Thu Oct 18 8:36 am
By JEFF PAUR
Sr Fantasy Writer
Johnson has TDs four straight
Well, the bye weeks should make for an interesting week of fantasy action. We have four teams on a bye this week for the first time this season, including some powerhouse offenses (Packers, Steelers). This could make for some tough lineup decisions for fantasy owners. Hopefully, you have some quality options to choose from to make up for your losses this week.
Now for my random thoughts for the week. . . . .
I could not be more impressed with Saquon Barkley. He is exceeding all my expectations for him for his rookie year. This guy is Barry Sanders but with more size. He is a special talent that will be a fantasy force for years to come. The opposition knows he is getting the ball and still can't stop him. That is pure Sanders in my view. Just imagine if the Giants had any offensive line and their quarterback was playing decent football. The sky is the limit for this kid. He has been so impressive.
My biggest disappointment to date is Jordan Howard. He has a promising first few games but gone really south his last few times out. He did have decent rushing totals last week but went without a catch for the second straight game. I really thought he would get more weekly chances to catch the ball. That isn't happening at the moment, though, which really puts a dent in his fantasy value, especially if you consider he has more than 70-rushing yards just once all season. Howard has the talent to get it going, but I have a feeling he is going to continue to disappoint me.
I still can't fathom the Browns giving Carlos Hyde 95 percent of the carries at running back. This guys has averaged fewer than three yards per carry three of six games and just 3.4 yards per carry for the season. Meanwhile, Nick Chubb just keeps making big plays every time he touches the ball, but has not had more than three carries in a game this year. Chubb deserves eight to 10 touches every week. Hyde isn't doing much with his work, so why not give the rookie more chances. Makes zero sense.
Sony Michel continues to gain steam in the Patriots offense. He has 100-yard games two of three and scores three straight. Michel has double-digit carries every game he has played. Needless to say, he is the workhorse back for this offense, which is unusual for the Patriots in recent years. The only concern for me is he has just three receptions all season. His lack of catches is going to hold him back from being a top fantasy back. Until the catches some, consider Michel a No. 2 fantasy back.
Here is to hoping Joe Mixon can stay healthy the rest of the year. I have been super impressed with him when he is on the field. He seems to have taken his game to a new level, showing he can be that three-down elite back. He has 84 or more total yards all four games played and more than 100 total yards two of those games. The sky seems the limit for Mixon. He is really gaining steam in this offense.
Keenan Allen is pulling a Julio Jones this year. He is getting his catches and some decent yards but he is not finding the end zone, which is really hurting his fantasy numbers. He scored in Week 1 but hasn't since. Allen is just 23rd overall in fantasy receiver scoring, failing to live up to his draft status right now. He can get going but the lack of scores is a concern. The Chargers have some other weapons at receiver that seem to be better red-zone targets.
So Alfred Morris played just one snap last week, which was a huge shock to everyone. Matt Breida was healthy and played well, but the big surprise was Raheem Mostert splitting the work with Breida. The 49ers obviously don't think Morris brings much to the table at this point. Look for Breida and Mostert to continue splitting the work at running back for the 49ers going forward. Morris is worth dropping in most formats.
Devonta Freeman is likely done for the season after needing surgery on his injury. This leaves Tevin Coleman as the starter with Ito Smith as the top backup. Coleman has been a bust to date as a starter in this offense. He has really surprised me, failing to excel with more chances. He might improve a little going forward, but don't expect him to be a top fantasy play based on his play to start the year. Smith intrigues me a little more. He could be getting more chances. Plus, he seems to be getting the goal-line work, having scores three straight games. Smith is a touchdown dependent player right now, but that could change in the coming weeks. We'll see.
As always, don't forget to check out our weekly rankings: Week 7 Rankings.
News and Notes: The Colts signed receiver Dontrelle Inman on Tuesday, adding some depth to their receiving unit. . . . . .Atlanta signed kicker Giorgio Tavecchio on Tuesday. He should handle the kicking duties while starter Matt Bryant is sidelined with an injury. . . . .The Rams signed receiver Nick Williams on Tuesday. Williams adds some depth at receiver for the Rams, who are battling some injuries at that position right now. . . . .San Francisco signed quarterback Tom Savage on Tuesday. Savage could become the top backup for the 49ers before long.
Tyler Boyd, WR, Bengals. Boyd found the end zone twice last week, giving him multiple scores in a game for the first time this season. Boyd has emerged as a top target in this offense, having at least four receptions five straight games. He also has two 100-yard games and 90-plus yards three of six. Boyd should be involved in a high-scoring game this week against the Chiefs, which bodes well for him. Kansas City allows the 11th most fantasy points to receivers and rank 27th against the pass.
