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!
Deshaun Watson at Redskins: Prior to the Texans week 10 bye, Deshaun Watson was playing well for fantasy owners, averaging 25.7 FPPG over his previous two games. During the Texans’ six game winning streak, Watson has scored 20 or more fantasy points four times. Meanwhile, the Redskins have given up an average of 23.8 FPPG to opposing quarterbacks over their last three home games. This game means a lot for both teams and I expect Watson to come out slinging it.
Dak Prescott at Falcons: Despite getting a bad rap, Dak Prescott has been solid for fantasy owners over his last four games, averaging 21.6 FPPG. During that four-game span, Prescott has been the QB10, ahead of guys like Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees.
Since the addition of Amari Cooper, Prescott has 513 passing yards and four total touchdowns. Meanwhile, the Falcons are the fourth-friendliest team against opposing quarterbacks, giving up an average of 23.7 FPPG and have allowed opposing quarterbacks to score 20 or more fantasy points in seven of their last eight games.
Ben Roethlisberger at Jaguars: Even though Ben Roethlisberger has played well over his last three road games this season, I can’t trust him this week against the Jaguars. In his last two games versus the Jaguars, Roethlisberger has five touchdowns and six interceptions. Both of those games were at home and now Roethlisberger has to play in Jacksonville.
The Jaguars are the eighth-toughest team against opposing quarterbacks, giving up an average of just 16.2 FPPG. Additionally, the Jaguars have held opposing quarterbacks to just 14.4 FPPG at home this season.
Kirk Cousins at Bears: After getting off to a hot start by scoring 20 or more fantasy points in three of his first four games, Kirk Cousins has scored over 20 fantasy points in just one of his last five games. The Vikings are simply running the ball more, and it has negatively impacted Cousins’ fantasy value. He has failed to throw for more than two touchdowns in any game since week four.
Kirk’s struggles should continue this week, as the Bears are the seventh-toughest team against opposing quarterbacks giving up an average of just 16 FPPG, and have held opposing quarterbacks under that mark in three straight games.
Lamar Jackson vs Bengals: Fantasy owners need to keep an eye on this situation. There have been conflicting reports out there on who could start this week for the Ravens. Some reports say Joe Flacco. Others say Robert Griffin III. But if Lamar Jackson is the starter, he is a sneaky good play this week. The Bengals are the second-friendliest team against opposing quarterbacks, giving up an average of 24.2 FPPG — including 10 passing touchdowns and an average of 30.7 FPPG to opposing quarterbacks over their last three games.
Alex Collins vs Bengals: Speaking of Jackson and the Ravens, Alex Collins also has a really good match-up this week. The Bengals are the third-friendliest team against opposing running backs, giving up an average of 32.8 FPPG.
The Bengals have given up an astonishing 49 or more fantasy points to opposing running backs in two of their last three games. If Jackson is the starter this week, the Ravens should run plenty of read option plays to take advantage of Jackson’s legs, which will only help Collins have an even better game.
Peyton Barber at Giants: Peyton Barber has had a poor season so far, scoring more than eight fantasy points just twice this season. However; in those two games he is averaging 17.6 FPPG. Those two opponents were the Falcons and the Bengals, both are top-three friendly teams against opposing running backs.
This week Barber faces the Giants, who are the eighth-friendliest team against opposing running backs, giving up an average of 28.4 FPPG. Over their last two games, the Giants have allowed opposing running backs to rush for 285 rushing yards, two touchdowns and score 64.2 fantasy points.
Adrian Peterson vs Texans: Since Adrian Peterson scored a season high 26.6 fantasy points in week eight against the aforementioned Giants, the Redskins have lost four offensive lineman — three for the season — and have struggled to run the ball. Over the last two games, Peterson has just 85 rushing yards and 15.2 fantasy points.
