Wed Oct 9 9:35am ET
By JEFF PAUR
Sr Fantasy Writer
Chark has become must start
This week starts the week with more than two teams on a bye. It gets even harder to set lineups with these byes and injuries. So my big advice is to plan ahead. If you know you are going to be needing a receiver or defense the next week or the week after that, start looking at options that could help. It is better to plan ahead in advance than wait until the week of to fill that lineup out. Be a proactive owner. Don’t sit back.
With that said, here are my random thoughts for the week. . . . .
I’m not ready to release Baker Mayfield just yet but he is not going in my starting lineup until he starts to do something on the field. He is a mess right now. Mayfield is not progressing like most expected, taking a step back from his play late last year. He just isn’t making quick decisions and retreating in the pocket way too much. The fantasy industry, including myself, really missed on this guy this year. He has been a huge bust.
Christian McCaffrey is just unbelievable. I know. Great analysis, right? Well, he is as fun to watch as any player in the game. And he is about 26 fantasy points from the next rated back, sitting firmly in first place in fantasy running back scoring. He has been getting a lot of work, which is a concern, but he held up last year. Here is to hoping he can hold up once again. He is on his way to one of the best fantasy seasons of all time for a running back.
For at least one week, it seems the Chargers are going to go with a pretty even timeshare at running back with Austin Ekeler and Melvin Gordon. Gordon will get more work running the ball while Ekeler will be used more in passing situations. This probably is a bigger blow to Gordon’s fantasy value, getting fewer chances to catch the ball. Ekeler might not keep his current pace as a fantasy back, but he can still be at least a top No. 2 back in his current role. He is going to catch a lot of passes.
Aaron Rodgers failed to score a touchdown last week and now ranks below Marcus Mariota in the fantasy quarterback rankings (19th overall). He is not having the season many expected but this could be the norm for him in this offense. The Packers are putting much more emphasis on the run and playing good defense. Plus, Rodgers is without his top receiver right now (Davante Adams) and the rest of the options have been very ho hum. Rodgers is still going to have a few big games this year but he might be mediocre more often than not, especially compared to past years for Rodgers.
Rookie Josh Jacobs is really starting to hit his stride. He had his first 100-yard rushing game of his career last week against a very good Bears defense. He has two straight games with 100-plus yards and topped that mark three of five games. Jacobs is getting a ton of weekly work and has five receptions the last two games compared to just one catch his first three. This all adds up to Jacobs being a low-end No. 1 fantasy back with big-time future at the position.
His fantasy numbers aren’t off the charts just yet but I’m super impressed by Colts running back Marlon Mack. He is a very impressive back. He runs with power but also has the patience to wait for the hole to open. He looks like an elite back and is starting to perform like one. Mack ran for 132 yards last week and has two games with 100-plus rushing yards. He also runs behind a very good offensive line, which is another huge plus for Mack. I think he is setup for great things going forward.
As always, don’t forget to check out my weekly rankings here: Week 6 rankings.
News and Notes: The Bills traded receiver Zay Jones to Raiders for a fifth-round draft pick in the 2021 draft. Jones could quickly move his way up the depth chart with his new team. . . . .The Broncos signed cornerback Coty Sensabaugh on Tuesday, adding some more depth to their secondary. . . . .The Patriots released tight end Benjamin Watson. He was just taken off the suspended list, so he will be free to sign with a new team. . . . .The Titans are making a switch at kicker. The team released kicker Cairo Santos and signed Cody Parkey to take over the kicking duties. . . . .The Chiefs signed defensive tackle Terrell McClain on Tuesday.
Kyler Murray, QB, Cardinals. Murray hasn’t posted eye popping weekly numbers his rookie year but has been very consistent. He is eighth overall in fantasy quarterback scoring, having at least 20 points every game this season. If he had a few more scores, he could be a top-five option. But right now, Murray has six total touchdowns, which is holding back his numbers. Murray is a great play this week against the Falcons, though. Atlanta allows the fifth most fantasy points to quarterbacks and allow 30 points per game. Murray is a solid No. 1 for Week 6.
