1:00 PM ET Games
Detroit @ Chicago
Team Totals: Bears 25.5, Lions 18.5
Back home after a cinch win at Buffalo where Chicago needed only 12 completions thanks to two defensive TDs and two more on the ground, Mitchell Trubisky catches a Lions team allowing the NFL’s tenth-most points per game (26.2), seventh-most yards per play (6.1), and a 16:3 TD-to-INT ratio to quarterbacks. Although Trubisky makes a handful of mind-boggling throws each game – last week’s was an ugly third-quarter overthrow of Trey Burton that Bills CB Tre’Davious White easily picked -- Matt Nagy’s space-creating designs, plus weaponry, and Trubisky’s dual-threat ability put him in every-week QB1 contention. Quietly, Trubisky is on pace for 32 touchdown passes and four rushing scores. Among quarterbacks, only Cam Newton (342) has more rushing yards than Trubisky’s 302. … At least in bulk production, NT Damon Harrison’s acquisition hasn’t fixed Detroit’s run defense. The Lions have surrendered rushing lines of 35/138/1 (Seahawks) and 20/120/1 (Vikings) to enemy backs in two games since the trade. Jordan Howard remains a touchdown-dependent RB2 option with just one catch since Week 3, but this matchup is unimposing, and Howard can push for 15-plus carries if Chicago plays with a lead. … Positive script limited Tarik Cohen to touch counts of 6 and 7 in the last two weeks. A mismatch Nagy may look to exploit with Cohen’s receiving skills would be versus Lions MLB Jarrad Davis, who plays man coverage versus running backs in 11 personnel.
Allen Robinson returns from his three-week groin injury to occupy Lions top CB Darius Slay’s coverage. Robinson has finished below 65 yards in 5-of-6 games with lowly target counts of 4 – 6 – 5 in his last three appearances. He’s a touchdown-or-bust WR3/flex with continued health concerns in a deep pass-catcher corps. … Taylor Gabriel has two 100-yard weeks and six below 55 yards. He’s hit pay dirt in 1-of-8 games and is averaging 5.0 targets over the last four, devolving into a big-play-dependent WR4 on low volume. That said, Gabriel’s outlook is improved with Robinson back to attract Slay, positioning the Bears’ 4.40-flat burner to run routes at Lions slowpoke CB Teez Tabor (4.62), whom PFF has charged with 17-of-20 targets allowed (85%) for 300 yards (15.0 YPA) and three TDs. Quarterbacks have a perfect 158.3 passer rating when throwing at Tabor. … Slot CB Nevin Lawson is another liability, notable for slot WR Anthony Miller, who leads the Bears in targets (20) and Air Yards (266) over the last three weeks. … Trey Burton has earned every-week TE1 treatment with 50-plus yards and/or a touchdown in six of his last seven games. The Lions gave up 3/39/1 to Cowboys TE Geoff Swaim in Week 4, 8/84/1 to Packers TEs in Week 5, 5/67/0 on six targets to Dolphins TEs in Week 7, and 3/70/1 to Seahawks TEs in Week 8.
The Lions’ offensive line was a top-five unit in Weeks 1-8, making last Sunday’s meltdown in Minnesota especially stunning. Matthew Stafford absorbed career highs in sacks (10) and hits (17) despite being blitzed on just 5-of-46 dropbacks, while protection breakdowns were exacerbated by the trade-deadline exit of longtime Stafford safety valve Golden Tate. Week 10 will be no easier; expected to get back Khalil Mack (ankle), DC Vic Fangio’s Bears rank top eight in sack rate (7.5%) despite blitzing at the NFL’s sixth-lowest clip (19%). With just one top-12 fantasy score in eight starts, Stafford is two-quarterback-league material. … The Lions are hellbent on becoming a run-centric team, risking offensive dysfunction versus opponents capable of eliminating the run like Minnesota and Chicago. The Bears still haven’t allowed a single rushing touchdown to a running back while holding enemy backs to 3.43 yards per carry and the league’s fifth-fewest receiving yards (255). Theo Riddick’s Week 9 return dropped Kerryon Johnson’s playing time (56%) to his lowest since Week 5, and Riddick’s team-high eight targets were a drain on Johnson’s passing-game usage. Johnson projects for 13-16 touches as a low-end RB2 play at Soldier Field.
Stafford’s Week 9 target distribution: Riddick and Marvin Jones 8; Johnson 5; Kenny Golladay and Michael Roberts 4; Luke Willson and T.J. Jones 2; LeGarrette Blount 1. … Jones led the team in targets, Air Yards (73), and receiving (6/66/0) in Detroit’s first post-Tate game. Bears CBs Kyle Fuller and Prince Amukamara are hardly slouches, but ascending volume locks in Jones as a fade-matchup WR2 with WR1 upside. … Riddick manned slot receiver on third downs at Minnesota, running 30 routes on 56% of the snaps and leading the Lions in catches (7). He’s a PPR-specific flex option. … Golladay drew four targets or fewer for the fourth time in the last five games and should be downgraded to a boom-bust WR3/flex option until his volume bounces back. The Bears have allowed the NFL’s fourth-fewest 20-plus-yard completions (23) and seventh-fewest touchdowns to wide receivers (7). … Jones got the biggest post-Tate playing-time bump (51%), running a season-high 34 routes with 29 in the slot but drawing only two targets. Riddick was Stafford’s preferred interior option on passing downs. … Roberts also set season highs in snaps (51%), routes (24), and targets and has a chance to become a touchdown-dependent streamer if his Week 9 usage holds. No tight end has reached 50 yards against Chicago, however.
Score Prediction: Bears 24, Lions 21
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New Orleans @ Cincinnati
Team Totals: Saints 30, Bengals 24
Cincinnati returns from its bye in sad-sack position having lost Tyler Eifert (ankle) for the year and A.J. Green (foot) indefinitely, forcing Andy Dalton to go to war with a three-receiver set of Tyler Boyd, Alex Erickson, and John Ross, and C.J. Uzomah at tight end. Since entering the league, Dalton averages 0.63 fewer touchdowns and nearly a full fantasy point per game less with Green sidelined, and a whopping 3.5 fewer fantasy points without Eifert. Still, Dalton’s Week 10 matchup is favorable enough for low-end QB1 streaming. Again missing star rookie DE Marcus Davenport (toe), the Saints rank bottom six in sack rate (5.5%) and bottom four in QB hit rate (12.2%). Cincinnati’s offensive line has permitted pressure on just 24.1% of Dalton’s dropbacks, the ninth-lowest clip in the league. … Fully past his early-season knee issues following Cincinnati’s bye, Joe Mixon enters Week 10 with 15-plus touches in 6-of-6 games and 22-plus touches in 4-of-6 to face a Saints Defense that has defended the run stoutly but yielded 121 total yards and a touchdown to Vikings backs in Week 8, then 97 yards and two TDs to Rams backs last week. Whereas New Orleans is on the road after its track-meet Sunday night win, the Bengals are fresh and rested off the open date. Mixon’s offensive line has been a helpful run-blocking unit this year, ranking No. 8 in yards created before contact per carry (2.9). Mixon is a fade-matchup, bet-on-volume RB1 play.
Green’s absence forces slot man Tyler Boyd into Cincinnati’s No. 1 wideout role, convenient since fellow slot WRs Adam Thielen (7/107/1), Cooper Kupp (5/89/1), Sterling Shepard (10/77/1), and Mohamed Sanu (4/36/1) have all beaten expectations against the Saints, who lost slot CB Patrick Robinson to I.R. early in the year. On slot routes alone, PFF has charged fill-in P.J. Williams with 22-of-29 targets allowed (76%) for 225 yards (7.8 YPA) and two scores. … Green held a massive 40% grip on Cincinnati’s target share. Outside receiver slots will now be manned by some combination of Alex Erickson, Josh Malone, John Ross, Cody Core, and Auden Tate. You’re on your own trying to sort through that mess for sneaky fantasy value. Erickson and always-injured Ross have played the most snaps to date. … Uzomah was a catch-less bust in Cincinnati’s pre-bye loss to Kansas City after an opening-drive shoulder stinger. New Orleans has allowed the NFL’s fourth-fewest fantasy points per game to tight ends, while Uzomah has logged fewer than 55 yards in 7-of-7 games. He ranked a lowly 22nd in Air Yards (117) among tight ends in Weeks 4-8. Still, sheer opportunity in a projected shootout keeps Uzomah on the TE1 streamer map.
The Saints go back on the road following last Sunday’s emotional primetime win over the Rams to face a Bengals team that’s been left for dead due to injuries but is still 5-3 and should stay competitive at home off its bye. Alvin Kamara continued to dominate New Orleans’ Week 9 backfield, winning the touches battle 23 to 10 over Mark Ingram. Kamara is third among NFL backs in targets (51) and has out-touched Ingram 8 to 3 inside the ten-yard line since New Orleans’ Week 6 bye. Kamara has five TDs since the open date, Ingram none. Cincinnati allows 4.92 yards per carry and the NFL’s 11th-most receiving yards per game to running backs (52.4), while Kamara averages 1.3 more targets per game on the road in his career. He's up to 26 all-purpose touchdowns through 24 NFL games. … Ingram has disappointed for an extended period, averaging 53.3 total yards over his last eight games, including the playoffs. He has three TDs in that span. Ingram further hurt himself by losing a fumble deep in Rams territory in last week’s win. … Drew Brees’ home-road splits are back in full effect with top-three fantasy scores in 3-of-4 Superdomed affairs but results of QB17 or worse in 3-of-4 away games. This matchup is still too difficult to pass up; 7-of-8 quarterbacks to face the Bengals have recorded top-12 fantasy finishes, while Cincinnati’s pass rush was a flop even before losing promising RE Carl Lawson (ACL), ranking 25th in sack rate (5.8%) and 22nd in QB hit rate (14.9%). Per PFF, Brees has a 16:0 TD-to-INT ratio and league-best 80.8% completion rate in clean pockets. The Saints and Bengals both rank top six in scoring-position offense, each converting over 70% of red-zone trips into TDs.
