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Things To Consider Before Setting Your Lineup For Week 10

Nick Mullens threw for over 250 passing yards and three touchdowns in his first start, Adam Humphries caught all eight of his targets for two touchdowns and Duke caught a season-high nine-of-nine targets for 86 yards.

Is Nick Mullens A Streaming Option Week 10 Against The Giants?

Yes. Mullens had a clean pocket week 9 against the Raiders on 19 of 22 drop backs, completing 14 (73.7 percent) for 176 passing yards and three touchdowns. Per Next Gen Stats, Mullens was 16th against in air yards per attempt (6.9), taking one deep shot (an attempt of 20 yards or more), per PFF.

In addition, Mullens faces a Giants defense who’ve allowed at least one passing touchdown in every road game, including two games with multiple touchdowns, over 300 passing yards in two of four road games and a unit that has not intercepted a pass in their last three games. The Giants defense have allowed less than 20 points in a game to an opponent once this season (week 1 v. Jaguars) and have six games of one sack or less.

With Kirk Cousins and Deshaun Watson on bye, you could do worse than Mullens. Check out our weekly streaming column for week 10 streamers at all positions.

Evaluating The Bears Backfield

Weeks 4-8, Tarik Cohen (four games) was RB6 in total points and RB9 on a points-per-game basis (23.5 fantasy points) in PPR formats. In that span, Jordan Howard out-touched Cohen 60-52, though Cohen’s targets (33) led the team. Well, the last two games Cohen had two catches (five targets) after commanding at least eight targets the three games prior, as the Bears have won by at least two possessions.

The Bears (ninth-best offensive DVOA and best defensive DVOA) face the Lions (bottom half in offensive DVOA and fourth-worst defensive DVOA) week 9. Again, the Bears face the threat of running away with this contest early, providing a negative game script for Cohen. You see, Cohen has one game of double-digit carries, so unless he’s getting targets he’s rendered useless.

Weeks 1-3, Cohen saw three or fewer targets in each game, and that’s what happened the last two weeks (yeah, he scored week 8 on his sole catch, but that’s not sustainable). Consider Cohen a boom-or-bust flex week 10.

Both of Howard’s week 9 touchdowns came on drives that started on the opposition’s side of the field. Given the DVOA matchup, Howard could be in line for more short fields week 10. Caution. Weeks 4-8, Howard was RB44. But, Howard’s scored in the last three consecutive games (RB16 in total points, RB21 on a point-per-game basis).

In addition, the Lions have allowed a rushing touchdown on the road in three of four games, including the last two, and an average of 147 rushing yards to opposing backs on the road. Though the YPC hasn’t been there the last three weeks (3.5), Howard’s a good bet to see at least 15 carries (averaging 16 the last three weeks). Look, I get it. The 21.5 elusive rating (50th) and the 2.67 yards after contact (32nd) isn’t sexy, but consider Howard a volume-play, touchdown-dependent RB2 week 10.

Can You Trust D.J. Moore Week 10 During Thursday Night Football?
Yes. If you’re starting him as a boom-or-bust WR3.

Going up against primarily Brent Grimes week 9, Moore ran 23 routes (tied for team-high), catching 1-of-2 targets for 16 yards. For the consecutive week, Moore’s playing time increased. But, his routes dropped by one, while he commanded four fewer targets (Moore was 5-90 week 9, with a WR2 weekly finish).

Reason?

Torrey Smith was out for a consecutive week. But, Curtis Samuel was schemed a handful of plays, including a 33-yard rushing touchdown that he was able to take to the house on pure athleticism, making a few defenders miss. However, Samuel ran just eight routes and played on less than half of the team’s offensive snaps week 9. Don’t count on Samuel scoring a 30-plus yard rushing touchdown every week, while scoring a receiving touchdown on two targets either.

Factor in the fact the Panthers were up big early in this contest and you can see how game script didn’t favor Moore.

Running more routes and playing significantly more, with Smith out again on a short week, Moore should rebound in a potential shootout on the road against the Steelers. Both offenses are in the top eight in terms of offensive DVOA, while the Steelers’ defensive DVOA is in the bottom half of the league, closer to bottom third. Working in Moore’s favor is also Pittsburgh’s six touchdowns allowed to receivers in four home games this season.

Per Next Gen Stats, Moore’s separation is 3.5, above league average.

Is Adam Humphries The No. 3 Receiver Behind Mike Evans and Desean Jackson?

Yes. Consider Chris Godwin useless.

Since returning from bye week 6, Humphries ran 136 routes, compared to Godwin’s 111. In addition, Humphries commanded at least eight targets the last three consecutive games (26 total), compared to Godwin’s 16 targets. Also, Humphries played on the same amount or more snaps than Godwin in that span. Both receivers have four red zone targets in that span, but Humphries converted two to Godwin’s one back in week 6.

Consider Humphries a solid WR3 this week against the Redskins. The Redskins defensive DVOA is in the bottom third of the league. While the defense has allowed just two touchdowns to receivers on the road in three contests, Washington’s slot corner Fabian Moreau has been targeted 34 times (seventh). Moreau’s allowed 22 catches (13th), 217 yards (14th) and 137 YAC (10th). His next assignment is Humphries, off a two-touchdown game.

Per Next Gen Stats, Humphries’ league separation is 3.4

Is It Safe To Flex Duke Johnson?

I’d say so, though the sample size is literally one game.

With Hue Jackson and Todd Haley out in Cleveland, Duke Johnson was able to haul in nine-of-nine targets for 78 yards and two touchdowns. While Johnson was out-touched by Nick Chubb 23-10, Johnson was a beneficiary of game script, as the Browns were down the majority of week 9. And while that’s been the case most of the season, the new OC, the former RBs coach, is playing Johnson (Johnson played on just two fewer snaps than Chubb week 9).

