Welcome to Week 14 of The Docket, a weekly column that offers strategy and advice on players that you should be targeting and avoiding each week. We bring the energy each week with the positive, neutral and negative charge.
Bengals vs Browns (+5.5 o/u 43)
- Andy Dalton – Big game last week and always throws for 1 TD, but only has 2 TDs three times this year. We can expect much of the same, around 250 to 300 yards and 2 TDs as the ceiling here.
- Tyler Eifert – Only two targets last week is a concern, but the Browns don’t have an answer for him and he is THE preferred red zone target for Dalton. Should score again this week and is due for a huge game, this could be it.
- Brandon LaFell and Tyler Boyd – They are seeing 6+ targets in every game since Green missed. Best used as WR3’s, but against this weak Browns secondary both guys could get into the end zone. I prefer LaFell who has could easily snag two TDs on the outside, while Boyd’s upside in the slot limited a bit by Eifert. If you are in dire straights, wouldn’t be shocked if intriguing rookie Cody Core caught a few passes here. The Browns top corner Joe Hadden is also iffy to play this week, which helps too.
- Jeremy Hill – The presence of Rex Burkhead does cap his PPR upside a bit, but Hill still saw 26 touches last week and through volume alone he’s a solid RB2. Earlier this year he dropped 168/1 on them with just 9 carries.
- Rex Burkhead – Speaking of Burkhead, if you are really hurting and need some RB help, he is involved enough to provide flex production and possible some upside if he can score.
- Terrelle Pryor – He gets it done every week, so he should be in every owner’s lineup as a WR3 with major upside this week with RG3 back in the saddle who will take shots to him deep.
- Corey Coleman – Nothing but a gut call, but with RG3 back, shots will be fired and Coleman is talented enough to come through if you need a deep reach with upside.
- Isaiah Crowell, Duke Johnson, Gary Barnidge – You don’t want to have to rely on any of these guys, even at home in a decent matchup. Maybe if you are being totally contrarian Crowell comes through. As for Barnidge, the good news is that the Bengals are giving up a solid 17 FPG to TEs the last 5 weeks but without McCown, tough to expect much.
Broncos vs Titans (-1 o/u 43.5)
- Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas – Hopefully they get Siemian back, since Lynch is not up for the challenge especially on the road. It’s best to use these guys as WR3’s if you can, but the upside is always there for both against a Titan’s secondary giving up the third most YPG to wide receivers on the year and 51.3 FPG to WRs the last 5 weeks.
- Trevor Siemian – If he plays, not a horrible QB2 start against a Titan’s secondary giving up 27.1 FPG to QBs the last 5 weeks. And it’s not like Booker can run on them, so this is a sneaky game to use him in.
- Devontae Booker – He’s averaging less than 3 YPC since taking over and the Titans allowing the 7thfewest rushing yards to opposing RBs on the year. HC Kubiak has already stated that Justin Forsett is going to see carries this week and Booker just might not be a good fit for the teams outside zone run scheme; Forsett is though and knows the offense well.
- DeMarco Murray – You’re getting him in your lineup every week. He should be healthier coming off of a bye and is at least playing at home against a Broncos run defense that has given up over 24 FPG over the past five weeks. Don't over think it, play him.
- Delanie Walker – The Broncos were giving up good production to TE’s earlier in the season, but only 7.5 FPG over the past five weeks. That said, they haven’t really played very many good ones during that period and Kelce lit them up two weeks ago for 8/101 two weeks ago. Walker should see similar usage and production this week.
- Marcus Mariota, Tajae Sharpe, Rishard Matthews, Kendall Wright – I wouldn’t be excited about using any of these guys this week and avoid where you can. The Broncos giving up around 17 FPG over the past five weeks, so you can expect something like that as Mariota’s ceiling.