Brees’ target distribution since the Saints’ Week 6 bye: Michael Thomas 30; Kamara 15; Tre’Quan Smith 13; Ben Watson 10; Ingram 7; Dan Arnold and Josh Hill 4. … As Cincinnati’s defense allows a league-high 28 completions per game, DC Teryl Austin’s unit poses a plus draw for all pass catchers. … Austin took the rare step of shadowing Mike Evans with LCB Dre Kirkpatrick and DeSean Jackson with RCB William Jackson in the Bengals’ pre-bye win. Evans went bonkers (6/179/1), and D-Jax smoked W-Jax for a 60-yard touchdown bomb. If Austin sticks with his matchup-corner strategy, plus-sized Thomas would likely draw Kirkpatrick with Jackson on speedier Smith. Thomas is an elite WR1 and Smith a high-variance WR3/flex option against the Bengals, who have been lit on fire for enemy wideout lines of 9/173/0 (Julio Jones), 6/179/1 (Evans), 7/111/0 (JuJu Smith-Schuster), 6/111/0 (Mohamed Sanu), 5/105/1 (Antonio Brown), 4/92/1 (John Brown), 7/76/0 (Adam Humphries), 7/68/1 (Tyreek Hill), 3/68/1 (Jackson), 4/67/1 (Devin Funchess), 8/59/0 (Ryan Grant), 4/54/2 (Calvin Ridley), and 5/46/1 (T.Y. Hilton). … Although he paid box-score dividends (3/63/1) in last week’s shootout win over the Rams, Watson ran only 11 routes after running 7 the week before and is averaging just 3.3 targets per game since New Orleans’ Week 6 bye. Playing in a three-man committee with Hill and Arnold, Watson remains a touchdown-or-bust streamer. … Wednesday pickup Dez Bryant’s role is to be determined. I suspect he will end up eating into Watson, Arnold, and Austin Carr’s usage more so than deep-threat Smith’s. No longer a separator, Bryant is a jump-ball specialist in the twilight of his career.
Score Prediction: Bengals 27, Saints 24
Atlanta @ Cleveland
Team Totals: Falcons 27.5, Browns 23.5
The Browns showed just enough promise in Freddie Kitchens’ play-calling debut for Baker Mayfield to warrant streamer discussion against a Falcons Defense that has allowed top-15 fantasy results to seven straight quarterbacks, including six top-ten scores. … To counteract Cleveland’s pass-protection breakdowns, Kitchens wisely designed quick-hitting, high-percentage plays for Duke Johnson, who set season highs in touches (10), targets (9), and routes run (30), and scored twice. Week 10 opponent Atlanta is allowing the NFL’s most running back catches per game (8.5) for the fourth straight year. As Nick Chubb has only three receptions on the season, Johnson is easily Cleveland’s best means of exploiting the Falcons’ biggest weakness. Although Atlanta’s signing of DE/OLB Bruce Irvin brought aboard a big name, it’s been years since Irvin was a legitimate difference maker. He has 3.5 sacks over his last 11 games. … Chubb’s touches stayed in steady ascent (18 > 20 > 23) in Kitchens’ debut, even as Cleveland played from behind. Atlanta’s allowance of 4.31 yards per carry to running backs suggests they pose a non-daunting matchup, yet Chubb’s lack of receiving involvement continues to render him a touchdown-dependent RB2. His upside remains considerable if the Browns can keep the game close.
Mayfield’s 2018 target distribution: Jarvis Landry 72; David Njoku 43; Antonio Callaway 42; Johnson 30; Damion Ratley 19; Rashard Higgins 16; Breshad Perriman 8; Chubb 7. … Held to 50 yards or fewer in three of the last four weeks, this is a bounce-back spot for Landry versus a Falcons Defense getting torn apart in the slot. The last five slot receivers to face Atlanta were Sterling Shepard (5/167/0), Maurice Harris (10/124/0), Tyler Boyd (11/100/0), Adam Humphries (3/82/0), and JuJu Smith-Schuster (4/34/1). … Callaway’s playing time was scaled way back (52%) in Kitchens’ play-calling debut, and his 29 routes run were Callaway’s fewest since Week 1. Landry led Browns wide receivers in Week 9 routes, followed by Callaway, Higgins (24), Perriman (19), and Ratley (16). Perriman led the complementary wideouts in targets (6). Even in a plus draw, Cleveland’s WRBC severely dampens the fantasy appeal of all four post-Landry members. … Drilled by Redskins TEs for a 9/96/0 receiving line last week with three touchdowns allowed to opposing tight ends over their last five games, Atlanta’s injury-ruined defense poses a plus matchup for Njoku, who has cleared 50 yards and/or scored a touchdown in five of Mayfield’s six starts.
Curious why Cleveland’s once-upstart defense has collapsed? Look no further than the time Gregg Williams’ unit has spent on the field. The Browns are on pace to play 1,156 defensive snaps, most by any team since the 1999 expansion Browns. Running on fumes, Cleveland has coughed up a 31.3-point average over its last six games after yielding 19.7 PPG in the first three. On-fire Matt Ryan has banked top-12 fantasy scores in six of his last seven starts, including five top-eight results. Browns CB E.J. Gaines (concussions) and every-down WLB Christian Kirksey (hamstring) went on I.R. this week, while top CB Denzel Ward (hip) will play Sunday’s game shy of 100%. … Cleveland’s primary defensive weakness remains versus the run, surrendering 4.69 yards per carry, 13 TDs in 9 games, and the NFL’s fifth-most receiving yards to running backs (504). In last week’s rout of the Redskins, Tevin Coleman logged his most snaps (57%) since Week 3, most touches (18) since Week 2, and a season-high seven targets, roasting a previously-stout Washington defense on inside runs and arrow routes to the edge for 156 total yards and two scores. Coleman is an upside RB2 play in this gorgeous matchup. … Based on recent usage, Ito Smith’s Week 10 workload projection is in the 10-13 touches range. Smith scored his Week 9 rushing TD from 12 yards out, getting a great block from Julio Jones in the hole and hurdling a defender to pay dirt. Atlanta is paving lanes up front despite losing both starting guards to I.R., ranking No. 8 in yards created before contact per carry (2.9). Last week, Atlanta mauled Washington’s front for a season-high 4.96 yards before contact.
Ryan’s Week 9 target distribution: Julio Jones 10; Calvin Ridley 9; Coleman 7; Mohamed Sanu 5; Austin Hooper 3; Smith 2; Marvin Hall 1. … Julio put on such a clinic in last week’s win over Washington that Josh Norman resorted to horse-collar tackling Jones on a would-be touchdown bomb down the left sideline, accepting the 46-yard DPI flag instead. Julio exacted revenge on a 35-yard screen-pass score where LT Jake Matthews leveled Norman and Julio broke Ha Ha Clinton-Dix’s tackle before diving into the paint, snapping Jones’ 90-catch scoreless streak. Julio should stay hot against banged-up Ward in Week 10. … Whereas Sanu spent most of Atlanta’s win over the Skins laying high-impact downfield blocks, Ridley played a season-high 69% of the team’s offensive snaps despite missing a few late-game plays to be checked for a concussion. Ridley’s 40-yard score came on a crossing route where Sanu took out three would-be tacklers by himself. Ridley is a locked-in WR3 with WR2 upside versus an injury-ravaged Browns secondary permitting the NFL’s eighth-most yards per game (183.1) to enemy wideout groups. … Sanu had a fourth-quarter 11-yard touchdown called back by penalty but has been passed clearly by Ridley as Atlanta’s No. 2 passing-game option. Sanu is a touchdown-reliant WR4/flex. … First missing MLB Joe Schobert (hamstring) and FS Damarious Randall (groin) and now without Kirksey, the Browns are getting drilled in the middle of the field again. Tight ends caught 23-of-32 targets (72%) for 260 yards (8.13 YPA) and two touchdowns against Cleveland in the last three weeks. Hooper’s matchup is strong, but his usage is a concern with five targets or fewer in 6-of-8 games. He is 14th among tight ends in Air Yards (317) and eighth at the position in targets inside the ten (4). Hooper is a fringe TE1.
