The Shadow Knows 2016 week 10

By Gary Davenport
Gary Davenport Bradley Roby needs a hug.
Pressed into starting duty by the back injury suffered by Aqib Talib of the Denver Broncos, Roby started last week against the Oakland Raiders. His name got called a lot during the game. And when you are a cornerback in the NFL, hearing your name called a lot is usually not a good thing.

Roby was targeted a staggering 13 times by Derek Carr, mainly while he was in coverage on Amari Cooper. Eight of those passes were completed for 99 yards, and if it’s possible his performance was actually worse than those numbers show.
At least he isn’t playing Drew Brees and the Saints in New Orleans Sunday or something.

Conversely, batterymate Chris Harris was only thrown at five times Sunday night in Oakland, allowing three grabs for 29 yards.
The moral of that story seems pretty clear – fantasy owners want the Saints wideout who will line up opposite Roby in Week 10. Wade Phillips isn’t averse to moving guys around, and Harris has experience playing just about everywhere on the field. Assuming Bum’s boy wants his best cover man on the receiver who has been doing the most damage for the Saints of late, it will be rookie Mike Thomas who draws him, while Roby covers Brandin Cooks.

And that could mean a big day for the speedster. If I had to choose one New Orleans receiver or the other, this feels like a Cooks week.

Other than that, it’s a relatively quiet week for marquee corners in Week 10. Take Seattle’s Richard Sherman for example. Sunday’s night’s tilt against the Patriots is as marquee as matchups get, but his presence doesn’t necessarily impact Chris Hogan that much from a fantasy perspective.

If you’re starting Hogan, Sherman is the least of your problems.

Still, there are a few matchups worth taking a look at.

So let’s um, look at them.

Odell Beckham, New York Giants (vs. CIN – Adam Jones)
The artist formerly known as “Pac Man” had nice things to say about Beckham while speaking to ESPN’s Katherine Terrell. "Oh, yeah, of course he's in that top tier [of NFL receivers]," Jones said. "The kid is a freak. He can do it all. He's got real good speed. He runs decent routes. He competes every play. He's the real deal. He's got a lot. You have to make sure you tackle him. He's a big chunk yard after the catch [receiver]. He runs good routes. He can stretch the field. He's a complete receiver."

THE SHADOW SAYS: We’ll see how Jones feels after the game, as while he’s a solid veteran corner and the best the Bengals have at the position he doesn’t really fall into the “shutdown” category. Three times in eight games this year Jones has allowed a passer rating against of over 100 – and in all three of those games Jones squared off against an elite receiver. If Beckham has an off day, it will be more about Eli Manning than Jones.

Kelvin Benjamin, Carolina Panthers (vs. KC – Marcus Peters)
Benjamin told the Charlotte Observer that he’s been trying to work on his speed and breaks so the Panthers can utilize more short, quick passes. “The physical part is still there, I still have that,” he said. “Just playing fast, I always try to play with the speed of a smaller guy in my assignments. Just trying to come off the ball full speed, get that defensive back running. I just try to play quick, really. It’s pretty much explosive work. Exploding off the ball. It doesn’t (come naturally). I have worked hard on it. Just trying to run through lines, ball tucked (under his arm).”

THE SHADOW SAYS: That’s all well and good – except that your best bet at getting after Peters is getting him to bite on a fake and go over the top of him, as he’s a lanky, physical player in coverage. Peters hasn’t allowed a 100-yard receiver this season, hasn’t given up a TD since Week 2 and recently gave up only three grabs for 24 yards against the high-octane Saints. All are numbers worth keeping in mind.

A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals (at NYG – Janoris Jenkins)
Jones isn’t the only cornerback playing on Monday who knows he’s going to have his hands full, and Jenkins told Ebenezer Samuel of the New York Daily News he’s already started classes at the Green Academy. "He's fast, he's physical," Jenkins said of A.J. Green. "He's rangy, he's long, he's got a big catch radius . . . it was some nice battles (against Green). I lick my chops. I get happy, because I know I'm gonna get a lot of people like y’all (media) around here.

THE SHADOW SAYS: Jenkins may get paid like an elite cornerback but frankly he doesn’t play like one, and even if he did perform up to that contract sitting Green would be kooky talk. The pair met last year while Jenkins was with the Rams, and at first glance it looks like he did pretty well – Green had six grabs for 62 yards. He also scored twice though.

Brandon Marshall, New York Jets (at LA – Trumaine Johnson)
A Rams team badly in need of some good news got it last week with the return of Johnson, who played for the first time since Week 5 in Sunday’s loss to the Carolina Panthers. Johnson told Gary Klein of the Los Angeles Times it felt good to be back in action, but admitted that his bad ankle isn’t quite 100 percent. “I’ve just got to strengthen it more,” he said. “For the most part, I should be good.”

THE SHADOW SAYS: For not being at full strength, Johnson certainly looked it, allowing less than half of the passes thrown at him to be completed for only 40 yards. Johnson’s one of the better cover men in the NFL you haven’t heard of, and given his presence and the Jets’ issues at quarterback I’m lower on Marshall in Week 10 than I usually would be.

Jordy Nelson, Green Bay Packers (at TEN – Jason McCourty)
Nelson told ESPN’s Rob Demovsky that while he’s feeling better he’s still working his way back from the torn ACL that wiped out his 2015 campaign. "To me, it's been all right. I'd like to be more consistent with what I'm doing, but I don't know if that's from having a year off and getting back or what. I'm still working at it. I'm halfway through. We'll see how it is at the end of the year."

THE SHADOW SAYS: The inconsistency Nelson has shown makes me more nervous about his prospects in Week 10 than McCourty. He’s the most targeted cornerback in all of the NFL for a reason. But given as many times as McCourty’s been thrown at he hasn’t been prone to allowing chunk plays, which as we all know is a big part of Nelson’s fantasy value. I expect that Nelson will have a decent game, but I don’t know that we’ll see much more than that.

Allen Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars (vs. JAX – A.J. Bouye)
Jacksonville head coach Gus Bradley told Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle that he’s been impressed with what he’s seen of Bouye on film. "He's a guy that we talked a lot about in our meetings, just how he's developed,” Bradley said. "He's playing at a high level, plays tight coverage. … He fits into their scheme really well. It's a challenging coverage, and he stands up to it and is playing with a great deal of confidence."

THE SHADOW SAYS: Bradley isn’t the only person who has liked what they’ve seen from Bouye in 2016. You can count the folks at PFF, who have Bouye graded third among cornerbacks overall and second in pass coverage, among that group. Bouye isn’t going to have the same negative impact on Robinson’s play that an appearance by Bad Blake (Bortles) would, but that doesn’t mean he won’t have one.