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Target Analysis: Week 10 (2020 Fantasy Football)

Nov 18, 2020

Michael Pittman was the latest rookie wideout to have a breakout game.

We’ve seen it time and time again. Volume is the clearest indicator of fantasy success, as it’s rare for a player to be a fantasy football stud without the opportunity to convert touches into points. Pass-catching opportunities, especially in PPR leagues, are often a bigger determinant of fantasy success than a player’s talent or circumstances.

So, every week of this fantasy season, I will diagnose the target landscape in the NFL. Who’s seeing the highest share on a team? Who’s trending downward? And most importantly, what takeaways can we draw from this data to ultimately help you make better fantasy lineup and roster decisions?

Here is your Week 10 Target Analysis:

Arizona Cardinals

DeAndre Hopkins 12 15 5.00 88 9.78 ⬆️
Christian Kirk 6 14 4.67 46 5.75 ⬇️
Larry Fitzgerald 5 10 3.33 47 5.22
Dan Arnold 4 5 1.67 20 2.22 ⬆️
Chase Edmonds 3 6 2.00 38 4.22
Andy Isabella 1 4 1.33 21 2.33 ⬇️

Holy-moly, DeAndre Hopkins! The former Texan wideout continues to pay dividends for the Arizona Cardinals, as he reeled in seven of his 12 targets for 127 yards, including a game-winning 43-yard Hail Mary to win the game over the Buffalo Bills. Outside of one game this season, Hopkins has been remarkable and continues to develop a rapport with Kyler Murray. He makes this passing offense go, and he’s a big reason as to why Kyler Murray is the QB1 in fantasy. Christian Kirk cooled down from his previous two double-digit fantasy days, only corralling four catches for 27 yards off of six targets.

Kirk is always going to be a volatile start, but given the Cardinals continue to play in shoot-outs, he’s a worthwhile FLEX-play that can catch a deep touchdown on any play. Hopkins is a WR1 every week regardless of the cornerback opposing him, and he’s on pace to be the best fantasy wide receiver in 2020. Aside from those two, there aren’t many other pass-catchers in Arizona that I would consider rostering, let alone starting.

Baltimore Ravens

Mark Andrews 9 20 6.67 53 5.89 ⬆️
Willie Snead V 7 18 6.00 33 3.67 ⬆️
Marquise Brown 6 13 4.33 55 6.11 ⬆️
Devin Duvernay 3 6 2.00 18 2.00 ⬆️
Mark Ingram 2 2 0.67 7 1.00 ⬆️
J.K. Dobbins 2 6 2.00 20 2.22

It had been monsooning for most of the Sunday Night Football game, but Lamar Jackson actually had a pretty solid performance as a passer. Jackson completed 24 of 34 passes for 249 yards and two touchdowns; unfortunately, most of the production went to the guy you didn’t start. Willie Snead was the pass-catcher of choice in Baltimore in Week 10, catching five of his seven targets for 64 yards and two touchdowns. He led the Ravens in receiving yards and consistently got open on underneath routes. Meanwhile, Marquise Brown continues to be a minefield in your lineup; he caught just two of his six targets for 14 measly yards.

I’ve been a believer in Marquise Brown since Week 1 of last year, but he just seems to lack any rapport with Lamar Jackson to make him a worthwhile fantasy asset. If you’ve listened to any fantasy analyst with some sense, Brown has been on your bench for most of the season. Now, however, it’s time to drop him. I would rather put guys like Josh Reynolds, Cole Beasley, or Hunter Renfrow in my lineup; at least those players have had productive games this season despite being the third option in the passing game for their respective franchises. Mark Andrews is barely startable, but he’s in your lineup by virtue of his position. No other Raven pass-catcher should be rostered.

Buffalo Bills

Cole Beasley 13 18 6.00 67 6.70 ⬆️
Stefon Diggs 11 32 10.67 102 10.20 ⬇️
John Brown 8 21 7.00 48 5.33 ⬇️
Devin Singletary 5 9 3.00 38 3.80 ⬆️
Dawson Knox 3 3 1.00 15 2.50 ⬆️
Gabe Davis 3 10 3.33 31 3.10 ⬇️

Josh Allen hit Stefon Diggs in the left quarter of the end zone with 34 seconds left to take a four-point lead in Arizona. Unfortunately for the Bills Mafia, Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins have been virtually unstoppable this year. Nonetheless, Allen and the Buffalo offense had a very productive day through the air, passing for 296 yards and three touchdowns. All three starting wideouts saw eight or more targets, caught six or more passes, and accumulated at least 70 receiving yards. John Brown suffered an injury late in the game, which allowed Cole Beasley to have one of his best games of the season, as he was heavily targeted following Brown’s departure.

Stefon Diggs will be a fantasy WR1 and likely finish in the top-five of his position when all is said and done. He currently leads the NFL in most receiving categories, and he’s averaging over 10 targets per game. Regardless of the matchup, you will be starting Stefon Diggs. John Brown is a viable WR3, but he has WR2 potential depending on the matchup. Beasley has a solid floor and he’s a solid WR4 in PPR leagues if you are in need of a spot start.

