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Inside the Matchup
Week 10
11/6/19; Updated: 11/8/19

By: Andy Swanson | Jason Katz | Nick Caron | HC Green



Sunday Early:



Sunday Late:




- Green highllight indicates plus matchup (top eight)
- Red highlight indicates negative matchup (bottom eight)

Chargers at Raiders - (Caron)

Passing Game Thoughts: Philip Rivers has now failed to reach 15 fantasy points in his past two games, including this past week’s victory over the Packers. However, this week’s game against Oakland looks like a “get right” game for this entire LA passing game.

The Raiders currently rank dead last in the NFL in fantasy points per game conceded to opposing quarterbacks. They’ve already given up three different 400-yard passing days and five of their nine opponents have thrown for three or more passing touchdowns against this defense. This past week it was Matthew Stafford who hit both of these milestones. Along with giving up these numbers to opposing QBs, the Raiders simply aren’t doing anything defensively to make us concerned about a potential bounce-back game. The Raiders have only forced three interceptions this entire season and they’ve only held one quarterback - Kirk Cousins back in Week 3 - to fewer than 15 fantasy points. Rivers might lack the rushing upside that many of the top quarterbacks on the board offer, but he provides one of the safest QB1 floors this week.

Predictably, along with the Raiders struggling to stop opposing quarterbacks, they’ve also been terrible against opposing wide receivers and tight ends. They’re currently giving up the second-most fantasy points per game to opposing WRs and the third-most fantasy points per game to opposing TEs. Needless to say, this makes Hunter Henry a strong fantasy TE1 this week as he looks to continue the hot streak he’s had since making his 2019 debut in Week 6.

The player who fantasy owners have to be concerned about, however, is Keenan Allen. Allen has now been held to 13 or fewer PPR fantasy points in an astonishing six straight games. He’s had a tough stretch of matchups, but we do have to be concerned about his lack of production and perhaps more importantly his lack of targets. Allen has been targeted six or fewer times in four of the six games over that stretch. Still, Allen is a strong play at wide receiver this week as the Raiders have given up four 100-yard days to opposing wide receivers over their past three games alone.

Mike Williams finally eclipsed the 100-yard mark for the first time this season this past week against the Packers and while he still hasn’t scored a touchdown, there’s a pretty decent chance that he gets out of that drought this week against the Raiders. He’s still more of a mid-to-low-end WR2 in PPR formats, but the upside is there for Williams to turn in his first WR1 fantasy day of the season.

OAK FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.1
OAK FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.20
OAK FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.2
OAK FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.3

Running Game Thoughts: Melvin Gordon finally exceeded 35 rushing yards for the first time in 2019 this past week in the Chargers’ win over the Packers as he rushed for 80 yards on 20 carries, adding two touchdowns as a bonus. It was Gordon’s first truly great fantasy game of the season and he out-touched Austin Ekeler by a margin of 23 to 16. Ekeler is still going to remain an important part of the offense and while it might be arguable that he’s the better overall player, the thing that we should be chasing is the touches. That makes him more of a PPR low-level RB2 and more of a Flex play in PPR formats.

The Chargers have a solid chance of being up in this game, so that could mean a relatively heavy workload for Gordon in the running game. The Chargers should be able to move the ball relatively well so that could translate into a few goal line carries. The Raiders do have a much better run defense than they do a pass defense, but Gordon gets the money touches in this offense and that can easily translate into a nice fantasy day against a defense that tends to struggle to slow down opposing offenses overall.

Value Meter:
QB1: Philip Rivers
RB1: Melvin Gordon (low-end)
RB2: Austin Ekeler
WR1: Keenan Allen
WR2: Mike Williams
TE1: Hunter Henry
Bench: Justin Jackson, Andre Patton, Virgil Green

Passing Game Thoughts: With five multi-touchdown performances over his past six contests, Derek Carr is becoming one of the better high-floor streaming options in fantasy football. He’s done most of this damage with Tyrell Williams banged up, too. Unfortunately this week he runs into a Los Angeles defense that has been quite good against opposing quarterbacks. They’ve given up the seventh-fewest fantasy points per game to the position and they just got done holding Aaron Rodgers and the Packers to 161 passing yards in Week 9. This means that Carr is still a streaming option if you’re in need, but he’s not a strong one in this particular matchup. Think of him as more of a high-end QB2.

Tyrell Williams failed to score a touchdown in a game he started for the first time this season in Week 9. His ridiculous touchdown rate was always unsustainable, but Williams has now been held to fewer than 50 receiving yards in four of his past five starts. We know that he’s a preferred red zone weapon for Carr so there’s always the possibility that he does get into the end zone, but Zay Jones and particularly Hunter Renfrow are beginning to cut into his upside.

Renfrow himself might actually have some fantasy value this week as he has now scored in back-to-back weeks and he saw a season-high seven targets in Week 9. Renfrow would still be a low-end Flex option in PPR formats at best, but he’s someone to keep an eye on in deeper leagues as he’s seeing significant playing time.

Tight end Darren Waller is coming off of his worst fantasy game of the season both from a final score PPR total and from a target total as he saw just two passes come his way against the Lions. Of course, this was probably more of an aberration than a trend as Waller has been targeted at least five times in every other game this season and eight or more times in five of his nine games. Waller remains one of the better fantasy TEs on the board especially this week with the injuries and bye week situation, so don’t overthink it - keep him in your lineup even in what is an average-at-best matchup.

LAC FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.26
LAC FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.10
LAC FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.25
LAC FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.19

Running Game Thoughts: We’d love to see him get more involved in the passing game, but if the Raiders keep giving him 20-plus carries every week then Oakland rookie Josh Jacobs is probably going to keep giving his fantasy owners the type of numbers that we’re all going to be happy with. Jacobs has now rushed for 120 or more yards in three of his past four contests and he’s scored four times over that stretch as well. There just aren’t many backs in the league who get that type of workload and it’s going to continue to make Jacobs a strong RB1 play every week.

In Week 10, he’ll face a Los Angeles defense that hasn’t been great against opposing running backs. They did hold the Packers’ duo of Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams to just 40 total rushing yards in Week 9, but they had given up over 132 rushing yards per game to opposing running backs over their previous four games. The Raiders just need to stay competitive in this game and Jacobs should see another heavy workload against a mediocre run defense, so he’s a mid-level RB1 here in Week 10.

Value Meter:
QB2: Derek Carr
RB1: Josh Jacobs
TE1: Darren Waller
Flex: Tyrell Williams (high-end), Hunter Renfrow (low-end, PPR only)
Bench: Jalen Richard, DeAndre Washington, Zay Jones

Prediction: Chargers 27, Raiders 20 ^ Top

Chiefs @ Titans - (Green)
Line: KC -6.0
Total: 48.5

Passing Game Thoughts: Any discussion of the Chiefs' passing game begins with one question: is Patrick Mahomes returning this week? While no definitive answer exists at this time, signs seem to be pointing to Mahomes being under center against the Titans. If he is, the reigning MVP immediately resumes his status as a must start. If not, KC will turn to Matt Moore for a third straight game. Moore has passed for 542 yards and three TDs without an interception in two starts.

As expected, top playmakers Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce have continued to post solid numbers in Mahomes' absence with Hill going off for 12 catches, 216 yards and a TD in the last two weeks and Kelce right behind with 11-125-1. Sammy Watkins' return has stabilized the passing game as he's the clear third option with 12 receptions of his own. With Watkins back, tertiary options Mecole Hardman and Demarcus Robinson no longer hold any appeal. As for the others, Kelce and Hill are top-tier studs, while Watkins is a WR3 with Moore and a possible WR2 with Mahomes.

Tennessee is solid defensively, sitting seventh in scoring and 17th against the pass. It'll be tough to maintain that minus Malcolm Butler, who was placed on IR after injuring his wrist last week. Now they'll need to contend with KC's speed minus arguably their top corner; and if Mahomes is back, watch out.

TEN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.20
TEN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.18
TEN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.24
TEN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.14

Running Game Thoughts: After LeSean McCoy had another critical fumble in Week 8, Andy Reid gave the veteran only four touches against the Vikings. That allowed original starter Damien Williams to step back in and rush for 125 yards on 12 carries, including a game-changing 91-yard score. The Titans are 15th against the run, but they had all kinds of trouble with Christian McCaffrey (166 total yards, 3 TDs) last week. Now, Williams is no McCaffrey, but he still has some nice upside here.

