1:00PM ET Games
Detroit @ Green Bay
In an obvious lost season, the 1-7 Lions fired much of their offensive staff, then their GM and team president in back-to-back weeks. It's hard to imagine Detroit putting a competitive product on the field in its Week 10 trip to Lambeau, where the Packers are 11.5-point favorites. The Lions' team total is just barely above 18. ... Rather oddly, interim OC Jim Bob Cooter's first order of business in his debut as Detroit's offensive overseer was to phase out exciting-but-mistake-prone rookie Ameer Abdullah. Abdullah played only five snaps in the Lions' Week 8 loss to Kansas City, while Joique Bell got the start before quickly giving way to passing-down specialist Theo Riddick in catch-up mode. Riddick wound up logging 65% of the Lions' snaps and a team-high 11 touches, including six receptions. Riddick is a PPR-only commodity whose ceiling is capped by his low touchdown probability, but he's the best fantasy option in Detroit's running back corps in another game where the Lions are likely to trail for multiple quarters. ... Matthew Stafford struggled in last year's two meetings with Green Bay DC Dom Capers' defense, going 42-of-75 passing (56%) for 463 yards (6.17 YPA) with three touchdowns and four turnovers. This year's Packers pass defense has been stouter than last year's, holding opposing quarterbacks to a combined 10:10 TD-to-INT ratio, 57.7% completion rate, and the fifth lowest passer rating (79.0) in football. Green Bay ranks fifth in the league in both sacks (23) and interceptions (10). Stafford is usable only in two-QB-leagues, while the Packers' D/ST is a strong streamer.
Stafford's target distribution in Eric Ebron's six games played this season: Calvin Johnson 62; Golden Tate 42; Riddick 34; Ebron 33; Lance Moore 18; Abdullah 17. ... Even as the environment around him crumbles, Megatron's volume is bankable -- he ranks 13th among NFL wideouts in targets -- and there is a strong probability Detroit will end up throwing the ball 40-plus times in Green Bay. Calvin's last six stat lines in Packers games are 4-39-2, 6-82-0, 6-101-1, 10-118-0, 5-143-1, and 11-244-1. He's a mid-range WR1 play in season-long leagues and an intriguing option in DFS tournaments, where Johnson's owned percentage is sure to be low. ... In Ebron's last four appearances, Tate has averaged four catches for 40 yards with zero touchdowns on six targets per game. Tate has settled in as a low-end WR3 in his second year with Detroit. Tate's Week 10 draw is daunting against Packers slot CB Casey Hayward, who is PFF's No. 19 cover corner among 111 qualifiers. ... Ebron has topped 60 yards and/or hit pay dirt in 4-of-6 games, ranking 15th in per-game PPR scoring among tight ends. Just a streamer option, Ebron's matchup is favorable against a Packers team that's been torched by Broncos tight ends (6-105), Chargers tight ends (12-130-1), and Panthers tight ends (5-72-1) over its last three games.
Back home as 11.5-point favorites, the Packers' team total is nearly 30 points. ... Ranked 30th in pass-defense DVOA, the Lions have yielded a combined QB rating of 111.1, which ranks 31st in the NFL. Detroit has served as a get-well matchup for opposing passers, yielding the No. 6 fantasy quarterback score to previously-struggling Alex Smith in Week 8, and the No. 11 score to previously-struggling Teddy Bridgewater in Week 7. Always a good bet for big games at home, Aaron Rodgers shouldn't have trouble shredding the Lions' backend. ... Detroit has also played sub-par run defense, ranking 29th in Football Outsiders' DVOA and allowing the fifth most fantasy points to running backs. Even with DT Haloti Ngata back, the Lions were stung for 252 yards and two touchdowns on 54 runs (4.67 YPC) by Chiefs and Vikings RBs in their last two games. James Starks has passed Eddie Lacy on Green Bay's depth chart, logging a 71% snap rate and 16 touches to Lacy's 24% and five innocuous carries during last week's loss to Carolina. While Starks has emerged as a worthwhile RB2/flex as the favorite for work in Green Bay's backfield, Lacy has devolved into an RB3/4 amid conditioning and injury concerns.
Rodgers' target distribution in Davante Adams' four full games played this year: Randall Cobb 37; Adams 26; Richard Rodgers 20; James Jones 15; Starks 14; Lacy 6. ... The Lions have had major problems at slot corner, recently benching Josh Wilson for sixth-round rookie Quandre Diggs. This is the most favorable matchup Cobb will see all year. Despite his underwhelming first half, Cobb is cash-game viable in DFS and should be teed up as a WR1 in season-long leagues. ... The Lions' coverage is stronger on the boundaries, where LCB Darius Slay and RCB Rashean Mathis have begun to play well after slow starts to the season. Still, both Adams and Jones are respectable WR3 plays in a game where Green Bay is likely to score a lot of points and generate most of its offense via the passing game. Adams, in particular, had one of the strongest efforts of his career in last week's loss to Carolina, repeatedly whipping savvy Panthers RCB Charles Tillman en route to seven catches for 93 yards, not including a successful two-point conversion. On the season, Detroit has surrendered the seventh most fantasy points in the league to wide receivers. ... The Lions have also played tight end-friendly defense, permitting the 12th most fantasy points to the position. TE Richard Rodgers has settled in as a touchdown-dependent commodity, but he should stand a decent chance of finding the end zone in this one.
Score Prediction: Packers 34, Lions 20
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Dallas @ Tampa Bay
Sunday's Cowboys-Bucs game has a sluggish 43.5-point total with host Tampa favored by 1.5. The Bucs' team total is 22.5. ... Expect a bounce back from Doug Martin taking on a Dallas run defense that's collapsed over its last six games, coughing up 742 yards and seven rushing TDs on 154 carries (4.82 YPC) to opposing RBs. Eagles running backs rinsed the Cowboys for a 34-173-2 (5.09 YPC) rushing line last Sunday night. Additionally, Dallas is not expected to have WLB Sean Lee (concussion). Martin lost playing time to Charles Sims following a first-half fumble in last week's loss to the Giants, but did reenter and is in no danger of losing bellcow status. The Bucs have been very committed to their run game this season, ranking sixth in rushing attempts per game (29.5). ... Although Jameis Winston did not tear up the stat sheet in last Sunday's loss to the Giants -- with no help from Mike Evans, who committed five drops -- Jameis continued to play in-control football, avoiding sacks and turnovers while keeping his team competitive for three-plus quarters. Winston's Week 10 fantasy outlook is bleak in a likely low-scoring game where Tampa should be able to ride its rushing attack, but the arrow on Jameis is pointing skyward midway through a promising rookie season. Winston has not committed a turnover since Week 4, and has accounted for six all-purpose touchdowns during that span.
The availabilities of Vincent Jackson (knee) and Austin Seferian-Jenkins (shoulder) both figure to be late-week decisions, and will have an impact on the DFS viability of Evans. Despite last week's drop-filled performance, Evans topped 100 yards for the third time in his last six outings and is now averaging 13.3 targets in three games since the Bucs' bye. On paper, Evans has an excellent Week 10 matchup against oft-toasted Cowboys RCB Morris Claiborne, who is PFF's No. 102 cornerback among 111 qualifiers. ... Through two starts, UDFA Donteea Dye has managed target counts of 3 and 4 with one short reception in each. The Bucs could really use V-Jax's physical presence on short and intermediate routes, and to help distract some coverage from Evans. Dye was out-produced by fellow UDFA slot man Adam Humphries (5-55) last week. ... The Cowboys pose an average to above-average matchup for opposing tight ends, serving up 5-44 to Zach Ertz in Week 9, and 7-75 to Jimmy Graham plus 2-41-1 to Luke Willson in Week 8. Seferian-Jenkins will be worth a look as a streamer should he finally get the green light.
