Week 10 Fantasy Football Start/Sit: Sunday and Monday Games

Week 10 Fantasy Football Start/Sit: Sunday and Monday Games
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Welcome to your Start/Sit for Week 10!


Fantasy football is a cruel mistress. If you’ve been playing for a long time, you probably already know that. She’s the insane ex-girlfriend you come back to every week because “okay, I know what to do this time”, hoping you can fix your mistakes from last week.

As you fantasy football marriage counselor, it’s my duty to let you know that it gets much more difficult this week. Six teams will be on bye, so you better make sure you’re ready to roll this week (our waiver adds are already posted, go check them out).

As per usual, I’ve included my master key of breaking down the players:


** Start of the Week **: This is my personal pick for the player  I think has one of the best matchups for their position this week.

Must Start: This is a player you play regardless of the matchup. Your superstars are found here (Patrick Mahomes, Christian McCaffrey, etc).

Start: These are players who have an enticing matchup, and could prove a massive asset to your fantasy team due to a vulnerability by an opposing defense or a breakout performance.

Sit: Players in this category have a poor matchup and could be rendered completely useless by game script or a digression in opportunities.

Flex Start: Players in a flex position are also usually controlled by a game script, but this opportunity benefits them (such as a WR2 receiving less attention than the WR1, thus increasing odds for a good performance).

Sleeper: For players that fly under the radar, the sleepers are potential breakouts for this particular matchup. Players that are not considered as big of a threat but have an increase in things such as targets or snap counts are ideal for this category and could surprise you for the week with a big game.


Teams on Bye this Week: Denver Broncos, Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars, New England Patriots, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins

 

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Kansas City Chiefs @ Tennessee Titans


Chiefs

Must StartPatrick Mahomes II (QB)

He’s baaaaaaaaaack.

Of course, this is solely based on if he’s in. Matt Moore took First-Team reps before Mahomes once again this week, so it may just be precautionary. Mahomes isn’t human though, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see him out there hopping around (like we saw on that Butker boot-through last week). If he’s in, he gets a struggling Titans defense that just lost Malcolm Butler for the year. Surefire QB1.

Start: Travis Kelce (TE), Tyreek Hill (WR)

A return to normality means fantasy goodness for the top weapons. Tennessee if fairly middling in terms of coverage for tight ends and wideouts, making exceptional pieces like Kelce and Hill fantasy favs to roll out this week. Start them.

Flex Start: Damien Williams (RB)

I’m tired of the running back roulette we’re playing with this Kansas City backfield. Last week’s 91-yd TD run was certainly impressive, but Williams’ 12 attempts to McCoy’s 3 showed who Andy Reid wants to roll with. The Titans rank in the bottom half in points allowed to running backs (24.8), making a bet on Williams likely to pay off.

Sit: Sammy Watkins (WR), Demarcus Robinson (WR), Mecole Hardman (WR), LeSean McCoy (RB)

The pure risk factor that accompanies McCoy and Watkins is too hard to trust after a rollercoaster season from both players. The limited snap counts and looks for Robinson and Hardman also limit their upside. I’d sit them all this week.

Sleeper: N/A


Titans

Start: Derrick Henry (RB)

Henry is once again finding himself in the Start category. The Chief’s rush defense just allowed Aaron Jones to walk all over them two weeks ago, and for Dalvin Cook to have himself a nice game last week as well. Henry is a power back, and he’s difficult to bring down. A Chiefs team giving up the 2nd-most points to running backs (31.3) should be busy.

Flex Start: Jonnu Smith (TE)

With Delanie Walker expected out again, its another chance for Jonnu to make an impression. KC is allowing the 11th-most points to tight ends (12.9), so he’s a nice plug and play if he’s sitting on waivers.

Sit: Ryan Tannehill (QB), Corey Davis (WR), A.J. Brown (WR), Dion Lewis (RB), Delanie Walker (TE)

While Tannehill has been faithfully good, I don’t expect a huge game this week. Call me crazy, but it’s something about rallying around a returning QB that makes teams play harder. Besides that fact, Davis and Brown have been unpredictable, and Lewis has just been irrelevant. Walker should be out, but I wouldn’t play him if he was in. Coming off an injury would worry me to trust him this week.

