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Tommy Garrett’s Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em Week 10: Carson Wentz, D’Ernest Johnson, and Pat Freiermuth among must-starts

With the NFL in full swing and fantasy football lineups being set, who makes the list of the top start 'em and sit 'em options for Week 10?

We are now on the back half of the fantasy football season, making start ’em and sit ’em decisions begin to carry even more weight as teams separate themselves from the pack. With not all matchups being equal, here are our top start ’em and sit ’em plays for Week 10 of fantasy football. 

NFL Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em for Week 10: Quarterbacks

While the focus in the majority of fantasy leagues falls on skill positions, quarterbacks in most cases bring the highest weekly total. Which QBs are must-starts, and who should remain on the bench in Week 10?

Start ‘Em | Carson Wentz, Indianapolis Colts (vs. JAX)

I am all in on Carson Wentz. He has gone from someone who no one wanted to touch on draft day to a potential streamer and is now a weekly QB1. Since Week 4 (when he no longer had dueling sprained ankles), Wentz has completed 65% of his passes, averaged 251 passing yards, and posted a 14:2 TD-to-INT ratio while adding a rushing TD. He’s even thrown for 2 or more TDs in six straight games. 

In four of his last five games, Wentz has finished as a QB1 or better (top 12) and is averaging 20.5 points. He is a weekly locked-in starter and gets the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 10, who have let six of eight QBs finish as a QB1. Fire him into your lineups.

Sit ‘Em | Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns (@ NE)

Look, I love this self-grabbing, flag-planting son of a gun. Mayfield’s just got it. If you got fantasy points from that, Mayfield and Gardner Minshew would be first-round picks. Unfortunately, that’s not a thing yet, and Mayfield remains a non-starter in 1QB leagues.

Mayfield is averaging only 28.1 pass attempts per game and has finished as a top-10 QB in just one game with six weeks outside the top 18. Even with Nick Chubb (COVID-19) likely out for Week 10, I don’t see this offense moving away from what they are. The New England Patriots are also running a low-tempo offense, and I don’t see Mayfield as a fantasy asset in Week 10.

Running Backs

Both these RBs found themselves with adjusted roles following injuries to surrounding players and poor play from others. However, they’re on opposite sides of start/sit debates for Week 10.

Start ‘Em | D’Ernest Johnson, Cleveland Browns (@ NE)

The last time D’Ernest Johnson was in this situation as the likely lead back, I was lukewarm on him from a fantasy aspect. You learn from your misses, and I’m not making the same mistake again this time. In Week 7 — when both Chubb and Kareem Hunt were out — Johnson rushed 22 times for 146 yards with a touchdown while adding 22 yards on 2 receptions against the Denver Broncos, who we viewed as a difficult matchup.

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I’m not saying he will be the RB4 on the week, but Johnson comes in as a low-end RB1/high-end RB2. Demetric Felton is also on the reserve/COVID-19 list, and while there is a slim chance they could suit up, I would not expect it. Johnson is a must-start RB in Week 10 for fantasy.

Sit ‘Em | Antonio Gibson, Washington Football Team (vs. TB)

I don’t like doing this as I really like Antonio Gibson. But I have too many concerns to feel confident about him this week. For one, Gibson still has the shin injury he is battling. He has scored 19 PPR points combined in the past three games and has not scored a TD since Week 5. 

Then we have the Buccaneers’ run defense. They’re No. 11 in fantasy points allowed to RBs (22.18) but have allowed the second-fewest rushing yards to the position this season (447) and just 2 TDs. Gibson is closer to an RB3 this week, and there might be higher upside players like Johnson or even Devin Singletary to start ahead of him.

NFL Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em for Week 10: Wide Receivers

The WR position is the deepest position in fantasy football, with a plethora of quality starting options to choose from every single week. As matchups can be the final deciding factor, here are some of the start ’em or sit ’em recommendations for Week 10.

Start ‘Em | Tyler Johnson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@ WAS)

Antonio Brown is not ready to come back yet, and Chris Godwin might also miss the game as he deals with a foot injury. Add in Rob Gronkowski not yet his old self, and Tyler Johnson could be a significant member of the Buccaneers’ passing offense.

