It’s Week 10, and there are reasons for optimism if you have one of these players on your fantasy football roster:
▪ Look for big numbers from Eli Manning (N.Y. Giants) and the Giants’ receivers on Monday Night Football. Cincinnati allows 325.3 yards passing over its past three games, second-worst in the NFL over that span.
▪ Matt Ryan (Atlanta) grew up and played high school ball in Philadelphia, where he returns Sunday to face the Eagles. In five career games against the Eagles, Ryan has averaged 256 yards passing and 2.6 touchdowns.
▪ There should be ample scoring opportunities for Jordan Howard (Chicago) against Tampa Bay, which allows 29.0 points per game (fourth-worst in the NFL). Howard comes off a career game with 30 total touches and will be leaned on heavily again.
▪ It’s a good week to start your Broncos receivers against a Saints defense allowing a league-worst 300 yards passing per game. Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas are in the top 10 of receiver rankings this week.
▪ Off a one-catch game, Dez Bryant (Dallas) is a good bet to bounce back for a big game against a soft Pittsburgh pass defense (ranked 24th). Bryant averages five catches, 95.2 yards and 0.8 touchdowns per game in his past five games after a one- or two-catch game dud.
▪ Although Green Bay allows the fewest rushing yards per game (75.8), stick with DeMarco Murray (Tennessee). He will get heavy volume, especially with Derrick Henry (calf) likely out. He should also have opportunities in the passing game if this game turns into a shootout.
Players to avoid
▪ Drew Brees (New Orleans) drops in the rankings as he goes against a strong Denver pass defense. Also, the Saints could focus on the run game, where Denver has been vulnerable, ranking 29th.
▪ Russell Wilson (Seattle) and the rest of the Seahawks face a Patriots team allowing just 16.5 points per game, second-lowest in the NFL.
▪ Minnesota has been a little more forgiving of late, but the Vikings still allow a league-low 15.8 points per game. It’s not a good week to start Kirk Cousins (Washington) or to be too invested in the Washington skill-position players (aside from must-start tight end Jordan Reed).
▪ Matt Forte (N.Y. Jets) has four touchdowns over his past three games, but this game looks less than attractive for fantasy prospects. Los Angeles ranks second in rushing yards allowed over its past three games at just 59.3 yards per game.
Week 10 sleepers
▪ Fire up your Cardinals against the 49ers, who allow a league-worst 32.5 points per game. San Francisco has allowed multiple touchdown passes in every game since Week 1. Wide receiver J.J. Nelson is high in the rankings, building off his two-touchdown game against the Panthers in Week 8.
▪ Carson Wentz (Philadelphia) has tailed off with just two touchdowns in his past four games, but could surprise against Atlanta. It could be a shootout, and no team allows more fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks than Atlanta.
▪ In Nathaniel Hackett’s first game as the Jaguars’ offensive coordinator, he emphasized the run. That puts Chris Ivory in the mix for starting consideration this weekend at home against the Texans, who rank 28th against the run, but second against the pass.
▪ Rishard Matthews (Tennessee) has turned into a solid depth receiver for the Titans. He quietly has five touchdowns in his past five games.
▪ Sammie Coates (Pittsburgh) didn’t have a catch last weekend, but he did get five targets (all deep routes) and he dropped a would-be touchdown. Coates is still a deep-sleeper for a long touchdown on any given play for the Steelers.
▪ Taylor Gabriel (Atlanta) is on the fantasy radar, averaging 18.7 fantasy points per game over his past two games and playing in the second-ranked passing offense. Atlanta also gave Gabriel two rushing attempts last weekend, and he scored on one of them.
Alan Satterlee is a co-owner and senior writer for DynastyFootballWarehouse.com, a comprehensive fantasy football strategy site.