Steelers vs Bills (+2 o/u 47)
- LeVeon Bell and Antonio Brown – Both of these guys are locked and loaded, as top plays at their position every week even in this tougher matchup on the road. In DFS, on the road, I would be comfortable playing Bell if you want to guarantee yourself some decent points even if he doesn’t hit value, while I would shy away from Brown at his cost.
- Ladarius Green – The Steelers needed another weapon in the passing game and they have found him in Green who put up a monster 6/110/1 on 11 targets last week still as a part time player as he rounds into form. In another year of instability at the position for fantasy, Green has emerged as a top weekly play against a defense giving up a decent 14 FPG to opposing TEs the past five weeks.
- Ben Roethlisberger – Always struggles more on the road and this is not an easy matchup in a game that could feature snow and wind. I would still start him as a QB1 in season long leagues, but this game has the makings of a possible let down with Ben throwing for no more than 225 yards and 1 TD.
- LeSean McCoy – The Steelers giving up only 3.5 YPC over the past five weeks and have been playing much better defense lately. That said, McCoy has been a beast this year and is a solid RB1 at home in a game that may feature more running than normal due to weather concerns. His only downside is the emergence of Mike Gillislee as their goal line back.
- Sammy Watkins – He doesn’t play nearly as well hurt and the weather could be a bit brutal in this one, but at home he should get fed the ball a decent amount against the Steelers weakest CB, Artie Burns. I don’t love him this week, but as your WR3 there is upside.
- Tyrod Taylor – I would avoid him if you can, against a Steelers defense playing much better lately and only giving up around 18 FPG to opposing QBs the past five weeks. He will take some shots down the field, but this could be a nasty weather game.
Cardinals vs Dolphins (-1 o/u 43.5)
- David Johnson – You can’t stop unstoppable. The Dolphins giving up 4.8 YPC and over 6 catches a game the past five weeks. He will probably average over 5 YPC and get over 8 catches this game. Unstoppable. He’s literally carrying teams to the championship and the Dolphins will be without starting linebackers Alonso and Jenkins.
- Larry Fitzgerald – He’s as dependable a WR2 in PPR leagues as you can find catching 10 of 11 targets last week and playing a Dolphins team that has had trouble covering the slot all year. If the Dolphins come out playing zone coverage like they did last week, Fitzgerald should tear them apart.
- Carson Palmer – He’s come on a bit lately and while this game has the makings of a trap game, playing on the East Coast at 10am, something they have been bad at all year, the Dolphins have at least been giving up 25 FPG to opposing QBs the last 5 weeks. He’s not a safe start, but when you can just throw it to David Johnson you put up points.
- Jermaine Gresham – Somehow he’s relevant. With the receivers doing nothing, Gresham has been active and is viable this week against a Dolphins defense giving up an insane 23 FPG to opposing TEs the past five weeks.
- John Brown, Michael Floyd, J.J. Nelson – The Dolphins secondary has been up and down. Prior to last week, they had given up the 8th fewest passing yards per game on the year, and then Flacco took them to school. I think the bounce back here, which means stay away from these jokesters.
- Jay Ajayi – The Cards are giving up the fewest yards in the league to opposing RBs, but at home, with volume and with a healthy offensive line he is a no brainer RB2. Hopefully the Cards come out flat coming across the country too.
- Jarvis Landry – Had 11 catches on a massive 14 targets last week and the Cards have been ripped by slot CB’s all season, although that was without slot CB Tyvon Branch who is back now healthy. You can expect 6+ catches, but I wouldn’t count on many TDs.
- Ryan Tannehill, DeVante Parker and Kenny Stills – The Cards have a great passing defense and will bring some pressure up front. I would avoid these guys if you can even at home against CB Patrick Peterson and company. Could they come through? Sure. But anyone can come through, so benching is the smart move.
