Frank Dyevoich | October 21st, 2018
These next few weeks are going to be the difference between making the playoffs and focusing on the next season and daily fantasy sports. It is crucial that we roll out the best lineups possible and exploit the matchups that are screaming elite production. This week the Steelers, Raiders, Seahawks, and Packers are on a bye so we need to dig deep to fill those empty roster spots with players who are going to produce in their absence. Due mainly to their matchups this week, the following are the players I recommend starting and sitting for Week 7 to give you an edge at bringing home the W.
Baker Mayfield vs. TB – This is the game where Baker reverts back to his balling/game-winning self. The Buccaneers are the worst team at defending the pass, having allowed over 320 yards and his wide receivers are seeing too many targets not to produce. Look for this to be one of the Brown’s best offensive games of the season. Projection: 346 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT, 42 rush yards and 1 TD.
Jameis Winston vs. CLE – Winston was the top scoring QB last week and he will continue his resurgence against the Browns. The Browns secondary has been torched this season and with the weapons the Bucs have, that trend is going to continue this week. It is strange to say, but expect the Bucs and the Browns to be a high scoring affair. Projection: 326 yards, 3 TDs, 2 INT, 32 rush yards.
Andy Dalton vs. KC – The Red Rifle is going to continue to light it up on Sunday night. He is in the top-five in passing TDs this season with 14, and that number is going to have to go up if he is going to compete with the Chiefs. Expect a high volume passing attack from the Bengals on Sunday Night Football. Projection: 352 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT.
Matt Ryan vs. NYG – Fact of the matter is the Giants can’t stop anybody. Matty Ice has been straight fire at home, and add in the fact that it is Monday Night Football and you can expect him to go off. Even if Mohamed Sanu and Calvin Ridley sit, Ryan will still be a top fantasy scorer this week. Projection: 367 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT.
Kerryon Johnson vs. MIA – I have a feeling that this is the Kerryon Johnson coming out party. The Dolphins are bottom-five in run defense, and if that wasn’t enough, the Lions will be without Theo Riddick, which will translate to more receiving work for Johnson. Expect Johnson to see around 15 touches this weekend, and at his 5.7 yards per carry average, he could be in line for a huge day. Projection: 92 yards, 1 TD, and 5 receptions for 52 yards.
Nick Chubb vs. TB – Hyde is out and Chubb is in, and he is hungry. He is now the clear-cut RB1 on the team and he is going up against one of the worst defenses in the league. The Bucs are banged-up across the board and Chubb will take advantage of this delicious matchup for his debut start. The Browns are a run-first team and Chubb will come out of the gates swinging so make sure you fire him up across the board. Projection: 115 yards, 1 TD, and 3 receptions for 26 yards.
Matt Breida vs. LAR – Breida looked quick and decisive last week, and he was the clear-cut number one RB in terms of touches and snaps. This week the 49ers will likely be in catch-up mode and that should mean plenty of action for Breida. Raheem Mostert seems to have taken the early downs and short-yardage role, but when this team needs a spark, they look to Breida. The 49ers always put up a fight against the Rams, scoring over 30 points in each matchup last year. Expect Breida to see 15-18 touches in this one. Projection: 74 yards, 5 receptions for 62 yards, and 1 TD.
Tarik Cohen vs. NE – Cohen has been on an absolute tear the past two games, and the Bears are going to need him to come through once again on Sunday. The Patriots should find themselves up early and the Bears are going to have to rely on Mitch Trubisky’s arm to compete in this one. This means a negative game-script for Jordan Howard and an extremely positive one for Cohen. Get him in your lineups. Projection: 42 yards, 6 receptions for 72 yards, and 1 TD.
James White vs. CHI – Everyone should be starting James White at this point, especially in PPR leagues, but this week, in particular, he should be heavily utilized. The Bears are one of the best rushing defenses in the league so it is not going to be a simple task to run between the tackles on them. White should see double-digit targets in this one. Projection: 32 yards and 6 receptions for 75 yards and 1 TD.
