Week 10 Starts and Sits
November 10, 2016 | Jackson Safon
We’re not at the home stretch of the regular season yet, but we’re almost there. We’re at the home stretch for the home stretch. With most leagues having only four weeks until the playoffs, it’s time to pay attention, stop screwing around, and make sure you have the right guy to start.
This is a disaster of a bye week for myself as I have uncomfortably high ownership of both the Lions offense and the Colts offense. I have one redraft team where I own Stafford, Hilton, Moncrief, Jones, Ebron, and Doyle. And we have five man benches.
At least in that league I won’t have many start or sit decisions. But you probably do, so with that, let’s get to it.
Start: Marcus Mariota vs. GB
Thanks to @LordReebs for this one, but over the past five weeks Mariota is third in fantasy points per game among quarterbacks, only behind Drew Brees and Tom Brady. The Titans offense has been cooking, with a low in team scoring of 26 over that span. While the Packers defense has been surprisingly decent, this game looks like a shootout with the second highest implied total of the week.
Last week Mariota showed the full range of his skill set, throwing deep dimes, diving for the pylon on rushing touchdowns, and making silly mistakes leading to turnovers. The guy can do it all. But for fantasy purposes, Rodgers will be slinging it this week and Mariota will do his best to keep up. You can confidently start Mariota this week.
Other starts: Tom Brady vs. Sea and Drew Brees vs. Den
Sit: Alex Smith @ Car
The Panthers pass defense has been subject to a lot of scrutiny this year, and rightfully so. I mean, come on…they let up 300 receiving yards to one player in a game. But since then, they’ve sort of turned things around. Yes, they let up 41 points to the Saints, but in their other three games since the Jones debacle they’ve only allowed an average of 14.7 points per game. They held the high-powered Cardinals in check and the occasionally-dynamic Buccaneers down as well.
I’m not saying they’re the ’85 Bears, but they’re showing signs of improvement. While Alex Smith is often a popular streaming candidate, the first week back from a concussion against an improving defense is not where I’m looking this week. This game has one of the lower over/unders of the week, so I would try and avoid clicking “start” on Smith if possible.
Other sits: Kirk Cousins vs. Min and Sam Bradford @ Was
Start: Darren Sproles vs. Atl
Doug Pederson seems to love the guy. Sproles has been playing lead back snaps the past few weeks and is getting the corresponding touches. Let’s play a game! These are just stats from the last two weeks combined.
Player A: 28 carries for 112 yards, 6 receptions for 51 yards
Player B: 28 carries for 143 yards, 8 receptions for 31 yards
Player A is Devonta Freeman and player B is Darren Sproles. Freeman also has two total touchdowns compared to none for Sproles, but you get the idea. Sproles is getting plenty of touches to be worth a PPR start, and against an Atlanta team that will probably get out to an early lead, Sproles should pile up receptions this week.
Other starts: Terrance West vs. Cle and LeGarrette Blount vs. Sea
Sit: Matt Asiata @ Was
I’m hoping this isn’t a start/sit decision that you have to make this week, but it’s one that I have to so I figured I might as well include it. The Redskins defense is actually allowing some pretty solid fantasy points to opposing running backs, but the Vikings offense is just as mess. Asiata had a horribly uninspiring 11 touches for 41 yards last week.
If that isn’t making you run for the door, I don’t know what will. I’m almost positive that there are better options on your waiver wire, so please don’t make this mistake.
Other sits: Jonathan Stewart vs. KC and Duke Johnson @ Bal
Start: Brandin Cooks vs. Den
Denver is where passing games go to die. Their pass defense has been otherworldly this season even without Aqib Talib last week. Good news is, this game isn’t in Denver. Everyone knows that Drew Brees is much better at home than on the road, so you might assume that Cooks’ production would correlate as well. I bet it’s more of a gap than you think.
Home: 8.18 targets, 5.65 receptions, 80.88 yards, 0.71 touchdowns, 18.59 fantasy points per game
Road: 7.12 targets, 4.82 receptions, 54.47 yards, 0.29 touchdowns, 12.31 fantasy points per game
In the four games he’s played at home against top-10 pass defenses he’s still averaging almost 17 fantasy points per game. Yes, Denver’s secondary is usually a place to avoid. But never fade the Saints at home.
Other starts: Emmanuel Sanders @ NO and Dez Bryant @ Pit
Sit: Kelvin Benjamin vs. KC
Benjamin had those great first two weeks and then has sort of fallen back to Earth. While he had a solid week against the Rams, he’s still a guy whose production is just so up and down it’s hard to trust. Against the Saints a few weeks ago he had 14 targets, but his next game against the Cardinals he only had five.
While the Chiefs don’t have the most stellar secondary, it’s solid and I just can’t trust Benjamin this week.
Other sits: Jamison Crowder vs. Min and Quincy Enunwa @ NYJ
Start: Dennis Pitta vs. Cle
This is very simply a matchup choice. The Browns defense has been a disaster this season, and specifically against tight ends. They’re allowing the most fantasy points to opposing tight ends, and I think Pitta is in a good spot to keep that going. While this game doesn’t have a particularly high over/under, the Ravens are favored by 10 so they should have several chances at getting into the end zone.
Pitta is always a popular streaming choice, and I don’t think that should change this week.
Other starts: Jimmy Graham @ NE and Kyle Rudolph @ Was
Sit: Jacob Tamme vs. Phi
After being heavily involved in the passing game early in the season, Tamme’s production has really fallen off. He hasn’t had more than two catches or 20 yards since week three and the Eagles defense is a horrific matchup, allowing the third fewest fantasy points to opposing tight ends. I hope you weren’t thinking about starting Tamme anyways, but if you are….just please don’t.
Other sits: Coby Fleener vs. Den and Hunter Henry vs Mia