By Jake Linley-Brown (@JakeLB12)
Week 10 saw the last undefeated team tumble, leaving us with a somewhat open landscape in the NFL. Something else that might be open is that Flex spot or WR2 position in your fantasy line up. If that’s the case, let us try and help.
You’ll get no McCaffrey’s, Cook’s or Jackson’s here – those guys go without saying. What I like to do is pick those players you deliberate about, support the players you might’ve fallen out with (as you’ll see in a minute), and guide you to the players who have potentially gone under your radar.
This week’s bye teams are the Packers, Giants, Seahawks and the Titans.
Jameis Winston (TB) vs Saints
I know what you’re thinking. Remember the bit about ‘the players you might’ve fallen out with’? Just a hunch, but I reckon Jameis has probably burned and agitated more people this season than the ending of Game of Thrones. The dumb mistakes, the lack of awareness, the lot.
So, without further ado, let me make a claim for Winston, this week! First up, Mike Evans and Chris Godwin are real weapons of destruction for Tampa Bay, with at least one (Evans more so of late) blowing up each week. Chances are, you probably already knew this. What you might’ve missed is that Saints premier cornerback Marshon Lattimore looks set to sit out this week’s game with injury, which all but opens the floor for the two Bucs’ wideouts. The middling Saints D were also embarrassed last week by the lousy Falcons, so maybe not everything is as it seems.
Ultimately, Winston just loves throwing the football. If you like a gamble and enjoy frantically updating your fantasy app because you’re anxious about the tight-rope nature of your quarterback’s play, this is the pick for you.
Honourable Mentions: Derek Carr (OAK) vs CIN, Josh Allen (BUF) vs MIA
Brian Hill (ATL) @ Panthers
Brian Hill is not the name of the new plumber down the road – he’s the Falcons new running back. The next man up in the ATL looks set to take on a much larger role now both Devonta Freeman and Ito Smith are out with injury. In last weeks duel with the Saints, Hill recorded 21 touches and ended the day with 14.1 fantasy points – impressive when you consider he didn’t start the game.
His first official start (providing Freeman doesn’t make a miraculous recovery) is against the Panthers, who have allowed more total TD’s and more fantasy points to running backs than anybody.
Hill has 2 TD’s in his last 2 outings – look for the hattrick come Sunday.
Honourable Mentions: Josh Jacobs (OAK) vs CIN, Devin Singletary (BUF) @ MIA
Courtland Sutton (DEN) @ Vikings
It might not inspire you much when you realise QB Brandon Allen is throwing the ball to our man, Sutton. Nor might the fact the Broncos are on the road this week to a team coming off a big win. It’s times like these when stats are our friend.
Courtland is quietly putting together a decent year, stamping down his place as the number 1 WR in the Broncos passing attack. In his last outing (Week 9), Sutton hauled in 5 for 8, including a TD. Consistency hasn’t really been a problem.
Now, those stats that I told you about. The Vikings, this Sunday’s opponents, have allowed 12 TD’s and the 2nd most fantasy points to receivers lined out wide this season. Significant, why? Ya’ boy, Sutton, has ran 82% of his routes out wide in 2019. I’ll take those odds.
Honourable Mentions: Mohamed Sanu (NE) @ PHI, Deebo Samuel (SF) vs ARI
Kyle Rudolph (MIN) vs Broncos
Picking TE’s for any article is the bane of my life; I never get it right, and what I’m left to pick with most weeks (outside of the obvious) just makes me weep. For this week’s attempt, I’ll be plumping for the big man in purple.
It’s not going to get you off your seat, but 5 straight games with 3 catches is something to hang your hat on in this apocalyptic, tight end world. Rudolph even caught 2 TD’s and a 2-point conversion last Sunday, and that came from just 4 catches for 14 yards; this pretty much sums up the position, league wide.
It’s a tough matchup on paper this, but with 4 TD’s in his last 4 games, and Vikings Mr. Reliable Adam Thielen still out, there’s a good chance just enough volume comes.
Honourable Mentions: Gerald Everett (LAR) vs CHI, Darren Waller (OAK) vs CIN
QB – Jared Goff (LAR) vs Bears – The Rams signed Goff to a 4 year, $134M extension in September. That’s tough, just like the stout Bears D who only allow 14.2 points on average to opposing QB’s. Avoid Jared now, and maybe forever.
RB – Jordan Howard (PHI) vs Patriots – Howard was actually playing well before the bye, so I felt kind of bad putting him here. Saying that, New England have allowed just 75.8 rushing yards on average to the RB position, and Bill and the boys are bound to be mad. Fade.
WR – All Arizona WR’s (ARI) @ SF – Cool stat klaxon! Did you know, not including Andy Isabella’s blown coverage breakaway for a TD, the receiving corps of Johnson, Fitzgerald and Kirk combined for 8 catches, 68 yards and 1 TD in the first meeting between these two? Now on the road against the 49ers elite defence, I fear the worst.
TE – Noah Fant (DEN) @ MIN – The Vikings haven’t allowed a single TD to the TE position, and we’ve just finished Week 10. Also, I’ve had Noah twice this season when I’ve been in a tight spot, and he’s wet the bed on both occasions. Just no.
Good luck this week!