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Joseph Hutchins | Archive | Email |
Staff Writer

The Shot Caller's Report - Quarterbacks
Your Guide To Fantasy Lineups: Week 10
QBs | RBs | WRs

Nobody needs to be told starting Tom Brady, Ezekiel Elliott, or Antonio Brown is a good idea. Duh, right? You can’t have studs at every position, though, unless you’re in the shallowest of leagues. This is where the Shot Caller comes in. Need help deciding which bargain basement QB to use and which to ignore on Brady’s bye week? Let’s talk. Looking for solutions at running back because Zeke is a game-time decision? Look no further. Need to know which of your unproven targets to start and which to sit since you ignored Brown and went RB-QB-Gronk in your first three rounds? You get the idea. Past results may not guarantee future success, but ignoring them entirely can ruin your Sundays in a hurry (maybe even your Mondays and Thursdays). Read on for a little history and, hopefully, a little sage advice.

Note: Fantasy points based on FF Today’s standard scoring system.

Bye Weeks: Baltimore, Kansas City, Oakland, Philadelphia

Josh Mccown is in play. The Bucs have given up the 6th most fantasy points to quarterbacks.

Grab a Helmet

Josh McCown @ TB: Drew Stanton. Brett Hundley. Mitchell Trubisky, DeShone Kizer. Jacoby Brissett. Case Keenum. Blake Bortles. Andy Dalton. C.J. Beathard. Brock Osweiler. Jay Cutler. Ryan Fitzpatrick. Eli Manning. Add McCown to that group and you’re looking at exactly HALF of this week’s starting quarterbacks. Frightening, huh? When Josh McCown looks like must-start material, you KNOW a position of strength and surplus has become a position of weakness and scarcity. To be fair, McCown’s been playing like must-start material for about a month now and has actually scored the fourth most points at the position since mid-October. This despite questionable or unproven talent at the wide receiver position and a revolving cast of running backs. I don’t know how long he can keep it up but I know he’s more reliable than every other name I just dropped. Start McCown with confidence against a reeling Tampa Bay squad this coming Sunday.

Ryan Fitzpatrick v. NYJ: Yup, the wheels have officially come off for the 2-6 Bucs as they get set to face McCown’s Jets without their two most important offensive players. Mike Evans’ one-game suspension held up on appeal and, if that wasn’t bad enough, the guy who helped get him suspended, Jameis Winston, will be shut down for (at least) a couple weeks due to lingering shoulder issues. Enter the man they call “Fitzmagic,” who will be starting a game for his SEVENTH NFL franchise against a former employer. His detractors are legion and there’s a reason he’s so well-traveled, I suppose, but…man, you could do a lot worse than Ryan Fitzpatrick when it’s circle-the-wagons time. He’s scored 37.9 fantasy points in about four quarters and change this season, a per-minute rate that, although unsustainable, augurs well for his possibly extended stint as Tampa’s main man. Believe in the beard.

Jay Cutler @ CAR (Mon): Miami’s decision to ship Jay Ajayi off to Philly probably had more to do with team chemistry than on-field performance, though it’s hard to argue anyone’s untouchable when you’re scoring the fewest points in the league (14.5/game). Nevertheless, down one franchise back last Sunday night, the Dolphins’ offense looked surprisingly potent, notching 24 points and 395 yards, a season high, in the loss to Oakland. Much of that yardage was accumulated playing catch-up, granted, and the Raiders aren’t exactly a defensive juggernaut, but I was generally encouraged by Cutler’s performance, in particular the way he involved Ajayi’s replacements, Kenyan Drake and Damien Williams, in the passing game. The matchup Monday night is less terrific, but 40+ passing attempts seems almost guaranteed and the quarterback pickings, as we’ve discussed, are really slim. I could see Grump posting some surprisingly decent garbage time totals against the Panthers.

Grab a Clipboard

Philip Rivers @ JAX: Doug Marrone’s Jacksonville outfit definitely qualifies as a defensive juggernaut and here’s proof: Not a single opposing QB has thrown for multiple touchdowns in a game this season. The Jags have actually only surrendered four passing touchdowns TOTAL through eight games, putting them on pace to threaten the all-time 16-game low of six set by the 2008 Colts. They probably won’t get there with Rivers, Russell Wilson, and Marcus Mariota on the second half slate, but the turnaround is still pretty remarkable, especially considering they yielded 29 TD tosses and 100+ more passing yards/game just two seasons ago. Rivers is a risky guy to bet against, but his numbers are down across the board this year and the history of West Coast squads playing early East Coast games isn’t encouraging. This is the spot if you can afford to rest him, so consider all available alternatives.

Blake Bortles v. LAC: Bortles is very much on the start/sit bubble this weekend and you only need review the list of Week 10 starters above to figure out why. That doesn’t mean you have to be excited about using him, though recent returns have been fairly solid (19.5 points/game). Bortles’ issue hasn’t been poor play this season so much as it’s been insufficient volume. Through eight games, he’s thrown just 234 passes, putting him on pace for 378 attempts total. That’s almost 250 fewer than he flung in 2016 (625). I can’t validate this, but I suspect that’s one of the largest year-over-year declines for a fully healthy quarterback in NFL history. Tom Coughlin wasn’t kidding when he vowed to remake the Jags in his image. The transition from garbage time gunslinger to game manager is almost complete, so don’t be disappointed if Bortles disappoints against the Chargers Sunday.

Eli Manning @ SF: Coughlin has to be secretly loving what’s happened to his former organization since he left following the 2015 season. His departure was sold to the press as a joint decision at the time, but it was later revealed he was forced to step down as head coach, making him the fall guy for New York’s struggles instead of GM Jerry Reese. Two years later, those struggles have only intensified and the tragically flawed squad Reese built has already quit on Coughlin’s replacement, Ben McAdoo. If you thought the 51-17 Week 9 pasting was bad, wait until the Giants get beat by an inferior, not to mention winless, 49ers squad this Sunday. Manning has precious few weapons to work with and is allegedly no lock to finish the season under center as New York evaluates personnel and looks toward the future. Steer clear of this toxic situation.

Quarterbacks | Running Backs | Wide Receivers