Last updated: November 9th at 5:40pm ET.
Cardinals at Bucs
Team Totals: Bucs 28, Cardinals 24
Visiting Tampa Bay on a mini-bye after giving undefeated San Francisco a 28-25 Thursday night run for its Week 9 money, the Cardinals’ passing game is set up to beat up Bucs DC Todd Bowles’ pass-funnel defense, which has yielded top-15 QB1 results in six straight games, including four top-five outcomes. Kenyan Drake’s addition and David Johnson’s (ankle) return add juice on offense, while Kyler Murray has mostly been a high-floor, high-ceiling rookie with top-15 scores in 6-of-9 weeks, including three top-seven finishes over his last five starts. Cards-Bucs offers all kinds of DFS game-stack possibilities with Murray as a potentially key component. … With Chase Edmonds (hamstring) still sidelined, Arizona’s backfield will morph into a two-man ordeal featuring Johnson and Week 9 star Drake, who poured 162 yards and a score on the previously-impenetrable 49ers after barely practicing with his new team. Kliff Kingsbury’s spread run game has shown matchup-proof tendencies, while Tampa’s run defense sprung Weeks 8-9 leaks by allowing 192 yards on 36 carries (5.33 YPC) to Titans and Seahawks backs. As Cards backs collectively average 25 touches per game, and backs facing the Bucs average 23, we can project 24 touches to divvy between Johnson and Drake. I’m giving them 12 apiece with leans toward the passing game and expected efficiency on the ground in a potential shootout. Both are upside RB2/flex plays.
Update: The Cardinals’ running game got a Friday boost when Bucs OLB Carl Nassib (groin) was ruled out. Nassib is one of the NFL’s premier edge-setting run defenders. His backup, rookie OLB Anthony Nelson, also will not play.
Kingsbury ran a horizontal passing attack in last week’s loss; not a single Cardinal topped 30 Air Yards. With Christian Kirk healthy, David Johnson returning to siphon targets, and Drake a plus receiver, the Cardinals lack a truly bankable fantasy pass catcher. … Here’s how Week 9 routes were distributed: Kirk and Larry Fitzgerald 27; Maxx Williams 15; KeeSean Johnson 14; Andy Isabella and Charles Clay 10; Pharoh Cooper 8; Trent Sherfield 1. … Despite Kirk and Fitzgerald’s recent lack of productivity, Sunday’s matchup is favorable enough for both to experience spiked weeks. Allowing the NFL’s most fantasy points to wide receivers, Tampa Bay is particularly vulnerable on the interior, where DC Todd Bowles’ secondary has hemorrhaged 684 yards and eight touchdowns on 96 slot targets (7.2 YPA), including big games to Tyler Lockett (13/152/2), Cooper Kupp (9/121/1), and Sterling Shepard (7/100/1). Kirk and Fitzgerald both run over 80% of their routes inside. An especially exciting DFS-tournament play, Kirk is popping in Week 10’s Buy Low Air Yards Model. Kirk did play outside far more than usual in Week 9’s loss to San Francisco, but it seemed out of necessity with Damiere Byrd (personal) inactive. … Williams offers mild matchup-based streamer appeal after playing a season-high 75% of Arizona’s Week 9 offensive snaps. Evan Engram (6/113/1), Jared Cook (6/78/1), Greg Olsen (6/110/0, 4/52/0), George Kittle (8/54/0), Gerald Everett (5/44/1), Anthony Firkser (3/43/0), Jared Cook (4/41/1), Tyler Higbee (4/41/0), Josh Hill (3/39/0), and Jacob Hollister (4/37/2) have all met or beaten PPR expectations against the Bucs. … Even after Isabella turned his first NFL catch into a thrilling 88-yard score in last week’s second half, Kingsbury insisted Isabella’s Week 10 role won’t change. He’ll keep sharing time with Byrd and KeeSean Johnson.
Forever a better fantasy than real-life quarterback, Jameis Winston returns home after dropping Week 9’s QB10 result on Seattle to face a Cardinals defense that’s been shredded by enemy passers for top-ten fantasy outcomes in 7-of-9 games and top-three QB1 finishes in three of the last four weeks. Both Arizona and Tampa Bay rank top five in offensive plays per game, foreshadowing a probable track meet. Jameis is playable in DFS cash games and tournaments, optimally in stacks with Chris Godwin. The Cardinals play man coverage at the NFL’s eighth-highest rate; Winston’s TD-to-INT ratio is 8-to-1 against man and 6-to-10 versus zone. … Finally anointing Ronald Jones as Tampa Bay’s lead back, Bruce Arians walked the talk by devoting year highs in snaps (55%), carries (18), touches (20), and routes run (18) to Jones against Seattle. Dare Ogunbowale remained involved as the Bucs’ passing-down and two-minute back but touched the ball twice. Peyton Barber was the biggest loser with four touches on 12% of the snaps. Even as Jones’ floor remains unsafe based on his still-minor passing-game role, he should be teed up confidently as an upside RB2 versus the Cardinals, against whom enemy backs are collectively averaging a generous 4.41 yards per carry and 28.3 touches per game. Another 20-plus-touch workload is firmly within Jones’ reach in this plus draw.
Jameis’ 2019 target distribution: Mike Evans 83; Chris Godwin 71; Ogunbowale 25; Breshad Perriman 24; Cameron Brate 21; O.J. Howard 18; Scott Miller 13; Barber 12; Jones 11; Bobo Wilson 10. … In addition to targets, Evans has more yards (842), touchdowns (7), and Air Yards (1,268) than Godwin (766/6/7/778). Evans is also averaging 2.57 yards per route run compared to Godwin’s 2.26. Now that we’ve determined who the Bucs’ best receiver actually is, we’ll expect the Cardinals agree and shadow Evans with Patrick Peterson. Thankfully, Peterson has struggled mightily since returning from his six-game suspension with completions allowed on 14-of-17 targets (82.4%) for 204 yards (12.0 YPA) and two scores. Evans ranks No. 2 in the NFL in targets of 20-plus yards downfield, while Arizona has surrendered the league’s second-most 20-plus-yard completions (39). Winston-to-Evans DFS stacks will likely be lower owned than they should be this week. … Godwin still has a better one-for-one matchup; the Cardinals have been drilled for 808 yards and a whopping ten touchdowns on 83 slot targets (9.73 YPA), while Godwin runs 64% of his routes inside. Godwin promisingly popped in Week 10’s Buy Low Air Yards Model. … Perriman is a sensible dart throw after he operated as Tampa Bay’s clear-cut No. 3 wideout in last week’s loss to Seattle, drew eight targets, and caught a touchdown pass off a deflection. Perriman has run 40-plus routes in each of the Bucs’ last two games. … Due back from his two-game hamstring injury, colossal fantasy bust Howard catches the best matchup he’ll face all year against a Cardinals defense allowing the NFL’s most fantasy points per game to tight ends. Brate barely played in last week’s defeat after aggravating his ribs injury at Seattle.
Score Prediction: Bucs 28, Cardinals 27
Falcons at Saints
Team Totals: Saints 32, Falcons 19
With beleaguered coach Dan Quinn surprisingly still in command, the Falcons return from their Week 9 bye for a tough road draw at the Saints, who’ve held each of their last five quarterbacks faced to fantasy results of QB14 or worse while ranking top ten in sack rate (7.8%) and QB Hit Rate (15.9%). Four of New Orleans’ last seven opponents have scored ten or fewer points. While Atlanta’s elite weaponry and this game’s shootout potential indoors keep Matt Ryan afloat as a QB1 season-long and DFS-tournament play, his on-paper matchup is worrisome in Ryan’s first game back from his pre-bye high ankle sprain. … Devonta Freeman enters Week 10 with 16-plus touches in five of his last six games, struggling on the ground with a career-low 3.43 yards per carry but compensating with 4.4 catches per game as fantasy’s overall RB20 in weekly PPR scoring. As running back matchups don’t get tougher than the Saints – DC Dennis Allen’s defense has stymied enemy backs for 130/493/3 (3.79 YPC) rushing and an anemic 32.3 receiving yards per game – Freeman is purely a volume-driven RB2 at the Superdome. … The Falcons’ No. 2 running back role should be up for grabs with Ito Smith (knee, concussion, neck) unable to stay healthy and Brian Hill providing a Weeks 7-8 spark off the bench. Freeman lacks a clear handcuff at this point.
Update: The Falcons placed Ito Smith (concussion) on injured reserve, ending his season. Brian Hill is now officially entrenched as Devonta Freeman‘s handcuff and is worth stashing in deeper-bench leagues as part of a high-scoring offense down the stretch.
