Carr, Ryan, and Wentz Are Week 10 Streaming Options

Atlanta Falcons QB Matt Ryan
Atlanta Falcons QB Matt Ryan
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

NFL Week 10 - Elite quarterbacks have always hung their fantasy hats on consistency and health, even if point-scoring and lineup demands skew the game toward running backs and wide receivers. But 2021 has been a bad year for the presumed best quarterbacks. Deshaun Watson has had his legal troubles. Russell Wilson broke a finger. Kyler Murray sprained his ankle. Patrick Mahomes may have lost his superpowers. Aaron Rodgers may have lied about his vaccination status. And now Dak Prescott, Josh Allen, and Joe Burrow fell victims to the widespread Week 9 upsets.

I wouldn't expect too much predictiveness in those latter results, but it has become more important than ever to consider the matchups at quarterback. And with a handful of normal mid-tier QB2 options playing in domes against weaker pass defenses, Week 10 could be a great opportunity to stream at the position.

The following tables feature the players with the best and worst matchups of the week. Each listed player shows a true-talent (TT) ranking that represents how I would rank him with a perfectly neutral game context. Then, that ranking is adjusted by adding the context of the venue (Ven)—home and road and dome and outside—the forecasted weather (Wea), and opponent tendencies (Opp). The line beneath those rankings shows how much those contextual factors move projected PPR fantasy points. That total (Tot) number gives you a comprehensive estimate of how many fantasy points the player will score this week more or less than his typical total.

You can see our full weekly projections with projected stats, matchup adjustments and fantasy points by subscribing to FO+.


Best Week 10 Matchups - Quarterbacks
Player Tm Hm Opp Lbl TT Ven Wea Opp Tot
D.Prescott DAL 1 ATL Rk 8 5 5 5  
Pts   +1.7 0.0 +0.8 +2.5
D.Carr LV 1 KC Rk 17 15 15 12  
Pts   +1.2 0.0 +1.0 +2.2
M.Ryan ATL 0 DAL Rk 13 11 11 9  
Pts   +1.2 0.0 +0.4 +1.6
C.Wentz IND 1 JAX Rk 15 12 12 12  
Pts   +1.3 0.0 +0.1 +1.4
J.Herbert LAC 1 MIN Rk 6 4 4 6  
Pts   +1.5 0.0 -0.2 +1.3

The Cowboys were one of the many upset victims in Week 9. But even if quarterback Dak Prescott hadn't salvaged his fantasy day with a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns, I wouldn't be concerned for his prospects this Sunday. The Broncos controlled more than 41 minutes of clock with a deliberate commitment to a successful run game, and the Falcons seem unlikely to be able to follow suit with a bottom-six run-blocking line with 3.89 adjusted line yards. If any extreme, the Cowboys-Falcons matchup should be a passing explosion, and I like both Prescott and his counterpart Matt Ryan as values relative to their true talent rankings of eighth and 13th at the position. The Falcons boost passing touchdown rate by 30% and cut interception rate by 55%, top-five and bottom-five in football, respectively. And although they increase interception rate by 69% on the shoulders of breakout cornerback and Defensive Player of the Year candidate Trevon Diggs, the Cowboys counterbalance that for fantasy with modest increasing of passing yards and touchdowns by 8% and 4% and a dome venue that should encourage Ryan to air it out.

Best DraftKings Values: Matt Ryan ($500 underpriced at $6,000), Derek Carr ($500 underpriced at $6,000), Dak Prescott ($400 underpriced at $6,900)

Best FanDuel Values: Matt Ryan ($400 underpriced at $7,300), Dak Prescott ($300 underpriced at $8,100), Justin Herbert ($300 underpriced at $8,000)

The Falcons scream regression in general with a 4-4 record and (likely temporary) hold of the seventh seed in the NFC despite the second-worst DVOA in the sport. I just don't think that logic extends to Ryan's likely fantasy value. He has rebounded from a dismal 32-6 loss in Philadelphia in Week 1 to average 285 yards and 2.1 touchdowns through the air the last seven weeks. In a passing-friendly fantasy matchup, he stands out as a value at just $6,000 and $7,300 in the DFS platforms even without his normal top wideout Calvin Ridley.

