It’s been a long way to get to this point, but we’re winding down in the fantasy regular season. Some leagues only have four weeks to go (including this one), which means every single decision you make on a week to week basis is magnified. It means that you have to choose the players who are most likely to give you points this week, whether or not you spent a high draft pick on them.
That’s the key, isn’t it? The idea that Jordan Howard could possibly lead your team to victory instead of Todd Gurley is not so far-fetched now, is it, 10 weeks in? That’s one of the many choices I’m making this week and hoping it bears out. If you’re also struggling with who to play in this pivotal week, here are my Lineup Moves for Week 10…
1. Ben Roethlisberger (vs. DAL) – Just putting him here because you might be worried about how bad he looked last week. He wasn’t 100%. He is now, and he’s angry about that performance, believe me. Count on him in this matchup.
2. Trevor Siemian (@ NO) – I don’t care if you like Siemian, he’s playing against that New Orleans defense, that hasn’t proved it can stop anyone. I’m getting Siemian active in one league, along with his top receivers.
3. Marcus Mariota (vs. GB) – Quietly, Mariota has been a damn good fantasy QB the past few weeks, and against that Packers defense he should have some room to run as well, which will heighten his fantasy appeal. Having a great running game helps out the pass.
4. Jay Cutler (@ TB) – You want to talk about shootouts, I can talk about shootouts. Remember the gunslinger Cutler and his penchant for throwing downfield? Well, you can throw on that Buccaneers defense. Get him active.
AVOID: Philip Rivers (vs. MIA) – I know, I know. You’re probably not keen on benching Rivers because he’s been better than capable most of the season, but this Dolphins defense is rounding into form, and both of Rivers top non-TE targets are banged up or out of this game.
1. Jordan Howard (@ TB) – Remember that Buccaneers defense I talked about earlier? Well, Howard is facing them too, and he’s got the hot hand right now. The real bonus? He can catch it out of the backfield, and that will come in handy here too.
2. Darren Sproles (vs. ATL) – He’s the lead back now in that Philadelphia offense, and he can do a ton with the ball out in space. Against the Atlanta defense that hasn’t really stopped anyone on the ground, he’s a no-brainer.
3. Lamar Miller (@ JAC) – He hasn’t been living up to his billing lately, but you can run on this Jaguars defense. Besides, who else is going to get the ball in that Houston offense since Brock Osweiler will be pressured more often than not? I don’t see this as a get-right game for Hopkins, but Miller will be great.
4. Tim Hightower (vs. DEN) – I said it before, and I’ll say it again. You can run on Denver. Some people are paying attention after Latavius Murray’s 3 touchdowns last week, and Hightower has been getting a few goal line carries lately. I like the tendencies, so get him active.
AVOID: Rashad Jennings (vs. CIN) – Paul Perkins has been eating into Jennings’ workload lately, which means he can’t be trusted in this matchup on Monday night. While Jennings might be starting this game, he’s just one good Perkins run away from sitting on the bench for most of the rest of the night.
1. J.J. Nelson (vs. SF) – Nelson has come on strong of late, and with the ineffectiveness of both Michael Floyd and John Brown, this offense is wide open. Nelson has that kind of breakaway speed that lends itself to a long touchdown or two in this game against an exploitable 49ers defense.
2. Stefon Diggs (@ WAS) – Diggs is still the number one WR for the Vikings, and even though they haven’t been scoring many touchdowns lately he did get one in the loss to the Bears last week. He will score again in this matchup.
3. Doug Baldwin (@ NE) – Bill Belichick famously likes to take away other teams’ top options, but of late that option for the Seahawks has been Jimmy Graham. Baldwin will be able to get open, and Wilson will find him more often than not. I like Baldwin to score and have over 60 yards.
4. Ty Montgomery (@ TEN) – Whatever you want to call him, a RB or a WR, he’s been the best mover of the chains for the Packers, and I don’t see anything changing here. The only thing he hasn’t been doing is scoring touchdowns, but that should remedy itself this week.
AVOID: Brandin Cooks (vs. DEN) – Just because the ground game flourished for the Raiders against the Broncos, the same can’t be said for the passing game, particularly the number 1 and 2 WRs. Cooks counts, so he will be in the No-Fly Zone.
1. Cameron Brate (vs. CHI)
2. Travis Kelce (@ CAR)
3. Zach Miller (@ TB)
4. C.J. Fiedorowicz (@ JAC)
AVOID: Martellus Bennett (vs. SEA)
1. Demaryius Thomas (@ NO)
2. Matt Forte (vs. LAR)
3. Rob Kelley (vs. MIN)
4. Giovani Bernard (@ NYG)
AVOID: Will Fuller (@ JAC)