Redskins vs Eagles (0 o/u 46.5)
- Kirk Cousins – The Eagles corners give up catches in bunches, allowing nearly 25 FPG to opposing QBs the past five weeks, while Cousins is averaging nearly 29 FPG over the past four weeks. He’s a steady QB1
- Rob Kelly – This game has a zero point spread, meaning it should be close, which is good for Kelly. In fact, if one team were to go up big it would be the Redskins, which is also good for Kelly’s late game production. The team also came out and said this week that he needs to get the ball more. He should be a safe RB2. It should be noted that the Redskins may have both their guards and center out this week, so there is a bit of risk here.
- Jamison Crowder, Pierre Garcon, DeSean Jackson – All of these guys are viable as WR3’s against an Eagles defense giving up 46 FPG to opposing WRs the last 5 weeks. DJax is boom or bust, with the biggest boom; Crowder is the best bet for steady production and a touchdown after either having 85 yards or a TD in seven games straight; while Garcon is a decent PPR option, seeing over 7.5 targets a game.
- Darren Sproles and Ryan Mathews – The Redskins have been gashed on the ground all year. Mathews should be back this week and makes for a decent Flex play with major upside, while Sproles is a PPR flex play. This team can’t have Wentz throwing 40+ times anymore, so they very well may go back to Mathews who has looked good when healthy.
- Jordan Matthews and Zach Ertz – The Redskins are most vulnerable in the middle of the field, where both of these guys do all their damage. Mathews looks like he should play, making him a good start, and while Ertz hasn't looked great, the Redskins are giving up 17 FPG to TEs the last five weeks.
- Carson Wentz – Look elsewhere.
Texans vs Colts (-6 o/u 47)
- Lamar Miller – He killed them earlier this year, dropping 149/1 on the ground and 3/29/1 through the air. While he's banged up, he's a must start.
- DeAndre Hopkins – Man oh man, what to do with Hopkins. The Colts are giving up a monstrous 43.9 FPG to opposing WRs the past five weeks and he went 9/71 on them earlier this year, so he has a chance. But man … oh … man. Hopefully you have a better option, if not, he’s in the mix for whatever spot you need him and at least he does have the talent to have a huge week at any given time.
- C.J. Fiedorowicz – Brock loves looking his way and he’s seeing a ton of targets, going 6/44 on 9 targets last week. He makes for a solid mid-range TE1 against a Colts team that has been beaten up by TEs all season.
- Andrew Luck, Donte Moncrief, T.Y. Hilton – The Texans defense is decimated right now, DE Jadeveon Clowney (wrist) may miss this week, OLB John Simon (chest) didn’t practice, ILB Brian Cushing (back) was limited, CB Johnathan Joseph (ribs) didn’t practice and CB Kareem Jackson (hamstring) was limited. While everyone in the league is a bit nicked up at this time of the year, this situation bears watching closely. In any event, these guys should all be good to go as rock solid starts this week in all formats at home with the Texans giving up 39.2 FPG to WRs the last 5 weeks and Luck dropped nearly 28 FPG on them on the road earlier this year.
- Frank Gore – He’s not an exciting start, but he put up over 100 yards on them in their matchup earlier this year and with all the injuries to this defense, he makes for a safe RB2, albeit, with very little upside.
- Jack Doyle and Dwayne Allen – I’m not buying last week was the start of something new, so I don’t trust either of these guys when both are healthy against a Texans defense that has allowed on three tight ends to score on them on the season. That said, with all the injuries to this Texans defense, one or both of these guys could come through, it’s just tough to predict which one since Doyle actually ran more routes than Allen last week.
Chargers vs Panthers (-1.5 o/u 48)
- Melvin Gordon – Volume is king, and he gets all the volume he can handle. He’s locked in as a RB1 every week, even in tougher matchups. The Panthers are also giving up on average of 7 catches a game to opposing RBs, so he should have a high PPR floor as well. The Panthers are also missing DE's Johnson and Addison, which is huge.
- Tyrell Williams – Despite the injury he played on almost every snap. Production was actually down due to time of possession and Rivers only attempting 26 passes. He should bounce back with a solid game this week with WR1 upside.
