Week 10 of the fantasy season has arrived. With just several weeks left in the season, playoff spots could start to be clinched in Week 10, so it’s time to lock in.
This week is also most likely your league’s trade deadline, which means you have one last chance to really shake up and your roster. We’ll quickly reiterate some points previously made to improve your roster:
- If you are at the top of your leaderboard...
- Always update the back end of your roster with the week’s top waiver wire additions
- Pick up your best running backs handcuff
- If you are fighting for a playoff spot...
- Trade away an injured player (Austin Ekeler) on your bench for a player or two that will help you win now
- Be on top of the waiver wire and injuries to star players - their backups could win you your league
- If you are eliminated...
- Don’t get last
- Play the spoiler role
With that, let’s preview everything you need to know to win Week 10:
Tom Brady at Carolina
Ignore Brady’s clunker last week as he was pressured on a season-high 53.7 percent of his drop backs last week. Perhaps Carolina will take a hint out of New Orleans’ playbook, but they currently rank 25th is pressure rate (28.1%) this season, according to PFF. In Brady’s Week 2 matchup with Carolina, he was pressured on just 14.3 percent of his drop backs. He only threw for one touchdown, but had two dropped in the end zone while Leonard Fournette stole a third. Brady will get back on track this week.
Derek Carr vs Denver
Carr hasn't done anything special in terms of fantasy production of late, but he has a chance to expose a struggling Denver defense this week. Denver has allowed more than 250 passing yards and the ninth-most fantasy points to opposing QBs. Just the past two weeks, they've allowed both Justin Herbert and Matt Ryan to eclipse to 20-fantasy point mark. Carr has also had success against the division foe in the past, averaging 325 passing yards in two games against Denver last year.
More Starts: Jared Goff vs Seattle, Justin Herbert at Miami
Ryan Tannehill vs Indianapolis
Tannehill has failed to reach the 20-point mark in three straight games now, and Thursday night doesn't look like the time he’ll end that streak. The Colts allow the fewest fantasy points to enemy QBs this season, while just two players at the position have reached 20 points. Tannehill is no-more than a QB2 this Thursday.
More Sits: Teddy Bridgewater vs Tampa Bay, Daniel Jones vs Philadelphia
Sleeper: Tua Tagovailoa vs Los Angeles Chargers
Tua’s Week 10 matchup with LA will be the easiest he’s had throughout his three career games. The Chargers defense is top four in fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks per game and have allowed 16 touchdown passes — allowing two or three passing touchdowns in three straight games. He should put up his fair share of points in a dual with rookie Justin Herbert.
Antonio Gibson at Detroit
Gibson fell victim to poor game-flow last week against the Giants, but still managed to salvage his fantasy day with a score. This week against the Lions, the Football Team should manage to keep things closer which will result in more Gibson. Detroit has allowed the most fantasy points to opposing runners, while seven different backs have scored 20-plus points.
Duke Johnson at Cleveland
With David Johnson (concussion) likely sidelined, Duke Johnson will be the Texans bell-cow on Sunday. Duke saw 20 touches when David Johnson left last week and faces a Cleveland defense that is terrible in stopping running backs in the passing game (31st in a YAC per reception and 30th in yards per target). Johnson is a strong play at the running back position this week.
More Starts: Mike Davis vs Tampa Bay, Kareem Hunt vs Houston
Joe Mixon at Pittsburgh
If Joe Mixon (foot) is able to play this week, he might be best left on benches. The elite Steelers’ defense has allowed just 82.4 rushing yards per game to backs, while they are more vulnerable through the air. Due to Cincy’s talent at the wide receiver position, it would not be a surprise to see them air it out more coming off their bye.
Jonathan Taylor at Tennessee
Taylor has had a rather disappointing rookie season and looks to be on the verge of losing his job to Jordan Wilkins, while Nyheim Hines still takes away targets in the passing game. He played just 11 snaps after his Week 9 fumble, as Wilkins lead the Indy backfield in snaps, touches, yards, and fantasy points. Taylor simply can't be trusted now.
Sleeper: J.K. Dobbins at New England
Dobbins, and Gus Edwards, will be quality fantasy starts this week if Mark Ingram remains out. The run heavy Ravens should be able to take advantage of a poor Patriots’ front seven. Since Week 6, New England has allowed six total touchdowns and the sixth-most fantasy points to runners. Two backs have also eclipsed the 20-plus fantasy point mark in that time.
Jarvis Landry vs Houston
In Cleveland’s one game without Odell Beckham Jr. this season, Landry led all Brown wide receivers in targets (11), catches (4), and yards (52). Even before Odell went down, Landry has seen the fourth-highest target share (29 percent) over their last three games. This week, Landry should be able to feast in the slot against Houston, who have allowed a league-high 144.5 passer rating to the to receivers in the slot position. Slot receivers are averaging five-plus catches against Houston, making Landry a strong start in Week 10.