Derek Carr is a tougher sale. He managed just 6.4 yards per attempt in his first game without Henry Ruggs on Sunday and threw fewer than two touchdowns for just the second time all season. And I wouldn't expect DeSean Jackson to move the needle in this offense even with his deep speed—he saw just 15 targets in seven games with the Rams this season and will turn 35 years old on December 1. But Carr's matchup is enticing enough for me to consider in the daily platforms. For one, he'll play this game at home in the dome in Las Vegas. He was outside in New York last week, and Carr has averaged 2.1 more fantasy points per game at home than on the road in recent seasons. And second, Carr's Chiefs opponents rank 27th in pass defense DVOA and increase passing yards and touchdowns by 12% and 13% per attempt, both top-eight in football. He seems poised to move the ball comfortably with just a short and intermediate passing attack with Hunter Renfrow and Darren Waller. And if the Chiefs can rediscover their offensive explosiveness, they may even coax Carr to exceed his 2021 average of 39 pass attempts per game, poor run defense or not.

Worst Week 10 Matchups - Quarterbacks
Player Tm Hm Opp Lbl TT Ven Wea Opp Tot
M.White NYJ 1 BUF Rk 21 23 23 27  
Pts   -0.7 0.0 -2.4 -3.1
R.Tannehill TEN 1 NO Rk 11 13 13 15  
Pts   -0.6 +0.1 -0.7 -1.2
A.Rodgers GB 1 SEA Rk 9 10 10 11  
Pts   -0.6 0.0 -0.6 -1.2
T.Heinicke WAS 1 TB Rk 16 18 18 20  
Pts   -0.6 0.0 -0.5 -1.1
R.Wilson SEA 0 GB Rk 5 7 7 7  
Pts   -0.6 0.0 -0.3 -0.9

Mike White was the story of the mid-season for all of five quarters in which he went off for 500 passing yards and four touchdowns. But sadly, he injured his hand and missed the bulk of his Week 9 game against a Colts team that encourages passing with the 26th-ranked pass defense and second-ranked run defense. And now that he's healthy and named the Week 10 starter, he'll have to contend with a Bills defense that looks like the worst possible matchup for a quarterback in fantasy. His divisional opponent has an outlier of a No. 1 pass defense at -26.2% DVOA, and they cut passing yards and touchdowns by 23% and 40% and increase interception rate by 83%, all top-two in football. With a successful encore in this matchup, White could convince me he deserves a shot to be the Jets' rest-of-season starter over the No. 2 pick Zach Wilson. But he'll be on my fantasy benches because the matchup drops him from a startable ranking of 21st in true talent for two-quarterback leagues to 27th at the position this week. Spot Panthers starter P.J. Walker is the only starter I have ranked lower for the week.

Worst DraftKings Values: Matthew Stafford ($900 overpriced at $7,000), Aaron Rodgers ($900 overpriced at $7,100), Baker Mayfield ($300 overpriced at $5,400)

Worst FanDuel Values: Matthew Stafford ($500 overpriced at $8,000), Baker Mayfield ($200 overpriced at $6,800), Mike White ($100 overpriced at $6,700)

Matthew Stafford may deserve his consideration for the real-life MVP award. He ranks second with 849 passing DYAR and fifth with a 26.0% passing DVOA and has the Rams in second place in the NFC even after a head-scratching multi-score loss to a Titans team that just lost their star in Derrick Henry. But Stafford does not match his real-world value in fantasy because he doesn't run. He ranks just seventh at the position with 22.5 average fantasy points per game and trails more volatile passers such as Lamar Jackson (25.4), Josh Allen (25.0), and Jalen Hurts (22.5) because he only has 37 yards and hasn't scored on the ground. The 49ers have not rebounded from an injury-altered 2020 season and are a better run (sixth) than pass defense (25th). Stafford could torch them for three or four touchdowns the way he has other decent defenses such as the Bears and Bucs in Weeks 1 and 3. But I don't want to pay market prices in the top seven at the position if Stafford is on the road in the elements and falls short of a plus passing matchup for fantasy. Especially when some other top-tier quarterbacks such as Dak Prescott and Justin Herbert have better matchups and DFS values.

