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.
Philip Rivers vs Cleveland: On Thanksgiving Rivers carved up the Cowboys, finishing with a season-high 28.9 fantasy points. The Chargers are trending in the right direction and just one game out of first place in the AFC west. Rivers and the Chargers must have revenge on their minds as the Browns got their only win last season against them. The Browns rank 25th in the league against opposing quarterbacks, giving up an average of 18.1 fantasy points per game. Meanwhile, Rivers is averaging 20.7 fantasy points per game since the Chargers bye week.
Carson Wentz at Seattle: Usually when quarterbacks travel to Seattle to face the Seahawks, they tend to struggle. However, Carson Wentz is matchup proof and this Seahawks defense is a shadow of its former self. Wentz is averaging 21.6 fantasy points per game and has seven games this season scoring 20 or more fantasy points. Meanwhile, the Seahawks defense have lost key starters Cliff Avril, Richard Sherman and now Kam Chancellor for the season. The Eagles offense is one of the hottest in the league while the Seahawks defense is losing players left and right.
Ben Roethlisberger at Cincinnati: Yes, over the last two weeks Roethlisberger has been on fire throwing for 650 yards, eight passing touchdowns and scoring 59.5 fantasy points. However, both games were at home against two poor defenses. This week Roethlisberger has to go on the road to face the Bengals who rank 12th in the league against opposing quarterbacks, giving up an average of just 15.1 fantasy points per game. Furthermore, Roethlisberger has always played better at home than on the road and in Week 7 in Pittsburgh, the Bengals held him to 16.7 fantasy points.
Blaine Gabbert vs Los Angeles: All the Gabbert “hype” needs to stop. Yes over his two starts this season he is averaging 18.5 fantasy points per game, including 17.3 fantasy points last week verse the Jaguars. However, the Rams rank 5th in the league against opposing quarterbacks, giving up an average of just 12.9 fantasy points per game. Furthermore, the Rams held Drew Brees to just 14.3 fantasy points last week and are allowing opposing quarterbacks to score just 10.6 fantasy points per game over their last five games.
Josh McCown vs Kansas City: Despite scoring 25.1 fantasy points last week against the Panthers, McCown is owned in just 36% of ESPN leagues. On the season, McCown is the QB13 and scoring 16 fantasy points per game. Furthermore, McCown has scored 16 or more fantasy points in five of his last six games. Meanwhile, the Chiefs are trending in the wrong way. On the season the Chiefs rank 22nd against opposing quarterbacks, giving up an average of 17.7 fantasy points per game. Furthermore, the Chiefs have allowed opposing quarterbacks to score 20 or more fantasy points in five games this season.
Jordan Howard vs San Francisco: Last week against the Eagles, Howard had his second worst fantasy game of the season. However, the Eagles rank second in the league against opposing running backs and the game flow put the Bear behind early leading to Howard getting just seven carries. This week Howard faces the 49ers and their terrible run defense that ranks last in the league against opposing running backs, giving up an average of 28.6 fantasy points per game. Furthermore, opposing running backs have scored 30 or more fantasy points against the 49ers in five games this season.
Alex Collins vs Detroit: Despite the fact that Javorius Allen and Danny Woodhead are still factors in the Ravens running game, Collins is the lead back. Over the last four games Collins is averaging 19 touches for 80 scrimmage yards and 13.2 fantasy points per game. Despite facing a Texans defense that ranks third in the league against opposing running backs last week, Collins scored 13.7 fantasy points. This week Collins faces the Lions defense that ranks 28th in the league against opposing running backs, giving up an average of 25.6 fantasy points per game.
DeMarco Murray/Derrick Henry vs Houston: Against the Colts last week, the Titans running back duo of Murray and Henry scored 13.2 and 9.9 fantasy points respectively. However, neither running back has a firm grip on the lead fantasy role. Murray had just 42 scrimmage yards but scored a touchdowns, while Henry had 89 scrimmage yards but failed to reach the end zone. Whether fantasy owners have one or both of these running backs, they should be on the bench this week against the Texans. On the season, the Texans rank third in the league against opposing running backs, giving up an average of just 18.4 fantasy points per game.
Tevin Coleman vs Minnesota: The last three weeks have been good for Coleman owners, as Devonta Freeman was out with a concussion. However, Freeman will return this week against the Vikings cutting into Coleman’s workload. During the three games without Freeman, Coleman averaged 20.3 touches per game compared to 9.9 with Freeman playing. Furthermore, the Vikings rank first in the league against opposing running backs, giving up an average of just 17.3 fantasy points per game.
Devontae Booker at Miami: Booker seems to be the lead back in the Broncos running back by committee situation. Over the last three games Booker is out-touching C.J. Anderson 36 to 31 and out-snapped him 97 to 72. Meanwhile, the Dolphins rank 24th in the league against opposing running backs, giving up an average of 24.4 fantasy points per game. Furthermore, over their last three games opposing running backs are averaging 31.2 fantasy points per game against the Dolphins.
Davante Adams vs Tampa Bay: Over the six games where Brett Hundley has played, Adams is averaging 15.3 fantasy points per game; best among Packer wide receivers. Over the last three games Adams is averaging six catches for 99.3 yards and 19.9 fantasy points despite facing three defenses that are tough against opposing wide receivers. This week Adams faces the Buccaneers who rank last in the league against opposing wide receivers, giving up an average of 44 fantasy points per game. Furthermore, the Buccaneers have allowed 65.5 fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers over the last two weeks.
