Coach’s Office: Who to Start and Who to Sit – Week 10

This entry is part 10 of 17 in the series Fantasy Football: Coach's Desk



START – Ben Roethlisberger, Cam Newton

SUB – None

SIT – None

Last week I called for caution with Big Ben in a tough road start against the Baltimore Ravens, a venue he had been pedestrian at best in. He, of course, went off for 30 points continuing his run as a Top 5 fantasy QB this year and showing off why he is a must-start in all formats. Carolina’s pass D is middle of the road, but there run defense is better and that should create more opportunities through the air for Ben. Cam proved why Cam is so valuable in fantasy last week. About 10 minutes into the second quarter, Carolina was up three scores and he hadn’t through a TD pass yet, instead of grinding out the clock, Newton took back to back downfield strikes to Funchess and Olsen and then capped it with an Olsen TD pass. Cam is NEVER going to be OK ending a game without a TD, even in a blowout, his ego simply cannot handle it and it keeps his fantasy floor high.

Running Backs

START – James Conner, Christian McCaffrey

SUB – None

SIT – None

This is a boring piece of obviousness. Start both guys. Caveat, they’re both likely going to be better in PPR formats this week out of the backfield, but both are elite fantasy backs.

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

START – Antonio Brown, JuJu Smith-Shuster, Greg Olsen

SUB – Vance McDonald, Jesse James, Devin Funchess, DJ Moore

SIT – James Washington, Curtis Samuel

You’ll notice if you’ve read this column before, that there’s a new option on these lists, the “SUB” option. Basically, this is for guys we think COULD produce, or are good but COULD bust this week. Subs are guys you can sub in if you NEED someone, or sub out if you have a better option. Brown and JuJu are must-starts at all times and they’ll be in line for big days against a mediocre Panthers pass D. Greg Olsen has found his groove with Cam, posting 15+ points each of the past two weeks. Funchess and Moore are coming off lackluster performances in Week 9 and carry some risk as starts. Carolina moves the ball to whoever is open and Cam doesn’t tend to force feed his targets which makes it tough to trust any one guy in that pass attack. I put Moore in the sub-column because he is utilized in the run game quite a bit and is one of the few guys the Panthers do try to create touches for. Funchess, I like if you NEED someone because this is a solid matchup from him, though the Steelers have been tougher on WR’s of late allowing only AJ Green to top 75 yards since Week 4. If you have more consistent starters, it’s OK to fade the big man. The same holds true for both McDonald and James. Either guy is an OK bye week option because both could break out any given week. Without a breakout game, both guys should get around 5-8 points which isn’t awesome, but it’s something during a bye. Avoid buying too heavily into Samuel’s big Week 9, as mentioned, Carolina likes the hot hand and it just happened to be Samuel last week.



START – Ryan Fitzpatrick

SUB – Alex Smith

SIT -None

Down but not out, Fitz-Magic battled back on the road against a middle of the road Carolina pass defense to pile up 4 TD passes and yet another solid fantasy performance. He’s going to disappoint his owners one of these weeks but the Redskins defense just got roasted by a similarly strong pass attack in the Atlanta Falcons, so he should be able to manage some solid stats. Smith can be started in case of emergency. The Redskins could find themselves trailing in this one and the pressure has been mounting in the local media for Smith to show some chops in the passing game. I wouldn’t start him outright, but he’s an OK dart throw if you must.

Running Backs

START – Chris Thompson (if he plays), Adrian Peterson

SUB – Peyton Barber, Kapri Bibbs (if Thompson misses)

SIT – Ronald Jones

Thompson looks destined to miss yet another week and this could be a prime opportunity for some backfield targets. You don’t really need targets to be startable as an RB against the Bucs. Tampa Bay has allowed 7 rushing TD since Week 6 and that should provide AP with some solid upside this week. If Thompson doesn’t play, Bibbs could find some action in the passing game as the change of pace to Peterson. He’s a potentially solid BYE week filler if you’re in a bind. Barber busted out in Week 6 only to fall back to earth Week 7, rebound Week 8 and flop again Week 9. He’s volatile, and game script dependent, but an OK flier if you need a sub this week. Pass on Jones for the time being.

