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Rod Mar/Seattle Seahawks

Week 10 Fantasy: Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

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Thumbs Up of the Week: Jared Goff (@ LAC)

The Detroit passing attack wasn’t quite clicking in the win over Las Vegas prior to the bye, but a week off should have things figured out—and Lions-Chargers has major shootout potential. Facing a Los Angeles defense allowing the most passing yards per game in the league (286.0), Goff is a top-five play for Week 10, and Detroit will ideally use Jahmyr Gibbs more as a pass-catcher to take the offense to another level with David Montgomery (ribs) back.


Thumbs Up: Geno Smith (v WAS)

Struggles for Smith continued last week in a blowout loss to Baltimore, and he’s thrown for just nine touchdowns (with seven interceptions) in eight games this year. Sunday is a spot for Smith to play more like he did in 2022, though, as Washington has allowed the most fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks, and I don’t see them having answers for DK Metcalf and the rest of Seattle’s weaponry. Geno is optimistically a top-seven option.


Thumbs Up: Kyler Murray (v ATL)

Murray is set to make his season debut this week, and he is surely determined to prove himself as Arizona’s franchise quarterback over the next two months. In general, the new scheme for the Cardinals seems to fit well with Murray’s strengths as a passer, and he’s essentially averaged 20+ fantasy points per game whenever on the field throughout his career. If not hesitant about keeping the ball himself as a runner, Murray can be an immediate QB1 versus an Atlanta defense that’s fallen off in recent weeks.


Thumbs Up: Russell Wilson (@ BUF)

A road matchup against the Bills—with their backs against the wall at 5-4 in a loaded conference—could spell trouble for Wilson. However, Buffalo has allowed Mac Jones (19.98 fantasy points), Baker Mayfield (21.38), and Joe Burrow (22.32) to all have strong games over the past three weeks, and Sean Payton had the bye week to put together a game plan for Monday night. There were a couple of low-floor outings, but Wilson has a 16:4 touchdown-interception ratio on the season and has scored five rushing touchdowns in three career games versus Buffalo.


Thumbs Down of the Week: Trevor Lawrence (v SF)

Although Lawrence remains a low-end QB1 option coming out of the bye, a lot of the ranking is based on hope (and a weak position)—as the former No. 1 overall pick has yet to surpass 18.06 fantasy points in a game this season. San Francisco isn’t playing up to their potential defensively, but they also had the bye to figure things out, and you might be able to grab an option like Geno Smith or Kyler Murray to start over Lawrence for now.


Thumbs Down: Deshaun Watson (@ BAL)

A lot has been made of Cleveland’s defensive dominance at home, but the same is true for Baltimore—as they are allowing just 8.83 fantasy points per game to visiting quarterbacks this season. The last two home games in particular have been pure destruction for the Ravens by holding two top NFC opponents (Detroit and Seattle) to a combined nine points, and Watson isn’t someone to have a ton of faith in after the Browns lost 28-3 in the first matchup this year.


Thumbs Down: Jordan Love (@ PIT)

Love started the season hot with 21.31 fantasy points per game over the first four weeks, but that number has dropped to 12.17 fantasy points per game in four games since then, and he’ll now face a Pittsburgh defense that can be very tough on young quarterbacks. Just last week, Will Levis was cooled off in a hurry, and Love is unlikely to find himself in a shootout this weekend. We have him outside the top 24 at the position for Week 10.


Thumbs Down: Gardner Minshew (@ NE)

New England is not in a great spot as a team/roster, but the defense can still play at a high level under Bill Belichick, which makes Minshew a risky QB2 play for those desperate for a streamer. On the year, only Josh Allen (24.30 fantasy points) and Tua Tagovailoa (21.76 fantasy points, after 12.26 fantasy points in the first matchup) have reached the 18.0-point mark against the Patriots, and Indy will look to ride the running game in Germany.


Running back


Thumbs Up of the Week: Javonte Williams (@ BUF)

The formula for Denver in a win over the Chiefs prior to the bye was featuring Javonte Williams (30 touches) to control the ball, and there is no reason to believe the game plan won’t be similar in an attempt to knock off Buffalo. As stated before his breakout, Williams had shown signs of an emergence, and the bye week should only have him rounded even more into form after an impressive recovery from his torn ACL suffered last year. Get him back in lineups against a Bills defense allowing 4.9 yards per carry.


Thumbs Up: James Conner (v ATL)

Conner (knee) is expected to return alongside Kyler Murray this week, and he can be an immediate RB2 option after playing perhaps the best football of his career to begin 2023 with 68 attempts for 364 yards (5.4 average) and two touchdowns across his first five games in a new system. Arizona having an underrated offensive line is a big reason for the success, but Conner should return as the workhorse with his backups struggling to get going in his absence.


