Kickoff: Sunday, November 11th at 1 PM ET
Location: Gillette Stadium, Foxboro Massachusetts
Betting Odds: NE -2.5, 45.5 total via Oddsshark
Baker Mayfield (Start, QB1)
What happens when you remove a big-name wide receiver from most offenses? The quarterback struggles. Not so much for Baker Mayfield and the Browns. Week 9 saw the Browns and Baker crush the Bengals and continue to keep the AFC North on its toes. Mayfield comes into Week 10 rolling but faces a tough defense in the Patriots. Bill Belichick is known for taking away a team’s top offensive option. For the Browns, that’s the running game so Baker should be given plenty of opportunities to sling the ball around and continue his solid season. He’s worth starting but I have him as a lower-end QB1.
Nick Chubb (Sit,
Start, RB1), D’Ernest Johnson (Start, RB2 Sit), Demetric Felton (Sit)
UPDATE: it looks like Chubb will miss so fire up your D’Ernest Johnson as an RB2. Browns are still run first.
The Browns are a running team. It’s what they want to do and what they do all the time. They are one of the top teams in the league in terms of a run-to-pass ratio. Nick Chubb has been a work horseback for the Browns. Returning from injury two weeks ago in Week 8, Chubb has gotten 30 carries and rushed for 198 yards and two scores. Kareem Hunt is close to returning but doesn’t look likely for Week 10. When Chubb and Hunt do play together it seems Chubb only gets more carries. Neither D’Ernest Johnson nor Demetric Felton was factored in enough either in the rushing or passing game to make them fantasy relevant. On a time that is run first and then spreads the ball out more than most only receiving eight carries (Johnson) and one target (Felton) is not something fantasy owners want to see. The Patriots usually take away a team’s top offensive weapon. For the Browns that is Chubb. Taking away a rusher is so hard especially one that is averaging 6 yards per carry. Chubb should still get his and be a lock in your fantasy lineup but expect a slightly down week from him.
Wide Receivers/ Tight Ends
Jarvis Landry (Start, WR3) Donovan Peoples-Jones (Sit, WR4), Rashard Higgins (Sit), Anthony Schwartz (Sit), Austin Hooper (Sit), David Njoku (Sit)
We got our first look at the Odell Beckham-less Browns offense and to be honest it looked better on the field. Looking good on the field doesn’t always translate to the fantasy world which is what happened in Week 9 and will probably continue in Week 10. The Browns had eight receivers with a target which is low for them. Most weeks it’s 9 or 10. The game script for this game put the Browns up early and for the whole game. Jarvis Landry led the team in targets with five. That’s not a huge volume for a guy most fantasy owners expected to be the WR1 after OBJ left. More of that was the game script and the Browns propensity to run the ball. Landry is still worth starting based on him leading the team in targets and still getting at least one designed rush, usually in the red zone. Donovan People-Jones caught a bomb 60-yard touchdown in Week 9. It was a huge boom for the former Michigan wideout but it was an outlier when you view his total game. He only had two other targets and caught one for 26 yards. He is truly a boom/bust play. The other wide receivers in Rashard Higgins and Anthony Schwartz are touchdown-dependent. With no one seeing a huge volume of targets you don’t really want to start anyone from the Browns. Even tight ends Austin Hooper and David Njoku are victims of the low passing volume and ball spreading around. Neither is fantasy relevant as long as they both play.
New England Patriots
Mac Jones (Sit, QB2)
When the Patriots took Mac Jones in the NFL draft it was to be the new face of the franchise after Tom Brady left in 2020. Cam Newton was the presumed starter but was then cut before the season started. Mac Jones has been behind center ever since. He has been one of the better rookie quarterbacks in 2021 but that’s not saying much. Jones has thrown a pick in 5 of his 9 games and has only thrown over 300 yards once. Jones and the Patriots welcome the Browns to Foxboro for a Week 10 matchup. The Browns are ranked 19th by CBS in terms of giving points to the quarterback position which should mean an easier day for Jones. The issue is that the Browns just made Joe Burrow look pedestrian and he is much more talented than Mac Jones. There arent any real fantasy starting quarterbacks on bye this week for you should be able to find a better option than the former Alabama QB.
Damien Harris (Sit), Rhamondre Stevenson (Sit) Brandon Boldin (Start, RB2)
I’m going to start with that I am writing this with very little info on both Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson. The best info I have is they are in a wait-and-see mode in New England so I’m going to assume they will be OUT. With both of those players being out Brandon Boldin will get the chance to be the starter for the Patriots backfield. Boldin has done okay with his limited carries so far this season. In the past 2 weeks, Boldin has received 4 and 8 carries respectively, and averaged over 6 yards per carry. He has also been worked into the passing game having two games this season already with over 5 receptions. The Patriots haven’t worked out or brought in any other running backs so J.J. Taylor and Jakob Johnson are the backups but not worth rostering right now. I will put forth the following pivots and contingencies out there. If Harris is starting, no matter Stevensons status he is an RB1 and Boldin is a sit. If Harris is out and Stevenson is playing He would be an RB2 and Boldin would be a Sit flex.
Hopefully, we all get clarification on the running back situation before Sunday game time but knowing the Patriot way of sharing as little as possible I don’t think we will
Wide Receivers / Tight Ends
Nelson Agholor (Sit, WR4), Jakobi Meyers (Start, Flex), Kendrick Bourne (Sit, Flex), Hunter Henry (Sit, TE2), Jonnu Smith (Sit)
The passing game in New England has been lackluster for fantasy production so far this year. At this point, everyone seems to know that Jakobi Meyers has the most yards ever without scoring a touchdown. He is leading the team in targets and target percentage but just can’t seem to find paydirt. He might be the one player you are throwing into your flex as and hope that the touchdown drought breaks. Meyers has been losing work to ex-49er Kendrick Bourne. Bourne is just five targets behind Meyers over the past three weeks despite playing 88 fewer snaps. That lack of snaps on a low passing offense makes Bourne a desperation flex play, which I do not recommend. My sleeper pick of Nelson Agholor has been playing closer to Meyer’s snaps but has been less productive. After a breakout year for the Raiders in 2020, Agholor has been more like his Eagles self with only two touchdowns for far on the year. The free-agent acquisition tight ends for the Patriots have been a small spark for the team. Hunter Henry has 5 touchdowns which outperform Jonnu Smith and his one. Henry is a borderline startable tightened. He plays 69.5% of the team snaps on average and has seven red-zone targets on the season. Smith has eight red-zone targets but is only playing on 52.8% of the team’s snaps on average. With a quarterback that only has 10 total passing touchdowns through nine games, you cant rely on touchdown production for fantasy.
– Dustin Ludke (Dunit13dl on Reddit)