Just hours before the start of Week 10 (for most teams anyways) I know many people have questions running through their heads. Who should I start? Who should I sit? Let’s take a look at how some of the recent news changes things:
Aaron Hernandez, New England Patriots, Tight End
Early expectations had been that Hernandez would return to the Patriots lineup after their Week 9 bye. Unfortunately, that no longer seems to be the case. Adam Schefter (via Twitter) is reporting that:
“Patriots TE Aaron Hernandez is not expected to play Sunday vs. Buffalo due to lingering ankle injury. Pats activated TE Visanthe Shiancoe.”
The matchup was extremely favorable, so it is disappointing that he won’t be able to exploit it. Fantasy owners need to plan on not having him as the Patriots obviously have with the Shiancoe move. Hopefully he will be ready to return in Week 11.
Percy Harvin, Minnesota Vikings, Wide Receiver
He’s listed as doubtful, which obviously already would’ve concerned fantasy owners. Just to add a little bit more fuel to the fire, Tom Pelissero of ESPN 1500 (click here for the article) is reporting that:
“But Adrian Peterson suggested on Friday quarterback Christian Ponder might benefit from being forced to survey the field, rather than leaning on his favorite target.
‘You see we definitely get the ball in Percy’s hands in the pass game,” Peterson said. “With him being out, some guys, a lot of guys are going to have to step up.’”
It certainly appears like the Vikings are prepared to play Sunday without him. Fantasy owners obviously need to do the same. Move him to your bench and look for an alternative. Kyle Rudolph could benefit most in the short passing game, and more targets could go to Michael Jenkins. The team could simply give more touches to Adrian Peterson.
Hakeem Nicks, New York Giants, Wide Receiver
There was a scare earlier in the week, but at this point Nicks appears to be full systems go for today against the Bengals. Not only is he listed as probable, but according to Jenny Vrentas of the Newark Star-Ledger (click here for the article):
“Nicks said he “definitely” did not have a setback. He needed to elevate the knee and stay off of it, and the swelling went down when he did. Sitting out through next week’s bye week was never suggested or considered, Nicks said.”
In other words, he is going to be out there. While he hasn’t produced the numbers fantasy owners had hoped, we all know that the potential is still there. Nicks is among the most talented wide receivers in the game and should still continue to be a viable WR2 in all formats.
Emmanuel Sanders, Pittsburgh Steelers, Wide Receiver
Antonio Brown has already been ruled out for Monday night’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs. It opens up a great opportunity for Sanders, who should step in and start opposite Mike Wallace (with Jericho Cotchery also seeing time and operating as the third wide receiver).
While the Chiefs aren’t allowing a lot of passing yardage this season, they have allowed 17 passing touchdowns (tied for third in the league, behind the Titans and Redskins who have each allowed 20). He is going to be the third option, behind Wallace and Heath Miller, but there should be ample opportunities to produce. As a WR3 he is worth considering.
Isaac Redman, Pittsburgh Steelers, Running Back
According to Mark Kaboly (via Twitter):
“Isaac Redman told me he will start Monday against the Chiefs.”
It’s not a surprise after Redman torched the Giants for 147 yards and a touchdown against the Giants in Week 9. The Chiefs offer a favorable matchup, having allowed 126.0 rushing yards per game, however don’t consider Redman a must use option quite yet.
While Rashard Mendenhall is listed as doubtful, Jonathan Dwyer is listed as probable and should return to the lineup this week. With the Steelers likely riding the hot hand, if Redman starts slowly he could quickly lose touches. Given the matchup and his recent success, I would still consider Redman as a viable RB2 (with Dwyer as a potential FLEX), but go in with your eyes open if you are considering another option.
Titus Young, Detroit Lions, Wide Receiver
Listed as questionable, there doesn’t appear to be a risk of him missing today’s game. There has been a lot of inconsistency in his performance, but Young actually leads the Lions with three touchdown receptions. It appeared that he had broken out in recent weeks (15 receptions for 181 yards and two touchdowns in Weeks 7 & 8) but he struggled last week with just two receptions for 20 yards.
The Vikings have allowed 14 passing touchdowns with four interceptions this season. There should be an opportunity for Young to make plays, though he could lose out to Calvin Johnson, Ryan Broyles and Brandon Pettigrew. He’s worth considering as a WR3, but there is a lot of risk involved.
Felix Jones, Dallas Cowboys, Running Back
DeMarco Murray has been ruled out, leaving Jones to share carries with Phillip Tanner and Lance Dunbar. On the season, Jones is averaging just 3.8 yards per carry and is far from a lock to get the bulk of the touches out of the backfield (though he’ll get the first opportunity). I would only feel comfortable using him as a FLEX option, but he could be a desperation RB2 depending on your other options.
Danny Amendola, St. Louis Rams, Wide Receiver
He’s going to be returning to the lineup this week, making Amendola a viable option in all formats. We all know that the Rams are lacking on the outside and Amendola should step right back in as the go to target for Sam Bradford. It obviously depends on your other options, but in most cases he is going to be worth using.
Marcel Reece, Oakland Raiders, Running Back
Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson are both officially out for today, leaving Reece and Taiwan Jones to carry the load. Would it surprise anyone if the Raiders decided to go to the air early and often against the Ravens this week?
While Reece has been given just one carry this season, he is the more trusted back in the passing game. He has been targeted 34 times, with 26 receptions for 272 yards and a touchdown. With the that in mind, it’s easy to consider him the better option. He was already a factor in the passing game and should actually get at least a few carries with the team’s top two options on the sideline. Consider him a RB2 in all formats.
Make sure to check out all of our Week 10 rankings: