The Observer’s Fantasy Corner Week 10
The NFL was flipped upside down last week with many underdogs winning their respective matchups. If you’re like a majority of us, you probably sat some of the most prominent performers this weekend. However, that was a once-in-a-blue-moon week, it feels, and teams should get back on track to winning. Fantasy Corner is back again for its 10th week!
Must Start: Darrell Henderson JR., RB, Los Angeles Rams
Darrell Henderson Jr. has quietly averaged 16.5 points per game since taking over starting duties for the Rams. While last week felt like a dud in which he faced a strong Titans defense(8.8 points); this matchup against the 49ers favors him to be a safe play this week. After James Conner’s career day without Kyler Murray or D-Hop, owners of Henderson should be excited to get this matchup this close to the fantasy playoffs. The Rams are facing off against the 49ers at the right time, and I advise you make sure he cracks your starting lineup this week.
Must Sit: DeVonta Smith, WR, Philadelphia Eagles
Last year’s Heisman winner finally broke the 20 point marker the previous week against the Los Angeles Chargers though he has come close a few times. While this would be encouraging to keep him in your starting lineups, his matchup against the Denver Broncos is frightening. After witnessing what the Broncos secondary was able to do to both Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb, it is easy to see why Smith should be on your bench this weekend. The Eagles’ offense has been looking better, but they do not give me enough confidence as a unit to overcome one of the best defenses in the league.
Who to Pick Up: Jordan Howard, RB, Philadelphia Eagles (Rostered in 8.5% of leagues)
Must Start: Melvin Gordon, RB, Denver Broncos
Gordon and backfield-mate Javonte Williams combined for an impressive 191 yards on 38 combined carries in a blowout over the Cowboys last week in what was one of the most dominant performances by any team this season. Gordon benefitted from a late touchdown, and has scored double-digit PPR points in four straight weeks. Given Denver’s success when leaning on the run game, they’re likely to attempt to repeat the performance against Philadelphia’s 31st ranked run defense this week. Gordon has struggled for fantasy relevance throughout his stint with the Broncos, but his usage is at a place right now where he should be started in every league, especially with the rash of RB injuries and byes.
Must Sit: Jaylen Waddle, WR, Miami Dolphins
While Waddle’s production has been steadily increasing throughout his rookie season, there are several red flags to consider when projecting his outlook for week 10. First, the Dolphins quarterback situation is uncertain and neither of the options (Jacoby Brissett or Tua Tagovailoa) instill much confidence. Meanwhile, Waddle will be contending with a Baltimore secondary led by lockdown corner Marlon Humphrey which, outside of a week 7 Ja’Marr Chase explosion, has largely held opposing pass-catchers in check. Add in the quick turnaround (the Dolphins play on TNF this week) and all signs point to Waddle struggling to produce. If you have any other viable options at WR, leave Waddle on the bench.
Who to Pick Up: Christian Kirk (Rostered in 51.2% of leagues)
Must Start: Pat Freiermuth, TE, Pittsburgh Steelers
While this start could come with less confidence than you might like, I still think that the rookie TE for the Steelers will be a good option if you’re thin at the position. While the Lions defense has been fairly tough on tight ends thus far, I think that Freiermuth fits in with the Steelers current offensive scheme well enough that he will be regularly putting up double digit performances for the rest of the year. Big Ben is unable to push the ball down field and the TE route tree and after the catch ability will be a very attractive option until it is addressed by opponents.
Must Sit: Courtland Sutton, WR, Denver Broncos
After busting in two straight weeks while faced with good matchups, there is no reason to have any confidence that Sutton will post good numbers this weekend against the Eagles stingy secondary. Additionally, the running back play for the Broncos has emerged as the more reliable unit and should be leaned on to pull the Broncos to a win. Not to mention the fact that Jerry Jeudy is back from injury and Tim Patrick is looking better than ever. Hopefully Sutton can have another breakout performance, as he does, and renew his owners’s hopes for high ceiling potential, but for now he should sit comfortably on your bench.
Who to Pick Up: Russell Gage, WR, Atlanta Falcons
Must Start: Marquise Brown, WR, Baltimore Ravens
Brown has excelled in the last two Ravens’ games, one before the bye week and one after. He received 14 targets in Baltimore’s Week 7 matchup against the Bengals, and he saw 12 more targets this week against the Vikings. It is the fourth time Brown has seen double-digit targets this season, and he is trending upward in the right direction as the playoffs approach. With an inconsistent Dolphins defense on the horizon this week, Brown is set up nicely for another big week. TE Mark Andrews and Brown are attracting a large majority of the targets from QB Lamar Jackson, and Brown leads the Ravens in both receiving yards and receiving touchdowns. Baltimore visits Miami on Thursday this week, so make sure Brown is in your lineup by then.
Must Sit: Mike Williams, WR, Los Angeles Chargers
What happened to the Williams we saw earlier in the season? He was on pace for a ridiculous year, with 51 targets, 31 catches, 471 receiving yards, and six receiving touchdowns through the first five weeks of the season. In the last three weeks he has just 15 targets, six catches, 104 receiving yards, and zero touchdowns. Williams has fallen off the face of the earth, and Keenan Allen has supplanted him as Justin Herbert’s favorite target. The Vikings defense is middle of the road, but given Williams’ lack of production in recent weeks, I would advise moving him to your bench this week for the first time in a while. The Chargers will need Williams down the stretch as they compete for an AFC West title, but he needs to get back into form first.
Who to Pick Up: Elijah Moore, WR, New York jets (Rostered in 15.3% of leagues)