We’ve entered the double digit weeks of the season. Hard to believe we’re already this far in. Hopefully, you’re still in a position to make the playoffs in your league. If not, that’s ok, you can still play the role of spoiler or maybe your league has weekly/season long prizes. Either way, play hard until the end.
For the first time this season, Patriots D owners will have to be without their most valuable asset. Although, last week, they and the usually reliable 49ers D both let their owners down, so maybe it’s not the worst thing to be without them.
Byes this week: Broncos, Eagles, Jaguars, Patriots, Texans
Start of the Week: Kyler Murray vs Bucs: I was pretty surprised by Kyler’s numbers against the usually tough 49ers D last week. Granted, a lot of it came on one long touchdown to Isabella, Kyler still had a far better game than myself and many others expected. He gets a much easier matchup this week against a Bucs D that takes “funnel defense” to a whole other level. Almost nobody can run on them, but everyone can pass on them.
Jameis Winston vs Cardinals: Coming from the other sideline of the Cardinals vs Bucs, Jameis is always hard for owners to trust. While it’s likely that Jameis will make multiple, unbelievably terrible mistakes, he still has tremendous upside in a game where nobody will stop anybody. The only way I see Jameis not putting up points is if he stops himself, which is entirely possible.
Dak Prescott vs Vikings: Recommending a quarterback against the Vikings isn’t something I expected to do this year. Unfortunately for Vikings fans, their pass D isn’t what it used to be. The Rhoades are open after years of being closed for Vikings’ opponents. Look for Dak to continue his dominance this week.
Matthew Stafford at Bears: If you’ve read this before, you know that I love Stafford this year. He was even my start of the week last week, which thankfully was right. As much as I love Stafford, I don’t particularly love this matchup. While the Bears offense has somehow been awful enough to hurt their defense through time of possession, the Bears D should be able to shut down Stafford enough for other QBs to be better options this week.
Sam Darnold at Giants: Well….at least we’ll always have the Cowboys game. After looking incredible against the Cowboys, Darnold and the Jets have reverted back to the team we’ve come to know for far too long now. I’m honestly not even sure how they managed to beat the Cowboys considering how bad they’ve looked since. How bad has Darnold been lately? Bad enough that the awful Giants D is trending as a waiver add in fantasy apps. Normally the Giants are an incredible matchup for a quarterback, but if we can’t trust Darnold vs the Dolphins, we can’t trust him at all.
Philip Rivers at Oakland: While Rivers has had a far worse year than anyone imagined and Thursday games are hard to predict, there’s still enough to work with here to consider Rivers a viable start. While 2019 hasn’t been kind to Rivers, he’s starting to put things together. He missed the end zone last week, despite playing one of his better games of the year, leaving a bit of a misleading points total. With MGlll and Okung back, Rivers has more time, as well as options to work with. The Raiders are very generous to opposing quarterbacks, so hopefully they’ll be generous to your point total if you start Rivers.
Start of the Week: Marlon Mack at Dolphins: Mack has had an interesting pattern going this season. Starting in week 1 he’s gone double digits every other week, with single digit games in between. While this would be a double digit week if the pattern continues, likely more important is that he plays the Dolphins this week. On top of that, the quarterback situation is either Brian Hoyer or a banged up Brissett. Either one is throwing to a wide receiver corps dealing with injuries as well, so it only makes sense for the Colts to try to use Mack as much as possible this week.
David Montgomery vs Lions: Previously, I believed in Montgomery due to his increasing workload and he finally did well. Last week against Philadelphia, I didn’t believe in him at all and he ended up having his 2nd big game in a row. At this point, we should just trust starting Montgomery unless your team is very deep and he has a terrible matchup. The Lions are not one of those matchups. They allow the most fantasy points to opposing running backs, with running backs gaining at least 100 total yards against Detroit in every game this year.
