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5 Burning Questions For Week 10 (2021 Fantasy Football)

by Brendan Tuma | @toomuchtuma | Featured Writer
Nov 11, 2021

Remember to reach out with questions on Twitter (@toomuchtuma) anytime.

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1. Did we overvalue Stefon Diggs in summer drafts?

Anyone who used a late first or early second-rounder on Diggs isn’t blaming him for tanking their season, but he also hasn’t really hit his ceiling outcome yet. In fact, Buffalo’s top wideout has cleared 90 receiving yards just once through eight games. He topped 100 yards in 7-of-16 contests last season. The Bills’ offense has been good this year, but it hasn’t been as dominant as it was in 2020.

Opposing defenses are beginning to utilize the two-high shell against Josh Allen’s aerial attack, and the results have been effective. The idea is to keep two safeties deep at all times, play zone defense, dare the offense to throw short (thus giving up on explosive plays), and tackle. The Chiefs are struggling against similar concepts these days.

So that’s why Buffalo is struggling as a unit, but is anything else going on with Diggs in particular? Unfortunately, yes. One year after posting an alpha-esque 29.1% target share, Diggs sits at a 24.9% rate entering Week 10. To be clear, that is quite good. The Bills also throw more than any other team, so a high target share in their offense is worth more than playing for another team.

To answer the initial question, I don’t think we overrated him. Diggs is dealing with defenses taking away explosive plays while at the same time Allen is spreading things around more this season. He’s still a locked-in WR1. His fantasy value is just more tied to a highly usable floor rather than a week-winning ceiling. He remains someone to keep betting on.

2. Okay, seriously, is the Javonte Williams breakout going to happen?

I’m fascinated by Denver’s running back duo. As usual, fantasy analysts wanted to write off the veteran half of a committee backfield entering the year, but Melvin Gordon has been quite good through the season’s first half. He ranks 15th in PFF’s rushing grade and his 70-yard rushing TD from Week 1 was the ninth fastest ball carrier speed in the league this year, per NFL Next Gen Stats.

Then we have Javonte, who ranks second in PFF’s elusive rating and seventh in NGS’ success rate. He has been a tackle-breaking machine in addition to being a yards-after-contact machine. Fantasy managers rightfully want him to completely take over the backfield, because the upside is that of a legitimate RB1. Gordon isn’t going away, though. This backfield has operated in a near 50/50 timeshare, with a slight lean towards the elder.

I think the best way to view Williams down the stretch is that he’s currently a weekly FLEX option, but he carries immense upside if things break his way. If Gordon goes down, then the rookie will be a RB1 while filling in. There’s also a slight chance that the Broncos give Williams more work in the final month if they’re eliminated from playoff contention at any point, but Sunday’s Week 9 win over the Cowboys hurts those chances. We know Javonte is good. Whether or not he gets a chance to become a bell-cow in ’21 remains to be seen.

3. Who is a player to buy low on this week?

Let’s stick with the Broncos for this question, because they have another young skill player who could become a league winner in the season’s second half. Sophomore wideout Jerry Jeudy returned from his ankle injury in Week 8, and so far he has hauled in 10-of-12 targets for 109 scoreless yards. That production is modest, but it’s the underlying utilization that should have fantasy players excited moving forward.

As Adam Levitan of Establish The Run points out, Jeudy has seen a target on 25% of his routes this year. For comparison, Courtland Sutton has drawn a target on 19.8% of his routes with Tim Patrick checking in at 15%. Sutton had the valuation of a high-end WR2 for a stretch when Jeudy was sidelined, but it seems as if he’ll take a backseat to the second-year receiver down the stretch. To be clear, Sutton’s high ADOT means he’s always a few plays away from a big week, and he still has value, but Jeudy is the one to invest in before a blowup game occurs.

4. What about a sell high option?

Things have broken pretty well for Damien Harris in 2021. The 24-year-old is the clear-cut lead RB on New England’s improving offense, and he has found the end zone six times in his last five games (seven total for the year). While it might be tempting to hold onto him while he’s running hot, the reality is there might never be a better time to sell.

This is particularly true for fantasy gamers in PPR leagues, as Harris hasn’t drawn more than two targets in a game since Week 1 (when he received three). Receptions aren’t a part of his game, so he needs touchdowns to reach RB2 status on a weekly basis. While he has been doing that as of late, savvy players know that TDs are volatile. Harris is a good running back, but his going-forward outlook isn’t as bankable as it might appear.

5. Have we already seen the best of Jalen Hurts?

As Hayden Winks of Underdog Fantasy points out below, the Eagles have become the run-heaviest team in football from Weeks 6-9, at least in neutral pass situations. This coincides with the “downfall” of Hurts’ passing abilities. For the season he ranks 29th out of 31 qualifiers in completion percentage over expectation. It surely seems as if Philadelphia has seen enough. In Weeks 8-9 Eagles RBs have racked up a whopping six rushing scores. Meanwhile, Hurts has thrown for 200 yards or less in four of his past five contests.

Of course, he still runs the ball plenty himself, so his days of a QB1 in fantasy aren’t over yet. The second-year QB also compiles plenty of box score production garbage time. There remains a chance that he’ll get benched later this season, but Philadelphia has at least been competitive in recent weeks. If anything, Hurts should be considered a more volatile fantasy asset than he previously has been. The Eagles’ play calling tendencies are telling us all we need to know.

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Brendan Tuma is a featured writer at FantasyPros. To read more from Brendan, check out his archive and follow him @toomuchtuma.

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