As we pass the midway point of the fantasy football season in Week 10, making WR start ’em or 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 wide receiver start ’em and sit ’em plays for Week 10 of fantasy football.
Week 10 Start’ Em or Sit’ Em: Wide Receiver
We are now officially in the back half of the fantasy regular season. Every start or sit decision begins to mean just that little bit more every single week. Let’s get into this week’s start ’em and sit ’em plays at the wide receiver position. Which wide receivers are starts heading into Week 10?
Start ‘Em | Tyler Johnson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@ WAS)
Some plays are obvious, while some are a bit more under the radar. But might I be able to interest you in a WR to start in Week 10 who is available in over 99% of leagues? I present to you, Tyler Johnson.
Antonio Brown is still hobbled with a heel/ankle issue, and Chris Godwin has yet to practice this week. Also, Rob Gronkowski won’t be “back to normal” for about 2-3 more weeks, according to head coach Bruce Arians.
Johnson has been a mega-producer when given the opportunity. In his last two seasons at the University of Minnesota (’18-’19), Johnson hauled in 164 receptions for 2,487 yards with 25 touchdowns. There was also this other guy on his team he was outproducing. Oh yeah, Rashod Bateman. You might have heard of him.
In games where he has seen 6+ targets in the NFL, Johnson has 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 at least 1 score and 70-plus yards receiving.
Start ‘Em | James Washington, Pittsburgh Steelers (vs. DET)
Similar to what is happening in Tampa Bay, the Steelers are running out of options. JuJu Smith-Schuster was placed on season-ending IR in Week 6. Additionally, Chase Claypool injured his toe last week, but MRI scans showed it should not be season-ending, but he will likely miss a few weeks.
James Washington has gone from requesting a trade to the No. 2 perimeter option for Big Ben. The Steelers are throwing nearly 62% of the time, and Washington has legitimate talent. It just so happens Washington plays on a team that is consistently loaded at the WR position. He’s a flex starter this week against the struggling Detroit Lions.
Start ‘Em | Jarvis Landry, Cleveland Browns (@ NE)
Without a doubt, this is a run-first team, so receivers are a bit capped when it comes to upside. But if you are looking for volume, Jarvis Landry ticks all the boxes. Since coming off the IR, Landry has caught 13 of 23 targets for 113 yards in his last three games. He is the unquestioned No. 1 option on Cleveland’s offense following the release of Odell Beckham Jr.
There is even a chance we see the Browns pass a bit more than normal, even if those are just quick hitters. Nick Chubb remains on the COVID-19/reserve list, as does Demetric Felton. Add in Kareem Hunt still on the IR, and the team is left with D’Ernest Johnson as the last man standing. I don’t believe the Browns want to rush Johnson 30.3 times this week (their average on the season). Landry comes in as a WR3 this week and has some upside in PPR formats as a starter.
Start ‘Em | Brandon Aiyuk, San Francisco 49ers (vs. LAR)
Alright, you win, Kyle Shanahan. For the first time all season, I will trust Brandon Aiyuk as a WR starter in fantasy. I’m sure I won’t regret this one bit.
In all seriousness, Aiyuk has strung two solid outings together. Over his last two games, Aiyuk has 10 receptions on 15 targets for 134 yards and a TD. It’s the best two-game stretch since Weeks 13 and 14 of last season. He remains the clear No. 3 on the 49ers behind Deebo Samuel and George Kittle, but in a game where San Francisco needs to put up points, Aiyuk is a viable play.
He is in that muddy WR3 range and can be started if you are brave enough (or are better at forgiving people than I might be).
Start ‘Em | Hunter Renfrow, Las Vegas Raiders (vs. KC)
In his first game without Henry Ruggs on the team, Hunter Renfrow was peppered with 9 targets against the Giants. He hauled in 7 receptions for 49 yards and a TD to finish as the WR11 on the week (17.9 PPR).
Renfrow has seen 7+ targets in six of his eight games and has accounted for 19.6% of the Raiders targets. He is a very low aDOT (average depth of target) guy (6.2 yards), but Renfrow is the player who keeps the drive alive for Derek Carr. The Raiders always seem to play the Chiefs tough, and with the Chiefs’ defense (the whole team really) playing poorly as of late, Renfrow could have a great fantasy week ahead of him.
