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Fantasy Football: Week 10 Start or Sit

Luke Lusson and Grant Campbell

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With Week 10 of the NFL season approaching, there’s no room for lineup mistakes in fantasy football leagues. Take a look at who we are saying to start and to bench in our first ever edition of Start or Sit.

Cam Newton (Dolphins at Panthers Monday 7:30 p.m.): At home during primetime against an exploitable Miami defense? Sign me up. The absence of Kelvin Benjamin may hurt Newton’s throwing numbers, but it sure will bolster his rushing yards and touchdowns, as we saw last week against Atlanta. Start Super Cam on Monday night.

Bilal Powell (Jets at Buccaneers Sunday 12:00 p.m.): Powell’s Week 10 matchup against Tampa Bay comes only a week after the Alvin Kamara scorched the Buccaneers defense. Like Kamara, Powell has the ability to catch passes out of the backfield and although he has not been seeing a ton of touches, I expect him to make the most of what he gets this week. Start him.

Emmanuel Sanders (Patriots at Broncos 7:30 p.m.): I know the matchup against a struggling New England secondary is inviting, but it still is tough to throw Sanders into the starting lineup due to Denver’s questionable quarterback play. That and the fact that Sanders may still not be 100 percent with his ankle make it too big of a risk right now. Sit him.

Sterling Shepard (Giants at 49ers Sunday 3:25 p.m.): The second-year wideout from Oklahoma returned from his ankle injury last week and had a solid outing, catching five passes for 70 yards. As the team’s new number one wideout, Shepard should see a ton of targets not only this week, but for the rest of the season. This, coupled with the favorable matchup against the winless 49ers, is more than enough reasoning to start Shepard in Week 10.

Joe Mixon (Bengals at Titans Sunday 12:00 p.m.): Mixon has shown flashes this year, but has yet to get the necessary amount of carries to provide consistent fantasy output. As he and the Bengals head to Tennessee this week to square off with the Titans, don’t trust Mixon in a matchup where the Bengals could be trailing for most of the game. A breakout game may be in store soon, but that’s not enough to throw Mixon in your lineup if you don’t need to. Sit him this week.

Jared Goff (Texans at Rams Sunday 3:05 p.m.): When will people start to take Goff and the Rams seriously? He’s coming off a monster week against the Giants and looks to do the same this week at home against the Texans. Houston won’t be as easy for Goff to pick apart as the Giants were, but the Texans still rank in the bottom tier when it comes to points given up to opposing wide receivers. Play the hot hand and start Goff if you don’t have an elite option at the quarterback position.

Austin Hooper (Cowboys at Falcons Sunday 3:25 p.m.): Hooper, like many tight ends, has been up and down all year due to his touchdown dependency. Although Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu should have productive days for the Atlanta offense, I don’t see Hooper having too much success against a Dallas defense that has been solid against opposing tight ends. Unless you don’t have another decent option at tight end, sit Hooper this week.

Robby Anderson (Jets at Buccaneers Sunday 12:00 p.m.): Anderson has emerged as the number one wide receiver for the Jets and has scored a touchdown in each of his last three games. As noted already, Tampa Bay’s defense has struggled, and I see no signs of Anderson slowing down. His high floor makes him a confident starting option this week and moving forward.

DeSean Jackson (Jets at Buccaneers Sunday 12:00 p.m.): With Jameis Winston out with a shoulder injury, Jackson is a very risky play. He and the rest of the Tampa Bay offense struggled in the second half last week with backup quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick in and one week of practice may not make things much better. Even with a favorable matchup against the Jets, sit DeSean Jackson.

Tyrod Taylor (Saints at Bills Sunday 12:00 p.m.): After a bad loss to the Jets on Thursday night, the Bills now host the red-hot New Orleans Saints. Although the Saints defense has been impressive, the fact that the Bills are back at home makes Taylor a worthy starter. Taylor and his team have been stellar at New Era Field, where they are 4-0 on the season. Plus, with Kelvin Benjamin now in town, Taylor’s passing numbers should see a significant boost. This is why Taylor should be started in Week 10.

Will Fuller V (Texans at Rams Sunday 3:05 p.m.):   To me, Fuller shouldn’t be considered as anything more than a last-resort flex player. Last week, he had a disappointing turn-out totaling 5 points, after scoring an average of 20+ points per week, respectively. This is largely due to the loss of star rookie QB Deshaun Watson. I can’t see Fuller returning to the two-touchdown per game machine that he was before Watson tore his ACL.  Tom Savage isn’t as likely to throw the fly route that Fuller excels in. Owners of Fuller have been warned.  If you can trade away Fuller now, I would advise you take that route.

