Sun. Jan 17th, 2021


Welcome to Week 10 of the Fantasy football season. We’re now officially closer to the end of the season than to the start,which means playoff races are starting to heat up. For those of you with comfortable 7-2 or 8-1 records, you shouldn’t just be sitting back and waiting for the playoffs to begin — you should be doing everything you can to playoff-proof your roster. Try to consolidate your depth into superstars in your lineup and make sure you snag your key running backs’ backups. 

One thing you shouldn’t be doing, however, is worrying about playoff matchups. We’re starting to get a lot of questions about certain players’ playoff schedules, and whether you should make a point of targeting the ones with good matchups or selling the ones with bad matchups. In Tuesday’s Fantasy Football Today Newsletter — which you should definitely subscribe to here! — I did a mailbag and one of the questions I was asked was whether you should look to trade Dalvin Cook or James Robinson due to their playoff matchups. I just don’t see the point. 

For one thing, matchups matter a lot less than the players’ skill level and team context, and there’s no real reason to think either of those things are going to change for most players between now and Week 14 — and if they do, it would be pretty hard to predict, anyway. However, even if you believe matchups matter quite a bit, it’s simply too early to start worrying about playoff matchups. Too much can change in the span of four or five weeks. And if you don’t believe me, just go check out the box score of Monday’s game between the Patriots and Jets and see what happened to the once-fearsome Pats D. 

Can matchups change a players’ outlook in the playoffs, sure? And when the stakes are that high, you want every edge possible. But this far out, you’re chasing impossible odds trying to determine which matchups will be worth exploiting and which one might hold your stars back. Don’t waste your time.  

Of course, that was just one of the dozens of questions we received ahead of Week 10. I’ve compiled seven of the toughest from our readers and sent them out to the Fantasy Football Today crew — Jamey Eisenberg, Dave Richard, Heath Cummings, and Adam Aizer — to get their answers. Here’s what we’re expecting in Week 10 and beyond. 

More Week 10 help: Waiver Wire | QB Preview | RB Preview | WR PreviewTrade Values | Cut List | Winners and Losers | Believe It or Not

Who is your top waiver-wire target for Week 10? 

  • Jamey Eisenberg: It always comes down to what you need, but if it’s just based on who is the best player under the threshold we typically talk about for waiver wire (65 percent or fewer roster percentage) then it has to be John Brown. He could be a must-start Fantasy receiver for the rest of the season if healthy.  
  • Dave Richard: The player with the fewest question marks around him is Brown. He’s locked into a good role with the Bills, plus he looks just as quick as as he did in Week 1. But if I had to take a chance and reach for a player who could help me win in Week 10, Duke Johnson has the 15-plus-touch potential to help against the Browns.  
  • Heath Cummings: There’s not a clear-cut answer unless yours is one of the 12% of leagues where Mike Davis is available. If not, it’s probably Duke Johnson unless we get a positive report on David Johnson before waivers run.  
  • Adam: Duke Johnson would be the top priority. But, assuming you don’t need an RB this week, I’d take a look at Deebo Samuel and Austin Hooper.  
  • Chris Towers: 

What do you suggest we do with players with tough playoff schedules like Dalvin Cook or James Robinson? Sell high?

What do you suggest we do with players with tough playoff schedules like Dalvin Cook or James Robinson? Sell high?

  • Jamey Eisenberg: You’d have to give me Alvin Kamara at this point for Dalvin Cook, and I’m not sure the Kamara manager makes that trade. I’ll take my chances with Cook in the playoffs, and remember that injuries can alter opposing defenses. I’ll probably just ride it out with Robinson also, but if you want to shop him around, feel free.  
  • Dave Richard: Depends. Do you want to win your league? Great players like those two will help you hoist a trophy. I wouldn’t sell high on them unless you were desperate for starters and could acquire two or three of them for your stud rusher.   
  • Heath Cummings: I wouldn’t be opposed to selling either, but only if you can get top value. Cook should demand an elite wide receiver and a starting running back. I’d take less for Robinson, but not a lot less.  
  • Adam: You keep Dalvin Cook and don’t even think twice about his schedule. Robinson’s playoff schedule isn’t that bad aside from Baltimore in Week 15 (in my opinion), so I’m fine keeping him as well.  
  • Chris Towers: On the one hand, Cook might just be the best player in Fantasy right now, so trading a weekly sure thing like that is awfully hard to justify. He might just be having one of those seasons. On the other hand, while Cook is great, he’s certainly not this great; he won’t keep scoring once every 12 carries (he was at 19.2 last season) and he won’t keep rushing for 6.0 yards per carry (4.5 last year, 4.6 for his career, pre-2020). You would unquestionably be selling high on Cook, so if you could get something like A.J. Brown or Allen Robinson and Miles Sanders or Ezekiel Elliott (which seems realistic to me), you would have to consider it. The cost for Robinson will be lower, but it’s along the same lines — at least two very good players who you’ll feel confident starting every week. 

