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!
Drew Brees vs Steelers: The last three weeks have been rough for Brees’ fantasy owners, as he has failed to score 14 or more fantasy points in any game while averaging just nine FPPG. However, the match up this week should get Brees out of his funk. The Steelers 11th friendliest team against opposing quarterbacks, giving up an average of 18.4 FPPG. This game should be high scoring as both teams have explosive offenses and both teams have playoff goals that can be clinched in this game. Expect Brees to throw at least three touchdowns this week.
Deshaun Watson at Eagles: Over the last month, Watson has been the QB3, only behind Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen. During that span, Watson has scored 18 or more fantasy points three times, including 22 or more twice. I expect Watson to keep up his good play this week against the Eagles, who are the 10th friendliest team against opposing quarterbacks, giving up an average of 18.5 FPPG. Furthermore, the Eagles secondary is all beat up and have struggled against mobile quarterbacks this season.
Tom Brady vs Bills: Brady is the G.O.A.T, but he isn’t a top 12 quarterback this week. Brady has struggled over his last five games, averaging 17.1 FPPG; the QB12 during that span. The Patriots offense has been inconsistent at best lately and the match up this week isn’t fantasy friendly. The Bills are the toughest team against opposing quarterbacks, giving up an average of just 12.5 FPPG. Furthermore, the Bills haven’t allowed an opposing quarterback to score over 15 fantasy points in seven straight games, including just 13.6 to Brady in week eight.
Jared Goff at Cardinals: Since the crazy Monday night win against the Chiefs, Goff has been awful. Over his last three games, Goff is averaging 6.2 FPPG; the QB41! Jeff Driskel and Cody Kessler have been better during that span. The Rams have lost two games in a row and need to win out to insure they get a first round bye in the playoffs. Meanwhile, the Cardinals are the sixth toughest team against opposing quarterbacks, giving up an average of just 15.3 FPPG. Furthermore, the Cardinals have allowed an opposing quarterback to throw for three or more touchdowns just once this season.
Josh Allen at Patriots: I’m not really sure the QB2 over the last month counts as a sleeper but for everyone on twitter who hated Allen, I hope you are enjoying his success. Yes, he is doing a lot of it with his legs but fantasy owners enjoy that. Over his last four games, Allen is averaging 87.8 rushing yards per game and 23.3 FPPG. Meanwhile, the Patriots are on a two game losing streak and are the ninth friendliest team against opposing quarterbacks, giving up an average of 18.5 FPPG. Furthermore, the Patriots have allowed opposing quarterbacks to score 19 or more fantasy points in 50% of their games this season.
Chris Carson vs Chiefs: Over his last five games, Carson has been consistent for fantasy owners, scoring 12 or more fantasy points in every game, including a season high 26.8 last week verse the 49ers. Meanwhile, the Chiefs are the friendliest team against opposing running backs, giving up an average of 31.2 FPPG and have given up at least one rushing touchdown in six of their last seven games. The Seahawks run the ball more than any team in the league and in order to keep Patrick Mahomes off the field, they will need to control the clock and feed Carson.
Marlon Mack vs Giants: Last week I said to bench Mack and on paper it made sense, but like everything in week 15, it turned upside down. Mack had his best games since the Colts’ bye, scoring 25.9 fantasy points Sunday verse the Cowboys. The match up this week looks good on paper, as the Giants are the fifth friendliest team against opposing running backs, giving up an average of 28.9 FPPG. Furthermore, the Giants have allowed opposing running backs to score 28 or more fantasy points in three of their last four games.
Matt Breida vs Bears: Has there been a more injured player this season than Breida? It seems that he is on the injury report every week with a new injury. Currently Breida is dealing with an ankle injury and given that the 49ers are in the running for the top draft pick, they may just call his season over. Even if Breida does play, fantasy owners should bench him against the Bears, who are the third toughest team against opposing running backs, giving up an average of just 19.1 FPPG. Furthermore, the Bears have given up just one rushing touchdown in their last three games.
Adrian Peterson at Titans: At this point the Redskins’ offense is being held together by bubble gum and duck tape. The Redskins have had more injuries on offense than any other team this season. Meanwhile, the lack of healthy bodies on the offensive line has hurt Peterson’s fantasy value. Over the last two weeks, Peterson has just 12 total fantasy points, while averaging just 2.3 yards per carry and hasn’t found the end zone at all. To make things worse, the Titans are the toughest team against opposing running backs, giving up an average of just 18.3 FPPG.
Jordan Howard at 49ers: Without a doubt, Howard has been one of the biggest, if not the biggest fantasy bust this season. However, over the last two weeks Howard is out snapping Tarik Cohen and has 38 carries for 161 yards and 25.8 fantasy points. Hopefully. Howard can keep up the solid flex range play this week against the 49ers, who are the 11th friendliest team against opposing running backs, giving up an average of 26.4 FPPG. Furthermore, the 49ers just gave up 4.9 yards per carry to the Seahawks’ running backs last week.
Doug Baldwin vs Chiefs: Injuries and a dominant running game have killed Baldwin’s fantasy value this season. However, he had a season high 23.7 fantasy points last week verse the 49ers and the match up this week is even better. The Chiefs are the eighth friendliest team against opposing wide receivers, giving up an average of 37.9 FPPG. Furthermore, the Chiefs have allowed opposing wide receivers to score 57 or more fantasy points in two of their last four games.
