Fantasy Football Week 10 Rankings Review: Midseason Mayhem

by Tyler Thompson
week 10 rankings review
Fantasy Football Week 8 Rankings

Credit: Keith Allison

When is this fantasy football season going to get weird? It's the question that looms large every season. Yet, the conundrum of the question itself is mysterious.

To explain what I mean, I will tell you exactly how most of my fantasy seasons went last year. I get to about Week 6 and start thinking about random scenarios in which Player A could step into a larger role in the running game. Or how Player B has been efficient with his targets and has room for a usage increase. I continually dream up scenarios where I can attain the next 'player that wins you leagues'. That is until about Weeks 9-11 when I'm concerned with bye weeks and become a victim of rhythm in my leagues.

Then, out of nowhere, BAM! I'm losing to the guys who pick up Doug Baldwin, Ted Ginn, and Tim Hightower in these 'dead weeks'. Sure, I had solid teams in my leagues, but taking teams to the playoffs and getting kicked out after one round by Ted freakin' Ginn is not something I would wish on my worst enemy.

How can we, the fantasy owner, avoid such a scenario? I'm working on a few different techniques this year that could pay huge dividends in the coming weeks:

  • Rule #89: Don't pass on a guy because of the 'he had one good game - I don't know if he can keep it up' argument. In 2015, the aforementioned Doug Baldwin had two double digit fantasy point performances before Week 10. He then had a 134-yard output with a TD against a good Cardinals defense. Many people thought it was a one week aberration while others just picked him up for the hell of it. The rest is history, my friends. I'm not saying that every guy like this will turn into Baldwin, but it doesn't ever hurt to blow an end of the bench spot on the guy who just turned it up. Speaking of that last bench spot...
  • Rule #8008: Don't roster someone who is 'just a guy' at the end of your bench. For example, if you have four or five really good wide receivers that you always rotate depending on availibility, what's the point of rostering that boring sixth WR? If you have a guy like Allen Hurns or Mohammed Sanu wasting away on your bench, that is just not at all useful. How would I fill that bench spot, you ask? Hmm...
  • Rule #31: Here's the time of the year to own handcuffs. I personally never draft handcuffs unless I believe that they have a path to quick playing time. However, I love picking up lottery ticket handcuffs just in case a doomsday scenario happens. First off, if you have guys that are system RB's with obvious backups, make sure you grab said backup to ensure that RB situation. In one of my leagues last year, I rode Chris Johnson to a great record and thought my bench was too deep to warrant carrying David Johnson as a handcuff. CJ2K suffered an injury right before the first round of the playoff. My first round playoff opponent picked up David Johnson and defeated me with him.

Well, that was fun. While we are discussing all the terrible losses I had last year (that I am certain no one wants to hear about), why don't we just keep the negativity flowing to this season? Let's see the results from the Week 9 rankings review.

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Damn, Week 9 was a mean one to this writer. I missed on everything. My Hit% dropped 5% after Week 9. Look, I don't want to talk about it - let's just move on here. I'm ready for my next chapter - just call me Kevin Durant.

This week, I will try to point out some players that have been on the minds of fantasy players for reasons right or wrong. There's a couple of players on here that I believe could be impact players in the second half of the season.

Onward, championship dreamers, to the Week 10 Rankings Review!

Week 10 Rankings Review

If you have start/sit questions, by all means hit me (@therealwody) or any of my fellow F6P writers up on Twitter. You may have heard the famous phrase ‘no one cares about your fantasy team’, but I promise we do! That or we just have an obsession regarding the fantasy game and enjoy running scenarios through our heads. Either way, you are getting the advice!

As always, these rankings reflect the standard scoring system. To check out what I think on fantasy defenses, give the Stream-O-Matic a try!

Too Low

Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks (F6P Rank: QB12)

Look out fantasy world, Russell Wilson is running again! He rushed for a TD in Week 9 against a strong Bills defense to add onto his 280 yards and 2 pass TD's in the terrific performance. Reports say he will shed the kneebrace and be back to normal starting this week.

