Every week fantasy football owners have tough decisions. Who to start? Who to sit? And who to potentially pick up off the waiver wire to play. For help with that, check out my weekly rankings. For even more help, I will be giving my weekly take on starts, sits, and sleepers.
Every week I give you 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. 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 vs Browns: During the Texans’ eight-game winning streak, Deshaun Watson has scored 20 or more fantasy points five times, including three of his last four games. Monday night, Watson scored 29.4 fantasy points, his second highest effort of the season. In addition, Watson has done a good job limiting the turnovers recently. Over his last five games, Watson has just two turnovers.
Meanwhile, the Browns have won two straight games but defensively they have struggled. Over their last four games, the Browns have given up nine passing touchdowns and an average of 22.3 FPPG to opposing quarterbacks.
Lamar Jackson at Falcons: On Tuesday the Ravens announced that Lamar Jackson would start again this week and the match-up is excellent. The Falcons are the second-friendliest team against opposing quarterbacks, giving up an average of 22.7 FPPG. During the Falcons three-game losing streak, they have given up eight total touchdowns to opposing quarterbacks. Making Jackson even more dangerous, the Falcons are also one of the worst teams against the run. Expect Jackson to have a career day in Atlanta.
Mitchell Trubisky at Giants: Hopefully Mitchell Trubisky is healthy and can play this week. But even if he does, I would sit him against the Giants. As great as the Bears’ offense has been at times this season, Trubisky has scored under 15 fantasy points in two of his last three games played.
Meanwhile, the Giants are the 10th-toughest team against opposing quarterbacks, giving up an average of 16.8 FPPG and have held opposing quarterbacks under 13.5 fantasy points in three of their last four games.
Baker Mayfield at Texans: As great as Baker Mayfield has played over his last two games — averaging 24.3 FPPG — I would bench him this week. The Texans are one of the hottest teams in the league and are the seventh-toughest team against opposing quarterbacks, giving up an average of just 16 FPPG.
Furthermore, the Texans have held opposing quarterbacks under 16 fantasy points in six of their last seven games. While fantasy owners should bench Mayfield this week they shouldn’t drop him, as two of his playoff match-ups are against two of the friendliest defenses to opposing quarterbacks.
Case Keenum at Bengals: Despite a lack of fantasy love, Case Keenum has been solid over the last four weeks, scoring 15 or more fantasy points in three of those games. Expect the streak to continue this week against the Bengals. They are the friendliest team to opposing quarterbacks, giving up an average of 23.6 FPPG. The Bengals have allowed opposing quarterbacks to score 21 or more fantasy points in seven or their last nine games. The Broncos schedule for the rest of the season is very fantasy-friendly. For owners in two quarterback leagues, Keenum needs to be added ASAP.
LeSean McCoy at Dolphins: For the first, and probably last, time this season I have LeSean McCoy as a start. McCoy has been a major disappointment for fantasy owners, scoring 13 or more fantasy points in just two games this season. However, the match-up this week is just too good to sit McCoy.
The Dolphins are the fifth-friendliest team against opposing running backs, giving up an average of 28.9 FPPG. Miami’s porous defense has allowed opposing running backs to score 32 or more fantasy points in a staggering 44% of their games this season.
Jalen Richard vs Chiefs: I have both Doug Martin and Jalen Richard as flex options this week against a Chiefs’ defense that is the friendliest against opposing running backs, giving up an average of 33.1 FPPG. The Chiefs have allowed opposing running backs to score 41 or more fantasy points in two of their last three games.
The Raiders should be behind early which means plenty of check-down catches during garbage time for Richard. For the season, Richard is averaging 5.7 targets per game and has at least five catches in 55% of his games.
Tevin Coleman vs Ravens: Since Tevin Coleman’s season high 32.6 fantasy point outing against the Redskins, he has scored a total of 32.1 fantasy points over the last three games. It’s no surprise that during those three games the Falcons are winless.
