|(Photo Credit: Keith Allison)|
Malcolm McMillan (@McLateralFF)
The Lateral Writer
We touched on this concept a little last week with Inside The Week 9 Storylines, but in Week 10 you are getting the real deal. Rather than doing a traditional weekly recap like we had for the first eight weeks of the season, we are going to cover the stories that may not be at the top of everyone's list going into their Monday morning quarterbacking. First, I will hit you with the quick stuff: what happened, and why you should be interested. Then, Charles will take the plunge and go on a deep dive about the storylines I cover here.
So bear that in mind as you go through this! If you think the takes are a little light that is very much on purpose, but we think it makes for two much more enjoyable pieces rather than one piece that sits heavier than a chicken pot pie for a weekday lunch.
Week 10 Sunday Storylines
Devontae Booker: The New Vulture, Or Something Worse?
Finally! Yesterday seemed like the day Josh Jacobs Stans had been hoping for and had not really seen since Week 5 against Kansas City. 20+ touches? Check. Multiple rushing touchdowns? Check. What is not to love?
Well, if you had paid attention to the game because you started way too many Broncos and Raiders, you would have noticed that Devontae Booker also had multiple rushing touchdowns. In fact, for the second week in a row, the Broncos cast-off was keeping pace with Jacobs, and if you have Jacobs on your roster that should be f*cking terrifying. Seriously, Booker has the potential to be more than just a vulture at this point. Over the past two weeks, Booker has posted a line of 24 rushing attempts/149 rushing yards/three rushing TDs. Jacobs in the same period produced 177 rushing yards and three TDs on 35 rushing attempts. This means that Booker has actually been producing 0.35 fantasy points more than Jacobs per rushing attempt over the past two games. See? Scary stuff.
The bright spots for those hoping Jacobs would remain one of the rare bell cow backs in a league filled with RBBCs? Booker seemed to get increased usage yesterday once the Raiders had the game in hand, even though he was used by Gruden before that. Also, Booker has seen zero passing game work, so those precious few Jacobs reception points are still safe for now.
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The Saints QB Situation Is About More Than The QBs
One of the biggest pieces of news from Week 10 was future Hall of Fame QB Drew Brees leaving halfway through the Saints game against San Francisco with what appears to be a serious rib/lung injury. Of course, the obvious question is, will Jameis Winston be able to provide fantasy value as a starter for a meaningful stretch of the season? The answer is frankly anyone's guess based on what we saw on Sunday, but it seems that most of the game plan did not change for New Orleans with Jameis under center when you adjust for the Saints running more with the lead. I say most because we saw way more Taysom Hill than was socially acceptable in the second half, and that will really hurt the Saints if it was anything more than Payton experimenting with the lead and no Brees under center.
But what about the rest of the Saints offense? Again, it was only a half of football, but the overall conclusion is that the player that was most affected by the change at QB really was Taysom Hill. RBs Latavius Murray and Alvin Kamara performed as advertised at the very least. Unfortunately, it seems nothing changed for WR Michael Thomas either, who seems absolutely mortal in 2020. The targets seem to still be there, but what Thomas has managed to do with them is 7.5 PPR PPG, which fantasy managers with Thomas in their lineup would have preferred to his 4.7 PPR points on Sunday. Ultimately, even in a worst-case scenario you can probably slot Thomas in as a FLEX and look elsewhere for WR1/WR2 production, but this is a situation to monitor before it costs you key games down the stretch.
Rookie WRs Recap
How exciting is this rookie WR class? We started off excited for the trio of Jerry Jeudy, CeeDee Lamb, and Henry Ruggs III, and... *checks notes* they are currently WR38, WR25, and WR95. Wait, what happened?
Well, it is actually pretty simple what happened there, and I would not hit the panic button just yet. Jerry Jeudy has one of the worst QBs in the league, CeeDee Lamb as a WR2/WR3 is pretty good considering that his starting QBs keep dropping like flies, and Ruggs III is... well maybe hit the panic button on Ruggs. Even when healthy, he has not done much.
Luckily on Sunday, we got to watch Steelers WR Chase Claypool and Bengals WR Tee Higgins square off in what should be the first of many matchups between the real top WRs of this draft class. Seriously, through ten weeks the top WRs of this vaunted rookie WR group are Chase Claypool at WR16 and Tee Higgins at WR22. At ADP 76 and ADP74 respectively, that means you could have picked up both of these WR2s off of waivers except in the deepest leagues. That fact is something all managers should bear in mind when evaluating the rookie talent next season.
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