Fantasy Football Panic Meter: Week 10 (2020)
After a fun Sunday of football, it’s time to discuss the players who let us down. In this column, I’ll identify the biggest disappointments of the week, and I’ll assign each player a grade from 0 to 5 that corresponds to my strategy of choice. Of course, I’ll leave out those whose disappointing performances were to injury, as you can read about those players in our weekly injury report.
|0||No fear. Keep starting this player.|
|1||A little worried. Consider benching them if you have a better option.|
|2||Wait-and-see. Bench them across the board.|
|3||On the block. Bench this player and try to sell.|
|4||Sell now. Take whatever you can get, but don’t drop them.|
|5||Droppable. Send them to waivers.|
So with the panic meter laid out, let’s get started!
Russell Wilson (SEA): 0
Yes, Wilson was a bust this week. No, you shouldn’t be worried. The Seahawks were up against the league’s third-best defense against quarterbacks, and sure, they made him look bad, but he’s having a monster season. For every dumb decision like this one:
Rams pick Russell Wilson off again 😳
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) November 16, 2020
Wilson has twice as many highlights. I wouldn’t buy into the narrative that his MVP campaign is over (although Kyler Murray is probably the favorite at this point), and you should continue starting Wilson with confidence.
The Seahawks will have a Thursday night rematch with the Cardinals this week, and Wilson hung 32.9 points on them a few weeks back. That was good for the QB5 finish, and Wilson should post similar QB1 numbers again. Don’t panic; he’ll right the ship.
Ryan Tannehill (TEN): 3
Tannehill has been trending down, but he hit a new low on Thursday night. He scored just 10.8 points, his fewest on the year, and it marked his fourth-straight game with fewer than 20 points. He hasn’t finished better than the QB13 through that span.
So what’s the deal? Touchdown regression. Tannehill was an easily identifiable regression candidate in the offseason, and though he maintained his hot pace from last season to start the year, he’s fallen off considerably. Between Weeks 1 and 6, Tannehill threw 13 touchdowns (2.6 per game); from Weeks 7 to 10, he threw just seven (1.8 per game).
Tannehill was never a high-volume passer in Tennessee, and he has depended upon those scoring plays to hit fantasy value. While he’s a fantastic upside pick at QB2, he no longer has a place in the QB1 conversation. You should plan to bench or cut him moving forward, especially since he has the Ravens (Week 11) and Colts (Week 12) up next.
Kalen Ballage beat Kelley in carries (18 to 7), yards per carry (3.7 to 3.0), and receptions (5 to 0). Ballage has come a long way from getting cut by both the Jets and Dolphins, and it seems the west coast air has done him some good. Meanwhile, Kelley continues to be one of the league’s least-efficient backs, and I doubt that he’ll have much of a role once Ekeler returns.
You can safely return Kelley to waivers, as he isn’t startable even with the two best running backs on this roster sidelined.
Phillip Lindsay (DEN): 3
Denver’s matchup with the Raiders was a smash spot. Las Vegas was giving up the fourth-most PPR points to the position. Despite the amazing opportunity, Lindsay amassed… two yards on four carries. He did not catch a pass.
To be fair, a lot of the blame falls on Drew Lock. The struggling sophomore threw four interceptions in the loss, and the game script was never really in Lindsay’s favor. Still, Lindsay hasn’t seen the passing-game role that some expected him to get alongside Melvin Gordon, and the ex-Charger is the clear favorite in this backfield — he even managed 11 carries this week in the unfriendly game script.
I wouldn’t start Lindsay next week against the Dolphins, but I wouldn’t cut him yet, either. He was averaging 8.9 half-PPR points per game from Week 6 to Week 9, and he had posted double-digit points in two of those four games.
Michael Thomas (NO): 0.5
If you took MT in the first round, I’m certain that you were expecting him to have more than 10 receptions for 95 yards by Week 10. Unfortunately, that’s all he has.
Thomas’ fantasy stock took another hit this week, as Drew Brees went down, and his status for Week 11 is uncertain. The Saints leaned on Alvin Kamara to beat the 49ers this week, as he totaled seven receptions for 83 yards and a score (he also ran the ball eight times for 15 yards). Aside from Deonte Harris, no other New Orleans pass-catcher caught more than two passes.
That said, you should keep starting Thomas. He’s still getting a ton of targets — he had seven of them in Week 10, the second-most on the team — and he should absolutely shred Atlanta’s soft secondary next week. Keep the faith and leave Thomas in your Week 11 lineup.
D.K. Metcalf (SEA): 1
The matchup-proof receiver was suddenly no longer matchup-proof this weekend. Just one week after Metcalf shredded Tre’Davious White, Jalen Ramsey pretty much took him out of the game.
Jalen Ramsey matched up with DK Metcalf on 30 routes …
🔒 4 targets
🔒 2 catches
🔒 28 receiving yards pic.twitter.com/f6W61aMKFZ
— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) November 16, 2020
Week 10 was a worst-case scenario for Metcalf managers. That said, Week 11 isn’t much better, as Metcalf will face the Cardinals for the second time; he caught just two passes for 23 yards against them in Week 7. Metcalf will also play the Rams again in Week 16 — when most leagues will play their fantasy championships — and that should rightfully concern his managers.
If you somehow have a deep enough roster where you can afford to bench Metcalf next week, I would do it. The Cardinals could easily limit him again. However, Metcalf should return to his high-upside WR1 form once Week 11 is over. He will face the Eagles (Week 12), Giants (Week 13), Jets (Week 14), and Football Team (Week 15) before he has to play Ramsey again.
A.J. Green (CIN): 5
What happened? Green was in the middle of a surprising mid-season turnaround, but he’s caught just two passes for 19 yards over the last two weeks. He went without a catch in this week’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
If you haven’t moved on from Green already, it’s time. Yes, there are plenty of good arguments for keeping him on your roster — he gets a reliable stream of targets (he had five this week, for example, and five the week before) and, as of Week 8, he was leading this team in air yards. But his catch rate is now just 45.5%, the worst it’s been in his career, so that volume hasn’t translated into fantasy value.
You can’t trust Green to start, so you’re just burning a hole in your roster by keeping him on your bench.
T.J. Hockenson (DET): 0
Hockenson had a down game against the Washington Football Team this week, but there’s no cause for alarm. He’s still one of Detroit’s best healthy receiving weapons, and the team just lost Danny Amendola to a hip injury. While it’s unclear if Amendola will have to miss time, Hockenson doesn’t exactly have much competition for targets here, especially if Kenny Golladay doesn’t return soon.
Entering Week 10, Hockenson was the TE3 on the season in half-PPR formats. He had scored no fewer than seven half-PPR points before this week, and he should rebound against the Panthers in Week 11. You should keep starting him with confidence.
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