Welcome to Week 10! With the fantasy regular season drawing to a close in 3 weeks, it’s time to fine tune your roster for the playoffs. If you’ve been holding a roster spot for a guy you hope breaks out, especially in redraft leagues, it’s time to cut the line and set them free. Grab the handcuffs for your essential players (notably for your quarterback if you only carry one) so you’re not left scrambling during week 1 of the playoffs if somebody goes down. With the fantasy season halfway over, various players have emerged as fantasy assets for the rest of the season, and now is the time to grab them before your competitors. Myself, John Di Bari (@dibari22), and Shane Manila (@DFF_Shane) will be offering up some ideas for who to grab this week.
RB: Ronnie Hillman, Minnesota Vikings
The running back situation is pretty bleak in Minnesota at the moment. No AP. Matt Asiata is a fine enough deep flex I suppose and Jerick McKinnon, though a metric god, is not doing much of anything. So here comes Ronnie Hillman into what now appears to be a three man RBBC. Hillman is only a season removed from producing 974 total yards, so he’s shown that he can at least be a serviceable play in a pinch. Sunday against the Lion’s Hillman ran for 30 yards on 7 carries and turned his one reception into an additional 32 yards. Though Hillman didn’t exactly set the world a flame with his production he at least produced more than McKinnon’s 8 yards on 7 carries and no receptions. If you have the roster space available I’d add him this week. See how the situation plays out the next week or two. If Hillman’s role continues to increase then you may have a deep flex play, if Minnesota continues to employ a 3 man backfield then you can just cut bait and throw Hillman back into the waiver pool.
RB: Kapri Bibbs, Denver Broncos
Kapri Bibbs is not the name juice box drink, that’s Capri Sun. No he’s a running back for the Denver Broncos. I can see you staring at the screen in disbelief; I assure you he is not a juice box box drink. Fine, watch this and tell me if a juice box can do this. Finally convinced??? Now that we’ve cleared that up, let’s talk about Kapri(not a juice box drink)Bibbs. He’s currently the handcuff to Devontae Booker. After Sundays performance, 1 reception for 69 yards and the score plus another 11 yards on 2 rushes, Bronco’s HC Gary Kubiak stated on Monday that Bibbs has earned himself additional work. Factoring in how underwhelming Devontae Booker has been since C.J. Anderson was lost for the season, 76 yards on 29 carries, perhaps Bibbs can nudge himself into a larger role for the rest of the season.
QB: Bryce Petty, New York Jets
Ryan Fitzpatrick is just wretched this year. He had to leave Sunday’s game a couple of times due to an apparent knee issue and it was Petty who spelled him. Petty even completed all of his passes when he came in against the Dolphin’s. So what if it was only 2 pass attempts, you have to start somewhere right? At some point Todd Bowles is going have to give up on Fitzpatrick, again, and see if one of his other QB’s can do any better. I’m not sure it’s possible for Petty to be worse than Fitzpatrick has been this season.
WR: Bryce Treggs, Philadelphia Eagles
As an Eagle fan there are many things I’ve lamented this year. Jordan Matthews not receiving enough targets, Nelson Agholor underperforming on a weekly basis, Zach Ertz not receiving enough targets, questionable play calling from HC Doug Pederson, etc. At the top of the list of issues I feel my Eagle’s have is the fact they have no one to take the top off a defense. When everything is thrown near the line of scrimmage it’s hard to make much hay offensively. After weeks of hearing about how close Treggs was to being promoted from the practice squad it finally happened for this Sunday’s game against the Giants. Treggs ended the day with 2 catches for 69 yards with a long of 58 yards. He could have scored on the 58 yard reception too if not for the ball being underthrown by Carson Wentz. To say Treggs is fast does not do him justice, the kid runs a 4.39 40 yard-dash. Treggs can certainly carve out a role on this Eagle’s offense as the only viable deep threat they have on the roster.
RB: Antonio Andrews, Tennessee Titans
The 3rd year pro performed well in 2015, when actually given the opportunity over Bishop Trashey (Editor’s note that is the alternate spelling for Sankey). Prior to the Titan’s trading for DeMarco Murray and drafting the man child that is Derrick Henry I held out some hope for Andrews, but alas it was not to be. As I said, Andrews performed well enough last season scoring double digit fantasy points 8 times. Andrews showed decent enough ability as a receiving threat with 21 receptions in addition to his 520 rushing yards. Derrick Henry injured his calf early Sunday and did not return against the Chargers. Monday Henry went for an MRI and Head Coach Mike Mularkey indicated that Henry could miss a few days or a few weeks. With the fantasy playoffs bearing down on us Andrews is a good pickup in case Henry does miss a couple weeks, he’d be the next man up if anything were to happen to Demarco.
QB: Mike Glennon, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0% owned in ESPN leagues)
After Jameis Winston was injured on Thursday night, Glennon came in and looked like the best backup in the NFL. While Winston’s injury isn’t reported to be serious and he shouldn’t miss any time, Glennon is a must own handcuff for Winston owners and a stash play for 2-QB leagues.