Ryan’s 2019 target distribution: Julio Jones 61; Austin Hooper 52; Calvin Ridley 44; Freeman 32; Smith 14; Russell Gage, Justin Hardy, and Luke Stocker 8; Hill 2. … Allen has defended Atlanta’s wideouts in a variety of ways, at times shadowing Julio with Marshon Lattimore and at others doubling Julio with Lattimore chasing Ridley. Nevertheless, Julio’s four robust stat lines against the Saints since Lattimore entered the league are 11/147/0 > 5/96/0 > 7/149/0 > 5/98/0. Jones is a no-fear top-five WR1 play with ample DFS-tournament appeal. … Hooper leads all NFC tight ends in routes run from the slot, where the Saints have conceded 44 completions on 65 slot targets (68%) for 485 yards (7.5 YPA) and four TDs. With 75-plus yards and/or a touchdown in 6-of-8 games, Hooper is arguably the Falcons’ safest skill-position play at New Orleans. … Ridley’s two rookie receiving lines against the Saints were 8/93/1 and 7/146/3. His arrow still pointing up after the Mohamed Sanu trade, Ridley is an upside WR2 play who happens to be popping in Week 10’s Buy Low Air Yards Model. … Gage replaced Sanu at slot receiver in Atlanta’s pre-bye loss to Seattle, drawing nine Matt Schaub targets and running 38 routes on 57% of the snaps. The Saints have yielded at- or above-expectation stat lines to fellow slot WRs Tyler Lockett (11/154/1), Chris Godwin (7/125/2), Cooper Kupp (5/120/0), Christian Kirk (8/79/0), Anthony Miller (5/64/0), and Kenny Stills (3/37/1). Gage is a PPR-specific WR4 option.
Back to full strength offensively, the Saints come off their bye for an immediate smash spot against Dan Quinn’s matador defense, which surrendered top-12 fantasy results to six of its last seven quarterbacks faced while providing enemy passers with squeaky-clean pockets by ranking dead last in sack rate (2.7%) and bottom five in QB Hit Rate (11.7%). The Falcons have two sacks in their last five games. Especially after flaming Arizona for Week 8’s QB4 result, Drew Brees needs to be locked into season-long lineups and teed up aggressively in DFS stacks with Michael Thomas. … Alvin Kamara should be all systems go after resting his ankle for the last three weeks and also warrants serious consideration in Saints team stacks. Before going down, Kamara’s consecutive touch counts were 25 > 20 > 22 > 19, while Atlanta generates tackles for loss at the NFL’s sixth-lowest rate (17.7%) and surrenders 29.9 touches per game to enemy backs. Even if Weeks 7-8 star Latavius Murray has earned more work, this week’s matchup suggests both Saints runners offer fantasy viability, Kamara as an RB1 and Murray as a workable flex.
Brees’ 2019 target distribution: Michael Thomas 26; Murray 15; Ted Ginn 10; Kamara 8; Josh Hill 6; Jared Cook and Taysom Hill 5; Tre’Quan Smith 3. … Thomas’ recent box-score results are surprisingly uneven in Falcons meetings at 4/38/0 > 10/129/0 > 4/66/0 > 10/117/1 in their last four. Thomas is playing at a career-best level this season, however, with 89-plus yards and/or a touchdown in 8-of-8 games. The Falcons are allowing the NFL’s fourth-most fantasy points per game to enemy wideouts. … New Orleans’ only other fantasy-viable wide receiver, Ginn is always a big-play-dependent WR4 dart throw. His three receiving lines against Atlanta since joining the Saints are 3/21/1 > 4/76/1 > 2/10/0. … Due back from his three-week ankle injury, Cook catches a Falcons defense that has surrendered 27 completions on 38 tight end targets (71%) for 301 yards (7.92 YPA) and four touchdowns since losing SS Keanu Neal (Achilles) six games ago. Despite his disappointing to-date fantasy season, this is a sensible week to tee up Cook in a plus matchup and game that could develop into a shootout inside the dome.
Score Prediction: Saints 35, Falcons 21
Bills at Browns
Team Totals: Browns 22, Bills 19
Up to 6-2 after last Sunday’s smooth-sailing win over Washington, the Bills visit Cleveland with a new lead back in Devin Singletary, who tallied Week 9 career highs in carries (21), touches (24), and total yards (140) while out-snapping Frank Gore 66% to 34%. Cleveland has kindly yielded 187/907/5 (4.85 YPC) rushing to enemy backs, presenting Singletary with a plus matchup in what projects as a neutral-script game where Buffalo’s offense should stay balanced and feed its dynamic rookie. Singletary is an upside RB2 play. … Reduced to an early-down backup grinder, Gore has been all but eliminated from Buffalo’s passing game with exactly five routes run in consecutive weeks and just one target since Week 5. He’ll be a low-floor, low-ceiling flex option going forward. … Josh Allen’s 2019 season has lacked the ceiling games that were frequent during his rookie campaign in an offense designed to counteract his wild, sometimes-detrimental ways. Likewise, the Browns’ defense held six of its last quarterbacks faced to fantasy outcomes of QB16 or worse. Still fantasy’s overall QB12 in points per game, Allen is a viable Week 10 season-long starter with a more favorable matchup on deck in Week 11 against the Dolphins.
Allen’s 2019 target distribution: John Brown 55; Cole Beasley 50; Dawson Knox 24; Singletary 16; Isaiah McKenzie 11; Duke Williams 7; Tyler Kroft and Robert Foster 5. … On pace for 84 receptions and 1,206 yards, Brown has lacked his usual spiked-week ceiling this year but continues to stay consistent with 50-plus yards and five-plus targets in 8-of-8 games. Cleveland’s secondary presents a neutral matchup, ranking 20th in fantasy points allowed to wide receivers. Due to Allen’s aggressiveness and Brown’s innate separation skills, however, Brown has matchup-proof traits and should be treated as a confident every-week WR2. … Beasley’s matchup is better against the Browns’ slot coverage, which Cooper Kupp (11/102/2), Julian Edelman (8/78/2), Tyler Lockett (5/75/0), Willie Snead (2/61/1) all shredded in the last five weeks. Beasley leads Buffalo in red-zone targets and targets inside the ten, helping to explain why he’s scored a touchdown in three straight games. Beasley has earned every-week WR3 treatment in PPR leagues. … Even as Knox has remained Buffalo’s primary tight since Kroft (foot) returned two games ago, Knox’s ensuing target counts were 1 and 2 with significant reductions in pass routes run. As rookie Knox, blocker Lee Smith, and veteran Kroft are all sharing time, Buffalo’s tight end situation has become a fantasy situation to avoid. … McKenzie – not Foster – operated as the Bills’ clear-cut third receiver in Williams’ (shoulder) Week 9 absence. Even special teamer Andre Roberts ran ahead of Foster. This passing game will continue to struggle to support more than Brown and Beasley as fantasy options.
The Browns return home after a flatly embarrassing loss to the Brandon Allen-quarterbacked Broncos to face a vastly superior-coached Bills team that is allowing the NFL’s third-fewest points per game (16.4) and has answers for Cleveland’s perpetually inept passing offense. The Browns’ best shot at generating consistent Week 10 chain movement will be to feed Nick Chubb; enemy backs have roughed up Bills coach Sean McDermott’s defense for 170/777/7 (4.57 YPC) rushing and nine all-purpose TDs through eight games. Kareem Hunt’s return from suspension does threaten Chubb’s ceiling – hotseat coach Freddie Kitchens promised this week that Hunt will have a defined role in his Browns debut – but Chubb has more than earned continued bellcow treatment with PFF’s No. 7 Elusive Rating among 47 qualified running backs and 17-plus touches in 8-of-8 games on an otherwise dysfunctional Browns team. Per Sports Info Solutions, Chubb leads the NFL in yards per carry over the past two seasons when facing fewer than eight defenders in the box. The Bills have stacked eight-plus man boxes on a league-low 0.4% of their 2019 plays. I’m standing by Chubb as an RB1 in this plus draw and waiting and seeing on Hunt’s initial role. … With just one top-12 fantasy outcome in eight starts, Baker Mayfield is an easy Week 10 fade outside of two-quarterback leagues. 7-of-8 passers to face Buffalo have finished with fantasy results of QB17 or worse.
