Fantasy Football

2020 Fantasy Football Week 10 Preview: Alertness


Of the many strengths a serious fantasy enthusiast needs is alertness. You need it at every stage from at least early-August.

The most dedicated among us live on Fantasy Island all year long. If you aren’t a dynasty player or just do not have a hunger to keep awake for 365 days with everything football related, you can generally hibernate and catch up well enough by the end of July.

The fantasy home stretch begins in Week 10. This is especially the time to be awake and alert if you want to qualify for your league playoffs. Not saying you need to be sober, just alert.

I’m not talking necessarily about the NFL news and such – that alertness should be second nature by now. I’m talking about the state of your team. Fantasy trading deadlines usually occur before Week 12, so this week you really need to see if your team has enough for a good playoff run. Or, on the other side of the coin, if you have enough going for you to qualify at all.

Are You Ready?

In other words, readiness in all things. Do you need to start thinking about a handcuff? Can you stash an extra defense for Week 13? If you are streaming QBs, are there potential winning matchups coming along? And so on and so forth.

So yeah, stay alert to these matters and don’t put them off. Plan a little bit – it only takes a few minutes. When I say, “a few minutes”, I mean a few minutes. Overthinking is one of the dumbest things we do in fantasy. But I’ll save that topic for next week as I have much to say about it.

Note: I have introduced FPAR (Fantasy Points Allowed Rank). Here’s how it works. “Cowboys: QB6 RB12 WR2 TE6″ means the Cowboys give the 6th most fantasy points to QBs, 12th most to RBs, 2nd most to WRs, and 6th most to TEs.

2020 Fantasy Football Week 10 Preview

2019 Fantasy Football Week 14 Preview

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Byes:  Chiefs, Cowboys, Falcons, Jets

Games to Watch 2019 Fantasy Football Week 14 Preview

A brief rundown of the games this weekend. You have your fantasy lineups set, now it’s time to watch ’em play.

Early Sunday: Buccaneers (6-3) at Panthers (3-6) +4.5 50.5

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Brady doesn’t take it on the chin that often, but the Saints exposed some glaring flaws in the Bucs defense which didn’t help. Unfortunately for the Panthers, I’m not sure they have the means to exploit it in the same way. We must not underestimate the role of Taysom Hill in the Saints offense. Every time Hill touched the ball, the Bucs suddenly had two left feet.

The Panthers have the RPO in their repertoire, but without Christian McCaffrey, the offense has to revert to conventional methods. Granted, Curtis Samuel may be key because of his strength in the short game. Teddy Bridgewater needs to try and keep the Bucs defense as loose in medium coverage as much as possible. That’s why Brees used the underneath game to attack them in the first two drives last week. It hurts Samuel’s chances for another strong game perhaps, but getting shots to Anderson and Moore is essential as this game goes along.

As for Brady, his slant throws were just awful last week. If the Panthers can force Brady to pass outside the numbers, then they can get those three and outs. However, expect the Buccaneers to instead force the running game much harder this time.

Fournette or Jones?

Once again, choosing Ronald Jones to get prime rock touches can turn sour with Leonard Fournette around.

Fournette had his only 100+ yard rushing day of 2020 versus these Panthers in Week 2. Based on past success, the logic says Fournette. But making such assumptions like this is very risky when it comes to fantasy prediction. The Bucs could indeed go heavy Jones instead this time.

Sorry I cannot draw a straight conclusion, but if I had to choose – Fournette still maintains the higher usage over Ronald Jones in the recency before the Saints game.

Mike Davis for the Panthers is of course an automatic start.