Value Meter:
QB1: Patrick Mahomes (if active)
RB2/RB3: Damien Williams
WR1: Tyreek Hill
WR3: Sammy Watkins
TE1: Travis Kelce
Bench: LeSean McCoy, Mecole Hardman

Passing Game Thoughts: Ryan Tannehill won his first two starts after taking over for Marcus Mariota, but he did little last Sunday until the outcome was decided. He ended up with 331 yards passing, a touchdown and two INTs. He also ran four times for 38 yards and a score. Falling behind multiple scores forced the Titans to abandon their preferred method of attack and put the onus on Tannehill. While he may be a better passer than Mariota, Tannehill isn't going to put on a team on his back.

After three weeks with Tannehill at the helm it's still unclear what the passing game will look like. Corey Davis (4-48-0 vs. CAR) and A.J. Brown (4-81-0) bounced back after a quiet Week 8, while red-hot Jonnu Smith (3-18-0) did little. Adam Humphries (4-65-0) has likely been the steadiest option, but his moderate-floor, low-ceiling contributions aren't the stuff of fantasy relevance. Veteran Delanie Walker could return from an ankle injury this week to further muddy the waters.

Kansas City sits 12th in pass defense (229.8 yards allowed per game), but they've shown some encouraging signs recently, particularly with the pass rush -- they sacked Aaron Rodgers five times in Week 8 and then pressured Kirk Cousins into completing just 50 percent of his 38 passes. They've struggled against backs, though, which might mean more aerial action for Derrick Henry, who just caught a TD pass last week.

KC FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.11
KC FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.3
KC FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.26
KC FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.16

Running Game Thoughts: In addition to his receiving TD, Henry also ran 13 times for 63 yards and scored on the ground, giving him 99 total yards and two TDs for the day. He'll face a Chiefs defense that ranks 29th with 139.6 rushing yards allowed per game; it's worth noting, however, that they limited Minnesota's explosive ground attack to a mere 96 yards on 27 attempts as Chris Jones returned to the d-line.

Value Meter:
QB2: Ryan Tannehill
RB2: Derrick Henry
Flex: Corey Davis
Flex: A.J. Brown
Bench: Adam Humphries, Delanie Walker (ankle), Jonnu Smith

Prediction: Chiefs 27, Titans 16 ^ Top

Lions @ Bears - (Swanson)
Line: CHI -2.5
Total: 42.5

Passing Game Thoughts: Matthew Stafford enters the Week 10 matchup as the No.5 ranked fantasy quarterback and is on pace for his second-best season as a pro. Stafford’s 19 passing touchdowns are second in the league behind Russell Wilson, while his 2499 passing yards rank fourth in the league behind Philip Rivers, Tom Brady, and Wilson.

Everything lined up well for Stafford to be a stud fantasy quarterback in 2019. The Lions defense is terrible and cannot stop anyone, the Detroit run game is once again MIA, and Stafford has one of the deepest and most talented collections of skill position players in the league.

The Bears defense is not quite as dominant as in previous seasons with injuries to the defensive line, but they still rank 27th in fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks and will present a difficult challenge for Stafford.

Only two opposing quarterbacks have reached 20 or more fantasy points against the Bears this season, with Aaron Rodgers, Carson Wentz, Philip Rivers, Kirk Cousins, and Derek Carr all head to one passing touchdown or fewer when playing Chicago.

Those teams took advantage of the Bears’ inability to stop the run and focused on the ground game in their respective matchup. It will be interesting to see how the Lions approach this game, as their 20th-ranked rushing attack has struggled running the ball all year.

Wide receiver Kenny Golladay continues his breakout third season with seven reaching touchdowns and 640 yards in eight games. Although Golladay does have two single-digit dud performances, he has a touchdown in six of eight games and has reached 100 receiving yards in three of his last four.

Only the Pats and the Bills have allowed fewer points to wide receivers this season, and only Michael Thomas has topped 100 yards receiving in a game. Golladay may have a down game this week, but he is still a must-start based on his touchdown upside.

CHI FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.27
CHI FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.11
CHI FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.30
CHI FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.6

Running Game Thoughts: As good as the Lions have been offensively this year, their run game continues to be a weak link. Detroit ranks 24th in fantasy points scored at the running back position.

The tandem of J.D. McKissic, Ty Johnson, and Paul Perkins continue to underwhelm, with no Lion running back topping 35 rushing yards since Kerryon Johnson did against the Chiefs Week 4.

The Bears are bad against the run since Akiem Hicks went out with a season-ending injury. It will be critical for the Lions to take advantage of this weakness, with one of the RBBC players needing to step up and deliver.

Ty Johnson is likely going to be the one to get the majority of carries with McKissic acting as the third-down and passing-down option. Look for Johnson to get around 15 carries on the day, with offensive coordination Darrell Bevell trying to have some balance against a defense that is strong against the pass.

For fantasy purposes, none of the Lions running backs are great options, but in a week like this where there are a ton of good players on bye, owners may need to play McKissic or Johnson as a flex.

Value Meter:
QB1: Matthew Stafford (Low-End)
RB3: J.D. McKissic (Low-End)
RB4: Ty Johnson (High-End)
WR1: Kenny Golladay (Low-End)
WR3: Marvin Jones (Low-End)
TE2: T.J. Hockenson (Mid-Range)

Passing Game Thoughts: The Matt Nagy offense that carried so much promise over the past few seasons continues to underwhelm with Mitchell Trubisky struggling mightily under center. Trubisky is on pace to throw 11 passing touchdowns, with 2781 passing yards and seven interceptions. The rushing yards and rushing touchdowns that made him a viable fantasy option have all but dried up, and he continues to make bad reads and inaccurate throws.

Allen Robinson has been the only skill position player in the passing offense worthy of a start, but even he has been marginalized over the past two weeks by terrible performances by Trubisky.

From a matchup standpoint, things do not get much better than a Lions team that ranks seventh in points allowed to quarterbacks and ninth in points allowed to wide receivers. All but one quarterback who has faced Matt Patricia’s defense has come away with at least 20 fantasy points, including Derek Carr last week in Oakland and rookie Daniel Jones two weeks ago at Ford Field.

The Lions are a bad team that simply cannot stop the pass. They also are the worst team in the league at stopping the run, and Nagy could focus on running David Montgomery to control time of possession and limit the number of passes by Trubisky.

You are going to start Robinson with confidence, but it is hard to start any other Bears wide receiver or tight end even in this plus-matchup. It would make sense for the Bears to also get their running backs more involved in the pass game this week, as teams have found a ton of success passing the ball out of the backfield against the Lions.

DET FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.7
DET FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.1
DET FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.9
DET FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.8

Running Game Thoughts: It was a tough start to the season, but kudos to you if you managed to hang onto David Montgomery and his five games out of eight of single-digit fantasy production. You will be rewarded this week mightily, with the Bears running roughshod over a Lions defense that gives up the most fantasy points to running backs.

An amazing nine running backs in eight games have posted double-digit fantasy points against the Lions, with three different backs posting multi-touchdown games. Josh Jacobs torched the Lions for 120 and 2 last week, and Dalvin Cook also posted 142 and two when the Lions hosted the Vikings Week 7.

As long as Nagy does not get cute and gives Montgomery 20 or more carries the rookie will come away with a top-12 performance.

Tarik Cohen is only worthy of a flex start this season in games that project to be run-heavy affairs like this one. Montgomery will get the majority of carries, but Cohen could be a sneaky start against a Lions team that has allowed the most receiving touchdowns to opposing runs backs.

Value Meter:
QB2: Mitchell Trubisky (Low-End)
RB1: David Montgomery Low-End)
RB4: Tarik Cohen (High-End)
WR2: Allen Robinson (Low-End)
TE2: Trey Burton (Mid-Range)

Prediction: Detroit 21, Bears 14 ^ Top

Ravens @ Bengals - (Swanson)
Line: BAL -10
Total: CIN 44.5

Passing Game Thoughts: Lamar Jackson and the Ravens head into Paul Brown Stadium to take on the Bengals after an impressive 37-20 victory over the New England Patriots on Sunday Night Football. Jackson completed 74% of his passes for 163 yards and a score vs. the Pats, adding another 61 yards and two scores on the ground.

With 29 fantasy points per game, Jackson is the No.1 ranked quarterback in fantasy and his on pace to set the NFL record for rushing yards by a QB.

