Big Time Producers – Biggest Stars of Week 10 Fantasy Football
Welcome to the big time! We’re in the crunch time before the playoff stretch and hitting on the big-time producers is more important now than ever. Here’s another edition of Big Time Producers, reflecting upon the guys that likely won you your week.
Lamar Jackson – My favorite play of the week was a touchdown scamper by Lamar Jackson, in which he spins around not one but two Bengals defenders, skates past a few more and finds his way into the endzone for a rushing score. It was the perfect play to shed light on why Lamar Jackson is such a dominant force at the position. When he adds in a decent passing day as well, it makes for top fantasy football production at the quarterback position.
Patrick Mahomes – Charizard is now fully healed! Patrick Mahomes came back and lit the fantasy football world on fire, reminding us all that he’s the best quarterback in the league. Even in a loss, Mahomes diced up the Titans defense to the tune of 446 yards and 3 touchdowns with no turnovers. Mahomes might be one of the few quarterbacks capable of validating his incredibly high offseason ADP.
Daniel Jones – Similarly to Patrick Mahomes, Daniel Jones put up an excellent stat line in a losing effort against the New York Jets. Danny Dimes found the endzone four times on the day, twice to fellow rookie Darius Slayton and twice more to Golden Tate. Jones has a monster playoff schedule after this next three-week stretch, so keep an eye out to see if anyone drops him before week 14 when he’ll face in succession the Eagles, Dolphins, and Redskins.
Kyler Murray – It was a day for rookie quarterbacks as Kyler Murray continued to make a case for Offensive Rookie of the Year by posting 324 yards and 3 touchdowns. The Cardinals ultimately lost the game, but that was because of a lack of defense and that their rushing attack faltered against the Buccaneers top-rated run defense. It will be interesting to see if next week Kyler Murray can repeat his previous performance against the vaunted 49ers defense.
Christian McCaffrey – Making a case as one of the most consistently dominant forces in fantasy football is potential MVP, Christian McCaffrey. Run CMC is tied for Aaron Jones for touchdowns on the season and has only one game this entire year with less than 20 points, a week 2 outing against the aforementioned Buccaneers run defense. CMC is likely to be the Fantasy MVP of 2019.
Dalvin Cook – If not for Christian McCaffrey’s dominance, Dalvin Cook would widely be considered the fantasy MVP. Cook is the NFL’s rushing leader and through sheer volume and force of will, managed to put up an excellent fantasy line even though the Cowboys defense did a relatively good job of containing him. The only question with Cook was healthy and he’s put that question to bed as he’s been a workhorse for the Vikings offense.
Derrick Henry – It’s that time of year again where Derrick Henry starts putting fantasy football teams on his back as he carries them into the playoffs. The Titans leaned on Henry in this game and he rewarded them with 188 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns on the day. Seemingly, the only thing that can stop Derrick Henry when the Titans use him as the focal point of their offense is the team’s upcoming bye week.
Aaron Jones – Though he only had 13 carries in the game, Aaron Jones made the most of those carries by finding the endzone 3 times. This is Jones’ 4th game this season with multiple touchdowns and he’s tied with Christian McCaffrey for most touchdowns from the running back position on the season. If Jones could just be a little more consistent week to week, he’d have a chance at being considered at the tippy top of elite fantasy running backs.
Joe Mixon – The Bengals’ questionable decision to start Ryan Finley over Andy Dalton went exactly as I had projected in that it sunk the team and gave them virtually no chance to win. The only bright side is that with Dalton out of the lineup, the Bengals loaded Joe Mixon with a ridiculous amount of touches. Mixon received a career-high 32 touches, including 30 carries and assuming Finley is going to start the rest of the way, this isn’t likely to change for Mixon down the stretch.
Christian Kirk – He hasn’t caught a touchdown since week 11 of last year, so naturally, Christian Kirk caught all of the Cardinals touchdowns and finished as the number one scoring wide receiver in fantasy football this week. This is the definition of the “don’t go chasing the points” mantra, as Kirk will face off against a 49ers squad that shut him down and then will enter his bye week. He’s definitely a sell-high candidate this week.
Darius Slayton – This just warmed my heart. With Evan Engram out, Darius Slayton emerged as the go-to, big body receiving option that Daniel Jones leaned on. Sterling Shepard also being out meant added targets for Slayton, who saw 14 on the day. He reeled in 10 catches for 121 yards and 2 scores. The 2 scores we’ve seen before, but the volume was an encouraging sign for the rookie receiver going forward.
