start em sit em week 10 nfl fantasy football

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Smoke ’em, pass ’em Week 10: London calling

OK fantasy football advice for the lonely.

Nov 12, 2019, 3:19 pm*

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Ken Griggs 

Ken Griggs

Start ’em, sit ’em, and other fantasy football advice.

Fantasy football has always been a game more frustrating than fun. With the amount of useful and, honestly, unnecessarily thorough information available it would seem we could curb some of the frustration. Just pick good players. But it’s never been that easy and it never will be.

Data is useless. How else can we explain the Jacksonville Jaguars not throwing every down against the Houston Texans on Sunday morning in London?

I woke up Sunday morning excited for the London game. I should know better. Everything England has given us besides the Beatles and Monty Python has been rubbish. And this game was no different. Bill O’Brien and Doug Marrone are the types of guys who drive 55 in the left lane of the interstate and never notice all the middle fingers because they’re too busy tuning their AM radios to easy listening adult contemporary.

You know why your teams never win anything important? Because they’re run by assholes who have never tasted a beer. For the love of all things holy, take a shot downfield. DeShaun Watson is Superman and O’Brien is basically a dumbed-down version of Lex Luther. Marrone wants so desperately for the NFL to still be in the early ’60s so he can listen to “Love Me Do” and make-out at the drive-in.

I get it. It’s about winning. And Houston won. And Carlos Hyde is Earl Campbell. But the early incompetence and impotence were impossible to watch. And there is no excuse for Marrone and Gardenhose Moleshoe’s performance. Terrible games are becoming pandemic in the NFL.

We talk about it every week, but the product they are feeding us is increasingly hard to swallow. Matt Nagy. Adam Gase. Bill Callahan. Freddie Kitchens. It’s like a list of people picked last in a retirement home kickball game. And I’m afraid it’s going to get worse before it gets better.

I didn’t watch another down of football after the first half of that game. It was a subtle protest, but it felt refreshing. It’s hard to imagine a worse product than a 26-3 London game that was 9-3 at halftime. I need to be slightly informed to write this nonsense, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to wipe the blood from my eyes to watch teams shoot themselves in the foot over and over. It’s like Plaxico Burress dressing up as Sisyphus for Halloween.

Honestly, even after this raging, I don’t feel better. I left Zach Pascal on my bench in three leagues. Maybe that’s where my frustration is at? If he’s available he’s the guy to grab: Three more weeks sans T.Y. Hilton and a soft matchup against Miami this weekend.

The best way to forget about the weekend? Smoke a bowl and dive into Week 10’s smoke ’em, pass ’em.

Smoke ’em

Quarterbacks

Jimmy Garoppolo vs. Seattle: The thing about Jimmy is he’s cooler than the other side of Tom Brady’s pillow. Normally I’m not about starting a player after a huge game (an idiotic theory of mine), but Seattle has given up the second-most passing yards in the league. And that sort of data never fails us, right? Also, he and Manny Sanders already have better chemistry than he and Erin Andrews.

Ryan Tannehill vs. Kansas City: Despite throwing two picks at Carolina he topped 300 yards for the second time since taking over under center. Kansas City has been decent against the pass, but it’ll be tough to beat K.C. without throwing the ball. A.J. Brown led the team in targets with seven, but with 39 pass attempts that number should be 10 or more. This fashionable NFL trend of spreading the ball to 10 players is fun in theory until it sacrifices keeping the ball out of the hands of your best players, said a crying and barefoot Odell Beckham Jr.

Running backs

Devin Singletary at Cleveland: I was wrong last week to assume game flow would favor Frank Gore. The reality is Singletary has supplanted Gore, a feat once thought impossible, like killing the Highlander or making the Jets competitive. Once again we turn to the numbers: 23 touches for 140 and a TD. Admittedly this was against a porous Washington defense, but Cleveland gives up 140 a game. Talk about a fall from grace for these Browns. What was it Milton said in Paradise Lost? “Awake, arise or be forever fall’n.” But alarm clocks are broken in Cleveland. The long and lonely sleep continues. Take seven rounds of offensive lineman next year. If Baker can’t play after that, well, at least you can give Nick Chubb the ball in short-yardage situations. Like on third and one at Denver’s five. Or surely then on fourth and one, right? “See with what heat these Dogs of Hell advance/ To waste and havoc yonder World.”