Assuming that the Ravens do not suffer a letdown after a big win, like what the Packers did last week when they failed to show up against the Chargers, everything is in line once again for Jackson to be a fantasy stud against the Bengals.

Cincinnati ranks eighth in fantasy points allowed to opposing quarterbacks, with each of their last four opponents reaching 21 or more fantasy points. Jackson posted an impressive 33 fantasy points when the two teams faced off Week 6, with a career-high 152 rushing yards to go along with 236 passing yards.

Only the Dolphins and Falcons have forced fewer turnovers than the Bengals, and Cincinnati ranks 31 out of 32 teams in forced sacks. Not only do the Bengals not get pressure on the quarterback or force turnovers, but they also allow the second-most points to opposing running backs.

On paper, this should be a cakewalk for Jackson and the Ravens offense, with the only real concern for lackluster production coming as a result of a possible negative game script created by the defense.

The one area that the Bengals have found success is limiting tight end production, although you can argue that teams have had so much success with other skill positions, tight ends are often not needed to score points and win games.

The Ravens were the most successful team using the tight end vs. the Bengals when Mark Andrews caught six passes for 99 yards in Week 6. Andrews has been a disappointment as of late, with four catches for 60 yards in his last two games. This could be a bounce-back game for the No.1 ranked tight end over the first two games of the year.

CIN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.8
CIN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.2
CIN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.17
CIN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.28

Running Game Thoughts: A matchup against the Bengals is about as good as it gets for fantasy running backs. A whopping twelve different running backs have reached double figures against the Bengals in eight games, including Mark Ingram, with 13.4 points in Week 6.
Surprisingly, the two teams that had the most trouble running the ball against Cincinnati were the Ravens and the Rams, two teams with typically solid rushing numbers.

Ingram posted his best rushing total of the season with 115 yards on the ground last week against the Pats. Although he did have a fumble that led to a score, it was the best he has looked in a few weeks and should carry over against the Bengals.

Gus Edwards continues to get around eight carries per game as the change of pace sub for Ingram and hit pay dirt for the first time this year. His volume is not great, but he is averaging 4.4 yards per carry and could be an interesting bye week flex option in this matchup.

Value Meter:
QB1: Lamar Jackson (Elite)
RB1: Mark Ingram (Low-End)
WR3: Marquise Brown (High-End)
TE1: Mark Andrews (Low-End)

Passing Game Thoughts: Andy Dalton was greeted with one of the worst birthday presents one could get, as head coach Zac Taylor notified the 32-year-old veteran that the winless Bengals are going to go with Ryan Finley in the second half of the season.

As much as Bengals fans and fantasy owners want to blame their terrible start on Dalton, the Red Rifle was on pace to set a career high in passing yards and rushing touchdowns. His eight interceptions compared to just nine touchdowns is obviously not good, but to put the team’s woes only on Dalton’s shoulders.

From an organizational standpoint, it makes sense for the Bengals to see if Finley, a fourth-round pick out of NC State, is their quarterback of the future. If not, the team can then focus on their likely early first-round pick on one of the many QBs slated to come out in the 2020 draft.

Finley started all 13 games for the Game Cocks in 2018, completing 67% of his passes for 3928 yards, with 25 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.'s Daniel Jeremiah wrote in his draft profile that Finely has “excellent field vision, with a similar frame and similar game to Jared Goff. This is somebody that doesn’t have the same arm strength as Goff, but he is tremendously accurate.

How Finley does in his first start against a veteran Baltimore defense is anyone’s guess. We anticipate that he will struggle like most rookies do making their first start, but he also can be an injection of youth into the Bengals offense and boost some of the skill position players.

Until we have more of a sample size it would be prudent to downgrade Tyler Boyd and Auden Tate, while underneath options like tight end Tyler Eifert and wide receiver Alex Erickson may be leaned on more on quick passes.

On the injury front, John Ross and A.J. Green are still not ready to return. Ross is still on IR and can return Week 12, while Green is available to return to the field but has not been cleared by team doctors.

BAL FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.24
BAL FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.23
BAL FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.11
BAL FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.27

Running Game Thoughts: The Bengals own the worst rushing attack in the league. No team has run for fewer yards, scored fewer combined fantasy points, and Cincinnati is still looking for their first rushing touchdown. Eight games without a rushing touchdown is pathetic, especially when you consider that Joe Mixon is one of the best up and coming running backs in the league who averaged nearly five yards per carry last year.

Giovani Bernard has been equally terrible, with a career-worst 2.7 yards per carry on his 30 rushing attempts in 2019.

Todd Gurley owners learned the hard way back in 2016 that no matter how talented a player may be, a running back can only be as good as the holes his line opens up, and the pass offense needs to keep opposing defenses honest. Neither thing is happening for Mixon in Cincinnati this season, and the owners who used a top 15 pick on him are likely struggling to make the playoffs.

There is little to suggest anything will get better for Bernard and Mixon this week against the Ravens. Baltimore has allowed the fourth-fewest points to opposing running backs over the last five games, and no back has topped 65 yards against the Raven front since defensive tackle Brandon Williams returned Week 5.

The Ravens are going to create a negative game script offensively that will force the Bengals to abandon the run, leaving Mixon and Bernard to make their points in the passing game on screens and dump-offs.

Value Meter:
QB2: Ryan Finley (Low-End)
RB2: Joe Mixon (Low-End)
WR3: Tyler Boyd (High-End)
WR4: Auden Tate (Low-End)
Flex: Alex Erickson (Low-End)
TE2: Tyler Eifert (Mid-Range)

Prediction: Baltimore 30, Cincinnati 10 ^ Top

Bills @ Browns - (Swanson)
Line: CLE -2.5
Total: 40.5

Passing Game Thoughts: Josh Allen enters Week 10 as the No.13th ranked quarterback with 21.4 fantasy points per game. The second-year quarterback has outperformed veterans like Kirk Cousins, Carson Wentz, Philip Rivers, and Drew Brees.

Allen has not run the ball as much or for as many yards as he did as a rookie, but he does continue to provide added value on the ground with four rushing touchdowns and 247 rushing yards on 61 carries.

Perhaps the most impressive aspect of Allen’s game is the progress he has made in his sophomore season as a passer. The former Wyoming Cowboy has increased his completion percentage a full nine percentage points and is on pace to throw for 20 passing touchdowns.

Veteran Cole Beasley took some flak for the way he left the Cowboys, blasting his old team as he left to sign with the Bills. From a fantasy perspective, Beasley has not been amazing, but he is on pace to set a personal best in receiving touchdowns and continues to be a focus in the passing offense. Beasley only had two catches for 13 yards last week against the Redskins, but he did convert one of those passes for a touchdown strike and 7.3 fantasy points.

John Brown is the top target in the passing offense and the downfield threat used in the passing game to take advantage of Allen’s cannon of an arm. Brown has a floor of about 50 receiving yards per game, with an upside of over 100 and a score against poor pass defenses like the Jets and the Dolphins.

We assumed that the Browns pass defense would improve with the return of cornerbacks Greedy Williams and Denzel Ward from injury. Williams and Ward did limit the Broncos wide receivers to 56 total yards, but Courtland Sutton did score on a circus grab on a 50-50 ball.

Another full week of practice for those two will certainly improve the overall effectiveness of the Browns defense.

The Bills have enjoyed a fairly easy schedule so far this season with six of their first eight opponents ranking in the bottom half in fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks. When facing a tough defense like New England, Allen did not have a great game and only hit double figures because of a rushing touchdown.

The Browns do not constitute a tough defense on the same level as New England, but they do present a far more difficult challenge than the other teams the Bills have faced so far this season.

CLE FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.12
CLE FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.8
CLE FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.20
CLE FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.7

Running Game Thoughts: A nagging hamstring injury to rookie Devin Singletary delayed the inevitable, as the ageless wonder Frank Gore worked as the primary running back for the Bills with Singletary on the shelf.

With a season-high 20 carries for 95 yards and a touchdown, along with 45 yards in the passing game, it appears that the future might be now for the Bills rookie.

In the same game against the Redskins, Gore managed just 15 yards on 11 carries, including a pair of hard-to-watch stuffed runs at the goal line. It was a good run for Gore, and a bust in Canton awaits, but now it is time for Singletary to take the reins.

The matchup is great for the rookie, as the Browns allow the eighth-most points to opposing running backs. Six backs have reached double figures against Cleveland, including Phillip Lindsay last week in Denver.