Running Backs

Best Week 10 Matchups - Running Backs
Player Tm Hm Opp Lbl TT Ven Wea Opp Tot
N.Harris PIT 1 DET Rk 3 3 3 1  
Pts   0.0 0.0 +2.5 +2.5
D.Cook MIN 0 LAC Rk 1 1 1 2  
Pts   +0.1 0.0 +0.9 +1.0
E.Elliott DAL 1 ATL Rk 8 8 8 6  
Pts   +0.4 0.0 +0.4 +0.8
J.Taylor IND 1 JAX Rk 2 2 2 3  
Pts   +0.4 0.0 +0.4 +0.8
D.Singletary BUF 0 NYJ Rk 38 38 38 35  
Pts   -0.1 0.0 +0.7 +0.6

Devin Singletary's 38th true-talent and 35th context-adjusted rankings reflect an early-week expectation that he will serve his usual 1B role in the Bills backfield. But 1A and power back Zack Moss suffered a concussion in Week 9 and did not practice on Wednesday. And while I wouldn't expect Singletary to repeat his 72% snap share and eight targets from last week if the Bills knew Moss was out and could activate Matt Breida in his stead, I would still expect Singletary to vault into the RB2/flex discussion with a workhorse if not bell-cow role. The matchup is certainly conducive. The Jets have the 31st-ranked run defense and, unsurprisingly then, increase run plays by 20% per game. They also boost rushing yards and touchdowns by 15% and 56% per carry, both top-four in football.

Best DraftKings Values: Michael Carter ($1,200 underpriced at $5,600), James Conner ($900 underpriced at $6,300), Darrel Williams ($700 underpriced at $5,400)

Best FanDuel Values: Michael Carter ($1,100 underpriced at $6,100), Darrel Williams ($900 underpriced at $6,000), James Conner ($700 underpriced at $7,000)

Michael Carter won't have the same plus matchup on the other sideline of that Jets-Bills game. The Bills may not have an historically great run defense the way they do a pass defense. But they still rank third against the run in DVOA, cut run plays by 21% per game, and cut touchdowns by 37% per carry. Still, I see Carter as one of the biggest running back values this week in DFS because of his receiving trends. The rookie Carter has emerged from a Week 6 bye with 72%, 70%, and 58% snap shares that represent his three highest rates for the season. And he has seen nine, 14, and two targets that represent a three-game target share of 17.1%. Only Alvin Kamara (19.4%) and Aaron Jones (17.5%) have had higher shares and played each of the last three weeks. Carter may not be efficient against the Bills linebackers and safeties that have the defense as the No. 1 cutter of running back catch rate (21%). But a likely heavy rushing and receiving volume should still make Carter a tremendous daily value.

I typically try to avoid chasing a three-touchdown outburst like James Conner had against the 49ers on Sunday. But Conner owes at least some of the opportunity for those scores to an injury to his teammate Chase Edmonds, and Edmonds will miss this week and likely more with a high ankle sprain. Edmonds' injury has rendered Conner a flex option with a 37-to-10 target advantage on the season. But now that he's out and has an inexperienced Eno Benjamin to replace him, Conner seems likely to increase his target share dramatically. He caught 34 or more passes his last three seasons with the Steelers despite missing time all three years, and he's first among backs with 10 or more carries with an 80.0% receiving success rate this season. Meanwhile, Conner is tied for first with 10 rushing touchdowns and is fourth with 5.6 expected rushing touchdowns based on the field position of his carries. I rank him eighth among backs in PPR formats this week. But even with price increases, Conner is just the 13th- and 16th-most expensive back in DraftKings and FanDuel this week.

Worst Week 10 Matchups - Running Backs
Player Tm Hm Opp Lbl TT Ven Wea Opp Tot
J.Robinson JAX 0 IND Rk 16 16 16 17  
Pts   +0.1 0.0 -1.1 -1.0
M.Carter NYJ 1 BUF Rk 11 11 11 12  
Pts   -0.1 0.0 -0.9 -1.0
C.McCaffrey CAR 0 ARI Rk 7 6 6 9  
Pts   +0.2 0.0 -1.1 -0.9
A.Gibson WAS 1 TB Rk 25 25 25 27  
Pts   0.0 0.0 -0.6 -0.6
A.Peterson TEN 1 NO Rk 30 30 31 31  
Pts   0.0 -0.1 -0.5 -0.6

James Robinson and Antonio Gibson were off in Week 9—the former as an inactive and the latter on bye—and so I feel OK about their health statuses heading into Week 10. I just hate their fantasy matchups. The Colts and Bucs rank second and fourth in run defense DVOA, and the Bucs are the No. 1 cutter of run plays at 44% per game. With their own elite defenses to keep the scores close, Robinson and Gibson could both fall short of their typical workloads and cede some snaps to receiving backs such as Dare Ogunbowale and J.D. McKissic. I wouldn't outright bench at least Robinson in traditional formats. As one of the few workhorse backs in football, his projected loss of 1.0 PPR points can't knock him outside the top 20 at the position this week. But I would steer clear of both players in DFS.