Sleeper: N/A


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Arizona Cardinals @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers


Cardinals

Must Start: Kyler Murray (QB)

Chilling as No. 7 on the season is the rookie who’s been stringing together a decent fantasy football campaign. Just like my Josh Jacobs fun fact, Murray has only thrown touchdowns in games where he has multiple touchdowns. I expect that to continue this week, and my money is on 4 touchdowns.

The Bucs pass defense is so putrid (293.5 yds given up a game), and has been so bad at shutting down QBs (4th-most points – 23.4). Murray is a QB1 (if you need a streamer he might be available – he’s owned in 90% of ESPN leagues).

Start: Larry Fitzgerald (WR), Christian Kirk (WR)

A great QB matchup means a return to faith for his wideouts. I view both of these guys as high-end WR2’s this week for a much-needed bounce-back game. The Bucs have allowed the 3rd-most touchdowns through the air (19), and give up the most points per game to receivers (45.5). Someone has to catch those TDs.

Flex Start: David Johnson (RB)

Finally practicing in full, it’s nice to have DJ active and healthy again. He gets a less than warm reception back, instead of receiving the attention of a defensive front that’s allowing the 2nd-fewest points to running backs (16.4). Johnson’s dangerous work in the passing game though is the difference-maker for his production (especially in PPR). I’m expecting plenty of dump-off passes to work around the Bucs front seven. He’s a high-end flex with honest to God RB1 upside if he reels in enough receptions.

Sit: Kenyan Drake (RB), KeeSean Johnson (WR), Andy Isabella (WR)

While the Grand Kenyan was beautiful and magnificent this week, a return to the norm means more work for DJ and no work for anyone else. Besides DJ being a much better pass-catcher, he’s also going to be filtering much of the passing work, rendering Drake useless this week. Johnson and Isabella were both touchdown recipients last week, but Johnson’s single long-bomb and Isabella’s two receptions garner zero consideration to roll them out this week, given their capped usage.

Sleeper: N/A


Buccaneers

** Wide Receiver Start of the Week **: Mike Evans (WR)

Maybe I was wrong. Maybe Godwin didn’t replace Evans as the No. 1 on the team. Maybe the team has two number ones.

In all honesty, this is a premier matchup for both players. The Cardinals are catastrophically bad against wideouts, even with Patrick Peterson back in the fold (the only team giving up more points is their own – 44.2 ppg). Evans was on fire last week, and I expect it to burn a little longer this week.

Start: Chris Godwin (WR), Jameis Winston (QB)

This is an air-raid/revenge narrative of a game. Well, not really a revenge game (Bruce Arians decided to retire). But still, who’s knows his old team better than him? The Bucs will be throwing a lot during this game. The Cards have given up 24 passing touchdowns (most in the league) and have the 3rd-fewest takeaways (7), setting up an interception-prone Winston for a great game.

Flex Start: O.J. Howard (TE)

I know.

But the Cardinals are literally the best matchup for tight ends. With Brate not even targeted last week, and possibly dealing with an injury, Howard is in a great position to be plugged in. He’s been by far (in my humble opinion) the biggest disappointment of the season, but he’s currently rostered in less than half of ESPN leagues (43%). You could do worse.

Sit: Ronald Jones II (RB), Peyton Barber (RB)

Despite assurance from the HC, being an RB1 of an okay backfield against a great rush defense is not enough to warrant a start. Oh yeah, and Barber isn’t a good option either.

SleeperN/A


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New York Giants @ (??) New York Jets

(it’s not really an away game, is it?)


Giants

Must Start: Saquon Barkley (RB)

While he suffered the worst game of his career last week in an MNF loss to the Cowboys, he gets a chance to start fresh this week against a reeling Jets defense. The Jets, who just traded away DE Leonard Williams to the Giants, will also be without linebacker C.J. Mosley. With the Jets already in mid-season full rebuild mode, Saquon should have plenty of opportunities against a Jets team that is tied for the 3rd-most rushing TDs allowed (10).

Start: Daniel Jones (QB)

If you’re needing a bye week fill, Jones is in the consideration category for a streamer. The Jets have been middle of the pack in terms of QB points allowed (18.8 ppg), making Jones a decent option.

Flex Start: Golden Tate (WR)

As long as Sterling Shepard remains sidelined, Tate will be the primary receiver. Especially with the news of Evan Engram already being ruled out for this week, Tate should easily enter flex consideration for a Jets secondary giving up the 7th-most points to wideouts (40.2 ppg).

