Expert DRAFTing Week 10

A how-to-guide to beating this week's snake drafts on DRAFT

Main Slate Breakdown

DRAFT offers weekly fantasy contests with 5-man rosters (1 QB, 2 RB, 2 WR/TE) and 0.5-point PPR scoring (the same as FanDuel).  But instead of using a salary cap like other daily fantasy sites, teams are built through live snake drafts with 30-seconds per pick. The most common contest sizes are Head-to-Head, 3-Team, 6-Team and 10-Team. 

First, we will dive into the rankings and draft strategy for each of the four Draft sizes. If you are interested in why the players are ranked where they are in the overall rankings, make sure to check out the in-depth breakdowns of the top options in the positional rankings. 

Please feel free to contact me (email or twitter) with any questions or if you are just looking for some extra advice for this week’s drafts. Constructive feedback on the article format and content is always appreciated.

Theme of the Week: Stay on Top of the News

Make sure you have checked the up-to-the-minute fantasy football news before you start your Draft is key every week. Injury updates, suspension news and even coach’s comments about expected player usage can and should change draft preferences. Checking the latest news is especially important in a week like this where we have several high-profile players listed as questionable. Keep an eye out for news on Dez Bryant, Julio Jones, Michael Thomas, T.Y. Hilton, Stefon Diggs, Matt Forte and Chris Hogan. 

Head-to-Head Draft Rankings and Strategy

1. Le'Veon Bell

2. Antonio Brown

3. Todd Gurley

4. Leonard Fournette

5. A.J. Green

6. Rob Gronkowski

7. Dak Prescott

8. Julio Jones

9. Matthew Stafford

10. LeSean McCoy

Le'Veon Bell is the clear 1.01 in all formats this week. He has been a workhorse to the extreme and has a great matchup against Indianapolis in a game that also sets up well from a game script perspective (Steelers favored by 10 points). Bell’s projected workload is massive. He has handled at least 25 touches in 5 straight games and has 35+ touches in 3-of-5. 

Antonio Brown is the week’s top wide receiver by a good margin and a good counter to Bell with pick 1.02. With the Steelers boasting a 28-point implied team total, you want to get at least one of their two stars on your team in a head-to-head matchup.

Todd Gurley is also in a great spot and the choice at 2.01. Without Deshaun Watson and fresh off a demoralizing home loss, Houston travels west to face the Rams as 11-point underdogs. Houston hasn’t allowed a touchdown to a running back since Week 1 but Gurley is scoring 43.5% of the Rams’ touchdowns and Los Angeles is projected to score 29 points by Vegas.

Julio Jones has some injury concerns this week but Draft’s policy of allowing you to swap out a player on Sunday who is inactive greatly diminishes the risk. If Jones does scratch, DeAndre Hopkins and Michael Thomas are solid replacement options. The only concern is that Jones is active but used as more of a decoy. It is enough to knock him down to WR/TE4. He’d be ranked even lower in this situation most weeks but there just aren’t many attractive, high-end receiving options this week so Jones gets the nod narrowly over Hopkins. 

Matthew Stafford and Dak Prescott are neck-and-neck for the top quarterback option in Week 10 with nearly identical projections. While Stafford has thrown for 300+ yards in the three consecutive games and faces a poor Cleveland pass defense, the potential for a shootout in the Dallas versus Atlanta matchup makes Prescott the slightly better play. He has four rushing touchdowns in his last six games and should continue to be a threat down around the goal line with Ezekiel Elliott suspended.

3-Team Draft Rankings and Strategy

1. Le'Veon Bell

2. Todd Gurley

3. Antonio Brown

4. Leonard Fournette

5. A.J. Green

6. Rob Gronkowski

7. LeSean McCoy

8. Julio Jones

9. DeAndre Hopkins

10. Jordan Howard

11. Carlos Hyde

12. Dak Prescott

13. Matthew Stafford

14. Michael Thomas

15. Tom Brady

The strategy in 3-Team Drafts is relatively similar to that of Head-to-Head Drafts. Each team should look to lock up one of the top-3 running backs early and Antonio Brown is an obvious top option at the 1/2 turn. In fact, the 1.03 may be the best spot to draft from this week. You are able to land one of the top backs and the clear #1 wide receiver. 