Thumbs Up: Khalil Herbert (v CAR)

Herbert (ankle) is another potential returning runner for Week 10, and he was also playing tremendous football to start the year—rushing 51 times for 272 yards (5.3 average) and seeing an uptick in receiving work (10/83/1 line). Perhaps the Bears will have more of a committee the rest of the way, but Herbert has averaged 5.6 yards per carry on 180 attempts since the start of 2022, and Carolina is a home-run matchup with the second-most fantasy points per game allowed to running backs.


Thumbs Up: Zach Charbonnet (v WAS)

We love Kenneth Walker III to bounce back this week and have him as our overall RB2, but Charbonnet can also be involved and have success for Seattle with increased playing time over the past two weeks (59% and 55%). Getting the rookie on the field with Walker has happened early in games recently, so he’s at least a more stable FLEX that can rip off chunk yardage and has overtaken DeeJay Dallas for snaps on passing downs. If available, Charbonnet is a top add for the rest of the season.


Thumbs Down of the Week: Chuba Hubbard (@ CHI)

To be clear, Hubbard remains a top-30 option at running back, and the recent volume—with touch totals of 20, 17, and 20 over the past three games—could lead to a good night against Chicago. That said, Hubbard has averaged 2.8 yards per carry in two games since the bye, and I mentioned last week that Miles Sanders might eventually be re-installed as the lead runner. With the Bears very quietly allowing the fewest yards per carry in the league (3.3), Hubbard will bring a low floor if the volume dissipates.


Thumbs Down: Kareem Hunt (@ BAL)

Hunt is another back that has seen increased volume recently, and he’s been on fire scoring touchdowns with five in the past four games. Still, the veteran has been dependent on finding the end zone with 3.3 yards per carry in a split with Jerome Ford and Pierre Strong Jr., and now he’ll face a Baltimore defense that has allowed just three rushing touchdowns on the season. There are a handful of other committee options I’d rather go with this week.


Thumbs Down: D’Onta Foreman (v CAR)

The outlook for Foreman will change if Khalil Herbert doesn’t end up returning, and it’s easy to make the case for him remaining a quality FLEX option with 20 carries last week as he heads into a matchup against his former team. However, Foreman might tumble down to the No. 3 role behind Herbert and rookie Roschon Johnson with Chicago at 2-7, and the risk is enough to look elsewhere if possible.


Thumbs Down: Najee Harris (v GB)

Harris is coming off his best fantasy performance of the season (14.6 points), and the Packers have historically struggled to defend the run at a high level; but that has changed over the past two games with 47 carries for 101 yards (2.1 average) and one touchdown for opposing running backs, and Green Bay’s defense was noticeably fired up last week in desperation mode versus the Rams. Another possible slugfest-type game for Pittsburgh makes Najee a low-end RB2 option reliant on hitting pay dirt.


Wide receiver


Thumbs Up of the Week: DK Metcalf (v WAS)

The disappointing year for Metcalf continued last week as he was held to one reception (it was at least for 50 yards), but he’s far too talented to not eventually explode—with Sunday looking like the time for it against a Washington defense that has been torched by No. 1 wideouts. Metcalf might even get some tips from former Ole Miss teammate A.J. Brown considering his dominance in the matchup with a combined 17/305/4 line in two games this season, and he should be a borderline top-five option.


Thumbs Up: Gabe Davis (v DEN)

Davis was held without a catch last Sunday night, and it was a major letdown after he caught nine passes for 87 yards and a score in Week 8. The matchup had a lot to do with the struggles, though, and Davis gets a much rosier outlook on Monday night with Stefon Diggs dealing with Patrick Surtain II and Denver struggling to find a consistent answer at the other cornerback spot. I’m hopeful that Davis will rebound as a high-upside WR2 play in primetime.


Thumbs Up: Jahan Dotson (@ SEA)

Dotson is a prototypical example of not jumping ship on talented players, and Washington has found a way to unlock his potential over the past two games with lines of 8/108/1 and 4/69/1. The second-year wideout now heads into a possible shootout against Seattle, and his usage on deep crossing routes and similar route concepts—for an offense that loves throwing the ball—positions him to have another standout game. Dotson is a clear top-24 play this week.