It’s Patrick Mahomes‘ bye week. Do I go with Cam Newton next week, or are there any legit streamers?

  • Jamey Eisenberg: There are two awesome streamers in Drew Lock (at LV) and Tua Tagovailoa (vs. LAC). Both have the chance to be top-10 Fantasy quarterbacks, and I like both, in that order, over Newton.  
  • Dave Richard: Lock and Tagovailoa are two of my favorite waiver-wire adds, with Baker Mayfield behind them. Cam Newton’s playing the Ravens on a short week — I can’t imagine it will end well for him (but Week 11 against the Texans should).  
  • Heath Cummings: My favorite streamer is Mayfield, and I do actually like him more than Cam. In fact, I’d start Tagovailoa, Lock, and Nick Foles over Newton as well.  
  • Adam: You go with a streamer like Lock or Tagovailoa. 
  • Chris Towers: There are always streamers at QB unless you play in a deep league, and I don’t see how you can trust Newton against this Ravens defense. If you’re looking for a streamer, here’s how I would prioritize them for Week 10: Jared Goff vs. SEA (81% rostered, if he’s available),  Tagovailoa vs. LAC (52%),  Lock at LVR (35%), Jake Luton at GB, Mayfield vs. HOU (33%).   

What does your gut think we should do with the Colts backfield rest of season? Such a nice schedule … What do we do with Jonathan Taylor?

  • Jamey Eisenberg: I’m hoping Taylor comes out in Week 10 against the Titans and has a smash performance to make us all confident in starting him again for the rest of the season. But I also want to stash Jordan Wilkins just in case a permanent change happens. Wilkins could end up a lottery ticket if the Colts made him a featured option and kept Taylor on the bench.
  • Dave Richard: The gut says Taylor will continue to get opportunities to justify his lofty draft selection. The gut also agrees with the eyes and says Jordan Wilkins is just an average NFL running back. I’d be floored if the Colts benched Taylor and gave Wilkins an every-down role.
  • Heath Cummings: The schedule has been pretty great so far. I’m not selling low on Taylor; I’m not even benching him this week. I still expect he’ll be the Colts best running back rest of season and a top-20 back this week.
  • Adam: Can we accept that Jonathan Taylor isn’t a superstar yet? He is not having a good season and has been fortunate to score four rushing TDs this season. I no longer consider him a must-start option and I don’t care about his upcoming schedule. I need to see him keep the starting job and perform before I put him back in my lineup.
  • Chris Towers: I think it’s fairly simple: Unless Taylor is a true lead back in this offense, there probably isn’t much upside to be found here. My assumption is Taylor will end up in that role before long, but it’s clear right now the margin for error is extremely slim after he has essentially been benched in consecutive weeks, so he’ll need to get hot quick. I believe the talent is there for him to do that, but there’s more than a little blind faith involved there. If the price is low enough, buying low is the way to go on Taylor. If you have him, try to hang on.   

What the heck do I do with Mike Evans and Antonio Brown. Feels like I can’t start either one. May as well trade for Chris Godwin and get it over with.

  • Jamey Eisenberg: I’m going to still value Evans over Brown until the Buccaneers make me think otherwise, and I like that Bruce Arians called out Tom Brady for not getting Evans the ball. Evans should be considered a borderline starter in all leagues, and Brown is just a stash candidate for now heading into Week 10 at Carolina.  
  • Dave Richard: Trading for Godwin probably isn’t the answer. Both Brown and Evans got open a bunch on Sunday but Brady seemed skittish against the Saints pass rush. If the same thing happens this week against the Panthers, I’ll freak out. Instead, expect some positive results. Both Brown and Evans are at least flex-worthy.
  • Heath Cummings: This is one of those questions no one can reasonable feel like they know the answer to. That may even include Bruce Arians and Byron Leftwich. As of right now I’d start Evans over Brown, but neither is in my top 25 this week.
  • Adam: I’m not sure why we are simply assuming Godwin will be better than the other two. Brady has been spreading the ball around very evenly all season. This may be a total mess, trying to figure who is best each week. I might try to sell all three of them to get a more reliable starter. 
  • Chris Towers: It’s only been one game, and it was a weird one where the Buccaneers fell behind early and never really got a chance to get into their game plan. Brady and Brown clearly weren’t on the same page on at least a few plays, and Brady had to take more deep shots to try to get the Bucs back in it than they probably would’ve preferred. For a lot of reasons, you shouldn’t overreact to this game … That being said, this looked a lot like what I was worried it would look like. I didn’t think they would struggle that much, but the shape of the offense was what I expected to see, with Brady spreading the ball around all over. Getting Evans, Godwin and Brown to all be viable Fantasy starters in the same offense was always going to be tough, but especially with Brady, who rarely focuses on any one target and is happy to take whatever the best option is based on the defense. There already wasn’t enough room for Evans to be a reliable starter even before Brown was added. Now? It seems like it could be a pretty big mess every week. The problem is, you can’t really do anything about it: You missed your chance to sell high on Brown before his debut, and you missed the window to sell high on Evans every time Godwin was out. They’re likely to be boom-or-bust No. 3 WR moving forward

