Fantasy Football Start/Sit Week 10: Start Pat Freiermuth & Jerry Jeudy, Sit Adrian Peterson & Julio Jones
Getty Images. Pictured: Pat Freiermuth and Adrian Peterson
Setting your fantasy football lineups each week can be hard, especially with four teams on bye.
Make sure to swap out any Bears, Bengals, Texans or Giants players before lineups lock, replace players such as Chase Edmonds, and monitor the active/inactive statuses of key players such as Tua Tagovailoa (finger), Kyler Murray (ankle), DeAndre Hopkins (ankle), Nick Chubb (COVID-19), Damien Harris (concussion), Chris Carson (neck), Chase Claypool (toe), Antonio Brown (ankle), Rob Gronkowski (ribs), James Robinson (heel), Clyde Edwards-Helaire (knee), Noah Fant (COVID-19) and Logan Thomas (hamstring), who may miss the Week 10 action.
Below are some players at each position you should start for Week 10 of the NFL season, as well as some players you should consider sitting based on matchups, injuries and trends.
Week 10 Start ‘Em
Quarterbacks to Start
Carson Wentz, Colts vs. Jaguars
Since Week 5, Wentz is QB9 on a per-game basis and has finished top 14 at the position in each week. He posted his best game of the year in Week 9 and completed 22 of 30 attempts for 272 yards, three touchdowns and zero interceptions against the Jets. He gets another plush matchup against the Jaguars in Week 10 against the Jaguars, who are allowing the seventh-most passing yards this year, and is a fringe top-12 quarterback.
Matt Ryan, Falcons at Cowboys
Ryan is a tempting start this week after carving up the Saints’ stout defense in Week 9. He completed 23 of 30 attempts for 343 yards, three touchdowns and zero interceptions, finishing as QB3. He was QB3, QB12, QB14 and QB31 in the four weeks prior and faces the Cowboys next in a game with the highest point total of the week (55). The Dallas defense ranks sixth-worst against fantasy quarterbacks, making Ryan is a solid streamer with top-12 upside.
Derek Carr, Raiders vs. Chiefs
Carr struggled in what should have been a plus matchup last week against the Giants and completed 30 of 46 attempts for 296 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. He scored 12 fantasy points — just his third game all season with fewer than 20 fantasy points. I have to imagine he has been somewhat distracted by off-field drama, first from former head coach Jon Gruden and now from recently-released Henry Ruggs III. It’s difficult to say if these distractions will continue to impact Carr and the Raiders, though the matchup is almost too juicy to resist. This week, Las Vegas has a home matchup against the Chiefs, whose defense has been borderline meme-worthy and has allowed the second-most fantasy points to quarterbacks this year. He should be regarded as a borderline QB1 with four teams on bye.
Wide Receivers to Start
Hunter Renfrow, Raiders vs. Chiefs
Renfrow stepped up in a big way with the loss of Henry Ruggs III. He tied a season-high nine targets and caught seven passes for 49 yards and a touchdown. I anticipate he will continue to play a major role in this offense as the team’s No. 1 receiver; Bryan Edwards was a complete non-factor in the contest and caught zero passes. Renfrow gets a dream matchup against the Chiefs this week, whose defense has been very susceptible to the pass making him a borderline WR2.
Brandon Aiyuk, 49ers vs. Rams
For managers who drafted Aiyuk and have rostered him through this whole disappointing season, now is your time to shine. He posted season highs in every receiving category and caught six of eight targets for 89 yards and a touchdown. His impressive performance came with the re-addition of George Kittle and in a tough matchup against Arizona. This week won’t be much easier against the Rams, but I like the progress Aiyuk has shown over the past two weeks. He is a WR3/flex in Week 10.
Jaylen Waddle, Dolphins vs. Ravens
Waddle had another solid performance in Week 9 despite the last-minute change at quarterback. He caught eight of 10 targets for 83 yards against the Texans and gets another decent matchup on deck. The Dolphins will face the Ravens, who have given up the second-most passing yards this year. Waddle remains a WR3/flex play with DeVante Parker, Will Fuller V and Preston Williams sidelined.
Jerry Jeudy, Broncos vs. Eagles
Jeudy is inching his way back into fantasy relevance since returning from an ankle injury that sidelined him for six games. He caught four of four targets for 39 yards in Week 8 and six of eight targets for 69 yards in Week 9. Both were against soft secondaries, and this will be a tougher matchup for Dallas against the Eagles, who rank fourth-best against fantasy receivers. Still, he should be the team’s No. 1 option and presents high upside as a WR3.