Sit: Evan Engram (TE), Sterling Shepard (WR)

They’ve already been ruled out, so no use in trying to plug them in.

Sleeper: N/A


Jets

Start: Le’Veon Bell (RB)

While his limited participation in practice this week with a knee ailment should be noted, Adam Gase noted to reporters that his chances of playing Sunday “looked good”. That’s nice to hear, considering the Giants are allowing 25 points per game to opposing tailbacks. Bell is the offensive filter for a struggling team that just took an L to the Miami Dolphins, so if he’s in and ready to go, expect a hefty workload for the former Steeler.

Flex Start: Jamison Crowder (WR)

The Giants are letting wideouts strut their stuff all over them, and this week is no different. Crowder could see a fantasy point volume increase this week, considering the Giants are allowing there 4th-most points to wideouts (42.1 ppg). He’s a high-end flex, and I would easily role with him over Robby Anderson.

Sit: Sam Darnold (QB), Robby Anderson (WR)

If you can’t get it done against the Dolphins, then you just can’t get it done. The man that beat the Cowboys after beating Mono will be comfortably resting on the bench this week or, better yet, the waiver wire. Anderson also had the opportunity that he did nothing with. You can’t be a successful boom-bust player if you have no available boom.

Sleeper: Ryan Griffin (TE) OR Chris Herndon (TE)

This is dependent is Herndon is active, so pay attention prior to kickoff. Griffen has quietly been a reliable tight end for Darnold, but if Herndon is in, swap ’em out. Griffen is unowned in 99% of ESPN leagues and Herndon in about 22.8%.


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Atlanta Falcons @ New Orleans Saints


Falcons

Start: Matt Ryan (QB), Julio Jones (WR), Austin Hooper (TE)

Winter has Come, and with it comes the return of Matty Ice. The 2016 MVP is back after the bye, cleared to play and ready to take on a middle of the pack Saints pass defense. Julio and Hooper are also promised big games, with the latter currently leading all tight ends in points at the position. Start ’em all with confidence.

Flex Start: Calvin Ridley (WR), Devonta Freeman (RB)

Ridley and Freeman are also in a good place to succeed for fantasy this week. Ridley should be able to make something happen, especially with Lattimore shadowing Jones. New Orleans is also allowing the 4th-fewest points to running backs this year (17.4 ppg). With his touchdowns coming on the back of receiving abilities, and Ito Smith already being ruled out, Freeman will be the workhorse for the game.

Sit: Russell Gage (WR), Justin Hardy (WR)

I’m still not sure who exactly will fit the WR3 void left by Sanu, but it’s too early to try it out. Leave these two be – there are definitely better options available.

Sleeper: N/A


Saints

** Quarterback Start of the Week**: Drew Brees (QB)

Welcome back, Drew.

Despite playing the week before bye (which, why?), Brees threw for 373 yards and 3 TDs and 1 pick. This week (and next week), he gets fantastic matchups for QBs. Atlanta is allowing 23.5 points per game to signal-callers, making Brees an easy option to roll with.

Must Start: Alvin Kamara (RB), Michael Thomas (WR)

With all the injuries seemingly behind them, this Saints team is looking a Super Bowl run square in the face. Kamara makes his return, facing a 20th-ranked Atlanta team in points allowed to RBs (23.3). Kamara is a different kind of talent though, making him an easy RB1 after full participation in practices this week.

Michael Thomas is one of only two receivers (the other being Mike Evans…more power to the Mikes) averaging over 100 receiving yds a game. I’m going to go out on a limb and say Michael Thomas hits at least 200 yards this week. And you know that’s not out of the realm of possibility. Atlanta is giving up the 6th-most points to wideouts (40.6), making an exceptional talent like Thomas a killer start.

Start: N/A

Flex Start: Latavius Murray (RB), Jared Cook (TE)

Murray has performed admirably in Kamara’s absence but has been more of a complimentary piece when he’s in. Expect that role to resume this week. Cook is also back to practicing in full and maybe set up for a solid outing as well. The Falcons are allowing the 10th-most points to tight ends (13.2 ppg). Still, you should monitor Cook’s status before kick-off.

Sit: N/A

Sleeper: N/A


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Buffalo Bills @ Cleveland Browns


Bills

Start: Josh Allen (QB), Devin Singletary (RB)

The Bills have found their future in Allen and Singletary. While he did fumble in the Philly game, Allen hasn’t thrown a pick since Week 5 against Tennessee and is enjoying his best season so far. Cleveland is currently allowing the 12th-most points per game to quarterbacks (19.5) and the 10th-most to running backs (26.2). Offensive woes for the Browns mean more time on the field for this 6-2 Buffalo team. I like both of these guys as Top 15 in their respective positions for the week.