Aaron Jones, RB, Packers. His huge game last week has moved him all the way up to fourth overall in fantasy running back scoring. Jones was producing pretty well even before that monster game, though. He has touchdowns four straight games and two 100-yard games this year. Jones also is becoming a bigger factor in the passing game, having 13 receptions his last two games. This really improves his fantasy value. Jones won’t repeat last week but he can have a good showing against the Lions. Detroit struggles against the run, allowing the fourth most fantasy points to running backs.
Dak Prescott, QB, Cowboys. Prescott had his second 400-yard game of the season last week, getting a chance to air it out often because his team got down big. Prescott was picked off three times but threw for 463 yards and two scores. Prescott has multiple touchdowns four of five games and is fifth overall in fantasy quarterback scoring. He is setup for another big game this week against the Jets. The Jets are just 21st against the pass and allow 25 points per game.
Chris Carson. RB, Seahawks. Carson had his second straight 100-yard game of the season last week. He has at least 15 carries every game this year, getting consistent work in the offense. He is 14th overall in fantasy running back scoring but can inch up even farther with a few more scores. You have to like his chances to find he end zone this week against a Browns team that was run over by the 49ers rushing game last week. The Browns are 29th against the rush, allowing 151-rushing yards per game.
D.J. Chark, WR, Jaguars. Alright, it is time to move Chark into must-start territory for all fantasy teams. This guy just keeps posting big weekly numbers, ranking fifth overall in fantasy receiver scoring. He had a career best game last week, catching eight passes for 164 yards and two touchdowns. He has scores four of five games. Chark is setup for more good things this week against the Saints, a team that allows the seventh most fantasy points to receivers.
Jordan Howard, RB, Eagles. Howard is showing some signs of life after a slow start. He has touchdowns three straight games and topped 100 total yards in Week 4. He has fewer than 65-rushing yards all but a game, though, and six total receptions. He is a touchdown dependent player, making him a risky weekly fantasy play. And we aren’t sure he finds the end zone this week against the Vikings, a team that allows the fourth fewest fantasy points to receivers. Minnesota has allowed just one rushing touchdown all year.
Demarcus Robinson, WR, Chiefs. Robinson has been very quiet since his huge Week 2 performance against the Raiders. Robinson has fewer than 45 yards three straight games. He is capable of a huge game in this offense but his recent production is a concern for any fantasy team looking to use him right now. It is hard to justify a spot in your lineup for Robinson. The numbers don’t lie. Robinson also plays the Texans this week. The Texans don’t have a great pass defense but haven't been too bad defensively, allowing 22 points per game. It is probably wise to just leave Robinson on your bench.
Daniel Jones, QB, Giants. Jones has played well since entering the starting lineup for the Giants. He has led his team to wins and made the offense much better. His fantasy numbers haven’t been off the charts, though. He has just one touchdown each of the last two games and failed to hit 200-passing yards last week. Jones has his toughest test of the season this week, facing the Patriots. New England allows the fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks and have yet to allow a passing touchdown. Plus, Jones will be without his top receiver, Sterling Shepard, which is another strike against using him.
Corey Davis, WR, Titans. Davis has all sorts of talent but continues to be wildly inconsistent for his fantasy owners. He has fewer than 50 yards in all but a game. He does have a 20 point fantasy performance, though, showing his big-time potential when getting the ball. The issue is Davis doesn’t get the ball enough. He does not have more than six targets in any game. Until he starts getting more work, don’t bother with Davis, especially this week. Davis plays the Broncos, which is a tough matchup for him. Denver allows the second fewest fantasy points to receivers and are fifth overall against the pass.
Todd Gurley, RB, Rams. You can’t bench Gurley because of his huge weekly potential in this offense but you might want to temper your expectations for him. The only thing saving him right now are his touchdown totals. He has multiple scores two straight games. His other numbers are not good, though. He has more than 100 total yards just once all year, which came in Week 1. He has fewer than 65-rushing yards four straight games and more than 10 receiving yards in just one game. He has been a disappointment in an offense that has struggled to run the ball. It could be more of the same for the Rams this week against the 49ers. San Francisco has been great against the run, allowing the fewest fantasy points to running backs.
Gardner Minshew, QB, Jaguars. Minshew has been super consistent for fantasy teams since entering the starting lineup. He has multiple scores four of five games and at least 18 fantasy points every game. He had a career-high 374-passing yards last week. Minshew has a lot of confidence and seems to be getting better each week. He has legit fantasy value as a spot starter. He is worth a look this week against the Saints, a team that allows the fourth most fantasy points to quarterbacks.
DeVante Parker, WR, Dolphins. Parker is one of the few Dolphins worth considering for fantasy teams. Parker scored his first touchdown of the season his last time out and has 70 or more yards two of four games. Parker is always capable of the huge game because of his big-time ability. A matchup this week against the Redskins gives Parker a chance for one of his big games. Washington allows the third most fantasy points to receivers and are 23rd overall against the pass.
Adrian Peterson, RB, Redskins. Peterson has not been good this year, especially compared to last year in this same offense. He has yet to top 40-rushing yards in a game and has just one touchdown. He also has just three receptions. The only good news is he is getting most of the carries, having three games with double-digit carries. If he is ever going to have a big game, it will be this week against the lowly Dolphins. Miami is dead last against the run, allowing 176-rushing yards per game. This is the week to take a chance on Peterson.
Chase Edmonds, RB, Cardinals. Edmonds had his best game of the season last week, totaling 86 yards on 11 touches. It was the first time all season he had double-digit touches in a game. David Johnson had his back lock up on him during the game, though, and had to miss some time. This could be an issue moving forward, so his workload could be scaled back. This means more touches for Edmonds, a big-play back. This makes Edmonds worth a look for fantasy teams in Week 6 against the Falcons. Atlanta is 19th against the rush and allow 30 points per game.
Mohamed Sanu, WR, Falcons. Sanu scored his first touchdown of the season last week. He has at least five receptions every game this year. His numbers aren’t flashy but consistent in the Falcons pass-heavy offense. You can’t ignore the numbers. He is a good bye-week or injury replacement for fantasy teams. If you need a receiver this week, give Sanu a look. He plays the Cardinals, a team 24th against the pass and allowing 28 points per game.
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: Texans/Chiefs, 49ers/Rams, Falcons/Cardinals.
Low Scoring Games: Eagles/Vikings, Titans/Broncos.
Bye Weeks: Bills, Bears, Colts, Raiders.
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.
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers draws a Week 12 matchup against the San Francisco 49ers, who have allowed only 142.5 passing yards a game, best in the league. Rodgers has thrown for at least 250 yards and two touchdowns in just four of 10 games this year, as the Packers have gone more run-heavy at times. There's no doubt the 49ers have been good, though Rodgers will be just the fourth quarterback they've faced who ranks in the top-10 in QB fantasy points. The 35-year-old will be under duress against the league's best pass rush and could take off and run several times- the 49ers have allowed the seventh-most rushing yards to QBs. Rodgers is talented enough to do damage, but he's just a low-end QB1 this week at best.
Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett's suspension appeal was upheld by the NFL, and he is suspended for the rest of the season and postseason. He can apply for reinstatement when the season ends. Garrett lost his cool at the end of last Thursday's game and hit Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph in the head with his own helmet. Garrett claimed in his appeal that Rudolph used a racial slur before the incident, but Rudolph is denying those allegations. Losing Garrett the rest of the way is a big blow to Cleveland's defense, but they'll remain a strong streaming consideration with the Dolphins coming to town in Week 12.
Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green (ankle) is not at practice again on Thursday. Green was close to returning to action a few weeks ago, but a setback has now made it questionable as to whether he'll even play at all in 2019. As of right now it looks like that won't happen, so most fantasy owners have dropped Green in recent weeks. Even if he were to suit up down the stretch, he wouldn't be a recommended starting option with the playoffs quickly approaching. Auden Tate (concussion) looks doubtful for Week 12 against the Steelers, so Tyler Boyd, Alex Erickson and Stanley Morgan Jr. could comprise three-receiver sets. Look elsewhere for fantasy production.
Cincinnati Bengals wide receivers Auden Tate (concussion) and Stanley Morgan Jr. missed their second straight practice this week on Thursday. With A.J. Green (ankle) likely to miss another game, Cincy's receiving corps is in dire straights. Expect Tyler Boyd and Alex Erickson to be the top two receivers, but they won't have much fantasy appeal with rookie Ryan Finley looking bad under center the last two games. Rookie Damion Willis would be the No. 3 wideout if both Tate and Morgan are unable to play. This is obviously a situation to avoid at all costs.
Indianapolis Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton (calf), who is questionable for Thursday night against the Texans, believes he's good to go. The Colts don't have any issues with him not practicing and playing in Week 12. The Texans have been game-planning for him to play and expect him to be on the field. You'll still want to check the inactives later just to make sure, but Hilton will immediately return to WR2 value against a team that he's typically destroyed in the past. Houston's secondary continues to be vulnerable again in 2019 as well. Hilton's return boosts quarterback Jacoby Brissett's outlook, while it will hurt Zach Pascal the most.
Atlanta Falcons running back Devonta Freeman (foot) wasn't seen at practice on Thursday for the second straight day. Freeman is expected to miss at least another game, so he should be planted firmly on benches for Week 12 against the Buccaneers. Tampa has surprisingly been one of the best against the run in 2019, so backup Brian Hill shouldn't be expected to do any better than his disappointing performance in Week 11 in place of Freeman. Hill should be considered a low-end RB3 as the leader of this backfield until Freeman is ready to return.
New York Giants wide receiver Darius Slayton finds himself in a tough spot on Sunday, even with injuries to Evan Engram (foot) and Sterling Shepard (concussion). The rookie wide receiver has been a revelation as Daniel Jones' deep-ball option, but the Bears are the fourth-best defense in the NFL against the pass and have only given up four touchdowns all season. More problematically, the average yards per target against the Bears is only 7.36 yards, which is fourth-fewest in the league. With a strong secondary and a fierce pass rush, quarterbacks get the ball out quickly on underneath routes, which are not the type Slayton runs. He's more of a WR4 and wouldn't be playable if Shepard returns to action.
New York Giants kicker Aldrick Rosas hasn't been much of a fantasy option all year, but he's certainly not going to be one against the Bears. Chicago has allowed the fifth-fewest fantasy points per game to opposing kickers, and the short-handed Giants offense will likely find it hard to move the ball against the Bears Defense. Look for value in another place.
Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones (foot) is back at practice on Thursday after sitting out on Wednesday. Jones was just being rested as a precaution on Wednesday. He'll be just fine to face the Buccaneers in Week 12. The veteran hasn't scored since Sept. 22, but he should be peppered with targets with tight end Austin Hooper (knee) out another game, and Tampa's secondary continues to get roasted this season. We'd be surprised if Jones didn't go over 100 yards or score a touchdown in Week 12. He's a must-start.
New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley gets a surprisingly strong matchup on Sunday against the Bears. Despite the widely-held belief that the Bears are an elite defense, they actually rank 23rd in PPR fantasy points allowed to running backs at 25.7 points per game. They gave up 29.8 points to Todd Gurley and a struggling Rams offense last week, and the Giants figure to have spent the bye week trying to get Barkley back on track after his historically bad 13-yard game last week. Fire him up with confidence in season-long leagues, and he might a solid DFS option since he's likely to be under-owned.
New York Giants wide receiver Golden Tate will be a risky play on Sunday, even with Evan Engram (foot) and Sterling Shepard (concussion) possibly out. The Bears Defense has been 12th in the NFL in points allowed to slot receivers over the last four weeks, giving up only 39 yards per game and no touchdowns over that stretch. Tate might be the Giants' top option, so he figures to accrue better numbers than that, but his upside is severely limited against a good secondary that can focus on him with other guys out. He's more of a WR3 in PPR leagues and a player to avoid in DFS.
Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Nelson Agholor (knee) missed practice for the second straight day on Thursday. Agholor is on the wrong side of questionable unless he returns to practice on Friday. The 26-year-old hasn't really been a fantasy option unless Alshon Jeffery is hurt, and even then he has mostly underwhelmed. He had four catches for 40 yards with Jeffery out in Week 11 against the Patriots. Even if Jeffery misses another game and Agholor is active, he'll be a low-upside WR4/flex this Sunday against the Seahawks. Jeffery has been practicing this week, too, so he could be on track to return. Nobody else in the receiving corps is trustworthy in Philly.
New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones is down his top receiving target and facing a top-five defense against the pass this week. That's all you need to know if you're thinking about playing Jones in fantasy. With Evan Engram (foot) out and Sterling Shepard (concussion) still not cleared to play, the rookie quarterback will be short-handed against a Bears Defense that has allowed the fifth-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks this season. The Bears meanwhile have the 22nd-best run defense, so Saquon Barkley will be the focus for the Giants. Look elsewhere at quarterback.
