Week 10 Upgrades & Downgrades
Week 9 is over and that means we have OFFICIALLY passed the midpoint of the season. Now is the time to check your players’ upcoming schedules, specifically their playoff schedules. Your average fantasy football player will be content with a team that has been doing well all season and ride them out. A savvy fantasy football player will make trades that may seem odd at the surface, but are geared toward favorable matchups for their players. Don’t go crazy with this, a stud is a stud and can perform no matter the matchup, but if you can trade one player for another with seemingly similar value and go from having 2 bottom 10 matchups for a player in your league’s playoffs to player with 2 great matchups then that is how you win championships. Also, look to start adding backup RBs (handcuffs) that would be put in a very favorable position if the starter were to go down and drop some players you won’t be starting on your bench.
As I’ve said before, with the current setup, keep in mind that for players I have listed as “downgrades”, I simply mean you should expect less than their statistical average given the current matchup. They may still start for you and of course, they still may have a good week, but you shouldn’t expect as much from them. For “upgrades”, you can expect them to score more than they typically do, but they may not be a starter in your league or for your team. Let’s get started!
- Matthew Stafford, Cleveland has been decent by the numbers in recent matchups, but we all know they are beatable in the secondary and Staffy has been rolling.
- Josh McCown, I didn’t have him on here last week since he played on Thursday, but the matchup is good yet again and he’s been surprisingly good as of late.
- Ben Roethlisberger, Indy’s secondary couldn’t guard me and 10 quadriplegics, so a big day is in store if they try to make a feeble attempt to stop Bell.
- Jared Goff, lost his mind last week scoring 40+ fantasy points and Houston has been getting beat badly via the pass. When the stars align I’m typically skeptical, but they are aligning here.
- Eli Manning, not that he has much to work with and I think they may pound the rock, but on a week with a number of byes you could do worse than the QB playing Frisco.
- Tom Brady, Denver seems to be his kryptonite and Hogan may not play, so it’s not looking good for big T.
- Kirk Cousins, he has very few weapons and he’s going up against one of the toughest defenses in the NFL. He will still find a way to have a productive game, but tough outlook for him this week.
- Tyrod Taylor, good week last week but New Orleans has been very stingy as of late and it’s not like he has a superior player to target.
- Jacoby Brissett, Pittsburgh’s secondary looks just plain nasty so far this year, his only hope is that the Steelers tend to fall flat when playing sub-.500 teams on the road.
- Marcus Mariota, tough matchup against a stingy Bengals defense, though it is at home and his legs seem to be fresh.
Position: Running Back
- Le’Veon Bell, why throw it when you can win by giving him the ball 35 times a game? I’m sure they still will which is why I think he’s still going to have a big day, helps open up some running lanes.
- Mark Ingram/Alvin Kamara, both are getting their fair share of touches and Buffalo has been getting pounded via the run game recently.
- Christian McCaffrey, considering how bad Cam has looked and that Miami is now looking vulnerable to the run I think that could mean good things for McCaffrey going forward.
- Orleans Darkwa, as I mentioned with Eli, my thought is that they are going to pound the ever-loving hell out of the rock this week.
- Lamar Miller, Rams pass D is in the top 8 but they give up 4.5 YPC to opposing backs AND Tom Savage looks anything but. Giving Miller the ball 25 times sounds like a good plan to me, Bill.
- Morris/Smith/McFadden, OK, Zeke played last week but is CURRENTLY facing the suspension, the order I have them here is what I have heard they are going to go with on game day.
- CJ Anderson/Devontae Booker, New England has been better against the pass recently and with Osweiler at QB running the football should be their #1 priority.
- NE RBs, the way to beat Denver is to run the ball, I have been saying that all year and it has started to come to fruition, and Brady isn’t too proud to hand it off 45 times and win.
- Todd Gurley, Houston has been good against the run and pathetic against the pass and with Goff looking extremely good last week they may just let him sling it around, maybe.
- LeSean McCoy, looked downright awful last week and New Orleans has been stingy defensively recently.
- Joe Mixon, finally scored his 2nd TD of the season last week, but other than that had a crappy day and the Titans give up the 4th fewest YPC to opposing backs this season.
