Let's get it, fantasy fans. It's Week 10 and the playoffs are around the corner. Here are my starts and sits for this weekend:
Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers
Roethlisberger’s home and road splits are the real deal but despite the fact that he and the Steelers play away from Heinz Field this Sunday, I’m rolling with Big Ben in Indy. The Colts have been awful against pass (and the run) this season allowing 13 passing touchdowns and an average of 280 passing yards per game on the year (per Pro Football Reference and ESPN). With Antonio Brown, Le'Veon Bell, Juju Smith-Schuster and Martavis Bryant all suiting up Sunday, Roethlisberger will have plenty of weapons in what should be a dominating performance.
Sammy Watkins, WR, Los Angeles Rams
Watkins found the endzone last week for the first time since Week 3 and I’m predicting he’ll score again this Sunday against the Houston Texans who allow an average of 74.9 receiving yards a game to opposing No. 1 receivers according to Football Outsiders. The Texans have given up 16 passing touchdowns on the year, tied with multiple other teams for third-most in the league.
Cameron Brate, TE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
I like Brate to rebound from his abysmal 1-catch-nine-yard statline against New Orleans last week. Brate faces a Jets defense that has allowed more than 500 yards and six touchdowns to opposing tight ends this season. Brate also gets a boost in target share from Tampa’s top receiver Mike Evans being suspended from this contest. I think quarterback Ryan Fitizpatrick will be able to move the ball up and down the field against his old team. He’ll look for Brate near the endzone.
Orleans Darkwa, RB, New York Giants
Three’s a strong possibility Darkwa is the best thing going for the Giants’ offense this season. He certainly has the chance to be the best part of it on Sunday. Darkwa has a golden matchup against San Francisco. In Week 5, the Colts’ Marlon Mack had nine carries, 91 yards and a touchdown. Ezekiel Elliott had a monster 147 yards and two touchdowns on 26 carries in Week 7. LeGarrette Blount had 48 yards and a score on 16 carries in Week 8, and Adrian Peterson had 159 yards on 37 carries last week. I’m expecting a big day from Darkwa against a putrid run defense.
Ameer Abdullah, RB, Detroit Lions
Abdullah has multiple things working against him in his matchup with the Browns on Sunday. For one, the Browns have actually been pretty good against the run this year. Through eight games this season, Cleveland has held opposing teams to a league-best 2.9 yards per carry. They also allow just 84.3 rushing yards a game, fourth-lowest in the NFL. Also, Abdullah is coming off a bad game. He fumbled twice in Detroit’s game against Green Bay last Monday. Both of those fumbles came in or near the redzone and the second one was next to the goal line. Abdullah received 21 carries against the Packers. It’s difficult to see him retain that workload after last week’s game.
T.Y. Hilton, WR, Indianapolis Colts
I pick on Hilton a lot for these columns, but his boom-or-bust nature makes him a prime target for giving advice on what to do with him on a week-to-week basis. Hilton has a tough matchup against the Steelers who have allowed just four touchdowns on the year to opposing wideouts, per Pro Football Reference. Through three games against the Steelers, Hilton has 12 receptions for 245 yards and a touchdown. The majority of that production came in a monster game he had in Pittsburgh in 2014 where he caught six passes for 155 yards and a score. In 2015 and 2016 the Steelers held him to six catches for 66 yards through both games.
Keenan Allen, WR, Los Angeles Chargers
It’s no fun playing against Jacksonville cornerback Jalen Ramsey. Ask A.J. Green, whom Ramsey held to just six yards on one catch. This week Chargers’ Allen has to face Ramsey according to Boltbeat.com and that doesn’t bode well for his fantasy production. Not only will Allen have his hands full, but quarterback Philip Rivers might also have trouble with Jacksonville’s defensive front which leads the league in sacks with 35 on the year. Stay away from Allen Sunday.
Chris Thompson, RB, Washington Redskins
After posting some big games earlier in the season, Thompson has cooled off in recent weeks and I expect that trend to continue when Washington hosts Minnesota Sunday. The Vikings have given up the sixth-fewest receiving yards to running backs this season and they’ve surrendered just one receiving touchdown to running backs over the course of the year. I’m only counting Minnesota’s record against pass-catching backs (though they are tough on backs running the football as well) because Thompson’s carries have dropped significantly since Rob Kelley’s return. Sit him come Sunday.