- Philip Rivers – Panthers giving up around 20 FPG the past five weeks, so he should be fine after last week’s debacle. The Panthers are also going to be without both DE's, Johnson and Addison, which helps big time.
- Dontrelle Inman- With Travis Benjamin still banged up, Inman is stepping up. He doesn’t have a lot of upside, but he makes for a serviceable WR3 if you need.
- Antonio Gates – The Panthers have given up more TDs to opposing tight ends than any other team and are allowing 15.8 FPG to TEs the past five weeks. Unfortunately, like most TEs these days, he’s very touchdown dependent and the Panthers get LB Luke Kuechly back.
- Hunter Henry – Only one target last week so very hard to trust, yet he has a nose for the end zone and they are giving up nearly 16 FPG to the position over the past five weeks. I love his talent and he is going to be a dynasty beast, but he’s tough to trust during the fantasy playoffs.
- Cam Newton – This Chargers defense plays tough, but at home Cam should be trustworthy enough to provide mid level QB1 numbers, with obvious upside.
- Ted Ginn – He’s taking over lead duties and with Benjamin doing battle with top notch CB Heyward, he gets Craig Mager, PFFs 116th rated CB.
- Greg Olsen – He’s down the past few weeks so he’s not someone you can count on as he is being asked to block more and Cam isn’t playing great. Unless you have another solid option, I would lean toward starting him at home against a Chargers team giving up 14.8 FPG to opposing TEs the past five weeks.
- Kelvin Benjamin – It’s not happening for Benjamin and he now faces off against PFF’s #6 rated CB Heyward who shutdown Mike Evans last week.
- Jonathan Stewart – Just a standard league flex play only.
Vikings vs Jaguars (+3.5 o/u 39.5)
- Stefon Diggs – Caught all 8 of his targets last week and should do battle with talented rookie CB Jalen Ramsey. He’s a good bet to put up over 10 points in PPR leagues, but touchdowns may not be there.
- Adam Thielen – He’s out snapping and out targeting Diggs, but it’s not a much easier matchup for him. This offense just doesn’t have a lot of upside, but he’s a viable play in deeper leagues if you need him.
- Jerrick McKinnon – On the PPR Flex map and looked good last week as their clear lead back. The only downside is being vulture at the goal line by Asiata.
- Kyle Rudolph – Seeing double digit targets regularly now, but the Jags have been very good against opposing tight ends on the year. I would look to fade him if you can, but don’t drop him since he has a great matchup next week.
- Blake Bortles, Allen Robinson, Marqise Lee, Allen Hurns and Julius Thomas – This is as tough as it gets, best to avoid all of these guys if you can. You’ll be tempted to start Allen Robinson, but don’t do it against CB Xavier Rhodes. The one bit of good news is that Vikings Safety Harrison Smith is out for the year now, PFF’s 7th rated Safety.
Bears vs Lions (-7.5 o/u 43.5)
- Jordan Howard – The Lions defense has come alive lately, but Howard is running tough and the clear foundation of this teams’ offense. On the road he may not be a great DFS play, but he makes for a solid RB1 in season long. Outside of Howard, it is tough to trust QB Barkley and WR Wilson on the road in your fantasy playoffs, but there could be some value there in deeper leagues if you are in dire need.
- Matthew Stafford – The dude is balling and still can’t get any respect. This Bears defense is not as good on the road and the Lions defense will probably allow their offense some solid field position. Fire him up as a QB1.
- Theo Riddick – He’s as consistent a PPR RB2 as they come, a little more risky in standard leagues. While the Beard have played pretty good defense this year, at home he should be fine.
- Golden Tate – He’s making plays every week now and while this Bears secondary is good, they are not a lock down group. With Jones still banged up, Tate should make for a fine WR3 with big upside at home.
- Eric Ebron – He’s not taking advantage of good matchups, which is killing his owners. Like most tight ends, he’s boom or bust, but at least he is involved in the offense every week and the Bears are missing of linebackers Danny Trevathan and Jerrell Freeman.
