article, the Browns have opened the 21 day practice window for Chubb’s return to the field and he will be practicing this week. Additionally, Week 7 saw Baker Mayfield start the day 0-5 with an interception passing the football. This was immediately followed by a franchise record, 24 straight completions for 4 touchdowns. Although I do not expect a gaudy day in the passing department for the Browns, I would expect a big day from both members of the backfield and Baker Mayfield being a fringe starter in deeper leagues.
Potential Starts: Baker Mayfield, Kareem Hunt, Nick Chubb
Washington Football Team @ Detroit Lions
Washington Football Team:
In what was a crazy game against the New York Giants, we saw WFT turnover the ball five times on Sunday. Four of those turnovers were from quarterbacks, Kyle Allen and Alex Smith, and one fumble from rookie running back Antonio Gibson. WFT may actually catch a break this week. Going against a Lions’ team that has forced just seven turnovers and eleven sacks on the season, while allowing a passer rating of 101.7 to opposing quarterbacks would give anyone a boost. Alex Smith will seemingly be the starter in Week 10, after Kyle Allen’s scary dislocated ankle injury, Terry McLaurin will get a big boost as he was the leading receiver and target man for the duration of the NYG contest. Additionally, Antonio Gibson should be locked and loaded into all lineups this week as he gets to go against the fourth worst rushing defense in the NFL who is allowing 4.8 yards per carry and has only forced the aforementioned two fumbles.
Potential Starts: Alex Smith (deeper league), Antonio Gibson, Terry McLaurin
Truthfully, this isn’t a game that I like for any of the Lions’ fantasy relevant players. Matthew Stafford is banged up and sick, Kenny Golladay is hurt, Marvin Jones is touchdown dependent and Deandre Swift saw a season low of snap percentage while Kerryon Johnson saw a season high. T.J. Hockenson may be my lone play for the Lions this week and that’s only because Washington currently sits at 19th in the league against the tight end. This is a bad football team and the inability to show a consistent role from any players outside of Matthew Stafford and T.J. Hockenson make it almost impossible to feel comfortable putting any Lion in your lineup.
Potential Starts: T.J. Hockenson
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Green Bay Packers
Quarterback Jake Lutton filled in admirably for injured Gardner Minshew. Lutton finished his NFL debut with a 78.7 passer rating in a game where the Jaguars recorded a pass block win rate of just 31%. For context, the league average is 57%. Lutton even managed to find receiver D.J. Chark for a 73 yard touchdown pass on his first pass completion of his career. Quite a way to start off, huh? I’m intrigued by Lutton to see what he does to continue his development in the future but this is not the week I take the chance rostering him. Similar to Detroit, Jacksonville is just not a very good team and I can only find value in two players. With Shenault likely out with a hamstring injury suffered on Sunday, look for a lot of James Robinson and D.J. Chark Jr. in the future.
Potential Starts: James Robinson, D.J. Chark Jr.
Green Bay Packers:
Season long, DFS, whatever format you may be playing, please start Aaron Rodgers. This game is set up to be the perfect storm of fantasy points for all things Packer. Currently sitting as the fantasy QB4, Aaron Rodgers gets to face a Jaguars defense that is ranked 28th in the league in pass defense and has given up an average of 280 yards per game. Coming off an absolute massacre of San Francisco, in which he put up 28.3 points, Rodgers is definitely welcoming the return of his favorite teammate, Davante Adams. Since his return in Week 6, Adams has saw a staggering 49 targets (lowest being week 6 with 10 targets) and has averaged 121 yards, 1.75 touchdowns and 25.58 fantasy points per game. Look for Rodgers and Adams to connect early and often against an atrocious Jaguars secondary. Additionally, the Packers played on Thursday Night Football last week which allowed Aaron Jones to get his ankle the extra rest that he may have been lacking in that contest. Look for a healthy Jones to turn it up in Week 10 as well.
Potential Starts: Aaron Rodgers, Davante Adams, Robert Tonyan, Aaron Jones
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Carolina Panthers
Tampa Bay Buccaneers:
I can’t help but want to overreact to the 38-3 beating that Tom Brady and the Bucs took on Sunday Night Football last week. Did any part of the team actually look good? Brady looked terrible, Lattimore had Mike Evans on ice, Chris Godwin is still nursing the fractured finger and played with a splint, Leonard Fournette was lost, Ronald Jones went missing and the Bucs defense that was leading the league in rush defense surrendered 138 rushing yards and another 282 yards through the air. It was a perfect mess for the Bucs but they do get to go into Carolina who has a bottom seven pass and rush defense. Look for Brady to come back and have a statement game that will allow fantasy relevancy for both Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. Sprinkle in some Ronald Jones and I expect a big game from the Bucs.
