Week 10 of football has concluded, and we have a bevy of interesting storylines yet again. Peyton Manning passed Brett Favre for most passing yards all-time, only to go out and have possibly the worst game of his career, almost throwing as many interceptions (4) as he did completions (5). The Giants almost continued their folktale of being the Patriot’s kryptonite, only to have Tom Brady do what he does, and drive his team down the field with a minute left to set up a game-winning field goal. Landry Jones was injured in his start against the Browns, having the emergency-only Big Ben step in and dismantle Cleveland. A defensive laden NFC West matchup between the Seahawks and Cardinals turned out to be anything but defensive as the Cardinals edged the Seahawks 39-32. To cap it all off, we had a snooze-fest on MNF between the undefeated Bengals and struggling Texans, where Deandre Hopkins highlight reel touchdown catch was enough to defeat Cincinnati, giving them their first notch in the loss column. With all that being said, let’s go over some Week 10 MVP’s and busts, and move along to the outlook for the WR position heading into Week 11.
Week 10 MVP’s
Antonio Brown- While it is not surprising to see the number one ranked WR land here on a consistent basis, the fashion in how it occurred this week is. I’m sure we all had tempered expectations for Brown heading into Week 10, as Landry Jones was named the starter for injured Big Ben. It was quite odd that Big Ben dressed for the game Sunday, and was available in case of emergency. Well, Landry Jones went out with an ankle injury, Big Ben came in, and the Steelers pass catchers welcomed him with open arms. After a 17 catch, 284 yard performance in Week 9, Brown finished Week 10 with a 10/139/2 performance. At this pace, Brown is set to finish with a career-high 1,826 yards. Fantasy owners will have a huge void to fill this week with the Steelers are on bye.
Micheal Floyd- Floyd had another huge game on Sunday night against the vaunted Seattle secondary. He posted his best line of the season, going 7/113/2 on 9 targets. Floyd started off the season pretty slow, but now has scored a touchdown in four straight contests. Unfortunately, he did exit the shootout Sunday night with a hamstring injury, or he could of had an even bigger night. I tell you what; You know how we, as fantasy players, like to get shares of high-flying offenses, or pieces of an offense with Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, or the old Peyton Manning? This Arizona offense with Carson Palmer playing at an elite level, now fits that bill. The Cards will have another tough matchup against a stingy Bengals defense, but seeing as how well they performed this past Sunday, this passing attack has now been officially stamped matchup-proof.
Week 10 Busts
Emmanuel Sanders- There are a couple of moving pieces here that should be discussed. First off, he was already coming into this game with an ankle injury that forced him to be a game-time decision. Secondly, you put a QB out there who has already been struggling mightily, and now has been diagnosed with a torn plantar fascia in his right foot. These injuries were both known inside the locker room before kickoff, and yet Kubiak elected to roll both of these players out there. Conclusively, Peyton threw an errant pass in Sanders direction that set him up to get walloped by a Kansas City defender, and Sanders missed the rest of the football game with concussion symptoms. Congrats to Peyton on breaking the passing record, and the blame should not fall on him, as he is a competitor and wants to play at all costs. But when you have a player battling father time and already struggling with a foot injury, the coaches have to make the decision to sit him down, and not put other players at risk of injury. Brock Osweiler will start this Sunday, and if Sanders does end up playing, I would temper expectations. Conversely, I do not envision another goose-egg performance.
Randall Cobb- Aside from Week 9 when he caught a 53-yard touchdown, Cobb’s production for fantasy teams has been downright embarrassing. He has failed to top 53 yards or score a touchdown in the other games during that stretch. He had all the stars aligning this week to get back on track against the lowly Lions’ secondary. The Lions had not won in Lambeau since Space Jam was hitting the box offices, and Brett Favre was still on the Falcons. Take those factors, with the idea that Rodgers plays jesus-like at home, and we were expecting a high output from this offense. This is why they play the game. The Lions pulled off the upset, holding the Green Bay offense in check for most of the game. Cobb saw nine targets and hauled in five of them for 53 yards. We can really see what Jordy Nelson did for this offense and the complimentary WR. Nevertheless, Cobb still has Aaron Rodgers throwing him the football, but against the tough NFC North leading Minnesota defense this coming week, he remains a WR 2 at best.
Sammy Watkins- Watkins, who was featured in last week’s sit em’, failed to produce anything on the stat sheet stranded on Revis island, so I hope you were listening. This week the Bills take on another division foe in the Patriots on MNF. The Patriots have allowed the fifth-most points to receivers this season. We know the Bills are not a team that wants to air it out a ton, but at the rate the Patriots score points, they may be forced to, early and often. We also must be cognizant that Belicheck’s defense is schemed to take away their opponents best weapon and make you beat them with your secondary players. Sammy, like Odell Beckham (4/104/1 vs. Pats in Week 10) has the ability to get loose and break a big play at any time, and I believe will have ample opportunities to do so if the Patriots take an early lead.
