Well, it is almost that time. We are about 3 weeks away from the conclusion of the regular season in most fantasy football leagues, and now is the perfect time to start scoping out the waiver wire for some game-changing sleepers. With week 10 consisting of four teams having bye weeks (Texans, Broncos, Vikings, and Ravens) there are some valuable players from these teams who you will have to replace in your lineups. Now, these sleepers might not give you the same production from someone along the lines of, let’s say, an Adam Thielen, but they will oversee their projections and hopefully produce enough to help you get into playoff contention.
*All Ranks based off Standard ESPN PPR Scoring
*Number next to the name of the player is the rank for their position
Andy Dalton (16) vs. Saints: Now, some of you will already state Red Dalton has exceeded expectations this year, but how many of you can quickly say you believe in Andy Dalton week in and week out to help you win a fantasy matchup? This matchup against the high-powered Saints is extremely favorable, as it will result in one of two options: a shootout between Andy Dalton and Drew Brees, or the Bengals playing catch up with the Saints, thus favoring Dalton in a game where you should see him pass a ton. Yes, he will be without his top option A.J. Green, but I am not shying away in this contest against a Saints defense allowing 311.4 passing yards/game to opposing Quarterbacks, which is ranked second to last in the NFL. Oh yeah, not to mention, the Bengals are home where they thrive.. Stream Dalton with confidence.
Prediction: 358 yards / 3 passing touchdowns / 1 interception
Russell Wilson (15) @ Rams: With the Rams coming off their worst defensive performance of the year (granted it was the Saints), we should expect the Seahawks coming out swinging in this bout. In week 5, Wilson threw for a little under 200 yards but did toss 3 TDs in a 33-31 lost to the Rams. In a game where we expect the Rams to be vexed from their last performance against the Saints, they are going to a firing on all cylinders. Russell Wilson has not composed the same offensive numbers through the air or with his legs considerably this season. However, in this divisional matchup, I expect a duel between Russell Wilson and Jared Goff, making Russell Wilson a solution to any bye week interferences you have at the QB position.
Prediction: 286 yards / 3 passing touchdowns & 4 carries / 57 yards / 1 touchdown
Marcus Mariota (28) vs. Patriots: I know, what an abysmal season Marcus Mariota is having thus far, and I bet you all are asking yourselves ‘How can I possibly start Mariota against the Patriots, a team that just held Aaron Rodgers under 300 yards and under 60% completion percentage?” Well here it is, the Titans are home against a Patriots defense that’s allowed 321 passing yards/game while on the road, compared to an astounding 257 passing yards/game at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots are up against a Titans team coached by one of Bill Belichick’s former defensive players, a guy who could be very familiar with the Patriots defensive scheme, Mike Vrabel (I understand Vrabel has not been affiliated with the Patriots defense in quite some time, however, Belichick enjoys keeping the same defensive approach). I believe this game will be a lot closer than some people expect it to be, and I think that will be due in part of the play of Marcus Mariota. He needs to prove he belongs in this league and that his 1:1 TD to INT ratio this season is a fluke. Expect a validating game from Mariota through the air and with his legs in week 10.
Prediction: 293 yards / 1 passing touchdown & 5 carries / 58 yards / 1 touchdown
Running Backs – PPR
Tevin Coleman (13) @ Browns: Tevin Coleman is in for a huge workload this week against a depleted rush-defense allowing an absurd 139 yards on the ground. With Devonta Freeman on IR, Coleman is in for a huge day in a game that could get out of hand early, which would positively impact his touches on the ground. To add, on average Cleveland’s defense surrenders 5 receptions and 56 receiving yards to opposing running backs per game. Tevin Coleman is an exceptional receiving running back who is looking for further damage against a weak Cleveland front seven. Start Coleman with extreme confidence as RB2/FLEX.
Prediction: 17 carries / 122 yards / 1 touchdown & 3 catches / 6 yards / 1 touchdown
Nick Chubb (38) vs. Falcons: Much like his counterpart, I believe Chubb is a fantastic play this week. Following the trade of Carlos Hyde, Chubb has wiped the floor in regards to touches, out-pacing the next CLE running back Duke Johnson Jr 61-19. He will see early work and get a fair share of touches. The only issue here is the potential of Atlanta building off their blowout victory last week over Washington and getting out to an early lead over Cleveland evidently blowing this game wide open, which would mean fewer touches for Chubb. Cleveland has to keep Atlanta’s resurrected offense off the field and that starts with feeding Nick Chubb early and often. Expect RB2 numbers from the rookie this Sunday.
Prediction: 20 carries / 102 yards / 2 touchdowns & 1 catch / 8 yards
Isaiah Crowell (19) vs. Bills: This pretty much goes without saying, but I am going to state it anyway. The Bills are horrid. Their offense is horrid and their defense isn’t remotely close to being better. Allowing over 100 yards/game to opposing running backs, Isaiah Crowell is in line for a heavy workload. The Jets won’t have to worry about playing catch up in this one which highly favors Crowell. With Nathan Peterman more likely than not starting for the Bills, inevitably the Jets will constantly possess the football. Ranked the 17th best running back in Fantasy (ESPN Standard PPR scoring) it is boom or bust for Crowell, expect a BOOM game this weekend against a drained struggling Bills squad. Crowell should be in your FLEX spot Sunday.
