Top 10 Fantasy Football Takeaways from Week 10 Usage
1. New-Look Lions Backfield
|Week 10||Jahmyr Gibbs||David Montgomery|
This was a significant shift coming off the bye week.
Gibbs and Montgomery essentially rotated series, with Gibbs subbing in for most passing downs.
Perhaps most noteworthy: Gibbs tallied five opportunities (carries + targets) inside the Chargers' 10-yard line to Montgomery's two. That work had previously been dominated by Montgomery.
If this deployment continues -- and I think it will -- we can expect Gibbs and Montgomery to split carries down the middle. Gibbs will be the much better target bet.
That'd make the rookie a borderline RB1 in this high-scoring offense.
Montgomery, meanwhile, will be left as a very TD-reliant fantasy play. Lions RBs have combined to average 27 carries per game this season. If Montgomery is getting half of that work, he's looking at 13-14 carries per game. But he's TOTALED only three targets in four games with Gibbs.
That makes Montgomery a potential sell candidate coming off the big Week 10.
It's worth noting, though, that the Lions have seventh-easiest remaining RB schedule. That could help Montgomery out-perform his volume.
2. Are Falcons Ready to Feature Bijan Robinson?
|Week 10||Bijan Robinson|
Robinson racked up a season-high 22 carries in the Week 10 loss to the Cardinals. His 75% snap rate and 54% rush-attempt share were both top-three marks on the year.
So are the Falcons finally ready to unleash their first-round rookie?
Maybe. But maybe not.
We saw Robinson post similar snap and rush-attempt shares back in Weeks 3 and 4:
- Week 3: 81% snaps, 50% rush attempts
- Week 4: 76% snaps, 64% rush attempts
But then he went five straight games with a rush-attempt share south of 50%.
We'll see what this backfield looks like coming out of a Week 11 bye.
If his Week 10 usage sticks, Robinson will have top-five fantasy upside the rest of the way.
We just can't be fully confident that it will.
3. Buy Jonathan Taylor
|Week 10||Jonathan Taylor||Zack Moss|
This will be the last time I write up Taylor in this space. (Probably.)
But I wanted to highlight him again because I think this week presents one more opportunity to acquire him via trade at a relative discount.
Taylor scored a one-yard TD in Germany this past week but was otherwise underwhelming, totaling just 75 yards.
But he set season highs with:
- 23 carries
- 88% snap rate
- 74% route rate
Taylor has steadily pulled away from Moss and now looks to have one of the most valuable roles for a RB in fantasy football.
Take advantage of the recent inefficiency (and the Week 11 bye) to grab a RB with a chance to be a top-5 scorer at the position from Week 12 on.
4. Rico Dowdle Threatening Tony Pollard?
|First three quarters||Tony pollard||rico dowdle|
|fourth quarter||Tony pollard||rico dowdle|
The final Week 10 box score makes it look like Dowdle has turned this Dallas backfield into a true committee.
But that was more the result of the lopsided score. Pollard controlled work for the first three quarters, out-carrying Dowdle 15 to six.
Pollard didn't get the rock at all in the fourth quarter of the blowout win, while Dowdle carried six times.
There are still plenty of concerns with Pollard: Inefficiency, an allergy to the end zone, and the fact that he's topped 17 opportunities just once in his last six games.
But Dowdle is not a threat to Pollard's lead role -- at least not yet.
5. Jaylen Warren the “Starter”
|weeks 1-9||week 10|
The Steelers announced Warren as their starter prior to Sunday's game vs. the Packers.
Often times, that means little for actual playing time and usage. But, in this case, it meant a noticeable bump for Warren.
His 52% snap rate was a season high by a few percentage points. His 15 carries were also a season high, as was the 42% rush-attempt share. Warren also continued to play more passing-down snaps than RB Najee Harris.
This Steelers backfield has been productive lately, with Warren and Harris combining for seven top-24 PPR finishes over the last four weeks (Harris 4, Warren 3).
There's enough to go around in this run-leaning Steelers offense for both guys to be top-30 backs the rest of the way.
If Warren's Week 10 usage sticks, he could flirt with top-20 production.
6. Jerome Ford Back on Top
|Week 10||Jerome Ford||Kareem hunt||Pierre strong|
That ankle injury proved to be just a small bump in the road for Ford.
After being limited in Week 8, he's re-emerged as the clear lead ball-carrier and passing-down back for Cleveland.
Ford has racked up 37 carries and eight targets over the past two weeks to Hunt's 28 carries and one target.
Strong tallied three carries and one target in Week 9 and then didn't hit the field this past week.
QB Deshaun Watson's season-ending shoulder injury hurts Ford's situation.
But he should get enough volume to at least be a weekly RB3 or flex play. And he gets the fifth-easiest remaining RB schedule.
7. James Conner Returns to ‘Meh’ Role
|Week 10||James Conner|
Conner returned from his knee injury as Arizona's clear lead back.
He played 63% of the offensive snaps and handled 16 of 19 RB carries (84%).
Conner wasn't targeted on any of QB Kyler Murray's 32 passes, though. And he registered an underwhelming 43% route rate.
We saw similar usage before the knee injury, with Conner failing to top a 41% route rate or two targets in any of his last three healthy games.
It's a strange decision from the Cardinals considering Conner's strong pass-catching resume. But unless it changes, Conner will be an inconsistent weekly fantasy producer that will need to find the end zone to really pay off.
8. Aaron Jones Controls Packers Backfield Again
|week 9||week 10|
Here's why looking at usage is so important.
Jones popped off for 19.9 PPR points in Week 9. He scored just 9.4 in Week 10.
But his playing time and rush-attempt share were nearly identical.
The difference? Green Bay played with the lead in Week 9, resulting in more runs. And Jones found the end zone.
That's the fickle nature of fantasy production. But Jones' usage tells us that he's a rock-solid RB2 going forward, with weekly RB1 upside.
9. Noah Brown Ahead of Robert Woods
|Week 10 route rates|
Brown followed his 6-153-1 Week 9 breakout with a 7-172-0 line in Week 10. Only CeeDee Lamb has more receiving yards over the last two weeks.
But the most important development for Brown's rest-of-season outlook was him running significantly more pass routes than Woods. That signals that Brown will remain a top-three WR even when Nico Collins returns.
And deservedly so. Brown is up to a big 2.87 yards per route this season, while Woods has mustered just 1.14.
Considering how well QB C.J. Stroud is playing, Brown looks like at least a weekly WR4 even when Collins gets back in the mix.
10. Might Marvin Mims Actually Happen?
After claiming multiple times that Mims would get more playing time, HC Sean Payton finally delivered. Mims easily registered a season-high route rate coming off the bye week.
Now, it didn't matter at all in Week 10. The rookie finished catch-less on one target.
He still faces stout target competition from WRs Courtland Sutton and Jerry Jeudy. And the Broncos have gone run-heavy lately, with RB Javonte Williams the centerpiece of the offense.
Mims still feels like a long shot for reliable 2023 fantasy value. But the 76% route rate at least gives him a shot.
He's worth stashing in deeper fantasy leagues.