Flex Start: John Brown (WR), Cole Beasley (WR)

I love this duo. They’re so underrated but they somehow deliver every week, even if it’s not monster numbers for fantasy. The Browns are dealing with a multitude of injuries, with defensive star Olivier Vernon and safety Eric Murray already ruled out. Brown presents a higher upside, receiving more weekly looks. Role with these guys this week.

Sit: Dawson Knox (TE)

He hasn’t been a part of the game plan and shouldn’t be a part of your fantasy plans, either.

Sleeper: N/A


Browns

Start: Nick Chubb (RB)

Chubb is my only start this week. With Kareem Hunt making his season debut, I expect him to cut into some of the workloads. Despite that, you can still depend on the 2nd year back, who is currently ranked No. 6 among running backs in points. He’s a low-end RB1 with upside.

Flex Start: N/A

Sit: Baker Mayfield (QB), Odell Beckham Jr. (WR), Jarvis Landry (WR), Kareem Hunt (RB)

Honestly, I’d love to be proved wrong by all of these guys this week. Baker has been by far the biggest disappointment for fantasy, especially for people who picked him (myself included) in their leagues. The offense as a whole has been sluggish, and Freddie Kitchens could honestly be on the chopping block by the end of the season. Buffalo is 5th against wideouts and 4th against QBs, making this offense hard to start, even with superstars like OBJ.

Sleeper: N/A


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Baltimore Ravens @ Cincinnati Bengals


Ravens

** Running Back Start of the Week **: Mark Ingram II (RB)

After starting off the year strong, Ingram has quietly regressed to a high-end RB2 for the past month and a half.

“Honey, you’ve got a big storm coming.”

Cincinnati has replaced the Dolphins as the worst team in the NFL and is now the only winless team in the league. They’ll look to further that streak this week by replacing their defensive line with ‘Welcome’ mats for Ingram. The Bengals are allowing the most yards per attempt to running backs (5.1), and are giving up the 3rd-most points to the position (31.2). Ingram’s in for a big day.

Start: Lamar Jackson (QB), Marquise Brown (WR)

Last week’s AFC Offensive Player of the Week was instrumental in the takedown of TB12 and Co. Jackson gets a weak pass defense this week that is also prone to blown QB coverage, making him likely to repeat his 2 rushing touchdowns again this week. Jackson and Hollywood are currently questionable to play Sunday, but I expect them to both be in(Lamar the more likely of the two).

Flex Start: Mark Andrews (TE)

The only place Cincinnati has shown any strength in has been against the tight end position. They’ve allowed a weekly average of 8.4 points to the position, good for the 4th-fewest in the league. Andrews is a talent, but temper your expectations for him this week.

Sit: Hayden Hurst (TE), Nick Boyle (TE)

See above.

Sleeper: N/A


Bengals

Start: N/A

Flex Start: Tyler Boyd (WR), Joe Mixon (RB)

Man, what a disappointing turn of events for this team. You knew they wouldn’t be astounding, but I didn’t expect them to be winless until-

Okay, you got me. They’ve been bad. I did expect them to be winless. But not for Joe Mixon to be this inefficient. With Ryan Finley taking his first career start, maybe the Bengals can learn a thing or two from Brandon Allen‘s first career start (and victory) last week. Mixon will likely funnel the offense against a strong Ravens defense, and Boyd should see most of (if any) of the passing work. Cap both of these guys this week (like you weren’t already capping Mixon).

Sit: A.J. Green (WR), Auden Tate (WR), Alex Erickson (WR), Ryan Finley (QB), Tyler Eifert (TE)

Talk about throwing a rookie to the Lions. With capped upside (and by capped I mean severely limited), I don’t expect much this week. Sad to see Green still not ready to roll out and being set back once again.

Sleeper: N/A


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Detroit Lions @ Chicago Bears


Lions

Start: Kenny Golladay (WR)

Golladay has been dominant in the past two games. While I expect regression this week (the Bears are the 4th-toughest matchup for wideouts), his 21.8% target share and run after the catch ability keeps him locked in as a solid WR2.