Carolina Panthers

D.J. Moore 7 16 5.33 69 6.90 ⬆️
Robby Anderson 6 27 9.00 88 8.80 ⬇️
Mike Davis 5 13 4.33 54 5.40 ⬇️
Curtis Samuel 5 19 6.33 48 5.33 ⬇️
Alex Armah 2 2 0.67 5 0.50 ⬆️
Colin Thompson 1 2 0.67 2 0.20 ⬆️

Just when everyone (including myself) writes off D.J. Moore, he comes out with an incredible performance to reel back in all of his believers. Moore caught four of his seven targets for 96 yards and a touchdown, out-gaining all other Carolina pass-catchers combined. I still stand by my previous claims; he’s the WR2 in this offense at best, and more often than not, he’s been the WR3 when Curtis Samuel is given a solid amount of playing time. Every other pass-catcher was a disappointment in Week 10 versus Tampa Bay, Robby Anderson gained just 21 yards on four receptions and Curtis Samuel averaged three yards per catch.

Robby Anderson has proven to be reliable enough to start every week; he had a down game against a secondary that had gotten embarrassed in prime-time in Week 9. Many should have expected the Buccaneers’ defense would bring their A-game, so it’s no surprise that the Carolina offense struggled to get going. D.J. Moore can be started, but he’s a high variance player who seems to perform inversely compared to Curtis Samuel. I still prefer Moore to Samuel, as the former is a more traditional wideout compared to Samuel being more of a gadget player.

Chicago Bears

Allen Robinson 9 25 8.33 95 9.50
Anthony Miller 7 26 8.67 57 5.70 ⬇️
Cole Kmet 2 3 1.00 10 1.00 ⬆️
Cordarrelle Patterson 2 8 2.67 21 2.10 ⬇️
Lamar Miller 2 2 0.67 2 2.00 ⬆️
Ryan Nall 2 7 2.33 8 0.80 ⬇️

Chicago’s passing offense hasn’t been great this year by any means, but last Monday Night against Minnesota might’ve been the worst quarterback performance we have seen in the NFL this year. Nick Foles completed 15 of 26 passes for 106 yards and threw an interception. His poor play caused Allen Robinson to have his worst outing since Week 2, as the Bears’ No. 1 wideout caught just six passes for 43 scoreless yards. No other Chicago pass-catcher even sniffed the 30-yard mark. Given that the Vikings have been quite vulnerable on defense this year, this should cast serious doubt among the Bears staff as to whether Nick Foles should be allowed to finish the season.

Allen Robinson has tried his hardest to be consistent for fantasy all year despite the poor play around him. He has only scored less than 10 fantasy points once this year, and he somehow avoided a completely useless outing in this contest by catching 40 percent of Foles’ completed passes. He’s the only one you can start on this offense. If this game makes the Robinson manager in your league nervous, I would attempt to pry the Chicago wideout away before the deadline, as the Bears’ wideouts have one of the easiest rest-of-season fantasy schedules remaining.

Cincinnati Bengals

Tee Higgins 9 18 6.00 61 6.78 ⬆️
Tyler Boyd 8 15 5.00 76 8.44 ⬆️
Gio Bernard 7 11 3.67 36 4.00 ⬆️
A.J. Green 5 10 3.33 68 7.56 ⬆️
Auden Tate 4 11 3.67 18 2.00 ⬆️
Drew Sample 2 3 1.00 28 3.11 ⬆️

Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd have been surprisingly reliable, and their fantasy consistency is more of a testament to Joe Burrow than anything else. Don’t get me wrong, both receivers are extremely talented in their own right. Yet, against one of the best defenses in the NFL, Burrow was able to stay upright and deliver the ball to allow each of these wideouts to put up double-digit fantasy points. Boyd is still the safest wideout in this offense, given his role as the slot receiver gives him easier matchups of which Burrow can take advantage. However, Higgins has the higher ceiling as the big-bodied, outside receiver.

Both Higgins and Boyd should be every-week starts. They have proven time and again that they can’t put up consistent numbers despite the matchup. A.J. Green, on the other hand, is highly volatile and is a low-end WR3 at this point in his career. So long as he’s in Cincinnati, he’s the No. 3 passing option and will rarely have a high-ceiling performance. Gio Bernard will excel as a pass-catcher so long as Joe Mixon remains out of the lineup, but Cincinnati’s starting running back should be back sooner rather than later.

Cleveland Browns

Rashard Higgins 5 8 2.67 20 2.22 ⬆️
Jarvis Landry 4 15 5.00 54 6.00 ⬆️
Kareem Hunt 4 7 2.33 29 3.22 ⬆️
Donovan Peoples-Jones
2 2 0.67 6 0.67 ⬆️
Austin Hooper 2 2 0.67 35 5.00 ⬆️
Khadarel Hodge 1 1 0.33 7 0.78 ⬆️

For yet another game in Cleveland, we witnessed extreme winds and gusts exceeding 50 miles per hour at several points during the matchup with Houston. With Nick Chubb back in the starting lineup and the inclement weather making it difficult to throw the ball downfield, it was expected we wouldn’t see much passing volume from the Cleveland Browns offense. Nonetheless, 20 passing attempts for 132 yards was quite disappointing if you chose to put Jarvis Landry, Austin Hooper, or Rashard Higgins in your starting lineup. No wideout or tight end surpassed eight PPR points, with Higgins putting up the best performance of the group with three catches for 48 yards.

