Williams had one big run in Week 9; it will be hard to replicate that in Week 10
Every week fantasy owners may struggle to pick their best lineup. That challenge gets even tougher when six teams are on a bye and players are injured. Week 10 is the biggest bye week of the season and fantasy owners need to be prepared. Check out the waiver wire to ensure that you have enough players to fill all roster spots. Once you have enough, you are then able to look at matchups and try to determine the best player to start at each position. It's a tough task, but at this point in the fantasy season, not only does every win count, but every point counts when determining tiebreakers.
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: Denver, Houston, Jacksonville, New England, Philadelphia, Washington
Ryan Tannehill, QB, Tennessee Titans
Tannehill should have been a sit based on the matchup for Week 9 and he finished in the top 10 for all quarterbacks. He had 331 yards, a touchdown, and two interceptions. He also ran a touchdown in himself, boosting his fantasy numbers. In Week 10, Tannehill faces the Kansas City Chiefs. He's ranked No. 15, but he could sneak into the QB1 mix again. In the past two weeks, the Chiefs have allowed opposing quarterbacks to throw for three touchdowns each.
David Johnson, RB, Arizona Cardinals
Johnson is finally practicing in full and is seemingly healthy following the Cardinals' bye. However, this running back group has turned into a committee situation. There's no way the Cardinals can deny Kenyan Drake and Chase Edmonds (if healthy) touches after the way they've performed while Johnson was out, but Edmonds is injured. Johnson may share carries with Drake, but this is still his backfield. It is a tough matchup, but Johnson should exceed his No. 35 ranking.
Michael Gallup, WR, Dallas Cowboys
Gallup may be a bit banged up – he was added to Thursday's injury report but practiced in full. Assuming he is able to practice on Friday and isn't injured, he should have a solid game in Week 10. He's ranked No. 18, but the Minnesota Vikings have allowed big games to No. 2 receivers (see Marvin Jones' four touchdowns in Week 7). Amari Cooper also is banged up and playing at less than 100 percent. This paves the way for Gallup to have a good game, assuming health.
Darius Slayton, WR, New York Giants
When Evan Engram missed Week 6, Slayton saw eight targets. He only caught three of them for 32 yards, but the number of targets is promising. Slayton's biggest game of the season came in Week 8, where he had two receptions for 50 yards and two touchdowns. Week 9 was rough – only one reception for six yards. However, Evan Engram is out, Sterling Shepard is out and the New York Jets aren't very good. Slayton is ranked No. 45 is should be considered in leagues that start three wide receivers.
Mike Gesicki, TE, Miami Dolphins
Gesicki is ranked No. 18, but he may flirt with TE1 status this week. Preston Williams is on injured reserve and the Dolphins have no running game to speak of. With Ryan Fitzpatrick at quarterback, Gesicki has been more involved than when Josh Rosen was out there. In Week 9, Gesicki caught all six of his targets for 95 yards. This was his best game of the season, and hopefully, for fantasy owners, it's the start of a solid string of games.
Matthew Stafford, QB, Detroit Lions
Stafford has been a solid QB1 with no running game to speak of in Detroit. He's ranked No. 12 for Week 10, but he faces a tough matchup against the Bears. While the Bears' offense is struggling, their defense is still solid. They have not allowed a quarterback to throw for more than two touchdowns, and they've only allowed one to throw for more than 300 yards. Stafford has exceeded both of those in the past three weeks, but he will be challenged in Week 1
Damien Williams, RB, Kansas City Chiefs
Williams is the highest-ranked Kansas City running back at No. 22. However, he is still sharing carries with LeSean McCoy. Williams had a great Week 9, with 125 rushing yards and a touchdown. However, that really came off a 91-yard touchdown run. If that was removed, his numbers are more in line with everything else this season. He didn’t have a game with more than 30 rushing yards before Week 9. While the team likely wants him more involved, it's hard to justify this ranking based on one big run.
Kalen Ballage, RB, Miami Dolphins
Even with Mark Walton suspended, it's hard to trust Ballage this week. He's ranked No. 30 and that may even be too high. He has yet to have a game with more than 20 rushing yards. He hasn't been involved in the passing game. Ryan Fitzpatrick has no qualms about throwing the ball, and that's what he’s going to do against the Colts in Week 10. The fact that the Dolphins will also likely either be in the game or playing from behind also does not help Ballage's cause.
Davante Adams, WR, Green Bay Packers
While the Carolina Panthers' defense has struggled, so has Adams. It seems that he is not nearly 100 percent recovered from his turf toe injury. He did return in Week 9 and struggled: seven receptions for 41 yards on 11 targets. Aaron Rodgers had a rough day and part of that was he didn't get anything from Adams. He's had another week to heal and receive treatment, but the Panthers have only allowed five touchdowns to wide receivers this season. They've had three 100-yard receivers. While Adams may have a good game, he's not likely to finish above his No. 11 ranking.
Mark Andrews, TE, Baltimore Ravens
Last week, Andrews was ranked No. 3 and he finished well below that. This week, he's ranked No. 5 and he should end the week well below that as well. Baltimore faces the Cincinnati Bengals, who are tough against tight ends. Andrews was actually the tight end that performed the best against the Ravens so far this year when the two teams met back in Week 6. He had six receptions for 99 yards and a fumble. While he's still a TE1 due to injuries and byes, he's a low TE1.
Full Disclosure from Week 9
5 Up (1/4 correct)
Sam Darnold, QB, Jets (Ranked: 21, actual: 22)
Royce Freeman, RB, Broncos (Ranked: 17, actual: not in top 50)
Mark Walton, RB, Dolphins (Ranked: 32, actual: 38)
Zach Pascal, WR, Colts (Ranked: 54, actual: 13)
Chris Herndon, TE, Jets (N/A – DNP)
5 Down (3/5 correct)
Lamar Jackson, QB, Ravens (Ranked: 7, actual: 3)
Sony Michel, RB, Patriots (Ranked: 12, actual: 46)
Kenny Stills, WR, Texans (Ranked: 26, actual: 45)
Courtland Sutton, WR, Broncos (Ranked: 20, actual: 15)
Mark Andrews, TE, Ravens (Ranked: 3, actual: 30)
— 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.