Another solid week as we draw closer to the midway point of the season.
If you’re like me, your fantasy season is pretty much shot, but at least we still have our confidence pool to give us…well…confidence for the rest of the season! (see what I did there?) No time to waste, another week is so close to kicking off!
Week 7 – HERE WE GO!!!!!!!!
(HOME TEAM IN ALL CAPS)
14 – NEW ENGLAND over New York Jets – The Pats have been running roughshod over the entire league to this point. Add in the fact that they love beating up on the Jets and this could get ugly.
13 – ARIZONA over Baltimore – The Cardinals have hit a bit of a slow spot on their way to the playoffs but apparently a game against the Ravens is something that every team in the league looks forward to – just ask the 49ers.
12 – INDIANAPOLIS over New Orleans – It seems like Andrew Luck may have just needed a little time off to heal his shoulder. I am back on the bandwagon…until viciously thrown off again like I was last time.
11 – SAN DIEGO over Oakland – Phillip Rivers threw for over 500 yards last week in Green Bay. Against the Raiders secondary, there is a legit chance that Rivers might reach 800 yards…ish.
10 – CAROLINA over Philadelphia – The Panthers showed last week that they are no fluke with a win in Seattle. Look for them to continue their momentum to roll over another division leader.
9 – NEW YORK GIANTS over Dallas – No Romo and possibly still no Dez for the Cowboys means no chance of winning in Jersey.
8 – Seattle over SAN FRANCISCO – The week starts with what was one of the hottest rivalries in the league just a few years ago. Now, while the rivalry is still there, its to try and stay out of the basement of the division.
7 – ST LOUIS over Cleveland – Todd Gurley is legit and has shown that he was worth the top 10 pick the Rams used on him. Look for Gurley to continue running over the league this week.
6 – Atlanta over TENNESSEE – Speaking of running over the league, his name is Devonta Freeman.
5 – Buffalo over JACKSONVILLE (in London) – The league continues to shove the Jaguars down the throats of Europeans. This year it is the Bills that try to make Jacksonville stay across the pond.
4 – WASHINGTON over Tampa Bay – Bringing back an old gem for this one – the Skins will pull this out simply because they are the home team.
3 – KANSAS CITY over Pittsburgh – If Ben Roethlisberger returns for this game then flip this one around – the Steelers will win. But without him, the Chiefs will need to win this game and establish a new running game without Jamaal Charles. This week’s BOLD PREDICTION is that CHARCANDRICK WEST WILL HAVE THE FIRST 100 YARDS RUSHING GAME OF HIS CAREER. (even if it doesn’t happen, at least I still successfully typed Charcandrick)
2 – DETROIT over Minnesota – The Lions are off the schnide! No 0-16 season this year! One division win could provide the momentum needed to get another one.
1 – Houston over MIAMI – Two teams that have disappointed this year. Don’t let Miami’s big win last week fool you, it was against the Titans.
Welcome back to the Rookie Report! Week 8 was a brutal one with one season-ending injury after another. Hopefully your fantasy team survived unscathed, and hopefully your waiver position will allow you to pick up D'Angelo Williams. He'll be a top 15-RB the rest of the way. This isn't a waiver wire column, but there may be a few rookies who will prove worthy of a pick up over the next few weeks. Let's dive into what to expect in week 9, and I'll throw in a few rooks in the sleeper section who may be worth a flyer (Any fantasy point totals listed are based on ESPN standard scoring)...
Rookies to Start:
RB Todd Gurley, STL (Wk. 9: @Min.): With the way Gurley is running, you have to throw out the matchup in this one. The Vikings have been strong against opposing RBs since struggling against Carlos Hyde in week 1 (10 fantasy points per game for opposing RBs since), but Gurley's breakout started against the Cardinals, who have allowed just 11 RB points per game aside from the Rams game. The Vikings also allow 4.4 yards per carry, which is hardly impressive. Gurley should have success again.
RB Jeremy Langford, CHI (Wk. 9: @SD): Matt Forte will likely be out for the next couple of weeks, and Langford should step into a major role at just the right time. He's the next best waiver add after D'Angelo this week if you can get him. He faces the Chargers, who have been awful against running backs...like worst in the league awful. The Chargers allow 5 yards per carry, 124 rushing yards per game, and have given up 8 rushing scores in 8 games. They've also given up an extra 450 receiving yards and 3 receiving TDs to RBs. Langford should at least be a passable RB2 in this plum matchup.
