Fantasy Football: Week 10 sit-start lineup advice

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Sit and start is relative and league dependent, so consider some of these suggestions more “fliers” and “fades” (note that some are targeted for DFS).

Good luck with your Week 10 lineups.

Jacksonville Jaguars @ Indianapolis Colts

Start: Dan Arnold, Carson Wentz

Even with the Urban Meyer factor, it’s surprising Lawrence has struggled so dramatically as a rookie. But Arnold is tied for the team lead in targets (30) over the last four games and faces a pass-funnel Colts defense that ranks No. 2 against the run and No. 26 versus the pass, allowing the sixth-most fantasy points to tight ends this season.

Wentz has gotten 7.9 YPA with 13 touchdowns and just two picks over the last five games. Sunday he gets a home matchup against a pass-funnel Jacksonville defense that ranks No. 8 versus the run yet last against the pass in DVOA. The Colts finally have their offensive line fully healthy and should have TY Hilton this week, so Wentz is a strong fantasy start.

Cleveland Browns @ New England Patriots

Start in DFS: D’Ernest Johnson ($13)

Sit: Hunter Henry

With Nick Chubb, Kareem Hunt and Demetric Felton all likely to miss Sunday, Johnson is set to act as Cleveland’s feature back. The Browns might have the best offensive line in the NFL and face a Pats defense that ranks No. 6 against the pass yet No. 17 versus the run in DVOA. Johnson has looked like a star (0.53 RYOE) when given work this season, so don’t be surprised when he finishes as a top-five fantasy back this week.

Mac Jones has impressed as a rookie but has benefitted from his schedule and now faces a Cleveland defense with one of the league’s top pressure rates. Henry has averaged just three targets over the last four games, so he’s a shaky fantasy start.

Brandon Bolden (40% rostered) would become a must-start should Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson both sit.

Atlanta Falcons @ Dallas Cowboys

Start: Matt Ryan, All Cowboys

It took some time, but Arthur Smith has Atlanta’s offense playing better, and Ryan is suddenly getting 8.0 YPA (305.5 yards) with nine touchdowns over four games on the road this season.

Ryan ranks first in QBR and second in CPOE over the last five weeks. Sunday the Falcons are big underdogs in a game with one of the highest projected totals (54.5 points) against a Dallas defense allowing 7.8 YPA and the 10th-most fantasy points to quarterbacks (and now missing Randy Gregory).

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) runs for a touchdown against the New Orleans Saints
Matt Ryan should light it up in Week 10. (AP Photo/Derick Hingle)

While it would be better if LT Tyron Smith plays, this looks like a nice bounce-back spot for Dallas either way. While the Falcons are coming off a big upset win and enter with a surging offense (yet sport a defense that ranks No. 31 in DVOA), the Cowboys are coming off an “F” performance in which Dak Prescott was rusty.

In other words, expect this fast-paced matchup to be Sunday’s highest-scoring, with Dallas’ offense typically better at home.

Prescott, CeeDee Lamb and Ezekiel Elliott could each finish No. 1 at their positions in fantasy this week, while Tony Pollard and Michael Gallup are flex options.

Buffalo Bills @ New York Jets

Start: Cole Beasley

Start in DFS: Michael Carter ($14)

The Jets have allowed a bunch of fantasy points to running backs this season, but Buffalo struggles rushing against everyone. Meanwhile, Josh Allen has seen his average throw depth drop significantly since the bye, when defenses have taken away the deep ball with Cover 2 shells. Beasley has benefitted as a result, as he’s easily leading Buffalo in target share (25.2%) over the last three games. The Bills have the second-highest pass rate above expectation since Week 6

Carter has the fifth-most touches in the league over the last three weeks. The rookie saw a whopping 23 targets over a six-quarter stretch with Mike White before the QB left last week’s game early.

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It sounds like White should be ready to start in Week 10, as the Jets are in no hurry to rush Zach Wilson back. Even against a tough Bills defense, Carter is an intriguing DFS option with White starting at QB this week.