Jets vs 49ers (-2.5 o/u 44.5)
- Matt Forte – The 49ers are giving up over 33 FPG to opposing RBs the past five weeks, and with Petty under center, they should lean on Forte in this one. A sneaky DFS play nobody will be on. It should be noted that the Jets will be without Center Mangold and possibly LT Giacomini.
- Brandon Marshall, Roby Anderson and Quincy Enunwa – With QB Petty under center I wouldn’t trust any of these guys on the road. Yeah, yeah Petty likes Anderson, but I’m not with that.
- Colin Kaepernick – He had more sacks (5) than passing yards (4) last week. If the Jets have really quit, then Kaep could come through, but it’s a risky bet to make. He could very well be benched against this week.
- Carlos Hyde – The Jets are tough to run on, until now. Gore looked good against them last week and the Jets could totally implode coming across the country after last weeks lashing.
- Vance McDonald – Tough to trust after last week’s debacle, but that was in a big winter storm on the road. He should bounce back against a Jets defense that got destroyed by Dwayne Allen last week.
Seahawks vs Packers (+2.5 o/u 46.5)
- Jimmy Graham – He’s getting it done every week and this Packers secondary is getting eaten alive most weeks, giving up 19.6 FPG to opposing TEs the last 5 weeks. He’s the top play at the position on the week.
- Doug Baldwin – He’s proved to be a great WR2 in PPR leagues, but only a few games with real big yardage and has scored in only 3 games. I like, but don’t love, Baldwin every week and at least he has a very favorable matchup against CB Micah Hyde, PFF’s 88th rated corner.
- Thomas Rawls – He’s back and he’s one bad man. I would make sure to handcuff him with Pope since he is running hard and hitting everyone in his sight with glee. The Packers run defense exists only in myth, giving up 4.7 YPC and over 25 FPG the past five weeks. While this offensive line is brutal and we saw it get destroyed in Tampa two weeks ago, he should be the foundation of this offense going forward and they do much better with Wilson under center handing it off than in the shotgun.
- Russell Wilson – He’s looking much better lately, that said I would fade him on the road in Green Bay in DFS since he has been so erratic this season in his production on a week-to-week basis. At least the numbers are in his favor going up against a Packers team giving up nearly 25 FPG to opposing QBs the past 5 weeks.
- Tyler Lockett - He is hard to trust since he's been MIA all year, but he had 5 catches last week and an end around for a 75 yard TD. They clearly know he is a weapon and want to get him more invovled, hopefully they build on that and work him in more this week as well. Very low floor, but if you need a flier, he has the upside.
- Aaron Rodgers – This might not be a huge week for Rodgers against a Seattle Defense giving up only 19 FPG to opposing QBs, but Rodgers plays well at home and thrives in the cold weather. With no foundation run game, we can expect Rodgers to throw a ton, and he even leads the league with 82 pass attempts inside the red zone. He has enough weapons in the pass game to have a solid day, and has actually been averaging over 29 FPG the past five weeks despite the teams’ overall struggles.
- Randall Cobb – Cobb actually has the best matchup of all the receivers playing in the slot, so I would trot him out as a WR3, but hopefully you can do better if you need him as your WR2.
- TY Montgomery and Christine Michael – James Starks got benched twice last week, so it is safe to expect that experiment has ended. This is just a gut call, but I think they go back to Montgomery more and spread the Seattle Defense out, especially since they are missing S Earl Thomas. The beauty of Montgomery is that he is also a WR on fantasy sites despite playing running back, and guaranteed touches is huge. It should be noted that this is a possible revenge game for Christine Michael, so if you are desperate, he could come through for you in standard leagues as a flex play as I’m sure they will give him some shots near the goal line. He’s going to be motivated.
