News & Analysis

Sunday morning fantasy football decisions: Rankings, start/sit, sleepers, and busts for Week 10

(Each week, the Sunday Study Session will feature a quick-hit look at our top fantasy football advice of the week to help you prepare for that week’s fantasy slate, as well as links to our full writeups. For last-minute research and prep, this is the place.)

One of the smartest things you can do in fantasy is to drop your kicker each Tuesday. If I’m ever in any kind of roster crunch, it’s the first move I make of the week.

It opens up a spare roster spot for me to add an extra player and mess around for the week. Maybe I find a way over the course of the week to make a 2-for-1 trade, or maybe someone I was taking a flyer on proves to not be taking the job, or maybe an injured player comes through fine and the backup I stashed doesn’t have a job.

By Friday, Saturday, even Sunday morning, I obviously have another decision to make — you start a full roster every week — but kickers are fungible enough that there is no single kicker who is anything like undroppable. Use that roster spot for extra flexibility during the week, and then drop someone Sunday if all else fails. Worst-case scenario, you’re back where you started. Best-case, you use the extra spot to make some crucial in-week moves.

(And for the love of everything, never ever ever roster two kickers. Just don’t.)

On to the Week 10 advice.

Season-long league advice

These are the pieces that will help you build your roster and set your lineup each week. On Tuesday, Jeff Ratcliffe breaks down the best waiver claims of the week, while Scott Barrett breaks down the streaming defense candidates and Lee Sifford picks out streaming quarterbacks. Daniel Kelley looks at the players rising and falling in the rankings. Wednesday is Jeff’s top 150 flex rankings, Daniel’s peek at the best and worst matchups of the week, and Scott’s Expected Fantasy Points metric. There’s also the indispensable trade value chart. Thursday, Daniel returns with his weekly sleepers and busts, while Scott Barrett breaks down the key start and the sits of the week. And finally, Jeff is back Friday with his weekly focus, taking a full look at the whole weekly slate from every angle.

Previewing the weekend in fantasy

For most of these pieces, we’ll pull a blurb to highlight and offer up a key takeaway. For this piece, though? It’s worth a full read. Beginning to end, Jeff brings the crucial info.

A snapshot of the flex rankings

6. Alvin Kamara, NO vs ATL (RB5) — The bye week should have done a body good for Kamara. Expect him to return this week.
7. Aaron Jones, GB vs CAR (RB6) — Don’t get too bogged down by last week’s poor gamescript. Jones still has a high-end RB1 ceiling.
8. Chris Godwin, TB vs ARI (WR2) — Godwin draws a fantastic matchup this week and should get back to elite fantasy territory.
9. Mike Evans, TB vs ARI (WR3) — Despite a potential shadow from Patrick Peterson, Evans is on fire.

Two starts, two sits

START Christian Kirk in medium-sized leagues: 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.
START Jamison Crowder in deep leagues: 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.
SIT Allen Robinson in shallow leagues: 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.
SIT Matthew Stafford in medium-sized leagues: 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.

Sleepers and busts for the week

SLEEPER: Russell Gage: The 2018 sixth-rounder had 44 yards all season with no more than 2 targets or 1 reception in a game before Week 8, when he was 7-of-8 receiving for a career-high 58 yards. Not coincidentally, that came in the Falcons’ first game after trading away slot receiver Mohamed Sanu. Gage inherited the slot role and now gets to face a Saints defense that has been one of the league’s worst against the slot this year.
BUST: Mark Andrews: Andrews is coasting on his reputation lately. He had lines of 8/108/1 and 8/112/1 in the season’s first two weeks, averaging 9.0 targets in those two games. Since then, his targets have fallen to 6.5 per game, his receptions to 3.7, and his yards to 41.7.

The best and worst matchups of the week

BEST: Ryan Tannehill: It feels like it should be a bigger story, but in three weeks as the Titans starter, Tannehill is actually QB5 in fantasy, less than a point out of fourth and less than four points out of third. He ranks in the top eight in the league in pass attempts, completions, passing yards, touchdowns, and PFF passing grade over that span.
WORST: Marquise Brown: At a glance, you’d expect the Bengals to be a great matchup for receivers, considering how bad the team’s defense has been. But the team is actually middle of the pack in terms of PPR points allowed to the position.

