By JEFF PAUR
Sr Fantasy Writer
Lewis is making an impact
I know I have said this before at different points this season but it is hard to believe we are headed into Week 10. At this point, there are teams in your league that are already out of the playoff hunt. Hopefully, you aren't one of those teams. And if you are a team trying to get into to mix, now is the time to make your run. There is time left but you need to make your move now. Here is to hoping your team is setup for a playoff run.
And this week is likely the last you can make trades in many of your leagues. Don't be afraid to pull the trigger on a trade to give your team a spark. Plan ahead. Look at schedules going forward. And trade from position of strengths for your team, especially if byes aren't an issue for you anymore. There is no use having great depth if you don't really need it anymore. Take advantage of that depth to improve your starting lineup.
Now for my random thoughts for the week. . . . .
Jared Goff continues to impress me. I know they lost on the road last week to the Saints, but Goff played a good game. He was just nine yards shy of 400 and had three touchdowns compared to one interception. Goff really made some great throws in that game and continues to have a great grasp of that explosive offense. He is seventh overall in fantasy quarterback scoring and I wouldn't surprise if his numbers improve some the rest of the way. He is the real deal.
I know there is speculation that LeVeon Bell could finally report this week, mainly because of a cryptic Tweet he sent out. And if Bell doesn't report by Nov. 13 ahead of Week 11, he cannot play the rest of the season. I don't know what exactly will happen when Bell finally reports. James Conner is having a breakout season and clearly showing he can be an elite back in this offense. Bell likely will be eased back into action and these two could share work, similar to how the Saints use Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram. So the return of Bell would be an obvious hit on Conner. And I don't see Bell having the value of past years, getting few touches because of Conner. This has been a tough situation for fantasy owners to deal with all year and likely won't get any easier when Bell does indeed report.
I really hope Marlon Mack can stay healthy the rest of the year. He has looked great in his return. He has back-to-back 100-yard games and that Colts offensive line is playing as well as they have in years. Mack can be a difference maker for fantasy teams down the stretch. He can do a little bit of everything and shown very well this season when serving as the No. 1 back for the Colts. The issue for Mack is health.
I'm not sure what the heck to expect from Leonard Fournette going forward. It looks like he finally returns this week, already practicing in full to start the week. He has been a huge bust for fantasy teams. He has played just two games and not topped 45-rushing yards in each game. The Jaguars are struggling as a team and could use a healthy Fournette leading the offense. Jacksonville could lean on him heavily the rest of the way, so it wouldn't surprise if he finishes the season strong and finally provides an impact for his fantasy owners.
Dalvin Cook is another back that's disappointed his fantasy owners. He had a great return to action, though, having 109 total yards in limited action last week. He gets a bye to get even healthier this week and should return to his full-time role in Week 11. Cook seems setup to have a big finish to the season. I like his chances to finally become a big-time fantasy factor. He has at least three receptions three of four games, so he is getting a lot of touches in this explosive offense. Again, health has been the issue for Cook this year.
Julio Jones owners rejoiced last week, seeing him score his first touchdown of the season. But even with just a score, Jones is sixth overall in fantasy receiver scoring. Just imagine if he was finding the end zone on a more regular basis. Jones has five 100-yard games and two double-digit reception games. It makes zero sense to me that Jones doesn't get more red-zone looks. Hopefully, that changes going forward after his score last week. Jones has the potential to lead all fantasy receivers in scoring if his touchdown totals start to increase.
It is getting a little overlooked but O.J. Howard is having a breakout season. He has touchdowns three of four games and is sixth overall in fantasy tight end scoring. Howard has double-digit fantasy points all but two games. He also has more than 50 yards all but a game. He is getting it done on a weekly basis and become a top red-zone target for the Bucs pass-first offense. Howard can be a big-time fantasy factor at tight end for years to come. He is the complete package at the position.
As always, don't forget to check out our weekly rankings: Week 10 Rankings.
News and Notes: The Lions signed receiver Bruce Ellington and re-signed running back Zach Zenner on Tuesday. The team also released running back Ameer Abdullah. . . . .The 49ers have already named Nick Mullens the starting quarterback for Week 10. He gets the start over an ailing C.J. Beathard. This isn't a big surprise with how well Mullens played in his first NFL start.
Tyler Boyd, WR, Bengals. Boyd is having a breakout season for the Bengals. He has three 100-yard games and at least six receptions five of eight games. Boyd has become a reliable target in the passing game and looks to have a role in this offense for years to come. A.J. Green is going to miss a few weeks because of injury, leaving Boyd as the top option at receiver in this offense. He could get even more targets this week against the Saints. New Orleans allows the most fantasy points to receivers and are 31st against the pass.
