Week 10 NFL Confidence Plays | Fantasy Football 2021

I spent much of this week preparing for a job interview, so I apologize for the lack of an intro.

But maybe that’s a good thing. I’ve gotten rather personal over the last few weeks, and I think it’s a great way for you as the audience to get to know me. But some weeks, don’t we really just want to get to the point?

That’s this week, folks. So let’s just get into my Week 10 picks and hope this Thursday game isn’t a prelude to the type of chaos we can expect this weekend.

Last week was pretty average. I improved on my Plays, with nine correct out of 16. However, my Fades took a big hit from the week before, with only seven out of 16 correct calls. A couple of inactives gave me an above .500 week, which has me at 50.5% on the season. One of these weeks, I’m going H.A.M. on calls, so let’s make it this week!

A quick reminder of what Play and Fade mean: Play simply means players that I love based on matchups and my expectation that they’ll finish with more points than projected. Fade indicates players that I think will underperform their projections/consensus weekly rankings. It doesn’t mean I’m outright benching them, but I’m likely not rushing to put them in any DFS lineups either. Onto Week 10.

Play

QB Dak Prescott (DAL) vs. ATL – Well, last Sunday was pretty embarrassing for the Dallas Cowboys, huh? Oh, am I grinning with joy? Probably. But what that probably means is Dak Prescott knocked the rust off he developed after missing a game (and having a bye week) and is more prepared heading into this juicy matchup against the Falcons. Atlanta has allowed two top-13 performances from QBs the last three weeks, including Tua Tagovailoa’s four-touchdown, overall QB1 performance in Week 7. Prescott had only one game in the first six weeks of the season where he didn’t toss three or more touchdowns. The Falcons have allowed the third-most touchdown passes in the league. Dallas is activating former 1,100-yard receiver Michael Gallup before this game, and Dallas gets their full complement of offensive weapons back to go with a rust-free Prescott. QB1 week incoming!

Other QBs with good matchups: Derek Carr (LV) vs. KC and Trevor Lawrence (JAX) at IND

RB Melvin Gordon (DEN) – vs. PHI – I know we in the fantasy football community are hyped AF for Javonte Williams after he registered his first 100-yard game as a pro last week. And you know what? I’m pretty damn hyped for Williams this week as well. But because he’s only hit the 50% snap share threshold in two games this year, I prefer Melvin Gordon in what should be a tasty matchup against an Eagles defense that allows the 6th-most rushing yards 4th-most fantasy points to RBs this year. Another upside to Gordon over Williams? Gordon leads the Broncos’ RBs in red-zone touches (25) and red zone TDs (5). Both should do great. My money is on Gordon to be better.

RB Kenyan Drake (LV) – vs. KC – Crazy thing–Kenyan Drake is RB10 in points per game since Week 6. He hasn’t scored fewer than 16 PPR points over his last three games, and last week, he had six receptions on eight targets. This week’s opponent, the Chiefs, has allowed four or more receptions to an RB since Week 3. Those types of prospects, combined with Drake’s increased usage over the last three weeks — 21.4%, 39.4%, and 44.9% of snaps — bodes well for his upside heading into Sunday night’s matchup.

Other RBs with good matchups: Darrel Williams (KC) at LV, J.D. McKissic (WAS) vs. TB, and Devin Singletary (BUF) at NYJ

WR Mike Williams (LAC) vs. MIN – After a rocket start to 2021, Mike Williams has been WR44 since Week 4. A fall back to reality just makes an enticing matchup like this worth the risk. The Vikings have allowed the 6th-most fantasy points to WRs, and three of their corners have given up at least one reception of 50 or more yards. Justin Herbert has the 2nd-best passer rating on passes 20 or more yards downfield, and Williams has the 6th-most receiving yards on deep passes in the league. If ever there was a week for the Chargers to go for broke and air it out, it’s this week.

WR Julio Jones (TEN) vs. NO – This pick makes me nervous, given how putrid Julio Jones’ 2021 season has been. But with Derrick Henry out for Tennessee and Trevor Siemian looking “meh” for New Orleans, I kind of think we might see vintage Julio this week. Over his career, Jones has averaged almost 90 receiving yards a game against New Orleans. With the Saints the stingiest run D in the league, it would make sense for Tennessee to air it out more this week, and Jones looks like an upside play as a result. It also helps the Saints allow the 3rd-most fantasy points to opposing WRs.

