Sunday Fantasy Football Fallout: Week 10 (2019)
The Sunday slate of games featured some key players making their returns while others left games early. Each week, I’ll be taking a look at the fantasy headlines to give you some rapid-fire fantasy feedback. Keep reading for some waiver wire, start/sit, and injury advice — oh, and the week’s best touchdown celebration. Let’s get started!
Kareem Hunt (RB – CLE) looked good in his return from his suspension.
Story: The NFL suspended Hunt for eight games this season, but the former Chief made his 2019 debut against the Bills on Sunday. Hunt earned four carries and nine targets, which he turned into 30 rushing yards and 44 receiving yards. With Hunt in the backfield, Nick Chubb still saw 20 carries and four targets, and he earned 116 yards on the ground and five through the air.
Fallout: It looks like the Browns have room for both Hunt and Chubb. Chubb’s massive 20-carry workload remained the same since Week 6. That’s right, Kitchens has let Chubb pound the rock exactly 20 times in four consecutive games. Chubb remains an every-week RB1, while Hunt becomes a flex option and a low-end RB2 in PPR formats. Hunt’s return does limit the appeal of some other Browns, however. While Jarvis Landry had a great game against the Bills, Odell Beckham struggled even with a high target share, and I’d expect similar low-ceiling performances from both moving forward. Baker Mayfield now has an elite check-down option, so Landry and Beckham may see less short-yardage work.
Patrick Mahomes (QB – KC) looked good returning from injury.
Story: When Mahomes went down against the Broncos, we weren’t sure how much time he would miss. Fortunately for Mahomes’ fantasy owners, he sat out for only two games. He came back for the Chiefs’ trip to Nashville this week, putting up 446 passing yards on the Titans for a season-best performance. Even better, Mahomes looked like the athletic player we saw in 2018, not the banged-up pocket passer that we’d gotten before he could rehab his ankle and dislocated kneecap. Seriously, did you see his jump pass to Mecole Hardman? Even more impressively, Mahomes did this while missing some key offensive linemen like Eric Fisher and Laurent Duvernay-Tardif.
Fallout: He’s back to weekly QB1 status. Sure, he’ll have to compete with Lamar Jackson for the overall QB1 slot each week, but the video game star we got in 2018 has returned. His comeback boosts the value of the full slate of Chiefs wideouts — Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill, Sammy Watkins, Mecole Hardman, and Demarcus Robinson — and all of them had at least eight PPR points. Mahomes’ return marked the departure of someone else from the Chiefs’ offense, however…
LeSean McCoy (RB – KC) was a healthy scratch.
Story: McCoy was inactive for the Chiefs’ game against the Titans. He earned only six snaps last week, but not getting a chance to suit up is another step downward. Without Shady in the backfield, Damien Williams earned 19 carries and five targets, while Darrel Williams and Darwin Thompson got three and two touches, respectively.
Fallout: It’s Week 10, and Damien Williams could finally begin to produce the second-round numbers that fantasy drafters expected him to produce. His five targets this week tied him with Demarcus Robinson, and he’s begun to dominate the Chiefs’ backfield. His 19 carries this week was a season-high, but he had gotten 12 in last week’s game against the Vikings. While Mahomes’ return could limit the number of times the Chiefs need to run the ball, Williams has a proven role to play in the team’s passing game.
Saquon Barkley (RB – NYG) got sent in for X-Rays.
Story: Barkley struggled in the Giants’ Week 10 loss to the Jets. He totaled one rushing yard on 13 attempts, and he caught five passes for 30 yards. After the game, head coach Pat Shurmur said that he had gotten “banged up,” and Barkley was seen going into the X-Ray room. When asked if he had gotten injured, Barkley refused to answer. The star running back could have aggravated the ankle injury he suffered earlier in the year. The Giants were without three starters along their offensive line, which certainly didn’t help.
Fallout: I’m not sure if Barkley will miss more time, but you should plan accordingly until we hear otherwise. Wayne Gallman excelled in his fill-in performance for Barkley back in Week 4, when he ran 18 times for 63 yards and a score. If the Barkley owner hasn’t handcuffed him (or if you’re the Barkley owner and you haven’t handcuffed him), Gallman should be worth an add. The Giants are on a bye next week, but the sheer volume that Gallman would inherit makes him worth adding in advance.
Devonta Freeman (RB – ATL) left Sunday’s game with an ankle injury.
Story: Freeman had logged just 13 touches for 48 yards before he left and did not return. The Falcons were already without their second-best back, Ito Smith, who recently landed on IR. Outside of Freeman, backup Brian Hill earned 20 carries for 61 yards, adding a 10-yard touchdown reception. Depth options Kenjon Barner got a single carry for 12 yards, and Qadree Ollison did not touch the ball.
Fallout: I’m not sure how long Freeman will be out, but it’s concerning that he couldn’t return. Although the Falcons finished with a pretty huge lead over the Saints, he could have returned to help the team ice the game. It’s not a good development for the 2-7 team. Since the Falcons are in the midst of a lost season, I wouldn’t be surprised if they don’t feel a need to rush Freeman back. You should add Hill from waivers if you have space.
Austin Hooper (TE – ATL) left Sunday’s game with a knee injury.
Story: Hooper could not return to the Falcons’ blowout of the Saints after he limped off of the field on in the fourth quarter. Hooper had caught just four passes for 17 yards before exiting, but he did save his fantasy day with a touchdown. Hooper has been a top-three tight end this season, so even a brief absence could hurt some fantasy teams’ late-season hopes.
Fallout: Fantasy owners should wait and see how the Falcons handle Hooper’s injury. Because it took place so late in the game, I wouldn’t be surprised if they held him out even if he could return. I don’t think that backup tight end Luke Stocker would automatically inherit Hooper’s usage if he misses time, and I think that Russell Gage, Calvin Ridley, and Julio Jones benefit the most if he can’t suit up.