The only Cleveland players I am wanting to start on a weekly basis are the running backs. Kevin Stefanski does not want to run his offense through the passing attack, so we should see a low passing volume from Baker Mayfield unless they are heavy underdogs entering the game. Landry, Hooper, and Higgins have very low floors and even lower ceilings. You can start Landry and Hooper if you are desperate for FLEX options, but I wouldn’t expect much when putting them into your lineup.

Denver Broncos

KJ Hamler 10 23 7.67 38 4.75
Jerry Jeudy 8 32 10.67 69 7.67 ⬇️
Noah Fant 7 19 6.33 53 6.63 ⬆️
DaeSean Hamilton 6 13 4.33 26 2.89 ⬆️
Tim Patrick 6 15 5.00 48 5.33 ⬇️
Troy Fumagalli 3 3 1.00 3 0.33 ⬆️

Last week, I questioned whether Jerry Jeudy’s breakout was more of a product of the Atlanta defense or his own prowess. As it turns out, it was due more to the former than the latter. Jeudy wasn’t bad by any means, as he caught four of his eight targets for 68 yards, putting up double-digit PPR points yet again. Still, given Drew Lock’s struggles in the early portion of games, Jeudy won’t be able to put up spectacular performances every week as he had in Week 9. Meanwhile, fellow rookie KJ Hamler saw his most targeted day on the season, receiving double-digit looks from Lock. Unfortunately, he was only able to convert his opportunity into four catches for 50 yards.

Jeudy is a mediocre WR3, as it’s doubtful he will continue to put up fantasy relevant performance like his fellow rookie counterparts given his quarterback situation in Denver. Lock hasn’t proven, in my opinion, that he can play at a high enough level to lead a fantasy viable offense. Until he does, Jeudy’s ceiling is low and he should likely be left on your bench. The same goes for Noah Fant, as his three catches for 18 yards was extremely disappointing. KJ Hamler is only start-worthy for those who are truly desperate.

Detroit Lions

Marvin Jones 10 21 7.00 51 5.67 ⬆️
D’Andre Swift 5 14 4.67 39 4.33
T.J. Hockenson 4 22 7.33 53 5.89 ⬇️
Jesse James 3 5 1.67 13 1.44 ⬆️
Marvin Hall 3 15 5.00 23 2.56 ⬇️
Danny Amendola 3 17 5.67 44 4.89 ⬇️

Detroit barely squeaked out a win against Washington despite leading by 21 points early in the game, but Matthew Stafford and the Detroit pass-catchers were playing great for most of the afternoon. Without Kenny Golladay for yet another game, Marvin Jones finally had a breakout performance with eight catches for 96 yards and a touchdown. DeAndre Swift was also productive in his first game as the “starter,” catching all five of his targets 81 yards and a touchdown. T.J. Hockenson disappointed despite a plus matchup, only catching two of his four targets for 13 yards.

Despite his poor performance, I still see Hockenson as an every-week start at the tight end spot. The position is such a fantasy wasteland, so you can’t get too picky with who you are inserting into your lineup. Hockenson is still an immensely talented pass-catcher that is currently leading all Lions in targets on the season. Marvin Jones will be a viable, low-end WR2 so long as Golladay remains inactive, and he has the potential to put up a WR1 outing given his big-play ability. Still, this is the first time we’ve seen a 20-point performance from Jones this season, so don’t get too accustomed to his stat-line.

Green Bay Packers

Davante Adams 12 36 12.00 79 11.29
Marquez Valdes-Scantling 6 11 3.67 45 5.00 ⬆️
Aaron Jones 6 11 3.67 39 5.57 ⬆️
Jamaal Williams 4 10 3.33 29 3.22 ⬆️
Robert Tonyan 4 12 4.00 32 3.56 ⬆️
Tyler Ervin 1 9 3.00 15 1.67 ⬇️

Even though the Packers were much closer to losing this game than anyone would’ve thought, the passing script for Green Bay stayed mostly the same. The offense ran through Davante Adams yet again, as the All-Pro wideout caught eight of 12 targets for 66 yards and a touchdown. The running backs were also heavily involved through the air, as Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams combined for 10 targets, eight receptions, and 74 receiving yards. Marquez Valdes-Scantling caught lightning once again, catching four passes for 149 yards and a touchdown.

I know Valdes-Scantling has had back-to-back great fantasy outings, but I cannot justify starting him. He’s extremely volatile and has the lowest floor of any WR2 in the NFL. If you need a Hail Mary play in your lineup, you can trot out Valdes-Scantling; still, I believe the risk outweighs the reward. Robert Tonyan also isn’t startable in my opinion, as he’s averaging four targets per game over his last three contests and is barely involved. The Packers passing attack runs through Adams and the running backs; everyone else is just an ancillary piece.

