We're already into the 10th week of the 2016 fantasy season, which means those of you fighting for a playoff spot are entering crunch time.
Over the final few weeks of the fantasy regular season, each and every roster decision is likely to be critical. One wrong move could leave you destined for the consolation bracket—before the postseason even begins.
Fortunately, we're here to help. Today, we're going to go through each position and provide our projected player rankings. We'll be ranking players based on how we believe they will fare in Week 10. Our decisions will be based on factors like past performances, projected role, team matchup and player health. We'll also check out some risers and fallers at each skill position.
All rankings are based on PPR scoring.
|Week 10 QBs|
|1||Aaron Rodgers, GB||TEN|
|2||Ben Roethlisberger, PIT||DAL|
|3||Carson Palmer, ARI||SF|
|4||Tom Brady, NE||SEA|
|5||Philip Rivers, SD||MIA|
|6||Jay Cutler, CHI||@ TB|
|7||Cam Newton, CAR||KC|
|8||Dak Prescott, DAL||@ PIT|
|9||Jameis Winston, TB||CHI|
|10||Marcus Mariota, TEN||GB|
Up: Marcus Mariota, Tennessee Titans
Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota has developed into a viable fantasy starter in his second season. He's currently completing 63.2 percent of his passes, has tossed 17 touchdowns to eight interceptions and has nearly 2,200 passing yards.
Mariota has also added 235 yards rushing with two additional scores.
This week, Mariota has a favorable matchup with the Green Bay Packers. While the Packers have been solid at defending the run (75.8 yards per game allowed), they haven't been so good against the pass.
Green Bay is currently allowing an average of 250.0 yards per game through the air and is rated just 24th in pass coverage by Pro Football Focus.
Mariota could be a sneaky add if you're looking for a bye-week fill-in.
Down: Case Keenum, Los Angeles Rams
Given the fact the New York Jets have been pretty darn bad at defending the pass this season—the team is currently ranked 29th in pass coverage by Pro Football Focus—this might seem like a good week to take a chance on Los Angeles Rams quarterback Case Keenum.
Not so fast.
Keenum and the Rams are traveling all the way across the country for this game, which is clearly less than ideal. In addition, Keenum has struggled with turnovers in a big way. He currently has 12 turnovers to go with just nine touchdown passes.
When you add in the fact that Keenum has struggled to put the ball into the end zone, it's difficult to justify starting him.
Even if Keenum manages to pass for 300 yards against the Jets, he isn't likely to carry a favorable touchdown-to-turnover ratio. Don't be tempted to test the Jets defense, even if the Rams are.
|Week 10 RBs|
|1||David Johnson, ARI||SF|
|2||Le'Veon Bell, PIT||DAL|
|3||Melvin Gordon, SD||MIA|
|4||Ezekiel Elliott, DAL||@ PIT|
|5||DeMarco Murray, TEN||GB|
|6||Devonta Freeman, ATL||@ PHI|
|7||Jay Ajayi, MIA||@ SD|
|8||Lamar Miller, HOU||@ JAX|
|9||Spencer Ware, KC||@ CAR|
|10||Matt Forte, NYJ||LA|
|11||Ty Montgomery, GB||@ TEN|
|12||Todd Gurley, LA||@ NYJ|
|13||Jordan Howard, CHI||@ TB|
|14||Devontae Booker, DEN||@ NO|
|15||Darren Sproles, PHI||ATL|
|16||James White, NE||SEA|
|17||Jonathan Stewart, CAR||KC|
|18||Giovani Bernard, CIN||@ NYG|
|19||Rashad Jennings, NYG||CIN|
Up: Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys
Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott currently leads the NFL with an impressive 891 yards rushing. He also has seven touchdowns on the ground and 16 receptions for 155 yards.
Elliott appears confident that he can continue to play at a high level for the remainder of the season.
"I feel good," Elliott said, per Brandon George of the Dallas Morning News. "I've been taking good care of my body. I feel fresh and just trying to stay on this routine to make sure I stay fresh. I'm not really worried about a rookie wall."
You shouldn't be worried about Elliott hitting the rookie wall either, at least not this week against the Pittsburgh Steelers. While Pittsburgh did a nice job of slowing the run game of the Baltimore Ravens last week (just 50 net rushing yards allowed), they'll have a harder time against Elliot.
For the season, the Steelers are rated just 20th against the run by Pro Football Focus.
Down: Doug Martin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
We realize that we haven't seen much of Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin this season. We also realize that he recently returned to practice and has a favorable matchup with the Chicago Bears this week.
However, we're down on Martin because we're not convinced he's ready to play. If he does, he might be extremely limited.
