Tue Sep 25 8:04 am
By JEFF PAUR
Sr Fantasy Writer
Boyd getting more chances
A couple of rookie quarterbacks were named starters for this week. It is always exciting to see what a rookie quarterback can do, but please don't overvalue these guys when it comes to fantasy. There will be some rookie quarterbacks that hit every once in a while, but for the most part, it takes a season or two and the right situation for a quarterback to be really fantasy relevant. Remember, most teams that go to a rookie quarterback are doing so for a reason, mainly the team isn't very good. So just keep that in mind when figuring out your waiver acquisitions for the week.
Ryan Tannehill, Dolphins. Tannehill is off to a great start to his season. He has multiple touchdowns every game and topped 225 yards two of three. He has seven touchdowns to just two interceptions in three games. He isn't an every-week play but certainly a solid spot starter in a pass-first offense. Tannehill is still available in 80 percent of leagues.
Andy Dalton, Bengals. Dalton is another quarterback off to a fast start. He has thrown for at least 243 yards all three games and has multiple touchdowns in every game. Dalton was intercepted four times his last time out but all the scores and yards help make up for those miscues. Dalton is a solid backup for fantasy teams and still available in 35 percent of leagues.
Baker Mayfield, Browns. Mayfield got his chance because of injury last week and led his team to victory for the first time in a long time. The Baker Mayfield era has officially began in Cleveland. He will start going forward. He didn't score a touchdown in his first action last week but was 17-of-23 for 201 yards. He has some potential for the big game and could be worth some spot plays in the right matchup.
Wendell Smallwood, Eagles. Most thought Corey Clement would lead the way at rushing last week with the Eagles banged up at running back. That didn't happen, though, as Smallwood was the best back for the Eagles. He ran 10 times for 56 yards and a score. He also caught three passes for 35 yards, giving him 91 total yards and a touchdown. Smallwood won't have much of a role when the Eagles get healthy at running back but as long as they are banged up, Smallwood will get some chances to make plays in this offense.
Aaron Jones, Packers. Jones returned from suspension last week and was the leading rusher for the Packers. He rushed six times for 42 yards and caught a pass for five yards. He has a shot to overtake Jamaal Williams as the starter, so he is worth grabbing for fantasy teams if available. He is available on just 11 percent of leagues, though.
Jordy Nelson, Raiders. Nelson turned back the clock last week, having a huge performance after doing little the first two weeks. He had six receptions for 173 yards and a touchdown after having five receptions for 53 yards the first two games. Nelson is available in 31 percent of leagues and is worth grabbing if you need the receiver help.
Tyler Boyd, Bengals. Boyd is quickly gaining fantasy value. He had a 100-yard game last week and has touchdowns two straight. He also has six receptions and at least 90 yard each of the last two games. He has become the season best option in the Bengals passing attack and is making plays with his chances. Boyd is available in 41 percent of leagues.
John Brown, Ravens. Brown keeps making plays and is getting owned in more and more leagues every week. This might be the last week you can grab him as he is available in just 14 percent of leagues. Brown had a season-high five receptions last week and has 85-plus yards two straight.
Calvin Ridley, Falcons. Ridley probable will be the hottest item on waivers last week after his breakout game in Week 3. He caught seven passes for 146 yards and three touchdowns. He has scores two straight and is quickly becoming the second best option in the Falcons pass attack. He is available in 22 percent of leagues but likely not for long in those leagues..
Christian Kirk, Cardinals. Kirk led the Cardinals in receiving last week with Larry Fitzgerald at less than 100 percent. Kirk had seven receptions for 90 yards and has 11 receptions his last two games. He is gaining steam in the offense and becoming fantasy relevant. Kirk is available in 82 percent of leagues.
Jakeem Grant, Dolphins. Grant found the end zone for the first time of the season last week, scoring twice. He made the most of both his catches, finishing with two receptions for 70 yards and two scores. He has multiple catches every game and is a big-play threat in the Dolphins passing attack. He'll be hit or miss for fantasy teams but could be worth using in the right matchup.
