DFS Lineups, DFS Value Plays, Fantasy Sleepers, Start/Sit

NBA Showdown (Playoffs; 04/25/2019)

The NBA Playoffs have been in full swing for a little while now. The slate for tonight (Thursday, April 25th) consists of one game – Game 6 between the Denver Nuggets and San Antonio Spurs, which starts at 8:00 P.M. EDT.

With there not being many options for your Showdown lineup, let’s evaluate some of the top Captain options, depending on your strategy:

Value Captain Plays

SG Gary Harris, DEN ($10,500, $7,000 regular)

My most expensive value play of the night, Harris has been struggling over his last two games. He’s scored less than 25 DK points in both games, while adding little statistical contribution other than in points (23 points combined during the aforementioned span).

I’m predicting a rebound night for Harris, which will land him somewhere in the 30-35 DKP range (the 32.3 DKP on 04/16 being his highest total of the series thus far). His rebound totals over the series thus far have been modest at best, landing between averaging between 3-5 most nights. For Harris to be worth playing in your Captain spot tonight, he needs to put up 15+ points, 5+ rebound and at least 2 assists. A block, steal or both would be nice as well. Like I said, 30-35 DKP is a good night for Harris, although you may want to go cheaper with guys like…

C Jakob Poeltl, SAS ($8,400 Captain, $5,600 regular)

Poeltl has been getting steadily better over the series, scoring double-digit points in two of his last three games and consistently putting up 7+ boards as his assist numbers slowly rise. He’s up against a tough matchup in Denver’s Nikola Jokic (an obvious top play of the slate), but he’s getting 23-26+ points out of a guy this cheap is not a bad idea to help stack the rest of your lineup. Ideally, Poeltl needs at least 10+ points and get himself close to a double-double with 8+ rebounds. If he can notch a block or two, any assists are just gravy on top of the mashed potatoes. Getting ~40+ DKP out of Poeltl in your Captain slot is a good night (that mean’s he’ll need at least 26.75 DKP normally).

SG Torrey Craig, DEN ($5,700 Captain, $3,800 regular)

Okay, so Craig had a relatively bad night in an 18-point win Tuesday night, scoring just one point.. but he salvaged what would have been a terrible night with 10 boards. Keep in mind Craig only attempted one field goal (1-2 FT). He attempted 16 FGs over the previous two games, so look at Tuesday’s performance as an outlier. With Craig being implemented as a starter over teammate Will Barton, he’s seen heavy minutes over his past two games, and I don’t see that changing tonight. As long as Craig is starting, expect him to be a candidate for 25+ DKP (although admittedly, it’s a little more of a gamble than guys like Harris or Poeltl). I can see Craig scoring 13 points tonight, hitting 4 of 8 FG attempts (2-5 3PM/A, 2-2 FT). Along with 13 points, a rebound total of 7+ along with a steal or two would solidify Craig’s justification in the Captain slot, ending his night at 26.75 (40.125 in Captain slot) assuming he gets two steals.

Stud Captain Plays

C Nikola Jokic, DEN ($17,400 Captain, $11,600 regular)

Not really much to say, he’s clearly going to be a top Captain play due to his consistent numbers across the stat sheet. Jokic has failed to get above 45 DKP just once thus far in the series, which means he’s almost a lock for 67.5+ DKP in the Captain slot tonight.

The one downside to putting Jokic at Captain of course is the limitations it places across the rest of your lineup. Of course, Craig and Poeltl normally only take up $9,400 your $50,000 salary.. but Jokic alone takes almost 2/5th of that at $17,400. So the three combined at $26,800 leaves $23,200 for three positions.. not a lot of room to add another top stud like LaMarcus Aldridge, DeMar DeRozan or Jamal Murray.

PF LaMarcus Aldridge, SAS ($14,700 Captain, $9,800 regular)

Aldridge is not as strong of a lock in the Captain slot as Jokic, however he’s put up 35+ DKP over his last four games. Aldridge is a constant candidate for an explosive night as the Nuggets continue to place defensive attention on teammate DeMar DeRozan (as evidenced by the latter’s FG% over his last two games, not so coincidentally due to the change-up by Denver to bring Torrey Craig into the starting lineup).

Of course, in your Captain slot, Aldridge would ideally score 60+ DKP (40+ regular).. this isn’t out of the realm of possibility, since it’s happened twice thus far this series, but it’s not a guarantee. A great part of choosing Aldridge is the $2,700 you save over having Jokic at Captain. That extra flexibility could be a good thing and help set your lineup apart.

