Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Tyler Lockett (16).
- Ryan Collinsworth is here to answer those tough "start or sit" questions for the Week 10 NFL slate.
- This week he digs into each skill position including Seahawks WR Tyler Lockett vs. Cowboys WR Amari Cooper.
In this article, I compare players with similar ESPN fantasy projections based on our Action Network Consensus Rankings and projections. In doing so, I advocate starting players with higher upside and fading comparable players with downside risk.
All rankings and projections are based on PPR scoring. Reported player projections are based on median expected outcome and are current as of writing. For a complete breakdown of all players, check out our FantasyLabs Models powered by “The Oddsmaker,” Sean Koerner.
Start Carson Wentz over Mitch Trubisky
Wentz has quietly started to turn it on for the Eagles after returning from knee surgery in Week 3. Since then, he’s averaged 298 passing yards per game, boasts a quarterback rating of 109.6, and has over 250 passing yards and two touchdowns in five straight games. He ranks as the eighth-best quarterback in PPR and continues to trend upward.
Wentz also returns from a Week 9 bye with a new weapon at his disposal: Golden Tate. The Eagles draw an excellent matchup against the Cowboys, who rank 26th in Pass Defense DVOA and will be without stud linebacker Sean Lee after re-injuring his hamstring last week.
On the other side, there’s no denying that Mitch Trubisky has delivered a phenomenal season for the Bears. But his Week 10 matchup against the Lions does not inspire overwhelming confidence.
Chicago has played in two straight low Vegas total games against the Jets and the Bills, and Trubisky’s production has declined in those contests as the Bears have favored a run-heavy offensive game plan.
In those two games, he averaged only 177.5 passing yards, 1.5 touchdowns, and 0.5 interceptions. He also only rushed just one time last week, which is concerning, because much of Trubisky’s fantasy value relies on his rushing upside.
The Bears find themselves in yet another low total (44) game this week, and may once again favor a more run-heavy approach with Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen. The Lions also rank just 27th in passing yards allowed to quarterbacks (235.62) this season.
The low game total limits Trubisky’s scoring upside, and game script may work against him in a run-heavy slug fest. Trubisky’s season-long upside remains high, but this particular matchup may not afford him enough opportunity to justify starting him this week.
Start Duke Johnson Jr. over Doug Martin
Johnson exploded nine catch, 78-yard, two touchdown receiving performance against the Chiefs in Week 9, and he could face another excellent matchup against the Falcons this week. Atlanta’s Cover 3 defense schematically funnels receiving production to running backs, which bodes well for Johnson’s projected target volume.
On average, the Falcons defense has conceded the most targets (10.4), most receptions (8.5), and third-most receiving yards (64.4) to running backs this season.
For many fantasy owners, a groin injury to Marshawn Lynch inspired hope that Doug Martin could regain fantasy relevance. But he has not delivered on that potential.
His most carries in a game this season is only 13, he has zero touchdowns to his credit, and offers minimal receiving upside playing alongside Jalen Richard. Richard has over 45 receiving yards in six of eight games this season.
If you’re starting Martin, you almost certainly need him to deliver a rushing touchdown in order to justify that decision. But the Raiders rank 27th in Rush Offense DVOA, and Los Angeles ranks eighth in rushing touchdowns allowed to running backs this season.
On top of all that, the Raiders find themselves in the strongest Pass Funnel on this week’s slate, which may further limit Martin’s rushing volume.
Start Jared Cook over Jack Doyle
Cook has delivered excellent season-long production well beyond expectations this season, but he has not been the most consistent fantasy tight end from week-to-week.
He ranked as PPR TE1 in Week 1, TE1 in Week 4, and TE4 in Week 8. But, he has also finished outside the top-20 four times in eight games.
Nonetheless, few tight ends boast upside that rivals Cook’s, and he draws an advantageous game script against the Chargers this week. As I mentioned previously in discussing Doug Martin, the Raiders boast the highest Pass Funnel Rating on the slate, which bodes well for Cook’s target volume.
