Fantasy football sit-and-start advice should always be relative and league-dependent. Note that some players are targeted for DFS. Good luck with your Week 10 lineups!
Start: Geno Smith, Cade Otton
Smith is among the league leaders in completion percentage, YPA and QBR and has a top-three Passer Rating in the highest degree of difficulty throws. He gets a tougher matchup this week but has gotten 8.7 YPA with 10 touchdowns over five road games this season. He’s simply playing too well to be benched in fantasy leagues.
The Seahawks have played terrific defense over the last month but have allowed the most fantasy points to tight ends this season. Cameron Brate is likely to return, but the Bucs should be forced to pass a ton in this matchup.
Start: Jacoby Brissett, Raheem Mostert & Jeff Wilson Jr.
The Browns prefer to run, but opponents have the second-highest pass rate (67.7 percent) when playing in Miami this season (and the second-highest neutral pass rate against them all year). The Dolphins’ defense also sports a bottom-five pressure rate and has allowed the most fantasy points to quarterbacks this season (despite facing Zach Wilson, Kenny Pickett, Mac Jones and Jared Goff).
Conversely, Miami’s offense sets up well to score a bunch of points Sunday in a matchup with one of the highest totals (49.5 points) of the week. Brissett is a sleeper, while Amari Cooper also gets a boost despite playing on the road.
The Browns have allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to running backs and easily the most EPA/rush in the league, ranking 30th in run defense DVOA. Wilson and Mostert should form something close to a timeshare, limiting their upside, but each can be started as a FLEX option in a matchup against a shaky run defense featuring two teams among the leaders in average total points scored.
Sit: Kirk Cousins
Start: Devin Singletary
Cousins is facing a tough Bills defense allowing the third-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks this season. Patrick Mahomes is the only QB who’s topped 17 fantasy points against Buffalo, which is yielding just 6.0 YPA with an 8:11 TD:INT ratio. Minnesota’s 7-1 record may be hiding an alarming season by Cousins, who’s getting only 6.6 YPA (that drops to 6.1 on the road). Moreover, Josh Allen is a major question mark for Sunday’s game with an elbow injury (the spread keeps dropping to strongly suggest Case Keenum starts), which is more concern for Cousins’ fantasy value in a matchup with its total down to 43.5 points.
There’s a good chance you don’t like starting Cousins this week in a game with freezing conditions that could also include snow.
The Vikings have been a poor matchup for opposing fantasy backs, but with Case Keenum likely starting a game in the snow, expect Buffalo to rely on its run game far more than usual this week. Singletary has approached a 75% snap share in three straight games and has gotten 4.9 YPC at home, where the Bills remain favorites Sunday. While the loss of Allen hurts everyone else on the Bills, it could sneakily add to Singletary’s fantasy value thanks to increased volume (he’s also due for some touchdown regression).
Sit: Jared Goff
Start in DFS: Justin Fields ($33)
Opponents have the second-lowest pass rate (49%) when facing the Bears this season, and Goff has gotten just 5.7 YPA with a 5:7 TD:INT ratio (and four fumbles) over six career games below 40 degrees; Sunday’s forecast suggests it will feel like 27 degrees at kickoff. Goff also must deal with a banged-up receiving group and is now without TJ Hockenson (this is a good matchup for Amon-Ra St. Brown to bounce back, however).
Fields was easily the top-scoring fantasy QB last week when he ran for the most yards at the position ever in a regular season game. He has the fourth-most rushing yards in the NFL over the last month, and the incredibly effective (and fast) runner is on pace to finish with 1,137 rushing yards this season. Fields gets a Lions defense this week allowing the most yards per play and the third-most fantasy points to quarterbacks, including the most rush attempts and second-most rush yards to the position. He’s a top-three fantasy QB in a matchup with one of the highest totals (48.5 points) this week.
Start: Evan Engram
Sit: Kansas City running backs
Engram is coming off a quiet performance but averaged 7.3 targets over his previous four games. He gets a KC defense this week that’s allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to tight ends this season. Opponents also have the third-highest pass rate when facing the Chiefs, so Engram should be busy Sunday.
Isiah Pacheco started last week but played just 14% of the snaps after the first quarter. Clyde Edwards-Helaire finished with just 16 snaps, while Jerick McKinnon easily led the team with 59 (which resulted in three carries). Game script could be different this week, but this remains a three-way committee featuring unexciting options (CEH hasn’t scored 10 fantasy points in a game since Week 4).
No KC running back should be started in fantasy leagues, which is odd given Patrick Mahomes plays quarterback, Andy Reid is coach and the offense leads the NFL in EPA/play by a mile.
Sit: All Texans but Dameon Pierce
Start in DFS: Saquon Barkley ($36)
Pierce has forced the most missed tackles since Week 5 and is a weekly top-12 fantasy back despite a poor supporting cast. But no other Houston player is worth starting in fantasy leagues right now, especially in a road game against a solid Giants defense coming off a bye. Nico Collins is set to return and compete for targets with the highly disappointing Brandin Cooks, while Davis Mills has gotten an ugly 5.8 YPA with a 7:12 TD:INT ratio (and six fumbles) over 10 games on the road during his career.
Barkley is coming off a bye and gets a home game against a Texans defense allowing the most fantasy points to running backs this season. Houston has yielded 5.4 YPC and 12 rushing scores, with the last three lead backs facing it averaging 150+ rushing yards and 2.0 touchdowns. While New York’s record may suggest otherwise, Barkley has dealt with poor game scripts this season, yet he’s third in the league in rushing yards anyway. The Giants are near touchdown home favorites Sunday against a Texans team whose quarterback struggles mightily on the road. Barkley should benefit.
