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 wavier wire to play. Sometimes those decisions can be tough. For help with that check out Breaking Football’s 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 would start Tom Brady, Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown, among others, assuming they play. This weekly article is to help fantasy owners decide on their “non-stud” players. If you have more specific questions regarding fantasy football, ask me on twitter (@MikeSports22) and as always happy hunting fantasy friends.
Dak Prescott at Atlanta: Over the Cowboys three game winning streak, Prescott is averaging 21.3 fantasy points per game despite a 7.3 point game in the rain verse the Redskins. Prescott has five performances this season with 22 or more fantasy points; all in his last six games. This week Prescott takes on the Falcons, who rank 17th in the league against opposing quarterbacks, and over the last three weeks opposing quarterbacks are averaging 19 fantasy points per game when facing the Falcons’ defense. Prescott is a must start each week till further noticed.
Matthew Stafford vs Cleveland: During the first six games of the season, Stafford has been up and down as a fantasy quarterback. However, over the last two games since the bye week, Stafford is averaging 20.2 fantasy points per game. Furthermore, Stafford is averaging 19.2 fantasy points per game at home. The Browns rank 25th in the league against opposing quarterbacks, giving up an average of 18.7 fantasy points per game. The Lions passing attack was in sync last week verse the Packers and that should continue this week verse the Browns.
Drew Brees at Buffalo: Many fantasy owners carry only one quarterback on their roster, especially when it’s a stud like Brees, making it hard to bench him this week. However, the Bills rank sixth in the league against opposing quarterbacks, giving up an average of just 12.9 fantasy points per game. Furthermore, the Saints are running the ball more than this season and the defense is playing great, limiting Brees’ need to pass to keep the Saints in ball games. Last season Brees averaged 42 pass attempts per game, this season it’s down to 34 per game. The Saint don’t need Brees like they use to.
Kirk Cousins vs Minnesota: The Redskins pulled off a great win last week against the Seahawks in Seattle and while Cousins had a critical role in their game winning drive, his fantasy performance was well below average. Cousins finished with just 8.3 fantasy points last week against the Seahawks and is averaging 9.4 fantasy points per game over his last two outings. Meanwhile, the Vikings rank fourth in the league against opposing quarterbacks, giving up an average of just 12.5 fantasy points per game. Between all the injuries on the offensive line combined with the Vikings strong defense, expect another disappointing fantasy performance from Cousins.
Josh McCown at Tampa Bay: If you read my three quarterbacks to replace Deshaun Watson article, you would know that McCown has been a fantasy surprise this season. Over his last four games, McCown has scored an average of 20 fantasy points per game. Last week the Buccaneers gave up 18.7 fantasy points to Drew Brees despite the blowout win for the Saints. On the season the Buccaneers give up an average of 18.9 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks.
Mark Ingram at Buffalo: I know Ingram fumbled twice in week eight and had just 8.9 fantasy points last week while Alvin Kamara went off for 31.2 fantasy points. However, since the Adrian Peterson trade, Ingram is averaging 19.5 fantasy points per game. Meanwhile, the Bills have given up an average of 36.8 fantasy points per game to opposing running backs over the past two weeks. The Saints want to run the ball, especially this week, and there is plenty of touches to go around for both Ingram and Kamara.
Alvin Kamara at Buffalo: Speaking of Kamara, the third round rookie has been lighting opposing defenses on fire the past several weeks. The Saints are on a six game winning streak after losing their first two games of the season; one of the reasons for the turnaround is Kamara. In the two loses, Kamara averaged 8.1 fantasy points per game, but in the six wins he is averaging 19 fantasy points per game. Again, there is plenty of touches for both Mark Ingram and Kamara, but if I had my pick of the two, I’d want Kamara on my fantasy team.
Doug Martin vs New York: Last week against the Saints, Martin had eight carries for just seven yards. The Buccaneers offense have been the biggest fantasy bust this season, without any doubt. Since returning from his suspension, Martin’s fantasy points have decreased in every game. This week Martin gets to face a Jets defense that ranks 11th against opposing running backs, giving up an average of 22.6 fantasy points per game. On top of a tough match up, Martin will be without his starting quarterback, number one wide receiver and will have to fight off Peyton Barber, as he had 13 touches last week combined to eight for Martin.
Damien Williams/Kenyan Drake at Carolina: In their first game without Jay Ajayi both running backs had a strong fantasy games. Williams finished with 18.1 fantasy points and Drake finished with 16.4 despite losing a fumble. Both running backs should be added in all leagues as this duo could turn out like the Jets duo of Matt Forte and Bilal Powell. However, don’t play either Dolphins back this week against the Panthers, as they rank third in the league against opposing backs, giving up just 19 fantasy points per game.
Orleans Darkwa at San Francisco: Another running back by committee in New York, but for the Giants, Darkwa is clearly at the top. Last week verse the Rams, Darkwa had 18 touches compared to nine for Wayne Gallman. The 49ers gave up 159 rushing yards and 16.7 fantasy points to Adrian Peterson last week and are giving up an average of 30.5 fantasy points per game to opposing running backs this season.
A.J. Green at Tennessee: Despite getting ejected last week verse the Jaguars, Green will not be suspended this week. Fantasy owners have become frustrated with Green, as over his last three games he is averaging just 6.8 fantasy points per game. However, expect Green to get back on track this week verse the Titans, who rank 20th in the league against opposing wide receivers, giving up an average of 33.5 fantasy points per game. Furthermore, the Titans allowed the Ravens wide receivers to score 38.1 fantasy points last week. In Green’s three games prior to his bye week, he was averaging 24.8 fantasy points per game and could easily have a 25 point game this week.