Fantasy owners shouldn’t expect things to change this week against the Ravens, as they are the second-toughest team against opposing running backs, giving up an average of just 18 FPPG. Furthermore, the Ravens have given up the league average of 24.8 fantasy points to opposing running backs just once this season.
Marlon Mack at Jaguars: To no one’s surprise, Marlon Mack is once again hurt. Mack left Sunday’s game against the Dolphins with a concussion and is in the protocol, leaving his status for this week in doubt. Even if Mack is cleared and can play, I would bench him against the Jaguars.
As bad as the Jaguars’ defense has played this season, they are the toughest team against opposing running backs, giving up an average of just 17.7 FPPG. The Jaguars haven’t given up a rushing touchdown since week seven, and have given up just 18.6 fantasy points to opposing running backs over their last two games.
Jordan Howard at Giants: Yes, Jordan Howard has been a major disappointment for fantasy owners. And yes, he has been cut in many leagues, and rightfully so as Howard has just 14.2 total fantasy points over the last three weeks. However, the match-up makes Howard an interesting flex option this week. The Giants are the eighth-friendliest team against opposing running backs, giving up an average of 27.6 FPPG. The Giants have also given up at least one rushing touchdown in six straight games.
D.J. Moore at Buccaneers: The last two weeks have been D.J. Moore’s break out party. During that span, Moore has 16 touches for 255 scrimmage yards, one touchdown and 46.5 fantasy points. I expect Moore to keep up the good play this week against the Buccaneers, who are the fourth-friendliest team against opposing wide receivers, giving up an average of 41 FPPG.
Furthermore, the Buccaneers have allowed opposing wide receivers to score 48.5 or more fantasy points five times this season. Moore has taken over as the Panthers’ number one wide receiver and his friendly playoff schedule makes him a WR2 for the rest of the season.
Golden Tate vs Redskins: Every time the Eagles and the Redskins play on Monday night something weird happens. This year I think we see the Golden Tate breakout game. Since joining the Eagles, Tate has a total of 19.9 fantasy points — averaging just 6.6 FPPG. The Redskins are the ninth-friendliest team against opposing wide receivers, giving up an average of 39.5 FPPG. Washington has given up 44 or more fantasy points to opposing wide receivers in three of their last four games.
Allen Robinson at Giants: Currently Mitchell Trubisky is not practicing, meaning Chase Daniel is likely to start again this week. On Thanksgiving against a poor Lions secondary, Allen Robinson had just two catches of four targets for 37 yards and 5.7 fantasy points with Daniel under center.
Robinson has scored over seven fantasy points just once over the last six weeks, and this week the match-up isn’t fantasy friendly. The Giants are the eighth-toughest team against opposing wide receivers, giving up an average of just 31.8 FPPG and holding opposing wide receivers under 26 fantasy points in three of their last four games.
Calvin Ridley vs Ravens: Last week I said to start Calvin Ridley versus the Saints and he finished the week as the WR10 with 21.3 fantasy points. However, I have Ridley outside my top 42 WRs this week because of the match-up. The Ravens are the third-toughest team against opposing wide receivers, giving up an average of 29.9 FPPG.
The Ravens have averaged over 36 minutes in time of possession and 48 team rushing attempts per game with Lamar Jackson under center. The Ravens will run the ball down the Falcons’ throat, limiting the amount of possessions the Falcons’ offense will have.
Curtis Samuel at Buccaneers: Much like his teammate D.J. Moore, Curtis Samuel has had coming out party over the last few weeks. Over his last four games, Samuel has 16 touches for 174 scrimmage yards, four touchdowns and 52.4 fantasy points; averaging 13.1 FPPG.
Samuel has carved out a consistent role in the offense, playing in 45% of the snaps over the last four weeks. As I mentioned above, the Buccaneers are very friendly to opposing wide receivers. While Samuel is dealing with a hamstring injury, if he plays he is an ideal high-upside flex option this week.