Mayfield’s 2019 target distribution: Odell Beckham 67; Jarvis Landry 66; Chubb 32; Antonio Callaway 15; Ricky Seals-Jones and Dontrell Hilliard 14; Damion Ratley and Demetrius Harris 13; Rashard Higgins 6. … Beckham seems certain to draw Week 10 shadow coverage from Tre’Davious White, who’s given up one touchdown in his last 18 games and this year has allowed a 49.8 passer rating when targeted, fifth lowest among 115 qualified corners. Just 24th among wide receivers in PPR points this season, OBJ is a risky WR2 in this tough draw. … Fresh off busting his seven-game touchdown slump in Denver, slot man Landry is a better bet to win inside versus Buffalo’s zone coverage. With 50-plus yards in 6-of-8 games, Landry is a solid-if-unspectacular WR3 play versus the Bills. … Undeservedly running ahead of Higgins as the Browns’ No. 3 wideout, Callaway finally made a positive play on last week’s 41-yard catch and run. On the season, Callaway has 89 scoreless yards to show for his 15 targets (5.93 YPT). … Not a single tight end has cleared 50 yards against the Bills this year. Let’s look elsewhere for TE1 streamers.
Score Prediction: Bills 23, Browns 20
Ravens at Bengals
Team Totals: Ravens 28, Bengals 18
With Russell Wilson visiting San Francisco and Deshaun Watson on bye, MVP candidate Lamar Jackson deserves to be Week 10’s top-projected fantasy quarterback against Cincinnati’s swiss-cheese defense, which Jackson melted for 388 all-purpose yards and Week 6’s QB2 finish. The Bengals have supported high fantasy floors by permitting top-16 quarterback results in seven straight games, including top-eight scores to Jared Goff, Kyler Murray, Jimmy Garoppolo, and Lamar himself. Jackson has been a top-ten QB1 in 7-of-8 starts. … Week 10 also sets up beautifully for Mark Ingram; Cincinnati has been pounded for 203/986/8 (4.86 YPC) rushing and 11 all-purpose TDs by enemy backs in eight games. Ingram’s light receiving usage and Gus Edwards’ consistent change-up role remain concerns for his ceiling, but this is one of the best matchups Ingram will get all year. He’s worth DFS team-stack discussion in a game where Baltimore should approach or exceed 30 points. … Albeit of the touchdown-dependent variety, Edwards is flex-play viable with an average of 7.2 touches over Baltimore’s last six games. 22% of Edwards touches have come in the red zone this season. Collectively, running backs facing Cincinnati are averaging 30.9 touches per game. This matchup sets up for Edwards to flirt with double-digit touches.
Jackson’s post-bye target distribution: Nick Boyle 5; Marquise Brown 4; Ingram and Mark Andrews 3; Willie Snead and Hayden Hurst 2; Justice Hill 1. … Boyle’s Week 9 role was pronounced due to the Ravens’ run-first approach and early lead versus New England, establishing year highs in snaps (84%) and targets and scoring his first touchdown in 56 NFL games. Boyle’s 5/27/1 stat line isn’t worth chasing into Week 10. … Brown unsurprisingly drew shadow coverage from Stephon Gilmore, even beating the NFL’s top corner twice on short-area targets for gains of 6 and 16. As the Bengals rank bottom two in sacks (9) and QB hits (26), this game sets up better for Brown to get open deep. Cincinnati has allowed the NFL’s fifth-most completions of 20-plus yards and an AFC-high 8.8 yards per pass attempt. Brown is an upside WR3 play in this plus draw. … Whereas Boyle benefited from Cincinnati’s game plan against the Patriots, Andrews suffered with season lows in routes run (14) and snaps (34%). Andrews shredded the Bengals (6/99/0) when these teams met in Week 6, while teams targeting tight ends against Cincy are averaging a whopping 9.94 yards per attempt. Brown and Andrews are both playable in DFS-tournament stacks with Jackson. Andrews also popped as Week 10’s No. 1 buy-low tight end in Josh Hermsmeyer’s Air Yards Model. … Ravens ancillary pass catchers remain hands off in fantasy.
The Bengals decided during their Week 9 bye that playing fourth-round pick Ryan Finley made more sense than continuing to trot out purgatory passer Andy Dalton. Of the Brandon Weeden archetype, Finley turns 25 in December and probably isn’t Cincinnati’s long-term answer, but he did handle himself capably this preseason, completing 73.4% of his August passes with three touchdowns and one pick. Finley adds minimal mobility behind Cincinnati’s swinging-gate offensive line, however, and projects as a quarterback to aggressively stream defenses against. 7-of-8 DSTs to face the Bengals have logged top-15 fantasy results, including six top-12 finishes. … Even as Joe Mixon delivered his season-best fantasy game in Cincinnati’s pre-bye loss to the Rams (17.7 PPR points), Mixon managed an anemic 3.7 yards per touch and just barely played over half of the Bengals’ offensive snaps (53%). On an 0-8 team averaging 15.5 points per game and now installing a day-three rookie at quarterback, Mixon’s 2019 season continues to look like a lost cause. He’s a low-floor, low-ceiling RB2/flex option against the Ravens.
A.J. Green (ankle) is tentatively slated to make his 2019 debut against Baltimore’s full-deck secondary, which added Marcus Peters before the trade deadline and got back Jimmy Smith (knee) in last week’s win over New England. Green’s matchup is imposing and his rapport with Finley nonexistent. I’m putting him on a wait-and-see week in season-long leagues. … The frequent victim of early-season double teams with Cincinnati missing Green and John Ross (collarbone, I.R.), Tyler Boyd has a chance to benefit from AJG’s return. Fellow slot-type WRs Jarvis Landry (8/167/0), Christian Kirk (6/114/0), Larry Fitzgerald (5/104/0), Julian Edelman (10/89/0), Mohamed Sanu (10/81/1), JuJu Smith-Schuster (7/75/1), and Tyler Lockett (5/61/1) have scored big against Baltimore. Boyd is a volume-drive WR3 play in a game where the Bengals project to play from behind. It can’t hurt that Boyd popped as Week 10’s No. 2 buy-low player in Josh Hermsmeyer’s Air Yards Model. … Auden Tate and Alex Erickson are the top candidates to round out Cincinnati’s three-wideout sets with Tate as the favorite but a rotation possible in Green’s first game back. Tate and Erickson are high-risk WR4 options with uncertain roles in Finley’s first career start. It does help Tate that he’s popping as Week 10’s No. 6 wideout in Josh Hermsmeyer’s Buy Low Air Yards Model. … Heavily rumored to be on the trade block, Tyler Eifert’s snaps (71%), routes run (43), targets (9), and production (6/74/0) suddenly spiked to season highs in Cincinnati’s pre-bye loss to the Rams. Before that, Eifert hadn’t topped 27 yards in a 2019 game. Speculation is the usage increase was implemented in an effort to “showcase” Eifert. Eifert should be added by season-long fantasy owners in tight end binds, but I’d like to see Eifert used like that at least once more before confidently teeing him up.
Score Prediction: Ravens 30, Bengals 17
Lions at Bears
Team Totals: Bears 22.5, Lions 19.5
Update: Saturday reports labeled Matthew Stafford legitimately questionable due to neck and back injuries that limited him during the practice week. As Stafford is backed up by athletic but well-below-par passer Jeff Driskel, all Lions skill-position players would take sizable hits were Stafford to miss Sunday’s game. Stafford is expected to be a full-blown game-time decision.
Red-hot Matthew Stafford visits Soldier Field with four top-six fantasy outcomes in his last five starts to face his toughest to-date challenge against a Bears defense that hasn’t allowed a single enemy passer to finish above QB15. Even as DC Chuck Pagano’s unit has taken several steps back from Vic Fangio’s 2018 group, Chicago has held Aaron Rodgers (QB23), Kirk Cousins (QB25), Philip Rivers (QB24), and Carson Wentz (QB19) to undesirable fantasy scores. Stafford’s pass catchers have enough matchup advantages that he could buck this trend, but most signs point toward a down week in what projects as a low-scoring affair. … Chicago’s main defensive deficiency is on the ground, where it was clocked for 93/438/7 (4.71 YPC) rushing by enemy backs over its last four games. Placing Tra Carson (hamstring) on I.R. and all but eliminating Paul Perkins (three snaps) from the rotation, the Lions deployed a two-back timeshare of Ty Johnson and J.D. McKissic in last week’s loss to Oakland. Johnson paced the backfield in snaps (61%) and touches (12) but was outplayed by McKissic, who parlayed his seven touches into 72 yards and a score. As the Bears have allowed the NFL’s fourth-most catches (54) and eighth-most receiving yards to running backs (405), Johnson and McKissic are risky but flex-play viable in this favorable draw.