Cooper Kupp at Arizona: In the first game without Robert Woods this season, Kupp led the Rams wide receivers with eight catches for 116 yards and 19.6 fantasy points. The Cardinals rank 24th in the league against opposing wide receivers, despite having Patrick Peterson, giving up an average of 33.7 fantasy points per game. Woods won’t play against the Cardinals and with Sammy Watkins facing a day long hounding from Peterson, Jared Goff will have to target Kupp even more than usual this week.
Sammy Watkins at Arizona: Speaking of Watkins and Patrick Peterson, fantasy owners should bench Watkins despite coming off his second best game of the season with 18.2 fantasy points. Watkins has been up and down this season, struggling when facing shutdown cornerbacks. In four games against Richard Sherman, Jalen Ramsey, Xavier Rhodes and Peterson, Watkins is averaging just four fantasy points per game.
T.Y. Hilton at Jacksonville: Hilton has been up and down this season, scoring under nine fantasy points in eight games this season. With his inconsistency and tough schedule the rest of the way, Hilton should be dropped. This week he faces the Jaguars who rank first in the league against opposing wide receivers, giving up an average of just 21.2 fantasy points per game. Furthermore, when Hilton faced the Jaguars in Week 7, he was held to just two catches for 27 yards and 4.7 fantasy points.
Zay Jones vs New England: Since the Bills traded for Kelvin Benjamin, he has scored just 10.2 fantasy points. However, since the trade, Jones is averaging 13.5 fantasy points per game. Over the last two games Jones has been on the field for 82% of the snaps; most among Bills’ wide receivers. Meanwhile, the Patriots rank 31st in the league against opposing wide receivers, giving up an average of 37.9 fantasy points per game.
Jared Cook vs New York: Last week against the Broncos, Cook let fantasy owners down scoring just 1.1 fantasy points. However, this week Cook faces a Giants defense that ranks last in the league against opposing tight ends, giving up an average of 17.8 fantasy points per game. Furthermore, the Giants have allowed opposing tight ends to score at least 15.8 fantasy points in 10 games this season. In addition to the good match up, the Raiders are likely to be without Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper, meaning Cook will see a huge jump in targets this week.
Hunter Henry vs Cleveland: Against the Cowboys on Thanksgiving, Henry scored a season high 18.6 fantasy points. This week he faces a Browns defense that ranks 31st in the league against opposing tight ends, giving up an average of 16.7 fantasy points per game. Furthermore, the Browns have allowed opposing tight ends to score 12 or more fantasy points in eight games this season. In addition, opposing tight ends have scored a touchdown against the Browns in four straight games.
Cameron Brate at Green Bay: Over the last four weeks without Jameis Winston, Brate has struggled, scoring a total of just 7.7 fantasy points. Winston will start this week against the Packers, but who really knows how healthy he is or if he will be productive. Also, over the last two games O.J. Howard is averaging 11.2 fantasy points per game and has out snapped Brate in six of the last seven games. Meanwhile, the Packers rank first in the league against opposing tight ends, giving up an average of just 8.1 fantasy points per game.
Tyler Kroft vs Pittsburgh: Kroft has been solid for fantasy owners this season, scoring a touchdown in two straight games. He has also scored nine or more fantasy points in five of his last six games. However, Kroft has failed to pull in four or more catches in four straight games. The Steelers rank third in the league against opposing tight ends, giving up an average of just 9.5 fantasy points per game. Over their last three games the Steelers have held opposing tight ends to an average of 7.2 fantasy points.
Julius Thomas vs Denver: Since Week 9, Thomas is averaging 11.6 fantasy points per game and scored 10.2 fantasy points last week against the Patriots. Thomas has at least four catches or a touchdown in each of those four games. This week Thomas gets to face his former team when the Broncos roll into town. The Broncos rank 28th in the league against opposing quarterbacks, giving up an average of 16.2 fantasy points per game. They have also given up 19 or more fantasy points to opposing tight ends in six games this season.
Chargers vs Cleveland: Over their two game winning streak the Chargers D/ST is averaging 21 fantasy points per game. This week they face the Browns, who present the friendliest matchup, on paper. On the season, opposing D/STs are averaging 12.7 fantasy points per game when facing the Browns offense. Opposing D/STs have scored 10 or more fantasy points in five of the last six games against the Browns. The Chargers defense have forced eight turnovers and scored three touchdowns during their two game winning streak.
Seahawks vs Philadelphia: The last couple of weeks have been tough for the Seahawks defense as they have lost three key starters on defense for the season in Cliff Avril, Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor. Since losing Sherman against the Falcons, the Seahawks D/ST is averaging just seven fantasy points per game. Meanwhile, the Eagles rank fifth against opposing D/STs, as they are averaging just 2.9 fantasy points per game against the Eagles offense. Since Week 9 opposing D/STs are averaging just one fantasy point per game against the Eagles offense.
Raiders vs New York: Two words: Geno Smith. With the Giants benching Eli Manning and starting Smith, the Raiders D/ST is a top five play this week despite being the lowest scoring D/ST on the season. Even prior to the change at quarterback, the Giants ranked 21st against opposing D/STs, as they are averaging eight fantasy points per game against the Giants offense. The Raiders had five sacks last week against the Broncos and could easily get five more this week against the Giants banged up offensive line.