Tevin Coleman, RB, Falcons. It took a little time but Coleman is finally producing well for fantasy teams in a starting role for the Falcons. He has touchdowns three straight games and enjoyed his best game of the season last week. Coleman scored twice in Week 9 and finished with 156 total yards. He should continue this strong play this week against the Browns, a team that allows the third most fantasy points to running backs.
Jarvis Landry, WR, Browns. Landry isn't having a monster season but produced well as the top target in the Browns offense. He has been getting his most work lately, though. Landry has 24 receptions his last three games. He has double-digit targets all but two games this year. Landry gets his weekly work and should get his chances again this week against the Falcons. Atlanta allows the third most fantasy points to receivers and are 29th overall against the pass.
Dion Lewis, RB, Titans. Lewis is finally playing at the level fantasy teams had hoped when they drafted him this year. He has two straight games with 20-plus fantasy points. He has more than 100 total yards each of those last two games and 10 receptions during that stretch. Lewis is getting his work and posting big overall numbers. He should continue hit hot ways this week against the Patriots, who are middle of the road against the run. The Titans could have to score a lot of points in this game, so expect Lewis to be heavily involved.
Carson Wentz, QB, Eagles. Wentz has quickly rounded into form from his knee injury. He has multiple touchdowns five straight games. He also has three 300-yard games during that stretch. He has produced big, consistent numbers on a weekly basis. Look for another big showing this week against a reeling Cowboys team. The Cowboys defense was torched by Marcus Mariota last week, which doesn't bode well for them this week against Wentz.
T.Y. Hilton, WR, Colts. Hilton is the top receive in the Colts passing game, but his numbers haven't been super consistent in that role. He has really struggled the last two games, having just five receptions for 59 yards. He has more than 50 yards just two of six games. He might be bench material this week against the Jaguars and Jalen Ramsey. Jacksonville allows the second fewest fantasy points to receivers.
Kerryon Johnson, RB, Lions. Johnson is having a solid rookie season. He has two 100-yard games and multiple receptions all but a game. The Lions are having some struggles along the offensive line right now, though, and it is reflecting in Johnson's play. He has fewer than 40-rushing yards two straight games. Johnson might have more struggles this week against the Bears, a team that allows the third fewest fantasy points to running backs.
Tom Brady, QB, Patriots. You never want to bet against Tom Brady but you can't ignore his production lately. He has just one touchdown his last two games and one or fewer scores three of four games. The Patriots passing attack hasn't been quite as explosive this year, giving Brady fantasy numbers his owners aren't accustomed. Brady has a tough matchup again this week gains the Titans, a team that allows the fifth fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks.
Isaiah Crowell, RB, Jets. Crowell has double-digit rush attempts all but a game this year. He has gotten his chances but his overall numbers aren't very impressive. Crowell has fewer than 50-rushing yards four straight games and more than 50-rushing yards just two of nine games. He is a hard fantasy player to trust, especially with Elijah McGuire back in the mix at running back for the Jets. We would just stay away from Crowell for now - no matter the matchup.
Taylor Gabriel, WR, Bears. Gabriel had a stretch of big-time fantasy performances but really cooled lately. He has fewer than 55 yards three straight games. He has more than 55 yards just twice all year. Gabriel gets some catches and is always capable of the big game, but his production much of the year makes him a hard guy for fantasy teams to trust. He has been more mediocre than good most weeks. And a matchup against the Lions isn't a good one for Gabriel. Detroit is fourth against the pass and allow the sixth fewest fantasy points to receivers.
Frank Gore, RB, Dolphins. Gore had a season-high 20 carries last week. He didn't have a great showing despite all the work, though, finishing with 59 total yards. The good news is he is getting the work and has produced pretty well in recent weeks. He has more than 60 total yards four of five games. He has double-digit carries six straight games. If he gets that much work this week against the Packers, expect Gore to produce well. Green Bay is just 22nd against the run, allowing 119.6-rushing yards per game.
Andy Dalton, QB, Bengals. Dalton has been very consistent all year, having multiple scores six of eight games. He also has two 300-yard games, producing some big games throughout the year. He will be without A.J. Green this week, which is a concern, but we think he can still produce well against the Saints. The Bengals are likely going to need to air it out to keep up with the Saints high-powered offense. New Orleans is 31st against the pass and allow the most fantasy points to quarterbacks.
Vance McDonald, TE, Steelers. McDonald hasn't been off the charts lately, but has been getting his work. He has 13 receptions his last three games. He has three games with 60-plus yards and is always capable of the big game in this offense. McDonald has a big matchup for success in Week 10, playing the Panthers. Carolina is the worst team in the league against the tight end, allowing the most fantasy points to tight ends.
Maurice Harris, WR, Redskins. Harris had a career game last week, catching 10 passes for 124 yards. He was targeted 12 times. He has emerged as a top threat in this offense and should continue to get plenty of chances, especially with Paul Richardson now out for the season. Harris is a solid low-end No. 3 receiver and flex play in Week 10 against the Bucs. Tampa has been terrible against the pass, ranking 30th overall. The Bucs also allow the second most fantasy points to receivers.