He is second on the team in target share (19.43%), second in air yards share (19.05%), and ranks eighth among tight ends in targets per game (6.3).
He also leads the Raiders in red zone targets (12) by a large margin. The next closest player is Jordy Nelson with five red zone targets.
Doyle impressed in his Week 8 return (ironically against the Raiders) with a 6-70-1 receiving line on seven targets. However, he still shares tight end duties with Eric Ebron, who also scored in that game and has seven receiving touchdowns this season.
While Doyle has historically been one of Andrew Luck’s favorite targets, it’s evident that Luck and Ebron have developed a rapport this season. Ebron has 16 red zone targets, which ranks seventh among all NFL players, and trails only Travis Kelce (17) among tight ends.
Not only is Doyle splitting targets with Ebron, but he also has to deal with the Jaguars’ stingy secondary this week. Jacksonville ranks seventh in Pass Defense DVOA, 27th in targets to tight ends (5.6) and 25th in yards to tight ends (41.6). Doyle’s season-long upside still makes him a week-to-week TE1, but this particular matchup limits his upside this week.
Start Tyler Lockett over Amari Cooper
Lockett may be the most underrated fantasy wide receivers this season. He ranks as WR28 in PPR through Week 9, averaging 13.6 fantasy points per game. He leads the Seahawks in targets (39) and touchdowns (6), and is tied for the team lead in red zone targets (5). On top of that, he offers volatile but valuable upside as a rusher and as a return specialist.
He draws an advantageous matchup this week against cornerback Marcus Peters, who ranks 106th among cornerbacks in Pro Football Focus’ rankings. The Rams have surrendered on average the fifth-most touchdowns to wide receivers (1.44), and Lockett has scored in six of his eight games.
From underrated to overrated: Amari Cooper flashed potential against the Titans last week, converting eight targets into five receptions for 58 yards and a touchdown. Despite that encouraging performance, there’s cause for concern this week against the Eagles.
The Cowboys offensive line has been ravaged by injuries this season, and left guard Connor Williams is now questionable with a knee injury. Philadelphia ranks No. 1 in pass rush according to Pro Football Focus, which doesn’t bode well for quarterback Dak Prescott or the Cowboys passing game.
Dallas is coming off a disheartening loss to the Titans on Monday night, and pressure is mounting for head coach Jason Garrett to salvage a disappointing season.
With a difficult matchup in a hostile environment, and given the Cowboys’ offensive line deficiencies and injuries, it’s hard to trust Dallas’ passing game – or Amari Cooper.
Start Tyrell Williams over Adam Humphries
Humphries posted a massive 8-82-2 receiving line last week and has quickly garnered drastically unwarranted hype for this week’s matchup against the Browns, ranking as high as WR35 in ESPN’s most recent projections.
However, prior to last week, Humphries’ production had been inconsistent and underwhelming:
- 37 receiving yards or fewer in five of his eight games played.
- Four receptions or fewer in five of his eight games played.
- Zero touchdowns.
- PPR WR66 over that span.
Humphries’ 6.3 targets per game is out-classed by numerous running backs and tight ends, and even the likes of Quincy Enunwa and Donte Moncrief.
Simply put, the Bucs offense distributes the ball too much to trust Humphries this week — or any week. Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson, Chris Godwin, and even O.J. Howard also command targets in that offense, and Humphries is the low man on that pecking order.
He also draws a difficult matchup against a Browns defense that ranks No. 2 in Pass Defense DVOA.
While Humphries is a low-target share slot receiver with limited upside, Williams is almost exactly the opposite. As a consistent deep-field stretcher and red zone threat, he offers substantial upside in a fantastic matchup against the Raiders.
Per Ian Hartiz’s Week 10 Matchup Manifesto, the Chargers have the potential for explosive pass plays and limited quarterback pressure. Los Angeles ranks second in Offensive Pass DVOA (55.5%), and the Raiders have allowed the third-highest number of passes of 20-plus yards (35) this season.
Sure, Williams is more of a boom-or-bust option, but he boasts an excellent matchup against a hapless Raiders squad this week and deserves flex consideration in all formats.