Wide Receivers/Tight End

START – Mike Evans, OJ Howard, Jordan Reed

SUB – DeSean Jackson, Jamison Crowder, Maurice Harris, Josh Doctson

SIT – Chris Godwin, Cameron Brate

We have an emerging star in this game and that star is named OJ Howard. Howard has scored 11+ points each of the past four weeks and has 4 TD in that span, he is a Top 5 TE in for the home stretch and should not leave lineups. He joins Evans as a must-start and Jordan Reed would also be a weekly must start of Smith could find a way to effectively target the tight end but alas the production has been spotty at best. Still, the Bucs D is eminently burnable and that makes Reed a start. Harris, Crowder (if healthy) and Doctson will also all be in line for some fantasy upside against the league-worst TB pass defense. You can take a flier on both Harris and Doctson this week if you’re desperate for a BYE week sub and the same for DJax in a revenge game against his former team. Fade Godwin and Brate.



START – Pat Mahomes

SUB – Josh Rosen

SIT – None

Another week, another Mahomes juggernaut start. The second-year marvel continues to take the league by storm, keep him your lineups. Coming off a stout 20+ point performance in Week 8 against the 49ers, Rosen is a nifty value start this week against one of the softest pass defenses in the league. Rosen has targets he can use and he is talented. He’s going to have some fantasy impact days and some bad starts, but this could be one of the former. Start him if you need a sub.

Running Backs

START – David Johnson, Kareem Hunt

SUB – None

SIT – None

Can’t sit DJ, can’t trust DJ, can’t do anything else. Johnson hasn’t been the elite back that people expected this year, but he’s topped 10 points every week except Week 2 this season and he is always a threat to explode. At some point, the Cardinals are going to get more creative in how they utilize their feature back and that could be this week, coming out of a bye against a week KC defense. Hunt is another must start and he’s getting hotter and hotter every week. Andy Reid is utilizing Hunt to his full potential and his fantasy owners are watching the wins roll in.

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

START – Larry Fitzgerald, Christian Kirk, Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce

SUB – Ricky Seals-Jones, Sammy Watkins

SIT – Chris Conley

There should be a lot of stats to go around for most of the pass catchers in this game. Hill and Kelce aren’t going to be benched anywhere but Fitz, a one time must start in his prime, had been finding his way to the bench lately. Not this week. Coming off back to back weeks with a TD catch and a season-high in yards in Week 8, Fitzgerald should be primed for a big game. As should the emerging Kirk, one of several young promising receivers from this year’s draft. Kirk has averaged 6 targets a game since Week 2 and he’s continually knocking on the door of greatness. He’s a great start this week. Watkins would be a clear-cut start if he were fully healthy and should be in lineups if he’s playing. If you’re desperate for some TE help, RSJ is a reasonable dart throw during the bye week.

BILLS @ JETS – Ciriaco


START – None

SIT – Whoever the Bill trot out as their starter, Sam Darnold

In a game that only true diehard fans of these franchises would watch I will sit both of the signal callers in this contest. If you have either one of the QB’s in this game then you either have terrible injury luck or were not prepared for bye weeks.

Running back

START – Isaiah Crowell

SUB – Elijah McGuire

SIT – LeSean McCoy

I expect this to be a low scoring game that the Jets will win thus Crowell getting carries to support his start as a low-end RB2/Flex. I expect Crowell to get a TD plunge against the Bills who constantly turn the ball via interception machine Peterman. Yet to score a TD this season and with a season high of 15.5 points, McCoy might play for the least talented offense in the league. I almost feel bad for Shady if not for those offseason allegations. I like McGuire going forward but not as much in a game where I doubt he will be needed in the passing game. If bye week desperate there are worse alternatives than Elijah.

Wide Receiver/Tight End

START – None

SUB – Christopher Herndon

SIT – All of the Bills, Robbie Anderson, Quincy Enunwa

In a game that I would not feel comfortable investing in, I would comfortably start none of the options in these passing games. I liked Enunwa until he got hurt but I need to see him do anything before he even smells the starting lineup. Most of the receiving options should have been released long ago. TE needy teams could take a shot in the dark with Herndon. He has 7.6 PPR points in his last four games.



START – Andrew Luck

SIT – Blake Bortles?

