There’s unprecedented depth to this year’s wide receiver class, with headliners Jerry Jeudy, CeeDee Lamb and Henry Ruggs all tipped to go in and around the top twenty picks in the draft.
A whole host of receivers sit just behind the leading trio in terms of rankings, Justin Jefferson and Denzel Mims are regularly being drafted in the latter part of the first round, with Leviska Shenault, Brandon Aiyuk and Tee Higgins not too far behind.
But, with such a stacked class, who are the guys that aren’t being talked about? There’s a fair amount of them, and we’ve picked three who can make a splash on the team they’re drafted to.
Bryan Edwards – South Carolina
Edwards has emerged in recent weeks as a someone to upset the current rankings and potentially punch his was into the late second round, but for now we’ll include him due to his third/fourth round initial grading.
At 6ft 2”, 215 pounds, the South Carolina prospect set school records for career receptions and career receiving yards (234 receptions for 3,045 yards). He also earned Second Team All-SEC honours in 2019, behind Jeudy and another top-prospect, Ja’Marr Chase.
Edwards is all about his hands, he’s a reliable pass catcher who excels when making contested catches (see his grab when fighting projected first rounder CJ Henderson against Florida last season). He’s also got the ability to make the show stopping catches you expect to see from elite NFL receivers, anyone who’s scouted him will have seen the one-handed grab against Tennessee.
With good acceleration, Edwards is also a threat after the catch, often evading tackles and picking up first downs with smooth moves after coming back to get the ball on curl routes. Add to that an all-round aggressive nature and there’s a big chance that the Gamecocks product makes a mark in the NFL.
Collin Johnson – Texas
Texas’ Collin Johnson came into the 2019 season expecting to be near the top of the wide receiver rankings in this year’s draft. Coming off the back of a record breaking 177 yard Big 12 Championship Game, the optimism around him was understandable.
A nagging hamstring injury ended up putting a dampener on the hype and Johnson finished the season with 559 yards and 3 TDs from seven games, still averaging an impressive 14.7 yards a catch.
The injury hit 2019 campaign might turn into a blessing for an NFL team come the third round of the draft. Johnson comes from NFL stock, being raised by a father who earned a spot in the CFB Hall of Fame and played 10 seasons in the NFL as a defensive back, and it’s fair to say that talent has passed down to junior.
With a 6ft 5” frame, long arms and reliable hands, Johnson is a huge target on the perimeter. He shows good balance and body control whilst route running and is adept at creating separation with sudden breaks. He also adds a lot of help in the run game as a willing downfield blocker.
There are a few examples on tape of Johnson not taking advantage of his size, failing to high point the ball over smaller corners is a particular concern. However, it feels like this is simply a matter of technique and a fairly simple fix.
Johnson has the frame, talent and bloodline to succeed in the NFL, his ceiling is high and it feels like a natural comparison is Lions’ receiver, Kenny Golladay.
Gabriel Davis – UCF
Where the previous two receivers are slightly below the radar, Gabriel Davis is lying deep under the surface. The Central Florida receiver was a three-year starter for the Golden Knights, in a time that they firmly established themselves on the national stage.
Davis ranked 8th in the league last season in yards per game, averaging 103.4, a remarkable turnaround for a three-star prospect who didn’t receive a single Power 5 offer.
UCF’s spread offense has done a great job of showcasing his main skill as a wideout, tracking the ball over his shoulder on vertical routes to pick up large chunks of yardage in one go. The threat he poses as a vertical receiver is further complemented by his contested catch ability, often reaching back around the defensive back to pull in a catch at the last second (see TD catch vs South Florida in 2019).
Davis is also a big physical receiver when he needs to be, using his 6ft 2” frame to good effect in the run game and to shrug off smaller defensive backs. There’s clearly questions on some aspects of his game, such as his stop-start quickness and lack of experience running a full route tree.
However, given a chance in a pass happy offense there’s every chance that Davis could prove himself a valuable asset, looking to further develop a story that has already seen him overcome the odds once before.
Apologies for the lack of a scheduled departures article last week. Those articles have been cancelled until further notice due to a lack of need.
Time for the fantasy play-offs to begin, and with bye weeks gone and most rosters pretty much set, the usual Hype Train Station is basically closed. Rush hour has long gone, and we are left with those late finishers trying to find their way to their final destination (which I hope for you is victory).
Since the landscape has changed, this trip to the Hype Train Station will ignore the waiver wire and ownership levels and concentrate more on which trains to jump on board. A bit of a start/sit, DFS and general information board. Ready to depart?
