News & Analysis

Fantasy Football Week 10 Recap: DeAndre Hopkins' Hail Mary catch, Alvin Kamara goes off, D'Andre Swift sees true RB1 workload

Cardinals' DeAndre Hopkins (10) catches a game-winning touchdown catch over Bill's Tre'Davious White (27) and Micah Hyde (23) with 2 seconds lett in the fourth quarter at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. on Nov. 15, 2020. Buffalo Bills Vs Arizona Cardinals

Deandre Hopkins made the play of the week, hauling in a Hail Mary touchdown from a rolling out Kyler Murray just after Josh Allen looked to have thrown the game-winning score to Stefon Diggs. That game provided plenty of action to consider from a fantasy perspective. We'll break it all down below while hitting on snap counts, routes run, goal-line usage, targets and target shares from every game on the Sunday slate. 

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Keep in mind that scheduled bye weeks continue in Week 11 with the Buffalo Bills, Chicago Bears, New York Giants and San Francisco 49ers all taking a well deserved week off.

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS @ CAROLINA PANTHERS

Things didn’t look great for Ronald Jones II to open the game. After an early fumble, his future in Bruce Arians’ doghouse seemed all but inevitable. But BA shocked everybody by going right back to his team’s leading rusher, and that decision paid off. 

Jones busted off a 98-yard touchdown run en route to 192 rushing yards on the day. He played 59% of the team’s snaps and totaled 24 touches. Leonard Fournette played 36% of the team’s snaps and had just 10 touches. 

Tom Brady bounced back in a big way with three passing touchdowns and 341 passing yards, spreading the wealth to all of his pass-catchers. Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Antonio Brown all had at least six catches, six targets and 69 receiving yards. 

Evans led the team in targets (12) and total air yards (157). 

Mike Davis was just 4K on DraftKings this week and was the stone-cold chalk play. And, of course, he busted to the tune of just 8.4 fantasy points. He did miss some time with an injury but finished the day with 11 touches for a combined 44 yards from scrimmage.

Teddy Bridgewater opened the game on fire, throwing two touchdowns in the first quarter, but it was a struggle from there. He passed for only 55 yards in the three remaining quarters. Part of this lack of production was because Teddy B was forced out of action, but he should be good-to-go for next week. 

D.J. Moore rewarded fantasy managers who decided to keep the faith after a few down weeks. He led the team in targets (seven) and caught four passes of 15-plus receiving yards. The production of Robby Anderson and Curtis Samuel fell back to Earth with neither getting more than 21 receiving yards. The Detroit Lions are next on the schedule, so don’t worry about going back to them even after a poor performance.

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES @ NEW YORK GIANTS

It was another disappointing game for the Philadelphia Eagles, who we assumed would be firing on all cylinders coming off a bye week finally healthy. That was hardly the case, with Carson Wentz nuking fantasy teams with just 8.7 fantasy points. 

And this wasn’t because of dropped passes — zero Eagles players recorded a drop on any of Wentz’s 38 passing attempts. He was just flat out bad (56.0 PFF passing grade). The Eagles’ quarterback has now posted back-to-back fantasy outings with fewer than 9.0 fantasy points.

What’s more encouraging is that Miles Sanders looked spry  with 85 rushing yards (5.6 yards per carry) on 15 carries in addition to five targets. He played 73% of the snaps, which is exactly the type of usage we want for stud RBs.

Rookie Jalen Reagor led the team in targets (seven), which came at the expense of Travis Fulgham who saw just five, hauling in one for eight yards. The second-year wide receiver likely saw a ton of cornerback James Bradberry, which didn’t help his fantasy outlook. 

Dallas Goedert played 92% of the team’s snaps, ran 34 routes and saw six targets, rare usage for a tight end. He is a sure-fire buy-low target; Richard Rodgers won’t see five targets every week with Goedert in the fold. 

Evan Engram went back to tight end obscurity — two catches for 15 yards on two targets — but considering how the position is for fantasy, don’t rage drop him over his bye week. 

