Stars of Week 10
QB: Ben Roethlisberger, PIT: 27-46, 333 yards, 4 TDs, 0 INTs
RB: Alvin Kamara, NO: 8 carries, 15 yards, 2 TDs (7 catches, 81 yards, 1 TD)
WR: Marquez Valdes-Scantling, GB: 4 catches, 149 yards, 1 TD
TE: Rob Gronkowski, TB: 2 catches, 51 yards, 1 TD
With the Kansas City Chiefs on bye, other players had a chance to win the top honor awards for week 10. We start in Pittsburgh where Roethslisberger made quick work of the Cincinnati Bengals, while minimally breaking a sweat. Roethlisberger connected with his WRs for 4 TD passes, putting on a clinic for potential rookie of the year QB Joe Burrow to observe. Roethlisberger remains a lower end QB1 for fantasy purposes and should be starting for your teams most weeks.
If you were to redraft leagues today, the first overall pick would likely either be Minnesota Vikings’ RB Dalvin Cook (last week’s top RB), or New Orleans Saints’ RB Alvin Kamara, who takes this week’s honor. Kamara didn’t accumulate a significant amount of yards, but he accomplished what fantasy owners appreciate the most – scoring TDs! Kamara scored thrice to lead the Saints to a win over the 49ers. Expect to see Kamara’s name here yet again as the season goes on.
The Green Bay Packers had the number one projected WR heading into week 10, but it was Marquez Valdes-Scantling, and not Davante Adams, who led WRs in scoring this week. MVS scored on a 78 yard bomb from Aaron Rodgers, getting a bit of inadvertent help from a referee who was actually trying to get out of dodge. MVS has been a major boom-or-bust player this season, with three games of 18+ fantasy points and six games under 10 points (with some significantly under the 10 point mark). Unfortunately this is MVS’ deal, so expect some terrific games mixed in with a lot of disappearances. This past Sunday it was the former.
An old friend takes the trophy for tight ends this week, as Gronk takes advantage of Travis Kelce being on a bye week. Tight ends had a relatively quiet day as a whole, but Gronk found the end zone once while hauling in 2 passes for 51 yards. Gronk retains a strong connection with QB Tom Brady, and he remains a mid-to-low end TE1 this year.
Week 10 Takeaways – A Closer Look
Each week we take a closer look at a handful of performances and sort out what such performances mean going forward.
Jameis Winston, QB - NO: 6-10, 63 yards, 0 TDs, 0 INTs
Analysis: With QB Drew Brees sidelined mid-game due to injured ribs, it was Jameis Winston, and not Taysom Hill, who stepped in at QB for the Saints. Winston’s numbers were rather pedestrian, with no TDs or INTs, and just 63 yards passing over 10 attempts. It appears that Brees will be out at least a few weeks, meaning that Winston will be handed the keys to a stellar offense. Fantasy managers who have WR Michael Thomas will be getting a boon as well, as Winston has the arm strength to get the ball down the field vertically. We’re unlikely to see the 30 INT version of Winston (extrapolated on a per game basis) that we witnessed last year, namely because Coach Sean Payton won’t tolerate such carelessness. But if you recall, Winston was a top 5 ish QB for the fantasy season even with his 30 picks. He’s a yardage machine, and with the Saints’ weapons, he won’t have problems finding the end zone. The Saints face a terrible Falcons’ secondary next week, which would be a plum matchup for you to deploy Winston in case you need a QB. In case you need a QB, Winston’s the top add this week, and he’ll likely be able to help you for the next few weeks.
