NFL Fantasy Football sit/start Week 10: How to replace Ezekiel Elliott
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Wondering whether or not to start LeSean McCoy and Antonio Brown, or to bench Mitch Trubisky and Bryce Treggs? The network bozos specialize in that kind of advice. If you’re looking for help with your real starting lineup conundrums, read on.
Here are my picks to roll, and get rolled, in Week 10 of the 2017 season.
Watch ‘em roll
Jared Goff, QB, Rams vs. Texans. Did you like Goff’s stat line in Week 9? Get ready for more of that, as the young gunslinger takes on a Houston secondary that just got rocked by none other than Jacoby Brissett. Despite being armed with less-than-superstar talent at WR, Goff is emerging as a fantasy force in front of our very eyes.
Alfred Morris, RB, Cowboys at Falcons. So it appears Ezekiel Elliott has finally run out of appeals. Barring a legal miracle, Morris should get the starting nod on Sunday against a so-so defense that hasn’t been tested by a running game as good as Dallas’. While Morris won’t see the same volume of touches as Zeke, he should get plenty of opportunities, including in the red zone.
Bilal Powell, RB, Jets at Buccaneers. There’s a very good chance Matt Forte won’t play this week due to a knee issue. That would shift the backfield workload to Powell’s capable hands against one of the league’s true rushing doormats. In fact, the Bucs are so bad, Powell is worth starting consideration even if Forte suits up.
JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, Steelers at Colts. The rookie had his breakout game in Week 8 against the Lions and he’ll return from the bye on a two-game scoring roll. The Colts have offered little resistance to opposing passing attacks, so look for Smith-Schuster to continue building his resume. Martavis Bryant remains a non-factor for the Steelers.
Marvin Jones, WR, Lions vs. Browns. It’s time to take Jones seriously again. He’s had three solid games in a row and has quietly moved into elite territory. Kenny Golladay’s possible return shouldn’t impact his targets immediately, and Matt Stafford’s high-volume passing should keep Jones a busy man against the Browns’ shaky secondary.
More thumbs up (excluding the no-brainers): QBs Ben Roethlisberger, Matt Stafford, Josh McCown; RBs Leonard Fournette, Jordan Howard, Jerick McKinnon, Alvin Kamara; WRs Cooper Kupp, Sterling Shepard, DeSean Jackson, Jarvis Landry, Golden Tate, Adam Thielen.
Roll ‘em back
Kirk Cousins, QB, Redskins vs. Vikings. Cousins’ production has trailed off significantly over the last two games, which coincides with the rapid depletion of his offensive line and receiving corps. He’ll get a boost if Jordan Reed returns from his latest injury, but not enough to warrant starting him against Minnesota’s premier secondary.
Kenyan Drake, RB, Dolphins at Panthers. We got some clarity on the Dolphins’ backfield rotation in Week 9, with Drake emerging as a power runner and Damien Williams complementing him as a third-down, pass-friendly back. Despite Drake’s impressive debut as the starter, keep him on your bench against Carolina’s stingy run defenders.
Aaron Jones, RB, Packers at Bears. Just when we thought Jones had made this backfield his own, Ty Montgomery was allotted an equal number of carries (just five) against the Lions and Jamaal Williams poached the goal-line scoring plunge. Chicago’s run defense is solid – despite their showing against the Saints’ formidable duo last weekend – and with little threat from the Packers’ passing game, the Bears will surely stack the box to stop Jones & Co. in their tracks.
Rishard Matthews, WR, Titans vs. Bengals. Matthews remains Marcus Mariota’s favorite target, but that hasn’t made him consistently productive fantasy-wise. Facing a stifling Bengals secondary, all of the Titans receivers are risky bets on Sunday.
Will Fuller, WR, Texans at Rams. With Tom Savage at the controls, Houston’s passing attack has a serious problem. While DeAndre Hopkins can’t be benched, Fuller managed just 2 receptions for 32 yards in Savage’s first start. Against the Rams’ vastly improved pass defense, Fuller’s ceiling is low.
More thumbs down: QBs Marcus Mariota, Jay Cutler, Philip Rivers, Andy Dalton, Tyrod Taylor, Blake Bortles, Eli Manning, Jacoby Brissett, Case Keenum; RBs Tarik Cohen, C.J. Anderson, Rob Kelley, Chris Thompson, Dion Lewis, Ameer Abdullah, Frank Gore, Isaiah Crowell, DeMarco Murray, Jonathan Stewart, Tevin Coleman, Theo Riddick, Mike Gillislee; WRs Terrelle Pryor, Tyrell Williams, Jordy Nelson, Donte Moncrief, Dez Bryant, Allen Hurns, Danny Amendola, Corey Davis, Travis Benjamin, Martavis Bryant, Eric Decker.
TAKING A FLIER
Robby Anderson, WR, Jets at Buccaneers. Normally, a guy who reels in a TD in three consecutive weeks wouldn’t classify as a flier. But Anderson is a Jet, and it takes uncommon faith to bet on a member of this receiving corps. But Josh McCown has been surprisingly effective, and the Bucs’ pass defense has been decidedly sorry.
DON’T BE THE BONEHEAD WHO… throws in the towel just because you think you’re out of postseason contention. Work the waiver wire, look for trading opportunities and, most important, field the best starting lineup you can every weekend. Tanking not only makes you a quitter, but it could disrupt the competitive balance of your league. Play to win, baby!
Follow me on Twitter at @ladd_biro.