*Teams on Bye*: Dallas, NY Jets, Jacksonville, Baltimore
Buffalo Bills at Miami Dolphins
The Dolphins offense faced arguably the best defense in the league, so I won’t hold last week against them. The Bills’ offense on the other hand isn’t doing much outside of Sammy Watkins (WR2), who was held to 27 receiving yards. He’s been pretty hit or miss all year, but I have a hard time saying he isn’t worth a start. Fred Jackson returned and wasn’t able to do much. He’s a Flex play this week, but understand that the Dolphins run defense is very good. I like Mike Wallace (WR2), but that’s it for the Dolphins outside of their defense. This backfield is too muddled right now.
Cincinnati Bengals at New Orleans Saints
I think we get good Andy Dalton this week. The Saints were lucky how many drops the 49ers’ WRs had last week, and I don’t think AJ Green is going to drop many passes. Mohamed Sanu had a couple TD opportunities last week, but they just didn’t work out. I wouldn’t be afraid to use him; he’s a WR2 for me. Giovani Bernard is expected to be out, so you should expect another heavy dose of Jeremy Hill (RB2). Mark Ingram is trying to prove to the Saints that he belongs as the starter and I definitely think he belongs as a starter (RB1) on your team. If Pierre Thomas or Khiry Robinson return lower that rank to RB2. Brandin Cooks had a very good week, but I still think he’s just a Flex until he shows some consistency.
Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears
Both of these teams have been disappointing from a fantasy perspective, but since both defenses are bad I think this week is a little better. Jerick McKinnon is an RB2 for me, and I think Matt Asiata too TD dependent to be worth a start. No, Cordarrelle Patterson is not ready to be in your starting lineup, but Kyle Rudolph (my Sleeper Selection) might be. If he plays this week I think he can be a solid TE and fill the red zone target role the Vikings have been missing. For the Bears it’s hard to sit any of the offensive players other than Jay Cutler. I think they’re all start worthy, but prepare to be disappointed.
Houston Texans at Cleveland Browns
The Browns won’t run all over the Texans like they did to the Bengals. Normally I’d rank Ben Tate as a RB1, but due to the division of the carries last week and the fact that Tate didn’t do much outside of his TD, I have to say he’s a Flex play. With 26 carries Terrance West (Flex) surprisingly became lead back, and I think he deserved to have all 3 TDs instead of Crowell and Tate vulturing them. For the Texans it looks like Ryan Mallett is the starter, which I don’t really expect to change much. DeAndre Hopkins (WR2), Andre Johnson (Flex), and Arian Foster (RB1) should be used as usual.
Seattle Seahawks at Kansas City Chiefs
If the Seahawks want success they’ll continue to lean on the running game, which means the main value for this team are Marshawn Lynch (RB1) and Russell Wilson (QB2). In recent weeks Wilson hasn’t been as great, but the rushing keeps him valuable. The hopes for a Doug Baldwin breakout are gone for me, and after that one huge game he hasn’t been able to do much. I’m putting him on the bench where he can keep the seat warm for Dwayne Bowe, who I think is worth a Flex spot this week. Bowe is getting a good amount of targets and catches, so I think he has some value now. Travis Kelce (TE1) didn’t do anything last week, but that won’t last for long. The Seahawks aren’t the defense they used to be.
Atlanta Falcons at Carolina Panthers
Both of these teams can’t wait for this season to be over, and unfortunately if you’ve been relying on either QB your fantasy season is probably over. Julio Jones (WR1), Roddy White (WR2), Steven Jackson (Flex), Greg Olsen (TE1) Kelvin Benjamin (WR2), and Jonathan Stewart (Flex) have value, but I’m not starting Matt Ryan or Cam Newton.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Washington Football Franchise
Do you like any Bucs player other than Mike Evans (WR2)? I don’t. Vincent Jackson gets a Flex nod (8 for 75 off 13 targets gives me hope), but I’m touching anyone else on this offense including RBs. RG3 should have a good day so you shouldn’t have any worries about DeSean Jackson (WR2) and Pierre Garcon (WR2). I even think the Washington DST is a Sleeper Selection as they’ll be facing arguably the worst offense in the league.
Denver Broncos at St. Louis Rams
The Austin Davis experiment is over now that Shaun Hill has been named starter for this week and I don’t think that changes much for the Rams. The running game has struggled and will continue to do so against the Broncos DST (hint: don’t expect much from Tre Mason), and I don’t expect the passing game to all of a sudden begin putting up points like it did a few weeks ago. You don’t need me to talk about the Broncos offensive players do you? Okay fine, I’ll say this: I highly doubt Montee Ball outperforms CJ Anderson. For this week I have Anderson as a Flex and Ball might as well remain unowned. I’m expecting Anderson to have starting duties until Hillman returns.