Washington Redskins running back Adrian Peterson (toe) was not spotted at practice on Thursday. If he's officially out of practice, it'll be his second straight missed day ahead of Week 12 against the Lions. Peterson is in danger of missing the game this weekend as he fights through turf toe. Making matters worse for his fantasy value is the return of Derrius Guice last week and the impending return of Chris Thompson (toe), who has returned to practice this week. Even were Peterson to play this Sunday, he'd likely take a back seat to Guice on early downs and could lose even more valuable touches to Thompson. We hope you aren't planning on relying on the veteran back the rest of the way.
Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy said that quarterback Mitch Trubisky (hip) had a good practice on Wednesday, but he's still "day-to-day." Nagy called Trubisky's practice on Wednesday "a step in the right direction." Unless Trubisky has a setback in practice, he should be in line to start under center in Week 12 against the Giants. The matchup is a good one, but Trubisky needs to be far from starting lineups as one of the worst QBs in the league in 2019. He ranks 28th in the league in total yards (1,580) and is also tied with the likes of Teddy Bridgewater, Andy Dalton and Case Keenum with just nine touchdowns all year. Another bad game and we could see Chase Daniel starting in Week 13 or sooner.
The Falcons Defense has been on a tear since the team's Week 9 bye. Over the past two weeks, they have held the Saints and Panthers to a total of 12 points while recording 11 sacks. They also forced four Kyle Allen interceptions in Week 11. This week, the team plays the Buccaneers, who lead the league in interceptions thrown (18) and have given up 36 sacks on the year. While Jameis Winston and company might put up some points on the Falcons as they average 27.7 points per game, the sacks and turnovers should make up for it. The Falcons were so bad defensively for the first half of the year that their defense should be considered a low-end starting option at best, but there's certainly reason to believe they've turned a corner and could put up good production for the third straight week in Week 12.
There is certainly an argument that Atlanta Falcons tight end Jaeden Graham deserves start consideration for Week 12. Austin Hooper (knee) has been ruled out for the game and Graham was the only Falcons tight end to receive a target with Hooper sidelined in Week 11. Furthermore, Julio Jones (foot) is currently questionable for the game and if he sits or plays at less than 100%, Graham would certainly get at least a minor boost. Graham reeled in both of his targets in Week 11 for 23 yards. He was unfortunately out-snapped in the game by fellow tight end Luke Stocker. Stocker played 43 snaps while Graham logged 34. Stocker has nine targets on the year compared with Graham's four. The tight end situation with Hooper out is likely more of a 50/50 split than a one-man show. Avoid starting Graham until further notice.
Atlanta Falcons kicker Younghoe Koo has hit seven of his eight field goal attempts and all six of his extra-point attempts in his two games with the Falcons. This week, the Falcons face the Buccaneers in a game where the team should be in position to score a good amount of points. Koo should see at least two field goal opportunities along with multiple extra-point chances. He's a solid starting option for Week 12.
Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Dede Westbrook (illness) is not expected to practice on Thursday. Westbrook returned to the field last week and caught four of his six targets for just 32 yards in the loss to the Colts. D.J. Chark got all the love from a returning quarterback Nick Foles. Westbrook was Foles' favorite target before he went down in the season opener with a broken collarbone, though, so it's unfair to say that Foles won't be going back to that well at some point moving forward. Westbrook should be fine to play in Week 12 against the Titans. He had five catches for 46 yards against them in the first meeting, and he'll be a WR3 this weekend.
Although New England Patriots wide receiver Phillip Dorsett (concussion) missed practice on Wednesday, there is mid-week optimism that he could be cleared in time to play in Week 12 against the Cowboys, according to a source. Mohamed Sanu (ankle) could now miss multiple games with a high ankle sprain, so the Patriots could be in trouble this Sunday if Dorsett can't play. They'd likely revert to three-receiver sets consisting of Julian Edelman and rookies N'Keal Harry and Jakobi Meyers. Harry just made his NFL debut in Week 11, but he'd have more plug-and-play appeal as a flex over Meyers. If he plays, Dorsett will be a risky WR4/flex. Quarterback Tom Brady should be downgraded either way with Sanu now out two to three weeks.