Devonta Freeman has been placed on IR, so Wayne Gallman needs to be immediately scooped up where available. He dominated the snaps (59%) and touches (19) over Alfred Morris and has been uber-productive filling in for Freeman.

He’s also done it against the likes of Philadelphia, Washington and Tampa Bay — all teams that pride themselves on strong run defense. If Gallman is a bench player stashed on teams, then he should be sold high because he has a bye week in Week 11 and his touchdown pace is unsustainable (five touchdowns in his last four games). 

Daniel Jones has posted two fantasy outings this season with 20 or more fantasy points. Both have been against Philly. It’s too bad division opponents don’t play each other three times a year. 

HOUSTON TEXANS @ CLEVELAND BROWNS

This game was delayed from the start due to lightning and it seemed like both teams left their offense in the locker room after the delay. In today’s NFL, we hardly ever see scores like 10-7, but when teams are forced to play in inclement weather that’s what can happen. 

The Cleveland Browns came away with the victory on the back of their two-headed RB monster, Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. Each back had 19 carries and rushed for over 100 yards. Chubb scored on one of his carries and could have had another but smartly (to the dismay of fantasy managers) ran out of bounds right before the goal-line so the team could run out the clock. 

Nov 15, 2020; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Browns running back Kareem Hunt (27) breaks a tackle from Houston Texans linebacker Tyrell Adams (50) during the first quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium. Credit: Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

As usual, Hunt was the more involved receiver (three catches, four targets), but both backs need to be viewed as low-end RB1s for the rest of the season. 

It’s hard to draw any conclusions from the passing game because of the weather; if anything, players like Jarvis Landry and Austin Hooper are prime buy candidates. Hooper led the team in routes run and Landry led in targets for the third-straight week. 

Deshaun Watson was held to under 200 passing yards for the first time all season, and that led to a down week for all his receivers. The poor passing performance can be chalked up to the weather and potentially to the absence of the team’s best pass blocker, Senio Kelemete.

The same can’t be said for Duke Johnson Jr., who saw a 94% snap share and all the carries in the backfield (14) but was not targeted. He compiled 54 rushing yards (3.9 yards per carry) but should be in much better shape a week from today against an extremely beatable Patriots run defense. He is an easy-buy low candidate with David Johnson out for the next two weeks at least. 

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS @ GREEN BAY PACKERS

This was another game impacted by wind, but nothing can stop the Aaron Rodgers “my team drafted a first-round quarterback” revenge tour. Davante Adams did what he usually does — 12 targets, eight catches, 66 yards and a touchdown — while Marques Valdes-Scantling went off for a second-straight week. MVS is the quintessential boom-or-bust WR3 and is better off on somebody else’s roster with Allen Lazard’s return looming. 

Aaron Jones (63% snap share, 18 touches) and Jamaal Williams (47% snap share, 11 touches) were both involved throughout the game, but this type of workload is pretty typical of Green Bay's backfield so it’s nothing to fret about. Jones just didn’t find the end zone but should still be viewed as a locked-in RB1 moving forward. 

D.J. Chark Jr. became D.J. Chalk in DFS after the news broke that Jaire Alexander would not play, but the wind had other plans. The Jags’ second-year WR’s strength as a vertical threat was neutralized in the poor game conditions and left him with just four catches for 56 yards.

Keelan Cole ended up having the best game of all Jags wideouts, scoring two touchdowns — one on a reception and one as a return man. But we have seen this story with Cole before, so I’d be hesitant to grab him off the waiver wire. 

James Robinson continued his trend of insane volume with another 25-touch game for over 100 yards. But what’s important to note is that he also saw five targets — something we weren’t expecting necessarily with Jake Luton under center. 

WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM @ DETROIT LIONS

J.D. McKissic saw 14 targets in Week 9. His Week 10 follow-up performance? Fifteen targets. Man, Alex Smith loves him some running back checkdowns. So much so that rookie running back Antonio Gibson was able to add four catches to his 13 carries for 45 rushing yards and a touchdown. 

