The comedown from Week 9 was more stubbed toe (and elbow) in the middle of the night than hangover at your parents house, but it still wasn't fun. Christian Kirk and Kenneth Walker III notched us two winning tickets. They'll each remain top-15 plays in Week 10.
Speaking of Week 10, let's win some more money! Utilizing ESPN's metrics database and some assistance from stats ace Kyle Soppe, I'm here to help you win in fantasy and at the books.
Pick: Tom Brady UNDER 286.5 passing yards (-145)
Why not doubt the GOAT in his (and the NFL's) Germany debut? It's not like he's 3-0 on foreign soil or that he has the highest passer rating (125.2) in games played across the pond. Oh, wait. While Brady has slayed regardless of time zone, he hasn't been abroad for work since 2017 (Mexico City). And 45-year-old Brady appears rather different from 40-year-old TB12.
Brady is currently FF's QB11 overall, averaging 15.3 fantasy points per game and recording a single multi-touchdown effort all season (Week 4 vs KC). His O-line has taken a lot of heat for his statistical dip. It's merited, as the Bucs' pass-blocking unit grades as a bottom-two operation and presents with the fifth-most difficult matchup (-10) of the week. It's not just the offense line, though. Brady's pass-catchers have let him down, recording the fourth-highest drop percentage over the last five weeks.
All of that has led to a massive drop in efficiency for the previously sterling signal caller. Brady's completion percentage has been a pedestrian 62.25% since Week 6 (when he faced a bewildered and banged-up Steelers team). He also ranks 30th in time of possession, which has limited his opportunities and, therefore, production.
A spike is unlikely versus a Seahawks squad that has stiffened of late. Seattle owns the third-highest sack rate when not blitzing. That means Pete Carroll & Company can manipulate Tampa Bay's already vulnerable line and scare Brady without having to adjust their downfield coverage schemes. Brady's late-game heroics -- as we witnessed last Sunday -- are still very much a part of his game, but gone are the days of a 300-yard and two-TD floor.
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Pick: Patrick Mahomes OVER 22.5 rushing yards (-119)
He's not an elite runner like Lamar Jackson, Justin Fields or Jalen Hurts, but Mahomes is an opportunistic athlete -- one who has cleared 10 rushing yards in five of his last six games. I think he could top the above line in a matchup against a Jacksonville defense that has allowed 7.5 YPC to opposing QBs on non-designed runs.
Interestingly, when the Chiefs have won by 20 or more points this season (two games), Mahomes has managed an average of just 2.5 rush yards per contest. In all other instances, he has recorded a per-game average of 28.5 rushing yards. The Chiefs are 9.5-point favorites. Assuming Jacksonville can keep this game relatively close, the over should hit.
The Jags will likely try to accomplish the above by pressuring Mahomes. In fact, the Jags rank sixth in pressure rate (Weeks 2-9). It's been an effective strategy, as opposing QBs have managed the eighth-lowest completion percentage when squeezed by Jacksonville. For his part, Mahomes has posted a career-low 5.4 YPA when pressured this season. So if he's not a hero with his arm, there's a good chance he'll compensate with his legs.
Pick: David Montgomery OVER 55.5 rushing yards (-111)
I'm a Khalil Herbert stan. But I'm also a realist. Since Monty returned from injury, he's recorded a snap share of 70% while Herbert has been on the field for 30% of the team's snaps. Additionally, Montgomery has recorded double-digit carries in every game and at least two red zone touches since Week 5. Herbert may be averaging more yards per touch (6.2) than Monty (4.5), but he's not the Bears lead back. That gig belongs to the 25-year-old former Eagle Scout, who also happens to be in the last year of his rookie deal.
Despite that last stat, Montgomery is having a solid fourth-pro campaign, averaging a career-best 2.2 yards per carry after contact. He's also on one of the most run-heavy operations in the league, as Chicago is one of just three teams to have called more run plays than passes this season. That sets up nicely for Monty's Week 10 rushing numbers, as the Bears have also managed a league-high 66.7% rush rate when leading this season. They also happen to be 2.5-point favorites versus Detroit.
The Lions have allowed a touchdown on a league-high 5.9% of running back carries. Additionally, Detroit has gifted opposing rushes with a YPC of 5.0, which is the fifth-most among run-defending units. Even with Fields and Herbert stealing touches, Montgomery should get plenty fed in this particular matchup. Consider him a solid RB2 for fantasy purposes.
Cleveland Browns at Miami Dolphins (-3.5, 49)
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens, Fla.
Pick: Donovan Peoples-Jones OVER 48.5 receiving yards (-131)
DPJ may not be a fantasy star, but he has been more productive than Michael Pittman or Josh Palmer over the last three weeks. The former Michigan product has managed double-digit fantasy points in four of his last five outings, averaging 11.2 fantasy points per game since Week 4. Additionally, he has cleared four grabs in five straight efforts while reeling in a 35-yard reception in three consecutive outings.
Peoples-Jones figures to stay busy in Miami. The Dolphins have allowed 59 points over the past two weeks. Additionally, Xavien Howard is expected to shadow Amari Cooper, allowing DPJ more opportunities to convert. A 4-52-0 stat line feels more probable than possible, as the Browns are 3.5-point underdogs in a game with the second-highest projected point total for the week (49). Fantasy managers can flex DPJ, starting him ahead of Jarvis Landry or Michael Gallup.
Denver Broncos at Tennessee Titans (-2.5, 39)
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, Nissan Stadium, Nashville
Pick: Greg Dulcich OVER 43.5 receiving yards (-119)
Dulcich has played in three games so far this year. The rookie TE has managed at least 44 receiving yards in each effort while averaging over 60 receiving yards per contest since making his Broncos debut in Week 6. With impressive speed (4.7) for his size (6-foot-4, 243 pounds), a sneaky part of Dulcich's fantasy success is his stat-padding YAC ability.
That after the catch prowess figures to be on display in Nashville. The Titans have allowed the third-most fantasy points and the fourth-most receiving yards to opposing tight ends. In fact, six times this season a TE has hit 40 yards when facing the Titans. The list of names (with the exception of Travis Kelce) is hardly impressive: Mo Alie-Cox, Kylen Granson, Noah Gray, Foster Moreau and Dawson Knox.
Dulcich's stock is on the rise, both in FF and IRL. His routes run per drop back have steadily increased from 54.2% in Week 6 to 82.4% in Week 8 (which was the sixth-highest for the week, ahead of Kyle Pitts, Dallas Goedert and T.J. Hockenson). Additionally, the last time we saw the former Bruin, his stat line accounted for nearly 35% of Denver's receiving yards in the team's Week 8 win at Jacksonville. Currently available in 53% of ESPN fantasy leagues, Dulcich is a top-10 play on a week in which Mark Andrews and Darren Waller are not available.
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