The #TFAFam spoke, and we listened! Shoutout to Matt Lakics (@Lakics89) who said he’s always looking for more start/sit info, so here we are with the TFA Week 10 Start Sit Article. For this week, we’ll give you guys the “basic” version but be on the lookout for Week 11 when we’ll try to give you guys a different spin on this. As always, if you have any suggestions on how to make this better and more valuable (or think you have better start/sits than us), hit us up in the Slack chat or reach out on Twitter.
Looking at the games we have Sunday and Monday, there are only three with an over/under above 48 per FanDuel Sportsbook – KC/TEN (48.5), AZ/TB (52), and ATL/NO (51). There are exploitable matchups with lower game totals, however. The Ravens are traveling to Cincinnati to face Football Outsider’s 31st-ranked defense in DVOA (30th against the pass, 29th against the run). As legit as Tre’Davious White and the Bills passing defense is, their rushing defense comes in at 30th in DVOA. The only issue here for Cleveland is the return of Kareem Hunt and how much he eats into Nick Chubb’s workload. In the Panthers at Packers game, both teams are in the top-13 of pass defense DVOA. In the run game, though? Completely the opposite. The Panthers and Packers are giving up the fifth and sixth-most half-PPR points to the running back position, respectively.
Ryan’s Start: Jameis Winston (TB) vs. ARI
- Winston is responsible for producing the top-2 scoring fantasy WRs in football in Chris Godwin & Mike Evans, yet he is only QB10 on the season. He has averaged over 20 fantasy points over the last two weeks, and ARI is allowing the most fantasy points to opposing QBs. We can eat the turnovers just like he’ll eat the dub – I have Winston as a top-3 play this week.
Nate’s Start: Matthew Stafford (DET) vs. CHI
- Many fantasy players will likely shy away from Stafford simply because he is playing Chicago this week. Well, I am here to give you the confidence you need to start him in Week 10, even against a strong opponent. Detroit isn’t going to have success running the ball, so offensive success will fall on Matthew’s rocket arm. Stafford averages the most passing yards per game, he’s 2nd in the league in TDs, and he has thrown the most downfield passes of any QB. He will still target the ball downfield, even against strong opponents, and any Detroit TDs will almost certainly be passing TDs thrown by Stafford.
Cody’s Start: Dak Prescott (DAL) vs MIN
- Prescott has had fewer than 22 fantasy points (per FFToday) in just two games this year and while he’s facing a legit Minnesota defense, the Cowboys will be the most complete offense they’ve had to face all year. We all remember the Marvin Jones 4 touchdown game from a few weeks which came against this very defense. Prescott is currently on pace to set career highs in completion percentage, yards per attempt, yards per completion, yards per game, and his aDOT is two full yards higher than 2018. Fire Prescott up with confidence.
Cody’s Sit: Aaron Rodgers (GB) vs CAR
- As noted in the intro, Carolina’s pass defense is for real. The Panthers have the third-best pass defense DVOA, are giving up the fourth-lowest QBR (77.5), and have given up over 190 passing yards just three times this year. To be fair, all three of those were for 300+, but regardless you can probably find a better streaming option for Week 10.
Nate’s Sit: Sam Darnold (NYJ) at NYG
- While you probably aren’t considering starting Darnold, he has a decent matchup against the Giants this week. I’m writing this here to encourage you not to be tempted by this matchup. Might I remind you, Darnold had a great matchup last week too, and he completely failed. This recommendation might be more for the 2-QB crowd, but even so, Darnold looks lost, and I think that continues even in good matchups.
Ryan’s Sit: Jared Goff (LAR) at PIT
- Per Pro Football Focus, the Rams have the 4th worst pass-blocking O-Line in the league, while the Steelers have the top-ranked pass rush. Jared Goff ranks as PFF’s 26th best passer and has posted a 41% completion percentage when under pressure. He put up nice numbers against a couple of pedestrian pass defenses in ATL & CIN over the last two weeks (3rd and 6th easiest for opposing QBs), but he needs to be firmly on the bench on the road against Pittsburgh. Think back to last year’s game @ Soldier Field, yikes.
