Sat Nov 9 2:48pm ET
By CHARLIE WIEGERT
Six teams are on a bye this week: New England, Philadelphia, Houston, Denver, Washington and Jacksonville. Some premier fantasy will be missing in lineups, who can you replace them with?
The Colts get the gimme game with the Dolphins coming to town, but T.Y. Hilton is out and Jacoby Brissett looks doubtful. Their defense remains a good play. The other matchup of bad teams meet in the battle of New York with the Giants playing the Jets. There is very little to get excited about there.
There are two matchups where a lot of offense is predicted, so playing the guys on these four teams makes sense: Arizona at Tampa Bay, and Atlanta at New Orleans. Not far behind will be Kansas City at Tennessee, and Minnesota at Dallas.
In one of the better good versus bad team matchups, Baltimore plays Cincinnati. This should be a very one sided game.
Three Bengals have one of the worst defenses in the NFL against both the pass and rush, so Cincinnati has no chance to stop the potent Ravens offense. Lamar Jackson should have a big day both rushing and passing. And the other Ravens players should put up big numbers - Mark Ingram, Marquise Brown and Mark Andrews. Play them all!
Quarterbacks: Kyler Murray and the Cardinals travel to Tampa. The prize the Cardinals get is the Bucs defense. Their secondary is in shambles, having allowed 300-passing yards and two touchdowns the last six games. The rookie quarterback has a great chance to have one of his best days as a pro in this one. And on the other side of the ball, Jameis Winston could put the ball up 40 times playing catch up. You can safely play both quarterbacks. Arizona is really bad defending against tight ends. Could this be the day everyone has been waiting for from O.J. Howard? I say no. Tampa Bay coach Bruce Arians doesn’t make up plays that go to tight ends, and I doubt he’ll start against his former team.
Drew Brees gets an easy game against a pitiful Falcons defense at home in what should another very one-sided game.
My sleeper quarterback pick is whoever starts for the Colts at home against Miami. I think Brian Hoyer might have better day than banged up Jacoby Brissett, and I don’t think the Colts need him to dispose of the Dolphins. It’d be smarter to give home the week off to heal. If Hoyer starts, he makes a great DFS play.
Running Backs: David Montgomery has averaged 110 yards his last two games, and the way Mitch Trubisky has been playing, the key to victory for the Bears is to run him early and often against the Lions. You can expect the big five - Christian McCaffery, Saquon Barkley, Ezekiel Elliott, Alvin Kamara and Dalvin Cook - to all have the games you’d expect this week.
Devin Singletary has taken over the lead running back role in Buffalo, and he should have a really good day against a Cleveland rushing defense that is giving up over 120 yards per game.
And the Colts are playing the Dolphins, so the Marlon Mack express should be chugging along.
Wide Receivers: Look at the quarterbacks above. The question is what receivers will they be throwing to? I think Murray’s top receiver will be veteran Larry Fitzgerald, but Christian Kirk will have a good day, also. It wouldn’t surprise me to see both top the century mark. On the other side when James isn’t throwing to Arizona cornerbacks, I look for Chris Godwin to out-catch Mike Evans this week. The main reason is because Winston might want to stay away from Patrick Peterson, who likely shadows Evans.
The most consistent wide receiver this year has been Michael Thomas, and he’ll be Drew Brees’s favorite target this week. To go with my sleeper pick with the Colts at quarterback, Zach Pascal will be on the receiving end for which ever quarterback plays.
Tight Ends: Travis Kelce should have a good day against a questionable middle linebacker group in Tennessee, especially if Patrick Mahomes does indeed play. And if George Kittle is healed enough to play for the 49ers against the Seahawks Monday night, it’s a great matchup for him, but right now he looks really risky. My top pick this week is Atlanta’s Austin Hooper, especially if Matt Ryan is back at quarterback. New Orleans has allowed the sixth most yards per catch to tight ends this year.
Defenses: The obvious three are Indianapolis (vs. Miami), Baltimore (vs. Cincinnati) and New Orleans (vs. Atlanta). The Bears at home against the Lions are a good call, too. Look for them to get a pick six.
Charlie Wiegert was the sixth person to be inducted in the Fantasy Sports Hall Of Fame in 2001. He is a founder of CDM Fantasy Sports and Fantasy Sports Trade Association. He has been playing and winning fantasy baseball leagues since 1984. If you have any questions for Charlie, email them to email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @GFFantasySports.
Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Nelson Agholor has been ruled out for Monday Night Football due to a knee injury. Agholor being out means the Eagles will rely even more on tight ends Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert. The only fantasy-relevant wide receiver on the Eagles will be Alshon Jeffery, who has played well in the past against the Giants and is coming off his best game of the season. Rookie J.J. Arcega-Whiteside and Greg Ward will fill out the rest of the wide receiver depth chart in Agholor's place.
Philadelphia Eagles running back Jordan Howard won't play on Monday Night Football due to a shoulder injury. This was expected, as Howard still has not been cleared for contact since originally suffering the injury. Miles Sanders will be on the field a whole lot more than most Eagles running backs have been this season, with Jay Ajayi and Boston Scott backing him up.
Chicago Bears LB Roquan Smith (pectoral) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Monday, Dec. 9. The team also signed free-agent LB Devante Bond (Buccaneers). Terms of the contract were not disclosed.
Jacksonville Jaguars LB Jake Ryan (hamstring) will miss some playing time because of a hamstring injury he suffered in Week 14, according to head coach Doug Marrone.
