Week 6 will kick off with a west coast matchup between the Broncos and Chargers. Philip Rivers is going to have a rough day against Denver’s third-ranked pass defense. Flip offenses and Trevor Siemian is expected to return against a San Diego defense giving up almost 300 pass yards per game this season. Thursday night football can be weird and frustrating with a short week of preparation. So we are all here to help you make those roster moves that could save your week. Here are this weeks recommended starts amongst the trending and borderline players. Feel free to reach out with specific start sit advice!
Brian Hoyer vs. Jac: It’s no secret that Jay Cutler’s career in Chicago is coming to a close. The Bears continue to be vague with their quarterback decisions and why shouldn’t they be. Brian Hoyer is playing well enough to keep the job and now reports from CBS Sports’ Brian La Canfora state that Cutler has “fallen out of favor” with Bears coaches. All rumors and guesses aside, Brian Hoyer looks to start at least one more week. The Jaguars matchup doesn’t lend itself to anything especially positive or negative. Brian Hoyer’s 300+ pass yards and 2 touchdown average per game over that last 3 weeks is a trend to ride in week 6.
Dak Prescott @ GB: Sure, he has yet to throw for over 300 yards, but he also had yet to throw an interception. Dak Prescott has led the Cowboys to a 4-1 start but will face his toughest test in week 6. Ezekiel Elliot is also going to face a tough test against the top rated Green Bay run defense and Dak will be called upon to do more than he has all season. I like that this one could turn into a shootout and that is always a good thing for fantasy owners. I even have a bold prediction that Dak will outscore Philip Rivers and Andrew Luck in week 6.
Cole Beasley @ GB: I made a bold claim just above that includes Dak Prescott beating out some pretty big names in fantasy heading into a matchup against Green Bay. That only happens if his supporting cast helps. Cole Beasley has been a reliable target for Dak in Dez Bryant’s absence. Reports, for now, seem to lean towards Dez missing the week 6 match up and if that is the case I think you roll with Cole in a favorable matchup. Again, this game is setting up to be won through the air for Dallas.
Willie Snead vs. CAR: A divisional matchup with the Saints coming off a bye week and Carolina reeling from a disappointing loss to Tampa Bay. One way or the other Willie Snead should be back to 100% after a toe injury. The Saints spread the ball around more than frat boys passing the discount vodka, but Willie was one of Drew Brees’ early favorites. Look for that to be renewed in a game setting up to be big for the Saints.
Frank Gore @ HOU: I don’t know what the coaching staff in Indianapolis is doing, as they seem to completely change schemes every week. That being said, Frank Gore put up a solid performance last week. The only thing holding him back from a better fantasy day was his lack of involvement in the passing game; something he saw a lot more of the previous week in London. The matchup with Houston should force the Colts to utilize Gore more in week 6. I also fully expect him to be moderately involved in the passing game, at least more than we saw in week 5.
Hunter Henry vs DEN: There is plenty to be wary about with Hunter Henry in week 6. The matchup, Thursday Night Football and the return of Antonio Gates are some pretty scary factors for Henry owners heading into week 6. Honestly, I like him for all the same reasons. First of all, the matchup with the Denver defense means Philip Rivers and the Chargers will have to utilize mismatches to move the ball through the air. While Antonio Gates will eat away at some of those targets and yards, he is also the perfect decoy in two tight end sets. I mean which one do you cover!? The kid has put up some big numbers and that wasn’t affected by Gates’ return. He just found more room to run on fewer targets.
Each week we'll give you some recommended starters that you need to get in your lineup for one reason or another. Usually, it's because of a good matchup, sometimes it's a player that's trending up, and once in a while it's going to be the secret to your fantasy victory!
Matt Ryan @ OAK: The Atlanta quarterback was not highly touted heading into this season. Week 1 was a strong showing for him with 334 yards and 2 touchdowns. More importantly, he protected the football, something he has struggled with in the past. I like Matt Ryan in week 2 against the Oakland Raiders. Drew Brees just torched the Oakland secondary in week 1. Mohamed Sanu gives Ryan a good second option after Julio Jones. Running Backs Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman will keep the Raiders defense honest too.
Joe Flacco @ CLE: The Ravens win the Cleveland Lottery in week 2. Joe Flacco returned to the field after tearing his ACL last season, and while his knee looks fine his fantasy score left something to be desired. The highlight was his connection with Mike Wallace on a 66 yard touchdown pass. Cleveland did a piss poor job last week of introducing rookie Carson Wentz to the NFL. Wentz threw for 278 and 2 TD’s in his first ever game; I expect Flacco to have his way with the Cleveland defense this Sunday.
Lamar Miller vs. KC: As expected, Lamar Miller was used heavily in week 1 for the Texans. In fact, he was one of only two top 25 running backs to rush for over 100 yards in week 1. Miller saw 28 carries and 4 receptions in week 1. Houston will not move away from that in a week 2 match-up with the Chiefs. Kansas City gave up 146 total rushing yards between Danny Woodhead and Melvin Gordon in week 1.
