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Fantasy Overview - Week 10

Get yourself caught up on what's going on in the league as we enter Week 10 of the NFL season. Here's my take on the fantasy landscape around the league and how you can benefit. 

WHO'S HOT - FANTASY POINTS PER GAME LAST FOUR WEEKS?

Fantasy Points per game based on PPR scoring. Click on each tab to view results for that position. 

quarterback

Carson Wentz is the mid-season MVP, especially now that Deshaun Watson is out of the running. He's the most productive quarterback on the best team in the league. Wentz played four games in the last four weeks and boasts the top fantasy finish in that span. Russell Wilson has the most fantasy points per game while playing in three games. Matthew Stafford, Tyrod Taylor, Dak Prescott and Josh McCown have also ventured into "HOT" territory. Stafford has averaged over 300 yards per game in that span. Taylor has six total touchdowns with 0 interceptions, Prescott has thrown for less yards, but he has 7 touchdowns in three games and McCown has 10 total touchdowns while averaging 240 yards passing per game. 

Based on strength of schedule numbers for the next three games, the needle is pointing up for Cam Newton, Drew Brees, Josh McCown, Kirk Cousins and Marcus Mariota. There's a chance that Ryan Fitzpatrick, Brock Osweiler (or whoever quarterbacks the Broncos) and Philip Rivers could see a spike in production. 

RUNNING BACK 

The Saints ground game has been hot lately with Top 3 production from Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara, due to the fact that they played four games over the last four weeks. On a per game basis both are still in the Top 10, which speaks volumes for how well the Saints are playing. Both Ingram and Kamara are capable of sustaining this success, especially over the next three games where they have a Top 3 strength of schedule for running back fantasy production. Ezekiel Elliott earned the top per game ranking, averaging 155 total yards per game in his last three games with 6 total touchdowns. Elliott's status due to the legal challenges he's facing is a giant unknown, but it appears as if his luck is running out. LeVeon Bell has not been the dominant receiving back this year like he has been in seasons prior, but he's still producing at a high level, despite having many favorable matchups. Todd Gurley, Melvin Gordon, LeSean McCoy and Jerick McKinnon make up the remainder of the stud backs with recent success. All of the aforementioned backs have at least 3 touchdowns in this four week span doing so in three games.

Those who stand to benefit in the next three games based on strength of schedule are a close representation of those who had success in the last four weeks - Dallas backs, the Saints duo, Todd Gurley, Melvin Gordon, LeSean McCoy and make room for a Giants back to potentially emerge. If New England figures out their three-headed monster at running back, there's promise for them as well. 

WIDE RECEIVER

In a bit of a surprise, Detroit has two wide receivers in the Top 6 for fantasy points per game over the last four weeks - Marvin Jones and Golden Tate. They are both clear top targets for Matthew Stafford, but Jones especially has been on fire with 36 targets in three games with three touchdowns. In this span Tate has caught 87.5% of targets thrown to him (21-for-24) for 295 yards and 1 touchdown. Tate's biggest contribution has been his ability to gain yards after the catch. The majority of his receptions are 8-9 yards down field, however he's averaging 14.0 yards per catch since Week 6. DeAndre Hopkins is still managing to stay among the Top 3 receivers despite the loss of Deshaun Watson. I'm not confident that he'll remain in this elite group, but for now, he's making good on his opportunities and volume. His reception % took a hit without Watson last week, finishing 37.5% on 6-for-16 targets. If that doesn't improve and if the touchdowns run dry, Hopkins will fall down the ranks.  Antonio Brown, Amari Cooper and Brown's rookie teammate Juju Smith-Schuster have been a hot commodity recently. All three figure to be involved heavily over the rest of the season. Smith-Schuster has half of Brown's targets, but if he continues to be a key fixture in the red zone, he'll stay afloat in the Top 15. 