At home in the dome in Indy Sunday Luck will face his toughest test yet. Although the Jags give up the least yards at 206.75 yards per game in the air the defense has given up 30 or more points in two out of their last four games. Luck is simply too hot to sit as he has three or more TD’s in all of his last five games. I would not expect another week winning effort but Luck will finish as a QB1. The Colts have a middling pass defense but it is unlikely  Bortles will be able to take advantage. He only has two games with two or more scores in 2018. Look elsewhere.

Running back

START – TJ Yeldon, Marlon Mack

SUB – Leonard Fournette

SIT – Nyheim Hines

With almost 700 combined yards so far, yards mostly accumulated with Fournette on the bench, Yeldon is a must-start. If Fournette comes back this week I would sit both Jaguar RB’s. Fournette is tough to trust after exiting with an injury in the only two games he has played in 2018. He a wait and see for me but would cause me to sit Yeldo due to uncertainty. Mack has broken out as a high-end RB1 in his last two contests. Those were easier matchups against a Bills team that can’t score and an Oakland defense that has given up on coach Jon Gruden already. I expect Mack to do just enough as a back who can both run and catch to return low end RB2 points. Hines is a backup stash who may not be worth rostering in some formats with Mack back in the starter’s seat.

Wide Receiver/Tight End

START – Jack Doyle, TY Hilton

SUB – Donte Moncrief

SIT – most of the Jaguar receiving options, Eric Ebron, Chester Rodgers

While I like most of the WR options for the Jags I find it extremely hard to figure out which one I should start in any given week. With one of the most consistently terrible QB’s in the league in Bortles, the Jags offense can be a tough watch. I like the receiving talent at WR but they are more dynasty stashes than players I would feel comfortable in my starting lineup. Moncrief is the only WR I could even remotely stomach as more than a roll of the dice. He at least has averaged 8.75 targets per game in his last four games. He has done little with those looks but he is seeing the football (go errantly over his head). Hilton is just a borderline start for me as a WR3/Flex option versus the tough coverage of Jalen Ramsey and AJ Bouye (if he plays). Hilton will avoid those corners just enough to make his day startable.  Doyle gets targets in bunches from Luck which makes him an every week start. With Doyle back, Ebron is a low volume TD or bust type of TE. I expect him to bust Sunday.

LIONS @ BEARS – Ciriaco


START – Mitch Trubisky

SUB – Matthew Stafford

SIT – None

With the Bears getting out ahead early Trubisky’s arm was not needed much on Sunday.  In a divisional game against their rival from Detroit, I suspect Mitch will have to do much more to secure a win. Up until his last game that was won by 32 Trubisky had 14 TD’s in his previous five games. While Stafford has not been a total bust he has been a disappointment for his fake football managers. He has only had one game with three scores and has only crested 300 yards three times in eight games. Against one of the elite defenses in the league, I will only start Stafford if I have no better options,

Running back

START –  Jordan Howard, Tarik Cohen

SUB – None

SIT – Kerryon Johnson, Theo Riddick

The Lions have given up the second most yards on the ground in 2018 at 5.6 yards-per-carry. I believe the Bears will try to get the ground game going early with Howard to set the tone. This will open up the rest of the offense as the linebackers start to cheat toward the line, opening up Cohen for some big-play shots. The Lions are middle of the pack at yards given up to RB’s through the air but Cohen is too hot to sit right now, last week’s blowout notwithstanding. The Bears defense is the complete opposite as they only give up 13.1 PPR points per game to opposing RB’s per game. With only three scores given up in 2018 and none on the ground, the Bears defensive front has been nothing short of dominant. I’m a huge fan of KJ but this is not the week to place him in your starting lineup. KJ is not an every week start. Yet.

Wide Receiver/Tight End

START – Marvin Jones, Taylor Gabriel, Trey Burton

SUB – Kenny Golladay, TJ Jones, Anthony Miller

SIT –  Luke Wilson, Allen Robinson

With Golden Tate now in Philadelphia the targets are now split two ways, not a value-draining three-way target timeshare. I expect Golladay to be the focus of the Bears air defense and Jones to get loose for a score. With “Big Play” Darius Slay locking down Robinson Gabriel will find room to operate and makes for a solid start. The Lions are bottom 10 in fantasy PPR points per game allowed to TE’s making Burton a solid start. Luke Wilson is a start only for the most desperate TE streamers.