Flex Start: Marvin Jones Jr. (WR)

Mr. Jones and I have been getting along famously recently, and while I love him, I’m capping him slightly this week. Stafford has been playing out of his mind, which means his wideouts are enjoying career years as well. Chicago is tough on wideouts, but Jones is still a strong flex play.

Sit: Matthew Stafford (QB), Ty Johnson (RB), J.D. McKissic (RB), Danny Amendola (WR)

While the Staff infection has been spreading, this week the cure might finally get him. Chicago is tough on QBs (15.1 ppg), making him a mid-range QB2 this week despite his recent success. The Bears might also get after the Detroit backfield quite often. Even though they’re susceptible to talented RBs, there’s a lack of those here. I hate to bench Stafford, but I’m doing it this week. The rest of these guys should definitely be benched, regardless.

Sleeper: T.J. Hockenson (TE)

Even though he didn’t double-digits, 3 for 56 is still an okay showing for signs of life from the rookie. He’s not listed on this week’s injury report, and the Bears have been vulnerable against tight ends (15.6 ppg – 4th-most). He’s a nice streamer once again if you want to take a shot.


Bears

Start: David Montgomery (RB), Allen Robinson II (WR)

These two are the bright spots on a team with a dark offseason coming. Montgomery built on a strong Week 8 with another fantastic outing last week. That trend continues this week with a Detroit team giving up the most points per game in the league to running backs (32.9). Robinson is solely dependent upon Trubisky, and you’ll have to trust that he gets a bounce back this week against a Lions secondary giving up the 11th-most points to wideouts (37.9).

Flex Start: N/A

Sit: Mitchell Trubisky (QB), Tarik Cohen (WR)

I’m not even going to list all the other receivers because of their made-irrelevance. These guys aren’t players this week, especially with inconsistent usage for Cohen, in this Nagy-led offense.

Sleeper: N/A


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Miami Dolphins @ Indianapolis Colts


Dolphins

Start: DeVante Parker (WR)

Coming off a win (I know, weird right?), Parker and the Dolphins get a stingy Colts defense in their home stadium. With Preston Willians sadly done for the season, Parker is the big dawg in town. Fitz likes to air it out, and Parker likes to catch those passes. He likes it so much, has 4 touchdowns in the last 5 games. He’ll be the target leader for the rest of the year, so expect plenty of looks this game as Parker enters WR2 territory.

Flex Start: N/A

Sit: Ryan Fitzpatrick (QB), Kalen Ballage (RB), Albert Wilson (WR)

The Fitzmagic sputters out this week, as does the barrage of Ballage, with a trip to Indiana. Colts are 10th against QBs and 9th against RBs, meaning don’t play those kinds of players against them.

Sleeper: Mike Gesicki (TE)

Do you know what they’re not good against? Tight ends. The Combine standout gets a Colts team allowing the 5th-most points to his position (15.4), making him an interesting streaming candidate for this week.


Colts

Start: Marlon Mack (RB), Colts QB

While last week was certainly a disappointing week for Mack, this week gets much easier. Miami is the 4th-friendliest matchup for running backs, ceding 29.8 points per game. Throw him in there.

As for Jacoby Brissett, he’s a game-time decision. Have Hoyer on your radar if you’re dependent upon Jacoby, as the Dolphins are one of the best matchups for quarterbacks. He’s more than enough to help you win.

Flex Start: Zach Pascal (WR)

Did you read last week Colt’s piece? And did you plug Pascal into your flex as I suggested? Then you’re welcome. It’s the Dolphins this week (19 passing touchdowns this year – 5th in the league).

Rinse, repeat.

Sit: T.Y. Hilton (WR), Eric Ebron (TE)

Hilton should be on your bench as he recovers. Ebron is too touchdown-dependent. I like Doyle better this week. Speaking of which…

Sleeper: Jack Doyle (TE)

Hoyer connected with Doyle for his second touchdown this year. I see another one forthcoming this week.


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Los Angeles Rams @ Pittsburgh Steelers


Rams

Must Start: Cooper Kupp (WR)

Welcome back to my starting lineup, Mr. Kupp. Far and away from the WR1 on the Rams and Jared Goff‘s favorite target, Cooper gets a middling Steelers pass defense to cope with this week. Get him back in your lineup and leave him there.

Start: Todd Gurley II (RB)

Regression hit hard this year for Gurley, mostly medical reasons. For this outing, I’m prescribing an RB2 with upside against a Pittsburgh defense that is allowing 22.8 points per game to running backs.

