The Fantasy Footballers’ Rankings Audit & Podcast Highlights for Week 10
Welcome in, #Footclan! It’s (almost) football time!
If I were to tell you that the Thursday Night Football showdown between the Colts and Titans would result in five total offensive touchdowns — three being Red Zone rushes while the other two were Red Zone receptions made by RBs — AND that neither Derrick Henry nor Jonathan Taylor was responsible for ANY of those TDs, then I’d tell you to please leave because I have no spare change and you’re scaring the children. But such was the case as Philip Rivers and his outstanding defense dominated the Titans to take over the AFC South. By the way, kudos to whoever started Nyheim Hines or Michael Pittman Jr.
With another TNF on the books, we’re eager to move on to an exciting new slate of games in Week 10 of the National Football League!
As a reminder, this article is a weekly installment where I’ll review the Fantasy Footballers’ player rankings and highlight a few specific players per position that deserve extra attention. I’ll also recap important moments from the past week’s Fantasy Footballers’ podcast episodes with links to each episode provided. So be on the lookout every week for this series!
Also, please keep in mind that the Footballers’ rankings are constantly being updated whenever any breaking news is released. So always refer to their rankings page or click on a specific player below to see their latest rankings!
With that said… let’s do this!
Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
What a slaughter. Tom Brady and his star-studded cast of pass-catchers — Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Antonio Brown, Rob Gronkowski — were ALL huge disappointments in a lopsided bloodbath, courtesy of the New Orleans Saints. Brady threw an embarrassing 22 of 38 completions for just 209 scoreless yards. He also had three sacks and interceptions. His 2.4 fantasy points was one of the LOWEST of his storied career, and including his 2008 game where he tore his ACL & MCL in the FIRST quarter.
Now, he faces another divisional rival in the Carolina Panthers, who recently held him to a mere 217 yards and a TD plus an INT. Like last week against the Saints, he was also the QB30 against the Panthers in their first meeting. However, that had more to do with Leonard Fournette running wild for 103 yards and two TDs, something he’s yet to come even close to replicating ever since. But hell hath no fury like a Brady scorned. Brady should redeem himself against a middling defense that has given up top-10 fantasy performances for opposing QBs in the past three weeks. The scorned “Plant Man” will remind everyone why he needs two hands to wear all of his Super Bowl rings. He’s the ‘Ballers’ consensus QB9, a sneaky top-12 option, and Jason’s Start of the Week.
Nick Foles, Chicago Bears
It hasn’t been pretty, but Bears QB Nick Foles has been serviceable in 2QB or SuperFlex leagues. He’s yet to finish as a QB1 (top-12), and the guys don’t believe things will change this week as he’s currently their #25 ranked QB. But in my opinion, not only does he have a good shot at improving on that ranking, but there’s a small chance he could finish as a QB1. He gets to face the Vikings porous defense that is 25th against QBs, a ranking that would’ve been even better if Matthew Stafford didn’t exit early in their recent match. Foles also has a great playoff schedule for those preparing ahead. He also gets to play on Monday Night Football, which has been a notoriously difficult time for Vikings QB Kirk Cousins as he’s 0-9 in MNF appearances with just 11 TDs and six INTs. If the “primetime curse” remains true, Foles should see positive gamescript thanks to his stellar defense, boosting his chances to score. There are never any guarantees when it comes to Foles, but he’s a decent option for deeper leagues and should be a popular DFS pick.
Running Back Rankings
Chase Edmonds, Arizona Cardinals
Cardinals understudy Chase Edmonds clearly didn’t pay off last week in what was supposed to be a smash spot as the lead back against the Dolphins. It certainly wasn’t for lack of trying, as he received an enviable 25 carries and three targets but failed to produce anything with them. But maybe we underestimated Miami’s underrated defense, who is surprisingly the 4th best DST on the year in fantasy points. He’ll get an easier matchup against Buffalo’s 21st ranked defense against RBs, but there are still obvious concerns. Will he see another bellcow-worthy workload? Will he continue to be vultured by QB Kyler Murray, who’s averaging a rushing score per game? Will Kenyan Drake return? It’s questions like these that make Edmonds difficult to project, which is why he’s Andy’s RB8 and Start of the Week, Mike’s RB9, and Jason’s RB15. His usage alone should ensure a safe floor, and he has a decent chance for a TD in what Vegas projects to be the highest-scoring game this week.
