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Michael C. Hebert/New Orleans Saints

Week 10 Fantasy: Start/Sit


QUARTERBACK

STARTS:

Start of the Week: Tom Brady (vs SEA)

Don’t be afraid of Seattle’s defense this week as a Brady owner. In the Super Bowl two years ago, TB12 threw for 328 yards and 4 touchdowns against the Seahawks. This year, Brady has 12 touchdowns to 0 interceptions and a quarterback rating of over 130. The Seahawks just allowed 25 fantasy points to Tyrod Taylor, and that was in Seattle; this Sunday night is in Foxboro. Get Brady in your lineups as the #1 QB.

Start: Drew Brees (vs DEN)

The Broncos are another defense that people fear, as they are allowing the least fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks. At home, though, Brees is nearly unstoppable, averaging 26.75 fantasy points in his four home starts, including 20 points against the Seahawks. The Broncos are not at full strength defensively, as Aqib Talib (back) will be out again. Brees isn’t a high-end QB1 like usual, but he remains firmly in the top-10.

Start: Jay Cutler (@ TB)

Tampa Bay has allowed 4 passing touchdowns in each of the past two games, and Cutler and the Bears should be confident coming out of the bye, as their last game was a victory against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 8. The small cornerbacks of the Bucs won’t be able to defend Alshon Jeffery on the outside.

Start: Trevor Siemian (@ NO)

Siemian definitely needs to be better for the Broncos if they want to contend and he wants to keep him job. With New Orleans on deck, there’s a prime opportunity to put up big numbers this week, as the Saints are the only team in the league allowing 300 passing yards per game.

Others: Alex Smith (@ CAR), Carson Wentz (vs ATL)

 

SITS:

Sit of the Week: Carson Palmer (vs SF)

Palmer has more games this season with 13 or less fantasy points (4) than he does with 18 or more fantasy points (3). The 49ers are a very appetizing matchup, but the way they get shredded on the ground will probably lead to limited opportunities for Palmer to air it out. He’s just outside the top-10 for Week 10.

Sit: Eli Manning (vs CIN)

Last week, Eli (257 yards, 4 touchdowns) would have had another mediocre game if not for breakdowns in the Eagles secondary, which obviously count, but still. The NYG quarterback fooled people in Week 7 with 196 yards and no scores after throwing for 400 yards the week before. The Bengals are going to have some things fixed coming off their bye week; don’t expect great production from Manning.

Sit: Blake Bortles (vs HOU)

The Texans have allowed 20 or more fantasy points to an opposing quarterback just once this season (Andrew Luck in Week 6, when he rushed for 53 yards and a touchdown). In all games but one this season (Sam Bradford in Week 5), Houston has allowed 0 or 1 touchdown passes. Top that off with Bortles not being very good, and your decision to sit him is easy.

Sit: Kirk Cousins (vs MIN)

For all their struggles during Minnesota’s 3-game losing streak, pass defense hasn’t been one of them. The Vikings still have not allowed a quarterback to surpass 16 fantasy points in a game this season, and the 16-point game was Aaron Rodgers in Week 2. Cousins has been better recently, but he’s not high-upside option against Minnesota.

Others: Ryan Tannehill (@ SD), Case Keenum (@ NYJ)

 

RUNNING BACK

STARTS:

Start of the Week: Mark Ingram (vs DEN)

So, uh, angry Mark Ingram is pretty good. After fumbling two straight weeks and being benched, the former Heisman trophy winner rushed 15 times for 158 yards, including a 75-yard touchdown run, and also caught a touchdown in Sunday’s win. People are wrong to be hesitant to start running backs against the Broncos, as they’re allowing the 25th most fantasy points per game, including a monster night for Latavius Murray in Week 9. I would be shocked if Ingram didn’t take back control of the New Orleans’ backfield with his most recent performance.

Start: Devontae Booker (@ NO)

Like Ingram last week, there is talk this week that Devontae Booker will lose work to a backup. As I warned with Ingram in the Week 9 Start/Sit, don’t be alarmed. The Broncos drafted Booker in the 4th round and loved him, and intend to keep the offense centered around the running game. Kapri Bibbs will see some more touches, but this is clearly Booker’s backfield. He remains an RB1.

 Start: Jordan Howard (@ TB)

 Another 4th round pick from the 2016 Draft was Jordan Howard out of Indiana. The rookie dominated the last time we saw him, which was in a tough matchup with the Vikings, as he totaled 202 yards on Halloween Night. Howard was a great buy-low option for fantasy owners, especially with an easy schedule down the stretch. It starts this week against the Bucs, who are allowing almost 20 fantasy points per game to opposing running backs.

 Start: Darren Sproles (vs ATL)

We’ve known it for a couple weeks now, but earlier this week, Eagles head coach Doug Pederson finally admitted Sproles is the lead back. Averaging 18 touches over the past two weeks, the Eagles “new starter” is in a good spot against the Falcons, as they allow pass-catching backs to do a lot of damage against them.