Flex Start: Robert Woods (WR)

You hate to do it, but you know you might not have another flex option with 6 teams on bye. Woods is a flex option this week and has yet to catch a touchdown. Plug him in but expect WR3 numbers.

Sit: Jared Goff (QB), Josh Reynolds (WR), Brandin Cooks (WR)

Goff is middle of the pack in QB matchups this week, but I would find a better streaming option (say, Brian Hoyer if Brissett is out) before I settle on Goff. Reynolds is too fluid with the game plan, and Cooks shouldn’t even be in your starting lineup with a current OUT designation.

Sleeper: Gerald Everett (TE)

The Steelers are giving up their 12-most points to the tight end position (12.7). With Cooks out, Everett should see an increase in usage of this game.


Steelers

Start: N/A

Flex Start: Jaylen Samuels (RB)

My only flex-start is Samuels, who enjoyed a great game last week. He should be looked to as the main man again this week, facing the Rams slightly-above average pass defense.

Sit: Mason Rudolph (QB), JuJu Smith-Schuster (WR), Diontae Johnson (WR), Vance McDonald (TE), Trey Edmunds (RB)

This offense didn’t deserve that win last week, and they might not get a chance like that this week. Rudolph was awful, bringing the offense to a crawl. Juju (if he’s in), will draw cover from Jalen Ramsey. That’s usually a death sentence in fantasy. Vance danced last week, but I expect more of a slumber shuffle for this outing. Bench all of these guys.

Sleeper: N/A


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Carolina Panthers @ Green Bay Packers


Panthers

Must Start: Christian McCaffrey (RB)

Yep.

Start: D.J. Moore (WR)

His high passing volume and usage mean he’s a weekly WR2 with upside. The Packers pass defense is tough, but volume alone (especially in PPR) is enough to keep the talented wideout in your lineup.

Flex Start: Curtis Samuel (WR)

Samuel is also in flex consideration, providing his big-play ability and run after catch talents for you this week. Green Bay is 8th against wideouts (30.3 ppg), so limit his touchdown upside for this matchup.

Sit: Kyle Allen (QB)

He’s too much of a risk against the Pack, who’ve been stellar towards opposing QBs (15.8 ppg). I’d leave him alone this week.

Sleeper: Greg Olsen (TE)

I promise not all of my sleeper picks are strictly tight ends. Olsen gets a Packers defense that’s allowing the 7th-most points to the position (14.7 ppg).


Packers

Start: Aaron Rodgers (QB), Davante Adams (WR), Aaron Jones (RB)

With last week’s game hopefully behind them, Rodgers was right in saying that it was a humbling experience for the team. With a defensive edge this week, the Green Bay offense will play in front of a home crowd that wants to see them bounce back in a big way. And oh, will they bounce back.

The Panthers are allowing the most rushing touchdowns (14), the 9th-most points to wideouts (38.9), and are fairly middling towards QBs. I like the Aarons and Adams this week.

Flex Start: Jamaal Williams (RB)

Like I stated above, 14 rushing touchdowns. Both Jones and Williams are good rushers, but Jones carries the high rushing upside. Still, Williams should find plenty of work as a complementary back.

Sit: Jimmy Graham (TE), Geronimo Allison (WR), Marquez Valdes-Scantling (WR), Allen Lazard (WR), Jake Kumerow (WR)

Inconsistency leads to permanent benching. Don’t try your luck here this week.


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Minnesota Vikings @ Dallas Cowboys


Vikings

Must Start: Dalvin Cook (RB)

The Cowboys successfully shut down Saquon Barkley last week but weren’t able to contain him through the air. Cook will propose a similar problem this week for the Cowboys, who are middle of the pack against running backs. Lock him in as your RB1 once again this week.

Start: Stefon Diggs (WR)

Diggs remains a great option, despite a terrible outing last week. With Thielen expected out for even longer this time, you should look no further than Diggs as a WR2, despite the slightly negative game script.

Flex Start: Kyle Rudolph (TE)

Rudolph claimed his second touchdown of the year last week and is in a position to possibly deliver again this week. With Thielen’s vacated 19.1% target share, expect someone to step up. Besides the target inheritance, Dallas is also allowing the 6th-most points to the tight end position, surrendering roughly 14.9 points a game to the position. I like his odds to score once more this week.