Potential Starts: Tom Brady, Ronald Jones, Mike Evans, Rob Gronkowski, Chris Godwin
What a blessing Teddy Bridgewater has been to the Carolina Panthers. I was a sceptic when the Panthers inked Bridgewater to a 3 year/$60 Million contract in the offseason but his proving me wrong in terms of fantasy relevancy. Coming off a week where he almost lead the Panthers to a comeback win against the Chief, Bridgewater went toe-to-toe with the best quarterback in the business. Teddy completed 73.5% of his passes for 310 yards, 2-0, and added another touchdown on the ground, leading to a 29.3 point performance. Christian McCaffrey helped tremendously in both the run and pass game but was injured on the last drive of the game. Look for Mike Davis to fill in for CMC this week but will remain irrelevant against the Bucs run defense. Additionally, look for D.J. Moore and Robby Anderson to see more looks from their quarterback this week in the case of the absence of CMC.
Potential Starts: Teddy Bridgewater, Robby Anderson, D.J. Moore
Denver Broncos @ Las Vegas Raiders
If you read my week 9 start/sit column, I told you that Drew Lock would have a good game against a mediocre pass defense and I’m telling you the same thing this week. Yes, I understand that it’s a divisional game but the Broncos are playing on the road in a warm weather environment that will be more conducive to throwing the ball. Additionally, the Raiders are allowing 7.6 yards per attempt that is more suitable for the young quarterback to make quick reads and drive down the field rather than playing for chunk plays. It seems as though Jerry Jeudy and Tim Patrick are the favorite targets of Lock and look for Noah Fant to get mixed in as well. Melvin Gordon and Phillip Lindsay seem to have no relevancy as they continue to share the game script regardless of the circumstances.
Potential Starts: Drew Lock, Jerry Jeudy, Tim Patrick, Noah Fant
Las Vegas Raiders:
Truthfully, there’s not a single player that I like on the Raiders unless their name is Josh Jacobs or Darren Waller and I’m really not even interested in starting Jacobs unless it’s season long, given his 3.7 yards per carry. Derek Carr seems to be the checkdown king, unless throwing to Nelson Agholor (wtf?), and Henry Ruggs is having a more difficult time adjusting to NFL game speed than most expected. Like I said, Waller and Jacobs are your two fantasy relevant players in this offense and the matchup for both of them this week is not worth it. The Broncos are surrendering the 10th fewest points per game to opposing tight ends and the 9th fewest points to opposing running backs. Leave this game all the way alone.
Potential Starts: None
Los Angeles Chargers @ Miami Dolphins
Los Angeles Chargers:
As little as I’m touching the backfield of the Chargers, I’m buying all of the passing game. Justin Herbert has been a breath of fresh air for a Chargers offense that has long been searching for a quarterback that can throw the ball deep. Even when Rivers was still there, he was showing a growing regression with the deep passing game. That time has come to an end with Herbert. Even after not initially starting the season, Herbert has thrown for 2,146 yards with a 67% completion percentage and 17 touchdowns to just 5 interceptions. Keenan Allen has been the main recipient of the uptick in fantasy production from the quarterback position but I do think Mike Williams and Hunter Henry will continue to thrive as well.
Potential Starts: Justin Herbert, Keenan Allen, Hunter Henry
How about the growth that Tua Tagovailoa showed from one game to another. After a case of the jitters in his first NFL start, rightfully so, Tua completed 71.4% of his passes with 2 touchdowns and 0 interceptions. Although, he did lose a fumble, Tua has shown drastic improvement in just one weeks’ time. The one thing I don’t like for Miami in terms of the change to Tua is his ability to spread the ball around. Tagovailoa does not key in on one single receiver and creates little to go on in the fantasy world. As much as I want Preston Williams to break out, or Devante Parker to continue his run of dominance we saw late in 2019, I just don’t think Tua is the guy to depend on for his receivers to make quality fantasy starts on a consistent basis. Finally, the running game has been a mess ever since the Gaskin injury. Howard did convert on a 2-yard touchdown to save his fantasy day, but I don’t expect anything more than a spot start for him.
Potential Starts: Tua Tagovailoa, Jordan Howard (deep league)
Buffalo Bills @ Arizona Cardinals (FANTASY GAME OF THE WEEK)
Josh Allen is coming off one of the best fantasy quarterback performances of the season with a 39 point, 4 touchdown performance on Sunday. Stefon Diggs is great. Zack Moss gets the goal line work. Any other questions?
Potential Starts: Josh Allen, Zack Moss, Stefon Diggs
Similar to that of the Bills, Kyler Murray is a locked and loaded QB1. He literally leads the Cardinals in rushing with 543 yards and 8 touchdowns (7.1 YPC). In addition to that, he’s thrown for 2,130 yards and 16 more touchdowns. His favorite target, Deandre Hopkins, may struggle this week against Tre’Davious White but he is as close to a “must-start” as they come. Christian Kirk is also startable in most leagues this week. Load up your offenses on both of these teams. It’s going to be a SLUGFEST!
Potential Starts: Kyler Murray, Chase Edmonds, Deandre Hopkins, Christian Kirk
Seattle Seahawks @ Los Angeles Rams
Russell Wilson has been eerily human on the football field lately but still extremely impressive in the fantasy football world. Over his last 5 games, Wilson has combined for 7 interceptions and 2 fumbles but has still managed to average 25.83 points per game! Even on his worst week of the season, he still put up 21.9 points. I can talk up the Rams pass defense all I want but the fact of the matter is, Russell Wilson is as matchup proof as they come. Tyler Lockett may suffer this week while being shadowed by Jalen Ramsey, as has already been reported, but D.K. Metcalf is well equipped to shoulder the load as he has throughout the season, currently WR3 on the season. The running game may take a step back this week as Chris Carson and Carlos Hyde are still projected to miss practice this week so look for Travis Homer and DeeJay Dallas to be the lead backs.
