News & Analysis

Week 10 fantasy football start 'em or sit 'em

Nov 3, 2019; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Jamison Crowder (82) makes a catch against the Miami Dolphins during the first half at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

With another week behind us, and some more fresh stats to analyze, I’m here to help you with your toughest fantasy football start/sit decisions of the week for Week 10.

Note: If you don’t see one of your players mentioned below, please refer to our PFF Fantasy staff rankings.

Shallow leagues

Start

Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints (vs. ATL)

Over the past three seasons, Brees ranks fourth in fantasy points per dropback (0.54). Since 2011, he’s averaging a league-high 24.2 fantasy points per game at home. Well, he’s at home this week, against an Atlanta defense that ranks worst in fantasy points allowed per dropback (0.70) and second-worst in opposing passer rating (117.3).

Aaron Jones, RB, Green Bay Packers (vs. CAR)

As I’ve been arguing in the weekly expected fantasy points article, Jones is due for a regression to the mean. That’s true, but it’s also unlikely to come this week, as 5.0-point home favorites against a Panthers defense that is giving up the second-most schedule-adjusted fantasy points per game to enemy running backs.

Cooper Kupp, WR, Los Angeles Rams (@ PIT)

It seems really hard to envision a scenario where Kupp doesn’t finish the week as one of the league’s highest-scoring players. Among wide receivers, Kupp ranks fourth in XFP per game (17.3) and third in fantasy points per game (21.0), and now gets his best game of the year — the Steelers are giving up a league-high 28.3 fantasy points per game to opposing slot wide receivers.

Hunter Henry, TE, Los Angeles Chargers (@ OAK)

Since returning from injury, Henry ranks second among tight ends in fantasy points per game (17.5), and first in XFP per game (14.5) and targets per game (8.3). He gets a top matchup, against an Oakland defense that is giving up the third-most fantasy points per game to opposing tight ends, and despite the fact that they’ve faced only one top-10 tight end.

Sit

Allen Robinson, WR, Chicago Bears (vs. DET)

Against Detroit last year, Robinson totaled 31.3 fantasy points in Week 10 and 5.7 fantasy points in Week 12. The difference? Top shadow cornerback Darius Slay sat out in Week 10 but returned for the Week 12 matchup, covering Robinson on 73% of his routes. With Slay fully back from injury, expect a similar outcome this week.

Tyrell Williams, WR, Oakland Raiders (vs. LAC)

Williams is producing like a low-end WR2, ranking 23rd in fantasy points per game (14.8), but I’d temper my expectations this week. We’re projecting Casey Hayward — our No. 3 graded cornerback this year and our top-graded cornerback since 2017 — to shadow Williams. This season, Hayward has held Marvin Jones, DeAndre Hopkins, Courtland Sutton, and Corey Davis to a combined five receptions, 66 yards, and zero touchdowns.

Joe Mixon, RB, Cincinnati Bengals (vs. BAL)

Mixon is coming off a season-high 17.7 fantasy points, but that was just his second game this year totaling 12.0 or more fantasy points. And even so, he still only played on 53% of the snaps. Now, saddled with a rookie quarterback making his first career start, as 10.0-point underdogs against the Ravens, he’s an easy fade.

Medium-sized leagues

Start

Jameis Winston, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (vs. ARI)

Against defenses that rank top-five in schedule-adjusted fantasy points per game allowed to quarterbacks, Winston is averaging just 13.5 fantasy points per game. Across his other (five) games, he’s averaging 23.2, which would rank fourth-most among quarterbacks. This week, he gets an Arizona defense that ranks 31st in schedule-adjusted fantasy points per game, and 32nd in both pressure rate (28%) and opposing passer rating (118.4). He’s a top-six fantasy quarterback this week.

Marlon Mack, RB, Indianapolis Colts (vs. MIA)

Over the past two seasons, Mack has played in five full games where Indianapolis has won by eight or more points. In those games, he averages 23.9 fantasy points per game. In all other games Mack averages just 12.0 fantasy points per game. Look forward to a performance closer in line with the first number, as Indianapolis is favored by 10.5 points at home against the Dolphins, who lead the league in rushing yards allowed per game (134.5).

Christian Kirk, WR, Arizona Cardinals (@ TB)

This season, there are 53 different wide receivers averaging 10.0 fantasy points per game or more. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have played against eight of them across 10 games. Seven of those eight wide receivers have scored at least 23.5 fantasy points, and, as a collective, they’re averaging 26.3 fantasy points. Good news – Kirk is averaging over 10.0 fantasy points per game (11.9 to be exact). He also ranks 14th in targets per game (8.2), and well above Larry Fitzgerald (6.6).

David Montgomery, RB, Chicago Bears (vs. DET)

Montgomery has found a second life over the last two weeks, totaling 43.7 XFP (second-most among running backs) and 47.3 actual fantasy points (second-most among running backs) over this span. He gets a top matchup this week, as home-favorites against a Detroit defense that has surrendered a league-high 32.9 fantasy points per game to opposing running backs.

Sit

Matthew Stafford, QB, Detroit Lions (@ CHI)

Stafford has been on a tear lately, averaging 26.6 fantasy points per game across his last three games. However, look for his hot streak to end this week, against a Bears defense that ranks top-six in fantasy points per game and fantasy points per dropback allowed to opposing quarterbacks. Worse yet, Chicago is at home – where opposing quarterbacks have averaged just 13.1 fantasy points per game since 2017.

LeSean McCoy, RB, Kansas City Chiefs (@ TEN)

Since McCoy’s third-quarter fumble in Week 8, Damien Williams has seen 76% of the team’s snaps and 79% of the team’s touches out of the backfield. McCoy, meanwhile, has played on just six snaps. That makes him far too risky to start in Week 10.

Corey Davis, WR, Tennessee Titans (vs. KC)

Davis has exceeded 9.0 fantasy points just twice this year, and he’s unlikely to do it again this week. He draws a Kansas City Chiefs secondary that is giving up the fewest fantasy points per game to opposing outside wide receivers.

Deep leagues

Start

Jamison Crowder, WR, New York Jets (vs. NYG)

Crowder runs 74% of his routes from the slot, and, in five games with Sam Darnold under center, averages a team-high 9.0 targets per game and 14.9 fantasy points per game. Note, this is in spite of the fact that he’s had one of the toughest schedules a slot wide receiver could face, with four of these five games coming against defenses that rank top-10 in fantasy points per game allowed to opposing slot wide receivers. Luckily for him, the Giants rank bottom-10 against slot wide receivers and against opposing WR1s.

Michael Gallup, WR, Dallas Cowboys (vs. MIN)

Gallup is producing like a low-end WR2 (23rd in fantasy points per game), and is actually seeing better volume than Amari Cooper, both by targets per game (7.5) and XFP per game (12.4). Even so, Cooper is still very clearly the team’s WR1. However, that means Gallup should have the better matchup this week, as Minnesota is giving up the fifth-most schedule-adjusted fantasy points per game to opposing WR2s.

Ronald Jones II, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (vs. ARI)

On Monday, Tampa Bay head coach Bruce Arians said Jones “earned the right to start” and “play more snaps.” This came following a career-high snap-share (55%), touches (20), and XFP (12.5). As 4.5-point favorites against a middling Arizona run defense, Jones seems locked into 18-plus touches and a low-end-RB2 expectation.

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