It’s week ten of the NFL season and running backs remain a mystery on a weekly basis in fantasy football. Most likely, the running back you chose in the early rounds of your draft is either out with an injury or has disappointed. But in the NFL and and fantasy football, the “next man up” rule applies. Look at DeAngelo Williams of the Pittsburgh Steelers or Jeremy Langford of the Chicago Bears, both had great weeks replacing the starter and should be starters until further notice.
Pro-tip: The San Fransico 49ers, San Diego Chargers, Indianapolis Colts and Atlanta Falcons have bye weeks. Without further ado, here is the week ten start ’em and sit ’em:
Andy Dalton (Quarterback/Cincinnati Bengals)
Andy Dalton is a man on a mission. Despite his underwhelming pre-game speeches, Dalton is a MVP candidate and guiding the Bengals to there best start in franchise history. In fantasy, Dalton finds himself among the scoring leaders for quarterbacks. This week, Dalton faces the Houston Texans who’ve given up the eighth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks. Add that Dalton has nine touchdowns and one interception at home this year, Dalton is a must-start.
LeGarrette Blount (Running back/New England Patriots)
With Dion Lewis suffering a season-ending injury, LaGarrette Blount will receive more of a workload. It’s difficult to predict how many times the Patriots will run the ball, but Blount is their guy. Blount faces the New York Giants this week, who struggle against the run. The Giants have allowed 115 yards per game and four yards per carry. Look for Bill Belicheck to exploit that weakness and feed Blount.
Michael Crabtree (Wide receiver/Oakland Raiders)
Michael Crabtree has re-emerged as a go-to receiver in the league. After a disappointing season with San Franscisco, Crabtree was a free agent and struggled to field offers. Luckily, the other team in the Bay area picked him up and, along with an up and coming quarterback in Derek Carr, Crabtree looks like he turned back the clock. Crabtree has four touchdowns and at least six catches the last three games. Going against a Minnesota defense may be a tough task to repeat such performances, but expect fellow wide receiver Amari Cooper to get much of the defensive attention and Crabtree to receive more targets.
Russell Wilson (Quarterback/Seattle Seahawks)
What happened to the Seahawks? With the addition of Jimmy Graham, Russell Wilson finally had a go-to target. Although Wilson has thrown a touchdown in every game this year, there are much better options at quarterback this week. Wilson faces an Arizona defense that has given up the fifth-fewest fantasy points to quarterback this year.
Jonathan Stewart (Running back/Carolina Panthers)
Jonathan Stewart is a prime example of the mystery running back in fantasy. Going into the season there was no more splitting carries, it was Stewart’s job to lose. But he has only ran for over 100 yards once and Cam Newton is more of a red-zone threat. Panthers fans love “STEWWW,” but a tough matchup this week calls for a sit ’em. The Tennessee Titans are not a very good football team, but one thing they do well is defend the run. The Titans have given up the sixth-fewest points to running backs this year.
Jeremy Maclin (Wide receiver/Kansas City Chiefs)
After an impressive start in the first quarter of the season, Jeremy Maclin has fallen off. Maybe it’s because Maclin is the only legitimate threat on the outside for the Chiefs, one thing is sure Maclin should be on the bench this week. Facing a division rival in the Denver Broncos, Maclin will have a difficult time separating himself from the tenacious Denver cornerbacks. This is a Denver defense that gives up the second-fewest points to opposing receivers in fantasy this year.
Pickup of the Week
Dorial Green-Beckham (Wide receiver/Tennessee Titans)
This is a move that should be a considered a “stash” play. That may have been made up, but Dorial Green-Beckham’s talent is not. Coming out of high school, Green-Beckham was a top prospect. Some even compared him to Randy Moss. But character issues derailed his collegiate career and followed him to the pros. Green-Beckham hasn’t shown much production, but interim head coach Mike Mularkey wants to involve him in the offense more. The first week with Mularkey as head coach, Green-Beckham had ten targets and finished with five catches for 77 yards. Owners in need of depth at the wide receiver position should consider Green-Beckham, as he is owned in only 17 percent of leagues.