Posted: Wednesday, November 7, 2018
This is the Fantasy Football Nerd's look at the best and worst matchups for Week 10 of the 2018 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 Philip Rivers (LAC, QB)
Ranked 6th this week is Philip Rivers facing a Raiders defense that has given up 21 fantasy points over their last four games to QB's including Rivers in Week 5. Nick Mullens put up 22 fantasy points last week. Look for Rivers to put up 20+ fantasy points again.
Start 'em Ben Roethlisberger (PIT, QB)
Big Ben returns to Heinz Field, where he's averaged 308 yards and 2.3 TDs per game this season. He draws a middling Panthers pass defense that's allowed multiple scores in 7 straight games.
Start 'em Ryan Fitzpatrick (TB, QB)
Don't give up on him yet. Fitzpatrick may have started out last week's game throwing a pick and followed that up in the 4th quarter with another pick, but he kept throwing it downfield and ended the day with four touchdowns. Ryan, Prescott, Newton, and Brees averaged 24 fantasy points against Washington, so putting up 20 fantasy points is in the realm.
Start 'em Nick Chubb (CLE, RB)
Chubb comes into this week's rankings at #13 - essentially must-start territory. He had a solid 23 touches last week and has a decent matchup overall this week against the Falcons. The only concern is that Atlanta is likely to be playing with a big lead which could mean we see a lot of Duke Johnson in the 2nd half.
Start 'em Aaron Jones (GB, RB)
Although he had a costly fumble, Aaron Jones was finally the clear starter toting a season-high 14 carries and chipping in two receptions. Miami has given up the 5th-most yards on the ground per game (136) and Lamar Miller, Kerryon Johnson, and Tark Cohen averaged 20 fantasy points (PPR) against them over the past four weeks. Jones is ranked #14 making him a high-end RB2 this week.
Start 'em Tevin Coleman (ATL, RB)
Tevin Coleman came through big time with 20 opportunities last week including 7 targets. Expect his role to remain the same against the Browns who gave up a whopping 35 fantasy points to Hunt, Conner, and Gordon over the past few weeks.
Start 'em Jarvis Landry (CLE, WR)
Jarvis Landry might not have been the week to week stud that we expected after an impressive preseason, but he's got a nice matchup this week. The Falcons are giving up the 4th-most yards per game through the air. He caught 6 of 7 targets last week and Atlanta is weak in the slot, as evidenced by the 8 catches he had last year against them as a Dolphin.
Start 'em Josh Gordon (NE, WR)
We put Gordon into the Start column last week and he delivered nicely putting up 5/130/1 on 10 targets. Leave him penciled into your lineups as he's clearly cemented himself as a must start in this offense.
Start 'em Marquez Valdes-Scantling (GB, WR)
Marquez Valdes-Scantling came through again last week converting 6 targets into 3/101. He'll likely avoid top CB Howard and makes for a nice sleeper again this week - particularly with the news that Geronimo Allison has been put on I.R.
Start 'em O.J. Howard (TB, TE)
Howard is ranked 7th this week in a not-so-great matchup with the Redskins, but Washington has given up 10.2 FPG to TEs the last 4 weeks and he's been very consistent this year averaging 16.5 FPG in his last 4.
Start 'em Jordan Reed (WAS, TE)
He did catch 4 of 6 targets last week and they really need their TEs, plus Tampa Bay has given up 15.6 FPG to TEs the last 4 weeks. The only concern is that Vernon Davis had 7 targets himself last week.
Start 'em New York Jets (NYJ, DEF)
Buffalo is giving up 15.3 fantasy points per game to defense/special teams the last four weeks making the Jets a must-start fantasy defense this week.
Start 'em Greg Zuerlein (LAR, K)
Greg the Leg is back with 7 field goals in his last three games. Keep him penciled in.