Nate’s Start: Devin Singletary (BUF) vs. CLE
- Last week, Singletary played 66% of the Buffalo snaps, and he delivered. Importantly, he received two carries near the goal-line at the end of the game after Frank Gore couldn’t convert on his two chances earlier in the game. Buffalo seems to have realized that Gore lacks the same burst as Singletary. Singletary will be the lead back moving forward for Buffalo, and he should be started against Cleveland.
Cody’s Start: David Montgomery (CHI) vs DET
- This is what we call a perfect storm. Montgomery has been on the field for 73% of the snaps both week 8 and week 9. During that same time, he’s also dominated backfield touches. Monty saw 31 touches (75.6%) in week 8 and 17 touches (81%) last week. Montgomery now gets a date with a Detroit defense which happens to be giving up the most half-PPR fantasy points per game to running backs. Us Montgomery Truthers have been waiting for this moment and now it’s being served to us on a silver platter.
Ryan’s Start: Ronald Jones (TB) vs. ARI
- Jones led the Bucs RBs in snaps last week and posted a 78% carry-share. After a lackluster rookie season, the young RB looks poised for a stretch run starting with this matchup against Arizona (16th against RBs). He finished as an RB1 last week & I have him as a top-20 play this week.
Ryan’s Sit: David Johnson/Kenyan Drake at TB
- The Tampa Bay Buccanneers rank third-best in points allowed to opposing RBs, 4th in PFF’s run defense grade, and held fantasy MVP Christian McCaffrey to less than 40 yards rushing in their two matchups this season. David Johnson appears to be healthy, but with Drake’s stellar performance against SF last week, I expect this to be an even split. Sit them both.
Cody’s Sit: Todd Gurley (LAR) at PIT
- This may not be really going out on a limb here, but you likely drafted Gurley in the early-to-mid second round this past August. With this high of a draft cost, these are the players who are expected to carry your team, regardless of matchup. Gurley and the Rams are now traveling across the country to Pittsburgh for a 1:00 pm start. Despite the Steelers offensive woes, their defense has been playing extremely well as of late. With everything surrounding Gurley – lack of pass game involvement, health uncertainty, poor matchup – I’m looking elsewhere on my roster if possible for week 10.
Nate’s Sit: Damien Williams (KC) vs. TEN
- Last week, Williams played 72% of the snaps and turned 14 opportunities (12 carries, 2 targets) into 128 yards. However, 73% of his fantasy points came on one play – a 91 yard TD. Take away that play, and he turned 13 opportunities into 37 yards. KC rode the hot hand because of one big play by Williams, but these types of plays are not predictable. Tennessee is an above-average defense, and McCoy will be more involved in Week 10. As such, I am avoiding Damien Williams unless his week 9 numbers turn into a trend.
BONUS! YOLO Play of the Week:
Nate: Jamaal Williams (GB) vs. CAR
- GB is looking for revenge after getting completely stifled by the Chargers in Week 9. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they run up the score against the Panthers. That means TD opportunities for GB’s backfield. I’m betting Williams finds his way into the endzone. Also, this is much closer to a 50-50 split in terms of snap counts and opportunity than fantasy rankers would lead you to believe (Aaron Jones and Williams ran the same number of routes last week). As such, I think you can play Williams.
Cody: Ty Johnson (DET) at CHI
- If you’re desperate at running back and need a “cross my fingers and hope for the best” type of play, I think you can look to Ty Johnson. The split committee certainly doesn’t look great on the surface, I mean, Paul friggin’ Perkins is getting touches now!! Johnson has led the group in snaps the past two weeks. In week 8, Johnson saw the field 40% of the time but that increased to 62% last week. His touches over the same time have been between 53-54%. Here’s the kicker: the Bears have given up 8 rushing touchdowns to running backs which is tied for the fourth-most in the NFL. They also give up the fourth-most catches to the position, and Johnson has seen 3.5 targets per game over the past two weeks.