Devonta Freeman (ATL vsCAR)
Carolina looked like a very good defence at one point, but now it appears to be the Achilles-heel which is preventing a playoff run. Freeman returned from injury last week and it was steady but not spectacular return on Thanksgiving. This week is a much better matchup for Davonta to Run like a Free man.
Derrick Henry (TEN @OAK)
Another high value player but against Oakland he should continue his hot-streak. There’s not as many gems in the cheaper ranks at RB this week.
Derrius Guice (WAS @GB)
The Packers have given up the 4th most yards to RBs and after his breakout last week against Carolina (who are 5th) he has a chance to go back-to-back. The Guice is definitely right now!
Devante Parker (MIA @NYJ)
The Jets returned to being terrible last week and are still struggling against the pass. The Dolphins meanwhile are enjoying their new found abilities and Parker is living up to about 5 years of failed hype. That train has finally arrived and still has some legs.
Kenny Golladay (DET @MIN)
The Vikings defence is seen as strong, but they have the 4th most yards conceded against WRs. After his promising debut on Thnaksgiving, David Blough can keep the receivers in Detroit relevant and Golladay has a chance to have a day.
Dede Westbrook (JAX vsLAC)
Dede has his mojo back having had a few weeks with Foles and even a return to the Minshew didn’t dent his statline. He’s not going to be overpriced in DFS which makes him a very nice middle-level candidate to allow you to pay up at RB.
AJ Brown (TEN @OAK)
If you want to dig a little deeper than AJ Brown may be your man. The Raiders are in the bottom 8 at defending the pass and Tannehill has really moved the Titans forwards. Brown is starting to hit a purple patch and he’s still on some waiver wires. Make sure you remember this Titan.
Ryan Fitzpatrick (MIA @NYJ)
It makes sense that if Parker is a choice, so is Fitzpatrick. The Dolphins have been having some fun over the last few weeks and the freedom and time to gel seems to have made them forget about tanking and take the 3rd or 4th pick in the draft they will probably get. Now that’s what I call FitzMagic.
Kirk Cousins (MIN vsDET)
It’s hard to justify the big numbers of the likes of Mahomes, Rodgers and Jackson when their matchups aren’t fantastic. Kirk Cousins isn’t to their level, but the Lions aren’t up to much defensively and with Adam Thielin potentially returning to the line-up, the yards are there.
Ryan Tannehill (TEN @OAK)
Oakland give up a lot to QB’s and the Tannehill and Titans resurgence make this a nice matchup which you may be able to grab on the cheap. Check your waiver wires as well if your struggling, he will be available on some platforms (pun intended).
Duck Hodges (PIT @ARI)
And finally, if you really want to pay low for a QB to go heavy on RB in DFS then look no further than the QB who is facing the 2nd worst defence against QB’s and who put up a very despicable score against the Browns. It’s Duck season in Pittsburgh and Hodges is hunting for wins to get the Steelers into the playoffs.
Jack Doyle (IND @TB)
No Ebron to take away targets, Brissett at QB able to find him, the 2nd worst team against TE’s and a receiving corps that means the Colts need to use the Tight End… do you need any other reasons? Even with the likes of Kelce and Kittle around, I think Doyle is my number 1 TE this week. The Doyle Express is ready to depart.
Vance McDonald (PIT @ARI)
Tyler Higbee proved last week that no matter how little a TE gets used during the season, when they play Arizona, if they are the pass catching Tight End they will get points. Vance is very much a pass catching TE and if Juju is still out this becomes an even bigger must. Even with the QB change, this McDonalds Farm will benefit from having a Duck in it.
Mike Gesicki (MIA @NYJ)
How has it come to this? 3 Dolphins in my list of players to possible play in DFS and pick up if they are on the wire. How times change. Still, you can’t ignore the hot streak Gesicki is on and the freedom the Dolphins have. I think it may be the Jets that will want to throw a Ge-Sicky.
Vikings (vs DET)
While I am comfortable backing Golladay, the Lions are still going to give up points and it’s also very possible that Blough will come back to earth with a bump.
Colts (@ TB)
For as long as Jameis Winston is throwing the ball to the opposition, defences are going to score against the Bucs. The Colts get that help this week and while they aren’t the best defensive outfit, they may not need to be.
