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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 Russell Wilson, Todd Gurley, or Antonio Brown is a good idea. Duh, right? You canít have studs at every position, though, unless youíre 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 Wilsonís bye week? Letís talk. Looking for solutions at running back because Gurley 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-RB-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, Denver, Houston, Minnesota

Andy Dalton

Can Andy Dalton survive A.J. Green's absence? The Saints are giving up the 3rd most FPts to QBs.

Grab a Helmet

Andy Dalton v. NO: Cincy survived a furious Fitzmagic rally two weeks back to salvage a promising 2018 season and now controls its own destiny in the muddled AFC middle. Getting through to the playoffs wonít be easy, however, as the Bengals draw a white-hot Saints team and still have trips to Baltimore, Los Angeles (Chargers), and Pittsburgh looming. Making matters worse, Dalton will be without his favorite target, A.J. Green, for the expected shootout with New Orleans this weekend. The good news? New Orleans still plans to bring its 29th ranked pass defense to the Queen City. Others will certainly need to step up for Dalton (Tyler Boyd, John Ross, and Joe Mixon as a dual threat), but heís survived Greenís absence before and, with two weeks to prepare for a shaky defense in an obvious letdown spot, he should again. Start the Red Rifle.

Philip Rivers @ OAK:
In case you havenít heard, scoring is up in the NFL this year. Like, way up. Look no further than olí reliable, Phil Rivers, for proof. The Chargersí franchise is averaging 23.5 points per game thus far, on pace for (get this) his best season ever! And yet, heís ranked only 13th overall at the position through nine weeks. This is a guy, mind you, whoís been a top 10 performer in all but one of his last ten campaigns, Did I mention heís also scoring all these points on greatly reduced volume (projected fewest pass attempts since 2009)? The Boltsí hyper-efficient field general, coupled with a dynamic rushing attack, spells major trouble for a Raiders defense surrendering 6.76 yards/play, the worst mark through eight games of any team since the AFL-NFL merger. Start Rivers and hope it doesnít get too out of hand too early.

Russell Wilson @ LAR: Like Rivers, Wilson has suffered a sharp reduction in passing attempts this season, but it hasnít affected his productivity as much as you might think. Heís tallied multiple TD tosses in every game but one and has four 3+TD outings already, only one less than he had all of last year. In fact, the Chief Football Officer is averaging more points per attempt (.78) than he did in 2017 (.74), his best as a pro. Of course, we only care about aggregates and Wilsonís declining usage and paltry rushing numbers are definitely dragging down his bottom line. It was encouraging, at least, to see him rush for a season-high 41 last Sunday. Iím even more encouraged by his upcoming matchup. The high-flying Rams have been exposed on defense two games running and the first matchup between these two teams ended up in the 30s. Start Russ.

Grab a Clipboard

Derek Carr v. LAC: Carr is only two weeks removed from a highly useful 30.2-point performance against the Colts, but it seems like two years. In a game pitting one-win Bay Area rivals last Thursday night in Santa Clara, Oaklandís embattled QB looked like a deer-in-the-headlights rook while Nick Mullens, an actual rookie/undrafted FA, looked like the seasoned vet. The defenses had a lot to do with that, certainlyóSan Franciscoís was salty and Oaklandís was souróbut itís become painfully obvious that stripping an already struggling QB of his best weapon and then propping him up behind a decimated, makeshift offensive line with no ground support is a recipe for disaster. Coach Chucky is clearly maneuvering for a successful launch in Las Vegas and it looks like his troops know it and are starting to quit on him. Steer well clear of this wreck v. a surging Chargers outfit.

Dak Prescott @ PHI: Derek Carrís loss, Amari Cooper, was supposed to be Dak Prescottís gain and things looked to be going pretty well when the two connected on an early 4-yard TD strike last Monday night, Coopís first score as a Cowboy. They didnít get better from there on out, unfortunately, despite the Titansí insistence on making things easier for a struggling Dallas offense with two short-field fumbles. Prescott finished the night with 243 yards and two TDs, respectable digits, but fumbled himself and also threw a brutal end-zone pick that seemed to turn the tide in Tennesseeís favor for good. If he thought the pressure to turn things around was building before this primetime debacle, just wait. Philadelphia is a tough place to flip the script, especially on a short week and against a well-rested Eagles squad starting to hit its stride. Sit Dak down on Sunday night.

Nick Mullens v. NYG (Mon): Iíll admit I didnít even know who Nick Mullens was before his name started popping up on pregame reports last Thursday as a likely replacement for the injured C.J. Beathard. Every football fan does now after his scintillating 262-yard, 3-TD outing against the Niners’ cross-bay rivals, the most successful QB debut in almost 50 years. Kyle Shanahan will stick with Mullens this coming Monday night and though the matchup sounds juicy—another one-win opponent at home—the Giants’ defense won’t be nearly as unprepared as Oakland’s was. The G-Men have had 10 days now to dissect the young slinger’s first game and have actually held up pretty well against an onslaught of A-listers the past month and a half (Watson, Brees, Newton, Wentz, and Ryan). There’s usually a reason QBs go undrafted in a QB-scarce league. Gonna need to see him do it again first.

Quarterbacks | Running Backs | Wide Receivers