Sit: Kirk Cousins (QB)

I feel the hot streak for Cousins growing cold. Dallas has bee the 5th-toughest opponent for QBs. That, accompanied by Thielen’s absence, makes him less than likely to put up a huge game. Avoid him if there are better options on the waiver (which is where he is most likely at regardless).

Sleeper: Irv Smith Jr. (TE)

While the rookie has yet to score, this game might present an opportunity for him to get his first. Zimmer is known to mix up strategies to confuse his opponent; don’t be surprised if this rookie gets some looks (I didn’t realize till I finished his bit that I selected another tight end as a sleeper).


Cowboys

Start: Ezekiel Elliott (RB), Dak Prescott (RB)

There’s a reason you don’t bench your superstars; they simply find a way to produce. With that in mind, consider other QBs if they’re available on the waiver wire, as a negative game script this week may pose a tall order for Prescott to fill this week. The Vikings secondary has at least one interception in 4 of their last 5 matchups, so roll with caution if you settle on Prescott.

Flex Start: Amari Cooper (WR)

A limited participant in practice with a strong opposing secondary coming to town, Cooper owners will want to keep an eye on his status leading up to Sunday Night’s game. If you’re relying on him, have a Michael Gallup or Randall Cobb ready to plugin. The Vikings have been surprisingly generous to wideouts (12th-most points to the position – 37.7).

Sit: Michael Gallup (WR), Randall Cobb (WR), Jason Witten (TE)

Like I said above, switch out one of these guys with Cooper if he’s not ready to roll. Otherwise, I wouldn’t bother playing any of them. The Vikings have been a little lenient with wideouts, but none of these players are exceptional talents to rise above. Ignore them this week.

Sleeper: N/A


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Seattle Seahawks @ San Francisco 49ers


Seahawks

Must Start: Russell Wilson (QB), Tyler Lockett (WR)

Man, this is going to be a great game. It almost feels like the SF defense will be just good enough to slow down the Seattle offense and vice versa. While that might not play out exactly, what will play out is excellent football from the likes of the Wilson-Lockett duo. It’s no secret that the 49ers secondary is deadly (least passing yds allowed a game – 138.1), but Wilson to Lockett is sure-fire enough to warrant both of these guys as a start. Just maybe temper your expectations a bit.

Start: N/A

Flex Start: Chris Carson (RB), D.K. Metcalf (WR)

Same thing here. This offense is on fire, but even the strongest flames die down eventually. The 49ers have only allowed 3 rushing touchdowns all year, but Carson’s volume can all be found in the volume. Metcalf may also have to resort to a ‘get-lucky’ long bomb play, but that tool is certainly in his shed. Flex these guys this week.

Sit: Josh Gordon (WR), Jacob Hollister (TE)

Last week was just a result of game script, as Tampa Bay is the 2nd-best matchup for tight ends. Not this week. Gordon meanwhile is dealing with a new ankle injury. Any time a player switches teams, it’s a good idea to keep them benched while they acclimate. Practice that in full this week.

Sleeper: N/A


49ers

Must Start: George Kittle (TE)

While he dealt with a knee/ankle injury designation this past week, Kittle remains a must-start. He’s been said to be a game-time decision, but I fully expect him to be ready to go. Seattle is the 8th-friendliest matchup for tight ends (14.6 ppg), making him an easy go-to this week.

Start: Tevin Coleman (RB), Emmanuel Sanders (WR)

While he was out-carried last week, I expect Coleman to still be the lead back moving forward (that’s why they paid him). Seattle is fairly middling backs, meaning his usage around the goal line could introduce WR2 to him this week. Sanders is in a similar boat, so don’t be afraid to throw them in your lineup.

Flex Start: Matt Breida (RB)

Breida has been ceding much work to Coleman despite out-carrying him this week, but his constant injury woes are enough to limit him to a low flex this week.

Sit: Jimmy Garoppolo (QB), Deebo Samuel (WR), Dante Pettis (WR)

This is a tough matchup. Jimmy G is an option if you need a bye week fill, but there are other options available. Inconsistent usage from his wideouts also warrants sits.

Sleeper: N/A


Zach Hargis is a writer for Dynasty Football Digest. He enjoys playing the drums, doing voice impressions, and quoting The Office. If any of those things interest you, he welcomes you to follow him on Twitter @ZachFFDrummer and to check out his personal interests on Instagram @zakktastic.