START – Drew Brees, Andy Dalton

SIT – None

SUB – None

While the matchup between the New Orleans Saints and the Cincinnati Bengals certainly has the look of one that heavily favors the visiting Saints, there figure to be plenty of fantasy points to be had in this game. Despite the absence of A.J. Green, Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton is still a streamable start in this contest. Tyler Boyd has been a solid asset this season at receiver, C.J. Uzomah is an underrated tight end, and burner John Ross is practicing without limitation leading into the contest. With the Bengals likely to be throwing and trailing in this game, Dalton is not someone to shy away from this week. On the other side, Drew Brees also makes the start list. He exploded at home last week to prove doubters wrong (as I look in the mirror) after logging just 25 fantasy points combined in the two games prior. With Mark Ingram seemingly out of the mix at the goal line, Brees has good upside to toss multiple touchdowns when the Saints get in close.

Running Backs

START – Joe Mixon, Alvin Kamara

SIT – Giovani Bernard

SUB – Mark Ingram

While the Saints are stout against the run and have done well against running backs in fantasy this season, the volume and passing game involvement of Joe Mixon keeps him in the RB1 conversation in any matchup, including this one. With receiving back Giovani Bernard returning from injury, some could be tempted to give him in a look in a matchup in which the Bengals should be throwing. However, Mixon dominated touches early in the season when both backs were healthy, and there’s no reason to believe that will change now that both are at full strength again. For the Saints, Alvin Kamara is a must-start and has actually been the guy in the backfield near the goal line, stealing a role Mark Ingram excelled in last season. Without those extra touchdown chances, Ingram is a risky start each week as the volume just is not there. Proceed with caution if putting Ingram in the lineup.

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

START – Tyler Boyd, Michael Thomas

SIT – Dez Bryant

SUB – C.J. Uzomah, John Ross, Tre’Quan Smith, Benjamin Watson, Josh Malone

While this is an enticing matchup to attack in fantasy this week, the pass-catchers are tricky to project. Each team has a clear No.1 wide receiver (at least in the wake of Green’s injury) in Tyler Boyd for the Bengals and Michael Thomas for the Saints. While the Saints have several flex-type options in the offense, such as Tre’Quan Smith and Benjamin Watson, these are tough to trust this week as the volume of passing may not be there should the Saints get ahead as expected. Two options that should not be considered for lineups are Cameron Meredith and the newly added and much-hyped Dez Bryant. Bryant steps into a situation where he signed in the middle of the week, doesn’t know the offense and since he’s not replacing an injured player there’s no clear role or target share for him to walk into. For the Bengals, John Ross is a very intriguing option as the Saints have given up plenty of fantasy points to speedster receivers. However, Ross’ injury history and limited usage make him a risky play but certainly worth consideration as a flex play or in DFS. There’s also tight end C.J. Uzomah who can be a streaming option this week, though battling an injury his status needs to be monitored entering the game. A very intriguing option is Josh Malone. A big-bodied receiver (6-3, 208), Malone could step into the Green role ahead of Ross. With just seven career receptions, Malone is a big risk and a name most won’t recognize but could be worth a look depending on options.



START – Tom Brady

SIT – None

SUB – Marcus Mariota

The most intriguing aspect of the quarterback position, at least from a fantasy perspective, in the matchup between the New England Patriots and Tennessee Titans is what to do with Tom Brady. He has solid weapons around him and should need to throw a good amount in this one with the Titans being very solid against the run and Sony Michel returning from injury and possibly limited. Despite wearing the title of GOAT, Brady has scored more than 17 fantasy points in just five of nine games this season. With odds of a good fantasy outing this week hovering around a 50-50 shot, Brady is a start. The matchup his weapons draw is a big factor in his expected success and will be addressed below. If in need of a streaming option at quarterback, Marcus Mariota needs to be in the conversation. It’s been a rough season for Mariota, but the Titans signal-caller has performed better his last two games and could be in line for a solid outing in this one if he finds the end zone on the ground again.