Caution. The Browns still possess the fourth-worst offensive DVOA, while facing the Falcons this week (third-worst defensive DVOA). Depending on what the Falcons offense (sixth-best offensive DVOA) can do against the Browns defense (11th-best defensive DVOA), the Browns should be down most of this contest, too. Working in Johnson’s favor is the fact the Falcons defense has allowed five rushing touchdowns to backs on the road in three contests this season.

Consider Elijah McGuire A Match up-, Game Script-Proof Flex Rest Of Season

In McGuire’s season debut he had 10 touches (seven carries, three catches on five targets). McGuire’s opportunity share was 42.9 percent, while he had an RB3 weekly finish. Yes. Isaiah Crowell out-touched McGuire 14-10, but late in the fourth quarter with the game on the line the Jets preferred McGuire to Crowell. Also, Crowell’s two targets to McGuire’s five suggest McGuire is the pass-catching back.

The Jets’ offensive DVOA is third-worst. While their defensive DVOA is in the top third of the league, Sam Darnold’s thrown an interception in all but two games, including four multi-interception games. Those turnovers turn into at the least more scoring opportunities for the opposition, if not shorter fields to score on. The rest of season the Jets will play the Patriots twice, the Texans and Packers. In addition, the Jets face the Bills twice and Titans.

Jamison’s Crowder A Plug-And-Play Flex Week 10 Against Tampa Bay

Crowder’s missed the last four games. But, with Paul Richardson placed on injured reserve and Jordan Reed banged up, Crowder’s in for a nice role week 10. Crowder practiced Wednesday and should be ready to go Sunday. Richardson’s 19 targets in the four games that Crowder played are suddenly gone, while Josh Doctson’s 13 targets (missed week 5) are uninspiring.

In that same span, Crowder led all receivers with 20 targets (13-134 stat line), running 115 routes. I get it. Not that inspiring. Here’s what is. Crowder’s matchup. Crowder’s played in the slot 79.1 percent of the time in games he’s played in. The Buccaneers slot corner has been targeted 37 times (third-most among slot corners). The damage. A league-high 31 catches allowed, a league-high 381 receiving yards allowed, a league-high 200 YAC allowed and, yes, a league-high four touchdowns allowed.

Like your morning coffee, flexing Crowder is a decision you don’t have to think about.

Did David Moore Fizzle?

Moore ran a season-high 33 routes week 9, up from his usual 11-14 the three prior games. In fact, Moore was second to Baldwin (36) in routes run week 9. Moore’s seven targets were also a season-high, while his two red zone targets were a first, too. But, the statistical result was two catches for 16 yards. Fantasy enthusiasts should be encouraged by the season-high routes run and targets for Moore. Consider week 9 a bad game, as the opportunity was there. You’re going back for more (Moore) this week against with the Seattle receiver in a potential shootout against the Rams.

Week 5 against the Rams was the game that started Moore’s three-game touchdown streak. Moore had a season-high two touchdowns against the defense, and Moore will look to start another touchdown streak against the Rams this week.

Don’t Pick Up Dez Bryant

The argument against Bryant is more so the Saints’ target distribution than Bryant’s ability. From a receiver perspective, Michael Thomas has 79 targets than the combination of Ted Ginn and Tre’Quan Smith have 44 targets. Alvin Kamara is actually second on the team in targets with 66, while Ben Watson is a distant third with 32 targets. Even if Bryant takes all of Smith and Ginn’s combined target share (22.5 percent), which is unlikely, it’ll take at least a week or two before you feel comfortable starting Bryant.

Would you really start Bryant weeks 12 and 13 with your fantasy playoffs on the line?

Against the Falcons and Cowboys, there’s an opportunity for Bryant to pop, but that can be said for Watson, Smith and even Cameron Meredith who are all going to be fighting for targets. Thomas and Kamara are the only Saints pass-catchers you trust rest-of-season.

Marquez Valdes-Scantling Is A Legit WR3 Rest Of Season

The Packers placed Geronimo Allison on injured reserve Tuesday. Weeks 1-3 when all Green Bay receivers were healthy, Allison was third in targets among receivers with 18 (three red zone). Allison ran 97 routes and had two touchdowns to go with a 7-209 stat line. Randall Cobb and Allison would get hurt consecutive weeks (weeks 3 and 4).

In week 4 with Cobb out, Valdes-Scantling ran 31 routes and had three targets. In week 5 with Cobb and Allison out, Valdes-Scantling ran a season-high 50 routes and commanded 10 targets (two red zone). Valdes-Scantling had a 7-68-1 stat line and a WR1 weekly finish. Allison returned week 8 to run 20 routes and command one target before being ruled out week 9. Cobb returned, too.

More importantly, the last two games with Cobb back, Valdes-Scantling paced Cobb in playing time, routes run and receiving yards. In addition, both receivers have commanded 11 targets, while Cobb’s converted nine to Valdes-Scantling’s five, though one went for a touchdown. Valdes-Scantling spends 50 percent of his snaps lined up in the slot, providing a multi-purpose in Green Bay’s offense, opposed to Cobb’s slot time, 83.7 percent (does not play on the outside much).

More catches for Valdes-Scantling is preferred, but he’s just four behind Cobb the last two weeks. When the offense picks up, Valdes-Scantling’s catches will, too. Not only is Valdes-Scantling a legit WR3, with two back-to-back WR3 finishes the last two weeks, but he could also potentially overtake Cobb as the no. 2. Per Next Gen Stats, Valdes-Scantling’s separation is a crisp 3.5, above the 2.8 league average.

Joshua Kellem is a Slippery Rock University graduate with a BS in Journalism. In addition, he is the creator of fantasy football website fftalk.org

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