Score Prediction: Falcons 24, Browns 23
Miami @ Green Bay
Team Totals: Packers 28.5, Dolphins 18.5
Back home after an impossible two-game road trip at the Rams and Patriots, the Packers host a Dolphins team that got lit on fire for 33.4 points per game in Weeks 4-8 before last week’s home-game soft draw versus the backsliding Jets. Miami’s nonexistent pass rush ranks 29th in sack rate (4.8%) and 30th in QB hit rate (11.6%), convenient since Aaron Rodgers has thrown 12 of his 15 touchdown passes from clean pockets. This is a get-right spot for Green Bay’s offense, much as catching the Dolphins at home was for New England’s offense back in Week 4 following the Patriots’ slow start. Formerly the Dolphins' best defensive player, SS Reshad Jones literally quit on the team last week. … With Ty Montgomery jettisoned to Baltimore, Aaron Jones logged Week 9 season highs in touches (16), routes run (23), and targets (4) while Jamaal Williams (9, 18, 2) was Green Bay’s clear No. 2 back. Perhaps most promisingly, the Packers went right back to Jones after his back-breaking second-half lost fumble. Running behind an underrated Packers line that ranks No. 3 in the NFL in yards created before contact per carry (3.3), this is a blowup opportunity for Jones as a home-favorite lead back versus a walkover Dolphins front that got steamrolled for 163/831/5 (5.10 YPC) rushing by enemy backs in its last six games.
Rodgers’ Weeks 8-9 target distribution: Davante Adams 16; Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Randall Cobb 11; Jimmy Graham 10; Jones and Equanimeous St. Brown 6; Williams 3. … Adams will surely draw Week 10 shadow coverage from Xavien Howard, whom PFF has charged with 17-of-24 targets allowed (71%) for 212 yards (8.83 YPA) and three touchdowns in the last six weeks. Howard is a talented cover man, but Rodgers’ mind-meld rapport with his No. 1 wideout keeps Adams matchup proof. … Geronimo Allison’s (groin) month-plus absence locks in Valdes-Scantling as Green Bay’s No. 2. MVS has cleared 100 yards and/or scored a touchdown in four straight games and has only 11 fewer Air Yards than Adams in the last two weeks. Valdes-Scantling is a high-ceiling WR2 play in this plum draw. Miami has allowed the NFL’s sixth-most 20-plus-yard completions (33) and second most of 40-plus yards (9), right down MVS’ alley as a big-play weapon with 4.37 speed. 7 of Valdes-Scantling's 17 receptions this season have gained 20-plus yards. … Cobb has not topped 40 yards or hit pay dirt since Week 1, settling in as a low-upside possession receiver with more real-life than fantasy value. Still, Allison’s injury and Rodgers’ high likelihood of having a big Week 10 game enhance Cobb’s box-score outlook as a WR3 play. … St. Brown’s Weeks 8-9 route totals were 5 and 13. The raw rookie earned an ominous Rodgers death stare following a first-half miscue in Foxboro. … Tight ends have caught 19-of-21 targets for 182 yards and five touchdowns against Miami over the last four weeks. Graham ranks second on the Packers in both red-zone targets (8) and targets inside the ten (4), where Rodgers has force fed Graham lately.
The surest sign of a career backup quarterback is that the more they play and bigger the sample size grows, the worse they get. Such is the case for Brock Osweiler, whose bottoming-out fantasy results are QB7 > QB14 > QB27 > QB25 in four starts. With their Week 1 starting left guard and center on I.R. and knee injuries hampering both tackles, Miami gave up pressure on a league-high 50% of Osweiler’s dropbacks over the last three weeks. No. 3 in the NFL in sack rate (8.9%) and No. 9 in pressure rate (30.6%), Green Bay’s D/ST is a recommended streamer offering DFS-correlation appeal with Aaron Jones. … Kenyan Drake’s seven Week 9 touches were confusing, until you watch the game. He blew a first-drive blitz pickup to get Osweiler sacked by Jets ILB Avery Williamson one week after coughing up a sack to Texans DB Tyrann Mathieu. Drake went on to get out-touched 21 to 7 by Frank Gore. This week’s matchup is favorable – Green Bay allows 4.53 yards per carry to backs, will likely be without top ILB Blake Martinez (ankle), and got rocked by ex-WR Cordarrelle Patterson (11/61/2) on the ground last week – but coach Adam Gase’s cursory commitment to Drake is an ongoing concern, rendering Drake a boom-bust RB2/flex at Lambeau. The Packers won’t back down from making Drake pass protect; DC Mike Pettine’s defense blitzes at a top-ten rate (26%). … Despite the big workload, Gore totaled 65 yards or fewer for the eighth time in nine games. He has one TD all year.
Osweiler’s Weeks 6-9 target distribution: Danny Amendola 31; Drake 22; Jakeem Grant 16; DeVante Parker 12; Mike Gesicki 11; Nick O’Leary 7; Kenny Stills 6; Gore 5. … Osweiler missed a wide-open Amendola for a would-be 50-yard gain in the first quarter of last week’s win. Amendola still has five-plus catches in 4-of-4 Osweiler starts with an elevated target outlook in a game where Miami figures to play from behind. Green Bay’s Week 10 slot corner is expected to be second-round rookie Josh Jackson. … Route totals for Miami’s wideouts in Week 9 were as follows: Amendola and Parker 29, Stills 17, Grant 13. Beyond Amendola, this is a high-risk fantasy situation with Parker offering the most box-score appeal based on opportunity. Parker also checks in as Week 10’s No. 2 buy-low wide receiver in Josh Hermsmeyer’s Air Yards model, giving Parker long-shot DFS-tournament appeal after Osweiler inexplicably ignored him last week. … Catch-less in Week 9, Gesicki remains scoreless on the season.
Score Prediction: Packers 34, Dolphins 17
New England @ Tennessee
Team Totals: Patriots 26.5, Titans 20
Dion Lewis took control of the Titans’ backfield before their Week 8 bye and reasserted his dominance in last Monday night’s upset victory at Dallas, out-touching Derrick Henry 23 to 8 and out-snapping him 84% to 20% with Henry’s biggest contribution coming on a bunny goal-line score. Lewis has outgained Henry by a 245-yard margin in Tennessee’s last two games, while New England has yielded a cool 4.36 yards per carry and the NFL’s second-most receiving yards (550) to running backs. With 15-plus touches in 5-of-8 games and touch counts of 19 and 23 in the last two, ex-Patriot Lewis is a trustworthy RB2 in this revenge game. … Since Week 1, 6-of-8 quarterbacks to face the Patriots have logged top-12 fantasy results, exceptions being AFC East “rivals” Derek Anderson/Nathan Peterman and Brock Osweiler/Ryan Tannehill. New England’s pass rush remains nonexistent with the NFL’s second-lowest sack rate (3.4%) and fifth-lowest QB hit rate (12.8%). The Patriots have also allowed the league’s third-most quarterback rushing yards (189), notable since Mariota logged 10/32/1 rushing in last week’s win over the Cowboys. All of this puts Mariota into play as a two-quarterback-league starter and low-end QB1 streamer.
Mariota’s Week 9 target distribution: Corey Davis 10; Lewis 4; Cameron Batson 3; Henry; Jonnu Smith, Luck Stocker, and Taywan Taylor 2; Tajae Sharpe and Darius Jennings 1. … Held below 65 yards in 7-of-8 games, Davis now encounters Patriots shutdown CB Stephon Gilmore, whom PFF charged with just 10-of-29 targets allowed (34%) for 111 yards (3.83 YPA) and zero scores in the last six games. Davis did pop as Week 10’s No. 6 buy-low wide receiver in Josh Hermsmeyer’s Air Yards model. … Taylor suffered a Week 9 foot injury that limited Taywan to his second-fewest snaps (26%) since Week 1. … After leading the Titans in Week 8 targets, Sharpe pulled a Week 9 Houdini despite playing 77% of the team’s offensive snaps. Tennessee’s slot receiver finished below 35 yards for the seventh time in eight games.
The Patriots visit Nashville winners of six straight with a 35.5-point average during their streak to face an underrated Titans Defense that has yielded top-12 fantasy scores to just 2-of-8 quarterbacks while ranking No. 11 in sack rate (7.2%) and No. 13 in QB hit rate (15.8%). Mike Vrabel’s defense blitzes at the NFL’s eighth-highest clip (29.6%), notable since Tom Brady’s 63.3 QB rating when blitzed is tied for dead last among qualified quarterbacks. Brady has been bad on the road this year, averaging 6.82 yards per pass attempt with fantasy results of QB16 (@ JAX), QB29 (@ DET), QB6 (@ CHI), and QB21 (@ BUF) in four away games. I’m approaching Brady as a high-variance Week 10 play. … Sony Michel’s usage is uncertain after ongoing knee problems cost him virtually all of camp, Week 1, and Weeks 8-9. Although his touch counts were 25 – 19 – 24 in three pre-injury games, the recurring nature of Michel’s setbacks combined with Cordarrelle Patterson and James White’s effectiveness render Michel a low-floor flex in his first game back. … Even as Michel’s return dampens his volume projection, White enters Week 10 leading New England in red-zone targets (14) and targets inside the ten (7) and pacing all NFL running backs in Air Yards (380) by a 154-yard margin over runner-up Tarik Cohen. With double-digit touches in five of the last six weeks on a dominant offense, White is a high-floor, high-ceiling RB2 with every-week RB1 to-date production. The Patriots can combat Tennessee’s blitz frequency with screens to White. … Patterson should be rostered in all season-long leagues to see what happens, but it’s difficult to envision the career kick returner with a truly consistent week-to-week offensive role.