Start in DFS: Chris Olave ($26)
Start: George Pickens
Olave is a special talent who will continue to be fed targets with Michael Thomas out for the season. The rookie wideout gets a terrific matchup this week against a Steelers defense allowing the most fantasy points to receivers this season. Olave deserves strong DFS consideration given his salary and matchup.
Pickens should see increased targets coming out of the bye with Chase Claypool traded. He gets a favorable matchup this week, too. The Saints defense has yielded the second-fewest fantasy points to slot WRs and has limited tight ends to the fewest fantasy points per game yet has allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to outside receivers (where Pickens has run 90% of his routes). Kenny Pickett has admittedly been a problem, but Pickens is a sleeper this week.
Start: Jerry Jeudy
Sit: All Titans but Derrick Henry
Jeudy has emerged as Denver’s No. 1 receiver over the last month and gets the far more favorable matchup on paper this week. The Titans have allowed the fewest fantasy points to Sutton’s primary side over the last month (and the sixth-most to the slot, where Jeudy has run 68% of his routes). Moreover, the Broncos can’t run against any team and face DVOA’s top-ranked rush defense, while opponents have the highest pass rate (67.2%) when facing the Titans this season. Expect plenty of targets to go Jeudy’s way Sunday.
Denver’s defense has ceded the second-fewest EPA/play and ranks second in DVOA (first against the pass) this season. Ryan Tannehill likely returns but will be playing through a sprained ankle in a tough environment against a D line with one of the top pressure rates in the league. The total has dropped to 37.5 points, which is one of the lowest of the season.
Start: Michael Pittman, Mack Hollins
Pittman’s fantasy value is unquestionably down with Sam Ehlinger at QB, but he gets a much easier matchup after getting shut down in New England last week. He’s more of a FLEX play without a ton of upside, but Pittman should see enough targets (with a banged-up Jonathan Taylor) to still be worth starting against a reeling Las Vegas team.
Hollins is a sneaky start this week in a matchup indoors and with Hunter Renfrow and Darren Waller both sidelined. Hollins’ target rate has jumped to 22% in two games without Renfrow, including one in which he finished as the No. 2 fantasy receiver in Week 3.
Start: Tony Pollard, Allen Lazard
Ezekiel Elliott is expected to return from a sprained knee, but Pollard should get around 15 touches either way. The Packers are a funnel defense that ranks top-10 against the pass and second-to-last versus the run in DVOA. Opposing backs are averaging 119.4 rushing yards when facing Green Bay this season, the third-most in the league. The Packers offense should be in real trouble against this Dallas defense, also leading to a favorable game script for Pollard, who ranks third in yards per touch this season.
He should be treated as a top-15 fantasy back this week.
Lazard was close to scoring last week, has earned a 20%+ target share in four straight games and had the third-most expected fantasy points among receivers last week. He’s now looking at increased targets with Romeo Doubs sidelined and Aaron Jones also dealing with an ankle injury. The Cowboys aren’t an easy opponent but should force volume, and Aaron Rodgers has at least played better at home this season. Lazard has scored 13 touchdowns over his last 20 starts while sharing the field with Davante Adams for most of the time. He’s a strong start this week assuming his shoulder injury cooperates.
Arizona Cardinals @ Los Angeles Rams
Start: Rondale Moore, Tyler Higbee
Moore has averaged 8+ targets and 15+ PPR fantasy points during four games in which he’s primarily been used in the slot this season, which should be his full-time role moving forward. The Cardinals perform better on the road, and this week they play indoors in LA against a pass-funnel Rams defense (DVOA ranks them #22 versus the pass and #3 against the run). It is worth noting, however, that Kyler Murray is a game-time decision with a hamstring injury.
The defending Super Bowl champs are somehow getting the fewest yards per play this season and might be without Matthew Stafford this week. Still, Higbee can be started at a thin TE position and in a matchup versus a Cardinals defense allowing the second-most fantasy points and the highest target rate to tight ends this season. The Rams won’t be able to run the ball, Allen Robinson ranks bottom-five in yards per route run and Cooper Kupp is playing through a sprained ankle, so volume should be there for Higbee no matter who starts at quarterback for the Rams.
Los Angeles Chargers @ San Francisco 49ers
Start: DeAndre Carter, Jimmy Garoppolo
Mike Williams and Keenan Allen are likely to remain out, and opponents have an NFL-high pass rate (70.2%) when playing in San Francisco this season. Carter is a deep sleeper this week against a 49ers defense allowing the most fantasy points to the slot over the last eight weeks (where Carter has run 75% of his routes).
Steady Jimmy G looks like a top-12 fantasy QB as the 49ers sport the fourth-highest implied team total this week while coming off a bye with Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, George Kittle and Christian McCaffrey all available. CMC is primed for another big game against a Chargers run defense that’s been gashed over the last six weeks. And if you’re looking for a real deep sleeper RB this week, Elijah Mitchell is reportedly set to return without restrictions in a highly favorable matchup that could easily lead to a real nice game script (and Kyle Shanahan doing his best to let LAC back in the game).
Washington Commanders @ Philadelphia Eagles
Start: Antonio Gibson, DeVonta Smith
Gibson should see extra touches facing a run-funnel Eagles defense that ranks No. 2 versus the pass and No. 27 against the run in DVOA. JD McKissic is also unlikely to play Sunday. Philadelphia is allowing 5.2 YPC, and Gibson is simply outplaying Brian Robinson; Gibson is top-five among running backs in yards per route run this season.
Smith is coming off a couple of quiet games but gets a Washington defense that’s ceded the seventh-most fantasy points and has the highest target rate allowed to wide receivers this season. One of these weeks the Eagles are going to be actually trailing in the second half of a game.
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