Fantasy Football Sleepers: Week 10
Fantasy Football Sleepers: Week 10
The fantasy season continues its relentless march forward, forcing us fantasy managers to adapt to the latest Bye Week schedules and injuries. With only five weeks left in the regular fantasy season before the fantasy playoffs start in Week 15, it's go-time for winning fantasy football matchups. Whether you're on a heater and sitting atop the league or attempting to claw your way into a playoff seed, there's still time for plenty of chaos to unfold.
Identifying sleeper prospects, also known as undervalued players who find themselves in good usage roles due to injury or scheme, is a huge way to overcome adversity during fantasy Byes and injuries. It's definitely not an easy process though, as there is a lot of fool's gold sitting on waiver wires and fantasy benches. Understanding how to set your fantasy lineups to maximize points is everything and that starts with assessing players who may not be rostered in a lot of leagues. Either their performances have gone unnoticed, or their upcoming schedule is extremely favorable. Regardless, don't be afraid to start players who may be labeled as "volatile" or "boom-or-bust" prospects due to what they've done through nine weeks of the NFL season. There's still a lot of time left for teams to adjust their scheme, largely depending on their opponent, so coming here is a great place to get a head start on your league mates ahead of Week 10.
NFL fantasy analyst Matt MacKay provides his latest analysis for several players who qualify as fantasy football sleepers entering Week 10. In this article, half-PPR scoring is used to contextualize and assess each of these sleeper candidates and whether or not their Week 10 matchup is a good one to exploit or a tough matchup to avoid. Plus, insight into each player's upcoming schedule and how it may affect their production down the stretch as the 2023 fantasy football season is now in full gear.
Antonio Gibson (RB - Commanders)
At first glance, when looking at fantasy points per game, Antonio Gibson doesn't appear to be fantasy-relevant. He's averaging 5.5 fantasy points per game this season compared to Brian Robinson, who is at 11.9 points per game. However, upon closer inspection, we've seen Commanders OC Eric Bienemy leaning into Gibson's skillset as a pass-catcher out of the backfield and lined up out wide. Gibson played on 43 percent of snaps in Week 9 against New England, compared to 56 percent for Robinson. Gibson also saw an 11.4 percent target share, tripling Robinson. This is important because Washington is frequently playing from behind in potential shootout scenarios. A Week 10 road trip to Seattle could continue seeing Gibson in an expanded role, as the Seahawks surrender the 13th-highest fantasy points per game to running backs. Gibson has five targets in two consecutive games and even averaged 5.7 YPC on six carries against New England's stout run defense. Gibson is a mid-range RB3 with RB2 upside in a favorable matchup against Seattle in Week 10, before landing another plus-matchup against the Giants in Week 11.
Keaton Mitchell (RB - Ravens)
The breakout game for Keaton Mitchell came in Week 9 against Seattle, as the rookie running back exploded for 138 rushing yards and a big touchdown run. Mitchell's nine carries were only four fewer than Justice Hill, while Gus Edwards saw just five carries, mostly in the red zone, as the goal-line option for Baltimore's offense. Mitchell isn't going to break huge touchdowns in every game, but his speed and vision make him a weapon that we can expect the Ravens to continue relying upon, especially to preserve franchise quarterback Lamar Jackson. Mitchell only played 18 percent of snaps in Week 9, so he's more of a mid-range RB3 stash candidate in Week 10 facing a Browns' run defense that ranks as the third hardest fantasy running back matchup. Then, games against Cincinnati and the Chargers in Week 11 and Week 12 offer two top-17 matchups for Mitchell to exploit, where he can be deployed as a mid-range RB3 with RB2 upside despite playing in a crowded Ravens backfield.
Tyler Boyd (WR - Bengals)
Cincinnati's upward trajectory is good for all of its personnel, including WR3 Tyler Boyd. Boyd has managed to record three to seven receptions in every game since Week 1, while scoring touchdowns against the Seahawks and 49ers in recent outings. He's still earning a 16.6 percent target share this season, which is good for a WR3, but even better in a Bengals' offense that has quickly begun to heat up. As long as Joe Burrow continues to play like he has in the past few weeks, Boyd is a mid-range WR3. However, he still needs touchdowns to eclipse 10 fantasy points. Houston's pass defense is the fourth-worst matchup for fantasy wideouts, but this could mean Boyd has a bigger game with the Texans eliminating Ja'Marr Chase and Tee Higgins, so flexing Boyd isn't the worst idea.
Rondale Moore (WR - Cardinals)
It's been brutal for Rondale Moore this season, as his usage and production have both been nearly non-existent. However, the return of Kyler Murray in Week 10 changes everything. Last season with Murray, Moore averaged 8.4 fantasy points per game, rattling off 19.9, 10.9, and 13.9 fantasy points in a three-week stretch prior to suffering a season-ending injury in 2022. Moore showcased his versatile skillset earlier this season with a designed run up the middle for a touchdown against the Cowboys, so he's an extremely cheap acquisition to stash for the upcoming weeks. Arizona draws Atlanta's pass defense which has been abysmal in the last few weeks, and then Moore will get more quality matchups against the Rams and Steelers secondaries in Weeks 12 and 13. Buy now ahead of his increased production with Murray back under center.
Jonnu Smith (TE - Falcons)
Jonnu Smith had his best outing of the 2023 season against Minnesota in Week 9, breaking off a huge 61-yard touchdown reception on a designed screen pass. Smith saw more targets than Kye Pitts for the second time this season despite playing with new QB1, Taylor Heinicke. The amount of two tight-end sets that head coach Arthur Smith runs, plus his preferred play action pass attempts in a run-centric scheme, means Smith should continue to absorb plenty of targets as a safety valve in the middle of the field for Heinicke. He's been involved as a pass catcher all season, so despite facing Arizona's defense, which is the seventh-worst tight end matchup in fantasy this season, Smith is a viable streamer to plug into lineups. Even if he doesn't break 10 points, most tight ends are coming nowhere near that mark, so guaranteed volume and usage are always a plus, especially during another potentially high-scoring shootout during Kyler Murray's return to the Cardinals in Week 10.
Will Levis (QB - Titans)
To no one's surprise, rookie quarterback Will Levis was named QB1 for the Titans earlier this week, replacing Ryan Tannehill, who initially was ruled out due to an ankle injury. Levis dazzled against the Falcons in his debut, throwing four touchdowns, all of them deep targets, mostly to wideout DeAndre Hopkins. Levis was significantly worse against Pittsburgh on the road in Week 10, failing to throw a touchdown and completing under 57 percent of his pass attempts. We haven't seen Levis use his legs much either, capping his floor, but a juicy matchup against a Tampa Bay pass defense that just allowed rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud to shred them for 470 yards and five touchdowns in Week 9 couldn't be a better spot for the Titans' rookie signal caller to face. Levis is a high-end QB2 in Week 10 that is a viable streaming option in one quarterback leagues. He then gets the Jaguars in Week 11, which is another vulnerable pass defense, presenting back-to-back top six fantasy quarterback matchups for Levis to churn out production.
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Matt is an avid writer and enjoys analyzing the game within the game that is fantasy sports. Music is another constant in his daily life. Matt loves spending time with his fiancé and three pets, which typically involves some type of outdoor exercise or adventure. He likes to read, listen to Podcasts, and is constantly motivated to create the most accurate and engaging content in the fantasy sports industry. Pat McAfee is a massive inspiration to Matt, along with his parents and friends. He is guilty of ordering the same menu item at restaurants.