WR Amari Cooper, OAK (Wk. 9: @Pit.): Cooper should find the sledding easier this week after a rough go last week against the Jets. The Steelers do allow fewer WR points than the Jets, but thanks to Darrelle Revis, the Jets limit WR1s much more effectively than the Steelers. Pittsburgh is fresh off allowing an 11-118-1 line to AJ Green last Sunday. Cooper is safe to fire up this week as a WR3. The floor this week should be higher than his final numbers against the Jets.
QB Jameis Winston, TB (Wk. 9: vs. NYG): Jameis is starting to look like the number 1 pick he's supposed to be. He's put up at least 12 fantasy points in each start this season, despite struggling with turnovers early on in the year. He may have recently turned a corner. He hasn't thrown a pick in his last 3 starts, and has scored 19 points in each of the last two. This week, he gets the Giants, who allow a league-high 315 yards passing and just over 2 passing scores per game. They're also fresh off giving up 7 TDs to Drew Brees. With that said, they've also picked off 13 passes on the year. I'd expect Jameis to throw his first INT in 4 games this week, but there is also a ton of upside. He should be on the low-end QB1 radar.
QB Marcus Mariota, TEN (Wk. 9: @NO): Mariota seems to be on track to play this week, and he gets to face the defense that allows the most fantasy points to QBs in the league. The Saints have allowed a league-high 20 TDs through the air, and an additional 2 QB rushing scores. With Ken Whisenhunt gone, things might get better for Mariota. Interim head coach Mike Mularkey has vowed to tweak the offense to better suit Mariota's strengths. That should mean more running attempts, which would bump his floor up in a matchup that already has a high ceiling. Like Jameis, he's on the QB1 radar this week. I'd prefer Winston over Mariota since Jameis has a higher floor, but both are interesting streaming options.
RB Melvin Gordon, SD (Wk. 9: vs. Chi.): This actually isn't a bad spot for Gordon. He's been watching Danny Woodhead light it up in garbage time, but the Bears allow 128 rushing yards per game. They haven't allowed many long runs, and just two rushing TDs, but with Keenan Allen out the Chargers are likely to try to get the run game going more. This game sets up for Gordon to have RB2 upside.
RB TJ Yeldon, JAX (Wk. 9: @NYJ): Yeldon has been coming into his own recently, scoring 13 points per game in his last 3 outings, but he hasn't faced a defense like the Jets in that stretch. The Jets have allowed more than 6 points to opposing RBs just twice all season. Volume makes TJ an RB2/flex option this week, but not a great one.
RB Duke Johnson, CLE (Wk. 9: @Cin.): Duke managed a decent day yet again last week, and he did so despite just a few touches. His value isn't going anywhere. He remains a decent PPR flex play week in and week out, and coach Mike Pettine expressed this week that he knows Duke needs more touches. Isaiah Crowell and Robert Turbin have been an unimpressive tandem.
WR Stefon Diggs, MIN (Wk. 9: vs. StL.): Diggs isn't an automatic start this week against a tough Rams' secondary, but he's not a guy to avoid either. I would ride the hot streak while it lasts. He's the clear number one receiver for Minnesota right now, and the Rams should make it tough to get the running game going. Good passing attacks have had success against the Rams. I don't know if I'd classify the Vikes' attack as good, so Diggs is more WR3 than WR2 this week.
Rookies to Sit:
RB Matt Jones, WAS (Wk. 9: @NE): I think there's a chance Jones has a nice game, and I expect him to still see more work than Alfred Morris, but he will lose passing down work to Chris Thompson and Washington is likely to be playing from behind for most of the game. Those factors make him too risky to play this week. He's averaged just 3 fantasy points per game in his past 5 games.
RB Karlos Williams, BUF (Wk. 9: vs. Mia.): You should hold onto Williams in deeper leagues if you have the room, but a healthy LeSean McCoy saps some of his value. There will be some decent games down the stretch. Karlos tallied 50 fantasy points in the first 4 games of the season before suffering a concussion, and he did so on limited touches. Unfortunately it will be tough to tell which weeks will be the productive ones. If anything happens to Shady, Karlos is instantly a starting caliber RB, but for now he belongs on the bench.
WR Nelson Agholor, PHI (Wk. 9: @Dal.): Agholor should be back on the field this week, but that's not a reason for him to be in your lineup. There is upside this week, but he would have to show some production before you can consider putting him in the lineup.
