As fantasy managers head into Week 10, they need to keep an eye on plenty of storylines. Odell Beckham, Jr. has signed with the Rams. Dalvin Cook is dealing with personal issues (but likely will play). More players (Nick Chubb) have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and are in jeopardy of missing Week 10. Players are injured and players are coming back from injury. Oh, and four teams (Chicago, Cincinnati, Houston, New York Giants) are on a bye. Fantasy managers need to make sure the players in their lineup are active and the best choice. Check out your league's waiver wire to see who may be available to improve your starting roster.
Please note 5 Up/5 Down is a guide on players that should exceed or fall below their rank this week. This is based on past performance, injury status, and matchup. This is not a start/sit column, but rather a guide.
Teams on bye: Chicago, Cincinnati, Houston, New York Giants
Derek Carr, QB, Las Vegas Raiders vs. Kansas City Chiefs (SNF)
Carr, even without Henry Ruggs in Week 9, threw for 269 yards and a touchdown (he also had two interceptions). He’s thrown two touchdowns in every game this season except for two, and in Week 10, get gets to face the Chiefs. The Chiefs allow the third-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. Carr is ranked No. 11 this week and is flirting with QB1 status. Carr is still figuring out who (besides Darren Waller) he can connect with, but this is a great opportunity for him.
Eno Benjamin, RB, Arizona Cardinals vs. Carolina Panthers
While it was James Conner that stole the show in Week 9, Benjamin also was involved. After Chase Edmonds got injured, Benjamin's role increased a bit. He had nine carries for 39 yards and a touchdown. He'll likely see some work in Week 10 behind Conner. The Cardinals face the Panthers, a tough defense against running backs. The team is going to take a look at Benjamin and likely let him have an opportunity to run. Conner, coming off a massive workload, may not be capable of handling every down and Benjamin will step in. He's ranked No. 43 but has the potential to exceed that.
T.Y. Hilton. WR, Indianapolis Colts vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Hilton missed the first five games of the season with a neck injury, but he suffered a concussion in Week 8 that cost him Week 9. He has been able to practice this week, so as long as he can fully clear the concussion protocol, he will be active for Week 10. The Colts face the Jaguars, which seems like it should be a good matchup. Hilton is ranked No. 41, but if he can steal some targets. He's struggled to stay healthy (he also missed Week 7 with a quad injury) but in the one game he played and finished, he had four receptions for 80 yards. Fantasy managers just need him to stay healthy.
Corey Davis, WR, New York Jets vs. Buffalo Bills
Davis hasn’t played since Week 7 and has been dealing with a hip injury. This will be his first game back – and his second game with Mike White. When the pair played together in Week 7, he caught White's only touchdown pass. The Jets face the Bills in Week 10, which is a tough matchup, but having Davis back on the field will help White. While it is likely Davis ends up with a 4/40 stat line, if he can gain some extra yards or find the end zone, he can finish above No. 40.
Pat Freiermuth, TE, Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Detroit Lions
Freiermuth didn’t really make his way onto this fantasy scene in 2021 until Week 6 (seven targets, seven receptions, 58 yards). The Steelers then had a bye in Week 7, and Freiermuth was forgotten about by most managers. In Week 8, he had seven targets again. He caught four of them for 44 yards and a touchdown. In Week 9 on "Monday Night Football," he raised eyebrows with five receptions for 43 yards and two touchdowns. With Chase Claypool out, the Steelers need more pass catchers and Freiermuth certainly fits the bill. He’s a TE1 for Week 10 and should exceed his No. 12 ranking.
Patrick Mahomes, QB, Kansas City Chiefs at Las Vegas Raiders
Fantasy managers who drafted Mahomes early this year are likely very disappointed by his performance over the past three weeks (especially). Gone are the games where he is dominating. He's not running the ball (he has one game with more than 50 rushing yards all season and one rushing touchdown in Week 1). He has two touchdowns and two interceptions in the past three weeks. In the two weeks before that he had two touchdowns and two interceptions in each game. These are not the numbers fantasy owners want and he's ranked No. 5 on name only this week.
Alex Collins, RB, Seattle Seahawks at Green Bay Packers
Collins is ranked No. 26 because he has been the No. 1 back with Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny injured (or returning from injury). Carson was activated from IR this week and while it is unlikely that he is going to play, it is possible. Carson on the field would send Collins' No. 26 ranking down even further. As it is, in the past two games, he's had 35 and 44 rushing yards. Collins isn't involved in the passing game. The Seahawks face the Green Bay Packers and the Packers have not allowed a 100-yard rushing game this season. Collins won't break that streak.
Michael Carter, RB, New York Jets vs. Buffalo Bills
Carter, after seeing 14 targets in Week 8, has fallen back to earth. He only had two targets in Week 9 and it's not clear if the Jets are moving away from throwing him the ball or if it was the result of chemistry with Mike White. Tevin Coleman is getting healthy, which is going to hurt Carter's fantasy value as well. Carter is ranked No. 20 for Week 10 against a Buffalo Bills defense that is allowing the fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs. If White and Carter do have a passing connection, he may still fare well enough for RB2 value, but that’s not clear at this point.
Deebo Samuel, WR, San Francisco 49ers vs. Los Angeles Rams (MNF)
Samuel has been dealing with a calf injury but he seems to be healthy. However, so are the other pass catchers on the 49ers. Brandon Aiyuk is in the picture and George Kittle is back. The 49ers face the Rams in Week 10, which means Jalen Ramsey will be on the top receiver. This should be Samuel, and if that's the case, look for Jimmy Garoppolo to avoid throwing Ramsey's way. Samuel will still get his targets, but he should fall below his No. 14 ranking.
Hunter Henry, TE, New England Patriots vs. Cleveland Browns
Henry has been saving his fantasy value each week by finding the end zone. He has five touchdowns in the past six games. In that span, he only has more than 33 yards once. Without the touchdown, Henry is getting fantasy managers less than five points per game – in PPR leagues. He hasn't had more than two receptions in the past four games. The touchdowns are important, but it's hard to rely upon them. The Patriots play the Browns, who have only allowed four touchdowns to tight ends this year (including two to Travis Kelce in Week 1). Henry should fall out of the top 10 among tight ends this week.
Full Disclosure from Week 9
Up (1/5 correct)
- Jordan Love, QB, Green Bay Packers (Ranked: 15, Actual: 18)
- Carlos Hyde, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars (Ranked: 37, Actual: 41)
- Robert Woods, WR, Los Angeles Rams (Ranked: 19, Actual: 12)
- Jarvis Landry, WR, Cleveland Browns (Ranked: 29, Actual: 70)
- Marcedes Lewis, TE, Green Bay Packers (Ranked: 34, Actual: 53)
Down (4/4 correct)
- Dak Prescott, QB, Dallas Cowboys (Ranked: 6, Actual: 9)
- Darrel Williams, RB, Kansas City Chiefs (Ranked: 22, Actual: 29)
- Elijah Mitchell, RB, San Francisco 49ers (Ranked: 12, Actual: 19)
- DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Arizona Cardinals (Ranked: 9, Actual: DNP)
- Mike Gesicki, TE, Miami Dolphins (Ranked: 2, Actual: 16)
— Written by Sarah Lewis, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and lives, eats, and breathes fantasy football. Have a fantasy football question? Send it to her on Twitter @Sarah_Lewis32.