- Davante Adams, Jordy Nelson – I wouldn’t sit Jordy in season long since he seems to get it done every week and I would bet he scores again this week. That said, I couldn’t say his matchup is anything but negative going up against CB Richard Sherman, while Adams does battle with solid CB DeShawn Shead.
Saints vs Buccaneers (-2.5 o/u 51.5)
- Drew Brees, Brandin Cooks, Michael Thomas – Giving these guys a Neutral tag on the road against a surging Tampa defense, but I think all three of them perform well this week against a Tampa Defense, per Rotoworld’s Rich Hribar, that is still giving up the 5th most passing points per attempt on the year and allowing the 3rd most pass completions over 20 yards. The Tampa corners are solid, but Cooks has the speed to get deep on 33 yr old Brent Grimes and CB Alterraun Verner is solid, but not a shut down guy on the other side of the field. Make sure to pay attention to Thomas’ injury, as he hasn’t practiced all week and could very well miss this week. If so, it’s a bump up for Cooks and Fleener and Brandon Coleman becomes a deep league flier. It should also be noted that LT Armstead and Center Unger may miss this week.
- Coby Fleener – With fellow TE Josh Hill done for the year Fleener becomes a full time player against a Tampa defense giving up nearly 15 FPG to opposing TEs the past five weeks. He gets a boost as well if Michael Thomas can’t play and will do battle with Bradley McDougald, PFF’s 54th rated cover saftey, in a positive matchup.
- Mark Ingram and Tim Hightower – Both are part time players and going up against one of the league’s best-run defenses lately. I would look to avoid if possible, especially since Ingram is still banged up.
- Willie Snead – I’m not really sure what to do with Snead; he has a great matchup most weeks and just doesn’t get it done for Fantasy. This week is no exception, going up against Vernon Hargreaves III, PFF’s 89th rated corner. He’s very tough to trust in your playoffs and is nothing more than a contrarian play in DFS for the one week he does go off.
- Mike Evans – The Tampa receiving core is depleted and he’s seeing huge volume, especially at home. Last week I told you he would struggle against CB Heyward, this week he should get back to business against a Saints defense giving up 38 FPG to opposing WRs the past five weeks.
- Jameis Winston – He makes for a solid mid-range QB1 this week against a Saints defense giving up 23.2 FPG over the past five weeks. He’s probably not a huge upside guy since his receiving core is depleted, but he should find success.
- Cameron Brate – He’s become their second receiver with all the injuries to the teams’ wide receivers. He doesn’t have an easy matchup this week against Saints Safety Vaccaro, but he’s athletic and went 6/86/1 on 9 targets last week so he’s a viable play this week at home.
- Doug Martin – The Saints run defense has been much better lately with the return of rookie DT Rankins, giving up just 3.2 YPC the past five weeks. Meanwhile, Martin is banged up and not running great. Complicating matters, even more, is talk out of Tampa that they want to get Jacquizz Rodgers more involved this week and Charles Sims returns to action as well.
Falcons vs Rams (+6 o/u 45)
- Devonta Freeman / Tevin Coleman – I think both of these guys get heavy usage this week and I wouldn’t hesitate to roll Freeman out as a RB2 and Coleman as a flex play against a Rams defense giving up 5.1 YPC the past five weeks. With Julio injured, screen passes to these guys may be their best way to move the ball.
- Matt Ryan – With Julio and Sanu banged up, life isn’t going to be easy for the Ryan going across the country to face off against a Rams defense giving up only around 20.5 FPG to opposing QBs the past five weeks. I think he leans on Freeman and Coleman, but will take shots to Julio and Gabriel, so he’s a must start in season long. You would rather go down swinging with Ryan than trust someone like Kaep.
- Julio Jones – He’s dealing with turf toe and will do battle with Rams top corner, Trumaine Johnson. Don’t even think about sitting him in season long, but on the road and given his situation, I would not pay up for him in DFS.
- Taylor Gabriel – With Julio and Sanu banged up, this is another week to fire up Gabriel who squares off against E.J. Gaines, PFF’s 119th rated corner. I told you to start two weeks ago and avoid last week, well he’s back baby!
