Swimming Upstream: Week 10

Swimming Upstream: Week 10

Lineup Management

Swimming Upstream: Week 10

A popular tactic in fantasy football is known as “streaming,” where owners cycle through the best available matchups among waiver wire options from week to week. This strategy is most commonly used with defensive teams, place kickers, tight ends and sometimes even quarterbacks.

Week 10 bye teams: Buffalo Bills, Detroit Lions, Indianapolis Colts, Oakland Raiders

Quarterbacks to consider

Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

There is so much to like about the matchup that overlooking Cutler’s penchant for pitfall is not that difficult of a position to assume. Sure, he can go full-on meltdown with the best of them, but Cutler has had only one such game in his 18 appearances.

Scoring fantasy points is arguably a bigger concern. Cutler has topped 20 fantasy points twice in his last 10 appearances. Tampa Bay is equally as bad against the run as it is at limiting quarterbacks; running back Jordan Howard could be deployed 30 times in this one.

Tampa Bay has given up the most fantasy points (27.5) per contest since Week 4, originating from permissions of 319.5 passing yards and the second most points per completion. QBs have thrown a touchdown every 11 completions, which is the sixth most generous rate.

Trevor Siemian, Denver Broncos at New Orleans Saints

I’ll be forthright: My confidence in this recommendation is slim. With that out of the way, there is a case to be made for Siemian defying the odds. He has several capable weapons — elite, even — and a two-pronged backfield that offers enough running ability to keep New Orleans honest and still catch them sleeping in the flats with screen passes.

Siemian could find himself in a shootout if you believe there is a decent chance Drew Brees can exploit the best pass defense in football. This dominant unit is without top cornerback Aqib Talib. I am not naive: Denver’s secondary remains fierce without him. Derek Carr barely threw last week because of the ground game’s success; the point being, New Orleans can find ways to put this offense in catch-up mode.

Tight end to trust

Austin Hooper, Atlanta Falcons at Philadelphia Eagles

Hooper is on the upswing and deserves strong consideration in all formats. He will start in Week 10 and won’t have competition for touches from tight end Jacob Tamme, who is out again. The rookie has downfield ability and sees single coverage every play with all of the attention paid to Julio Jones and, to a lesser degree, Devonta Freeman.

Philadelphia has given up just 17 receptions, which isn’t necessarily Hooper’s thing anyway, since Week 4. More important, two of them have gone for touchdowns. That is the fifth best ratio for tight ends to exploit.

Cozy up with a kicker

Nick Novak, Houston Texans at Jacksonville Jaguars

Novak has averaged fantasy 9.3 points, or the fourth most on the year. He has hit 85.7 percent of his kicks and missed only one of his 12 point-after tries.

No team has yielded more fantasy points to the position since Week 4 than the Jaguars at an average of 12.5 in non-distance scoring. Kickers have been a perfect 14-for-14 from field goal range, including no fewer than three per outing over the last four contests.

Will Lutz, New Orleans Saints vs. Denver Broncos

Primarily fueled by extra points, Lutz ranks as the 11th highest scoring kicker on per-game averages. New Orleans has granted him 27 extra point chances, of which he has nailed each one. His field goal rate of 72.2 percent leaves something to be desired, although that number jumps to 85.6 percent in his last seven attempts.

Denver is down cornerback Aqib Talib, so as mentioned above, this could become an uncharacteristically high-scoring meeting from Denver’s perspective. If not, as it has usually played out, kickers have connected on 13 of 15 field goal chances but just seven of eight touchdown-capping kicks in the past five weeks.

Get daring with a defense

New York Jets vs. Los Angeles Rams

Big leap of faith here — New York hasn’t been productive for gamers since Week 1 when it scored eight fantasy points. This unit has produced 10 fantasy points in the past five games … COMBINED.

Los Angeles is the allure here. The Rams have coughed up only one fumble but Case Keenum has chucked eight interceptions over his last four starts. Twelve sacks and two defensive touchdowns allowed later, we’re looking at a fine opportunity to take a chance on Gang Green.

Washington Redskins vs. Minnesota Vikings

Minnesota has surrendered the most (tied) sacks in the past five weeks at 15 in four games. Defenses have mustered only one takeaway per contest, however. Sam Bradford does a good job of protecting the ball while eating the sack. For owners in leagues with special teams rewards, Minnesota has granted one touchdown in that time frame.

Washington has scored on a kick return since Week 4, logging 14 sacks and three takeaways in four games. Translation: There’s hope if you are desperate for a fantasy defensive dice roll.

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