Running Backs

START – James White, Dion Lewis

SIT – Derrick Henry, Cordarrelle Patterson

SUB – Sony Michel

The two backs to focus on for fantasy in this matchup are the shifty receiving threats James White of the Patriots and Dion Lewis of the Titans. White has become a must-start and while his snap share should decrease with the return of Sony Michel, his usage in the passing game provides a safe floor with RB1 upside. Lewis is playing in a revenge game, which is grounds for starting him on its own. But he’s also looked great his last two games while making defenders miss and looking explosive after the catch. He’s also tallied more than 21 PPR points in each of his last games. A back who isn’t explosive is Derrick Henry. He’s a threat to fall forward into the end zone but offers little else. He has single-digit PPR points in all but two games this season, as finding paydirt each of the last two weeks helped him log 15.5 and 11.2 PPR points the previous outings, respectively. Cordarrelle Patterson earned running back designation on several fantasy sites (not Yahoo) but isn’t a start with Michel back in the fold. Speaking of Michel, he’s a risky play this week. Returning from a knee injury that cost him two games, and given his knee issue in training camp, the Patriots could play it safe and limit his touches. He’s great when he’s a full-go, but he could come with limitations this week.

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

START – Josh Gordon, Julian Edelman

SIT – Phillip Dorsett, Chris Hogan, Jonnu Smith, Tajae Sharpe, Tywan Taylor

SUB – Rob Gronkowski, Corey Davis

There are two must-starts among Patriots pass-catchers this week – Josh Gordon and Julian Edelman. The latter has possibly the safest floor of any receiver in PPR formats as Tom Brady’s favorite target. Gordon is a great option this week as well. He’s likely to draw Malcolm Butler in coverage, the same corner who was benched by the Patriots in the Super Bowl and then was embarrassed by Allen Hurns for an easy touchdown last week. Rob Gronkowski has been a disappointment in fantasy this season. If he’s healthy for this one, he’s not a must-start if there are better options available on the bench. Corey Davis is in the flex conversation this week because of his target share. Davis gets plenty of opportunities to succeed in the Titans’ offense but has capitalized for a solid outing just once this season. Still, he’s coming off a game in which he had 10 targets. The volume is there for him to be on the “start” radar. On the sit list are the forgotten Patriots’ pass-catchers Phillip Dorsett and Chris Hogan along with the rest of the Titans’ weapons who simply don’t have the volume to be trusted – Jonnu Smith, Tajae Sharpe, and Tywan Taylor.



START – Matt Ryan, Baker Mayfield

SIT – None

SUB – None

The Atlanta Falcons have been hot on offense of late, even putting up great numbers on what has been a solid Washington defense last week. While Matt Ryan performs better at home than he does on the road in his career, being away from the comforts of a dome this week is not a hindrance on his fantasy value and he’s a solid start against the Cleveland Browns. On the other side, rookie Baker Mayfield is getting into the meat of a great schedule for the remainder of the season and is a streaming option this week.

Running Backs

START – Nick Chubb, Tevin Coleman

SIT – None

SUB – Duke Johnson, Ito Smith

Since getting the keys as the main running back for the Browns in the wake of the Carlos Hyde trade, rookie Nick Chubb has been a great fantasy asset for those who either picked him up off waivers or had stashed him throughout the season. He’s a solid RB2 with RB1 upside and has a great matchup this week. His backfield mate Duke Johnson had a huge breakout game last week, scoring more than 30 PPR points. However, with the Browns trailing throughout the game against the high-flying Kansas City Chiefs and it being the first game of new offensive coordinator Freddie Kitchens, it’s unknown if this is what to expect from Johnson moving forward. He’s on the flex radar this week, but managers should temper expectations. The same procedure applies for the Falcons. Tevin Coleman receives more touches and snaps than Ito Smith and is a solid start as a result. While Smith has been good, touchdowns are what have made the difference between his good weeks and bad. He often does not receive enough volume nor targets in the passing game to deliver for fantasy managers without reaching the end zone. He could find paydirt this week, but managers should proceed with caution.