Wide receivers who could see an uptick in production include - Devin Funchess, Titans receivers, namely Rishard Matthews and Corey Davis, Sterling Shepard, Robby Anderson, Eagles wide receivers, Saints receivers, and Josh Doctson. Kelvin Benjamin and Demaryius Thomas could also have a few big games coming up due to projected production through strength of schedule. 

TIGHT END

The Colts will push forward with Jacoby Brissett for the rest of the year and the two biggest beneficiaries will be T.Y. Hilton and Jack Doyle. Doyle has averaged over 10 targets per game in the last four with 33 receptions and two touchdowns in that span. Nobody has more receptions than Doyle over the last four weeks. As long as the volume continues, which it should, Doyle should remain among the top of the tight end rankings. Another big contributor at tight end on a struggling team is Evan Engram. His reception totals aren't as lofty as Doyle, but Engram's yards per catch almost doubles Doyle, plus he has a knack for making plays in the end zone. Engram's effort over the last four weeks (three games) has earned him a spot in the Top 3. Rob Gronkowski, Travis Kelce and Zach Ertz have been at or near the top all season. Ertz is dealing with a hamstring injury which could continue to curb his numbers, but once healthy, he should regain his top form. Jimmy Graham and Jared Cook have risen to the occasion recently. Cook has earned a Top 5 place in the last four weeks despite not scoring a touchdown. Only five players have more receiving yards than Cook in that time. Expect Top 10 numbers the rest of the way and even higher if he can find the end zone. 

Which tight ends figure to see an increase in production over the next three games?  Ben Watson figures to see more of a role with Nick Boyle hurt. He leads the team in targets over the last four weeks and the Ravens schedule for tight ends is tops in the league over the next stretch of games. Others who could benefit include David Njoku, Cameron Brate, Hunter Henry, Vernon Davis/Jordan Reed, Jesse James and potentially an increase for Adam Shaheen and Coby Fleener

Kicker

Success at kicker has a direct correlation with offensive efficiency and sustained drives in conjunction with the opponent and their propensity to give up yards, but not necessarily a lot of points. Kickers who have been hot lately include Minnesota's Kai Forbath, who is 13-for-13 on field goals in the last four weeks (three games). Minnesota is one of those teams with a good offense, but they lack scoring power. The end result is a high number of field goal attempts and Forbath has displayed a golden boot taking advantage of all opportunities. Greg Zuerlein has benefited from a Rams team that continues to put points on the board. It also helps that he has been accurate this season, especially from deep. Matt Prater also has benefited from a strong Lions offense that has ventured into opponent's territory more often over the last four weeks. Ryan Succop has been strong all year, including the last four weeks. He's nearly automatic under 50 yards and the Titans have given him plenty of opportunities. This should continue as the season wears on. Justin Tucker may be the best kicker in the league, but the Ravens have struggled to put up points until recently. Look for him to see an increase in production going forward, so as long as the Ravens offense does just enough to give him kicking opportunities. 

Which teams to target a kicker against?  Oakland, San Francisco, Indianapolis, Washington, Cincinnati and the New York Giants are the teams to start your kicker against. Teams that give up a lot of yardage, but also those who allow the most plays per drive. Other teams who may be on the verge of being exploited are Atlanta, Los Angeles Chargers, Green Bay, Dallas and Tampa Bay. 

Defense

The Bears and Saints are the biggest surprises on defense this year. Chicago's offense has been less than stellar, so they aren't as well known, but the numbers speak for themselves. Chicago has 10 sacks, 8 turnovers and 3 touchdowns on defense in their last three games. New Orleans has 12 sacks, 8 turnovers and 4 touchdowns in their last four games. Baltimore has improved after a slow stretch, reaching 10 sacks, 6 turnovers and 4 touchdowns in their last four games. 

Teams that could see an increase include Carolina, Dallas, Pittsburgh, Los Angeles Chargers and Los Angeles Rams. 

 

Questions, suggestions and comments are always welcome to haseley@footballguys.com