The negative game script led to Smith’s 55 passing attempts, but it’s encouraging to see that Gibson still produce on just 38% of snaps played. His role at the goal-line will prove critical to his fantasy value moving forward and more positive game scripts will get him more rushing attempts. 

He will be a fringe RB1 next week against the Cincinnati Bengals

Gibson wasn’t the only rookie running back that showed out in this game — newly named starter D’Andre Swift balled out. He commanded a 73% snap share, five targets and 16 carries. Adrian Peterson and Kerryon Johnson combined for six total touches. I don’t see how Swift isn’t an RB1 moving forward.

After back-to-back weeks of running 33-plus routes, tight end T.J. Hockenson ran just 22 routes on Sunday which hurt his opportunity share in the offense. He still saw five targets, so this performance is more of a blip on the radar than anything else. 

LOS ANGELES CHARGERS @ MIAMI DOLPHINS

The winner of the Los Angeles Chargers’ rushing backfield is Kalen Ballage. A week after he led the team across the board in snaps and touches, he repeated the feat with 23 touches for 102 yards on a 73% snap share. Austin Ekeler still might be a few weeks away, so run to the waiver wire to add Ballage, who gets a second revenge game in as many weeks versus the New York Jets in Week 11. 

There are rarely many opportunities where Keenan Allen could be targeted as a buy-low, but his latest performance could be just that. He has his lowest yardage/targets output since Week 1 (just talking full games played), so a buy-low window might have just opened for savvy fantasy managers to swoop in. 

I showcased Hunter Henry as a prime candidate for positive touchdown regression in my high-value opportunities ahead of Week 10, and, lo behold, my guy finally scored. Follow the end-zone targets, folks. 

Miami Dolphins running back Salvon Ahmed scores on a short run in the first quarter against the Los Angeles Chargers at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens Sunday. (ALLEN EYESTONE / THE PALM BEACH POST)

The Miami Dolphins’ backfield, on the other hand, was a huge miss on my part — I called my shot on DeAndre Washington and he had two carries for two yards. Salvon Ahmed has emerged as the running back to own — he toted the rock 21 times for 85 yards and a score. The rookie did this on a 76% snap share, which was substantially greater than the next closest back, Patrick Laird (17%). 

Ahmed needs to be a priority addition ahead of Week 11. 

DeVante Parker led the team in routes run (26) and targets (seven), but the fantasy production was not there. He had a would-be touchdown called out of bounds that would have salvaged his fantasy performance. 

To the chagrin of Parker's fantasy managers, the only Dolphins WR that scored in this game was Jakeem Grant, who has carved out a nice role working as the team’s No. 2. He posted a 4-41-1 stat line 

Mike Gesicki‘s stock is down after a third-straight stinker, but tight end is such a vast wasteland of hopelessness for fantasy so we can’t hold grudges to individuals. The athletic tight end saw most of his targets downfield (15.8 aDOT), and we wouldn’t be complaining if Adam Shaheen hadn’t caught the TD instead of Gesicki. 

DENVER BRONCOS @ LAS VEGAS RAIDERS

I was concerned about Drew Lock heading into this matchup because 82% of his fantasy points had come in garbage time the two weeks prior. For the third-straight week, Lock struggled to move the ball in the first three quarters and was only able to “save” his day behind a touchdown in the fourth quarter. He would have scored just two fantasy points without it. 

K.J. Hamler is the Broncos’ wide receiver to highlight as he saw 10 targets for the second-straight week operating as Denver’s new slot WR. The second-round pick has produced only modest numbers over the past two weeks, but if the targets keep coming he will have a big game sooner than later.

Tim Patrick was ejected during this game because of fighting and he could miss time due to a suspension — that could offer Hamler much more opportunities in the offense. 

The overall Broncos struggles on offense have made it nearly impossible for them to run the ball with Melvin Gordon III. He has 64 rushing yards on 18 carries the past two weeks and just one catch. That’s not going to get him into starting lineups with the Dolphins up next while he's splitting snaps with Phillip Lindsay

The Raiders had no interest in throwing the ball, as they fed both Josh Jacobs (21 carries, 112 yards) and Devontae Booker (16 carries, 81 yards) to stomp Denver. 