Fun Fact: Both Robby Anderson and D.J. Moore had 100+ yard receiving games when these teams met in Week 2 – without either scoring a TD.
Fantasy Points Allowed Rank (FPAR):
Buccaneers: QB26 RB24 WR24 TE15
Panthers: QB24 RB5 WR27 TE21
Sleeper: Antonio Brown, WR, Buccaneers

Other Early Sunday Games in Brief…

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Texans (2-6) at Browns (5-3) -3.0 53.5

The Browns come out of their bye and into a three-game soft patch in their schedule. There’s good fantasy life in the 26th power-ranked Texans with Brandin Cooks and Will Fuller showing terrific upside. Duke Johnson lines up as lead back if David Johnson doesn’t clear the concussion protocol. Nick Chubb may return to an ease-in workload with Kareem Hunt taking the points.
FPAR: Texans: QB8 RB3 WR7 TE11 Browns: QB10 RB19 WR5 TE17

2020 Fantasy Football Week 10 Preview

Eagles (3-4-1) at Giants (2-7) +3.5 44.5

Merrill Reese (voice of the Eagles) was around for BOTH Meadowlands miracles and this is the time of year for it. Another famous game? Devonta Freeman (ankle) questionable – leaning positive. Alshon Jeffery finally arrives for Week 10. However, the scene with Travis Fulgham is so changed you cannot just park Jeffery into a start – his fantasy meter ran out.
FPAR: Eagles: QB20 RB23 WR20 TE4 Giants: QB23 RB18 WR11 TE24

Washington (2-6) at Lions (3-5) -3.5 46.5

These teams hit the under in 8 of their last 9 meetings. Alex Smith’s rust shouldn’t affect Terry McLaurin. Dwayne Haskins is proof. Dalvin Cook set a high bar for Antonio Gibson versus the Detroit run defense – of course you start him. We await the status of Kenny Golladay (hip) for more than just this game. Meanwhile, stashing Quintez Cephus or Marvin Hall cannot hurt.
FPAR: Washington: QB22 RB21 WR32 TE6 Lions: QB12 RB1 WR21 TE19

Jaguars (1-7) at Packers (6-2) -13.5 51.5

The lowly Jaguars still pack a punch and the Packers do well to not look past them. Jake Luton, with surprising poise, showed enough ability to bump Gardner Minshew into backup duty. The Aaron Jones expected limitation versus the 49ers didn’t look that limited. TD upside – yes. Same with James Robinson, the quiet fantasy Beatle RB of the Jags. Mark him in for one as well.
FPAR: Jaguars: QB3 RB6 WR12 TE3 Packers: QB27 RB2 WR26 TE28

Late Sunday: Bills (7-2) at Cardinals (5-3) -1.5 56.0

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Two highly mobile quarterbacks battling it out in the desert.

The Cardinals make hard work for defenses in the up-tempo style they like to play. It is free-wheeling; with Kyler Murray always ready for rushing yardage by design and play extension. The Bills by necessity have to contain that somehow. However, with DeAndre Hopkins and Christian Kirk requiring constant monitoring deep, you gotta feel for the workload of the Bills’ defenders rushing up front. By the 4th quarter, you’ll definitely see the hands on hips of those guys; especially if Sean McDermott overdoes it on blitz packages early.

On offense, the Bills will use a similar scheme as they did versus the Seahawks. However, it might help the Bills to try and engineer long protracted drives early to give as much rest to the defense for the later stages of the game as mentioned above. The Cardinals are well-stocked with Budda Baker and Patrick Peterson as hall monitors, but like the Bills, they rank among the top 10 of blitzing teams. Their defense will need to remain fresh as well. With John Brown and Stefon Diggs running all over the place – not easy.

It is hard to say how all this attrition plays out. On one hand, you have two teams ready to explode, but energy conservation is at a premium. No matter what, we’re definitely looking at a game with potentially two very different looking halfs.

All the fantasy starters aside from tight ends on both sides have upside ceiling break potential. If you need a sleeper spot start, you do well to select one from several on either team in this game. I give one suggestion below.

