Tue Sep 11 8:05 am
By JEFF PAUR
Sr Fantasy Writer
Dorsett setup for bigger role
You never want to overreact to just a week of football, but you also don't want to ignore what happened. Just keep everything in perspective and make educated moves based on what you witnessed. Here are some options for you to consider grabbing this week. There are lots of options out there this early in the season.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, Bucs. Fitzpatrick was the biggest surprise of Week 1. He had a game that might not be matched all season. He was 21-of-28 for 417 yards and four touchdowns without an interception. He also ran in a score, giving him five total touchdowns. He starts two more weeks with Jameis Winston suspended. You can't expect Fitzpatrick to repeat this game but he might be worth using in the right matchup. The potential is there in a pass-first offense.
Case Keenum, Bronocs. Keenum had a strong debut with the Broncos, proving he can help fantasy teams as a spot starer. He had good rapport with the receivers and moved the offense up and down the field. He did make some mistakes but his overall numbers were good in the end, going 25-of-39 for 329 yards and three touchdowns with three interceptions.
James Conner, Steelers. Conner is likely owned in most leagues but if your league didn't run a waiver before the Week 1 games, he might still be out there to grab for fantasy teams. Conner had a huge game in his first start, rushing 31 times for 135 yards and two touchdowns. He is about a must play as long as LeVeon Bell remains away. Conner can produce big total numbers in this offense.
Phillip Lindsay, Broncos. Lindsay was a big surprise the first week of the season, emerging as the top backup for the Broncos and third-down back. He had 15 carries for 71 yards, matching the rushing numbers of starter Royce Freeman. Lindsay also caught two passes for 31 yards and a touchdown. He showed well with his chances and likely will get weekly work going forward. He is a shifty back with big-play ability. He might be worth a flex play for fantasy teams in the right matchup.
Frank Gore, Dolphins. Gore didn't quite split carries with Kenyan Drake in Week 1 but he produced better numbers than him, which was encouraging. Gore ran nine times for 61 yards. He should get a similar workload going forward, so he isn't a sure thing by any means. But if he is getting around double-digit touches per week, he has fantasy value.
Austin Ekeler, Chargers. Ekeler had 10 touches last week - five carries and five receptions. He finished with 126 total yards and a touchdown. Ekeler should get a similar workload in a reserve role much of the season. He will get a few carries and some chances in the passing game. He has some weekly potential in his current role, making him a spot play in the right matchup.
T.J. Yeldon, Jaguars. Leonard Fournette is hurting and could miss some time, leaving Yeldon as the starter for the Jaguars. Yeldon has big value in a starting role for a run-first team. He had a touchdown and 69 total yards last week. He is a much improved runner between the tackles and could produce very well in a starting role. He is a top add for fantasy teams this week, especially for all those Fournette owners.
Cole Beasley, Cowboys. Beasley was the leading receiver for the Cowboys last week, catching seven passes for 73 yards. The Cowboys are a mess at receiver and Beasley might be the most dependable option of this group. We wouldn't expect big weekly numbers but he should get his catches in this offense. He might lead the Cowboys in targets this year.
Geronimo Allison, Packers. Allison had a strong showing in Week 1, catching five passes fro 69 yards and a touchdown. He did well in an expanded role for the Packers and should continue to be in the top three rotation for the team. Allison is still available in 62 percent of leagues. Go grab him if you need the receiver help.
Phillip Dorsett, Patriots. Dorsett could finally live up to his potential with the Patriots. He was a big part of the offense in Week 1, finishing with seven receptions for 66 yards and a touchdown. Dorsett might be a little up and down in an offense with a lot of weapons but he should get his weekly chances in a pass-first offense. Dorsett has a chance to be a factor for fantasy teams.
John Brown, Ravens. Brown carried over his strong preseason to a good performance in Week 1. He caught three passes for 44 yards and a touchdown. The Ravens look to have a much improved passing game, which could mean a strong rebound season for Brown. Remember, he is a former 1,000-yard receiver with a lot of talent.
Chris Godwin Bucs. Godwin scored a touchdown last week. He played 48 snaps to DeSean Jackson's 20 snaps. This is an encouraging sign for Godwin in this offense. Plus, Jackson suffered a concussion last week and could miss some time, giving Godwin even more playing time. Godwin is really setup for a breakout season in this offense.
Tyler Lockett, Seahawks. With Doug Baldwin injured, this leaves Lockett as the No. 1 receiver for the Seahawks. He had three receptions for 59 yards and a touchdown last week, showing his potential in an expanded role. Lockett is a big-play threat with the ball in his hands and is going to be capable of the huge game any given week.
Will Dissly, Seahawks. Dissly was a big surprise for many in the opener. He was supposed to be more of a blocking tight end for the Seahawks, but showed some promise in the passing game. Dissly had three receptions for 105 yards and a touchdown. We wouldn't expect this type of game many weeks but this game does warrant Dissly to be put on your radar going forward.
Jonnu Smith, Titans. Smith is the next man up at tight end for the Titans. Delanie Walker is likely done for the season, leaving Smith as the starter. Smith is a big-time athlete that could produce some top games, especially if you consider how often the Titans utilize the tight end in their offense. Smith has some real fantasy potential going forward. He could be a low-end No. 1 for fantasy teams.
Jared Cook, Raiders. Cook had a huge Week 1, catching nine passes for 180 yards. He had a big preseason as well, so this performance shouldn't come as a huge surprise. Cook has a chance for a career season in this offense. He is going to be heavily targeted, making him a candidate to be a low-end No. 1 for fantasy teams.
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.