*Teams on Bye*: Miami, Oakland
Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers
Norv Turner said he needed to find more ways to get Cordarrelle Patterson the ball, and he followed that up by not finding more ways to get Cordarrelle Patterson the ball. 558 yards of total offense and only 38 belonged to Patterson; I’m just as confused as you are. The only reliable member of the offense right now is Matt Asiata, who I have at RB2 this week. The RB on the other team looks like he won’t be a reliable member of your fantasy squad. Eddie Lacy looks worse than Trent Richardson (great job Alabama RBs) and he’s a Flex for all who haven’t traded him away yet. 4 TDs from Aaron Rodgers and they all went to Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb. This is exactly what we want to see and I hope to see something similar this Thursday.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints
Doug Martin should have his best game in 2 years this Sunday when he plays against the Saints, but to temper expectations (since he still looks horrible) he get a Flex designation from me. Vincent Jackson finally got a score, and 10 targets from Mike Glennon is a reassuring stat. No word who will start between him and Josh McCown, but if Glennon gets the call then VJax is a WR2. Amid all of the Saints’ problems, they did a pretty good job limiting Dez Bryant last week, so it’s hard for me to rank VJax high here. The Bucs have a good run defense, so don’t expect much from Khiry Robinson. Bad play calling and some crucial drops hurt Brees’ stat line. He shouldn’t have any trouble against the Bucs at home, which means good things for Jimmy Graham and Brandin Cooks. Pierre Thomas isn’t getting many touches and Marques Colston isn’t doing much with the chances he gets, so I think both guys are bench worthy for Sunday. The Saints offense needs to show us more. My Sleeper Selection is Louis Murphy, who recently joined the Bucs and put up very good numbers last Sunday. He should be the #2 WR on the Bucs with Mike Evans injured.
Chicago Bears at Carolina Panthers
Both Brandon Marshall and Kelvin Benjamin narrowly had 2 TDs on Sunday, and both should be heavily involved this Sunday. Marshall’s ankle will certainly be a factor, but Cutler still tried to get Marshall the ball in scoring situations and will likely continue to do so. Martellus Bennett is truly coming into his own as one of the top TEs in the league and the rest of the Bears offense looked good against the Packers. I don’t anticipate many problems going against a Panthers defense that isn’t close to being as good as it was last year. Greg Olsen had an off week, but he’s still a TE1 Sunday. Darrin Reaves is likely to get the start with every other Panthers RB hurt, but I haven’t seen enough of him to think he’s worth a start. Cam Newton hasn’t played like a QB1 yet, this is a make or break week for him.
Cleveland Browns at Tennessee Titans
Ben Tate is expected to be back this Sunday, and I expect him to be in your lineups. He’s only played part of one game this season, but in that game he started strong with 6 carries for 41 yards. If Tate does play he’ll be the Browns’ main RB and will definitely have value against the league’s 22nd ranked run defense. For PPR leagues you’ll want Andrew Hawkins in at Flex, but I’m not too sure if you want Jordan Cameron in your lineup. He hasn’t been targeted much in the 2 games he’s played, but you probably paid a high price for him and I can’t blame you for expecting a return on your investment against a team that just gave up a TD to both of the Colts’ TEs. For Tennessee I think your best bets are Kendall Wright (Flex - PPR only) and Delanie Walker (TE1). Bishop Sankey is a Flex play against the league’s 29th ranked run defense; hopefully he gets more than 6 carries.
St. Louis Rams at Philadelphia Eagles
Another RB coming off of a bye week is Zac Stacy, who was sharing the backfield with Benny Cunningham even though he’s looked much better. Stacy is an RB1 this week versus a horrible Eagles defense, and I think the Rams offense in general can do well here. Jared Cook (TE2) and Brian Quick (PPR Flex) are averaging 7 targets per game and should be around that mark against the Eagles. If the Eagles put up numbers Austin Davis will have to throw, and since he’s played respectably thus far, Davis is my Sleeper Selection. We’ve had a few duds from QBs so far this season, so I won’t lower Foles’ rank based on last week, he’s still a QB1. Jeremy Maclin is the only Eagles WR I feel comfortable using, and Zach Ertz should be 2nd on the team in receiving yards this week. The Eagles have had a tough time on the ground lately, but this is the remedy they need. If McCoy doesn’t cross the century mark in rushing yards then you really have something to worry about.