Ryan: Kareem Hunt
- He’s back. Nick Chubb is the better runner, but Freddie Kitchens was vehement in saying that Hunt will “definitely have a role,” come Sunday. Hunt will supplant Dontrell Hilliard as the second back in Cleveland. Hilliard’s snap share over the last two weeks: 38% & 40%. I’ll buy the talent upside as a dart throw if you need a W badly.
Cody’s Start: Jamison Crowder (NYJ) vs NYG
- This one doesn’t feel great given the imploding nature of the Jets as a whole, but Crowder seems to be the only thing working for their offense right now. In Crowder and Sam Darnold’s five games together, Crowder is averaging 9 targets per game. This is #smart because Darnold ranks 42nd in the league in adjusted completion percentage on deep throws. Even if Darnold continues seeing ghosts, the Giants are ranked 28th in PFF’s pass-rush grade as well as coverage grade. Even better? PFF also lists Crowder with the highest WR/CB matchup advantage for week 10.
Ryan’s Start: Golden Tate (NYG) at NYJ
- Since week 7, Tate is 4th in the league in targets, 11th in fantasy points, and has a 23% target share. Oh, and he can do this. The battle for NYC should come with some fireworks, as the Jets have allowed the 8th most points to WRs. Look for a shootout and 10+ targets for Tate, who I have as a high-end WR2.
Nate’s Start: Christian Kirk (ARI) vs. TB
- Tampa Bay is actually excellent against the run, but they are extremely weak against the pass. If Arizona wants to win this game, they are going to have to pass. Despite last week’s result (2 catches, 8 yards), Kirk is still the top target in Arizona. He was matched up against Richard Sherman a lot last week, and Sherman got the better of him. Kirk won’t line up opposite anyone close to Richard Sherman this week, so start him with confidence.
Nate’s Sit: JuJu Smith-Schuster (PIT) vs. LAR
- Between Jalen Ramsey looking reinvigorated in a new setting and Mason Rudolph continuing to fail to get the ball down the field (7.6 aDOT), I don’t like this matchup for JuJu. Last week, Rudolph opted for numerous dump-off passes near the line-of-scrimmage to Jaylen Samuels, and I’d be willing to bet that happens again.
Ryan’s Sit: D.K. Metcalf (SEA) at SF
- All good things must come to an end. Josh Gordon is set to take over the WR2 role in Seattle and the Seahawks are going into a brutal matchup. San Francisco owns PFF’s second-best coverage grade only behind NE, and rank 5th best in points allowed to WRs. Metcalf only has 9 targets over the past two weeks but has been buoyed by the big-play. The Niners have allowed a league-low 15 20+ yard passing plays. He’s not even a flex option this week.
Cody’s Sit: Odell Beckham Jr (CLE) vs BUF
- As with my Todd Gurley benching above, I’m not really getting crazy here, either. The Browns continue to be the Browns no matter how talented they appear to be on paper. The matchup of OBJ against Tre’Davious White doesn’t even bother me all that much as I believe OBJ is matchup proof. The issue here is the Browns overall offensive ineptitude. If you’re able to plant OBJ on your bench in week 10, I would strongly consider it.
YOLO Play of The Week:
Cody: Darius Slayton (NYG) at NYJ
- This one is simple: the Giants will be without Sterling Shepard and Evan Engram. Golden Tate and Saquon Barkley can’t get ALL of the targets (can they?) and the Jets secondary is horrid. Slayton has an aDOT of 18.3, so if he and Daniel Jones can connect on just one deep ball, he could surpass FLEX-level points for your team.
Ryan: KeeSean Johnson (ARI) at TB
- Johnson saw a 44% snap share last week, but only 3 targets. Kyler Murray is going to throw the ball 50+ times in this juicy matchup against TB, and Johnson posts 6+ grabs and a score.