Stafford’s 2019 target distribution: Kenny Golladay 62; Marvin Jones 57; Danny Amendola 44; T.J. Hockenson 38; McKissic 17; Johnson 16; Jesse James 14; Logan Thomas 9; Marvin Hall 8. … Golladay visits Soldier Field with 100-plus yards and/or a touchdown in 6-of-8 games and a 16-week pace of 70/1,280/14. He leads the NFL in targets inside the ten-yard line (9). An every-week WR1, Golladay’s last two receiving lines against the Bears are 5/90/0 and 6/78/1. Per Sports Info Solutions, Stafford’s on-target accuracy rate improves from 39% to 60% on 15-plus-yard downfield throws in clean pockets; the Bears’ defense has generated pressure on just 31% of dropbacks, eighth lowest in the NFL. … As running back casualties have forced Detroit into a pass-first approach, Jones has leapt to top 15 in the NFL in Air Yards (774) and is averaging a 5.5/72.7/1.0 stat line over his last six games. Jones’ lack of consistency keeps him in WR2/3 territory at Chicago, which has allowed the NFL’s third-fewest fantasy points to receivers. … Amendola’s box-score production has been even less sturdy with 95-plus yards in 3-of-7 appearances, under 40 yards in each of the other four, and zero touchdowns since Week 1. Bears CB Buster Skrine is beatable in the slot, but Amendola is always a shaky WR3/flex option specific to PPR leagues. … Hockenson has run 23 routes or fewer in six of the Lions’ last seven games and played less than 70% of Detroit’s offensive snaps in every game since Week 2. For comparison’s sake, Greg Olsen averages 32.9 routes run per game. Hockenson simply isn’t a big enough part of the Lions’ passing offense for more than low-end streamer treatment.
Mitchell Trubisky’s toilet-swirling career reached a new low in Chicago’s pathetic Week 9 effort at Philly, going 10-of-21 for 125 scoreless yards against one of the NFL’s poorest pass defenses. Nearly replaced by Chase Daniel at halftime, Trubisky should now face weekly risk of in-game benchings for fear of Matt Nagy losing the locker room. … Chicago’s best means of generating offense remains David Montgomery, who has topped 70% snap rates in consecutive games with 48 touches during that span. Gashed by the Raiders last week, Detroit has hemorrhaged 200/903/9 (4.52 YPC) rushing and an NFL-high 64 receiving yards per game to enemy backs. Nearing true every-down-back status, Montgomery is a fringe RB1 play in this plum draw. … Averaging an anemic 2.4 yards per carry and 3.8 yards per target, Tarik Cohen’s snaps are deservedly being scaled back. He’s been droppable in non-return-yardage leagues for weeks.
Trubisky’s 2019 target distribution: Allen Robinson 55; Cohen 39; Taylor Gabriel 25; Montgomery and Anthony Miller 19; Trey Burton 16; Cordarrelle Patterson and Adam Shaheen 11; Mike Davis 8; Javon Wims 4. … Fantasy football’s biggest Week 9 bust relative to matchup-based expectations, Robinson managed six yards on five targets against the Eagles, partly because the Bears ran a season-low 42 plays, partly because Trubisky was terrible, and partly because Robinson simply didn’t make plays on the ball he’s usually good for. Still on pace for a 94/1,064/6 receiving line eight games in, Robinson is a bounce-back WR2 play against a Lions secondary allowing the NFL’s ninth-most fantasy points per game to wide receivers. … Gabriel hauled in a 53-yard bomb to give the Bears brief offensive life early in last week’s third quarter, only to turn in his 18th straight game of 75 yards or fewer. In a dysfunctional offense that struggles to support more than one consistent fantasy contributor, Gabriel is an every-week WR4. … Miller’s playing time has dipped in four straight weeks (77% > 75% > 50% > 41%), bottoming out with last week’s goose egg. … Burton also goosed at Philly and has yet to top 20 yards in a game this year.
Score Prediction: Lions 21, Bears 20
Chiefs at Titans
Team Totals: Chiefs 27, Titans 21
The Chiefs are tentatively expected to reinstall Patrick Mahomes (ankle) in Nashville after a full week of practice. On paper, Week 10’s matchup is imposing – Titans DC Dean Pees’ defense has permitted the NFL’s seventh-fewest points per game (18.3) and ranks bottom 12 in fantasy quarterback points allowed – but Tennessee is missing top DT Jurrell Casey (shoulder) and RCB Malcolm Butler (broken wrist) – and Mahomes is a matchup-proof talent, especially with his supporting cast at full speed. Tee up Mahomes as an obvious QB1 who may be lower owned than deserved in DFS tournaments. … LeSean McCoy’s ball-security woes and sluggish movement have propelled Damien Williams back to the forefront of Kansas City’s backfield; over the Chiefs’ last two games, Williams out-touched McCoy 21 to 17 and outgained him 158 to 72. In five quarters since McCoy’s Week 8 third-quarter lost fumble against the Packers, he’s been out-touched 21 to 4 by Williams, who put a Week 9 clown suit on Vikings S Harrison Smith for his 91-yard touchdown sprint. Matchups are irrelevant in Andy Reid’s backfields; all that matters is usage. Damien Williams’ usage has restored him into RB2 conversation. McCoy’s arrow is pointing downward.
Update: The Chiefs’ offensive outlook as a unit upgraded Friday when the Titans ruled out stud DT Jurrell Casey (shoulder).
Mahomes’ 2019 target distribution: Travis Kelce 52; Sammy Watkins 38; Demarcus Robinson 33; Mecole Hardman 29; Williams 17; McCoy 16; Byron Pringle 14; Darrel Williams and Tyreek Hill 12. … Even as Kelce hasn’t met pre-season expectations, only Austin Hooper has more raw PPR points among tight ends entering Week 10. This year’s Titans have permitted the NFL’s 12th-most yards to tight ends (453), a reminder that Kelce always warrants top-three TE1 treatment. … QB-proof Hill’s 16-game pace over his last four is 80/1,480/16 (18.5 YPR) with Matt Moore at the helm. Hill should destroy a Titans secondary unequipped to cover him even before losing CB Malcom Butler to a fractured wrist. … The Chiefs deploy Watkins as a low-aDOT possession receiver but his volume remains impossible to ignore with eight-plus targets in 5-of-6 appearances. Watkins is an upside WR3 whose ceiling will further rise should Mahomes start. … Robinson is indeed a role player who plays lots of snaps but does dirty work downfield. Andy Reid rarely designs plays to go in Robinson’s direction. … Same goes for explosive gadget man Hardman, yet Hardman plays far less than Robinson and will play less with Watkins back.
Fresh off a two-touchdown game that included season highs in routes run (21) and targets (3) against Carolina, Derrick Henry returns home for a softer draw versus K.C., which enemy backs have trucked for 223/1,057/6 (4.74 YPC) rushing and the NFL’s second-most receiving yards (568). Henry’s workloads are always secure with 16-plus touches in 9-of-9 weeks, while the mere possibility of him commanding more passing-game work bodes positively for Henry’s floor and ceiling. … Comeback script against Carolina translated to a season-high nine touches for Dion Lewis, who remains more of a Henry handcuff than standalone flex play. … Even in his worst game as a Titan, college WR Ryan Tannehill put his athleticism to use for a 4/38/1 rushing line and emerged with his third straight top-12 fantasy score against the Panthers. 6-of-9 quarterbacks to face K.C. have delivered top-12 outcomes, while Mahomes’ return would enhance Tannehill’s outlook by increasing this game’s shootout probability. The Chiefs have been unable to create pressure under first-year DC Steve Spagnuolo, ranking 20th in QB Hit Rate (14.6%). Tannehill ranks No. 8 among 36 qualified quarterbacks in passer rating on clean-pocket throws (115.0).
Tannehill’s 2019 target distribution: Corey Davis 22; A.J. Brown 20; Adam Humphries 18; Jonnu Smith 16; Tajae Sharpe 10; Lewis 9; Anthony Firkser 8; Henry 5; Delanie Walker 2. … Davis’ receiving lines in Tannehill’s three starts are 4/48/0 > 2/9/0 > 6/80/1, unsurprisingly uneven on a run-first team where no individual pass catcher is proactively featured. Since Davis (hip) barely practiced this week, Brown’s box-score expectation rose with an outside shot at double-digit targets should Davis sit. … Brown is the NFL’s No. 2 rookie receiver in yards per route run (2.04) behind only Marquise Brown (2.29). If Davis doesn’t play, Brown’s WR3/flex usability would rise significantly. I personally would even increase Brown into WR2 range, especially if Mahomes starts to enhance this game’s shootout potential. … Humphries is scoreless through nine weeks as a rotational receiver. He’s topped 65 yards in 1-of-9 games. … Walker (ankle) will miss another week, setting up Smith for TE1 streamer usability after Jonnu ran a year-high 31 routes in last Sunday’s loss to Carolina. Smith is a respectable Week 10 streamer against the Chiefs, who’ve allowed the NFL’s seventh-most receiving yards (523) to opposing tight ends.
