Incredibly, we’re already at Week 10 of the 2016 NFL season. The time to start making that late season surge for the fantasy playoffs is NOW, people. These four lesser owned stalwarts are here to give you the edge this week. Use them wisely, ignore them at your peril.
Jay Cutler (owned in 1.7% of NFL.com leagues)
Stop laughing. Seriously, stop laughing. Smoking Jay has a grand matchup on his hands this week against the sieve like defense of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Mike Smith’s unit is allowing 281 passing yards per game, 13.3 yards per completion (most in the league) and 8.9 adjusted yards per attempt (2nd most in the league). Only four teams are allowing more fantasy points per game to quarterbacks than the Bucs, which when you factor in the fact that they’ve also allowed the most FPG to wide receivers makes them a defense to be attacked on a weekly basis, whoever is throwing the ball. Cutler has seen only limited action in 2016, but he did post 14.28 fantasy points against the Vikings in his last game. This could be one of those rare weeks that you can trust Jay.
Chris Ivory (63.4%)
Nate Hackett has only had one game as the Jags offensive coordinator, but already he has shown his blueprint for the team moving forward. He wants to run the ball. This is good news for Ivory, who rewarded his faith to some degree last week against the Chiefs. The Chiefs had allowed 209 rushing yards combined in their previous two games before facing the Jags, but allowed 205 in that game. Ivory saw a season high 18 carries for 107 yards. The Texans, not as stout a defense as their reputation would suggest, are allowing 125.8 rushing yards per game in 2016, at 4.4 yards per clip. They’ve also allowed 10 rushing scores on the season, eight to running backs. Assuming he is not punished for his goal line fumble last week, Ivory should see sufficient volume to reward his owners in Week 10.
Tyrell Williams (33.6%)
The Dolphins seem to have embraced a hard nosed, run the ball and play sound defense approach to their game in recent weeks, which is good when you can run the ball. But it helps if you play sound defense. Their cornerbacks are, how shall we put it, awful, they are allowing the 7th most fantasy points to wide receivers and nearly 63% of all pass attempts to be completed against them. Williams has seen at least five targets in eight out of nine games this season, and leads the Chargers receivers with 595 receiving yards at 15.7 yards per reception. I expect Rivers to look for him early and often in this matchup.
Richard Rodgers (10.5%)
The tight end gig in Green Bay was supposed to be Jared Cook’s. Yeah, that doesn’t look like its going to happen. With that in mind, the job is still Rodgers to babysit. He was quite involved last week, snaring six of his 10 targets for 64 yards against the Colts, and assuming the Packers look to keep him involved he actually has rather a favourable matchup this week. Antonio Gates and Jack Doyle both have had 70+ yards and a touchdown against the Titans this season, while Gary Barnidge caught three of five targets for 59 yards against them. Rodgers isn’t going to blow your doors off this week, but don’t worry. He’s unlikely to do that any week.