The Browns appear to be a team at the crossroads. Odell Beckham Jr. is upset about not getting the ball, Baker Mayfield has aged a decade in just his first full season as a starter, and fans are already calling for Freddie Kitchens’ head.

If the dissension continues and the Browns struggle on Sunday, don’t be surprised to see Singletary end up with another solid game.

Value Meter:
QB1: Josh Allen (Low-End)
RB2: Devin Singletary (High-End)
WR3: John Brown (High-End)
WR4: Cole Beasley (Low-End)
TE2: Dawson Knox (Mid-Range)

Passing Game Thoughts: On paper, the Browns looked like an unstopped force entering the season. With Odell Beckham Jr. joining an already loaded wide receiver corps and Nick Chubb churning up the yards, Baker Mayfield looked primed to be a breakout fantasy quarterback and was a favorite pick among many fantasy analysts and writers.

Eight games into the 2019 season, the Browns and Mayfield are the biggest busts in the NFL. Mayfield ranked outside QB2 consideration with a league-high 12 interceptions and only seven passing touchdowns. The offensive line is terrible, and Mayfield continues to play like a scared deer in headlights, often running for his life out of the pocket instead of stepping up strong to make a throw.

Odell Beckham Jr., a perennial top fantasy wide receiver since joining the league back in 2014, has one measly receiving touchdown on the season and is averaging fewer points per game than John Brown and D.J. Moore.

The talent is certainly still there and he is on pace for 134 targets, but the passes from Mayfield have been inaccurate and under duress, and OBJ is struggling to find his mojo as a member of the Browns.

Things don’t appear to be getting any easier for Mayfield and the Browns. The Bills allow the fourth-fewest points to opposing quarterbacks and the second-fewest passing touchdowns on the season. Tom Brady was held without a passing touchdown by the Bills in Week 4, and no opposing quarterback has thrown two or more passing touchdowns in a game this year.

Needless to say, you want to avoid playing Mayfield at all costs. You are going to start OBJ, but don’t expect a ton of points, as the Bills play a ton of zone coverage to keep everything in front of them while their front seven gets pressure on the quarterback.

No wide receiver has hit 100 yards against the Bills secondary, while only two wideouts, T.J. Jones and DeVante Parker have reached the end zone.

BUF FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.29
BUF FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.12
BUF FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.31
BUF FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.31

Running Game Thoughts: The way to move the ball against the Bills is on the ground. Seven opposing running backs, including Adrian Peterson last week, have reached double figures in fantasy points against Buffalo.

Look for Freddie Kitchens to try to take advantage of this weakness by running Nick Chubb early and often, while mixing in Kareem Hunt in his first game action since the suspension.

One of the best ways to limit the pressure created by the Bills front seven is by running the ball and providing Mayfield with play-action opportunities. In their win against the Ravens, the Browns proved that they can beat nearly anyone if they control the line of scrimmage and run the ball effectively.

A critical matchup in this game will be the middle of the Bills defensive line, including Star Lotulelei and rookie Ed Oliver against center JC Tretter and guard Joel Bitonio. Bitonio has been the best offensive lineman on the team this year, but he has struggled at times against quick interior linemen like Oliver.

Value Meter:
QB2: Baker Mayfield (Low-End)
RB2: Nick Chubb (High-End)
RB4: Kareem Hunt (High-End)
WR2: Odell Beckham Jr. (High-End)
WR3: Jarvis Landry (Low-End)
TE2: Demetrius Harris (Mid-Range)

Prediction: Buffalo 21, Browns 20 ^ Top

Falcons @ Saints - (Green)
Line: NO -12.5
Total: 51.5

Passing Game Thoughts: Matty Ice was Matty Ice Pack back in Week 8 when an ankle injury ended his 163-game starting streak and moved Matt Schaub into the lineup. Despite the switch it was business as usual for the Falcons, who fell way behind, threw for a ton of yards and ultimately lost. That sounds like a possible recipe for Sunday as well, as Ryan threw for 751 yards and seven TDs in two games against New Orleans last year, both of which were losses.

Even without Ryan, Julio Jones racked up 10 receptions for 152 yards in Week 8, his fourth 100-yard game this year. Calvin Ridley (4-70-0) was solid as well, while Russell Gage caught seven balls in a sign that he, and not Justin Hardy, will get the snaps that Mohamed Sanu left behind. That could give Gage some fringe value in larger leagues. Looking back at 2018, it was Ridley that lit up the Saints. The damage: 15 receptions, 239 yards and 4 TDs (Jones went 16-243-0).

Of course, that was then, and this is now. For the year, New Orleans ranks 16th against the pass, and it wasn't long ago that Marshon Lattimore blanked Mike Evans, and you can expect him to cover Jones in Week 10. While the Saints could hold Atlanta down for a while, I see the opportunity for tons of garbage-time production.

NO FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.14
NO FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.31
NO FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.10
NO FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.23

Running Game Thoughts: How bad is Atlanta's running game this year? In eight games, Devonta Freeman has rushed for less than 40 yards six times. He also doesn't have a rushing TD this season. I don't see New Orleans, which is allowing just 84.2 rushing yards per game, being the matchup to change that. Freeman has done more in the passing game recently, however, and that could be his ticket to decent value.

Value Meter:
QB1: Matt Ryan
RB2/RB3: Devonta Freeman
WR1: Julio Jones
WR2: Calvin Ridley
TE1: Austin Hooper
Bench: Ito Smith

Passing Game Thoughts: I figured the Saints would give Teddy Bridgewater one final start in Week 8 to give Drew Brees' thumb two extra weeks to heal. They didn't. Sean Payton reinserted Brees into the starting lineup, and the veteran promptly lit up the Cardinals for 373 yards and three scores. Rust? Nah. Like his counterpart, Brees tossed seven touchdown passes in the teams' two 2018 meetings, and he should return to must-start status for the foreseeable future.

It's amazing that New Orleans' potent passing attack generates only one surefire fantasy starter in the form of Michael Thomas, who still leads the NFL in receiving and went for 11-112-1 in Brees' return. Nominal No.2 receiver Ted Ginn Jr. had just two grabs and remains too inconsistent to own. Tre'Quan Smith could return from an ankle injury, and he's a potential waiver stash in case his role expands. Jared Cook has missed time with his own ankle injury but should be back as well. There's upside with Cook, but he and Brees have hardly played together so it may take time.

Atlanta is an absolute mess defensively, and the only reason they're 23rd against the pass is that teams take their foot off the gas. The Falcons haven't come close to stopping anyone this year, and this feels like a game where Brees and Payton can name the score.
ATL FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.4
ATL FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.13
ATL FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.14
ATL FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.15

Running Game Thoughts: Joining Smith and Cook in returning from ankle woes is Alvin Kamara, who last played Oct. 13 against Jacksonville. Prior to his injury, Kamara was doing the heavy lifting in the backfield but expect that to change. Latavius Murray racked up 307 total yards and four TDs during Kamara's two-game absence, and I look for him to start filling the old Mark Ingram role. Kamara remains the star, but there should enough for him and Murray against Atlanta's woeful defense.

Value Meter:
QB1: Drew Brees
RB1: Alvin Kamara
RB3: Latavius Murray
WR1: Michael Thomas
TE1: Jared Cook (if healthy)
Bench: Ted Ginn Jr., Tre'Quan Smith

Prediction: Saints 45, Falcons 24 ^ Top

Giants at Jets - (Katz)
Line: NYG -2.5
Total: 44.5

Passing Game Thoughts: I wonder when Giants’ fans will start calling for the return of Eli Manning (which, to be clear, is a terrible idea). Daniel Jones was dreadful once again last week and has turned the ball over in every game he’s started. He leads the league in danger plays and interceptable passes, which combined with his general inefficiency has led to a medley of bad performances. Jones has finished as the overall QB2 and QB1 in two of his starts. In the other five, he has been between QB19 and QB24.

The Jets are coming off allowing a top five performance to Ryan Fitzpatrick so this could be a matchup Jones exploits. It remains to be seen if Sterling Shepard returns from his concussion this week but I highly doubt if after he was placed back in the protocol. That leaves Golden Tate as the Giants’ top receiver against a Jets’ defense that only allows 8.0 fantasy points per game to slot receivers. Regardless, Tate is a viable fantasy starter as he has a 100% snap share and a high target floor.