I agree with Derrik Klassen's perspective from Tuesday's waiver wire fantasy show that Adrian Peterson could increase his snap and carry shares over the course of the rest of the regular season. He was a street free agent less than a week before his Week 9 start. At 36 years old, he may need more than six days to prepare for an NFL game. But I'm not ready to gamble on the increase this week when the Titans welcome the Saints to Tennessee. The Saints have the No. 1 run defense by DVOA and are top-three cutters of run plays per game and yards per carry at 22% and 32%, respectively. Peterson could easily duplicate his 10-carry, 21-yard inefficiency from his Titans debut this week. And if he can't score a touchdown, he'll be an effective non-contributor from a fantasy perspective.

Worst DraftKings Values: Jordan Howard ($500 overpriced at $4,900), Antonio Gibson ($200 overpriced at $5,500), Damien Harris ($0 overpriced at $5,900)

Worst FanDuel Values: James Robinson ($600 overpriced at $7,500), Jordan Howard ($400 overpriced at $5,900), Antonio Gibson ($0 overpriced at $6,200)

Jordan Howard has outproduced Peterson in his own fantasy resurrection with the Eagles with 29 carries, 128 yards, and three touchdowns in a pair of games. But I'm tremendously skeptical that production will continue. For one, Howard timed his promotion with a stretch of schedule when the Eagles faced the Lions and Chargers, ranked 25th and 32nd in run defense DVOA. He will face tougher sledding against the Broncos (23rd) and especially the Saints (second) the next two weeks, assuming Miles Sanders continues to miss time. And second, Howard has split time as part of a three-back committee and is fortunate to have the production he has had. Boston Scott has even bested him with 45% and 44% versus 25% and 40% snap shares the last two weeks. Howard has simply been the luckiest with 1.2-touchdown surplus over 1.8 expected rushing touchdowns. His value could crater if he fails to find the end zone or if the Eagles simply return to their earlier-season reliance on Jalen Hurts for a de facto running game.

Damien Harris has made it to every-week starter status with five straight games with 14 or more touches and at least one touchdown. But don't completely erase his two-game stretch of 10 carries for 10 yards from your memory. That slump came against the Saints and Bucs ranked first and fourth in run defense DVOA—as a non-threat as a receiver, Harris may be particularly sensitive to his matchups. And this week brings another bad one of those in the Browns, ranked fifth in run defense. Both Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson suffered head injuries on Sunday and could miss Week 10. And while one's absence could open up extra fantasy opportunities for the other, don't blindly assume that the beneficiary will excel in fantasy. It could be a bad rushing day for the entire Patriots backfield.

Wide Receivers

Best Week 10 Matchups - Wide Receivers
Player Tm Hm Opp Lbl TT Ven Wea Opp Tot
K.Allen LAC 1 MIN Rk 7 4 4 3  
Pts   +1.4 0.0 +0.4 +1.8
A.Cooper DAL 1 ATL Rk 18 16 16 13  
Pts   +1.3 0.0 +0.3 +1.6
M.Pittman IND 1 JAX Rk 13 8 8 7  
Pts   +1.3 0.0 +0.1 +1.4
H.Renfrow LV 1 KC Rk 25 20 20 20  
Pts   +1.0 0.0 +0.2 +1.2
M.Jones JAX 0 IND Rk 39 33 33 32  
Pts   +0.6 0.0 +0.6 +1.2

Mike Williams was a breakout September star playing Michael Thomas' X-receiver role in former Saints coach and new Chargers offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi's offense. But Williams' target share has plummeted from 25.2% from the first five weeks to 13.4% since Week 6. Given his track record, I'm afraid Williams could be playing hurt. Whatever the case, the silver lining for the Chargers and some fantasy players is that Keenan Allen is back up to a 25.9% target share in that second split and back in the top 10 in my true talent rankings. And he jumps to third at the position this week at home in the dome in Los Angeles and facing a Vikings team without star pass-rusher Danielle Hunter and underwhelming cornerback talent. They are a top-12 increaser of touchdowns per target for No. 1, No. 2, and slot receivers.