With one game left before Tony Romo's (collarbone) scheduled return, the Cowboys head to Tampa Bay with a 21-point team total. ... Since taking over as Dallas' workhorse three games ago, Darren McFadden has logged touch totals of 31, 26, and 28 on snap rates of 80%, 79%, and 78%. He is the No. 6 overall fantasy running back in PPR scoring over the last three weeks. McFadden's extreme-volume usage locks him in as an every-week RB1, but his Week 10 matchup is more difficult than meets the eye against an underrated Bucs run defense that ranks 10th in DVOA while holding opposing RBs to 3.81 yards per carry. Still, this game figures to stay close enough that Dallas will be able to continue to ride McFadden heavily. McFadden's failure to score a touchdown in back-to-back weeks has kept his price reasonable on DFS sites, where McFadden's role makes him a high-floor investment. ... Christine Michael played zero snaps in last Sunday night's loss to Philadelphia, which suggests C-Mike has fallen behind lightly used third-down back "Rod Smith" (eight snaps). ... Finally showing signs of comfort at the controls of OC Scott Linehan's passing game, Matt Cassel turned in his best start as a Cowboy in Week 9 against the Eagles, finishing as the weekly QB6 in fantasy while connecting on shot-play attempts and burning Philadelphia on slot routes. Tampa Bay's defense has surrendered a 19:6 TD-to-INT ratio and a 70.2 completion rate to opposing quarterbacks. Cassel is worth a look from owners in particularly desperate need of a Week 10 streamer.
Cassel's target distribution with Dez Bryant back the last two weeks: Bryant 14; Cole Beasley and Jason Witten 12; McFadden 10; Terrance Williams 7. ... Receiving lines permitted by the Bucs over their last six games include 12-162-1 (Julio Jones), 5-116-1 (Allen Hurns), 9-105 (Odell Beckham), 7-72-2 (Allen Robinson), 8-101-1 (DeAndre Hopkins), and 5-40-1 (Rueben Randle). Appearing to have all his explosion back in last week's loss to the Eagles, Dez went 5-104-1 and should be upgraded to WR1 status in this plum draw. ... Allowing the 12th most receptions in the league to tight ends, a matchup with Tampa Bay should support Witten's high floor. Witten has five or more catches in all but two games this season. ... Cassel has made three starts for the Cowboys. Beasley's 9-112-2 eruption versus Philadelphia came out of nowhere after he went catch-less in Cassel's first two starts. Beasley feels like a point-chasing Week 10 option, but his matchup is quite good against burnable Bucs slot CB Alterraun Verner. ... No. 2 wideout Williams has now been held under 50 yards in five of his last six games and is safe to drop.
Score Prediction: Cowboys 23, Bucs 21
Carolina @ Tennessee
Following a Week 9 upset win at the Superdome, the Titans go back home as 4.5-point dogs to the undefeated Panthers. In a game with a 43-point Vegas total, Tennessee's team total is just above 19. ... Carolina sprung aerial leaks in last Sunday's four-TD effort by Aaron Rodgers, but overall has played extremely stout pass defense. Rodgers is the only quarterback to have faced the Panthers and finished as a top-12 fantasy QB1, while DC Sean McDermott's unit leads the NFL in interceptions (13) and ranks fourth in sacks (25). This is a concerning matchup for Marcus Mariota, to whom last-week point chasers will surely gravitate. Mariota is best approached as a dicey streamer, and more of a two-quarterback-league start. ... As promised by interim coach Mike Mularkey, the Titans made a Week 9 commitment to feeding between-the-tackles grinder Antonio Andrews the football at New Orleans. Logging 63% of Tennessee's snaps, Andrews parlayed 20 touches into 111 total yards. Dexter McCluster did mix in for ten touches on 41% of the downs, but lost a fumble and has taken a clear backseat to Andrews. Albeit with scant upside, Andrews is at least on the flex radar versus a Panthers defense that's yielded 512 yards and three TDs on 115 carries (4.45 YPC) to enemy running backs across its last five games.
Mariota's target distribution this season: Delanie Walker 37; Kendall Wright 31; Harry Douglas 28; Dorial Green-Beckham 21; Justin Hunter 20; Anthony Fasano 17; McCluster 14. ... Quietly this year's No. 7 tight end in PPR points per game, Walker will do battle Sunday with a Carolina defense that gave up 9-156 to Seahawks TEs in Week 6, 7-75 to Eagles TEs in Week 7, 8-47-1 to Colts TEs in Week 8, and 5-19-2 to Richard Rodgers in Week 9. Walker has at least six catches in five of his last six games. ... In the Week 9 absence of Wright (MCL), Douglas logged 83% of the Titans' snaps and secured 5-of-5 targets for 73 yards. In PPR leagues, Douglas has low-end WR3 appeal versus struggling slot CB Bene Benwikere, who was Randall Cobb's (4-99-1) slump buster last week. ... Green-Beckham reestablished season highs in playing time (68%) and targets (10) in last Sunday's upset of the Saints, mostly whipping RCB Brandon Browner but also beating stout LCB Delvin Breaux for a 20-yard catch. Running 90% of his patterns on the perimeter, DGB's Week 10 matchup is harder against Panthers LCB Josh Norman and RCB Charles Tillman, one of the NFL's top boundary tandems. Should Green-Beckham's usage continue to climb this week, I'm going to be all over him as a Week 11 daily fantasy play against the Jaguars.
On paper, this is something of a letdown spot for Carolina coming off a Week 9 home upset of Green Bay and now going on the road to Nashville. Still favored by 4.5, the Panthers' Week 10 team total is just below 24 points. ... Playing better run defense than given credit for -- including by yours truly -- the Titans have held opposing running backs to 3.92 yards per carry this season, and stifled Mark Ingram (22-54-0) relentlessly in last week's upset win over the Saints. Having logged consecutive touch totals of 21, 24, 25, and 21 since Carolina's Week 5 bye, Jonathan Stewart's heavy workloads keep him in the every-week RB2 hunt. Still, this is an unlikely blowup draw for Carolina's rushing attack. ... Matchups have been irrelevant for Cam Newton, who posted a top-nine fantasy quarterback score on Seattle's elite pass defense in Week 6, and the No. 1 overall score on Green Bay's upper-echelon unit in Week 9. In points per game, Cam has ascended to this year's No. 2 overall fantasy quarterback, behind only Tom Brady. Newton is an every-week stud in season-long leagues and always worthy of daily fantasy lineup insertion.
Cam's target distribution since the Panthers' bye: Greg Olsen 35; Ted Ginn 26; Corey Brown 17; Jerricho Cotchery 14; Devin Funchess 13; Stewart 6; Mike Tolbert 2. ... Surrendering the seventh most fantasy points to tight ends, the Titans coughed up an 8-82-2 stat line to Saints TEs in Week 9. The Cam-Olsen stack remains squarely in play in DFS tournaments. ... The four-way committee usage of Carolina's wide receivers prevents any from being quality fantasy starts, but it should be noted that raw second-round rookie Funchess is coming off the best game of his first NFL season. While Funchess' snap rate (26%) still disappointed against Green Bay, he may have earned more playing time by bodying out impressive rookie LCB Damarious Randall on a 52-yard second-quarter reception and again beating Randall for a 14-yard score. In hopes his role increases, Funchess is worth stashing for the stretch run in 14-team fantasy leagues.
Score Prediction: Panthers 24, Titans 20
Chicago @ St. Louis
St. Louis hosts Chicago as a 7.5-point favorite with a team total of 25 points. ... Whereas the Rams head home for Week 10 in prime bounce-back position coming off a road loss, the Bears return from a road upset of San Diego and are playing on a short week. This has Todd Gurley Game written all over it. Gurley's weekly touch totals since taking over as the Rams' feature back five games ago are 21, 30, 23, 23, and 27. He should go nuts on a Bears team that ranks second to last in Football Outsiders' run-defense DVOA. ... Although Chicago has played poor pass defense all year, Nick Foles can't be taken seriously as a streamer even in the softest of draws as a low-scoring, low-volume game manager, particularly in a matchup where the Rams are a virtual lock for rushing success. Foles has gone seven straight outings without hitting 200 passing yards and has failed to throw a touchdown pass in three of his last six games.
