*All projections, scores, and rankings are in relation to ESPN PPR Standard rules*
1: Nick Chubb, Browns RB
ESPN projected points for week ten: 17
Actual points scored in week ten: 36
Chubb’s role in the Browns offense has steadily increased since the Carlos Hyde trade, so this might not seem like that much of a surprise to Browns fans or Chubb owners. Though it is worth noting that this was Chubb’s best game of his young career so far.
Prior to the Falcons game, Chubb had broken the 100-yard rushing mark just once back in week three when he luckily rattled off 105 yards and two touchdowns on just three carries against the Raiders.
Going into the game, Chubb ranked 38th in fantasy points amongst running backs. Following the 200 total yards and two TDs he had against the Falcons on Sunday, Chubb jumped 15 spots and now ranks as the 23rd-best RB in standard PPR scoring. In week 10 Chubb was sixth in total fantasy points amongst all players and was the third-highest scoring running back behind only Ezekiel Elliot and David Johnson.
The rookie out of Georgia ran hard all day and proved to be an effective receiver out of the backfield as well. Not to mention Chubb also broke the record for the longest Browns run in history on this 92-yard touchdown:
Nick Chubb. GONE!!
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) November 11, 2018
For his effort, Chubb received a 80.5 Pro Football Focus grade in week 10 which ranks fifth amongst running backs with more than 15 offensive snaps. In fact, over the last three weeks (weeks 7-10) Chubb ranks first amongst all NFL RBs in yards per contact per carry (4.2), forced missed tackles (17), and rushing first downs (21) per Pro Football Focus.
Chubb also now leads all backs with 150+ offensive snaps in overall grade (90.5) and rushing grade (91.5). Additionally, Chubb leads the 53 running backs so far that have more than 50 carries this season in forced missed tackles per touch (0.27) and yards after contact per carry (5.3).
The only negative here for Chubb owners is the Browns’ upcoming bye week. After next week, consider Chubb a solid RB2 with RB1 potential for the rest of the way considering he is currently entrenched as the Browns starter and their goal-line back.
2: Aaron Jones, Packers RB
Aaron Jones came into week 10 ranked as the 47th fantasy RB in PPR scoring, and he left week 10 ranked 34th in fantasy scoring amongst RBs following the whopping 32 points he put up. Jones had an incredible day as he rattled off 145 yards and two TDs on just 15 carries, averaging a lofty 9.7 yards per carry. He also caught three balls for 27 yards.
Prior to Sunday, Jones had yet to rush for more than 90 yards in a game in 2018. This is mostly due to the Packers scanty running back usage. Prior to Sunday, Jones also had yet to receive more than 16 total touches in a game. He had 18 against the Dolphins.
The five foot ten 23-year old youngster does most of his damage as a result of his exceptional field vision and his ability to gain yards after contact. Jones can cut a stretch play back up-field right through the teeth of a defense, and he also has the vision and discipline to use a Le’Veon Bell-esque technique of stutter steps and patience to find a way to burst through the open hole on runs up the middle. It also helps when the Packers offensive line creates holes like this:
— Green Bay Packers (@packers) November 11, 2018
Going forward, it is hard to depend on Jones for a few reasons. First, outside of this game Jones had scored 15 points or more in just two games and has not scored more than 17 in a game in 2018. Second, the Packers’ RB usage has been basically impossible to predict thus far. Finally, this career game for Jones happened to come during a pretty soft matchup. The Dolphins have given up the fourth most points to fantasy RBs in 2018.
Jones does have a few things going for him though obviously and is definitely worth rostering at the very least in all leagues. He is a talented running back in one of the NFL’s best offenses with one of the NFL’s best QBs, he was the only Packers RB with more than three carries last week (so maybe the Packers RB usage will become more predictable), is averaging 6.1 YPC so far in his career, and Aaron Rodgers said on Tuesday of Jones, “He’s a great player. We just need to continue to give him more opportunities”.
Personally, I would want him to have one more good week before I trusted him as a fantasy owner just simply because the Packers have been that unpredictable this year in terms of who they give the carries to, but Jones has plenty of upside.
