Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 10: Debating Difficult Fantasy Football Lineup Decisions

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBANational NBA Featured ColumnistNovember 9, 2019

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - NOVEMBER 03:  David Montgomery #32 of the Chicago Bears carries the ball in the fourth quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on November 03, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.The Philadelphia Eagles defeated the Chicago Bears 22-14. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

There isn't a trickier question in the fantasy football realm than this: Who starts, and who sits?

Ace it, and you're almost assuredly celebrating a victory. For instance, if you rolled the dice on Hunter Henry on Thursday, you had to be thrilled with four catches for 30 yards and a score.

Guess wrong, though, and you're forcing yourself to make up groundor ruining your week. If you played either quarterback from Thursday, you're probably not feeling too great about your chances. Neither topped 200 yards, Derek Carr only threw one touchdown pass and Philip Rivers was intercepted three times.

This gameor hobby, or passion or even professioncan be unpredictable. But by opening this article, you've gained access to our always reliable* crystal ball to find our top starts and sits for Week 10.

*Disclaimer: Crystal-ball results not always reliable.


Start 'Em

QB: Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (vs. Cardinals)

RB: David Montgomery, Chicago Bears (vs. Lions)

WR: Christian Kirk, Arizona Cardinals (at Buccaneers)

TE: Greg Olsen, Carolina Panthers (at Packers)

D/ST: Indianapolis Colts (vs. Dolphins)


Sit 'Em

QB: Jared Goff, Los Angeles Rams (at Steelers)

RB: Joe Mixon, Cincinnati Bengals (vs. Ravens)

WR: Allen Robinson, Chicago Bears (vs. Lions)

TE: Jimmy Graham, Green Bay Packers (vs. Panthers)

D/ST: Seattle Seahawks (at 49ers)


Start: Jameis Winston vs. Arizona Cardinals

John Froschauer/Associated Press

The Buccaneers and Cardinals are the second- and fifth-worst teams, respectively, in points allowed per game. Each defense also holds bottom-five rankings against the pass.

Expect offense in this matchup, in other words. Oh, and more offense. And don't forget about more offense.

If each defense surrenders its usual allotment of points, the final score will land north of 59 total. Oddsmakers don't have it quite that high, but even then, a 52-point over/under, per Caesars Sportsbook, is still a giant number in this league.

While trusting Jameis Winston is never a comfortable endeavor, 2015's No. 1 pick loves to air it out, and his big games are monstrous. He has eclipsed 375 passing yards three times this season, and he had three-plus passing touchdowns in two of those outings. Considering the Cards have tied for the most passing scores allowed (24), Winston could have a field day in this shootout.


Sit: Jared Goff at Pittsburgh Steelers

Alex Gallardo/Associated Press

If you're thinking Pittsburgh's pass defense is one to exploit, it's time to update those scouting reports.

The Steelers have proved surprisingly stingy against aerial attacks. They've allowed just the 10th-most passing yards per game this season (228.0), and they've nearly erased their 15 touchdowns surrendered with 11 interceptions (third-most).

Now, shifting the focus to Jared Goff, he's not as potent a passer as casual fans might think.

He has just 11 touchdown throws on the season, which puts him in a tie for 18th and only a single score up on Pittsburgh's replacement starter Mason Rudolph (who's only played six games). Goff hasn't thrown three touchdowns in a game since last December. He also has the same completion percentage (61.1) and an equal number of interceptions (seven) as Ryan Fitzpatrick.

So, yeah, the production is not great. And it's typically less impressive on the road than at home. Three of his four highest-scoring games this season have come at home, and the lone exception saw him shred a Falcons defense that allows the third-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks, per Yahoo Sports. The Steelers are slightly less generous than that, surrendering the 22nd-most points to the position.


Start: David Montgomery vs. Detroit Lions

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - OCTOBER 27:  David Montgomery #32 of the Chicago Bears runs for yards during a game against the Los Angeles Chargers at Soldier Field on October 27, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. The Chargers defeated the Bears 17-16.  (Photo by Stacy Rev
Stacy Revere/Getty Images

If you spent the first half of the season beating the #FreeDavidMontgomery drum, then you've spent the last two weeks telling everyone this is why the rookie should've been freed in the first place.

He hadn't cracked 15 fantasy points in a game before Week 8. He's finished north of 21 each of the past two weeks.

In Week 8, he torched the Los Angeles Chargers for 135 rushing yards and a touchdown and had four receptions. On Sunday, he turned 17 touches into 76 scrimmage yards and had the first multi-score performance of his NFL career.

It's possible, though, that neither game was a breakout, but rather a buildup to what could be an enormous Week 10 effort.

He's drawing a Detroit defense that has allowed more fantasy points than anyone to the running back position. Six different players have rushed for at least one score against this defense. Four other running backs have snared a touchdown grab against it. Montgomery has the talent and, of late, the opportunity to do both on Sunday.


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