PG Jamal Murray, DEN ($13,500 Captain, $9,000 regular)

Murray’s had a strong series overall, albeit a miserable Game 3 on April 18th, only scoring 11.3 DKP in the 118-108 loss. In all of Murray’s strong games this series, he’s topped 20+ points scored – his last two games have also seen him notch 13 assists.

I don’t think Murray will score 40+ DKP again tonight, however 35-39 is a strong possibility. His last two strong games AGAIN correlate with the implementation of Craig in the starting lineup. Murray is, in my opinion, one of the safer plays of the slate.

 

DFS Lineups, DFS Value Plays, Fantasy Sleepers, Start/Sit

Jaguars Need To Trade For/Sign Nick Foles

Blake Bortles has never been and will never be the answer at the quarterback position in Jacksonville.

A solid defense led by a star cornerback in Jalen Ramsey needs to be complemented by a capable-enough offense. Bortles just can’t get the job done. Foles is a proven winner and would stand a much stronger chance of leading the Jaguars to a playoff berth of some kind. Assuming wide receiver Marqise Lee comes back healthy after missing all of last season, and the Jaguars possibly draft another receiver (or a tight end), this team could be one of the biggest sleepers of the 2019 NFL season.

If I were Shadid Khan, the owner of the Jaguars, I would be doing whatever I could (within reason) to acquire Nick Foles. Search for your next franchise quarterback in a future draft and pick up a proven winner now.

Start/Sit

Week 8 Start/Sits

With Week 8 upon us, teams like the Packers and Seahawks are coming off a bye and should be welcome additions to the starting lineups of fantasy owners.

Here’s the upcoming schedule for Week 8:

Teams on BYE: Cowboys, Chargers, Falcons, Titans

Thursday, 8:20 P.M.

Dolphins (4-3) vs. Texans (4-3)

Sunday, 9:30 A.M.

Eagles (3-4) vs. Jaguars (3-4) [@ Wembley Stadium in London]

Sunday, 1:00 P.M.

Ravens (4-3) @ Panthers (4-2) —— Broncos (3-4) @ Chiefs (6-1)

Browns (2-4-1) @ Steelers (3-2-1) —— Seahawks (3-3) @ Lions (3-3)

Buccaneers (3-3) @ Bengals (4-3) —— Jets (3-4) @ Bears (3-3)

Redskins (4-2) @ Giants (1-6)

Sunday, 4:05 P.M.

Colts (2-5) @ Raiders (1-5)

Sunday, 4:25 P.M.

49ers (1-6) @ Cardinals (1-6)

Packers (3-2-1) @ Rams (7-0)

Sunday, 8:20 P.M.

Saints (5-1) @ Vikings (4-2-1)

Monday, 8:15 P.M.

Patriots (5-2) @ Bills (2-5)


For me, standout games include:

Dolphins @ Texans because both teams are 4-3 and this game could have big playoff implications down the road (not to mention it might be the first interesting Thursday night game in a while).

Ravens @ Panthers because it seems like one of those true “any given Sunday” matchups and both teams have 4 wins.

Packers @ Rams because of the shootout potential as well as two great offenses going head-to-head.

Saints @ Vikings because it’s a rematch of the NFC Championship Game last year, with both teams doing well mid-way through 2018.

Alrighty, time for those start/sits!

Dalton

(I do not own this image nor do I intend to take credit for this image in any way.)

START

QB Andy Dalton, Bengals vs. Buccaneers

Okay so Dalton threw up a stinker last week against an otherwise generous pass defense. He completed 15/29 passes for 148 yards with a TD and an INT (which ended up being a 33-yard pick-six by Chiefs’ safety Ron Parker). The Bengals had trouble converting on third down, being successful just 4 of 11 attempts. Something to consider; the Buccaneers allow a whopping 53.33% of 3rd-down conversion attempts during away games.

With how bad the Buccaneers’ pass defense has been, this is a prime opportunity for Dalton to rebound.

Prediction: 27/38, 336 yards, 3 TD, INT; 2 rushes, 11 yards

QB C.J. Beathard, 49ers @ Cardinals

Beathard could be a sleeper start at QB this week considering the matchup – the last time San Francisco played Arizona, Beathard completed 34/54 passes for 349 yards, 2 TDs and 2 INTs while also rushing in a TD.