 Others: James White (vs SEA), Andre Ellington (vs SF)

 

SITS:

Sit of the Week: Todd Gurley (@ NYJ)

Jay Ajayi did great against the Jets last week, but the second-year back was as hot as possible coming into the game. Gurley, on the other hand, hasn’t scored since Week 5, and hasn’t gone over 85 rushing yards in a single game all year. The Jets have a top-5 run defense, allowing just 3.5 yards per carry. Hopefully the Rams realize they need to just feed Gurley, as he got just 12 carries last week in a close, low-scoring game.

Sit: Christine Michael (@ NE)

A goal line touchdown saved Michael’s Monday night for fantasy owners. For some reason, he saw just 5 touches, which led to 1 yard. If New England can get on the board quickly, the Seahawks might abandon the running game yet again, whether that’s the right move or not.

Sit: LeGarrette Blount (vs SEA)

Blount has topped 50 yards just once since Tom Brady’s return, but his fantasy production has been stable thanks to rushing touchdowns. Pretty soon, he will not find the end zone and it will result in a low-score for fantasy owners. There’s a good chance that happens against a stout Seattle defense.

Sit: Matt Jones (vs MIN)

In case you didn’t hear, Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said Robert Kelley will handle the bulk of early-down work after a nice performance before Washington’s bye week. That means the returning-from-injury Matt Jones will see just a handful of touches. Against the Vikings, that’s not going to lead to fantasy success.

Others: Isaiah Crowell (@ BAL), Rashad Jennings (vs CIN)

 

WIDE RECEIVER

STARTS:

 Start of the Week: Larry Fitzgerald (vs SF)

Fitzgerald had his best game of the season the last time the Cardinals faced the Niners (81 yards and 2 touchdowns), and that was with Drew Stanton under center. With Carson Palmer’s return, Fitz has a good chance of similar success. He hasn’t scored since the Week 5 game in San Francisco, but I’d bet he returns to the end zone in this one.

 Start: Demaryius Thomas (@ NO)

 The Raiders dominated the Broncos on Sunday night, so Thomas couldn’t get anything going, even with Oakland missing their top cornerback Sean Smith. In an expected high-scoring game, Thomas should find success against a weak Saints secondary. I’m normally lower on Demaryius than most, but he’s a top-10 option this week.

 Start: Julian Edelman (vs SEA)

The Seahawks had no answer for Tyrod Taylor and Robert Woods on Monday night, and that was in Seattle. How are they going to fair against Brady and Edelman? Many probably remember Edelman’s gutsy Super Bowl performance two years ago against the Seahawks, where he caught 9 passes for 109 yards and 1 touchdown. New England will attack with passes over the middle this Sunday night.

Start: Corey Coleman (@ BAL)

I love Corey Coleman. The rookie wideout torched the Ravens for 104 yards and 2 touchdowns in Week 2, and the teams faceoff again this Thursday night. If cornerback Jimmy Smith guards Terrelle Pryor, Coleman will see tons of favorable coverage against the 30th ranked defense against wide receivers in fantasy. The speedy rookie is the guy I want to own on the Cleveland offense for the rest of the year.

Others: Doug Baldwin (@ NE), Will Fuller V (@ JAC)

SITS:

Sit of the Week: Dez Bryant (@ PIT)

I warned fantasy owners about Dez last week, and he turned in a 1-point performance against the Browns. The star wideout is saying all the right things because they’re winning, but we’ll see if that lasts if Dak has a bad game now that Tony Romo is healthy. He’s a playmaker, so there’s always some upside, but Bryant is barely a WR2.

Sit: Brandon Marshall (vs LA)

Marshall isn’t even that (a WR2) this week against the Rams. Star cornerback Trumaine Johnson returned last week and helped solidify LA’s secondary, as they held Kelvin Benjamin in check. Marshall hasn’t topped 70 yards or scored since Week 5, and the poor play of his buddy Ryan Fitzpatrick is the biggest reason why.

Sit: Terrelle Pryor (@ BAL)

While I love Corey Coleman, I haven’t been the biggest Pryor fan. Hue Jackson said that the rookie will be better in his second game back from his hand injury, and that will probably lead to more targets for him and less for Pryor. If cornerback Jimmy Smith matches up with the former Ohio State QB, it could be a quiet night.

Sit: Jamison Crowder and DeSean Jackson (vs MIN)

Fantasy owners are well aware of DeSean’s struggles this season. He is averaging 5.5 points per game and hasn’t topped 5 points since Week 3. Crowder, though, is quietly a top-20 receiver so far, with double-digits in each of his past three games. Neither Redskins wideout is worth starting this week, though, as the Vikings have arguably the best pass defense in the league.

