Fantasy Football Rankings: Week 10 Matchups to Consider
With just four weeks remaining in most fantasy regular seasons, the time for fantasy managers to make their final push for the playoffs begins this week! Whether you’re still fighting to get a seat at the table or jockeying for that top seed in the bracket, making the right lineup decisions is more paramount than ever! The good news is I’m here to look through matchups at each position ahead of Week 10 to get your lineup set just right!
Geno Smith (SEA) vs Washington
It has been a ROUGH few weeks for fantasy managers who played the late-round QB game with Geno Smith during draft season. Through eight games, Geno has only finished inside the top-12 QBs once this season, which also happened to be the only game in which he threw multiple TDs without an interception. What’s most concerning about Geno’s bad start is that there hasn’t been a drastic change in the offense in Seattle since he’s still throwing the ball on average with where he was during his QB5 season in 2022. The biggest difference has been that the Seahawks just can’t find their way into the end zone in the passing game. Currently, Geno is on pace to throw just under 20 TDs on the season, well behind his pace of 30 from last season.
If there’s a fix for a passing game, the Commanders’ defense may be just that. Washington’s defense is giving up the third most points to opposing fantasy QBs this season, allowing 20+ fantasy points six different times. Last week broke a seven-game streak for the Commanders of allowing a top-12 QB finish – apparently Mac Jones is just THAT bad. Given his streaky play and upcoming schedule, this may be one of the last opportunities for fantasy managers to confidently stream Geno this year.
Kurt would play Geno over: QB11 – Trevor Lawrence vs San Francisco
Baker Mayfield (TB) vs Tennessee
Believe it or not, Baker Mayfield is on a bit of a fantasy hot streak. Mayfield has finished as a top-12 fantasy QB in four of his last five games including three straight weeks, the longest streak he’s posted inside the top-12 since the 2020 season when he did it four games in a row. The name of the game for Mayfield and the Buccaneers’ offense this season has been passing volume. Since Week 4, Mayfield is averaging 36 passing attempts per game for nearly 250 yards and putting up 23 fantasy points per week for fantasy managers.
Targeting the Titans’ defense with fantasy passing options has been popular over the last several years, but it hasn’t been as successful in 2023. Through eight games, Tennessee’s defense has only allowed three top-12 QBs and just one in their last five games while only allowing a QB to score more than 20 points just twice all season. With a handful of elite fantasy QBs on bye this week, Mayfield may be one of the most available streaming options with a real chance to return a top-12 week for fantasy managers.
Kurt would prefer to play: QB18 – Gardner Minshew at New England
Alexander Mattison (MIN) vs New Orleans
The perception regarding Alexander Mattison’s season thus far could be seen as disappointing, but that’s solely based on the high expectations the fantasy community had for him being the lead RB in a high-powered Vikings offense. In reality, Mattison has been the RB24 on the season and has only been outside the RB2 range twice this year. While two of those disappointing weeks came more recently, the biggest threat to cut into Mattison’s workload was Cam Akers who is now on IR. Mike mentioned Mattison as his Hungry for More candidate this week with renewed confidence in his role as a proper volume option for fantasy managers down the stretch of the season.
Matching up with the Saints’ defense has been a tough battle for most offenses across the league this season. New Orleans ranks in the top 12 against every position group when it comes to fantasy points against, but they’re at their best against opposing RBs, allowing just 14.4 points to opposing teams at the position each week. However, the last three games have shown that the Saints’ defense is susceptible to giving up big fantasy days to opposing RBs, allowing a top-26 finish in each game, including two in Week 8. If Mattison can stay involved in the passing game for Minnesota, his volume in the offense should make him a strong flex option at the worst this week.
Kurt would play Mattison over: RB21 – Najee Harris vs Green Bay
Antonio Gibson (WASH) at Seattle
After what seems like forever, there’s a chance Antonio Gibson may have played his way back into fantasy relevance. Week 9 saw Gibson post his first top-24 finish of the season and his first since Week 11 of 2022. Gibson finished as the RB12 and RB10 in his first two seasons before being supplanted by Brian Robinson in the Washington backfield last season. What’s changed is the Commanders’ offense using Gibson in the receiving game where he’s seen 10 targets over the last two weeks that he’s turned into 70 yards. That receiving compliment to any carries he can siphon away from Robinson could be enough to have him consistently in the flex option range for fantasy managers going forward.
The last two weeks have been games to forget for the Seattle defense when it comes to defending the running game. Over their last two games, the Seahawks have allowed four top-25 RB finishes, including the RB7 and RB5 just last week against the Ravens. Seattle has allowed four of their 10 rushing TDs in that same stretch. As one of the best waiver wire pickups for the week, Gibson could continue to provide value for fantasy managers again in Week 10.