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

START – Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, Jarvis Landry, David Njoku

SIT – Antonio Callaway, Rashard Higgins, Damion Ratley, Breshad Perriman

SUB – Austin Hooper, Mohamed Sanu

Starting with the Browns, only Jarvis Landry and David Njoku are trustworthy starting fantasy options this week. Both see a good amount of volume in the passing game (except for the one time Njoku wasn’t targeted). However, the other pass-catchers can’t be trusted. In the debut of Kitchens as offensive coordinator, four other receivers played alongside Landry. While Landry registered a 97 percent snap share, the others were on the sideline more than they were on the field, or close to it in Antonio Callaway’s case. Callaway was second in snaps with a 52 percent share, followed by Rashard Higgins at 37 percent, Breshad Perriman at 35 percent and Damion Ratley at 27 percent. Rather surprising given the need to keep up with the Chiefs, and also a reason Duke Johnson was so heavily involved in the passing game. For the Falcons, Julio Jones and rookie Calvin Ridley remain starting options in fantasy. Jones is a must-start and Ridley sees enough volume and scoring chances to pay off each week. Mohamed Sanu and Austin Hooper can be deployed in lineups depending on what other options are available. Hooper has been inconsistent this year, as he has three games with more than 16 PPR points and five games with fewer than 8 PPR points. Sanu had a stretch from Week 3 to Week 6 where he netted at least 12 PPR points in each game. However, he scored fewer than 9 PPR points in the two games prior to the streak as well as in the last two games. He’s in the flex conversation.



START – Philip Rivers

SIT – Derek Carr

SUB – None

Philip Rivers and the Chargers get a “dream” matchup this week playing an Oakland team that gave up a ton of points to the 49ners in Week 9. If Nick Mullens can tear up the Raiders so can this guy named Rivers. The Chargers defense is getting stronger and Joey Bosa might return soon. Expect more nightmares for Oakland, this one is going to be ugly.

Running Backs

START – Melvin Gordon, Austin Ekeler,

SIT – None

SUB – Doug Martin, Jalen Richard

With Bye, weeks still present it’s tough to get away from any viable running back. Melvin Gordon is a must-start every week, and with the expected blowout coming Austin Ekeler should get a lot of opportunities in this game. Doug Martin and Jalen Richard are decent plays if you are stuck with Bye weeks or injuries. Lean on Richard more in PPR leagues.

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

START – Keenan Allen, Tyrell Williams, Jared Cook

SIT – Travis Benjamin, Jordy Nelson, Martavis Bryant,

SUB – Mike Williams, Antonio Gates

Sit all Raiders not named Jared Cook. I see Carr running for his life a bit, so he won’t have a lot of time to toss the ball deep. Keenan Allen seems to be heating up, and if he mirrors his play from last season, expect him to continue playing at an elite level every week moving forward. Both Tyrell and Mike Williams have an equal chance to score, but I’ll lean on Tyrell in deeper leagues. Antonio Gates is a decent dart through if you need a TE in yet another Bye week.



START – Jared Goff, Russell Wilson

SIT – None

SUB – None

Yes, the Rams just lost for the first time this year but they are still the L.A. Rams. Jared Goff currently has a passer rating of 112.9 through the first nine games with 20 touchdowns and six interceptions. Start all of your usual Rams. Russell Wilson has averaged more than 20 fantasy points in each game over the last two games. His current passing rating is 108.6 through Week 9. This should be a fun shootout, buckle up.

Running Backs

START – Todd Gurley, Mike Davis

SIT – Rashaad Penny

SUB – Chris Carson, Malcolm Brown

Should you start Todd Gurley? Yes. Keeping enjoying this awesome ride he is taking us all on. Chris Carson might miss this game so Mike Davis will get the call once again. Mike Davis is worth adding longer term if owners can spare the space. Davis finished with more than 100 yards last week and could repeat that again this week. Rashaad Penny has not taken advantage of his playing time nor has he shown that he can be a reliable NFL running back. In the serious of situations, Malcolm Brown can be played as a low-end flex. Gurley might get rested at some point, so Brown is also worth the investment.

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

START – Brandin Cooks, Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp, Doug Baldwin,

SIT – Tyler Higbee, Nick Vannett

SUB –Tyler Lockett, David Moore, Ed Dickson

Brandin Cooks, Robert Woods, and Cooper Kupp are worth starting every week. Keenan Allen torched the Seahawks for 124 yards last week and all three are set up to continue that trend. Woods and Kupp are WR2 and Cooks is a low-end WR1. I’m giving Doug Baldwin one more week to earn my love back and there is room to do it against the Rams. He is a low-end WR2/Flex this week with upside. Neither TE is reliable in this game, look elsewhere for a TE streamer this week. Out of the remaining three players in the SUB section, I would lean towards David Moore first. Moore has had 11 targets in the last two weeks and that trend should continue. Tyler Lockett always has a chance to hit a big downfield score and Ed Dickson could and should emerge as the best TE on the roster.



