I’ve rebranded the classic fantasy football start sit column into “Roasts & Ghosts”. A roast is a player who is not only a clear start, but could be in for a monster game. A ghost meanwhile is a player who could just be a typical sit (not worth even starting) or might be a star player who gives you less than you were expecting.
I have a roast and a ghost for each position to help you set your best lineups for Week 10. Let’s get it!
Roast: Matt Ryan vs Dallas Cowboys
Ryan has rather quietly been having himself a strong fantasy season. Outside of a dud against the Panthers in Week 8, Ryan has thrown for over 280 yards and at least 2 touchdowns in each of his last five games. He’s gone for over 330 yards in three of his last four. Coming off a 343 yard, 2 touchdown performance against the Saints, Ryan gets to face off against a Cowboys defense allowing 25 PPG to opposing QBs (4th most). In a game that’s ripe for a shootout, I like Ryan to again put up elite fantasy numbers.
Ghost: Baker Mayfield vs New England Patriots
It hasn’t been a great year for Mayfield, but he is coming off one of his best games of the season. Against the Bengals last week, Baker tossed for 218 yards and 2 touchdowns, finishing as the QB11. I wouldn’t get my hopes up for Baker repeating this performance. The Patriots’ secondary leads the NFL in interceptions and is allowing the 5th-fewest fantasy points to opposing QBs. Even with Nick Chubb out due to COVID and the Browns likely having to put the ball in Mayfield’s hands to win, I still don’t think he’s worth starting this week.
Roast: Devin Singletary vs New York Jets
It feels risky to invest anything in the Bills’ backfield but if Zach Moss misses Week 10, Singletary is a must-start. Against the Jaguars in Week 9 with Moss missing for most of the game, Singletary played 72% of the snaps—his highest percentage since Week 1. He also saw eight targets, a role he did not have with Moss on the field. This elite workload couldn’t come at a better time for Singletary managers.
No defense is allowing more RB PPG than the Jets this season, giving up over 30 per game. Not only are they giving up the 5th-most rushing yards and most rushing touchdowns, they’re also getting picked apart through the air, surrendering the most receiving yards to backs. Singletary is a high-end RB2 with RB1 potential this week easily.
Ghost: Antonio Gibson vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The fact that Gibson is still dealing with a shin injury is your first red flag this week. An already banged up running back facing the NFL’s 3rd-best run defense (per NEFF) is not a great start. Add to that that Gibson hasn’t rushed for over 70 yards since Week 1 and hasn’t seen more than 42% of the snaps since Week 6 and it’s clear why he’s a ghost.
The way to beat this Bucs’ run defense is by attacking them through the air. The Bucs have given up the 5th-most receptions and 3rd-most receiving touchdowns to backs this year. Unfortunately, despite being a wide receiver in college, Gibson is not Washington’s primary pass catcher out of the backfield. Gibson’s 2.6 targets per game pail in comparison to fellow running back J.D. McKissic’s 5.3. Washington might choose to highlight McKissic, further diminishing Gibson’s value.
Roast: Mike Williams vs Minnesota Vikings
I’m going big here and using my roast to put some good vibes out in the world. After Williams featured as my ghost last week—he finished WR40 in .5PPR—I’m flipping the script and calling his bounce-back.
Despite seeing just five targets in each of his last two games, Williams has been in lockstep with Keenan Allen in terms of snap count and percentage of routes run per snap. This means his lack of production isn’t tied to fewer opportunities, the ball just isn’t coming his way. The boundary receiver has a chance to get right this week against the Vikings’ woeful secondary.
Minnesota’s starting boundary corner Bashaud Breeland is giving up a 116.5 passer rating when in coverage, allowing 458 yards and 4 touchdowns (per PFF). The Vikings have also found themselves in their fair share of shootouts in the last four weeks, allowing the 7th-most WR targets. All and all, I trust Williams to return to high-end WR2 status this week.
Ghost: Courtland Sutton vs Philadelphia Eagles
The return of Jerry Jeudy has not been kind to Sutton managers. After leading the Broncos’ with a 23.7% target share through Week 7, Sutton has seen just 12.2% of the team’s targets over the last two weeks. Even with his increased target share, Sutton still wasn’t that efficient as he has the 5th-worst NECC rating of the top 30 WRs in .5PPR this year.
This isn’t a get-right week for Sutton either as the Eagles have allowed the 4th-fewest WR PPG this season. Boundary corner Darius Slay is allowing a 67.4 completion percentage and a 86.6 QBR (per PFF). I have Sutton ranked as a mid-to-low WR3 this week.
Roast: Dan Arnold vs Indianapolis Colts
I HATE that I’m putting my faith back in the Jacksonville Jaguars but it’s impossible to ignore Dan Arnold. Since being traded to the Jaguars, Arnold is averaging 6.4 targets, 4.4 receptions, and 49.6 yards per game. And that’s including his first game there were he went 2/2-29-0. The Colts are tied with the Chiefs, giving up the 5th-most TE PPG this season. They’ve also allowed a tight end touchdown in back-to-back games. You should stream and start Arnold this week.
Ghost: Pat Freiermuth vs Detroit Lions
This may be sacrilege to say given how Pat Freiermuth has been playing recently but I’m preparing for a letdown. The Lions haven’t done a lot right this season but one thing they do well is limit TE scoring. They’ve allowed just two touchdowns to the position this year. Freiermuth has been on a tear but it’s been bolstered by elite touchdown production. With the Lions allowing just seven red zone TE targets this year, I’m not sold Freiermuth finds the end zone this week, dampening his ceiling.