Seattle Seahawks RB Rashaad Penny (knee) will miss the rest of the 2019 season because of the knee injury he suffered in Week 14. Head coach Pete Carroll said Penny is dealing with a significant injury, but he is still waiting for the MRI results.
Fantasy Spin: Chris Carson will be the main option in the running game with Penny out and should receive plenty of carries each week. Carson is a must-start option in all fantasy leagues no matter the opponent. C.J. Prosise likely will receive a bigger role in the offense and could be a flex option in some deeper leagues.
Indianapolis Colts WR T.Y. Hilton (calf) still has a chance to play this season even if the team is eliminated from playoff contention, according to head coach Frank Reich.
Fantasy Spin: Hilton has missed the last several games because of the calf injury and is uncertain for the final three games of the season. Fantasy players can monitor the situation but probably should look for other options and keep Hilton on the bench.
Cincinnati Bengals WR A.J. Green (ankle) is still considered day-to-day, according to head coach Zac Taylor.
Fantasy Spin: Green has not played this season and suffered a setback a few weeks ago. Fantasy players should avoid Green until he is able to return to the practice field.
Updating a previous report, Indianapolis Colts PK Adam Vinatieri (knee) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Monday, Dec. 9.
Indianapolis Colts quarterback Jacoby Brissett had a good matchup in Week 14, and he took advantage of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He finished the day 19-of-36 for 251 yards and two touchdowns. He also added four carries for 26 yards. Brissett has been without a number of receiving weapons this year due to injuries, but he was able to utilize the weapons he did have on Sunday afternoon. Brissett's matchups get difficult down the stretch, and he'll be trending downward with the Colts playoff hopes taking a major hit with the latest loss.
Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Marcus Johnson took advantage of a great matchup and opportunity in Week 14 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. With a number of other pass catchers out, Johnson was quarterback Jacoby Brissett's second-favorite target on the day. He caught three of his seven targets for 105 yards and a touchdown. As long as wide receiver T.Y. Hilton (calf) remains out, Johnson will likely continue to see work while the Colts' coaching staff looks to determine their key pieces for the future.
Indianapolis Colts running back Marlon Mack, in his return from a hand injury, was inefficient in Week 14 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but he was able to get into the end zone to salvage his day. He finished with 13 carries for 38 yards and a touchdown. He didn't add anything in the passing game, but, in a big shootout, he wasn't utilized a ton. In the final weeks of the season, Mack won't be counted on for a ton of production, but he's still giving you an RB2 level of play on an every week basis.
Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Zach Pascal has shown the ability to be a great player this season, and he showed that again in Week 14. Against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he caught five his nine targets for 74 yards and a touchdown. Quarterback Jacoby Brissett consistently relies on Pascal as his top wideout option every week, and it's just a matter of him completing the catches to be a good play in fantasy. His matchups are less-than-stellar down the stretch, but he still has the volume every week to give him consistent upside.
Indianapolis Colts tight end Jack Doyle exploded in Week 13, but he struggled in a big way in Week 14 despite a great matchup with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He caught two of his six targets for 27 yards, and he failed to get into the end zone. Doyle gets the volume to be a consistent fantasy tight end, but he didn't convert on it this week. He'll be a consistent option down the stretch, but he'll never be a high-ceiling player like some of the other guys at the position.
Washington Redskins LB Ryan Kerrigan (calf) will not play in Week 15 against the Philadelphia Eagles due to the calf injury he suffered in Week 14 versus the Green Bay Packers, according to interim head coach Bill Callahan.
Washington Redskins RB Derrius Guice (knee) will not play in Week 15 against the Philadelphia Eagles due to the knee he suffered in Week 14 versus the Green Bay Packers, according to interim head coach Bill Callahan.
Indianapolis Colts PK Adam Vinatieri (knee, leg) is scheduled to undergo surgery to address issues with his meniscus and patellar tendon Wednesday, Dec. 11. He is expected to need between four and six months of rehab.
Atlanta Falcons WR Calvin Ridley (abdominal) announced on social media he will miss the rest of the season due to an abdominal injury he suffered in Week 14 against the Carolina Panthers.
Fantasy Spin: Ridley's second pro season will end with 63 catches for 866 yards and a team-high seven touchdown receptions - almost an exact replica of his production over 16 games as a rookie. There's no indication yet whether or not this injury will be a concern for him in 2020. The Falcons will move forward with Julio Jones and Russell Gage as their starting receivers for the remainder of this season. Jones will remain his usual WR1 self, while Gage is now worthy of flex consideration in shallow leagues.
Updating a previous report, Jacksonville Jaguars DJ Chark (ankle) will be 'week-to-week or day-to-day' with an ankle injury, according to head coach Doug Marrone.
Fantasy Spin: The always-popular non-update from the head coach, as there is a pretty significant difference between "week-to-week" and "day-to-day." At any rate, owners probably should not expect to have Chark available to them in Week 15 and perhaps the rest of the season. His absence would leave Dede Westbrook and Chris Conley as Gardner Minshew's top targets, and both receivers would be worth considering as low-end starters in fantasy if Chark's injury does sideline him the rest of the way.
Updating a previous report, Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes (hand) did not suffer a broken bone in his hand in Week 14 and is expected to be fine for Week 15 against the Denver Broncos, according to head coach Andy Reid.
Fantasy Spin: Reid did admit to changing up his play-calling in the second half of Week 14 to account for his quarterback's injury, so owners should keep an eye on his practice participation throughout the week. Assuming he gets something close to regular work during the week, Mahomes should be trusted as a high-end QB1 in Week 15.