Houston Texans

Will Fuller 8 13 4.33 60 6.67 ⬆️
Brandin Cooks 8 17 5.67 68 7.56 ⬇️
Randall Cobb 5 8 2.67 46 5.11 ⬆️
Pharaoh Brown 2 3 1.00 6 0.67 ⬆️
Kenny Stills 1 1 0.33 18 2.00 ⬆️
Darren Fells 1 4 1.33 23 2.56 ⬇️

Deshaun Watson and the Houston offense had a rough day in windy Cleveland. Watson completed 20 of 30 passes for 163 yards and a touchdown, with the lone score going to Pharaoh Brown on a broken play. Will Fuller and Brandin Cooks didn’t hurt you per se, as they both managed approximately nine PPR points, but they obviously didn’t have the performances you were hoping for. No Texan pass-catcher surpassed 50 yards receiving or 10.5 fantasy points, so it’s safe to say that you should have avoided this game in its entirety.

I am still confident that Fuller and Cooks each possess WR2 upside in the right matchup, but it was clear to anyone who saw the LVR-CLE game a few weeks ago that this game was not conducive to fantasy scoring. It won’t get much better for Houston next week, as they will face a staunch New England secondary. Nonetheless, you should probably just erase this game from your memory when considering starting your Texans going forward.

Indianapolis Colts

Michael Pittman 8 16 5.33 28 4.67 ⬆️
Nyheim Hines 6 14 4.67 41 4.56 ⬆️
T.Y. Hilton 5 7 2.33 44 5.50 ⬆️
Zach Pascal 5 17 5.67 45 5.00 ⬇️
Mo Alie-Cox 4 11 3.67 25 3.13 ⬆️
Trey Burton 3 11 3.67 27 4.50 ⬇️

Michael Pittman was the latest rookie wideout to have a breakout game, catching seven of his eight targets for 101 yards and a touchdown. He separated himself from the pack of pass-catchers in this one, as he was heavily relied upon by Philip Rivers and consistently won his routes. Meanwhile, T.Y. Hilton made an underwhelming return to action, logging just four receptions for 40 yards off of five targets. The biggest storyline for Indianapolis was the running back splits, as Nyheim Hines put up an outstanding performance (on his birthday no less), causing Jonathan Taylor fantasy managers to wallow in despair. Hines caught five passes for 45 yards and a score in addition to being the most effective on the ground.

I’m not going to read too much into one performance, but I feel much more confident about Michael Pittman’s fantasy prospects than I did to begin the season. Pittman could be a viable WR3 candidate down the stretch as he is the perfect big-body, intermediate target for Rivers. Hilton, meanwhile, is droppable as Rivers simply doesn’t have the arm strength to utilize his field-stretcher. Hines has always been a PPR floor play, but his “boom” games will be game-script dependent. As we saw in Week 1, Hines is certainly capable of being a top-12 fantasy running back; yet, this Colts coaching staff cares more about their running back rotation than our fantasy teams.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Chris Conley 8 16 5.33 42 4.67
Keelan Cole 7 9 3.00 48 5.33 ⬆️
James Robinson 5 7 2.33 39 4.33 ⬆️
D.J. Chark 5 17 5.67 58 7.25 ⬇️
Tyler Eifert 4 9 3.00 32 4.00 ⬇️
Terry Godwin 2 2 0.67 2 0.22 ⬆️

Jake Luton may not be long for a starting job in the NFL, but he’s allowing some of his pass-catchers to put up fantasy viable performances. Unfortunately, even with the absence of Jarie Alexander and Kevin King from the Green Bay secondary, D.J. Chark was only able to put up a mediocre 10.6 fantasy points. Chark just saw five targets, which ranked tied for third on his own team, and caught four passes for 56 yards. Chris Conley and Keelan Cole were Luton’s receivers of choice, with the former catching four of his eight targets for 43 yards while the latter caught five of seven targets for 47 yards and a score.

The most important takeaway from Jacksonville’s offense performance is that James Robinson will continue to be involved in the receiving game despite Luton being the starting quarterback. After only seeing two targets against Houston, Robinson saw five looks in Week 10; he may have only caught two passes for three yards, but the opportunity is often just as important as the production. You can continue to start Chark as a high-floor wideout, but he’s the only Jaguars pass-catcher I will consider starting for fantasy.

Las Vegas Raiders

Darren Waller 5 21 7.00 77 8.56 ⬇️
Henry Ruggs 4 11 3.67 25 3.57 ⬆️
Nelson Agholor 4 9 3.00 29 3.22 ⬆️
Josh Jacobs 4 6 2.00 30 3.33 ⬆️
Hunter Renfrow 2 9 3.00 38 4.22 ⬇️
Devontae Booker 1 2 0.67 9 1.00 ⬆️

The Las Vegas Raiders had no need to pass the ball in their matchup with the Denver Broncos, as they ran the rock 41 times for 203 yards and four touchdowns. Derek Carr completed just 16 of 25 passes, but no Raiders pass-catcher caught more than four balls. This has been the case for most of the season, as Carr rarely hones in on one player as his favorite target. When he does, it’s Darren Waller by a landslide. Waller led all Las Vegas pass-catchers in fantasy points….with 6.7 PPR points. Not a great week to fire up Henry Ruggs, Nelson Agholor, or Hunter Renfrow.