Things will go Beathard’s way if the running back committee of Matt Breida (ankle), Raheem Mostert and Alfred Morris can establish even a decent rushing attack. Let’s not forget Cardinals’ CB Patrick Peterson requested to be traded before the October 30th trade deadline – if he is indeed traded, the Arizona pass defense weakens tremendously.

Prediction: 33/46, 323 yards, 3 TD, INT; 4 rushes, 17 yards

RB Jalen Richard, Raiders vs. Colts

Marshawn Lynch (groin) is on IR. This leaves Doug Martin and Richard to handle the backfield duties for a struggling Oakland offense. So why Richard over Martin?

Richard has showcased above-average pass-catching ability this season and is more familiar with the offense. He has at least 5 targets in his last 4 games, and 13 receptions over his last 2.

Against the Colts’ run-of-the-mill defense, Richard will likely get his fair share of opportunities. He’s the safer bet between him and Martin for fantasy purposes, especially for PPR leagues.

Prediction: 5 rushes, 19 yards; 6 receptions, 71 yards, TD

RB Raheem Mostert, 49ers @ Cardinals

This start depends on the status of teammate Matt Breida (ankle). I think Mostert is worth a flex-play in deeper leagues regardless of Breida’s status, but if the latter is inactive, Mostert jumps to RB2 territory.

Mostert has rushed for 146 yards on 19 carries in his last two games, adding 4 receptions for 19 yards. With the Cardinals being weak against the run this season (allowing a league-worst 12 TDs on the ground), Mostert has upside this week.

Prediction: 11 rushes, 71 yards, TD; 2 receptions, 9 yards

DEEP SLEEPER – RB Trenton Cannon, Jets @ Bears

This one’s a bit of a long shot, but with Bilal Powell (neck) going on IR, Cannon now sees himself as Isaiah Crowell’s primary backup. In an effort to keep Crowell from getting fatigued, I think Cannon sees more usage down the stretch. This particular matchup might not be that friendly, but the speedy 6th-rounder could make a huge impact if given more opportunity.

Prediction: 7 rushes, 38 yards; 4 receptions, 44 yards, TD

WR Willie Snead, Ravens @ Panthers

Snead has had at least 7 targets in 5 out of 7 games with Baltimore this season, with his last 4 games being among them. With deep threat John Brown a nightmare for defenses and Michael Crabtree a solid possession receiver, Snead could fly under the radar against a middle-of-the-pack Panthers’ defense.

Prediction: 6 receptions, 68 yards, TD

WR Martavis Bryant, Raiders vs. Colts

Amari Cooper’s a Cowboy now, so that opens up targets for Jordy Nelson, Jared Cook and Bryant.

With Bryant being a reliable deep threat and the Colts being in the bottom half of the league in passing yards allowed, Bryant could be the primary beneficiary of Cooper’s absence during Week 8 play.

Prediction: 5 receptions, 104 yards, TD

TE Chris Herndon, Jets @ Bears

Tough matchup, but Herndon has been a favorite target of QB Sam Darnold’s of late. With WR Quincy Enunwa (ankle) still out and WR Robby Anderson inconsistent with the deep ball, Herndon may be the only option to trust as far as Jets’ receivers.

Hard to expect another TD after 2 straight games with a score considering his overall small target share (9 targets in the last 2 weeks), but Herndon could be a lone bright spot for a Jets team that could very well be smothered by the Bears’ defense.

Prediction: 3 receptions, 47 yards, TD

TE C.J. Uzomah, Bengals vs. Buccaneers

Uzomah should be a good stack with QB Andy Dalton on Sunday. After catching the two targets sent his way for 13 yards and the lone TD against the Chiefs, Uzomah is also primed for a rebound performance. What helps him more is that his teammate Tyler Kroft (foot) remains in a boot and is likely going to be out for a while.

Prediction: 5 receptions, 51 yards, TD

Redskins D/ST @ Giants

Even against a generous pass defense in the Falcons on Monday night, Eli Manning and the Giants seemed to struggle immensely. Granted, head coach Pat Shurmur made a questionable decision to go for 2 after a Saquon Barkley TD made the score 20-12 in favor of the Falcons.. but again, offensive line struggles limited the potential of a Giants team that features talent across its skill positions.