Johnson is available in over 99% of fantasy leagues. In games where he has seen 6 or more targets, Johnson has averaged 4 receptions and 63 yards. One of those contests came last week, where he hauled in 5-of-6 for 65 yards.

The Buccaneers take on Washington, who ranks 31st in fantasy points allowed to WRs at 43.0 per game. Do not be surprised if Johnson ends Week 10 around the WR2 range with 70 or so yards and even finds the end zone. If you need a flex play this week with upside, start Johnson in fantasy.

Sit ‘Em | Courtland Sutton, Denver Broncos (vs. PHI)

It just takes one deep target for Courtland Sutton to be worth the start in any given week. Sutton is third in the NFL in air yards with 1,027 and has an aDOT (average depth of target) of 16.0 yards downfield.

With that said, Sutton has been a non-factor since Jerry Jeudy came off the IR (ankle). In their three games this season when both have been on the field, Sutton has combined for 4 receptions, 63 yards, and no touchdowns on 9 targets.

The Broncos take on the Eagles this week, who have been a brutal matchup for opposing WRs. Philadelphia allows the fourth-fewest fantasy points per game (29.3) and are sixth in yards allowed (131.6). This week, Sutton comes in as a shaky WR3, who I would look to sit if I had better options on my roster.

Tight Ends

It’s notoriously hard for fantasy managers to find consistent production from the tight end position. In Week 10, start ’em or sit ’em decisions could mean the difference between a win or a loss as the margins are razor-thin.

Start ‘Em | Pat Freiermuth, Pittsburgh Steelers (vs. DET)

There is no limit to how much Muth can get luth. Say it with me, Pat Freiermuth is a TE1 for the rest of the fantasy football season. He has scored over 12 PPR points in three straight games while recording 16 receptions on 20 targets for 145 yards with 3 touchdowns.

Ben Roethlisberger’s inability to push the ball downfield has forced him to hyper-target guys underneath. That’s why Diontae Johnson is on pace for 168 targets despite being hurt for part of his games. Similarly, Najee Harris is on pace for 104, which would have him tied for the 12th-most for an RB since 2000 and would be the fourth-most for a rookie RB since the merger in 1970.

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Roethlisberger’s average intended air yards of 6.8 is the third-lowest in the NFL. He has the quickest time to throw by over half a second at 2.38 (Taylor Heinicke – 2.9). And he has attempted 192 passes of 5 yards or fewer (71.3%), with 50 of those behind the LOS.

So not only do you have an extremely versatile athlete in Freiermuth, but he is also with a QB who targets his area of the field more than anyone. I could not be more all-in on Freiermuth unless I had grease from Primanti Bros. on my fingers as I typed this out. 

Sit ‘Em | Jared Cook, Los Angeles Chargers (vs. MIN)

For a guy in his 13th NFL season who is on a new team, Jared Cook has been solid for the Chargers. With that said, he’s been hit or miss for fantasy managers.

He has finished as a TE1 in just three of his games this season. He had a decent game last week, catching 4 passes for 48 yards, including a 2-point conversion. Nevertheless, he watched as Stephen Anderson and Donald Parham Jr. both found the end zone while seeing a combined 7 targets.

The Chargers have Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, and Austin Ekeler, meaning Cook would be the No. 4 option at best. But he is now in this messy and convoluted committee for the ever so critical red-zone targets.

Cook gets a matchup with the Vikings this week, who allow the sixth-fewest fantasy points to the position (8.73) and is one of just three teams (Broncos and Saints) who have yet to surrender a receiving TD to a tight end. Cook should remain on fantasy benches in Week 10.

Tommy Garrett is a Fantasy Analyst for Pro Football Network and is a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA). You can read all of Tommy’s work here, listen to him on PFN’s Fantasy Football podcast, and check out his contributions in PFN’s free fantasy newsletter. Give him a follow on Twitter: @TommyGarrettPFN.

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