Mitchell Trubisky, QB, Bears. Trubisky has back-to-back 300-yard games and nine touchdowns in those two games. He has taken his game to a new level, posting huge weekly numbers. Trubisky is gaining confidence and making plays on a regular basis. He has a good chance for his third straight 300-yard game this week. Trubisky plays the Patriots, a team that allows the eighth most fantasy points to quarterbacks.
Robert Woods, WR, Rams. Woods is red hot for the Rams, having 100-yard games three of four. He also has at least 80 yards all but Week 1 of the season. He has been a consistent target in the Rams explosive offense all season long. Expect another big game this week against the 49ers. San Francisco is just 25th against the pass, allowing 279-passing yards per game.
David Johnson, RB, Cardinals. Johnson still isn't doing a whole lot on the ground but he keeps finding the end zone. He has scores four straight and five of six games this year. His touchdown totals are saving his fantasy season right now. He can find the end zone again this week and could even produce some good numbers on the ground for once. Johnson plays the Broncos, a team that is dead last against the rush. Denver allows 161.3-rushing yards per game.
Kerryon Johnson, RB, Lions. Johnson is starting to emerge as the top back in the Lions offense. He has double-digit carries two of three and at least 85 total yards two of those games. He can have his best season to date against the Dolphins this week. Miami has struggled to stop the rush this season, allowing the fourth most fantasy points to running backs. Johnson is a solid No. 2 back in this one.
C.J. Beathard, QB, 49ers. Beathard is proving to be a fantasy player that you can use. He has multiple touchdowns all of his three starts and 295-plus yards two of those games. He isn't matchup proof, though. Beathard is more of a spot play in the right matchup. And this week against the Rams isn't a good time to use Beathard. Los Angeles allows the eighth fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks and rank 13th overall against the pass. Go with better options this week.
Deshaun Watson, QB, Texans. Watson had his worst game of the season last week, throwing for just 177 yards and one touchdown. He also turned the ball over three times in the game. Watson is in a bit of a funk, having two straight games with just one touchdown pass. Things don't get any easier for him this week on the road against the Jaguars. Jacksonville allows the third fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks and rank first overall against the pass.
Alex Collins, RB, Ravens. Collins had multiple touchdowns for the first time this season last week. He has five scores, including touchdowns three of four games. Collins has become a touchdown dependent player, though, because he is doing little on the ground. He ran 19 times for just 54 yards last week and has fewer than 60-rushing yards all but a game. HIs season high in rushing is 68 yards. The matchup against the Saints might look good on paper, but the Saints actually do a good job of shutting down the run. New Orleans is first overall against the rush, allowing 71.4-rushing yards per game. Collins will be a boom or bust play, depending on if he scores a touchdown.
Kenny Stills, WR, Dolphins. Stills has really faded since the start of the season. He had a 100-yard game Week 1 but fewer than 50 yards four of his next five games. Stills had just one reception last week. He does not have more than six targets in any game, so he isn't getting a ton of weekly looks. We would just avoid him for now, especially this week against the Lions. Detroit allows the second fewest fantasy points to receivers.
Austin Ekeler, RB, Chargers. Ekeler ran seven times for 60 yards last week, which is solid, but he didn't catch a pass. His fantasy numbers weren't very good. Ekeler has just three receptions his last three games. If he isn't getting the work in the passing game, Ekeler is a scary fantasy play. We would just live him on your bench for now. Ekeler also has an unfavorable matchup this week, playing the Titans. Tennessee allows the fourth fewest fantasy points to running backs.
Baker Mayfield, QB, Browns. Mayfield has been pretty consistent since moving into the starting lineup for the Browns. He has at least 230-yards all three games and scores in all of those games. His fantasy numbers haven't been off the charts but decent. He has faced some pretty tough defensive opponents, though. Mayfield gets his best matchup of the season this week against the Bucs, a team that allows the most fantasy points to quarterbacks. Mayfield is a low-end No. 1 quarterback for Week 7.
Phillip Lindsay, RB, Broncos. Lindsay rank four times for just 18 yards last week but had a season-high six receptions for 48 yards. He has been pretty consistent all season, having double-digit carries four of six games and multiple receptions four games. Lindsay can help as a flex play this week against a bad Cardinals rush defense. Arizona allows the second most fantasy points to running backs and are 31st against the run.
Devin Funchess, WR, Panthers. Funchess hasn't been off the charts this season but very consistent. He has at least four receptions four straight games and 50-plus yards five straight. He also has scores two of three. He still hasn't topped 80 yards but the catches and decent yardage totals are there for Funchess. He can produce another solid fantasy game in Week 7 against the Eagles. Philadelphia allows the seventh most fantasy points to receivers and rank 23rd against the pass.