Dallas Goedert, Eagles. The return of Carson Wentz was just the thing to get Goedert going. He had just a catch before the Week 3 game but had seven receptions for 73 yards and a touchdown last week. He was a big part of the passing game with Wentz at the helm. This could be a trend for the talented, rookie tight end. He could be a boom or bust play as the No. 2 tight end for the Eagles, but he certainly has the potential for the big game.
Mark Andrews, Ravens. The Ravens use a trio of tight ends but Andrews looks to have the most fantasy value of the bunch. He caught a touchdown pass in Week 2 and had a season-high 59 yards last week. He has multiple receptions every game this season. If you are in a deeper league and need the tight end, give Andrews a look.
Geoff Swaim, Cowboys. Swaim is quickly turning into the top option at tight end for the Cowboys. He had five receptions for 47 yards last week and was targeted seven times in the game. He has eight receptions in three games and his role could increase going forward. He is a bit of a stretch for fantasy teams, but should garner some consideration in deeper leagues. There is some potential there for Swaim in an offense desperate for playmakers.
Vance McDonald, Steelers. McDonald showed his big time playmaking ability last week, hitting the 100-yard mark. Many had him pegged for a sleeper heading into the season, but early season injury and doing nothing his first game soured him for many. Well, he showed what he can do when involved last week. He can be a solid spot starter and platoon player.
Jeff Paur is a two-time finalist for FSWA Fantasy Football Writer of the Year and won the FSWA award for Best Fantasy Football Article on the Web in 2011. He also was the most accurate expert in 2012, winning the FSTA Fantasy Football Accuracy Award. If you have any questions for Jeff, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Jeff on Twitter @jeffpaur.
New England Patriots right tackle Marcus Cannon (concussion) did not practice all week and has been ruled out for Week 7 against the Bears. Quarterback Tom Brady's protection won't be as good as usual against a strong Chicago pass rush, although All-Pro defensive end Khalil Mack (ankle) is questionable and was slowed by his injury last week. Still, it's something to keep an eye on for this Sunday. If New England's offensive line is struggling, expect the Patriots to get the ball out quickly, which would favor receiver Julian Edelman and running back James White.
Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Brice Butler (groin) practiced in full all week and is no longer on the Week 7 injury report against the Redskins after sitting out in Week 6. While Butler could see a role against Washington, he has yet to catch a pass in 2018 and would be behind Allen Hurns, Cole Beasley, rookie Michael Gallup and Deonte Thompson in one of the worst passing offenses in football, so you can continue ignoring him.
Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill (shoulder) will play again this season, but his long-term future is in doubt. Tannehill continues to battle injuries and has not lived up to expectations in the first seven weeks of the season. Before the knee injury that kept him out for all of 2017 he had a quarterback rating of 93.5 and completed 67.1 percent of his passes in 2016. His QB rating through five games this year is at 92.9 with a completion percentage of 65.9. Tannehill is scheduled to cost $26.6 million against the salary cap next year, while releasing him after the year take $13.2 million off the cap. It all likely depends on whether Tannehill can improve in the second half of the season when he returns from his right shoulder injury. Until then, Brock Osweiler will fill in under center. Tannehill will probably be dropped in shallow leagues with him likely to miss at least the next two games.
Detroit Lions RB Ameer Abdullah could see some action in passing situations with RB Theo Riddick (knee) ruled out against the Miami Dolphins in Week 8.
New Orleans Saints WR Tre'Quan Smith is expected to see a larger role after WR Ted Ginn Jr. (knee) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list, and Smith said he is 'ready for the opportunity.'
Fantasy Spin: Smith was able to show that he can be a threat down the field when he caught three passes for 111 and two touchdowns against the Washington Redskins in Week 5. He will be a boom-or-bust flex option against the Ravens in Week 7.
New Orleans Saints WR Ted Ginn Jr. (knee) has a 'realistic' chance to return when he is eligible to come off the Reserve/Injured list in eight weeks, according to head coach Sean Payton.
