Fantasy Football Week 10: Matt Camp's Top Sleepers at Every Position
You don't have access to the New England Patriots this week.
I'm sorry. We'll get through this together.
In addition to the Patriots, you won't be using anyone from the Washington Redskins, Philadelphia Eagles, Denver Broncos, Houston Texans or Jacksonville Jaguars.
That eliminates three top-10 quarterbacks, four top-20 running backs, five top-20 wide receivers and two top-10 tight ends. Oh, and the top defense and No. 6 overall scoring position in the Patriots defense.
You shouldn't feel ashamed to be looking at Zach Pascal as a week-saving option. In fact, you could be looking at multiple players on the New York Giants to put in your starting lineup when they meet the New York Jets in a battle of stadium tenants.
We're going a little deeper on the sleepers for Week 10. Enjoy the ride.
Warren Sharpe and The Lefkoe Show take aim at NFL Week 10 with a look at the latest betting trends, fantasy matchups and more. Get ready for all the weekend's action here.
Tarik Cohen, RB, Chicago Bears
While it appears the Bears are finally sticking with David Montgomery as the feature back, there's still room for Tarik Cohen to contribute, even in a secondary role. This week's matchup with the Detroit Lions should provide him with a favorable opportunity to post solid fantasy numbers.
In the last month, the Lions rank third in most points allowed to fantasy running backs. Even though a lot of that comes from rushing production, running backs did post 23 receptions for 233 yards and three scores in that span. Cohen has just 26 carries for 63 yards on the season, but he's second on the Bears in targets (51) and receptions (34), along with 193 receiving yards and a touchdown.
Considering the struggles of Mitchell Trubisky, featuring Montgomery makes the most sense, although using Cohen out of the backfield or in the slot to provide Trubisky with a reliable, short-range target is reasonable too. Cohen has flex appeal with RB2 upside.
Kareem Hunt, RB, Cleveland Browns
This will likely be the only time Kareem Hunt is ever considered a sleeper, but if you need a little nudge in his direction, I'm here to provide it.
Obviously, his off-field issues are the reason he was released by the Kansas City Chiefs last season and why he was suspended for the first eight games of this season. He has not seen regular-season action since Week 13 of last season, and he will make his 2019 debut Sunday when the Browns host the Buffalo Bills.
The prime concern with Hunt is the presence of Nick Chubb. Over the first eight games, Chubb has 154 carries for 803 yards and six touchdowns with 25 receptions for 161 yards on 32 targets. Taking significant carries away from Chubb doesn't make sense since he's averaging 5.2 yards per carry behind a poor offensive line.
Initially, Hunt's primary source of production could be in the passing game. Chubb is a capable receiver out of the backfield, but he's not a dangerous receiver in the way Hunt has been in the past. That would be one way to get Hunt involved immediately while taking something off Chubb's plate to keep him fresher.
Finding more ways to generate offense should be a priority for the Browns. The team is 17th in yards per game and 25th in points per game. If the coaching staff believes Hunt can help, he should be used early and often in Week 10 to help pull this offense out of the funk it has been in for nearly the entire season. Hunt gets an RB3/flex distinction with a chance he winds up in the RB2 range.
Rhett Ellison, TE, New York Giants
We've reached the first of two Giants to make the sleepers list for Week 10. As always, it's important to consider the here and now when deciding on sleepers and not think about long term. Will Rhett Ellison be a name to remember for the rest of the season? Probably not, but he's in the mix this weekend for a couple of key reasons.
First, he's on track to be the team's top tight end in Week 10. Evan Engram's foot problems just won't go away, so Ellison is in line for a bigger role. Even though it wasn't a huge performance, he had his busiest game of the season with three receptions for 30 yards on seven targets when Engram sat out in Week 6.
In addition to Engram's absence, the Giants may also be without Sterling Shepard (concussion). In four games, Shepard averaged 8.5 targets per game and almost 6.3 receptions. Golden Tate should continue to lead the team, but there's room for at least one other Giants pass-catcher to make an impact.