Spencer Ware, RB, Chiefs. Ware is never a sure thing in this offense because Kareem Hunt gets a lot of work. But Ware has been getting a few more chances in recent weeks. He has more than 80 total yards two of three games. Ware had a season-high four receptions for 69 yards last week. The Chiefs could get up big this week against the Cardinals, meaning Ware could get more chances. Arizona allows the second most fantasy points to running backs.
High/Low Scoring Games
Each week we will take a look at some of the high and low scoring games for the coming week. In high scoring affairs, get your marginal players on those teams in your lineup to take advantage of the possible points barrage. And in the low scoring games, keep those marginal players on the bench and make sure to have your defenses involved in those contests.
High Scoring Games: Saints/Bengals, Falcons/Browns, Redskins/Bucs.
Low Scoring Games: Bills/Jets.
Bye: Ravens, Broncos, Texans, Vikings.
Jeff Paur is a two-time finalist for FSWA Fantasy Football Writer of the Year and won the FSWA award for Best Fantasy Football Article on the Web in 2011. He also was the most accurate expert in 2012, winning the FSTA Fantasy Football Accuracy Award. If you have any questions for Jeff, email him at email@example.com. Follow Jeff on Twitter @jeffpaur.
The Denver Broncos have signed running back David Williams, who the team originally drafted in 2018 before letting go. Williams was a Jaguar last season, but carried the ball just eight times for 36 yards with Jacksonville. It's hard to imagine a situation where Williams has fantasy value in a Broncos backfield that already has Royce Freeman and Phillip, but stranger things have happened. He's not draftable in any format, but a good training camp could put him in the mix for some of Devontae Booker's snaps as the number-three back.
Free-agent DE/LB Connor Barwin (Eagles) told Sirius XM NFL Radio during an interview Friday, July 17, that he has spoken with general manager Howie Roseman about re-signing. Barwin indicated the Eagles want to take a look at their younger players for a few weeks in training camp first but suggested the two sides will reconvene after that.
Oakland Raiders wide receiver Tyrell Williams is poised for a stellar season in his debut year with the Silver and Black. Lining up across the field from Antonio Brown, Williams will serve as the deep threat for the offense and will undoubtedly get his share of targets with Brown drawing most of the attention from opposing defenses. The 6-foot-4 wideout is a boom or bust player on a weekly basis but has the potential to surpass his value on his current 156 ADP. Williams caught 41 balls for 653 yards and five touchdowns with the Chargers last season despite being nearly non-existent in the second half of the year. He does own a 1,000-yard season under his belt, so he has sneaky potential on a team lacking a depth of weapons. As the bonafide number two receiving option for quarterback Derek Carr, Williams is a good late-round target, but the week-to-week consistency is a question mark.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Justin Watson worked 'extensively' in the slot this spring, according to Greg Auman of The Athletic.
Fantasy Spin: As Auman states, there has been a lot of offseason talk about Chris Godwin working in the slot. Godwin will still get plenty of time inside and probably be the primary slot option in Tampa Bay, but he won't be the only one that spends time there. Owners can continue drafting Godwin high because he is poised to break out regardless of where he lines up, but Watson is a name to remember as a highly athletic player capable of becoming what Godwin turned into last season.
Seattle Seahawks WR Tyler Lockett led the league with a perfect 158.3 passer rating when targeted 20 or more yards downfield (minimum 15 targets) in 2018.
Fantasy Spin: Lockett will be counted on to be much more than just a deep threat this season with Doug Baldwin now out of the picture and should be valued as a low-end WR2.
Houston Texans wide receiver Will Fuller (ACL) is expected to be ready to go for the start of the 2019 season. Fuller's played just 17 games over the past two seasons, but when he's on the field he's one of the NFL's best downfield weapons and has developed great chemistry with quarterback Deshaun Watson. Even with serious injury concerns, the upside is too great with Fuller to pass up on him in the middle rounds of the draft. He has 11 touchdown catches over the past two seasons and with DeAndre Hopkins playing across the field from him, defenses aren't able to double Fuller, allowing him to get open deep on a routine basis.
Houston Texans running back D'Onta Foreman had a disastrous 2018 season, rushing for negative yardage on seven carries while adding two catches for 28 yards and a touchdown. Recovering from an Achilles tear, Foreman appeared in just one regular season game, playing 31 snaps in a loss to the Eagles. Foreman is expected to play a much bigger role this year now that Houston's long time backup, Alfred Blue, is gone, and Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle expects 2019 to be an audition of sorts for Foreman in preparation for Lamar Miller's impending free agency, with Foreman seeing a decent amount of work this season. Foreman makes sense as a late round pick for this reason, though questions about how he'll play after the Achilles injury loom large.