The Redskins got by the Cowboys thanks to a fumble return TD by Preston Smith and a strip-sack by Ryan Kerrigan. Expect this unit to pull off a similar performance against the struggling Giants.

Prediction: 20 points allowed, 5 sacks, 2 INT, 1 FR, TD

Steelers D/ST vs. Browns

While the last time Pittsburgh faced division rival Cleveland, the latter had Tyrod Taylor behind center, Pittsburgh accrued seven sacks and kept the Browns to a 21-all tie.

Maybe the Steelers don’t get 7 sacks, but their front seven will be sure to give #1 overall pick Baker Mayfield some fits.

Prediction: 20 points allowed, 4 sacks, 2 INT

Jared Goff

(I do not own this image nor do I intend to take credit for this image in any way.)

SIT

QB Jared Goff, Rams vs. Packers

Depending on your roster, you might not have the ability to sit Goff.. but there are better options this week. The Packers’ pass defense ranks 3rd in the league in yards allowed (behind Seattle and somehow Jacksonville despite their string of bad games).

Yes, the Rams’ offense is high-flying and this game has huge shootout potential – but like I said, there are better options, especially more so than a QB that’s thrown for a combined 403 yards, 2 TDs and an INT in the last two weeks (yes one of them was in a snowy/rainy Denver but still). Keep in mind that this year, Goff’s never attempted more than 36 passes. Even in a shootout, expect somewhere between 32-38 pass attempts.

Temper your expectations with Goff this week.

Prediction: 21/33, 261 yards, 2 TD, 2 INT; 3 rushes, 9 yards

QB Russell Wilson, Seahawks @ Lions

Right behind Green Bay at 4th in the league in passing yards allowed rests the Detroit Lions. Wilson’s thrown over 250 yards once, and that was Week 1 @ Denver. While the Seattle quarterback has thrown 3 TD passes in his past 2 games, I don’t see that trend continuing even as the team comes off a bye.

While the Lions have only picked off quarterbacks twice this season, their 221 passing yards allowed per game have me holding off on Wilson being a solid option this week.

Prediction: 19/27, 239 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT; 5 rushes, 27 yards

RB Javorius Allen, Ravens @ Panthers

6 targets out of the backfield in the last two weeks make Allen hard to trust coming into play against Carolina. Until I see more volume, Allen isn’t really on my radar honestly.

Prediction: 4 rushes, 10 yards; 3 receptions, 22 yards

RB Chris Carson, Seahawks @ Lions

This would have been a good play a few weeks ago when he was on his streak of 100+ yard games, but the Seattle backfield situation is too muddled to tell who will come out on top. Detroit represents a good matchup for the Seahawks on the ground, as they rank 26th in rushing yards allowed at a league-worst 5.3 YPC.. but without a clear picture of who will carry the ball more, Carson may not get you as much production as you may like.

Prediction: 16 carries, 62 yards; 1 reception, 7 yards

WR Brandin Cooks, Rams vs. Packers

Not only do I think to sit Cooks because of Goff’s underproduction these last few weeks, but Cooks has seen under 7 targets for consecutive weeks in a row despite the presence of Cooper Kupp on the field.

With the Rams’ offense consistently funneling through Todd Gurley, it’s hard to rely on Cooks even though he’s such a dynamic player.

Prediction: 4 receptions, 55 yards

WR Devin Funchess, Panthers vs. Ravens

Funchess boasts a more consistent usage with the return of TE Greg Olsen to the offense that helps take away defensive attention from him. With TDs in his last two games as well as 11 receptions, Funchess is on a solid streak – but we all know the defensive capabilities of Baltimore’s secondary.

Panthers’ QB Cam Newton (right shoulder) was limited at practice Wednesday and if his shouder injury is bad enough, it could very well limit his ability to throw the ball down field despite reports that he was able to make most of his typical throws. With the matchup concern combined with Newton’s potential limitation, I’d throw caution to the wind with Funchess.

Prediction: 4 receptions, 47 yards

TE Eric Ebron, Colts @ Raiders

Although the target share of Ebron seemed to be unaffected by the return of WR T.Y. Hilton, it could see limitations if TE Jack Doyle (hip) comes back for this game.

The Raiders represent a juicy matchup for Colts’ receivers, given that QB Andrew Luck’s known for slinging the ball downfield. However, 7 receptions over the last two games represents a slim margin for error that I believe will limit Ebron’s upside. There are better TE options this week.