Tyreek Hill – He was doing pretty well with Matt Moore under center, but the return of Charizard affected Tyreek Hill positively to the tune of 19 targets, a career-high. Hill pulled in 11 of those targets for 157 yards and a touchdown, reminding everyone they’re the deadliest WR/QB combo in the league right now.
Amari Cooper – After being listed as questionable to play all week, Amari Cooper came out and had his 2nd best game of the season. With Ezekiel Elliott mostly bottled up on the day, Cooper stepped in as the focal point of the offense, pulling in 11 of 14 targets for 147 yards and a touchdown. Cooper has been much more consistent this year than in past years, his bad games coming mostly due to injury and this recent performance bodes well for his health during the back half of the season.
Michael Thomas – In my opinion, Michael Thomas is the best receiver in football right now and he is bolstered by the fact that he became the fastest player to reach 400 receptions on Sunday, tacking on 13 catches to his career total. Thomas has been a beast this season, as he has been every season, in terms of receptions and efficiency. Somehow, he’s still underrated though, especially during offseasons. He’s locked and loaded WR1 this year, next year and likely for the next 4-5 years after that as well.
Mark Andrews – Emerging from the fantasy doldrums, Mark Andrews had his best game since week 6, pulling in 6 of 8 catches for 53 yards and 2 scores. Andrews was the focal point of the passing attack and even with Nick Boyle and Hayden Hurst actively participating in this contest, it’s clear that Andrews is the preferred pass catcher of the bunch. Andrews also has some nice matchups in his next two games against the Texans and Rams, two teams that could force the Ravens into passing more.
Kyle Rudolph – Also in the two touchdown club this week is Rudolph the Redzone Reindeer. Kyle Rudolph put in a vintage performance, catching 4 passes for only 14 yards and being essentially irrelevant except for catching 2 short touchdown passes. Rudolph was outplayed by rookie Irv Smith in this game and he’s just not a reliable option week to week, but rather, a roulette shot at a touchdown.
Travis Kelce – I’m still waiting for a true breakout game from Travis Kelce this season, but until then, I’m happy with solid performances like the one he put in on Sunday. Kelce brought in all 7 of his targets for 75 yards and a touchdown and almost had a much bigger day except that he had a long touchdown catch called back on a penalty. Even still, Kelce has been one of the most consistent fantasy tight ends this year, which to me is worth his ADP because of how bad tight end has been this year.
Anthony Firkser – For Firkser’s Sakes! That’s what fantasy owners who started Jonnu Smith were probably thinking when it was Anthony Firkser finding his way into the endzone and posting a top ten week for fantasy football tight ends. That’s because the Fantasy Gods are fickle beings and all it takes to be a top ten tight end these days is to find the endzone once.
Pittsburgh Steelers – Since acquiring Minkah Fitzpatrick, the Pittsburgh Steelers defense has been a top 3 unit, alongside the likes of the New England Patriots and San Francisco 49ers. For the second straight week, the Pittsburgh Steelers have put in the number one fantasy football performance for defense and are winning games on the back of the defense creating turnovers. The Steelers will now get the Browns, Bengals, and Browns again in their next three games, lining up for a monster defensive run for fantasy football.
Baltimore Ravens – The addition of Marcus Peters has transformed the Baltimore Ravens defense into one of the best secondaries in the NFL. It’s not just Peters, but the return of Jimmy Smith, the emergence of Marlon Humphrey and the elevation of Earl Thomas’ play as of late that has turned this defense around. Predictably, they took advantage of Ryan Finley and finished as the second-highest scoring defense this week. They’ll have a tough matchup next week though against the Houston Texans.
Los Angeles Rams – The Rams offense was abysmal last night against the aforementioned Pittsburgh Steelers, but the defense kept them in the game and gave them a chance to win. The Rams defense finished with 3 sacks, 2 fumble recoveries, including one for a touchdown and a safety. The Rams next matchup is against the Bears and even though the Chicago Bears offense did enough to win on Sunday, I think they’ll be a prime matchup for a surging Rams defense.
New York Jets – It wasn’t so much the New York Jets defense as it was the individual effort put forth by Jamaal Adams, but the Jets finished as a top-five scoring unit in fantasy football this week. By himself, Jamaal Adams finished with 8 tackles, 2 sacks, 2 forced fumbles and the recovery which he ripped from Daniel Jones’ hands and took back for a score. He was the Jets defense this week and could very well repeat this performance when the team travels to Washington next Sunday.