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 San Francisco: Prior to his bye last week, Prescott had three straight 22+ fantasy point games. Now coming off his bye week Prescott faces off against a 49ers defense that ranks 26th in the league against opposing quarterbacks, giving up an average of 19 fantasy points per game. Last week the 49ers allowed Kirk Cousins to score a season high 27.8 fantasy points. Over the last four weeks the 49ers have given up an average of 21.5 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks, so bank on Prescott having his fourth straight 20+ point fantasy game this week.
Tyrod Taylor vs Tampa Bay: Coming off his bye week, Taylor is looking to bounce back after putting up just 8.9 fantasy points against the Bengals in week five. The Buccaneers rank 30th against opposing quarterbacks, giving up an average of 20 fantasy points per game and have given up at least 21 fantasy points in three games. While Taylor lacks receiving threats with the Charles Clay and Jordan Matthews injuries, the Bills have had a full two weeks to adjust the passing game.
Jameis Winston at Buffalo: Last week Winston left the game early against the Cardinals with a shoulder injury. Good news, he is expected to play this week. Bad news, it’s against the Bills who rank third against opposing quarterbacks, giving up just 10.1 fantasy points per game. Winston has been a minor disappointment so far this season, finishing with 19 or more fantasy points just once this season. Winston’s schedule gets easier in the coming weeks, but this week, he should be on your bench.
Jacoby Brissett vs Jacksonville: Over the last four weeks Brissett is averaging 17.4 fantasy points per game. However, this week he faces a Jaguars defense that is first against opposing quarterbacks, giving up just 6.2 fantasy points per game. In six games this season, the Jaguars defense have 10 interceptions and 23 sacks. The Colts offensive line is banged up and the Jaguars will take advantage of that. Brissett should be left on the wavier wire this week.
Jared Goff vs Arizona: After 17.3 fantasy points per game over the first four games of the season, the last two weeks have been hell for Goff; scoring just 17.6 fantasy points combined. However, Goff faced off against the Seahawks and Jaguars, two of the best defenses in the league. This week he gets the Cardinals who rank 28th against opposing quarterbacks, giving up an average of 19.5 fantasy points per game and have allowed four quarterbacks to score 23+ fantasy points against them. Outside of whatever wide receiver is covered by Patrick Peterson, the Cardinals pass defense is below average.
Jay Ajayi vs New York: When the Dolphins played the Jets in week three, Ajayi had his worst game of the year with 4.5 fantasy points. However, in each of the Dolphins’ three wins this year Ajayi has at least 25 carries. Last week, in a win against the Falcons, Ajayi had 26 carries for 130 yards. The Jets rank 28th against opposing running backs, giving up an average of 27.1 fantasy points per game. Other than the week three game against Ajayi, the Jets have given up 22 plus fantasy points to opposing running backs in every game. I tend to believe that week three game was a fluke and Ajayi should put him his first 20 point game this season.
Adrian Peterson at Los Angeles: After having just 27 carries during his time in New Orleans, Peterson got 26 last week against the Cardinals. Peterson finished the game with 134 yards, two touchdowns and 25.4 fantasy points. This week Peterson faces the Rams who are the worst defense in the league against opposing running backs, giving up an average of 32 fantasy points per game. While Peterson won’t have another 25 fantasy point game, he should be good for 100 yards and a touchdown this week.
Marshawn Lynch vs Kansas City: Last week was suppose to be the week Lynch finally gets going; it didn’t happen. Lynch finished with just 6.3 fantasy points against the Chargers and their terrible run defense. On the year Lynch has failed to reach 12.5 fantasy points in any game and this week takes on the Chiefs that rank fifth against opposing running backs, giving up just 19.9 fantasy points per game. Lynch doesn’t offer much in the passing game; having just four catches this season. Lynch’s fantasy value is closer to wavier wire than it is starting.
Alex Collins at Minnesota: The Ravens running back situation is clearly a running back by committee. Last week Collins had 15 touches while Buck Allen had 13 and Terrance West is questionable to play this week. No matter who plays this week, the Vikings defense ranks second against opposing running backs, giving up just 15.7 fantasy points per game. The Ravens offense has been a mess lately and I don’t expect that to change this week.
Dion Lewis vs Atlanta: Over the last three weeks Lewis has gotten an increase in touches. In week four Lewis had five touches, week five he had nine and last week he had 11 while getting the start. Lewis also has a touchdown in two of his last three games. While the Patriots running back situation is hazy, especially with news that Rex Burkhead is expected to play this week, Lewis seems to have carved out a role for himself at Mike Gillislee’s expense. In deeper leagues Lewis is a solid FLEX option this week.
Dez Bryant at San Francisco: Despite all the noise that he has regressed and isn’t an elite fantasy receiver anymore, Bryant has three double digit performances through five games while playing some of the toughest defenses in the league. Bryant has back to back 14 plus point fantasy games and this week faces the 49ers, who give up an average of 35.1 fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers, ranking 22nd in the league. Dak Prescott and Bryant have found their connection so expect Bryant to finish this week with a 20 plus point game.
Demaryius Thomas at Los Angeles: While many fantasy owners benched Thomas last week (as did I), he had a season high 10 catches for 133 yards and 21.3 fantasy points. That was very encouraging consider Thomas had just 2.1 fantasy points in the game before his bye week. This week, Thomas will face off against the Chargers without his side kick Emmanuel Sanders. The Chargers rank 24th in the league against opposing wide receivers, giving up an average of 36.4 fantasy points per game. Thomas should see 15 or more targets this week as the Broncos lack other proven weapons in the passing game.
