We’re In This Together
My goal is to make the tough decisions for you. You won’t see the obvious starts or sits on these lists. I want to help you choose who to flex between guys like Miles Sanders and Courtland Sutton. Or help you pick which QB to start while Josh Allen is on a bye. Or, maybe even help you decide which defense you should stream each week. I want YOU to win a championship. Let’s do this together!
Bye Week: New York Jets, Atlanta Falcons, San Francisco 49ers, & New Orleans Saints
Welcome back, Joe Burrow, to the weekly starts and sits! The Cincinnati Bengals’ QB has been solid and finds himself in the top twenty of fantasy quarterbacks. The Bengals take on the Detroit Lions this week and with the consistency of Burrow, I would be throwing him in the lineup with the first week of byes upon us. Add in the connection Burrow has with Ja’Marr Chase, and you have a nice setup.
This next one may be as a surprise, or maybe not because the Chiefs defense is atrocious. The next QB is Taylor Heinicke of the Washington Football Team. This kid has one of the best stories in the NFL and can sling it when he has to. The Chiefs are bottom 10 in passing yards and passing TDs allowed. Patrick Mahomes and Co. are likely to be ahead in this bout, so look for him to throw early and often.
We all saw the 72-yard TD from Jonathan Taylor on Monday Night Football, right? The man has had back-to-back performances with at least 100 yards and a TD. The Colts are taking on the worst team in the NFL, the Houston Texans. I would expect the Colts to take an early lead in this one and allow the young RB to salt the clock away. Brace yourself for another strong performance.
Leonard Fournette, another running back who has been on a tear, is gearing up for another juicy matchup this Thursday. His Buccaneers take on the Philadelphia Eagles and their 24th ranked fantasy defense when facing running backs. Fournette has received nearly 40 touches the last two games, look for that volume to remain steady with a potential blowout in the forecast.
Jamaal Williams has been steady this year, ever falling out o the top 25 of fantasy RBs. He has been on a bit of a cold streak with regard to the end, but the volume is still there. The Bengals also boast the 18th least points to fantasy RBs. As long as Williams is getting touches, and playing bad defenses, then you can expect him to produce.
I added Heinicke to the list, I had to include Terry McLaurin as well. The top target in Washington has had 24 passes thrown his way in the last two games. You know the story behind the Chiefs’ secondary, so look for McLaurin to grab at least 75 yards and a TD this Sunday.
Brandin Cooks has been a pleasant surprise this season. Through five games, he has defied the odds of a bad team and found himself in the top 20 of fantasy receivers. The last two weeks have been a bit rough, but he gets a bounce back against a bottom five defense against fantasy receivers. The Texans and the Colts square off this Sunday. The Colts and their beat-up secondary is bound to surrender points to the best player on the Texans’ offense. Cooks will eat!
Robert Woods is coming off of his best two-game streak of the season. In the past two weeks, Woods has totaled 16 catches on 20 targets, 198 yards, and a TD. The Rams go on the road to take on the Giants and their injury-riddled team this week. They are top 10 in receiving TDs allowed, and 11th in passing yards allowed. There should be plenty of opportunities for Woods this Sunday.
Lastly, from the receivers group, I want to put Jakobi Meyers on your radar. He has quickly emerged as one of Mac Jones’ favorite targets in a Patriots offense that is loaded with options. Meyers has racked up receptions (21) and yards (220) the last three games. The Patriots drew the Dallas Cowboys this week, ad even though Diggs has been a stud, their defense has given up the 7th most points to fantasy receivers. Flex him if you can.
Speaking of Patriots targets, Hunter Henry is another one that needs to be in your lineup this week. Henry has found himself in the top-10 of tight ends and is in the middle of a two-game TD streak. He is facing a Cowboys defense that is surrendering the 10th most points to tight ends (see the Jakobi Meyers bit). Henry has one of the best remaining schedules for TE matchups. pick him up and start him this week.
Dawson Knox has proved me right each week. He has scored 5 TDs the last four weeks and shows no signs of slowing down. Knox and the Bills have a tough matchup against the Titans’ defense, who has allowed the third least points to TEs, but I would expect the Bills and Josh Allen to continue to roll.