Meanwhile, the Texans are the 11th toughest team against opposing running backs, giving up an average of 23.2 FPPG and have given up just three rushing touchdowns all season long. Peterson is likely a touchdown-or-bust play this week, and I wouldn’t rely on him scoring.
Marlon Mack vs Titans: After a nice two-game stretch where he was averaging 30.4 FPPG, Marlon Mack scored just 7.8 fantasy points last week against the Jaguars. I had Mack as a sit last week because of the match-up, and I would sit him again this week for the same reason.
The Titans are the second-toughest team against opposing running backs, giving up an average of just 17.6 FPPG, holding opposing running backs under the league average in all but one game this season.
Derrick Henry at Colts: While I don’t like Mack this week, I think Derrick Henry is a sneaky good option. Henry has scored a touchdown and at least 11 fantasy points in three straight games. During that three-game span, Henry is averaging 13.2 FPPG and is the RB19. The Titans have done a better job running the ball lately and it’s helping them win games.
The Colts are 11th friendliest team against opposing running backs, giving up an average of 27.2 FPPG and have given up at least 25.5 fantasy points to opposing running backs in every game but one this season.
Kenny Golladay vs Panthers: Kenny Golladay finally broke out of his funk and scored 19.8 fantasy points Sunday against the Bears. In the previous three games, Golladay scored a total of just 16.3 fantasy points. With Golden Tate now in Philadelphia, Golladay is clearly the new number one receiver in Detroit and finally has played like it.
Meanwhile, the Panthers give up about the league average in fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers. However; over their last two games, the Panthers have allowed opposing wide receivers to score 90.6 fantasy points and four touchdowns.
Golden Tate at Saints: Obviously, Golden Tate didn’t have the game many had hoped he would in his Eagles debut. However; this week Tate should bounce back in a game that will be a high-scoring affair. The Saints are the friendliest team in the league against opposing wide receivers, giving up an average of 49.7 FPPG. The next friendliest team is the Buccaneers, at 5.6 FPPG less. New Orleans has allowed opposing wide receivers to score 55 or more fantasy points in two of their last three games.
This game is a must-win for the Eagles, and I expect them to get Tate involved early and often.
Allen Robinson vs Vikings: After missing the previous two games with a groin injury, Allen Robinson scored 31.3 fantasy points last week against the Lions — easily a season high. However; the Lions secondary is a banged-up mess.
Prior to getting injured Robinson was in a funk, scoring less than 11 fantasy points in three of his last four games. The Vikings are the fourth-toughest team against opposing wide receivers, giving up an average of just 29.9 FPPG and have not allowed an opposing wide receiver to score a touchdown over their last five games. The funk could easily reappear this week.
Calvin Ridley vs Cowboys: Last week I said to start Calvin Ridley and he let fantasy owners down, scoring just seven fantasy points. My bad folks. However, this week I am staying clear of any Falcons’ wide receiver not named Julio Jones.
The Cowboys are the second-toughest team against opposing wide receivers, giving up an average of just 28.8 FPPG. Dallas has held opposing wide receivers under 26.5 fantasy points in three of their last four games, while they haven’t given a touchdown to a wide receiver since week six.
Josh Reynolds vs Chiefs: With Cooper Kupp going down the for season with a torn ACL, Josh Reynolds steps into a much bigger role. Robert Woods and Brandin Cooks will take over Kupp’s slot role, but the Rams are in 11 personal (three wide receivers on the field) more than any team in the league.
In the two games Kupp missed earlier in the season, Reynolds averaged 11 FPPG. The Chiefs have done a good job against opposing wide receivers lately, but this game should finish in the 40s. Reynolds is a sneaky pick up this week with a bright outlook the rest of the season.
Evan Engram vs Buccaneers: Evan Engram hasn’t produced the way many fantasy owners had hoped. However; Engram has played well over the last two weeks, averaging 11.1 FPPG. Over that span, Engram is third on the team in targets with 14 — behind Saquon Barkley and Odell Beckham Jr.