Kurt would play Gibson over: RB31 – Devin Singletary at Cincinnati
Chuba Hubbard (CAR) at Chicago
The takeover in the Carolina backfield by Chuba Hubbard has turned into strong fantasy finishes over the past three games for the Panthers. Since Week 6, Hubbard has seen at least 60% of snaps for Carolina, which includes Miles Sanders’ return to the lineup in Week 8. Hubbard has averaged 74% of the Panthers’ RB rushing yards and 50% of the RB targets during that three-game stretch resulting in two top-24 RB finishes. The question will be if the stronghold on the running work in Carolina is permanent or if Sanders can work his way back towards a 50-50 split when he’s back to full speed.
While the Chicago defense feels like a matchup to target since the team as a whole is bad, they’ve really been strong against opposing RBs. The Bears have allowed the fifth-fewest rushing yards in the league, the lowest yards per carry, and just four rushing TDs on the season. It is always tough to get your fantasy matchup off to a slow start on Thursday night, so Hubbard may be worth sitting this week if you can find a better matchup.
Kurt would prefer to play: RB28 – Tyler Allgeier at Arizona
Calvin Ridley (JAX) vs San Francisco
After a blazing hot start to the season, it’s been a pretty disappointing fantasy season for Calvin Ridley. Ridley has finished inside the top-24 WRs just twice on the season and has finished outside the top 50 four different times. The bright side for fantasy managers who are relying on Ridley is that he’s seeing more targets in the Jaguars’ offense over the last month. Since Week 5, Ridley has averaged 7.5 targets per game, so the opportunity is there for him to contribute to fantasy rosters.
The tough defense for San Francisco feels like a matchup to avoid, but the expected 45 points in this game should leave fantasy managers looking at the passing defense for the 49ers. If there’s a way to attack San Francisco, it’s through the passing game where they’ve allowed 284 yards on average in their three straight losses. If Ridley can remain involved in the passing game for Jacksonville, he should be considered a flex option with WR2 upside this week.
Kurt would play Ridley over: WR27 – Amari Cooper at Baltimore
Zay Flowers (BAL) vs Cleveland
It’s been an optimistic start to a career for Zay Flowers, but it hasn’t fully translated to fantasy football just yet. Flowers has been a top-24 WR just twice this season while finishing outside of the top 40 five different weeks and is coming off his worst week of the season seeing just one target in Week 9. With the Ravens’ offense running the ball as effectively as they have in their four-game winning streak, it has to be concerning for fantasy managers who were hoping Flowers could provide a rookie spark for their lineups down the stretch of the season.
If things are going to be corrected for Flowers in the Ravens’ passing game, I wouldn’t bet on it happening this week against a tough Cleveland defense. The Browns’ defense ranks in the top five against all fantasy positions and has allowed less than 20 points to opposing teams’ WRs five different times already this season. Fantasy managers may need to search high, low, and diligently to find a better flex option for this week until we see better fantasy production from Flowers.
Kurt would rather play: WR35 – Jaxon Smith-Njigba vs Washington
Tank Dell (HOU) at Cincinnati
After a brief lull due to injury, Tank Dell delivered a WR1 finish in Week 9 behind his first multi-TD game as a pro. Dell has carved himself a solid role in the Texans’ offense, playing at least 60% of snaps in every game since Week 2 that he didn’t leave due to injury. Being such a big part of an offense that doesn’t run the ball well and has to rely on the passing game consistently means Dell should have a fantasy impact as long as he’s healthy and on the field through the rest of the season.
Dell stands a good chance to continue his big fantasy run in one of the highest projected scoring games of the weekend against the Bengals. Cincinnati’s defense has allowed a top-24 WR in each of their last four games, so Dell will have every opportunity to show fantasy managers he’s a strong flex option with much higher upside for the rest of the season.
Kurt would play Dell over: WR22 – DJ Moore vs Carolina
Trey McBride (ARI) vs Atlanta
One of the hot waiver wire pickups after his big game in Week 8, Trey McBride wasn’t able to follow it up last week, but it may not have been totally on him. A tough matchup with Cleveland and a stopgap at QB in Clayton Tune until Kyler Murray’s return seem like reasonable reasons to still believe that McBride has fantasy value to bring to the table. Since Week 6, McBride has played at least 53% of snaps and received 24% of the Cardinals’ targets. With Kyler Murray expected to make his 2023 debut for Arizona this week, it’s all systems go for McBride.
The Falcons have been a stingy matchup for most fantasy positions this season, but especially at the TE. Atlanta allowed a top-six in three of their first five games but hasn’t allowed a TE to finish higher than TE14 over the last month. If McBride is going to get back into fantasy relevance this week, he’ll need to find the end zone and continue seeing a high volume of targets with what’s expected to be an improved passing attack for Arizona.
Kurt would play McBride over: TE6 – Evan Engram vs San Francisco