The New Orleans Saints and your Fantasy Football team head into the home stretch with Week 10, and Jake Ciely (@allinkid) of *RotoExperts.com *is providing exclusive expert Fantasy coverage for NewOrleansSaints.com. Get ready for the playoff run, as Jake gives you the expert deal on Saints players from Fantasy perspectives.
The Saints brought their record back to .500 with a dominating win in San Francisco. In Week 10, they return home to host the Broncos at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
Quarterback Drew Brees threw for 323 yards and three touchdowns, leading the charge and now has 2,689 passing yards and 21 touchdowns. Brees is on pace for nearly 5,400 yards and 42 touchdowns. Brees' terrific numbers only get even better at home. In New Orleans Brees is averaging 382 yards a game with 12 touchdowns. That kind of production makes him a top quarterback play despite a matchup with the Broncos defense. Don't overthink your quarterback position this week; Brees is your starter.
Receiver Michael Thomas continues to impress as a rookie, catching two more touchdowns in the win to go with his 73 receiving yards. Thomas has at least 44 receiving yards in each game this season with five touchdowns and now ranks inside the Top 15 at receiver. Thomas has become a must-start in Fantasy each week and is knocking on the WR1 door. The same goes for Brandin Cooks as being an every-week play no matter the matchup, as Cooks is 10th among Fantasy receivers with 596 yards and five touchdowns. Willie Snead deserves weekly consideration for your Fantasy lineup as well. Snead is WR39 on the year and has double-digit PPR points in four of the Saints games. Coby Fleener has been consistent of late with two big games. He has at least 6.4 PPR points in the last four games with two 24-plus point outings, both coming in New Orleans. It's hard not to use Fleener with the upside he brings, especially at home.
Mark Ingram bounced back in a big way with 158 rushing yards and two touchdowns against the 49ers – one rushing and one receiving. The Broncos run defense isn't as strong as their pass defense, which means Ingram needs to be in your lineups this week, as does Tim Hightower. He proved two Saints running backs could have value in the same game with 102 total yards and a touchdown. As mentioned with the Broncos run defense, they are beatable and Latavius Murray proved that Sunday night, running for 114 yards and three touchdowns. As long as Sean Payton continues with this two-headed rushing attack, Ingram and Hightower will be weekly RB2s with RB1 potential.
Carson Wentz isn't putting up the numbers he was to start the year, but a home matchup with the most forgiving team to quarterbacks (Falcons) is a great situation to get back on track. The Browns have yet to stop a quarterback from throwing a touchdown this year with five games of three touchdown passes allowed. Joe Flacco is a sneaky streaming option on Thursday night football. Another interesting quarterback streamer is Jay Cutler, as the Bears head to Tampa Bay. The Buccaneers allow the fifth most points to quarterbacks on NFL.com (20.35), and Cutler managed 252 yards and a touchdown against an extremely tough Vikings defense before the Bears bye. Colin Kaepernick rewarded owners that streamed him last week, but you likely don't want to double-dip, as the 49ers head to Arizona with the Cardinals coming out of their bye and allowing the second fewest points to quarterbacks.
Speaking of the Cardinals, Andre Ellington has deep league value for running back needy owners, as the 49ers give up 29.26 points per game to running backs, and the Cardinals could be up early and save David Johnson in the second half. Back to the Browns, they also allow the second most points to running backs, which makes Darren Sproles and Ryan Mathews start-worthy in many leagues. Sproles has become the Eagles lead option, but Mathews still sees the majority of goal line work and has a good chance to score again this week. Matt Asiata can be volatile since you're hoping for a touchdown to boost his value, but this week gives him a great opportunity for a score, as the Redskins have allowed the third most rushing touchdowns this year (10). With the Ravens allowing the fewest points to running backs and having slowed Le'Veon Bell, you likely want to look elsewhere than the shared backfield of the Browns.
The Bucs and Falcons present good opportunities for receivers as well. While Alshon Jeffery and Jordan Matthews are obvious plays in all leagues, Cameron Meredith and Nelson Agholor have deeper league value in these matchups. While the Ravens defense is the best in the league, their ability to stop receivers is lacking. They've allowed the third most points to receivers and the second most touchdowns. Terrelle Pryor and Corey Coleman should be starting for owners in Week 10. Outside of Larry Fitzgerald, it can be tough predicting which Cardinals receivers will be effective weekly. However, the 49ers defense is a great matchup for any team, and it puts John Brown in the WR3 conversation with upside for more and J.J. Nelson in the WR4/flex area. The Chargers are also difficult to project with their receivers; however, Tyrell Williams and Dontrelle Inman have been more consistent of late and have a good matchup with the Dolphins. As for the Redskins, they have the second worst matchup of the week, adding risk to all three receiversas they take on the Vikings. Jamison Crowder has been the most consistent and can remain in lineups depending on depth.
We have to talk about the Browns one more time, as they allow the most points to tight ends and just let Jason Witten put up 19.4 last week. That gives Dennis Pitta TE1 potential on Thursday night, especially in PPR leagues. Zach Ertz had a solid game against the Giants in Week 9. Look for him to make it back-to-back weeks of TE1 production with the Falcons giving up 10.39 points per game to tight ends with six touchdowns allowed. The Cardinals and Ravens are the only two teams with fewer than 300 receiving yards and no touchdowns allowed to tight ends. That makes Gary Barnidge and Vance McDonald highly risky plays in Week 10.
The Rams DST are a nice option this week with the Jets allowing the most points to opposing defenses due to their 19 turnovers (14 interceptions). You can also consider the Jets in the same game, as the Rams are allowing the second most points with 20 sacks, 11 interceptions and three fumbles given up, good for 11.0 points per game. You'll want to avoid the Steelers defense, as the Cowboys rarely turn it over and opposing DSTs are averaging a mere 2.0 points per game. Matt Bryant is the leading kicker in Fantasy but just 58.8 percent owned on NFL.com. That needs to be corrected in all leagues, so make sure he's not available. Josh Lambo is third in scoring yet just 27.8 percent owned. Just as with Bryant, pick him up if he's on waivers and plug him in your lineup. Of course, if Wil Lutz is out there, he's a terrific option as well, as he's averaging 11.5 points per game at home.
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