WR Jamison Crowder, WAS (Wk. 9: @NE): With D-Jax and Chris Thompson returning this week, it'll be Crowder's targets that will take the biggest hit. Even with a plus matchup against a bottom-10 WR defense, Crowder is a dicey PPR WR4 this week.
WR Ty Montgomery, GB (Wk. 9: @Car.): Pretty simple here. Davante Adams is back, Montgomery is banged up, and the Panthers are a really tough matchup for any WR. Steer clear this week.
TE Clive Walford, OAK (Wk. 9: @Pit.): Nothing to see here this week. The Steelers may allow the 4th most points to opposing TEs, but the majority of the points they allowed were to Gronk and Antonio Gates. If you throw out the games against New England and San Diego, the Steelers have allowed just 4 points per game to opposing TEs, which would be good for 3rd fewest in the NFL. Walford will eventually get more involved, but it likely won't be this week.
Deep League Sleepers and Cheap DFS Options:
QB Bryce Petty, NYJ (Wk. 9: vs. Jax.): Ryan Fitzpatrick has torn ligaments in his non-throwing hand, and Geno Smith got banged up in relief of Fitz. It's a long shot, but there's a chance that they are forced to go to Petty this week. He played in a spread passing attack in college, so he may be okay in Chan Gailey's scheme. He does have a decent matchup. The Jaguars allow the 8th most fantasy points per game to QBs. If you're in a pickle in a 2 QB league and Petty gets tabbed to start...he might be worth a shot.
RB Tevin Coleman, ATL (Wk. 9: @SF): This is just a hunch...This game could get ugly. The 49ers are a dumpster fire right now. Why would the Falcons want to risk getting Freeman injured if they get comfortably ahead early? There is a strong chance for plenty of Coleman garbage time in this one. He could be a fun cheap option in DFS tournaments.
RB David Cobb, TEN (Wk. 9: @NO): Cobb may be poised to be activated from short-term IR this week, and his timing likely couldn't be better. You can't confidently start him this week, but there is hardly a clear lead back on the Titans at this point. Antonio Andrews had his best game of the season last week, but with the coaching change there should be an opportunity for Cobb to carve out a role. He's an intriguing deep league pickup who could provide solid value in the 2nd half of the season.
WR Dorial Green-Beckham, TEN (Wk. 9: @NO): I'm sure DGB isn't unhappy to see Whisenhunt go. Just a week ago, the former coach said he was in no hurry to make Green-Beckham a bigger part of the offense. That should change with Mularkey in charge. If he has any designs on shedding the interim tag, he should be getting the most talented players on the field more. I've mentioned Green-Beckham before, and he has struggled to break through, but this is as good a spot as any. The Saints have allowed 13 WR TDs on the season.
WR Justin Hardy, ATL (Wk. 9: @SF): Much like Tevin Coleman, Hardy could benefit from the mess that is the 49ers. It sounds like there is a real chance Leonard Hankerson is out again, and Hardy caught two passes in his pro debut last week. If Hank is out again, I think Hardy could be in line for 5+ catches in a game with plenty of playing time for the backups.
That's all I've got for this week. Hopefully it helps you overcome some byes and injuries, and helps you make some of those tougher lineup decisions. Feel free to hit me up on twitter if you have any questions or want to yell at me (@shawn_foss). As always, good luck, trust your gut, and have fun. It's just a game.
At this point in the fantasy football season, some teams begin to be eliminated from post-season play. You, of course, know how to work the waiver wire to continually upgrade your roster so that you are not one of those teams. Right? Here are some great pickups for week 10 and beyond. It's way past due to dump some of those bench-warmers that you've been keeping around and trade them out for some real, live fantasy production.
Kirk Cousins, WAS – Week 10 is a tough bye week on quarterbacks. Andrew Luck, Philip Rivers and Matt Ryan are all taking the week off. Kirk Cousins is a good streaming option this week if you need a quarterback. While Cousins isn’t a sexy name there are positives heading into week 10; namely the matchup against the Saints defense. Add the fact that DeSean Jackson should be 100% and Cousins has a good ceiling this weekend. He’s only owned in 10% of leagues.
Blake Bortles, JAX – Usually I would avoid putting a guy owned in 52% of leagues on this list, but again this is a tough week for quarterbacks and Blake Bortles deserves some due credit. His cumulative points have him as a top 10 fantasy quarterback right now yet he remains available in almost half the leagues out there. While his ball security is an issue with 10 interceptions this season he also has a knack for multiple touchdown passes per game. 6 of his 8 games this season Bortles has multiple touchdowns. He has a decent matchup with Baltimore in week 10.