Evan Engram has tailed off after a scorching start and is now dealing with a mid-foot sprain. He’s not going to play this week. Rhett Ellison is not a fantasy option regardless of matchup and the Jets allow just 7.7 FPts/G to the position. Darius Slayton is the only other name to consider as he played 100% of the snaps last week with Shepard out. If you’re looking for a player that is at least on the field, Slayton is your guy.

NYJ FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.15
NYJ FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.16
NYJ FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.8
NYJ FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.29

Running Game Thoughts: Saquon Barkley is an obvious start every week, but the elite RB1 we saw last year probably isn’t coming back this season thanks to a downgrade in overall offense. Barkley is coming off his worst full game of the season (15.5 fantasy points), which actually goes to show how high his floor is. The Jets allow 18.1 fantasy points per game to opposing RB1s and a 22% target share to opposing running backs. This could be a spike week for the league’s most talented running back.

Value Meter:
QB2: Daniel Jones (viable streamer)
RB1: Saquon Barkley (high end)
WR3: Golden Tate
Bench: Sterling Shepard, Darius Slayton, Evan Engram (foot)

Passing Game Thoughts: In that battle for the worst quarterback in New York, Sam Darnold will throw his hat in the ring. Darnold has thrown nine interceptions over his last four games and over his last three games, he has a 3:8 touchdown to interception ratio. The Giants are one of the weaker pass defenses in the league, having allowed 16 passing touchdowns and 263 yards per game, which includes a bad performance by Washington quarterbacks. With that being said, Darnold had a dream matchup last week against the Dolphins and couldn’t capitalize.

Jamison Crowder is coming off a nine target game and should have no trouble against a Giants defense allowing 12.4 fantasy points per game to opposing slot receivers. Darnold has also been targeting his tight ends a lot, specifically Ryan Griffin, who has posted two TE1 finishes over his last four games and should’ve had a third last week had a touchdown not been overturned on an awful replay decision.

The Giants actually are top five against the tight end in terms of fantasy points allowed, but given the state of the position, Griffin remains a streaming option (or Chris Herndon, if he’s actually playing). Herndon was active last week, but he wasn’t really active as the Jets just needed to field a full roster of players. Demaryius Thomas has actually been playing around 80% of the snaps, but he is far off the fantasy radar as a shell of his former self.

NYG FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.9
NYG FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.9
NYG FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.3
NYG FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.20

Running Game Thoughts: Le’Veon Bell returned an RB1 performance last week for the first time since Week 2. He’s still the same player; he’s just in a very bad offense. Bell has scored just twice the season and will look to get back into the end zone against a Giants defense that has already allowed 10 rushing touchdowns this season. After three consecutive tough matchups, Bell exploited an easy one last week against Miami, particularly in the passing game, with nine targets. He should be heavily used in that area again and features a high floor in a favorable matchup. It is worth noting that Bell is dealing with a knee injury and did not practice Wednesday. He is expected to play, but if he doesn’t, Ty Montgomery should be the primary beneficiary.

Value Meter:
RB1: Le’Veon Bell (mid-range)
WR3: Jamison Crowder
TE1: Ryan Griffin (or Chris Herndon)
Bench: Sam Darnold

Prediction: Giants 23, Jets 20 ^ Top

Cardinals @ Buccaneers - (Green)
Line: TB -4.5
Total: 52.5

Passing Game Thoughts: Faced with the daunting task of going against the Saints and 49ers in a five-day span, Murray was thoroughly unspectacular, passing for 461 yards to go with a pair of scores in the two games. To his credit, the No.1 overall pick didn't turn the ball over and kept his team close against the undefeated Niners. Still, after Murray threw for 657 yards in Weeks 1 and 2 it looked like he'd be posting big-time numbers, but he's only topped 300 yards once since and has no TDs passes in five of nine games.

Larry Fitzgerald has seen his role dry up since a hot start as well, catching just seven passes for 58 yards over the last three games combined. At least Christian Kirk is back from an ankle injury as he offers a blend of explosiveness and experience that no one else on the roster can match. He was silent in Week 9, but he's the Cardinals receiver to own going forward. Rookies KeeSean Johnson and Andy Isabella both scored Thursday night, but neither has seen enough involvement to warrant ownership.

Newcomer Kenyan Drake and a returning David Johnson should be factors as well, though since we've never seen them on the field together it's tough to gauge how the team will divvy up the snaps. Defensively, the Bucs are as bad as it gets against the pass, most recently surrendering 378 yards and five TDs to Russell Wilson. If you're tempted to write that off as an MVP candidate doing MVP things, keep this in mind: in Tampa's previous three games they allowed nine TD passes, all to backup QBs.

TB FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.3
TB FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.30
TB FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.1
TB FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.2

Running Game Thoughts: With Johnson and Chase Edmonds (hamstring) sidelined, Drake ran 15 times for 110 yards and a touchdown after being acquired from Miami on Monday. He'll likely slide into a secondary role with Johnson back, but Edmonds is expected to miss another week as he recovers from a hamstring injury.

Tampa Bay brings the NFL's top-ranked run defense into the matchup, allowing just 78.1 yards rushing per game. They looked anything but stout last week, though, as Seattle ran 22 times for 145 yards, a whopping 6.6 yards per carry.

Value Meter:
QB1: Kyler Murray
RB2: David Johnson
Flex: Kenyan Drake
WR2: Christian Kirk
WR3: Larry Fitzgerald
Bench: Chase Edmonds (ankle), Andy Isabella

Passing Game Thoughts: Tampa's losing streak reached four games Sunday despite pushing the Seahawks to overtime. Jameis Winston played well, throwing for 335 yards and two scores without an interception, though he did lose a fumble. That makes five times in six games that Winston topped 300 yards, and he added multiple scores in four. His turnovers remain an issue, but for fantasy owners he's more than offsetting those with his other numbers, and his Week 10 matchup is appealing.

Ever since getting shutout in Week 5, Mike Evans has been on a mission, racking up 32 receptions, 474 yards and three touchdowns in three games to emphatically announce his return as an elite fantasy wideout. With Evans dominating, Chris Godwin has slipped to a secondary role. He has 11 grabs for 104 yards in the last two weeks, which calls into question his WR1 status. O.J. Howard (hamstring) is due to return from a hamstring injury, but he's been an afterthought all season.

Arizona's secondary gives Tampa a run for its money, ranking 29th against the pass this year despite the return of Patrick Peterson (who did not look good Thursday night). This game has shootout written all over it, so make sure Winston, Evans and Godwin are all locked into your lineup.

ARI FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.2
ARI FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.17
ARI FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.12
ARI FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.1

Running Game Thoughts: Bruce Arians finally announced that Ronald Jones will be the team's starter, which is only about two months overdue. Jones had 20 touches last week to Peyton Barber's four, racking up 82 yards and a TD. That brings long-needed clarity to the backfield, elevating Jones and dropping Barber's value. The Cardinals rank 23rd against the run, allowing 126.9 yards per game, but did a nice job against San Francisco's dynamic attack last week.

Value Meter:
QB1: Jameis Winston
RB2/RB3: Ronald Jones
WR1: Mike Evans
WR1: Chris Godwin
Bench: O.J. Howard, Peyton Barber

Prediction: Buccaneers 34, Cardinals 31 ^ Top

Dolphins @ Colts - (Green)
Line: IND -11.0
Total: 44.0

Passing Game Thoughts: While you can debate the long-term vision of starting bona fide journeyman Ryan Fitzpatrick over 2018 first-rounder Josh Rosen, there's no doubt the offense has functioned better under the veteran. Fitzpatrick passed for 288 yards and three TDs last Sunday to earn Miami its first win of the season. For better or worse, there's no fear in Fitzpatrick, which leads to great days and some truly terrible ones. Facing a Colts team that needs a win, I wouldn't roll the dice this week.

In typical Dolphin fashion, the positive feelings generated by a win were tempered by the news that Preston Williams (knee) is done for the year with a torn ACL. That heaps even more responsibility on DeVante Parker, who has scored touchdowns in four of his last five games. With names like Jakeem Grant and Albert Wilson as the other options outside, Parker could see double-digit targets. I also think these means more action for Mike Gesicki, who has quietly posted 15 receptions in his last four games.

Indy is mid-pack defensively against the pass (231.2 yards per game; 15th), though they have benefitted from playing Joe Flacco and Mason Rudolph the past two weeks. That trend should continue in Week 10 against a talent-poor Dolphins club.