Sit 'em Derek Carr (OAK, QB)
After putting up 27 fantasy points against Indy in Week 8, Derek Carr followed that up with a stinking 7 fantasy points last week against a weak San Fran secondary. With a dwindling cadre of receivers, it's too tough to trust Carr right now as evidenced by his 23rd ranking this week.
Sit 'em Matthew Stafford (DET, QB)
With Kahlil Mack back at practice, the Bears defense should be in prime condition when they face the Matt Stafford and the Lions. Stafford is ranked 21st this week, and it's not hard to see why. His offensive line is a mess giving up a career-high 10 sacks last week.
Sit 'em Marcus Mariota (TEN, QB)
Marcus Mariota had a great showing last week putting up 272 yards and 3 scores after an ugly first quarter. He may have trouble repeating against the Patriots.
Sit 'em Leonard Fournette (JAC, RB)
We expect Leonard Fournette to play for the first time since Week 4. He's ranked 20th this week which means that you'll likely be starting him, so let's assume for a moment that we can trust him not to leave the game injured again. He'll share some of those carries with Carlos Hyde, and T.J. Yeldon will continue to get the passing down work. It would seem reasonable that given his hamstring history, the Jaguars will ease him back into the game to avoid a setback. He may be ranked as an RB2, but it will be interesting to see if that's where he finishes.
Sit 'em Derrick Henry (TEN, RB)
Ignore whatever the depth chart says. Derrick Henry is no longer the lead back in Tennessee. That role belongs to Dion Lewis. Henry played only 20% of the snaps last week with just 8 touches. He literally has to fall into the end zone to have any fantasy value whatsoever.
Sit 'em Frank Gore (MIA, RB)
It's difficult to guess which guy in the Miami backfield is going to get the work. Kenyan Drake had only 7 touches last week while Gore had 20, but history would suggest that there's a lot of fluidity to that ratio. Gore is ranked 35th this week making him no more than a flex option at Green Bay.
Sit 'em Dez Bryant (NO, WR)UPDATE:Dez Bryant tore his Achilles during practice. He will not play at all this year.
Yes, Dez is back. Yes, he's a three-time Pro-Bowler. Yes, he's talented, but no, you shouldn't start him this week. With Ted Ginn and Cam Meredith on IR, the Saints haven't been getting much production behind Michael Thomas. Bryant's signing is a hit to rookie Tre'Quan Smith's target share. It may be a stretch for Bryant to play Sunday after sitting out nine weeks, but there's potential for a second half impact in a Drew Brees offense. Bryant has rest-of-season WR3 upside.
Sit 'em Mohamed Sanu (ATL, WR)
Sanu caught 4 of 5 targets last week and saw 66% of the snaps, but he's clearly ceded his fantasy relevance to Calvin Ridley. His hip has been bothering him for a couple weeks now, but he's been playing through it despite missing practices. We expect the same this week against the Browns where Sanu will be a WR3/4 on the road.
Sit 'em Jordy Nelson (OAK, WR)
In the two games without Amari Cooper, Nelson has managed just 30 yards on seven targets. The Raiders offense is among the worst in the NFL right now, and things won't be easier for Nelson and Derek Carr against the Chargers. With three straight games with less than 20 receiving yards, Nelson is not a recommended Week 10 start.
Sit 'em C.J. Uzomah (CIN, TE)
C.J. Uzomah is ranked 18th this week, and while he remains a risky fantasy start, there is an argument to be made that he should be needed more with A.J. Green out. Again, he's risky, but depending upon your situation, he may not be such a horrible long shot as they should throw it often.
Sit 'em Ricky Seals-Jones (ARI, TE)
Can't be used with any confidence with Gresham in the mix and KC about average against TEs, but not a great matchup.
Sit 'em Seattle Seahawks (SEA, DEF)
The Seahawks are a formidable defense, but the Rams offense knows how to put points on the board.
Sit 'em Steven Hauschka (BUF, K)
The Buffalo dumpster fire continues and that extends to Steven Hauschka who hasn't had a field goal in his last three games.