Fresh off his best game as a Patriot, Josh Gordon catches a mouth-watering Week 10 draw against Titans RCB Malcolm Butler, who will play with a target on his back after Bill Belichick drew widespread criticism for benching Butler in last February’s Super Bowl loss. Gordon runs a team-high 56% of his routes at right cornerbacks, where Butler plays over 80% of his snaps. Butler has made Belichick look smart this year by allowing league highs in catches (39), yards (618), and touchdowns (7) among NFL corners. After battling a hamstring pull since August, Gordon’s removal from the Week 10 injury report is a great sign for his going-forward health. … Julian Edelman has hit pay dirt and/or cleared 70 yards in four straight games. Titans slot CB Logan Ryan is another ex-Patriot his former team intimately knows how to attack. … Tennessee has allowed NFL lows in yards (268) and touchdowns (0) to tight ends, due largely to All-Pro FS Kevin Byard’s relentless coverage. Even so, Rob Gronkowski is a must-play TE1 every time he suits up. Before missing Week 9 with ankle and back injuries, Gronk set Week 8 season highs in routes run (44) and targets (8). Gronk popped as Week 10’s No. 1 buy-low tight end in Josh Hermsmeyer’s Air Yards model. … Chris Hogan effectively ran 36 wind sprints in last week’s win over Green Bay, going catch-less on two targets. Phillip Dorsett (3/30/0) outproduced Hogan on not even a third as many routes (11).
Score Prediction: Patriots 24, Titans 20
Jacksonville @ Indianapolis
Team Totals: Colts 24.5, Jaguars 21.5
Andrew Luck returns from Indy’s bye with his pass-catcher corps fully intact behind an offensive line that has kept Luck sack-less on 160 straight dropbacks. Luck has 18 touchdowns over his last five games with top-eight scores in all five weeks. Outscored 114-46 during their four-game losing streak, the Jaguars surrendered top-five results to Carson Wentz and Dak Prescott in two of the three games before their own Week 9 bye amid locker room in-fighting. Jacksonville has yielded an NFL-high 25.9 QB rushing yards per game, giving Luck an additional means to fill the box score as a locked-in QB1 with DFS-tournament appeal. Luck’s matchup is further improved by Jaguars No. 2 CB A.J. Bouye’s (calf) absence. … The Jags hemorrhaged run-game production in their four pre-bye losses, conceding 125-plus rushing yards in all four with five combined rushing TDs. Indy’s up-front turnaround is one of the season’s most underrated storylines; the Colts rank top ten in yards per carry (4.68) and No. 2 in Football Outsiders’ run-blocking metric, continually springing Marlon Mack onto the second level for a wildly explosive 56/347/3 (6.20 YPC) rushing line in his last three games. Mack was not a consistent down-to-down runner at USF or as a rookie, yet his 62% rushing Success Rate – a consistency measure – ranks No. 1 in the NFL. In the Colts’ pre-bye win over the Raiders, Mack parlayed career highs in snaps (63%) and touches (27) into 149 yards and two scores, becoming the first Colt since Joseph Addai in 2007 to rush for 100-plus yards in back-to-back games. Fresh off the bye to rest his previously-balky hamstring and ankle, Mack is an RB1 as a home-favorite feature back on the NFL’s sixth-highest-scoring team (28.9 PPG).
Luck’s Week 8 target distribution: Jack Doyle and Dontrelle Inman 7; T.Y. Hilton 5; Mack 4; Eric Ebron 3; Nyheim Hines 2; Chester Rogers and Mo Alie-Cox 1. … Doyle looked all the way back from his hip injury in Indianapolis’ pre-bye win, clearing 70 yards for the first time since last November and carrying Raiders S Karl Joseph into the end zone on his ten-yard score. Averaging 7.3 targets per game across three 2018 appearances, Doyle warrants low-end TE1 treatment. In Weeks 4-8, tight ends caught 18-of-28 targets (64%) for 229 yards (8.2 YPA) and three TDs against the Jags. … Inman tied Doyle for the team lead in Week 8 catches (6) but may return to the bench with Ryan Grant (ankle) due back. … The off week allowed Hilton to overcome any lingering effects from his early-season hamstring strain. Beginning with most recent, Hilton’s last four receiving lines against Jacksonville are 3/51/1 – 2/27/0 – 6/95/0 – 7/42/1. His volume threatened by Indianapolis’ improved running game and full pass-catcher health, Hilton is a boom-bust WR2 play in Jalen Ramsey’s probable shadow coverage. … Although Ebron has hit pay dirt in all three of Doyle’s appearances, Ebron’s target totals are 5 – 4 – 3 with 16.7 routes run per game compared to a 40.4-route average with Doyle inactive. Alie-Cox’s emergence as an offensive factor further lowers Ebron’s floor as a touchdown-dependent play. Alie-Cox was involved early against the Raiders, making a highlight-reel TD catch from 26 yards out on Indy’s opening drive. … Rogers’ target counts in games left early or missed altogether by Hilton are 11 – 11 – 10. Rogers’ target counts in games Hilton has played fully or nearly fully are 3 – 3 – 4 – 4 – 1. He’s droppable in season-long leagues.
Leonard Fournette’s (hamstring) return will revert Jacksonville to a run-heavy attack and render Blake Bortles strictly a boom-bust two-quarterback-league or long-shot DFS-tournament play. Since Fournette was drafted, Bortles has averaged 40.4 fewer passing yards and 2.9 fewer fantasy points per game with Fournette in the lineup. As Jacksonville gives up pressure on 34% of its quarterbacks’ dropbacks – the NFL’s third-highest rate – Indianapolis’ D/ST warrants punt consideration. … Fournette’s risk of an in-game hamstring aggravation after battling the injury for two months, plus Carlos Hyde’s acquisition, plus T.J. Yeldon’s passing-down presence, plus this road-underdog spot render Fournette a high-risk if still high-upside RB2 play. The Colts allowed 28-plus points in four of their last five games and a combined 136/644/3 (4.74 YPC) rushing line to enemy backs over their last six. Only three defenses have allowed more running back catches (30). If Fournette gets rolling early, I wouldn’t expect to see much of Hyde.
Bortles’ 2018 target distribution: Donte Moncrief 51; Yeldon 48; Keelan Cole 45; Dede Westbrook 44; D.J. Chark 18; James O’Shaughnessy 17; David Grinnage 7. … This is a revenge game for ex-Colt Moncrief, who took commanding team leads in targets (35) and Air Yards (389) in the month leading into Jacksonville’s Week 9 bye. Moncrief’s four targets inside the ten-yard line lead the Jags on the year. As Week 10’s No. 1 buy-low target in Josh Hermsmeyer’s Air Yards model, Moncrief is a compelling DFS-tournament option sure to have minimal ownership. Highly inconsistent, ‘Crief has topped 75 yards in 3-of-8 games but finished below 35 yards in 4-of-8. … Cole got benched for dropping passes in the Jaguars’ pre-bye London loss to Philadelphia, running a season-low 10 pass routes while rookie speedster Chark ran a season-high 43. Colts DC Matt Eberflus’ defense has done a good job of keeping plays in front of them, allowing the NFL’s fourth-fewest completions of 20-plus yards (23). Indianapolis is the only team left yet to surrender a single 40-plus-yard pass play. … Slot WRs Keke Coutee (10/109/0), Jermaine Kearse (9/94/0), Julian Edelman (7/57/0), and Seth Roberts (2/42/1) all lit into Indy’s interior coverage before last week’s bye. Running 93% of his routes in the slot, Westbrook has been the Jaguars’ lone somewhat consistent wide receiver producer with a touchdown and/or 50-plus yards in 6-of-8 games.
Score Prediction: Colts 28, Jaguars 20
Arizona @ Kansas City
Team Totals: Chiefs 33, Cardinals 16.5
Kareem Hunt has a legitimate case to be ranked as Week 10’s top RB1 play as a three-score home-favorite bellcow facing a Cardinals team yielding the NFL’s second-most fantasy points to running backs while averaging an NFC-low 13.8 points per game, allowing opponents to control tempo in positive script and lean on their rushing attacks. Enemy backs average a league-high 29.5 carries versus Arizona. Last week, Hunt cleared 35 receiving yards for the fifth time in six games on a blitz-beating screen pass set up by a fake-pitch misdirection to Tyreek Hill behind the line. Hunt caught the screen, stiff armed Browns LB Jamie Collins, and sprinted 50 yards to the house. More plays like that are on the table against the Cards, who blitz at a league-high 38% rate. Particularly with pass rusher Justin Houston (hamstring) due back, Hunt plus the Chiefs’ D/ST is an enticing DFS correlation play. … For over a half-season, Patrick Mahomes has shown the top floor-ceiling combination among NFL quarterbacks with top-12 fantasy results in 8-of-9 starts and six top-five scores, including four in a row leading into Sunday. Mahomes’ lone Week 10 concern is the possibility the Cards fail to put up a fight, allowing Andy Reid to take the air out of the ball. More likely, the Chiefs will impose their offensive will with Mahomes putting them up and Hunt putting Arizona away.
