How injuries may affect your Week 10 lineups
Leonard Fournette (RB, Jaguars)
Fournette has played in parts of just two games this season (Weeks One & Four) due to a nagging hamstring injury. However, after six weeks of nothing but rest, Fournette has reached his Optimal Return Date and he should be ready to play, even though Inside Injuries still has him as an Elevated Injury Risk.
The Colts have been surprisingly tough against the run this season. As a unit, they’ve allowed just four touchdowns to running backs this season (three rushing, one receiving). Still, they’ve allowed an average of 25.5 fantasy points per game to the running back position, making Fournette a solid play for Week 10.
Marlon Mack (RB, Colts)
While it’s true that Mack is still short of his Optimal Return Date and remains an Elevated Injury Risk with a Below Average Health Performance Factor (HPF), the litany of injuries to the Colts’ backfield and Mack’s outstanding performances in Weeks Six to Eight leaves fantasy owners with little choice. Mack is averaging 5.8 yards per carry through four games thus far, he’s broken the 100-yard rushing mark in his last two games played to date and nearly did it a third time. Granted, these games came against the Jets, Bills and Raiders, who are not exactly what you’d call NFL royalty this season. However, most of the credit goes to a healthy Colts offensive line, which has clearly dominated the matchups this season. Consider Mack a solid RB2 play with RB1 upside against the Jaguars in Week 10.
Cooper Kupp (WR, Rams)
Kupp returned to action in Week Nine and put up a solid 14.9 fantasy points after amassing 89 yards on five receptions with a touchdown. Most importantly, Kupp avoided any further aggravation or setback from his MCL sprain recovery and just hit his Optimal Recovery Time. Kupp has a good matchup in Week 10 against the Seahawks. As a team, the Seahawks have allowed an average of 35.9 fantasy points per game to wide receivers along with 1,216 receiving yards and nine touchdowns.
As a slot receiver, Kupp has the best defensive matchup of all the Rams’ receivers, so this should be another big game for him. Start him with confidence and expect solid WR2 production with WR1 upside.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling (WR, Packers)
With Geronimo Allison on injured reserve, Valdes-Scantling will get a chance to strut his stuff. When given the opportunity, MVS has done nothing but dazzle. For example, he has two games in which he was given six targets. In both games, he caught three of the targets and totaled 103 and 101 yards, respectively. All told he has 17 receptions for 368 yards and a pair of touchdowns, good for an average of 21.1 yards per reception, which is second in the NFL.
The Packers face the Dolphins in Week 10. The Dolphins have allowed an average of 34.1 fantasy points per game to wide receivers. Overall, the Dolphins have allowed wide receivers to score eight touchdowns and rack up 1,491 receiving yards. Look for MVS to have another big game in Week 10. Start him as your Flex or WR2 and sit back and smile when he brings home WR1 value.
Matt Breida (RB, 49ers)
Since getting injured back in Week Four, Breida has underperformed and disappointed his fantasy owners. Unfortunately, he remains a High Injury Risk, and the lack of rest and healing time means his performances are very likely to remain disappointing. On top of that, the Niners lost RB Raheem Mostert in Week Nine, just when it looked like they’d identified a player who could spell Breida a bit and give him a chance to rebound.
The matchup against the Giants looks great on paper. The Giants have allowed 12 touchdowns to running backs this season (seven rushing, five receiving) and an average of 27.8 fantasy points per game. Those numbers put the Giants’ defense among the Top 10 teams for both touchdowns and fantasy points allowed. However, the injury risk and Breida’ poor performance while injured make the risk too high for fantasy owners. Sit Breida this week and hope that he gets a chance to recover for use later in the season.
Elijah McGuire (RB, Jets)
McGuire returned last week from a broken foot suffered over the summer and put up a solid first performance. However, given that the Jets played the Miami Dolphins, a team that’s allowed the seventh most average fantasy points (29.2) to running backs, McGuire’s performance was disappointing. McGuire remains an Elevated injury risk but his HPF is approaching Peak at 83.92 percent.
The Jets face a tougher opponent in the Bills for Week 10. The Bills have allowed an average of 26.7 fantasy points to opposing running backs, along with far fewer rushing yards and touchdowns than the Dolphins. All this means McGuire will likely disappoint again this week. Sit him and patiently wait for better overall matchups, which will also give McGuire a chance to shake off some more rust.
Rob Gronkowski (TE, Patriots)
To say that Gronk has been a disappointment to fantasy owners this season would be a gross understatement. Aside from a Week One game in which he totaled 123 receiving yards and a touchdown, Gronk has only one other game in which he scored close to double-digit fantasy points (Week Six, 9.7 FP). The primary reason for Gronk’s poor season is injury. He’s been playing with ankle and back injuries all season long, and this week is no exception.
Gronk is at Elevated risk for injury. This week’s matchup is against the Tennessee Titans, the team that has allowed the fewest fantasy points on average to the tight end position (7.1 FP per game). All told, the Titans have allowed just 268 receiving yards and zero (yes, zero) touchdowns to tight ends. That is all you need to know that Gronk is not a good play for Week 10. Sit him in favor of just about anyone else.