Foles' target distribution since St. Louis' Week 6 bye: Tavon Austin 21; Gurley 13; Jared Cook 10; Kenny Britt 9; Stedman Bailey 8; Brian Quick 5; Lance Kendricks 4. ... Averaging seven targets and four rushing attempts per game since the open date, Austin has established himself as an every-week WR3 play in fantasy leagues. Although Austin did not hit pay dirt in last week's loss to Minnesota, OC Frank Cignetti aggressively fed him the rock in space en route to 12 touches and 81 total yards. ... Britt finally flashed playmaking ability (3-87) against the Vikings, but he has goose egged in three of his last five games and has drawn more than five targets in just one week this season. Even in a good-looking matchup against the Bears' weak secondary, Britt can be left on fantasy waiver wires. ... With Bailey serving a four-game suspension, the Rams signed 34-year-old slot receiver Wes Welker off the street this week. In one of the league's least productive passing games, Welker is safe to ignore in 14- and 16-team fantasy leagues.
After upsetting the Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium on Monday night, the Bears visit the Edward Jones Dome as 7.5-point underdogs. Chicago's team total is just 17.5 points in a forbidding matchup on multiple fronts. ... Jay Cutler deserves credit for playing rock-solid football this season, but that's likely to change in St. Louis. The Rams are tied for second in sacks (27) and rank No. 4 in Football Outsiders' pass-defense DVOA, while permitting the fewest touchdown passes (5) in the league. St. Louis hasn't given up a passing touchdown since Week 5. Quarterbacking an offense that's very unlikely to score many Week 10 points, Cutler is a mid-range QB2 option. ... The Rams have allowed just one rushing touchdown since Week 3, and over their last six games have held opposing backs to 404 yards on 122 runs (3.31 YPC). The good news is rookie Jeremy Langford's usage looks bankable after he parlayed 21 touches into 142 total yards and a touchdown in last Monday night's win over San Diego. The bad news is Langford is a lock for less efficiency against the Rams, making him a low-end RB2/flex play.
Cutler's target distribution in Alshon Jeffery's four games played: Jeffery 54; Martellus Bennett 32; injured Matt Forte 17; injured Eddie Royal 15; Marquess Wilson 12; Langford 7. ... On target totals of 11, 11, 16, and 16 through four appearances, Jeffery is an elite WR1 play regardless of matchups. An absolute monster when healthy this year, Jeffery's 16-game pace stats would be 132-1,968-8. ... The Rams gave up 8-111 to Browns tight ends in Week 7, seven catches to 49ers tight ends in Week 8, and a combined 5-47 number to Vikings tight ends last week. This is an average to above-average matchup for Bennett, whose stat lines in Jeffery's games played are 5-55-1, 6-59-0, 3-32-0, and 8-57-1. ... Wilson was a full-time player in Royal's (knee) absence Monday night, but was only slightly more involved in the pass game than rotating sub-package options Marc Mariani and Josh Bellamy. Wilson would be a weak WR3/flex play at the Rams.
Score Prediction: Rams 23, Bears 17
New Orleans @ Washington
Saints-Skins offers shootout possibilities with a 50.5-point Vegas total. As mere one-point dogs at home, Washington has an attractive team total of nearly 25 points. ... Saints DC Rob Ryan's defense is bad enough to make Kirk Cousins a borderline QB1 play in Week 10. Ranked dead last in pass-defense DVOA, New Orleans has permitted a league-worst 24:4 TD-to-INT ratio to opposing quarterbacks while getting shredded by Eli Manning and Marcus Mariota for a combined 58-of-80 passing (72.5%), 721 yards (9.01 YPA), ten touchdowns, and zero picks in Weeks 8-9. The Saints have allowed 330-plus passing yards and three-plus TD passes in three straight games. ... In last week's loss to New England, Matt Jones led Washington's backfield in snap rate (42%) and touches (13) before getting benched for a third-quarter fumble. Despite negative game script all Sunday long, passing-game specialist Chris Thompson sprinkled in for only two touches while logging 37% of the downs. Alfred Morris recorded four carries with no receiving involvement on a 17% playing-time clip. Redskins RBs do have a plus draw on paper against a New Orleans defense submitting 4.71 yards per carry to enemy running backs, but the failure of an individual to assert himself as the clear-cut lead runner has eliminated fantasy reliability. If forced to choose from the three this week, I'd take my chances with Jones.
Cousins' target distribution with DeSean Jackson back: Pierre Garcon and Jamison Crowder 8; Jordan Reed 7; Jackson 6; Thompson 4; Jones 3; Derek Carrier and Andre Roberts 2. ... Reed is the highest-floor Washington pass catcher facing a Saints defense that was eviscerated for 12-153-3 by Titans tight ends last week, and has allowed the second most fantasy points in the league to the position. The Saints' secondary funnels action inside to tight ends because RCB Keenan Lewis and LCB Delvin Breaux are solid cover men. Faux-tight end stopper Brandon Browner and New Orleans' safeties are not. ... Jackson logged 85% of the snaps in his return from a two-month hamstring injury, emerging setback free. The Redskins shuttled Jackson around the formation aggressively at New England, but there's a decent chance he'll see Breaux's shadow coverage on Sunday. Breaux has PFF's No. 11 coverage grade among 111 qualified cornerbacks. Jackson offers big-time upside as a WR3 against the Saints, but also a low floor. ... With all of the Redskins' pass catchers healthy, Garcon will become increasingly difficult to trust as a fantasy option. Despite an enormous amount of opportunity all year, Garcon has failed to clear 75 yards in each of Washington's first eight games. ... Rookie slot man Crowder remained an integral part of the Redskins' offense amid Jackson's return, playing 95% of the downs and tying Garcon for the team lead in targets. Short on playmaking ability, however, Crowder is averaging 9.0 yards per reception with zero touchdowns on the season. He'll soon slip to No. 4 in the passing-game pecking order behind Reed, Jackson, and Garcon.
As one-point favorites in a game with a juicy 50.5-point total, New Orleans' team total is nearly 26 points at Washington. ... Drew Bees is on a tear, compiling a 16:5 TD-to-INT ratio in addition to last week's rushing score with a 71.9% completion rate and 8.42 yards-per-attempt average across his last six games. Brees has finished as the overall QB1 and QB3 in fantasy the past two weeks. The Redskins' are a sub-par 21st Football Outsiders' pass-defense DVOA and provide quarterbacks with squeaky-clean pockets by ranking 30th in sacks (13). Washington has just one sack over its last three games, a stretch during which DC Joe Barry's unit has been carved up by Ryan Fitzpatrick, Jameis Winston, and Tom Brady for 66-of-94 passing (70.2%), 849 yards (9.03 YPA), six touchdowns, and one interception. ... The Redskins have played even worse run defense, dishing out a combined 129-686-3 (5.32 YPC) rushing line to Falcons, Bucs, Jets, and Patriots running backs over the last month. Mark Ingram disappointed fantasy owners by failing to hit pay dirt in last week's prime matchup with the Titans, which will reduce his DFS ownership this week. Ingram still dominated touches (26) and is a strong bounce-back bet. ... Despite the absence of Khiry Robinson, C.J. Spiller logged season lows in snap rate (6%) and touches (3) against Tennessee and is no more than an end-of-bench stash in PPR leagues.
Brees' targets over his last six games: Brandin Cooks 49; Willie Snead 47; Ben Watson 40; Spiller 26; Ingram and Marques Colston 25; Josh Hill 13; Brandon Coleman 8. ... No member of the Redskins' injured-and-ineffective secondary is worrisome from a matchup standpoint, giving all Saints pass catchers plus Week 10 draws. ... Brees' primary big-play weapon, Cooks has topped 70 yards in four of his last five games with four touchdowns over that span. A sluggish WR3 to open the season, improved play from Brees and Cooks himself have locked in the second-year wideout as an every-week WR2. ... Snead has settled in as Brees' most trusted possession receiver with an average of 8.2 targets over his last five games. Snead is an every-week WR3 play in PPR and is always worth non-PPR consideration in favorable matchups like this one. ... The fact that Watson has seen more than five targets in just 2-of-9 games this season prevents him from warranting mid-range or high-end TE1 treatment. The fact that Watson is still producing steady fantasy-starter numbers has rendered him an every-week streamer. Watson's Week 10 matchup is mediocre against a Redskins defense that ranks 22nd in catches and 17th in yards allowed to tight ends. ... Clearly behind Snead and having devolved into a sub-package possession receiver, Colston has logged uneven snap rates of 30%, 69%, and 48% over his last three games, seeing target counts of 3, 9, and 3. Look elsewhere for sleeper plays this week.