Marlon Mack – It was not clear exactly how the Colts would utilize all their RBs and on Sunday they answered that question. Marlon Mack will be the man and everyone else is just going to be a role player. This week the Colts get the Bills, and while their defense is actually pretty tough in the secondary, they have a weak defensive line and are easily run on. The Bills have allowed four rushing touchdowns in four road games this year, so Mack is likely to hit pay-dirt on Sunday. Expect Mack to see 15 touches in this one. Projection: 78 yards, 1 TD and 3 receptions for 22 yards.
Willie Snead/John Brown – I love all the Ravens’ WRs not named Michael Crabtree this week. The Saints’ secondary is atrocious besides Marshon Latimore, who should be matched up on Crabtree for this one, so Snead and Brown should find themselves easily lighting up the stat sheet. If the Ravens are going to put up a fight against the high-powered Saints, they are going to have to air it out. I expect Snead to get in the end zone due to the revenge game narrative. Projection: WS 8 receptions for 73 yards and 1 TD/ JB 5 receptions for 104 yards and 1 TD.
Chris Godwin vs. CLE – Godwin has been lighting up recently and it appears that Jameis Winston has no hesitation about looing his way. With Denzel Ward expected to shadow Mike Evans, Godwin will be able to exploit an extremely favorable matchup in what should be a high scoring affair. Godwin has now scored in four of five games, and he has topped eight targets in two of the past three games. I fully expect Godwin to hit pay-dirt once again. Projection: 6 receptions for 87 yards and 1 TD.
Taylor Gabriel vs. NE – Gabriel has 12 catches for 214 yards and two TDs on 12 targets (100% catch rate) the past two games, and he should have the chance for another great performance this week against the Patriots. Pro-Bowl cornerback Stephon Gilmore will likely be locked on Allen Robinson so Gabriel will have a huge role in this game where the Bears should be chasing points. He is becoming a weekly WR3 with upside. Projection: 5 receptions for 93 yards and 1 TD.
Josh Gordon vs. CHI – Gordon is on the verge of a breakout. He has elite receiving skills and can win any jump ball matchup. The past few weeks Gordon has received more snaps and targets each week. His coach even said that each week they expect him to be more and more involved as the season goes on. He is coming off of nine targets last week and I fully expect the Patriots to really try and get him going this weekend. Further, the Bears best cornerback is Prince Amukamara and Gordon should have no problem winning those matchups. Projection: 6 receptions for 91 yards and 1 TD.
Marquise Goodwin vs. LAR – Last week the 49ers showed us that even without their franchise quarterback they are more than capable of competing with the best in the league. Goodwin had his breakout of the season on Monday night where he went for over 100 yards and two TDs. He is looking to build off of the momentum and turn this into a hot streak. This week he faces the Rams, and their top cornerback Marcus Peters has been getting burned all season. Normally Peters is a lockdown corner, but he was injured early in the season and it has definitely hampered his performance. In a game they will likely be trailing, the 49ers are going to need another big game from Goodwin if they are going to compete in this one. Projection: 6 receptions for 98 yards and 1 TD.
Jermaine Kearse vs. MIN – The explosive passing offense of the Vikings is going to make this an uphill battle for the Jets to keep up. They are going to need to be successful through the air and that means tons of work for Kearse. Robby Anderson will likely see Xavier Rhodes most of the game, and both Quincy Enunwa and Terrelle Pryor are out. Sam Darnold is going to look to Kearse as his safety blanket for the foreseeable future and in a week where tons of fantasy teams are reeling from the bye week blues he makes for an excellent fill-in, especially in PPR leagues. Projection: 8 receptions for 87 yards.
David Njoku vs. TB – Ever since the Baker Mayfield era began, Njoku has been getting peppered with targets. He has 23 targets in the last two weeks, and this Sunday he faces the worst defense in the league at defending TEs. The Bucs have allowed an opposing TE to score a TD in three straight games and this week that streak will continue. Njoku has been the most reliable weapon for Baker and he is going to be leaned on heavily in this amazing matchup. Projection: 8 receptions for 83 yards and 1 TD.
Austin Hooper vs. NYG – It was a swing and a miss last week when I recommended sitting Hooper, but rest assured I won’t make that mistake again. Hooper is firmly entrenched as Matt Ryan’s favorite red-zone weapon, and he is heavily involved in the game plan every week. Further, both Mohamed Sanu and Calvin Ridley are banged-up and may miss this game. Even if they do play, they are going to be limited, which opens up an even larger target share for Hooper. He has emerged as an every-week TE1 and he should be started as such. He has tremendous momentum coming into this game as he has had nine receptions in back to back games. He should feast once more on Monday Night. Projection: 8 receptions for 74 yards and 1 TD.