Thumbs Up: Marquise Brown (v ATL)

Averaging a healthy 8.6 targets per game this season, Brown is the central component of Arizona’s passing attack, and he will be happy to have Kyler Murray back under center to increase his upside. Atlanta collapsing a bit on the backend over the past two weeks is another boost to Brown’s stock for Week 10, and the floor for “Hollywood” has been solid with 10.9 fantasy points per game in eight weeks with Joshua Dobbs as the starter.


Others: Michael Pittman Jr. (@ NE), Brandin Cooks (v NYG)


Thumbs Down of the Week: Nico Collins (@ CIN)

Collins has made it here a couple of times this season, and inconsistency is the reason for it with alternating games of double-digit fantasy points and disappointment over the past several weeks. Simply put, the Texans have attacked the weaknesses of opponents better than perhaps anyone under offensive coordinator Bobby Slowik, and I don’t see Collins being a featured player on Sunday versus Cam Taylor-Britt and the stout Cincinnati cornerbacks. He’s more of a FLEX than WR2.


Thumbs Down: Calvin Ridley (v SF)

Ridley is another pass-catcher that has struggled with consistency issues in 2023, and he’s in a similar situation to Collins in that Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson has openly stated their wideouts are reliant on matchups. Maybe the sub-par play for the Niners thus far will continue, but I think they’ll have things figured out coming off the bye, and Ridley could see a lot of Charvarius Ward on the perimeter. Christian Kirk is the preferred play as a top-15 option while Ridley sits in low-end WR2/FLEX territory.


Thumbs Down: Romeo Doubs (@ PIT)

Doubs has been mostly talked up as a recommended start this season, and I am still optimistic about his rest-of-season outlook. That said, he could see a lot of shutdown rookie cornerback Joey Porter Jr. this weekend, and the threat of it is enough to downgrade Doubs to the low-end WR3 rankings with touchdowns making up for just 88 yards in four games since the start of October. I’d be looking ahead to next week’s game against the Chargers and a Thanksgiving matchup versus Detroit.


Thumbs Down: Zay Flowers (v CLE)

It seemed like Flowers was on the verge of a full-blown breakout with a season-long pace of 95 receptions and 1,073 receiving yards across the first seven games of his career, but Baltimore’s first-rounder has been held to 30 total yards over the past two weeks. With the stingy Cleveland cornerbacks coming to town and the Ravens having various pass-catchers for Lamar Jackson to hit in a spread attack, Flowers is outside the top 30 at wide receiver.


Others: George Pickens (v GB), Zay Jones (v SF) 


Tight end


Thumbs Up of the Week: Kyle Pitts (@ ARI)

Pitts has another modest fantasy performance last week, but he caught four-of-five targets for 56 yards, and Taylor Heinicke was a little more aggressive in pushing the ball than Desmond Ridder was. The hope is that a building chorus of criticism about Atlanta not featuring their best playmakers will lead to a breakout for Pitts soon enough, and Arizona—despite ranking seventh in fantasy points allowed to opposing tight ends—has struggled some versus top options.


Thumbs Up: Dalton Schultz (@ CIN)

Dalton Kincaid already being one of the NFL’s best tight ends was a factor, but Cincinnati allowed ten receptions for 81 yards to him last Sunday night, and Schultz—coming off a 10/130/1 line—is a definite TE1 play with growing chemistry with C.J. Stroud. That includes in scoring territory with a touchdown in four of the past five games, so Schultz should be leaned on again in Week 10.


Thumbs Up: Gerald Everett (v DET)

Everett didn’t do much on Sunday night in a great matchup against the Jets, but he gets another shot in what should be a higher-scoring game this weekend—and Detroit has really struggled to defend opposing tight ends. The Chargers being without Joshua Palmer (knee) for at least three more games should lead to more looks for Everett, and he’s a borderline TE1/TE2 on Sunday based on the matchup.


Thumbs Down of the Week: Evan Engram (v SF)

Engram’s weekly involvement—with at least seven targets in every game since the opener—and high floor makes him a weekly TE1 option that you might not be willing to bench. The downside is that he has yet to find the end zone in 2023, and San Francisco is a brutal matchup with fewer than 30 yards allowed to the position in all but two games this season. If someone like Jake Ferguson or David Njoku is still available, going away from Engram should be a consideration for this week.


Thumbs Down: Colts TEs (@ NE)

There might not be anyone counting on an Indy tight end in fantasy lineups, but it’s again slim pickings in terms of options to avoid at the position, and Kylen Granson, Drew Ogletree, and others have been too unpredictable in Shane Steichen’s offense. With the Patriots allowing just one tight end to find the end zone in 2023, the group might be best off avoided in not only redraft leagues, but also DFS lineups on Sunday morning.