Kalen Ballage, RB – LAC: 18 carries, 68 yards, 0 TDs (5 catches, 34 yards, 0 TDs)
Analysis: The Los Angeles Chargers have had a revolving door at RB since Austin Ekeler’s injury in Week 4. Justin Jackson, Joshua Kelley and Troymaine Pope have all had turns stepping in for Ekeler, but upon a further spin of the wheel, it looks like the dial has landed on Kalen Ballage. The third year pro out of Arizona State University has been the Chargers’ primary ball carrier the past two games, with 18 carries this past weekend against the Dolphins and 15 carries the weekend before versus the Raiders. In the meanwhile, the rest of the Chargers’ RBs combined for 9 and 7 carries over the same two games. Ballage also outsnapped Kelley 46 to 17 against the Dolphins, so Coach Anthony Lynn showed a clear preference for Ballage. There’s nothing flashy in Ballage’s game – he’s not fast nor especially jukey. But he’s got good size and can push forward for 4-5 yard chunks at a time. Ballage’s value will be short lived, as he won’t receive enough touches for you to start him once Ekeler returns, which is expected to be within the next few weeks. Justin Jackson, who would also expect to factor into the rotation, just joined the IR last week, and will miss at least the next two games. So long as Ekeler and Jackson remain out, Ballage should provide an RB3 / flex level option. In case you need a short-term RB, put a claim in for Ballage. He won’t win you a week on his own, but he’ll also help you avoid a donut in the points column.
Michael Pittman Jr., WR – IND: 7 catches, 101 yards, 0 TDs
Analysis: The Indianapolis Colts have featured a steel-toed defense this season, perhaps the best in the NFL. Meanwhile, the offensive side of the ball has been a different story, albeit not a disaster. The Colts have largely been an offense built around its running backs, but quietly a young WR has emerged to help open the offense up a bit. Rookie 2nd round pick Michael Pittman has posted back to back strong games, earning the trust of QB Philip Rivers while doing much to establish himself as the Colts’ new top WR. Pittman caught 7 of his 8 targets in week 10 against the Titans, while hurdling over the century mark in yardage. Rivers targeted Pittman 7 times in week 9 as well, resulting Pittman leading in targets each of the last two weeks. So, Rivers’ affinity for his rookie WR is no fluke. While not a burner, Pittman plays with physicality and has great hands – traits which help with weekly consistency. Pittman should be owned in all leagues, making a strong WR3 / flex option most weeks. He’s your top add at WR for the week, assuming that Jakobi Meyers is unavailable.
Jalen Reagor, WR – PHI: 4 catches, 57 yards, 0 TDs
Analysis: While many waiver pickups are obvious, others are more speculative. Take Philadelphia Eagles’ rookie WR Jalen Reagor, for example. The Eagles have suffered a remarkable number of injuries this season, which has become a yearly trend. Reagor unfortunately joined the frey, having suffered a ligament tear in his thumb during week 2’s matchup. Since Reagor’s return in week 9, he has showed the dynamic playmaking ability that made him a first round pick. More importantly for fantasy purposes, Reagor has the attention of QB Carson Wentz, who has targeted him 13 times over the last two games. The reference above to Reagor as a speculative add comes from the fact that he’s yet to have a noteworthy fantasy performance. Rather, Reagor’s situation is lining up nicely for an outburst in the coming weeks. Facing the leaky Browns, Seahawks and Packers’ defenses over the next three weeks, Reagor will have an opportunity to make some serious hay. There’s no guarantee that Reagor will take advantage of the opportunity, but with his name not quite in the mainstream as of yet, this is your chance to make a speculative add, ahead of what could be large demand during the next waiver cycle. If you want to make an upside pickup and have the room to do so, give Reagor an add and see where it goes. Reagor will be a low end flex option versus Cleveland next week, but he’s got considerable upside.
Rapid Fire Pickups
Each week we throw out potential free agent pickups from each position for deeper leagues, in each case 1) someone who has NOT been featured above, and 2) a player available in more than 50% of leagues.
QB: Tua Tagovailoa, MIA (@ DEN)
RB: Nyheim Hines, IND (vs GB) ***top add at RB, if available
RB: La’Mical Perine, NYJ (@ LAC)
WR: Jakobi Meyers, NE (@ HOU) ***top add at WR, if available
WR: Tim Patrick, DEN (vs MIA)
TE: Logan Thomas, WAS (vs CIN)