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The Best of Week 10 - Footballguys

Sigmund Bloom scouts our in-season content and shares five must-knows and his takes on each.

You guys have a ton of articles.

This statement about Footballguys is a blessing but it can feel like a curse. Our staff delivers insights that change seasons for the better yet realistically, no fantasy owner has the time to read everything we publish in a week.

If this describes you, let me be your scout. Here are five insights from Footballguys articles that I find compelling for the weekend ahead. I'll share what should help you this week, touch on the long-term outlook, and sometimes offer a counterargument.

Thanks to Matt Waldman for giving me the opportunity to cast some light on the best of Footballguys Week 10.

1. Trendspotting

Ryan Hester's weekly piece should already be appointment reading in your rotation. If it isn't, you're missing out on concise, clear data visualization with action items and commentary that will make you a smarter and more effective fantasy player. This week's topics include finding the weakest spots in the worst pass defenses, team playcalling preferences in neutral situations, finding notable gaps between a defense's ranking vs. position and their recent strength of schedule, and intersections between a team's offensive strength and opponent's defensive weakness.

In the "Looks Can Be Deceiving" section, Ryan highlights how the Dolphins defense vs. wide receivers is underperforming what their normalized strength of schedule would predict:

Where Miami ranks in both of these metrics is why this exercise is so fascinating. 10th is a ranking to fade, but 20th is one to think about attacking. Let's dig deeper into Green Bay wide receivers vs. Miami.

  • Miami allows 61.4% of its passing yardage to wide receivers, the 16th-lowest percentage in the NFL.

  • Green Bay gains 81.9% of its passing yardage via wide receivers, the highest percentage in the NFL.

Xavien Howard is emerging as a shut-down cornerback, but elite wide receivers have still been effective. DeAndre Hopkinsaccumulated a 6-82-2 line while A.J. Green went for 6-112-0. Those are the only two true WR1s Miami has faced, which helps to explain their NSoS being worse than their raw DvP.

Davante Adams is a clear WR1 on a team with Aaron Rodgers at the helm. Howard is reason for pause when the quarterback-receiver connection isn't among the league's best. In this case, Adams is still a fine play for DFS GPP purposes and is even acceptable for cash games as well.

Sigmund's Verdict: Ryan's endorsement of Adams is on point, but let's go one step further and apply this to Marquez Valdes-Scantling. He has posted either a touchdown or 100-yard game in four straight contests. He'll face the weaker starting corner in the Miami defense. The Dolphins have allowed 6-173-1 to Jordy Nelson while holding down Amari Cooper, 3-54-1 and 4-55-1 to Cordarrelle Patterson and Phillip Dorsett while holding down Josh Gordon, 5-110 to Taylor Gabriel, and 5-124-1 to Will Fuller V. The #2 receiver against Miami has often exceeded expectations, and not by a trivial amount, either. Valdes-Scantling too cheap to pass up in DFS and should be shoehorned in lineups in all fantasy formats.

2. DFS roundtable: pivotal running backs

The DFS team puts their collective brainpower together every week to tackle topics that matter to you as a DFS player. This week covers Favorite Week 10 plays, the changing wide receiver landscape, Week 10 tight ends, and the position that makes the fantasy world go round, running back. James Brimacombe, Justin Howe, BJ Vanderwoude, and Phil Alexander chime in this week, and two of the four endorse Aaron Jones:

James Brimacombe: As far as Aaron Jones goes, the Packers have a great home matchup against the Dolphins who have struggled against defending the run and with no Montgomery to steal work from Jones and Williams I feel like Jones has a shot to take a big stride this week in a positive game script with the Packers as a -9.5 point favorite at home.

Phil Alexander:

  • James has the right idea on Aaron Jones. His steadily rising snap share, excellent game script, and quality of opponent (or lack thereof) are all working in his favor this week. Jones remains affordable since he didn't exactly go off in his first game without Ty Montgomery on the roster. Miami's linebackers have been annihilated by speedy backs like Jones this season, and there are numerous ways this game can unfold that would result in a run-heavy game plan for Green Bay. Don't be surprised if this is the last week we can roster Jones below $6K for the rest of the season (DraftKings).
Sigmund's Verdict: You will have severe fear of missing out if you bench Jones or leave him out of your lineup this week. Brock Osweiler won't be able to keep up with Aaron Rodgers and the Dolphins have struggled against the running games of every opponent except the Raiders and Jets. We haven't seen Jones get above 14 carries yet this year, and he's averaging six yards per carry. If he can get 20 carries, Jones might lead the league in rushing yards in Week 10.