Jacksonville Jaguars RB Carlos Hyde won't overtake RB T.J. Yeldon for the lead back role against the Houston Texans in Week 7, according to Michael DiRocco of ESPN.com.
Fantasy Spin: The Jaguars backfield could become quite crowded if Leonard Fournette is ever healthy, but until Hyde's role becomes clear, you should hang on to him in all formats. That being said, you won't want to start him in Week 7.
Jacksonville Jaguars RB T.J. Yeldon will remain the 'main back' for the Week 7 game against the Houston Texans, according to Michael DiRocco of ESPN.com.
Fantasy Spin: The Jaguars just acquired Carlos Hyde, but until he has a full week of practice with the team under his belt, it makes sense that Yeldon would shoulder most of the load. Yeldon can be a RB2 in most leagues.
Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans is always a start given his elite status but he will have a tough matchup this weekend against rookie cornerback Denzel Ward. Evans massive height gives him a natural advantage over the undersized Ward but he will have a difficult time getting separation. Back-to-back duds by Evans shouldn't discourage his owners from starting him this weekend since he's still Mike Evans. Just don't expect much more than low-end WR1 numbers against Cleveland.
Arizona Cardinals QB Josh Rosen (toe) is dealing with a sprained left toe but should be available for the Week 8 game, according to head coach Steve Wilks.
Fantasy Spin: Rosen has struggled since taking over as the starting quarterback but will be working with a new offensive coordinator next week. Rosen should not be a starting option in any fantasy leagues, but owners may want to keep an eye on him to see if he improves over the next few weeks.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers DT Vita Vea will start at defensive tackle in the Week 7 game with DT Gerald McCoy (calf) sidelined, according to head coach Dirk Koetter.
Dallas Cowboys LB Sean Lee (hamstring) is expected to play in the Week 7 game but will be on a snap count, according to executive vice president Stephen Jones.
Dallas Cowboys WR Tavon Austin (groin) will not undergo groin surgery at this time but is expected to be sidelined for several weeks.
Denver Broncos CB Adam Jones (thigh) likely will be able to play in the Week 8 game, according to head coach Vance Joseph.
Denver Broncos OT Jared Veldheer (knee) and LB Shane Ray (ankle, wrist) may have a chance to play in the Week 8 game, according to head coach Vance Joseph.
Los Angeles Rams PK Greg Zuerlein (groin) fully participated in practice Friday, Oct. 19, and is not on the injury report for Week 7.
Fantasy Spin: Zuerlein is one of the top kickers in the NFL and is a must-start option in all leagues when he is healthy.
Los Angeles Rams WR Cooper Kupp (knee) did not participate in practice Friday, Oct. 19, and has been ruled out for Week 7. DT Michael Brockers (shoulder), LB Matt Longacre (back), WR Josh Reynolds (hand), OG Rodger Saffold (knee), C John Sullivan (non-injury) and OT Andrew Whitworth (non-injury) fully participated in practice and are not on the injury report.
Free-agent WR Auden Tate was signed to the Cincinnati Bengals practice squad Friday, Oct. 19.
Miami Dolphins WR DeVante Parker (quadriceps) said he will be available for the Week 7 game but is not sure how much playing time he will be able to handle because of the injury.
Fantasy Spin: Parker has been limited to only two games because of injuries and has posted only 40 yards in those games. Owners probably should avoid him even if he is active for the game.
Oakland Raiders RB Jalen Richard is expected to see a bump in workload with RB Marshawn Lynch (groin) sidelined. Richard has just three touches when the team is leading, and 39 touches when tied or trailing, but that is expected to change with just RB Doug Martin standing in the way.
Fantasy Spin: Richard will likely see plenty of targets out of the backfield, as he has shown good hands in the past. Doug Martin is currently projected to be the lead back heading out of the bye in Week 8, but many expect Richard to be the biggest winner in terms of fantasy value in the Oakland backfield.