Score Prediction: Saints 27, Redskins 21
Miami @ Philadelphia
Dolphins-Eagles has a healthy 47-point Vegas total with host Philly favored by 6.5. Chip Kelly's club has a team total of nearly 27 points. ... A bigger season-long sample size suggests Miami's run defense is more along the lines of mediocre, but it's still notable that the Fins were ethered by Buffalo's rushing attack last week, ceding 222 yards and three TDs on 25 carries (8.88 YPC) to LeSean McCoy and Karlos Williams. On the year, Miami ranks 26th in run-defense DVOA. This should be viewed as a tasty draw for DeMarco Murray, whose touch counts the past four weeks are 27, 24, 20, and 24. That's RB1-caliber usage for a back who now quietly ranks 11th among fantasy RBs at the season's halfway point. ... Ryan Mathews has kept himself relevant on sheer efficiency. His last four touch totals are 11, 10, 9, and 11. Although his floor is low on such limited usage, Mathews is a respectable flex option for owners facing bye-week crunches on the strength of Mathews' fantastic play and favorable matchup. Mathews has scored five all-purpose TDs in eight games and is averaging 6.10 yards per carry. ... Darren Sproles has not topped eight touches in a game since Week 3. ... Always shaky in the backend and now missing top pass rusher LE Cameron Wake (Achilles'), Miami's pass defense is playing poorly enough that to-date fantasy flop Sam Bradford is worth serious QB1 streamer consideration this week. Over their last three games, the Dolphins have been torched by Brian Hoyer, Tom Brady, and Tyrod Taylor for a combined 60-of-99 passing, 810 yards (8.18 YPA), and an 8:1 TD-to-INT ratio.
Bradford's target distribution coming off Philly's Week 8 bye: Jordan Matthews 12; Murray 7; Zach Ertz 6; Josh Huff 4; Sproles and Miles Austin 3; Ryan Mathews 1. ... Matthews turned in easily his best game of the season in last Sunday night's win over Dallas, avoiding the drops that plagued him early in the year and dominating after the catch before scoring a game-winning 41-yard touchdown. That game should serve as a confidence builder for both Bradford and J-Matt moving forward. Still averaging 9.4 targets per game, Matthews should be viewed as an upside WR2 play against a Dolphins defense that's had problems defending the slot due to injuries and ineffectiveness at slot corner. ... Although Ertz has made a handful of exciting catches this year, he has cleared 50 yards twice in eight games, and is scoreless on the season. The shortage of production makes Ertz difficult to trust as a legitimate TE1 option. ... Even with Nelson Agholor (ankle) out in Week 9 against the Cowboys, no Eagles perimeter wide receiver exceeded four targets. Agholor is on track to return this week, further diminishing the already nonexistent fantasy values of Huff, Austin, banged-up Riley Cooper (ankle), and Agholor himself.
Visiting Philly as 6.5-point dogs, the reeling Dolphins' Week 10 team total is a hair above 20. ... This is another tough draw for Ryan Tannehill, taking on an opportunistic Eagles team that ranks fourth in the league in interceptions (12) and No. 3 in Football Outsiders' pass-defense DVOA. Dipping to 18th among fantasy quarterbacks in per-game scoring, Tannehill has cooled off considerably since his four-touchdown torching of the Texans in Week 7, completing 55-of-80 throws for 609 yards, no TDs, and three turnovers against the Patriots and Bills in Weeks 8-9. Tannehill is a weak QB1 streamer option. ... Although never a truly favorable matchup for opposing rushing attacks, the Eagles have shown some small-sample vulnerability in their last two games, yielding 258 yards and a touchdown on 55 runs (4.69 YPC) to Panthers and Cowboys RBs. Since Dan Campbell took over as the Dolphins' interim coach, Lamar Miller has recorded weekly fantasy finishes of RB10, RB1, RB11, and RB2. Miller is averaging nearly 18 touches per game during that stretch and is a matchup-independent fantasy RB1. ... Exciting rookie Jay Ajayi (ribs) came off the Dolphins' injured reserve-designated for return list in Week 9 against the Bills to play seven snaps and rush five times for 41 yards. Ajayi immediately made Jonas Gray expendable, as Gray was cut on Monday. Ajayi will be Miller's handcuff for the stretch run.
Tannehill's targets since Miami's Week 5 bye: Jarvis Landry 30; Rishard Matthews 25; Miller 18; Jordan Cameron 16; Kenny Stills 14; Dion Sims 10. ... Shredded by Cowboys slot receiver Cole Beasley (9-112-2) last Sunday night, Philly poses an attractive Week 10 draw for Dolphins slot man Landry, whose receiving pace stats through eight games are 106-1,070-4. If Miami struggles to run the ball on Philly's normally stout front, Landry will be the Dolphins' best means of moving the chains. Landry's matchup will be further upgraded if Eagles FS Malcolm Jenkins (concussion) can't play. ... Matthews has been held to six targets or fewer in four of his last five games, devolving into a boom-bust WR3 after opening the season looking like an every-week starter. At this point, Matthews' outlook isn't much different from that of situational deep threat Stills, who has more yardage than Matthews over the last two weeks. ... Cameron was out-targeted by No. 2 tight end Sims in last Sunday's loss to Buffalo, while Cameron's snap rate (51%) was his second lowest of the season. Ineffective all year, Cameron gets a forbidding Week 10 matchup against an Eagles defense yielding the third fewest fantasy points to tight ends.
Score Prediction: Eagles 27, Dolphins 20
Cleveland @ Pittsburgh
In a game with a 41-point Vegas total -- lowest of Week 10 -- the Steelers host the Browns as 4.5-point favorites with a team total of just under 23 points. This projects as a low-scoring, run-first game on Pittsburgh's side with Ben Roethlisberger (foot sprain) on the shelf through the Steelers' Week 11 bye. ... In DeAngelo Williams' three starts so far this season, he has logged snap rates of 84%, 93%, and 93% with touch totals of 22, 24, and 29. Even while dealing with inflammation in his foot, Williams is a shoo-in top-five running back play against a Cleveland team that ranks 30th in run-defense DVOA while ceding 4.93 yards per carry to running backs. Having finished as the No. 1 overall fantasy back in each of his last two starts, Williams will be a classic "chalk" play on DFS sites. ... Cleveland's defense hasn't defended the pass well, either, coughing up a combined 18:5 TD-to-INT ratio to opposing quarterbacks while ranking 24th in sacks (15). Teams that can't rush the passer and experience ineffectiveness and/or a multitude of injuries in the secondary tend to get skewered by the pass. The Browns check each of those boxes. Landry Jones committed three turnovers in his Week 7 spot start at Kansas City, but moved the offense consistently and showed a willingness to challenge in the intermediate and deep areas. Jones is worth a look as a two-quarterback-league start and extreme-desperation streamer.
Jones' target distribution in his three 2015 appearances (one start): Antonio Brown 17; Martavis Bryant 14; Markus Wheaton 5; Heath Miller and Le'Veon Bell 4; Williams 3. ... Brown does not offer the same kind of ceiling he would've had with Big Ben under center, but he did go 6-124 on eight targets in Jones' Week 7 start at Arrowhead. When Jones came off the bench in last week's win over the Raiders, he targeted Brown on three of his six attempts and completed all three for 74 yards. Against a porous Browns pass defense, Brown is safe to employ as a fantasy WR1. ... All three of Jones' touchdown passes this season have gone to Bryant, from 88, 19, and 8 yards out. Bryant tied Brown for the team lead in targets (8) in Jones' Week 7 start and should be locked into fantasy lineups as a WR2 against the Browns. ... Miller has been a far lesser part of Pittsburgh's passing offense with Roethlisberger inactive, managing receiving lines of 1-1-0, 3-46-0, 1-5-0, and 0-0 in those games while mostly blocking on the line of scrimmage.