START – Aaron Rodgers

SIT – None

SUB – Brock Osweiler

Yes, if you are in a pinch Brock isn’t a terrible play this week. Miami should be chasing points and Brock Osweiler will have to toss the rock around a little bit. Hopefully, your fate doesn’t rely on Brock. Aaron Rodgers is starting to heat up and is on pace to set some personal records this year. Trade for Rodgers if you can, for example, Drew Brees for Rodgers? I’d do it and so should you.

Running Backs

START – Aaron Jones

SIT – None

SUB – Jamaal Williams, Frank Gore, Kenyan Drake

Please, please, please keep feeding Aaron Jones. If there is one week for Jones to go off, it’s this one. The Dolphins gave up almost 100 yards last week to the Jets backs and Jones is much better. Kenyan Drake and Frank Gore are both RB2/Flex this week and both should catch some passes from Brock. Lean on Gore first because he got 20 carries last week against the Jets and that should continue moving forward. Jamaal Williams is a deep PPR league play only.

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

START – Davante Adams, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Jimmy Graham

SIT – Randall Cobb, Equanimeous St. Brown, Jakeem Grant, Mike Gesicki

SUB – Danny Amendola, Kenny Stills, DeVante Parker

Davante Adams is still a stud, keep playing him weekly. Marquez Valdes-Scantling is stepping up into a larger role with Geronimo Allison going on injured reserve. Both Adams and MVS are excellent plays most weeks with MVS being a low-end WR2 against Miami. Jimmy Graham has a good chance of scoring this week and should be started. I’ll bite on DeVante Parker a little bit because of his Week 8 performance against the Texans. He walked out of that game with 134 yards on nine targets. Miami will be behind and I think Parker and Danny Amendola have the best chance to catch the most passes in this game from the receiver side of the field. Amendola is the better PPR play. The other four in the sit column just have not shown they can be trusted, and being this deep in the season we can’t start trusting them now.



START – Carson Wentz

SUB – Dak Prescott

SIT – None

Watch out fantasy world, Wentz has a fully stocked arsenal and the sky is the limit down the stretch. Dallas is going to be in trouble without Sean Lee for the next 4-6 weeks and that trouble starts right here. Expect top-tier fantasy performances from Wentz down the stretch. Dak simply isn’t that great of a QB but there are worst options out there if you need a spot starter. Elliott, Cooper, and Beasley are just enough weapons that, combined with his running, should make him an OK sub this week.

Running Backs

START – Ezekiel Elliott

SUB – Wendall Smallwood

SIT – Rod Stewart, Corey Clement, Josh Adams

This is a great week for someone in the Philly backfield to step up and take control. The Dallas run defense is always anemic when Lee is out and that could mean a wide open door for Smallwood to finally take control. I can’t label him as a true starter, but he’s a solid sub if one of your primary backs is down. Elliott has had a tough season on a pathetic Cowboys offense, but a slight boost to the passing game might help open up some more room for him. He needs Dak to be better to truly explode again, but he’s still an elite RB and a must-start.

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

START – Alshon Jeffery, Golden Tate, Amari Cooper, Zach Ertz

SUB – Cole Beasley, Nelson Agholor, Dallas Goedert

SIT – Geoff Swaim, Allen Hurns, Michael Gallup

In his Cowboys debut, Cooper had 5 catches for 58 yards and a TD finally showing some fantasy life. He’s head and shoulders the best talent in the Dallas receiving corps and should be started weekly. Alshon and Ertz are Wentz’ safety blankets and need to be in lineups every week. Both are huge TD threats and there’s no reason to bench either. Golden Tate makes his debut for the Eagles and he’s also too talented to bench, which means that Nelson Agholor is the odd man out. There should be enough action in this offense that Agholor can be a sub this week if you’re in a pinch, but he’s already surfacing on a lot of waiver wires. Goedert is a solid bye week flier if you’re in need of a sub this week and Beasley is still gonna see some targets. Fade the rest of this field.

