With Week 10 looming – I know, hard to believe – we’re cutting to the chase in the fantasy season. And if you haven’t already streamlined your lineups and rosters, it’s most definitely time with your league trade deadlines approaching and another round of waivers on tap.
In short, it’s time to send the underperformers packing and restock your roster/lineup with secure, high-floor players and/or those boom-or-bust swing players who offer top-five upside in any given week, depending on your position in the standings. In other words, we’re eyeing value from both ends of the week-to-week fantasy consistency spectrum.
To aid in that endeavor, we’re highlighting four names (one from each of the four main positions) in each category, with the common theme being that these players are currently hovering outside must-start territory in standard-sized leagues – 11th and below in the full-season rankings for quarterbacks and tight ends and 21st and below for running backs and wide receivers – and are flying just beneath the fantasy main-screen radar for a variety of reasons. For our purposes here, we are using the rankings and point-per-reception scoring system from the MFL Huddle Expert 10 league.
Here goes …
QB Josh Allen (Bills)
Current position rank: 14th
Much like the 6-2 Bills as a whole, Allen has been a quietly consistent productive performer ranking 14th among quarterbacks. He’s scored at least 17.60 fantasy points in every game he’s finished (he had 14.72 when he was literally knocked out of action early in Week 4 vs. the Patriots) and has ranked among the top 14 QBs in each of those seven weeks, pending the outcome of the Week 9 Monday night game. Allen helps sustain his high floor with his legs, averaging 30.8 rushing yards and 6.1 fantasy rushing points per outing, and is the ideal No. 2 starter in a two-quarterback league.
RB Jamaal Williams (Packers)
Current position rank: 24th
Williams provided one of the few highlights Sunday on a disappointing offensive afternoon for the Packers in L.A., scoring the team’s only touchdown in a 26-11 loss to the host Chargers. Williams scored on a 10-yard reception in the fourth quarter, giving him five receiving TDs on the season – one each in his last four contests – which is tied with the Bolts’ Austin Ekeler for the most among running backs so far. Williams was knocked out early in the Week 4 game against the Eagles with a concussion that caused him to sit out the ensuing week as well, but in his other six games from Week 2 onward, Williams has tallied at 10.6 fantasy points in each outing and has been a steady producer alongside fellow Green Bay RB Aaron Jones’ boom-and-bust weeks.
WR DeVante Parker (Dolphins)
Current position rank: 37th
Playing for one of the league’s worst teams can have its fantasy advantages, especially when racking up catches and yards in the over-abundance of junk time. Parker has reeled in a scoring pass in four of his last five games and has reached double-digit PPR points in five straight contests and six of his eight outings overall on the season. It may be running counter to the Dolphins’ tanking goal, but QB Ryan Fitzpatrick’s reinstatement as the team’s starter has breathed some undeniable life into the Miami passing game, and Parker – especially with the season-ending ACL tear sustained Sunday by fellow wideout Preston Williams – is now firmly on the weekly WR3/flex radar.
TE Dallas Goedert (Eagles)
Current position rank: 17th
Teammate Zach Ertz, who ranks fifth overall at the position after a 25.3-fantasy point day Sunday vs. the Bears, is still the Philly tight end of fantasy renown, but don’t overlook Goedert who’s scored at least 7.9 points in five of his last six games. The second-year tight end has had at least five targets and three catches in each of his last four contests and has caught a TD pass in three of them. So at a position where consistent production is at a premium, Goedert gives his fantasy general managers a steady weekly option.
Daniel Jones (Giants)
Position rank entering Monday night: 22nd
As this was written, the Giants’ rookie QB had yet to play in the Week 9 Monday night game, but his previous outing was a 30.18-point outburst against the Lions which led all fantasy quarterbacks in Week 8. Jones’ only game better than that came in his memorable Week 3 starting debut in which he shredded the host Bucs for 336 passing yards, 28 rushing yards and four total TDs to finish as the QB2 on the week with 38.24 points. In his other four starts in between, Jones hasn’t topped 16.42 points while totaling four TDs and seven interceptions. So in the right matchup, Jones can definitely deliver, and that’s something to keep in mind if you’re planning to keep riding the tide in the QB stream down the stretch.