Mahomes’ Weeks 1-9 target distribution: Travis Kelce 79; Tyreek Hill 70; Sammy Watkins 54; Hunt 29; Chris Conley 21; Spencer Ware 16; Demarcus Robinson and Demetrius Harris 11. … Kelce tallied his second multi-score game of 2018 in last week’s 37-21 win, whipping Browns LB Christian Kirksey for an 11-yard score, then out-jumping SS Jabrill Peppers from 13 yards out. Averaging 8.8 targets per game and leading all tight ends in Air Yards (768), Kelce is fantasy’s most opponent-irrelevant TE1 every week. … Hill’s Week 8 groin tweak caused him no Week 9 problems, logging his second-highest snap rate (97%) of the season and dusting Browns CB T.J. Carrie on a 40-yard gain. Although it’s possible the Cards try shadowing Hill with Patrick Peterson, Hill has earned 48% of his 2018 catches on slot routes. Peterson has played four slot snaps all year. … Watkins has a long history of foot problems, so it is concerning he appears likely to sit out Week 10 with a foot-injury setback. When Watkins left Kansas City’s Week 4 game in Denver with a hamstring tweak and did not return, Conley ran a season-high 52 routes but managed 13 yards on six targets. Robinson took over Watkins’ position, going 2/31/0 on three targets and 31 routes. Conley has finished below 25 yards in 9-of-9 games, but he is the preferred Week 10 dart throw over Robinson. A deeper sleeper is No. 2 TE Harris, who caught two balls for 59 yards in the Week 4 game and offers high-end athleticism as an ex-college basketball player at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
New OC Byron Leftwich’s biggest pre-bye offensive tweaks were to use more max protections to assist Arizona’s swinging-game offensive line, lean heavily on screen plays, and get the ball out of Josh Rosen’s hands quickly. Next Gen Stats clocked Rosen’s average Week 8 time to throw at 2.36 seconds, easily his fastest in five starts. Still yet to log a top-12 fantasy week surrounded by bottom-barrel supporting-cast talent, Rosen is a two-quarterback-league play only facing a Chiefs Defense holding opponents to 18.5 points per game at Arrowhead. … David Johnson equaled his season high in routes run (30) in Leftwich’s first game calling plays and totaled 100 yards for just the second time this year. The likelihood of falling into negative script remains a significant concern, but Johnson’s Week 10 matchup couldn’t be better on paper. The Chiefs have allowed the most fantasy points to running backs in the league, including 5.18 yards per carry, an NFL-high 70.4 receiving yards per game, and 13 touchdowns through nine weeks.
Rosen’s 2018 target distribution: Larry Fitzgerald 38; Christian Kirk 32; Ricky Seals-Jones 24; Chad Williams 23; Johnson 19. … Fitzgerald dominated targets (12), Air Yards (109), and production (8/102/1) in Leftwich’s play-calling debut and now has seven or more targets in 4-of-5 Rosen starts. Half of Fitz’s targets came on perimeter routes, notable since slot WRs Emmanuel Sanders (4/57/0, 5/45/0), Dede Westbrook (3/55/0), Julian Edelman (4/54/1), Jarvis Landry (6/50/0), and Tyler Boyd (3/27/0) have all underwhelmed against Kansas City. This game’s projected negative script sets up beautifully for Fitzgerald as a still-underrated DFS play. … Kirk’s stat lines in Rosen’s starts are 4/28/0 – 3/85/1 – 6/77/0 – 3/57/0 – 3/42/1, putting Kirk on the lower-end WR3 map. … Seals-Jones’ box scores in Rosen’s starts are 2/52/0 – 0/0 – 5/69/0 – 2/12/0 – 2/12/0. It’s perhaps noteworthy that RSJ ran a season-high 37 routes with Leftwich calling Week 8 plays. The Chiefs have allowed an AFC-high 649 yards to tight ends.
Score Prediction: Chiefs 38, Cardinals 20
Buffalo @ NY Jets
Team Totals: Jets 22, Bills 15
Seeing ghosts behind an offensive line that allowed pressure on 44% of his dropbacks, Sam Darnold gripped the ball fearfully in the pocket and made repeated bad decisions, while C Spencer Long’s wild shotgun snaps wreaked havoc on the timing of Gang Green’s Week 9 offense. Long finally got benched, but not before Darnold threw four picks and took four sacks in the 13-6 defeat. Citing a phantom foot injury, the Jets opted to give Darnold two weeks off ahead their Week 11 bye, inserting Josh McCown. Buffalo’s defense has done passing games no favors, holding six of its last seven quarterbacks faced to fantasy results of QB19 or worse. McCown is a low-end two-QB-league play in by far the lowest-totaled game of the week (37). … Isaiah Crowell’s trust factor has reached its nadir with 60 total yards or fewer in seven of his last eight games and one TD since Week 3. He got out-snapped by sixth-round rookie Trenton Cannon in Week 8, then by Elijah McGuire fresh off I.R./return in Week 9. Crowell’s nine pass routes run in last week’s loss to Miami matched a season low. He ranks 35th among 36 qualified backs in Football Outsiders’ rushing Success Rate. Regardless of opponents, Crowell will remain a touchdown-or-bust RB2/flex option for the foreseeable future. … Playing 56% of New York’s offensive snaps in his 2018 debut, McGuire parlayed ten touches into 67 yards and deserves more extended looks with 2 ½ cheap years left on his rookie deal. The Jets can save $3 million in cap space by cutting Crowell after this year.
Despite drawing nine-plus targets in three of the last four weeks, Jermaine Kearse has one game above 30 yards to show for it and is scoreless in eight 2018 appearances. Kearse averaged a pedestrian 2017 receiving line of 4.0/52.4/0.38 in McCown’s 13 starts. … Robby Anderson returned from his high ankle sprain in last week’s loss to Miami to run 32 routes and rank second behind Kearse (123) on the Jets in Air Yards (85), then checked in as Week 10’s No. 4 buy-low receiver in Josh Hermsmeyer’s Air Yards model. Anderson is a DFS-tournament punt whose outlook is enhanced with McCown quarterback. Anderson led the Jets in targets (6.9) and yards (65.2) per game with McCown at the 2017 controls. … Quincy Enunwa is playing outside now that Kearse is locked into the slot. Enunwa’s Week 9 highlight-reel catch went for 23 yards down the middle of the field, and his 35 routes ranked second among Jets wideouts behind Kearse’s 38. Keyed by Tre’Davious White’s stingy coverage, Buffalo allows the NFL’s second-fewest yards per game (137.7) to enemy WR groups. Enunwa did not play with McCown last year, missing the entire season with a neck injury. … Rookie TE Chris Herndon took massive Week 9 leaps in playing time (64%) and routes run (26) and led the Jets in receiving (4/62/0), most memorably beating Dolphins LB Kiko Alonso for a first-quarter 26-yard catch. Buffalo has allowed the league’s 12th-fewest fantasy points to tight ends, but Herndon’s ascending usage puts him on the streamer map.
If the Bills are serious about competing in this game, it is imperative OC Brian Daboll dials up screen plays to LeSean McCoy to counter the Jets' sixth-highest blitz frequency (31%). McCoy is getting zero assistance from Buffalo’s run blocking with a subterranean 24 yards on 24 carries in the last three games. … Defenses facing Buffalo have tallied top five-fantasy results in 7-of-9 weeks, while the Bills have scored a league-low eight offensive TDs this year. The Jets’ D/ST comes highly recommended. The Bills went 39 straight possessions without a touchdown until Nathan Peterman snuck in a garbage-time score in last week’s blowout loss to the Bears. … The Bills are feigning a “competitive advantage” by declining to disclose their Week 10 starting quarterback. With Derek Anderson (concussions) still not cleared, it will either be erratic Josh Allen (shoulder) or noodle-armed Peterman, who is so interception prone that end-zone views on All-22 game tape show Peterman actually plays for the other team.
Score Prediction: Jets 23, Bills 10
Washington @ Tampa Bay
Team Totals: Buccaneers 27, Redskins 24
After nearly rallying Tampa Bay back from a 35-7 second-quarter deficit in last week’s loss at Carolina, Ryan Fitzpatrick returns home to face a Redskins Defense that has struggled versus the pass, yielding top-12 fantasy scores to five of its last six quarterbacks faced, including Matt Ryan’s four-touchdown, 350-yard Week 9 eruption. Fitzpatrick has played four games start to finish this season and finished as a top-six fantasy passer in all of them. He is a locked-in QB1 play versus the Skins. From a DFS standpoint, the primary concern for Fitzpatrick potentially not hitting his ceiling is Washington’s ability or lack thereof to push the pace and keep the Buccaneers chucking. The Redskins ranked 25th in points per game (20.0) even before losing at least 60% of their starting offensive line. … Again victimized by game script in last week’s loss, Peyton Barber managed 13 touches to Jacquizz Rodgers’ 4 and ran only 15 pass routes, Barber’s fewest since Week 2. This week’s projected script sets up better, but Barber’s lack of big-play ability and nonexistent receiving involvement render him a touchdown-or-bust fantasy option, regardless of opponents. Washington played elite run defense for a solid month before Falcons running backs gutted them for 23/148/1 (6.43 YPC) on the ground and 6/72/2 through the air in D.C. last week.