San Francisco 49ers at NY Giants
Similar to the Seahawks, the 49ers need to run the ball. The difference is that the 49ers have two legitimate RBs in Frank Gore (RB2) and Carlos Hyde (Flex). Vernon Davis is droppable at this point, and Michael Crabtree hasn’t been doing too much as Anquan Boldin (WR2) is getting most of the targets. Lately Boldin has been the only consistent performer for the 49ers passing game, just as Odell Beckham Jr (WR2) has been for the Giants. Hopefully Rashad Jennings returns to revive this running game because Andre Williams really isn’t getting it done. If Jennings can play this week he’s an RB2 for me.
Oakland Raiders at San Diego Chargers
Mychal Rivera (TE1) is the only Raiders option right now. He’s had at least 8 fantasy points the last 3 weeks, and his 9 targets per game over that span leads me to believe he’s becoming a favorite target of Derek Carr. James Jones and Andre Holmes have been useless lately, and WR is too deep to warrant starting them now. Philip Rivers won’t have negative fantasy points for another week, he’s a QB1. I’m officially done with Keenan Allen and will not advise starting him no matter how good the matchup. I don’t understand how a WR with so many targets can be performing so poorly. The big news for the Chargers is that Ryan Mathews is expected to return, and due to Branden Oliver’s recent struggles I think Mathews (RB2) gets his starting spot back with ease. He may not have a ridiculous game this week, but I think his return will go well.
Philadelphia Eagles at Green Bay Packers
LeSean McCoy (RB2) just isn’t doing it this year and I’m not going to keep rating a guy as a top-10 RB this point simply because of who he is. I do think he should have a great day against the Packers, but the key word is should. Jeremy Maclin took a backseat to Jordan Matthews last week, but I wouldn’t be afraid, Maclin is still the top guy on this team. Mark Sanchez in this offense is a top-15 QB and I have no problem starting him as a fill-in for Tony Romo owners. Is Eddie Lacy back? Two weeks in a row with big numbers out of the passing game, but his carries have been fairly low. He’s an RB1 this week due to his matchup and the RBs on bye, but let’s see how he does this week before announcing his full return.
Detroit Lions at Arizona Cardinals
The Lions DST are more or less and every week start at this point and Carson Palmer’s season ending ACL tear simply makes this defense more appealing. Drew Stanton may not be what Larry Fitzgerald (WR2) owners want to see, but Stanton means good things for John Brown (Flex) owners. Stanton has thrown 3 TDs this year, and all 3 have gone to Brown. Now Michael Floyd did have a good game earlier this season with Stanton at the helm, but overall Floyd has been a disappointment and is bench worthy for me this week. Andre Ellington has a very tough matchup this week, but he’s still a RB1 for me this week especially because I expect him to be involved in the passing game. Speaking of passing game, it’s nice to see Golden Tate (WR2) will still be prominently featured in this offense with Megatron back. Expect them to put up the points for this offense, as I don’t Reggie Bush or Joique Bell doing much damage against the Cardinals defense.
New England Patriots at Indianapolis Colts
The Patriots offense is still working out the kinks (namely the running game), but this offense is definitely fantasy worthy. Brandon LaFell (Flex) has led the team in targets for the last two games, and looks like he’s building a connection with Brady (QB1). I still like Edelman (WR2) a little more than LaFell, and finishing things up for the Pats are Gronk (TE1) and Shane Vereen (RB2). The return of Reggie Wayne (WR2) doesn’t hurt TY Hilton’s (WR1) value at all to me. In fact, I think Wayne will help free up some opportunities for him. I assume Darrelle Revis will shadow Hilton, but if he’s opposite Wayne at all then look for a big play from Hilton. Dwayne Allen is a TD machine (7 in 9 games) and has earned his TE1 spot. I think Coby Fleener’s last game was a fluke so I’m not starting him unless I’m desperate at TE. The Pats aren’t doing well against the run so look for Ahmad Bradshaw (RB2) to have a good game, but I’m not expecting Trent Richardson to hit 100 rushing yards for the first time this season.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Tennessee Titans
Last week was a classic trap game for the Steelers I have a hard time believing it’ll happen twice in a row. Taking out Antonio Brown for James Harrison on the 1-yd line? Really Todd Haley? LeGarrette Blount stinking it up at the goal line? Has Le’Veon Bell pissed you off or something? I’m aware of Antonio Brown’s fumbles, but I think the only thing that would stop him and Bell from having top-10 days is Haley. Markus Wheaton (please tell me you’ve dropped him by now) was the guy expected to be the Steelers’ #2 WR, but instead it’s Martavis Bryant (please tell you’ve picked him up by now). I think Bryant is a WR2 this week, after having 4 straight games with a TD. If Delanie Walker is out due to a concussion, there’s no one on this Titans offense that I’d want in my starting lineup. Steelers DST, you’re my Sleeper Selection this week.
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