Start ‘Em | Deonte Harris, New Orleans Saints (@ TEN)
The Saints’ passing game has given fantasy managers little to be excited about this season. Whether it is the up-and-down play of Jameis Winston or a lack of overall talent, things haven’t been great. But there’s a case to be made for Deonte Harris in some deeper fantasy football leagues.
Harris has 15 targets in his past two games and has recorded 9 receptions for 87 yards. He has shown explosive ability as well — in Week 5, he took his only target for a 72-yard touchdown.
Trevor Siemian is clearly looking his way when he drops back, and the matchup is excellent. Tennessee has allowed the most receptions (153) and yards (1,962) to WRs this season, and the Titans are tied for third with 12 touchdowns allowed to the position. He is a WR4 this week, but in 12-team or deeper leagues, Harris could be an upside starter.
Week 10 Start’ Em or Sit’ Em: Wide Receivers
Sometimes WRs have a problematic matchup, or maybe it comes down to inconsistent play, which forces them to remain on your bench. Whatever the reason, these wide receivers should be left off your starting roster in Week 10.
Sit ‘Em | Elijah Moore, New York Jets (@ DEN)
Every part of me wants to start Elijah Moore this week. I want him to be a weekly starter, and I believe he will be in Weeks 11 and 12, just not this week. Moore showed us a glimpse of his upside last Thursday when he caught 7 of 8 targets for 84 yards with 2 TDs against the Indianapolis Colts. But this matchup is awful for the Jets.
The Buffalo Bills are allowing the fewest fantasy points per game to WRs (25.35), yards per game (116), and has allowed just 2 touchdowns all season (first). The Jets are also expected to get Corey Davis back this week, adding another mouth for Magic Mike White to feed. Moore is a lower-end WR4 this week. Could he go off? Sure, but I am not sure if I can trust him given the matchup.
Sit ‘Em | DJ Moore, Carolina Panthers (@ ARI)
I hate it here. I don’t want to write this or live in a reality where DJ Moore is not balling out and stealing souls. But, if you have a better option, you might want to consider sitting Moore in Week 10.
Over the last five weeks, Moore has finished as the WR58, WR38, WR26, WR44, and WR46 while averaging 4.6 receptions and 55.8 yards on 9 targets with no touchdowns (7.8 points). He hasn’t been reliable with Sam Darnold, so I have no reason to expect Moore to all of a sudden be a WR2 with P.J. Walker.
Now, next week, with newly signed Cam Newton as he takes on Ron Rivera … then you have my attention. If you have to start Moore, do it, but if you have someone in a comparable tier, I would lean their way as the Panthers likely struggle against the Arizona Cardinals.
Sit ‘Em | Donovan Peoples-Jones, Cleveland Browns (@ NE)
There is no ignoring what Donovan Peoples-Jones has been doing as of late. In his last three games, Peoples-Jones has caught 11 of 14 targets for 275 yards and 3 TDs. Last week, he caught 2 passes for 86 yards, with the majority on a 60-yard touchdown.
The problem will always be volatility: Cleveland will always be a run-first team, and if Peoples-Jones and Baker Mayfield are off by just a yard and these deep passes don’t hit, he loses most of his value. 62.5% of his yards in the last two games (117 of 187) have come on a pair of receptions. The Patriots have allowed only 29 receptions of 20 yards or more (17th) and just three of 40 or more (seventh-fewest).
Sit ‘Em | Tim Patrick, Denver Broncos (vs. PHI)
Tim Patrick has been solid this season and has been for the last two years, honestly. This season, Patrick has caught 34 of 47 targets for 509 yards and 4 TDs. But the Broncos have Jerry Jeudy back, and Noah Fant has been activated from the COVID-19/reserve list ahead of this week’s matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles.
This season, the Eagles have been problematic to WRs, allowing the sixth-fewest points to the position (29.32) and have allowed only four receivers to score 15 or more PPR points in a game. I like his talent, but Patrick should be sat this week for fantasy.