Week 10 of the NFL season largely felt like another low scoring fantasy week. Either way, we march on as the fantasy playoffs continue to approach. So, let’s jump right into this week’s key takeaways.
Worries about Austin Ekeler?... While a combined 26.1 fantasy points over the past two week sins a bad mark, it’s underwhelming for Austin Ekeler owners. While Ekeler still dominated the snaps out of Chargers’ running backs, he only carried the ball 11 times. It’s worth wondering if the Chargers are, or might start to, limit his workload.
Throughout his career, Ekeler’s 224 touches in 2019 is his career high. This season, he’s on pace for a whopping 259. For an undersized back with past injury concerns, it wouldn't be a surprise if he was not able to sustain this pace. We’ve already seen workhorses like Derrick Henry and Alvin Kamara go down, so some concerns about Ekeler are warranted.
A.J. Dillon time... If A.J. Dillon was sitting on your league’s waiver wire for some reason, go ahead and change that immediately. Dillon has seen an increase in workload the past few weeks and handled bell-cow duties when Aaron Jones went down with an MCL sprain on Sunday. As the veteran is expected to miss the next 1-2 games, Dillon will be leaned on by Matt LaFleur and the Packers. The second-year back has impressed in limited action this season, even providing value in the passing game. With the backfield all his, he’s locked in as an RB1.
Dump Cleveland catchers...
Or should we use...
An actual dumpster fire outside of Browns stadium right now. pic.twitter.com/ZcXWma3QVR— Mark Cerimele (@RealMarkCerimel) October 3, 2017
Over the last four weeks, non-Cleveland running backs have scored over 10.0 PPR points just twice. The Browns passing offense has been absolutely brutal and it may not be getting better any time soon with a banged up Baker Mayfield. They do have some potential high scoring matchups on their schedule, but leave any Browns’ pass catcher on your bench for now.
Mark Ingram... See what getting out of Houston does? Despite getting an extremely similar workload to what he received with the Texans, Ingram has become a trustworthy FLEX option in New Orleans. And if Alvin Kamara continues to miss time, Ingram is easily promoted to an RB1. Without Kamara this week, Ingram handled 57 out of 61 backfield snaps, while out-carrying Dwayne Washington 14-2.
Free D’Onta Foreman... The Adrian Peterson experiment was fun for roughy one (1) day. It’s clear D’Onta Foreman is Tennessee’s most effective back for the second straight week and it’s time to let him take over the backfield.
Since Henry’s injury, Jeremy McNichols has lead the backfield in terms of pass snaps and routes (no surprise), but the rush snaps have been fairly equal. Foreman (3.69) has averaged more yards per carry than Peterson (2.33), while also being effective as a receiver out of the backfield. If his play the past two weeks can start to separate him from the committee, he’s a must add as Tennessee’s primary ball carrier.
Add Arnold... Not only should you add Dan Arnold, but have faith starting him if needed. Arnold has seen seven or more targets and scored double digit fantasy points in four of Jacksonville’s past five games. He is still available in over 70 percent of both Yahoo and ESPN leagues, despite showcasing a consistent floor at the tight end position.
Rhamondre continues to rumble... We mentioned last week that Stevenson could be on his way to a consistent workload in New England’s backfield and Sunday’s effort just helped his cause. Despite missing the entire week of practice while in concussion protocol, Stevenson pilled up 24 touches for 114 yards and two scores. New England’s backfield is known for being unfair towards fantasy owners — and likely will go right back to a three-man committee when Damien Harris (concussion) returns — but Stevenson needs to be rostered. If Harris is unable to go in a short week against Atlanta, plug the rookie right back into your lineups as well.
Antonio Gibson is back... Again, I hope you are listening because we mentioned Gibson as a potential buy low candidate while he was on a Week 9 bye. Gibson was highly drafted back in the offseason by fantasy managers but an early shin injury derailed the front half of his season. However, after the bye, Gibson went back to being the lead dog in Washington’s backfield and saw a career-high 24 carries. He didn't manage many yards (64), largely due to the stout Buccaneers run defense, but did find the end zone twice. He seemed healthier and looks back to being a trustworthy fantasy option.
Trust Tyler Conklin?... Conklin continues to operate as the TE1 in the Vikings offense, as he was second in snaps and third in routes run out of Minnesota pass catchers on Sunday. While Sunday was Conklin’s least impressive performance of late (three catches, 11 yards), he converted two of his receptions for touchdowns. He has now scored at least 9 PPR points in his last four games and has proven to be a low-end streaming option at tight end.
That is all for this week’s recap. Leave a comment below or reach out on Twitter @iambrianhines if you have any questions about your fantasy team!