Week 10 is likely going to be one of the most challenging weeks of the season for fantasy managers to navigate. There are six teams on bye, and the waiver wire is extremely limited. Those who go on to victory will either have bye week luck with the majority of their starters playing or will have played the right sleepers. Here are a handful of players available in the vast majority of leagues that can help you this week.
QB Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee Titans
Since taking over as the starter for Marcus Mariota in Week 7, Tannehill ranks as the No. 8 QB in fantasy points per game with 21.5 (minimum two starts). Sure, that’s a small sample size, but production is production. His worst performance as a starter was 19.2 points. The Chiefs’ defense isn’t as bad as it once one, but they’ve been carved up by fantasy QBs in three of their last four games. They allowed a 29.4-point performance to Deshaun Watson in Week 6 before shutting down Joe Flacco in Week 7. The following two weeks, they allowed 27.1 points to Aaron Rodgers and 21.3 points to Kirk Cousins, both throwing three touchdowns on the road. The Titans are at home, and there’s no reason to believe Tannehill can’t get to the 20-point mark yet again on what should be a sunny day in Nashville.
RB J.D. McKissic, Detroit Lions
Things went back to normal for the Detroit passing-down back in the second week following Kerryon Johnson’s injury. He had 72 total yards on seven touches and found the end zone. He has a solid matchup against the Bears this week, a team allowing the seventh-most receiving yards per game to running backs this season. If the Bears continue to shut down slot receivers (they rank No. 1 in fewest yards allowed per game in that category), Stafford will be forced to check down to his RBs instead of Danny Amendola. McKissic is a FLEX option in half- and full-PPR formats.
RB Gus Edwards, Baltimore Ravens
This matchup may have been a one-score game back in Week 6 in Baltimore, but I don’t expect a close game this week. The Ravens should blow out the hapless Bengals in Ryan Finley’s first career start. An early lead would mean a whole lot of Edwards in the second half, plus you can expect a boost to his usual 6-9 touches per game. The Bengals give up the second-most fantasy points to RBs, and Edwards averaged 5.7 yards per carry against them in their first meeting. He also vultured a TD from Mark Ingram last week against the Patriots, so maybe he’ll get that opportunity again on Sunday. If you’re desperate, Edwards is available in more than 90% of leagues in every format.
WR Auden Tate, Cincinnati Bengals
Tate is a sneaky play this week, even with A.J. Green not on the field. Marlon Humphrey is shutting down whoever he’s assigned to cover. He was locked onto Tyler Boyd in Week 6—allowing just one reception on six targets—and should shadow him again this week. If Green is indeed out, Tate should be matched up with Peters on about half of his snaps (which will limit his upside some), and Jimmy Smith or Brandon Carr for the other half, based on where all players involved have been lined up so far this season. Tate is averaging ten targets per game over the last three weeks and has only one game this season with fewer than six. Let’s hope that the trend continues with a new QB at the helm. He’s a high-end WR4.
WR Ted Ginn Jr., New Orleans Saints
The epitome of boom-or-bust, Ginn has the opportunity to take advantage of a terrible Falcons defense in Week 10. Atlanta is bad against everyone, but their weakest point so far this season is against WR2s, a position averaging nearly 70 yards per game against them (third-worst in the NFL). Ginn is averaging more than 20 yards per catch over the last four weeks. He’s likely only going to catch two or three passes, but they could easily be for 70 yards and a touchdown. You’re not going to find a player available in more than 90 percent of leagues and more likely to score 15+ points.
WR Josh Reynolds, Los Angeles Rams
Reynolds is a player that needs an opportunity to be productive. Last season it was Cooper Kupp’s injury that paved the way for more snaps. This season it’s Brandin Cooks’ injury. Reynolds saw eight targets after Cooks was injured in Week 8, catching three of them for 73 yards and a touchdown. Over the last two seasons in games that either Kupp or Cooks missed (plus the three-snap game for Cooks in Week 8), Reynolds is averaging 3.6 catches, 53.9 yards and 0.6 TDs on seven targets per game. That works out to about 10.8 fantasy points per game in half-PPR formats. The Steelers are just a middle of the road team against fantasy WRs. Reynolds has plenty of upside and not a terrible floor if you’re WR-needy this week.
TE Mike Gesicki, Miami Dolphins
After being fantasy irrelevant through the first season and a quarter of his NFL career, Gesicki is starting to become a more significant part of the Dolphins’ offense. He’s averaging five targets per game in the four games since Miami’s bye week and just had the first double-digit fantasy day of his career in Week 9 with 6/95/0 against the Jets. He’s still in search of his first career touchdown, but he has a solid matchup this week against a Colts team allowing the eighth-most fantasy points to TEs this season. With RB Mark Walton suspended, the Dolphins should throw slightly more than usual this week. WR Preston Williams was placed on IR as well, so maybe a couple of the looks that were going Williams’ way go to Gesicki.