Players to Avoid in Week 10: Win Without Winston

Daily fantasy football isn’t all about who you are going to use. Sometimes it’s just as important to determine who you aren’t going to use. That way, if the salary happens to fit for your last spot, you’ll know which names to disregard in order to produce the greatest overall fantasy point output. Here are the guys to cross off your list heading into the 10th week of the NFL season.

Jameis Winston, Buccaneers, $10,000 – Starting quarterbacks (QBs) are never ever priced at the bare minimum on FantasyDraft, so this one is a bit surprising. The value alone may entice a fantasy owner to buy in, similar to basement pricing at Walmart. You may not need three copies of Kevin James’ “Paul Blart: Mall Cop”, but at 99 cents, the DVDs basically buy themselves. Let me be the one to tell you: don’t. Sure the Cowboys have been reasonably tough on QBs as they have allowed the ninth-fewest fantasy-point output to the position, but that’s not even the main reason to avoid Jameis Winston… his receivers can’t catch! Watching the Buccaneers’ offense last week was enough to make you sick to your stomach, as Mike Evans dropped five passes alone… and he’s supposed to be their top target! Add Doug Martin’s lone drop to the equation and Tampa Bay pass-catchers dropped nearly 20-percent (19.44) of Winston’s attempts last week. The team misses Vincent Jackson and it appears he’s not close to returning either. Combine a less-than-appealing matchup with a brutal receiving core and there’s simply no reason to use Winston even if you want to save money at the position. Ryan Tannehill and Sam Bradford are only slightly more expensive, yet possess much higher ceilings. Lean in their direction instead.

Jeremy Langford, Bears, $9,200 – Did you hear a loud sigh on Monday evening in the distance? That was the sound of the daily fantasy community’s relief when Jeremy Langford finally entered the game after Ka’Deem Carey drew the start seemingly out of nowhere. When all was said and done, Langford did indeed act as the team’s workhorse back and produced more than 140 total yards and a TD. However, St. Louis’ defense is not San Diego’s defense… this one will be an infinitely more difficult test for Langford and the Bears’ offense as a whole. San Diego ranks in the bottom seven of total yards allowed while the Rams rank in the top five (meaning they have allowed the fifth-fewest total yards). They have allowed the 11th-fewest-or-less total of fantasy points to the QB, running back (RB), wide receiver (WR) and TE positions. In fact, the only ones who have had success against the Rams are defense/special teams units (D/ST) that play against their offense. Look, Langford will once again be allotted a full workload, so he’ll have plenty of opportunity to produce. I just don’t see him as an upper-echelon cash play in a very difficult matchup coming off a price increase of $1,600. Could he produce with all the volume he’ll be receiving? Absolutely. I simply will be avoiding him in cash goes and looking towards safer options like Matt Jones against the putrid New Orleans Saints’ defense.

Brandin Cooks, Saints, $12,000 – Look who reared his head into relevance once again last week. Brandin Cooks beat the defense and found the end zone, his visits to which have unfortunately has been few and far between this season. Other than the three touchdowns (TDs) he has accounted for in the past two weeks, he had scored just one other time in the previous seven weeks. His recent uptick in production/success may lead one to go back to the well in week 10, but he’s the fantasy equivalent of fool’s gold. At 5’10”, he’s not going to be a consistent target in the red zone on anything other than short routes. The team likes to go to the TEs or even resort to the running attack once they get to the goal line, so the likelihood of another TD is low. Furthermore, according to Football Outsiders, the Redskins rank among the most effective against team’s opposing WR1 in the passing game. This feels like a game where Drew Brees will spread the ball around, therefore making any single receiver difficult to rely on. Do not succumb to the “recency bias” in regards to Cooks.

Brandon Marshall, Jets, $14,400 – Okay, so this one is only for those playing the Thursday-Monday slate this week, but Brandon Marshall should not be in consideration. He’s a true WR1 in both fantasy and reality yet the whole Thursday thing typically hampers production, especially in the passing games. There is a narrative in play as the Jets’ will look to stick it to their ex-Coach Rex Ryan who just named IK Enemkpali, the guy who knocked out Geno Smith in the preseason, the team’s co-captain. Regardless of the overlying un-quantifiable factors, the Bills have been far stingier against number-one WRs than number twos. That’s why if I were playing a receiver from this game, I would go with Eric Decker against the Bills, who notoriously possess a group of vertically challenged corners (which in theory should benefit Marshall as well). Decker has found the end zone in every game but one that he has suited up in this season and I believe that he, and not Marshall, adds to the total this week, making him the play.

Julius Thomas, Jaguars, $7,200 – It’s frustrating to think about Julius Thomas’ stats last season then stare at this price and still have to pass. “We’re not in Kansas anymore,” was Dorothy’s famous line from The Wizard of Oz, but as for Thomas: he’s not in Denver anymore. To be fair, he is still recovering from a hand injury that kept him out for the first four weeks and is now suffering from a groin injury. In reality he has only caught six passes in three games besides his anomaly seven-catch, 78-yard week six capped off by a TD. The Ravens have given it up in the passing game but have allowed the fourth-least amount of fantasy points to the TE position. It appears it’s going to be a big week for Blake Bortles and his pass-catchers, but guys like Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns are more likely to be the main beneficiaries.

Ricky Sanders

Ricky Sanders

Ricky Sanders is a fantasy sports expert with over 15 years of playing experience. After starting several freelance fantasy sports blogs, Ricky moved up in the fantasy industry when he joined Going9 Baseball. He wrote fantasy baseball content and had a weekly radio spot on the site’s SiriusXM Satellite Radio show. Shortly thereafter, in early 2013, Ricky joined RotoExperts as a three-sport fantasy contributor, eventually becoming one of the site’s lead basketball writers. While writing for RotoExperts, Ricky was introduced to daily fantasy sports and immediately fell in love. With help from some of his mentors, some of the best DFS players in the world, he honed his skills and became the daily fantasy expert he is today. When RotoExperts created a daily-focused website called, Ricky was brought on as one of the main contributors. He still makes frequent appearances on the RotoExperts SiriusXM Radio show and on the FNTSY Sports Television Network, talking daily fantasy sports. He also continues to write for a few DFS content sites: RotoCurve and The Fantasy Fix. Ricky is a proud and active member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. He has agreed to be a writer and representative for the FantasyDraft brand and serves as an ambassador to the site. He has no more access to the site than the typical user. Don’t hesitate to contact Ricky with questions on Twitter @RSandersDFS.

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