By Jake Linley-Brown (@JakeLB12)
There’s 3 weeks left of the regular season, 2 weeks-ish remaining until Christmas, and 1 more Thursday night football game to watch, which is a perfect segue to our starting point. Let’s commence.
JETS @ RAVENS
RB – Mark Ingram
The Jets have one of the best run defences in the league, but there are a few red flags here. Not playing for anything and going again on a short week would make me nervous. My biggest fear? The opponent. Lamar Jackson’s Baltimore Ravens are the best rushing team in the league, rushing for over 50 yards more on average than the nearest team, the 49ers. With a little incentive such as home field advantage in the playoffs well within reach now, and game script likely meaning pounding the ball down a banged-up Jets D’s throat, I want all of Mark Ingram on Thursday.
Side note – Gus Edwards, if you’re in a desperate spot at Flex this week, might get a lot of garbage time volume. Just a thought.
QB – Sam Darnold
Contrary to Mark Ingram, I want none of Sam Darnold this week. As he’s about to embark on a brutal stretch (@BAL, PIT, @ BUF – yikes), Darnold might wish he had mono again for the month of December. This Ravens D is 8th in the league for takeaways and giving very little to anyone lined up behind centre. Darnold, however, just had a two week stretch against the Bengals and Miami where he started off bad to only reach lukewarm status; not good considering the opposing defences and the opportunity they both bring. I’ll pass.
COLTS @ SAINTS
WR – Marcus Johnson
Fast forward to the Monday night game now, and because tis’ the season for miracles, I’m going left-field on this one. Marcus Johnson was probably a guy you hadn’t heard of a month ago but this past Sunday against the Bucs, he came to the party. 3 catches, 105 yards and a touchdown looks like a line you’d see on ‘Madden’, but there is no denying the deep threat he carries. Using just common sense here, T.Y. Hilton is likely to be out again and Zach Pascal will almost certainly be shadowed by Marshon Lattimore. Can Marcus make the most of this opportunity?
Everyone but D. Brees, A.Kamara and M.Thomas
This might be seen as a cop out and you’re right, it is. But my thought process for this matchup solely relies on two things. For one, I anticipate Sean Payton does everything he can to resuscitate Alvin Kamara, this week. The star running back, who has majorly underwhelmed fantasy owners this season, scored 6.3 PPR points on Sunday in a game where his team scored 46 points – go figure. Secondly, I expect Michael Thomas to feast as always and by this point, will the Saints need to throw the ball anyway on a Colts D that is floundering? I doubt it.
BUCCANEERS @ LIONS
TE – OJ Howard
The big news out of Tampa this week is that Mike Evans looks done for the year. This means it’s officially
Chris Godwin OJ. Howard season. I’m kidding, of course, but it does potentially mean Howard could be in for some more looks going forward. Jameis will continue to throw the ball for what seems a 100 times each week, and Godwin can’t catch them all, so we’re just playing the percentages here. O.J., fresh off the back of his highest receiving yardage of the season on Sunday, gets the Lions D this week who looks ready for their holidays to begin. In my book, it’s worth a punt.
RB – Bo Scarbrough
Scarbrough is an absolute tank of a man and I would not tell him he’s featuring in the ‘SIT’ section to his face. That being said, he’s thousands of miles away, so I’m going to act hard. Don’t get me wrong, the volume is there (19 carries last week), but he’s trending down in terms of points this past month. Reports are also stating he’s a ‘little sore’ from the loss against the Vikings. The biggest downer? The Bucs, for all their flaws, are an excellent unit against the run. In other words, don’t bo-lieve the hype.
BRONCOS @ CHIEFS
WR – Courtland Sutton
To me, this one is a no-brainer. Despite logging a quiet day in the shock win over Houston (5 catches, 34 yards), Sutton still saw more targets than any of his teammates. New rookie QB Drew Lock looks like he might be the key to salvaging some of this Denver season, and there’s no reason to doubt Sutton being a beneficiary. In the first meeting of these two teams this season, Courtland scored 14.7 PPR points thanks to 6 catches and 87 yards. The second meeting might entail playing catch up early, so let’s hope for more of the same this time round.
RB – LeSean McCoy
If you think you know what’s going on in the Chiefs backfield, please send answers on a postcard. Shady McCoy carried the ball for a team high 11 times for 39 yards against New England, but was actually out-snapped by Spencer Ware at the position. With Damien Williams, Darrel Williams and everyone with the surname Williams all out right now, McCoy might have one last shot to cement his place. I for one, however, am not buying he can do it.
Good luck this week!