NFL Fantasy Heroes & Villains: Goff offed by Steelers defence

The good, the bad, and the downright wretched from Week 10's fantasy football line-ups

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Week 10 saw the arrival of the long-feared fantasy bye-pocolypse, with six teams on bye limiting the options for your fantasy lineup. Granted, one of those teams was the Redskins so not much loss there, but it still meant you were probably forced to put your faith in some less familiar hands this week. Riding into the fantasy unknown before a Sunday is always full of excitement and trepidation, so let’s see who delivered and who flattered to deceive as we look at Week 10’s Fantasy Heroes and Villains.

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Hero: Daniel Jones โ€“ QB โ€“ New York Giants

It’s been an up-and-down season for Daniel Jones, as befits a rookie QB, but he’s now making his second appearance in three weeks on the Hero side of this column. A favourable matchup against the Jets should have meant that this was a no-brainer start, but is there any way you can really trust him week-in, week-out?

Well, if you spun the wheel this week you got rewarded. Jones threw four touchdown passes and no picks, going 28 of 40 for 308 yards through the air. He was also his team’s leading rusher, gaining 20 yards on the ground compared to, ugh, three combined yards for running-backs Saquon Barkley and Wayne Gallman. Even suffering the ignominy of having the ball ripped out of his hands and returned for a TD couldn’t hurt Jones’ confidence, as he did what he wanted in the passing game against a Jets secondary that had no answers. While he couldn’t carry the Giants to a win, he definitely did his fair share for plenty of fantasy lineups this week.

GLENDALE, ARIZONA – SEPTEMBER 08: Larry Fitzgerald #11 of the Arizona Cardinals makes a diving catch while being defended by against the Detroit Lions at State Farm Stadium on September 08, 2019 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

Hero: Christian Kirk โ€“ WR โ€“ Arizona Cardinals

The Cardinals are possibly the best bad team in the NFL. They’ve got just enough talent to be competitive, and they’re learning under rookie head coach Kliff Kingsbury every week how to be a pro offence. Christian Kirk, who flashed potential to be a no.1 wide receiver in the first couple of games of the year delivered on Sunday.

The second-year wideout caught six of ten targets for a career-high 130 yards and, more importantly, he broke his touchdown duck on the season. I say broke; he smashed it like a man whose parents were killed by a duck. Kirk caught three touchdown passes including the go-ahead score in the fourth quarter to go along with his career-high in yards. The Cardinals of course still lost from there on out but that doesn’t hurt the stat line or your fantasy lineup. Long may the improvement continue!

ARLINGTON, TEXAS – NOVEMBER 10: Kyle Rudolph #82 of the Minnesota Vikings makes a two-point conversion against Chidobe Awuzie #24 of the Dallas Cowboys in the third quarter at AT&T Stadium on November 10, 2019 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Hero: Kyle Rudolph โ€“ TE โ€“ Minnesota Vikings

We’ve written before in this section about how the tight end position is a wasteland when it comes to your fantasy lineup, and with injuries to reliables like Will Dissly, George Kittle and this week Austin Hooper, it’s only getting waste-ier. Someone who may have fallen off your radar in that time is Kyle Rudolph, and that’s understandable given how he carried his awful form from the backend of last year into the start of this season.

It seems like the former Pro Bowl MVP, which is definitely a thing to mention every time Rudolph plays, is back on track now, however. He caught four passes for a disappointing 14 yards, but made up for the low yardage with two of those catches being end zone TD receptions. That gives him four touchdowns in the last five games, and it seems that as long as wide receiver Adam Thielen is missing time, Rudolph will keep getting red zone looks and remain fantasy relevant.

PITTSBURGH, PA – NOVEMBER 10: Jared Goff #16 of the Los Angeles Rams warms up before the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on November 10, 2019 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)

Villain: Jared Goff โ€“ QB โ€“ Los Angeles Rams

Coming out of his bye week and back-to-back games with over 20 fantasy points, it looked as if Jared Goff and the Rams offence had steadied the ship and were in a good place to produce on the road against the Mason Rudolph-led Steelers. The wobble in their 20-7 defeat to the 49ers was a distant memory, and, with a week off to prepare, Goff was a safe pick.

* Narrator’s voice: โ€œGoff was not a safe pick.โ€ *

Instead of being reliable under centre, Goff could get nothing going against a Steelers defence who look like a top-tier unit at the moment. The Rams QB managed only 243 yards over 22 completions, failing to throw a TD pass and giving up three turnovers. At one point they actually replaced him with Blake Bortles just to give the guy a break. Blake Bortles! That should show you how out of ideas the Rams offence were, how rough it was for Goff, and just how bad it was for anybody starting him this Sunday.

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – AUGUST 08: Eddy Pineiro #15 of the Chicago Bears warms up during the fourth quarter of a preseason game against the Carolina Panthers at Soldier Field on August 08, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)

Villain: David Montgomery โ€“ RB โ€“ Chicago Bears

So you’ve got an up-and-coming running back who can catch the ball coming off a two-touchdown performance, a QB who’s been struggling so much the team seem to be moving away from him and a must-win division game against a weak rushing defence. For the canny manager, this is a recipe for fantasy gold.

Sometimes even when you follow the recipe, the dish can leave a bad taste. Matthew Stafford wasn’t playing for the Lions so this NFC North matchup didn’t become a shootout. However, backfield teammate Tarik Cohen got the touchdown pass and Bears QB Mitchell Trubisky was inexplicably …good? All of this meant that Montgomery carried 17 times for just 60 yards, and we were left wondering where it all went wrong.

Villain: Zach Pascal โ€“ WR โ€“ Indianapolis Colts

Oh the hype. Coming off a nice game of 76 yards and a touchdown against a stout Steelers D (see above) Zach Pascal was clearly the guy backup QB Brian Hoyer liked throwing to in the Colts passing game. In the absence of no.1 receiver TY Hilton, Pascal was sure to feast on a Miami Dolphins secondary that is, well, the 2019 Dolphins of secondaries. It would take a miracle to stop him producing for you: a miracle named Brian Hoyer.

The QB had an embarrassing day, but he still targeted Pascal seven times. Only two of those targets resulted in catches, however, combining for just 26 yards. Misery heaped upon misery, as the Colts bumbled their way to disappointing 16-12 loss against a team that in theory is trying to lose. Pascal now slinks out of the fantasy spotlight for the foreseeable.

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