Dak Prescott Paying Off in Fantasy Football

Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott
Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

NFL Week 10 - Week 10 was the Battle of The Backups, and despite the changes for many teams, there was still a lot of great action to sift through for fantasy-relevant nuggets to get us ready for Week 11. We have undervalued and overvalued players to talk through, some quarterbacks who are looking after the ball much better, and some who really should.

Arizona Cardinals

In the battle of the backups, Colt McCoy and the Cardinals came out on top of John Wolford and the Rams, and it wasn't really close. The Cardinals continue to win games they might not be expected to and then lose the games they should win. A.J. Green rolled back the years with an impressive touchdown to set a season-high in PPR points with 9.0, showing that even with touchdowns in a game where McCoy attempted 37 passes, Green still isn't fantasy-relevant. James Conner is fantasy-relevant and very much so, having played 71% of snaps in his return from injury last week and then 95% this week, which only trailed Rondale Moore amongst skill players. Eno Benjamin was impressive when he had opportunities but on Monday evening the team released him after it became clear that Conner is their preferred option, having a 96% opportunity share on Sunday and turning it into 23.6 PPR points. Trey McBride set a career-high in snaps (91%) with Zach Ertz leaving with a knee injury which sadly will rule him out for the rest of the season. McBride will have every chance to be the TE1 in an offense that has utilized the position a healthy amount this year. Darrel Williams and Keontay Ingram are now the only running backs behind James Conner. Williams has far more experience than Ingram and would likely see the most work if Conner misses time.

Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons saw their way to an embarrassing defeat where once again the Falcons passing game failed to deliver. Week-in and week-out the Falcons show they don't want to pass the ball, so it's not surprising to see they can't when it's necessary. Drake London had one target before the two-minute warning but did get more involved after that point, with a miserable 38 yards being his second-highest receiving total since Week 3 and his five receptions being his most since Week 2. Sadly for a team intent on running the ball so much, nobody is an easy start in fantasy football right now, with four running backs seeing four or more attempts. In Week 11 against a poor Bears defense that ranks 26th in rush defense DVOA, Tyler Allgeier and Cordarelle Patterson are considerations for deep leagues only.

Buffalo Bills

Before the Bills' game against the Vikings descended into a form of beautiful chaos, the Bills were firmly seeking to establish the run, with 20 rushing attempts before the game went to overtime and 175 rushing yards setting a new season-high. It will be hard to rely on the Bills sticking to a run-heavy approach in future games as they showed that Josh Allen is still plenty capable of passing the ball well as Allen spread the ball around, with four receivers having four or more catches and Stefon Diggs with his obligatory 100-yard game. Isaiah McKenzie has now gone four games without a top-36 finish and should be considered droppable if you're in need of roster space. In Week 11, the Bills face the Browns, who rank 31st in defense DVOA and Buffalo should be able to get right easily enough.

Carolina Panthers

P.J. Walker followed up his miserable performance against the Bengals with a far better performance against the woeful Falcons defense. Unfortunately, that performance didn't carry over into fantasy, where Walker's 108 passing yards didn't help any of his targets have a great day. Laviska Shenault has established a consistent role for the Panthers, utilized in both the rushing game and the passing game, and with tough games against the Ravens and Broncos coming up the Panthers will need that creativity. D'Onta Foreman had a 71% opportunity share in the backfield and looked like the Panthers' best player. With Baker Mayfield set to start against the Ravens, Foreman might be leaned upon heavily, and with the Ravens ranking worse against the run than the pass, it might not be a bad idea.

Chicago Bears

The Justin Fields Fantasy Extravaganza continued with another outstanding day in the rushing department, and that somewhat masked the fact that Fields was unable to get anything going in the passing game, with just 12 completions and attempting his fewest passes since Week 3. Whilst the passing game wasn't impressive, it was good to see Fields have multiple passing touchdowns for the third week running and Cole Kmet now has five touchdowns in three weeks after none in his previous 28. In Week 11, the Bears travel to Atlanta and will be popular picks against a passing defense that ranks 30th in DVOA over the last four weeks.

