A glance at fantasy football for Week 10 of the NFL season with specific advice on Kenyan Drake, Robert Woods and Marcus Mariota.
Drake the New Leader in Miami Backfield
With Jay Ajayi departing for Philadelphia, many wondered who would emerge as the new lead back in Miami heading into Week 9. Kenyan Drake answered that question forcefully, churning out 69 yards on just nine carries and tacking on 35 more yards on six receptions. Drake offers the dual-threat upside that his teammate Damien Williams simply lacks, as he can hurt opponents more on the ground while Williams profiles as a pass-catching specialist. The Alabama product should be afforded plenty of opportunities to shine as the Dolphins do what they can to stay relevant in the AFC. A healthy Jay Cutler and DeVante Parker give the passing game a little bit of life, which should open up at least a few lanes for Drake to work in the coming weeks. He will carry low-end RB2 value with upside from here on out, and should be a top waiver add this week.
Woods the Top Target For Goff
Robert Woods has quietly been producing decent fantasy value for weeks. He has had at least five catches for 59 yards in each of his last three games, but he completely erupted in Week 9 with 70 yards and two touchdowns on four catches. Sammy Watkins appears to be nothing more than a big play decoy at this point, and Woods is looking more and more like the primary fantasy option in that receiving corps. Given the amount of work that he’s seeing and the level at which his quarterback, Jared Goff, is playing at, Woods should have every-week flex value for the foreseeable future. That is especially true in Week 10, where Woods will get a crack at the exploitable Houston secondary. The Texans rank 20th in the NFL in passing defense, and are tied for 25th in passing touchdowns allowed.
Mariota Not a Starting Option Anymore
Marcus Mariota was drafted as a top-10 quarterback option in almost every format, but that kind of production simply hasn’t come to pass despite a seemingly revamped set of weapons. Eric Decker is a shell of his former self, first-round rookie Corey Davis has spent most of the season dealing with a hamstring injury, and Delanie Walker has been unimpressive up to this point. Mariota has dealt with his own nagging hamstring injury, which certainly has contributed to his statistical ineptitude. Thanks to that injury he is running less and less, which is severely limiting his fantasy upside. In Weeks 1-4, Mariota averaged five carries for 29 yards. Since then, he has averaged just two carries for 4.67 yards per game. He has just six passing touchdowns through Week 9, and while the return of Corey Davis could provide a boost, it won’t be enough to merit starting Mariota in any format. He’s got Cincinnati and Pittsburgh up next, who boast the number four and number two passing defenses in the NFL, respectively.
NFL Pickups of the Week
Charles Clay, TE, Buffalo Bills – Clay has been on the shelf for weeks, but should be good to return in what could quickly evolve into a shootout against the Saints. With Kelvin Benjamin active to draw attention from the defense, Clay should have room to work over the middle.
Dede Westbrook, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars – The dynamic rookie should be ready to return in Week 10, and while he may be eased back into the offense he can be a usable piece for the fantasy playoffs.
Terrence Williams, WR, Dallas Cowboys - Williams is coming off his best game of the season (nine catches for 141 yards) and should get plenty of looks in Week 10 with Dez Bryant dealing with both knee and ankle injuries.