Fitzpatrick’s 2018 target distribution: Mike Evans 47; Chris Godwin 27; DeSean Jackson 26; O.J. Howard 24; Adam Humphries 22; Rodgers 13; Cameron Brate 11; Barber 8. … Evans’ 10-target, 16-yard Week 9 was frustrating, but Evans’ one drop was just his fourth all year, Fitzpatrick deserves blame for multiple overthrows, and James Bradberry deserves credit for lights-out coverage. Evans still dominated targets and drew 127 Air Yards, sixth most in the entire NFL for Week 9. In Week 10, Evans catches Josh Norman after Washington’s top corner got so badly assaulted in shadow coverage by Julio Jones (7/121/1) last week that Norman resorted to horse-collar tackling Julio on a would-be fourth-quarter bomb, accepting the 46-yard DPI instead. Evans is an overwhelmingly intriguing fade-recency-bias DFS-tournament bet. … Godwin remains a touchdown-or-bust play with fewer than 60 yards in 7-of-8 games. … This is a revenge game for ex-Redskin Jackson. Unfailingly a high-variance scorer, D-Jax’s stat lines in Fitzpatrick’s four full games are 2/32/0 – 3/37/0 – 4/129/1 – 5/146/2. … Howard is a matchup-proof TE1, ranking fifth among tight ends in yards (472) and third in TDs (5), four of which have been delivered by Fitzpatrick. Howard’s ten touchdown catches through a year and a half are tied with Cooper Kupp for most among players taken in the 2017 NFL draft. … The Skins play their stoutest coverage against slot receivers, namely Cole Beasley (7/56/0), Mohamed Sanu (4/45/0), Sterling Shepard (4/34/0), Randall Cobb (4/22/0), Chester Rogers (3/17/0), and Jarius Wright (1/3/0). After Humphries benefited from Carolina’s stingy perimeter coverage and Tampa Bay’s pass-heavy desperation, the Bucs’ slot receiver looks like a point-chasey pick.
Already missing star LT Trent Williams (thumb) for at least three more weeks, the Skins lost LG Shawn Lauvao (ACL) and RG Brandon Scherff (pectoral) to I.R. in Week 9, and RT Morgan Moses sprained an MCL. Washington’s lone healthy up-front starter is C Chase Roullier. Even for as bad as the Bucs’ defense has been, their opponent is in such rough shape that Tampa Bay’s D/ST is worth considering as a dart-throw streamer. Matchups haven’t mattered for Alex Smith, who has zero top-12 fantasy scores in eight starts. … DT Gerald McCoy (calf) and LE Vinny Curry’s (knee) returns didn’t change Tampa Bay’s Week 9 run-defense fortunes, yielding a whopping 32/179/4 rushing line to Carolina with Christian McCaffrey (17/79/2) at the forefront. Although Adrian Peterson’s Week 10 matchup is unimposing, Washington’s decimated line and Peterson’s limited passing-game usage renders him a boom-bust RB2 play as a road underdog behind street free agent run blocking. … As the Skins fell behind quickly in last week’s blowout loss to Atlanta, Kapri Bibbs ran nearly as many pass routes (18) as Peterson (20), vultured a three-yard rushing TD, and will maintain change-up duties in Chris Thompson’s (ribs) continued absence. Bibbs’ touch counts are just 3 – 6 – 4 in Thompson’s three missed games, however, logging snap rates of 47% - 38% - 30%. The Skins mixed in Samaje Perine for three touches on 22% of the plays against the Falcons.
Jamison Crowder (high ankle) will catch a plus draw should he return against a Bucs defense that’s been shredded by Michael Thomas (16/180/1), Tyler Boyd (9/138/1), JuJu Smith-Schuster (9/116/0), Jarvis Landry (10/97/1), Nelson Agholor (8/88/1), and Mohamed Sanu (2/46/1) in the slot. Crowder runs 83% of his routes inside. … Maurice Harris has filled in for Crowder, finishing scoreless and below 50 yards in four straight games before going off (10/124/0) in last week’s 38-14 defeat as Washington’s inability to stop Atlanta caused Smith’s season high in pass attempts (46). Harris will be a matchup-based WR3 if Crowder sits. If Crowder plays, Harris would kick outside to help replace Paul Richardson (shoulder, I.R.) with Michael Floyd also in the mix. … Josh Doctson opened Week 9 with back-to-back drive-killing drops, then flashed the potential that made Doctson the 22nd pick in the 2016 NFL draft by beating Falcons RCB Isaiah Oliver on a touchdown fade and making a highlight-reel downfield catch off a deflection, although the play was negated by a holding penalty. The TD was Doctson’s first all year, and he’s finished below 50 yards in 12 of his last 13 games. He’s a touchdown-or-bust WR3/flex option. … Jordan Reed logged his second-highest route total of the season (33) in last week’s loss but was held below 50 yards for the fifth straight game. Reed ranks No. 6 among tight ends in Air Yards (255) since Washington’s Week 4 bye but hasn’t shown bankable chemistry with Smith beyond flat routes and checkdowns. Reed also ranks a disappointing fourth on the team in red-zone targets (3). His Week 10 matchup couldn’t be better, of course; Tampa Bay allows the NFL’s second-most fantasy points to tight ends, including a perfect 6/76/1 receiving line on six targets to Greg Olsen last week. Reed is a fade-to-date-box-scores, bet-on-matchup-and-opportunity TE1 bet. Reed also popped as Week 10’s No. 2 buy-low tight end in Josh Hermsmeyer’s Air Yards model. … The matchup puts No. 2 TE Vernon Davis into streamer consideration. Just keep in mind Davis ranks 29th among tight ends in routes (69) since the Week 4 bye, while Reed is sixth (138).
Score Prediction: Buccaneers 27, Redskins 17
4:05 PM ET Game
LA Chargers @ Oakland
Team Totals: Chargers 30, Raiders 20
Embarrassed on Week 9 Thursday Night Football by Nick Mullens, the tank-job Raiders return home with ten points or fewer in three of their last four games and more pass-protection concerns after LT Kolton Miller and LG Kelechi Osemele aggravated preexisting knee injuries at San Francisco. Derek Carr teased with big games against the Browns and Colts, but ultimately has finished QB18 or worse in 6-of-8 starts. Ranked No. 11 in sack rate (7.2%) and No. 8 in QB hit rate (16.4%), the Chargers’ pass rush is strong enough to expose Oakland’s leaky offensive line even without Joey Bosa (foot). Carr ranks 32nd among 36 qualified quarterbacks in passer rating under pressure (45.1), per PFF. … Doug Martin draws the top matchup in Oakland’s offense against a Bolts defense yielding a crisp 4.42 yards per carry and the NFL’s second-most receiving yards per game (65.8) to enemy backs. Martin has managed touch counts of 15 and 12 since replacing Marshawn Lynch, however, as Oakland fell behind in both games and Martin rarely plays in passing situations. Martin remains a touchdown-or-bust RB2/flex option. … DeAndre Washington’s emergence as a Week 9 offensive factor threatens Jalen Richard’s PPR viability. Albeit in what amounted to garbage time in Oakland’s 34-3 loss, Washington siphoned five touches on 18% of the snaps, leaving six touches for Richard on a 39% playing-time clip.
Carr’s target distribution since Oakland’s Week 7 bye: Richard 12; Jared Cook, Brandon LaFell, and Jordy Nelson 7; Seth Roberts 6; Martin 4; Martavis Bryant 2. … Cook got swallowed up (4/20/0) by the Bolts’ to-shelf safety play in these clubs’ Week 5 date, and his snaps have been conspicuously cut to 61% since the bye, averaging 24 routes run after running 37.5 routes per game in the initial six weeks. Even as his team’s top pass-game option, continued inconsistency should be expected from Cook, an up-and-down player throughout his ten-year career now playing for a team that is clearly tanking by not even using its best players at maximum participation. The Chargers have allowed the NFL’s 12th-fewest yards to tight ends (369). … Journeyman LaFell led Raiders wideouts in Week 9 routes run (33) with Jordy second (27), Roberts third (22), and Bryant fourth (13). Nelson leads the team in Air Yards (94) since the bye week but has fewer than 50 yards in 7-of-8 games. In a dysfunctional offense deploying committees at all skill positions, all Raiders wideouts will be touchdown-or-bust dart throws regardless of weekly opponents.
This is a blowup spot for the Chargers’ offense; Raiders DC Paul Guenther’s unit is hemorrhaging an AFC-high 31.5 points per game and 6.76 yards per play, most by any defense through eight games since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger. Melvin Gordon showed no lasting effects from his pre-bye hamstring tweak in last week’s destruction of Seattle, parlaying 17 touches into 123 yards and a score on a season-high 88% playing-time clip. Averaging 5.41 yards per carry after managing 3.80 YPC in his first three years, Gordon shouldn’t struggle to shred a Raiders Defense that allows 167.6 total yards per game to running backs. The Chargers’ revamped line is clearing alleys, ranking No. 11 in yards created before contact per carry (2.9). … As Gordon rarely left the field at Seattle, Austin Ekeler logged single-digit touches for the fourth time in Gordon’s last five games. Ekeler is a low-floor, big-play-dependent flex option in The Black Hole. … Philip Rivers has not been an upside play in a balanced offense averaging the NFL’s fifth-fewest pass attempts per game (30.9), but this matchup gives him a shot to hit his ceiling. Ryan Tannehill, Andrew Luck, and 2017 UDFA Nick Mullens in his first NFL start all dropped top-eight fantasy weeks on Oakland, whose pass rush remained nonexistent with two hits and zero sacks of Mullens last Thursday night. The Raiders' 20.4% pressure-per-dropback rate is easily lowest in football. Rivers has thrown multiple touchdown passes in nine straight games, while the Bolts’ sturdy offensive line has allowed pressure on just 24% of his dropbacks, the eighth-lowest clip in the league.
