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Death, taxes and Fantasy Football

Silvia's Week 10 Fantasy Frenzy

By Erik Drost (Duke Johnson Jr.) [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Erik Drost (Duke Johnson Jr.) [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Alexander W. Silvia, News Editor

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You can’t get all the calls right every week. You’re going to get things wrong, this is an unpredictable game but luckily you get another shot every week. Last week some of the top waiver claims underperformed but that doesn’t mean it’s time to throw in the towel on some of these players. Courtland Sutton is one of those guys. He let fantasy owners down last week after catching only three of his five targets for 57 yards. After the trade of Demaryius Thomas, there was a lot of hype surrounding Sutton and his heavily anticipated break-out rookie campaign. While he didn’t provide the performance fantasy owners were hoping for, you have to factor in game script. Sutton and the Broncos played against the Houston Texans who have one of the best defensive lines in the NFL. Quarterback Case Keenum had to get the ball out fast under a lot of pressure all game and relied on his tight ends to bail him out. The Broncos go on a bye in Week 10, but I expect Sutton to be a reliable start worthy asset like advertised upon his return.

D.J. Moore of the Carolina Panthers is another rookie that didn’t provide the start owners were hoping for. Coming off his best game of the year against one of the best pass defenses in the league, Moore had a tasty matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who have given up the most points in the NFL. The Panthers jumped out to an early 30-0 lead, doing a lot of damage on the ground relying on their running back Christian McCaffrey and incorporating rotational players like Curtis Samuel. Everything was there for Moore to have another great game. The increased snap count, injuries to other receivers, and one of the best matchups fantasy owners could ask for, it just didn’t come to fruition. But you can’t give up on a player like Moore. You may have to wait for him to prove it again before you can throw him into lineups, but the Panthers have one of the easiest schedules for wide receivers heading into the fantasy playoffs and Moore remains a must stash with a lot of upside if he can see more targets.

Waiver Wire

Now let’s get down to business. The number one waiver wire pick-up of the week is yet another rookie wide receiver. Marquez Valdes-Scantling has emerged as the Green Bay Packers’ number two receiver thanks to injuries and has made the most of his opportunity. Fellow wide receiver Geronimo Allison has been placed on injured reserve, further solidifying Scantling’s role in this offense. Working with one of the best quarterbacks in the game Aaron Rodgers, Scantling has either went for 100 yards or a touchdown in his past four outings and will be a reliable weekly starter for the remainder of the season. Owned in just 40 percent of Yahoo leagues owners need to get this guy on rosters and fast.

This next guy I guarantee you haven’t heard of. Maurice Harris of the Washington Redskins is coming off career-highs in targets, receptions and yardage (10 rec, 124 yds) against the Atlanta Falcons this past Sunday. Normally a performance like this after being essentially invisible all season long can be chalked up as an outlier due to the game script, but this might be different. The Redskins are decimated at the wide receiver position and just lost their “number one” receiver Paul Richardson for the year. Not only that, but stud tight end Jordan Reed has had a terrible season and can’t be relied upon consistently in the passing game. Fellow slot pass-catcher Jamison Crowder has been battling injuries all year and sat out last week. He is questionable for this week’s matchup against you guessed it, the Buccaneers, and if he doesn’t go, look for Harris to step in once again as the first option for quarterback Alex Smith. The Redskins are looking for someone to step up and last week, Harris did just that. If Crowder is inactive again this week, Harris is a fine spot start in a matchup that essentially guarantees production from the wide receiver position. Owned in just one percent of Yahoo leagues, Harris just might be the shot in the dark that makes your week. If you’re brave, go for it, that’s what this game is all about. Just think about the bragging rights you’d have.

Running Backs

Can you smell what Freddie Kitchens is cooking? The brand-new offensive coordinator for the Cleveland Browns unleashed his main course in the form of Duke Johnson Jr. last week in their 37-21 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. Johnson, a former fantasy stud, resurrected himself with one rushing attempt for eight yards and nine catches for 78 yards and two touchdowns. This is what Johnson does best out of the backfield, catch passes. If you’re in a PPR (points per reception) league Johnson is a reliable RB2 when used properly. This may be their bread and butter moving forward which means that Johnson is once again start-worthy. He is owned in 50 percent of Yahoo leagues so it’s worth a shot to check the waiver wire and see if he’s out there. Unfortunately, he is taken in my league. Look for Johnson to keep cooking under Kitchens.

Mike Davis of the Seattle Seahawks could be in line for a big game if fellow running back Chris Carson is inactive in Week 10. Carson went down early last week against the Los Angeles Chargers and Davis stepped up big to the tune of 15 rushing attempts for 62 yards and seven receptions for 45 yards. Owned in only 25 percent of leagues Davis could have the backfield all to himself this week in a tough tilt against the Los Angeles Rams. He is worth a speculative nonetheless.

Advice

We’re getting down to the wire. Most Fantasy playoffs start in Week 14 of the NFL regular season, so time is running out to solidify your spot in the playoff race. Every week counts. Every decision counts. Two weeks ago, I lost by .2 points in a game that would have gotten me into the playoffs. I didn’t let it linger I moved on, made a trade and got the win this past week, putting me back in the playoff race in one of my leagues. Keep going, you never know what can happen. Most of all, have fun and enjoy football as a whole, not just from a statistical standpoint. Until next week and may the Fantasy gods be ever in your favor.

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