You don't need me to tell you to start Michael Pittman at home against the Jaguars' No. 32-ranked pass defense. But you may be surprised to hear that his counterpart in the Jaguars-Colts game, Marvin Jones, is projected for a similar matchup boost of 1.2 PPR points. Some of that is the dome in Indianapolis, but some of it is the Colts defense. They rank 11th in overall defensive DVOA, but that is skewed heavily toward the No. 2 run defense. They rank just 26th against the pass and are a top-four booster of No. 1 receiver yards and touchdowns per target and 26% and 88%, respectively.

Best DraftKings Values: Tyreek Hill ($1,100 underpriced at $7,700), Tyler Johnson ($800 underpriced at $3,300), Hunter Renfrow ($700 underpriced at $5,100)

Best FanDuel Values: Jamal Agnew ($800 underpriced at $5,300), Hunter Renfrow ($700 underpriced at $6,000), Keenan Allen ($500 underpriced at $7,200)

Tyler Johnson and Hunter Renfrow pop as daily values thanks to new opportunities. Johnson has jumped from his typical 15% to 30% snap share range to more than a 60% share and eight total targets the last two games with Antonio Brown and Rob Gronkowski injured. Neither Brown nor Gronkowski has returned to padded practices despite the extra rest of a bye week and seem poised to miss Week 10. Meanwhile, receiver Chris Godwin has missed recent practice time with a foot injury and is a question mark for Sunday. Perhaps Scotty Miller will return from his own foot injury this week, but Johnson should continue his recent extra run this weekend and is underpriced at just $3,300 in DraftKings because of it.

Renfrow saw modest increases to a 65% snap share and nine targets in his first game without teammate Henry Ruggs. Neither that rate nor that total was unprecedented, so it isn't a given that Renfrow will maintain them with DeSean Jackson poised to join the Raiders. Fortunately for fantasy, Renfrow has a safety net in his home dome matchup with the Chiefs, the No. 27 pass defense and a modest increaser of slot receiver yards and touchdowns by 3% and 8% per target. I consider Renfrow as $700 underpriced at both his $5,100 DraftKings and $6,000 FanDuel salaries this week.

Worst Week 10 Matchups - Wide Receivers
Player Tm Hm Opp Lbl TT Ven Wea Opp Tot
J.Crowder NYJ 1 BUF Rk 36 38 38 47  
Pts   -0.3 0.0 -1.0 -1.3
D.Metcalf SEA 0 GB Rk 5 7 7 9  
Pts   -0.7 0.0 -0.5 -1.2
D.Adams GB 1 SEA Rk 3 5 5 5  
Pts   -0.5 0.0 -0.6 -1.1
D.Peoples-Jones CLE 0 NE Rk 57 59 59 60  
Pts   -0.4 0.0 -0.2 -0.6
J.Waddle MIA 1 BAL Rk 25 28 28 28  
Pts   -0.4 0.0 -0.1 -0.5

Corey Davis should return from his hip injury this week, and that makes rookie Elijah Moore a difficult player to start in fantasy despite his two-touchdown outburst in Week 9. Moore played 60% of snaps last Thursday with Davis inactive but played just 48%, 41%, 57%, and 36% in his previous four games. With at least six targets in all five of his healthy games this season, slot receiver Jamison Crowder seems safer. But the Bills are just as strong defensively against slot receivers as they are on the outside. They cut slot receiver yards and touchdowns by 36% and 81% per target and drop Crowder from a back-end flex consideration at 36th in true talent to 47th at the position this week.

Worst DraftKings Values: A.J. Brown ($1,400 overpriced at $7,800), D.J. Moore ($1,100 overpriced at $6,300), Elijah Moore ($700 overpriced at $4,700)

Worst FanDuel Values: DJ Moore ($500 overpriced at $6,800), A.J. Brown ($500 overpriced at $7,600), Courtland Sutton ($300 overpriced at $6,600)

DJ Moore doesn't have the teammate competition problem of his rookie namesake. Robby Anderson has become an afterthought after his preseason contract extension with a 17.3% target share that is outside the top 50 at the position, and so DJ is the unquestioned top Panthers option. But he stands out as one of the most overpriced receivers this week since normal quarterback starter Sam Darnold will miss time with a shoulder injury. Darnold has been as inefficient as ever with a -34.6% passing DVOA that has him the worst of the non-rookie starters. But he has enabled Moore's fantasy success with a top-eight total of 306 pass attempts. Substitute P.J. Walker will have to extend some drives to reach even that modest standard, and that could be difficult against the No. 2 Cardinals pass defense. Walker has just one career start, and he managed just 258 yards and one touchdown in a dramatically easier matchup against the Lions' last-place pass defense last season. Moore is a clear sit at his $6,300 and $6,800 DFS prices. But I rank him just 31st among receivers in PPR formats as well, and suggest you try to avoid your Panthers not named Christian McCaffrey this weekend.

