Fantasy Football: What To Watch For In Week 10

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Hey there #Footclan, and welcome back to the weekly series, “What To Watch For“. Each week we take a look at the schedule and the matchups and point out some interesting things that we all should pay attention to. These can be something simple or those ongoing burning questions we have in the back of our minds. Let’s take a look at Week 10.

The “Zeke-less” Dallas Cowboys

The emergency injunction request by the NFL Players Association on behalf of Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott was denied by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday evening. The Cowboys have been bracing for life without Ezekiel Elliott, so they could find success without him. But that’s no guarantee at all. This ruling means Zeke’s six-game suspension is back on, and he is currently ineligible to play Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons.

Without another successful appeal, Elliott would be out until Dec. 24 against the Seattle Seahawks. His absence would be a blow to the Cowboys, who have won three straight and seen Elliott gain at least 93 rushing yards in the past four games while scoring five rushing touchdowns. Elliott is second in the NFL in rushing with 783 yards in eight games and is tied for the league lead with seven rushing touchdowns. In his absence, the Cowboys will go with a committee of Alfred MorrisRod Smith and Darren McFadden in the backfield. Alfred Morris is set to take over as RB1 and in his short stead so far this season, “Freddy” Morris is averaging 8.3 YPC out of the 14 rushes he has logged. LT Tyron Smith is not expected to play with a groin injury sustained from the game against the Chiefs. Will Morris with some relief from Run DMC and Rod Smith be able to still be as dominant as Easy E without Tryon Smith? We will find out Sunday in this NFC showdown of two playoff contenders from last year.

Will Kelvin Benjamin be fantasy relevant in Buffalo?

In a completely unexpected move filed minutes before the trade deadline, the Carolina Panthers sent Kelvin Benjamin to the Buffalo Bills in exchange for a 2018 third-round and seventh-round picks. A head-scratching and confusing move for the Panthers nonetheless, but it does increase and bolster a Buffalo WR corp that only had Jordan Matthews and Zay Jones as their top two wideouts going into the 2017 season. He was the WR24 using either PPR or Standard scoring, averaging 11.4 fantasy points per game before the trade. Shifting him from the Panthers to the Bills though makes him the more clear-cut WR1 on his new squad. What Benjamin provides the Bills, and specifically Tyrod Taylor, is a monstrous target in the receiving game, as he’s one of the position’s more sizable at 6-foot-5, 245 pounds. It could mean a small increase upon the 0.88 red-zone targets per game that Benjamin has averaged since the beginning of last season.

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Tyrod Taylor’s fantasy value increases more than Benjamin’s as he should see an uptick in his completion percentage and yards per attempt, perhaps vaulting him into the back end of the QB1 class. The Bills’ schedule as well is extremely favorable for passing-game production, which represents more good news for Taylor and Benjamin. Now might be the time to look for “T-Mobile” on the waiver wire or if you haven’t gotten to your trade deadline to get him on the cheap and stash him away for the fantasy playoffs. Future DFS stacks will also likely favor the pairing of both Tyrod and Kelvin Benjamin moving forward in competitions the rest of the year too.

The New Orleans Saints’ Prolific Backfield

The trade of Adrian Peterson has allowed the New Orleans backfield to flourish. Mark Ingram is playing some of the best football of his career. Currently, he sits at 541 rushing yards, 192 passing yards with 4 touchdowns on the season so far. Rookie sensation  Alvin Kamara has put up an astonishing display of run and passing ability going for 311 rushing yards to go along with his 341 passing yards, with 3 rushing touchdowns as well as 2 passing touchdowns.  Needless to say, the New Orleans Saints have found their one-two punch they have been looking for instead of relying on the pass-happy offense it had to rely on in the past due to playing from behind. Add in a much-improved defense and New Orleans sits at 6-2 and leading the NFC South division.

Earlier in the year, I wrote a Rookie Profile on Alvin Kamara where I talked about how fresh and precise Kamara’s legs were where he had never taken more than 20 snaps in his collegiate career as a Tennessee Volunteer. I also talked about how if he landed in the right scheme that he had all the tools to be truly great at the next level. Now the Saints have a more balanced attack with a good mix of using Ingram and Kamara to pair with its future Hall of Famer, Drew Brees as he can continue to pass it downfield with the greatest of ease to the likes of Michael Thomas, Ted Ginn Jr, and Willie Snead.

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Ingram and Kamara and the powerful Saints ground attack will travel to Buffalo in Week 10 to take on a Bills defense that is starting to show some cracks. The team gives up just over four yards per carry over the last month. Last week, both Matt Forte and Bilal Powell ran through them as the Jets front outmuscled and outshined the Buffalo’s defensive line with the departure of Marcell Dareus. Can the excellent tandem from the Saints do the same thing? We find out in the early game slate this Sunday at 1 pm.

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Josh McCown: The elite streaming QB of the week!

Would you really think you would be seeing that headline in Week 10 this fantasy season? I sure didn’t! But it’s true. It’s no secret that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ defense is atrocious. How bad might you ask? They currently rank 25th overall according to ESPN allowing whopping 389 yards a game against their opponents. Yikes! Yes, the headliner I put was a bit more of an eye-popping exaggeration, but honestly, when people are looking for a streaming QB to get them a much-needed victory and prepping for the fantasy playoffs, Josh McCown looks to be on the top of the mountain to play this week.

McCown has a connection with Robby Anderson and it’s a legit thing as he’s now scored in three consecutive games and is averaging 61.9 yards over the last seven games, making him the WR18 in PPR leagues right now. He isn’t seeing large target volume, so there’s little room for error, but he has seen at least five targets in every game since Week 3. The Bucs have allowed a league-high 13 top-24 performances against them this year. Anderson deserves to be in the WR3 conversation and if Brent Grimes misses another game, he becomes a must-play and a waiver wire target in his own right.

Remember when earlier in the season we picked on the Jets for trying to tank their season to go after a stud QB to be their franchise guy in the future? Those days seem like light years ago as New York has found a way to keep winning when it needs to and making a push for the playoffs in their own right. Start Josh McCown with confidence this week, and stack him with Robby Anderson in DFS play if your feeling froggy as well.

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