As 4.5-point underdogs at Heinz Field, the Browns' Week 10 team total is barely above 18 points. ... Pittsburgh's main defensive strength is on the ground, where DC Keith Butler's unit ranks top five in Football Outsiders' run-defense DVOA and has permitted just two rushing touchdowns to enemy backs in nine games. While it would make sense for the Browns to build their Week 10 running game around space back Duke Johnson rather than grinder Isaiah Crowell, Johnson's touch counts of 3 and 5 the past two games inspire little confidence. His workload cut for no known reason, Johnson is a dicey flex in PPR leagues. ... This is a tough matchup for Crowell, but his fantasy outlook may be trending upward after the Browns waived early-down committee partner Robert Turbin. In last week's loss to Cincinnati, Crowell logged 13 touches and a season-high 60% of Cleveland's offensive snaps. Crowell is a weak flex option at Pittsburgh, but he could become useful in more favorable draws down the stretch.
Back practicing after missing Week 9 with a rib injury, Josh McCown appears poised to start against the Steelers. Although Pittsburgh's pass defense has for the most part been better than given credit for this season, the Steelers' secondary remains exploitable as Derek Carr showed in last week's four-touchdown, 301-yard game. With multiple touchdown passes in five of his last six starts, McCown is an underrated streamer this week. ... Travis Benjamin's production has dipped of late due largely to quarterback woes, but he is an upside WR3 play against a Steelers defense permitting the most receptions and sixth most yards in the league to opposing wide receivers. Both Michael Crabtree (7-108-2) and Amari Cooper (7-88-1) ripped up Pittsburgh's defensive backs last Sunday. ... McCown's return combined with a plus Week 10 matchup should also kickstart Gary Barnidge against a Steelers defense coughing up the sixth most fantasy points to tight ends. Pittsburgh's ability to stop the run will likely force Cleveland to rely heavily on Barnidge, who has been McCown's steadiest weapon throughout the season.
Score Prediction: Steelers 20, Browns 17
Jacksonville @ Baltimore
Despite a 2-6 record and year-ending Achilles' tears to their heart and soul on both sides of the ball (Terrell Suggs, Steve Smith Sr.), the Ravens host the Jaguars as 5.5-point favorites with an aggressive team total of nearly 27 points. The Jags do possess enough passing-game firepower to exploit a porous Baltimore pass defense, giving this game sneaky high-scoring potential. ... Even post-89, Joe Flacco is worth QB1 streamer discussion facing a Jacksonville team that ranks 29th in Football Outsiders' pass-defense DVOA with a 14:3 TD-to-INT ratio allowed. This is the best passing-game matchup on Flacco's schedule the rest of the year. ... Averaging 20 touches per game, the flow of this one should allow for Justin Forsett to log RB1-caliber volume. Matchup is not working in Forsett's favor, however, against a Jaguars defense that ranks No. 2 versus the run according to DVOA after holding Jets running backs to 29 yards on 24 carries last week. Over their last three games, the Jaguars have limited opposing RBs to 196 yards on 70 runs (2.80 YPC). Forsett is best viewed as a quality, if low-ceiling RB2 play in this matchup.
Flacco's target distribution when Smith Sr. missed Week 5 with a back injury: Kamar Aiken 9; Kyle Juszczyk 6; Forsett 5; Marlon Brown 4; Nick Boyle 3; Jeremy Ross and Chris Givens 2; Maxx Williams 1. ... Flacco treated Aiken like a true No. 1 in Smith's Week 5 absence, targeting him on several shot-play attempts downfield. Aiken beat Browns RCB Tramon Williams for a 48-yarder early in the game and finished with 78 yards on four grabs. Aiken is an ordinary talent, but he has a chance to see WR1-type usage going forward. He's a solid WR3/flex versus a Jaguars defense that's submitted 10-148-2 to DeAndre Hopkins, 9-84-1 to Robert Woods, and 6-79-1 to Eric Decker over its last three games. ... Baltimore's second and third receiver posts figure to be handled on a rotational basis. Givens led the way in snap rate before Baltimore's bye, playing 48% of the downs in Week 8 against the Chargers and catching 3-of-4 targets for 57 yards. Givens is a straight-linish one-trick pony, but his vertical speed (4.41) is an attribute the Ravens' wideout corps otherwise lacks. Worth grabbing in 14-team leagues, Givens has the necessary opportunity to make sporadic stretch-run noise. ... Crockett Gillmore can also expect a bump in usage, particularly in scoring position. Thrown at by Flacco in the red zone in each of the Ravens' last two games, Gillmore stands 6-foot-6, 260 and has been an efficient pass catcher this season, securing 20-of-29 (69%) targets with three touchdowns in six games. Gillmore is an underrated streamer against a Jaguars defense yielding the 12th most yards to tight ends.
As 5.5-point road dogs, the Jags visit Baltimore with a team total just barely above 21. ... Blake Bortles has multiple touchdown passes in 6-of-8 games and gets a gorgeous Week 10 draw versus a Ravens team that has a 16:3 TD-to-INT ratio against while ranking 28th in pass-defense DVOA. The quarterback facing Baltimore has finished as a top-12 QB1 in six of the last seven weeks, with Michael Vick (Week 4) as the lone exception. The Ravens have coughed up multiple TD passes in all but two of their eight games. Bortles is prone to turnovers and sacks, but he offers big upside in this matchup. Stacking Bortles with Allen Robinson is an intriguing DFS approach, especially in tournaments. ... Whereas Baltimore has been flamed in the air, DC Dean Pees' group ranks a respectable 14th in run-defense DVOA and has held opposing running backs to 3.80 yards per carry with only three rushing TDs in eight games. The Ravens' inability to stop the pass while playing stout run defense raises the probability of big games for enemy quarterbacks, but is a concern for T.J. Yeldon's outlook. Yeldon's every-down-back usage keeps him in the RB2 discussion in season-long leagues, but he isn't on the DFS radar this week.
Bortles' targets since Julius Thomas returned from injury four games ago: Allen Robinson 41; Allen Hurns 29; Thomas 28; Bryan Walters 24; Yeldon 12. ... Robinson will run most of his routes at Ravens RCB Jimmy Smith, PFF's No. 96 graded cornerback among 111 qualifiers since Week 1. Matchup proof anyway, Robinson went 6-121 despite seeing lots of Darrelle Revis in Week 9 and 6-98-1 against Stephon Gilmore in Week 7. On the off chance Hurns (foot) can't face the Ravens, Robinson could be a true target machine. ... The time to stop doubting Hurns was several weeks ago. While Thomas has struggled to develop a consistent rapport with Bortles, Hurns has hit pay dirt in six straight games and cleared 60 yards in 6-of-8 appearances. Assuming Hurns' foot checks out -- he was in a walking boot early this week -- expect Hurns to mainly deal with Ravens LCB Kyle Arrington, a career slot corner who's been stretched thin trying to cover perimeter receivers this year. ... Slot receiver Walters has the toughest matchup in Jacksonville's wideout corps against slot CB Lardarius Webb, the Ravens' top cover corner. ... Orange Julius has turned in receiving lines of 2-20-0, 7-78-1, 1-4-0, and 3-14-0 since returning from preseason hand surgery. In Week 10, Thomas will do battle with a Baltimore defense allowing the fourth fewest fantasy points to tight ends. Thomas is at best a low-end TE1.
DFS Players: Jaguars at Ravens is the RotoGrinders Matchup of the Week. Some of RotoGrinders' top NFL minds break down this game from every angle and help prepare you to set winning lineups this weekend in daily fantasy football.
Score Prediction: Jaguars 27, Ravens 24
4:05PM ET Game
Minnesota @ Oakland
Vikings-Raiders has a 43-point game total with Oakland favored by 3.5 points in The Black Hole. Minnesota's team total is below 20. ... The Raiders' normally stout run defense sprung leaks in last week's loss to Pittsburgh, where 32-year-old DeAngelo Williams throttled Oakland for 170 yards and two TDs on 27 runs (6.30 YPC). There is a much bigger year-long sample that suggests this is a tough matchup for Adrian Peterson, but the Vikings do not play matchup-based offense. They are a run-committed team, feeding Peterson 20 or more touches in seven straight games. Peterson will remain Minnesota's offensive focal point in Week 10. ... Failing to take a second-year leap, Teddy Bridgewater has played himself out of QB1 streamer discussion by throwing multiple touchdown passes in 1-of-8 games while frequently looking physically overmatched against NFL defenses. A game manager for this year's Vikings, Bridgewater has been held under 250 yards passing an all but two of his games. Despite one of the NFL's softest pass-defense schedules, Bridgewater is fantasy's No. 29 quarterback in per-game scoring on the season.
