Every week fantasy football owners have to make decisions on who to start, who to sit and who potentially to go pick up off the waiver wire to play. Sometimes those decisions can be tough. For help with that, check out my weekly rankings. In addition to that, I will be giving my weekly take on starts, sits and sleepers.
Each week I will be giving two players I like starting, two guys I would like to bench and one sleeper per position (except for D/STs, there will only be one start and sit). Now of course every week you will start Aaron Rodgers, David Johnson, Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown, among others, assuming they play. This weekly article is to help fantasy owners decide on their “non elite” players. If you have more specific questions regarding fantasy football or your team, ask me on twitter and as always happy hunting fantasy friends!
PSA: Fantasy owners need to remember to set their line ups Saturday night as the Chargers/Titans game kicks off from London at 9:30 AM EST.
Jared Goff at 49ers: After a hot start to the season, Jared Goff has scored just 21.7 fantasy points over the last two weeks. However; this week Goff gets to face the 49ers, who are the sixth-friendliest team to opposing quarterbacks, giving up an average of 21.8 FPPG. Furthermore, the 49ers have allowed opposing quarterbacks to score 20 or more fantasy points in five of six games this season. Goff and the Rams offense should have no problem taking advantage of a poor 49ers secondary.
Baker Mayfield at Buccaneers: Last week was supposed to be the start of a great stretch of games for Baker Mayfield. However, he got hurt in the first quarter and it clearly impacted him. Mayfield should be good to go this week against the Buccaneers, who are the friendliest team to opposing quarterbacks, giving up an average of 28.4 FPPG. The Buccaneers are so bad that they are giving up an average of 3.2 passing touchdowns and 367 passing yards per game to opposing quarterbacks. Mayfield is owned in just 40% of ESPN leagues and is the perfect streaming option this week.
Drew Brees at Ravens: For years fantasy owners have been told that Drew Brees is a must start in a dome and benchable when playing outdoors. This season, Brees is averaging 29.4 FPPG in a dome compared to just 8.6 FPPG outdoors. This week Brees is playing in Baltimore and the Ravens are the second-toughest team in the league against opposing quarterbacks, giving up an average of just 12.5 FPPG. Furthermore, the Ravens have held opposing quarterbacks to under 7.5 fantasy points in 50% of their games this season.
Deshaun Watson at Jaguars: Despite coming off a four-game streak with 21 or more fantasy points, Deshaun Watson scored just 5.3 fantasy points against the Bills on Sunday, and he was sacked seven times. Despite giving up 29.5 fantasy points to Dak Prescott last week, the Jaguars are still the sixth-toughest team in the league against opposing quarterbacks, giving up an average of just 15 FPPG. Watson gets to face an embarrassed Jaguars defense that gave up 40 points to the Cowboys last week; expect them to get a ton of pressure, and sacks, on Watson.
Eli Manning at Falcons: For fantasy owners in one quarterback leagues, Eli Manning isn’t a good option this week. However; for fantasy owners in two quarterback or super flex leagues, Manning is a sneaky good option. Prior to last week’s 9.2 fantasy point game against the Eagles, Manning was averaging 17.9 FPPG over his previous three games. Meanwhile, the Falcons are the second-friendliest team in the league against opposing quarterbacks, giving up an average of 25.7 FPPG. Furthermore; since week two, the Falcons have allowed opposing quarterbacks to score an average of 29.8 FPPG.
Carlos Hyde at Buccaneers: Fantasy owners shouldn’t be worried about Carlos Hyde’s 3.4 fantasy point game last week against the Chargers. The game got out of hand early and the Browns turned to the better pass catching back, Duke Johnson. Furthermore, the snap count last week was 32 for Hyde, 35 for Johnson; and on the season Hyde is playing 51.3% of the snaps compared to 42.7% for Johnson. To rebound this week, Hyde faces the Buccaneers, who are the seventh-friendliest team in the league to opposing running backs, giving up an average of 28.7 FPPG.
Kenyan Drake vs Lions: Last week I said to sit Kenyan Drake, and he would have had a good game if he hadn’t fumbled on the one yard line and cost fantasy owners eight points. Despite that blunder, Drake still had 17 touches, which lead the team. This week Drake faces the Lions, who are the fourth-friendliest team in the league to opposing running backs, giving up an average of 31.3 FPPG. While the time split with Frank Gore limits Drake’s upside, he is a mid-RB2 this week thanks to the favorable match up.