Stevie Johnson- No, this is not because of my affinity for the Bills, or past Bills. I quite often have picked on the Bills here in my article or on the Tuesday night radio shows. Nevertheless, Johnson is now on a Charger team with an elite QB and a depleted WR corps. We know Keenan Allen is done for the season, and now there is word coming out that Malcolm Floyd (torn labrum) may be hitting the shelf as well. Regardless of whether or not Floyd returns to action this week, Johnson is still start-worthy, taking on a beatable Chiefs secondary. Although, their secondary has been playing better as of late, they still have allowed the second-most fantasy points to receivers this season.
T.Y Hilton- First, we will take note of the matchup against a stingy Falcons defense, who have allowed the third-fewest fantasy points per game to receivers. Coincide that with the notion that he will playing without Andrew Luck, and you have yourself a ‘sit’uation. The vertical passing attack that Hilton’s production often hinges on will be limited with Hasselback under center. Not all is lost with the change at QB, as Hilton posted back-to-back 13-point efforts in Weeks 4-5 when Luck was out. If you have options with at least, let’s say a ten point floor, I would give them the nod over Hilton. In the end, do not go out of your way to get him out of your lineup and play a guy like Robert Woods, who has the possibility of getting you a zero.
Randall Cobb- Man, it’s tough to list a player of this caliber, playing with Aaron Rodgers in this portion of the article, but it’s at this point of the season where a loss can take you out of the playoff picture. As mentioned before, with the underwhelming production of Cobb this season, and especially as of late, these are the tough decisions I am here to help you make. The Vikings defense has been playing at an elite level as of late, and just shut down a smoking hot Raiders offense (wow that felt weird typing), keeping Cooper and Crabtree at bay. Take into consideration that in five career games against Minnesota, Cobb has averaged a mere 39.4 yards, and only has scored one touchdown. Going to say the same notion I had with Hilton, in that if you have a player with a ten point floor, start him over Cobb. Yet, do not substitute in a player who has the possibility of getting you a goose-egg.
Danny Amendola- Tom Brady, enough said. Remember the statement about wanting a piece of a high-powered offense, or somebody catching passes from guys like Brees, Rodgers, or Manning (not injured, not winter, not 2015)? Well, you receive both the high octane offense as well as a QB playing better than all of the aforementioned, in Tom Brady. As we all know by now, Edelman will miss significant time, and those targets will need to find a new home. Sure, some will be spread to Gronk and LaFell, but Amendola will step right into that slot role that is utilized often in this Patriots offense. In the wake of Edelman’s injury last week, Amendola stepped in and grabbed ten passes for 79 yards. This immediately puts Amendola on the cusp of a WR2 going forward, as he will see high-volume replacing the high-percentage routes missing from the roster. Edelman torched the Bills in Week 2, going for 11/97/2. I expect similar reception and yardage numbers, but it is hard to predict touchdowns. In conclusion, he is must-add and a must-start in Week 10.
Besides Amendola, there are not many players you could add in a standard size league that would make an immediate impact. At this point, Stevie Johnson and Kamar Aiken should be owned in all leagues, as they are their teams No. 1 WR, respectively. Some deeper-league/stash-and-hold players mentioned in last week’s article like Dorial Green-Beckham and Devin Funchess could be a nice addition down the stretch as they see more playing time. If those players are already gone, look at a guy like Chris Givens, who will look to get himself more acclimated to the Baltimore offense and become Flacco’s number two guy. Keep an eye on the injury updates to Allen Hurns, and if he has to miss anytime, Marqise Lee could be worth an add. Lastly, Wes Welker made his return to the football field and saw six targets from Nick Foles. Foles now has been benched for Case Keenum, so keep track of targets going Welker’s way and how much he will be involved before making the add.
It’s not Dez Bryant who becomes the main beneficiary of Romo’s return as Terrence Williams finally makes an appearance, going 5/102/1.
With Osweiler at the helm, Demaryius Thomas doubles his touchdown total for the season, ending up with 7/98/2.
His peaks and, mostly, valleys of the season see another peak, as Jordan Matthews breaks one loose against the Bucs’ finishing 5/115/1.
Julio gets held in check Sunday going 5/60/0.
If you have any lineup questions, trade offers, or help with waiver additions.
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@brandonziman You are more than welcome Brandon. You were a fantastic writer and a joy to work with. As we move through a very big transition for us hopefully we can continue to work with one anither.