DeVonta Smith, Eagles at Broncos
Smith is one of the only intriguing fantasy options for the Eagles. He had a stellar Week 9 against a challenging Chargers’ pass defense and caught five of six targets for 116 yards and a touchdown — his best game to date. I think he should keep it rolling, even in a tough Week 10 matchup against the Broncos. He is also a WR3 with upside this week.
Running Backs to Start
Melvin Gordon III, Broncos vs. Eagles
Gordon has been crushing the dreams of the Javonte Williams truthers all season. He has scored four times in the last three games and saw a season-high 23 touches for 95 scrimmage yards and a touchdown last week against Dallas. He has another positive matchup in store in Week 10 against the Eagles, who are allowing the fifth-most fantasy points per game to running backs this year. He is a locked-and-loaded RB2 with upside this week.
Devonta Freeman, Ravens at Dolphins
Freeman scored for the third consecutive game in Week 9 with Latavius Murray out. He saw 13 carries for 79 yards and caught two of three targets for four yards. The Ravens face the Dolphins this week, which should be a good game script for the run game. Freeman will be a decent RB3/flex play this week, so long as Murray sits once again.
Myles Gaskin, Dolphins vs. Ravens
Gaskin recorded a season-high 20 carries in Week 9 against the Texans for 34 yards and a touchdown. He also caught all six of his targets for 23 yards, finishing as RB15 in half PPR. His fantasy production has been erratic, and there are still question marks around who will get the start under center for the Dolphins. The Ravens have been stingy in terms of rushing yards (fifth-best in the NFL), but running backs overall have found success against them; the defense ranks ninth-worst in fantasy points allowed to the position. Gaskin’s involvement in the passing game makes him a strong play this week with low-end RB2 potential.
Devin Singletary, Bills at Jets
Singletary is moving up the rankings this week in a mouthwatering matchup against the Jets. His rushing attempts have been low, though he did post season highs in his role in the pass game. He hauled in seven of eight targets for 43 yards in the Bills’ head-scratching loss to the Jaguars last week. This contest should have a much more favorable game script for the running backs, which Singletary might lead if Zack Moss cannot clear the concussion protocol.
D’Ernest Johnson, Browns at Patriots
Johnson was a dud against the Bengals last week with eight carries for 16 yards. Two yards per carry isn’t going to cut it, though he may be the Browns’ lone healthy running back this week with Kareem Hunt still on injured reserve and both Nick Chubb and Demetric Felton on the COVID-19/reserve list. Chubb, who tested positive for the virus, is vaccinated and would need two negative tests 24 hours apart to be eligible to play. Johnson would be a RB2 — even in a tough matchup against the Patriots this week — based on workload alone if Chubb cannot play.
Tight Ends to Start
Dan Arnold, Jaguars at Colts
Arnold performed well in spite of a brutal Week 9 matchup against the Bills. He hauled in four of seven targets for 60 yards and gets to face a much softer Colts’ secondary this week that is allowing the sixth-most fantasy points to tight ends. Arnold has at least seven targets in three of the last four games. The matchup, coupled with his involvement in this offense, makes him a borderline top-12 play this week.
Pat Freiermuth, Steelers vs. Lions
Freiermuth has vaulted into solid TE1 territory after two strong games in a row. The rookie, aptly coined “Baby Gronk,” caught five of six targets for 43 yards and a pair of touchdowns in Week 9 against the Bears’ tough defense against tight ends. He now has three touchdowns in two games and at least six targets in each of the last three games, which could continue with Chase Claypool week-to-week with a toe injury. He is a solid top-12 play this week against the Lions’ leaky defense.
Defenses to Start
Cleveland Browns Defense at Patriots
The Browns defense has been up and down all year. Their D/ST has scored as little as -2 points, and as high as 18 points, which happened last week against the Bengals. The team recorded two interceptions in Week 9, including one returned for a touchdown. I believe they will have a good chance to pick off Mac Jones — who has seven picks this year, at least once in this contest — making them a top-12 play this week.
Pittsburgh Steelers Defense vs. Lions
Pittsburgh’s defense had a stretch of unimpressive outings for fantasy between Weeks 2 and 6. They offer some decent upside this week against the Jared Goff and the Lions, whose offense ranks fourth-worst in the NFL in points scored.