QB: Bryce Petty, New York Jets (0%)
Basically, similar to Glennon above, Fitzpatrick got a little banged up and is scheduled to get an MRI. Initial reports indicate that he won’t miss any time, but if he does, Petty is the next man up in the big apple. Another must own handcuff if you’re a Fitzpatrick owner or in a deep 2-QB league.
QB: Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers (22%)
Don’t look now, but he might be worthy of playing for fantasy purposes again. To be fair, the Saints defense is among the worst in football and they can make anybody look good, but Kaep finished week 9 as the #6 QB and the 22nd overall highest scoring player. Although recent history suggests otherwise, he might be returning to form from a few years ago. If you need help at the position, no other option has his upside.
WR: Rishard Matthews, Tennessee Titans (11%)
I wrote about Matthews here http://factorysports.wpengine.com/wr-rishard-matthews-tennessee-titans/ back in August and anticipated him to have a break out season as the Titans WR1. Then the Tajae Sharpe Hype train took off and Andre Johnson came-and-went, and 9 weeks later, here we are with Matthews back on top of the pecking order. With 5 TDs in his last 5 games and seeing an uptick in snaps and targets, he’s trending upwards and if he’s available, he should be snatched up.
WR: Ted Ginn Jr., Carolina Panthers (7%)
Carolina hasn’t really been clicking this season and it’s shown in their players’ fantasy production. Ginn is clearly the #3 option behind Greg Olsen and Kelvin Benjamin in the passing game, while Devin Funchess is nowhere to be seen. He’s a boom-or-bust player, and can easily get you 0 or 25 points, so tread carefully, but if you’re in dire straits thanks to injury or byes, he can win you a week.
WR: Quinton Patten, San Francisco 49ers (0%)
Patton led the 49ers with 9 targets in their shootout with the Saints on Sunday and has seen his role increase since Chip Kelley turned the team over to Kaepernick. The 49ers are a bad, bad, terrible, awful team, and should be trailing heavily in most of their games. Patton is getting the volume necessary to produce and is worth a flier.
WR: Eli Rogers, Pittsburgh Steelers (3%)
Rogers was one of the fantasy community’s early season sleeper favorites, and come out looking sharp to start the season. Then he got a little banged up, missed some time and people for some reason started to think Sammie Coates can catch and forgot all about Rogers. Back and healthy, with Big Ben’s return Rogers actually led the Steelers in reception yards this past week. Now, in no way ever am I saying that will likely happen again without an injury to Antonio Brown, but he’s clearly a guy Roethlisberger trusts and will be a crucial piece of their passing attack going forward.
WR: Jalin Marshall/Robby Anderson, New York Jets (0%/0%)
Both are just fliers in super deep leagues and speculative dynasty adds. The Jets have been scrapping their more traditional two WR sets more and more as they get used to life without Eric Decker and as a result, Quincy Enunwa is seeing his target share drop as more 3 and 4-wide sets are being employed. Both Marshall & Anderson seem to have passed Charone Peake on the depth chart as well.
RB: Paul Perkins, New York Giants (4%)
Coming out of their bye the Giants said they were looking to increase Perkins’ touches and true to form, they held to their word. Perkins led the team with 11 carries in week 9 and it’s probably safe to say that trend will continue moving forward.
RB: Dujuan Harris, San Francisco 49ers (31%)
I can’t believe his ownership numbers are this high. Carlos Hyde is suffering from an AC joint injury in his shoulder and his timetable to return is fuzzy. Even when he returns, Harris has played well enough to keep a small role, plus a RB with an injured shoulder is always an iffy bet to stay on the field.
RB: Kapri Bibbs, Denver Broncos (4%)
With starter CJ Anderson placed on IR with a knee injury, most expected rookie Devonte Booker to run away with the job, however, it’s been Bibbs who has shined in his limited touches. He had an amazing 69-yard touchdown on a screen pass last week and according to Head Coach Gary Kubiak he has earned more touches going forward.
RB: Peyton Barber/Mike James, Tampa bay Buccaneers (12%/0%)
Next man up… or in this case 5th man up. Tampa has been decimated by injuries at the running back position and this week it looks like rookie Peyton Barber will be starting with Mike James spelling him when needed. The Bucs offensive scheme has been friendly to whomever has been starting, so Barber makes a fine play in deeper leagues at least until he gets hurt, or Doug Martin returns, or when Doug martin gets hurt again.
TE: Richard Rodgers, Green Bay Packers (5%)
With various Packers all over the field out with injury, Rodgers stepped up last week with 6 receptions on 10 targets for 64 yards- a very solid outing in PPR leagues, even more so when you consider that you probably expected a big fat 0 from him. He’s getting targets in the Pack’s offense, so he’s worth playing and makes a fine streaming candidate at the TE position.
TE: Lance Kendricks, Los Angeles Rams (20%)
Another ownership head scratcher to me. 20% seems awfully high for a guy who has essentially never done anything ever before this week. 7 grabs for 90 yards was a nice outing and would’ve been even better if he hadn’t dropped a sure TD too.
With 9 weeks behind us and only 4 to go, we hope these suggestions have been helpful. Thank you for reading and checking out our recommendations. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us both via twitter at @dibari22 and @DFF_Shane and we’ll be happy to offer our sage-like, speculative advice. Good luck in week 10, hopefully yo