Fantasy Football Recap and Takeaways: Week 10
Week 10 did not pan out for every superstar, but it was certainly a good day for quarterbacks held back by Jeff Fisher.
Jared Goff and Case Keenum finished among Sunday’s top performers in a bizarre week where C.J. Beathard and DeShone Kizer easily out-earned Drew Brees and Dak Prescott. Big names such as Melvin Gordon, Leonard Fournette, and Antonio Brown also limped to mediocre returns.
As fantasy players start planning ahead for a playoff run, let’s examine each Week 10 matchup for meaningful results and takeaways.
Seattle Seahawks 22, Arizona Cardinals 16
- After producing 42 yards on 22 touches, Adrian Peterson has 301 total yards in two Cardinals victories and 75 yards in two losses. He has also lost a fumble in back-to-back games. Although elite in the optimal matchup, he has maintained a low floor in Arizona despite accruing 99 touches in four contests. The Texans give up most of their damage through the air, so he’s an unappetizing Week 11 volume play.
- Drew Stanton turned 47 pass attempts into 273 passing yards and a touchdown to Jermaine Gresham, who has notched his only two end-zone appearances of 2017 with Carson Palmer‘s replacement. Yet the Cardinals must reach another step down the depth chart since Stanton sprained his knee on Thursday night. Blaine Gabbert could potentially prove a slight upgrade, but he might not form the same bond with the tight end. After catching 10 of 14 targets for 113 yards, Larry Fitzgerald has preserved starting status regardless of who plays under center.
- Jimmy Graham‘s second two-touchdown game of the season gives him six scores in Seattle’s last five games. That matches 2016’s tally, which tripled 2015’s mark. He’s averaging 7.6 targets per game since Week 2’s one-yard dud, and Seattle’s rushing offense stayed stagnant with 75 yards on 23 carries against Arizona. For the first time since leaving the Saints, Graham is performing like a top-tier tight end. He’s a locked-in starter alongside Russell Wilson and Doug Baldwin.
Green Bay Packers 23, Chicago Bears 16
- Brett Hundley and Mitchell Trubisky each played the best game of his career Sunday at Soldier Field. In his first win as an NFL starter, Hundley went 18-of-25 with 212 passing yards and a touchdown to Davante Adams, who accrued 90 yards on five catches. Trubisky obliterated his previous season high of 163 passing yards with 297, fueled by a 47-yard touchdown pass to Joshua Bellamy. Neither makes a cogent short-term fantasy option, but Hundley’s progress could recuperate some of his teammates’ fantasy stock. Bellamy hadn’t caught a pass since Chicago last played Green Bay in Week 4, so don’t pay much attention to any Bears receiver just yet.
- In four games as a starter, Hundley has targeted Adams in 33 of his 121 passes. The 24-year-old wideout has 209 yards and two touchdowns since losing Aaron Rodgers. Jordy Nelson, meanwhile, has secured 14 of his 25 targets for 128 yards and no scores. He crossed the pylon six times in five games with Rodgers. Hundley has preferred Adams to Nelson, so fantasy managers should as well. Nelson investors should make the tough, but necessary call to bench him in a rough Week 11 matchup against Baltimore.
- Aaron Jones left early with a knee injury, paving the way for Ty Montgomery to return to the limelight with a 37-yard touchdown run. He then exited with injured ribs, leading to Jamaal Williams fielding 20 carries for 67 yards. A preseason sleeper, the rookie would receive plenty of reps if Jones and Montgomery both miss time. (Jones is at least likely to be sidelined, which could revitalize Montgomery’s fantasy stock if he’s healthy.) Grab Williams in case he slides into a featured-back role for the foreseeable future.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 15, New York Jets 10
- The Journeyman Quarterback Bowl did not go well, as Josh McCown and Ryan Fitzpatrick each tossed one touchdown in an ugly bout. Filling in for Jameis Winston while Mike Evans served a suspension, Fitzpatrick completed 17 of 34 passes against his old squad. He targeted DeSean Jackson and Chris Godwin 10 times apiece, but Cameron Brate finished with one catch for the second consecutive week. The tight end has taken the biggest hit without Winston, and Godwin is likely to cede Week 10’s heavy involvement to a returning Evans, now Tampa Bay’s only comfortable Week 11 option.
- Robby Anderson found the end zone for the fourth straight game, a stretch in which he has compiled 272 yards. This score came on a late garbage-time heave, but the Jets will often play from behind during a rough second-half schedule. Their top receiver has earned a starting nod even in a difficult Week 12 matchup against the Panthers following their bye.