New Orleans Saints @ Tennessee Titans

Start: Deonte Harris & Mark Ingram

Sit: All Titans but A.J. Brown

Harris leads New Orleans in targets with Trevor Siemian at QB, and he’s been targeted during 35% of his routes this season while emerging as the Saints’ best receiver. Harris is also No. 3 in yards per route run and should see more volume this week with Alvin Kamara banged up and facing a Tennessee defense allowing the most fantasy points to WRs this season. Harris is an intriguing Week 10 flier.

If Kamara sits as expected, Mark Ingram ($14) would become a strong start and excellent DFS option.

It’s tough using any Titans running back given the three-headed committee going up against the No. 1 rush defense in DVOA (the Saints have also allowed the fewest yards per play on the road this season). Julio Jones aggravated his never-ending hamstring injury in practice Thursday, making life tougher on Ryan Tannehill. Brown may see a lot of Marshon Lattimore, but he should also see a ton of targets and is an easy top-10 WR this week.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Washington Football Team

Start in DFS: Tyler Johnson ($10), Terry McLaurin ($22)

McLaurin ranks eighth in air yards this season despite coming out of the team’s bye, and he’s first in air yards share. As near double-digit underdogs against the Bucs’ pass-funnel defense, Washington should be throwing frequently this week; Tampa Bay has allowed an NFL-low 55.9 rushing yards per game to running backs this season. Scary Terry’s salary doesn’t even have him as a top-15 WR, so he’s undervalued this week.

With Antonio Brown, Chris Godwin and Rob Gronkowski all highly uncertain to play, Johnson could be an intriguing minimum DFS play this week facing a Washington defense that’s allowed the second-most passing touchdowns (20) and fantasy points to wide receivers this season. These two defenses are producing the league’s highest neutral pass rates, which makes this is a strong game to stack in DFS.

Mike Evans has a real argument to be ranked as the No. 1 WR this week, while Leonard Fournette gets a fantasy boost from Tampa Bay’s injuries as well.

Detroit Lions @ Pittsburgh Steelers

Start in DFS: D’Andre Swift ($23)

Start: Pat Freiermuth

Swift won’t be heavily rostered in DFS due to a tough matchup in Pittsburgh, but he’s sneaky with Jamaal Williams looking likely to miss his second straight game (he’s still not practicing following Detroit’s bye). Moreover, LT Taylor Decker was recently activated off IR, and Swift could easily see double-digit targets with the Lions starting Kalif Raymond and Amon-Ra St. Brown at wide receiver. Swift leads the NFL in high-value touches (55).

Freiermuth is no secret after scoring three times over the past two weeks, but he’s suddenly a top-eight fantasy TE with Chase Claypool out. Najee Harris is banged up as well, so Freiermuth should see good volume against a bad Lions defense allowing a league-high 9.3 YPA — no team over the past five years has finished allowing more than 8.5 YPA.

Diontae Johnson is also looking at all the targets, while James Washington is a sleeper.

Minnesota Vikings @ Los Angeles Chargers

Start: Tyler Conklin, Justin Herbert

Conklin has seen seven targets in back-to-back games and should again be busy Sunday in a matchup with one of this week’s highest over/unders (53.5 points). The Chargers have ceded the fifth-most fantasy points to tight ends this season.

Don’t let Minnesota’s No. 3 ranked pass defense in DVOA scare you off Herbert, as the Vikings will be missing Danielle Hunter and Harrison Smith from a D that just played a whopping 98 snaps last week. You don’t need me to tell you to start Herbert, but he looks especially nice in this matchup that should be high scoring and seems destined to go to overtime

Carolina Panthers @ Arizona Cardinals

Sit: DJ Moore

Start in DFS: James Conner ($21)

Volume is still there for Moore, but depending on your league, he’s a bench option this week on the road against the No. 2 pass defense in DVOA and with P.J. Walker making his second career NFL start. Moore hasn’t reached 75 yards or scored since Week 4, and he sees fewer targets when Christian McCaffrey plays. His new QB has a 1:5 TD:INT ratio during his career. Fantasy managers likely envisioned things playing out differently when Moore had racked up 30 catches, 400+ YFS and three touchdowns over the first month.