James White/Brandon Bolden, NE – The New England Patriots are about the worst team to speculate about. On a healthy week we can’t be sure what Belichick is thinking. That being said Dion Lewis is lost for the season and somebody will see an increased roll. The popular consensus seems to lean towards James White being that player. He only has 9 carries this year so there’s a lot we don’t know about him. Brandon Bolden stepped in this last week when Lewis went down. He only saw one rushing attempt to his 4 passing targets where he caught 3 including on for a touchdown. Both guys should be targeted on waivers this week for teams in need of RB depth.
James Starks, GB – This is not a name Eddie Lacy owners want to see on this list. James Starks has had opportunities to take over the starting gig before and missed that chance. The difference this year is that Eddie Lacy looks BAD. In week 6 Starks proved himself on the ground with 112 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries; this last week he did it through the air catching 6 of 8 targets for 83 yards and a touchdown. It’s getting late in the season and Lacy owners may want to handcuff him. Other fantasy owners may need the depth. Either way Starks is available in 60% of the leagues and drawing interest heading into a week 10 matchup with Detroit.
Dorial Green-Beckham, TEN – When Kendall Wright went down it was Justin Hunter stepping up to the starting position. Hunter was unimpressive as Dorial Green-Beckham saw a team high 10 targets. He grabbed 5 of those 10 for 77 yards. This wasn’t exactly a tough defensive match up so there is no reason Hunter should have struggled to get open. I really like the targets DGB saw and with Wright likely to miss week 10 he needs to be taken off waivers.
Michael Floyd, ARI – Arizona faces a tough matchup in week 10 at Seattle. That matchup only makes me like Michael Floyd more heading into week 10. He is unlikely to draw the heavy pressure of the defense and should continue to quietly put up solid WR3 numbers. In his last 3 weeks Floyd has 215 yards and 3 touchdowns. John Brown’s return in week 10 will make for an interesting side bet as Floyd continues to try to earn his job back.
Crockett Gillmore, BAL – Week 8 reminded me why I am glad the Bears canned Marc Trestman. Steve Smith Sr. is lost for the season and somehow Crockett Gillmore wasn’t used properly. Expect that to change as Baltimore comes off the bye week to play Jacksonville in week 10. They really have no choice but to get Gillmore more involved. I am not saying he has TE1 value, but against Jacksonville in week 10 it’s a favorable match up and players streaming Tight Ends will want to take a hard look.
Connor Barth, TB – It wasn’t until week 5 that Connor Barth saw the field. Yet he has accumulated 52 points in 4 weeks of games. Tampa Bay has plenty of weapons to move the ball and have continued to improve this season. Barth’s stats alone prove this. Any time a kicker is perfect on the season and consistently earning double digit points he needs to be owned in more leagues than just the current 14%.
Pittsburgh Steelers – I’m going to be honest with you guys. This is a flier pick based on the matchup. Pittsburgh hosts Cleveland in week 10 and while Josh McCown should be back, it’s still the Browns. Honestly, week 10 is a tough match up for streaming defenses and I hope you aren’t that unlucky.
Week 12 is here, and we're finally finished with bye weeks! For most leagues, the trade deadline has already expired and the hunt for a playoff spot is in full force so the picks that you make on the waiver wire over the next couple of weeks could determine whether or not you'll be playing in the postseason! Well, we'd like to see you make it there and so we're offering some top pickups for your fantasy football team to scoop up if possible. Below you'll find a selection of players & defenses that may be available in your leagues and could possibly help you get to that all important championship game!
Jameis Winston, TB – Last week against the Eagles was Jameis Winston’s best game yet. Doug Martin has a lot to do with Winston’s growth this season, but one thing is for sure and that is the fact that Winston is growing into an NFL quarterback. From a fantasy perspective he has done about as well as you could hope for a rookie. His last five games have shown his improvement and he has averaged around 20 fantasy points between them. He has a favorable schedule coming up with games at Indianapolis and then home against Atlanta and New Orleans. He’ll be worth a look as a flier in single QB leagues and a definite add in two QB leagues.
Brian Hoyer, HOU – Houston is on a bit of winning streak winning their last 3 games. Brian Hoyer will start in week 12 after clearing concussion protocol. If you lost Joe Flacco this past week Hoyer is a guy you will want to consider streaming in week 12. His matchup against New Orleans is phenomenal for his return. The Saints defense has allowed 28 passing touchdowns this season while only snatching 4 interceptions. They are giving up an average of 31.5 points a game. Hoyer and DeAndre Hopkins will look to do some damage in week 12.
