I have to start this week’s post off by just pointing out that the football overload has made me sick, so I don’t have it in me for a long intro today. The point is, we’re halfway through the fantasy football season (unless you’re in a league that plays in week 17) and by this point, you should know if you’re making a playoff run or if you’re trading your first-round pick soon.
That is unless your league prevents that unless they’re injured and have to go on IR. What a shame that’d be.
QB: Ryan Fitzpatrick, New York Jets ($6,200): I can’t believe I’m saying this as a diehard Jet fan, but I was so excited to see Geno Smith – the bane of so many fans’ existence for a two year stretch – get a chance to start last week against Baltimore before he ended up on IR with a torn ACL. Now back in the starting lineup, you may be thinking that a motivated Ryan Fitzpatrick would be a good pick and while that is true to an extent, I’m not comfortable taking him on Sunday in Cleveland. This game feels like too much of a trap game, especially with Eric Decker still out for the year. With that said, I’d definitely look into Carson Palmer (owned in 83.3 percent of ESPN leagues and worth $6,000 on DraftKings) if you can land him on your fantasy team. If not, start your normal starters, but Palmer isn’t a bad pick for DFS. Can you really avoid a quarterback that’s facing a Carolina defense that would probably let Jared Lorenzen total 500 yards on them?
RB1: Mark Ingram, New Orleans Saints ($5,000): I’ll admit to not being the best at math, but a high-powered offense facing the Seahawks defense usually results in a low point total. Still only 26, Ingram has averaged just 3.9 yards per carry this season and only has one rushing touchdown to his name, so he’s probably a safe option to sit. Somehow owned in only 36.3 percent of ESPN leagues, Denver’s Devontae Booker ($3,700) makes more sense as a running back option against San Diego, even if he’s splitting carries with C.J. Anderson (as ProFootballTalk reported yesterday). With Denver looking to avenge that loss two weeks ago to these same Chargers, I’d look for a big game from both Booker and Anderson – and for coach Gary Kubiak to get the former involved in the passing game as well.
RB2: LeGarrette Blount, New England Patriots ($5,300): This is a tough one because what it really comes down to is, are you comfortable with Blount getting nearly all of his points off short, goal-line touchdowns? I guess it’s alright if you have a clear-cut running back that’s going to put up big numbers, like a David Johnson or a Le’Veon Bell, but if you don’t, sit Blount this week against Buffalo but don’t go too far because with LeSean McCoy still banged up. Why not give the Bills’ Mike Gillislee (8.1 and$3,800) a shot if he ends up playing? While Gillislee is banged up too, expect the former Florida Gators running back to both play and succeed against a Patriots defense that’s been much better than most people expected.
WR1: Alshon Jeffrey, Chicago Bears ($5,900): As with Ingram and the Saints against the Seahawks, the same seems to be the case with the Bears against the Minnesota Vikings – except Chicago’s offense isn’t really what I’d call high-powered. Jeffrey, who was forming a nice rapport with Brian Hoyer before the latter broke his arm, isn’t likely to put up big numbers against Mike Zimmer’s defense, especially with the starting eleven coming into week 8 angry following last week’s blowout loss to the Eagles. If you can land Palmer as a quarterback, then definitely try to pick up J.J. Nelson (0.2 and $3,000) as well. With the team announcing that Jaron Brown is out for the season, expect the 24-year-old Nelson – who has 6 catches for 100 yards in the last two games – to pick up a bigger role and shine against the Panthers’ defense.
WR2: Will Fuller V, Houston Texans ($6,000): No, this isn’t a hot take response to Brock Osweiler’s latest struggles, but I am staying away from the Texans this week against a red-hot Detroit Lions squad. Remember when the Lions used to be the butt of everybody’s jokes? Unless you’re in a really deep league, keep Fuller on your bench, but there’s an ideal wideout in the AFC South you may want to check out. Believe it or not, Marqise Lee (2.1 percent and $3,300) is somehow leading the Jaguars in receptions this year with 29 catches, and I’d expect a big game from him this Sunday – even against a Titans defense that ranks 11th in fewest yards allowed to receivers. Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns will get locked up, sure, but Lee? Look for the former USC star to potentially put up close to double-digit catches as Blake Bortles continues his trend of not throwing interceptions – at least, at the rate he was before.
WR3: Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys ($7,100): Finally healthy, you may be thinking Dez Bryant should fit right back into your starting offense, right? Well, here’s the thing. I don’t think Dak Prescott necessarily needs him right now, considering how well the Cowboys have been playing in recent weeks. Bryant will have a catch or three, sure, but are you going to see Dez look to him as the go-to-guy the way Tony Romo did. Not yet, and honestly, not for a while if Prescott keeps the job and keeps winning. Speaking of winning, yeah, I know I was wrong about Tampa Bay’s Adam Humphries (4.8 and $3,000) last week, but I have faith he’ll finally prove me right this week! He’s still open in so many leagues and such a cheap option on DraftKings that I urge you to give him one last shot!
TE: Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys ($3,600): Rarely will I say don’t play Jason Witten, but there are better options with him facing an Eagles defense that has shut down tight ends all year. Again, I’m going with Indianapolis’ Jack Doyle (20.6 and $3,500) as the Colts look to build off last week’s win when they face off against the Chiefs. It’s early, but it really looks like Doyle and Andrew Luck are forming a nice combination that could even turn into the QB-TE duo that Luck and Coby Fleener could never consistency develop when the latter was in Indianapolis.
Defense: Tennessee Titans ($2,800): Now look, you may be tempted to play the Titans defense against the inconsistent Jacksonville Jaguars offense and the truth is, I don’t blame you. For as much of a hassle that I’ve given them, why not just play the Jets defense (18.8 and $3,400) against a Browns offense that could be starting Kevin Hogan at quarterback?
[Featured Image by Christian Petersen/Getty Images]