I'll be the first to admit I don't drive defensively. And in that same vein, I'm breezing right by the top 20 running backs and wide receivers for my Week 10 start/sit fantasy advice.
Okay, maybe it has nothing to do with my driving. But looking at the top 20 weekly rankings for this week, I don't see too much that is amiss at RB or WR. I think most of the sites pretty much got it right this week.
Teams on bye: Baltimore, Cincinnati, New England, New York Jets
Because I will remind you of the ground rules for this column. Any RB or WR who is a "consensus" RB1 or WR1 (i.e. typically a player in the top 12 for his position that week) will not be mentioned as a "start." Likewise, you will typically not see any "sit" suggestions in this space for an RB or WR who is not in the top 30 of their respective position.
So let's take a look at which RBs/WRs are worthy of inserting into your starting lineup and which ones should ride the pine in Week 10.
START These RBs
Rachaad White, Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Seattle Seahawks (Munich)
I want to be clear about this. White is not an RB1 or an RB2 this week and I typically see him outside the top 30. But I do like him a lot this week as a low-end flex play.
Leonard Fournette has seen just single-digit carries each of the last three weeks and White is seeing a nearly even split during that time. Fournette is managing just 3.3 yards per carry and White had more rushing yards last Sunday. Could this be the week that White overtakes Fournette?
I don't know. At some point, I foresee the Bucs making that switch. The financials alone portend a switch. If Tampa Bay cuts Fournette, they would have to eat $5 million in dead cap space but that's far less than the $8.5 million they would have to pay Fournette to keep him. And the Bucs have a ton of players hitting free agency and not a ton of free cap space. That $3.5 million difference happens to be what they will have to pay White... over the next three years!
But even if White doesn't overtake Fournette this week, I still like White's value. Seattle is allowing the 10th-most fantasy points to opposing RBs with nearly 25 PPR points per game. There is plenty of fantasy points to go around, especially in the short passing game this week. Since Week 5, White has had a 6.9 percent target share. I am expecting White to see double-digit PPR fantasy points, enough to make him worth starting.
Jonathan Taylor, Indianapolis Colts vs. Las Vegas Raiders
This feels like cheating. But I am actually seeing Taylor on the RB3 cusp, bordering on RB4 territory. And as a JT owner, I get it. I'm trying to trade him myself. But am I starting him this week? Heck yeah.
The hate has gone too far. I know he's been battling injuries, but he was a full participant in Thursday's practice.
He hasn't scored a bunch of TDs this year, but he's still averaging a solid 4.3 yards per carry. Plus, I've mentioned this before, but usually after a head coach is terminated, the team sees a "dead cat bounce" the following game. I think we see that from the Colts this week and that includes Taylor.
Especially against a Raiders team that is allowing the fifth-most fantasy points per game to RBs. Do not let the anti-hype sway you. If you got Taylor, start him.
SIT These RBs
Najee Harris, Pittsburgh Steelers vs. New Orleans Saints
It's getting to the point where I can simply cut and paste my Harris writeups from my previous RB start/sit article. Actually, let's do that. Here is what I said just two weeks ago:
What has Harris done? Through seven games he has a whopping 329 rushing yards, 86 receiving yards, and three touchdowns. That is not RB1 production. Frankly, it might be barely RB2 production. He's averaging just 3.3 yards per carry and at some point, the volume just doesn't justify the results.
Since then, he's added all of 32 rushing yards and 26 receiving yards. His TDs remain unchanged and he's still averaging just 3.3 yards per carry.
Devin Singletary, Buffalo Bills vs. Minnesota Vikings
The way to beat the Vikings is via the pass, not the run. They are allowing the seventh-fewest fantasy points per game to opposing RBs. For an RB who is always "borderline" start/sit, Singletary just isn't worth the risk this week.
And if Josh Allen doesn't play, the Bills are far less likely to be running the clock out at the end of the game. The upside just isn't there with Singletary this week.
START These WRs
Allen Robinson, Los Angeles Rams vs. Arizona Cardinals
I'm hoping that Robinson is not your WR1 or you are even considering him for your WR2. But as a WR3 or flex play, there's some validity there this week. And I know he's been such a disappointment, it's hard to start him. But consider the following facts:
- Starting in Week 2, Robinson has seen at least five targets in every game.
- Arizona has allowed 30-plus points in three of their last four games.
- The Rams have the second-fewest rushing yards per game and Cooper Kupp is dealing with a sprained ankle.
If you have theoretically better options than Robinson, maybe you're better off starting them instead. But if Robinson is your best bet, don't be afraid to start him.
Mack Hollins, Las Vegas Raiders at Indianapolis Colts
I almost skipped over Hollins given he has just 28 catches and two touchdowns. But as I was digging into the options here in bottom-end WR3 territory, I started liking what I found.
Hollins has three top-30 WR fantasy weeks already this year. I'd like to see him have a bigger target share than 15.9 percent, but when Davante Adams is on your team, that's not so terrible. It also will likely increase now that fellow wideout Hunter Renfrow and tight end Darren Waller were put on injured reserve this week. Hollins also has nearly 24 percent of the Raiders' air yards. Something else I like is that Hollins is eighth in aDOT (average depth of target). Adams is likely to draw All-Pro DB Stephon Gilmore, which leaves Hollins likely matched up with the Colts' "other" DB, Isaiah Rodgers. Rodgers has allowed a 100 percent catch rate and a 90.5 passer rating. I think you can draw your own conclusions.
SIT These WRs
Chris Godwin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Seattle Seahawks (Munich)
Godwin is the highest-rated player I am highlighting this week, so when I say to sit him, consider accordingly. Don't bench him to start say, Chris Moore or Kalif Raymond. But given the choice between say Godwin and DeVonta Smith, I'd start the latter.
Because something just feels wrong about the Tampa Bay offense this year. Well, actually we know what it is — a lack of touchdowns. Through nine weeks, Tampa Bay has 10 touchdown passes. And of those, Evans only has three and Godwin has the same amount this season as Gronk. For those unaware, the latter has not even suited up this year.
In the seven games Godwin has played, he's averaging nearly 10 targets a game. But I'd like to see him score or hit 100 receiving yards before I confidently start him in my lineup. And with Seattle giving up the fourth-fewest fantasy points per game to wide receivers, I don't see that changing before the Bucs' bye.
Mecole Hardman, Kansas City vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Please don't fall in the trap! Many of us have before, including yours truly, who took the bait early on in Hardman's career. But we are now in year four of the Hardman Experience. I concede he has that promise of potential. But he's never ever had even 60 catches or more than half a dozen TDs. And even with Tyreek Hill no longer around, he's still not Patrick Mahomes' go-to guy. That would be Travis Kelce. But even at WR, JuJu Smith-Schuster still leads with 44 catches on 60 targets. Hardman only has 34 targets, and even that is behind Marquez Valdes-Scantling's 39 targets.
I know the Jags look like a juicy matchup, but that's actually because of the number of completions they allow. They are actually league average in TDs allowed. Do you really want to depend on Hardman to catch a TD since he only has in half of his games this year? His floor is just too low for me. Don't think Hard-man, sit him.
— Written by Mark Strausberg, a member of the Athlon Network Contributor, who despite his youthful exuberance and good looks has been playing fantasy sports before Wildcats or Hoosiers even made it to VHS. Got a fantasy sports question or thought? Hit him up on Twitter @MarkStrausberg.