Adrian Peterson & Chris Thompson vs Cowboys: After starting off the season with a combined 47.4 fantasy points against the Cardinals, the Redskins’ running back duo has struggled to consistently score fantasy points. Chris Thompson missed last week’s game with two different injuries and Adrian Peterson played with a shoulder injury, but scored just 9.7 fantasy points in a featured role. Since week one, there hasn’t been a game where both running backs score double-digit fantasy points. Meanwhile, the Cowboys are the 10th-toughest team in the league against opposing running backs, giving up an average of 20.9 FPPG. Both backs are in the flex range this week.
Lamar Miller at Jaguars: Entering the season there were some expectations for Lamar Miller, but he has failed to live up to them. Miller is closer to being dropped than trusted by many fantasy owners. Over the Texans’ last three games, Miller has scored a total of 14 fantasy points and missed a game with an injury. With Alfred Blue in the mix and the soon-expected return of D’Onta Foreman, Miller’s fantasy value is in the toilet. Meanwhile, the Jaguars are the seventh-toughest team in the league against opposing running backs, giving up an average of just 19.1 FPPG.
Kerryon Johnson at Dolphins: Despite not producing a high number of fantasy point every game, Johnson is tied for the team lead in snaps at running back with Theo Riddick. In the game prior to the Lions’ week six bye, Johnson lead the team in snaps and touches at running back. The Dolphins are the fifth-friendliest team in the league to opposing running backs, giving up an average of 31.2 FPPG. Furthermore, the Dolphins gave up 23.1 fantasy points to Tarik Cohen last week. Johnson is a high upside, safe floor flex play this week.
Taylor Gabriel vs Patriots: It appears that Taylor Gabriel has turned into Mitch Trubisky’s top target. Over his last two games, Gabriel has 14 touches for 233 scrimmage yards, two touchdowns, and 47.3 fantasy points. This week Gabriel faces the Patriots, who are the 12th-friendliest team in the league against opposing wide receivers, giving up an average of 39.2 FPPG. Furthermore, last week the Patriots gave up 39.2 fantasy points to a similar wide receiver, Tyreek Hill. This game should be high scoring; expect Gabriel to have his third straight game with 16 or more fantasy points.
Michael Crabtree vs Saints: Despite just two touchdowns this season, Michael Crabtree has scored 12 or more fantasy points and had five or more catches in 67% of his games. Furthermore, over the last two weeks Crabtree leads all Raven wide receivers with 161 snaps, 33.9 fantasy points, and 12 catches. This week Crabtree faces the Saints, who are the friendliest team in the league to opposing wide receivers, giving up an average of 51.9 FPPG. Furthermore, they have allowed opposing wide receivers to score over 72 fantasy points in 40% of their games this season.
Will Fuller at Jaguars: In the three games that Keke Coutee has played, Fuller is averaging just 7.9 FPPG. Furthermore, over the last two weeks, Fuller has just four catches on six targets for 48 yards and no touchdowns. Meanwhile, the Jaguars are the toughest team in the league against opposing wide receivers, giving up an average of just 28 FPPG. Fantasy owners should have no problem starting DeAndre Hopkins against the Jaguars, and Coutee is a sneaky flex play, but Fuller should be on the bench.
Corey Davis at Chargers: Since Corey Davis’ so called “breakout game” against the Eagles in week four, he has just five catches on 10 targets for 73 yards, zero touchdowns, and 12.3 fantasy points. Last week I said to bench Davis until he puts two good games together in a row. Surprise surprise, he hasn’t done it yet. Despite a positive match up against an under performing Chargers secondary, fantasy owners shouldn’t trust Davis this week, as he will see plenty of Casey Hayward combined with the Titans terrible passing game.
Willie Snead vs Saints: REVENGE! This game has revenge written all over it. The other day Snead expressed his frustration in New Orleans last season and how happy he is to be in Baltimore now. Over the last three games, Snead is tied with Crabtree for the most snaps played, and second in fantasy points with 23.5, while averaging six catches per game. As I mentioned before, the Saints are the friendliest team to opposing wide receivers, giving up an average of 51.9 FPPG. Snead is owned in just 20% of ESPN leagues and is the perfect bye week filler option.