The Baltimore Ravens D/ST scored two defensive touchdowns.
Story: The Ravens have scored five defensive touchdowns on the season. What’s more, they did all of that in the last three weeks. The Ravens defense started off poorly this year, as they had lost key pieces like C.J. Mosley, Terrell Suggs, and Za’Darius Smith in the offseason. But since they traded for Marcus Peters and fixed their inside linebacker issues, they’ve scored 18, 13, and 24 fantasy points in standard-scoring NFL.com leagues. And they’ve done it against more than just the Bengals — they beat up on Seattle and New England, too.
Fallout: They’re a weekly must-start. They might not be as good as the Patriots D/ST, but they’ve earned some increased fantasy attention after their recent hot streak. They take on Deshaun Watson and the Texans next, and they’ve got matchups with the Rams and the 49ers up next. All three have played successful offense, but the Ravens have proven their ability against good teams. The real upside of the Ravens’ defense comes during the fantasy playoffs, however, when they take on the Bills, the Jets, and the Browns from Weeks 14 to 16.
Christian Kirk (WR – ARI) led the Cardinals in receiving, again.
Story: Kirk caught six of his 10 targets for an impressive 138 yards and three touchdowns. Larry Fitzgerald finished as the second receiver, and he caught all eight of his targets for 71 yards. No other Cardinals wideout caught more than three passes.
Fallout: I wrote about this in Week 8, but it bears repeating. Kirk has emerged as Kyler Murray and Kliff Kingsbury’s WR1 since his return from injury in Week 8. Although the whole team struggled last week against the 49ers, the passing offense returned to normal against the Buccaneers’ pass-funnel defense. Kirk should be a locked-in WR2 moving forward, and you should only start Fitzgerald in PPR leagues.
Ronald Jones (RB – TB) excelled as Tampa’s lead back, until he didn’t.
Story: Bruce Arians announced that Ronald Jones had earned the starting role coming into this week’s game, and Jones dominated the Buccaneers’ first-half offense. He finished the game with 19 touches for 106 yards and a touchdown. Eight of those touches came on receptions, and Jones had only caught eight other passes so far this season. He will have even more value in PPR leagues if he can maintain that passing-down usage. Unfortunately, Jones also had a costly late-game fumble after he caught a pass from Jameis Winston in the flat. And when the Buccaneers needed to get the ball across the goal line in the fourth quarter, they looked Peyton Barber’s way instead.
Fallout: While Bruce Arians tends to use Barber in the red zone, I’m worried about what Jones’ fumble means going forward. Tampa Bay’s backfield has been in constant flux this season, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see Arians reverse course after just one game. The other issue is that Jones was pretty inefficient on the ground. On 11 carries, he ran for just 29 yards, good for 2.6 yards per carry (YPC). It’s his third game with under 3.0 YPC this season, and he’s earned more than 4.0 YPC just twice. I’d continue treating Jones as an RB2 moving forward, but keep an ear to the ground for what Arians says about him as next week approaches.
Darius Slayton (WR – NYG) led the Giants in receiving.
Story: Slayton put up Odell Beckham numbers on Sunday. On a whopping 14 targets, he caught 10 passes for 121 yards and two touchdowns. The Giants were without both Evan Engram and Sterling Shepard, but this isn’t the first game that Slayton has looked good with Daniel Jones. Back in Week 8, he caught two touchdown passes for 50 yards from the rookie. Aside from Golden Tate, no other Giants receiver got more than three targets.
Fallout: As the Giants deal with the injury bug, they’re increasingly turning to Slayton. Sure, Golden Tate still caught four passes for 95 yards and two scores. But he’s a slot guy, and it seems like Slayton is a more versatile player. Because Shepard is a slot receiver like Tate, I’d look for Slayton to carry some of his value even when other receivers return. This game could have been a fluke, but he’s worth an add in case it wasn’t.
Eric Ebron (TE – IND) led the Colts in targets.
Story: Colts backup Brian Hoyer threw Ebron’s way 12 times on Sunday, and the tight end caught five of those passes for 56 yards. Behind Ebron, Nyheim Hines and Zach Pascal both earned seven targets. Jack Doyle and Chester Rogers got four.
Fallout: While Hoyer’s passing preferences won’t matter when Jacoby Brissett returns, I’m predicting a temporary increase in work for Ebron for a few weeks. That’s because the tight end initiated a meeting with head coach Frank Reich to talk about his limited role so far this season. The Colts should be without receivers T.Y. Hilton and Parris Campbell for another few games, so Ebron has a chance to solidify an increased spot in the offense. Keep an eye on the impending returns of those two and Devin Funchess, because once they’re back, Ebron could easily fade back into fantasy irrelevance.
Robert Woods (WR – LAR) led the Rams in receiving. Also, Cooper Kupp (WR – LAR) didn’t catch a pass.
Story: The Rams were without Brandin Cooks this week, and Jared Goff continued to spread the ball around unpredictably. Woods caught nine passes for 75 yards on 11 targets. Gerald Everett led the team in looks from Goff, but he only caught eight of his 12 targets for 68 yards. Meanwhile, industry darling Josh Reynolds caught just three of his five targets for 49 yards. Leading receiver Cooper Kupp failed to catch any of his four targets.
Fallout: Some experts predicted Josh Reynolds to fill in for Cooks, but Goff didn’t look his way that often. For as long as Cooks’ absence continues, Woods should be a consistent low-end WR2 option, while Kupp should return to WR1 value after this week. Everett remains a mid-tier option at tight end, while I’d only think of Reynolds as a WR4.
Touchdown Celebration of the Week
— NFL (@NFL) November 10, 2019