- Playing without Matt Forte, Elijah McGuire and Bilal Powell produced 58 and 36 total yards, respectively. Powell, who has not scored a touchdown or cleared 100 yards since Week 4, also lost his first fumble of the season. Despite averaging 4.5 yards per carry, his lone 2017 highlight remains a 75-yard touchdown run when the Jaguars thought the play was over. Powell is not a must-start even if the extra week does not give Forte enough time to return from a knee injury.
Detroit Lions 38, Cleveland Browns 24
- Detroit ranked No. 6 in rushing defense before relinquishing 201 rushing yards to the Cleveland trio of Isaiah Crowell (90), Kizer (57), and Duke Johnson (54). After finally halting his touchdown drought last week, Crowell cemented consecutive weeks with a score and over 5.0 yards per carry. He has regained managers’ trust just in time for a favorable tilt against Jacksonville’s run-funnel defense. Averaging 7.8 touches per game through Week 6, Johnson since has 39 (including 14 catches) over the past three bouts, so he’s recapturing PPR flex consideration. Kizer left what was then a tight game after taking a hard hit to the chest, and he has a long way to go before commanding a home away from the waiver wire.
- Anyone counting on Matthew Stafford and Golden Tate had to sweat out a sluggish start. It all worked out when the quarterback connected with his top wideout for his second fourth-quarter score. While Stafford snapped his streak of 300-yard games with 249 passing yards, he has offered 1,574 yards and 10 touchdowns in the last five games. Tate has 440 yards over that timeframe with at least five catches and seven targets each time. Stick with them in a tougher NFC North showdown against the Bears.
- Marvin Jones, on the other hand, vanished. After accumulating 331 yards on 36 targets in the last three games, he caught one of two targets for 22 yards against a Browns defense ripe for exploitation. So he’s not Julio Jones just yet. Although he remains prone to a wide range of outcomes despite a recent surge, he also saw the field for 50 of 52 snaps, per Pro Football Focus’s Nathan Jahnke. Keep him in the fold as a volatile, but worthwhile No. 2 receiver.
New Orleans Saints 47, Buffalo Bills 10
- The Saints scored six touchdowns. None stemmed from a Brees pass. Left out of the end zone last week, Mark Ingram exacted revenge with three touchdowns alongside 131 rushing yards. Alvin Kamara added 138 total yards and a score on 17 touches. On the bright side for Brees owners teased by his team’s crooked tally, at least he punched in a touchdown on his longest run (seven yards) since Sept. 26, 2016. The Saints are legit, which means Ingram and Kamara can continue to symbiotically dominate as elite options. Neither has recorded below 75 yards in a game since they traded Adrian Peterson. Brees should also enjoy some positive touchdown regression against a Washington defense walloped by Keenum.
- Michael Thomas hasn’t experienced major fantasy ramifications from New Orleans’s unstoppable ground game. Since submitting 11 yards in Week 6’s 52-38 win over the Lions, the receiver has stockpiled 31 catches and 341 yards in four games. Although he has not scored a touchdown since Week 4, he has proven a dependable low-floor star despite the one hiccup. After registering his first 100-yard performance against a robust Bills secondary, he’s a top-shelf play for seasonal and DFS gamers against Washington.
- Kelvin Benjamin led the Bills in receiving yards and targets during his team debut. Unfortunately, that amounted to just 42 yards on six targets. Playing for the first time in over a month, Charles Clay collected two catches for 13 yards. Tyrod Taylor averaging a putrid 3.1 yards per attempt may say just as much about the Saints’ defense ascending from atrocious to apt to awesome, but Buffalo could continue to struggle with Benjamin learning the offense and Clay easing back into action.
Tennessee Titans 24, Cincinnati Bengals 20
- DeMarco Murray amassed Tennessee’s third-most rushing yards (42) behind Derrick Henry (52) and Marcus Mariota (51), but he added 30 receiving yards and three touchdowns (two rushing, one receiving), all from inside the 10. This comes a week after Henry bulldozed a one-yard touchdown run, so good luck figuring out this distribution of labor. Murray now looks like the superior Week 11 play, but neither is particularly alluring against the Steelers on Thursday night. While Mariota had another underwhelming passing performance (25-of-44, 264 yards, a touchdown, and a pick), the running gains signify significant progress after cobbling 14 rushing yards in the last three games combined.