Waller had a disappointing game, but he’s been the most consistent fantasy tight end (outside of Travis Kelce) during the 2020 season. You should fire him up with confidence every single week. Agholor and Ruggs are desperation plays, as you are hoping one of them comes down with a 60-yard touchdown off of minimal targets. Even though a shootout with the Kansas City Chiefs is on tap for next week, I’d avoid this receiving core.

Los Angeles Chargers

Keenan Allen 7 29 9.67 93 10.33 ⬇️
Hunter Henry 6 17 5.67 58 6.44 ⬇️
Kalen Ballage 6 9 3.00 9 4.50 ⬆️
Jalen Guyton 6 12 4.00 25 2.78 ⬆️
Mike Williams 5 20 6.67 45 5.63 ⬇️
Donald Parham 1 4 1.33 7 0.78 ⬇️

The Miami Dolphins defense is a legitimate nightmare for opposing offenses. After stymieing the Los Angeles Rams and holding Kyler Murray (mostly) in check, the Dolphins had a tough task against rookie-of-the-year candidate Justin Herbert. They lived up to the task, as Herbert was held to 20 completions for 187 yards and two touchdowns on the afternoon. No wideout or tight end surpassed 40 receiving yards, and the only pass-catchers to score double-digit fantasy points were those who caught touchdowns (Keenan Allen and Hunter Henry). For an offense that had been virtually unstoppable this season, this week was one performance to forget.

This past week shouldn’t change your mind about Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, or the rest of the Chargers pass-catchers. They will be perfectly fine going forward, and a Week 11 matchup with the New York Jets should be the perfect palate-cleanser for this offensive unit. I’d fire up Allen, Williams, and Henry with confidence next week as I expect the Chargers to score 30+ points against the worst team in the NFL.

Los Angeles Rams

Josh Reynolds 10 19 6.33 48 5.33 ⬆️
Cooper Kupp 7 28 9.33 79 8.78 ⬆️
Robert Woods 6 14 4.67 60 6.67 ⬆️
Tyler Higbee 6 10 3.33 31 3.88 ⬆️
Gerald Everett 3 12 4.00 30 3.33 ⬆️
Malcolm Brown 2 4 1.33 23 2.56 ⬆️

Ah yes, the Los Angeles Rams coming off a bye get to face a Seattle Seahawks secondary that gave up 44 points to the Buffalo Bills the week prior. This is the same secondary that is on pace to be one of the worst defensive units in NFL history in terms of yards allowed. Everybody who knew this game was happening would have placed a heavy wager that at least one of Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp, Tyler Higbee, or Gerald Everett would cross the 10-point fantasy threshold. Well….that didn’t happen. Kupp finished with exactly 10 PPR points, catching five of seven targets for 50 yards; Woods was somehow worse, catching five passes for 34 yards. No, the leading fantasy scorer for the Rams was none other than Josh Reynolds, who was targeted 10 times and caught eight passes for 94 yards. That’s fantasy football for you, folks.

I am still starting Woods and Kupp every week, even though they were major disappointments in Week 10. However, I will no longer take any chances on these Rams tight ends. Tyler Higbee’s Week 2 performance with three touchdowns was the last time either he or Gerald Everett were relevant for fantasy purposes; I would leave them on the waiver wire and try to search for a better option. Reynolds has been targeted 19 times over the past three games, so I am comfortable starting him as a FLEX player going forward.

Miami Dolphins

DeVante Parker 7 16 5.33 56 6.22
Jakeem Grant 5 12 4.00 28 3.11
Mike Gesicki 5 11 3.67 41 4.56 ⬆️
Durham Smythe 2 5 1.67 11 1.22 ⬆️
Malcolm Perry 2 4 ⬆️
Adam Shaheen 1 3 1.00 10 1.11

Tua Tagovailoa has been nothing short of impressive in his three starts this season, as he put together his third consecutive win off of 15 completions for 169 yards and two touchdowns. He’s not putting up relevant fantasy numbers, and he certainly won’t sling the ball like his counterpart Ryan Fitzpatrick (we miss you Fitz!), but this team is better with him at the helm. Given we have an appropriate sample size, we can finally make relevant assessments regarding Tagovailoa’s target preferences. It seems DeVante Parker has one the favor of his rookie quarterback, as last year’s breakout wide receiver saw seven targets in Week 10. Unfortunately, he only caught two balls for 31 yards.

With Preston Williams on injured reserve, Jakeem Grant was actually the most relevant wideout for Miami, catching four balls for 43 yards and a touchdown. Every other Dolphin pass-catcher was extremely disappointing, as Durham Smythe was the next-highest fantasy scorer with 8.9 PPR points. Outside of Parker, I would avoid this Dolphins receiving core going forward. Tagovailoa simply doesn’t throw enough to support more than one fantasy asset.