Browns (vs CIN)
At home to a divisional rival (although both are basically out of playoff contention) the Browns will want to make a statement and do something. The Bengals are still looking to lose, although the win last week avoided the goose egg. The Browns aren’t great, but the Bengals are worse.
The Ravens are now making their move for the #1 seed which is going to need their defence to keep up with their offence. The matchup against the Bills works well for them and after grinding out the win against the 49ers, they look like they have what it takes to go all the way.
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
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!
The Fantasy playoffs are fast approaching and you need a win to get in there. Here are some players to start and sit to help guide you to that all important W…
Quarterback – Baker Mayfield – Cleveland Browns vs Miami Dolphins
Baker has been difficult to trust this year with his inconsistent play, even suffering the ignominy of a negative scoring week versus the 49ers. This week, that is most definitely the opposite as he faces one of the league’s whipping boys in the Dolphins.
In the past three weeks, Mayfield has scored over 17 points in standard QB scoring and that will most definitely continue this week. Whilst his yardage has hovered around the 230 mark throughout that stretch, there has been a reasonable TD haul (5 passing, 1 rushing).
Baker is a sure-fire start this week and he’s also available in a lot of leagues too!
Running Back – Joe Mixon – Cincinnati Bengals vs Pittsburgh Steelers
Before this season started, you wouldn’t have even considered benching Mixon. He was a player that was being taken in the second and third rounds of many fantasy drafts. Considering the draft capital that many spent on him, he’s been nothing short of a disappointment.
However, with all that doom-and-gloom now seemingly behind Mixon, he has managed to score very well over the last three weeks. In the last three games he has scored over 17 points in full-PPR, and with Finley under centre, the Bengals are committed to running the ball a lot.
This was highlighted in the loss to the Ravens, with Mixon carrying the ball 30 times.
Wide Receiver – Jamison Crowder – New York Jets vs Oakland Raiders
Two weeks ago in week 10, Crowder was marked as a top waiver-wire target and if you picked him up you would have benefited greatly.
For the past three weeks, Crowder has found the endzone and is being targeted at just under 8 targets per game. Jamison will get you that little bit closer to the fantasy playoffs this week with a home bout versus the Raiders.
The Raiders pass rush leaves a lot to be desired, this will allow Darnold to look for his favourite target in the slot. You could well see another performance around the 20 point mark (which he’s been around for the past 3 weeks).
He’s becoming a must-start, particularly with Darnold under centre.
Tight End – Jacob Hollister – Seattle Seahawks at Philadelphia Eagles
To say there aren’t a plethora of options at the Tight End position would be an understatement. Add into that melting pot the teams who have TE superstar Travis Kelce and the serviceable Hunter Henry on bye week, you could well be looking for your streaming option.
This week, that guy will be Jacob Hollister. Hollister has become a serious receiving option for the Seahawks over the past two weeks, accumulating on average 20 points in full-PPR in that time period. The 49ers was supposed to be a relatively tough matchup for him and he busted out an 8 reception for 62 yards and a TD performance.
We saw earlier on in the season Wilson’s usage of Will Dissly and now it’s Hollister time to shine.
Quarterback – Dak Prescott – Dallas Cowboys at New England Patriots
This season Dak has been catapulted into the fantasy stratosphere with consistent performances week on week, failing to hit 20 points in only two weeks.
However, Dak is about to hit an extremely difficult stretch with a trip to Gillette Stadium this week followed by a home bout versus the Bills and then a trip to Soldier Field. The Patriots are the most difficult team to face for a quarterback. To date they concede on average just 8 points to the QB position.
This week may be a fallow one (just like vs the Saints), so leave Dak on your bench.
Running Back – Brian Hill – Atlanta Falcons vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The fantasy hype train that was Brian Hill came crashing down last week as he put up putrid numbers in fantasy.
The thought that he would be a plug and play starter following Devonta Freeman’s injury was a misgiven thought. It’s clear he doesn’t have the pass game capabilities that allowed Freeman to flourish more recently. His opposition this weekend whilst porous against the pass, are extremely stingy against the run.
Leave out Hill from your lineups this week as he’s likely to stink the bed again.
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
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
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
Honourable Mentions: Josh
Jacobs (OAK) vs CIN, Devin Singletary (BUF) @ MIA
Courtland Sutton (DEN) @ Vikings
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
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
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.
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.
The end of the Fantasy season is approaching ladies and gents, faster than modern offensive concepts whizz past Jason Garret’s head. Only a few more weeks of going to bed on a Monday night desperately hoping your tight-end can find a way of scoring 49 points on MNF.