3. cutting the cord

I can be an emotional fantasy player, I'll admit it. Chad Parsons helps us dispassionately cut the cord when players aren't presenting as much possible value as the likely replacements on the waiver wire. He breaks it down by roster size to help apply the analysis appropriately to your league, as a player worth carrying in a deep league would be a waste of space in a short bench league. This week he sets his sights on Andy Dalton:

Andy Dalton

Why: Dalton is likely to lose A.J. Green for multiple games and potentially for the rest of the season. Dalton has been a different fantasy player without A.J. Green in his career, posting 0.63 fewer touchdowns per game in the 11 games without Green in the lineup over his career. Week 10 is the last remaining strong matchup for Dalton as well with New Orleans up before a cold stretch to close the season.

Sigmund's Verdict: This is sobering, but accurate. AJ Green is the wind in the sails of the Bengals offense. As Chad points out, we have a large enough sample size of Dalton's games without Green to take action and Dalton out of the low QB1 tier he was in with Green, and generally project a smaller offensive pie to divide up between the Bengals skill players. Chad also correctly doesn't put too much weight on the possibility of Green returning before the end of the season as a reason to hold Green. While Joe Mixon and Tyler Boyd certainly aren't players to consider releasing in light of Green's injury, their increased opportunity could be offset by less offensive efficiency across the board for Cincinnati.

4. week 10 passing matchups

Devin Knotts, Keith Roberts, and Justin Howe break down the passing matchups and rushing matchups every week to give you an extra layer of insight when setting your lineups. As they point out, bad matchups don't automatically mean avoid and good matchups don't automatically mean start, but this information can be helpful when you are looking for something to nudge you over the edge to break a tie. The Cowboys have a good pass defense on paper, but this week's breakdown of the Eagles matchup against them through the air points out that the overall numbers might not be all that applicable:

The Cowboys pass defense features one of the best corners in football this season in Byron Jones who in his fourth-year has emerged as a cornerback that you want to avoid going up against. The issue for the Cowboys has been the rest of the secondary as Chidobe Awuzie and safety Xavier Woods are in the midst of a sophomore slump in his second season. This is a unit that has faced a lot of the same type of quarterback this season which has partially inflated their stats as they have faced Alex Smith, Marcus Mariota, Blake Bortles, Cam Newton all of whom are in the bottom 8 in terms of yards per attempt. When the Cowboys have faced the quarterbacks who are willing to throw downfield they have struggled as they allowed 375 yards to DeShaun Watson, 307 yards to Matthew Stafford, and 279 yards to Eli Manning this season. Carson Wentz ranks 10th in terms of yards per attempt which could put a lot of pressure on the Cowboys safeties this week.

Sigmund's Verdict: Don't fear starting Carson Wentz this week. With the addition of Golden Tate (referenced in another part of the matchup writeup), the Eagles will give pass defenses more targets than they can handle. The variety of tight end and wide receiver skillsets and talents would be difficult for any pass defense to neutralize, but as the matchup writeup points out, the Cowboys safeties will especially be on the spot against a quarterback that throws downfield, which is Wentz's modus operandi. The Cowboys are coming in on a short week of rest, the Eagles have had two weeks to prepare for this key divisional tilt, and they are at home.

5. eyes of the guru

If you don't play IDP fantasy football, you should. You're missing an excuse to focus on the forgotten half of the game, familiarize yourself with some amazing individual talents, and also track developments that will enhance your knowledge of the matchups your offensive players face each week. There is no better weekly column on the IDP world than John Norton's Eyes of the Guru, which runs down important developments for the majority of NFL teams every week. Here's his nugget on the Colts:

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS

Both the Colts and Jaguars had their issues heading into the bye week. For Indianapolis, most of the defensive problems had to do with banged up players dealing with nagging injuries. The week off should do wonders for several players including Denico Autry (ankle) and Margus Hunt (knee) up front, Darius Leonard (ankle) at linebacker and Clayton Geathers(neck), Malik Hooker (hip), Mike Mitchell (calf) in the secondary. All these players have fantasy value when the matchup is good.

Sigmund's Verdict: The Colts defense is ready to come together just as their offense did before the bye. Look for their balanced approach to stay intact with a healthy defense to go with a gelling offensive line and emerging running game. Between Marlon Mack and Nyheim Hines, a Colts back is going to be a good play most every week going forward, and we might even want to consider the Colts as a rent-a-defense down the stretch if they look good against Blake Bortles this week.

Good luck this week!