Bridgewater's target distribution since the Vikings' Week 5 bye: Stefon Diggs 35; Mike Wallace 24; Jarius Wright 14; Kyle Rudolph 11; Peterson 8; MyCole Pruitt 6. ... Vikings OC Norv Turner utilizes Diggs similarly to how the Steelers do Antonio Brown, who skewered Oakland's stiffs at cornerback for an absurd 17-284 receiving line last week. Particularly if the Raiders' defense does slow Peterson, Diggs could emerge as Minnesota's primary means of ball movement, meaning lots of targets and catches. ... Wallace's target totals the past three weeks are 6, 4, and 5 with receiving lines of 4-36-0, 0-0, and 1-4-0. Wallace has hit 50 yards once over his last six games. Even against a porous Raiders secondary, Wallace is tough to justify as more than an extreme dart-throw WR3 option. ... Some folks may want to stream Rudolph considering the production Oakland's defense has coughed up to tight ends. Keep in mind rookie TE Pruitt has seen the same number of targets as Rudolph over the last three games, while Rudolph's blocking prowess will be needed against Raiders edge rushers Khalil Mack and Aldon Smith. Rudolph will pay off if he scores a red-zone TD, but ultimately I think he's a Week 10 trap.
After a narrow road loss in Pittsburgh, the Raiders go home as 3.5-point favorites with a team total just above 23. Minnesota has played solid defense this year, but it's still a conservative approximation for an Oakland team that has notched consecutive point totals of 37, 34, and 35 since its Week 6 bye. ... Derek Carr continued to play matchup-proof football against the Steelers' underrated pass defense in Week 9, improving his TD-to-INT ratio to 19:4 across Carr's last seven games in a 301-yard, four-touchdown explosion. Although the Vikings have permitted the fourth fewest passing TDs in football (9), Carr ranks No. 5 among fantasy quarterbacks in points per game since Week 1 while averaging 290.4 passing yards during that stretch. He's earned every-week QB1 treatment in season-long leagues. ... The Raiders may have to lean even more heavily on Carr should Latavius Murray (concussion) not receive Week 10 clearance. Murray's availability will become clearer later this week. Should Murray play, Oakland's feature back will be a fantasy RB1 against a Vikings team that ranks 25th in Football Outsiders' run-defense DVOA. Should Murray not get the green light, the Raiders would likely turn to an RBBC involving some mix of Marcel Reece, Taiwan Jones, Roy Helu, and Jamize Olawale.
Carr's target distribution since the Raiders' Week 6 bye: Michael Crabtree 32; Amari Cooper 28; Clive Walford 10; Seth Roberts 7; Reece, Mychal Rivera, and Andre Holmes 6; Jones and Murray 5. ... Cooper will run most of his Week 10 pass patterns at Vikings RCB Xavier Rhodes, whose confidence seems shot after a rough beginning to the season. Rhodes is PFF's No. 106 cover corner amongst 111 qualifiers. ... Crabtree also gets an attractive draw versus 37-year-old LCB Terence Newman, whom Kenny Britt flamed for pass plays of 55 and 23 yards in Minnesota's Week 9 win over St. Louis. Through eight games, Crabtree deserves serious NFL Comeback Player of the Year consideration on pace for a 94-1,182-10 receiving line. ... Rookie Walford saw five targets in last week's loss to Pittsburgh, but only caught one and logged a 30% snap rate. Walford is not a re-draft consideration yet, but he is an intriguing Dynasty-league buy attached to Carr for the next three-plus years. Walford will offer breakout TE1 potential in 2016.
Score Prediction: Raiders 24, Vikings 20
4:25PM ET Games
New England @ NY Giants
At 55 points, Patriots-Giants has the highest Vegas total of Week 10 and should be a hotbed for fantasy goodness. New England is favored by seven, giving Bill Belichick's club a team total of 31 points. ... The loss of Dion Lewis (ACL) removes a critical dimension from OC Josh McDaniels' attack, and could lead to a more power-oriented approach going forward. LeGarrette Blount's matchup is juicy taking on a Giants defense hemorrhaging 666 yards on 136 carries (4.90 YPC) to opposing RBs over its last five games. New York is now missing 320-pound space eater DT Johnathan Hankins (pectoral), who was Pro Football Focus' No. 3 overall run-stopping defensive tackle. This has all the makings of a Blount Game. ... The Patriots still project to stay in scoring position enough for Tom Brady to pay off as high-end QB1 start. Brady has finished below the weekly QB7 in fantasy just once this season, while Giants DC Steve Spagnuolo's defense has coughed up the fourth most touchdown passes in football (17) and ranks dead last in sacks (9). While New York's defense should be strengthened with RE Jason Pierre-Paul (finger) back in the lineup, midweek expectations from Giants beat writers were that critical RCB Prince Amukamara (pectoral) would likely sit out one more game. In order to compensate for an increasingly injured offensive line, it's conceivable the Patriots open this game with a high-volume passing attack that seeks to get the ball out of Brady's hands quickly, before putting it in Blount's belly once New England builds a comfortable lead.
Brady's target distribution since Brandon LaFell came off PUP three games ago: Rob Gronkowski 30; Julian Edelman 26; LaFell 24; Danny Amendola 15; Lewis 14; Scott Chandler 7; James White 5; Brandon Bolden 4. ... The Patriots' passing-down-back job will go to White or Bolden, or perhaps a combination of the two. White played the role when Lewis missed Week 7 against the Jets with an abdominal injury, logging a 64% snap rate with five touches for 30 scoreless yards. Bolden filled in with White inactive when Lewis left last week's win over the Redskins. ... The correlation is admittedly murky, but Gronkowski went berserk when Lewis missed Week 7, parlaying a team-high 16 targets into an 11-108-1 receiving line. On the season, the Giants have permitted the third most fantasy points to tight ends. ... LaFell's snap rates through three appearances are 72%, 83%, and 75% with target counts of 8, 7, and 9. The expected absence of Amukamara is especially good news for LaFell, who runs most of his routes at right corners. ... Edelman will primarily line up against stingy LCB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, who is PFF's No. 7 cornerback among 111 qualifiers this season. Edelman is an obvious every-week fantasy starter, but he may be better viewed as a WR2 than WR1 this week. If DRC can prevent Edelman from moving the chains consistently, the Patriots' Week 10 offense may have to funnel through Gronk, Blount, and to a lesser extent LaFell. ... His role in steep decline since LaFell returned, Amendola has drawn target totals of 1 and 5 the past two weeks on snap rates of 46% and 50%. I'm fairly sold on this being a power-run game for the Patriots, meaning I'm probably not going to be on their sub-package receivers this week.
Home dogs by a touchdown, the G-Men have a Week 10 team total of 24. ... Eli Manning has faced Bill Belichick's defense five times in his career. His results have been solid, completing 91-of-145 throws (62.8%) for 1,052 yards (7.26 YPA) with a 9:3 TD-to-INT ratio. Eli ranks eighth among quarterbacks in fantasy scoring and offers upside in a game where the Giants are likely to put up a healthy dose of points. My Week 10 concerns include the possibility Belichick finds a way to slow Odell Beckham and forces Manning to try to beat him with Rueben Randle, Dwayne Harris and Will Tye, in addition to time of possession, which New England may control if New York can't stop LeGarrette Blount. Underrated in pass defense, the Pats rank second in the NFL in sacks (27) and eighth in pass-defense DVOA. ... The Giants' backfield remained a four-way ordeal in last week's win over the Bucs. #RevengeGame narrative pushers may see some Week 10 optimism for Shane Vereen based on the likelihood of negative game script on New York's side and the Giants' need for a passing-game weapon to step up with Larry Donnell (neck) and Victor Cruz (calf) still on the shelf. Ex-Patriot Vereen logged a 36% snap rate in Week 9 against Tampa and has topped ten touches twice through nine games. He's just a dart-throw option.
