Week 10 Fantasy Football: Joshua Dobbs leads sleeper picks

Week 10 is going to be a fantasy challenge. The Eagles, Chiefs, Dolphins and Rams are out of action, and they take plenty of fantasy firepower with them. With so many good players on the sidelines, Yahoo fantasy managers have hit the waiver wire hard. With that, it's not easy to find remaining players who still qualify for this column (under 50% rostered), but we'll give you the best stuff we can find.

Cade Otton was a nifty hit for the Week 9 sheet, but otherwise, it was mostly a miss in this space. Let's see what the new week brings.

QB Joshua Dobbs vs. Saints (48% rostered)

They might make a movie about Dobbs someday, a little-known journeyman who's been a highlight generator out of nowhere in 2023. Dobbs won only one game with the Cardinals, but they were competitive most weeks, and that one victory was a shocking upset of the Cowboys. And then Dobbs pulled his best magic trick yet in Week 9, coming on in relief and leading his new Minnesota teammates — many of whom he didn't know by name yet — to an upset of the Falcons.

We've seen plenty of fantasy floor with Dobbs this year because he's such a proactive and resourceful runner — Lamar Jackson is the only quarterback with more rushing yards than Dobbs' 324. It's enabled Dobbs to score more than 20 fantasy points on four occasions — by comparison, Trevor Lawrence hasn't done that yet — and it's offered buoyancy, as Dobbs has fallen outside the top 20 at the position only once, opening day at Washington.

The Saints have a plus pass defense, but I don't think matchups really matter with Dobbs. He's an athlete, he's competitive and the Vikings have good pass catchers, even without Justin Jefferson.

I didn't start this bandwagon, but I'm happy to ride on it.

QB Will Levis at Buccaneers (44% rostered) and QB Baker Mayfield vs. Titans (51% rostered)

Both of these teams have trended to the under in 2023, but there's potential for a sneaky shootout. Tennessee as usual is a funnel defense — 24th in pass-defense DVOA, eighth in rush-defense DVOA — and although Tampa Bay's split isn't as severe, it's also a better run defense than pass defense. Mayfield has been reliable for three straight weeks (QB11, QB10, QB7), and Levis looks the part for the Titans, poised and composed and quickly establishing rapport with alpha receiver DeAndre Hopkins. The total is set for a modest 39.5, but I'm expecting these teams to sail past that number.

RB Rico Dowdle vs. Giants (3% rostered)

Here's a Hail Mary play if you're up against it in the backfield. Dowdle has a plausible path to 7-12 touches if the Cowboys take care of business as expected against the Giants — Dallas is a whopping 16.5-point favorite. And while Dowdle isn't seen as an electric talent, his rushing success rate is higher than Tony Pollard's this year, and Dowdle has also shown some juice with his limited receiving work.

If you have to play Dowdle, it's a wait-for-it play; it's possible he might not see a lot of snaps until the second half when the game is out of hand. But after watching the Giants get pushed around in recent weeks, I'm willing to take a shot at a blowout here, and a lesser-rostered Cowboy getting some late reps.

WR Noah Brown at Bengals (13% rostered)

I understand you might be nervous chasing last week's points with Brown, as the game script fell perfectly and he posted a 6-153-1 line that will probably stand as his best game all year. But the Texans don't expect Robert Woods back anytime soon, and that means Brown will have a role in Houston's three-wideout rotation. Obviously, C.J. Stroud is a rising star, and the Texans will likely have to be pass-heavy as they chase the game at Cincinnati.

Brown was third on the team in targets last week, and generally, Stroud only looks at four different players when he aims downfield — this is another passing game where the distribution is concentrated. Brown fairly comes in the boom-or-bust file, but you might need receiver help in Week 10 with so many great players taking their bye.

WR Khalil Shakir vs. Broncos (13% rostered)

When we talk Buffalo passing game, it's usually to praise alpha wideout Stefon Diggs, to excitedly promote rookie tight Dalton Kincaid or perhaps to spin the wheel of Gabe Davis (maddeningly inconsistent, though he does have five touchdowns). But Shakir merits mention after a three-week run of 14-184-0, catching all of his targets in that three-game stretch. The Denver defense has rallied since the 70-point embarrassment at Miami, but it's at best an average unit. Buffalo has an implied total of 27.5 points, so this is a good place to mine for deeper production. The Broncos are also the second-worst defense this year against No. 3 receivers.

TE Cade Otton vs Titans (18% rostered)

It's a little surprising that Otton's roster tag didn't rise more after a 6-70-2 explosion against the Texans, but the tight end position overall has been more productive of late, so perhaps fantasy managers don't feel stressed at this one-fill position. Nonetheless, Otton makes a strong case for a longer contract, becoming a trusted part of a Tampa Bay passing game that employs a narrow usage tree.

Although the Titans have been thrown on this year, it's usually on the outside — their seam coverage has been good, and they're a negative matchup for tight ends. That said, Otton offers some goal-line equity, and he's always on the field — he's seen 90% snaps or greater in every start, and he played all of them in the Houston game. I figure Mayfield will be good for multiple touchdowns here, and Otton has a decent chance to snare at least one of them.