Score Prediction: Chiefs 28, Titans 23
Giants at Jets
Team Totals: Giants 23.5, Jets 20.5
The Jets’ D/ST is among Week 10’s top streamers against the direly shorthanded Giants, who play on a short week following Monday night’s loss to Dallas without Evan Engram (foot) and Sterling Shepard (concussion), who’ve collectively accounted for nearly a third of Daniel Jones’ 2019 completions. Jones’ ball-security woes have persisted with a Jameis Winstonian 15 turnovers in seven starts, and he’s been sacked 16 times over New York’s last three games. Jones himself is just a two-QB-league play due to his weapons deficit and the Jets’ middling allowance of the NFL’s 15th-most fantasy points to quarterbacks. … Even as Gang Green has played lights out run defense to date – DC Gregg Williams’ unit has held enemy backs to 3.21 yards per carry – injuries to NT Steve McLendon (neck), ILBs C.J. Mosley (groin), and Blake Cashman (shoulder), and Week 9’s trade of DT Leonard Williams are likely to expose their up-front talent shortages sooner rather than later. Yielding the NFL’s fifth-most receiving yards per game to enemy backs (52.1), the Jets give Saquon Barkley a shot to bust his slump with just one game of 100-plus total yards since Week 2. Christian McCaffrey (@ GB) is Week 10’s only superior fantasy running back play to Barkley, whom I’d take straight up over Dalvin Cook (@ DAL) and Alvin Kamara (vs. ATL).
Update: The Giants ruled out starting C Jon Halapio (hamstring) and RT Mike Remmers (hamstring), further upgrading the Jets’ D/ST.
Jones’ Weeks 7-9 target distribution: Golden Tate 27; Barkley 23; Engram 20; Bennie Fowler 13; Cody Latimer and Darius Slayton 11; Rhett Ellison 9. … This sets up as an extreme-volume spot for Tate, who has six-plus catches in four straight games and dropped 6/102/1 on the typically impenetrable Patriots secondary when Engram and Shepard missed Week 6. The Jets have yielded completions on 28-of-36 (78%) slot targets in the last month; Tate runs 85% of his routes inside. Price permitting, Tate offers real DFS appeal. … Slayton is a sleeper for a spiked Week 10 after drawing a season-high eight targets in the aforementioned New England game and equaling his season high in routes run (49) last Monday night. Slayton is the Giants’ top perimeter threat; the Jets’ biggest pass-defense vulnerability remains outside, where CB Trumaine Johnson (ankle) is on I.R. and fellow starting CB Darryl Roberts pulled his calf after lashing out at fans on social media. … Fowler has clearly passed Latimer as the next man up at third receiver but hasn’t scored a touchdown or exceeded 51 yards all season. … Ellison played 100% of the Giants’ sans-Engram Week 6 snaps, drawing six targets against the Patriots. Ellison has hands of stone but offers desperation streamer appeal in PPR leagues. TEs Mike Gesicki (6/95/0), Zach Ertz (5/57/1), and Jason Witten (5/57/0) all tagged the Jets for useful production within New York’s last five games.
Even amid disastrous coaching and even-worse offensive line play, Week 10 provides Sam Darnold with a perfect on-paper opportunity to bust his three-game funk against a Giants defense that has yielded top-ten QB1 results in 7-of-9 weeks. The G-Men rank in the bottom half of the league in both sacks (22) and quarterback hits (48) and have coughed up an NFL-high 8.9 yards per pass attempt. Darnold’s recent performance is an increasing concern and obviously heightens his risk, but you couldn’t draw up a better slump-busting spot. Darnold is a boom-bust QB1 option. … Le’Veon Bell appears poised to gut out his early-week knee scare against a Giants defense that’s been gashed for 229/1,029/7 (4.49 YPC) rushing by enemy backs. Following a three-week stint of 16 touches or fewer, Le’Veon resumed high-volume bellcow usage in last Sunday’s loss to Miami with 121 yards on 25 touches, including nine targets and eight catches, season highs for Bell since Week 2. While Bell’s health status should be monitored closely into Sunday, he’ll be a matchup- and volume-driven RB1 play should he get the green light as expected.
Darnold’s 2019 target distribution: Jamison Crowder 45; Robby Anderson 33; Le’Veon 28; Demaryius Thomas and Ryan Griffin 21; Ty Montgomery 4. … Crowder comes off one of his best games of the year (8/83/1) for a pristine Week 10 draw; the Giants have been flamed for 572 yards on 61 slot targets (9.4 YPA). Albeit most valued in PPR-specific formats, Crowder is an underrated WR3 play with usage and matchup on his side. … Per Sports Info Solutions, Darnold’s percentage of deep-ball attempts leaps from 5% to 13% in clean pockets this season, while the pass rush-deficient Giants have surrendered the NFL’s second-most deep-ball completions (20) and deep-ball touchdowns (7). Darnold has targeted Anderson on 8-of-16 deep balls this year. Anderson is always a boom-bust play in the Jets’ dysfunctional passing game, but Sunday’s matchup ups his likelihood of booming. … Dealing with a hamstring injury, Thomas is a touchdown-or-bust WR4/flex option against the G-Men without a 65-yard game or a pay-dirt trip on the year. … Chris Herndon’s (hamstring) availability remains up in the air coming off a limited practice week. Griffin will offer streamer appeal if Herndon can’t go after piling up 116 yards and two TDs on 12 targets over his last two games. The Giants gave up nine catches to Cowboys tight ends last week.
Score Prediction: Jets 24, Giants 23
Dolphins at Colts
Team Totals: Colts 27, Dolphins 17
Off the winless schneid following last week’s eight-point victory over the even-more-hapless Jets, the Dolphins travel to Lucas Oil Stadium missing top WR Preston Williams (ACL) and virtually their entire running back depth chart. Despite facing a to-date schedule consisting of Patrick Mahomes, Deshaun Watson, Matt Ryan, and Philip Rivers, Colts DC Matt Eberflus’ unit has conceded the league’s eighth-fewest 20-plus-yard completions (23) and has yet to allow a weekly fantasy result above QB8 while holding six of its last seven quarterbacks faced to finishes of QB12 or worse. Meanwhile, 8-of-8 DSTs to face the Dolphins have tallied top-12 fantasy scores this year. Healthy on defense, the Colts represent one of Week 10’s premier streamer plays. Ryan Fitzpatrick is a low-end two-QB-league option. … With Kenyan Drake long gone to Arizona and Mark Walton serving a four-game suspension, the Dolphins’ running back corps has been reduced to mistake-prone Kalen Ballage, seventh-round pick Myles Gaskin, UDFA rookie Patrick Laird, and Ravens castoff De’Lance Turner. Ballage is the lone member of his group to have logged a single offensive snap for the Dolphins this year. Laird has paid special teams dues after leading Miami in preseason rushing with 114 yards on a 4.6 per-carry average, and seems in line to be the No. 2 back with Gaskin third. Ballage is the only playable Week 10 option as a desperation flex.
Fitzpatrick’s 2019 target distribution: Williams 37; DeVante Parker 36; Mike Gesicki 21; Jakeem Grant 13; Allen Hurns and Albert Wilson 12; Ballage 8. … Parker projects as a big beneficiary from Williams’ year-ending loss as a targets and Air Yards dominator. He’s also quietly cobbling together his best-ever season with 55-plus yards and/or a touchdown in 7-of-8 games. Even if the Colts don’t offer an ideal matchup via their big-play-smothering zone, Parker’s massive opportunity coupled with Fitzpatrick’s aggressiveness render Parker an upside WR3 play at worst. … Gesicki looks poised for a potentially big second half and is a legitimate TE1 play this week. He ranks third among all NFL tight ends in Air Yards since Miami’s Week 5 bye, has tallied 40-plus actual yards in three of the Fins’ last four games, and gets a projection bump from Williams’ injury. The Colts’ zone is most susceptible to tight ends, allowing the NFL’s 11th-most fantasy points per game to the position. In what projects as a narrowed receiving distribution, Parker and Gesicki should dominate opportunity in this passing game for the foreseeable future. Both are quite DFS viable this week. … You’re on your own throwing darts at Dolphins ancillary receivers. Here’s how their routes run were distributed in Week 9: Hurns 19; Wilson 16; Grant 10.
Update: The Colts formally ruled out Jacoby Brissett (knee) on Saturday. I’m not significantly downgrading any Colts skill-position players because I knew this was a distinct possibility, Brian Hoyer is as competent a backup as you’ll find, and the matchup at home versus Miami remains pristine.