Indianapolis Colts vs. BUF – At this point, it is wise to stream whichever defense is playing the Bills. Their offense is a disaster, and this week they are starting Derek Anderson, who just joined the team five days ago. Fire up the Colts across the board.
Los Angeles Chargers vs. TEN – The Titans can’t get out of their own way when it comes to their offensive production, and a trip across the pond to London is not going to make it any easier. The Chargers should win this game handily and their defense is an excellent streaming option.
Deshaun Watson vs. JAX – Watson took a beating last week against the Bills, and there were rumors that he suffered a fractured rib and a punctured lung. However, these rumors are not confirmed and all signs point to Watson lacing them up on Sunday. He is facing a brutal Jaguars defense, and though they have not been as dominant as we expected them to be recently, they are itching to get back on the field after their embarrassing performance last week. The Jags are going to look to make a statement early in this one, and if Watson gets beat up again, he could find himself exiting this one early. Projection: 246 yards, 1 TD, 2 INTs, and 33 rushing yards.
Drew Brees vs. BAL – Brees has been known to play poorly on the road and this week his road matchup is against the toughest defense in the league thus far. Further, the Ravens have not allowed a passing TD at home this season, and they are the only team in the league that Drew Brees has never beaten. I expect the Saints to win this game, but it will likely be due to their explosive running game. It is hard to sit Drew Brees because let’s face it, he’s Drew Brees, but this game is screaming for an underwhelming performance. Projection: 322 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT.
Dak Prescott vs. WAS – Do not go chasing the points with Prescott as he has posted 10 fantasy points or less in every road game this season. Last week was a fluky performance for the signal caller because he has no weapons in the passing game. Cole Beasley is not going to score two TDs again, and his other WRs are completely irrelevant in the fantasy arena. Further, the Redskins are banged-up across the board so I expect the Cowboys to lean heavily on Ezekiel Elliott, minimizing Dak’s role on offense. Projection: 176 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, and 38 rush yards.
Derrick Henry/Dion Lewis vs. LAC – The Titan’s offense has been brutal and it is not going to get better this weekend in London. The Chargers are a stingy defense against the run, holding opposing RBs to under 40 yards rushing the past three weeks, and Henry and Lewis have not exactly been lighting up against other opponents. In fact, Lewis has not scored a TD since Week 1, and Henry has not scored a TD all season. In a game that the Chargers should run away with, you cannot trust either of these RBs this Sunday. Projection: DH 41 yards and 1 reception for 11 yards/ DL 26 yards and 4 receptions for 33 yards.
Isaiah Crowell vs. MIN – If we follow the pattern, then this should be a start week for Crowell, but we know better than to follow a fluky pattern to the T. Crowell has not practiced this week and is expected to sit, but he was expected to sit last week and that was in fact not the case. If Crowell does suit up on Sunday, he should have a very minimal role as the Jets are likely to be in catch-up mode and more importantly, he is not fully healthy. Fantasy owners would be wise to leave Crowell on the bench this week. Projection: 42 yards and 1 reception for 8 yards.
Nyheim Hines vs. BUF – Hines took a back seat to Marlon Mack last week and it appears that as long as Mack is healthy the Colts running game will be funneled through him. Hines will still have a small role in the receiving game, but his dropped TD last week where he was wide open certainly did not help his case. Unless Mack is injured again, or until we see Hines’ role increase beyond a few touches, he must remain on your bench moving forward. Projection: 11 yards and 3 receptions for 22 yards.
Alex Collins vs. NO – Do not be fooled by Collins’ two TDs last week because TDs are fluky and when you break down his stats, he did not have a good game. He averaged less than 2.8 yards per carry on 19 carries and he was not involved in the passing game at all. The bottom line is that if Collins does not score a TD, he will be a miserable start for your fantasy team. If his inefficiency is not enough to bench him this week, the Saints are top-five in fewest points allowed to opposing RBs, and no RB has broken 70 rushing yards against them this season. Projection: 51 yards and 1 FUM.
