Week 10’s top two fantasy wide receivers face each other this Sunday, as Robert Woods and the Los Angeles Rams take on Adam Thielen’s Minnesota Vikings. The teams boast above-average defenses so neither wideout make this week’s “Start ‘em” list – but I’d start ‘em if I had ‘em.
So which WRs (and tight ends) are among my “start” suggestions for Week 11? And which ones am I not as high on? Keep reading to find out...
Good Calls for Week 10...
I said it might be worth the risk to start Robert Woods (29.1 fantasy points), and I really hoped you listened as he went off and is now a must-start every week.
Start Robby Anderson (14.5 FP) – For a mid-season waiver wire add, Anderson is really starting to put up consistent WR1 numbers.
Sit Jordy Nelson (2 FP) – The good news is that the Packers won, the bad news is that Nelson is basically useless in fantasy.
Bad Calls for Week 10...
Start Cameron Brate (1 FP) – The thought was that Brate would be a huge target for Ryan Fitzpatrick – nope!
Teams on bye: Carolina, Indianapolis, New York Jets, San Francisco
START THESE WRs...
Keenan Allen, LAC (vs. BUF)
Allen hasn’t maintained the consistency most hoped when entering the season. His numbers have decreased since the return of Mike Williams and some may choose to sit Allen. But this is the week to start him as a WR2. He faces a Buffalo team that was carved up by Michael Thomas (nine receptions) and has given up seven-catch games to five receivers and two six-catch games to others. Allen is the type of receiver that can provide starter numbers without seeing the end zone, which consistently has been his main fault.
Sterling Shepard, NYG (vs. KC)
Shepard hauled in 142 yards last week in the Giants’ dismal loss to the 49ers. He continues to be one of the few bright spots in New York. This week, he goes against the league’s most generous fantasy defense to wide receivers in a game that could feature a lot of garbage time. Look for Eli Manning to get him a touchdown this week and another 100 yards.
Michael Crabtree, OAK (vs. NE, Mexico City)
Oakland has to put points on the board this week if the Raiders want to beat the Patriots. That means there is no time to mess around with Amari Cooper. Derek Carr goes to Crabtree early and often, including every red zone visit. Put him down for at least one touchdown and close to 100 yards against the New England secondary.
MIGHT BE WORTH THE RISK...
Marqise Lee, JAC (vs. CLE)
Thanks to Blake Bortles’ dependence on him, Lee has become a viable No. 2 fantasy WR in recent weeks, as he's averaged 16.8 PPR points in his last four games. He should continue to see a lot of targets with Allen Hurns injured, and a matchup against the Browns is favorable. Cleveland’s defense has given up the third-most PPR points to No. 1 receivers, so Lee should produce.
SIT THESE WRs...
Davante Adams, GB (vs. BAL)
Aaron Rogers is gone, Jordy Nelson is moving into irrelevance, and somehow, a Packer receiver is still relevant. That distinction belongs to Adams, who has seen 30 targets since Brett Hundley has taking over. With that kind of volume, Adams is going to get you something, but Baltimore is a top-three passing defense, allowing just under 185 yards per game. If this new duo can get it done against Baltimore, then we’re good probably for the rest of the season. But for now, don’t risk it if you have another option.
Kelvin Benjamin, BUF (at LAC)
Benjamin scored just 7.2 PPR points in a blowout loss to the Saints. Next on the schedule is a date with the Chargers, who have one of the better secondaries in the league. In fact, their defense has allowed just four scores to opposing No. 1 wideouts. And to make things worse, the Bills are starting rookie Nathan Peterman at QB. Stay far away from Benjamin this week.
Demaryius Thomas, DEN (vs. CIN)
Cincinnati and Denver are suffering through disappointing seasons, but one thing that is not disappointing is their defense against wide receivers, where the Bengals are the fifth best in from a fantasy standpoint. That might not mean they will stop Emmanuel Sanders, but it makes me want to sit any other Denver receiver, including Thomas.