Potential Starts: Russell Wilson, D.K. Metcalf, DeeJay Dallas
Los Angeles Rams:
Jared Goff may be the start of the week or the burning trash can that makes you set your team on fire and go into full tilt mode this week. I have a hard time starting a guy that averages 17 points a game and is coming off consecutive weeks that consist of 14.92, 16.9 and 11.2 points. However, coming off a BYE week and playing the leagues’ worst pass defense, this may be the week to pull the trigger and start Goff. Additionally, I look for Kupp, Robert Woods and Tyler Higbee to all have fantasy relevant days. Seattle does have a solid front 7 and Darrell Henderson is still banged up, and is averaging less than 8 points per game over his last three games, look for the fantasy points to come through the air for the Rams.
Potential Starts: Jared Goff, Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp, Tyler Higbee
San Francisco 49ers @ New Orleans Saints
San Francisco 49ers:
Similar to the Raiders earlier, there’s really not a good player to start for the 9ers this week. Jimmy G and Kittle are both on IR, Deebo is out, Dante Pettis was cut, Tevin Coleman, Raheem Mostert, the list of injuries go on and on. Do not buy into the Richie James hype, he isn’t the answer there. After watching the Saints dismantle Tom Brady, avoid all 49ers.
Potential Starts: None
New Orleans Saints:
Drew Brees firmly asserted himself as a fantasy relevant quarterback against the Bucs last week. Michael Thomas has returned, Emmanuel Sanders has returned, Alvin Kamara is still playing well, pass protecting swing lineman Nick Easton will now be starting and all of this makes the perfect storm of fantasy points for the Saints against the league average 16th best overall defense. The one Saint that I’m not touching this week is Jared Cook against the 9ers athletic linebackers. This should be another boring blowout for who dat nation.
Potential Starts: Drew Brees, Michael Thomas, Alvin Kamara
Cincinnati Bengals @ Pittsburgh Steelers
Hollywood Joe is going to have to take a backseat this week. The Pittsburgh defense is sixth in the NFL in pass defense, allowed the second lowest passer rating (79.7) and has almost forced as many interceptions as they have allowed passing touchdowns (14 TD/11 INT). Their 11 interceptions is tied for the most in the NFL. That formula does not bode well for a rookie quarterback who is going into Pittsburgh who has never lost to a rookie quarterback at home under the Mike Tomlin coached team. As is with Joe Burrow, this will be an automatic reduction to Tee Higgins, Tyler Boyd and A.J. Green. Additionally, Joe Mixon is coming off of injury and Gio Bernard is nothing more than a touchdown dependent hand cuff. On top of facing the seventh ranked rush defense, the Steelers are only giving up 4.1 yards per carry and have forced 4 rushing fumbles on the season.
Potential Starts: None
Facing a Bengals team that is giving up a league worst 5.2 yard per carry, 7 rushing touchdowns and only 1 forced fumble, James Conner is as high of an upside play as there is this week. Coming off a down week, where he only scored 3.2 points, Conner will be a low owned, high value play in both season long and daily fantasy this week. The Bengals are among the league average against the pass and have allowed an average 94.4 passer rating so I’m not overly energetic about Ben Roethlisberger or Juju Smith-Schuster this week but I think Chase Claypool is probably a safe, high floor/high ceiling play this week.
Potential Starts: James Conner, Chase Claypool, Diontae Johnson
Baltimore Ravens @ New England Patriots
I don’t have a single fantasy relevant player for this game. Lamar Jackson is a shadow of his former self, Cam Newton is a turnover machine, this is a disaster of a game unless Mark Ingram doesn’t play again. Then roll out J.K. Dobbins.
Minnesota Vikings @ Chicago Bears
Minnesota should rename their team name to the Minnesota Dalvin Cooks because that is their entire team. Averaging just shy of 6 yards per carry at the midpoint of the season, Cook is projecting to have 288 carries, 1,716 yards and 24 touchdowns. Those are astronomical numbers. Those numbers do not include his receiving numbers. He’s also averaging over 10 yards per reception, 173 total yards and another touchdown. Yeah, I’m going off on Dalvin Cook because he’s the only fantasy relevant player on the team. That’s not to take away from what he’s doing, he just IS the team.
Potential Starts: Dalvin Cook
The Bears are a little different than the Vikings. They don’t have the one “it” guy but they have a lot of average guys who can produce big numbers at times. Nick Foles has been serviceable and I actually expect him to have a really good week against the leagues fourth worst passing defense. On top of that expect a big game from Allen Robinson and surprise candidate Darnell Mooney to make it a big day. With David Montgomery expected to miss this week with a concussion, expect a big week from the passing game.
Potential Starts: Nick Foles, Allen Robinson, Darnell Mooney