IND FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.23
IND FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.24
IND FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.21
IND FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.11

Running Game Thoughts: Not only did Miami lose their No.1 receiver, but top back Mark Walton drew a four-game suspension as well. Couple that with the trade of Kenyan Drake and suddenly Kalen Ballage shoots up the depth chart to RB1. He'll face the 18th-ranked run defense this week and could be a fantasy factor purely based on the number of touches he could see.

Value Meter:
RB3: Kalen Ballage
WR2/WR3: DeVante Parker
TE1: Mike Gesicki (low-end)
Bench: Ryan Fitzpatrick, Mark Walton (suspended)

Passing Game Thoughts: With Jacoby Brissett (knee) knocked out of the game due to a knee injury, Brian Hoyer stepped in and threw for 168 yards and three touchdowns (four if you count his pick six). Brissett's MRI showed a sprained MCL, and though that's good news his status for Week 10 is TBD. If Brissett can't go, we'll be treated to a matchup of two of the most maddeningly inconsistent journeyman in NFL annals. If he's cleared, I'd be wary of starting Brissett coming off injury despite the opponent.

Whoever starts for the Colts won't have a full complement of weapons as T.Y. Hilton (calf) and Parris Campbell (hand) will both miss the game. Their absence puts a lot of pressure on Zach Pascal, who has shown some potential recently, including a 5-76-1 line in Week 9. Minus those receivers, I'd expect more two-tight end sets as Jack Doyle and Eric Ebron form a talented duo, even if they haven't put up big numbers this year. If you need to cover a bye I could see trying your luck with either one.

Miami is dead last in points allowed and 29th in yards. Their pass defense is slightly better, ranking 20th, but some of that can be traced to teams protecting huge leads with the running game. Anyone that watched the Dolphins play Cover-0 on Monday Night Football knows how bad this group, which is missing Xavien Howard, can be.

MIA FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.5
MIA FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.4
MIA FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.7
MIA FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.17

Running Game Thoughts: Marlon Mack has averaged 20 carries for 85 yards per game this season, and I'd expect him to be the focal point of the offense whether it's Brissett or Hoyer handing him the ball. The Dolphins are allowing 150.8 yards per game and 4.7 per carry this season. There's a lot of upside for Mack here.

Value Meter:
QB1: Jacoby Brissett (low-end; if active)
RB1/RB2: Marlon Mack
WR3: Zach Pascal
Bench: Eric Ebron, Jack Doyle, T.Y. Hilton (calf)

Prediction: Colts 19, Dolphins 10 ^ Top

Panthers @ Packers - (Swanson)
Line: GB -5.5
Total: 48.0

Passing Game Thoughts: The starting quarterback job for the Carolina Panthers for the rest of the season and perhaps beyond now belongs to Kyle Allen after the team placed Cam Newton on IR.

In six games as the starting quarterback, this season Allen has averaged 16.8 fantasy points per game, coming in as the No.30 ranked fantasy quarterback. He is not producing enough fantasy points to make him a worthy start in anything other than super-flex leagues, but he is providing enough spark to the offense to keep the other skill position players on the team valuable.

Curtis Samuel and D.J. Moore are the primary wide receiving threats for the Allen, with a combined 128 targets in eight games. Moore leads the team with 564 receiving yards, while Samuel is tied with Christian McCaffrey for the team lead with three receiving touchdowns.

Tight End Greg Olsen started out red hot with a combined 12 catches for 185 yards and a pair of touchdowns against Tampa Bay and Arizona in Weeks 2 & 3. The injury to Newton all but killed the ceiling for Olsen with the 13-year vet failing to top 5.2 fantasy points in any week under Kyle Allen.

The Packers defense ranks 25th in fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks and sixth in points allowed to opposing running backs. The Panthers offense runs through CMC, and the team will look to run early and often to take advantage of Green Bay’s weakness on defense. They will also use a run-heavy approach to limit the number of snaps for Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay offense.

This does not mean that Allen and the wide receivers will not do much, but don’t be surprised if Allen posts a similar 232/2/1 line like he did last week against the Titans.

The young cornerbacks of the Packers, Kevin King and Jaire Alexander, and talented up and coming players, but they can be beaten in man coverage. Amari Cooper torched Alexander for over 200 yards earlier in the season, and King, although big and lengthy, can often be beat with speedy wideouts.

GB FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.25
GB FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.6
GB FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.23
GB FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.5

Running Game Thoughts: Owners of Christian McCaffrey are blessed with the 2019 cheat code and the one player who you start without consideration of opponent or situation. CMC is averaging nearly six more points per game than Dalvin Cook, the No.2 ranked running back, with a touchdown in all but one game this season.

You do not need advice on whether to start CMC this week against the Packers. What you need as a CMC owner is an idea of just how many points CMC may score in this choice matchup.

Green Bay allows the 6th-most points to opposing running backs. Seven different running backs have topped 10 fantasy points in nine games against Green Bay, and four of them have eclipsed 20 fantasy points.

Austin Ekeler and Melvin Gordon combined for 150 rushing yards, 52 receiving yards, and two touchdowns last week. It would not be surprising to see CMC post similar numbers this week at Lambeau.

Value Meter:
QB2: Kyle Allen (High-End)
RB1: Christian McCaffrey (Elite)
WR2: D.J. Moore (Low-End)
WR3: Curtis Samuel (HIgh-End)
TE1: Greg Olsen (Mid-Range)

Passing Game Thoughts: Aaron Rodgers had been on a tear prior to last week’s debacle against the Chargers. With eight touchdown passes and 724 combined yards against the Chiefs and the Raiders, it seemed likely that he would have success against a defense that gave up 312 yards and two passing touchdowns to Ryan Tannehill just two weeks prior.

Rodgers was under siege the entire game from constant pressure from Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram. The team looked lackadaisical as if the outcome was a foregone conclusion, and the then 7-1 Packers were going to win in a cakewalk.

Rodgers said afterward that the loss will hopefully be a wakeup call for the team, as the chatter of being a 7-1 team had gotten to their heads.

The Panthers present an above-average opportunity for Rodgers and the passing offense for two reasons. First, Carolina ranks 18th in points allowed to the quarterback position, with both Jameis Winston and Ryan Tannehill each posting 30-point games against the Panthers in the last three weeks. Second, the Panthers offense should be able to run the ball and score on the Packers, creating a positive game script that should keep Rodgers passing the ball heavily into the second half.

Throwing the ball to Jamaal Williams and Aaron Jones out of the backfield had been part of the resurgence for Rodgers over the last month. The Chargers did an excellent job of limiting Jones to one catch for one negative yard, while Williams was held to 39 yards on six catches that included a garbage-time touchdown.

Look for Rodgers to try to have more success passing the ball, although it would make sense for head coach Matt Lefleur to run the ball against a Panthers defense that leads the league in rushing yards allowed to running backs.

Although the Panthers have given up just five receiving touchdowns on the year to opposing wide receivers, the No.1 option for opponents have fared well against Ron Rivera’s defense. Chris Godwin has to monster games against the Panthers, while D.J. Chark, the new No.1 in Jacksonville, busted out with 164 and two touchdowns Week 5.

CAR FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.18
CAR FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.5
CAR FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.16
CAR FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.25

Running Game Thoughts: Owning a player like Aaron Jones, who shares touches in the backfield with a competent partner and someone who plays in an Aaron Rodgers-led offense, can be frustrating at times as touchdowns can come in bunches and sandwiched between dud performances.

Jones rushed for 47 yards on 11 carries against the Lions Week 6 for a mere six fantasy points, only to follow up with a touchdown against the Raiders and over 200 scrimmage yards on the road against the Chiefs. The second-year tailback from UTEP then managed just 2.9 fantasy points against a Chargers team not known for being a tough running matchup. It is possible that he could give you another dud, but we think Jones will bounce back at home in what projects to be a great matchup for both Jones and Williams.

The Panthers have given up a whopping 11 rushing touchdowns in eight games. The 49ers blasted the Panthers for four rushing touchdowns two weeks ago, and Derrick Henry followed up with two more last week. You can run on the team, and the Packers will look to get their ground game back on track against Carolina on Sunday.