Austin Hooper, TE, Falcons. Hooper has been targeted double-digit times two straight games. He has 18 receptions for 148 yards his last two games. Hooper has become a top target in this explosive offense. He can keep up his top ways this week against a Giants defense that has been leaky against the pass in recent weeks. New York has allowed 270-plus passing yards two of four games.
Taylor Gabriel, WR, Bears. It is time to start giving Gabriel some love. He is 24th in fantasy receiver scoring and 11th his last three games. Gabriel has two straight 100-yard games and at least four receptions every game. He has been a consistent target in an emerging Bears offense. There is a good chance he hits the 100-yard mark again this week against the Patriots, a team that is just 21st against the pass. Gabriel should be considered a solid No. 2 receiver in this matchup.
High/Low Scoring Games
Each week we will take a look at some of the high and low scoring games for the coming week. In high scoring affairs, get your marginal players on those teams in your lineup to take advantage of the possible points barrage. And in the low scoring games, keep those marginal players on the bench and make sure to have your defenses involved in those contests.
High Scoring Games: Panthers/Eagles, Browns/Bucs, Rams/49ers, Bengals/Chiefs, Giants/Falcons.
Low Scoring Games: Texans/Jaguars.
Bye: Packers, Raiders, Seahawks, Steelers.
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 email@example.com. Follow Jeff on Twitter @jeffpaur.
Seattle Seahawks LB K.J. Wright (knee) will be a game-time decision for the Week 11 game, according to head coach Pete Carroll.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers LB Kendell Beckwith (ankle) has a chance to play in the Week 11 game, but head coach Dirk Koetter said it is too soon to determine his status for the game.
Washington Redskins WR Jamison Crowder (ankle) is still not 100 percent at this point, but his MRI did not show any more damage to his ankle. Head coach Jay Gruden said he expects Crowder to return soon.
Fantasy Spin: Crowder may not be able to play this week but could return to the lineup in the next week or two. Owners in all leagues should avoid Crowder until he is able to participate in practice.
Philadelphia Eagles DT Timmy Jernigan (back) has a chance to play in the Week 11 game, according to head coach Doug Pederson.
Detroit Lions wide receiver TJ Jones saw his most snaps (50) of the season in Week 10 due to Marvin Jones (knee) being forced to leave the game in the third quarter. However, it didn't lead to increased production as the former caught just one pass for 12 yards. This week against Carolina, if Marvin Jones is unable to suit up then expect TJ Jones to line up opposite of Kenny Golladay, making the available Jones a dart-throw DFS play but nothing more. Although, if Marvin Jones is able to play, it takes away any fantasy value of TJ Jones.
The Indianapolis Colts defense has seen a drastic fall in their sack totals, with only four across their last five games compared to 17 in the first four weeks of the 2018 NFL season. They also failed to produce a single turnover against the Jacksonville Jaguars last week while giving up 21 fantasy points toBlake Bortles. That being said, the Tennessee Titans are completely erratic when it comes to turnovers and have given up the fourth-most fantasy points to team defenses on the year. Don't let the Titans stunning victory over the New England Patriots fool you too much, as the Colts defense could surprise many fantasy owners with a big day in Week 11.
The Indianapolis Colts have heavily featured their tight end group in the passing game as evidenced by six of their last passing touchdowns coming from the motley crew of Jack Doyle, Eric Ebron, and Mo Alie-Cox. Colts tight ends have been targeted in the red zone the most of any team in the NFL this season and their top-two options should have solid fantasy outings against the Tennessee Titans in Week 11. Doyle continues to operate as the No. 1 option, leading the group in snaps and routes run on offense which should ultimately result to another big game akin to his six reception, 70 yard and a touchdown game in Week 8. Ebron might have run only 12 pass routes last week, but his three touchdowns makes it clear that he remains a great play due to his scoring upside week in and week out. With Indianapolis likely to continue featuring its tight ends, plug Doyle and Ebron into your lineups.
Detroit Lions wide receiver Kenny Golladay caught six passes in Week 10, the same amount he caught over weeks 7-9 combined. He also found the end zone for the first time since Week 5. These are the results fantasy owners were expecting when Golden Tate was traded away. This week at home against Carolina, Golladay has a chance to have another solid showing with the Lions looking to break a three-game losing skid. His teammate Marvin Jones (knee) left Sunday's game in the third quarter, leading to a missed practice on Wednesday; he is considered day-to-day. If for some reason Jones doesn't play against Carolina, Golladay should easily see double-digit targets. Look at the second-year man as a WR2 with upside in Week 11.