Particularly with Jacoby Brissett (MCL) on the mend, Week 10 sets up as a Marlon Mack-heavy game with 20-plus touches in 6-of-8 tries facing a Dolphins defense hemorrhaging 32.6 touches per game to enemy backs and a swiss-cheese 223/1,076/6 (4.83 YPC) rushing line on the year. Mack’s big drawback is always his passing-game floor; he strangely ran a season-low nine pass routes in last week’s loss to the Steelers even as Nyheim Hines’ playing time (29%) and touches (2) were in line with his norms. Mack should still be teed up aggressively as an upside RB1 in this pretty draw favored at home by two scores. … Due to the winnable nature of Sunday’s game at home against the 1-7 Fins, the Colts may take Brissett’s availability down to the wire after Brian Hoyer performed rather competently off last week’s bench. Despite the plus matchup, Brissett’s suspect health will make him a risky fantasy investment should he start. There are all kinds of conceivable scenarios where he could fail to finish the game, and the Colts will certainly want their starter near full strength for Week 11’s division bout with Jacksonville.
Still missing T.Y. Hilton (calf) and now down Parris Campbell (broken hand), the Colts will stick with Zach Pascal as their nominal No. 1 wideout after he led the team in Week 9 routes run (37), targets (6), and receiving (5/76/1) against Pittsburgh. Pascal plays nearly 90% of his snaps outside, where Dolphins first-team CBs Ryan Lewis and Nik Needham have both surrendered passer ratings over 100.0 into their coverage. Opportunity and matchup both firmly on his side, Pascal is approaching legit WR2 territory with confident playability regardless of Week 10’s quarterback. Pascal caught 50 of his yards and his touchdown from Hoyer in Week 9. … Chester Rogers has operated as the Colts’ No. 2 receiver in T.Y.’s absence, last week delivering a 3/22/1 receiving line on five targets. Rogers plays inside, where teams targeting the slot against Miami are 42-of-62 passing for 577 yards (9.31 YPA) and eight TDs. Rogers is WR4/flex usable for season-long leaguers in bye-week binds. … Eric Ebron sets up as the Colts’ next-best pass-catcher play after holding a one-on-one meeting with Frank Reich to discuss his going-forward usage. Week 10’s squeaky wheel, Ebron catches a Dolphins defense against which opponents are 39-of-50 passing (78%) for 453 yards (9.1 YPA) when targeting tight ends. Separation between Ebron and Jack Doyle remains minor; each has cleared 50 yards in just 1-of-8 games. They are fringe TE1/2 streamers with low floors. Ebron’s ceiling is higher. … Deon Cain and Ashton Dulin are the Colts’ top No. 3 receiver candidates until Hilton and/or Devin Funchess (collarbone) returns. Funchess could be back in Week 11.
Score Prediction: Colts 24, Dolphins 17
Panthers at Packers
Team Totals: Packers 26.5, Panthers 21.5
After extending his lead to 7.6 points per game over PPR runner-up Dalvin Cook, Christian McCaffrey catches another smash spot at Green Bay, which resurrected Melvin Gordon’s season in Week 9 and on the year has been trounced for 212/1,036/10 (4.89 YPC) rushing and the NFL’s seventh-most receptions (53) by enemy backs. McCaffrey leads the league in rushing yards per game (110.1), touchdowns (13), and yards from scrimmage (1,244) despite a first-half bye. As usual, he’s the No. 1 play in all of fantasy. … Kyle Allen’s win-loss success has not translated to the box score with fantasy results of QB31 > QB15 > QB20 > QB27 > QB17 over his last five starts. Even as Green Bay’s pass defense has been exposed as fraudulent – only six teams are allowing more yards per attempt (8.1), and DC Mike Pettine’s unit has dipped to 19th in sack rate (6.7%) and 15th in QB Hit Rate (15.3%) after a fiery start – Allen’s game-manager role limits his fantasy appeal to two-quarterback-leagues and desperate streamer scenarios.
Allen’s 2019 target distribution: D.J. Moore 44; Curtis Samuel 43; CMC 35; Greg Olsen 27; Jarius Wright 22; Reggie Bonnafon 4. … I’m slightly favoring Samuel over Moore this week; Samuel has seen 55 more Air Yards since Carolina’s Week 7 bye, while Moore is likelier to draw Packers top CB Jaire Alexander as the Panthers’ more perimeter-oriented receiver. Both remain quality WR2s against an overrated Packers secondary that’s yielded the NFL’s sixth-most 20-plus-yard catches (35) and a league-high 11 pass plays of 40-plus yards. Moore and Samuel are also both popping as top-three buy-low players in Josh Hermsmeyer’s Week 10 Air Yards Model. … Packers opponents are 49-of-69 passing (71%) for 530 yards (7.7 YPA) and five TDs when targeting tight ends; only Arizona, Tampa Bay, Oakland, and Seattle have allowed more fantasy points per game to Olsen’s position. Even as Olsen’s production has been uneven lately, he ranks No. 5 among tight ends in pass routes run since the bye week and is low-end TE1 playable in this plus draw.
The Packers return from an ugly road loss to the Chargers for a likely bounce-back spot versus Carolina, whose consistent defensive weakness has come versus the run. Although Matt LaFleur reinforced his RBBC devotion by allocating nine Week 9 touches to Aaron Jones and eight to Jamaal Williams – the Packers ran only 49 offensive plays to Los Angeles’ 68 – Jones out-snapped Williams 60% to 44%, and they both ran exactly 20 routes. Ultimately, each is capable of useful Week 10 fantasy production as home favorites against a Carolina front that’s been drilled for 172/844/11 (4.91 YPC) rushing and 14 all-purpose TDs in eight games by enemy backs. Jones is a legit RB1 and Williams an upside flex play with five touchdowns in his last four games. Jones had 35 targets in 12 games last season; through nine this year, he already has 46. … Previously one of football’s hottest quarterbacks, Aaron Rodgers played his season-worst game in L.A., repeatedly bouncing throws at his receivers’ feet and missing high down the seams. The Panthers do not offer a friendly matchup, having held 6-of-8 quarterbacks to fantasy results of QB15 or worse while leading the NFL in sacks (34) and ranking top five in QB hits (59). Yet Rodgers has been far better at home than on the road this year with a 12:2 TD-to-INT ratio and 8.5 yards per attempt at Lambeau compared to only five touchdowns and a not-so-nice 6.9 YPA in four away games. Rodgers is a fade-matchup QB1 whose outlook will improve if Panthers top CB James Bradberry (groin) can’t play.
Rodgers’ Week 9 target distribution: Davante Adams 11; Williams 6; Jones, Allen Lazard, and Jimmy Graham 4; Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Geronimo Allison, and Jake Kumerow 2. … Although he managed 41 scoreless yards, Adams (toe) looked all the way back with a team-high 111 Air Yards on 84% of the snaps in Los Angeles. Even more than Rodgers, Adams’ matchup will improve significantly if Bradberry can’t go. On the season, Adams is averaging a lofty 9.4 targets per game. Rodgers-to-Adams stacks are a contrarian DFS-tournament idea, especially since Adams popped as Week 10’s No. 4 player in Josh Hermsmeyer’s Air Yards Model. Per Sports Info Solutions, Adams’ 2018-2019 catch rate jumps from 53% against man to 76% against zone coverage with a full-yard spike in yards per target going from man to zone. Carolina runs zone coverage at an NFL-high 85% clip. … The rest of Green Bay’s wideout corps was a predictable mess in Adams’ Week 9 return. Here’s how routes were distributed: Adams 34; MVS 27; Allison 23; Lazard 20; Kumerow 10. This is now officially a five-man WRBC. … Lazard is the one WR4/flex dart I’d be willing to throw behind Adams; Lazard ran 85% of his Week 9 routes inside, where fellow slot WRs Chris Godwin (10/151/0, 8/121/1), Dede Westbrook (7/82/0), Adam Humphries (4/65/0), Christian Kirk (10/59/0), Cooper Kupp (7/46/0), Larry Fitzgerald (5/36/1), and Emmanuel Sanders (4/25/1) have turned in useful or better PPR production against Carolina’s slot coverage. … Graham has finished with 30 yards or fewer in 6-of-9 games and topped five targets in 1-of-9. He’s a low-floor, touchdown-or-bust TE2 each week.
Score Prediction: Packers 24, Panthers 23
Rams at Steelers
Team Totals: Rams 23.5, Steelers 20.5
Jared Goff returns from the Rams’ bye for a worrisome spot based on his negative road splits and inability to function under pressure. Goff’s TD-to-INT ratio and YPA fall from 36:9 and 8.91 at home to 21:17 and 7.42 in away games over the past two seasons – averaging 9.2 fewer fantasy points outside of L.A. – while Pittsburgh’s 2019 defense ranks top five in sack rate (8.9%) and No. 1 in QB Hit Rate (19.6%). Whereas the Steelers’ D/ST is an underrated play, Goff is a low-floor QB1 option. … With Malcolm Brown due back from his pre-bye ankle injury and bursty rookie Darrell Henderson earning a defined change-up role, this matchup is also concerning for Todd Gurley visiting the run-tough Steelers, who’ve stymied enemy backs for 181/695/4 (3.84 YPC) rushing. Held to 70 total yards or fewer in every game since Week 1, Gurley’s fantasy production has been almost entirely tied to touchdowns, and Pittsburgh has allowed just four all-purpose running back TDs in eight games. Gurley is a low-floor RB2 option.