Minnesota Vikings

Justin Jefferson 10 18 6.00 54 6.00 ⬆️
Adam Thielen 7 16 5.33 65 7.22 ⬆️
Kyle Rudolph 5 10 3.33 24 2.67 ⬆️
Dalvin Cook 4 9 3.00 25 3.13 ⬆️
Chad Beebe 2 3 1.00 11 1.22 ⬆️
Tyler Conklin 2 2 0.67 2 0.22 ⬆️

Minnesota’s offense hasn’t been very pass-friendly this year, and their Week 10 matchup with the Bears looked to be another low-scoring affair won on the ground. For the most part, that was true. Still, Kirk Cousins ended up throwing for 292 yards on 36 attempts as the Chicago Bears gave little leeway to Dalvin Cook on the ground. Cousins heavily targeted Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen, hitting the former eight times for 135 yards while tossing a pair of touchdowns to the latter. Thielen had some critical drops and finished with only four catches for 43 yards.

Even though this passing offense will continually function secondary to the running game, I would still start Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson each week. Their days as top-10 wide receivers this year are long behind them, but they can still put up a WR1 performance any given week. Next week against the porous Dallas secondary presents another opportunity for Cousins to support two top-24 wideouts.

New England Patriots

Jakobi Meyers 7 31 10.33 38 4.22 ⬇️
Rex Burkhead 5 9 3.00 30 3.33 ⬆️
James White 2 11 3.67 32 4.57 ⬇️
Jakob Johnson 2 4 1.33 7 0.78
Ryan Izzo 1 4 1.33 16 1.78 ⬆️
Damiere Byrd 0 13 4.33 41 4.56 ⬇️

You don’t want any part of this Patriots passing game. Jakobi Meyers might be worth a roster spot in your leagues, but you can’t realistically think about starting him. New England simply does not pass the ball well, and when they do, their targets are entirely unpredictable. Prior to Week 10, Cam Newton only had two passing touchdowns, neither of which went to wide receivers. In his contest against Baltimore, he threw just as many pass touchdowns as Jakobi Meyers; Newton threw the ball 17 times for just 118 yards. I know the weather was a factor, but the simple fact is that this Patriots offense is a ground-and-pound rushing attack that will only throw when absolutely necessary. That’s not conducive for fantasy success.

Again, Meyers is worth rostering, but he’s an extremely desperate play for someone looking for a decent floor. The running backs change so frequently that you cannot accurately predict whether Damien Harris, Rex Burkhead or James White will be the go-to guy. After averaging 6.5 targets per game over his prior two contests, Damiere Byrd wasn’t looked at once in the passing game. Save yourself the heartache and avoid New England at all costs.

New Orleans Saints

Alvin Kamara 8 27 9.00 80 8.89 ⬆️
Michael Thomas 7 13 4.33 18 6.00 ⬆️
Deonte Harris 4 8 2.67 24 2.67 ⬆️
Jared Cook 2 12 4.00 34 4.25 ⬇️
Emmanuel Sanders 1 6 2.00 42 6.00 ⬇️
Tre’Quan Smith 1 10 3.33 35 3.89 ⬇️

We can throw away all of the targets and data from this game. Circumstances have changed, and it’s likely we don’t see Drew Brees back on the field for the rest of the regular season. Brees was diagnosed with multiple rib fractures and a collapsed lung on Monday, meaning he is set to miss a good chunk of time while recovering from those injuries. His favor towards Alvin Kamara and Michael Thomas no longer matter; Jameis Winston, the infamous 30-for-30 quarterback, will become the starter for the New Orleans Saints. As we know, Winston’s style of play could not be any more different than Brees’ style.

From what we remember about Winston, he’s a sporadic, highly volatile gunslinger. He can easily support multiple fantasy weapons given he is not afraid to throw it downfield despite the coverage. However, I doubt he will be as reckless with Sean Payton calling the plays. In his limited action last week, Winston started the game five out of five for 60 yards, before finishing the game one for five for three yards. I think he will play much safer than we believe, which means it’s doubtful Emmanuel Sanders, Tre’Quan Smith, or Jared Cook will benefit from increased passing volume. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a heavier focus on the rushing attack. Manage expectations and avoid pass-catchers not named Alvin Kamara or Michael Thomas next week.

New York Giants

Darius Slayton 7 17 5.67 65 6.50 ⬆️
Sterling Shepard 6 24 8.00 42 7.00 ⬇️
Golden Tate 5 8 2.67 34 4.25 ⬆️
Evan Engram 3 23 7.67 67 7.44 ⬇️
Kaden Smith 2 5 1.67 17 1.70 ⬆️
Dion Lewis 2 7 2.33 24 2.40

Darius Slayton finally came back to fantasy relevance. Sure, he only managed five catches for 93 yards off of seven targets; that’s not the blow-up game we were hoping for against a suspect Philadelphia secondary. However, it is promising to see that he can still be a deep threat in this offense and put up solid fantasy performances. Sterling Shepard was solid yet again, catching six passes for 47 yards, while Evan Engram disappeared with only two catches for 15 yards.

Shepard is probably the safest Giants pass-catcher to trot out into your starting lineup if necessary, but I am not really excited about starting anyone from New York. The increased focus on the running game as well as Daniel Jones’ own rushing prowess makes me wary that any pass-catcher can put up a week-winning performance. Sure, you may get a 15-point outing from a wideout or tight end on any given week, but is that enough of a ceiling to risk a three-point floor? These New York pass-catchers are playable, but you can never be confident in what you are getting.