Spencer Ware @ HOU: Jamaal Charles is still a question mark for week 2 and it’s safe to say the Chiefs have no reason to rush him back. Spencer Ware split time with Charcandrick West in week 1, but Ware was clearly the more utilized back. His 18 touches for 199 total yards makes him a must start this week and every week until Charles returns.
Tajae Sharpe @ DET: Marcus Mariota is clearly feeling it with Tajae Sharpe. Sharpe led the team in targets with 11 while bringing in 7 receptions for 76 yards. Tennessee has a favorable match-up in week 2 against a Lions pass defense that looked awful in week 1. Sharpe’s strong route running will offer him plenty of opportunity against this secondary.
Dwayne Allen @ DEN: Jack Doyle and Dwayne Allen were both strong options for Andrew Luck in week 1. They finished 1 and 2 amongst tight ends in scoring for week 1. Dwayne Allen saw 2 more targets and 18 more yards, while Jack Doyle’s big boost came with his 2 touchdown performance. I like Allen in week 2 because he is clearly the TE1 on the Colts and a favorite red zone target for Andrew Luck.
The playoffs are here! This week’s waiver wire adds a different element. You might be playing defense to keep your opponents team weak or stashing some depth for your run at the championship. In any case this is a chess match and the waiver wire is your opening move. The second season starts in week 14.
Tyrod Taylor, BUF – The multitalented Tyrod Taylor is the hot streamer pick heading into week 14. Admittedly more passing attempts on average would be preferred, but Taylor continues to add value through his work on the ground. In his last two weeks he has 6 passing TD’s and a rushing TD to cap off his 502 passing yards and 75 rushing yards. More impressive still are the defenses he went through. Kansas City and Houston both pose a larger challenge than any of his coming playoff matchups. Philadelphia is a cupcake matchup for week 14 and Taylor is wide open for the taking in 64% of leagues.
James White, NE – The Patriots have a “next-man-up” mentality. When Dion Lewis went down they clearly had to find a back capable of making plays out of the backfield. James White finally showed that value last week. There is very little to go on with White and I am not claiming he isn’t a risk. His upside is something to be excited about after scoring 3 times in 3 weeks. Last week was his best week statistically with 10 receptions, 115 yards and a TD. Three weeks ago he found the end zone twice, but was ineffective statistically. Either way the Patriots have started using White more often. Injuries on the offense are going to open up his role and the Patriots need to stop the losing streak down the stretch.
Darren Sproles, PHI – It is about damn time the Eagles feature Darren Sproles over Darren McFadden! Whether it remains that way is yet to be seen. Sproles had a great game with 66 yards on 15 carries and an additional 34 on 6 catches. His running style suits Chip Kelly’s offense and his success last week should lead to the same, if not more usage down the stretch. The Eagles play Buffalo next week who are surprisingly mediocre against the run this season. Sproles is only owned in 41% of leagues.
DeVante Parker, MIA – He is a very late bloomer apparently but DeVante Parker has come on as of late for Miami. His last two weeks have netted him 143 yards and 2 touchdowns. His 15 targets over those two weeks are definitely a huge positive too. Rishard Matthews continues to mend his broken ribs and his status remains uncertain. Miami has two favorable match ups coming up with games against the Giants 20th rated pass defense and the Chargers 27th rated pass defense. He is available in 70% of the leagues.
Markus Wheaton, PIT – Two weeks ago Markus Wheaton had 9 catches for 201 yards and a touchdown. Grant it a large reason behind that was mostly due to Richard Sherman’s coverage on Antonio Brown. That is why I like Wheaton’s outlook over the next two weeks. The Steelers matchups include the 5th ranked Bengals pass defense and 2nd ranked Broncos defense. Neither of which have Richard Sherman, but both of which who are going to focus their efforts on Antonio Brown. This should force Wheaton into a larger role.
Richard Rodgers, GB – This one is a bit of sore subject as I missed the playoffs in a league due to my benching of Richard Rodgers. His consistency leaves a lot to be desired but his size and play making ability can’t be ignored. His game winning Hail Mary catch highlighted his impressive game this past Sunday. He caught all 8 of his targets for 146 yards and a TD. Green Bay has continued to struggle without a consistent pass catcher. Rodgers won’t be Jordy Nelson, but if you are looking for Tight End help he is a promising option still available.
Matt Prater, DET – Detroit has sort of figured out how to move the ball again, but only enough to improve Matt Prater’s value. Over the last 3 weeks our favorite lush has 37 points. Drinking beers and kicking field goals. What a life! The Lions have St. Louis and New Orleans coming up. Both those match ups favor the Lions. Then we all just rely on them committing some idiotic penalties in the red zone and watch Prater collect.
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!