Goff’s 2019 target distribution: Cooper Kupp 87; Robert Woods 60; Brandin Cooks 45; Gerald Everett 44; Gurley 24; Tyler Higbee 23; Josh Reynolds 18; Henderson 6; Brown 3. … Kupp easily draws the Rams’ best Week 10 skill-player matchup; Pittsburgh’s biggest pass-defense deficiency is on interior routes, where it’s permitted 585 yards and six TDs on 80 slot targets (7.3 YPA) this year. Kupp has topped 100 yards in 5-of-8 games and has a combined 98/1,358/11 receiving line over his last 16. … Perimeter-oriented WRs Woods and Reynolds will have their hands full with stingy Steelers outside CBs Joe Haden and Steven Nelson, who’ve collectively allowed just 453 yards and three TDs on 66 targets (6.86 YPA). Cooks is likely facing an extended absence after suffering his fifth-known concussion since 2015 and second this season. Ultimately, Woods and Reynolds are chase-opportunity, fade-matchup plays at Heinz Field. As Cooks exited Los Angeles’ pre-bye win over Cincinnati early, Reynolds drew eight targets and led the Rams in Air Yards (138), playing 88% of the team’s offensive snaps. … An alternative Sean McVay could take against the Steelers would be implementing more two-tight end sets rather than plug-and-playing Reynolds straight up for Cooks. Steelers opponents are 40-of-53 passing (75%) for 398 yards (7.51 YPA) and five touchdowns when targeting tight ends over Pittsburgh’s last seven games. Everett has been a hit-or-miss TE1 all year, but there is a conceivable path for this to be a boom week for him.
With James Conner (shoulder) slated to sit again, Benny Snell still recovering from a knee scope, and Week 9 sledgehammer Trey Edmunds (ribs) banged up, the Steelers will turn to Jaylen Samuels for feature-back usage against the Rams. Although Los Angeles has limited enemy backs to 3.81 yards per carry, run-defense strengths and weaknesses are far less relevant for Samuels than most runners due to his pass-catching prowess. In six career games where he’s played at least 45% of Pittsburgh’s offensive snaps, Samuels’ receiving lines are 13/73/0 > 8/57/0 > 7/40/0 > 3/11/1 > 2/30/0 > 7/64/0. A locked-in RB1 in PPR leagues, Samuels played 65% of last week’s snaps and should veer into the 80% range this week based on Edmunds’ compromised health. … Mason Rudolph has cemented himself as a low-end two-QB-league play lacking any hint of rushing value and failing to eclipse 251 passing yards in all of his five starts. 6-of-8 quarterbacks to face the Rams’ defense have logged QB15 fantasy results or worse.
Update: James Conner (shoulder) was ruled out and Trey Edmunds (ribs) returned to practice on Friday, suggesting Edmunds should be ready to go as Jaylen Samuels‘ between-the-tackles caddie.
Rudolph’s 2019 target distribution: JuJu Smith-Schuster 34; Diontae Johnson 29; Samuels 24; James Washington 21; Vance McDonald 19; Conner 15; Nick Vannett 6. … The relative box-score success of fellow slot WRs Chris Godwin (12/172/2), Tyler Boyd (6/65/0), Tyler Lockett (4/51/1), and Dante Pettis (3/45/0) against the Rams within L.A.’s last five games should give JuJu Week 10 bounce-back hope after last week’s 16-yard clunker. Nevertheless, Smith-Schuster’s extreme volume departure from last year has pushed him into risky WR2/3 range regardless of matchup. … Johnson’s big-play-dependency caught up with him versus Indianapolis’ big-play-preventing zone, managing three yards on two Week 9 targets. This week’s matchup isn’t better; the Rams have allowed the league’s fourth-fewest completions of 20-plus yards (18), while Johnson is likelier to encounter Jalen Ramsey on the perimeter than is JuJu in the slot. Ramsey has played 94% of his snaps outside since joining the Rams. … Coach Mike Tomlin praised Washington for making contested catches en route to a season-high 69 yards against the Colts last week, yet Washington played his fewest snaps of the year (43%) and remains scoreless through eight games. He’s tough to trust in any fantasy format. … McDonald parlayed an 81% snap rate and seven targets into last week’s 5/30/1 receiving line and catches another plus draw in Week 10. Via George Kittle (8/103/0), Will Dissly (4/81/0), Tyler Eifert (6/74/0), Austin Hooper (4/46/1), and Cameron Brate (3/36/1), the Rams have been slammed for top-12 fantasy tight end scores in five straight games.
Score Prediction: Steelers 21, Rams 20
Vikings at Cowboys
Team Totals: Cowboys 25.5, Vikings 22.5
Still hot with a 13:1 TD-to-INT ratio over his last five starts, Kirk Cousins’ Week 10 draw sets up as a tough one at the Cowboys, who’ve yielded fantasy scores above QB15 to just 2-of-8 quarterbacks faced and flashed dominant pass-rush ability in last Monday night’s win over the Giants, sacking Daniel Jones five times with 12 QB hits paced by newly acquired Michael Bennett . Inside Dallas’ JerryWorld dome, this is a game where Minnesota’s pass-protection deficiencies could be badly exposed. Cousins has been pressured at the fourth-highest rate (41%) among 36 qualified passers. Dallas’ D/ST is quite playable, while Cousins seems likely to struggle, especially without Adam Thielen (hamstring). … Dalvin Cook has 18-plus touches in 9-of-9 games and 115-plus total yards in 7-of-9 to face a Cowboys defense that has yielded a modest 147/617/7 (4.20 YPC) rushing line and the NFL’s fifth-most catches (53) to enemy backs. Expect a renewed ground-game emphasis from Minnesota after coach Mike Zimmer attributed last week’s loss in Kansas City to not establishing the run enough. Despite his somewhat unideal road matchup against a talented Cowboys front seven, Cook remains a top-three fantasy running back play. With Thielen shelved for essentially the last two games, Cook led the Vikings in Weeks 8-9 targets.
Cousins’ Weeks 8-9 target distribution: Cook 13; Stefon Diggs 11; Irv Smith 9; Kyle Rudolph 8; Laquon Treadwell 6; Bisi Johnson and C.J. Ham 4; Alexander Mattison 3. … A massive Week 9 bust with just four yards on four targets against the Chiefs, Diggs’ bounce-back likelihood is strong as a probable target magnet at JerryWorld. The Cowboys have allowed the NFL’s fifth-fewest fantasy points to receivers, but Diggs is a bet-on-talent and bet-on-opportunity WR1 play with Thielen out for at least one more week. Diggs still has 100-plus yards in four of his last six games. … Smith ran a year-high 28 pass routes and equaled his season high in targets (6) after Thielen’s Week 9 early exit. A viable bye-week streamer and definite one-game DFS-slate option, Smith faces a Cowboys defense against which tight ends have caught 45-of-61 targets (74%) for 483 yards (7.92 YPA) and three touchdowns. … Rudolph ran 29 routes last week and has hit pay dirt in two of Minnesota’s last three games. His Week 10 outlook is similar to Smith’s with higher scoring probability. … Despite Treadwell’s slight target lead, Johnson is the preferred WR4 and one-game DFS-slate play with 62 routes run compared to Treadwell’s 15 in the last two games.
On a two-game win streak with fantasy scores of QB13 or better in 7-of-8 starts and six top-eight results, Dak Prescott encounters a Vikings defense that’s yielded just two top-12 QB1 outcomes in nine games. Mike Zimmer’s unit thrives on up-front pressure, however, which Dallas can counteract with a healthy offensive line that didn’t allow a single sack on 35 Prescott dropbacks against the Giants last Monday night. The Cowboys have enough Week 10 advantages in terms of homefield, wideout-cornerback matchups, and pass protection for Prescott to stay entrenched as a confident QB1, while the Vikings don’t have anyone in the secondary capable of consistently guarding Michael Gallup and Amari Cooper. Dak’s four fantasy results in home games this year are QB8 > QB5 > QB7 > QB2. … Facing a Vikings run defense that’s permitted a crisp 176/774/2 (4.40 YPC) rushing line to enemy backs, Ezekiel Elliott’s Week 10 matchup is less imposing than Prescott’s as a home-favorite bellcow with 20-plus touches in six of his last seven games. On the week, Zeke is a shoo-in top-four RB1 fantasy play versus Minnesota.