The matchup with the Patriots sets up pretty nicely for him. New England has the 26th worst pass defense by DVOA ratings at Football Outsiders. Admittedly, this probably has to do with opponents having to increase their passing volume in games where the Patriots are blowing them out. Nonetheless, the yards and TD's are being yielded and Wilson can exploit the secondary with his arm and legs come Sunday evening.

I have Wilson as a top 8 QB this week. Remember, this is the week that Russ started going absolutely beserk in last season, so maybe he's a second half kind of guy.

Rank Ahead: Cam Newton, Carson Palmer, Dak Prescott

Kenneth Dixon, Baltimore Ravens (RB40)

Here's one of those Rule #31 guys that I talked about in the introduction. Kenneth Dixon has a chance to take over the backfield on a team that is playing for its future.

The Ravens have had an interesting year. After jumping out to a poor start offensively and in overall record, they fired coach Marc Trestman. Now, the new OC wants to pound the rock. The last few games have shown an uptick in rushing attempts, although not much has been done with said attempts. Terrance West has been very good, but I imagine that Baltimore wants to split the workload to see what they have in the rookie Dixon.

Having a 60/40 split against a team like the Browns draws plenty of interest from me in both guys. If the Ravens are leading toe-to-toe or have at least a competitive game, I could see 40 rush attempts total from Baltimore. That would put West and Dixon at 24 and 16 touches, respectively. I like each of their chances to go for 60+ yards and a TD in that scenario, which plays really well for season-long teams needing an RB2 fill-in from the waiver wire for Week 10 only.

I have him in the top 30 of running backs this week. And, who knows, he could even carve out a larger role for himself with a memorable performance.

Rank Ahead: Duke Johnson, Jerick McKinnon, Ryan Mathews, Kapri Bibbs

Doug Baldwin, Seattle Seahawks (WR21)

Wow, I talked about him enough in the introduction and now I just wanted to briefly mention him here. Baldwin is a top 15 WR this week and the ceiling is crazy high for this matchup.

All the things I mentioned while talking about Russell Wilson apply here. Baldwin and Jimmy Graham (who is appropriately rated in the tight end rankings) should ball out this week in New England. If I was in a state where DFS was legal (seriously, Louisiana, get it together), I would be rolling out GPP stacks with the Seattle passing offense. Then, I would spend all of my winnings on more GPP lineups until I eventually lost all that money and went back to square one.

Point is that I am very high on the Seattle passing game in Week 10 and you should be too. And let this be a lesson for DFS players out there - don't wait for an offense to start clicking to jump on the bandwagon. Be proactive and hop on the bandwagon early before the price tags go up on these players.

Rank Ahead: Allen Robinson, Kelvin Benjamin, Brandin Cooks, Terrelle Pryor

Rishard Matthews, Tennessee Titans (WR34)

I thought this would be a great transition from my promotion of Baldwin in this piece. This because I see a similar story unfolding for Matthews this season as I saw from Baldwin in 2015. Consider him a Rule #89 guy!

Both guys play on run-first offenses with mobile quarterbacks. They both became the best receiving option on a team searching for one outside of the tight end position. And, most importantly, they both started catching TD passes like crazy when no one expected it.

The last five games have seen Matthews catch five touchdowns and average over four catches a game. While those reception totals certainly aren't high enough to expect the TD rate to sustain, his scoring rate can't be ignored. Maybe this isn't as close to 2015 Baldwin as it is closer to 2015 Ted Ginn. However, I seem to recall plenty of teams winning championships with Ted Ginn repping their FLEX spot last season.

Look, at the very worst, you hold onto him in a 12-team league and play him if you have someone on bye. He gets the Packers this week followed by the Colts and Bears before his bye week in Week 13. He could be relied upon in a pinch in those three weeks until you find someone you like better on waivers before Week 13. As for this week, I will rank him in the top 28 of wide receivers which puts him in WR3 or FLEX consideration in most formats.

Rank Ahead: Mike Wallace, John Brown, Julian Edelman, Willie Snead

Lance Kendricks, Los Angeles Rams (TE20)

In a world where consistent tight end production is scarce, fantasy owners are upset that they must add and drop the Zach Ertz's and Julius Thomas's on a weekly basis. Tight end streaming doesn't have to suck though! Enter Lance Kendricks - he of the increasing usage in the Rams offense.

