Fantasy football analyst Sal Vetri will use this space to deliver his keys to victory each week of the 2023 NFL season.
Takeaway #1: The best RB spot of the week belongs to Jahmyr Gibbs
David Montgomery returned in Week 10 but did not regain the strong role we saw earlier this season. He played just 38% of the Lions’ snaps and saw just 39% of their carries. There’s a chance he was limited after the injury, but it was freshman Jahmyr Gibbs who continued to serve as the lead back.
Gibbs played 58% of the snaps and handled 61% of the backfield opportunities, his most in a game with Montgomery this season. This week, Gibbs and the Lions are nine-point favorites against the Bears’ 29th-ranked defense. Starting RBs in similar matchups are averaging over 14 points this season.
Takeaway #2: The questionable RB spot of the week belongs to Isiah Pacheco
Pacheco enjoyed a career-high effort heading into his bye week, playing 70% of the Chiefs’ snaps and completing 76% of their carries. He’s a buy for the rest of the season, but this week you need to temper expectations.
Kansas City has a brutal matchup with the Eagles defensive line. Philadelphia allows the fewest yards and fantasy points to opposing RBs. The 8.9 points allowed per game is 18% less than any other team. Pacheco can still get there on touchdowns, but don’t expect him to be efficient in this matchup.
Insight #3: Record and play Jaylen Guyton
He might be the sneakiest show-off of the year so far. In Week 10, Guyton completed 85% of routes and completed six goals. He turned this into a solid fantasy day with 12.1 points. It’s nothing crazy, but he’s heading in the right direction and the chemistry between him and Justin Herbert has been there for years.
Guyton has been a good choice downfield in the past, but he saw attractive action in Week 10. His average depth of target was 10 yards downfield, 41% less than his career average. This will lead to more catchable targets and more reliable fantasy production. He’s worth playing this week against a Packers secondary that has three fewer defensive backs.
Takeaway #4: Diontae Johnson is the #1 trade target
He scored just 2.2 fantasy points in Week 10. This is disappointing considering the great matchup. Johnson faced a struggling Packers defense that also sidelined their cornerback, Jaire Alexander. Despite this, Johnson only managed one catch on four targets.
But that wasn’t his fault. The Steelers only threw 23 times due to their success running the ball. Najee Harris and Jaylen Warren combined for 31 carries and 183 yards. This was a clear outlier week as Kenny Pickett targeted his receivers a total of nine times.
Buy Johnson at a bargain price ahead of the Yahoo Fantasy trade deadline and his elite remaining season schedule as he will face five top-10 secondary players over the next six weeks.
Takeaway #5: Rondale Moore is a player to keep an eye on
He hasn’t lived up to expectations this season, as Moore has averaged just 3.7 targets and 14 yards per game this year. But in Week 10 he got Kyler Murray back. Rondale was one of Murray’s favorite targets in Week 10. He had five catches on a strong eight targets.
Rondale was great last season when healthy. With Murray, he averaged 5.6 catches per game and ranked 17th in WR points during that time. Now it’s time to add Rondale as Murray looked great in his season debut. Moore is available in 90% of Yahoo leagues and his schedule for the remainder of the season includes matchups against the Rams, Bears, Eagles and Steelers. All four secondaries rank in the bottom ten compared to fantasy receivers.
Takeaway #6: Marvin Mims Jr. is a rookie to keep an eye on
He has only scored 15 goals in total this season. Mims has not recorded a fantasy point in a game since Week 4. In fact, Marvin Mims has scored a total of -1.73 points in his last five games.
That’s right, negative points.
So why on earth would you monitor its usage? I’m glad you asked.
Mims ran a season-high 76% of routes in Week 10. This was his highest performance of the year at 30%, and the usage spike came right after the Broncos’ bye week.
These are the trends we want to watch closely when it comes to talented rookies who can go on to become league winners. Mims was one of the fastest and most explosive receivers at the combine, averaging over 20 yards per reception in college. If his stakes remain high, it will only be a matter of time before he starts making plays.
Takeaway #7: The fantasy playoff stock is the Texans’ defense
Houston’s defense has been a middle-of-the-pack fantasy unit this season. They are averaging 6.7 points per game, which is about the same as what the Eagles defense has scored this season. The difference? Philadelphia’s defense is represented in 76% of leagues, while the Texans’ defense is represented in 9% of leagues.
Houston has struggled against the run this season, but its secondary has been surprisingly good. According to PFF, this unit ranks 11th in coverage tier. The real reason you want them is their playoff schedule. The Texans face the Jets, Titans and Browns in the fantasy playoffs. That means they will likely face Zach Wilson, Will Levis and Dorian Thompson-Robinson. One could argue that this is the best QB route for any fantasy defense; Hide the Texans D
Result #8: Jaylen Warren is a late-round league pick
He was a popular late-round pick this summer and far outperformed the players you drafted. In Week 10, Warren ranked among the top five RBs with 18 points on 17 touches. Warren was efficient, averaging 6.7 yards per carry and playing the most snaps ahead of Najee Harris.
Warren now ranks in the top 10 in RB efficiency for the second straight year. After Week 10, Warren had six top-24 finishes in his nine games. As a reminder, he was often taken among the top 40 RBs in drafts this summer.
Expect the Steelers to continue to rely on the efficient Warren in their playoff push. He will have a solid schedule at the end of the season against the Cardinals, Bengals, Patriots and Colts.
Insight #9: Ty Chandler is an RB with upside
Alexander Mattison left in Week 10 with a concussion. But before he left, the Vikings’ backfield continued to develop. Ty Chandler was more involved as he shared backfield contacts with Mattison. Chandler was more efficient during this time, averaging five yards per touchdown and one touchdown.
Chandler is a second-year player who was injured as a rookie. In his senior year, he rushed for 1,300 yards and 14 TDs. Chandler has elite speed and can catch passes. He has the talent to take over this backfield and it could start in Week 11.
Chandler is leaning toward starting Week 11 while Mattison works through the concussion protocol. He would go against the Broncos’ top-five run defense. Start him if Mattison is out.
Insight #10: The Buffalo Bills’ unresolved backfield
There have been ups and downs for James Cook this season. In Week 10, he totaled 120 yards on just 14 touches. That’s the name of the game for Cook; be highly efficient by touch. But despite this strong production, his performance remains suspect.
Cook played just 48% of the snaps in Week 10 and saw less than half of the backfield carries. Veteran Latavius Murray played more snaps than Cook and made 45% of the backfield touches. Murray also saw the goal line work.
If you can, now is a good time to sell Cook before the trade deadline. Buffalo seems to like Murray and that makes sense. He is reliable and averages over seven yards per carry. There’s also a chance that Leonard Fournette could get involved. Trade away Cook if you still can.