- Not suspended for wrestling Jalen Ramsey last weekend, A.J. Green instead registered his third 100-yard effort with help from a 70-yard touchdown. Despite his presence, Brandon LaFell boasted a season-high 95 yards and led Cincinnati with six catches and 10 targets. He entered Week 10 averaging 3.1 catches and 26 yards per contest, so don’t get too excited about his play against a soft Titans secondary. The Broncos will pose a far stiffer test in Week 11, making Green – and perhaps Tyler Kroft despite a four-yard dud – the only Bengals pass-catchers worth starting.
- Although he tallied just four catches for 48 yards, Corey Davis received a team-high 10 targets. He nearly earned the first touchdown of his career but instead fumbled right before crossing the pylon for a costly turnover and touchback. Mariota has thrown to the Titans rookie 28 times in four games. Per Jahnke, Davis logged 78 snaps to Eric Decker‘s 34 on an astronomical 90 plays. Keep him stashed on the bench Thursday night, as he could then break out after Thanksgiving with the Colts, Texans, Cardinals, and 49ers lurking.
Pittsburgh Steelers 20, Indianapolis Colts 17
- In a prime spot for Le’Veon Bell and Brown to dominate, neither superstar fully delivered. Bell needed 31 touches to tally 112 yards against a Colts defense that had permitted 4.2 yards per carry and an NFL-high 10 rushing touchdowns. Brown set season lows in catches (three) and targets (seven) with just 47 yards. It’s a particularly frustrating missed opportunity for DFS players, but there’s little cause for concern. Bell passed the inactive Kareem Hunt (bye) and Ezekiel Elliott (suspension) for the NFL’s rushing-yard lead, and Brown still tops everyone with 882 receiving yards. A home tilt against the Titans presents the perfect bounce-back spot.
- Chester Rogers and Donte Moncrief each out-produced Brown on one play with touchdown catches of 61 and 60 yards, respectively, from Jacoby Brissett. While that was Montcrief’s lone snag of the day, Rogers – who entered the game with five catches and 47 yards on the season – secured all six targets for 104 yards. Jack Doyle, meanwhile, mustered nine yards after averaging 8.25 catches in the previous four contests. Go figure. Keep an eye on Week 10’s breakout star, but Rogers is only worth a claim in deeper leagues. Doyle and T.Y. Hilton should regain their meatier roles alongside Brissett, who has engineered six plays of 50 yards or more this season.
- Marlon Mack‘s momentum took another hit with 26 yards on nine touches. Frank Gore‘s 17 rushes for 54 yards was an efficient gem compared to the rookie’s seven yards on as many carries. In the Colts’s last three games, Mack has 63 rushing yards on 27 carries. He has likely played himself out of garnering a bigger role anytime soon. Averaging 3.5 yards per run in 2017 and searching for his first touchdown since Week 3, Gore still isn’t a viable fantasy starter either.
Minnesota Vikings 38, Washington Redskins 30
- With Teddy Bridgewater active for the first game since Jan. 10, 2016, Keenum torched Washington for 304 yards, four touchdowns, and two picks in just 29 passes. Averaging 7.3 yards per attempt this season with a 67.3 completion percentage over Minnesota’s five-game winning streak, he has earned the right to maintain his starting spot. While nobody’s championship outlook should hinge on Keenum in one-quarterback leagues, Adam Thielen‘s investors should root for the status quo. In auditioning to scoring his second touchdown in as many weeks with a season-best 166 yards, the wideout collected double-digit targets (12) for the fourth consecutive game. On pace for 99 receptions and 1,409 yards, he has emerged as a stud alongside his current passer. He may even be more valuable than a healthy Stefon Diggs, who contributed 78 yards and his fifth touchdown in just seven games. Bridgewater wouldn’t necessarily torpedo their stock, but their value could depreciate a tad if the younger quarterback is rushed back into action at Keenum’s expense.
- For the second time in three games, Jerick McKinnon (12 touches, 47 yards) took a back seat to Latavius Murray (17 rushes, 68 yards, and a touchdown). Although they split the playing time, McKinnon has absorbed the majority of playing time in every game without Dalvin Cook after logging one more of Minnesota’s 61 snaps than Murray. The Rams may not yield a game script conducive to both backs succeeding, but McKinnon is still the more well-rounded talent with a massive ceiling but lower-than-desirable floor.