YOU’VE BEEN WARNED...
Robert Woods, LAR (at MIN)
He’s had two amazing games in a row, showed that Jared Goff is a legit QB and the Rams are a threat to everything the NFC West holds dear. But you may want to sit him this week against a Minnesota defense that doesn’t give up the big play — something Woods has relied on to enter the upper echelon of late-season studs.
START THESE TEs...
Jared Cook, OAK (vs. NE, Mexico City)
Oakland’s tight end has been quietly having one of the better years of his career in 2017, and Derek Carr trusts him. Now Oakland will be playing New England in one many pundits envision as a high-scoring affair. It’s possible that they’re correct, and Cook will keep up his average target count of seven over the last three weeks.
Jason Witten, DAL (vs. PHI)
Hopefully we see a wild shootout when the Eagles take on the Cowboys, and in that shootout, Jason Witten will thrive. Last week, Witten saw seven targets with the run game unable to really produce and the offensive line not protecting Dak Prescott. That translated to check downs, and Witten could see a high volume of targets as the Cowboys try to keep drives alive without Ezekiel Elliott eating up chunks of yards.
Tyler Kroft, CIN (at DEN)
Yes, Kroft let all his fantasy owners down in Week 10 turning in a pathetic, season-worst (one catch, four yards) performance. Kroft was involved in the game plan with six targets, but couldn’t get on the same page with starting QB Andy Dalton all day. The Broncos are tough on opposing WRs (31st in fantasy points allowed the last four weeks), but vulnerable against tight ends (first in fantasy points allowed the last four weeks) of late. Look for the Rutgers product and the Red Rifle to get back on the same page in this plus matchup.
MIGHT BE WORTH THE RISK...
Marcedes Lewis, JAC (at CLE)
We haven’t heard much from Lewis since his big three-touchdown game in Week 3. This could be the week he bursts back onto the leaderboard. Not only does Cleveland give up the third-most points per game to tight ends, they also give up the tenth-fewest points to wide receivers. Everyone knows throwing to tight ends is the best way to beat the Browns through the air. Expect Lewis to have a good game
SIT THESE TEs...
Eric Ebron, DET (at CHI)
Ebron went from being a trade chip who ceded his receiving tight end role to a career blocker, to a 5-6 target per game receiver. This has his owners excited, but they should calm down. Ebron has had a few important catches, but he still hasn’t scored during his recent stretch. This week, he faces the fifth-toughest NFL fantasy defense against tight ends. The Bears allow 5.8 points to the position and since tight end is still a little of a timeshare in Detroit, that doesn’t leave much for Ebron.
Hunter Henry, LAC (vs. BUF)
Every week he’s ranked in the top 12, and he’s finished the 30th overall TE in PPR leagues. Stay away. No one knows what you’re going to get out of Henry any given week. If you’re going to roll the dice, do it with Cameron Brate, or hopefully, Evan Engram.
Charles Clay, BUF (at LAC)
One of the better, undervalued options from earlier this season (remember those nice and easy days?) is back, but it’s clear he’s still getting into the swing of things, seeing only three targets in his return against New Orleans last week. At this point, pick up Clay and stash him, but don’t play him against the Chargers. With Kelvin Benjamin in the mix, we just don’t know what his workload is going to be like, yet.
YOU’VE BEEN WARNED...
Kyle Rudolph, MIN (vs. LAR)
Stefon Diggs is back and looks good. And that’s going to affect Minnesota’s underwhelming tight end. Rudolph saw his third game in a row with seven targets, but he only caught five passes for 37 yards. He hasn’t seen a 50-yard game this season! He’s touchdown-dependent, and shouldn’t be used in non-PPR leagues against a Rams defense that’s held almost all opposing TEs to, you guessed it, 48 yards or fewer this season.
— Written by Michael Horvath, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Horvath is a Canadian who also happens to be a fantasy football (not to be confused with CFL) and fitness nut. Follow him on Twitter @realmikehorvath.