Sterling Shepard at San Francisco: After missing two games with an ankle injury, Shepard returned in week nine against the Rams, finishing with 12 fantasy points. Thanks to all the injuries, Shepard and Evan Engram are they only proven weapons the Giants have in the passing game. The 49ers rank 19th against opposing wide receivers, giving up an average of 32.2 fantasy points per game. Shepard has at least five catches in five of six games he has finished this season. Expect at least five catches from Shepard this week verse the 49ers.
T.Y. Hilton vs Pittsburgh: Last week verse the Texans, Hilton had a season high 34.5 fantasy points. However, in his previous three games, Hilton scored a total of 11.1 fantasy points. Hilton has been up and down all season long, having three games with 24 plus fantasy points and nine or less in the other six games. To make matters worst for Hilton owners, the Colts have their bye next week and face the top four teams against wide receivers over their final seven games, starting this week against the Steelers who rank second in the league. Trade Hilton while his value is up, even if you have to sell low, his schedule is brutal and he can’t be counted on weekly.
Jordy Nelson at Chicago: The Packers offense is clearly not the same without Aaron Rodgers. Since Brett Hundley took over as the starter, Nelson is averaging just 4.9 fantasy points per game. Furthermore, Nelson appears to be third on passing pecking order as both Davante Adams (7.8) and Randall Cobb (7.2) are averaging more fantasy points per game with Hundley as the starter. This week the Packers have to face a Bears defense that ranks 13th against opposing wide receivers, giving up just 29.8 fantasy points per game. Until Hundley and the Packers offense can prove otherwise, all Packer players can’t be trusted to start.
Robby Anderson at Tampa Bay: Anderson has been on a roll over the past four weeks, averaging 15.4 fantasy points per game. Furthermore, Anderson has a touchdown in three straight games despite facing some tough secondaries. This week the Jets travel to Tampa Bay as they face the 31st ranked defense against opposing wide receivers, giving up an average of 39.9 fantasy points per game. With Jeremy Kerley starting his suspension this week, Anderson is in line to see an uptick in targets.
Charles Clay vs New Orleans: Out since week five with a knee injury, Clay did light work on the side at practice on Monday and has a chance to play this week. If Clay plays, he should be started in fantasy line ups. Prior to the injury, Clay was averaging 11.6 fantasy points per game. The Saints only give up an average of 9.6 fantasy points per game to opposing tight ends, but gave up 11.5 or more fantasy points to three opposing tight ends this season. With all the injuries at the position this season and with two elite tight ends on a bye, Clay has top ten upside if he plays.
Kyle Rudolph at Washington: Over his last four games, Rudolph is averaging 12.6 fantasy points per game. The Redskins rank 29th against opposing tight ends, giving up an average of 16.9 fantasy points per game. Furthermore, the Redskins have allowed opposing tight ends to score double digit fantasy points in all but one game this season. With Travis Kelce and Zach Ertz on their bye week, Rudolph has top three upside this week verse the Redskins.
Jordan Reed vs Minnesota: Speaking of the Redskins, Reed is questionable to play this week with a hamstring injury that kept him out of last week’s win verse the Seahawks. Assuming Reed does play, he won’t be 100 percent healthy and even if he was, he is averaging just 7.5 fantasy points per game. The Vikings rank 15th against opposing tight ends, giving up an average of 11.5 fantasy points per game. Reed has only one game this season with 11 or more fantasy points.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins at Tampa Bay: Seferian-Jenkins had a nice three game stretch where he averaged 14.2 fantasy points per game, finishing with a touchdown in each game. However, over the last two weeks, Seferian-Jenkins has scored only 11.8 fantasy points combined and his poor play isn’t likely to change this week verse the Buccaneers. While the Buccaneers defense ranked 31st against wide receivers, they rank fifth against tight ends, giving up an average of just 9.8 fantasy points per game. Furthermore, the Buccaneers have held opposing tight ends to under seven fantasy points in four of eight games this season.
O.J. Howard vs New York: Howard would love to forget the game verse the Saints last week as he finished with one catch for six yards and a fumble, scoring -0.4 fantasy points. However, this week things should turn around for Howard. With Mike Evans facing a one game suspension and with Jameis Winston out for at least two weeks, the Buccaneers are more likely to run two tight end sets. Assuming Evans’ suspension isn’t overturned, Howard should see some of Evans’ targets thanks to his size.
Steelers at Indianapolis: Prior to their week nine bye, the Steelers D/ST scored zero fantasy points against the Lions despite only giving up 15 points. However, in the four weeks prior the Steelers D/ST averaged 10.3 fantasy points per game. Meanwhile, opposing D/STs are averaging 12.9 fantasy points per game against the Colts offense. Furthermore, opposing D/STs have scored double digit fantasy points when facing the Colts offense in three straight weeks; expect the Steelers to be the fourth.
Broncos vs New England: In most fantasy drafts the Broncos D/ST was the first one off the board. However, this season they scoring just 7.5 fantasy points per game and have scored just 14 total fantasy points over their last three games. Meanwhile, opposing D/STs are averaging just 1.3 fantasy points per game against the Patriots offense; worst in the league. The Broncos defense hasn’t been able to be as aggressive this year because of the offense’s poor play; don’t expect that to change this week.
Patriots at Denver: To begin the season the Patriots D/ST was awful. However, over their last three games they are averaging 7.3 fantasy points per game. Head coach Bill Belichick is one the best coaches coming off the bye week and he’s had two weeks to prepare for this game verse the Broncos. Furthermore, opposing D/STs are averaging 11.8 fantasy points per game when facing the Broncos offense.