- After missing Week 9, Jamison Crowder returned to match Vernon Davis‘s 11 targets and 76 yards. Washington’s top wideout, however, dropped three passes – including a would-be touchdown – on one drive. Let’s take a glass-half-full approach and appreciate his 24 targets over the past two games. Horrid start and missed chances aside, he has salvaged value as a No. 3 fantasy receiver. Keep starting Davis as long as Jordan Reed is sidelined.
- A week after punching in two short touchdowns, Rob Kelley produced 10 rushing yards. Kirk Cousins instead hogged a pair of scores with his legs. Chris Thompson has also cooled down from a sizzling start with 98 yards over the past two games. He is still the only Washington running back worth starting but is regressing closer to flex territory in non-PPR formats.
Jacksonville Jaguars 20, Los Angeles Chargers 17 (OT)
- Struggling to move the ball against a Chargers defense that entered Week 10 with the second-worst rushing defense, the Jaguars deviated from their norm. While Fournette ran for a season-low 33 yards in his return from an ankle injury and disciplinary sidelining, Blake Bortles attempted a season-high 51 passes. He was averaging 29.25 passes per game. He completed 28 of them for 273 yards and two picks – including a late one that nearly cost Jacksonville the game – but it would make sense to keep airing it out against a Browns unit stout against the run but terrible versus the aerial attack. It seems more likely, however, that Jacksonville’s defense shuts down Cleveland, allowing Fournette to regain his No. 1 running back standing with a heavy workload. Bortles is nevertheless a tempting streamer for daring gamers.
- Austin Ekeler led the Chargers in rushing (42) and receiving (77) yards while tiptoeing the sideline for both of their touchdowns. Per NFL Research, he became the first running back to score two touchdowns of 20-plus yards in a single game since Jamaal Charles in 2013. He also coughed up a fumble late in the fourth quarter as the Chargers attempted to run out the clock with a 17-14 edge. Coaches don’t forget such blusters, especially from undrafted rookie running backs, so Melvin Gordon returned to the field in overtime. Ekeler has gone five games with zero or one rushing yard, so don’t label the 5’9″ newcomer the next Danny Woodhead just yet. Yet his emergence certainly isn’t the best news for Gordon, who has finished with fewer than 45 yards in three of Los Angeles’s last six games. With so few stalwart rushers, he remains a top-10 option against the Bills.
- Just when Hunter Henry finally looked safe to trust, he has three catches for 18 yards in the past two games. The highly volatile tight end has produced double-digit PPR points in five games, but these past two blunders don’t even represent the floor for someone who posted goose eggs in Weeks 1 and 3. Start at your own peril.
Los Angeles Rams 33, Houston Texans 7
- The Rams scored 224 points last year. They have an NFL-high 296 points through nine games. In his second straight monster outing, Goff torched the Texans for 355 passing yards and three touchdowns. Robert Woods soaked up most of the results with a 94-yard score highlighting his 171-yard, two-touchdown outburst. Woods now has 436 yards and four touchdowns over Los Angeles’s last four games, during which Goff has accounted for 10 scores. This is an outstanding duo, but one that has feasted on many mediocre defenses. While they probably peaked against the reeling Giants and Texans, Woods has especially graduated to weekly-start status.
- Tom Savage surrendered four turnovers and completed 18 of 36 passes. So yeah, a bit of a decline from Deshaun Watson. But DeAndre Hopkins remained at the forefront of Houston’s diminished offense with seven catches and 111 yards. He has a lackluster 43.4 catch rate in the last two games without the rookie quarterback, but he can afford so many inaccurate passes when targeted an NFL-high 108 times, 30 in those two bouts. After compiling 74 yards on a dozen touches, Lamar Miller remains playable as a No. 2 running back with a lowered ceiling. Will Fuller was due for regression regardless, but Watson’s injury has expedited his lapse with two catches – none for touchdowns – in each game.
- Another 68 receiving yards gives Todd Gurley a career-high 406 this season. That ties Christian McCaffrey for the second-highest mark among running backs behind Thompson’s 494 before Monday night. It’s also more than Sammy Watkins, who upped his tally to 372 with a 17-yard touchdown. He has scored in back-to-back weeks despite receiving five combined targets. The offense is all about Gurley and Woods, limiting Watkins to a touchdown-dependent flex option.
