I'm coming off a disappointing 1-2 finish in my fantasy leagues this week. I thought I had a solid chance at 3-0 and was feeling very confident I'd at least go 2-1, but it wasn't meant to be. These past couple weeks and this week too are all littered with bye weeks and make things a little tricky for most teams. In one of my leagues this past week, my entire bench was nothing but players on bye weeks. Still, I'm feeling very good in each league. Records: 6-3, 5-4, 6-3 (17-10 combined). Those records may not look sparklingly great, but my standings in each league are still very good: 1/10, 5/12, and 3/14.
In one league I was feeling fairly confident going into Monday night up by a considerable margin. I still had Larry Donnell to play while my opponent had Luck, Randle, and Andre Williams. He ended up just barely squeaking past me. I was buoyed by a strong performance from D-Jax, but had no chance going up against Luck on Monday night (it didn't hurt that he had Marshawn Lynch, too). This was my team that had a bench made up completely of players on their bye week.
I'm fortunate enough to have Lynch in the HH fantasy league, but was again overcome by Andrew Luck (and Antonio Brown). This was the matchup I had the least confidence in, but still, I was leading coming into Monday night and though my opponent had Luck, Donnell, and Indy's defense, I had Reggie Wayne and though he might be able to keep the lead I had in tact. Not to be.
I'm my third league I had an easy and dominating win over a team that started Isaiah Crowell and Knile Davis at RB (brutal). I was led by Marshawn Lynch... again. My opponent was crushed by the bye week and was totally unprepared. I even made two huge mistakes by sitting Anquan Boldin and Mark Ingram (no, I'm not crazy for sitting Ingram, I started Lynch and Le'Veon Bell).
Did I lead you astray last week?
- OK, I should obviously start with an apology. I was dead wrong in my advice to you in regards to Ben Roethlisberger. I'm sorry. If you still have the chance, I suppose two performances like that in a row is good enough for a roster spot in every league. He absolutely went off again (12 TD's in the last two games) and has an incredibly soft schedule from here on out. My bad.
- But I did tell you to start Tom Brady. Hopefully you took that advice (and ignored the Big Ben advice) because Brady is on fire right now. The Patriots are impossible to predict and just when you think they'll start falling off... nope!
- Even though I didn't take my own advice, I gave you good advice to start Ingram. He's been stellar this year and the Panthers defense continues to put out.
- I also knew Alfred Morris would eventually have a good game if I kept telling you to start him...
- I told you to sit McKinnon because I knew Asiata was going to poach three TD's... again...
- DeAndre Hopkins is the truth regardless of QB in Houston. I knew the Eagles were a great matchup for WR's, but I'm feeling really good about taking a flyer on him later on in the draft and hanging on to him all year. He's a stud.
- I said wait until you actually see it from Harvin. Well, we saw it.
- Starting Foster was the right choice against Philly. Their defense is pretty weak.
- I don't know what the deal was with Jordan Reed. How he only gets one target in any game ever is beyond me.
On to week 10 when the Redskins are off so we all care just a little bit more about fantasy!
Colin Kaepernick, SF (@ New Orleans Saints) - The Saints put up points and the 49ers will have to throw the ball to keep up. Additionally, they'll want to throw the ball as the Saint defense isn't great. Kaepernick has been reliable on the road this year and we like the rushing yards. Imagine last week if he didn't fumble on the goal-line. It's not likely to happen two weeks in a row... 275 passing yards, 2 TD's, and 40-50 rushing yards.
Ben Roethlisberger, PIT (@ New York Jets) - My bad about last week. Big Ben is on fire at the moment and gets to tee off against a miserable secondary on an abysmal team. Ben should torch 'em. If he fails to produce, I'm just going to leave him out of these articles all together. 275-300 passing yards and 2+ TD's.
Russell Wilson, SEA (vs New York Giants) - It's the Giants... Their defense is not good. The Seahawks are primed to get back on track against the hapless G-Men and it all starts with the dynamic Wilson. He throws and runs and the Giants have bee notoriously kind to opposing QB's in fantasy this season. Oh, and the game is in Seattle... 225 passing yards, 2 TD's, and 40-50 rushing yards.