Meanwhile, the Buccaneers are the second-friendliest team against opposing tight ends, giving up an average of 16.4 FPPG. The Buccaneers have also given up 15 or more fantasy points to opposing tight ends in 67% of their games this season.
Austin Hooper vs Cowboys: Surprisingly, Austin Hooper in the TE6 for the season, averaging 12 FPPG. He has been pretty consistent in scoring those fantasy points, scoring at least seven fantasy points in 78% of his games this season. Last week against the Browns, Hooper scored 21.6 fantasy points, marking the second time this season he scored over 20 fantasy points.
On the other hand, the Cowboys are the 10th friendliest team against opposing tight ends, giving up an average of 14.2 FPPG. and gave up a league high 40.5 fantasy points to Zach Ertz last week. Hooper looks poised to have a monster game.
Jared Cook at Cardinals: There is NOTHING I want to do with the Raiders. None of their fantasy players can be trusted and the team has quit on John Gruden. Since the Raiders traded away Amari Cooper, Cook has just six catches for 72 yards and 13.2 fantasy points. Jordy Nelson and Martavis Bryant are expected to miss time with knee injuries, leaving Cook to get all the defense’s attention.
The Cardinals are the seventh-toughest team against opposing running backs, giving up an average of just 9.3 FPPG and haven’t allowed an opposing tight end to score a touchdown since week two.
Kyle Rudolph at Bears: Entering the season, I had high hopes for Kyle Rudolph. Unfortunately, his production has dropped off this season, as he is averaging just nine FPPG. To make matters worse, Rudolph has just seven catches for 83 yards and 15.3 fantasy points over his last three games.
The Bears are the 10th toughest team against opposing tight ends, giving up an average of just 10.8 FPPG. They’ve held opposing tight ends to under five fantasy points in two of their last four games. Rudolph doesn’t look to be breaking out of his funk anytime soon, especially not this week.
Vance McDonald at Jaguars: Last week against the Panthers, Vance McDonald had his best game since week three, scoring 14.4 fantasy points. Despite a disappointing season, the Jaguars are tough on opposing running backs and wide receivers. They can, however, be attacked by the tight end. The Jaguars are the 11th friendliest team against opposing tight ends, giving up an average of 13.9 FPPG. The last two games have been particularly hard on the Jaguars, giving up 13 catches for 191 yards, six total touchdowns and 68.3 fantasy points to opposing tight ends over that span.
Panthers at Lions: Despite the whipping the Panthers defense got last week, there are brighter days ahead. The Panthers D/ST was a solid option before the game against the Steelers, averaging 7.3 FPPG in their previous six games.
This week the come up against the Lions, the seventh-friendliest team against opposing D/STs, allowing them to score 8 FPPG. Over their last three games, the Lions have allowed opposing D/STs to average 15 FPPG, giving up double digit fantasy points in every game.
Titans at Colts: Last week the Titans D/ST held the Patriots to just 10 points, while scoring eight fantasy points. However, the Titans D/ST scored two or less fantasy points in two of their previous three games. The Colts are the 10th toughest team against opposing D/STs, allowing them to score just 3.9 FPPG. Over their last three games, opposing D/STs are averaging negative 3.3 FPPG against the Colts offense.
Last week was a fluke, leave the Titans D/ST on the waiver wire.
Steelers at Jaguars: After starting out the season poorly, the Steelers D/ST has drastically improved over the last few weeks. Over their last five games, the Steelers D/ST is averaging 10.4 FPPG. Over that five game stretch, they have scored 17 fantasy points twice.
Meanwhile, the Jaguars are the 11th friendliest team against opposing D/STs, allowing them to score 7.1 FPPG. Opposing D/STs have scored 11 or more fantasy points against the Jaguars in 44% of their games this season. Don’t let the Le’Veon Bell situation deter you, the Steelers defense is a sneaky good start this week.