By James Fotheringham @NFLHypeTrain
The final bye week but with the Chargers, Chiefs, Vikings and Cardinals all taking the week off there’s going to be a lot of fantasy players scrambling for streamers. A lot of benches are reading like an NSYNC song so you’re going to want to keep your eyes peeled for who other players drop as you could grab a steal for the fantasy playoffs if you get ahead of the game.
For this week, here’s a run down of the Sunday games and a small nudge towards some viable options.
Broncos @ Bills
Two decent defences and two hardly potent offences. Josh Allen still has value due to his legs, Singletary should continue to build on his role and John Brown is usually good for points even in a tough matchup.
The Broncos haven’t been much worse under Allen than they were under Flacco, in many ways they are actually better. The lack of potent receivers hurts them and with Phillip Lindsey questionable, Royce Freeman may not be a bad call in a pinch.
Both defences are very good options.
Giants @ Bears
Bad offence vs mediocre defence compared to a mediocre offence against a decent defence. The Bears DST are the best play here and if Saquon is playing he’s obviously a starter.
I can’t decide if the Giants receivers are worth playing since with Shepard back, Tate in the mix and Slayton there’s a lot of uncertainty. Engram and Ellison are out so they have no real TE which means they would all be playable if it wasn’t the Bears.
The Bears themselves are stuck with Trubisky which means only Allen Robinson has receiving value. David Montgomery and Tarik Cohen are startable but not at the top of the pecking order.
The Giants DST is still a legitimate option this week.
Steelers @ Bengals
I get the sense that last week may light a fire under Mason Rudolph. If only he had some receivers to benefit from it. Juju is out so the load falls on Washington, Johnson and MacDonald. They may well all be relevant, or one could get peppered so it’s a risk, but against the Bengals, I’d be fine with playing any of them and obviously Jaylon Samuels with James Conner out.
The Bengals will struggle against the Steelers defence and I’m even struggling to advise playing Mixon and Boyd unless you really are hamstrung by bye weeks. Steelers DST are a candidate for the #1 DST this week and while many will be advising Cincinnati are a good option, I’m not so sure.
Dolphins @ Browns
The Browns remembered how to win last week, but with their top defenceman missing, their offence still not fully in sync and competition for touches, I can’t say I have high hopes. There’s talent, but it’s not being realised.
The defence isn’t a sure fire thing against the Dolphins who have resurged a bit under FitzMagic and he should have some relevance once more. There are enough pieces missing for Kalen Ballage to be relevant and Devante Parker should be the main receiving threat.
Those struggling at Tight end might have David Njoku as an option but will definitely have Mike Gesicki as a streaming candidate.
Bucs @ Falcons
If Jameis Winston didn’t turn the ball over so often I’d advise avoiding both defences and playing plenty of offence.
Now that Freeman is doubtful and while Winston is throwing his chance at a future starting spot away, I can’t advise using Brian Hill, but I can give the Atlanta defence some love. They’ve picked it up since beating the Saints and they’re on a little bit of a run. Be aware that Matt Ryan is questionable but if he’s good to go again then Julio and Ridley are musts.
The Bucs may have finally figured out how to use RoJo in the run game and keep Evans and Godwin happy. Outside of those 3 and Jameis, it’s hard to see there being enough production.
Panthers @ Saints
Value to be had on both offences and possible the Saints defence. I like Kyle Allen and his receivers this week as well for the obvious CMC.
The Saints should have Brees, Kamara and Thomas all firing, Jared Cook is starting to get more targets and Ted Ginn is a TD dice throw. This might also be a good game to watch.
Seahawks @ Eagles
Now it gets difficult.
Russell Wilson and Chris Carson are locks for starting places (although the Eagles run defence means if you are stacked at RB, he’s not so critical). After that it depends on how you feel. Metcalf, Hollister, Agholor, Jeffrey and even Ertz aren’t sure fire things. Goedert is eating into Ertz share, Jeffrey still isn’t 100% and Agholor is, well, Agholor. Jordan Howard could be back, but the Seahawks aren’t pushovers and he still has to share with Miles Sanders and potentially Jay Ajayi.
It’s a mess which may have points somewhere but good luck predicting who it will be.
Lions @ Redskins
If Matt Stafford was in at QB I’d be enjoying the idea of Marvin Jones, Kenny Golladay and Danny Amendola. As it stands with Jeff Driskel, I like them, but not as much. The RB situation with McKissic and Scarborough will dominate a lot of bye week ruined teams this week and hopefully Scarborough can pull off a similar feat to what Jonathan Williams did for Indy on Thursday night.