Eli's target distribution over his last seven games: Beckham 72; Rueben Randle 44; Larry Donnell 31; Vereen and Dwayne Harris 31; Rashad Jennings 16. ... Belichick has earned his reputation for stymieing the opponent's top weapon. It's a real thing and is discussed in team meetings, as Ross Tucker can attest. That, of course, does not mean top weapons can't get any production against New England; Antonio Brown dropped a 9-133-1 number on the Patriots in Week 1, Sammy Watkins went 6-60-1 against them in Week 2, and T.Y. Hilton turned in 6-74-1 versus New England in Week 6. Expectations should be lowered for Beckham, but he still makes for a mid-range WR1 play and an intriguing DFS tournament option. If the Giants are going to hit their scoring approximation, it will most likely occur on OBJ's back. ... Randle hit pay dirt for the first time since Week 4 in last Sunday's win over Tampa Bay, but he has topped 55 yards in just 2-of-9 games this season. While Randle is sure to see single coverage in this one, he has not consistently shown the ability to win against man and remains a low-ceiling, low-floor WR3 option. ... Slot man Harris flopped in a prime matchup against the Bucs last week, managing one yard on three targets. An inconsistent part of New York's passing game, Harris is a WR4/5 against the Pats. ... UDFA Will Tye got the start in place of Donnell in Week 9. Tye played 66% of the snaps and saw six targets, but dropped one and only caught two for 19 yards. The Patriots are allowing the eighth fewest fantasy points to tight ends. Tye would be a poor streamer.
Score Prediction: Patriots 27, Giants 21
Kansas City @ Denver
The Vegas total on Chiefs-Broncos is 42 points, with host Denver favored by 6.5. Coming off a Week 9 bye, Kansas City's team total is concerningly low at under 18 points. ... Limited in skill level and incapable of elevating those around him, Alex Smith is a risk-averse quarterback who needs his supporting cast to function at its highest possible level in order to play effectively himself. Against an elite Denver defense that returns home for an obvious bounce-back spot following last week's road loss, Smith's supporting cast probably won't have much success. The Broncos lead the NFL in sacks (30), rank No. 1 in Football Outsiders' pass-defense DVOA, and have allowed the third fewest passing touchdowns in football (7). The Broncos are allowing just 14.3 points per game at home. In a bad matchup with a low-scoring approximation, Smith is barely two-QB-league viable. ... Seeing Jamaal Charles-esque usage, Charcandrick West has logged snap rates of 88% and 84% in his last two games while handling touch totals of 24 and 24. Although West's usage is bankable enough for every-week RB2 treatment in season-long leagues, his Week 10 matchup is daunting against a Broncos defense holding opposing RBs to 3.31 yards per carry. Even in the likely event West fails to hit pay dirt, he should have a chance to pay off in PPR against a Denver defense allowing the tenth most running back receptions.
Smith's target distribution with Jeremy Maclin in the lineup this year: Maclin 61; Travis Kelce 49; Chris Conley 19; Albert Wilson 17; De'Anthony Thomas 16; West 15. ... The Broncos have yielded one touchdown pass to opposing wide receivers. Their two Week 9 TD passes allowed went to Colts TE Jack Doyle and RB Ahmad Bradshaw. Maclin owners can try to hang their hats on the fact that T.Y. Hilton (5-82) and Griff Whalen (5-73) both had a modicum of success versus Denver's secondary last week, in addition to Aqib Talib's one-game suspension. Ultimately, Maclin would do very well to return top-20 wideout stats in a game where he figures to be shadowed by lockdown Broncos CB Chris Harris. ... The Broncos haven't been much friendlier to opposing tight ends, ranking 19th in fantasy points allowed to the position. Kelce is sixth among tight ends in per-game scoring and therefore is an every-week starter in season-long leagues, but he is another Chiefs player for whom Week 10 expectations need to be tempered.
Favored by nearly a touchdown at home, the Broncos host the Chiefs with a team total just above 24. ... Looking sharper but not nearly his old self since Denver's Week 7 bye, Peyton Manning is 42-of-65 passing (64.6%) for 621 yards (64.6%) with a 2:3 TD-to-INT ratio over his last two games. Manning turned in his best fantasy performance of the season against these same Chiefs in Week 2, throwing three touchdown passes and engineering a comeback win en route to that week's No. 14 fantasy quarterback score. Kansas City has permitted a 16:8 TD-to-INT ratio to enemy passers and ranks a middling 14th in pass-defense DVOA. Peyton is back on the QB1 fringe this week. ... C.J. Anderson and Ronnie Hillman get a tougher Week 10 matchup versus a Chiefs defense rested off its bye and holding running backs to 3.98 yards per carry with just four rushing TDs allowed in eight games. Anderson and Hillman continued to rotate near evenly in last week's loss to Indianapolis, with Anderson managing eight touches on 52% of the snaps and Hillman logging seven on 46% of the downs. Anderson and Hillman are both low-floor flex options whose ceilings are capped by timeshare usage and this week's difficult draw.
Peyton's target distribution since the Broncos' bye: Demaryius Thomas 18; Emmanuel Sanders 16; Owen Daniels 12; Bennie Fowler 6; Virgil Green 4; Anderson and Andre Caldwell 3; Hillman 2; Vernon Davis 1. ... A dozen different wideouts have topped 80 yards against this year's Chiefs, who are allowing the most fantasy points in the league to wide receivers. Thomas and Sanders are both borderline WR1s versus Kansas City. ... Davis only played nine snaps in last week's Broncos debut against the Colts, but his playing time will grow steadily at Daniels and Green's expense. Daniels' 6-102-1 outburst in Indy looks like a classic outlier considering he entered Week 9 having failed to clear 50 yards in each of Denver's first seven games. It was also a byproduct of Vontae Davis' coverage on Demaryius. Expect Demaryius to bounce back and Daniels' production to return to Earth against a Chiefs defense permitting the NFL's fewest fantasy points to tight ends. Daniels went 3-19-0 when Denver visited Arrowhead in Week 2.
Score Prediction: Broncos 23, Chiefs 17
Sunday Night Football
Arizona @ Seattle
Cardinals-Seahawks has a 44.5-point total with host Seattle favored by three. The Cards' team total is below 21 points. ... Fresh off a Week 9 bye, the Seahawks' defense presents an imposing matchup for red-hot Carson Palmer. The Seahawks have held opposing offenses to an average of 15.8 points over their last five games, while ranking ninth in pass-defense DVOA with six touchdown passes allowed, second fewest in the league. Although Seattle has shown some vulnerability to quick-hitting passing games during the Pete Carroll era, Arizona's Bruce Arians coaches a vertical-oriented style. Still, Palmer should be able to generate a handful of big plays so long as he targets Seattle's Nos. 2 and 3 cornerbacks while avoiding Richard Sherman. At worst, Palmer should stay in play as a low-end QB1. ... Even more stout on the ground, Seattle has permitted just 3.59 yards per carry and two rushing touchdowns to enemy running backs through eight games. Chris Johnson remains entrenched as the Cardinals' lead back, but he did lose two fumbles in Arizona's Week 8 win over Cleveland. While none of the Cardinals backs are strong fantasy options, don't be surprised if Andre Ellington sees an uptick in usage in a matchup where Arizona would be smart to involve its tailbacks in the passing game more than run them into a brick wall. Despite Arians' pledge to get Ellington more touches against the Browns, Ellington logged only 33% of the snaps and touched the ball three times, gaining zero yards. This would be a sensible opportunity for Arians to make good on his Ellington vow.
As John Brown has battled hamstring injuries and a healthy Michael Floyd has emerged as the Cardinals' top playmaker, Arians stated during the bye that Floyd would "probably" start over Brown in the second half of the season. The Cardinals, of course, run a base three-wide offense wherein playing time won't be difficult to come by for either of Arizona's top outside receivers. Far more concerning for Brown, Floyd, and slot man Larry Fitzgerald is the shadow coverage of Richard Sherman, who traveled with Dez Bryant (2-12), Torrey Smith (0-0), and A.J. Green (6-78) before Seattle's Week 9 bye. I'd be pretending if I claimed to know which wideout Sherman will track this week. It's also possible he stays at left corner all game and simply covers whichever player lines up across from him. The good news is Arizona's receivers all move around a lot and will each get their fair share of opportunities against RCB Cary Williams and slot CB DeShawn Shead, who have been disasters in pass coverage this season. As the favorite for targets, Fitzgerald is a mid-range to low-end WR2 play in Seattle. Floyd and Brown are upside WR3s.
