Can you consistently trust Josh Gordon?
That should be a question that many fantasy football owners should have after a solid performance in week 9 for the New England Patriots wide receiver. He has 100 or more yards receiving in the last two of three games. He's stretching the field for a Patriots offense that had struggled to do much of that in the early part of the season.
And now he gets a matchup likely against Malcolm Butler, who I'm sure will see plenty of balls thrown his way as Bill Belichick attempts to make sure everyone believes he was right for letting Butler go.
He's on the borderline for wide receivers to start. For other wide receivers on that same line, here's the week 10 fantasy football start 'em, sit 'em guide.
Josh Gordon vs. Tennessee Titans
The Titans have one of the better secondaries in the NFL. But I'm trusting the Patriots offensive gameplan in this matchup.
Belichick is going to try to exploit Butler. That's what he does. That should mean Gordon should get a lion's share of the work, with him being a player who can stretch defenses. The target share is getting higher for Gordon, with him netting 10 targets in week 9, compared to a combined 13 targets in the previous two weeks.
And even though Tennessee's secondary has been getting stronger in yards per pass attempt, the unit still has allowed the fifth-most fantasy points per game to wide receivers in the last four weeks. The Patriots should have the upper hand when throwing the football, so I'd back Gordon as having another major impact in week 10.
Calvin Ridley vs. Cleveland Browns
Ridley got back on track with a six catch, 71-yard output in week 9 against Washington. He chipped in a touchdown for an Atlanta offense that is coming on strong.
It had been a few rough outings for Ridley before his week 10 outburst, with fewer than seven targets in each week dating back to week 3. The Falcons offense is good enough that it can sustain multiple weapons, especially in the wide receiver department.
Cleveland has been progressively getting worse on the defensive side of the ball, allowing the eighth-most fantasy points per game to wide receivers in the last four weeks. The Browns also are allowing 8.2 yards per pass attempt in the last three games, up from it season average of 7.
The Falcons should consistently move the ball against Cleveland, so back Ridley in a plus-matchup.
Golden Tate vs. Dallas Cowboys
The last time Tate squared off against the Cowboys, he exploded for 132 yards and two touchdowns.
Obviously, that was in a different offense when he did that in week 4 this season. He shouldn't fall back too much with the Eagles. Philadelphia will employ a potent aerial attack and Carson Wentz will enjoy having Tate as a nice security blanket.
You could tell Matthew Stafford missed that security blanket in week 9.
The Cowboys showed some worrisome tendencies in Monday night's loss to Tennessee, so I'm banking on some of that to continue against Philadelphia this week.
Amari Cooper vs. Philadelphia Eagles
I don't trust this Dallas Cowboys offense. And that includes Cooper.
He generated 58 yards receiving on eight targets, but the majority of his work came late when the game had already been decided. The passing game just isn't in sync and Cooper is a major conundrum as a wide receiver.
He transitioned into the league so easily during his first two years that it didn't seem possible this would happen. He's fallen off the map and this is more about quarterback struggles. There's not much to like about his big-play ability and the Eagles are getting better against the pass. Don't buy the hype with Cooper. Trust the surging Philadelphia defense en route to a bust by Cooper.
Larry Fitzgerald vs. Kansas City Chiefs
The betting line is historic on this game. And while that likely means the Chiefs will have a big lead, forcing the Cardinals to throw it often (which means David Johnson, my No. 1 fantasy draft pick will be limited again), that shouldn't mean Cardinals wide receivers should get a play this week.
Arizona's offense is legendarily bad. The team can't pass the ball or run the ball. There's just no movement and I don't expect much to occur in week 10, even if it's in catch-up mode.
The Chiefs are allowing 6.2 yards per pass attempt in the last three games, down from their season average of 7.2 Kansas City isn't perfect on the defensive side of the ball, but they're getting better. The Cardinals will struggle to the move the ball, so that should limit Fitzgerald's opportunities.
Tyler Lockett vs. Los Angeles Rams
It's tempting to pick Lockett as a starter in week 10. The Rams defense is a dumpster fire against wide receivers, allowing the 10th-most fantasy points per game to wide receivers in the last four weeks.
The Rams also are allowing 7.7 yards per pass attempt in the last three weeks, which should be a red flag.
But there's something about this week that I like about the Rams bouncing back. Sometimes a loss is a good thing and that should be the case for the Rams. The defense needed an adjustment, and with all the talent still available, the attention should be increased heading into this week.
Lockett has scored in two of the last four games, but his targets are just not enough to get excited about. He's rarely targeted, so he shouldn't be trusted especially in a road matchup against one of the best teams in the NFL.
Scott Levine blogs about fantasy sports and handicaps games. His Against The Chalk blog has earned him back-to-back Iowa Newspaper Association awards for Best Blog. Check out more fantasy football coverage at Against The Chalk.
Scott Levine can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @ScottLevineCH