While the bizarre 2020 NFL season has been entertaining, Week 10 crept up in a hurry. Time flies when you’re having fun, they say. It seems only yesterday the fantasy community was mourning the losses of Courtland Sutton, Austin Ekeler and others. Not unlike those days past, the troubles on the injury front remain. No need to worry, there’s always a splash of good news mixed in.
Speaking of good news, Nick Chubb and Miles Sanders return to action this week; a joyous occasion for many. Alshon Jeffery is back as well, no doubt instilling a modicum of fear in those who roster Travis Fulgham. And no forgetting Big Ben Roethlisberger, who narrowly escaped the COVD list before game day. With the good, of course, comes the bad; and Week 10 definitely has it’s bad. Once again, it’s time for The Infirmary!
John Ross– CIN (Foot), Albert Okwuegbunam– DEN (Knee), David Johnson– HOU (Concussion), Justin Jackson– LAC (Knee), Preston Williams– MIA (Foot), Devonta Freeman– NYG (Ankle)
With one Johnson out in Houston, perhaps this Texans staff will give the other Johnson, Duke Johnson, an opportunity to shine. A reminder of his college production is in order; For Miami, the Duke posted a 33.0-percent (76th-percentile among qualified running backs) College Dominator Rating, 6.8 (90th-percentile) Yards Per Carry, and a 14.8-percent (93rd-percentile) Target Share. It’s been a while since those days, but this may be a proper chance for Johnson to prove his worth.
The Chargers running back woes continue; Jackson is out, and Ekeler is not yet ready for a return. LA will lean on rookie Joshua Kelley, new addition Kalen Ballage and Troymaine Pope, who is questionable with a neck issue. Coach Anthony Lynn said recently that the team would take the “hot hand” approach. Eeesh. The ole “hot hand” approach, eh? Fun. It’s the best when coaches say that. Make your move, Mr. Kelley!
It’s no secret that Ross wants out of Cincinnati, but the trade deadline passed and he remains a Bengal. It’s likely he’ll be waiting until 2021 for redemption. Williams hits the inured reserve, as well, taking a prime target away from newly-minted starting quarterback, Tua Tagovailoa. Look for tight end Mike Gesicki to benefit early on, as opposed to other receivers. Tight ends are like security blankets, right? However, one wideout to keep an eye on for the future is Kirk Merrit.
Merritt, who we talked about at length here, is an ideal deep league/dynasty stash at worst. With Williams on IR, he has the potential to carve out a more sizeable role.
OUT for Week 10
Christian McCaffrey– CAR (Shoulder), Joe Mixon– CIN (Foot), David Montgomery– CHI (Concussion), Kenny Golladay– DET (Hip), Gardner Minshew– JAX (Thumb), Laviska Shenault– JAX (Hamstring), Devine Ozigbo– JAX (Hamstring), Irv Smith– MIN (Groin), Deebo Samuel– SF (Hamstring), Tevin Coleman– SF (Knee), Chris Carson– SEA (Foot), Carlos Hyde– SEA (Hamstring), Kyle Allen– WAS (Knee), Dontrelle Inman– WAS (Hamstring)
As soon as he came back, he was gone again. It was great to see McCaffrey back to doing his thing, and though the injury is certainly no fun for anyone, at least it wasn’t major; there’s a solid chance he plays come Week 11. Mike Davis will once again fill in, surely in admirable fashion. No worries there. Similarly, Giovani Bernard has shown he’s perfectly capable in Mixon’s absence and will draw another start.
Unlike the Panthers and Bengals, the Bears have no one reliable behind the reliably mediocre Montgomery. Pass. No Golladay means tough sledding for the Detroit offense against a stingy Washington defense. The absence of Shenault in Jacksonville, however, could lead to a very big day for the Charknado himself, D.J. Chark. With Jake Luton under center in Week 9, and Shenault exiting the game early, Chark caught 7-of-12 targets for 146 yards and a touchdown.
The 49ers can’t catch a break. Backup quarterbacks, a battered wide receiver corps and the IR filled with running backs and defenders alike. Most weeks, a combo of Jerick McKinnon and JaMycal Hasty would suffice, but not this week against the run defense of the Saints. DeeJay Dallas and Travis Homer may find the same struggle facing the Rams. Fade ‘em! Lastly, might there be a Kyle Rudolph sighting this week with no Smith? Throw the “Redzone Reindeer” in those DFS lineups.
QUESTIONABLE for Week 10
Kenyan Drake– ARI (Ankle), Mark Ingram– BAL (Ankle), Allen Robinson– CHI (Knee), Jerry Jeudy– DEN (Shoulder), T.J. Hockenson– DET, Robert Tonyan– GB (Ankle), Troymaine Pope– LAC (Neck), Matt Breida– MIA (Hamstring), Damien Harris– NE (Ankle/Chest), N’Keal Harry– NE (Concussion), Golden Tate– NYG (Knee), Trent Taylor– SF (Back)
It appears that Ingram will play this week, capping the upside for rookie J.K. Dobbins. However, given the depths of despair the Patriots defense must be feeling at the moment, it feels like a week too soon to put Dobbins on the bench. Look for the Ravens to go run-heavy in this one. Conversely, expect Harris to get the bulk of the load for New England should he suit up, though Baltimore’s defense is not likely to give up much ground.
Jeudy and quarterback Drew Lock have finally been getting on the same page; it would be a detriment to the offense should Jeudy sit, though signs point to him being on the filed come Sunday. Robinson, on the other hand, sounds like a true game-time decision, which is bad news for a Monday Night game. Darnell Mooney is worthy of a flex play regardless, but the rookie could really shine if Robinson were to miss.
Kenyan Drake should be back for the Cardinals, pushing Chase Edmonds back to his usual role. Both are worth playing, with the matchup against the Bills figuring to see a good chunk of points scored. In Miami, Breida isn’t expected to suit up for the tilt against the Chargers. Shame. He’s the one back left on the roster capable of being a true three-down back. Instead, the Fins will trot out Jordan Howard, Patrick Laird and Salvon Ahmed. Yuck (editors note: don’t forget about DeAndre Washington).
It continues to be more of the same in Week 10, though Nick Chubb returning will be a welcome sight. However, many more will come along over the next couple weeks. Allen Lazard and Sony Michel are at least back practicing; Austin Ekeler isn’t far behind them. For those clinging on to the payoffs, buckle up for the final stretch of the fantasy football season. It’s gonna be madness.