4 Downs: Week 10 Fantasy Battles

Week 10 is upon us and the fantasy playoffs are looming on the horizon. With so much at stake, it is only fitting that the ‘Football Gods’ have pitted the majority of the top fantasy performers against elite defensive opponents this week. The players involved are too valuable to sit and so every owner is waiting with baited breath to see who emerges the victor of the following fantasy battles.

1st Down | Stefon Diggs vs Josh Norman

Although the title of this match-up focuses on Diggs, Adam Thielen owners should too be anxious this week. While never truly capturing his Carolina form, Josh Norman has remained one of the premier cornerbacks in all the land. He continues to shut down his half of the field and opposing quarterbacks with a lesser gumption tend to avoid throwing at him at all costs.

In week 10 however, Norman is faced with a challenge or two. Both Diggs and Thielen have been outstanding this season and are ruling the roost as the NFL’s best WR duo. Both have excellent speed and route running and so gaining separation from defenders has been gracefully easy for them.

Both Diggs and Thielen, both top fantasy receivers, are too valuable to not start, especially during this playoff push period. However, Norman tends to focus on the No. 1 WR in an offense and in this case that is Diggs. Thielen owners should feel much more confident about starting this Viking as he stands a better chance of avoiding Norman and therefore should put up some big numbers as usual.

2nd Down | Todd Gurley vs Texans D/ST

Although the season for the Texans appears to be lost with Deshaun Watson’s injury, nobody has told their defense. The Houston rush D is currently ranked in the top 10 for the season and allows less than 100 yards per game to opposing rushers.

Todd Gurley, however, is not simply an opposing rusher. Todd Gurley is arguably the best running-back in fantasy football and he is having a monster season. Gurley is averaging over 23 fantasy points per game which means he is as valuable as having another quarterback on your team. Once again, one can’t simply sit the RB1 and so Gurley owners will be watching his week 10 performance with their buttocks tightly clenched.

The Houston rushing defense on average holds running-backs under 3.7 yards per carry. Let’s see if Gurley can ram his way through them.

3rd Down | New England Patriots Offense vs Denver Broncos Defense

New England Patriots at Washington Redskins 08/28/09

This is a big one. The No. 1 total offense vs the No. 2 total defense. The No. 1 passing offense vs the No. 4 passing defense. And the Broncos have the 5th best rushing defense too, just for good measure.

This truly is a titanic match-up and Pats owners will be hoping that Von Miller and Co. aren’t the iceberg in their path. With so many fantasy studs on the roster (Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, Brandon Cooks, Dion Lewis, James White) the Patriots supply a huge percentage of the top fantasy performers and also a considerable percentage of most fantasy league’s teams. The Broncos are always out to bury the Patriots in their Rocky Mountain Avalanche defense and that would certainly put a spanner in the works for a big chunk of fantasy owners.

However, even as accomplished as the Broncos defense is at every level, the edge has to be given to Tom Brady. Playing just as well as he ever has, now at the age of 40, Brady has always and should still be able to find a way to overcome any barriers in his way. While his bunch might not be as fantasy relevant as they usually are, Brady certainly should be.

4th Down | Alvin Kamara vs Buffalo Bills D/ST

With Deshaun Watson’s afore mentioned injury, Alvin Kamara is a firm front-runner for Offensive Rookie of the Year. The Saints RB has been a lightning rod of dynamism in the New Orleans backfield and owns a large part of their recent success.

The former Tennessee volunteer has 300+ yards both on the ground and through the air and also has 5 touchdowns so far this season and has become the focal point of the Saints offense. With this new found fame, he will also be the focus of the Bills defense on Sunday.

Buffalo is home to the 8th best rush defense in the league, a defense that allows less the 95 rushing yards per game. Kamara is sure to have his work cut out for him but with Mark Ingram relieving him of a heavy workload, Kamara will be free to use his agility in the open field and utilize his skills as a receiver. It is his elite receiving ability that has allowed him to rise up to the RB9 and this will be what he and the Saints will be counting on to beat this tough Bills front 7 in week 10.

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