Prediction: 3 receptions, 43 yards

TE Jordan Reed, Redskins @ Giants

Even with all of the injuries to Washington receivers (Paul Richardson, Jamison Crowder), Reed seems to be under-performing with QB Alex Smith throwing him the ball. With inconsistent production at an already slim position, Reed is just not the greatest option against a Giants’ secondary that, while allowing 50+ yards to TEs in 4 of their last 5 games, will likely hone in on him as the most dangerous threat in an already weak passing attack.

Prediction: 3 receptions, 32 yards

Jets D/ST @ Bears

The Jets’ defense, while they have incredibly talented personnel in the likes of S Jamal Adams and DE Leonard Williams, have been suspect of late. Allowing 34 and 37 points to the Colts and Vikings, respectively, it’s hard to trust this unit against a Mitchell Trubisky-led Chicago offense that’s finding more and more creative ways to move the chains. Keep in mind that the Jets haven’t notched a sack since their Week 5 battle with the Broncos. Trubisky has thrown for over 300 passing yards, rushed for over 45 yards and passed for 2+ TDs in his last 3 games, and I believe this will be his fourth consecutive successful venture.

Prediction: 33 points allowed, 1 sack, 1 FR

Seahawks D/ST @ Lions

While Matthew Stafford is coming off two sub-par performances with under 220 passing yards, he also hasn’t turned the ball over since the Week 3 win against New England. A lot of pundits have Stafford struggling again this week and the Seahawks being a decent streaming option this week, but their last game was against the struggling Oakland offense. Seattle was able to tally six sacks, recover two fumbles and limit the Raiders to just 3 points all game.

This contest won’t be so easy for them, and I see Stafford limiting opportunities for Seattle by leaning on Kerryon Johnson’s increased usage in the rushing attack. Maybe I’m on the wrong side of this one, but starting Seattle’s defense on the road against the Lions doesn’t seem like the best bet.

Prediction: 24 points allowed, 2 sacks, 1 FR

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Start/Sit

Week 7 Fantasy Start/Sits

LeSean McCoy

(Image courtesy of CBS Sports)

It’s already Week 7; the one thing I hate about the NFL season is how it flies by so fast.

Here are the games being played this week:

Teams on BYE: Raiders, Seahawks, Packers, Steelers

Thursday, 8:20 P.M.

Broncos (2-4) @ Cardinals (1-5)

Sunday, 9:30 A.M.

Titans (3-3) @ Chargers (4-2) [@ Wembley Stadium in London]

Sunday, 1:00 P.M.

Panthers (3-2) @ Eagles (3-3)

Vikings (3-2-1) @ Jets (3-3)

Bills (2-4) @ Colts (1-5) (Who’d have thought the Bills would have a better record than Indy at this point…?)

Patriots (4-2) @ Bears (3-2)

Browns (2-3-1) @ Buccaneers (2-3)

Texans (3-3) @ Jaguars (3-3)

Lions (2-3) @ Dolphins (4-2)

Sunday, 4:05 P.M.

Saints (4-1) @ Ravens (4-2)

Sunday, 4:25 P.M.

Cowboys (3-3) @ Redskins (3-2)

Rams (6-0) @ 49ers (1-5)

Sunday, 8:20 P.M.

Bengals (4-2) @ Chiefs (5-1)

Monday, 8:15 P.M.

Giants (1-5) @ Falcons (2-4)


The most interesting games of the week (to me) are NE-CHI, HOU-JAC, NO-BAL, DAL-WAS and CIN-KC… although I will say that Monday night’s Giants-Falcons game could be entertaining in a sense. Will Eli Manning be able to take advantage of the banged-up Atlanta defense, or will his offensive line falter once again?

With the match-ups above in mind, let’s get right to it.

START

QB Jameis Winston, Buccaneers vs. Browns

While the Browns’ pass defense has only allowed two 300+ yard passers on the year (Ben Roethlisberger in the 21-all tie Week 1; Derek Carr Week 4), I believe Winston’s primed for a strong performance here. The Florida State product threw for 395 yards and 4 TDs as well as 2 INTs in the 34-29 loss against the Falcons last week, hitting tight ends Cameron Brate and O.J. Howard for two of the scores while surprisingly, slot man Adam Humphries paced the team in receiving yards (82 on 3 receptions).

