Fantasy Football Week 10: Top 5 quarterbacks to start
By William Bologna
Heading into Week 10, injuries and the bye-weeks remove 10 of the NFL’s 32 starting quarterbacks from fantasy football. Here are the top five quarterbacks worth starting that are entering favorable matchups.
Week 10 could be a rough one for fantasy football quarterbacks as well as owners in search of one. The top two scoring quarterbacks, Carson Wentz and Alex Smith, are both on byes. Whereas Tom Brady will head to Denver to face a fearsome Broncos defense.
Many fantasy football owners may have to look to the waiver wire for this one, or perhaps start their second quarterback. Although, luckily for owners everywhere, there are plenty of viable options for Week 10, whether they can be found on your roster or waivers.
We’ve now got five starting quarterbacks missing action, that’s Aaron Rodgers, Deshaun Watson, Carson Palmer, Jameis Winston and Sam Bradford. It’s more than likely that many fantasy teams were dependent on a few of these guys, but this week, owners will have to look elsewhere.
But have no fear! As there is always an option out there somewhere, you just have to find the right one. Luckily for you, that’s what I’m here for, and that’s why you’re here! Here are the top five quarterbacks to start that are entering favorable matchups.
Next: 5. He's consistently one of the best options on waivers
5. Josh McCown vs. Buccaneers
The big headline surrounding this game is that it’s a revenge game for Buccaneers quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. Although, many forget that this could be a revenge game for Josh McCown as well. That’s right, Mr. Check-down-McCown himself (though he’s outgrown the nickname with his recent vertical success) started a good portion of the 2014 season for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
These two teams look like they’re heading in completely opposite directions right now. The New York Jets came into this season with little-to-no expectations coming from the outside and could improve to .500 on Sunday. On the other hand, the Buccaneers came into the season with high hopes, yet they sit at 2-6. To make matters worse for the Bucs, their starting quarterback, Jameis Winston, is expected to miss multiple weeks due to injury.
For McCown, he’s performed surprisingly well this year, both in-game and from a fantasy perspective. He’s second in the league in completion percentage and he’s averaging over 15 fantasy points per game. The matchup against the struggling Buccaneers defense will play into McCown’s favor; they’ve allowed the 7th most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks.
The Buccaneers have allowed over 20 fantasy points to an opposing quarterback in 4 of their 8 games this year. Not once have they held a quarterback under 10 points, not even Mike Glennon. Despite scoring more points than guys like Matt Ryan and Derek Carr, McCown is still available in about 55 percent of ESPN leagues. If you’re in need of a quarterback this week, consider McCown a great option off the waiver wire.
Next: 4. Week 10 will be the week he finally breaks out
4. Ben Roethlisberger vs. Colts
Despite the Steelers’ success at 6-2, Ben Roethlisberger‘s numbers have been largely deflated compared to years past. Though he hasn’t gone over 20 points once yet this season, he’s still owned in 77 percent of ESPN leagues, showing owners still believe in him (he could be available in your league, so go check).
If there’s any week to believe in Big Ben, it’s this week against the Colts. While Le’Veon Bell has taken a lions share of the volume in this offense, we can expect the Steelers to take advantage of a weak Colts pass-defense; especially with weapons like Antonio Brown and JuJu Smith-Schuster.
While he’s struggled to post big fantasy numbers thus far, this will be the week Roethlisberger will finally go over 20 points. For those who own Big Ben, you don’t have to kick yourself later for leaving him on the bench, start him. He’s facing a poor Colts passing defense, now without star-rookie Malik Hooker. Making matters worse for Indy, top corner Vontae Davis will now need season-ending groin surgery.
The Colts, who allow the 10th most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks, have given up big games to quarterbacks far less experienced than Roethlisberger. DeShone Kizer and Brian Hoyer both hit the Colts for 22.1 fantasy points earlier this year. With a fully loaded offensive arsenal, Roethlisberger will have a field day against the Colts defense, making him a great start in Week 10.
Next: 3. He's Dange-RUSS both inside and outside the pocket
3. Russell Wilson vs. Cardinals
Russell Wilson has been red-hot since coming off his bye three weeks ago. He’s averaged 28.3 fantasy points over his last 3 games. While Wilson owners grew worrisome after he struggled through the first two weeks, it’s safe to say that the Dange-RUSS we’re used to is back.
Quarterbacks who pose a threat as a runner tend to have a higher floor as they’ll pad their fantasy numbers with rushing yards. This theory proves true for Wilson. Last week, 77 rushing yards gave Wilson a 7.7 point cushion, which ultimately made up for his two interceptions (finishing with 23.6 points).
While the Cardinals’ secondary has some studs in Patrick Peterson and Tyrann Mathieu, the stats would beg to differ. The Cardinals have allowed the 5th most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this year. While the Cardinals mostly contained the train-wreck 49ers offense, C.J. Beathard still managed to score 17.4 fantasy points.
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Not only is the Cardinals’ defense struggling, but they’ve lost both their starting quarterback and running back as well. Against Seattle’s elite defense, we can expect the Arizona offense to spend very little time on the field. Adversely this will put Wilson on the field more, giving him more opportunities to make plays, thus making him a great start for Week 10.
Next: 2. Facing this QB is anything but 'Breesy' on Sunday morning
2. Drew Brees vs. Bills
Even at 38-years-old, Drew Brees is continuing to do what Drew Brees does. And that’s putting up huge numbers in the passing game with the New Orleans Saints. Sitting at 6-2 with their new and improved defense, the Saints are starting to emerge as serious contenders. Perhaps Brees will make one last run before it’s all said and done.
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But before Brees and the Saints can even think about a Super Bowl run, they’ll have to take care of business up in Orchard Park against the Bills. While the Bills have gotten off to a great start (5-3) this level of success won’t be sustainable.
The Bills are coming off a tough Thursday night loss against the Jets, a team they manhandled in Week 1. This is a sign that the Bills season may be headed downhill.
While the Bills defense has allowed the 6th fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks, you shouldn’t let this scare you. As we saw last week, you can still score on them (McCown had 16.9 points). Besides, this is Brees we’re talking about here, that alone makes him a great start for Week 10, or any week for that matter.
Next: 1. He'll prove himself worthy of his big contract
1. Matthew Stafford vs. Browns
Matthew Stafford came into the year with sky-high expectations, from both his team and fantasy owners. Not only did he sign a massive contract extension this past offseason, but he was also a fantasy stud last year.
After a strong Week 1 performance (27.1 points) he struggled up until his Week 7 bye. Although it looks like the bye week did Stafford and company well, as he’s averaged about 20 fantasy points per game in his past two weeks, averaging just under 400 yards per game.
With Rodgers now sidelined for the year, the Lions have to believe the NFC North is there for the taking, especially after a commanding Monday Night Football win in Green Bay. Now that Stafford is finally rolling, he and his team are in a great position to chase the division championship.
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We can fully expect Stafford to continue his hot streak against the Cleveland Browns. The Browns have allowed the 8th most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this year and are often referred to as a dumpster fire. Stafford and his Lions will keep on rolling this weekend against the Browns. Don’t let his pre-bye-week cold streak scare you, Stafford is an absolute must-start on Sunday.