Thursday Night Game:
-Zach Ertz and Carson Wentz are the top plays here for the Eagles. The volume Ertz is receiving is comparable with just about any receiver in the league and the Giants corners are better than their linebacker/safeties (though still solid in the area). Alshon Jeffery faces a tough match-up on the outside and unless you need to play him this is a good week to avoid him on the short week. Inside Nelson Agholar has a better match-up and is a solid option as well. If you are looking for a bye week filler at running back Wendell Smallwood and Corey Clement are both potentially in play, with Smallwood the better option given his passing game usage.
New York Giants:
-It’s a tough match-up for Saquon Barkley as no one has run effectively versus the Eagles this year (or last year for that matter). Barkley is still a guy you who can get you the fantasy points you need given his Red Zone usage and passing game work. Odell Beckham Jr. is in a great spot here as the Eagles secondary is just getting roasted all season. Given his expected volume Beckham could be in line for another huge day. Sterling Shepard also figures to be capable for a big night as his target share is very good and facing the Eagles slot and number two corners have been fantasy gold this year. If you are really desperate you can make a case for Eli Manning as a streaming QB option, but it’s always a bit risky.
Quarterbacks: (Obviously lock and load all the top guys)
-This figures to be one of the higher scoring games of the year, and Dalton is playing pretty well overall this season. The Steelers have limited opposing running backs this year, but have been torched through the air. I’d expect Dalton to throw at least 40 times this game and could rack up some big yards.
-Luck is coming off big back-to-back games and is looking better as the season goes on. The Colts have no rushing attack so they have to throw the ball. While it’s possible this is a low scoring game and the Colts try more of a ball control approach, they are beatable through the air.
-The Falcons pass defense is simply bad this year (mainly due to injuries) and teams are able to throw at will. Winston should have plenty of chances to throw in this game and with his talented receiver core he should put up a huge week.
-This is a case where Beathard might not have a good real life game, but should be in line for a pretty decent fantasy game. The 49ers should be down this game and will need to throw the ball plenty this week versus a pretty poor Packers secondary. Beathard will likely throw for an interception or two this week (has two in both of his starts this year), but he’s also a good bet to throw for 300+ yards and 2 TDs as well. If your scoring system doesn’t penalize turnovers too harshly, he’s worth a shot in deeper leagues.
-Wilson is having a good real life year, but not a very productive fantasy football season. He’s only come close to 300 passing yards once this season, and his rushing usage is down considerably. There are some reasons to like him in what could be a nice match-up, but the risk is probably too high for your fantasy team. If you play DFS maybe take a flier, but don’t tie your entire fantasy team to this level of usage/production.
- Bortles has had back-to-back big fantasy weeks (though only one good real life game) so he could be a popular guy to target, but this just doesn’t seem like a good spot. Bortles typically does well when Leonard Fournette is out, but in this situation game script might not be favorable for Bortles. The Jaguars figure to be ahead in this game versus the Cowboys, and Dallas’ offense is so bad that the chances for a shoot out are pretty unlikely. It’s a fine defensive match-up, but the pace of play and game script mean Bortles will probably be fairly capped in his upside.
-A lot of people will be interested in playing Trubisky after his huge game versus the Buccaneers two weeks ago, but this isn’t probably a good spot for him. Prior to the Buccaneers game the Bears were content to win the the game with good defense and running the football, and there is little reason to think they won’t go back to that in this type of match-up. The Dolphins are far worse versus the run this year and Chicago figures to be ahead this week so there is little reason for Trubisky to throw more than 30 times.
-It’s not fun to knock a Redskin player, but it’s even harder to like playing Alex Smith this year. Smith could have a very good real life game, but it’s tougher to believe he will have a good fantasy game. The Panthers have allowed decent production versus quarterbacks, but Smith hasn’t really shown that he will be a top tier fantasy QB even when he’s played well. Smith has yet to throw for 300 yards and has just 4 passing TDs and 1 rushing TD in four weeks.