Mike Williams at Miami
Williams has seen a steady increase in production of late - catching five passes and posting double digit fantasy points in three of his last four games. His success should continue this week, as Miami has given up the sixth most yards to wide receivers this year (1,551 yards) and have been beaten badly by wide receivers that line up outside - exactly where Williams spends all of his time.
More Starts: Curtis Samuel vs Tampa Bay, Rams wide receivers vs Seattle
D.J. Chark Jr. at Green Bay
Okay, we suggested to sit Chark last week and he had a great game. But, trust us this time. Chark had a strong connection with rookie Jake Luton, but now has one of the most difficult matchups of the week as Packers cornerback Jaire Alexander is waiting for him. If Alexander (concussion) is out however, Chark will be a safe bet to insert in the lineups.
Marvin Jones Jr. vs Football Team
Jones has saved a pair of back-to-back three catch games with three total touchdowns, but he might not be as fortunate in a tough matchup against the Football Team. Washington’s defense has given up just three touchdowns and the fewest fantasy points to opposing wide receivers on the year. Even with Kenny Golladay out, leave Jones sidelined.
More Sits: Marquise Brown at New England, DeVante Parker vs Los Angeles Chargers
Sleeper: Jalen Reagor at New York Giants
Rostered in just 21 percent of leagues, Reagor is a viable starter this week that should be available in free agency. In his first game back from IR, Reagor saw six total targets, with three coming in the end-zone. He cashed in on one for his first career touchdown and will look to continue his success coming off the Eagles Week 9 bye. The Giants will most likely stick star corner James Bradberry on Travis Fulgham, leaving their backup Issac Yiadom on Reagor. According to PFF, Yiadom has surrendered the fifth-most fantasy points per route run and the sixth-most yards per route covered. Reagor is a valuable sleeper option this week and moving forward.
T.J. Hockenson vs Washington Football Team
Hockenson has been an extremely consistent fantasy tight end this season - scoring at least 9.3 fantasy points every game while exceeding double digit fantasy points in six of his eight games. There is no reason that production should stop this week as he matches up with Washington, who has allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends.
Austin Hooper vs Houston
Hooper is on track to return after his appendicitis surgery, and does so in a smash spot against the Texans. Before his surgery, Hooper recorded three straight double-digit fantasy performances, and now faces a Houston defense that has allowed the second-most fantasy points to TEs over the past four weeks.
More Starts: Eric Ebron vs Cincinatti, Robert Tonyan vs Jacksonville
Mark Andrews at New England
Andrews has struggled this year, failing to reach the 60 yard mark in a game this season. His earlier season touchdowns saved some performances, but he’s averaged just 2.7 catches and 25 yards with no touchdowns over the past three weeks. In six games against New England this season, tight ends not named George Kittle or Travis Kelce have averaged just 27.3 yards and 2.3 catches. Andrews downwards trend looks likely to continue this week.
Hunter Henry at Miami
Henry has not recorded more than four catches in a game since Week 3. He also hasn't scored more than 7.3 fantasy points in three straight games and four of his last five. Henry has a tough matchup this week against Miami, who has allowed the seventh-fewest points to the position, while not a single tight end has scored more than 9.1 fantasy points against them.
More Sits: Noah Fant at Las Vegas, Tyler Higbee vs Seattle
Sleepers: Jacob Hollister at Los Angeles Rams
The Seahawks tight end position has been a fantasy nightmare this season as Greg Olsen, Will Dissly, and now Hollister have all had their share of production. However, Hollister saw seven targets last week, the most to a Seattle tight end since Olsen in Week 4, and had the highest PFF grade for a Seattle tight end this season. The Rams defense has been vulnerable against tight ends, so Hollister could be a worthwhile gamble at the position.
Patriots Play of the Week
Let’s go nuts. To start, the Patriots running backs are in a spot to avoid this week. Half of the teams to face Baltimore couldn’t rush for more than 70 rushing yards as a team. Five individual backs did eclipse the 50-yard mark, but none scored a touchdown. Combine that with New England’s rotation at the position, it’s one to avoid. Now for pass catchers, there is really no option at tight end in Foxboro, so, that leaves us with Damiere Byrd, Jakobi Meyers, and potentially N’Keal Harry (concussion). Meyers has been the center of attention for New England of late, leading the team in targets, catches, and yards over the past three weeks. That could result in a lot of xx Marlon Humphrey for Meyers, which would leave opportunities available for Byrd in the passing game. The speedster has been solid on the year and caught five-of-nine targets last week against the Jets. He’s been close to finding the end zone on several occasions this year, so we’ll say this is finally the week he gets in.
That is all for this week’s preview. If you have any additional questions regarding your lineup, specific players, or strategies going forward leave a comment below or reach out on Twitter @iambrianhines. As always, I’m rooting for you.