Look, the Buccaneers have too many good skill-position players for Winston not to be successful. 300 yards should be his floor! But in order for Winston to succeed, he’s got to do what he did last week and spread the ball around to these different players. Star WR Mike Evans was targeted only 5 times in the contest – spreading the ball around is one thing, but if your best receiver is being targeted only 5 times and he’s on the field the whole game, something’s wrong.

WR Chris Godwin led the team in receptions last week, catching 6 of his 9 targets for 56 yards and a TD. I don’t know who will be the Buccaneers’ top pass-catcher against Cleveland, but I know Winston come out with a strong fantasy day.

Prediction: 28/37, 318 yards, 3 TD, 1 INT; 2 rushes, 14 yards

QB Joe Flacco, Ravens vs. Saints

Flacco’s been on a cold streak of late, throwing only 1 TD but 2 INTs in his last two games (@Browns, @Titans) while throwing for under 300 yards in both as well. But that cold streak gets hot come Sunday.

The Saints have gotten better against the pass these last two weeks, allowing under 300 yards per contest – but that was to the struggling Eli Manning and the conservative Alex Smith. New Orleans’ has given up a whopping 11 TD passes this season in 5 games (they were on bye last week)!

With a receiving corps of Michael Crabtree, John Brown and Willie Snead IV as well as a platoon of dependable tight ends (Hayden Hurst, Nick Boyle, Maxx Williams, etc.), Flacco should have a solid day even if Saints’ CB Marshon Lattimore (concussion) is active.

Prediction: 30/40, 307 yards, 3 TD; 4 rushes, 6 yards

RB Tarik Cohen, Bears vs. Patriots 

This hurts me to say as a Patriots’ fan, but their defense isn’t that great when it comes to covering speedy skill-position players. Now Tyreek Hill’s 3-TD game last week is about the highest production you’ll ever see out of one, Cohen is very capable of making big plays too. Despite being on the field for 34 snaps and touching the ball just 12 times in Chicago’s 31-28 loss to the Dolphins in overtime last week, Cohen made the most of his opportunities. He rushed 5 times for 31 yards and a TD while snatching 7 receptions for 90 yards while losing a fumble.

Cohen has a lot of upside against a Patriots’ defense that doesn’t have any fast linebackers that can cover him in the flat or on wheel/angle routes. QB Mitchell Trubisky has been reading defenses well of late, throwing for a 9:1 TD:INT ratio in his last two games while also reaching the 300-yard mark in both games (vs. TB, @ Mia).

Bottom line – even though Cohen splits snaps with Jordan Howard, Cohen has a much higher floor and his ceiling could be big depending on game flow.

Prediction: 6 rushes, 39 yards; 8 receptions, 94 yards, 2 TD

RB LeSean McCoy, Bills @ Colts

While Colts have been decent against the run this year, allowing 100+ yards only once this season (to the Eagles Week 3), they’ll be facing a slightly reinvigorated McCoy that’s seen 40 carries in his last two games. McCoy hasn’t rushed for 100+ yet, but this could be the game where he does.

McCoy’s increased usage has resulted in two straight games of 70+ rushing yards, making him a little more respectable for fantasy purposes. The Colts are actually giving up the 12th-most fantasy points to running backs this season despite having a decent track record against them. If Derek Anderson decides to check down to McCoy more than Peterman or Allen have this season, his value will jump in PPR leagues (only 8 receptions in his last 3 games).

Prediction: 18 carries, 101 yards, TD; 4 receptions, 27 yards, TD

WR Sammy Watkins, Chiefs vs. Bengals

I know Watkins isn’t exactly on the top of the Chiefs’ pecking order, with guys like Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce and Kareem Hunt to feed – but Watkins is up against a suspect Bengals’ secondary allowing 6 TDs in as many games to the position.

With the Chiefs’ high-flying aerial attack putting up 40 points against New England last week, momentum is high for the unit as a whole with Watkins primed to rebound from a 2 catch, 18 yard outing on 4 targets. Watkins had 8 targets the week prior against Jacksonville, and he’ll land around there in what will likely be a shootout.

Prediction: 7 receptions, 131 yards, TD; 1 rush, 3 yards

WR John Brown, Ravens vs. Saints

See “Joe Flacco” for the reasoning behind this one, but if you need any more convincing, Brown is among the league leaders for air yards per target, even averaging close to 15 in his sub-par performance last week in the 21-0 shutout win over the Titans (2 receptions, 28 yards).