Assuming the Draft goes as expected, pick 1.05 presents the first really difficult decision. You can lock up LeSean McCoy as your RB2 or grab either A.J. Green or Rob Gronkowski as your top pass catcher. The lean is toward grabbing your top pass catcher in this spot. The dropoff at running back is not very steep. At RB5 and RB6, both Jordan Howard and Carlos Hyde project safely for 20+ touches in solid matchups. The dropoff is larger at wide receiver where Michael Thomas is a solid, high-floor option at WR6 but lacks the massive upside of Green or Gronkowski. 

Many will fade DeAndre Hopkins this week but that is probably a mistake. He is a strong WR2 option in 3-Team Drafts simply due to how often he is likely to be targeted. He has 16 targets in each of Tom Savage’s starts and with Houston listed as nearly two-touchdown road underdogs, the game script sets up for Hopkins to again get a boatload of opportunities. 

6-Team Draft Rankings and Strategy

1. Le'Veon Bell

2. Todd Gurley

3. Leonard Fournette

4. Antonio Brown

5. A.J. Green

6. Rob Gronkowski

7. LeSean McCoy

8. Jordan Howard

9. Carlos Hyde

10. Julio Jones

11. DeAndre Hopkins

12. Melvin Gordon III

13. Bilal Powell

14. Michael Thomas

15. Golden Tate

16. Dak Prescott

17. Matthew Stafford

18. Christian McCaffrey

19. Demaryius Thomas

20. Stefon Diggs

21. Adam Thielen

22. Brandin Cooks

23. Tom Brady

24. Alvin Kamara

25. Mark Ingram II

26. Devonta Freeman

27. Cam Newton

28. Jared Goff

29. Ben Roethlisberger

30. Marvin Jones Jr

Securing a top running back with a realistic shot at scoring multiple touchdowns is always the priority in 6-Team Drafts. Three players fit the bill this week, Le'Veon Bell, Todd Gurley and Leonard Fournette and the trio should be the first three players off of the board. Running back is deeper in Week 10 than it has been in recent weeks, so after the top three, there isn’t a huge scramble to lock in two running backs right away. Mark Ingram II and Devonta Freeman should be available in the fourth or fifth round. While both are splitting touches and face relatively difficult matchups, they still project better than we typically see out of the RB11 and RB12. 

While there isn’t a single quarterback with a sky-high projection this week, the depth at the position is solid. The position goes at least 7-8 players deep with strong options. Quarterbacks like Cam Newton, Ben Roethlisberger, Matt Ryan and Jared Goff should be available in the final round. All things being equal, waiting until the fifth round of 6-Team Drafts to take a quarterback is the ideal strategy in Week 10.

The wide receiver position looks pretty mediocre in general this week. You can poke a hole in the case for just about anyone ranked outside the top-3. Julio Jones isn’t 100% healthy. DeAndre Hopkins has Tom Savage throwing him the ball. Michael Thomas hasn’t shown much upside at all this season. Golden Tate and Marvin Jones Jr have game script concerns if the Lions jump out to an early lead against Cleveland. Demaryius Thomas has Brock Osweiler throwing to him. Brandin Cooks faces Denver’s elite cornerbacks. It’s going to come down to which of the above risks you are most willing to tolerate in sorting through which pass catchers to target.