RBs Tevin Coleman & Matt Breida (49ers)
Current position ranks: 31st, 32nd
We lump this duo together as they’re the top two running backs on the league’s most productive rushing offense west of Baltimore. Coleman, as you’ll likely recall, was the overall RB2 in Week 8 with 37.8 points, including a quartet of touchdowns, but followed that up with a season-worst 5.6-point dud Thursday night in Arizona. Breida, similarly, had a monster Week 5 with 27.9 points on Monday Night Football but totaled only a combined 20.9 points over the ensuing three weeks. With Coleman and Breida averaging a combined 29.6 touches per game on an offense averaging 171.1 rushing yards (second in the league) and 390.3 total yards (fifth), there is definite weekly top-five individual potential, even though we’re not always certain which of these Niners backs will pop in any given game.
JuJu Smith-Schuster (Steelers)
Current position rank: 34th
Since starting QB Ben Roethlisberger was lost for the season in Week 2, here are Smith-Schuster’s weekly fantasy point totals with a Week 7 bye mixed in: 17.1, 4.5, 20.5, 1.7, 21.3 and 4.6. Yikes, what a crazy roller-coaster, and it definitely was a down week Sunday as JJSS finished with only three receptions for 16 yards on five targets in relatively high-scoring tussle with the visiting Colts. If the pattern holds, Smith-Shuster is due for another top-20 WR week next Sunday afternoon against the visiting Rams. That makes Smith-Shuster a buy-low trade target this week or a hit-or-miss swing player if you already roster the second-year Steel City wideout.
TE Gerald Everett (Rams)
Current position rank: 13th
Everett has finished as a top-seven tight end in three of eight weeks this season, totaling at least 15 fantasy points on each occasion. In his other five games, he’s had 5.1 points or fewer and finished as the weekly TE22 or lower. In total, 75.3 percent of Everett’s 2019 fantasy production came in those three games, leaving him as a true boom-or-bust option in the Rams’ boom-or-bust passing attack.
- Take note of the Buffalo RB situation as Sunday, for the first time this season, rookie Devin Singletary out-touched veteran Frank Gore, and it was by a decisive 23-11 margin. Singletary, who had missed Weeks 3-5 with a hamstring injury, hadn’t had more than nine touches in any contest since Week 1, but turned his sizable Sunday workload into 145 total yards and a TD, good for 23 PPR points. Singletary has now found his way into the end zone in three of five games this season, and with the 36-year-old Gore only averaging only 2.45 yards on his 20 carries over the last two weeks, signs point toward the explosive Singletary, who’s averaging a nice 7.12 yards per touch, taking over as the Bills’ lead back down the stretch.
- Without injured No. 1 WR Y. Hilton, and as it turned out, starting QB Jacoby Brissett, wideouts Zach Pascal (five receptions for 76 yards and a TD on six targets), Parris Campbell (5-53-0 on five) and Chester Rogers (3-22-1 on five) led the Colts in targets Sunday in Pittsburgh, But aside from perhaps Pascal in 12-team and larger leagues, any Indy wide receiver is going to be hard to trust until Hilton returns, and we might have to wait until after Thanksgiving for that.
- In the same game, the host Steelers played without top RB James Conner for the first time this season, and with rookie RB Benny Snell also sidelined, backups Jaylen Samuels and Trey Edmunds were heavily involved. Samuels left a lot to be desired as a rusher with all of 10 yards on eight carries while also losing a fumble but he was nothing short of sensational as a pass-catcher, snaring a Sunday running back-high 13 receptions on a team-leading 13 targets for 73 yards. Meanwhile, Trey Edmunds led the Steelers in rushing with 73 yards on 12 carries, courtesy of a 45-yard burst, but didn’t draw a target in the passing game. Samuels is the Steelers back you want, particularly in PPR leagues, as long as Conner is out with his AC joint injury, and it’s sounding like his absence could extend at least one more week.
- The perplexing slump continued for Chargers WR Keenan Allen on Sunday as he managed only three catches for 40 yards on four targets – his sixth straight game with 12.3 or fewer PPR points. Over the first three weeks of the season, Allen paced the league with a whopping 87.7 points, reeling in 29-of-42 targets for 404 yards and a trio of TDs. In the aforementioned six games since, Allen has caught 25-of-43 targets for 253 yards and no scores – good for only 50.3 fantasy points.
- Two young tight ends on the rise are the Dolphins’ Mike Gesicki and the Broncos’ Noah Fant, and they’re tied for sixth at the position with 20 targets apiece over the last four weeks. Gesicki has caught 15 of his 20 targets for 197 yards and no scores while Fant has caught 11 of 20 for 164 yards and one score – his 75-yard catch-and-run (through tacklers) Sunday against the Browns. With the wide-receiver corps having taken hits on each team of late (with Williams’ aforementioned injury and the Broncos’ trade of Emmanuel Sanders to the 49ers), Gesicki and Fant figure to be even more involved down the stretch.