Welcome back to the Rookie Report! As the fantasy regular season winds down, hopefully you've got yourself well positioned for a playoff spot. It was a big week for some rookies, with Devin Funchess tallying his first TD and Dorial Green-Beckham finally getting a starter's share of the snaps (even if it took an injury to Kendall Wright to get them). Amari Cooper and Todd Gurley continued their usual excellence, and Karlos Williams returned to action in a big way. Let's talk about what week 10 should have in store...
Rookies to Start:
RB Todd Gurley, STL (Wk. 10: vs. Chi.): If you own him, you know you're starting him, but he should be worth his price tag in daily fantasy games as well. The Bears allow 121 rushing yards a game and 4.6 yards per carry. They do a good job limiting TDs (just 2 rushing scores allowed all year), but Gurley is a good bet to top the century mark this week and I think he finds the end zone as well despite how few the Bears have allowed.
WR Stefon Diggs, MIN (Wk. 10: @Oak.): Diggs didn't do a lot last week against the Rams, but he should be much better this week. The matchup is much softer. The Raiders don't allow a ton of WR touchdowns (just 4 on the year), but they do allow 16.7 catches and 221 yards per game to them. Diggs gets easily the most volume of the Vikings WRs, and he likely will get around 10 targets and should be safe to fire up as a WR2 this week.
QB Jameis Winston, TB (Wk. 10: vs. Dal.): The Cowboys have been pretty solid against quarterbacks all year, allowing just 9 passing scores in 8 games and about 240 yards per game, but Jameis has shown a really safe floor. With at least 12 points scored each week, he should be a safe QB2 this week in 2 quarterback leagues, albeit one with limited upside.
RB Jeremy Langford, CHI (Wk. 10: @StL.): If Matt Forte is out again, volume should keep Langford on the RB2 radar despite a tough matchup. If you have strong options to play over Langford, go for it. The Rams have allowed just 2 offensive TDs in 4 home games this year. While Langford should get a bunch of work, he'll be a long shot to find the end zone. If Forte is a go, Langford shouldn't be near your lineup.
RB TJ Yeldon, JAX (Wk. 10: @Bal.): Yeldon was having a rough game in week 9, but broke a long 4th quarter run that bailed his day out. With that said, his volume remains consistent. The Ravens have been tough on opposing rushers, allowing just 3.8 yards per carry and just 4 RB touchdowns on the season, but that volume keeps Yeldon in the RB2 discussion. I'd expect him to tally somewhere around 8 points in standard leagues this week.
RB Matt Jones, WAS (Wk. 10: vs. NO): Jones hasn't produced much lately, but he's definitely running ahead of Alfred Morris right now. Jones had 11 carries in week 9, Alf has 10 total in the last 2 games, and he's turned them into just 15 yards. This is a plus matchup for RBs. The Saints allow 105 rush yards per game to opposing backs, and even with Chris Thompson back this week, Jones should get 12-15 carries. That makes him a realistic flex option this week with byes and all of the RB injuries around the league right now.
RB Duke Johnson, CLE (Wk. 10: @Pit.): Duke has a similar outlook this week to what he has every other week. He remains firmly on the PPR flex radar. He's a better option if Josh McCown starts at QB. The Steelers allow the 3rd fewest RB fantasy points, but they also allow almost 5 catches and 42 receiving yards per game to RBs.
WR Amari Cooper, OAK (Wk. 10: vs. Min.): Cooper is pretty close to a must-start at this point based on volume and upside, but there are some red flags this week. He's a little dinged up with a quad injury. He's alternated games with a TD and without, and he's due for no TD this week. The matchup isn't ideal, as the Vikings are in the top 10 teams in the league at limiting WR fantasy points. Also, Cooper and Crabtree almost never go off in the same week, and Cooper is the one who usually gets the defense's focus. Week 9 was the second time all year that both receivers finished in the top-24 at the position in fantasy points. It all adds up to Cooper being a little dicier this week than most, and certainly not someone to target in DFS.
WR Jamison Crowder, WAS (Wk. 10: vs. NO): I was worried Crowder's role would be reduced with the return of DeSean Jackson, but he caught 6 passes for 50 yards in week 9. Hopefully it's a sign that things won't change with D-Jax back. He's got 8+ targets in 4 of his last 5 games, and at least 4 catches in each of the last 6 (6 rec./gm on average). He's got a plus matchup this week and should be a WR3 option in PPR leagues. His floor this week should be 5 catches and 50 yards.
Rookies to Sit:
QB Marcus Mariota, TEN (Wk. 10: vs. Car.): Mariota is coming off one of his best days as a pro in week 9 against the Saints, but the Saints are the worst QB defense in the league and he gets a much stiffer test this week. Don't read much into Aaron Rodgers fantasy bonanza in week 9 against these Panthers. That was an outlier game. If you throw out week 9, Carolina is allowing just 12.3 fantasy points per game to opposing QBs, which would be good for 3rd lowest in the league behind Denver and St. Louis. Don't chase last week's points here. He's nothing more than a desperation 2QB league play.
