Before getting into the Week 10 roundup, I want to touch on a hot topic now that the season is past the halfway point.
Who is the front-runner for league MVP?
There are a handful of names who deserve to be in the conversation, but I just cannot get behind the Tom Brady push. Don’t get me wrong, the stats are there and what he is doing at age 39 is amazing.
How can we call him the most valuable player when his team was able to go 3-1 during his four game suspension? I get that the most valuable player isn’t necessarily “the most valuable player” to his team, but usually the best player in the league. Often times this will go hand in hand.
If he keeps up this pace he deserves a plate at the table. Even as great as he has been, I am having a hard time calling someone the front-runner who has only played four games through Week 9 of the season.
Week 10: Workin’ the Wire
You never know what name you might find laying around the waiver wire this time of year. With the amount of byes that have occurred the last two weeks, roster crunches happen and sometimes tough drops have to be made.
Anyone in your league panic and drop Eli Manning? He has scored over 20 points in two of his last three games, including Sunday against the Eagles who coming into Week 9 allowed the fifth fewest points to opposing quarterbacks.
Blake Bortles is…
“That’s my character, I’M THE TRASH-MAN! I come out and throw footballs all over the field and get my team behind by two touchdowns. Then I play the second half against a soft defense and complete underneath passes and rack up respectable stats.”
Bortles has 60 career touchdown passes, 40 of those have come in the second half. The trash-man really turns it on in the 4th quarter though.
Touchdown passes by quarter:
Last week at the tight end position, I talked about Lance Kendricks as a speculative add. Let me tell you, the speculation is over and it is time to roster and START Lance Kendricks. The caveat that goes with this is that Case Keenum has to remain the starting quarterback. I mean Goff might look to him early and often too, but Keenum loves him. In the last three games, Kendricks has seen 8,9, and 12 targets. If this type of volume continues, Kendricks will be a weekly top 10 play.
I have been watching football long enough that nothing should surprise me, but I still can’t get over Jason Witten’s 8/134/1 against the Browns on Sunday. It had been 40 games since Witten’s last 100 yard effort.
Witten is the third tight end to pop the Browns for 100+ receiving yards. He was also the third tight end to score at least 19 fantasy points against them. I guess what I am trying to say is that this herculean effort was mostly about the matchup and I am not rushing to the wire to snag Witten.
Joe Flacco vs. CLE
I have been back and forth on Flacco all season. I was buying Flacco stock before the draft and loved what I saw at the beginning of the year with Marc Trestman calling 40+ pass plays in five of their first six games. After the pass happy Trestman was canned, I cut ties with Flacco. I expected the offense to take on a new run-heavy identity. While that may have been the idea, they have struggled to run the ball, and will rely on Flacco’s arm to move the offense. With Steve Smith back healthy and Mike Wallace stretching defenses, he has the weapons to put up numbers. Welcoming in a Cleveland defense on a short week that has allowed 20 fantasy points to the opposing quarterback in four of their last five games certainly won’t hurt his chances for success.
Carson Wentz vs. ATL
I am dialing up Wentz this week against a Falcons defense that has been more charitable to opposing quarterbacks than any team in the league. They have allowed three or more touchdown passes in six games this season. Wentz has struggled recently throwing four interceptions and just two touchdowns in his last three games, but the volume has been there. Especially in the last two games in which he has thrown 43 and 47 pass attempts. With the Falcons offense lighting up the scoreboard, Wentz will be gunning and 40+ attempts against this defense should yield 20+ fantasy points.
Drew Brees vs. DEN
This is the classic unstoppable force meeting an immovable object. Opposing quarterbacks against the Broncos defense have been an auto-sit for me this season. However, Brees in the dome is a situation that I cannot pass up. At home, Brees is averaging 382 yards and three touchdowns per game. It is scary running a quarterback out against a defense that has not surrendered more than 15 fantasy points to a quarterback since Week 1, but I have to take my chances with Brees at home.
One thing working in Brees’s favor is that the Broncos were gashed on the ground this past week. If they are forced to move another defender into the box to slow down the Saints 1-2 punch of Ingram and Hightower then things could open up for the passing game.
Dennis Pitta vs. CLE
I had touched on the Browns struggles against opposing tight ends earlier in the article. Pitta happened to be one of the three tight ends to go over 100 yards against the Browns when he did it back in Week 2. Although his yardage has been on the decline, he is still heavily involved in the game plan. He has averaged just shy of eight targets per game over the last four. He has yet to find the end zone this year, but this matchup will give him as good of a chance as any to make his first visit.
Travis Kelce @ CAR
If Kelce can exercise some control and not throw any towels at officials this Sunday he should be in line for a good game. The Panthers have allowed six tight end touchdowns. Alex Smith will be back under center this week and I expect him to look Kelce’s way often, especially in the red zone.
Colin Kaepernick @ AZ
Kaepernick is coming off a big game, but I don’t like his chances to repeat in Week 10 when he travels to Arizona to take on a well rested Cardinals team. When these teams met earlier in the season, the Cardinals held the San Francisco passing attack to 162 yards. Gabbert was the one throwing the ball in that matchup, but I don’t expect Kaepernick to do much better.
Kirk Cousins vs. MIN
The Vikings are coming off three straight losses, but their defense is still one of the best in the game. No quarterback has gone for more than 18 points against them. Cousins has made some questionable decisions this year and his seven interceptions is the proof. The Vikings have had at least one interception in seven of their eight games. I expect them to get pressure on Cousins and force some turnovers.
Delanie Walker vs. GB
After a slow start to the season, Walker has scored at least seven fantasy points in four of his last five games. However, he has seen his yardage totals drop in three consecutive weeks. Speaking of slow starts, the Packers defense struggled against tight ends in the early part of the season, but since their Week 4 bye they have held opposing tight ends out of the end zone and have allowed a high of 61 yards. Walker is a hard guy to bench as shallow as the tight end pool is, but if you have another option I would consider it this week.
Gary Barnidge vs. BAL
The barnyard dog has had a leash put on him this season. He has yet to find the end zone and has just one game with more than 70 yards receiving. To make matters worse, he is going up against a Ravens defense that has only allowed one tight end to have more than 40 yards receiving, when it took Jordan Reed 11 targets to muster 53 yards. Keep the dog penned up this week.
C.J. Fiedorwicz @ JAX
At 2-6 the Jaguars don’t do much well, but they can hang their hat on shutting down opposing tight ends. They have allowed only one tight end touchdown and have been stingy in the yardage department as well. Fiedorwicz has been held under 50 yards in each of the last two games. He will likely need to score a touchdown to make his fantasy day worthwhile.
Stack Play: Flacco to Pitta
I don’t know about you, but I am getting to the point where I hate having guys play on Thursday night. It finally worked out in Week 9 with the Falcons vs. Bucs, but up until that game it seemed like most players were falling short of their projections. At the end of the day, this matchup is too good and I will take my chances in any day that ends in Y.
Good luck this week. Hit me up on Twitter @barkballin with any questions.
(Click the RED link below to listen)
Major League Fantasy Football Radio: Join Ej Garr, Corey D Roberts, and Coach Jeff Nelson live Sunday November 13th, 2016 from 11am-12:30pm EST for episode #76 of Major League Fantasy Football Radio. This is a live broadcast and we take callers at 323-870-4395 press 1 to speak with the hosts. We will be breaking down key matchups, discussing fantasy start/sit, some DFS, and handicapping as well.
Jeff is the defensive coach for Freedom H.S. in PA, an 8 year veteran of Major League Fantasy Sports, and 3 time champion.
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