Nate: Zach Pascal (IND) vs. MIA
- No T.Y. Hilton, no Parris Campbell: that means that Pascal is the last man standing. Actually, Pascal has been a red-zone target for Jacoby Brissett (4 TDs on the year). Pascal has a great matchup, and he should see consistent targets (he got 6 in Week 9) Fire him up if you need a spot-start.
Ryan’s Start: Jack Doyle (IND) vs. MIA
- 4 targets, 3 rec, 22 yards, 1 TD is no line to jump at, but it was good for TE11 last week. Doyle gets the Dolphins this week and has firmly supplanted Eric Ebron as the TE1 in this offense, with over 70% of the snaps in five straight contests. He’s a top-10 play in a desolate TE landscape.
Nate’s Start: T.J. Hockenson (DET) vs. CHI
- I am going with the Hockenson-Stafford stack this week to give you confidence against Chicago. Hockenson got 7 targets last week, and probably would have been targeted on the last play of the game had he not got his bell rung a few plays prior. I’m predicting a Stafford TD pass to Hockenson, which makes him a start.
Cody’s Start: Greg Olsen (CAR) at GB
- Per usual, we’re going to get a heavy dose of Christian McCaffrey from the Panthers. With Green Bay’s strength in their corners and secondary, I think we could get a solid day from Olsen over the middle. The Packers are in the top 7 in each of the following categories against tight ends: targets, receptions, yards, touchdowns, and fantasy points per game.
Cody’s Sit: Eric Ebron (IND) vs MIA
- Ebron has eclipsed a 50% snap share for the Colts ONCE this year. His teammate Jack Doyle on the other hand? Hasn’t played fewer than 68% all year. Assuming the Colts control this game, there’s a fairly good chance we get a donut from Ebron this week.
Nate’s Sit: Chris Herndon (NYJ) vs. NYG
- I’m going TE-QB stack again for my sit. Herndon is someone you have been waiting for weeks or all season, but just because he might start doesn’t mean you should instantly plug him into your lineup. Ryan Griffin isn’t going to just disappear, and Herndon isn’t 100% healthy. If he’s active, I would guess he appears on a limited snap count. He’s a good player, but I’m not starting a TE unless he’s a full-time player.
Ryan’s Sit: Jacob Hollister (SEA) at SF
- Hollister went for two scores last week on 4 catches. He seems to have slid right into the Will Dissly role in this offense, but don’t let one week fool you. SF is the toughest defense against TEs in the league. I’d much rather start my YOLO play of the week below.
YOLO Play of the Week:
Ryan: O.J. Howard (TB) vs. ARI
- Don’t call it a comeback just yet. Howard should be returning from a hamstring injury this week and take away the starting role from Cam Brate. Arizona has allowed a staggering 22.1 points per game to opposing TEs and has allowed 7 different TEs to finish inside the top-10 in scoring. Will this be the breakout game we’ve all been waiting for? I think so.
Nate: Mike Gesicki (MIA) at IND
- Miami is going to be losing to Indianapolis, and I like Gesicki as a prime target in any comeback attempt. He was a combine monster (SPARQ score of 150!!!). Last week, he got some opportunity and turned it into 6 targets for 95 yards. Fitzpatrick is looking his way, and I think it continues next week.
Cody: Rhett Ellison (NYG) vs NYJ
- I mean, it doesn’t get much more YOLO-y than hoping and praying for a Rhett Ellison tut-tut. With Evan Engram sidelined along with Sterling Shepard, combined with the trash nature of the Jets defense, there’s at least a glimmer of hope here.
That’ll do it for our Week 10 Start Sit Article. We’d love to hear from you to see what would bring you the most value in a start/sit column so join the Slack or hit us up on Twitter! Don’t forget to check out our podcast from this week where Kevin, Cody, and Ryan talked playoff prep.