Antonio Gibson, Washington Football Team
J.D. McKissic, Washington Football Team
Last week’s close defeat to the Giants was the first time we saw “Comeback Player of the Year” Alex Smith start (and finish) a game since suffering a gruesome compound fracture in his leg two years ago. It wasn’t great by any means, but his return is a miracle in and of itself. But with Smith commandeering the Football Team, we also saw scatback J.D. McKissic see a whopping 45 snaps (83%) and 17 opportunities, much higher than “lead back” Antonio Gibson‘s 25 snaps (46%) and nine opportunities. McKissic’s rise in usage is most likely to provide Smith “protection” as an easy checkdown option when things go awry.
The Detroit Lions rank 29th in tackling grade (per @PFF) and are dead last in yards after contact per rush.
Insert the NFL's number two RB in terms of broken tackles per rush — Antonio Gibson: pic.twitter.com/lOJeRFkyx6
— Jacob Gibbs (@jagibbs_23) November 13, 2020
However, they are in a smash spot when they battle the Lions this Sunday, who have allowed the MOST points to RBs. Though Gibson (#15) currently outranks McKissic (#25) per the ‘Ballers’ consensus rankings, there’s clearly room for BOTH RBs to thrive, as was the case for Alvin Kamara and Latavius Murray in Week 4 and Nyheim Hines and Jordan Wilkins in Week 8, all of whom scored ~20 half PPR points. McKissic is also Mike’s Start of the Week.
Wide Receiver Rankings
Keenan Allen, Los Angeles Chargers
Eruption. Spot. That’s where Chargers WR Keenan Allen finds himself this week in a salivating matchup against the Miami Dolphins, where he’ll likely be matched up against slot CB Nik Needham while fellow wideouts Mike Williams and Jalen Guyton should see coverage against much stiffer competition in Xavien Howard and Byron Jones. Last week against the Dolphins, Howard shutout living legend DeAndre Hopkins, allowing Christian Kirk to explode for 123 yards and a TD. Even old-timer Larry Fitzgerald had his most efficient performance under Needham’s coverage in terms of yards per reception.
Allen has seen an average 10.6 (!) targets per game, which is incredible considering this includes his game against the Saints where he left early in the second quarter. Rookie standout QB Justin Herbert has built a strong rapport with his lead receiver, and deservedly so as Allen is a baller. There’s a reason why he’s considered the best route runner in the game. Andy, Mike, and Jason all agree as they each have him as their #5 WR. Allen is my dark horse candidate to finish as the #1 receiver this week.
Tyler Lockett, Seattle Seahawks
Did you know that in four of his eight games this year, Seahawks wideout Tyler Lockett only has 14 total catches for 156 scoreless yards? He was the WR72, WR53, WR58, and WR64 in those four games. Did you also know that he’s still the overall WR5 on the season in all formats? That’s how impactful his BOOM games are. But how can we predict when those blowup weeks are?
Brian Schottenheimer says #Seahawks expect Rams to have Jalen Ramsey shadow DK Metcalf Sunday.
Last time a team shadowed Metcalf with its top CB, Tyler Lockett 15 catches, 20 targets, 200 yards, 3 touchdowns three games ago at Arizona. @thenewstribune
— Gregg Bell (@gbellseattle) November 13, 2020
It’s a boggling, imperfect trend, but one worth noting as their upcoming divisional showdown against the Rams is the WORST matchup for opposing WRs. Shutdown corner Jalen Ramsey is expected to shadow budding superstar DK Metcalf, and though Lockett’s matchup against CB Troy Hill is not ideal either, it’s worlds ahead of Metcalf’s. Though he’s had lackluster results against the Rams last year, this should still be a huge bounce-back opportunity for Lockett. And when Lockett bounces, his recoil is strong enough to singlehandedly destroy your opponent’s chances. He’s the ‘Ballers’ consensus WR9 and has TD upside as this match has the second-highest implied scoring total.
Tight End Rankings
Austin Hooper, Cleveland Browns
With Travis Kelce on bye and George Kittle on season-ending IR, the doors are wide open for a TE to rise among the ranks this week. Browns TE Austin Hooper could be one to do so, as he’s had success before and has shown a growing connection with QB Baker Mayfield. It’s definitely a shame that he had to miss time due to emergency appendicitis as he was heating up on his new team. Just take a look at his yardage this year, which improved nearly every week: 15, 22, 25, 34, 57, 52. He now gets a favorable matchup against a vulnerable Texans defense and should see more targets with prolific WR Odell Beckham Jr. out for the season with a torn ACL. But heed caution. His colleagues Dallas Goedert and Jordan Reed, who both also recently returned to action after extended time off, were both dreadful in their returns, combining for a useless two receptions and 18 yards. The gang has Hooper as their consensus TE9, a ranking he’s only met or surpassed once this season. As a sign of confidence, though, Jason made Hooper his Start of the Week. He should be startable ROS, but I’d prefer to wait a week to make sure he’s fully acclimated back for fantasy relevance.