Atlanta Falcons 27, Dallas Cowboys 7
- With Elliott beginning to serve his suspension, Alfred Morris mustered 53 yards on 11 carries. He’s the clear early benefactor over Darren McFadden who lost two yards on his only handoff. The Cowboys missed Elliott, averaging 3.9 yards per play. Yet they suffered far more from playing without Tyron Smith. With the star tackle inactive, Adrian Clayborn recorded six of Atlanta’s eight sacks on Dak Prescott, who went 20-of-30 for 176 passing yards. Prescott could benefit from more passing opportunities without Elliott, but only if Smith returns to fortify the offensive line. The Eagles have relinquished 66.4 rushing yards per game, so stay away from Morris in Week 11.
- Devonta Freeman left the game with a concussion, leading Tevin Coleman to take over for 83 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries. Freeman also suffered a concussion in August, so one would hope the Falcons take the diagnosis seriously and don’t rush him back. Averaging 66.9 yards per game despite his restricted role, Coleman becomes a must-start play – even at Seattle in Week 11 – if upgraded to Atlanta’s starting running back.
- In Week 9, Terrance Williams flourished while Jason Witten barely made a whimper. Those roles reversed to the norm against Atlanta, with the tight end possessing all seven targets for 59 yards while Williams finished with a nine-yard grab. Witten’s role should stabilize without Elliott, but it’s no certainty given the duds witnessed this season. He’s a low-end starting choice in Week 11. Also prone to maddening lows, Austin Hooper scored his third receiving touchdown of the season, tying Mohamed Sanu for the team lead. While he’s also not an ideal Week 11 option against the Seahawks, the position isn’t swimming with reliable choices.
San Francisco 49ers 31, New York Giants 21
- The Giants are a dumpster fire, but some notable contributors have emerged through the flames. Having scored a touchdown in four straight games while averaging eight targets per matchup, Evan Engram is gaining ground on Zach Ertz, Travis Kelce, and Graham as the top fantasy tight end beyond Rob Gronkowski. Settling for the No. 4 or 5 spot isn’t bad for a rookie at a position where neophytes rarely thrive. A week after some missed connections with Eli Manning, Sterling Shepard caught 11 of 13 targets for 143 yards. As Big Blue’s clear-cut top wide receiver, he’s a top-20 play in what should be a high-scoring Week 11 affair – even if the Giants inflict their damage in garbage time – against the Chiefs. With 362 rushing yards in the last four games, Orleans Darkwa still holds flex appeal despite not maximizing a golden opportunity against the 49ers.
- In what could potentially be his last start before handing the reins to Jimmy Garoppolo, Beathard threw for 288 yards and accounted for three touchdowns (two passing, one rushing). It’s hard to extract any exciting fantasy takeaways when fullback Kyle Juszczyk led the team with five catches. Marquise Goodwin went deep for an 83-yard touchdown, but that represented his only grab. Garrett Celek‘s 47-yard score says more about the Giants, who have still allowed a touchdown to a tight end in every game this season. They return from a Week 11 bye to play the Seahawks, who unlike the Giants will try to play defense. Keep anyone other than Carlos Hyde out of starting lineups.
New England Patriots 41, Denver Broncos 16
- Facing Denver’s stout secondary without Chris Hogan, Tom Brady connected with wide receivers on 10 of his 25 completions for 99 yards. He still procured 266 yards and three touchdowns, giving him eight straight games with at least two touchdowns or 300 yards. The superstar quarterback is matchup-proof because of his ability to spread the ball. Brandin Cooks inflated his final output to 74 yards with a 27-yard screen play from Brian Hoyer. Although he has an underwhelming 38 catches in nine games, the former Saints standout is still on pace for another 1,000-yard season and remains a top-12 wideout.
- With Mike Gillislee a healthy scratch, Dion Lewis, Rex Burkhead, and James White each scored a touchdown. In addition to opening the game with a 14-yard receiving score, Burkhead fell one touch shy of Lewis’s 14 due to a season-high 10 carries. At least one of them will find Week 11 success against the Raiders, who have allowed 26.1 ESPN fantasy points per game to running backs. Much of that comes from relinquishing 56 receptions, so White and Burkhead merit some PPR consideration while Lewis should enjoy a steady rushing workload with Gillislee out of the fold.
- Emmanuel Sanders cleared 100 yards (137) for the first time this season. Demaryius Thomas‘ backers also went to bed happy after he compiled 44 yards and his second touchdown in as many weeks. Brock Osweiler targeted seven other Broncos players who combined for 40 yards, 28 from Cody Latimer. They have scored 100 points in seven games since Week 2, but at least everyone can count on Sanders and Thomas accounting for most of their subpar offense. Both are steady No. 2 receivers despite Denver’s inferior quarterback play.