I know, you saw his horrific touchdown drop last week and can't go back to him again. I understand. Oh wait, no I don't. You should go back to him this week! As seen in the tweet, his matchup against the Jets couldn't get any better. The Jets are giving up fantasy production to just about anyone throwing against them. As for tight ends, the Jets don't give up touchdowns to the position as much as we'd like. However, the yardage totals are still appalling and the Rams must exploit this weakness to open up other parts of their offense.

I'm having a hard time keeping Kendricks out of my top 12 at tight end. He's a definite starting option if you are hurting at the position due to byes or injuries.

Rank Ahead: Jason Witten, C.J. Fiedorowicz, Gary Barnidge

 Too High

Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (QB11)

Blake Bortles' reign as the King of Garbage Time Production (GTP) is being threatened by Jameis Winston this season. Winston had a decent outing against the Falcons, but half of his fantasy points came in the 4th quarter of that game. The Falcons vaulted to a large lead and Tampa Bay was having to play catch-up in the second half.

The Bears actually rock a halfway decent defense (backhanded compliments are still compliments). Their rush defense is shoddy, but their pass defense can hold its own. Consider that Mike Evans, Doug Martin, and Jacquizz Rodgers could all sit again too. Winston is dealing with injuries of his own, specifically concussion symptoms after a huge blow to the head last week. Luckily for them, they had a couple of extra resting days, but I would still be worried about the availibility of all of these guys.

For this week, I am playing it safe and sitting Winston in most cases. I'll rank him 15th amongst QB but his floor is even lower.

Rank Ahead: Eli Manning, Jay Cutler, Andy Dalton

Todd Gurley, Los Angeles Rams (RB11)

In the race for most disappointing fantasy player in 2016, Todd Gurley has to be the leader of the pack among healthy players. Opposing defenses are selling out to stop the run, forcing Case Keenum to beat them through the air. It's a winning strategy and I don't expect it to change anytime soon.

This week, the Jets defense is on the horizon. Their 2nd-ranked run defense is so good that they may not have to sell out completely. The best case scenario for Todd Gurley would be for the Rams to come out white-hot in the passing game (using Lance Kendricks of course) to loosen up the Jets front seven. Fisher has come out and said that they need to increase Gurley's touches significantly, but I'm not so sure that's going to solve anything. Giving Gurley five more carries at 3 YPC isn't going to move the offense any better.

I don't believe in the offensive scheme for Gurley or the ability of Case Keenum to loosen up a defense. Therefore, I will rank Gurley accordingly. Just to put in perspective how bad it's been - Jay Ajayi has rushed for more yards and TD's the last four weeks than Gurley has all season. The Dolphins don't have that much better of personnel, but what they do have is a head coach in Adam Gase that can scheme as well as anyone.

I hate to see this for Gurley and feel like he deserves much better. Nonetheless, I must rank him outside the top 16 at RB for Week 10.

Rank Ahead: Terrance West, Devontae Booker, LeGarrette Blount, Jordan Howard

Dennis Pitta, Baltimore Ravens (TE12)

I don't get the love for Dennis Pitta this season. He has just one game over 60 yards receiving for 2016. Hell, he hasn't even scored a touchdown yet.

Yes, I realize that the Browns give up the most fantasy points to the position. I mean, c'mon, they give up the most fantasy production to ALL positions. It's just a matter of which one will be the most productive position on any given night. I love the running backs for Baltimore in the Thursday night matchup and believe that the passing volume for Joe Flacco will be limited. Pitta just doesn't have that upside that you are looking for in tight end streamers given that he isn't much of a red zone threat.

I know that it's tough to stream tight ends and not everyone has Kendricks on their waiver wire. In PPR leagues, Pitta is a fine play tonight considering the game he had in Week 2 against the Browns. In standard leagues, I don't buy him at all and have him finishing TE15 or worse.

Rank Ahead: Zach Ertz, Cameron Brate, Hunter Henry

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