Oh, and just to add the icing on the cake, the Saints allow the most fantasy points to wideouts this year. Play Brown with confidence, even if CB Marshon Lattimore plays for New Orleans.

Prediction: 5 receptions, 131 yards, TD

TE C.J. Uzomah, Bengals @ Chiefs

Like I stated when mentioning Watkins earlier, this game is going to be high-scoring. Maybe not 43-40 like the Chiefs-Patriots game last week, but at least 55 points combined high.

Tyler Eifert (ankle) went on IR after his gruesome injury a few weeks ago and Tyler Kroft (foot) is out, which will again make Uzomah a valuable safety valve in the flats and short-to-intermediate passing game for QB Andy Dalton.

Coming off a 6-54-0 line against division rival Pittsburgh last week, Uzomah is a hot commodity at an overall thin position fantasy-wise.

Prediction: 7 receptions, 103 yards

TE Ricky Seals-Jones, Cardinals vs. Broncos

Denver is in the bottom half of the league when it comes to covering tight ends, allowing 100+ yards to the position on two occasions (Seattle Week 1 to Will Dissly; KC Week 4 to Travis Kelce).

Seals-Jones caught 5 passes for 69 yards against the Vikings last week, and while he didn’t receive any targets at all the week prior, he’s a vital part of the Cardinals’ offense alongside star RB David Johnson and rookie WR Christian Kirk.

With the Broncos’ defense likely keying in on Johnson (their Achilles’ heel this year being the run), I expect Seals-Jones will catch his second TD of the season Thursday night.

Prediction: 6 receptions, 91 yards, TD

Bills D/ST @ Colts

We all Andrew Luck throws the ball a lot, but the Bills’ defense is a solid play this week because of their floor. The unit is coming off a season high 7-sack performance against the Texans and QB Deshaun Watson. They’ve also gotten at least 2 sacks in every game thus far, which makes this a juicy match-up considering the quality of Indy’s offensive front.

Even with WR T.Y. Hilton (hamstring) practicing in full Wednesday and on track to play in this one, the Bills have collected at least one INT and one fumble recovery in each of their last 4 games. This is a solid streaming option.

Prediction: 24 points allowed, 5 sacks, 2 INT, 1 FR, TD

Colts D/ST vs. Bills

Let’s be real, the Bills’ offense hasn’t been very stellar this season. RB LeSean McCoy is about the only promising aspect on that side of the ball, and while I think he’ll have a solid day Sunday, he’ll likely be the only one (offensively at least).

The Bills have allowed double-digit points to opposing defenses 4 times in the 6 games they’ve played thus far. Only once have they allowed just one sack in a game (Week 5 vs. Tennessee), although they’ve only allowed 3 in their last two.

The Bills will be starting QB Derek Anderson against the Colts. There’s a risk to playing the Colts, but it’s definitely one of the safer streaming options this week.

Prediction: 16 points allowed, 4 sacks, 2 INT, 2 FR

 

SIT

QB Philip Rivers, Chargers vs. Titans

Rivers is normally a must-start for me considering his floor (he’s thrown at least 2 TD passes every game thus far). However, the match-up ahead for Rivers is bleak. The Titans’ defense has allowed under 30 points in every game, allowing over 20 three times. One other telling stat – this defensive unit has not allowed a multiple-TD performance by any QB yet.

Rivers only threw the ball 20 times because of how dominant RB Melvin Gordon was. The Chargers will likely win this game given the offensive struggles the Titans have displayed lately, but there are safer options than Rivers this week.

Prediction: 21/31, 241 yards, TD, INT

QB Dak Prescott, Cowboys @ Redskins

Last week’s game against the Jaguars is an outlier – Prescott’s point total jumped from 82 yards rushing and his first TD on the ground this season.

Washington has a pretty stingy pass defense headed by CB Josh Norman, so unless Prescott can squeeze out another 50+ rushing yard performance (last week is the only time he did so this season), I would avoid picking him up on the waiver wire to start in lieu of Roethlisberger, Rodgers, or Wilson due to their byes.

Prediction: 19/28, 194 yards, TD, INT; 3 rushes, 14 yards

RB Alex Collins, Ravens vs. Saints

Coming off a multi-TD performance against the Titans, it’s understandable why Collins is a popular waiver wire addition. However, the Saints’ front is stingy against running backs, allowing less than 80 rushing yards in each of their first 5 games and only 3 rushing scores in that span.