Waiver claims to make

ADD Noah Fant in shallow leagues: Athleticism was on full display for Fant last week. He’s trending up over the last two weeks, ranking sixth among tight ends in fantasy scoring over that span.
ADD Derrius Guice in medium-sized leagues: Washington is not good this season, but there’s still opportunity for Guice to see a heavy workload down the stretch.
ADD Ryan Finley in deep leagues: The Bengals will roll with Finley for the rest of the season, and that puts him on the 2QB radar.

Rankings risers and fallers

RISER: Devin Singletary: Singletary has now played over Frank Gore each of the last two weeks. We can expect that to continue, and with as electric as Singletary has been, that makes him an easy flex play at a minimum.
FALLER: Sony Michel: Michel is now on pace for only 857 rushing yards this year despite playing every game. He doesn’t have 100 rushing yards in a game yet, is averaging only 3.3 yards per carry, and of course is basically not involved in the passing game.

DST streamers

Baltimore Ravens: After finishing fifth in fantasy points per game last year, Baltimore’s defense hasn’t been nearly as productive for fantasy in 2019. However, they still have all the makings of a top real-life defense on paper, ranking second-best in rushing yards allowed per game (83.0) and sixth-best in opposing passer rating (84.5).

QB streamers

Daniel Jones: In a matchup between two streaming quarterback options in Jones and Sam Darnold, I’m taking Jones here. Although the argument is similar for both players, Jones has simply been the better guy all season long.

Expected Fantasy Points

Tyler Lockett: In Week 9, Lockett totaled 34.1 XFP — the most by any player in any game since Week 3 of 2018. This was a new career-high for Lockett, and 9.0 and 17.4 fantasy points more than his next two closest games.

Player prop bets (from BetMGM)

Ted Ginn UNDER 49.5 receiving yards: Ginn is projected at 39.9 receiving yards, which is nearly a 20% difference from this line. Hammer the under.

DFS advice

Scott Barrett’s DFS Focus piece will highlight all the key daily fantasy tips and tricks from one of the industry’s best, but that isn’t all, as our team tackles the main DFS slate from every angle.

DFS weekly preview

FADE: Larry Fitzgerald: The veteran has had a similar pattern in recent years of declining production as the season goes on. He started this year with back-to-back 100-yard games, but has only cleared 50 yards twice since.

DFS facts to know

Rams vs. Steelers: The Steelers defense pressures opposing quarterbacks on 40% of plays, the second-highest rate in the league. They also blitz on 35% of pass plays (sixth-most). PFF’s O-Line/D-Line matchup chart ranks the Rams offensive line with this week’s absolute worst matchup against Pittsburgh’s defensive line.

Bargains

David Montgomery, RB, Chicago Bears: Montgomery has put up 21-plus fantasy points on both platforms each of the past two weekends. Detroit is allowing 30.8 points per game to running backs, giving Montgomery the second-best matchup this weekend.
Zach Pascal, WR, Indianapolis Colts: Pascal figures to be the focal point of the Colts passing game this weekend. Pascal has the third-best matchup advantage in the entire league this weekend with a +38% advantage. For a guy who has posted 15-plus points in two out of the last three weeks, Pascal is in line for a big day on Sunday.

Locks

Lamar Jackson, QB, Baltimore Ravens: The best rushing quarterback in the league (by a lot) against maybe the worst run defense in the league as 10-point favorites? There isn’t much to figure out here. Jackson has a strong chance Sunday of becoming the first quarterback ever to have four 100-yard games in a season.
Michael Thomas, WR, New Orleans Saints: It’s hard to envision a scenario where Thomas doesn’t smash this week. He’s unanimously the No. 1 receiver in our PFF Fantasy staff rankings, he leads the league in targets per game, he has the sixth-best matchup of the week according to our WR/CB matchup chart.

Fades

Alvin Kamara, RB, New Orleans Saints: Kamara is apparently all systems go after missing two games and a bye week, but there is always the lingering worry that he’ll work at less than 100% in this game or cede some work to Latavius Murray, who more than proved himself in Kamara’s absence.
Greg Olsen, TE, Carolina Panthers: Through Week 3, there were plenty of signs of optimism for Olsen in his age-34 season after back-to-back injury-plagued years. He was the TE5 at that point, averaging 5.3 receptions, 73.7 yards, and 0.7 touchdowns per game. Since then, though, he’s averaged 2.2 receptions and 22.0 yards per game with nary a touchdown.

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