10-Team Draft Rankings and Strategy

1. Le'Veon Bell

2. Todd Gurley

3. Leonard Fournette

4. LeSean McCoy

5. Antonio Brown

6. Jordan Howard

7. Carlos Hyde

8. A.J. Green

9. Rob Gronkowski

10. Melvin Gordon III

11. Bilal Powell

12. Julio Jones

13. DeAndre Hopkins

14. Michael Thomas

15. Golden Tate

16. Dak Prescott

17. Matthew Stafford

18. Christian McCaffrey

19. Alvin Kamara

20. Mark Ingram II

21. Devonta Freeman

22. Demaryius Thomas

23. Stefon Diggs

24. Adam Thielen

25. Brandin Cooks

26. Jerick McKinnon

27. Orleans Darkwa

28. Lamar Miller

29. Marvin Jones Jr

30. Evan Engram

31. T.Y. Hilton

32. Sterling Shepard

33. Tom Brady

34. Cam Newton

35. Jared Goff

36. Ben Roethlisberger

37. Drew Brees

38. Matt Ryan

39. Chris Thompson

40. Joe Mixon

41. DeMarco Murray

42. Keenan Allen

43. Robby Anderson

44. DeSean Jackson

45. Jarvis Landry

46. DeVante Parker

47. Marcus Mariota

48. Tyrod Taylor

49. Ameer Abdullah

50. Duke Johnson Jr

As mentioned in the 6-Team section, the depth at running back is strong in Week 10. While the top backs always are worth a premium, it is not a fatal blow if the board falls in a way in which you have to wait for your RB2 until the middle of the fifth round. Orleans Darkwa facing a porous San Francisco run defense, Joe Mixon finally getting workhorse usage and DeMarco Murray facing a slumping Bengals defense are all solid options in the final round. However, if you are drafting late in the first round, there is more of an incentive to lock up your two running backs before the final round. The options get extremely sketchy when you get down into the RB19 range

As noted in the 6-Team Draft section, it is a very difficult week to find talented receivers with favorable matchups. You will likely be required to “pick your poison” in terms of which top secondary you feel most comfortable attacking when choosing your WR2. Keenan Allen faces the elite Jacksonville secondary, Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen face the top-notch Washington cornerbacks, Brandin Cooks faces the excellent Denver secondary and T.Y. Hilton matches up against the underrated Pittsburgh cornerback group. 

Quarterback is deep this week but not quite deep enough for everyone to land a strong option in 10-Team Drafts. There is a slight, but noticeable, drop off after the top-8 options to Marcus Mariota and Tyrod Taylor. Both are at home but facing very good pass defenses. It is probably worth it to target a higher-upside passer in the fourth round instead of waiting until the final round and risking getting stuck with a lower-upside option.

