We have another week with six teams on bye? Who planned this? The six teams on bye in Week 10 are Indianapolis Colts, Minnesota Vikings, New England Patriots, San Diego Chargers, Washington Redskins and Houston Texans.
Good news, this is the last “big” week of byes. Bad news, there is a ton of fantasy talent on those teams. With a few major players currently “questionable” for this week due to injury (Tony Romo, Giovanni Bernard, Lamar Miller, Calvin Johnson), our options may be even more limited. Let’s try to build a daily fantasy football lineup that will reward you in Week 10.
Elite, Expensive: Aaron Rodgers, GB (Week 10 vs Chicago)
Rodgers is expected to play in this big division rivalry game in Week 10. He is coming off a bye, so he should be fully healthy. Chicago is allowing the fourth most fantasy points to quarterbacks. I expect Green Bay to come out of their bye looking to make a statement they are the team to beat in the NFC North. That statement begins with Rodgers thumping the Bears.
Middle of the Road: Carson Palmer, ARI (Week 10 vs St. Louis)
Outside of Big Ben and Tom Brady, Palmer has quietly become a hot quarterback that is considered a top 12 option. Since coming back from injury in Week 6, Palmer has nine touchdowns, 1,081 yards, and two interceptions. He now plays at home against a generous St. Louis Rams defense. Plug him in with confidence.
Cheap, High Upside: Matt Ryan, ATL (Week 10 @ Tampa Bay)
Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons are coming off their bye, so presumably, they are now healthy. There is not a much better gift coming off a bye than to play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who are allowing the second most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. This is the week that Atlanta and Ryan get back on track, build confidence, and rattle off a few wins.
Elite, Expensive: Andre Ellington, ARI (Week 10 vs St. Louis)
With six teams on bye again and given the matchups, there aren’t any “must start” running backs in Week 10. One of the more consistent running backs with at least one touchdown or over 85 total yards the past five weeks is Ellington. In Week 9, he posted 95 rushing yards and 39 receiving yards with a receiving touchdown. He is one of the better options for this week.
Middle of the Road: Bobby Rainey, TB (Week 10 vs Atlanta)
Rainey will remain the number one running back in Tampa Bay. Atlanta ranks first overall for most points allowed to running backs. Teammate Charles Sims might be active for the first time this week, but Rainey will remain the primary back. It is a great matchup for Rainey, especially in PPR leagues because Atlanta should score points and Rainey may catch a bunch of passes.
Cheap, High Upside: Lorenzo Taliaferro, BAL (Week 10 vs Tennessee)
Taliaferro and Justin Forsett will continue to split carries. Forsett remains the pass catching back, but I expect Taliaferro to be the primary running back in what should be a blowout game. Tennessee is generous to running backs, so Taliaferro has a chance for over 60 total yards and a touchdown.
Elite, Expensive: Jordy Nelson, GB (Week 10 vs Chicago)
Why not stack the elite quarterback option of Rodgers with his number one option in Nelson? Chicago has been known to be weak at stopping opposing wide receivers and Nelson burned Chicago in Week 4 for 10 catches, 108 yards, and two touchdowns. Finally, as a bonus, he is cheaper than teammate Randall Cobb.
Middle of the Road: Mike Evans, TB (Week 10 vs Atlanta)
Evans has either a touchdown or over 75 receiving yards in his past four games. He has emerged as a great option playing opposite Vincent Jackson. Tampa Bay should have to throw a lot to keep up with Atlanta in this game, so Evans should be targeted plenty, which means opportunity for many points.
Cheap, High Upside: Martavis Bryant, PIT (Week 10 @ New York Jets)
Bryant has been blazing hot the past two weeks with Big Ben’s dominance. His playing time has been shooting up, which is a great sign for such a talented wide receiver. The New York Jets do a good job at limiting the number one wide receiver, but are getting gashed by the other receiving options. Bryant has a great chance at another solid fantasy performance this week.
Elite, Expensive: Jimmy Graham, NO (Week 10 vs San Francisco)
There are not many great tight end options this week, so the elite option is one of the best tight ends in the game: Graham. We know what Graham can do, we know he has great opportunity, but is he worth the price? It might be wise to skip this elite option and choose one of the cheaper options below.
Middle of the Road: Mychal Rivera, OAK (Week 10 vs Denver)
Besides Rob Gronkowski (who is on bye), Rivera is one of the hottest tight ends the past two weeks, so why not ride the hot hand? Denver allows the seventh most fantasy points to opposing tight ends and Gronk just crushed them in Week 9. Oakland does not stand much of a chance in this game, so they will be passing a lot to try to keep up. Rivera should find the end zone again.
Cheap, High Upside: Heath Miller, PIT (Week 10 @ New York Jets)
As I mentioned above, the Jets are good at stopping the number one wide receivers, but at getting gashed everywhere else. They are allowing the second most fantasy points to opposing tight ends. Miller has a great opportunity to have a huge game given how hot his quarterback (Big Ben) is and given the weak matchup. I expect over 50 yards and a touchdown, possibly two.
Arizona Cardinals (Week 10 vs St. Louis)
Arizona is the best team in the NFC and has one of the best defenses in the league. They play at home and against one of the worst teams. This is an easy decision.
Detroit Lions (Week 10 vs Miami)
Detroit is coming off the bye and they are getting healthy on defense, getting back two defensive lineman. They play at home against an emotional Miami team coming off a big shutout win. I expect Detroit to knock Miami back down to reality this week.