To help fantasy football players with their roster construction, two of our writers have provided some insight on which players they would start, would sit, and consider a sleeper for this week. Be sure to follow all of them on twitter and ask any of The Scorecrow’s fantasy writers for fantasy advice.
Mason – Matt Ryan vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Ryan and the Falcons have finally looked like themselves the past two weeks. He gets a fantastic match-up as he faces off against a Buccaneers defense that is allowing over 23 points per game to quarterbacks. I expect Ryan to have a top-ten performance this week.
Gio – Derek Carr at New York Jets
Carr has been sneaky good this year. He doesn’t produce flashy stat lines like Patrick Mahomes but he has been a big factor in the Raiders’ success this year. Last game he started a perfect 13-13 and finished with just four incompletions. He faces a Jets’ secondary that is almost nonexistent right now. He could be in line for his biggest game of the year, granted that Oakland doesn’t get out front by a lot early (which I don’t expect to happen).
Mason – Jared Goff vs Baltimore Ravens
Goff has been nothing like himself this year, well, neither has the Rams offense as a whole. With 17 turnovers this year and going against a Ravens defense that is only allowing a touch over 13 points per game to the position, Goff is a major risk this week. I expect this game to be low-scoring, making it difficult for fantasy production.
Gio – Carson Wentz vs Seattle Seahawks
Wentz looked absolutely horrible against a good pass defense in the Patriots. He just hasn’t been the same since his ACL injury. I’d avoid starting him in any formats unless you’re in bye week hell. Wentz is far too inconsistent and unproductive to be trusted especially this late into the season.
Mason – Sam Darnold vs Oakland Raiders
Darnold has finally shown that he’s taken a step in his sophomore campaign and should get another chance to do so this week against the Raiders. The Raiders front four has finally shown up but their secondary still needs a lot of work. If Adam Gase and Darnold are on the same page, this game could be a lot closer than people think.
Gio – Jeff Driskel at Washington Redskins
Driskel is coming off of a productive performance against the Dallas Cowboys where he utilized his arm and his legs to produce scores. He faces a Redskins’ defense who has struggled mightily against the pass this year as we saw last week when Sam Darnold tore them up. Driskel’s value is greatly increased by his mobility.
Mason – Phillip Lindsay at Buffalo Bills
With the Broncos starting Brandon Allen, Lindsay has seen an uptick in touches recently. He gets a great opportunity to show off his talents as he faces a Bills defense that has struggled to contain running backs this year. The Broncos will have to give Lindsay the load if they stand any chance in this game.
Gio – Ronald Jones at Atlanta Falcons
Jones is getting plenty of usage as a receiver out of the backfield. He hasn’t exactly been productive running the ball, but he still holds the lead role on this team which gives him solid fantasy value, especially in PPR leagues. Although my one concern is that his touchdowns may be stolen by Peyton Barber and Dare Ogunbowale.
Mason – Kalen Ballage at Cleveland Browns
Ballage’s fantasy performances have been saved by touchdowns recently. Last week against the Bills, he averaged a measly one yard per rush against a Buffalo defense that is suspect against the run. Ballage will need a touchdown to save his day, and the Browns have only given up five rushing touchdowns this year, making him difficult to trust this week.
Gio – Sony Michel vs Dallas Cowboys
The Patriots love their running-back-by-committee style of offense where they utilize Michel, Rex Burkhead, and James White. I still don’t understand why Rex Burkhead gets so many touches, but nevertheless, he steals these touches from Michel. Michel has been very unproductive and he faces a stout defensive front in the Dallas Cowboys. If you have a better option, take it.
Mason – Bo Scarbrough at Washington Redskins
Fantasy owners were in shock as Scarbrough stole most of the Lions rushing attempts days after being promoted from the practice squad last week. Now, it seems as if he’s taken over the backfield with his aggressive running style and could put up another strong performance against Washington, who can’t seem to stop anything at this point.