Los Angeles Rams RB Todd Gurley (knee) received a vote of health and confidence Thursday, July 18, from head coach Sean McVay, who was a guest on the Jimmy Kimmel Live show. 'I think he's feeling great,' McVay said on the show of Gurley. 'I think, you know, one of the things about Todd is (he's a) great competitor. I think he's earned the right to be able to have the plan that we had this offseason. Can't wait to get him back going. I know he's ready to go and it's going to be fun for the Rams this year.'
Fantasy Spin: Of course, we've been hearing this for months regarding Gurley, and no one is really going to know until the games begin for real on Sept. 8. In the meantime, hedge your bets as best you can and value Gurley as a low-end RB1/high-end RB2 with ample risk/reward involved.
Kansas City Chiefs WR Tyreek Hill issued his own statement Friday, July 19, after the league announced he will not be subject to a disciplinary suspension or fine at this time. In part, Hill wrote: 'To the Kansas City Chiefs, Clark Hunt, Brett Veach, Coach Reid, the entire organization and the Chiefs Kingdom: you gave me a home when everyone doubted me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I love you all. I can assure you that I will continue to work to be the person, player, and teammate that you envisioned me to be.'
Fantasy Spin: Surprising as it may be, Hill returns to WR1 consideration in fantasy until further notice.
Buffalo Bills SS Rafael Bush announced his retirement Friday, July 19.
Free-agent FS Kurt Coleman (Saints) signed a one-year deal with the Buffalo Bills Friday, July 19. Financial terms weren't disclosed.
The NFL will not suspend Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill for violating the league's player-conduct policy. Hill was under investigation for an incident in which his son's arm was broken. With Hill cleared to be on the field, the Chiefs wideout is once again on track to be one of the league's top receivers thanks to his speed and the prolific passing of quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Hill's a second-round fantasy pick at worst now, and will be a huge value for fantasy owners who drafted early and took him at his lower offseason ADP.
Kansas City Chiefs WR Tyreek Hill is unlikely to resume contract talks for several weeks or months with the team.
Kansas City Chiefs WR Tyreek Hill will not be suspended by the NFL as the league found that he did not violate the personal conduct policy. He will be able to attend training camp and participate in all team activities.
Fantasy Spin: The news has a big impact on the fantasy landscape as Hill immediately returns to WR1 status with the cloud clearing over him. Hill had an 87-1,479-12 breakout last season, and talks on a long-term deal could also rekindle.
Rival teams believe the Buffalo Bills could release someone from the group of RBs LeSean McCoy, Frank Gore and T.J. Yeldon, according to MMQB's Albert Breer, who notes that McCoy is set to earn far more money than Gore or Yeldon.
Fantasy Spin: Barring injury, Devin Singletary is going to make the 53-man roster. Beyond that, training camp will sort things out, though Yeldon seems the most like casualty at this stage.
Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster is now the top receiver on his team but still has to prove to some that he belongs among the league's elite. After finishing top six in the NFL last year in both receptions (111) and receiving yards (1,426), the third-year pass catcher is in a position to repeat his breakout season. Without Antonio Brown in town, Smith-Schuster will be Ben Roethlisberger's first look. In half-PPR mocks, he's been going in the early-to-middle of the second round. The talent and opportunity are certainly there for the 22-year-old to be considered a top eight receiver in fantasy drafts.
Denver Broncos TE Troy Fumagalli spent time with the first-team offense during training camp Thursday, July 18.
Oakland Raiders RB Jalen Richard could lose a 'good chunk' of his snaps on receiving downs to RB Josh Jacobs, according to Vic Tafur of The Athletic.
Fantasy Spin: Richard's value was already limited to PPR formats, and now that Jacobs is in the mix and potentially headed for an every-down role, Richard is slipping into handcuff territory. Meanwhile, Jacobs looks like a RB2 candidate as a rookie.
New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones remains unsigned with one week remaining before training camp opens. He is one of five first-round picks yet to agree to terms with his organization. Jones is still scheduled to arrive to training camp on Monday when all rookies and select veterans report. He is expected to sign a four-year, $25.5 million contract, with a $16.6 million guarantee, when he arrives, or even shortly before. That is the financial slot for the No. 6 overall pick in the draft. Last season RB Saquon Barkley signed a day before he arrived at camp, so there isn't cause for alarm with Big Blue.
Kansas City Chiefs WR Demarcus Robinson will be expected to take over the role that Jacksonville Jaguars WR Chris Conley filled for the offense last season.
Fantasy Spin: Conley finished last season with 32 catches for 334 yards and five scores while Robinson logged 22 grabs for 288 yards and four scores. Combine those numbers on top of a potential suspension for Tyreek Hill, and Robinson could be worth a late-round flier as a WR5.