GIANTS @ 49ers – Ben


START – None

SUB – Eli Manning, Nick Mullens/CJ Beathard

SIT – None

None of these arms are truly that great, but the defenses are pretty haggard. I like whoever starts for San Francisco better than Eli, but Manning STILL has great weapons at his disposal and he’s going to find a way to make use of that eventually. If you need a sub this week, you can start these guys, but hopefully, you have a better starter rostered already.

Running Backs

START – Saquon Barkley, Matt Breida

SUB – None

SIT – Alfred Morris

Barkley is awesome and having one of the most impressive rookie RB campaigns I can remember given the fact that he’s been the primary focus of defenses week in and week out. Enjoy the ride, it’s been a great one so far. With Raheem Mostert’s injury, Breida is back in line to be a workhorse. Morris looks like a mountainous blob of sludge carrying the ball and has no business taking meaningful snaps. Breida, if he can stay healthy, is going to be a strong fantasy asset down the stretch.

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

START – Odell Beckham, Jr., George Kittle

SUB – Sterling Shephard, Evan Engram, Pierre Garcon, Marquise Goodwin

SIT – Everyone Else

OBJ and Kittle remain must-starts. Kittle is a Top 5 fantasy TE no matter who is throwing the ball. He’s working his way into Zach Ertz and Travis Kelce territory as a true passing game weapon. Every other player in this game is a substitute level play this week to be used only as needed. One of Goodwin or Garcon will have a solid game, maaaayybe both, but neither is dependable. Engram was once an elite TE, he’s a starter because the position is so thin, but Eli’s failed to make use of his talent effectively this season.


START – Harrison Butker, Graham Gano, Mason Crosby

SIT – Matt Prater, Dustin Hopkins, Randy Bullock

Reading kicker analysis likely isn’t fun for most. So this will be short. The Kansas City Chiefs figure to score plenty of points and move the ball well, so their kicker, Harrison Butker, is a solid start. The same theory applies to the Carolina Panthers (Graham Gano) and the Green Bay Packers (Mason Crosby). Meanwhile, the Detroit Lions could struggle against the Chicago Bears defense, limiting the chances of kicker Matt Prater to make good for fantasy managers. Washington has been faulty on offense, which limits the upside of kicker Dustin Hopkins even in a good matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. With the Cincinnati Bengals likely trailing the New Orleans Saints, Bengals kicker Randy Bullock could be kept on the sideline with the offense forced to try for touchdowns rather than being able to settle for field goals.


START – Chicago Bears, New York Jets, Los Angeles Chargers

SIT – Miami Dolphins, Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys

Following the same strategy with the kicker analysis, the defensive breakdown will be short and hopefully sweet. The Chicago Bears are a great defensive unit, and their opponent, the Detroit Lions, gave up 10 sacks last week. Yes, please. The New York Jets have been solid on defense for the most part and face the Buffalo Bills. Yes, please. And then there’s the Los Angeles Chargers going against the dumpster fire that is the Oakland Raiders. Yes, please. For defenses, we’re saying no thanks to, the list includes the Miami Dolphins (against Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers), the Cleveland Browns (against the hot Atlanta Falcons) and the Dallas Cowboys (against the Philadelphia Eagles, led by Carson Wentz and his new toy, Golden Tate).

Series Navigation<< Coach’s Office: Who to Start and Who to Sit – Week 9Coach’s Office: Fantasy Football Start Sit – Week 11 >>

Ben Stecker

ProFootball Free Lance Writer at
Writer, sports connoisseur, Pacific Northwesterner. Rarely met a sport or a bourbon I couldn't be great friends with. Follow me on twitter @Softball_Guy


Writer Fantasy Football Desk at SportsTalkLine
I'm a budding writer who's passion is for fantasy football. I love every NFL team but especially the Browns and what that franchise is creating on offense. I'm have two kids who I absolutely adore.

Joshua Cook

Writer Fantasy Football Desk at Sports Talk Line
Fantasy enthusiast armed with whit, sarcasm and some knowledge, too. The Fantasy Sports Chef is a Fantasy Free Lance Writer for

Andrew Liang

ProFootball Free Lance Writer at Sports Talk Line
Lucky Husband, Fantasy Football wannabe expert, and travels for food. Colts fan, NFL fan, fan of life. Been playing Fantasy Football for 15 years.

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