Quarterback Rankings

  1. Dak Prescott Another week, another huge fantasy performance from Prescott in Week 9. Prescott has shown a strong floor, with multiple touchdowns in 6-of-7 weeks. Even more impressive, he has been responsible for at least 3 touchdowns in 5-of-6 weeks, with 13 passing touchdowns and 4 rushing touchdowns over that stretch. The matchup is tough, however. The Falcons have allowed just 199 passing yards per game over their last four outings. Even if Prescott is held to something in the neighborhood of 200 rushing yards, he still could have a big fantasy game because he should rack up some points with his legs. Cam Newton rushed for 86 yards and a touchdown against Atlanta last week. 
  2. Matthew Stafford Over the past three weeks, Stafford has thrown for 312, 423 and 361 yards. He is catching fire at just the right time and shown a great chemistry with his top two targets, Golden Tate and Marvin Jones Jr. The pass offense may get a further boost in Week 10 with talented rookie Kenny Golladay set to finally return from a long-term hamstring injury. The Browns have a mediocre defense that is vulnerable against the pass (28th in DVOA). Stafford has a rock-solid floor. The question is if he will need to throw for 300+ yards for the fourth-straight week if Detroit gets out to an early lead and the Cleveland offense is unable to move the ball. 
  3. Tom Brady Brady will rank near the top of our list of options every week regardless of matchup. He is on pace for over 5,000 yards passing and 32 touchdowns. The big question is how much do we discount him in Week 10 against an excellent Denver defense. Perhaps not as much as one might expect. The Broncos are fresh off of allowing Carson Wentz to throw for 4 touchdowns and have allowed multiple touchdown passes in 5-of-8 games. Brady probably doesn’t have his typical ceiling but he is a solid option in a difficult but manageable matchup.
  4. Cam Newton Newton hasn’t been throwing the ball well. He has been a major threat in recent weeks as a runner, however. Over his last four games, he has averaged 10 rushing attempts, 62.8 yards and 0.5 rushing touchdowns (9.3 fantasy points per game as a runner). If Newton continues to put up big rushing numbers, he doesn’t need to do much as a passer to have a big fantasy week. Week 10 provides the perfect matchup to do so. The Miami Dolphins rank 30th in pass defense DVOA. 
  5. Jared GoffThe Texans have allowed over 300 passing yards and multiple passing touchdowns in three of their last four games. Houston ranks 6th in run defense DVOA, so the path of least resistance is to attack through the air. The Rams have the highest implied total on the slate (29 points). If the game goes close to expectations, Goff is a great bet for multiple touchdowns. He is coming off of a career game against the Giants, in which he threw for 311 yards and 4 touchdowns. 
  6. Ben Roethlisberger The big question is whether Roethlisberger is showing his age (35-years old) and isn’t the passer he once was or if he is just experiencing a slump and due for a bounce back. If you believe the former, it is safe to pass on Roethlisberger this week. He is averaging just 7.5 yards per attempt and has only 10 touchdowns in 8 games. However, if you believe the latter and feel Roethlisberger may be due for one of those big fantasy games he has put up with regularity in recent seasons, this week may be the spot. The Colts defense has allowed 45 pass plays of at least 20 yards. Roethlisberger has a full complement of weapons. Antonio Brown and Le'Veon Bell are both healthy. JuJu Smith-Schuster is emerging as a major threat. Plus, Martavis Bryant looks to be out of the doghouse and should be back in the mix again. In 6-Team and 10-Team contests, it makes sense to roll the dice that Roethlisberger and the Steelers offense is ready for a breakout performance out of the bye.
  7. Drew Brees Brees has been excellent on the field this season but a slight disappointment for fantasy owners. The much-improved Saints defense and running game have allowed Brees to become more of a game manager. He is averaging just 31 passing attempts per game over his last four. Brees has had just one 3-touchdown game all season and that was in a Week 2 shootout against the Patriots before the Saints defense started rolling. Try to ignore the name brand and view Brees as the efficient, low-volume passer he has become. 
  8. Matt Ryan
  9. Marcus Mariota
  10. Tyrod Taylor

