As the NFL officially blows past the midway point of the season, daily fantasy football owners have a bevy of intriguing matchups to consider in Week 10. A number of teams are fighting for postseason position and many others are simply trying to keep their heads close to or near .500.
Thursday night’s matchup between the Baltimore Ravens and winless Cleveland Browns represents one of the biggest opportunities for FanDuel and DraftKings owners. The Browns are rated in the bottom five in all of fantasy against quarterbacks, wide receivers, running backs, and tight ends and the short week following Week 9’s 25-point loss to Dallas may not help the downtrodden squad’s hopes of capturing their first win of the season.
And speaking of the Cowboys, they’ll hit the road to face Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers in Week 10. However, while Pittsburgh may have some of the best fantasy weapons like receiver Antonio Brown and running backs LeVeon Bell and DeAngelo Williams at their disposal, Dallas is actually in the top third of the league against all positions. The only exception being tight end, with Dallas the ninth-worst in fantasy against the position. But the Steelers don’t have a reasonable option at tight end so far this season, so owners won’t find any Pittsburgh player in this week’s rankings.
Other top matchups include Seattle’s trip to New England (Can Tom Brady keep up his torrid pace against the Seahawks?), New Orleans playing host to a Denver defense that looked distraught in Week 9, the Dolphins putting their three-game winning streak on the line against San Diego (highly anticipated due to running backs Jay Ajayi and Melvin Gordon,) and the Bengals’ A.J. Green versus the Giants' Odell Beckham Jr. on Monday night.
All of those games and others create some tough decisions for DFS players.
So let’s dive right into next week. Here are Week 10’s lineup rankings to help figure out the best possible combinations for DraftKings, FanDuel, and any other daily fantasy platform.
Byes: Buffalo, Detroit, Indianapolis, Oakland
1.Eli Manning, New York Giants
2.Phillip Rivers, San Diego Chargers
3.Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens
4.Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals
5.Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles
Manning did throw two picks in Week 9 (though one was a ball ripped from Beckham’s hands), but he also threw four touchdowns against an Eagles D that’s been one of the best in fantasy versus QBs. Now he gets a Bengals D that’s fifth-worst against QBs, according to Yahoo. Rivers should continue to be a points machine versus Miami (18.53 points per week to QBs), and Flacco looks to build even more momentum against a Browns D that can’t stop any position. Palmer faces a 49ers secondary that’s just one slot better than Miami and looked dreadful against the Saints, and Wentz has the best statistical matchup against Atlanta’s league worst D (22.99 points per week to QBs).
1.David Johnson, Arizona Cardinals
2.Jay Ajayi, Miami Dolphins
3.Mark Ingram, New Orleans Saints
4.Chris Ivory, Jacksonville Jaguars
5.Melvin Gordon, San Diego Chargers
Johnson should break out for huge chunks of yardage vs. San Francisco, which was equally lit up on the ground in Week 9. Gordon and Ajayi will try to claim the title of best sophomore running back, but Ajayi has the edge with San Diego sixth-worst in the league vs. RBs, and Miami No. 10. Ivory, who posted his first 100-yard game of the season in Week 9, could have a repeat performance with Houston letting up 106.0 rushing yards per week and at least one touchdown.
1.Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2.Mike Wallace, Baltimore Ravens
3.Kelvin Benjamin, Carolina Panthers
4.Jordan Matthews, Philadelphia Eagles
5.Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals
Evans will be at home versus the Bears, who are second-worst in fantasy with 28.14 points allowed to WRs. Wallace, again, has the Browns. Benjamin hasn’t reached the end zone in four straight games, but chances are he will against the Chiefs’ eighth-worst work versus WRs. Matthews will be one of many beneficiaries if Wentz can pick apart the Falcons, and same goes with handcuffing Palmer and Fitzgerald.
1.Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs
2.Dennis Pitta, Baltimore Ravens
3.Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles
4.Jason Witten, Pittsburgh Steelers
5.Delanie Walker, Tennessee Titans
With a hefty fine likely coming his way, Kelce meets Carolina’s second-worst unit vs. TEs (12.29 points per week), but on the very off-chance that he’s suspended for a game, Pitta is a good cheap buy following a poor display in Week 9. Ertz is coming off his most-targeted game of the season, snatching all eight of his targets for 97 yards, and the Eagles may have finally found a way to involve him more in the offense. Witten meets Pittsburgh’s sub-par defense against TEs (8.4 points allowed per week), and Walker’s a slightly more expensive buy but could be effective versus Green Bay, which stands just above the Steelers.
1.A.J. Green, WR, Cincinnati Bengals
2.Jordy Nelson, WR, Green Bay Packers
3.Demaryius Thomas, WR, Denver Broncos
4.Travis Benjamin, WR, San Diego Chargers
5.Darren Sproles, RB, Philadelphia Eagles
Green has a tough assignment with the Giants smack in the middle of the league against WRs, but his cost should be a bit lower in Week 10. Nelson has a tough matchup with the Titans, but that also brings his price down, while Thomas can bounce back from a poor Week 9 against New Orleans, and Benjamin has the speed to blow past Miami. Sproles is eternal and Atlanta bleeds points at almost every position.
Very difficult decisions to make on D/STs this week. But Arizona gets division rival San Francisco and its patchwork offense, while Houston can further stagnate what’s been a very disappointing Jaguars offense. The Jets draw the Rams, and possible rookie quarterback Jared Goff, but that might make them too popular a pick. The Ravens may be another safe selection, so for risk-takers the Cowboys could take advantage of a Roethlisberger that doesn’t look too healthy yet.