Others: Michael Thomas (vs DEN), DeVante Parker (@ SD)

 

TIGHT END

STARTS:

 Start of the Week: Rob Gronkowski (vs SEA)

As discussed with Edelman, the Pats will attack Seattle with short passes across the middle, which will mean a lot of Gronk. The superstar tight end is not a fan of the Seahawks. If you recall, Seahawks players tried to start a fight at the end of Super Bowl XLIX with Gronk. After this week’s field goal situation involving Richard Sherman at the end of the first half, Gronkowski simply tweeted, “Wow.” He’ll be ready for whatever on Sunday night, and is the obvious #1 tight end option.

Start: Travis Kelce (@ CAR)

Travis Kelce should be an elite option this week, so long as he doesn’t get ejected. Carolina hasn’t defended tight ends well at all this season. Just last week, Rams TE Lance Kendricks caught 7 passes for 90 yards. No offense to Kendricks (who is also a “Start” this week), but Kelce is the superior talent on the superior offense.

 Start: Dennis Pitta (vs CLE)

The Ravens tight end caught 9 passes for 102 yards in Week 2 against Cleveland, and the Browns haven’t gotten any better at defending the position since. Pitta should be ready to roll on Thursday night after Jason Witten just went off against the Browns last Sunday.

Start: Lance Kendricks (@ NYJ)

Case Keenum’s new favorite target has been his tight end, as Kendricks has caught 7 passes in each of the past two games. The Jets have been favorable for opposing tight ends, so Keenum probably will look for the veteran again this Sunday.

Others: Martellus Bennett (vs SEA), Zach Ertz (vs ATL)

SITS:

Sit of the Week: Greg Olsen (vs KC)

Olsen is here because he’s not an elite option for Week 10. Obviously, you need to have the #1 scorer at the position in your lineup, but the Chiefs have been stingy against tight ends. Because of other good players having great matchups, Olsen doesn’t make the top-5 this week.

Sit: Tyler Eifert (@ NYG)

Two weeks ago in London, Eifert scored his first fantasy points of the season against the Redskins. This week, he’ll have had tons of time off to get to 100%, as the Bengals are coming off a bye and play on Monday night. Still, the Giants are slightly above-average at defending tight ends, so Eifert doesn’t crack the top-10 because of the good depth at the position for Week 10.

Sit: Jason Witten (@ PIT)

Witten definitely doesn’t crack the top-10 after one good game. He scored his first touchdown of the season two weeks ago in overtime, but had just 16 yards in that game. Last week, he had 8 catches for 134 yards and 1 touchdown, giving him his only game with double-digit fantasy points this season. The Steelers just contained Dennis Pitta last week, which isn’t a good sign for Witten.

Sit: Gary Barnidge (@ BAL)

Barnidge hasn’t scored a touchdown all season. The Ravens haven’t allowed a touchdown to a tight end all season. Sit Barnidge.

Others: Vance McDonald (@ ARI), C.J. Fiedorowicz (@ JAC)

 

DEFENSE

STARTS:

Start of the Week: Baltimore Ravens (vs CLE)

The Ravens shut down the Steelers last week, but Big Ben was clearly way less than 100%. Still, they had Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell, and the offense as a whole is still a lot more formidable than Cleveland’s. The Browns scored just 10 points against the Cowboys last week, and that was in Cleveland. Baltimore and their fans know this Thursday night is a big game for the AFC North.

Start: Los Angeles Rams (@ NYJ)

I don’t think Bryce Petty is ready to play in the NFL, but he might be forced into action if Ryan Fitzpatrick (knee) can’t go. Even if Fitz does play, it might be the worst thing for the Los Angeles defense with the way he gives the ball away. The Rams are an elite option for Week 10.

Start: New York Jets (vs LA)

Defenses facing the Rams have scored 3 touchdowns this season, as LA is allowing the 2nd most fantasy points per game in 2016. The NYJ run defense should swallow up the underused Todd Gurley, forcing Case Keenum to throw, which should lead to sacks and turnovers.

Start: Jacksonville Jaguars (vs HOU)

The Jaguars are the 27th fantasy defense through Week 9, but there’s no arguing they have some talent on that side of the ball. Brock Osweiler has been one of the worth quarterbacks in the league, so Jacksonville is a good desperation option this week.

SITS:

Sit of the Week: Seattle Seahawks (@ NE) 

They play in New England, so… no. I would rather start the Saints (!) than the Seahawks this week.

Sit: Denver Broncos (@ NO)

This might be even worse than facing the Patriots in Foxboro because Drew Brees is just so good at the Superdome. The Broncos just had a 30-spot put up by Oakland, and I like Drew Brees’ chances of repeating that.

Sit: Philadelphia Eagles (vs ATL)

Philly’s special teams could also make an impact, but less so now that Josh Huff is gone. They’ve been better at home, but the Eagles have a tough draw with Matt Ryan in Week 10.

Sit: Miami Dolphins (@ SD) 

The Dolphins paid off last week for defensive streamers in large part to Kenyan Drake’s kick return touchdown. Playing against Philip Rivers in San Diego this week, the Dolphins should be dropped.

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