Running Back Rankings

  1. Le'Veon Bell Bell is a slam dunk at 1.01 this week. He has handled at least 25 touches in 5 straight games. In 3-of-5, he has actually had more than 35 touches. The floor in terms of touches is high and there is a very realistic chance Bell has another game of massive usage. Pittsburgh is a 10-point road favorite, which sets up as a perfect game script for the Steelers to pound away with Bell. The Colts rank just 21st in run defense DVOA and just lost one of their top run stuffers, defensive tackle Henry Anderson, to a season-ending neck injury. 
  2. Todd Gurley The Rams offense was so dominant against the New York Giants last Sunday that Gurley was able to head to the bench after three quarters to get some rest. He added two more touchdowns to his league-leading 10 (in 8 games). The Rams are massive 12-point home favorites with the week’s highest implied team total of 29 points. Gurley has scored 43.5% of the Rams touchdowns this season, so he would seemingly have a great shot at finding the end zone. However, the Texans run defense has been above-average. Houston has been stout up the middle and the Texans have not allowed a rushing touchdown to an opposing running back since Week 1. 
  3. Leonard Fournette Fournette will have fresh legs, seeing as how he hasn’t played since Week 6. He missed Week 7 with an ankle injury and Jacksonville had a bye in Week 8. Fournette was a surprise inactive in Week 9 due to violating a team rule. It has been so long since we’ve seen Fournette that it is easy to forget that in his last two games, he put up 30.9 Draft points against the Steelers and 20.8 points against the Rams. He faces a Los Angeles Chargers defense that ranks 28th in run defense DVOA and which is allowing the second-most rushing yards in the league. 
  4. LeSean McCoy The matchup against the Saints is a tough one to judge. As Austin Lee pointed out on the Footballguys/Rotogrinders podcast, New Orleans allows the 3rd fewest normalized fantasy points against running backs despite ranking just 28th in DVOA against the run. The Saints have allowed relatively big games to Aaron Jones (21.3 points) and the Jordan Howard/Tarik Cohen duo (20.9 points) in recent weeks. Before an awful Thursday night showing against the Jets, McCoy had back-to-back monster games in Weeks 7 and 8. 
  5. Jordan Howard The Packers have a solid run defense (11th in DVOA) and Howard may not be incredibly efficient (he is averaging a solid but unspectacular 4.1 yards per carry) against a stout Green Bay front. However, the game script against the Brett Hundley-led Packers couldn’t set up much better for Howard. The Bears are 5-point home favorites and will likely lean on their defense and Howard. Howard has 80 carries in his last three games (26.7 per game) and should see a similar workload again if this game plays out as expected. 
  6. Carlos Hyde Hyde has seen 28 targets over his past three games (9.3 per game). With his heavy pass-game usage, Hyde is immune to negative game scripts. We may even get to see Hyde in a positive game script for the first time this season. San Francisco is a 1-point home underdog against a New York Giants team that is a mess. Reports have anonymous players saying that the team has quit on head coach Ben McAdoo. The Giants defense is 25th in DVOA against the run and 21st in DVOA defending running backs in the passing game. 
  7. Melvin Gordon III Ignore the season-long numbers when it comes to this matchup. Jacksonville’s defense is 31st in rushing defense DVOA and has given up the 27th most rushing yards per game on the year. However, the run defense has tightened up considerably after the rough start. Over the last four games, the Jaguars have allowed just 71 rushing yards per game. Jacksonville has also been extremely stingy against opposing backs in the passing game, ranking top-5 in pass defense DVOA against the position. Gordon is a relatively safe bet for 20+ touches but could face tough sledding against what may be the league’s best overall defense. 
  8. Bilal Powell Tampa Bay has allowed the 3rd most normalized fantasy points per game to opposing running backs over the past five games. Tampa Bay also ranks 29th in pass defense DVOA against opposing running backs. Powell could move up a couple spots in the running back rankings if we get confirmation that Matt Forte will be out. As of late Thursday evening, the vibe was that Matt Forte will not play, which would leave Powell as the clear starter with rookie Elijah McGuire in a supporting role. It makes sense to be aggressive in targeting Powell on Draft as long as it continues to look like Forte will be out. He projects for 20+ touches in a great matchup. 
  9. Christian McCaffrey
  10. Alvin Kamara Since the Adrian Peterson trade, Kamara has averaged 31 snaps per game. Over that stretch, he has averaged 9.3 carries per game and 4.5 receptions per game. Averaging just under 14 touches per game, it is tough to rank Kamara above the true workhorse backs. However, he does belong near the top of the ranks amongst backs who are splitting touches. He has passed the “eye test” with flying colors in recent weeks and seems to make at least one big play every game. On the season, he is averaging 6.0 yards per carry. The Bills run defense has generally been solid but Buffalo has allowed multiple touchdowns to opposing running backs in back-to-back games. Kamara received the goal line work over Ingram in Week 9 but that may have been a one-week aberration.
  11. Mark Ingram II
  12. Devonta Freeman On paper this looks like a great matchup. Atlanta is a home favorite with a 26.8-point implied team total. Dallas ranks just 30th in run defense DVOA. However, the Cowboys defense has been better in recent weeks, in part due to the return of Sean Lee. Over the past two weeks, Dallas held the Chiefs running backs to just 40 rushing yards and the Redskins running backs to 37 rushing yards. Freeman has also been playing through a shoulder injury, which could mean Tevin Coleman sees more. 
  13. Jerick McKinnon
  14. Orleans Darkwa Darkwa has 52 touches and 257 total yards over the last three games. San Francisco allows 136 rushing yards per game, dead last in the NFL.
  15. Lamar Miller Miller has a decent floor considering his usage in the passing game. He has at least three targets in five straight games and is averaging 3.0 receptions per game in those contests. He also has had at least 10 rushing attempts in every single game. 
  16. Chris Thompson
  17. Joe Mixon
  18. DeMarco Murray
  19. Ameer Abdullah
  20. Duke Johnson Jr