Prediction: 19 carries / 121 yards / 1 touchdown & 1 catch for 12 Yards
Wide Receivers – PPR
Danny Amendola (39) @ Packers: With 24 receptions and 31 targets over his last 4 games, Danny Amendola has emerged as Brock Osweiler’s favorited target coming out of the slot. The Packers are in the middle of the pack in regards to receiving yards per game to opposing wide receivers, allowing 254 yards/game. This yardage total should increase against a sub-par Miami offense who Green Bay should have a comfortable lead against. Therefore, Danny Amendola’s volume should stay steady as they attempt to play keep up with the Packers. View him as a low WR2/FLEX play.
Prediction: 7 catches / 88 yards / 1 touchdown
Larry Fitzgerald (48) @ Chiefs: Old Reliable, Larry Fitzgerald. A few weeks ago I would say it is tough to plug into Larry Fitz into your lineups given how atrocious the Cardinals offense has been. However, with new offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich calling the plays, we saw the rebirth of Fitzgerald last week hauling in 8 catches for 102 yards and a score. Now, I cannot confidently say he will produce the same numbers, but the targets will be there, and usually, when they are there the majority of the time they are brought in. With this game more likely than not going to end up being a blowout, expect Larry to be heavily involved, especially in garbage time, every fantasy football players happy place (if you are on the receiving end). Larry Fitzgerald could have a massive day on Sunday, primarily if the Cardinals cannot get David Johnson involved early. Anticipate Old Reliable to have WR1/2 numbers with extraordinary upside this weekend against a Chiefs defense that has surrendered the second most total yards and the most passing yards to opposing quarterbacks this season.
Prediction: 9 catches / 110 yards / 1 touchdown
Kenny Golladay (29) @ Bears: As of late, it has been a disappointing run for Kenny Golladay, who was expected to thrive in this offense following the trade of Golden Tate. Unfortunately, we have yet to see this take off. Golladay has a fair matchup this weekend against a stout Bears defense that may be without defensive threat Khalil Mack, who is still ailing an ankle injury. If Mack is unable to go, the Bears front seven likely won’t match the 10 sacks Minnesota had over the Lions last week, consequently giving Stafford more time in the pocket to make some plays. However, if Mack does suit up, expect a dip in Golliday’s’ targets. The big play potential is there for Golladay, he just needs to get over the hump and his quarterback has to believe in his young wideout who possesses amazing big play ability. This just might be his welcoming week into stardom. Consider Golladay a FLEX option with upside.
Prediction: 5 catches / 84 yards / 2 touchdowns
Tight Ends – PPR
Jared Cook (5) vs. Chargers: In week 5, Jared Cook was held to only 4 catches for a modest 20 yards against a sound Chargers defense. In week 10, he looks to bounce back on his home field. Since their matchup in week 5, the Chargers have played 3 games and conceded 18 receptions, 137 yards and 3 scores to opposing tight ends. The tight ends they have faced in that 3-week span (David Njoku, Luke Stocker, Nick Vannett and Ed Dickson) have been relatively inferior this season with the exception of David Njoku. With that, expect Cook to have a bounce-back performance against a Chargers secondary and linebacker core that has been rather iffy if recent weeks against opposing tight ends. Have confidence in Cook this weekend in what should be a game filled with garbage time points for Oakland’s offense.
Prediction: 7 catches / 98 yards / 1 touchdown
Vernon Davis (26) @ Buccaneers: At the beginning of the season, if I told you Vernon Davis would be a better option than Jordan Reed at this point in the season you would assume Reed was hurt. However, that is not the up case concerning Reed, Vernon Davis has simply outperformed Jordan Reed as of late, and even though Davis is technically not the starting tight end in Washington, he seems to be coming down with more targets. As well, Reed will still maintain his fair share of targets, but Davis looks to be the guy who capitalizes. On average per game this season, the Buccaneers have allowed 6 receptions for 81 yards to opposing tight ends, putting both Davis and Reed in good positions this weekend. Nonetheless, look for Davis to break off a big play to produce more points for your team against a staggering defense.
Prediction: 4 catches / 82 yards / 1 touchdown
Logan Thomas (40) @ Jets: I know, this is an absolute reach. But if you’re desperate for a tight end this week this option might be crazy enough to work. The college quarterback turned tight end had attributed 8 targets and turned them into 7 catches for 40 yards with the ailing Charles Clay out of action. The loss of Clay can only benefit Thomas moving forward and should see an increase in reps and inevitably targets. This might be time for the 27-year-old to shine.
Prediction: 5 catches / 67 yards
Photo: Yahoo! Sports