Déjà vu. Yet another BYE week is upon us, and this one is going to sting many of us. The Eagles, Rams, Dolphins and Chiefs are enjoying a leisurely week away. But there’s no vacation for the rest of us. We must continue to win despite missing so many of our key players. If it were easy, everyone would do it…right? Put in the work and enjoy the spoils. Let’s do it together.
As I’ve done for the previous eight weeks, here are some key things to know for this week’s matchups.
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Like I always do, I’ll start under center. Many of the defenses that give up the most points to QBs are in play today. According to FantasyPros, here are the top 10 teams and the fantasy points allowed to QBs, along with the likely beneficiaries this week:
- Jared Goff leads the list and my recommendations. How could he not? The Lions are coming off their BYE, and all his weapons are healthy. The only knock may be the fact that the game is in California and not Michigan. However, we saw “road” Goff can be just fine, especially after his 353 Yds & 2 TD performance at Tampa a few weeks back. Start him with confidence!
- Speaking of playing in Tampa, the newly appointed Titans Starter, Will Levis, gets a chance to feast on the Bucs’ defense. Levis has been a nice surprise to the fantasy world, reeling from a number of key QB injuries. He’s averaging 250 YPG and only coughed up the ball once. He should provide a nice floor with potential for upside.
- If you’ve tuned into our Sunday Start/Sit show, you know I’m not high on Kyler Murray right away. Sure, he gets a nice matchup against a Falcons team still reeling after the Cardinal’s former starter came off the bench to drop a stat line of 20-30, 158 Yds and 2 TDs (plus 66 rushing Yds). We should know quickly if Murray is healthy or easing back into game shape. I’m betting the latter and, thus, recommend you stash him this week.
- If you’re deciding between QBs, I like a couple of others: Taylor Heinicke and Derek Carr.
On the RB side, let’s take a look at our Adjusted Line Yards Matchup Metric and identify some potential ground pounders…
- Bills RBs versus Denver score the biggest value at 4.60. James Cook is still the lead horse in a backfield also featuring Latavius Murray and perhaps a sprinkling of Leonard Fournette. Cook started out on fire but has cooled significantly in recent weeks, only achieving double-digit fantasy points once in the last five games. That effort was a product of catching three passes and finding the end zone with one of them. The Bills and fantasy managers would like to see a repeat on MNF, including the writer of this article. I have him as a mid-RB2 this week, with a bit of upside.
- Falcons RBs come in next with a 4.38 value against the Cardinals. We have to think Arthur Smith is going to deploy a healthy dose of his best player, right? After a string of 20+ point games to start the season, Bijan Robinson is only crossing the 10+ point threshold every other game lately. Fear not, Robinson managers. He’s due for a big game this week if that trend holds. He’s only surpassed 14 carries once (Week 2), so again, perhaps Coach Smith will ensure we see Robinson early and often. Am I being a little too optimistic here? I sure hope not. Either way, Bijan is a low RB1 (at worst) with an upside too juicy to ignore.
- For my last RB recommendation, I’m going to tackle the issue in Seattle. If you have Zach Charbonnet on your bench and need to fill an RB2 or Flex position, he should be on your radar. Over the past two weeks, Charbonnet out-snapped Kenneth Walker 58:48, although Walker is getting more touches. KWIII came out of the game against the very tough Browns defense a little banged up and, as of the time of this writing, is still listed as questionable. This situation feels like a slow transition that began a few weeks ago and may culminate with a heavy dose of the rookie versus the Commanders (metric value of 4.16). I won’t say it’ll be a repeat of Jaymir Gibbs stepping in for David Montgomery, but perhaps a lighter version. Charbonnet has been active in the passing game throughout, so in my mind, he just needs the opportunity. Keep an eye on this situation as we approach game time. Should there still be some doubt around KWIII’s health, run with Charbonnet as an RB2 with upside.
Turning to the WRs, here are the better slot matchups this week according to our Slot vs Wide tool:
Not really a lot to get excited about here, is there?
- Christian Kirk leaps off the page as the best slot WR to target from this list. As you note above (for teams playing in Week 10), the 49ers allow the 5th most points to slot WRs at 14.6 PPG. Kirk is averaging over 7 Tgts/Gm, resulting in 14+ PPG in 6 of 8 contests. With over 80% of his points coming from the slot and the favorable matchup, he’s clearly my pick of the week here.
- The other name I like is Josh Downs. If you’ve joined our shows in the past few weeks, all of us have been touting Downs as a player to add. Except last week, when he departed early with a knee injury, he’s been averaging 7-8 Tgts/Gm. I also expect Gardner Minshew to heave the rock plenty (40+) and maybe even become a cult hero to the German crowd. In that scenario, Downs should be in line to deliver a special game for his fantasy managers. Just keep an eye on the injury updates leading up to the early kickoff.
Second verse, same as the first…now just for the Wideouts:
My TE “lock of the week” is the Texans’ Dalton Schultz. The Texans draw a road tilt in the Queen City, and although the Bengals’ defense has been tough, TEs have found success there. On our Tuesday night show (watch on Youtube HERE), the boys and I talked about a number of TE friendly matchups this week. Of those we noted, we are particularly high on Schultz. Go hear what we have to say. If you want the cliff notes, here they are… “Start ’em if you’ve got ’em!”
Others we talked about:
- Start TEs vs the Vikings – Taysom Hill (doing it all right now) & Juwan Johnson (1st TD of season last week)
- Start TEs vs the Texans – Irv Smith (4 Tgts/Gm, last 2)
There you go, another week of insights in the books. Best of luck in your season-long or DFS action, and don’t forget…
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Until next time, my friends.