Jacobs compiled four catches for 24 yards, giving some semblance of hope to fantasy managers that he will be involved next week in what figures to be a shootout against the Kansas City Chiefs

The Las Vegas passing attack will be forced to come out of its shell for Week 11, so Darren Waller is a great buy-low candidate at tight end after a poor performance. 

BUFFALO BILLS @ ARIZONA CARDINALS

Cole Beasley led the Bills in targets (13), receptions (11) and receiving yards (109), which shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise considering the Arizona Cardinals have struggled to contain slot WRs for the majority of the season. Next week they get Tyler Lockett. Giddy up.

John Brown left this game with an injury toward the end. This concerns me because the veteran has been dealing with injuries all year. When he has missed games or been less than 100% the offense has struggled at times, particularly Josh Allen

Zack Moss and Devin Singletary are still splitting snaps at almost a 50/50 rate, but Moss still has the slight edge. The rookie out-touched Singeltary again, so it’s an easy call to say Moss is the one most desirable across fantasy circles. 

The Christian Kirk high eventually had to end. His production did indeed come to a screaming halt in this game with just four catches for 27 yards on six targets. But assuming the team gets their best pass-blocker, Justin Murray, back on the offensive line, it’s not hard to see Kirk bouncing back big versus Seattle next week. 

Kenyan Drake made his return to the lineup after a one-game absence and reclaimed his duties as RB1. He rushed 16 times for 100 yards but per usual ceded pass-game work to Chase Edmonds

Edmonds scored more fantasy points (10.7 versus 9.9), but he will be tougher to trust with Drake back in the mix. 

DeAndre Hopkins arguably made the TD grab of the year. Despite triple coverage, Hopkins leaped above the Bills’ defensive backs and truly made the best jump-ball catches I have ever seen. My jaw dropped.

I can’t wait to see what Hopkins does against the Seattle secondary in Week 11. 

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS @ NEW ORLEANS SAINTS

Alvin Kamara’s 34-fantasy-point performance is a reminder to all that elite RBs are immune to bad matchups. Entering Week 10, the San Francisco 49ers had allowed the least fantasy points per game to running backs. 

Kamara only rushed for 15 yards on eight carries, but two went for touchdowns and his pass-game usage every week gives him such a high floor. Even with Michael Thomas back in the mix, Kamara has still averaged six catches per game. 

Nov 8, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA; New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara (41) dives for extra yards past Tampa Bay Buccaneers outside linebacker Jason Pierre-Paul (90) in the first quarter of a NFL game at Raymond James Stadium. Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Speaking of Thomas, he was second to only Kamara in targets (seven) among all Saints players. He was a victim of New Orleans attempting just 23 passes all game and should be viewed as a buy-low target with two of his next three games versus the Atlanta Falcons

Drew Brees didn’t play in the second half due to a rib injury. Should he miss time, Jameis Winston would step in as the traditional dropback quarterback, with Taysom Hill working as a rusher. Hill had eight rushes for 45 yards on Sunday. 

Brandon Aiyuk saw a whopping 14 targets without Deebo Samuel in the lineup. This might look like a time to sell high on the rookie wideout — but it’s not. The first-round pick is for real, and, unlike Samuel, he is used downfield.

His aDOT this season leads the team (10.9) while Samuel’s aDOT (2.5) ranks dead last in the NFL among 122 qualifying wide receivers. 

Jerick McKinnon’s “heavy workload” turned into 62% of snaps played and 18 carries for a meager 33 yards with one catch. He also suffered a stinger toward the end of the game. This game showed that McKinnon is just not an every-down back — I fully expect his role to be minimized once Tevin Coleman/Raheem Mostert return.

But this doesn’t mean dropping McKinnon during the bye week, because JaMycal Hasty is now expected to miss time with a broken collarbone and we don’t know the true timetables for either Coleman or Mostert. 