Kicker & Defense
Dustin Hopkins has been a solid kicker this year, sinking 10/11 field goals so far this year. The Chiefs have been on the stingier side for opposing kickers, but their poor red-zone defense puts the Football Team in a great position for points.
There are a few solid matchups this week, but my favorite is the Indianapolis Colts and their matchup against Houston. Davis Mills and the Texans have been turning the ball over quite a bit, including seven total by Davis alone. Look for the Colts to take advantage of the young QB and their unproductive offense.
Derek Carr needs to be highlighted first here. After a solid start to the season, we have seen Carr put up no more than 206 yards passing and at least one pick in each of his last three games. Carr and the Raiders are facing off against one of the best defenses in the NFL. The Denver Broncos are the second-best against fantasy QBs and with the recent coaching change, I would stay away from Raiders players for a while.
The Eagles and Buccaneers are featured on Thursday Night Football this week, but I am not here to talk about Tom Brady. Jalen Hurts has had a nice season so far, but the Bucs have been stingy to opposing QBs. Based on Hurts ADP, you likely have another QB worth starting, give that one a try this week.
Miles Sanders has not had the best season so far. It has been a mix of low volume high production, or low production and high volume. Unfortunately, he just cannot string it together. As mentioned earlier, the Eagles are taking on a difficult Buccaneers defense. Unfortunately, their run defense is stiff. I would leave Sanders on the bench this week until we start to see some better results.
I am going to pick on the Raiders again, but Josh Jacobs needs to sit the bench again this week. Not only are they taking on a top five defense in Denver, but the coaching change could have serious ramifications for the offensive play calling this week. Jacobs had a rough go at it with injuries, so I would recommend leaving the RB out of it this week.
We also need to take a look at Seattle Seahawks RB, Chris Carson. The Seahawks face off against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday Night Football. The Steelers have been stingy towards opposing RBs allowing the 4th least points. To add insult to injury, Russell Wilson won’t be available for a few weeks and that could upset the flow of their offense until they can get used to Geno under center.
There is a bit of a pattern here, but with Russell Wilson out, Tyler Lockett should also be benched here. After going off for two weeks, his production has been down as of late. Until we see who emerges as the top target for Geno Smith, then we should leave the #2 option on the bench if we can help it.
Hunter Renfrow should also get a break this week. The Raiders are taking on The Denver Broncos, who boast one of the best secondaries in the NFL this year. The slot man from Clemson did not have a great showing last week, let’s see if he can regain form with some new play calling.
Even with the absence of Jarvis Landry, Odell Beckham Jr. has not lived up to expectations. It is clear that the Cleveland offense runs through Nick Chubb in Kareem Hunt. In OBJ’s last two games he has received just ten targets and only caught four of them. Until something changes he should be benched.
Finally, AJ Brown and the Tennessee Titans are taking on the Buffalo Bills on Monday Night Football. The bills both the top defense and the NFL in multiple categories. Including their last performance, where they held down Chiefs receiver Tyreek Hill without a touchdown and limited Kelsey to under 50 yards receiving. I do not have high hopes for the Titans passing game, especially with the limitations we have seen so far from Ryan Tannehill. Add in the return of Julio Jones, and that further limits the opportunities.
Dalton Schultz has been on a tear. Dak and Dalton have had some true chemistry this season and he has become a prime red-zone target. However, the #4 fantasy TE is facing up against the #1 fantasy TE defense in the NFL. It appears that Belichick has been keen on limiting opposing TEs and we all know what he can do when he puts his mind to it. Let Schultz ride this one out on the bench.
Rob Gronkowski is poised to play this week, but that does not mean he needs to play on your fantasy team. His rib injury knocked him out of the last two games, including his return to New England. Let Gronk sit this week and roll with someone that is healthy if you can help it.
Kicker & Defense
Green Bay Packers’ kicker, Mason Crosby, missed an extra point and three field goals on what was a bizarre day for kickers. Luckily, he was able to compliment that with four made field goals, including the game winner. All that said, any kicker who misses four kicks in a game needs to be reevaluated.
The Chicago Bears defense has been solid this year. They find themselves near the bottom in yards and points allowed, but they haven’t played the Packers until now. I would stream another defense this weekend, you never want to be on the wrong side of a strong Aaron Rodgers performance.