Throw in the Jets as a middle-of-the-road defense against fantasy tight ends and a bottom-10 pass defense overall, and you have a good recipe for Ellison to be a deep sleeper at a position of need.
Mike Gesicki, TE, Miami Dolphins
Admittedly, relying on Dolphins can be a dangerous proposition, so it's understandable if you have some trepidation. Before you completely dismiss the idea of using Mike Gesicki, think about what's happened to the Dolphins offense over the last two weeks.
Kenyan Drake was shipped to Arizona prior to Week 9. He remains third on the Dolphins in targets (33) and receptions (22). During the Week 9 win over the Jets, Preston Williams, who leads the team in every receiving category, went down with a knee injury and will miss the rest of the season. Mark Walton was hit with a four-game suspension just when it looked like he was primed for a busy second half of the season.
That leaves Gesicki in a prime spot for lots of targets. We saw the first glimpse of that last week when he caught all six of his targets for 95 yards. He had just two other games with at least six targets and no other games with at least five receptions or 60 yards.
Because Gesicki is coming off his best game of the season and the team just lost two key offensive players, it's a little easier to give him a shot against an average Indianapolis Colts defense.
Zach Pascal, WR, Indianapolis Colts
Zach Pascal is likely the most obvious sleeper of the group for Week 10 because of his performance in Week 9 and another absence likely coming for T.Y. Hilton. Hilton sat last week with a calf injury, and Pascal came through with five receptions for 76 yards and a touchdown on six targets. In Hilton's only other absence, which came in Week 4, Pascal caught four of seven targets for 72 yards.
In two of his last three games, Pascal has at least six targets, at least five receptions, at least 76 receiving yards and at least one touchdown. The point is he's a somewhat proven commodity. It would help if Jacoby Brissett could start, but his knee injury has put his status in question. Still, Brian Hoyer is a capable enough backup that Pascal's fantasy value wouldn't take a huge hit this week.
The opportunity for Pascal should be what drives his value, but if you want a little more, just know he can do some damage against a below-average Dolphins defense versus wide receivers.
Daniel Jones, QB, New York Giants
It hasn't worked out too often, but I'm willing to give Daniel Jones another shot as a sleeper. His Week 9 performance against the Dallas Cowboys was nothing special, although that was somewhat expected. Just a week prior, he hit the Detroit Lions for 322 yards and four touchdowns. No one is expecting such strong production on a weekly basis, but it's nice to see he can do it.
We take a look at Jones for Week 10 because he represents the road Giants against the home Jets at MetLife Stadium. In the last four weeks, the Jets have been a bottom-10 defense against fantasy quarterbacks and, as noted earlier, the ninth-worst pass defense in the league. Of course, the eighth-worst is the Giants, which could turn this into a game that's all about offense.
Jones has thrown at least 35 passes in all but two starts this season, and he's hit 41 pass attempts in each of the last two games. Even with the injuries throughout the receiving corps, Jones can do enough to be a viable fantasy starter.
Ryan Tannehill, QB, Tennessee Titans
Since taking over the starting job in Week 7, Ryan Tannehill is the No. 5 fantasy quarterback with 64.6 points (21.5 average). He hasn't been playing at the highest level, but he's done a much better job than Marcus Mariota of taking measured risks. That won't always lead to fantasy production, yet Tannehill is allowing talented guys in A.J. Brown, Corey Davis and Jonnu Smith to make plays.
Tannehill gets a crack at the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 10, and the Chiefs rank as a bottom-10 defense against fantasy quarterbacks over the last four weeks, so there's nothing scary about the matchup. In fact, if the Titans defense struggles, this could turn into a high-scoring affair.
In three starts, Tannehill has at least 312 yards on two occasions, and he's had six touchdowns to three interceptions in those starts. He's also shown off his running ability with 13 carries for 42 yards and a touchdown. The bonus of his legs is always a plus, and this matchup should help too.
Tannehill could have enough volume against this average defense for some strong fantasy production. He'll have an outside chance of turning into a fantasy starter for Week 10.