We’re nearing the fantasy playoffs and it is more important to stay on top of all the non-stop news in the NFL. Here’s what you need to know for week ten of the 2016 season.
JJ Nelson, WR ARZ
Cardinal head coach Bruce Arians announced this week that wide receiver JJ Nelson has moved up to the team’s number two receiver spot alongside Larry Fitzgerald. Thanks to his play over the past two games, Nelson has leapfrogged both John Brown and Michael Floyd. With so much depth, it is difficult to predict which player will be Carson Palmer’s top target on a weekly basis, but Nelson is clearly the hot hand right now and is climbing dynasty ranks just as he has done with the Arizona depth chart.
Doug Martin, RB TB
After missing the majority of the season, it appears that Buccaneers running back Doug Martin is finally close to returning to the field. This is huge news for a Tampa team that hasn’t been able to keep a healthy running back. After Martin went down with a hamstring injury, the Bucs then lost Charles Sims and Antone Smith for the season and Jacquizz Rodgers for multiple weeks. Martin’s return should also offer a huge boost to dynasty teams prepping for the playoffs.
Tony Romo, QB DAL
Dallas veteran quarterback Tony Romo is back at practice and is expected to be available as soon as this weekend, though some reports have the team keeping Romo inactive for one more week. It seems that the Cowboys are doing their best to delay the difficult decision between their franchise quarterback of the past few seasons and the player who looks like their franchise quarterback going forward, rookie Dak Prescott. This should be an easy decision to stick with Prescott and part ways with Romo following this season, but it is never easy to predict what Jerry Jones might do.
Dion Lewis, RB NE
With running back Dion Lewis due back soon, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick explained that Lewis would be well behind current pass-catching back James White. While White hasn’t done much as a runner this season, carrying 26 times for just over 100 yards, he has been a major contributor to the Patriots passing game with over 250 yards and three touchdowns, all of those coming since quarterback Tom Brady has returned from his four-game suspension. For now, White looks like a safe weekly play in PPR leagues while Lewis’ future remains up in the air.
Cody Kessler, QB CLE
After surprisingly being named the starting quarterback for the Browns in week ten, rookie Cody Kessler was yanked in favor of veteran Josh McCown. While McCown looked terrible against the Ravens defense, this is a sign that the Browns might just be done with Kessler. I had suggested stashing Kessler in the slim chance he became the long-term starter for Cleveland, but it is time to give up that hope. The Browns are nearly certain to earn the top overall pick and will have to consider selecting a quarterback, potentially Clemson’s Deshaun Watson or Notre Dame’s DeShone Kizer, though both underclassmen have struggled in recent weeks.
Matt Jones, RB WAS
After missing Week Nine due to a knee injury, it appears that running back Matt Jones may have lost not only his starting job, but even the chance to be active on gameday. The Washington Post has suggested that Jones could be a healthy scratch in favor of starter Rob Kelley and pass-catching back Chris Thompson, as well as Mack Brown, who contributes on special teams. This is how quickly a middling running back like Jones can lose dynasty value. Jones is still worthy of a roster spot in dynasty leagues on the chance that he can regain the starting job over the next few weeks, but there is a strong chance the Redskins use an early pick on a rookie runner in the upcoming NFL Draft.
James Starks, RB GB
Another team who is certain to be in the market for a new running back this off-season is the Green Bay Packers, who have had to resort to using converted wide receiver Ty Montgomery as their primary running back in recent games due to injuries suffered by Eddie Lacy and James Starks. It appears as though Starks is set to return this week though. While he has little to no long-term value, he could be a difference maker down the stretch of this season if the Packers want to move Montgomery back to his position out wide.
CJ Prosise, RB SEA
The Seattle Seahawks and head coach Pete Carroll seem to like what they’ve seen from rookie running back CJ Prosise, and the former Notre Dame star will reportedly see his playing time increased going forward. This likely has something to do with the recent struggles of starter Christine Michael, who may not even play this week. With Thomas Rawls due back soon, this backfield situation could get very messy. Prosise looks like the player to own right now, though I would not be buying high right now.
Devontae Booker, RB DEN
After the season-ending injury to Denver starting back CJ Anderson, rookie Devontae Booker was in the perfect position to establish himself and help lead some dynasty teams to the playoffs. After all, Booker had been playing well in a limited role behind Anderson and has been eating into his snaps little by little. After two games though, Booker may be the one who is set to lose snaps to a backup. After a pair of subpar performances, Denver beat writers have suggested that Kapri Bibbs cold see a larger role going forward.
Darren Sproles, RB PHI
Eagles head coach Doug Pederson has named veteran Darren Sproles as the team’s starting back. This transition away from Ryan Mathews had been happening for the past few weeks and is now official. It doesn’t change much for Sproles, a veteran pass-catching back, but does not bode well for the future of Mathews in Philadelphia or anywhere else.