Corey Davis (Bengals at Titans Sunday 12:00 p.m.): Davis still hasn’t had the breakout game that many have anticipated.  Sure, scoring just under 13 points in week one is impressive for a rookie WR, but in every other game he’s played, he hasn’t caught the ball more than twice. The argument can be made that he hasn’t had this breakout performance because he has only played in three games due to injury, but I know this breakout is coming in the near future. Mariota is an elite QB and Davis is matched up against a streaky Bengal defense that allowed Jacksonville WR Marqise Lee to drop 21 fantasy points on them. By the same token, why shouldn’t Davis—a more explosive, vertically strong and quick WR—put up the same production?  I am buying on the idea of starting Davis at the flex or as a solid WR2 option. The only fear I have for Davis is that the infamously dirty player Vontaze Burfict could put Davis in harm’s way or injure him.

Vernon Davis (Minnesota at Washington Sunday 12:00 p.m.): With Washington’s star TE Jordan Reed sidelined due to injury, Vernon Davis is a great temporary option to start at the TE position for your fantasy team. If you have hopes of him being a long-term waiver pick up, be prepared for Reed to come back; and in turn Davis to receive less opportunities to catch the football. But for now, fire the trigger and throw Davis in your lineup, even against the elite Minnesota defense.

Latavius Murray (Minnesota at Washington Sunday 12:00 p.m.): To me, I’m skeptical to pick which Minnesota RB I like more. Murray is a consistent down-to-down back, but Jerick McKinnon has proven time and time again that he is the better Viking RB option in a PPR league. In my opinion, keep Murray on your bench and evaluate your other options.  

Golden Tate (Browns at Lions Sunday 12:00 p.m.):  Why are you even reading this?  He’s playing against CLEVELAND at home. If he’s not already your WR1 for Week 10, you need help. I’ll be shocked if Tate doesn’t put up the most fantasy points for a WR this week.

Kelvin Benjamin (Saints at Bills Sunday 12:00 p.m.): I’m excited to see what Benjamin can do against the shaky Saints defense. The Saints have been a top ten defense in the league for the past few games, but the explosiveness of the Bills offense is too much to not start Benjamin at WR1 or WR2. With the variety of playmakers on the Bills, there is no doubt that Benjamin will be able to create space and make some athletic breakaways.  It’s simply a matter of Tyrod Taylor getting him the ball. I’m buying on Benjamin having a huge performance in his Buffalo debut at home.

Tevin Coleman (Cowboys at Falcons Sunday 3:25 p.m.): Coleman is always an interesting decision you make on Sunday morning. Everyone knows that Devonta Freeman is the lead back for Atlanta, but Coleman can always be a great receiving back for Atlanta and a dominant force in a PPR league. I am hesitant to throw him in as a RB1 or RB2, but he could be a great option if your FLEX position is struggling.

Devin Funchess (Dolphins at Panthers Monday 7:30 p.m.): Funchess has a QB in Cam Newton who despite multiple interceptions as of late, is able to consistently connect with Funchess.  Funchess is the new top receiver for Carolina after the Kelvin Benjamin trade, and his role is only going to increase for the young Panthers offense. He’s a no-brainer starter for your lineup this week; either as a WR2 or FLEX.

Jacoby Brissett (Steelers at Colts Sunday 12:00 p.m.): Brissett is a very scary option as a dual threat QB in the NFL, but I’m wary of endorsing him fully as a QB1. The Steelers are loaded with defensive playmakers who are looking to embarrass the mediocre Colts.  Without a truly elite RB on the Colts’ roster, they often put too much pressure on Brissett to lead their offense. I think this pressure is going to catch up to him at some point, and if any defense is going to exploit Brissett, it’s the aggressive Steelers. See if you have any other QB options before you put Brissett in your lineup.

Damien Williams (Dolphins at Panthers Monday 7:30 p.m.): Williams is NOT the lead back for Miami after the Ajayi deal. Though he put up 18 points last week against Oakland, I don’t think that he can repeat his success against the Panthers.  If Miami’s new starting RB Kenyan Drake is still on the waiver wire in your league, PICK HIM UP NOW.  The one respect that solidifies Williams as a debatable starter for your team is his pass-catching ability from the RB position. He totaled six catches for 47 yards and a touchdown last week. You can’t deny Williams’ productivity given his six catches, but the Panthers linebacker core consisting of Luke Kuechly, Thomas Davis and Shaq Thompson could easily shut down the receiving threat of Williams coming out of the backfield. Because of this, I wouldn’t start Williams in week 10.

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Fantasy Football: Week 10 Start or Sit