Atlanta Falcons at NY Giants
The top guys in Atlanta are every week starters, so there isn’t much to say about Matt Ryan and Julio Jones. Roddy White is trying to make sure we don’t forget about him, and he’s a WR2 for me this week. 4 receptions out of 14 targets is a horrible line, but he was able to get 73 yards and a TD off of those catches. Devin Hester has put up his 3rd fantasy worthy game out of 4, and although he isn’t a steady part of the offense, he has enough big play ability to be my Sleeper Selection. The Giants are 10th in the league versus the run and Steven Jackson just isn’t good anymore, I shouldn’t need to tell you what to do here. Eli Manning looks like he’s back to being Good Eli, and thankfully that means a return to fantasy relevance for Victor Cruz, who I expect to have his 3rd straight 100+ yard game. Larry Donnell is the top red zone threat for the Giants and he’s a TE1, we can’t doubt him any longer. Last Thursday was the 2nd game in a row with 10 targets to Rueben Randle, and against the Falcons if he gets 10 targets I’m banking on him scoring. Rashad Jennings is a RB1 against this defense; I’ll be shocked if he doesn’t get 100 yards and a score.
Houston Texans at Dallas Cowboys
Not quite sure what to think of Arian Foster right now. The Bills rushing defense is good, but there’s no way he should’ve been held to 6 yards on 8 carries. He should have much better luck against the Cowboys, especially if he remains involved in the pass, but I can’t rank him higher than a RB2 right now. DeAndre Hopkins remains the #1 WR for the Texans in my eyes, and he’s right outside a WR1 slot. Andre Johnson is a WR2, and I anticipate his first score of the season on Sunday. I expect Tony Romo have a more difficult time this week, but Dez Bryant should be fine at WR1. Terrance Williams holds onto a Flex spot, and Jason Witten sadly drops to the bench. Witten just isn’t doing enough to warrant a start on a fantasy team, and the Texans aren’t giving up much to his position.
Buffalo Bills at Detroit Lions
Both defenses are towards the top against the run, so Fred Jackson, CJ Spiller, and Reggie Bush are Flex plays. Joique Bell suffered a concussion on Sunday is questionable to play this week; if he does he’ll also be a Flex (making Bush even more of a risk). Kyle Orton getting the start over EJ Manuel doesn’t mean too much for the team as a whole to me. He may take more risks with Sammy Watkins, but that doesn’t mean he’ll make him better. Watkins is a Flex play for me. Matthew Stafford had a great game, taking full advantage of Megatron the decoy and getting the ball to Golden Tate. If Megatron is feeling better this week he’ll take those looks back, which is why I think Tate is just a Flex. Eric Ebron got a score, but didn’t do much outside of it, he’s not starter worthy yet. The Lions DST should definitely be played this week if owned.
Baltimore Ravens at Indianapolis Colts
Never doubt Steve Smith. He’s a WR1. I don’t have any reason to not put him there. He’s on a vengeance and he is literally playing angry all season to prove to the Panthers that they made a mistake letting him go. Other than him, I think Justin Forsett (Flex) is the best of the RB trio, and is thus the best choice to plug in your lineup. Not sure how the splits between Bernard Pierce and Lorenzo Taliaferro will go, but I think Forsett gets the most touches. For the Colts you’re crazy not to start Luck on a weekly basis. Reggie Wayne and TY Hilton are WR2s, and although I’m not big on either TE while they’re both on the same team, I can’t ignore each of them having a TD in back to back weeks. Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen are TE2s. To round things out Ahmad Bradshaw is an RB2 and Trent Richardson is a Flex. Bradshaw is running far better than Trent, but if the latter stays involved in the pass then the former’s value is going to start dipping.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Jacksonville Jaguars
I expect Big Ben’s stats to look similar to what they did last week, and I’m seeing big games for Antonio Brown and Markus Wheaton. The latter hasn’t done too much, but I think this could be his breakout game. Heath Miller rose from the dead, and hopefully he can become the reliable TE1 he used to be. He’s a TE2 for me this week. Nothing to see from the Jags, I expect struggles on their end. Start the Steelers defense.
