An undefeated season is meaningless in fantasy football. You can make it through 13 weeks unscathed, lose in the first round of the playoffs and what do you get? Exactly nothing. Your goal shouldn’t be to win every game. It should be to run the table in the playoffs.
If you have four or more losses already, then every game is a must-win. You need to secure your place in the big dance rather than worrying about survival once you get there.
And it is quite possible you already have dug a hole to start the week, if you used Keenan Allen, Mike Williams or Tyrell Williams on Thursday.
Allen has been a chronic letdown this season, and despite eight catches for 68 yards, he failed to find the end zone for the seventh-straight game. Mike Williams had just two catches for 55 yards, and with a revenge-game narrative in play, Tyrell Williams was colder than a revenge dish should ever be served.
Unfortunately, Week 10 also happens to be “bye-mageddon” — six teams are off, so your options are even more limited than usual. Sifting through the wide receiver pool for upside is a daunting task, but if you used any of the aforementioned duds, and you are in a must-win situation, upside has to be your priority.
The struggling passing game in Arizona has kept fantasy owners away this season, but a matchup against a Buccaneers team that allows the most passing yards per game (293.5) and has given up 19 touchdowns through the air, seems like a good time to look again. Christian Kirk has seen an average of eight targets per game since returning from injury and appears to have the edge as the team’s No. 1 receiver. This appears to be the perfect opportunity to do some end-zone dancing.
We actually have a few more intriguing options around the league. Zach Pascal is the new No. 1 in Indianapolis with T.Y. Hilton out, and the Colts face the Dolphins. On the opposite side of the game, DeVante Parker should see an increase in targets with Preston Williams out for the year. Or how about Bisi Johnson with Adam Thielen needing another week off with a hamstring issue? Even a usually disappointing Calvin Ridley works this week while Julio Jones is shadowed by Marshon Lattimore.
The names are far from sexy, but the necessary upside is there. If you’re already in a hole or concerned you might lose, chances need to be taken. Brave the unknown and make your mark.
Howard Bender is VP of operations and head of content at FantasyAlarm.com. Follow him on Twitters @rotobuzzguy and catch him on the award-winning “Fantasy Alarm Radio Show” on the SiriusXM fantasy sports channel weekdays at 4 p.m. Go to FantasyAlarm.com for all your fantasy football advice and NFL player rankings.