Week 10 Sit ‘Em
Quarterbacks to Sit
Jalen Hurts, Eagles at Broncos
After a hot start to the year, Hurts has struggled of late. He has just one touchdown over two games and has finished with 11 and 17 fantasy points against the Lions and Chargers, respectively. His woes may continue into Week 10 as the Eagles take on the Broncos, who just shut down the Cowboys and have allowed the second-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks behind only the Bills this year. There may be better options on the waiver wire than Hurts this week in 10- or 12-team leagues.
Ryan Tannehill, Titans vs. Saints
Tannehill was expected to step up with Derrick Henry out for an extended period of time. In Week 9, he completed 19 of 27 attempts for 143 yards, one passing touchdown and one rushing touchdown. He finished as QB17 for the week against the Rams and I doubt he will fare much better against the Saints, who have the 11th-best defense against fantasy quarterbacks and have allowed the fifth-fewest offensive points per game. He is squarely in the QB2 tier this week.
Kirk Cousins, Vikings at Chargers
Cousins is coming off of a solid game in which he completed 17 of 28 attempts for 187 yards, three touchdowns and zero interceptions against the Ravens’ permeable pass defense. It’s his second week in a row with fewer than 200 yards, and he has a difficult opponent on deck in Week 10. The Vikings face the Chargers, who are allowing the fourth-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks. The matchup alone is enough to knock Cousins outside the top 12 for me.
Wide Receivers to Sit
Corey Davis, Jets vs. Bills
Davis has missed two straight games with a hip injury and returns for the Jets’ brutal Week 10 matchup against the Bills. The wideout will still have solid upside in certain matchups, but this is a stay-away for me. Buffalo’s defense has allowed the fewest fantasy points to wide receivers this year, putting Davis squarely outside the WR3 conversation.
D.J. Moore, Panthers at Cardinals
Moore’s struggles are directly tied to the Panthers’ subpar quarterback play. He tied a season-worst six fantasy points in half PPR last week against the Patriots after hauling in three of seven targets for 32 yards (plus two rushes for 14 yards). He has only crested the double-digit fantasy point mark once since Week 5. The Panthers will need to put up a lot of points to stay competitive in this game, which I’m not at all convinced they can do. They announced former XFL star P.J. Walker will be the starter against the Cardinals in place of an ailing (and struggling) Sam Darnold while newly-returned vet Cam Newton gets his bearings. Moore’s lack of production and sketchy QB situation makes him a low-endWR2 with downside.
Christian Kirk, Cardinals vs. Panthers
Kirk has been a pleasant surprise this season and is currently WR21 in half PPR. He caught all six passes for 91 yards in Week 9 against the 49ers opposite backup Colt McCoy while DeAndre Hopkins was sidelined. Hopkins was not practicing as of Wednesday, so if he sits, Kirk actually would be a decent play. Assuming Hopkins is healthy, however, there are simply too many mouths to feed in this offense, which may be led by McCoy once again. The matchup is also tough: Carolina is allowing the second-fewest passing yards this year and fifth-fewest fantasy points to wide receivers. If the Cardinals’ wide receiver corps is at full strength, assume Kirk is nothing more than a dart-throw flex play this week.
Jarvis Landry, Browns at Patriots
Landry disappointed in Week 9 with Odell Beckham Jr. out of the picture. He caught three of five targets for 11 yards and finished as WR72 for the week in half PPR. He has been a relatively unexciting — but trustworthy — fantasy asset throughout his career, though those days may have come and gone. He has just one finish inside the top 40 at the position and is set to face the Patriots in Week 10. New England’s stingy defense ranks 11th-best against fantasy wide receivers and has allowed the fourth-fewest offensive points per game this year. Landry is a firm sit for me in this tough matchup.
Julio Jones, Titans vs. Saints
Jones has had one good game all year (Week 2 against Seattle) and has not done nearly enough to justify his draft cost. He caught four of four targets for 35 yards in Week 9 and faces the Saints this week, who have allowed the fifth-fewest points per game this year. The team has been exploitable against fantasy wideouts, but nothing Jones has done this year suggests he is a reliable play in this tough matchup. He is a low-upside WR3 this week.