Arizona Cardinals at Denver Broncos
Andre Ellington is averaging 4.5 yards per carry on a bad foot, and the bye week has reportedly improved his health and increased his practice time. The Broncos are doing well against the run from a yards allowed standpoint, but they’ve given up 3 rushing TDs in their last two games. I think Ellington finally reaches the end zone on Sunday. Another guy that I think will finally reach the end zone success is Michael Floyd, who is pretty much the DeAndre Hopkins to Larry Fitzgerald’s Andre Johnson. Fitz is a bench player for me until Carson Palmer comes back. It’s hard to advise starting all of your Broncos WRs here, the Cardinals aren’t giving up too many points and at least one of the Broncos is going to have a bad day. I think Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders should be fine, but I don’t see Wes Welker being targeted as much as he was 2 weeks ago. The Cardinals are doing great against the run, and you should know by now how I feel about Montee Ball; he’s a Flex for me.
Kansas City Chiefs at San Francisco 49ers
I’m not ready to say the Chiefs defense is back, but they do have an intriguing matchup against the 49ers. The 49ers haven’t played very well offensively, and if the Chiefs can limit the run then they shouldn’t have much of a problem against this team. The Chiefs DST is my Sleeper Selection. Other than the DST, Jamaal Charles is an RB1, Knile Davis is a Flex, and Travis Kelce is a TE2. Let’s see if Alex Smith looks for the TE as much as he did last week. As stated, the 49ers haven’t played very well offensively. Outside of Frank Gore (RB2) and Michael Crabtree (WR1), I’m not big on the rest of this team. If Vernon Davis can play then he’s a definite start for me, but otherwise I’m not starting anyone else. Colin Kaepernick is a QB2 for me; he’ll need to keep up the running if he’s going to be of major value this week.
NY Jets at San Diego Chargers
Chris Ivory would be an RB2 if Chris Johnson weren’t on this team. He’s a Flex, and the latter should be benched even taking into account his TD last week. If not for that 35 yard run he would’ve finished with 9 yards rushing, and in general he hasn’t done much since Week 1. If Eric Decker plays then he gets a Flex spot, but as a whole this passing game should be avoided. That’s your cue to pick up and start the Chargers DST. Donald Brown did nothing in the running game last week, and that isn’t likely to change against the Jets. Aside from Philip Rivers and the DST, you should be starting Keenan Allen (WR2), Eddie Royal (Flex), and Antonio Gates (Low end TE1). Malcom Floyd isn’t getting a lot of looks, but he’s making the most of them. He’s my Sleeper Selection for this matchup.
Cincinnati Bengals at New England Patriots
Is Andy Dalton capable of doing what Alex Smith did? Is Giovani Bernard capable of playing like Jamaal Charles? Is Jeremy Hill a Sleeper Selection after seeing what Knile Davis did? Is AJ Green a must start WR, especially after the Pats gave up 81 receiving yards to Dwayne Bowe? Is Julian Edelman still a PPR stud and Tom Brady’s only reliable option? Is Rob Gronkowski still on limited snap counts, but a major red zone TD threat? Are Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen in for trouble against the Bengals defense? Are you smiling ear to ear if you have the Bengals defense, seeing how the Pats offense has played over the first 4 weeks? Yes, to all of the above.
Seattle Seahawks at Washington Football Franchise
We may have two Monday Night blowouts in a row. Percy Harvin should have his long awaited huge game, Russell Wilson should once again put on a display, and Beast Mode should be Beast Mode. Hard to have much faith in Washington seeing how poorly they played against the Giants, especially since the Seahawks had last week off to prepare. Alfred Morris is an RB2, Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson are Flex plays, and Kirk Cousins is benched. Niles Paul has a chance to be cleared for the game, and if he is I think he’s a TE2. The Seahawks defense held Peyton Manning to 20 points, I don’t care if they aren’t at home; they’re the #1 DST by far for Week 5.
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