Philadelphia Eagles

Jalen Reagor 7 13 4.33 21 5.25 ⬆️
Greg Ward 6 11 3.67 51 5.67 ⬆️
Dallas Goedert 6 7 2.33 25 5.00 ⬆️
Travis Fulgham 5 12 4.00 49 5.44 ⬆️
Richard Rodgers 5 5 1.67 23 2.56 ⬆️
Miles Sanders 5 5 1.67 30 5.00 ⬆️

In his second game back from injury, rookie first-round pick Jalen Reagor led Philadelphia in targets with seven and finished second on the team in receiving yards with 47 yards. An 8.7-point outing was not what you were hoping for when you put Reagor in your lineup, but his usage was highly encouraging for someone who will clearly be a huge factor for this Philadelphia passing attack going forward. Travis Fulgham fell from the historic heights he had achieved to start his career, only catching one pass for eight yards. Alshon Jeffrey also returned to the field for the first time this year, but he failed to catch a pass off of his lone target.

The Eagles travel to face Cleveland next week, who has played very well on defense over the past few weeks. Given how much Carson Wentz has regressed this season and the overall ineffectiveness of the Eagles offense, I am not sure I can recommend you start any Eagles pass-catcher next week. Dallas Goedert is a fine tight end start if you are in a pinch, but that’s about it. If no Eagles pass-catcher could score more than 10 PPR points versus the Giants in a pass-friendly game script, how are they going to succeed against a Cleveland team that has limited their last two opponents to an average of one touchdown per game?

Pittsburgh Steelers

JuJu Smith-Schuster 13 28 9.33 70 7.78 ⬆️
Diontae Johnson 11 24 8.00 65 8.13 ⬆️
Chase Claypool 10 32 10.67 57 6.33 ⬇️
Eric Ebron 6 17 5.67 49 5.44
James Conner 2 7 2.33 27 3.00
Ray-Ray McCloud 2 5 1.67 11 1.22

For the past several weeks, I had been saying that it would be extremely unlikely that all Pittsburgh pass-catchers have fantasy viable performances in the same game. And for most of the season, I have been right. Well, apparently Week 10 was the outlier matchup for Pittsburgh, as JuJu Smith-Schuster, Dionte Johnson, and Chase Claypool all scored more than 20 PPR points. Smith-Schuster was once again the most consistent receiver on the day, seeing 13 targets and catching nine balls for 77 yards and a touchdown. Dionte Johnson was the big-play wideout, catching six of his eleven targets for 116 yards and a score. Chase Claypool made his hay in the end zone, catching just four passes for 56 yards while scoring twice.

I still think it’s extremely unlikely all three Pittsburgh pass-catchers will be this consistent on a week-to-week basis. Still, I think Claypool has proven himself to be a big enough factor in this offense where you can feel confident starting him every week. He will definitely bust on occasion, but his ceiling is sky-high. I would have a hard time leaving him on the bench unless my roster was loaded. Smith-Schuster and Johnson are obviously auto-starts every week so long as they are both healthy.

San Francisco 49ers

Brandon Aiyuk 14 25 8.33 57 7.13 ⬆️
Jordan Reed 6 8 2.67 24 4.80 ⬆️
Kendrick Bourne 5 15 5.00 45 5.00 ⬆️
Richie James 5 18 6.00 18 9.00 ⬇️
Jerick McKinnon 3 11 3.67 36 3.60 ⬇️
JaMycal Hasty 2 5 1.67 8 1.14

In Week 9, the San Francisco 49ers had a skeleton crew starting on offense. Richie James was the leading wideout in terms of catches, yards, and touchdowns, while no other pass-catcher made their mark on the game. With Brandon Aiyuk and Kendrick Bourne back in the lineup, James saw just three catches for 26 yards. First-round rookie Aiyuk ended up taking over where James left off, seeing a season-high 14 targets and catching seven passes for 75 yards and a touchdown. Jordan Reed, meanwhile, had a decently productive afternoon; he caught five passes for 62 yards.

With the 49ers entering their bye week, we will likely see an entirely different starting unit in Week 12 than we saw this past week. I would imagine Raheem Mostert, Tevin Coleman, and Deebo Samuel return to action after their bye-week; Jimmy Garoppolo and George Kittle could also possibly make a return. While it is yet to be seen who ends up making the start in Week 12, I still have confidence that Brandon Aiyuk will be a viable FLEX-play going forward. He’s electric with the football and obviously a large part of Kyle Shanahan’s gameplan; without Deebo Samuel and George Kittle on the field, he will be the focal point of the offense and heavily targeted.

Seattle Seahawks

Tyler Lockett 9 21 7.00 79 8.78 ⬆️
Freddie Swain 4 6 2.00 14 1.56 ⬆️
Greg Olsen 4 11 3.67 33 3.67 ⬆️
D.K. Metcalf 4 28 9.33 72 8.00 ⬇️
DeeJay Dallas 3 10 3.33 15 1.67 ⬆️
Travis Homer 3 6 2.00 11 1.22

These NFC West matchups have been rough for D.K. Metcalf. Against Patrick Peterson and the Arizona Cardinals, Metcalf was held to two catches for 23 yards. Against Jalen Ramsey and the Los Angeles Rams, he was held to two catches for 28 yards. To be fair, though, those were Metcalf’s only subpar performances this season. Outside of those two matchups, Metcalf has scored 19 or more PPR points in six of seven games. Tyler Lockett saw the brunt of the workload this week in lieu of Metcalf, leading the team in targets and catching five of his nine looks for 55 yards. Outside of Lockett, no other Seattle pass-catcher surpassed 40 receiving yards.

