Philip Rivers, Chargers
The Raiders have been incredibly generous all season long to quarterbacks, ranking second-worst against them statistically. Just last week, Lions QB Matthew Stafford threw for over 400 yards and looked like he could have thrown for even more. The Raiders lost DE Arden key to a season-ending injury this week which should only help give Rivers more time to set up the play-action pass to Keenan Allen and Mike Williams. The Chargers have played well the last two weeks and the Raiders' sad-sack defense comes at a good time.
Ryan Tannehill, Titans
Last week, many of you would have thought that Tannehill had a bad matchup against the Panthers. However, in garbage time he ended up throwing for over 300 passing yards and rushing for another 38 yards and a TD. This week, the Titans are going to play the Chiefs and it looks as if QB Patrick Mahomes will be back. If Mahomes returns, expect the Chiefs to run up the score and once again the Titans will be playing from behind late in the game, making Tannehill a sneaky source of points in Week 10.
Kirk Cousins, Vikings
Cousins has played well in recent weeks but struggled mightily in Kansas City once Adam Thielen left the game after re-aggravating his hamstring injury. The Cowboys are a top-five team against opposing quarterbacks, and I worry that Cousins will once again struggle with Thielen out of the lineup. Sometimes you have to know when to ride a quarterback while he’s on a hot streak and pull back when he cools off. Right now seems like a very cool period for Cousins.
David Montgomery, Bears
The Lions have taken over as the NFL’s worst run defense (not an award that head coach Matt Patricia wants) and this week they matchup against the Chicago Bears, who have struggled mightily throwing the football. The Bears have played their best (and I use that term loosely) when they have based their offense around giving the ball to Montgomery. I fully expect him to get 20 carries for over 100 rushing yards this week with a good chance at finding the end zone.
Marlon Mack, Colts
With Brian Hoyer most likely starting in place of the injured Jacoby Brissett, look for the Colts to dominate this game on the ground. Additionally, with WRs TY Hilton and Parris Campbell out with injuries, it seems like there won’t be enough time for Hoyer to build a rapport with his receivers in practice. Making matters even better for Mack is the fact that the Dolphins are the third-worst team in the NFL in stopping the run. The only thing that is worrying me is how easy this one seems to predict. I'll try not to overanalyze and start Mack with full confidence.
Devonta Freeman, Falcons
There are so many reasons why Freeman is not a great start. Firstly, the Saints' defense is second to only New England in stopping the run. Secondly, I see the Saints getting out to an early lead on the Falcons, which would take Freeman out of the game script. The only thing that gives Freeman a shred of value is his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield. However, in standard leagues, I cannot imagine how he gets remotely close to the end zone.
Mike Williams, Chargers
Prior to the season, I would have told you that Williams was a lock to score 10 TDs. Well, it’s now Week 10 and you know how many TDs he has scored? Zero! Well, I think that changes on Thursday night. Williams had a great week (111 receiving yards) with Packers CB Jaire Alexander covering him, and this week he will see the generous Raiders secondary which gave up 100-yard receiving games to both Marvin Jones and Kenny Golladay. Williams feels like a pregnant lady who is so due that she is ready to burst. Feel free to plug him into all lineups and watch him finally cross the goal line.
Christian Kirk, Cardinals
I guess it was expected that Kirk would have a rough outing against Richard Sherman and the 49ers defense in Week 9. The 49ers concentrated their defense on Kirk and gave him very few open looks. I expect the total opposite this week. Neither Tampa Bay CB can cover Kirk one-on-one and he should find a lot of room to operate. A game of seven to eight catches for 90 yards seems about right as the Bucs are worst in the league against opposing wide receivers, and Kirk is clearly the best wideout on the Cardinals.
DK Metcalf, Seahawks
Metcalf excels in one-on-one coverage where he can use his size, speed and strength to his advantage. He is particularly hard to cover in the red zone as he finds a way to break free from coverage and give Russell Wilson a huge end-zone target. This week, however, I think Metcalf is going to get frustrated by the 49ers' complicated pass coverage. The 49ers completely shut down Christian Kirk last week and I think they do the same with Metcalf. Sit him unless you don’t have any better options.
O.J. Howard, Bucs
If there was ever a week to play Howard, this is it! In fact, I am going on record by saying that if he doesn’t perform up to expectations in this game, I will cut him from every one of my teams. Simply put, the Cardinals are the worst team against opposing tight ends in the league. Howard has been upset all year with the number of targets that he's received. If Bruce Arians and Byron Leftwich don’t call his number on Sunday, it’s obvious that they really don’t like him.
Greg Olsen, Panthers
Last week, I told you to play Hunter Henry and it turned out beautifully, as Henry tore the Packers secondary to shreds. This week, Olsen gets his chance. As I mentioned before, Packers LBs Preston Smith and Za’Darius Smith like to rush the passer, not play in tight coverage. Linebacker Blake Martinez is usually dedicated to stopping the opposing running back, leaving the middle wide open for tight ends to roam free. The only thing potentially holding Olsen back is the inconsistent play of Kyle Allen, but I am willing to overlook that this week and start Olsen in what should be a big game.
Chris Herndon, Jets
Fantasy owners have been waiting on the return of Herndon for weeks now and it looks as if Week 10 against the Giants will be his unveiling. The problem with starting him is three-fold: 1) Prior to Blake Jarwin going to town, the Giants have been particularly stingy against opposing tight ends, 2) Herndon will not play a full complement of snaps as he is still being brought back slowly after his hamstring issues, 3) Sam Darnold has looked awful for the past three games and it’s hard to count on him having a productive day. I might consider Herndon in a standard league, but I just am not sure he is ready to dominate in PPR formats just yet.
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