Gio – Derrius Guice vs Detroit Lions
With Adrian Peterson unlikely to play Sunday, Guice will be the lead back against one of the worst run defenses in football. Chris Thompson is finally active, but he isn’t much of a threat to steal touches from Guice considering most of his usage comes in the receiving game. I’m hoping that Guice can do what David Montgomery didn’t do two weeks ago and tear apart the weak Lions’ defense. Yes, I’m still salty about Montgomery’s performance.
Mason – Calvin Ridley vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Buccaneers secondary is atrocious, making Ridley a great start this week. Last week, he exploded against Carolina and could see another huge workload as this game features two struggling defenses. I’d start Ridley with confidence this week.
Gio – John Brown vs Denver Broncos
Brown should be considered a lineup lock at this point. He and Josh Allen have a great connection that allows in a lot of production for Brown. He leads the AFC in receiving yards yet he continues to be disrespected. Don’t make a mistake and leave him on your bench again. This guy can ball.
Mason – Tyler Boyd vs Pittsburgh Steelers
The Bengals haven’t gotten better since Ryan Finley has taken over. In fact, Boyd’s production has dropped since Finley took over as the starter. He only had 33 yards in the first meeting against the Steelers and with the Bengals focusing more on the rushing attack, Boyd is not reliable this week.
Gio – Terry McLaurin vs Detroit Lions
McLaurin’s production has been very inconsistent. He’s extremely under-utilized and I truly believe that if he was on any other team in the NFL, he would be in the conversation for Offensive Rookie of the Year. The guy has a ton of talent, and he has his former college quarterback throwing to him, but the scheme just doesn’t fit his abilities.
Mason – James Washington at Cincinnati Bengals
With JuJu Smith-Schuster out and Diontae Johnson coming off a concussion, Washington should see an uptick in targets tomorrow. He is one of the only receivers Mason Rudolph is confident throwing to and is in line for a big role. Against Cincinnati’s terrible defense, he’s worth the risk if you need a last-minute dart throw.
Gio – DeVante Parker at Cleveland Browns
Although he’ll likely draw a tough matchup from either Denzel Ward or Greedy Williams, Parker has proven to be the new top target on the team. He did well against the Bills’ secondary so I do not doubt that he can excel in another tough matchup. However, his production is reliant on Ryan Fitzpatrick’s ability to get him the football and we all know Fitzpatrick can meltdown at any time.
Mason – Jared Cook vs Carolina Panthers
Cook has scored in three of his last four games, while also receiving double-digit points in the last four. While the game doesn’t look in his favor, his target-share is very intriguing at a position as thin as tight end is currently.
Gio – Noah Fant at Buffalo Bills
Despite his poor matchup, Fant has prevailed as a viable fantasy option at tight end. He has great YAC ability and seems to be a guy that Allen puts a lot of faith in (as well as Courtland Sutton). I don’t expect a 7/106/1 day from him this week, but something like 4/56/1 is reasonable and would be great production at a position that has been inconsistent this year.
Mason – Gerald Everett vs Baltimore Ravens
Everett wasn’t anywhere close to 100 percent last week and it showed as he only had one catch for 20 yards. Even if he is fully healthy, he will be difficult to trust with Goff not being himself and a game against the Ravens lying ahead. The Ravens defense has given up the fourth-fewest points to tight ends this year.
Gio – Jimmy Graham at San Francisco 49ers
Aaron Rodgers barely gets Graham the ball and now he has to deal with one of the best defenses in football. While I like this as a contrarian play in DFS, it’s a very poor matchup to trust in weekly leagues, especially because we’re nearing the playoffs.
Mason – Ross Dwelley vs Green Bay Packers
I had Dwelley in this spot last week and he proved me right, scoring two touchdowns. That much production at tight end is hard to find and with George Kittle possibly out again, he has another chance to have a big game against the Packers this week. If Kittle is out, Dwelley is in line for a massive target-share again.
Gio – Jacob Hollister at Philadelphia Eagles
Hollister has emerged in a “Will Dissly” role in the last few weeks for the Seahawks. Russell Wilson seems to trust him and he has been targeted a lot in the red zone. You can’t ask for much more in a tight end. I just hope that he can remain consistent and that the last two weeks weren’t a fluke.
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