One bad game does not doom your shares of Lockett and Metcalf. You will be starting both of them with a high amount of confidence this Thursday against Arizona. Their Week 11 divisional matchup has the makings of a shootout, so I would not be surprised to see Russell Wilson return to MVP form while both Lockett and Metcalf score 20+ fantasy points.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Mike Evans 11 24 8.00 63 6.30 ⬆️
Antonio Brown 8 13 4.33 13 6.50 ⬆️
Chris Godwin 6 12 4.00 41 6.83
Leonard Fournette 3 15 5.00 30 3.75 ⬇️
Rob Gronkowski 3 13 4.33 49 4.90 ⬇️
Cameron Brate 3 5 1.67 15 1.50 ⬆️

After suffering one of the most embarrassing defeats of his long career, there was no doubt Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers offense would come out firing against the Carolina Panthers. Tom Brady threw the ball 39 times and completed 28 passes for 341 yards and three touchdowns en route to a 46-23 divisional victory. All three starting wideouts had solid fantasy performances, with Mike Evans leading the way among the group. Evans saw 11 targets and caught six balls for 77 yards and a touchdown; he was heavily targeted by Brady in the red zone and had the opportunity to score multiple times. Chris Godwin caught all six of his targets for 92 yards, while Antonio Brown put up seven catches for 69 yards off of eight targets.

All three Buccaneer wideouts are playable each and every week. There won’t always be enough targets to go around, as Tom Brady likes to spread the ball around. Still, they all have WR1 upside, especially given Brady has several shootouts coming up on the schedule, including Week 11 against the Los Angeles Rams. Rob Gronkowski is also an auto-start at tight end; he’s as touchdown-dependent as every other tight end not named Travis Kelce or Darren Waller, but Brady trusts him and will continue to throw him the ball in the end zone.

Tennessee Titans

Jonnu Smith 6 10 3.33 43 4.78 ⬆️
Corey Davis 6 19 6.33 48 6.86 ⬆️
A.J. Brown 4 20 6.67 52 7.43 ⬇️
Anthony Firkser 3 12 4.00 34 3.78 ⬇️
Derrick Henry 2 3 1.00 20 2.22 ⬆️
Cameron Baston 2 3 1.00 5 0.56 ⬆️

The Titans disappointed offensively in this one, as their two touchdowns came on a play-action pass to D’Onta Foreman and a rushing score by Jonnu Smith. A.J. Brown dropped what would have been a 70-yard touchdown to start the game, and he finished with one measly reception for 21 yards off of four targets. Corey Davis put up five catches for 67 yards, but it was unlikely you chose to start him given the tough matchup with Indianapolis. Ryan Tannehill passed just 27 times for 147 yards, leading to a mediocre day all around for Titans pass-catchers.

You are still starting A.J. Brown every week, as this was his first bust-game of the season. If he holds on to the ball for the long touchdown, the narrative completely flips with his fantasy performance. He will be fine. Jonnu Smith finally bounced back from a slew of poor outings, but he still only ended the day with two catches for 14 yards; his rushing touchdown made his fantasy output look better than his performance would indicate. He is merely a tight end streamer for now. Davis is a desperation play, as his ceiling is limited as the WR2 across from Brown in a run-centric offense.

Washington Football Team

J.D. McKissic 15 29 9.67 62 6.89 ⬆️
Terry McLaurin 9 17 5.67 86 9.56 ⬆️
Steven Sims Jr. 6 7 2.33 15 1.67 ⬆️
Isaiah Wright 6 9 3.00 26 2.89 ⬆️
Logan Thomas 6 12 4.00 52 5.78
Cam Sims 5 9 3.00 13 1.44 ⬆️

J.D. McKissic is averaging 14.5 targets per game over his last two contests. He ranks second on his team in targets per game over the course of the season. I know he’s not an “exciting” player to put in your lineup every week, but regardless of your feelings about him, he’s going to see heavy volume from Alex Smith. Smith has a pedigree for checking down to the running back, and McKissic has separated himself from Antonio Gibson as the pass-catching running back. McKissic is even being split out as a wide receiver given the Football Team doesn’t have great depth at that position. With the constant injuries we are seeing at the running back position this season, I don’t see how McKissic is not in your starting lineup.

Terry McLaurin continues to succeed despite who is throwing the ball his way, as he put up seven catches for 95 yards on nine targets. Even though he plays on one of the least explosive offenses in the NFL, McLaurin consistently puts up WR2 numbers and should be started every week. Logan Thomas is a waiver-wire tight end you can start if you are in dire straits at the position, but his ceiling is extremely limited; I would look towards starting other options who have a better chance of getting in the end zone.

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Dan Ambrosino is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Dan, check out his archive and follow him @AmbrosinoNFL.

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