Posted: Thursday, November 10, 2016
This is the Fantasy Football Nerd's look at the best and worst matchups for Week 10 of the 2016 NFL season. Decisions are based upon the FFN rankings and matchup analysis. Given the known conditions, these matchups are the ones to watch and/or avoid.
Please Note: This list does not generally include the elite players that you are going to start regardless of matchup. You don't need us to tell you to start Aaron Rodgers, Rob Gronkowski, or Antonio Brown. Instead, we take a look at other players on your team that we believe either have great matchups or should be avoided for multiple reasons. Factors like opposing defense, performance trending, and peer comparisons may influence our decisions.
Start 'em Ben Roethlisberger (PIT, QB)
Ranked 3rd this week on FFN is Big Ben facing a Dallas D without some starters in their secondary. Roethlisberger started out poorly last week in his first game back, but finished nicely during the second half. QB's have averaged more than 16 fantasy points against the Cowboys, so while this matchup might look tough on paper, Big Ben should finish above the 20 point mark this week.
Start 'em Marcus Mariota (TEN, QB)
In Vegas they say that you should continue playing the hot hand. Marcus Mariota is that hot hand right now which is why you'll find him ranked 11th this week among QB's on FFN. The Packers allow an average of 250 passing yards per game and have given up an average of 18 fantasy points to quarterbacks this year. Combine that with the hot streak that Mariota has been on and you'll see why he's a QB1 this week.
Start 'em Terrance West (BAL, RB)
As bad as he stunk, there's no hiding the fact that Terrance West pooped the bed last week, but don't rush to stick him on the bench just yet. He's ranked 8th this week on FFN because the matchup on Thursday night is a good one. He is still getting the bulk of the carries and the Browns have given up 13 scores on the ground this year. Even better, only one team has given up more yards on the ground than Cleveland has. The matchup is solid for a bounce-back.
Start 'em Devontae Booker (DEN, RB)
Like West above, Booker was a bust last week, and like our recommendation above, don't rush to stick him on your bench. The last five rushers to face New Orleans averaged almost 19 fantasy points (22 PPR). The matchup is sweet and Booker should bounce back nicely.
Start 'em Larry Fitzgerald (ARI, WR)
Like a fine wine, this guy just seems to get better with age. Larry Fitzgerald will line up against the 49ers for the second time this year. In Week 5, he put up 20 fantasy points (26 PPR) and there's no reason to think that he won't have similar numbers. If you've got a Cardinals WR, all should have starting potential.
Start 'em Randall Cobb (GB, WR)
While he didn't set the world ablaze last week, frankly we weren't sure if Randall Cobb was even going to play. The Pack eased him into the game and Cobb was able to find the endzone. His #12 ranking this week makes him a high-end WR2.
Start 'em Terrelle Pryor (CLE, WR)
The Cleveland Browns have been a mess this year, but Terrelle Pryor has been a bright spot. He's a solid WR2 option on Thursday night against the Ravens who gave up an average of 21.7 fantasy points (27.7 PPR) to Antonio Brown, Quincy Enunwa, Odell Beckham Jr, and Michael Crabtree.
Start 'em Antonio Gates (SD, TE)
We recommended Antonio Gates last week and he didn't disappoint going 5 for 74 and a score. It's a tough matchup against Miami, but keep the future HOFer in there as Rivers and company get him closer to breaking Tony Gonzalez's TD record.
Start 'em Zach Ertz (PHI, TE)
After putting up a solid week (9.7 std 17.7 ppr), Zach Ertz should have some momentum going into this week's matchup against the Falcons. Atlanta gives up the second most yards through the air. If Cameron Brate, Greg Olsen, Coby Fleener, and Clive Walford can put up double-digit fantasy points, so can Ertz.
Start 'em Los Angeles Rams (LA, DEF)
We haven't had many positive things to say about the Los Angeles Rams, however the defense is ranked 2nd this week facing a Jets team that has given up more fantasy points to opposing teams than any other franchise in the league. Start'em with confidence.
Start 'em Josh Lambo (SD, K)
Josh Lambo is ranked third this week facing a Miami defense that gives up an average of almost 8 fantasy points each week. Nick Folk put up 11 fantasy points last week. If you're streaming kickers, Lambo is a solid play.
Sit 'em Kirk Cousins (WAS, QB)
When Minnesota comes to visit Washington this week, they're bringing their 4th-ranked secondary which allows just 205.8 yards per game through the air. No other team is allowing fewer points on the scoreboard than the Vikings and they're giving up the 3rd-fewest fantasy points making Kirk Cousins an easy sit decision this week.
Sit 'em Blake Bortles (JAC, QB)
After a very nice outing last week, it might be tempting to keep Blake Bortles in your lineup. Houston is giving up the 2nd-fewest passing yards (190.5) and has kept Stafford, Siemian, Luck, Bradford, Mariota, and Cutler to an average of just 14 fantasy points. A banged up Hurns doesn't help the situation either.
Sit 'em Ryan Mathews (PHI, RB)
You'll have to look all the way down to #44 this week among the FFN running back rankings to find Ryan Mathews. It's not a pretty situation here. He's losing touches and hasn't made the most of the ones he has gotten. Combine that with an Atlanta defense that gives up the 7th-fewest yards on the ground and there's not much to be excited about here. Mathews is barely a flex play.
Sit 'em Jeremy Hill (CIN, RB)
With the exception of Terrance West and Ezekiel Elliott, the Giants don't allow opposing rushers to reach double digit standard fantasy points. They give up just 94 yards on the ground (9th-fewest) making Jeremy Hill and Gio Bernard low-end RB2/flex plays.
Sit 'em Julian Edelman (NE, WR)
Julian Edelman is one of those players that we thought would flourish with Tom Brady back under center and that just hasn't happened. He's ranked 19th this week (16th PPR) facing a tough Seattle defense that surrenders just 233 yards through the air (10th-fewest). There are a lot of mouths to feed in New England so it's going to be tough to pre-determine when Edelman will get his.
Sit 'em Brandin Cooks (NO, WR)
OK, so you're probably not going to sit Brandin Cooks, but lower your expectations. Only 2 wide receivers have reached double digit fantasy points (std) against Denver this year and that has included keeping guys like DeAndre Hopkins, Julio Jones, AJ Green, and Mike Evans under that mark. Nobody gives up fewer passing yards than Denver.
Sit 'em Julius Thomas (JAC, TE)
If only fantasy points were awarded for blocking...so talented but Julius Thomas has become one of those guys who is touchdown dependent in order to have fantasy relevance. Houston has only allowed 1 TE to reach double-digits and has surrendered the 4th-fewest fantasy points to the position.
Sit 'em Coby Fleener (NO, TE)
It has become ridiculously difficult to predict what kind of fantasy performance we'll get out of Coby Fleener each week, but this week is a bit easier given that he'll face the same Denver defense that makes Cooks a tough sell. Only one TE has scored more than 10 fantasy points against the Broncos this year, and it's highly unlikely that this week would make it two.
Sit 'em Seattle Seahawks (SEA, DEF)
Looking at this week's rankings, you'll find Seattle listed all the way down at #23 and it has nothing to do with Richard Sherman haphazardly shrugging off a blatant offsides and questionably dirty FG block. Instead it has everything to do with a matchup against Tom Brady and the Patriots. As usual, the Pats have so many weapons to beat you with that keeping tabs on them all is going to be tough.
Sit 'em Steven Hauschka (SEA, K)
Only two kickers have scored 10 points this year against the Patriots. In fact, New England has allowed just 5 points on average each week to opposing kickers. Hauschka and the offense will be tested.