Fun Fact: Kyler Murray (tied with Cam Newton) leads the league in 2020 among quarterbacks with eight rushing touchdowns. Josh Allen is next with five.
Fantasy Points Allowed Rank (FPAR):
Bills: QB15 RB13 WR25 TE5
Cardinals: QB18 RB15 WR19 TE23
Sleeper: Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Cardinals

Other Late Sunday Games in Brief…

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2020 Fantasy Football Week 10 Preview

Bengals (2-5-1) at Steelers (8-0) -7.5 47.5

How can you nit-pick an 8-0 team? Well, when fantasy gets involved you do. Defense wins championships. That’s the problem for anyone owning Joe Mixon and company. The Steelers put the fantasy shade over every team they face. They also have a knack for slow starts and playing down to their opponents. So there is hope for Mixon and Tee Higgins to shine in the early going.
FPAR: Bengals: QB16 RB8 WR16 TE2 Steelers: QB28 RB26 WR8 TE30

Chargers (2-6) at Dolphins (5-3) -2.5 48.0

Tua Tagovailoa meets Justin Herbert. Four running backs on the Chargers does not make a fantasy pie. Oddly, it’s an exact situation on the Dolphins too. If all these RBs are healthy, one of them is likely inactive on each team. The Chargers have fine fantasy startable receivers in Allen and Williams. Sit Herbert himself though – the Dolphins’ defense is hot right now and blitz heavy.
FPAR: Chargers: QB4 RB16 WR23 TE7 Dolphins: QB19 RB9 WR13 TE29

Broncos (3-5) at Raiders (5-3) -5.0 52.0

Many will ask this weekend, “Start Phillip Lindsay or Melvin Gordon?” The question wouldn’t matter so much if the Raiders were not such a good matchup for RBs. As a coach, I would want Gordon to have a good opportunity to feed his determination going forward. Jerry Jeudy joins the surging WR rookies of 2020. Whereas Henry Ruggs is getting left behind – near droppable.
FPAR: Broncos: QB9 RB28 WR9 TE22 Raiders: QB7 RB4 WR15 TE20

Seahawks (6-2) at Rams (5-3) -1.5 55.5

A potential shootout, but the Seahawks often flop in their LA journeys. However, it may help Russell Wilson that SoFi has no sun glare and freshly laid state-of-the-art Matrix Turf. Like most, Wilson considers Aaron Donald the hands down best pass rusher in the NFL. Meanwhile, Jared Goff just needs to display better accuracy for a fine day. Start all fantasy notables.
FPAR: Seahawks: QB1 RB20 WR1 TE26 Rams: QB30 RB25 WR31 TE18

Forty-Niners (4-5) at Saints (6-2) -9.5 50.0

The Saints’ defeat of the Bucs was a major statement. They want it now. The 49ers, limping as they are, have enough capability to keep the Saints busy for at least a good portion of the game. Michael Thomas needs a strong fantasy showing to maintain reasonable trade value. If you need a start on the 49ers, everyone is risky and sleeper-esque.
FPAR: 49ers: QB17 RB31 WR18 TE27 Saints: QB13 RB30 WR10 TE8

Featured Games

Sunday Night: Ravens (6-2) at Patriots (3-5) +7.0 43.5

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As mentioned earlier, Cam Newton has eight rushing TDs. This is around the number where we expected Lamar Jackson (3) by now. Before you get any ideas that I’m suggesting a QB rushing duel in this game, we know a gamescript like that is unrealistic.

That said, the game will certainly center around the abilities of these two quarterbacks and their pass catchers. Jakobi Meyers of the Pats is getting all the fantasy attention this week as his 24 targets over the last two games was just too much to ignore. Jakobi Meyers and Damiere Byrd are generally regarded as down-list receivers, but Newton never had the chemistry with Julian Edelman or N’Keal Harry.

We always thought of Meyers as an untapped talent, but when Harry came along it seemed inevitable that he no longer had a place at the table. This is actually a big moment for Jakobi Meyers and his career. If he rolls and balls out again, we could start to see a significant fantasy tier shift upward for Meyers. It is rare to see that for wide receivers. Devante Parker, Tyler Boyd, and Tyler Lockett are other recent examples.