Tight Ends

Best Week 10 Matchups - Tight Ends
Player Tm Hm Opp Lbl TT Ven Wea Opp Tot
D.Waller LV 1 KC Rk 2 2 2 1  
Pts   +0.4 0.0 +1.7 +2.1
M.Alie-Cox IND 1 JAX Rk 23 23 23 22  
Pts   +0.2 0.0 +0.2 +0.4
T.Conklin MIN 0 LAC Rk 15 15 15 14  
Pts   -0.1 0.0 +0.5 +0.4
K.Pitts ATL 0 DAL Rk 4 5 5 3  
Pts   -0.2 0.0 +0.6 +0.4
D.Schultz DAL 1 ATL Rk 9 8 8 7  
Pts   +0.3 0.0 +0.1 +0.4

The Chiefs and Cowboys are two of the best tight end matchups. They increase yards per target by 36% and 19% and touchdowns per target by 80% and 36% for the position. But with top-four true talent rankings, Darren Waller and Kyle Pitts are no-brainer fantasy starts no matter their matchups. Tyler Conklin may not be in your shallower formats, and so mind his plus matchup. The Chargers are most famous (at least in sabermetric circles) for their 32nd-ranked run defense. But they increase tight end yards and touchdowns by 43% and 34% per target as well. The Vikings will want to lean on their running game—they always do. But unless they can limit Justin Herbert's explosive passing offense, they will have to throw the ball, and Conklin should benefit. He climbs from 15th in true talent to 14th at the position this week and is startable even without any of the elite fantasy options among the Bears, Bengals, Giants, and Texans tight ends, all of whom are on bye.

Best DraftKings Values: Dan Arnold ($700 underpriced at $3,500), Pat Freiermuth ($600 underpriced at $3,900), Darren Waller ($500 underpriced at $6,300)

Best FanDuel Values: Pat Freiermuth ($700 underpriced at $5,100), Dan Arnold ($500 underpriced at $5,100), Darren Waller ($300 underpriced at $7,000)

This isn't the first week I have recommended Dan Arnold and Pat Freiermuth in daily formats. But their DFS prices have increased just modestly in recent weeks—Arnold is up $700 in DraftKings and $800 in FanDuel from his Jaguars debut and Freiermuth is up $1,000 in DraftKings and $600 in FanDuel since JuJu Smith-Schuster's shoulder injury. And my expectations for them in fantasy have improved dramatically. Since a part-time debut with his new team, Arnold has played at least 57% of snaps in four straight games and has a 19.6% target share that is ninth-highest at the position. And Freiermuth has played 60%, 78%, and 71% of snaps as the primary playing time beneficiary of Smith-Schuster's injury and has three touchdowns and 1.9 expected touchdowns in that time. Darren Waller is an unusual underpriced elite fantasy tight end. But if I wanted to save some salary at the position, I would happily roll with either Arnold or Freiermuth.

Worst Week 10 Matchups - Tight Ends
Player Tm Hm Opp Lbl TT Ven Wea Opp Tot
G.Swaim TEN 1 NO Rk 24 25 25 26  
Pts   -0.1 0.0 -0.5 -0.6
A.Trautman NO 0 TEN Rk 19 19 19 20  
Pts   +0.1 0.0 -0.5 -0.4
Z.Ertz ARI 1 CAR Rk 18 18 18 19  
Pts   +0.2 0.0 -0.5 -0.3
J.Cook LAC 1 MIN Rk 16 16 16 17  
Pts   +0.2 0.0 -0.5 -0.3
D.Goedert PHI 0 DEN Rk 7 6 6 8  
Pts   +0.3 0.0 -0.5 -0.2