Cameron Brate vs Panthers: In his first game without O.J. Howard, Cameron Brate scored 11.6 fantasy points; his highest since week four. Brate finished the week as the TE13, but this week he faces the Panthers, who are the friendliest team against opposing tight ends, giving up an average of 17.5 FPPG.
Furthermore, the Panthers have given up 19.5 or more fantasy points in five of their last seven games, including 25.8 fantasy points to the Buccaneers in week nine. Brate is my TE7 this week and a must start.
Jared Cook vs Chiefs: While the Raiders’ season may be over, Cook has played well for fantasy owners over the last two weeks, averaging 11.7 FPPG. However, Cook has just five catches for 63 yards during that span, with two touchdowns being his saving grace. The match-up this week should guarantee Cook a touchdown for the third straight week.
The Chiefs are the third-friendliest team against opposing tight ends, giving up an average of 16 FPPG. The Chiefs defense gave up 32.2 fantasy points and two touchdowns to the Rams’ tight ends in their last game.
Jordan Reed at Eagles: Currently, Jordan Reed is dealing with an undisclosed injury. With Reed, any injury is a concern. With the Redskins playing Monday night, fantasy owners that must play Reed better handcuff him with Vernon Davis in case he is a last minute scratch.
Even if Reed plays, the match-up isn’t fantasy friendly. The Eagles are the third-toughest team against opposing tight ends, giving up an average of just 8.6 FPPG and allowing opposing tight ends to score more than 9.5 fantasy points just once over their last six games.
Chris Herndon at Titans: Over his last six games, Chris Herndon has scored 10 or more fantasy points in four of them. Last week against the Patriots, Herndon had a career high seven catches for 57 yards and 12.7 fantasy points. However, the match-up this week makes him waiver wire fodder.
The Titans are the toughest team against opposing tight ends, giving up an average of just 7.3 FPPG. Furthermore, the Titans have not allowed an opposing tight end to score a touchdown this season. In fact, the Titans have allowed just one tight end to score more than 10.5 fantasy points this season; Zach Ertz.
Matt LaCosse at Bengals: Who?! Exactly! The Broncos have placed three tight ends on injured reserve this season and now some guy named Matt LaCosse is their new starter. Last week LaCosse played 47% of the snaps, caught three of his four targets for 34 yards, a touchdown, and a career high 12.4 fantasy points.
Meanwhile, the Bengals are the second-friendliest team against opposing tight ends, giving up an average of 16.6 FPPG. To make matters worse, the Bengals have several defensive players on injured reserved and have given up at least 19 fantasy points to opposing tight ends in four of their last six games.
Chiefs at Raiders: Despite being the D/ST15 for the season, the Chiefs D/ST has played better recently. Over their last two games, the Chiefs D/ST has scored 19 fantasy points despite giving up 42 points to the Rams.
Meanwhile, the Raiders are the fourth-friendliest team to opposing D/STs, allowing them to score an average of 8.7 FPPG. Opposing D/STs have scored 10 or more fantasy points against the Raiders’ offense in three of their last four games to boot.
Ravens at Falcons: Last week the Ravens D/ST scored 20 fantasy points against a terrible Raiders’ offense, thanks in large part to three sacks and two touchdowns. However, in their previous four games the Ravens D/ST was averaging less than one fantasy point per game.
Meanwhile, the Falcons are the 10th-toughest team against opposing D/STs, allowing them to score just 3.5 FPPG. Even more impressive, opposing D/STs have scored negative fantasy points against the Falcons’ offense in 45% of their games this season.
Rams at Lions: This may seem like a no-brainer, but the Rams D/ST has scored under seven fantasy points in six of their last eight games. During that span, cornerback Aqib Talib was injured, but he will return this week. In the games with Talib on the field, the Rams D/ST averaged 13 FPPG.
Meanwhile, the Lions are the eighth-friendliest team to opposing D/STs, allowing them to score an average of 7.8 FPPG. and they have allowed opposing D/STs to score 10 or more fantasy points in four of their last five games.