Cam Newton, CAR (@ Philadelphia Eagles) - Like I said last week (and have been saying all year), the Eagles defense is bad. That's good new for the struggling Newton and the anemic Panther offense. We've seen Newton put it together at times this year and I can think of no more favorable time for him to do his thing than in prime time against the bad Eagles defense. Newton will get runs called for him and will have chances in the red-zone with his legs. 275 passing yards, 2 TD's, and 30-40 rushing yards.
Ryan Tannehill, MIA (@ Detroit Lions) - The Lions have an especially tough defense this year, even more so against the pass, and even more so at home. This doesn't bode well for the recently hot Tannehill. The Lions have had two weeks to prepare for the Dolphins and I'm not quite ready to fully buy-in on the Dolphins being as good as they've looked. I like Tannehill, but not this week. 225-250 passing yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, and 10-20 rushing yards.
Eli Manning, NYG (@ Seattle Seahawks) - Playing in Seattle is worst-case scenario for opposing QB's in fantasy. The Hawks are on another level there and Manning/the Giant offense hasn't exactly been inspiring lately, anyway. 200-225 passing yards, 1 TD, and 1 INT.
Justin Forsett, BAL (vs Tennessee Titans) - Forsett was a FA that I snatched off the waiver wire weeks ago and he has paid huge dividends. Once Ray Rice was out of the picture, it seemed the Raven backfield had turned into a committee, and while the rookie Taliaferro gets touches, this is Forsett's show. He's been rejuvenated in Baltimore and still has great speed and quickness. What's more, he's been consistent, which I love. It doesn't hurt his case that he's going against a beatable Titan team in Baltimore. 100 rushing yards, 1 TD, and 20-30 receiving yards.
Andre Ellington, AZ (vs St. Louis Rams) - He's a good RB on a great team and he's at home going against a much worse team. That's the kind of situation you look for in fantasy football. He's consistent and explosive. The Rams are typically tough against opposing RB's, but Ellington is involved in the passing game and this is a game that the Cardinals could get a lead in and just run time using Ellington. 100 rushing yards, 1 TD, and 20-30 receiving yards.
Ronnie Hillman, DEN (@ Oakland Raiders) - It's the Raiders. They haven't won. It's the Broncos. They have perhaps the best offense in football with the best QB. Hillman is a lock to get many points. He's the back in Denver and this one could turn into a laugher real quick. 90 rushing yards, 1 TD, and 20-30 receiving yards.
Mark Ingram, NO (vs San Francisco 49ers) - I know the 49ers don't sound like a typically great matchup, but Ingram has been the man this year. The Saints are running effectively and when Thomas and Robinson don't play, Ingram gets the bell-cow back he's proving he can be. He gets tons of touches and opportunities which is all you can ask for. 80 rushing yards, 1 TD, and 10-20 receiving yards.
Jeremy Hill, CIN (vs Cleveland Browns) - No Bernard, no problem. The youngster is explosive, powerful, and quick...ly showing that the Bengals have an awesome RB duo for the foreseeable future. See what I did there? They're new OC is a man who knows running and loves running and both will be good going forward, but Bernard is out/hurt. Hill has proven he can carry the workload and excel. Start him and don't look back. 110 rushing yards, 1 TD, and 10-20 receiving yards.
Ben Tate, CLE (@ Cincinnati Bengals) - He's not the guy anymore. Terrence West has taken that title and though Tate may still get some carries, he's clearly the inferior back here. If Crowell gets involved again, he'll be taking away even more opportunities. This is more just like a PSA: Tate Isn't The Guy Anymore. 30-40 yards.
Andre Williams, NYG (@ Seattle Seahawks) - I want no part of the Giant offense this week. Seattle is a tough place for opposing offenses and the Giants are down on their luck. Stay away. 50 yards.
Lamar Miller, MIA (@ Detroit Lions) - Read what I wrote about Tannehill above and apply it here. Miller also got banged up pretty good last week. 40-50 rushing yards and 20-30 receiving yards.
Kelvin Benjamin, CAR (@ Philadelphia Eagles) - Again, it's been the same thing for the past couple of weeks at all the various offensive positions, the Eagles are a great opponent for fantasy football. They're giving up tons of points to opposing WR's and Benjamin is the Panther WR. He's the prototypical red-zone end-zone target and the Eagles love giving up TD's. 90 yards and 1 TD (maybe 2).