With Collins not being a large part of the Ravens’ passing attack, he doesn’t normally have any appeal in PPR leagues, but he’s worthy of an add – I’d just stash him though, as this match-up favors the passing game much more.

Prediction: 11 carries, 41 yards; 1 reception, 8 yards

RB Latavius Murray, Vikings @ Jets

I chalk up Murray’s 155-yard day against the Cardinals as an outlier. Before that game, Murray had failed to reach 50 yards on the ground in any game this season despite Dalvin Cook’s limited presence. Speaking of Cook, he practiced fully Wednesday, so it’s looking like he’s on track to play in this match-up, which will severely lower Murray’s ceiling.

The Jets have allowed four scores on the ground, but the last TD they allowed was to Jacksonville Week 4. They’ve only allowed 100+ on the ground twice, including last week to the Colts. Murray will fall back down to Earth this week.

Prediction: 6 rushes, 31 yards; 1 reception, 7 yards

WR Albert Wilson, Dolphins vs. Lions

According to ESPN Stats & Info, the last Miami receiver to catch 6+ passes and accrue 150+ receiving yards was Irving Fryar in 1994. Believe me, Wilson’s performance in the 31-28 OT win over the Bears was a major outlier and is severely unlikely to happen again. Especially against a Lions’ secondary that ranks 4th against the pass.

If there’s anything you should understand about fantasy football, it’s consistency and volume. Wilson possesses neither.

Prediction: 3 receptions, 29 yards; 1 rush, -3 yards

WR Sterling Shepard, Giants @ Falcons

Great match-up for the Giants’ WR2, however, SO many things make him hard to play.

For one, TE Evan Engram (knee) is feeling good about returning this week after being absent for a majority of the season. If he does, that’ll put a damper on the 7+ targets Shepard has been receiving consistently.

Secondly, it’s no secret the Giants’ offense has been struggling (well, the offense OTHER than RB Saquon Barkley). Until I see improvement from QB Eli Manning and the offensive line, it’s hard for me to consider Shepard over other more reliable options.

I could go on – let me just say this; Shepard certainly isn’t the WORST play to make at flex, but it’s definitely risky. Odell Beckham Jr. and Barkley dominate this lackluster offense.

Prediction: 5 receptions, 43 yards

TE Jordan Reed, Redskins vs. Cowboys

Even with WR Jamison Crowder (ankle) and RB Chris Thompson (ribs/knee) out against the Panthers last week, Reed put up a 5-36-0 line. Dallas hasn’t been friendly to tight ends, only allowing one score to the position thus far (ironically to Evan Engram, mentioned above).

Reed is limited by the one throwing him the ball, unfortunately. Alex Smith just doesn’t sling the ball like he should, and it lowers the ceiling of anyone on the team not named Adrian Peterson.

Prediction: 3 receptions, 42 yards

TE Trey Burton, Bears vs. Patriots

I’m gonna keep this simple – Burton is very TD-dependent. Not the worst option, but New England’s stats against tight ends are misleading; outside of the game against the Colts where Eric Ebron caught two TDs and Eric Swoope caught another, the team has allowed under 70 yards to the position per game.

Play Burton with caution – it’s either TD or bust, and he’s only caught a max of 4 passes in any one game thus far.

Prediction: 3 receptions, 39 yards

Panthers D/ST @ Eagles

The Eagles have allowed double-digit fantasy points to opposing defenses only once (the Vikings came out with 12 during their Week 5 game). With the Panthers sacking the QB only 4 times in their last two games and allowing 20+ points in their last four, I’d avoid this unit against a Carson Wentz-led offense.

Prediction: 31 points allowed, 1 sack, 1 INT

Lions D/ST @ Dolphins

The Lions are going up against a Brock Osweiler-led offense that just upset their division rival Bears last week, winning 31-28 in OT over the vaunted Chicago defense.

While Osweiler lighting up the scoreboard a second week in a row is unlikely, the Lions’ D/ST hasn’t been particularly amazing this season. They’ve forced six turnovers all season, with 3 of them (all fumble recoveries) coming against the Packers before their bye last week. This unit has not surpassed 9 fantasy points all season.

Better to seek other options.

Prediction: 23 points allowed, 3 sacks