Detroit Lions running back Theo Riddick recorded his highest receiving yardage total of the season last Sunday against the Bears, catching six passes for 60 yards. Serving as the Lions pass-catching back, the 27-year-old returned two weeks ago from a knee injury and has since caught 13 of 15 targets. This week, the Panthers present a challenge for a player like Riddick, as they have allowed the fourth fewest receptions to running backs this season. Keep in mind that Detroit has trailed in each of the past three games, thus forcing them to throw consistently. Look for Detroit to do whatever they can to break the three-game losing streak this Sunday at home, meaning Riddick has some flex appeal but nothing more.
Free-agent QB Paxton Lynch (Broncos), WR Tre McBride (Jets) and WR Tavarres King (Vikings) worked out for the Miami Dolphins Wednesday, Nov. 14.
Atlanta Falcons LB Deion Jones (foot) is making progress, according to head coach Dan Quinn, but the team is going to make sure he's 100 percent ready first before putting him back on the field.
Detroit Lions running back Kerryon Johnson scored a rushing and a receiving touchdown last week against the Bears, but outside of that was very average against a good defense. This week, Johnson has another questionable matchup against the Carolina Panthers. The rookie's yardage totals have suffered recently because the Lions have trailed in each of the past three games. Detroit will need to get ahead early or keep it close throughout to get Johnson opportunities on the ground. However, if they do get behind again, Johnson can still get it done in the passing game, having seen 20 targets since Week 8. Clearly the return of Theo Riddick hasn't affected how the Lions will use the Auburn product. Look at Johnson as a flex play with RB2 potential.
Detroit Lions running back LeGarrette Blount hasn't crossed the goal line in three weeks and has totaled only 15 yards rushing in the same period. That is all you need to hear when breaking down Blount's fantasy value. Making his case even worse is the fact that Kerryon Johnson received a goal-line carry last week that ended up as a touchdown for the rookie. It's obvious the team is losing their interest in Blount as a factor in the offense. Keep him on waivers in Week 11.
Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis is 'still hopeful' he'll have WR A.J. Green (foot) back on the field for the team's Week 11 game Sunday, Nov. 18, versus the Baltimore Ravens.
Fantasy Spin: It seems a lot more likely than not that Green will remain out through Week 11, as his injury has kept him sidelined for only one game thus far when his original timetable called for him to miss more time than that. Either way, he's a WR1 whenever he gets back, but his owners should begin preparing for another week without Green's services.
Cincinnati Bengals LB Nick Vigil (knee) is making progress in his recovery but is not expected to play in the Week 11 game.
Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck has thrown three or more touchdown passes in six consecutive games, the longest streak since Tom Brady's 10 back in 2007. Despite heading into a Week 11 tilt with a Tennessee Titans defense that has allowed the fewest offensive touchdowns, points per play, and touchdown conversions in the red zone on the season, Luck's hot hand is too hard not to ride. For fantasy owners in need of reassurance, Carson Wentz, Philip Rivers, and Deshaun Watson all managed to put up 20-plus fantasy points against the Titans in previous weeks. Plug and play Luck as a QB1 with confidence for fantasy purposes.
Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford has a decent matchup at home with the Carolina Panthers this Sunday. Stafford saved his Week 10 stat line with two garbage-time touchdowns against the Bears; however, he did toss two interceptions. The Panthers are in damage control after getting torched by Ben Roethlisberger for 5 touchdowns last Thursday. With the Lions back home after two straight road games, Stafford will be looking to get back to winning ways. Since Golden Tate was traded, Kenny Golladay has been up-and-down, while Marvin Jones injured his knee last Sunday and did not practice Wednesday. Pay attention to his designation for the game, but if he plays look at Stafford as a QB2 against the Panthers.
Oakland Raiders WR Martavis Bryant (knee) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Nov. 14. CB Gareon Conley (groin), C Rodney Hudson (ankle), OG Kelechi Osemele (knee), LB Kyle Wilber (knee) and CB Daryl Worley (shoulder) were limited during practice. OG Jon Feliciano (ribs), WR Dwayne Harris (foot), OG Gabe Jackson (pectoral) and OT Kolton Miller (elbow, knee) fully participated in practice.
Oakland Raiders RB Doug Martin (hip) fully participated in practice Wednesday, Nov. 14.
Fantasy Spin: Martin has received at least 10 carries in each of the last three games and has rushed for at least 60 yards in two of the games. He should have some success against the Arizona Cardinals and can be at least a flex option in standard leagues.
Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (non-injury) didn't participate in practice Wednesday, Nov. 14.
Fantasy Spin: The veteran was simply just getting a day off in order to manage his reps. He'll be out there come Sunday, but at this point in time, it's under the status of a WR3 with inconsistent freshman Josh Rosen throwing him the football.