Running Backs to Sit
Antonio Gibson, Washington vs. Buccaneers
Gibson has been dealing with a stress-fractured shin for weeks now, which has visibly impacted his production. In Week 8 against the Broncos, he saw a season-low eight carries for 34 yards and caught three passes for 20 yards. My hope is Washington’s Week 9 bye came at a good time for Gibson to recover, though he is returning for a brutal Week 10 matchup against the Buccaneers. Tampa Bay has allowed the second-fewest rushing yards and the seventh-fewest fantasy points to running backs this year. Additionally, this is not projected to be a favorable game script for the rushing attack, as the Football Team are 10-point underdogs in this contest. Gibson is a sit due to matchup and until I am convinced he is healthy.
Michael Carter, Jets vs. Bills
Carter struggled in Week 9 against the Colts coming off of a huge breakout game in Week 9. He saw 13 carries for 49 yards and caught a pass for 37 yards. He gets another tough matchup this week against Buffalo, which is allowing the fewest fantasy points to running backs all year. This is not projected to be a good game script for Carter either, as the Jets enter this contest as 12.5-point underdogs. Carter has sky-high potential rest-of-season once the Jets’ schedule lightens up, but he is a firm sit for me in Week 10.
Adrian Peterson, Titans vs. Saints
Peterson fell into the end zone, salvaging what was otherwise a very pedestrian first game for the Titans. The veteran running back saw 10 carries for 21 yards and a touchdown and caught a pass for five yards, though he was visibly outplayed by D’Onta Foreman. This is quickly morphing into an ugly committee with which I want no part, especially against the Saints. New Orleans is a huge defensive mismatch for Peterson’s one-dimensional rushing style and have allowed an NFL-low 73.8 rushing yards per game this year. They rank fourth-best against fantasy running backs, knocking Peterson out of the starter conversation.
Boston Scott, Eagles at Broncos
I cannot believe I fell for this Eagles’ running back honey pot last week. Scott came crashing back down to earth in Week 9 after a two-touchdown game in Week 8 and saw 10 carries for 40 yards against the Chargers’ awful run defense. It was Jordan Howard, not Scott or Kenny Gainwell, who saw the lion’s share of the workload with 17 carries for 71 yards and a touchdown. This week, the Eagles face the Broncos, who rank sixth in rushing yards allowed and 11th in fantasy points allowed to running backs. I am fading Scott in this tough matchup and possibly forever.
Alex Collins, Seahawks at Packers
Collins was originally in the start column given Russell Wilson’s return this week. He gets sent back to the bench, however, with the news that Chris Carson has been designated to return from injured reserve this week. Carson has been dealing with a neck injury that has sidelined him since Week 4. If he ends up sitting out another game, Collins would be a decent play, but Carson should remain top dog in this backfield once he is back.
Tight Ends to Sit
Hunter Henry, Patriots vs. Browns
Henry will be a tempting start this week given his recent flurry of touchdowns. He caught two of three passes for 19 yards and a touchdown in Week 9 and has found the end zone five times in the last six games. Our natural inclination is to ride the hot hand at a position that tends to be touchdown-dependent, but his targets are worrisome. He is averaging just three targets over the last four games and isn’t seeing a consistent enough workload to be considered a week-to-week starter. He is a sit for me this week against the Browns’ above-average defense against tight ends.
Zach Ertz, Cardinals vs. Panthers
The uncertainty at quarterback for the Cardinals should be enough to knock most of their pass-catchers not named James Conner and DeAndre Hopkins (if he plays) out of the fantasy conversation. Ertz caught just three of five targets for 27 yards opposite backup Colt McCoy last week. This week, the Cardinals face the Panthers, whose defense has been stingy and has given up the second-fewest passing yards per game this year. Ertz could flirt with top-12 numbers if Kyler Murray starts, but the matchup makes him a risky play.
Defenses to Sit
Carolina Panthers Defense at Cardinals
The Panthers have been impressive defensively this season, which has kept them competitive in games in spite of Sam Darnold’s blunders. This could be a difficult game for them, even if Kyler Murray sits. The Cardinals simply have too many weapons to not put up points, knocking the Carolina D/ST out of top-12 consideration.
Miami Dolphins Defense vs. Ravens
The Dolphins D/ST had their best showing of the year last week, allowing just nine points and recording four turnovers against the Texans. They are a bad start this week against the Ravens, who have scored the seventh-most points this year and have looked extremely solid both on the ground and through the air.