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2023 Fantasy Football: Targets, Fades for NFL Week 10

Week 9 had its ups and downs. The Minnesota Vikings won the battle of the backup quarterbacks. The Cleveland Browns blanked the Arizona Cardinals. C.J. Stroud shattered the rookie single-game passing record in the Houston Texans-Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ shootout.

The projected “game of the week” between the Kansas City Chiefs and Miami Dolphins was a German dud. And the Las Vegas Raiders rallied around their interim coaching staff to destroy the New York Giants

The Chiefs, Los Angeles Rams, Dolphins and Philadelphia Eagles have a Week 10 bye, meaning managers must find temporary replacements for those teams' skill players and quarterbacks. 

Week 10 brings the last of the international games, this time between the New England Patriots and the Indianapolis Colts in Frankfurt, Germany. The game will start at 9:30 a.m. ET. The game has a handful of key fantasy players, so remember to set those lineups early.

Below, we will break down one player at each position to target (love) and one player at each position to fade (hate) for your Week 10 fantasy football lineups based on matchups, injuries, strategies and more.

Love/Hate for NFL Week 9

Players We Love This Week

Sam Howell (at SEA)

Through nine weeks, Sam Howell has seven games finishing as the fantasy QB14 or better. He has quietly produced for fantasy with just two flops mixed in, which came against the Giants and Buffalo Bills in Weeks 3 and 7, respectively. He carved up the Eagles’ defense in Week 8 for just shy of 400 passing yards and four touchdowns to just one interception and finished as the QB1. 

Last week, he came back down to earth with 325 yards, one touchdown, one interception and 27 rushing yards, but he still managed to finish as the week’s QB10. 

Howell will be in the fringe-QB1 and streaming conversation this week for Patrick Mahomes, Tua Tagovailoa, or Jalen Hurts managers, or potentially as a multi-week starter with Daniel Jones out for the season.

D’Onta Foreman (vs. CAR)

Roschon Johnson and D’Onta Foreman were both active for just the second week in the Chicago Bears’ Week 9 matchup against the New Orleans Saints. However, Foreman significantly outshined Johnson. Foreman had 20 carries for 83 yards, and Johnson had two carries for six yards. Foreman also saw twice the number of offensive snaps. 

Foreman is one of the lone bright spots in this offense that has been otherwise disappointing for fantasy and beyond. We should regard him as an RB2/3 option moving forward, including this week against the Carolina Panthers, who rank second-to-last against fantasy running backs.

The Panthers’ defense has allowed an average of 1.38 rushing touchdowns to running backs this year. Based on this and Foreman’s dominance in the Bears’ backfield, he is a solid bet to find the end zone come Thursday night.

Tank Dell (vs. CIN)

Last week, the Texans exploded as Stroud broke the rookie single-game passing record against the Buccaneers. Tank Dell was one of three beneficiaries in that effort, alongside WR Noah Brown and TE Dalton Schultz. Dell tied Schultz for a team-high 11 targets and caught six passes for 114 yards and a pair of touchdowns. 

The rookie has three 17-point games or higher in half-PPR scoring through six career appearances. Dell is sneaking into the solid WR3/flex territory and should be a decent play this week with the Cincinnati Bengals, who are middle-of-the-road against receivers, on deck.

Jake Ferguson (vs. NYG)

The Dallas Cowboys capitalized on the Eagles’ porous pass defense despite ultimately coming up short for the win. QB Dak Prescott was near-perfect and threw for 347 yards, three touchdowns and zero interceptions, which reaped benefits for multiple Dallas pass-catchers.

WR CeeDee Lamb exploded for nearly 200 yards, and TE Jake Ferguson caught seven-of-10 targets for 91 yards and a touchdown – his best game of the year and good enough to finish as the TE5 in half-PPR. It was his second game in a row since the Cowboys’ Week 7 bye, finding the end zone and finishing top 10 or better.

Ferguson will be a locked-in TE1 option with a top-five upside against the Giants. Ferguson was unremarkable in Week 1 on the road against the Giants. However, the team relied heavily on their defense and run game, given the sloppy/wet conditions, and the Cowboys’ passing attack as a whole has also looks better of late.

Players We Hate This Week

Russell Wilson (at BUF)

Before the Denver Broncos’ Week 8 bye, Russell Wilson started to look like a viable quarterback. He completed 12-of-19 attempts for 114 yards, three touchdowns, zero interceptions and 30 rush yards. That led his squad to a massive win over the Chiefs on a frigid Denver day. 

Wilson will benefit from coming off of a Week 9 bye, but the Broncos have to jump directly into a tough matchup against the Bills. This will likely be Wilson’s biggest test of the season, having played a relatively easy schedule so far. In this brutal Monday night showdown, he falls outside the top 12 tier on the road. 

Saquon Barkley (vs. DAL)

This will probably come off as a hot take, given that Saquon Barkley seems like the only competent member of the Giants’ offense, and he has double-digit fantasy games in all but one this year. His lone, anemic game came in Week 1 against the Cowboys, where Barkley was held to a season-low 51 rushing yards. Barkley has struggled in the past against Dallas, however. He is averaging just more than 57 rush yards in nine career games against the Cowboys. 

To make matters worse, the Giants are likely starting backup QB Tommy DeVito, with Jones (ACL Tear) out for the year. In Week 8 with DeVito, the Giants posted -8 passing yards. Barkley was a massive part of that game and rushed 36 times for 128 yards, but that strategy will likely be less effective against the Cowboys than it was against the New York Jets.

Dallas’ rush defense is above-average and has kept players like Christian McCaffrey, Austin Ekeler and D’Andre Swift in check of late. They will likely stack the box without any viable downfield threat. 

While it's hard to imagine a scenario where a manager has the luxury to sit Barkley – especially with four teams on bye – managers should temper expectations this week. He falls into the low-end RB1 category based on pedigree and volume. Still, he has significantly less upside potential than usual in light of the matchup and suboptimal quarterback situation.

Amari Cooper (at BAL)

Amari Cooper is coming off his best game of the season in Week 9 against the Cardinals. He caught all five targets for 139 yards and a touchdown, finishing as the WR4 in half-PPR. It was his fifth game of eight this year with 12 or more fantasy points.  

However, Cooper could disappoint this week in a tough divisional matchup on the road against the Baltimore Ravens. He had his worst game of the season and was held to just one catch in these team's first meetings back in Week 4. However, Dorian Thompson-Robinson got the start that week, so little went right offensively in that game. Cooper falls into the fringe WR2/3 tier with many potential outcomes. 

Luke Musgrave (at PIT)

Luke Musgrave has been dealing with an ankle injury but did look better in Week 9. He caught three of his four targets for 51 yards and his first career touchdown against the Rams, who rank last against fantasy tight ends. 

This was Musgrove’s first double-digit fantasy performance, which is, in part, due to QB Jordan Love’s inconsistency. Those will continue to plague Musgrave while Love remains under center. Also, his Week 10 matchup is on the opposite end of the tight end defense spectrum.

The Green Bay Packers take on the Pittsburgh Steelers, whose defense ranks top two against tight ends and has only allowed one touchdown to the position through nine weeks (Schultz in Week 4). Even with Travis Kelce on a bye and Dallas Goedert and Darren Waller injured, Musgrave is a risky start this week.

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