Rivers’ Week 9 target distribution: Keenan Allen 10; Gordon 4; Mike Williams, Tyrell Williams, and Virgil Green 3; Ekeler 2; Travis Benjamin and Antonio Gates 1. … After expressing Week 7 frustration with his usage, Allen emerged from the Chargers’ Week 8 bye as a squeaky wheel and dominated targets for a season-high 124 yards. Allen ran 56% of his routes inside, where Oakland has permitted at- or-above expectation stats to fellow slot WRs Emmanuel Sanders (4/96/0), Doug Baldwin (6/91/0), Allen himself (8/90/0), Albert Wilson (2/74/1), Kendrick Bourne/Richie James (4/66/1), Cooper Kupp (5/59/1), and Jarvis Landry (4/34/1). … As big-play threats on the perimeter, both Williamses have plus Week 10 draws against the Raiders, who have given up the NFL’s third-most 20-plus-yard completions (35) and second most of 40-plus (9). Tyrell and Mike remain low-volume boom-bust plays, however. Mike hasn’t topped four targets since Week 3. Tyrell hasn’t exceeded five targets all year. Mike is a better touchdown bet with six red-zone targets to Tyrell’s two. … Gates returned from the bye to play just 31% of Los Angeles’ offensive snaps, goose egg on one target, and run fewer than 15 pass routes for the sixth straight game.
Score Prediction: Chargers 27, Raiders 17
4:25 PM ET Game
Seattle @ LA Rams
Team Totals: Rams 30.5, Seahawks 20.5
Red hot coming off consecutive top-six fantasy weeks with top-16 results in 7-of-9 games, Jared Goff returns home from last week’s Superdome loss to face a Seattle defense against which he’s historically struggled. Goff’s underwhelming yardage/TD/INT totals are 288/0/2 – 120/2/1 – 321/1/2 in three Seahawks meetings under Sean McVay, while seven straight quarterbacks to face Pete Carroll’s defense have fallen short of top-12 scores. The Rams’ high-octane offense is always worth betting on, but there are reasons to believe Goff is more Week 10 floor than ceiling play. … Todd Gurley has had no such trouble against the Seahawks, logging touches/yardage/TD counts of 26/113/3 – 24/180/4 – 16/50/0 in three McVay-coached meetings. Chargers backs took a Week 9 flamethrower to Seattle’s run defense at CenturyLink Field, combining for a 19/134/1 (7.05 YPC) rushing line and 23 receiving yards. The Saints did bottle up Gurley for 79 total yards and one score last week by sending “eleven guys to the ball” whenever Gurley handled the rock, as explained by DT Sheldon Rankins. Carroll’s defense has never leaned heavily on opponent-specific game plans, instead banking on scheme and superior personnel.
Goff’s Week 9 target distribution: Robert Woods 9; Brandin Cooks 8; Gurley 7; Cooper Kupp 6; Gerald Everett 5; Tyler Higbee 4. … Woods touched up Seattle for 5/92/0 on seven targets in these clubs’ Week 5 date and runs most of his routes at left corners, where Seahawks LCB Shaq Griffin has PFF’s No. 107 coverage grade among 111 qualifiers. Woods has five-plus catches in eight straight weeks. … RCB Tre Flowers was Marvin Jones’ (7/117/2) main Week 8 burn victim before giving up both of Mike Williams and Tyrell Williams’ Week 9 TDs. Shifty burner Cooks poses a severe mismatch for Flowers, a towering (6’3/202) fifth-round rookie most NFL scouts viewed as a safety coming out of Oklahoma State. … Interior WRs Emmanuel Sanders (10/135/1), Keenan Allen (6/124/0), Kupp (6/90/1), and Golden Tate (7/50/0) have given Seattle fits. Kupp returned from his two-week MCL sprain as a full-time player on 60-of-60 offensive snaps, scoring a 41-yard touchdown on a fourth-quarter catch and run. … Everett drew a season-high five targets against the Saints and ran a season-high 18 routes. Everett has taken time to develop coming out of D-IAA South Alabama, but ex-Redskins TEs coach McVay viewed him as a future Jordan Reed with a basketball background and 4.62 speed. Everett has entered the streamer mix.
Russell Wilson rushed for a season-high 41 yards in last week’s loss to the Chargers, and his passing production could’ve been bigger had David Moore not dropped the would-be game-winning touchdown catch. Although Wilson has been held under 200 passing yards in all three Rams meetings since Wade Phillips became DC, this unit isn’t the same with a 16:3 TD-to-INT ratio allowed over its last seven games. Wilson’s biggest Week 10 obstacle is the Rams’ pass rush, which leads the NFL in pressure rate (37%) and ranks No. 8 in QB hit rate (16.4%). Wilson is a boom-bust play in this projected shootout. … With Chris Carson (hip) appearing unlikely to play, Mike Davis projects as Seattle’s Week 10 lead back against a Rams Defense generously allowing 4.66 yards per carry to running backs. Even if Seattle falls behind, Davis’ floor is stabilized with backfield highs in targets (20) and catches (17), including team highs in targets (8) and catches (7) last week. As Carson bowed out early, Davis out-touched Rashaad Penny 22 to 7 and out-snapped him 58 to 13. Davis is a rock-solid RB2 in this plus draw. Penny is a long-shot flex.
Wilson’s Weeks 4-9 target distribution: Doug Baldwin 23; Tyler Lockett 21; David Moore 20; Davis 18; Nick Vannett 17; Penny 5; Carson and Ed Dickson 3. … Although Baldwin’s Week 9 target volume (4) disappointed, he reconfirmed his health by whipping Chargers RCB Michael Davis for a 42-yard sideline gain. Fellow slot WRs Adam Thielen (8/135/1), Emmanuel Sanders (7/115/1), and Lockett (3/89/1) when Baldwin was inactive for Week 5 have all produced above expectation against the Rams. Last week, Michael Thomas aligned specifically in the slot for five catches, 123 yards, and a touchdown versus Phillips’ secondary. … Lockett still runs 50% of his routes inside but hasn’t topped five targets since Week 4, settling in as a big-play dependent WR3/flex with Seattle’s pass catchers at full strength. … Moore set season highs in snaps (78%), routes (45), and targets (7) in Week 9 and led Seattle in Air Yards (94), yet turned in his worst game as a pro with 16 scoreless yards, two penalties, and a game-ending drop of a slightly deflected end-zone pass. Moore also appeared to run the wrong route on Wilson’s pick six. Moore still offers bounce-back appeal with his usage rising against the Rams, who have yielded the NFL’s fourth-most 20-plus-yard completions (34) and a league-high 11 pass plays of 40-plus yards. … Vannett entered Week 9 with one TD in 30 career appearances and zero 45-yard games, only to emerge with a career-best 6/52/1 receiving line on a career-high eight targets. Vannett has run 37 routes to Dickson’s 25 since the latter came off PUP. Vannett feels like a point-chasey streamer, but he’s worth mentioning against a Rams Defense allowing the NFL’s fifth-most yards to tight ends (592).
Score Prediction: Rams 34, Seahawks 27
Sunday Night Football
Dallas @ Philadelphia
Team Totals: Eagles 25, Cowboys 18
Whereas Dallas visits Philly on a short-week road trip following last Monday night’s devastating home loss to Tennessee, the Eagles come off their bye fresh with trade-deadline acquisition Golden Tate in the fold and Carson Wentz having thrown multiple touchdowns in five straight games. As no running back improvements were made and Philly’s rest-of-season pass-defense schedule rates among the NFL’s softest, Wentz looks primed for second-half explosion. The Cowboys’ defense was a colossal Week 9 disappointment, managing six hits on Marcus Mariota in the previously-sputtering quarterback’s most efficient game all year. Mariota also damaged Dallas on the ground (10/32/1), a feat of which Wentz is capable after setting season highs in scrambles (6) and rushing yards (28) in the Eagles’ pre-bye win over Jacksonville. The Cowboys have allowed the NFL’s sixth-most QB rushing yards (176) this year. In Tate, Alshon Jeffery, Zach Ertz, Dallas Goedert, and Nelson Agholor, this is the most loaded pass-catcher corps of Wentz’s career. Wentz’s Week 10 draw is upgraded by Dallas’ loss of MLB Sean Lee (hamstring), who’s made more of a pass- than run-defense impact this year. … Averaging 5.4 yards per carry, UDFA rookie Josh Adams emerged as the Eagles’ best interior runner before the bye and should be stashed in season-long leagues. Adams set season highs in snaps (18) and touches (10) in Philly’s Week 8 London win, and coach Doug Pederson afterwards compared Adams’ skill set to Jay Ajayi’s. Wendell Smallwood has played the most snaps but got rocked in pass protection against the Jaguars, raising concerns about his going-forward snaps. Corey Clement was demoted to third string in London, then gained five yards on five touches. He should be healthier coming off the bye.