Calvin Johnson, DET (vs Miami Dolphins) - Sorry Dolphin fans, he's back! This is more just to make sure everyone is aware, Calvin Johnson will play this week. When Johnson plays, you start him. 110 yards and 1 TD.
Roddy White, ATL (@ Tampa Bay Buccaneers) - Everyone knows the Falcons have explosive offensive ability with Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, and Roddy White. Well this week they go against one of the league's worst in TB. Call it a hunch, but I'm expecting big days from both of the Falcon WR's, but bigger than you expect for Roddy. TB is horrible. 90 yards and 1 TD.
Doug Baldwin, SEA (vs New York Giants) - The Giants are without Prince Amukamura and DRC is hurting. He's been getting tons of targets and I'm not seeing how the Giants will be able to slow him down without their CB's. 60+ yards and possibly a TD.
Alshon Jeffery, CHI (@ Green Bay Packers) - This is more about the Bears offense as a whole than Jeffery in particular. They haven't been very good. It's tough to play in GB and I'm not sure I trust Cutler in a shoot-out against Rodgers. Sure, Jeffery will have some opportunities, but this team has been in disarray and I'm not sure the frozen tundra is the best place to turn it around. 50-60 yards.
Odell Beckham, Jr. and Rueben Randle, NYG (@ Seattle Seahawks) - Same as Eli Manning and Andre Williams. It's tough to go against the Legion of Boom in Seattle and Beckham's still only a rookie. I'd expect Donnell to be able to have more of an impact in this one because it's going to be tough to have time for Manning to throw long developing routes to WR's and because the CB's in Seattle are just so good. 40-50 yards each and maybe one gets a TD.
Mike Wallace, MIA (@ Detroit Lions) - Same as Tannehill and Miller. Lions are one of the toughest defenses and even worse at home. I highly doubt the Dolphins' OL will provide enough time against the stout Lion DL to allow Wallace to go deep on his typical go routes. 40-50 yards.
Larry Donnell, NYG (@ Seattle Seahawks) - Here it is. Like a good stretch zone run... got you going one way and now I'm cutting back. Yes, Seattle is tough in Seattle, but I think Donnell can do a little damage here. Read what I wrote for Beckham and Randle above and you'll see why. He's a huge target, great in the red-zone, and I think Manning will be under duress and need a security blanket. The Seahawk defense is beatable for TE's. 50 yards and 1 TD.
Owen Daniels, BAL (vs Tennessee Titans) - He's been rolling lately and I don't see why it would stop this week. Here's a guy who will consistently get you 5-6 catches and 40-50 yards and he wasn't even supposed to be the TE there when the season started. He's filled in for Pitta admirably and has been a nice, consistent play in fantasy. I even picked him up in a league or two this week. 50 yards and 1 TD.
Martellus Bennett, CHI (@ Green Bay Packers) - I love the guy. More importantly, Cutler loves the guy. He's having a great year and had a monster game his last outing (95-1). Call it a hunch. 60-70 yards and maybe a TD.
Delanie Walker, TEN (@ Baltimore Ravens) - The Ravens are banged up and this guy is the security blanket for a young QB in Zach Mettenberger. They can't do much in Tennessee besides throw to the TE. Walker's having a great year. 50-60 yards.
Julius Thomas, DEN (@ Oakland Raiders) - Here's a shocker for you. I'm not saying you have to sit Thomas. I'm just saying he could very well have a below-average week this week. Denver could put a spanking on Oakland and if Thomas doesn't do a lot of damage early, they may just give it to Hillman and ask him to block the rest of the game. Crazier things have happened... 40 yards (and still probably a TD).
Vernon Davis, SF (@ New Orleans Saints) - It's time to give up on Davis this year. The Saints are very good against TE's and Davis is having an abysmal year. I actually dropped him in a league or two this week for Owen Daniels. Davis is too TD dependent and doesn't get enough consistent looks/targets. Not a good play, especially this week. 30-40 yards.
Please leave any fantasy related questions you might have in the comments section and I'll try to answer as many and as quickly as I can. It's fun to get everyone's perspectives on this week's matchups floating around down there and I'm always interested to see what kind of decisions different fantasy players have to make. These are just general ideas for standard leagues, but we can all give and receive advice for unique situations as they come up. Good luck!