Value Meter:
QB1: Aaron Rodgers (Low-End)
RB1: Aaron Jones (High-End)
RB3: Jamaal Williams (High-End)
WR1: Davante Adams (Low-End)
WR4: Marquez Valdes-Scantling (High-End)
TE2: Jimmy Graham (Mid-Range)

Prediction: Packers 34, Panthers 28 ^ Top

Rams @ Steelers - (Swanson)
Line: LAR -4.0
Total: 44.5

Passing Game Thoughts: The 5-3 Rams exit their Week 9 bye week trailing the 8-0 division-leading San Francisco 49ers by three games. The break came at a good time for an ailing team that needed to get healthy and regroup after a disappointing first half of the season.
After finishing second to the Chiefs last season in average yards per game and points, the Rams rank tenth in yards and eighth in points. Injuries and losses via free agency have plagued this team more than head coach Sean McVay would like to admit, and Jared Goff’s 22 points per game are two full points less than last year.

Although the team used the time off to help Todd Gurley heal up his score quad and other players improve on their ailments, wide receiver Brandin Cooks is still out due to a concussion and could miss multiple weeks.

Josh Reynolds stepped in well for Cooks against the Bengals before the bye with three catches for 73 yards and a score. Reynolds is worth a flex play in most leagues, but the majority of looks and targets will go to Goff’s favorite target, Cooper Kupp.

Although the Steelers pass defense has been much better since the addition of Minka Fitzpatrick via trade from the Dolphins, you can still pass the ball on the Steelers. Pittsburgh ranks 15th in points allowed to quarterbacks over the previous five games, which includes a 320/2 game by Philip Rivers and a three-touchdown game for backup Brian Hoyer of the Colts.

PIT FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.16
PIT FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.26
PIT FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.14
PIT FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.10

Running Game Thoughts: Todd Gurley is one of a few early-round running backs who have disappointed owners who selected him in the first 20 rounds of drafts this summer. The perennial No.1 overall player is averaging 12.2 fantasy points per game as the No. 17 back after seven games.

His 3.9 yard per carry average is the second-lowest of his career, and his 81 total receiving yards on only 15 receptions is downright shocking. Without touchdowns (seven in seven games), Gurley would be an absolute bust even for a second-round pick.

Will the bye rejuvenate Gurley and the Rams running attack? The bye cannot bring back the two offensive linemen they lost from last season via free agency. But perhaps the extra week of rest will give McVay the time to work on his once-vaunted ground game and help Jared Goff by making defenses stay honest.

The one area Gurley owners should hope improves is the screen game. It was something that make Gurley a dual-threat over the previous few seasons that has been absent in 2019.

Value Meter:
QB1: Jared Goff (Low-End)
RB2: Todd Gurley (High-End)
WR1: Cooper Kupp (Low-End)
WR3: Robert Woods (High-End)
TE1: Gerald Everett (Mid-Range)

Passing Game Thoughts: The Steelers have won two straight games and three of their last four. The defense has been playing better, and Mason Rudolph has limited the damage we often see from a young quarterback with just four interceptions in 165 pass attempts.

The problem is the young quarterback has topped 200 passing yards just twice this season, and he has yet to top two passing touchdowns in a game.

The bottom line, Rudolph is doing precisely what Mike Tomlin wants by keeping his team in games so they can lean on their defense and running game. That is excellent news if you are Steelers fan but terrible news if you drafted JuJu Smith-Schuster for your fantasy team. The third-year wide receiver is on pace to post his worst year as a pro, including targets, catches, yards, and touchdowns. Interestingly, his yard per reception has gone up over a full point from the previous year, gut the overall volume is way down and so is the production,

The Rams traded a pair of first-round picks to the Jags for cornerback Jaylen Ramsey, presumably to play lockdown man coverage on No.1 WRs like Smith-Schuster. If you drafted JuJu, you are likely going to play him, but don’t expect a whole lot of production with Rudolph looking to dump off passes to running backs and tight ends.

With James Conner out last week with a shoulder injury, Jaylen Samuels took over as the primary pass-catching running back for the Steelers. Samuels came through with 13 catches for 73 yards on a 13, making him a PPR darling in full PPR leagues.

Dionte Johnson’s streak of catching passes from Mason Rudolph came to a crashing halt last week with one reception for three yards against the Colts. With Ramsey presumably manning up on JuJu it could be a case of Johnson coming through with a score, but he also could goose you and destroy your week.

LAR FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.22
LAR FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.15
LAR FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.22
LAR FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.12

Running Game Thoughts: James Conner is all but out again with the Steelers hosing a Rams defense that ranks in the middle of the pack in fantasy points allowed to running backs. The Rams boast the best defended in the league in Aaron Donald and one of the better pass rushing front sevens, but they are not great against the run as evident to their six rushing touchdowns allowed in eight games and 3.8 yard per carry average.

You can take advantage of their pass-rushing aggressiveness with screens, counters, and other misdirection runs like the 49ers did a few weeks ago.

Trey Edmunds earned the majority of carries with 12 for 73 yards, while Samuels finished with a team-high 13 receptions for 73 of his own. I would expect a similar distribution of touches this week against the Rams, with Samuels getting more work if a negative game script is created by the Rams going up big. Edmunds (ribs) missed practice Thursday so check his status this weekend.

Value Meter:
QB2: Mason Rudolph (Low-End)
RB1: Jaylen Samuels (Low-End)
RB3: Trey Edmunds (Low-End if he plays)
WR2: JuJu Smith-Schuster (Low-End)
WR4: Diontae Johnson (High-End)
TE1: Vance McDonald (Low-End)

Prediction: Los Angeles 28, Pittsburgh 17 ^ Top

Vikings at Cowboys - (Katz)
Line: DAL -3.0
Total: 47.5

Passing Game Thoughts: There’s been some talk about Kirk Cousins’ awful record in primetime games. I don’t pay too much mind to that. What does matter is a matchup against a tough pass defense allowing just 220.9 passing yards per game with a 7:4 touchdown to interception ratio. This is a problem for a quarterback without his best receiver, Adam Thielen. That leaves Stefon Diggs to deal with Byron Jones, who is allowing just 5.3 fantasy points per game and 1.19 fantasy points per target. There is some squeaky wheel appeal with Diggs coming off a four target, one reception game, especially given how hot Diggs had been in the three previous weeks with three WR1 finishes. The Vikings will have to play offense against the Cowboys, which means that even in a tough matchup, Diggs should push double digit targets and is talented enough to make it work.

Lining up alongside Diggs will be Olabisi Johnson. He played nearly 85% of the snaps last week with Thielen out. If you need a player that you know will be on the field, Johnson is a desperation play, but with just two targets in each of his last two games without Thielen, he’s hard to trust as anything resembling reliable.

Kyle Rudolph has been a little more involved lately, averaging 4.25 targets over his last four games, which is a stark improvement over the 1.8 he averaged over his first five. If I’m chasing a Vikings’ tight end, I’d rather Irv Smith, who has seen his snap share rise with Thielen out and has 12 receptions over his last three games.

DAL FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.28
DAL FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.21
DAL FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.28
DAL FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.9

Running Game Thoughts: The Cowboys have been staunch against the run, allowing 4.2 yards per carry and just three rushing touchdowns to non-Aaron Jones players. None of this matters for Dalvin Cook, who is always in fantasy lineups. Cook has found the end zone in all but two games this season. He has eclipsed 100 total yards in the same number of games and has six top five finishes. Alexander Mattison is one of the best handcuffs in the league, but he is no threat to Cook’s touches. You know what to do with Cook.

Value Meter:
RB1: Dalvin Cook (high end)
WR2: Stefon Diggs (high end)
Bench: Kirk Cousins, Kyle Rudolph, Irv Smith, Olabisi Johnson, Adam Thielen (hamstring)

Passing Game Thoughts: Outside of a stinker against New Orleans, Dak Prescott has been a QB1 every week with no fewer than 18.2 fantasy points (every other game was over 20). The Vikings are not as imposing of a matchup as one may think, especially on the road. They only allow 225.1 passing yards per game, but they’ve allowed 15 passing touchdowns. Amari Cooper will see a bunch of Xavier Rhodes, which is great for Cooper as Rhodes has been downright awful this season. He’s allowing 1.85 fantasy points per target, 57th in the league, and 12.3 fantasy points per game, 59th in the league.

Michael Gallup is also a viable starter, although he hasn’t been as hot since returning from his knee injury. Gallup is more WR3 than WR2, but this game has shootout potential and Cooper can’t catch everything.

