It’s time for our Week 10 Starts and Sits! Remember, we’ll do our best to predict outcomes based on what’s given to us. That’s diving into the numbers, digging through the juicy matchups, examining trends, watching the film, and collecting data that should lean towards certain players being better starts than others. While it won’t always play out that way, fantasy is a game of what’s most “likely” to happen and we need to attack it that way.
Every week we try to make some of your decision-making easier with what we’ve collected, but ultimately it’s your call on what you want to do with your team. I’ll try to avoid the slam-dunk stud plays and focus more on players you’re teetering with putting in your starting lineups. We’re going to discuss Quarterbacks, Running Backs, Wide Receivers, and Tight Ends on each week’s slate, and I hope that we can win you the week!
Now, let’s let it ride.
Quarterbacks to Start:
Carson Wentz | Indianapolis Colts: Don’t look now, but Carson Wentz has slowly elevated himself up to QB1 territory, being ranked as the QB10 on the season. Currently averaging 18.6 fantasy points per game through nine weeks, Wentz has been one of the most consistent quarterbacks as of late. He has thrown multiple touchdown passes in six consecutive games and hasn’t scored lower than 17 fantasy points in six straight weeks. Four of the last five of these weeks being 20 or more points. The Colts’ offense is looking great right now, to say the least, with Wentz at the helm.
The Colts are facing a Jags’ defense that looked great against the Buffalo Bills last week, but are still allowing the 11th most fantasy points per game to quarterbacks this season, and have allowed at least two passing touchdowns in half their games this season. I would expect Wentz to perform favorably here and be a great start.
Matt Ryan | Atlanta Falcons: I had Matt Ryan in my “Sit” section last week and am looking pretty foolish when it came to Ryan’s Week 9 performance. Ryan was the QB3 on the week and put up 28.5 fantasy points against the stingy Saints defense. While Ryan might be QB18 on the season, he’s actually QB6 over the last three weeks and has scored at least 18.4 fantasy points in four of his last five games. This all while having the second-highest completion percentage of his career this season.
Ryan will face his former head coach in Dallas’ defensive coordinator Dan Quinn on the road in Week 10. Expect Ryan to have some idea of how to go against this defense and for him to have a decent day here. The Cowboys actually rank seventh-worst against opposing quarterbacks this season, giving up 20.7 fantasy points per game. Not to mention Denver just put up 30 on them in blowout fashion in Week 9. Continue riding the hot hand of Ryan in this matchup.
Derek Carr | Las Vegas Raiders: There’s a lot of trouble recently with the Raiders organization, but that hasn’t been the case for Derek Carr. He currently ranks fifth in the NFL in terms of passing yards and has Las Vegas at 5-3 going against their division-rival Kansas City Chiefs in Week 10. The Chiefs have allowed the second-most fantasy points allowed to opposing quarterbacks this season at 22.3 points per game. I expect the addition of DeSean Jackson to unlock the element of the Raiders passing game that was not there in Week 9 vs the Giants. Derek Carr ranks 4th in air yards and likes to throw the ball deep.
I’m not only excited for Jackson, but Carr was great against the Chiefs in 2020. Last year, Carr combined to throw for an over 70% completion percentage with 622 passing yards and six touchdown passes. That with a 122 passer rating. I like Carr here in what I expect to be a high-scoring game with the Chiefs.
Quarterback to Sit:
Jimmy Garoppolo| San Francisco 49ers: The number one fantasy quarterback over the last two weeks? That would be Mr. Jimmy Garoppolo, scoring 47.6 fantasy points over that period, while throwing for nearly 650 yards and nearly 10 yards per attempt. The problem with Garoppolo has been his consistency, as he had two single-digit fantasy point outings prior to the last two weeks. The opponents were also the Bears and Cardinals who don’t have great defenses by any means.
The biggest reason I’m scared of this game is the Rams’ defense. The Rams are one of the stingiest teams in regards to fantasy points. They’ve also allowed the second-fewest TDs to quarterbacks and 17.5 fantasy points per game. With Von Miller also expected to make his debut in this game, I’m staying away from Jimmy G and the passing game from the 49ers.
Running Backs to Start:
Devin Singletary | Buffalo Bills: As of this moment, Zack Moss (concussion) is highly questionable going into this week’s game. With that being the case, Devin Singletary having the backfield to himself would be a phenomenal play in Week 10 Last week Singletary alone saw eight targets. Targets like that are extremely valuable because each target is worth 2.8 running back carries. Despite only finding the endzone just once this season, Singletary has a great chance to do so in Week 10.
The team he gets to face is the New York Jets who rank dead-last against opposing running backs this season, allowing nearly 30% more fantasy points to the position than THE SECOND PLACE team. At nearly 40 fantasy points per game allowed and giving up the 2nd-most receptions to running backs this season, Singletary has a shot at an RB1 week in fantasy if Moss is inactive.
D’Ernest Johnson | Cleveland Browns: Let’s be clear; this is heavily contingent on Nick Chubb and Demetric Felton not being able to be cleared from COVID protocols in time for this game. The last time D’Ernest Johnson played without Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, he scored 24.8 PPR fantasy points by recording 22 carries for 146 yards and a touchdown, along with two catches for 22 yards on two targets.
New England is middle of the road against opposing running backs allowing 24.8 fantasy points per game to the position. With the expected volume that Johnson is going to receive (I’d expect over 20 touches), he makes a great RB2 play this week.