Current and former Eagles tight ends Dallas Goedert and Zach Ertz suffer two of the biggest matchup downgrades at the position this week. And while the former's Broncos opponent can't unseat a top-seven true-talent player from TE1 consideration, Ertz has a more complicated story. By target share, Ertz could make a compelling case for the top 12 at his position. His 16.3% rate with the Cardinals puts him just between Mike Gesicki (17.2%) and Dalton Schultz (16.0%) in recent weeks. And Ertz could remain a featured option for the team in DeAndre Hopkins and A.J. Green miss more time with their respective hamstring and COVID-related absences. But the Cardinals may miss their normal quarterback Kyler Murray again this weekend. And while Colt McCoy completed 85% of his passes as a pinch-hitter last Sunday, he would face a more difficult defensive test in a Panthers defense that ranks fourth against the pass and cuts tight end yards by 29% per target. Unless Murray makes a late-week recovery, I'd prefer to leave Ertz on my fantasy benches this week.

Worst DraftKings Values: Zach Ertz ($1,100 overpriced at $4,600), Dalton Schultz ($400 overpriced at $5,000), Logan Thomas ($100 overpriced at $4,000)

Worst FanDuel Values: Zach Ertz ($200 overpriced at $5,200), Logan Thomas ($100 overpriced at $5,500), Dalton Schultz ($100 overpriced at $6,000)

Like Goedert, Dalton Schultz and Logan Thomas are every-week tight end starters in traditional formats—at least when both are healthy. But Schultz strikes me as a bit overpriced this week with teammate Michael Gallup likely to return from an injured reserve stint with a calf injury. Like his wide receiver teammates Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb, Gallup is a downfield threat and may not directly take Schultz's shallow targets from him. But more talented receivers could lead to a little less volume for everyone.

We likely won't know until Friday whether Thomas will return from injured reserve this week. An original timeline for his hamstring injury pointed to a Week 9 return when Washington was on their bye, so I'm decently optimistic. I'm just less optimistic for Thomas at his $4,000 and $5,500 DFS price tags given the team's matchup with a Bucs defense that cuts tight end yards by 15% per target. Given the opponent, I think it makes more sense to confirm Thomas can make it through a full game in his presumed return this weekend and, if so, plan to return him to your fantasy lineups starting in Week 11.


8 comments, Last at 14 Nov 2021, 1:58pm

2 Who to choose?

Here's a question for you. I'm in a league with standard scoring and starting slots for two WRs, 1 RB, 1 TE, and one RB/WR/TE. I'm playing Cooper Kupp and Keenan Allen as WRs, Cordarelle Patterson as RB, and am trying to decide on a flex from among these options:
Nick Chubb (if he plays)
Darrel Williams
Tony Pollard
Devonta Freeman (to play him tonight is to give up on waiting for Chubb)
Sony Michel
JD McKissic
or I could pick up and play either:
Emmanuel Sanders or
Cole Beasley

I would love your opinion on this!

5 Re: Choice

In reply to by alex.michel

Here are my standard scoring projections for those players right now:

Nick Chubb    15.5
Darrel Williams    11.3
Devonta Freeman    9.8
Cole Beasley    7.5
J.D. McKissic    7.4
Emmanuel Sanders    7.2
Tony Pollard    7.0
Sony Michel    4.2

But Williams faces his own scoring risk with CEH activated from IR and back at practice.  I think you stand a decent chance of not having Chubb and not wanting Williams this weekend.  So if it were me, I would probably play Freeman tonight.

6 This headline is why I like…

This headline is why I like 2 QB or superflex leagues. Ryan, Wentz, and Carr are players that should be starting every week in fantasy!

7 Scott, I’m curious what you…

Scott, I’m curious what you think about Dalvin Cook for the rest of the season. Obviously he’s still very talented and should be considered top tier but the TDs have been lacking relative to other top RBs. Has that been due to a lack of opportunity due to playcalling at the goal line, bad luck, or both? My strong instinct is to hold him but if you think the TD situation won’t regress to the mean then maybe I should consider trading him for another top tier RB. Thanks for your thoughts!

8 Re: Cook

The answer to the specific part of your question is that Dalvin Cook has been unlucky.  He has 4.2 expected rushing touchdowns but just three actual ones, and he's converted just one of his eight carries within 5 yards of the end zone into a touchdown.  That should regress for him going forward.  My bigger fear is with the off-field stuff, so I would say hold onto Cook from a fantasy value perspective, but ideally protect yourself with the Alexander Mattison handcuff.