T.Y. Hilton vs Jacksonville: Hilton has played much better at home than on the road this season; averaging 20.6 fantasy points per game in three home games and 5.2 in three road games. However, despite being home this week the Jaguars have the best cornerback duo in the league and rank first in the league with 23 sacks. The Jaguars rank fourth against opposing wide receivers, giving up just 23.4 fantasy points per game and last week held Sammy Watkins to just 2.1 fantasy points. Hilton has been good at home this season but if you have a better option, play them this week.
Sterling Shepard vs Seattle: An ankle injury kept Shepard out of the Giants week six game verse the Broncos but he is expected to return this week. However, he returns just in time to face the “Legion of Boom”. The Seahawks rank 11th in the league against opposing wide receivers, giving up just 29.5 fantasy points per game. With all the attention now on him with Odell Beckham Jr. out for the season, Shepard shouldn’t be counted on for anything more than a low end FLEX option in PPR leagues this week.
Martavis Bryant vs Cincinnati: Reports came out on Sunday that Bryant had requested a trade as he is frustrated with his role in the offense. So far this season Bryant has been a bust for fantasy owners, scoring just an average of eight fantasy points per game; while having just one game with 8.5 fantasy points or more. With the reports, look for the Steelers to include Bryant much more in their game plan this week. Both Ben Roethlisberger and Bryant play better at home than on the road so expect the Steelers to take several shots deep to Bryant this week.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins at Miami: Since returning from his suspension, Seferian-Jenkins’ role in the offense has increased in each game. Over the past two weeks, Seferian-Jenkins has 14 catches, 75 yards, two touchdowns and 31.5 fantasy points. This week Seferian-Jenkins takes on the Dolphins, who he faced in week three and finished with 8.1 fantasy points. The Dolphins rank 27th against opposing tight ends, giving up an average of 14.9 fantasy points per game. Seferian-Jenkins is the top passing threat in the Jets offense and is now a top six eight tight end the rest of the season.
Jimmy Graham at New York: In three games before the Seahawks week six bye, Graham had three straight double digit fantasy games after scoring just 4.9 fantasy points in the first two weeks combined. Over the three game stretch, Graham is averaged 13.3 fantasy points per game. This week Graham faces off against the Giants defense that gives up the most fantasy points to opposing tight ends, giving up an average of 20.2 per game. With Doug Baldwin being shadowed by Janoris Jenkins expect Russell Wilson to target Graham plenty on Sunday.
Jared Cook vs Kansas City: After a 14.3 fantasy point performance in week three, Cook has scored just 14.5 fantasy points over the past three games combined. Cook should be dropped in all 10 and 12 team leagues. This week, Cook faces the Chiefs defense that allows the seventh fewest points to opposing tight ends, giving up just 9.8 per game. The Raider offense as a whole has struggled the last few weeks and Cook isn’t a starting caliber fantasy tight end for the foreseeable future.
Jason Witten at San Francisco: Coming off his bye week, Witten faces the 49ers defense that ranks first against opposing tight ends, giving up just 6.6 fantasy points per game. After two 19 plus fantasy game performances in the first two weeks of the season, Witten has averaged just 5.1 over the past three games. The Cowboys have better match ups in this game with Dez Bryant and Ezekiel Elliot so don’t expect Witten to get many looks on Sunday.
Austin Hooper at New England: Over the last two games, Hooper is averaging 10.9 fantasy points per game and this week he faces off against the Patriots, who allowed Austin Seferian-Jenkins to score a season high 16.6 fantasy points on Sunday. On the season, the Patriots give up an average of 17 fantasy points per game to opposing tight ends. Furthermore, Hooper scored 12.2 fantasy points against the Patriots in the Superbowl last year; expect another big game from Hooper on Sunday night.
Vikings vs Baltimore: Against the Aaron Rodgers-less Packers, the Vikings D/ST had 15 fantasy points last week and now this week the Ravens come to town scoring an average of 19 points per week; ranking ninth worst in the league. Opposing D/STs are averaging 9.3 fantasy points a game and three times have scored 14 plus fantasy points when facing the Ravens offense. On the season the Vikings defense have created eight turnovers and 16 sacks; tied for seventh in the league. With the Raven offense a mess and the Vikings defense starting to click, this is the best D/ST match up this week.
Cardinals at Los Angeles: Despite being drafted as a top seven D/ST, the Cardinals D/ST are trending in the wrong direction. Over the last four games, the Cardinals D/ST is averaging just 2.3 fantasy points per game. Opposing D/STs are scoring just 3.2 fantasy points per game against the Rams offense. With a week eight bye coming up, fantasy owners can drop the Cardinal D/ST.
Titans at Cleveland: Last week the Browns offense gave up 23 fantasy points to the Texans D/ST without J.J. Watt, Whitney Mercilus and Jadeveon Clowney for most of the game. The Browns offense is a mess and fantasy owners should stream just about any opposing D/ST against the Browns. Against teams with below average quarterbacks, the Titans D/ST score an average of 10 fantasy points per game. No matter who starts for the Browns in week seven, the Titans defense should have their way with him.