It’ll be no time at all until we’re ignoring our family the week before Christmas whilst we try to guess if we can put OBJ in for the playoffs because “surely to God he has to have a big game eventually!”.
This week’s trade targets have an eye on the next week or
two, for those of you still scrapping to secure playoff places. However, for
those of you who have already as good as made it (or who are cocky enough to
start planning now), there’s a fair consideration for who will be well-matched
in weeks 15 and 16.
Obviously, there’s risks associated with picking so far in advance (injury! Suspension! Mono!). But if you’re a gambler – and let’s face it, if you’re reading this website, you probably are – then you’ll be excited by the opportunity to play “chess, not checkers”. Be more Bellichek, less Gase.
And for most of you, it’s the last week the trade window is open so you need to make your moves now!
Bring on Board
RB – Phillip Lindsay – Denver Broncos
Very decent running-back, very poor team. He’s also stuck in
a time-share with Royce Freeman, and with a catastrophic QB in Joe Flacco which
doesn’t help his pass-catching potential.
That said – he’s got a reasonable next four weeks, against
two tough run defences (Vikings, Texans) but also two poor run defences
(Chargers and the capitulating Bills). However, his two playoff weeks he comes
up against the Chiefs and the Lions. It’s nigh-on impossible for running backs
to fail against these defences. They’re the worst two teams against fantasy RBs
all season and basically they’re running-back heaven.
Go and make a sneaky off for Lindsay in your league, and
hope his owner has considered all the first paragraph, and none of the second
WR – Curtis Samuel – Carolina Panthers
Apparently we’re exclusively recommending players with “two
first names” this week, but don’t let that put you off. Samuel is an incredibly
exciting young player, and one you’ll likely get cheap, but he’s got a very
generous next few weeks; two games against the Falcons, a home tie with the
Redskins and a playoff week battle with the Seahawks maverick defence.
He’s not a big name but is averaging 14.8 points per game
over his last four matches – the one single-digit effort was against the insane
49ers defence. You shouldn’t have to spend big, and he can help you get those
last couple of wins to get you into the post-season.
WR – TY Hilton – Indianapolis Colts
You’ll have to (once again) invoke your gambling spirit,
this time hoping you’re lucky enough for Hilton to get back from fitness this
week – he’s considered day to day right now, which is often a reasonable sign.
At the very least you should get him back next week.
Assuming he is fit, he’s a great pick-up – he’s the clear number one in a good team,
with a promising QB with whom he has a great rapport, working under a superb
offensive mind and with an upcoming schedule (both pre and during-playoffs)
that is very generous to WRs. The Colts are also, suddenly, fighting for a Wild
Card spot so will be pulling out all the stops.
Now’s the time to use his fitness issues to get yourself a
value TY Hilton and bit extra playoff ammo.
Put on the Block
RB – Alvin Kamara – New Orleans Saints
He’s great, but he’s not been himself this year. And more
importantly, neither have the Saints offence – with both Bridgewater and Brees
they’ve looked solid in offence without been mind-blowing. Their defence is the
real strength, and with the exception of Michael Thomas I’d be clearing out
most Saints players. Their schedule, in terms of running-back matchups, is very
tricky and he’ll struggle to be at his best.
Kamara is still high-quality of course, and will get you
reasonable points, but in some leagues you’ll be able to get rid of him, on
name-value alone, for a very impressive bounty. Take that opportunity.
WR – John Brown – Buffalo Bills
In deep leagues, he’s been a bit of a catch this season and
has put up great points as Josh Allen’s main deep threat. But the Bills
schedule, in terms of WR-friendliness, is incredibly difficult – they’ve got
superb pass-defences (Steelers and Patriots) in the playoff weeks, and even
ahead of that, the likes of Denver and the Ravens don’t give up points easy.
Even the Dolphins have stopped folding each week.
It’s a tough environment for any receiver, but one who is
relying on Josh Allen to beat tight coverage and pass well under pressure……get
rid of him whilst you can and whilst his stock is somewhat high.
TE – Mark Andrews – Baltimore Ravens
He’s probably the next tight-end star in the middle of a
very impressive season, and he’s got a great connection with the most (justifiably)
hyped-up QB going right now. Why on earth would you get rid?
But the devil is in the detail. As has been mentioned everywhere, the Ravens are playing three tight-end sets, meaning he is always going to have players taken some of his workload.