Cleveland Browns

Jacoby Brissett is bringing his time as the starting quarterback of the Browns towards an end with a lackluster performance. Despite the Browns chasing the Dolphins throughout the game, Brissett posted just 212 passing yards, his second-lowest total of the season. The game script favored Kareem Hunt, but it wasn't to be with just one target in the passing game and 6 yards on nine rushing attempts. Hunt has been a top-24 running back on just two occasions this year and is not someone we can start with any confidence in moving forward. Donovan Peoples-Jones featured heavily in last week's daily fantasy column and he had a fantastic day posting a season-high 99 receiving yards. The same can't be said for Amari Cooper, who continues to struggle on the road, with an average of 5.8 PPR points when he doesn't get to sleep in his own bed compared with 21.1 in home games. The Browns had the lowest DVOA of the week at -65.1%, and it looks more and more likely that this is a lost season.

Dallas Cowboys

CeeDee Lamb set a career-high in PPR points with 38.0 and had his first 100-plus-yard game since Week 8 of the 2021 season, but it wasn't enough to beat a Green Bay side that rallied late. Lamb hasn't had many blow-up games, but he has been steadily consistent and this is reflected in the fact that he's the WR8 in total PPR points and ranks 11th in effective yards. Dak Prescott continues to look like an undervalued fantasy asset and has been the fantasy QB6 and QB4 in his last two performances. According to KeepTradeCut.com's crowdsourced rankings, Dak is valued as the QB12 in dynasty formats and his current value is an early 2023 second-round pick, which feels very cheap.

Denver Broncos

The bye week brought no improvements for the Broncos, and Russell Wilson's cooking still leaves a bad taste in the mouth. Wilson completed 50% of his 42 pass attempts as the Broncos scored points on just two of their 13 drives. Through nine weeks there have been 120 instances of a quarterback passing for multiple touchdowns in a game; Wilson has managed just one instance. With Jerry Jeudy leaving the game with an ankle injury, the passing game outlook feels even bleaker, and even promising rookie Greg Dulcich came back down to earth with just one catch for 11 yards.

Detroit Lions

Amon-Ra St. Brown had 10 catches for the second time in his career and his 119 receiving yards were more than 50% of the Lions' total passing yards in the win over Chicago. With few options around St. Brown, it's likely he'll continue to see as much volume as any other receiver in the league. D'Andre Swift's touchdown masked another disappointing day for him as he continues to be largely unstartable with six rushes for 1 yard and a single reception for 6 yards. The Lions head to the Giants in Week 11 and face a defense that ranks 27th against the pass and 10th against the run over the last four weeks, which should stand to benefit St. Brown.

Green Bay Packers

Before Christian Watson's three-touchdown performance against the Cowboys, he had just 10 catches on the season, and it's fair to wonder how things might have turned out differently if he had caught the long pass in Week 1 that sailed straight through his open arms on what would have been surely a touchdown. Watson's 107 yards outproduced the 88 he managed in the six previous games, and hopefully now that he has earned the trust of his quarterback, he can kick on and be a consistent part of this offense. AJ Dillon continues to see double-digit touches every week and fail to turn them into fantasy points; since his Week 1 20.1 performance he averages 6.4 PPR points per game and is droppable in redraft leagues unless you're rostering him in case Aaron Jones gets injured.

Houston Texans

The Texans struggled against the Giants as Dameon Pierce was kept largely contained and a 44-yard run bolstered his stats, with 13 of Pierce's rush attempts held at 5 yards or below. With the running game struggling, Davis Mills was forced to pass for over 300 yards for just the second time this season, which in turn helped Nico Collins have his best performance of the year with 15.9 PPR points. Collins has averaged six targets over his last four games and is worth consideration in deeper leagues, with games against the below-average pass defenses of the Commanders and Dolphins coming up.

Indianapolis Colts

Matt Ryan was a breath of fresh air for a Colts team that badly needed someone better than Sam Ehlinger under center, and Ryan's 22.7 fantasy points were his second-most of the season. Ryan was turnover-free, which hasn't often been the case this year, and his efficiency helped the Colts to their first win in four games. Parris Campbell has now had 32 targets in his last three games with Matt Ryan at quarterback and averaged 20.8 PPR points. Campbell should be rostered in all formats.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Christian Kirk had his first 30-plus-point PPR performance of his career as the Jaguars chased the score for much of the game, with Kirk catching nine balls for 105 yards and two touchdowns. Kirk ranks eighth in DYAR and seventh in effective yards in what has turned out to be a pretty good season for him. Trevor Lawrence has now scored 17 or more fantasy points in four of his last five and is playing much better than several weeks ago when he hit a rut. The Jaguars go into their bye week with plenty of time to plan for the Ravens defense that gave Andy Dalton a torrid time in Week 9.

Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs are looking like a dominant force right now and have won three games in a row for the first time this season, taking them to the top in offensive DVOA for the last four weeks. Patrick Mahomes dealt well with the loss of JuJu Smith-Schuster, who left the game with a concussion, and Travis Kelce had his sixth game in a row with six or more receptions. Skyy Moore was talked up highly coming into this season, but on a day where Mecole Hardman was unable to play, Smith-Schuster left early, and Marquez Valdes-Scantling missed some time, Moore saw just one target that turned into 6 yards. The Chiefs backfield seems to have firmly swung away from Clyde Edwards-Helaire, who had zero rushing attempts for the first time in his career when active for a game. Isaiah Pacheco dominated the rushing attempts with 16, but without any touchdowns or work in the passing game, it's debatable how valuable that role is moving forward.

Las Vegas Raiders

The Raiders' loss to the Colts will have big ramifications for how the team looks next year most likely, but for now, the offense has become very straightforward to project. Josh Jacobs rarely sees his opportunity share in the backfield dip below 80% and has had 20 or more total touches in all but one of his last six games. Davante Adams' 31.6% target share is the third-highest amongst receivers and he continues to produce at a higher rate of fantasy points per touch than in 2021. With Darren Waller and Hunter Renfrow on IR, Mack Hollins can be considered for deeper leagues, but with tough matchups against the Broncos and Seahawks coming it might be best to not count on him for them.

Los Angeles Chargers

Justin Herbert is throwing touchdowns at a rate of 3.6% this year, a stark drop from 5.7% in 2021, which was the eighth-highest rate in the league. His rate this year is 24th amongst starters, and whilst it is obvious Herbert could do with Keenan Allen and Mike Williams healthy, by the time that happens it might be too late. Herbert's next four fixtures are against teams who rank in the bottom half of passing DVOA, so there could be opportunities for brighter days in the near future.

Los Angeles Rams

The Rams' season all but came to a close with Sunday's loss to Arizona, and if Cooper Kupp misses any time with the ankle injury he suffered, then it is hard to imagine the Rams being able to do anything of note going forward. Cam Akers and Darrell Henderson combined for 12 carries for 43 yards and the Rams unsurprisingly sit 30th in rush offense DVOA, averaging 63.3 rushing yards in their last three performances. There have been 227 instances of a running back rushing for 50 or more yards this season; the Rams are responsible for just two of them.

Miami Dolphins

This Dolphins side is beyond all else fun to watch, and it has been a few years since Miami fans were able to say that. Sitting atop the AFC East, the Dolphins should feel pleased that they were able to win a game where the running game put the Cleveland Browns' heralded running game to shame. Jeff Wilson led the backfield with 17 of the 28 attempts and rushed for 119 yards, whilst Raheem Mostert added 65 on just eight attempts. After a Week 11 bye , the Dolphins face the Texans, and Wilson and Mostert will both be startable against a poor Texans rushing defense that rank 31st over the last four weeks.

Minnesota Vikings

On a day when Justin Jefferson dominated through the air with one of the performances of the season, it's worth noting that Dalvin Cook had his best rushing production of the season with 119 yards, including a game-altering 81-yard rushing touchdown. Cook has resumed a three-down workload in recent weeks with 17 targets in his last three games after 16 in his first six games. T.J. Hockenson continued to see strong usage and has 19 targets for 16 receptions in his two games with the Vikings. In PPR formats, and especially tight end-premium scoring systems, Hockenson looks to be a great play down the stretch as he becomes a key part of this offense.

New Orleans Saints

The Andy Dalton era might be drawing to a close in New Orleans, much like the Saints season as it becomes increasingly clear that this team was a lot further away from being a competitor than management expected. Taysom Hill has combined for 1.22 fantasy points in his last two games and the Saints seem to have run out of tricks to keep him involved. Tight end Juwan Johnson has four touchdowns in his last four games and continues to be a fringe streamer for fantasy managers who are in a pinch.

