Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em: Week 10 – by Ben Barton

Sometimes, fantasy football doesn’t make much sense to me. Have you ever had those moments? Let me paint you a maddening, seemingly incomprehensible picture.

One of the leagues I’m in is a 10-team, half-PPR league. In that league, I am the second-highest scorer – 50 points clear of the guy with the third-most points, and a full 100 points clear of the guy with the fourth-most. The guy who has scored the most points is 9-0, because Todd Gurley is unstoppable.

Me? My high-scoring juggernaut of a team? 2-7. TWO. AND. SEVEN. How does this happen? There is a 1-8 team in this league. I have scored OVER 300 POINTS more than that team, but have only won one more game. Is this team cursed? Are the fantasy gods exacting their revenge after I managed to draft Drew Brees in round 12? I don’t know.

But I do know that start/sit dilemmas abound, especially in the midst of bye-heavy weeks like Week 10. It’s not quite as brutal as Week 9’s bye-clone, but with the Minnesota Vikings, Houston Texans, Denver Broncos, and Baltimore Ravens all out of action, there are spots that need filling. Let’s fill them.

Start ‘Em

QB – Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons

This is a no-brainer. Matt Ryan is – believe it or not – performing at a statistical pace above that of his MVP year in 2016. He is being forced to throw to keep Atlanta in contention thanks to his injury-riddled defense. He’s given Julio Jones five 100-yard games, fed Calvin Ridley seven touchdowns, and just eviscerated the Washington Redskins for 350 yards and four touchdowns.

Add to this potent cocktail a Cleveland Browns secondary that will be without first-round phenom Denzel Ward, and you have all the hallmarks of a QB1-type performance from #MattyIce. Playing in consecutive road games might make you hesitant to start him, but you should ignore that, and listen to me instead.

RB – Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers

First things first – Aaron Jones is #goodatfootball. Why it’s taken Mike McCarthy so long to understand this very simple (and very evident) concept is one small part of why he should be fired in the offseason (to be promptly hired by the Browns).

With that out of the way, here are some other important things. The Miami Dolphins are very bad at stopping running backs. They allowed Lamar Miller to rush for 133 yards. They allowed DETROIT to rush for over 200 yards. Very. Bad.

Aaron Jones, as we mentioned earlier, is very good at being a running back. He is better than Lamar Miller, and he is better than Detroit (yes, the whole city). He will beat the Dolphins up all day, and he will make you very happy that you started him.

Photo Credit: Ian Halperin/UPI

WR – Keenan Allen, Los Angeles Chargers

Are you ready for the Keenan Allen second-half-of-the-season breakout? You’d better be. It’s happening, and the Oakland Raiders will be powerless to stop it. Philip Rivers is playing the best football of his career, allowing Allen to post at least 62 yards in his last five games. In fact, the only time Allen has dipped below 60 yards was in Week 3 against the Los Angeles Rams, where he only managed 44 yards on 3 catches.

Don’t forget that Jon Gruden is performing the most effective deliberate self-destruction of a team in NFL history, and will make no attempt to stop the Chargers, and Keenan Allen, from scoring as many points as they wish.

TE – Vernon Davis, Washington Redskins

This doesn’t even really need any analysis. Tight ends always score at least 10 points against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, unless that tight end is named C.J. Uzomah. 

Thankfully for you, Vernon Davis is not named C.J. Uzomah, so assuming Jordan Reed continues to be Jordan Reed (injured), pencil Vernon Davis in for TE1 numbers. Easy.

Sit ‘Em

QB – Marcus Mariota, Tennessee Titans

With every passing week, Marcus Mariota looks less and less like a franchise quarterback. I’m not sure what it is, but he just continues struggling to lead this Titans team to any form of sustained success.

As far as his fantasy value… four games this year with fewer than 130 passing yards is awful. Five games without a touchdown pass – and only five in total for the year is somehow even worse. If you haven’t already, ditch Mariota.

RB – Kerryon Johnson, Detroit Lions

Hue Jackson‘s mishandling of Duke Johnson made me angry during his ill-fated tenure in Cleveland. Matt Patricia’s mishandling of Kerryon Johnson might be even more egregious. Kerryon is averaging 5.7 yards per carry. In case Matt Patricia is reading this, THAT’S A VERY GOOD NUMBER. Much better than 2.7, which is LeGarrette Blount’s yards per carry this year.

Photo Credit: Kirthmon F. Dozier/Detroit Free Press

Anyway, Matt Patricia doesn’t know how to use Kerryon Johnson, and they face off against the Bears, who have allowed the fewest fantasy points to running backs this year. He is worthy of your dynasty love, but unfortunately, Kerryon isn’t worth starting this week.

WR – Nelson Agholor, Philadelphia Eagles

There are lots of things that have impacted Nelson Agholor’s production over the years, but Golden Tate’s arrival in Philadelphia sounds an awful lot like a death knell. Golden Tate does everything Agholor does from the slot, but he does it much better. Credit Howie Roseman for pouncing on the Lions’ nonsensical decision to let Tate go.

Agholor will likely be pushed out wide for the Eagles, a position he has struggled to succeed in. He now sits behind Alshon Jeffery, Zach Ertz and Golden Tate for targets, and continues to fall farther and farther from fantasy relevance. Even in a bye-week pinch, Agholor isn’t worth starting.

by Ben Barton – @Baron_Barton

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