RB Karlos Williams, BUF (Wk. 10: @NYJ): Earlier in the week I was planning on listing Karlos as a guy to start, but as the week has gone on it's become clear that Shady McCoy will play Thursday night. Karlos was tremendous in his return to action last week (9 carries for 110 yards and 2 TDs), and he now has a TD in every game he's played in and is the overall RB21 for the season despite missing 3 games, but I think the TD streak ends this week. The Jets allow just 10.6 fantasy points per game to opposing RBs, and most of the work should go to McCoy. Keep Karlos under wraps this week.
RB Ameer Abdullah, DET (Wk. 10: @GB): The Packers have been good against RBs, and Abdullah's role shrunk in the first game with Jim Bob Cooter in as offensive coordinator. Joique Bell is getting the early down work and Theo Riddick the passing down work. The game script doesn't set up well in this game either. The Packers are an 11-point favorite and haven't lost to the Lions at home in the last 20 meetings. Keep Abdullah benched.
RB David Johnson, ARI (Wk. 10: @Sea.): Nothing new to report on Johnson. He remains the 3rd banana in this run game behind CJ2K and Ellington. Even though he's seeing some red zone work, the Seahawks allow the fewest RB fantasy points in the league. This isn't the spot to pick to use a guy with very limited volume.
RB David Cobb, TEN (Wk. 10: vs. Car.): Cobb will be activated from the short-term IR this week and should see at least a couple carries, but the bulk of th work this week should go to Antonio Andrews. Andrews has been good in the past 2 games and earned more work. Cobb will eventually factor in, and could be worth a stash in deeper leagues, but you aren't considering him this week.
WR Dorial Green-Beckham, TEN (Wk. 10: vs. Car.): Big surprise here...another Titan rookie I'm telling you to sit. This is the worst possible week for DGB to draw Josh Norman. The Panthers should deploy their top cover man on Green-Beckham. Dorial had a breakthrough in week 9 with Kendall Wright sidelined, seeing double-digit targets and pulling in 5 of them for 77 yards (both career highs). Wright is likely to be out again, but I don't like the chances of DGB continuing his breakout this week. He has the talent to start producing in tough matchups, but for now I'm giving Norman the benefit of the doubt.
WR Nelson Agholor, PHI (Wk. 10: vs. Mia.): Agholor should finally return from a high ankle sprain, and the matchup is a good one, but Nelson hasn't done anything yet this year. It would be a pretty big leap of faith to think that this is the week he starts producing, even though the Eagles' offense is playing much better than it was when he got hurt. There is a chance that things click for Agholor at some point in the second half and the fantasy points start coming, but it hasn't happened yet. At most he's a deep league flyer right now.
WR Tyler Lockett, SEA (Wk. 10: vs. Ari.): Lockett is still in play for leagues that count return yardage. His passing game involvement was increasing before the bye last week (8 catches for 115 yards and a TD in the last 2 games), but the Cardinals are a tough matchup. I hope his role continues to grow, but this isn's a good spot to fire him up.
Deep League Sleepers and Cheap DFS Options:
RB Jay Ajayi, MIA (Wk. 10: @Phi.): I wouldn't get Ajayi into the lineup this week, but I wanted to mention him as a deep league flyer to scoop off the waiver wire. He debuted last week and was impressive, gaining 41 yards on just 5 carries. Lamar Miller isn't going away, but the coaching staff admitted that Ajayi earned more work with his performance. If anything were to happen to Miller, Ajayi would get a huge boost in value. He's definitely surpassed Damien Williams and Jonas Gray on the depth chart, and will see change of pace work for now.
WR Devin Funchess, CAR (Wk. 10: @Ten.): Funchess finally broke through last week with a 3-71-1 line, and he gets a favorable matchup again this week. Don't go too crazy here. He's still running behind Ginn, Cotchery and Corey Brown in terms of snap count, so the floor is really low, but he could be a decent punt play in DFS tournaments.
WR Adam Humphries, TB (Wk. 10: vs. Dal.): Humpries is taking advantage of the absence of Vincent Jackson. He posted a 5-55 line in week 9, and it seems likely that Jackson is out again in week 10. The matchup isn't great, but Mike Evans and Austin Seferian-Jenkins (if he returns) would draw a lot of the defensive attention. There is some upside for a nice PPR day out of Humphries.
TE Clive Walford, OAK (Wk. 10: vs. Min.): Walford is a TD dart throw in this game, with the upside for a little bit more. His quarterback likes him, he has 2 scores in the past 3 games, and the Vikings have given up at least 30 TE receiving yards in all but one game this year. If you're desperate for a TE streamer, you could do worse than Walford this week.
That's all I've got for this week. Hopefully it helps with some of your lineup decisions. If you have any questions or complaints, you can reach out and let me know on twitter (@shawn_foss). As always, good luck, trust your gut, and have fun. It's just a game.