New York Giants

Very few teams have a wide receiver room as thin as the New York Giants, but even that didn't prevent them from benching Kenny Golladay after an awful drop in the first half of the game. Daniel Jones extended his interception-free streak to six games, bringing his per-game average down to 0.22, and he deserves some level of praise for that when he averaged 0.69 per game in 2021 and 0.74 per game over his career. Amongst quarterbacks with 150 passes or more, Jones' two interceptions is tied for fewest with Tom Brady.

Philadelphia Eagles

It was always unlikely that the Eagles could go undefeated through the regular season, despite having such an easy schedule on their side. In previous weeks we have wondered whether the Eagles can be pushed enough to hit their fantasy ceilings, and it was a little disappointing to see Miles Sanders finish outside the top 30 running backs, both A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith outside the top 30 wide receivers, and Dallas Goedert as the TE15 on the week. Jalen Hurts hasn't rushed for more than 28 rushing yards in four straight games, and whilst he's still scoring over 20 fantasy points a week, the floor is lowered slightly when he doesn't reach 50 or more. In Week 11 the Eagles play the Colts, who defend the run better than the pass, so it might set up well for the pass-catchers to get back on track. The Colts rank 29th against WR1s, which is good news for Brown, coming off a season-low in targets (four), receptions (one), and yards (7) and a disappointing 1.7 fantasy points.

Pittsburgh Steelers

After rumors swirled that Najee Harris could be benched or see Jaylen Warren take part of his job, Harris saw his most rush attempts of the season (20). Unfortunately, Harris had zero receptions and didn't find the end zone, so his best rushing yards per carry of the season (4.95) didn't produce a big fantasy performance, leaving Harris with 8.9 PPR points. The Steelers' next two games are against the Bengals and Colts, who have both ranked top-10 in rushing defense DVOA over the last four weeks.

San Francisco 49ers

Elijah Mitchell's usage against the Chargers will be frustrating for fantasy managers, but often where there is frustration, there can be opportunity. If Mitchell is still on your waiver wire after being dropped by managers upset that Christian McCaffrey looked to have all of the work, he should be rostered immediately, and whilst the work may be hard to predict, there are still bye weeks to navigate where Mitchell could prove useful. Deebo Samuel had his most rushing attempts since Week 2 with four, which he turned into 27 yards. Samuel has earned just 22.5 fantasy points through his rushing work this year, which is 30% of the 74 points he gained in 2021 on the ground.

Seattle Seahawks

The Seahawks rallied late but unfortunately had left themselves too much to do after letting the Bucs build up an early lead. With the negative game script, the Seahawks were unable to lean on the rushing game as heavily as they would like to, which led to a career-high in targets and receptions for Kenneth Walker, who went 8-6-55 in the passing game and tied DK Metcalf to lead the team with six receptions each. No other Seahawks running back had a touch in this game, and if Walker can really establish himself as a three-down workhorse, then his dynasty value going forward could be truly elite.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Rachaad White was given the start in Germany ahead of Leonard Fournette, who was used on alternate drives with White. Both players ran well and the Bucs had their most productive rushing game of the season with 161 yards, the first time they have produced over 75 rushing yards since Week 1. White looked good and it wouldn't be surprising to see him push Fournette for more of a 50-50 share in the coming weeks.

Tennessee Titans

Ryan Tannehill's return to the team helped the Titans get back on track after a disappointing overtime loss in Arrowhead, and the Titans had the third-highest DVOA rating of the week with 43.5%. The Broncos' stout passing defense sold out to stop Derrick Henry on the ground and eventually left themselves exposed, with Nick Westbrook-Ikhine scoring a 63-yard touchdown. In a run-first team, it's hard to count on that moving forward, particularly with Treylon Burks returning from IR and running a route on 75% of dropbacks and having an 18% target share. Burks is an interesting name to consider picking up from waivers in case he turns out to be the player the Titans hoped for when they selected him with the 18th overall pick of the draft.

Washington Commanders

The Commanders put in a surprisingly good performance against an Eagles side that looked to be rolling at full steam. Taylor Heinicke had an up-and-down game, completing 58% of his passes and sailing some passes over the middle of the field, but he did keep the team moving and there are real questions to be asked about whether Carson Wentz should return to being the starter when healthy. Brian Robinson set a career-high in rushing attempts with 26, but still isn't looking overly efficient with them, running for 3.3 yards per carry against an Eagles defense that has allowed 5.2 per attempt this season. Luckily for Robinson, the Commanders in Week 11 face the Texans, who rank 31st in run defense DVOA.

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