NFL Fantasy: Your essential wide receiver breakdown for Week 10

Week 10 has the smallest slate of the season with six teams on bye and receiver options more limited than usual. Here's your essential guide

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Week 10 provides the smallest slate of the season, thanks to a season-high six teams on their bye. As a result, our options are more limited than usual, especially among the elite receivers. However, due to some favourable match-ups and players seeing an increased role due to injuries, there’s a strong list of cheaper receivers on the slate.

Based on the players available, it might be a good weekend to save your money at the receiver position and load up on high-priced running backs.

In this preview, I’ll break down the wide receivers into three categories based on Paddy Power Fantasy’s prices: players to build around, value plays, and players to avoid.

Players to build around are more expensive, but their ceilings are high enough that you should consider prioritizing them in your lineup. Value plays are cheaper options who usually come with some risk, but adding them to your lineup will help you afford the expensive stars. Players to avoid are guys you might normally consider at their price tag but have tough matchups and are unlikely to live up to their usual expectations.

All references to betting totals and spreads are from the paddypower.com’s NFL odds.

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – OCTOBER 06: Michael Thomas #13 of the New Orleans Saints reacts after scoring a touchdown against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Mercedes Benz Superdome on October 06, 2019 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

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Receivers to Build Around

Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints (£8,700)

Thomas is the only player to rank among the top 25 receivers every week this season (excluding his bye). On Sunday he draws a struggling Atlanta Falcons defence which may be without cornerback Desmond Trufant. Given Thomas’ consistency and ceiling, he’s a tournament and cash game option every week.

Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (£8,600)

Through Week 5, Chris Godwin was the highest-scoring fantasy receiver in the league and had seen more targets than Mike Evans (43 to 36). Since Week 6, however, Evans is the highest-scoring receiver in the league and has 45 targets compared to just 29 for Godwin. It’s difficult to pinpoint why this shift occurred, but it’s clear Evans has reestablished himself as Jameis Winston’s favourite target. This week Evans faces an Arizona Cardinals defence which has allowed a top-12 wide receiver performance in four of the last five weeks.

Cooper Kupp, Los Angeles Rams (£8,100)

Since acquiring Minkah Fitzpatrick the Pittsburgh Steelers are allowing 29.6 fantasy points per game to receivers lined up in the slot, according to Sports Info Solutions. That’s an improvement from their early-season performance, but still makes the Pittsburgh defence a good match-up for Cooper Kupp. With a 28 per cent target share, Kupp is Jared Goff’s weapon of choice, and 89.6 per cent of Kupp’s targets have come while lined up in the slot.

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – OCTOBER 20: Zach Pascal #14 of the Indianapolis Colts gives a stiff arm to Lonnie Johnson #32 of the Houston Texans during the first half at Lucas Oil Stadium on October 20, 2019 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

Value Plays

Zach Pascal, Indianapolis Colts (£6,400)

Due to T.Y. Hilton’s injury and the Miami Dolphins defence, Zach Pascal might be the most obvious value play of the season. In Hilton’s absence last week, Pascal led the Indianapolis Colts with six targets and he will likely be in line for a similar, if not a larger, workload against Miami. In six of their eight games, Miami has allowed a top-15 fantasy output to a wide receiver, giving Pascal a strong ceiling in this match-up.

Curtis Samuel, Carolina Panthers (£6,100)

Samuel’s production has been wildly inconsistent, but he draws a favourable match-up this week against the Green Bay Packers in which he’ll likely see significant snaps lined up across from struggling second-year cornerback Jaire Alexander. According to Sports Info Solutions, Alexander has allowed 54.7 fantasy points in coverage over the Packers last five games, the second-most among cornerbacks in that span. Green Bay is favoured by 5.5 points, which likely dictates a higher passing volume than usual for Kyle Allen, potentially giving another boost to Samuel’s value this week.

Robby Anderson, New York Jets (£5,900)

The New York Jets offence has been wildly inconsistent, even with Sam Darnold back at quarterback, so Robby Anderson should be viewed strictly as a tournament dart throw. However, he does have a high ceiling due to his role as the Jets deep threat and the New York Giants’ inability to defend the deep ball. According to Sports Info Solutions, New York has allowed seven touchdowns on throws 20 or more yards downfield, the second-most in the league.

MIAMI GARDENS, FL – DECEMBER 11: DeVante Parker #11 of the Miami Dolphins tries to avoid the tackle of Stephon Gilmore #24 of the New England Patriots in the third quarter at Hard Rock Stadium on December 11, 2017 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Devante Parker, Miami Dolphins (£5,800)

Considering the Dolphins’ struggles, DeVante Parker has been a surprisingly reliable fantasy weapon this season. 60 per cent of Parker’s targets have come at least 10 yards downfield which allows him to produce without a huge volume. His role in Miami’s offence makes him an ideal target this week against the Colts, who are allowing a completion percentage of 63.9 per cent on throws 10 or more yards downfield, the worst rate in the league.

Josh Reynolds, Los Angeles Rams (£5,200)

The Rams will be without Brandin Cooks due to a concussion which opens the door for Josh Reynolds to assume a productive role in the offence. Cooks was knocked out of last week’s game early in the first half, which paved the way for Reynolds to rack up 14.3 fantasy points on eight targets. Reynolds already has a good rapport with Goff due to the role he played filling in for Kupp last season. During nine starts at the end of the 2018 season, including the playoffs, Reynolds averaged 6.6 targets per game.

EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY – SEPTEMBER 16: Odell Beckham #13 of the Cleveland Browns runs off the field after defeating the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium on September 16, 2019 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Browns defeated the Jets 23-3. (Photo by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images)

Receivers to Avoid

Odell Beckham, Cleveland Browns (£6,900)

Odell Beckham has been a frequent visitor to this section of the wide receiver primer, and it remains difficult to make a case for putting him in your lineup. Beckham has finished as 40th or worse among wide receivers in five of eight weeks, and has cracked the top 20 just twice. Despite those facts, he’s the 11th highest priced receiver on the main slate. This week Beckham draws a Bills’ secondary that has not allowed a top-15 score to a wide receiver all season — the only defence to accomplish that feat.

Calvin Ridley, Atlanta Falcons (£5,300)

Given his expected workload, this is a reasonable price for Calvin Ridley in a normal week. Unfortunately, he will likely draw consistent coverage from New Orleans Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore in this matchup. After a shaky start, Lattimore has resumed his role as a shutdown corner in recent weeks. According to Sports Info Solutions, Lattimore is allowing 2.6 fantasy points per 30 snaps in coverage since Week 5, the lowest rate in the league. Even with Matt Ryan expected to return, this looks like a bad spot for Ridley.

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