DJ Moore #2 of the Carolina Panthers
Volume hasn't helped DJ Moore of late. (Photo by David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

With Chase Edmonds leaving early, Conner exploded for three scores and finished as fantasy’s RB1 in Week 9. It’s typically not best to pay up for last week’s stats in DFS, but his salary is actually lower in Week 10 despite Edmonds being sidelined with a high-ankle sprain. The Panthers haven’t given up a bunch of fantasy points to RBs this season, but the Cardinals might be the best team in football (they have the best point-differential while playing more road games) and enter as 10-point favorites. Game script should be favorable for Conner, who leads the NFL with 11 touchdowns (and saw a season-high five targets last week after Edmonds left). With injured receivers and either Colt McCoy or a hobbled Kyler Murray at QB this week for Arizona, Conner should be the focal point of the team’s offense, so he’s a DFS bargain.

Seattle Seahawks @ Green Bay Packers

Start in DFS: Davante Adams ($32), Tyler Lockett ($20)

Adams still leads the NFL in WOPR and should get Aaron Rodgers back as his quarterback Sunday. Seattle is allowing more than 400 yards per game this season.

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Lockett saw 13 targets before Seattle’s bye and will benefit greatly from the return of Russell Wilson, whose 9.6 YPA leads the NFL by a mile (it goes up to 10.5 at home). Lockett quietly ranks top-10 in WOPR this season — ahead of Tyreek Hill, Ja’Marr Chase and DK Metcalf. He should cash in those air yards this week with Wilson back against a Green Bay secondary missing Jaire Alexander, so Sunday could be one of Lockett’s patented blowup games.

Philadelphia Eagles @ Denver Broncos

Sit: DeVonta Smith

Start in DFS: Teddy Bridgewater ($21)

Smith isn’t a bad WR3 if needed this week against a Denver defense dealing with a bunch of injuries (including to corner Patrick Surtain), but his big game last week came on a modest six targets. Smith has averaged just 5.5 looks over the last month when Philadelphia has completely reversed course and sported the league’s lowest pass rate above expectation

Bridgewater was fantasy’s QB6 last week yet remains the near DFS minimum. The Eagles just allowed Justin Herbert to finish as the QB1 last week, and the Broncos may find themselves in more high scoring games than expected with their defense suffering so many injuries (and trading away Von Miller). With Jerry Jeudy now back fully healthy joining Courtland Sutton, Bridgewater has nice targets as well. Noah Fant is also expected to return Sunday (with Albert O now banged up), and he gets an Eagles defense that’s allowed the most fantasy points to tight ends this season.

Kansas City Chiefs @ Las Vegas Raiders

Sit: Patrick Mahomes?

Start: Hunter Renfrow

You risk feeling foolish if you sit Mahomes, but you can consider alternatives like Matt Ryan, Kirk Cousins and Carson Wentz, as Mahomes has gotten just 6.0 YPA over the last five games for a variety of reasons (Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce have been banged up, while no QB has seen lighter boxes and a lower blitz rate since 2014 than Mahomes this season). He’s been reluctant to check down against the Cover 2, and Sunday night Mahomes travels to play a Las Vegas defense allowing the second-fewest YPA (6.3). Impressively, Da Raiders almost never blitz yet have been able to create as much pressure as any defense in football

Renfrow set a season-high with three red-zone targets last week (nine total) and should stay busy Sunday night. His PPR floor remains rock solid.

Los Angeles Rams @ San Francisco 49ers

Start: Rams D/ST

Sit: Jimmy Garoppolo

PFF grades Garoppolo last among 36 qualifying QBs this season when pressured, and he’ll have to play Monday night without RT Mike McGlinchey while up against Aaron Donald and possibly Von Miller. LA’s fantasy defense could go off against a 49ers team that’s 1-11 over their last dozen home games.

That said, Garoppolo is remarkably PFF’s No. 1 graded passer and fantasy’s No. 1 scoring quarterback over the last two weeks, so Jimmy G may be tempting to start coming off a couple of big games and in a matchup with a high total (49.5 points). But he’s not a top-20 QB on the season (fantasy points per game) and is best left on benches this week given this matchup and the non-zero chance Trey Lance finally gets a shot with SF’s season slipping away.

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