Other WRs with good matchups: Zach Pascal (IND) vs. JAX, Jamal Agnew (JAX) at IND, and Russell Gage (ATL) at DAL

TE Dan Arnold (JAX) at IND – Dan Arnold has led all TEs in targets over the last two weeks. When the Jaguars traded for Dan Arnold, I don’t think many people thought we’d be putting Arnold in the high-volume, top TE in fantasy conversation. But here we are. And against a tough Bills defense against TEs, Arnold still managed 4-60 on seven targets (10.0 fantasy points). This week, the Jaguars play a Colts defense that allows the 5th-most to TEs on the season. A high-volume TE with a good matchup? Sign me up.

Other TEs with good matchups: Noah Fant (DEN) vs. PHI and Tyler Conklin (MIN) at LAC

Fade

QB Jalen Hurts (PHI) at DEN – QB27, and QB14. Those are the Week 8 and Week 9 finishes for Jalen Hurts after seven straight weeks as a top-12 finisher. To add further insult to injury, Hurts has exceeded 200 passing yards only once in the last five weeks. This week’s opponent, the Denver Broncos, has allowed the 3rd-fewest fantasy points, only one rushing touchdown on the season, and no more than 28 rushing yards in a game to QBs this season. The plus side for Hurts and the Eagles offense is their running game has exploded the last couple of weeks — 68 rushing attempts by RBs the previous two weeks — and Hurts has no less than 30 yards rushing in a game this season. A risky fade, but the Eagles aren’t exactly a “trending up” team at the moment.

Other QBs with bad matchups: Kirk Cousins (MIN) at LAC and Baker Mayfield (CLE) at NE

RB Antonio Gibson (WAS) vs. TB – Stop me if you’ve heard this before — the Bucs have a great run defense. After starting the season as the RB13 through five weeks, Antonio Gibson has been the RB47 since Week 6, averaging only 6.8 fantasy points per game. That’s no bueno. I know he’s been dealing with a shin injury, but are we sure it “healed” during the bye week? I’m not convinced. Gibson’s lack of usage as a receiver plays into this call, as Tampa has allowed the 5th most receptions to RBs. You know who that favors? Yeah, not the guy with only 17 catches through eight games. It’s his running mate, who has almost double that.

RB Michael Carter (NYJ) vs. BUF – Even when the offense has played like crap the last two weeks, the Bills defense has continued to shine, giving up only 15 points the previous two weeks. They currently allow the fewest fantasy points and fewest receptions to RBs on the season. Michael Carter has seen a steady uptick in usage as the season has progressed and was even the RB1 a couple of weeks ago. Expect a step back in production this week, even with the return of the God, Mike White, as QB this week.

Other RBs with bad matchups: Jeremy McNichols (TEN) vs. NO, Jordan Howard (PHI) at DEN, and Damien Harris (NE) vs. CLE

WR DeAndre Hopkins (ARI) vs. CAR – Hamstrings are tricky. Hopkins sat out last week, so hopefully, he should be good to go for this week’s matchup against Carolina. Even if he’s 100%, this matchup doesn’t look promising. One reason the Panthers’ defense worked so well early in the season was the presence of rookie CB Jaycee Horn. He shut down WRs. Even without Horn, the Panthers have allowed the 4th-fewest fantasy points to WRs. Some may have forgotten the trade acquisition of former DPOY Stephon Gilmore. Since his debut in Week 8, the former Patriot has allowed a passer rating of 11.7 and has the second-best coverage grade in the NFL among CBs. So, welcome back, Gilmore. The Cardinals will likely have their full arsenal back at WR with A.J. Green coming off the COVID list, so whoever is quarterbacking the Cardinals shouldn’t feel like they need to force Hopkins the ball. Not really what fantasy managers want to hear.

WR Adam Thielen (MIN) at LAC – The Chargers are allowing the 2nd-fewest fantasy points this season, which is surprising because their secondary is cheeks. A lot of that has to do with how abysmal their run defense has been, where they’ve allowed the most rushing yards in the NFL. With one of the best running backs in the NFL in Dalvin Cook ready to run wild, why would OC Klint Kubiak want to do anything but run the ball? The hope with Thielen is that he gets a cheap touchdown in the red zone, something he’s done six times this year, which is tied for 3rd most among WRs. Thielen is a Fade this week primarily because I view him as more boom or bust, given the matchup.

Other WRs with bad matchups: Courtland Sutton (DEN) vs. PHI, DeVonta Smith (PHI) at DEN, and Corey Davis (NYJ) vs. BUF

TE Jared Cook (LAC) vs. MIN – Jared Cook averages just north of five targets per game as the TE1 in the Chargers offense. But he has only two top-12 finishes through eight games. Minnesota has allowed only one top-12 finish to a TE on the year (Week 2) and has allowed the 6th-fewest fantasy points to the position through nine weeks. As a result, Cook isn’t a solid streaming option this week.

Other TEs with bad matchups: Tyler Higbee (LAR) at SF and Austin Hooper (CLE) at NE

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