On top of that, their schedule is absolutely horrifying in terms of tight-end fantasy production – they’re playing three of the four stingiest TE defences in the run-in, as well as a few other tricky ones. Also, for all his fantasy numbers are solid (an average of 13.8 over 9 games) they’re fleshed out massively by the first games of the year – against Miami and Arizona teams who were giving up the world defensively.
Take them out and his average is 10.6 – solid, but, after his week last week, now may be the time to try and use him to build your roster elsewhere.
The fantasy playoffs are just about in the distance, but a loss this week could see you stumble and fall leading to you not even participating in the last few weeks of the fantasy season. Make sure you keep putting one foot in front of the other and successfully negotiate week 10.
Here are some hints on who you should be starting and sitting this week…
Quarterback – Kyler Murray (Cardinals
It’s hard to see past any other selection
this week as the Cardinals face the worst-ranked fantasy defense against QBs
and they’ve come off a game against the potent 49ers D where they put up 25
points. They’ve given up the fourth most points in the league and have forced
just four turnovers since their big performance against the Rams in Week 4.
Admittedly, prior to that 88 yard play to
Isabella last week, Murray was on for a third straight week of pretty average
fantasy scoring but against a weak Bucs D, I fancy him to pull of some big
chunk plays and maybe even rush for a score.
Back – Devin Singletary (Bills @ Browns)
I think we’re finally seeing the decision
on who the #1 running back in Buffalo is after Singletary saw more action than
Frank Gore (not so great news for one of my fantasy teams!).
The Browns are all over the place and after seeing their season ended by the Broncos last week it would not surprise me if Buffalo ran all over them in the Dawg Pound. Cleveland give up 141 yards per game on the ground, most of those should now go to Singletary after last weeks performances from the Buffalo backfield.
Singletary has made five appearances this season and score double digit points in four out of five with a 23 point barrage coming last week. Expect more from this run-first team.
Receiver – Christian Kirk (Cardinals @ Bucs)
Two Cardinals offensive players in a Start
‘Em?! You’d better believe.
Leave aside Kirk’s performance last week,
he was targeted more than any other Cardinals player and was coming off a three
week spell out of the side with an ankle injury which seems to have healed.
For the above reasons why you should be
starting Murray, this Arizona wide-out has a huge upside this week and I fancy
him to get his first score of the season with at least 60+ reception yards.
End – Jonnu Smith – (Titans vs Chiefs)
Slim pickings on the bye week as Ertz,
Fells and Fant are all on bye weeks so aside from your usual superstars it’s
tough to find the value.
Smith seems like a reasonable shout for a
Titans team that has seen an upswing in offensive performance since Ryan
Tannehill was brought into the side under center.
Whilst he had a quiet game against Carolina
he did finish joint second for targets (five) on the Titans that day and is
worth a look if you’ve got some awkward bye week timings.
– Jared Goff (Rams
Occasions Jared Goff has scored over 20
fantasy points this season? A shootout against a defensively indefensible Bucs,
a visit to the terrible Falcons and a Wembley walkover against the winless Bengals.
He’s now lost Brandin Cooks to a concussion
for an indefinite period of time and faces a Steelers D that has improved so
much since the trade for Minkah Fitzpatrick.
The Steelers are turnover hungry and not even double strength Covonia can help Goff from not coughing the ball up – the only two occasions he hasn’t turned the ball over this season were against the aforementioned Falcons and Bengals so I refuse to believe that Goff is righting the ship and more the opposition were something of an aberration.
Sit. Him. Down.
Back – LeSean McCoy (Chiefs @ Titans)
Shady’s going to struggle to get touches
for the foreseeable as Damien Williams had a monster game against the Vikings
and Mahomes is potentially returning this week. As such it makes him a low
value player until he can prove otherwise.
He’s not hit double digit fantasy points
since the Week 4 matchup against the Lions and has lost two fumbles since then.
Receiver – Odell Beckham Jr (Browns vs Bills)
A 13-point game against the Broncos doesn’t disguise the fact that OBJ has limited value as a WR1, only one score this season back in Week 2 and facing up against a superb Bills D that will likely double him? It’s a hard pass from me and it should be from you. Even jarvis Landry is out-targeting him at the moment.
End – Jacob Hollister (Seahawks @ 49ers)
This isn’t a slight on Hollister who came up with the game winning catch against the Bucs in OT last week but the 49ers are stingy against Tight Ends as well as in general offense. In my opinion, there are enough streamers out there that will have a better chance of picking up a score than Hollister. Go and find them instead of trying on what Hollister has to offer.