Dante Pettis vs Bears: Pettis was a guy I was high on entering the season for dynasty leagues and he is showing why averaging 18.7 FPPG over his last four games. While the Bears have a great defense, they are fantasy friendly to opposing wide receivers, The Bears are the 11th friendliest team against opposing wide receivers, giving up an average of 37.6 FPPG. The Bears are likely to get ahead early in the game, forcing the 49ers into a negative game script, leading to more targets and fantasy points for Pettis.
Adam Humphries at Cowboys: As great as Humphries was playing, the magic is over. During the Buccaneers two game losing streak, Humphries has just eight catches for 65 yards, no touchdowns and 14.5 fantasy points. The Buccaneers’ offense hasn’t been very consistent lately and that shouldn’t change this week, as the Cowboys are the third toughest team against opposing wide receivers, giving up an average of just 28.1 FPPG. Furthermore, the Cowboys have held opposing wide receivers under 27.5 fantasy points in four straight games.
Courtland Sutton at Raiders: Since Emmanuel Sanders went down with the Achilles injury, the Broncos’ haven’t won a game, been eliminated from the playoffs and the wide receiver group has been a mess. In the two games without Sanders, Sutton is averaging just 6.3 FPPG compared to 14.7 FPPG for DaeSean Hamilton and 14.1 FPPG for Tim Patrick. Meanwhile, the Raiders are the ninth toughest team against opposing wide receivers, giving up an average of 33.6 FPPG. Furthermore, the Raiders have held opposing wide receivers under 24 fantasy points in three of their last four games.
Robert Foster at Patriots: How great has Foster played over his last five games? Well he is the WR20 during that span, scoring at least 13.5 fantasy points in four of the five games. Since the release of Kelvin Benjamin and Andre Holmes, Foster has played at least 84% of the snaps in every game. Meanwhile, the Patriots give up around the league average in fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers. However, during their two game losing streak, opposing wide receivers are averaging 41.6 FPPG against the Patriots. Foster is the perfect high upside flex play this week.
Austin Hooper at Panthers: Last week Hooper put up a fat doughnut against the Cardinals but given the match up, it wasn’t that surprising. However, the match up this week is much better for Hooper. The Panthers are the third friendliest team against opposing tight ends, giving up an average of 15.5 FPPG. Furthermore, the Panthers gave up 16.9 fantasy points to Hooper back in week two and I expect him to have a similar game this week.
Cameron Brate at Cowboys: So last week I said to start Brate and he let me down, but this week I’m doubling down on the Harvard grad. Since O.J. Howard went on injured reserve, Brate has averaged a solid 8.8 FPPG. Meanwhile, the Cowboys are the 12th friendliest team against opposing tight ends, giving up an average of 14 FPPG. Furthermore, the Cowboys have allowed opposing tight ends to score 23 or more fantasy points in three of their last six games.
Rob Gronkowski vs Bills: While this may be hard to hear, but Gronkowski clearly isn’t the same tight end he once was. After his 24.7 fantasy point game against the Dolphins, I had hoped he was finally healthy but Gronkowski scored only 4.1 fantasy points against the Steelers last week; a team he normally destroys. I don’t think things will get better this week against the Bills, who are the second toughest team against opposing tight ends, giving up an average of just 8.4 FPPG. Furthermore, the Bills have allowed opposing tight ends to score 10.5 or more fantasy points in just two of their last ten games.
Jimmy Graham at Jets: Aaron Rodgers is expected to play in this game, despite the Packers being eliminated from the playoffs. Even with Rodgers playing, Graham is outside my top 12 tight ends this week as he is still dealing with the thumb injury and the match up isn’t fantasy friendly. The Jets are the third toughest team against opposing tight ends, giving up an average of just 8.6 FPPG. Furthermore, the Jets have held opposing tight ends to just 5.2 total fantasy points over their last two games.
Matt LaCosse at Raiders: Streaming tight ends can be a pain in the backside at times and sometimes fantasy owners just need to find a good match up and hope for the best. With LaCosse this week, that is exactly what I am doing. LaCosse had a solid game last week, catching four passes for 43 yards and 8.3 fantasy points. Meanwhile, the Raiders are the second friendliest team against opposing tight ends, giving up an average of 15.6 FPPG. Furthermore, the Raiders have allowed opposing tight ends to score 12.5 or more fantasy points in three of their last four games.
Rams at Cardinals: Despite having Nick Foles under center, the Rams D/ST scored zero fantasy points Sunday night against the Eagles. However, while the offense has struggled since the Chiefs game, the defense has played well. In the two games prior to the Eagles match up, the Rams D/ST was averaging 10.5 FPPG. Meanwhile, the Cardinals are the friendliest team to opposing D/STs, allowing them to score 12.3 FPPG. Furthermore, Josh Rosen is expected to start this week and he had three turnovers last week.
Ravens at Chargers: As good as the Ravens defense has played this season, their D/ST hasn’t performed well against good offenses. Over their last two games, the Ravens D/ST has scored just 10 total fantasy points. Meanwhile, the Chargers should have Melvin Gordon and Keenan Allen back this week. The Chargers are the sixth toughest team against opposing D/STs, allowing them to score just 2.6 FPPG. Furthermore, over the last month, opposing D/STs are averaging 2.3 FPPG against the Chargers’ offense.
Colts vs Giants: The story for the Colts this year is how Andrew Luck has bounced back from his shoulder injury, but the Colts defense has played really well over the second half of the season. Over their last five games, the Colts D/ST has scored 11 or more three times. Meanwhile, the Giants are the 13th friendliest team to opposing D/STs, allowing them to score 6.6 FPPG. The Colts need to win this game in order to have a shot at the playoffs and I expect them to take advantage of a banged up Giants offense.