As we are now beyond the halfway point of the NFL season, and well beyond the halfway point of the fantasy season, you may be wondering to yourself how we got here. Through numerous injuries to critical fantasy players, a generally mediocre standard of play and jumping through fantasy hula hoops, we're here now. We're still dealing with the last few bye weeks, but more notably the injuries and the bad play, but don't worry now, it's kinda almost done... sort of.
Byes: PHI, OAK, KC, BAL
Start of the Week: RB Jordan Howard (CHI) vs. GB
You probably drafted him very highly, and have been conflicted with mixed feelings on him all year. It's been week-to-week with Howard, but this week is looking up against a Packers team that has been defensively quite weak away from home. The Bears offense is centered on Howard and what he can do, but this may be the week he finally gets back into form.
Who to Start:
QB Matthew Stafford (DET) vs. CLE: "Anyone against the Browns" becomes the name of the game here, as Stafford, who hasn't really lit it up all year, might finally find the ways and means to do so against the horrific Browns defense who pretty much can't do anything right.
RB Carlos Hyde (SF) vs. NYG: He was on point for players in a PPR league last week, having his best game of the season. The Giants can't do anything right at this point other than showing up at the stadium on time, meaning Hyde might put together back-to-back dynamic performances.
WR Adam Thielen (MIN) at WSH: With injuries elsewhere on the offense, Thielen has stepped up to become a true PPR machine. But even in standard leagues, his game at Washington is favorable. Slot receivers do fairly well against DC, and it stands to reason form holds again here.
WR Robby Anderson (NYJ) at TB: Yep, a Jets wideout is a good fantasy play this week. Who would have ever imagined that in August? Anderson has been playing the best of all Jets receivers of late, and his game in Tampa against the poorer than expected Bucs defense is very favorable.
TE Hunter Henry (LAC) at JAX: The Jaguars have the league's most fearsome pass defense, which means they'd also shut down tight ends too, right? Not quite. Tyler Kroft had a decent game last week even with only a few targets, and Henry could perform similarly on Sunday.
DEF LA Rams vs. HOU: Tom Savage ain't DeShaun Watson, that's for sure.
Sit of the Week: RB Ameer Abdullah (DET) vs. CLE
For everything the Browns do wrong, they are very good at stopping the run, and that has been true all season. Abdullah could have had a huge game Monday night against Green Bay, but fumble-itis wrecked those chances, and he could still be in the doghouse come Sunday. Matchup and form do not favor the Lions RB here.
Who to Sit:
QB Kirk Cousins (WSH) vs. MIN: Despite his heroics last week against Seattle, he and the Washington offense still struggled mightily down almost all of their bullets. Minnesota's defense may be even better, meaning Cousins is pretty much a must sit this week.
RB Aaron Jones (GB) at CHI: The dreaded split backfield has appeared in Green Bay, with Jones and Montgomery exchanging touches with no good way to know who will get more week-to-week. The Bears aren't very good, but their defense has been strong at home It's hard to recommend Jones or Montgomery this week.
WR Kelvin Benjamin (BUF) vs. NO: He will make his Bills debut against the Saints, which means he'll be Tyrod Taylor's number one target. That's good. However, in his five career games against New Orleans, he's averaged 38 yards per game and only reeled in one TD. And that was against a historically bad Saints defense.
WR Will Fuller (HOU) at LAR: It was a fun few weeks when DeShaun Watson was the QB for the Texans for the NFL world and for Will Fuller. But with Tom Savage, let's just say no one is enjoying life nearly as much. And the Rams defense is infinitely better than that of the Colts, so Fuller's fortunes are going downhill, fast.
TE Julius Thomas (MIA) at CAR MON: Don't go fantasy chasing, my friends. Thomas had a great game against the Raiders, but his performance in the prior four games combined didn't match what he did against the Raiders, so expecting a repeat of that performance let's just say is unlikely.
DEF Denver vs. NE: Is the shine off the Broncos defense? Perhaps. They have too much to do now to carry that incredibly poor offense, and that doesn't bode well against the Patriots Sunday night. It's hard to sit them, but it may be high time to consider it.
3 Super Sleepers:
QB Eli Manning (NYG) at SF: I know, I know. But we're talking strictly matchups here, and let's be honest, the 49ers are not very good at playing football. You'd have to be really digging deep to start Eli here, but it's not the worst option out there this week.
RB Derrick Henry (TEN) vs. CIN: With DeMarco Murray nursing a knee injury, Henry becomes more viable as a fantasy option. The Bengals rush defense didn't do a great job stopping backups against the Jaguars last week, so Henry could be in for a big day on Sunday as well.
WR JuJu Smith-Schuster (PIT) at IND: As he celebrates finally getting his driver's license, he should show it on the field by potentially putting in a great performance against the Colts. He's clearly the second WR on the Steeler depth chart now, and that's positive for him against the Colts who aren't really the greatest at playing defense.
WR Jordy Nelson (GB) at CHI: You can't really sit him at this point because of the draft capital you invested, but with Brett Hundley moving the offense along at a snail's pace, there's not much else left to say. The Bears defense is also stingy at home, and this is not a good combination.
Good luck in Week 10!