Derrick Henry vs Chiefs: To their credit, the Chiefs run D went from worst in the league, to just one of the worst last week. After letting every running back against them score seemingly endless points, the Chiefs benefitted from a change in defensive scheme and slowly working injured players back in. While this is the case, Henry is exactly the type to run all over this team. My only worry here is if Henry gets game-scripted out too early, due to his lack of work in the passing game. The Titans tough D and question marks around Mahomes health should help the Titans at the very least keep this game close
Kenyan Drake at Bucs: If you expected Drake to not only do well, but have one of the best games of his career against the 49ers in a Thursday night game, I don’t believe you. Drake finally got to put his talent to use once freed from the ineptitude of Gase in previous years and the tanking of the Dolphins this year. While he showed that he is likely a great fit for this offense, David Johnson is expected to return this week. Johnson will become the lead back again, leaving Drake’s workload unknown. Drake may have use as an emergency flex play, but against the Bucs D who ranks 3rd against RBs and a small amount of snaps, there are many better options out there.
Devonta Freeman at Saints: Speaking of tough run defenses, the Saints are another team you don’t want to start a running back against unless you have no other choice. Freeman may still have flex appeal in PPR leagues, but there’s always the problem of Matt Ryan checking down to Hooper constantly rather than Freeman. If Marcus Lattimore is able to put up another incredible game, then it’s possible Freeman is able to get more receptions, but it isn’t something I would want to bet on this week.
Devin Singletary vs Browns: Singletary has been a popular name in fantasy circles as a buy-low candidate moving forward around the time of their bye week due to their soft schedule and his efficiency. The past two weeks, he’s delivered, including the best outing of his rookie season in Week 9 against the Redskins. The Bills decided to finally give him the touches he deserved in that game, which hopefully will continue going forward. The Browns defense has allowed opposing running backs to score in three of their past four games.
Start of the Week: Christian Kirk at Bucs: Kirk struggled last week against the 49ers, but that was to be expected. Two catches for eight yard won’t do much for anyone other than your opponent. As mentioned above, Tampa Bay is about the definition of a funnel defense. They rank 3rd against the run, while allowing the most fantasy points to opposing receivers. Kirk scored at least 15 points in three of his past five games in PPR. Kirk has yet to reach the end zone, but this week is as good an opportunity as any.
Jamison Crowder at Giants: Crowder had an even better game against Miami last week than I expected, with eight catches for 83 yards and a touchdown. The Darnold to Crowder connection seems to be intact and one of the few things working for the Jets. This is another great matchup for Crowder against a Giants team that allows the fourth most receiving yards to opposing wide receivers.
DeVante Parker vs Colts: Well, here we are again. Another week, another Dolphins player recommendation. Before you laugh, Parker has been better than most realize and he should only continue to improve with Preston Williams (ACL) out for the season. Parker has actually scored a touchdown in 4 of his last 5 games. I had to check that one twice as it didn’t seem real. Parker has averaged 8 targets a week the past 3 weeks, which as mentioned before should only go up with Williams no longer available.
Odell Beckham Jr vs Bills: This one hurts as I took Odell in one of my bigger leagues, obviously buying into the hype too much. Unfortunately, not much of anything outside of Nick Chubb is working for the Browns. If things weren’t already bad enough, Beckham gets one of the worst matchups this week against a Bills defense led by Tre’Davious White that have only allowed 2 wide receivers to score against them this season.
D.K. Metcalf at 49ers: Over the past two weeks, Metcalf has been on fire with nine catches for 136 yards and three touchdowns. While Metcalf has done even better than most expected, there’s too much working against him this week. Although his role is yet to be determined, Josh Gordon might make his debut this week. The matchup against the 49ers is a touch one. Only two receivers have scored against the 49ers since Week 3, leaving Metcalf likely to fall back down to earth this week, despite the otherworldly play of Russell Wilson this season.
Mike Williams at Raiders: The Chargers offense is finally starting to figure things out it seems. With players returning from holdout and injury, things may finally be as expected for this team. Regression was expected to hit Mike Williams this year in the touchdown column, but not quite this hard as he’s gone from 10 last year to 0 so far this season. The Raiders are very generous against the pass, while being underrate vs the run, giving Williams ample opportunity to score for the first time this year.
Mark Andrews at Bengals
Mike Gesicki vs Colts
Gerald Everett at Steelers
Jonnu Smith vs Chiefs
Jimmy Graham vs Carolina
Eric Ebron at Dolphins
Ravens at Bengals
Colts at Dolphins
Rams at Steelers
Bills at Browns
Saints vs Falcons
Panthers at Packers
Vikings at Cowboys
Titans vs Chiefs
Jets vs Giants
49ers vs Seahawks