Meanwhile, what are we doing about Marquise Brown of the Ravens? Despite some squeaky wheel talk recently of his role in the offense, the solution from the coaching staff is to wear hearing protection. We knew early on that the scheme of the Ravens doesn’t quite fit his skill set, so I guess it was inevitable that the issue would come due at some point. He remains an unsafe start.

Mark Ingram may return from injury this week, but with J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards also in this hot hand backfield, it becomes even tougher to guess which one to start.

Fun Fact: This is the second meeting of Cam Newton and Lamar Jackson. The last was in Week 8 of 2018 – Ravens at Panthers. Joe Flacco was the starter, but Jackson threw his first ever NFL touchdown pass in this game to the then Ravens TE Hayden Hurst. The Panthers won 36-21.
Fantasy Points Allowed Rank (FPAR):
Ravens: QB21 RB32 WR29 TE16
Patriots: QB29 RB11 WR17 TE31
Sleeper: Miles Boykin, WR, Ravens

Monday Night: Vikings (3-5) at Bears (5-4) +2.5 45.0

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Seeing Adrian Peterson marvel at his successor pile up yardage against the Lions was one of the great visuals last week.

The Bears might have better coverage for RBs than we’ve seen out of other Minnesota opponents lately, but it’s fairly clear now that Mike Zimmer wants Dalvin Cook unleashed. The Vikings have ground to make up in the playoff race and Cook is the reason they are back in it.

The rest of your fantasy Vikings are suffering somewhat because of this – most notably Adam Thielen. That might change in this game depending on who the Bears consider to tighten up on between he and Justin Jefferson. The Bears may just split their key coverage, but that often leads to mis-communication in the secondary. Defending Thielen and Jefferson in this way might be just too risky.

David Montgomery is in the concussion-P, so an interesting backfield discussion came about in our last Fantasy Edge Podcast. Jonathan Chan posed the question about Cordarrelle Patterson’s role if Montgomery remains inactive. Ryan Nall seems obvious for primary carrier, but I just could not dismiss the very real possibility of Patterson as the one making the fantasy gains.

If Montgomery sits this one, I’m starting Patterson in Scott Fish Bowl. Are you with me?

As for other Bears, Allen Robinson you always start. I would prefer Darnell Mooney over Anthony Miller if you are looking for a spot start.

Fun Fact: The Bears have swept the Vikings in their divisional series the last two seasons by an average score of about 21-14. The Bears out-rushed the Vikings by an average of 137-75.
Fantasy Points Allowed Rank (FPAR):
Vikings: QB6 RB17 WR2 TE13
Bears: QB31 RB22 WR30 TE9
Sleeper: Jimmy Graham, TE, Bears

In the Booth on Sunday

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Ian Eagle

CBS Early

None! CBS is covering The Masters this week.

FOX Early

Buccaneers at Panthers: Kevin Burkhardt, Daryl Johnston
Jaguars at Packers: Chris Myers, Greg Jennings, Brock Huard
Eagles at Giants: Kevin Kugler, Chris Spielman
Washington at Lions: Brandon Gaudin, Aqib Talib
Texans at Browns: Dick Stockton, Matt Millen

CBS Late

Bills at Cardinals: Ian Eagle, Charles Davis
Broncos at Raiders: Kevin Harlan, Trent Green
Chargers at Dolphins: Greg Gumbel, Rich Gannon

FOX Late

Seahawks at Rams: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman
Bengals at Steelers: Kenny Albert, Jonathan Vilma
49ers at Saints: Adam Amin, Mark Schlereth

Check out the rest of our 2020 Fantasy Football content from our great team of writers.

About Richard Savill

Richard is an NFL Fantasy Football Writer and Editor of Fantasy Six Pack. Host of The Fantasy Edge Podcast. FantasyPros Contributor. Member of the FSWA. Richard is known for his "outside the box" insight into NFL fantasy football. Winner of the 16-Team 2015 FSWA challenge.

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