Week 10 in the NFL was a crazy one. On Thursday, Richard Sherman (Seattle Seahawks) ruptured his achilles tendon and is done for the season, Larry Fitzgerald (Arizona Cardinals) broke the 100 yard barrier again and the Seattle Seahawks might have violated concussion protocol.
Sunday also spawned a number of storylines regarding playoff implications: the Jacksonville Jaguars barely came up with a win in overtime, despite Blake Bortles’ two interceptions in the final two minutes of regulation, the New Orleans Saints routed the once-feared Buffalo Bills, the Tennessee Titans maintained their division lead by squeaking by the Cincinnati Bengals, John Fox’s challenge on a touchdown lead to a turnover and maybe the end of the Chicago Bears’ playoff campaign this season, and the Pittsburgh Steelers scored 17 unanswered points to complete the comeback versus the Indianapolis Colts of all teams. In the afternoon games, the Rams routed the Watson-less Texans to retain their spot on top of the NFC West, the San Francisco 49ers got their first W of the year, and the Atlanta Falcons are back in the playoff picture with a 27-7 win over the Dallas Cowboys, who were without star running back Ezekiel Elliott due to suspension. On Sunday night, the New England Patriots’ special teams played a big part in their 41-16 shredding of the Denver Broncos.
But what does this mean for fantasy owners? Who do they need to drop? Who should they pick up? Who needs to get booted off of your squad? Why is the NFL’s concussion protocol ruining your team’s chance at success? All these questions and more will be answered.
Start: Leonard Fournette (RB, Jacksonville)
Don’t let his performance against Los Angeles fool you. He underperformed, to put it lightly, against the Chargers last week. But that was because he was not utilized in the second half. Blake Bortles relied mainly on his passing abilities in the second half of the game, and that almost cost the Jags. Fortunately, the Chargers did the thing they do best: choke. Look for the LSU prodigy to rebound against the only winless team in the NFL right now (Cleveland) next week.
Edit: You may not want to do this, as he missed practice Friday with an ankle injury. He is listed as “Questionable” for Sunday’s game.
Start: Jared Goff (QB, LA Rams)
Even though Todd Gurley has been ripping defenses apart, Jared Goff has still found time to get himself some good stats. He completed 25 of 37 passes for 353 yards and 3 touchdowns. Goff has started to put up very respectable numbers, and hopes to continue that trend when the Rams head to Minnesota with a lot on the line for both of those teams.
Start: Adam Thielen (WR, Minnesota)
This wide receiver is an absolute monster, but the only reason he is a WR2 on the Vikings is because of Stefon Diggs. Despite just two touchdowns on the season, Thielen has netted 53 catches for 793 yards and leads his team in those two categories. The Rams’ pass defense did a fairly good job against the Watson-less Texans, but they are nowhere near the best in the league. Expect Thielen to have a field day in this marquee matchup.
Sit: Tevin Coleman (RB, Atlanta)
Devonta Freeman is out with a concussion at the moment, so Tevin Coleman will take his place for a few games. Coleman is not even close to being the worst running back, as his game against the Cowboys was his best of the season so far. However, he faces a massive challenge in Seattle, a team that, even without their “Legion of Boom,” still offers one of the best rushing defenses out there. I would sit him here for this contest.
Sit: Chris Hogan (WR, New England)
With Julian Edelman’s preseason injury, I thought: “Wow! This might be Chris Hogan’s breakout season!” I was mistaken, sadly. Hogan, despite 5 touchdowns on the season so far, has seen multiple games with only one reception and has not yet had a 100+ yard game. He is also dealing with an injury, so feel free to put him on your bench.
Sit: Ryan Fitzpatrick (QB, Tampa Bay)
Fitzpatrick had a rather easy matchup against the New York Jets last week. However, he only accumulated 187 yards, 1 touchdown, and an interception, the latter of which is a Fitzpatrick classic. They travel down the road to Miami for their Week 1 makeup game and Fitzpatrick is clearly not a suitable choice for starting.
Here are some Hot Waiver Wire Finds that you can pick up and make that playoff run with:
Devin Funchess (WR, Carolina)
2017 has been Devin Funchess’ favorite year. The Panthers shockingly let Kelvin Benjamin go to the Bills, Funchess has seen more targets than he has in his NFL career, and the Panthers’ next few matchups are looking great for their wideouts. The Panthers are on bye, however, so do not start him just yet, but pick him up as soon as possible.
Jacoby Brissett (QB, Indianapolis)
Ever since being humiliated in Seattle, the former 3rd string QB for New England has been putting up better numbers against better teams. He has thrown 6 touchdowns in the past 3 games and, even with a bye week in the way, will look to continue to ride that momentum into Tennessee.
Marqise Lee (WR, Jacksonville)
Quarterback Blake Bortles really likes throwin’ that ol’ pigskin downfield. Marqise Lee is his favorite target so far; he leads his team in receptions and reception yards. The Jags roll into Cleveland with a head of steam, so expect Lee to put up big numbers.
No matter what sort of format your fantasy team runs, you always have that one player on your team that is subpar at best, but you don’t want to drop them out of fear that they will have a breakout performance. These three players are prime examples of this, but with one exception: there’s no danger in giving them the ax. You really need to…
Drop ‘em like they’re hot
Kelvin Benjamin (Wide Receiver, Buffalo)
I never would have thought Kelvin Benjamin would have been cut from the Panthers. I truly never did. Now he is a wideout for Buffalo, a team that has been a sinking ship ever since their loss to the NY Jets. The Bills are starting Nate Peterman over Tyrod Taylor, which is also a major shock. This is looking like the burial of Kelvin Benjamin, so don’t be afraid to kick him off to make room for a better wide receiver.
Cameron Brate (Tight End, Tampa Bay)
Cameron Brate was looking pretty nice for a few weeks and seemed like a viable player for your fantasy lineup. Brate has sputtered out in the past couple of weeks, only getting 2 receptions off of 7 targets for a mere 19 total yards. Ryan Fitzpatrick didn’t show up like we thought he would versus the New York Jets, and since Mike Evans is back from his 1-game suspension, you can expect Brate to fall off further.
Kyle Rudolph (Tight End, Minnesota)
The former Pro Bowl MVP has had an abysmal season so far. He has logged just 229 yards and 3 touchdowns off of 31 receptions so far, and it’s all downhill from here. Rudolph has a tough matchup coming up this week vs the LA Rams, a team that has allowed the 5th fewest fantasy points to TEs this season. Don’t let his 90.2% ownership status fool you.
Whether you like football or not, this week is a pretty big one for the NFL season. This week is even bigger for your fantasy leagues, as the playoffs are starting in just a few weeks. A lot is on the line for both you and the 32 actual NFL teams. It all comes down to who handles that ol’ pigskin better.