David Montgomery vs. Detroit: Two in a row. Now you know what you gotta do no matter what? You have to start him. And Detroit has been run over most of the year, including a gouging of 170 on the ground to Oakland last week. But there’s something you need to know. One week, and again let’s hope it’s not this one, but one week Matt Nagy will ruin this, as he’s ruined everything he’s ever looked at. He’s like Medusa only instead of stone you turn into Mitch Trubisky. Stoned Mitch Trubisky starting for Cleveland in 2020.

Wide receivers

Diontae Johnson vs. Los Angeles Rams: JuJu has played better which should theoretically help. The Rams have played great D in the last two, but against the Falcons and Bengals. Volatility is not something to promote this time of year, but this should be a decent floor for the unheralded Steeler. It’s best not to have any expectations, good or bad. This way you will never be disappointed. A friend told me that. It applies to fantasy football 100% of the time.

Calvin Ridley at New Orleans: Before the bye, the Saints D was balling out. With two weeks to prepare, this seems like a recipe for disaster. But, here again, we roll the dice on garbage time. And Matt Schaub, who may play if Matt Ryan sits again with an ankle problem, isn’t afraid to make mistakes. Schaub is so bad he throws pick-12s—here that may help us.

Tight ends

Gerald Everett at Pittsburgh: The production could be scheme-driven, a known stench to permeate from this position. But with no Brandin Cooks, Everett should see a boost. Not that my opinion matters (neither does yours, by the way), but Cooks should retire from the number of concussions he’s sustained. This oneAnd this one. Stop it. Retire. But the real question is why hasn’t Russell Wilson simply shipped him some of the Anti-Concussion Juice he drinks? The note on the case would read: “God wanted you to have those concussions, Brandin, but he’d want you to continue playing for him. Your friend, Virgin Wilson.”

Pass ’em

Quarterbacks

Ryan Fitzpatrick at Indianapolis: I don’t know what to say, really. Imagine being so close to the No. 1 player in the draft, a quarterback who could change everything, only to have it ruined by a bearded troubadour. Think about it. Tua Tagovailoa from an island—a man who isn’t afraid of the vast nothingness of the oceans—destined to Miami. A man who is being coached by Nick Saban. The same Saban who helped sign Daunte Culpepper instead of Drew Brees when he coached in Miami. The fates are cruel.

Baker Mayfield vs. Buffalo: The 2022 starting quarterback for the Miami Dolphins, Baker Mayfield.

Running backs

Joe Mixon vs. Baltimore: What a forgettable season. And Baltimore is second behind only Tampa Bay in rushing defense. But you probably don’t have better options. This segue is a chef’s kiss.

Kenyan Drake vs. Tampa Bay: He is probably in the same category as Monty now. You have no choice, but with David Johnson back and against the No. 1 rushing defense in the league, is this your king? Or maybe he’s been freed. And there is nothing more dangerous than a person who finds freedom for the first time. Yes, my children, let me tell you about my days on Tinder.

Wide receivers

D.K. Metcalf at San Francisco: Coming off his breakout, he gets a stingy Niners D giving up just 138 yards passing a game.

Michael Gallup vs. Minnesota: It’s been weeks since the 14-target Green Bay performance. The volatility is high and the upside has all but disappeared much like the Dallas Cowboys in January.

Tight ends

T.J. Hockenson at Chicago: This guy has a concussion and nearly had his last breath knocked out of him last weekend. Stafford on the road in Chicago can’t be good, but it’s too late at night and too far into this to go digging for stats. Pickup Mike Gesicki because nothing says desperation, destruction, and nihilism like a Miami Dolphin in your starting lineup.

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*First Published: Nov 5, 2019, 11:47 am