-At this point White should be an auto-start as the Patriots backfield has thinned out to the point where White’s involvement as a receiver alone makes him a viable play. Add in a great match-up this week versus a bad Chiefs defense and the fact that Sony Michel is banged-up and White could be in line for a huge game.
-While there is a concern that this could be another Tarik Cohen week, Howard figures to be the beneficiary in this match-up versus a bad Dolphins run defense. Game script should favor the Bears and coachspeak this week talked about getting Howard more involved.
-Jones has looked good running the football the past two weeks since coming off suspension, unfortunately his usage has been more limited. This week though it figures that it could go up some as Green Bay should be ahead most of this game and the Packers probably still want to limit Aaron Rodgers usage when they can.
Falcons Running backs:
-This is just a bad situation as Atlanta is now spreading their running back touches between three guys. Odds are none of the backs are going to be really viable fantasy options so I’m avoiding this situation unless I’m really desperate.
-Now I would never say fully fade David Johnson, he’s just too talented to completely get away from him. But if you are blessed with some multiple good options on your fantasy team, I’d strongly consider sitting him this week. His fantasy production has trended up of late, but this week it figures to be in trouble. The Vikings running defense has been very stingy and the Cardinals still haven’t embraced using Johnson like he’s been used in the past. Also, with Josh Rosen’s struggles it’s likely there will be very limited scoring chances here as well.
-I know with Matt Brieda out a lot of people are interesting in playing Morris this week, but he’s probably going to disappoint fantasy owners as this is not a good spot for him. Morris has struggled to get anything going on the ground and his passing game usage remains pretty limited. Even if he does see an uptick in targets, he’s been very inefficient with them throughout his career. With the Packers likely to be up in this game (and by a wide margin), Morris probably will see fewer than 15 carries in this game. Maybe you luck into a pair of short yardage rushing TDs, but otherwise he’s likely to hurt your fantasy team.
Mohamed Sanu/Calvin Ridley:
-Julio Jones is still clearly the Falcons top receiver, but Atlanta has shown no qualms with feeding their 2nd and 3rd options when defenses try to take away/limit Julio. This is another good match-up in a potential shootout game. At least one of these receivers should have a good game even if Julio has a monster performance.
DeSean Jackson/Chris Godwin:
-Most people will focus on Mike Evans, but the Buccaneers 2nd and 3rd receivers are both really good plays this week as well. Especially with O.J. Howard still out with an injury. Jackson has the big play ability so if your league has extra bonuses for longer catches/scores he’s the one to play, but Godwin is a good option as well.
-This game has one of the higher over/unders on the slate and Watkins usage has been as good as Tyreek Hill’s not counting the game where Watkins left early due to injury. The Patriots are giving up a ton of receiving yards each week so there should be plenty of opportunity for Watkins here.
-The Colts should be without both T.Y. Hilton and Jack Doyle again this week and it’s possible Eric Ebron misses due to injury as well. Rogers has gotten 11 targets each of the last two weeks, and has a good match-up versus a beatable Jets secondary (particularly in the slot).
Doug Baldwin/Amari Cooper:
-These two veteran receivers each only had 1 catch on 1 target a week ago, but in a match-up facing off versus each other this week they are guys you should go back to the well on. Both defenses are bad and there is plenty of reason to believe that the receivers will have pretty decent bounce back weeks. Upside is probably more limited for Baldwin, but he’s still a decent option.
-I don’t think Gordon is “safe” by any stretch, but his upside is high and in this match-up he could have a big game. With the longer week break since they played last Thursday, I think it’s likely that the Patriots will work to get Gordon more involved this week.
-Not a ton of guys I’d really look to avoid this week. Some top receivers like Stephon Diggs and Davante Adams might not see the volume you’d typically want, but I wouldn’t take them out of my line-up. There are a number of key injury situations to monitor of course, but those should be known well ahead of time. Probably the only “big” name guy I’d avoid would be Will Fuller this week. He’s banged up and playing at less than 100% and this game script should have the Texans up in the game and not needing to throw.