Golden Tate rinsed this same Dallas secondary for 8/132/2 receiving in Week 4. As Tate was acquired during the bye, he had ample time to practice with Wentz and get comfortable in Pederson’s offense. By game day, Tate will have been an Eagle for nearly two full weeks. He’s a playable WR3 right away with WR2 upside down the stretch. … Alshon Jeffery gets Philadelphia’s toughest Week 10 pass-catcher draw. Plus sized at outside corner, the Cowboys have checked Kenny Golladay (4/74/0), Corey Davis (6/56/0), Marvin Jones (3/56/0), Odell Beckham (4/51/0), Josh Doctson (3/42/0), Devin Funchess (3/41/0), and Donte Moncrief (0/0). Jeffery runs a team-high 41% of his routes at right corners, where Cowboys RCB Byron Jones has developed into a true shutdown force. Alshon is a bet-on-talent, fade-matchup WR2/3 play. … Tate’s addition poses some threat to Zach Ertz’s outrageous target volume, but Ertz’s elite route running and multi-year rapport with Wentz are more bankable data points. Ertz ranks first among NFL tight ends in catches (61), second in red-zone targets (14), and third in targets inside the ten (6). Tate also checks in as Week 10’s No. 3 buy-low wide receiver in Josh Hermsmeyer’s Air Yards model. … Nelson Agholor was easily the biggest fantasy loser in the Tate deal. He should stay involved in three-receiver sets but will be pushed to the passing-game backburner along with No. 2 TE Dallas Goedert. Jordan Matthews, who led the Eagles in Week 8 receiving (4/93/0), is left with an even less-certain role.
Showing all the symptoms of a dead team in last Monday night’s two-touchdown post-bye home-game loss to Tennessee, the 3-5 Cowboys must now visit the sleeping-giant Eagles, whose four losses have come by a combined 15 points. Philadelphia has held enemy backs to 3.75 yards per carry and two TDs in eight games and may get back NT Timmy Jernigan (back, PUP), their highest-graded run-stopping lineman by PFF last year. Ezekiel Elliott shredded the Titans for 96 total yards in last week’s first half, then touched the ball just six times in the final two quarters. The Cowboys must emphasize Elliott in the passing game, where Philly has permitted the NFL’s tenth-most receiving yards (454) to running backs. … The Cowboys’ pass-protection failings weren’t cured by their Week 8 bye or firing of OL coach Paul Alexander. Dallas coughed up five sacks on Monday night and has allowed Dak Prescott to face pressure on 37% of his 2018 dropbacks, the NFL’s second-highest clip “behind” only the Texans (41%). These are worrisome tendencies in a road game against the Eagles, who lead the NFL in QB hit rate (21.9%). Confusingly, the Cowboys also stopped using Prescott on designed runs coming off the bye after running him aggressively in Weeks 5-7. Jason Garrett’s staff badly needs to reverse course; mobile QBs Marcus Mariota and Cam Newton have given DC Jim Schwartz’s defense the most 2018 fits. Philadelphia’s D/ST is an exciting play; Dallas is missing LG Connor Williams (knee scope), and DT Fletcher Cox should eat.
Prescott’s Week 9 target distribution: Amari Cooper 8; Michael Gallup 6; Elliott 5; Cole Beasley 4; Blake Jarwin, Rod Smith, and Deonte Thompson 2; Allen Hurns 1. … Cooper has Dallas' premier Week 10 matchup versus a Philly defense allowing the NFL’s fourth-most yards per game to wide receiver groups (195.4). Because the 2019 first-rounder they sent to Oakland is shaping up as a possible top-ten pick, the Cowboys are highly incentivized to force production to Cooper. Albeit still not entirely trustworthy based on his track record, Cooper is an upside WR2 play in this plum draw. … Gallup led the team in Week 9 Air Yards (84), finishing with 51 scoreless yards on six targets. This favorable matchup puts Gallup in WR4 consideration. … Beasley was Dallas’ pre-Cooper trade No. 1 receiver. He drew just four targets against the Titans and looks likely to experience a big downgrade in going-forward usage.
Score Prediction: Eagles 30, Cowboys 17
Monday Night Football
NY Giants @ San Francisco
Team Totals: 49ers 22.5, Giants 19.5
Thursday Night Football hero Nick Mullens earned his second career start by executing Kyle Shanahan’s offense to near-Week 9 perfection. Flaming the hapless Raiders for 11.9 yards per attempt and three touchdowns, Mullens’ average time to throw of 2.26 seconds was fastest among all NFL quarterbacks (PFF) last week, demonstrating decisiveness and giving his teammates run-after-catch chances. Smallish (6’1/214) but scrappy out of Southern Miss – where he was recruited by now-Bucs offensive mastermind Todd Monken -- Mullens impressively completed 63.4% of his throws over his final two college seasons, averaging 8.6 YPA with a 62:23 TD-to-INT ratio and seven rushing TDs. He is a two-QB-league starter and deep-league streamer. … As the Niners played on Thursday night in Week 9 and return for Week 10’s Monday nighter, Matt Breida had extra time to rest his repeatedly-aggravated ankle injury, and his workload projection is enhanced by Raheem Mostert’s broken arm. Alfred Morris has not reached double-digit touches since Week 5. The Giants have allowed 100-plus rushing yards in 6-of-8 games and 11 TDs to running backs, while San Francisco’s mauling offensive line ranks No. 3 in the NFL in yards created before contact per carry (3.3). Breida is an upside RB2 play. Morris is a touchdown-reliant flex.
Mullens’ Week 9 target distribution: Pierre Garcon 5; George Kittle and Marquise Goodwin 4; Richie James 3; Kendrick Bourne and Kyle Juszczyk 2; Breida 1. … Mullens was so good against the Raiders he snapped Garcon’s 18-game scoreless streak. In addition to targets, Garcon led the Niners in Week 9 Air Yards (70) and is WR3/flex playable for season-long leaguers in bye-week crunches. The Giants’ top-three corners are struggling Janoris Jenkins, journeyman B.W. Webb, and tiny UDFA rookie slot CB Grant Haley. … Jenkins is tied with Marcus Peters for most touchdown catches allowed (6) among cornerbacks and is surrendering a 74% completion rate on throws into his coverage. Jenkins got Mossed by Falcons fifth receiver “Marvin Hall” for a 47-yard touchdown bomb on Week 7 Monday Night Football. Goodwin hasn’t exceeded five targets in a game all year and is always a high-variance bet, but his combination of big-play ability and matchup gives Goodwin dart-throw appeal. … Quarterback-proof Kittle has caught TDs from Jimmy Garoppolo, C.J. Beathard, and Mullens this year and ranks second among tight ends in yards (692). Tight ends have caught 32-of-44 (73%) targets for 404 yards (9.2 YPA) and three TDs against the Giants over their last six games. … As Trent Taylor was a healthy Week 9 scratch, seventh-round rookie James shared time at slot receiver with Bourne, running 12 routes to Bourne’s 6 and turning a quick crossing route into a 53-yard gain. Bourne scored a second-quarter TD from four yards out.
Even at 1-7, the stubborn Giants will continue to trot out the petrified remains of Eli Manning against a 49ers defense that has allowed multiple touchdown passes in 7-of-9 games. Manning has finished QB20 or worse in 5-of-8 starts, however, showing scant upside with just one top-ten result. Matchups simply haven’t mattered for Manning, whose complete lack of quick-twitch athleticism is a worst-case-scenario combination with New York’s swinging-gate offensive line. As San Francisco’s pass rush came alive for eight Week 9 sacks and the G-Men rank bottom eight in sacks-per-dropback allowed (8.9%), the Niners’ D/ST is worth Week 10 streamer consideration. … One of New York’s few bright spots is Saquon Barkley, who is on pace (116) to break Matt Forte’s all-time record for running back receptions (102). The 49ers have allowed the league’s fifth-most catches (55) to enemy backs. With 20-plus touches in 6-of-8 games, Barkley is an elite RB1 play every time he dresses. Christian McCaffrey (62.5), James Conner (61.0), and Todd Gurley (56.6) are the NFL’s only running backs playing more snaps per game than Barkley (54.5).
Eli’s Weeks 7-8 target distribution: Odell Beckham 22; Barkley 20; Sterling Shepard 16; Evan Engram 13; Bennie Fowler 8; Rhett Ellison 3. … OBJ is on pace for career highs in catches (122) and yards (1,570) in spite of Manning’s woes. 49ers LCB Richard Sherman never moves, and Beckham runs 51% of his routes to other areas of the field. … With seven-plus targets in six straight games, Shepard should be locked into fantasy lineups against the Niners, who have given up useful-or-better results to fellow slot WRs Golden Tate (7/109/0), Marquez Valdes-Scantling (3/103/0), Larry Fitzgerald (8/102/1), Adam Thielen (6/102/0), Robert Woods (5/78/0), and Keenan Allen (7/63/0). … Back from an early-season MCL injury before the Giants’ Week 9 bye, Engram drew target counts of 4 and 9 against the Falcons and Redskins. Each of Engram’s two touchdowns have come in garbage time this year, including a two-yard score with :17 left in New York’s Week 8 loss. The Giants’ clear No. 4 passing-game option, Engram has been held to 25 yards or fewer in 4-of-5 appearances. The 49ers rank 19th in fantasy points allowed to tight ends.
Score Prediction: 49ers 24, Giants 23