Lamar Miller vs. JAX – Sadly, the Texans offense is nowhere near as explosive and efficient as we thought it was going to be. Watson has yet to regain his top-five QB status and the running game has been absolutely horrid. Hopefully, D’Onta Foreman can provide a spark, but he is not close to returning. There will be weeks where Miller gets into the end zone and lays down a mediocre fantasy day, but it is not going to happen against the Jaguars. It is advised that you start almost anyone else. Projection: 47 yards and 3 receptions for 24 yards.
Robby Anderson vs. MIN – The Jets are down a few WRs, so ordinarily Robby Anderson would be a good start, but he is clearly the biggest threat in the passing game and as such he will be shadowed by Xavier Rhodes. Rhodes is an elite corner and will make it extremely difficult for Anderson to get going this weekend. If you need a WR this week, you are much better off with Jermaine Kearse than Robby Anderson. Projection: 3 receptions for 46 yards.
Will Fuller vs. JAX – Ever since Keke Coutee burst onto the scene, Fuller has been an afterthought in this offense. He went from scoring a TD in every game he played with Deshaun Watson to topping out at three receptions in his last two games. He was dealing with a hamstring injury in the first game Coutee played, but last week he was a full-go and his role did not increase. This week he will be locked down by A.J. Bouye in Jaguars secondary and he will put forth another dismal fantasy performance. Projection: 3 receptions for 34 yards.
Nelson Agholor vs. CAR – Agholor has yet to get going since the return of Carson Wentz. He is a talented route runner, but he is third in the pecking order and so far Wentz has been extremely successful with his first two reads Alshon Jefferey and Zach Ertz. This week the Eagles are home against the Panthers and there is no one on the Panthers defense that poses any sort of threat to the Eagles offensive efficiency. The Running game should be successful and Jeffrey and Ertz should have no trouble finding open space and shredding the defense. Add it all up and it spells another poor performance for Agholor. Projection: 3 receptions for 42 yards.
T.Y. Hilton vs. BUF – Hilton is expected to make his return this week, but it is wise to keep him on the bench until we see him play at full speed. Also weighing against Hilton is that he will certainly be shadowed by TreDavious White whenever he is on the outside. The Colts will move him into the slot in order to create mismatches, but it is going to be hard for Hilton to get past the secondary for the big plays he is known for. Add in the fact that he is also at risk of aggravating his hamstring, and Hilton is not shaping up to be a good start this week. Projection: 4 receptions for 53 yards.
Marvin Jones vs. MIA – Even though Kenny Golladay has outperformed Jones this year, Jones is still the WR1 on the team in regards to routes run and playing the X receiver role in the offense. This means that is will likely be Jones, not Golladay who is blanketed by Xavien Howard this weekend. Howard is an elite shut down corner who has consistently stifled the production of opposing WR1s all season. Look for Matthew Stafford to lean on Golden Tate and his running game in this one. Projection: 4 receptions for 40 yards.
Chances are that if you have a tight end with two legs that is on an NFL team, you probably have to start him, but the following players are TEs with horrible matchups and should not be started if any fantasy owners can help it.
Kyle Rudolph vs. NYJ –The Jets have been extremely stingy against opposing TEs this season, allowing only Eric Ebron to surpass 40 receiving yards. On the contrary, they have been terrible against opposing WRs. This adds up to a high volume day for both Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen and a rather mediocre day for Rudolph. Projection: 3 receptions for 31 yards.
Cameron Brate vs. CLE – It looked like Brate was going to be a reliable fantasy option for the next few weeks when O.J. Howard went down with a sprained MCL in Week 4, but much to everyone’s surprise, Howard did not miss any time. This has all but destroyed any hopes of Cameron Brate once again becoming a thing. He has scored a TD in three straight games, but he has not topped three receptions in any game and last week his TD catch was his only one of the game. Projection: 2 receptions for 18 yards.
Greg Olsen vs. PHI – Olsen surprised fantasy owners last week when he played 99% of the snaps, but he was not a large part of the passing game and finished with only four receptions. This week he faces the Eagles who have been top-five in defending the TE this season and have only allowed one TE to score a TD. Expect a similar stat line to last week for Olsen. Oh, and don’t forget that he could take the wrong step and re-injure his foot at any time in the game. Projection: 4 receptions for 45 yards.
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