Spencer Ware, KC – The injury bug bit Charcandrick West this past week as he left with a hamstring injury. Spencer Ware entered the game with it already out of hand, but showcased his power running style. He busted a 52 yard run while also scoring twice from the goal line. Ware will be somebody to keep an eye on considering hamstring injuries are fickle. As injuries continue to mount it is always better to be safe than sorry and grab waiver talent when you can. If you don’t somebody else will.
Thomas Rawls, SEA – Marshawn Lynch’s status is up in the air for the remainder of the year. Thomas Rawls has looked really good all season. Last week he got the start and had 30 rushes for 209 yards and touchdown adding 3 catches for 46 yards and a touchdown. He is already slated to start week 12 as Lynch continues to get checked out. Rawls is going to be a favorite off the wire this week so prioritize him high if you want a chance.
Javorious Allen, BAL – Injuries are abundant this year and another running back is done for the season. Justin Forsett broke his arm and will be replace by Javorious Allen for the remainder of the season. Allen stepped in early last game and saw 22 touches were he racked up 67 yards. He also saw 5 receptions for 48 yards. Buck Allen is in a good situation in terms of fantasy value. Joe Flacco is done with a torn ACL and Matt Schaub will be coming in as replacement. I expect the depleted Ravens offense is going to lean heavily on the run from here on out.
Devin Funchess, CAR – I expected to see Devin Funchess get involved early and often this season. He is a rookie though and it’s a new game at the NFL level. The Panthers continued their winning streak and remain unbeaten after week 11. Funchess saw 8 targets catching 4 for 64 yards and a touchdown. He is only owned in 36% of leagues right now, but that will change heading into week 12. He’s getting more involved in the offense and this team is on a mission to win it all.
J.J. Nelson, ARI – Nothing is more fun to watch at the NFL level than the “you’re up next” approach working. J.J. Nelson made the most of his opportunity with Michael Floyd sidelined with a hamstring injury. He had 142 yards on 4 catches and a touchdown. Its way to early to tell if that kind of production can be repeated, but Arizona has said they are going to be cautious with Michael Floyd. That means Nelson will see an increased role again in week 12. He might be worth a flier pick off waivers if you need WR help.
Crockett Gillmore, BAL – He is still only owned in 22% of leagues. Crockett Gillmore is one of the few targets still standing on the Baltimore Ravens. He deserves to be on more than 22% of the teams. Two weeks running now this theory has played out and Gillmore has been productive with 143 yards and a touchdown on 9 catches. More importantly he has seen 12 targets in those two weeks. Matt Schaub coming in doesn’t change the fact that Gillmore is reliable target.
Robbie Gould, CHI – There are very favorable match ups coming up for a Bears team that continues to show improvement. Robbie Gould has a couple misses this season, but he’s still one of the more accurate kickers in NFL history. Jay Cutler continues to protect the football and the offense has done well moving down the field. Robbie Gould stands to benefit from all of these factors. Gould is a good play down the stretch, especially this Thursday against the Packers weak defense.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers – More was to be expected out of a Lovie Smith defense this season. One thing we know about Lovie’s defenses are their ability to create turn overs and that means big points for fantasy defenses. In the last two games the Bucs have allowed less than 20 points to their opponents and racked up 4 interceptions and 6 sacks. They play at Indianapolis in week 12 and chances are they will be seeing Matt Hasselbeck. They are worth a streaming play if you need a defense in week 12.
We're joined by fantasy football veteran and former drinkfive.com contributor Vince Foss as we discuss the very best plays moving forward into championship week. We'll analyze the matchups and go over recent NFL news and updates that can impact the production of your players.
For Fantasy Football team managers, playing in week 15 is all about making the right starts to get to the championship. Whether you fought hard to get into the playoffs from the bottom of the league or coasted into a bye spot early on, everyone is on an even playing field and (in most cases) only has one shot.
We'll be paying special attention to the players that you should and shouldn't start in week 15 and what matchups to keep in mind should you make the championship game in Week 16. We're joined by regular guest and drinkfive.com contributor Mike Mocerino.
Welcome back! We're joined this week by fantasy football veteran Matt Ellis to discuss the best starts moving forward into Week 13. This is the last week of the regular season of most fantasy football leagues, so put your best foot forward!