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November 08, 2019

Fantasy football: Start Jameis Winston, sit Odell Beckham in Week 10

With Week 10 upon us, many fantasy leagues are closing in on the playoffs, and that makes every roster decision you make all the more important, especially with so many injury concerns around the NFL. Now, more than ever, it's pivotal that team owners make the right choices each week when choosing who to sit and start. 

We've already provided a few names to watch on the waiver wire. Now, as we do every week, let's take a look at one player at each position we recommend starting and one we recommend sitting this weekend. 

(We're not including guys like Saquon Barkley, Christian McCaffrey, or others who are obvious starts each and every week.)


Start: Jameis Winston, TB (vs. ARI) — The Winston-to-Mike-Evans connection has been firing lately, and on Sunday he'll face the NFL's last-ranked passing defense in the Cardinals. The problem for Winston this season, much like in past seasons, has been his inconsistency, but he has everything working in his favor on Sunday against an Arizona defense that can seem to stop opposing quarterbacks — or wide receivers for that matter. And when the Winston and Evans are in sync, that typically leads to a big day for the quarterback. In the last two games, they've connected for 23 receptions for 278 yards and three touchdowns. (For those keeping track at home, that's fairly close to what Eagles WR Nelson Agholor has done ... over ALL NINE GAMES he's played this season: 32 recs, 282 yards, 3 TDs.) I know this is about the quarterback, but those two positions go hand-in-hand.

Going back to Winston for a moment, this is the only evidence you need to start him against the Cardinals. Arizona has allowed at least 30 points to opposing QBs in six of their games this season, including in two straight. With guys like Tom Brady, Carson Wentz and Deshaun Watson all on byes this week, there's no reason not to put him in your lineup. 

Sit: Jared Goff, LAR (at PIT) — Goff is typically a pretty good fantasy quarterback, but that tends to change when he plays on the road, as he will be doing this week in Pittsburgh. He had a decent showing in his last road game before the bye, but that was indoors against a struggling Falcons team. This week, he'll face a much tougher Steelers defense that has not given up a ton of points to opposing quarterbacks this season. Not only that, but they don't give up a ton of points in general, and they're third in the NFL with 11 interceptions through eight games. They're also second overall in the NFL with 22 total takeaways and fifth with 25 sacks. Add that all together, and Sunday isn't looking so pleasant for Goff. 

Running back

Start: David Montgomery, CHI (vs. DET) — The Bears rookie running back has seemingly found something of late, with 223 total yards and three touchdowns on 48 touches (including seven receptions) over his last two games. And on Sunday, he'll get a favorable matchup against a Lions defense that has allowed over 120 yards rushing in six of eight games this season and has allowed at least 160 rushing yards in three of their last four games. Expect a healthy dose of Montgomery on Sunday.

Sit: Ty Johnson, DET (at CHI) — On the other sideline, you have Ty Johnson, who has become almost droppable in every format. When Kerryon Johnson went down, it looked like Johnson might be a potential waiver wire steal, but now, after just 20 touches (four receptions) for 74 yards in two games, it's looking more and more like J.D. McKissic might be the better option out of Detroit's backfield. Stay away from Johnson in this one, and probably in every game going forward until he shows otherwise. 

Wide receiver

Start: Emmanuel Sanders, SF (vs. SEA) — It was quite the surprise this week when I went to check the waiver wire in the PhillyVoice fantasy league and saw that Sanders was still available — ah, the joys of playing in an eight-team league. After a strong showing in his first two games with the 49ers (11 catches on 14 targets, 137 yards and two TDs), he's certainly warranted playing time in most fantasy leagues, especially in PPR formats. The Seahawks defense certainly isn't what it once was, but even if it was, Sanders might still be a strong start this week.  

Sit: Odell Beckham, CLE (vs. BUF) — Boy, what a disappointment Beckham has been for fantasy owners this season, and I'm speaking from experience here. This category is literally an example of what's happening on my roster this weekend. I'm sitting Beckham in favor of Sanders and it's not really even a question. Of course, this will be the week that Beckham finally goes off, but after him giving basically nothing week after week, he'll have to earn his way back into a starting spot. It also doesn't help that he's barely seen any red sone targets this year. 

Tight end

Start: Jonnu Smith, TEN (vs. KC) — With Delanie Walker expected to miss Sunday's game against the Chiefs, Smith remains a worthwhile start. Sure, he had a terrible week last time out, but in his previous two games, he accumulated nine catches for 142 yards and a touchdown. With Corey Davis listed as doubtful (in addition to Walker being out again), those targets are going to have to go somewhere. Look for Smith to be the beneficiary.

Sit: T.J. Hockenson, DET (at CHI) — Fantasy football is a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately game, and in the case of Hockenson, the answer to that question is not a whole hell of a lot. The Lions tight end hasn't scored a touchdown since Week 4 and has posted an average of just six points in PPR leagues in his four games since. The Lions certainly throw the ball enough, just not to Hockenson. 

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