Kenyan Drake | Las Vegas Raiders: While Josh Jacobs may be the flashier player to look at here, I’m going to his teammate in Kenyan Drake. Drake has actually scored at least 16 PPR points in three straight games since Jon Gruden resigned. Not only that but he’s looked great on the ground last week where he averaged 7.5 yards per carry against a tough Giants defense while seeing eight targets and catching six of them for 70 yards. What’s important was this was the first game without Henry Ruggs and Drake seemed to serve as more of a weapon stepping up in the passing game, doubling targets of Zay Jones and Bryan Edwards.
The Chiefs are 16th against opposing fantasy running backs this season, but have also given up a healthy 54 receptions to running backs. In what should be a tough division-rival game, I think Drake is a great flex play this week.
Running Back to Sit:
Antonio Gibson | Washington Football Team: Antonio Gibson has been playing through a shin injury through much of the season, so we won’t know how it will affect him coming off of Washington’s Week 9 bye. Up until this point, we’ve seen him cede passing work to J.D. Mckissic but now also ceding rushing volume to Jaret Patterson.
The narrative only gets worse as Gibson faces the Tampa Bay Buccaneers who are only allowing 78 rushing yards per game (2nd best in the NFL) and have only allowed 2 scores on the ground this season. Let’s not forget the Bucs defense is fresh also coming off of a Week 9 bye and should be plenty ahead of Washington to where they will need to throw to keep up. That game script much favors Mckissic more so than Gibson and he would be the better play this week. I’m not advocating benching Gibson in deeper leagues, but in shallower 10-team and maybe even some 12-team formats, I might not be playing him.
Wide Receivers to Start:
Diontae Johnson | Pittsburgh Steelers: The current WR25 is coming off his worst game of the season in which he scored just 11.7 PPR points in the Steelers Monday Night win over the Bears. The upside and consistency have remained though, as Johnson has scored at least 11.7 PPR points in every game he’s played in this season and is 7th in the NFL in targets per game at 9.9.
Johnson should be in for a great bounce-back spot as he faces Lions in Week 10, a team that’s giving up 378.9 yards per game this season. That ranks 25th in the NFL. The Lions have been beaten a lot by opposing running backs, but have still given up over 34 fantasy points per game to wide receivers. Johnson should be a stud this week.
Brandon Aiyuk | San Francisco 49ers: The week we had been waiting for finally happened! Brandon Aiyuk showed us what made him a Top 12 fantasy wide receiver from Week 3 on in 2020 by recording six receptions for 89 yards and a touchdown in Week 9, while also recording an over 20% target share. His 11.1 yards per target gave the 49ers another wrinkle to their passing game and compliments Deebo Samuel well with his low aDOT throws and impressive YAC.
The 49ers will play a Los Angeles Rams defense that is giving up 34.8 points per game to wide receivers this season and will be coming for Jimmy G plenty in this game. I think Kyle Shanahan needs to utilize all his weapons to keep up with the Rams in this game so Aiyuk should have plenty of usage and flex viability in Week 10.
Rashod Bateman | Baltimore Ravens: I’m not thrilled for the return of Sammy Watkins in regards to what it does to Rashod Bateman, but we’re hoping talent wins out here. Over his first three NFL games, Rashod Bateman has become increasingly involved in the Ravens’ offense. That was on full display in Week 9, where he set new career highs for receptions (five) and targets (eight) while recording 52 yards.
Baltimore is traveling to Miami on Thursday night, where this Dolphins defense allows the 4th-most points to opposing wide receivers at over 42 fantasy points per game. They also have allowed the second-most receiving yards and receiving touchdowns. Bateman getting in the endzone should be on full display in this nationally televised game on Thursday night.
Wide Receiver to Sit:
Courtland Sutton | Denver Broncos: If you were trying to figure out who the alpha number one wide receiver is in Denver, you’re finding out before your very eyes. In three games with Jerry Jeudy on the field this season, Sutton has combined for four catches, 63 yards, and no touchdowns on just nine targets. Compare that to 37 catches, 525 yards, and two touchdowns on 55 targets in games without Jeudy. At least while Bridgewater remains quarterback, he benefits most from players with Jeudy’s skillset over Sutton’s and it will remain this way for the foreseeable future.
Philadelphia allows the 4th-fewest points to wide receivers this season and does well at preventing the big plays that Sutton tends to rely on. Combine that with the Eagles’ struggles against the tight end position and Sutton is due for a clunker in this one.
Tight End to Start:
Mike Gesicki | Miami Dolphins: This may be one of the more obvious plays this week, but I still wanted to list one of the best tight ends in catching the ball here. Gesicki ranks second on the Dolphins in targets, and this team down wide receivers Will Fuller and Devante Parker in this one. Most targets in what’s expected to be a negative game script for the Dolphins to be spread to Jaylen Waddle, Myles Gaskin, and Gesicki.
Gesicki also gets a favorable matchup this week against the Ravens. Baltimore has been generous to tight ends this season, giving up the third-most receiving yards, and second-most fantasy points per game to the position at over 18 per game. They’ve also given up six touchdowns to tight ends which only trails Philadelphia for the most in the NFL. Start Gesicki on Thursday night.
Tight End to Sit:
Dalton Schultz | Dallas Cowboys: I think we expected good years out of Ceedee Lamb and Amari Cooper, but many didn’t expect what we’re seeing from Dalton Schultz. He currently remains third on the team in targets and now has the tight end snaps to himself as Blake Jarwin is on IR. Why am I so low on Schultz this week then? Michael Gallup is expected to return to the lineup this week and I would expect that third-highest target share to funnel more towards him. Schultz also is coming off of a combined 12.5 PPR points over his last two weeks, which are his worst outputs since Week 2.
The Atlanta Falcons have not allowed a tight end to record 50 or more receiving yards in a game this season and given up only four receiving touchdowns to the position on the year. For now, Schultz is on the bench this week until I see how he does playing with Michael Gallup again.