- DeMarco Murray, he’s obviously not healthy and the Bengals have been good against the run as well. Potential low-scoring affair here for you gamblers.
- Matt Forte, even though Tampa can’t stop anyone on defense this is a three-headed monster and a hampered, aging running back is not likely to lead the way here.
- Damien Williams/Kenyan Drake, both had a good week last week, but Carolina is not nearly as bad as Oakland defensively, and Cutler isn’t going to do that again.
- Frank Gore, Pittsburgh is going to throttle the run and force Brissett to beat them through the air.
- Ameer Abdullah, 2 fumbles last week and Cleveland has been good against the run all year, stop me if you’ve heard that before.
Position: Wide Receiver
- Antonio Brown, he’s abused them in the past and that is very likely to happen again.
- AJ Green, after the fight with Ramsey, which is very unlike my man AJ, he is going to be fed the rock by Dalton and Tennessee is beatable through the air.
- Golden Tate/Marvin Jones Jr., Cleveland can be beat over the top and Jones has been balling recently, start both of them with the utmost confidence.
- Dez Bryant, with Zeke apparently serving his suspension (yet again, I know) they will be forced to throw more than usual, just hope he’s healthy because a dinged Bryant is no bueno.
- Robby Anderson, he’s been clicking with McCown and Tampa is bad in the secondary, like really bad.
- Sterling Shephard, Tampa is bad, but the 49ers are worse.
- Demaryius Thomas/Emmanuel Sanders, the Pats have been better against the pass as of late and Osweiler doesn’t look particularly good, but the matchup is still solid. As my dad always told me: a blind squirrel finds a nut every once in a while.
- Robert Woods, 3 good weeks in a row now and Houston has been beat deep a lot lately.
- Michael Thomas, Bills are still good against the pass and he really hasn’t done all that much recently unless you are in a full-point PPR league.
- Jarvis Landry, Carolina has been very good defensively all year and if you think Cutler has suddenly become good or something you need to lay off whatever it is you are on, brotha.
- Brandin Cooks, Denver’s defense is back to an historic pace and Tom seems to struggle playing the Broncos on the road.
- DeAndre Hopkins, Savage knows that Hopkins is his best option, but only 6 catches on 16 targets is not what I would call a productive day, and the Rams are very good against the pass.
- Jordy Nelson, It seems like Adams is the more favorable target for Hundley. Nelson needs to come through in the red zone if he’s going to have any chance of having a solid fantasy-day.
- Keenan Allen, Jags have been fantastic against the pass all season and the best way to try and beat them is on the ground, as it turns out the Chargers have a top 5 RB to use.
- Josh Doctson, with Crowder and Reed ailing, and Pryor being an absolute dud, there’s not much more to focus on defensively than Doctson and stopping the run.
- Titans WRs, not a great matchup against the Bengals and the fact-of-the-matter is that there is no emergent star in this core, anyone could go off, but it’s anyone’s guess as to who.
Position: Tight End
- Rob Gronkowski, seeing what I said about Cooks, the way I’m going to beat Denver is with this guy and my running game.
- Evan Engram, every week he’s a no-brainer to start, but against Frisco he’s a solid bet to go off.
- Kyle Rudolph, Washington has been letting opposing TEs score some points on them recently, so a good matchup for Rudolph when there aren’t many moving forward.
- Hunter Henry, same as Denver, the best way to have success throwing the ball against the Jags is to go through the TE.
- Austin Seferian-Jenkins, no Kerley and the matchup is pretty good, so a good flier this week.
- Jason Witten, not a good matchup on the road, the caveat is that they may throw the ball more with Zeke appearing to finally start his suspension this week.
- Jordan Reed/Vernon Davis, Minnesota is tough against opposing TE. If Reed is good enough to go, I doubt he does that well and that means fewer reps for Davis too.
- Austin Hooper, Dallas has been good against TEs all season and he isn’t used much when the WR core is healthy.
- Nick O’Leary, Charles Clay is supposed to return this week and if he does that means O’Leary returns to second fiddle.
- Martellus Bennett, he got dropped by the Packers this week , just in case you live under a rock.