Jason Witten is 37 years old, but still catches everything. His 85% catch rate is second in the league. Witten hasn’t finished higher than the TE7 this season, but he’s also caught at least three passes in every game. The Vikings allow 10.2 fantasy points per game to opposing TE1s. Witten remains a streaming option.

* Note: Amari Cooper did not practice Thursday due to his knee “locking up” on him. He had an MRI and saw a doctor. We may not know his status by Sunday morning. Keep this in mind when setting your lineup.

MIN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.21
MIN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.28
MIN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.13
MIN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.22

Running Game Thoughts: Ezekiel Elliott is an every week RB1 no matter the matchup. I wouldn’t worry too much about last week’s anomalous performance where he didn’t see a single target. It’s the first time that’s happened all season and probably the last. Elliott still ripped off 139 yards on the ground. The Vikings have only allowed two rushing touchdowns this season, so perhaps this won’t be a ceiling game for Zeke. Either way, Tony Pollard is a complete nonfactor and you are starting Zeke with confidence.

Value Meter:
QB1: Dak Prescott (mid-range)
RB1: Ezekiel Elliott (high end)
WR1: Amari Cooper (low end)
WR3: Michael Gallup
TE2: Jason Witten
Bench: Randall Cobb

Prediction: Cowboys 30, Vikings 24 ^ Top

Seahawks @ 49ers - (Caron)
Line: SF -6.0
Total: 46.5

Passing Game Thoughts: The top fantasy quarterback vs. the top fantasy defense against quarterbacks: something has to give.

Russell Wilson is coming off of his best passing day of the season as he torched the Buccaneers for 378 yards and five touchdowns. His absurd 22-to-1 touchdown-to-interception ratio would typically be looked at as unsustainable, and maybe it is to some extent, but if anyone can keep up this kind of efficiency, it’s Russell Wilson.

The rushing upside for Wilson has been capped this season as he’s been held under 35 rushing yards in all but one game. That’s a bit of a concern because the Seahawks have been inconsistent with his pass attempts as well. He’s thrown the ball fewer than 30 times in four of the Seahawks’ nine contests. While he’s still been fairly efficient in those games, it’s tough to be overly confident that the Seahawks would be able to get into the red zone consistently enough against the league’s top fantasy pass defense. The upside is always there for him to put up a big fantasy day in any matchup, but he’s more of a mid-level QB1 this week.

One positive for Wilson is that the Seahawks added Josh Gordon and it’s possible that he plays here in Week 10. It’s too early to trust him in your lineup, especially given that he’s playing Monday night and you won’t likely have any other options if he doesn’t end up being active, but Gordon gives the Seahawks a third viable weapon in the passing game and that’s helpful for Wilson as he’s an obvious upgrade from Jaron Brown and David Moore.

Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf remain start-worthy options in all formats even with the addition of Josh Gordon. Metcalf is consistently seeing end zone targets and his size and strength give him the ability to take advantage of those opportunities. He’s converted three touchdowns over the past two weeks and while the matchup on the road against the 49ers is substantially more difficult than the ones he’s faced against the Buccaneers and Falcons, he’s still one of the most likely WRs in the league to score a touchdown each week.

Lockett, meanwhile, has established himself as a trustworthy WR1 in fantasy this season. He’s only been held under 10 PPR fantasy points in one game this season and he’s coming off of back-to-back 100-yard receiving days. His targets were down in recent weeks, but he blew up for an impressive 18 targets in Week 9 against the Bucs. Certainly we shouldn’t expect anything like that against the 49ers, but Lockett has been excellent this season and shouldn’t be on fantasy benches anytime soon.

Tight end Jacob Hollister blew up with a two-touchdown game this past week and has weekly touchdown upside which can’t be said for most fantasy tight ends. The tight end position is very weak overall, especially this week, so Hollister isn’t a bad flier if you’re in need.

SF FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.32
SF FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.29
SF FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.27
SF FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.32

Running Game Thoughts: With 90 or more rushing yards in five of his past six games, Chris Carson has been one of the most consistent fantasy backs in non-PPR formats this season. His passing game usage has taken a dip recently, but the rushing usage gives him a high enough floor to consider him a low-end RB1 or at least a high-end RB2 in really any matchup.

The 49ers, of course, have been excellent as a whole this season on defense, but it is worth noting that they’ve now given up back-to-back 100-yard rushing days to opposing running backs. Their Week 8 stumble against Christian McCaffrey is understandable, but their inability to stop Kenyan Drake in Week 9 is great for Carson’s fantasy prospects in this contest.

Value Meter:
QB1: Russell Wilson
RB1: Chris Carson
WR1: Tyler Lockett
WR2: D.K. Metcalf
TE1: Jacob Hollister (low-end)
Bench: Rashaad Penny, Josh Gordon

Passing Game Thoughts: Jimmy Garoppolo’s four-touchdown performance against the Cardinals this past week was his best fantasy day of the season which should give fantasy owners some confidence as he heads into this week’s game against the Seahawks. Garoppolo has been much better since the team added WR Emmanuel Sanders via trade as Sanders seems to be filling a void as the 49ers’ X-receiver.

Sanders has now scored in back-to-back weeks as a 49er and his seven-catch, 112-yard day against the Cardinals is enough to give us confidence that he can be a WR2 in just about any matchup. Sanders gets to face a Seahawks defense that just got rocked for 180 yards and a touchdown on 12 catches by Mike Evans and previously gave up a 10-catch, 152-yard game to Julio Jones in Week 8. Certainly Sanders isn’t on the same level that Jones and Evans are, but he’s the obvious top receiver in this offense and should see enough targets to be a mid-level WR2 this week.

The other 49ers wide receivers just haven’t been consistent enough to be considered for fantasy purposes at this point. Deebo Samuel would be the second-best option at wide receiver but he’s not seeing a consistent enough target share to be trusted as anything other than a cheap one-game slate DFS play on Monday night.

Tight end George Kittle predictably pummeled the Cardinals’ horrible pass defense this past week, catching six passes for 79 yards and a touchdown. It was his only his second score of the season which has been a bit frustrating from an elite fantasy tight end, but the production has still been there overall. He’s caught six or more passes in all but one game this season, which has allowed him to remain a TE1 despite his lack of scoring. The Seahawks matchup is another under-the-radar great one for Kittle as they’ve given up the fourth-most fantasy points per game to opposing TEs this season, so continue to trust Kittle as the fantasy super-stud that he is.

SEA FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.10
SEA FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.19
SEA FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.18
SEA FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.4

Running Game Thoughts: The 49ers backfield continues to be extraordinarily frustrating to predict from a fantasy standpoint. After Tevin Coleman shocked the fantasy world by going for 105 yards and four total touchdowns against the Panthers in Week 8, he came crashing back down to Earth in Week 9 as he rushed for just 23 yards and no scores in what should have been a great matchup against the Cardinals in Week 9.

If you look beyond those final rushing totals, though, the real story is that the touch distribution really didn’t chance much from Week 8 to Week 9 in this offense. Coleman is still essentially splitting touches with Matt Breida and while the offensive situation is good enough that one or even both of them could have quality fantasy games, it’s going to be very tough to predict which one of them will do so on a week-to-week basis. The situation is actually quite similar to the one in Denver right now, but the offense is just much better as a whole. Still, Coleman and Breida shouldn’t be viewed as significantly different from one another until we start to see their usage change. Don’t be a victim of recency bias when it comes to yardage or touchdowns - we just don’t know what Kyle Shanahan is going to do from week to week.

Coleman is likely the slightly better overall fantasy option given that the 49ers have seemed to use him more often near the goal line, but both backs have been victims of the Jeff Wilson touchdown snipe from time to time, so Coleman getting into the end zone is certainly far from a given. The Seahawks did give up a pair of touchdowns to Ronald Jones and Dare Ogunbowale this past week, but they’ve only allowed one back to exceed 70 rushing yards against them this season. Because of this, Coleman and Breida are both more of a low-end RB2/high-end Flex play here in Week 10.

Value Meter:
QB2: Jimmy Garoppolo
RB2: Tevin Coleman (low-end)
WR2: Emmanuel Sanders
TE1: George Kittle
Flex: Matt Breida
Bench: Jeff Wilson, Raheem Mostert, Deebo Samuel, Marquise Goodwin, Richie James, Kendrick Bourne, Dante Pettis

Prediction: 49ers 27, Seahawks 21 ^ Top