With the season flying by, we now have more valuable information to help gauge who to pick in the weekly games. Here’s my lineup!
QB – Russell Wilson – $7,200 (Seattle Seahawks @ Atlanta Falcons)
Wilson is coming off his worst fantasy
performance of the season in the Seahawks loss to the Ravens, but he has a
major upside this week, the Falcons secondary! Whilst the Falcons have talent
on the offensive side of the ball, their defense is worryingly poor. They have
allowed an average of 24.64 fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks and Wilson
has the skills and weapons to exploit this further. He has been averaging 25.4
fantasy points across the season.
Wilson is part of the league MVP talk, and
rightly so. He has been very impressive so far this season and should be
padding those stats on Sunday!
In last weeks game against the Texans, the
Colts won the game through the air with Jacoby Brissett throwing 4 touchdowns.
This week I think the Colts will be a much more balanced offense and could
actually lean heavier on the run. The Detroit Lions are ranked 28th against the
run giving up an average of 139.2 yards per game to running backs so look for
Mack to cash in this week!
Mack is averaging 14.5 fantasy points per game
but, in my opinion, should be well placed to eclipse 100 rushing yards against
RB – Sony Michel – $5,200 (Cleveland Browns @ New
Michel had his best outing last week in the
Patriots easy win over the New York Jets, scoring three times. He has amassed
21 points or more in two of his last three games and with Rex Burkhead likely
to still be out, Michel will see most of the running duties for the unbeaten
Michel also has value in the receiving game
this season with his 6 catches resulting in 51 yards. He will of course, share
the load with James White but Michel is the go to running back inside the 10
yard line and offers more opportunities for touchdowns.
If you have read any of my DraftKings articles
before you will know that I always advise to select a receiver from the same
team as your quarterback. With Wilson being my pick for quarterback, it was
easy to pick Lockett as the wide receiver!
Averaging 16.8 fantasy points per game and
having already clocked up 515 yards, Lockett is primed to go off again the poor
Falcons secondary. With Will Dissly done for the season, Lockett’s targets
could increase further. He is expensive but will be well worth the investment!
WR – Kenny Golladay – $6,400 (New York Giants @
If you had Golladay anywhere near your fantasy team last week, I feel sorry for you, but don’t be put off this week. Golladay has a favourable matchup against the Giants as their defense has given up an average of 140 yards per game and the seventh most fantasy points to receivers lined up out wide. Golladay is still averaging 15.6 FPPG and has 4 touchdowns from 25 receptions.
Golladay is on the field for over 80 percent of
the offensive snaps and the Giants D has allowed the second most yards per pass
attempt this season. Stick with him!
Sutton is now the number 1 receiver in Denver
after the trade of Emmanuel Sanders to the 49ers. There was a very valid
argument that he was already the number 1 as his 80.6 yards per game ranks 11th
in the league. Sutton is averaging 16.2 FPPG and the only concern is that
without Sanders, Sutton will draw a lot of coverage.
He has scored at least 11.6 fantasy points in
his last five games and he has a very advantageous matchup this week as he will
be up against Colts CB Pierre Desir. This matchup is ranked as the third best
this week for all wide receivers, according to Pro Football Focus.
TE – Josh Hill – $3,200 (Arizona Cardinals @ New
This pick is a little bit of a gamble. With
Jared Cook out last week due an ankle injury, Hill was an able deputy. At the
time of writing, Cook is listed as doubtful so you could get great value at
just $3,200 for Hill. He caught all three of his targets for 43 yards in the
Saints win over the Bears. Drew Brees is also hopeful of returning the action
this week so the gamble has so many upsides, it’s worth it!
Alvin Kamara is currently listed as
questionable. If he cannot go, Murray should get a huge workload against the
Cardinals. He was excellent last week against the Bears racking up 119 yards on
27 carries, adding 31 receiving yards and two touchdowns.
The Cardinals defense is allowing 4.7 yards per
carry to opposing running backs and Murray has already performed very well
against them when he replaced the injured Dalvin Cook last year, rushing for
155 yards and a touchdown.
DST – LA Rams – $3,800 (Cincinnati Bengals @ LA
The Rams are facing the Bengals! Im not sure
how much more needs to be said at this point. The Bengals offense are having
problems all over the field right now. They have allowed 3.4 sacks per game and
given up 15 turnovers! The Rams D are a ‘must start’ this week!