Wide Receiver and Tight End Rankings

  1. Antonio Brown The Colts defense ranks 31st in pass yardage allowed (280 per game) and is dead last in allowing 45 receptions of at least 20 yards. Expect Brown to have at least a couple long receptions. From a narrative perspective, we know Brown cares about his stats more than he probably should. With rookie JuJu Smith-Schuster coming off of a monster week and getting a ton of attention, don’t be surprised if Brown is a bit of a squeaky wheel after back-to-back quiet outings. 
  2. A.J. Green Green was tossed from the Week 9 game against Jacksonville for fighting with Jalen Ramsey. He surprisingly avoided suspension and has heard sound bites all week from Ramsey about how he is “soft.” Green has also suffered through three-straight unproductive outings. It can be dangerous to rely too heavily on narrative, but this looks like a spot where a highly motivated Green should be peppered with targets. The matchup is solid for Green as well. He should see a lot of Tennessee’s rookie cornerback Adoree' Jackson, who is giving up six inches in height to Green. 
  3. Rob Gronkowski Chris Hogan looks doubtful and the Broncos Chris Harris Jr should be able to lock down Danny Amendola in the slot. Brandin Cooks will have to deal with Aqib Talib and Bradley Roby on the outside. The best passing game matchup belong to Rob Gronkowski and he should be in store for a big game. Over the past four weeks, the Denver defense has allowed 16.8 Draft points per game to opposing tight ends. 
  4. Julio Jones Jones is a wild card this week. Before drafting check the latest injury updates. Jones missed practice with an ankle injury on both Wednesday and Thursday but still seems likely to play. The Friday practice report will be a key determinant as to whether it is worth rolling the dice on Jones this week. Head coach Dan Quinn told reporters on Thursday that he expected Jones to return to practice on Friday. Once we get assurances that Jones will play, he becomes a top-3 option on the slate. He’ll face the Cowboys defense at home in what is likely to be the highest-scoring game of the weekend. 
  5. DeAndre Hopkins It is okay to believe that Tom Savage is a bad NFL quarterback and still want to target Hopkins this week. The duo doesn’t have to be incredibly efficient as long as Savage continues to pepper Hopkins with targets. Hopkins has a whopping 16 targets in each of the two games Tom Savage has started this season. Hopkins should see another massive workload if the Week 10 matchup against the Rams goes to script. Houston is a 12-point underdog and should be forced to throw a lot if they fall down multiple scores early. 
  6. Michael Thomas Thomas has missed early week practices due to an ankle injury but Dr. Jene Bramel feels Thomas is most likely to play. As of Friday morning, concern about the injury seems relatively minimal. Thomas has been a high-floor, low-ceiling option in recent weeks. Over his last three outings he has at least 7 catches and 65 yards in every game. However, he hasn’t caught a touchdown since Week 4 and his season-high is just 89 receiving yards. 
  7. Golden Tate
  8. Demaryius Thomas
  9. Stefon Diggs
  10. Adam Thielen
  11. Brandin Cooks
  12. Marvin Jones Jr Double-digit targets in three straight games. 
  13. Evan Engram San Francisco ranks #1 in DVOA against the tight end but Engram isn’t your typical tight end. He is functioning as the Giants de facto #1 receiver and has seen 22 targets over the past two weeks. While the matchup isn’t perfect, this should be a fast-paced game with plenty of passing attempts. Engram has a good shot to see 10+ targets for the third-straight week. 
  14. T.Y. Hilton The Colts are playing at home as double-digit underdogs. The game script sets up well for Hilton to see plenty of targets. However, Hilton was a late addition to the injury report on Thursday with a groin injury. Make sure to check his status before drafting. 
  15. Sterling Shepard Shepard has a fantastic matchup. Slot defender K’Wuan Williams ranks dead last out of 114 qualified cornerbacks in Pro Football Focus grades. Shepard is also likely to see plenty of targets. He is easily the Giants top receiver with Odell Beckham and Brandon Marshall on injured reserve. Shepard is a strong WR2 target in 10-team drafts who has a high floor and some sneaky upside as well. 
  16. Keenan Allen
  17. Robby Anderson
  18. DeSean Jackson
  19. Jarvis Landry
  20. DeVante Parker

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