3: Allen Robinson, Bears WR
Listen, Mitch Trubisky is no joke as a quarterback and has been flat out balling lately. The 2017 number two overall pick is finally playing like a top five pick. He has thrown for over 300 yards and at least two TDs in four of his last six games. Someone in the Bears offense has to benefit from this production, right?
Well that someone may just be Allen Robinson. In Robinson’s first game back following a two-game absence due to a groin injury, he put up 133 yards and 2 TDs on just six catches on eight targets. Robinson burst onto the NFL scene first as the guy who would haul in the deep balls Blake Bortles chucked up for grabs, but has quickly developed into a complete receiver for the Bears. Robinson’s day against the Lions did include this play that shows off his speed and deep-ball skills:
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) November 11, 2018
But he also made good cuts on quick slants and made contested catches with contact on seam routes. Like Aaron Jones, Robinson has plenty of fantasy upside due to the offense he plays in and his role in it. The Bears offense currently ranks 16th in total yards per game (363.4), 10th in yards per play (5.83), and is fifth in points per game (29.9).
Despite the upside, consider Robinson a solid WR3 and great flex option for the rest of the season, but if you own him you might want to consider benching him next week against the Vikings. The Vikings D currently ranks as the fourth-toughest defense against fantasy wide receivers.
4: Corey Davis
The Titans WR1 exploded for 125 yards on seven catches in an upset win over the Patriots in week 10. The positives for Corey Davis are many as he is a young talented receiver who is entrenched as the starting receiver for the Titans.
The only problem so far for Davis is just that: he is the Titans’ starting receiver. If you know anything about the Titans offense, you know that passing hasn’t really been their thing this year. Davis’ 125 yards this past week accounted for over half of Mariota’s total 228 passing yards. Thus far in 2018, Mariota has thrown for more than 300 yards once, failed to throw a single TD pass in half his games, has thrown for 2 TDs in only three games, and has yet to throw 3 TDs or more in a game.
As a result, Corey Davis has struggled to find consistent production, even as a WR1 in a 2018 NFL offense. Davis has been getting plenty of targets (targeted 10 times last week), but those targets are not usually of the highest quality as a result of Mariota’s limitations as a passer. For instance, check out this spectacular Corey Davis catch that is a result of a wildly inaccurate throw from Mariota:
— Sam Monson (@PFF_Sam) November 11, 2018
Despite Davis’ role in the Titans’ offense, if you are a Davis owner you will likely want to bench him next week due to the combination of the Titans’ inconsistency and a difficult matchup. This upcoming week Davis faces the Colts defense which ranks as the eighth-toughest defense against fantasy wide receivers.
If Davis puts up another big week despite the touch matchup, value him as a WR2 and worthy flex option. If Davis puts up another mediocre or sub-par week, likely consider him a WR3/flex option when facing softer matchups.
5: Zach Ertz
While Ertz led all fantasy players in scoring in week 10, he is all the way down here at number five because his game was not as much of a “surprise” as the other players listed here due to his well-established role as one of Philly’s go-to receivers.
Ertz is currently having one of the best seasons a tight end could possibly have, and is rightfully ranked as the #1 Fantasy TE by ESPN following this 14 catch, 145-yard, two touchdown performance.
Zach Ertz has quickly developed into one of the best receiving tight ends in the NFL. In 2018, he has recorded at least four catches in every game he has played and has recorded 9+ catches in half of them. As a result, Ertz has scored double-digit fantasy points in every game this year with the exception of week one when he had 48 yards on five catches which totaled 9.8 fantasy points in PPR leagues.
Ertz currently leads all NFL tight ends in receptions with 75, and his closest competitor is Travis Kelce with 57 grabs. Ertz also ranks first amongst TEs in yards with 789, is tied for third in TDs with five, and is second amongst TEs in catches of 20 yards or more with nine. Consider Ertz one of the few matchup proof TE1s left in the NFL, and if I even have to tell you to start him every week then you probably aren’t the demographic for this article.