Editor’s note: The players listed below are NFL stars who were drafted in virtually every Yahoo Fantasy league. That said, this column is not an endorsement to bench them in Week 10. You’re in control of your roster; every league size and shape is different. What we are trying to explain is that expectations should be lowered this week compared to usual for some of the NFL’s biggest stars. Aside from examining this week’s matchups, this can also serve as a reminder not to overreact if one of your high draft picks disappoints in Week 10.
Dak Prescott @ Green Bay Packers
Prescott is set up for a big finish this season, with Dallas getting healthier and a highly favorable upcoming schedule. Expectations should be tempered this week, however. Prescott will be playing his first road game of the year against a Packers defense that has by far the lowest neutral pass rate this season. And that becomes even more extreme at home, where opponents have an NFL-low 38.8 percent pass rate in Lambeau Field this season (the next lowest is 49.1%!).
To put that in perspective, opponents have passed on more than 70% of their plays in San Francisco, as the 49ers are on the other end of the spectrum.
Green Bay has also allowed the fourth-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks and an NFL-low 181.9 passing yards per game. No QB has scored 20 fantasy points against the Packers this season (including Josh Allen). Green Bay’s loss of Rashan Gary is significant, but Dallas figures to be run-heavy Sunday Ezekiel Elliott likely back against a run-funnel defense.
Aaron Rodgers and a banged-up Packers offense aren’t likely to help with game script in a matchup featuring two teams ranking in the bottom of the league in average combined points scored.
Aaron Jones & AJ Dillon vs. Dallas Cowboys
Jones should be able to play through an ankle injury that forced him out of last week’s game, but the injury could easily result in a closer-to-even timeshare. The Packers are banged up along their offensive line and face a Cowboys defense allowing the third-fewest fantasy points and the third-lowest target rate to running backs this season.
The Packers have a bottom-five implied team total across the league this week while playing at home — wild, when you consider Rodgers is the back-to-back reigning MVP. Meanwhile, the Cowboys enter with the No. 1 ranked defense in DVOA. Jones’ ankle may not be 100%, and Dillon ranks 47th among backs in yards per touch during an extremely disappointing season.
Kirk Cousins @ Buffalo Bills
Cousins is facing a tough Bills defense allowing the third-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks this season. Patrick Mahomes is the only QB who’s topped 17 fantasy points against Buffalo, which is yielding just 6.0 YPA with an 8:11 TD:INT ratio. Minnesota’s 7-1 record may be hiding an alarming season by Cousins, who’s getting only 6.6 YPA (that drops to 6.1 on the road).
Moreover, Josh Allen is a major question mark for Sunday’s game with an elbow injury (the spread keeps dropping to strongly suggest Case Keenum starts), which is more concern for Cousins’ fantasy value in a matchup with its total down to 43.5 points. There’s a good chance you don’t like starting Cousins this week in a game with freezing conditions that could also include snow.
FADE IN DFS
Cooper Kupp ($39) vs. Arizona Cardinals
Kupp had a 69-yard TD catch last week, marking the longest play against Tampa Bay’s defense this season despite playing through a sprained ankle. He was held to a modest 58 yards otherwise and likely won’t be 100 percent for a bit, but most worrisome is Kupp’s exorbitant salary (and Matthew Stafford’s health). He’s the highest-salaried RB/WR in the DFS slate despite a sneaky tough matchup. The Cardinals have been the stingiest opponent against WR1s this season and have been the only team to hold Kupp under 79 receiving yards over his last 29 games — and they’ve done it in three straight.
Stafford has one touchdown pass on the road this season, and his availability is in real question after he surprisingly entered concussion protocol Wednesday. Backup John Wolford owns a career 5.6 YPA mark with a 0:2 TD:INT ratio. Kyler Murray is also dealing with a hamstring injury, further decreasing the likelihood of this game becoming high scoring (the O/U is down to 40.5 points).
Play Saquon Barkley (or Tyreek Hill) over Kupp in DFS this week.