Biggest Takeaways from the Week 9 Podcasts
Monday (Week 9 Studs & Stinkers + Signs of the Times)
What better way to start the week than with a passionate debate at 02:00 about the ending of Andy’s favorite M. Night Shyamalan film, “Signs” (btw I agree with Jason and Mike, that ending had more holes than the Packers D-Line… what say you, Footclan?):
Watch today's show on YouTube: https://t.co/aBZSIaMtpR
Week 9 Studs & Stinkers, and of course a passionate debate on the 2002 movie 'Signs' 🎬👽 pic.twitter.com/ntO7DOkywY
— Fantasy Footballers (@TheFFBallers) November 9, 2020
They proceed by sharing their favorite Monday Punday submissions at 03:35. Next is a recap of last Sunday’s games on the Weekly Rewind at 06:25. The ‘Ballers then discuss all their Fantasy Studmuffins at 10:35, before commiserating on the Stinkers of the Week at 35:15.
Tuesday (Week 10 Waivers + Full Stream Ahead, Ride the Lightning)
In this episode, the gang starts off with a recap of the shockingly exciting Monday Night Football barnburner between the Jets and Patriots at 01:25, before moving on to the News & Notes at 06:05. Next up, our beloved ‘Ballers “Ride the Lightning” by testing out smelling salts for our own amusement at 09:07:
On-air smelling salts test 👃⚡
— Fantasy Footballers (@TheFFBallers) November 10, 2020
We then come to the juiciest part of the episode: the Week 10 Waivers at 10:35. We wrap up the episode with their choices for DST Streamers (Saints, Eagles, and maybe Giants & Vikings) at 45:15 and QB Streamers (Carson Wentz, Drew Lock, Jared Goff, and maybe Baker Mayfield) at 46:40.
Wednesday (Playoff Primer + Week 10 Buy or Sell, Lockett In)
Mike and Jason take over the podcast (Andy: COVID/IR jump starts this episode with the Buy or Sell segment at 03:50, discussing hotly debated players like James Conner, Carson Wentz, Tyler Lockett. They move onto the News & Notes at 13:25, before we delve into the Fantasy Playoff Primer at 20:30, where Jason and Mike chew over players/teams that have the Best &Worst Playoff Schedules. They conclude the episode with the Thursday Night Breakdown at 48:35.
Thursday (Starts of the Week + Week 10 Breakdown, Cake or Cupcake)
Thursday’s episode starts with the Taking It Up To 100 segment at 02:40, where the guys stake their claim on Jalen Reagor, John Brown, and Allen Robinson, who they’re all expecting to erupt this week. That’s followed by the News & Notes at 06:50. The ‘Ballers then talk about the upcoming matchups in the Fantasy Forecast at 16:15, including a deep dive into a very important question that resonates with us all:
(super important Cake or Cupcake 🎂🧁 polls in comments) pic.twitter.com/lqXvFe8fT3
— Fantasy Footballers (@TheFFBallers) November 12, 2020
We then get to the meat & taters of the episode at 57:35 — the ‘Ballers Starts of the Week! And don’t forget Jason Moore’s Iron-Clad Locked and Loaded 100% Guaranteed Boom-Boom Kicker of the Week at 01:05:30!
Friday (Week 10 Matchups + Squeeze a Sneeze)
The ‘Ballers kickstart this podcast — the Fantasy Footballers podcast, if you’re nasty — with a FootClan Fridays segment at 02:20, followed by a recap of the lopsided TNF disappointment at 03:30, including an attempt at understanding the method to Colts head coach Frank Reich’s madness. They then discuss the News & Notes at 11:20 before detailing the Fantasy Forecast for the remaining Week 9 matchups at 17:35. The episode culminates at 01:03:40 with their can’t-miss segment, Prop It Like It’s Hot!
Have a great weekend #Footclan and let’s crush all our matchups! If you haven’t done so yet, make sure you check out the awesome Week 10 DFS Podcast by Kyle Borgognoni (@kyle_borg) and Matthew Betz (@TheFantasyPT). And as always, remember to tune in Sunday for Mike’s live stream where he provides last-minute updates to help you make those crucial roster decisions!