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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 Patrick Mahomes, Christian McCaffrey, or DeAndre Hopkins 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 Mahomesí bye week? Letís talk. Looking for solutions at running back because McAffrey 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 Hopkins and went RB-RB-Kelce 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: Denver, New England, Houston, Philadelphia, Washington, Jacksonville

Philip Rivers

Grab a Helmet

Philip Rivers @ OAK (Thu)

There are quite a few reasons not to consider Rivers in Week 10: Heís scoring 20.1 FPts/G, his lowest mark since the 2012 season; he hasnít topped 15 points since Week 7; itís a roadie on Thursday night; the Chargers just canned their offensive coordinator; Melvin Gordonís alive! But there is one really good reason TO plug him in: The Raidersí pass defense. Oaklandís yielding 28.5 FPts/G to the position this season and even more (32.7) in the last five weeks. Also, Coach Chuckyís squad has already allowed three opposing triggermen to surpass the 400-yd mark. The names wouldnít surpriseóMahomes, Rodgers, and Staffordóbut even on the downslope of his career, Rivers can hang with that crew. The Bolts got their mojo back last Sunday, pounding the Pack, and I think Rivers will parlay this into a strong primetime performance. Start him.

Ryan Fitzpatrick @ IND

Iím an avowed Fitzpatrick advocate, most definitely, but I think even his detractors, who probably number many, would admit he got too quick a hook after a poor Week 2 performance vs. New England (89 yards and three picks). The Dolphins seemed eager to see what they had in former first rounder Josh Rosen and now they know: not a whole lot. The Rosen regime was predictably disastrous and predictably brief, spanning just two and a half games, and the break seems to have done Fitz wonders. Since being inserted back under center, heís averaged 23.7 FPts/G and even led this Miami wreck to its first W of the year in Week 9. This isnít a terrific matchup but the Fish are down to Kalen Ballage and not much else at RB, so I expect some serious slinging Sunday. Roll those dice if youíre stuck.

Jimmy Garoppolo v. SEA (Mon)

The Niners possess the leagueís last unblemished record, though you wouldnít necessarily know it if you dropped in from outer space and took a gander at Garoppoloís digits. Even including that stellar four-TD performance against the Cards last Thursday night, heís currently QB22, barely worth a mention outside of superflex leagues. San Franís been winning with defense and a stable of hard-charging backs, but that isnít going to suffice against QB1 Monday night. Russell Wilson is slaying all comers and isnít the sitting duck type DeFo Buckner (GO DUCKS!), Nick Bosa, and Dee Ford typically feast upon. Iím expecting fireworks for this showdown and that might be good news for Jimmy G. owners. Heíll be facing a Seattle defense that has held only two opposing QBs to fewer than 20 points (Roethlisberger/Rudolph in Week 2 and Bridgewater in Week 3). Start Handsome JG Monday.

Grab a Clipboard

Baker Mayfield v. BUF

I told you two weeks ago the Brownsí schedule lightens up starting in Week 11. Pssst! Itís only Week 10. If a brutal loss in Denver to a QB making his first NFL start isnít enough to affect some Cleveland soul-searching, there may not be much hope left for this team. The pre-season AFC North faves are sitting at 2-6 with half the campaign left to play and now face a game Buffalo bunch. They havenít won in over a month and havenít looked good not doing that, Mayfield especially. Heís averaging barely over 16.5 FPts/G since Week 5 and managed a clean sheet (no picks) for just the first time all season in that loss to the Broncos. I donít think he does it again as the Bills table slam him and his reeling Browns mates Sunday at FirstEnergy Stadium. Sit him again.

Ryan Finley v. BAL

Only 26 QBs take the field in Week 10, meaning in 12-team, two-QB leagues, only two of them will be sitting. Mitch Trubisky seems like an obvious candidate, so that leaves just one other starting signal caller riding pine. Doesnít it have to be the one whoís seeing his first NFL action? Finley looked pretty solid in the pre-season and is older than most rookie quarterbacks at 25, but it seems like a major gamble to roll out a first-timer playing for an awful team, and against a tough divisional opponent, in Week 10 when so much is at stake. OK, maybe not if youíre having to consider Finley. It worked out pretty swell for those who were forced to start Brandon Allen last Sunday, but these debuts seem to either go very well or very poorly, and rarely somewhere in between. My moneyís on poorly.

Kirk Cousins @ DAL (Mon)

Iíve seldom been right about Cousins through the years, so you should definitely take this recommendation with a grain of salt, but if any QB1 will be facing stiff headwinds this week, itís him. Heíll very likely be without the services of Adam Thielen again and will be facing a Dallas D thatís only allowed a single wingman to top 20 points in a game this season. Inexplicably, it was Sam Darnold in Week 6. To be fair, Cousins didnít have Thielen last week, only connected with Stefon Diggs one time, and still managed to notch 23.5 points against Kansas City. Heís been a true feast of famine option this yearófour games over 23 points and five games under 18óso a Monday nighter on the road without a key weapon sounds more like famine to me. But what the heck do I know, right? Punt.

Quarterbacks | Running Backs | Wide Receivers