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS @ LOS ANGELES RAMS

The Los Angeles Rams’ defense had Russell Wilson’s number Sunday. Wilson threw zero touchdowns and two interceptions to post his single-worst fantasy performance of the season. But give credit to this elite Rams defense that is starting to separate itself from the pack as a matchup that needs to be avoided if possible.

Alex Collins led the Seattle running backs in snaps (32) and touches (12) — he is going to be worth an addition off the waiver wire until we hear concrete evidence that Chris Carson will be coming back. Part of Collins' uptick in usage could have also been because Travis Homer was forced out of action with a hand injury.

My guy Josh Reynolds was another player that stood out when reviewing high-value targets, and he delivered. He led the team in targets (10), reception (eight), receiving yards (94) and air yards. He will be worth considering adding off the waiver wire this week.  

Malcolm Brown was the lead back in Week 10 for the Rams, playing more snaps than either Darrell Henderson Jr. or Cam Akers. Although it was Akers who led the team in rushing attempts (10) and all three backs had one carry inside the 5-yard line. 

CINCINNATI BENGALS @ PITTSBURGH STEELERS

All the Pittsburgh Steelers’ wide receivers smashed in Week 10 against an extremely banged-up Bengals secondary. JuJu Smith-Schuster (15) Diontae Johnson (11) and Chase Claypool (12) were all heavily targeted, but it came at the expense of James Conner and Eric Ebron.

Nov 15, 2020; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Diontae Johnson (18) runs after a catch against Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Mackensie Alexander (21) during the first quarter at Heinz Field. Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Steelers’ tight end did have one end-zone target that could have changed his final stat line, but Big Ben failed to put a solid pass on him. I wouldn’t be concerned about Ebron, who should bounce back against another team that struggles versus tight ends, the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The real concern is Conner, whose usage has dwindled over the past two weeks. But he still played 87% of the snaps in Week 10, which is an upward swing from Week 9 and he ran more routes (37) than Claypool. The 37 routes run were second-most among all running backs in Week 10.

Connor's 13 carries for 36 rushing yards leave plenty to be desired, but the Jaguars matchup has to be where he finally gets his rushing efficiency back up. 

It’s Tee Higgins WR1 szn in Cincinnati and we are just here to enjoy it: nine targets, seven receptions, 115 yards and one score for Higgins in Week 10 and A.J. Green was nowhere to be found.

It’s clear that Joe Burrow and Higgins have developed a solid rapport, so continue to view Higgins as the team’s true alpha. Tyler Boyd will still stay involved and provide a nice floor, but Higgins will always be able to deliver the rare splash performances that can win weeks. 

BALTIMORE RAVENS @ NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

James White hasn’t been fantasy relevant in 2020 and it seems he is now firmly behind Rex Burkhead and Damien Harris on the depth chart. Harris led the team in snaps (32) and rushing attempts, which he turned into his third 100-plus rushing yard game of the season (112). 

The second-year running back will be primed for a start versus Houston next week — the Texans just allowed over 200 rushing yards to running backs in Week 10. 

Jakobi Meyers continues to dominate the targets (41%) and added a passing touchdown to his resume, which fantasy managers just love to see. 

Mark Ingram II made his return after a two-game absence and ruined everything. The backfield reverted to a full-blown, three-man committee, making all of them unusable. 

J.K. Dobbins played the most snaps (44%) and Gus Edwards earned the most touches/yardage (8, 73). 

Somehow, Lamar Jackson threw for his second-highest yardage total of the season (249) despite the terrible weather conditions. His usage coincided with Mark Andrews busting out of a three-game rut where he had not eclipsed more than 32 receiving yards.

Andrews accumulated seven catches for 61 yards — there’s a non-zero chance that back-up tight end Nick Boyle’s injury influenced that. Boyle had been sneakily eating into Andrews’ targets, but with him gone for the year (torn ACL), Andrews will be placed confidently back atop the tight end rankings. 

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