What is D.J. Moore’s value right now?

  • Jamey Eisenberg: The fact that Moore is behind Robby Anderson and Curtis Samuel for targets, at least the past two weeks, is troubling. You have to just hold Moore and hope he gets hot again like he did prior to Week 8. There’s still upside there, but the Panthers need to feature him with more opportunities.  
  • Dave Richard: It’s not great. He’s had six or fewer targets in 6 of his past 7 and under 70 yards in 4 of his past 7. Because his target volume hasn’t been what we expected, and because the Panthers are finding innovative ways to use his teammates, Moore’s expectations should be revised to a touchdown-reliant Fantasy receiver. Better as a flex than as a No. 2 option.
  • Heath Cummings: He is a high-upside boom-or-bust No. 3 not dissimilar from Marquise Brown, D.J. Chark, and Justin Jefferson. there will be boom weeks in the future.
  • Adam: Great question! I’d say he’s a boom or bust No. 2/3 WR. He is going to have bad games unfortunately but there are some good games left in his season as well. I would trade him for Jarvis Landry and a decent second piece if you could.  
  • Chris Towers: If you’re trying to trade him, it’s very low, as my colleagues’ responses show. Moore has seen a wholesale change in how he is being used in the Panthers offense, and it’s led to him being a much less predictable player as a result. When your game is built around deeper passes, you’re going to have some stretches where a would-be big play is a few inches out of your grasp or you’ll run into a defense like the Chiefs in Week 9 looking to take away the big play. As frustrating as it has been at times, Moore has significant upside every week — and don’t forget he just finished off a stretch with 93 yards in three straight games, with three touchdowns in that stretch. Unless Curtis Samuel has just usurped him in the passing game — and given that Moore led the team with 57 routes run in Week 9, I doubt it — Moore is going to have better days ahead. Perhaps as soon as Week 9 against a Buccaneers defense that looked lost against the Saints on Sunday?   

With Travis Kelce on a bye, which TE should I be picking up and plugging in this week?

  • Jamey Eisenberg: If there’s a way to get Dallas Goedert or Austin Hooper, you not only have a streaming option this week, but you might have a potential flex for the rest of the season. Aside from those two, you’re looking at guys like Jimmy Graham, Trey Burton and potentially Irv Smith. Also, don’t rule out Jordan Reed now that he shook off the rust in Week 9 and will hopefully start producing at a high level with George Kittle (foot) out.  
  • Dave Richard: Since you’d only need the tight end for a week, don’t bother spending FAB on Dallas Goedert or Austin Hooper — check out Jimmy Graham or Mike Gesicki instead. It’s a different story if you’re on waivers, where picking up Goedert or Hooper won’t cost you an arm and a leg, just a waiver claim. Those two, in that order, would be preferred.  
  • Heath Cummings: This question is easy to answer if you can get Goedert. If not, I’m probably settling for Jimmy Graham in a game where his team may throw 50 passes.
  • Adam: Goedert and Hooper would be the first two to look for. If they are not available let’s go with that TE who is top six at his position but only rostered in about half of CBS leagues: Jimmy Graham!
  • Chris Towers: If Dallas Goedert (63% rostered) is available, he’s the guy to grab at tight end. If he isn’t I would prioritize the following in this order: Austin Hooper (40%), Trey Burton (40%)/Mo Alie-Cox (8%), Jimmy Graham (52%), Jordan Reed (34%).  

So who should you start and sit this week? And which surprising quarterback could lead you to victory? Visit SportsLine now to get Week 10 rankings for every position, plus see which QB is going to come out of nowhere to crack the top 10, all from the model that out-performed experts big-time last season.





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