Week 10 fantasy football moves to make now:
Tony Romo (Dallas): Romo has been dropped in some leagues, and if so, now is the time to scoop him up. Romo is expected to make his return in Week 11 at Miami. Romo and the Cowboys don’t have it easy down the stretch but Romo nonetheless should be a low-end QB1 once he returns.
Matt Hasselbeck (Indianapolis): With Andrew Luck set to miss anywhere from 2-6 weeks with a lacerated kidney, Hasselbeck will get the keys to the Indianapolis offense. Hasselbeck is 40 and has some limited upside. He averaged 247.5 yards in two starts earlier this season, with 1.5 touchdowns per game. That’s a good target for Hasselbeck totals on any given week, and they aren’t that appealing.
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Blaine Gabbert (San Francisco): As mentioned last week, as bad as this offense was playing, Gabbert almost had to be upgrade over Colin Kaepernick. Such was the case as the Niners pulled off the improbable upset over Atlanta behind Gabbert. The Niners have announced that Gabbert will start again in Week 10 but he’s still a desperation play.
James Starks (Green Bay): Starks has significantly outplayed Eddie Lacy this season, including this past week where Lacy totaled just 10 yards on five carries while Starks had 122 total yards. This will likely be a time-share going forward but Starks’ spot in the offense is locked in at this point.
James White / Brandon Bolden (New England): The season-ending injury to Dion Lewis will mean opportunities for someone on an offense that is easily leading the NFL at 34.5 points per game. White is the back you want to target and he is a particularly good receiving back. White set the Wisconsin school record for receiving yards by a running back with 670 for his collegiate career.
Joique Bell (Detroit): Bell operated as the Lions’ clear-cut lead runner in the team’s last game two weeks ago with Bell coming back from an ankle injury that had sidelined him for three games. Bell has averaged 7.7 yards per carry in his past two games on ten carries. Theo Riddick and Ameer Abdullah are both going to be involved but it looks like new offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter plans to go with Bell over Abdullah for the time being.
Jay Ajayi (Miami): After being put on Injured Reserve-designated to return, Ajayi made his NFL debut last week and had a good showing with 41 yards on five attempts. Ajayi has quickly claimed the backup running back for Miami, and he is just one injury away from being a featured back in the NFL. Concerns about Ajayi’s knee saw him slip to the fifth round in this year’s NFL Draft (many thought he would go as high as the second round). Ajayi scored 32 touchdowns in 2014 at Boise State, where he led the FBS in scoring.
Jordan Todman (Pittsburgh): Adding Todman is staying one step ahead of what could be possible -- Todman is one injury away from replacing DeAngelo Williams as the starting running back in Pittsburgh.
Shaun Draughn (San Francisco): A true journeyman (Draughn has bounced around the Bears, Browns, Chargers, Chiefs and Ravens in four NFL seasons), don’t expect much from Draughn but he should have the starting job locked down in San Francisco until Carlos Hyde can return (no sure thing). Running with fresh legs, Draughn posted 96 total yards last week.
Roy Helu / Taiwan Jones / Jamize Olawale / Marcel Reece (Oakland): Latavius Murray is in the concussion protocol and there’s a good chance he could miss this week. I wouldn’t rush out to add any of these backs as Oakland will likely employ a committee to replace Murray – Jones has been Murray’s main backup this season, Helu could get passing-down work, while Reece has proven in the past he can fill-in for a week or two fairly effectively when needed.
Dorial Green-Beckham (Tennessee): The Titans stated that they wanted to get Green-Beckham more involved in the offense and they did that last week with 10 targets. Green-Beckham has the talent to pop for a big game on any given week. After this week against the Panthers, Tennessee and Green-Beckham get some very favorable matchups over the next month, including two games against Jacksonville in three weeks along with Oakland and their 31st-ranked pass defense.
Dontrelle Inman (San Diego): The Chargers’ receivers are dropping quickly – Keenan Allen went down two weeks ago and now Malcom Floyd has suffered a torn labrum and he too is likely lost for the season. Inman is next man up, and starting receivers in the pass-happy Charger offense have value.
Devin Funchess (Carolina): Funchess easily had his best game as a pro last week (3/71/1), which should garner more targets on a Panthers team without elite receivers ahead of Funchess on the depth chart.
Jerricho Cotchery (Carolina): Like Funchess, Cotchery had his best game of the season last week against the Packers (three receptions, 82 yards). Cotchery will continue to be in the mix but the 33-year-old receiver has limited upside (Cotchery averages two receptions and 34 yards per game over the past month).
Garrett Celek (San Francisco): Celek is expected to be the 49ers starting tight end with Vernon Davis having been traded. Vance McDonald actually got the start last week, but Celek added two touchdowns (although on just two receptions). Celek is a low upside player ultimately.
Other news and notes
▪ Week 10, 2015 will be a historic week of football as Peyton Manning becomes the NFL’s all-time leading passer. At 71,836 yards, Manning needs just 3 yards to pass Brett Favre to set the record. Next up in terms of active players are Drew Brees (36) with 58,796 yards and Tom Brady (38) with 55,967 yards. Brees or Brady have a chance to eventually catch Manning, else this record is likely to stand for decades.
▪ On the other end of the spectrum, Derek Carr is quickly becoming a must-start in fantasy. Carr has 12 touchdowns in his past four games -- Matt Ryan, conversely, has 12 touchdowns for the entire season.
▪ Fantasy championships could be won or lost based on which fantasy team scored DeAngelo Williams on the cheap. In three starts this season, Williams has 449 total yards and five touchdowns. That’s darn near the level of Todd Gurley (who had 483 yards in his first three starts). If Williams can stay healthy he will be a regular in the top five of running back rankings down the stretch.
Alan Satterlee is a co-owner and senior writer for DynastyFootballWarehouse.com, a comprehensive fantasy football strategy site.