Seattle's team total is a tick below 24 as a three-point favorite at home. ... Russell Wilson has been one of the biggest disappointments among fantasy quarterbacks this year, but his dual-threat playing style matches up favorably versus Arizona's man-coverage scheme, while Wilson had a ton of success against the Cardinals last year. Although the Cards have since replaced DC Todd Bowles with James Bettcher, their defensive principles have stayed intact. In last season's two 'Hawks-Cards games, Wilson went 37-of-53 (69.8%) for 550 yards (10.4 YPA) with three TD passes and no INTs, plus rushing lines of 10-73 and 6-88-1. I like Wilson as an upside QB1 play and in DFS tournaments, where he's likely to have low ownership based on Wilson's pedestrian to-date stats. ... Arizona always poses a tough matchup for opposing ground attacks, limiting RBs to 3.54 yards per carry and just two rushing TDs through eight games. The Cards are No. 3 in Football Outsiders' run-defense DVOA. Marshawn Lynch still projects for a voluminous workload after a Week 9 bye that allowed Lynch to fully recover from his early-season calf and hamstring injuries. And Lynch's outlook is always boosted when Seattle is a home favorite.
Wilson's target distribution over his last five games: Jimmy Graham 37; Tyler Lockett 21; Doug Baldwin 20; Fred Jackson 14; Jermaine Kearse 13; Luke Willson 9; Lynch 5. ... The Cardinals are permitting the second fewest fantasy points to tight ends, but they did cough up 7-53-1 to Gary Barnidge in Week 8, and 7-73 to Ravens tight ends in Week 7. Graham has seen double-digit targets in two of his last three games and is a quality TE1 play on Sunday Night Football. ... The exciting news is that Lockett leads Seahawks wideouts in targets over their last five games. The less-exciting news is he's only averaging 4.2 targets per game during that stretch and runs most of his pass routes on the perimeter, where Patrick Peterson lines up. As usual, Lockett is a mere WR3/flex dice roll with all kinds of big-play ability but goose-egg potential, as well. ... Lightly targeted rotational players along with Lockett and Chris Matthews, Baldwin and Kearse are safe to ignore in fantasy lineup decisions. Baldwin has drawn five targets or more just once over Seattle's last six games. Kearse hasn't seen five targets in a game since September.
Score Prediction: Seahawks 24, Cardinals 20
Monday Night Football
Houston @ Cincinnati
Hosting the 3-5 Texans as 10.5-point favorites, the Bengals have an appealing team total of 29 points. ... Even against a Browns defense that can't stop the run, Cincinnati continued to play aggressive passing offense two Thursday nights ago, carving up Cleveland on crossers and intermediate routes while exploiting personnel mismatches with Tyler Eifert. The Bengals are playing three-wide, shotgun-heavy offense after being an I-formation, power-running team in 2014. The successful schematic shift has played a major role in Andy Dalton's breakout year and Giovani Bernard's increased effectiveness. On Monday night, Dalton will face a Texans pass defense that ranks 17th in DVOA with a 16:6 TD-to-INT ratio allowed. This year's No. 3 overall quarterback in fantasy points per game, Dalton is a top-shelf QB1. ... On paper, Week 9 versus Cleveland seemed like a perfect opportunity for the Bengals to "get Jeremy Hill going" on a high volume of carries and run the ball with power. Instead, Gio and Hill rotated drives evenly with Bernard handling virtually every third-down play. Hill will remain involved in the offense, but it's quite clear Gio is a superior fit for Cincinnati's pass-oriented attack, and that the Bengals are committed to playing that style of offense. Gio is a quality RB2/flex option in PPR leagues. Even in a plus draw versus a Houston defense generously submitting 4.43 yards per carry to opposing running backs, Hill can't be trusted as more than a low-floor, touchdown-dependent RB2.
Dalton's target distribution since the Bengals' Week 7 bye: A.J. Green 23; Eifert 14; Marvin Jones 11; Mohamed Sanu 6; Gio 4; Hill 1. ... Getting sub-par cornerback play while enduring repeated benchings at safety, Houston dished out receiving lines of 5-83-2 (Jarvis Landry), 6-77-2 (Andre Johnson), 6-86-1 (Allen Robinson), 3-75-1 (Rishard Matthews), 8-87 (Bryan Walters), and 5-88 (T.Y. Hilton) in four games prior to its Week 9 bye. When the Bengals visited the Texans in Week 12 last season, Green shredded Romeo Crennel's defense for a 12-121 number despite playing through a debilitating toe injury. Green will run most of his Week 9 routes at up-and-down Texans rookie RCB Kevin Johnson. ... In a mammoth breakout year, Eifert is on pace for a 74-868-18 receiving line through eight games. The Texans are only 16th in fantasy points allowed to tight ends, but they did cough up 6-106-2 to Travis Kelce in Week 1, 6-70 to Greg Olsen in Week 2, 7-78-1 to Julius Thomas in Week 6, and 8-80 to Titans tight ends in Week 8. Eifert's ceiling is always massive, and I'd be comfortable with his floor this week. ... Jones' capability of going off in a given week is never in doubt, but his usage cooperates inconsistently. He's topped six targets just three times and has finished under 50 yards in half of his games. On Monday night, Jones will predominately run routes at LCB Johnathan Joseph, who has been Houston's top cover corner. I don't think it's a great week to bet on Jones.
Houston returns from its bye week as a 10.5-point road dog with a team total of 18.5 points. ... Alfred Blue operated as the Texans' lead runner before the open date, logging 19 touches on 50% of Houston's snaps in Week 8 against Tennessee. Chris Polk was second in line, playing 23% of the downs with nine touches. Passing-down specialist Jonathan Grimes wasn't needed much (27%, two touches) as the Texans controlled the game against a non-competitive, Zach Mettenberger-quarterbacked Titans team, ultimately winning 20-6. If Houston does play this one from behind as the Vegas line suggests they will, Grimes could end up leading the corps in usage. Even against a mediocre Bengals run defense submitting 4.94 yards per carry to enemy RBs, lead back Blue will be a dangerously low-floor RB2/flex play. ... Due to solid, consistent cornerback play and a formidable pass rush, Cincinnati's defensive strength is versus the pass. Whereas the Bengals rank 17th in run-defense DVOA, they are 11th in Football Outsiders' pass-defense metric and fifth in the league in sacks (23) with a 10:8 TD-to-INT ratio allowed. This is a better spot to tee up Cincinnati's D/ST than to stream Brian Hoyer.
In addition to Monday night's tough draw against Cincinnati's stout secondary, the return of slot man Cecil Shorts is concerning for Nate Washington's outlook. Washington has played in five games this year. His receiving lines with Shorts inactive are 9-127-2 and 4-74-1. Washington's numbers are 4-42-0, 3-63-0, and 6-105-0 with Shorts playing. Meanwhile, Shorts' stats are 4-57-0, 6-34-0, and 6-58-0 with Washington active versus 6-87-1 and 4-63-0 with Washington out. Role players fighting for looks behind DeAndre Hopkins, Washington and Shorts are both low-end WR3 options whose fantasy prospects hinge greatly on Houston falling behind on the scoreboard and racking up comeback-driven passes. ... Hopkins' matchup also isn't ideal, but coach Bill O'Brien's consistent movement of "Nuk" all over the formation sets up Hopkins for success even in difficult draws. The Bengals use their cornerbacks on a stationary basis, with Pacman Jones always at right corner, Leon Hall in the slot, and Dre Kirkpatrick on the left side. Kirkpatrick is Cincinnati's corner to target, ranking 109 among 111 qualifiers in PFF's grades. Hopkins will spend roughly 40% of Monday night's game lined up across from Kirkpatrick.
Score Prediction: Bengals 27, Texans 17