Update: Ezekiel Elliott‘s Week 10 matchup improved when the Vikings were forced to rule out run-stuffing NT Linval Joseph (knee) on Friday.
Dak’s post-bye target distribution: Jason Witten 9; Randall Cobb 8; Cooper 7; Gallup 6; Tony Pollard 3; Blake Jarwin 1. … The Vikings are the NFL’s only team yet to allow a touchdown to a tight end, notably limiting Travis Kelce (7/62/0), Zach Ertz (4/54/0), Dallas Goedert (5/48/0), and T.J. Hockenson (3/32/0) over the last four weeks. Witten hasn’t cleared 60 yards in an NFL game since October 8, 2017. … Cobb was a net negative in Week 9, committing two penalties and losing a killer second-quarter fumble. Cobb and Witten are one-game DFS-slate plays but lack season-long starter appeal. Cobb has gone 15 straight games without clearing 70 yards. … Beginning with most recent, Amari’s stat lines in home games since joining the Cowboys are 5/106/0 > 11/226/1 > 6/88/2 > 6/106/1 > 7/106/0 > 4/20/0 > 10/217/3 > 8/76/0 > 8/180/2 > 5/58/1. Even after last week’s knee scare, Cooper is a cinch WR1 start. … Both Dallas perimeter wideouts catch appealing Week 10 draws against Xavier Rhodes and Trae Waynes, who’ve collectively yielded completions on 80-of-105 targets (76.2%) for 834 yards (7.94 YPA) and seven touchdowns. All told, Minnesota’s secondary has coughed up a league-high 128 catches to enemy wideouts. Gallup is an underrated WR2/3 play in an overrated matchup on Sunday night.
Score Prediction: Cowboys 27, Vikings 20
Seahawks at 49ers
Team Totals: 49ers 26, Seahawks 20
Particularly with MLB Kwon Alexander (torn pec) done for the year, San Francisco’s NFC-best defense suddenly looks vulnerable to the run after DC Robert Saleh’s unit was gashed for 95/511/2 (5.38 YPC) rushing by enemy backs over its last five games. His Seahawks-style up-front scheme an abject failure in 2017-2018, Saleh switched to a Wide-9 approach that spread out the Niners’ defensive line in an effort to create more space for edge rushers Nick Bosa and Dee Ford. While the shift has benefited Saleh’s pass rush, it creates gaps between the tackles that Christian McCaffrey exploited on Week 8 pitch and toss plays and Kenyan Drake exposed in Week 9 spread alignments. Now missing Alexander to fill those gaps, this defense looks mortal as it pertains to Chris Carson’s Week 10 draw. Even as Carson fumbled twice in last week’s win over Tampa Bay – losing one – the Seahawks’ coaching staff went right back to him every time in an ultimate show of faith. … Russell Wilson’s MVP-race lead and fantasy matchup-proofness will be put to the test Monday night against a 49ers defense that’s held 6-of-8 quarterbacks faced to box-score outcomes of QB24 or worse while leading the NFL in sack rate (11.7%) and ranking top five in QB Hit Rate (18.4%). Fortunately, Wilson owns the league’s highest passer rating when pressured (112.1) by way of an 8:0 TD-to-INT ratio and 9.01 YPA under duress. With top-five fantasy quarterback results in five of his last eight starts, I’m riding with Wilson in all season-long scenarios.
Wilson’s 2019 target distribution: Tyler Lockett 72; D.K. Metcalf 54; Carson 29; Jaron Brown 24; David Moore 21; Jacob Hollister 14; C.J. Prosise 11; Luke Willson 10; Malik Turner 9. … As San Francisco is allowing the NFL’s sixth-fewest fantasy points and a league-low 119.5 combined yards per game to wide receivers, this is the toughest matchup Lockett has faced all year. Maintaining an unbreakable on-field bond with Wilson, Lockett is a bet-on-talent WR1 play with 75-plus yards and/or a touchdown in 11 of his last 12 games. … A full-time boundary receiver, Metcalf’s on-paper matchup is toughest against the 49ers, whose three main outside CBs Richard Sherman, Emmanuel Moseley, and Ahkello Witherspoon have combined to permit completions on just 31-of-67 targets (46%) for 437 yards (6.52 YPA) and three TDs. Still a consistent WR2/3 option with 50-plus yards and/or a touchdown in 8-of-9 games, Metcalf has earned matchup-agnostic treatment in season-long leagues and is a high-ceiling one-game DFS-slate start. … Especially with waiver claim Josh Gordon now fighting for snaps, Seattle’s No. 3 wideout job is entirely up for grabs. Moore played ahead of Brown recently but could disappear should Gordon show he’s ready to roll. … As Ed Dickson (knee) wasn’t activated from I.R./return and Willson suffered an in-game rib injury, Hollister luckboxed last week’s 4/37/2 receiving line on a pair of short scores. Teams targeting tight ends against San Francisco are 25-of-38 passing for just 165 yards (4.3 YPA) and one TD. Willson returned to last week’s game and Dickson is likely back, rendering Hollister probable fool’s gold.
Among the NFL’s most-rested teams following their Thursday-to-Monday Weeks 9-10 respite after an early-season bye, Kyle Shanahan’s 49ers offense hosts Seattle with a near-full deck as LT Joe Staley (fibula), RT Mike McGlinchey (knee), and FB Kyle Juszczyk (knee) are all due back. Jimmy Garoppolo returns from his season- and arguably career-best game that consisted of four touchdowns and 8.6 yards per attempt versus Arizona to face a similarly vulnerable Seattle defense that has yielded top-12 fantasy results to six straight quarterbacks faced while ranking 29th in sack rate (4.2%) and dead last in QB Hit Rate (8.3%). Garoppolo’s typical game-manager usage is always cause for pause – he ranks 27th in the NFL in pass attempts per game (28.2) – but fantasy results correlate far stronger with efficiency than volume at the quarterback position, and this projects as an efficient night for Jimmy G. He is quite stream-able in season-long leagues. … Tevin Coleman’s Week 9 game was overwhelmingly forgettable against the Cardinals, losing a touchdown run to offensive holding, dropping a potential 80-yard TD catch on a fourth-quarter screen, and getting severely outplayed by Matt Breida. Coleman still out-snapped Breida 53% to 41% and remains San Francisco’s favorite for backfield volume in a bounce-back spot. Averaging 17.3 touches over his last four games, Coleman’s big-play ability and high-volume scoring-position usage keep him firmly in RB2 territory with RB1 upside as a home-favorite lead runner versus Seattle. … Breida is better treated as an RB2/flex play with double-digit touches in 7-of-8 games but only 14 receptions on the year and a measly three red-zone carries compared to Coleman’s 21.
Update: The 49ers announced Saturday that George Kittle (knee) is doubtful to face Seattle on Monday night. His direct backup is second-year UDFA Ross Dwelley, who caught four passes and played 70% of San Francisco’s Week 9 snaps primarily playing in place of FB Kyle Jusczcyk. Dwelley’s matchup and opportunity give him some Week 10 streamer appeal, and he’s firmly in play on one-game DFS slates.
Jimmy G’s Weeks 8-9 target distribution: George Kittle 15; Emmanuel Sanders 14; Deebo Samuel 10; Coleman 6; Dante Pettis and Ross Dwelley 4; Breida 3; Kendrick Bourne 2. … Gerald Everett (7/136/0), C.J. Uzomah (4/66/0), Austin Hooper (6/65/1), Ricky Seals Jones (4/37/1), Tyler Higbee (3/47/0), and Vance McDonald (7/38/2) have all beaten box-score expectations against Seattle, which is allowing the NFL’s fourth-most fantasy points to tight ends. On pace for a career-high 92 receptions, Kittle maintains room for positive-touchdown regression with just two scores on the year. … Here’s how routes were distributed in the 49ers’ Week 9 wideout corps: Sanders 26; Samuel 17; Bourne 12; Pettis 10; Richie James 2. Already asserting himself as San Francisco’s clear-cut No. 1 wideout, Sanders is running a team-high 50% of his routes inside. The Seahawks have conceded useful PPR stat lines to slot WRs Cooper Kupp (9/117/1), JuJu Smith-Schuster (5/84/0), Chris Godwin (7/61/0), Tyler Boyd (8/60/0), and Russell Gage (7/58/0). Even on the run-first Niners, Sanders has quickly ascended to WR2 treatment on such a voluminous target share. … Samuel is bye-week playable as a season-long WR3/flex and worth serious consideration on one-game DFS slates with big-play potential on manufactured touches. Samuel quietly leads San Francisco in red-zone targets (9) and equaled his year high in raw targets (7) in Week 9’s win.
Score Prediction: 49ers 24, Seahawks 23