David Njoku at Buccaneers: With Tyrod Taylor as the starter, David Njoku scored a total of 15.9 fantasy points in three games. However; since Baker Mayfield took over, Njoku has averaged six catches and 13.9 fantasy points per game. The Buccaneers are the friendliest team in the league to opposing tight ends, giving up an average of 20.5 FPPG. Furthermore, the Buccaneers have allowed opposing tight ends to score a touchdown in three straight games. With the tight end position being such a mess, Njoku is a top five play this week and has TE1 finish upside.
C.J. Uzomah at Chiefs: Last week, I had C.J. Uzomah has a sleeper. This week I’m saying start him against the Chiefs, who are the third-friendliest team to opposing tight ends, giving up an average of 16.8 FPPG. Since week two, the Chiefs have allowed opposing tight ends to score 12 or more fantasy points in every game. Uzomah played 93% of the snaps last week, and was tied for third on the team in targets with seven. He is owned in just 28.5% of ESPN leagues and should be picked up in every league as next week he faces the Buccaneers’ terrible defense.
O.J. Howard vs Browns: It with nice to see O.J. Howard not miss any games with a knee injury, and he had 16.2 fantasy points last week. However, Cameron Brate was involved in the offense and also scored a touchdown. While I believe Howard is the Buccaneers tight end to own going forward, this week I would bench both guys. The Browns have been good against opposing tight ends this season, giving up an average of just 6.1 FPPG to tight ends not named Jared Cook. Furthermore, the Browns have given up just two touchdowns to opposing tight ends this season.
Every Ravens Tight End vs Saints: As much as I like the Ravens wide receivers this week, I hate their tight ends. It is literally a four-way committee; since Hayden Hurst made his season debut, all four Raven tight ends have at least a 24% snap count in every game. Yet, during that time they have scored a total of just 15.8 fantasy points. The Saints are the second-toughest team against opposing tight ends, giving up an average of just 8.1 FPPG. Furthermore, they have yet to allow an opposing team’s tight ends to score more than 9.5 fantasy points in a game.
Gerald Everett & Tyler Higbee at 49ers: Sadly, Cooper Kupp has already been ruled out of this game due to a knee injury, so expect his 22% target share to be spread around. While the Rams rarely use their tight ends in the passing game — just 21 total targets this season — these guys could see some of Kupp’s red zone work. The 49ers are the eighth-friendliest team in the league to opposing tight ends, giving up an average of 14.5 FPPG. Unless fantasy owners are in a two tight end league — there should be better options available — both Rams’ tight ends are nice long shots this week.
Chargers vs Titans: So far this season the Chargers D/ST has been disappointing, averaging just five FPPG. However, removing the two games against the Rams and Chiefs (the two best offenses in the league), the Chargers D/ST is averaging 9.3 FPPG. Furthermore, over the last two weeks the Chargers D/ST is averaging 11 FPPG. Meanwhile, the Titans are the third-friendliest offense against opposing D/STs, allowing them to score an average of 9.8 FPPG. Furthermore, over the last two weeks, opposing D/STs have averaged 16 FPPG against the Titans terrible offense.
Ravens vs Saints: Currently the Ravens D/ST is second in fantasy points this season. However, that number is misleading. The Ravens D/ST have scored 63% of their fantasy points this season against two of the worst offenses in the league; the Bills and Titans. Outside of those two games, the Ravens D/ST is averaging just 5.3 FPPG. Meanwhile, the Saints are the third-toughest team against opposing D/STs, allowing them to score an average of just 0.2 FPPG. Furthermore, opposing D/STs have scored negative fantasy points against the Saints offense in three straight games.
Colts vs Bills: Last week I said the Colts D/ST was a sleeper versus the Jets, and I should have said the opposite. However; this week the Colts face the Bills offense that is the friendliest in the league against opposing D/STs, allowing them to score an average of 13.8 FPPG. Furthermore, opposing D/STs have scored 21 or more fantasy points in two of their last three games against the Bills offense. Moreover, opposing D/STs have scored 17 or more fantasy points in 50% of their games against the Bills offense this season.