The Redskins now have an offensive piece you can consider in Derrius Guice and he and AP are playable against the Lions. McLaurin has got some overhyped projections on some platforms so be careful.
Raiders @ Jets
Oakland are threating a playoff run now. Derek Carr is looking solid, despite the lack of receivers, Darren Waller is a league winner and Josh Jacobs is odds on for ROTY. It’s a mix that will serve them well in Vegas when the move happens, but they may leave Oakland in some style. All of the above are playable, as is Tyrell Williams.
The Jets are a bit of a mess but seem to be on a slight elevation in terms of altitude. The Oakland pass defence is very porous, so the likes of Anderson, Crowder, Griffin and Lev Bell are in the frame. Darnold and Carr are actually good streams this week for those in a pinch.
Jaguars @ Titans
Nick Foles will step up his return this week which could be good news for Dede Westbrook and DJ Chark. Since they have lost 3 starting tight ends the offence has dipped and teams have zeroed in on Fournette and Chark. They are still playable against the Titans but don’t expect a huge haul.
The Titans are better under Tannehill, but Derrick Henry is the only player I’d have confidence in. He does usually dominate the Jags so he could be a very handy DFS option, but beyond that, I quite like both defences here.
Cowboys @ Patriots
Daks back and this time he faces the Patriots defence which has been stellar, although this is the toughest test, they’ve faced not named the Ravens. Dak, Cooper and Gallup are a force, Zeke is Zeke and Jason Witten can pop in when he needs to. It’s potent and it’s effective, the Patriots may struggle to find an answer, much like when they faced Lamar.
The Patriots themselves need Edelman to recover from his shoulder injury otherwise it could be tough sledding.
The Cowboys aren’t the greatest defence, but they are solid enough and the Patriots are not at full strength. They tend to find a way, but Bill doesn’t usually care about your fantasy team anyway.
Packers @ 49ers
The final game sees the Packers and 49ers square off in a matchup between teams who are doing well, but you’re not quite sure how.
Aaron Rodgers is doing enough to win games, despite the lack of receiving talent outside of Davante Adams. Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams have picked up the slack but face a tough test in the 49ers defence. If Adams is covered and Jones is prevented from running, it’s going to be a long day.
The 49ers defence is stout, but the offence is not so stable. If Kittle is fit to play then he also improves the prospects for Deebo Samuel, Jimmy Garoppolo and the running backs. As it stands, Tevin Coleman is a strong starting choice, although the Packers defence isn’t one to write off.
QB – Derek Carr (OAK @ NYJ) – I like both QBs in this matchup but again, the Hype Train is advocating using a Carr… scandalous.
RB – Derrick Henry (TEN vs JAX) – Henry tends to hoover up the Jags, I can’t see him sucking this week.
WR – DJ Moore (CAR @ NO) – It’s a tough week for receivers. I tried not to go obvious so I had to think a bit Moore.
TE – Ryan Griffin (NYJ vs OAK) – Again, I like both TE’s in this game, but with Carr at QB in this list I thought I’d put Griffin to the TE slot.
DST – Steelers (PIT @ CIN) – The Bengals are going to caught up against something as hard as Iron and tough as Steel.
QB – Tom Brady (NE vs DAL) – He will probably find a way to win the game, but Tom terrific isn’t going to be so good for fantasy.
RB – Brian Hill (ATL vs TB) – Freeman may be missing but I don’t think Brian will take them over the Hill this week.
WR – Terry McLaurin (WAS vs DET) – Haskins still isn’t ready, and McLaurin may be fast but he’s more and F1 choice than an A1 choice.
TE – Zach Ertz (PHI vs SEA) – Goedert is eating into his share and it Ertz for his owners.
DST – Panthers (CAR vs NO) – They’ve been good this season and the Saints have been inconsistent, but this is not a week to be cute.
QB – Daniel Jones (NYG @ CHI) – The Bears might just smother Jones in this one. Danny Dimes may lack a few cents here.
RB – Jordan Howard (PHI vs SEA) – A crowded backfield, a return from injury and a decent opposition. Howard you like that? Not very much.
WR – Courtland Sutton (DEN @ BUF) – Tough sledding, especially with an inexperienced QB. I’d not fancy having him Sutt-on my starting line-up.
TE – Jimmy Graham (GB @ SF) – The 49ers defence should crunch the packers. Graham won’t be a cracker.
DST – Jets (NYJ vs OAK) – IF I like the offensive pieces then it’s obvious I’ll hate on the defensive ones. The Jets DST will likely remain grounded.
That’s it for another week. Apologies for the pun level at the end, some of those were terrible. More of the same next week!