Martin practiced this week for the first time since suffering a hamstring injury in the first month of the season. According to Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times, Martin simply doesn't look ready to play:
We'd suggest waiting at least another week before reinserting Martin into your starting lineup. The good news is that he should be ready to go by playoff time.
|Week 10 WRs|
|1||Mike Evans, TB||CHI|
|2||Odell Beckham Jr., NYG||CIN|
|3||Jordy Nelson, GB||@ TEN|
|4||Julio Jones, ATL||@ PHI|
|5||A.J. Green, CIN||@ NYG|
|6||Alshon Jeffery, CHI||@ TB|
|7||Jarvis Landry, MIA||@ SD|
|8||Larry Fitzgerald, ARI||SF|
|9||Dez Bryant, DAL||@ PIT|
|10||Emmanuel Sanders, DEN||@ NO|
|11||Julian Edelman, NE||SEA|
|12||Brandon Marshall, NYJ||LA|
|13||Demaryius Thomas, DEN||@ NO|
|14||Brandin Cooks, NO||DEN|
|15||Stefon Diggs, MIN||@ WAS|
|16||Jamison Crowder, WAS||MIN|
|17||DeAndre Hopkins, HOU||@ JAX|
|18||Jordan Matthews, PHI||ATL|
|19||Doug Baldwin, SEA||@ NE|
|20||Michael Thomas, NO||DEN|
Up: Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
A guy who should be ready to play for Tampa is wide receiver Mike Evans. The phenomenal third-year wideout has been cleared from the league's concussion protocol, according to Scott Smith of the Buccaneers' official website:
Expect Evans to be a major piece of the Buccaneers' game plan this week against the Chicago Bears. The Texas A&M product already has 55 receptions for 745 yards and eight touchdowns this year. He'll be facing a relatively average Bears defense—one rated 16th against the pass by Pro Football Focus.
Expect Evans to have a big day.
Down: Allen Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars
Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Allen Robinson was a fantasy revelation in 2015. He produced 1,400 yards and 14 touchdowns on 80 receptions.
Unfortunately, Robinson hasn't been the same fantasy star this season, largely because he is depending on an inconsistent Blake Bortles for his production. So far, he has 39 receptions for 442 yards and four touchdowns.
Robinson did manage to get back on track a bit last week against the Kansas City Chiefs. He finished that game with 76 yards and a touchdown on seven receptions. However, we're expecting him to return to the land of disappointment this week against the Houston Texans.
Houston is currently rated sixth in pass rush by Pro Football Focus.
|Week 10 TEs|
|1||Jordan Reed, WAS||MIN|
|2||Rob Gronkowski, NE||SEA|
|3||Greg Olsen, CAR||KC|
|4||Travis Kelce, KC||@ CAR|
|5||Antonio Gates, SD||MIA|
|6||Jimmy Graham, SEA||@ NE|
|7||Tyler Eifert, CIN||@ NYG|
|8||Zach Miller, CHI||@ TB|
|9||Delanie Walker, TEN||GB|
|10||Kyle Rudolph, MIN||@ WAS|
Up: Greg Olsen, Carolina Panthers
Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen doesn't have the most favorable matchup in Week 10. He'll be playing a Kansas City Chiefs team that is rated eighth against the pass by Pro Football Focus. However, we'd be confident in starting him due to his role in Carolina's passing attack.
So far this season, Olsen has produced 673 yards and three touchdowns on 45 receptions. Last week against a good Rams defense, he racked up five catches for 52 yards and a score.
With the Panthers playing at home and finally playing with some momentum, Olsen is a must-start.
Down: Vance McDonald, San Francisco 49ers
Based on last week's performance against the New Orleans Saints—three catches for 84 yards and a touchdown—you might be tempted to take a chance on San Francisco 49ers tight end Vance McDonald.
This week, the 49ers travel to face the Arizona Cardinals. There's a big difference between the Cardinals defense and the Saints defense. While New Orleans is rated just 30th in pass coverage by Pro Football Focus, Arizona is rated ninth.
Plus, as Raymond Summerlin of Rotoworld and FantasyPro.com points out, any of McDonald's impressive stat lines have been dependent on the big play:
Don't expect the 49ers to rip off a lot of big plays this week against Arizona.
|Week 10 Ks|
|1||Stephen Gostkowski, NE||SEA|
|2||Dan Bailey, DAL||@ PIT|
|3||Josh Lambo, SD||MIA|
|4||Matt Bryant, ATL||@ PHI|
|5||Nick Novak, HOU||@ JAX|
|6||Caleb Sturgis, PHI||ATL|
|7||Chandler Catanzaro, ARI||SF|
|8||Wil Lutz, NO||DEN|
|9||Robbie Gould, NYG||CIN|
|10||Graham Gano, CAR||KC|
Use common sense when it comes to your kicker. Guys who play on teams with productive offenses are good. Guys who do not have little value.
Realistically, the only reason you should even be examining kickers at this point in the season is if yours is on bye.