- Mohamed Sanu – He’s banged up and may miss this week.
- Austin Hooper – Love his long-term value, but not trustworthy in the fantasy playoffs despite his raw talent.
- Kenny Britt – He’s fantasy’s #17 receiver and seems to get it done every week, and that should continue again this week against a Falcon’s secondary missing their best corner, Trufant. He’s a great play in all formats, including DFS.
- Lance Kendricks – He’s chugging along seeing over 6 targets a game the past five weeks and the Falcon’s give up a big 16.7 FPG to opposing TE’s the past five weeks. This is a great week to get him in your lineups if you are struggling at the position.
- Todd Gurley – Averaging 3.7 YPC since Goff took over, which is actually a big improvement over the 3.1 YPC he was putting up with Keenum. He should be a solid RB2 this week against a Falcons team giving up 8 catches a game to opposing RBs and Cunningham is out this week, so the targets are all his. Sneaky DFS play since nobody will be on him, but he hasn't looked great this year.
Cowboys vs Giants (+3 o/u 47.5)
- Jason Witten – He got goose egged last week, but should bounce back big time this week. He put up 9/66 on them earlier this year and they are giving up a massive 18.4 FPG to opposing TEs the last 5 weeks. He’s not a sexy play, but he’s a great play especially with CB Jenkins on Dez.
- Dak Prescott – I’d look to fade him on the road against a division rival they have already faced once this year. The Giants defense is playing very well, and while the loss of DT Jason Pierre-Paul is big, I think you can do better.
- Ezekiel Elliott – The loss of DT Jason Pierre-Paul is huge, but this is still a tough matchup for Zeke on the road against a tough Giants run defense. He’s a no brainer start in season long, but this Dallas offense hasn’t looked as smooth as they once did despite the winning streak.
- Dez Bryant – Has a tough matchup on the road against CB Janoris Jenkins, one of the tougher matchups for opposing wide receivers in the league. In season long you roll with your studs, but he's off the PPR board. At least Dak is looking his way more and he seems to be rounding into form.
- Cole Beasley – He’s mister 5/50 … so if you need 5 catches for 50 yards, I think he can get that for you this week.
- Odell Beckham Jr. – Seeing an insane number of targets, with another 16 last week. It’s actually hurting this offense more than helping since Eli is just forcing the ball his way to the determinant of the offense and the other skill players. None of that of course matters for Beckham’s standing as a top play this week at home against a Dallas secondary giving up big plays every week.
- Eli Manning – He’s not playing well and is more of a QB2 play at home than someone to trust as your QB1 in fantasy playoffs.
- Sterling Shepard – He’s touchdown dependent since Eli is only looking at ODB, yet, he does catch a lot of TDs lately, so viable if you need a flex or WR3 reach play.
- Rashad Jennings – Not getting it done and now Vereen will be back to go along with Paul Perkins.
Ravens vs Patriots (-7 o/u 45.5)
- Kenneth Dixon – While they are tough to run on, the Pats do give up a lot of production through the air to opposing RBs. In PPR leagues he could end up putting up solid RB2 numbers and is a sneaky play if you need him.
- Mike Wallace and Steve Smith – Top corner Malcolm Butler usually lines up on Wallace’s side of the ball, but Butler has the strength to matchup with Smith and they may see him as the teams’ true threat. It wouldn’t surprise me if he stuck to Smith and Wallace had the easier matchup on the other side of the field. It’s a lot of guesswork though. If I had to chose I would role with Wallace and think Breshard Perriman could actually come through for you this week again as Flacco will take some shots.
- Joe Flacco – I’d be careful not to chase last week’s production if you start only one QB, especially on the road. He is a viable play in 2 QB leagues in a game that could be pass heavy against a Patriots team putting up points and allowing 21.3 FPG to opposing QBs the past five weeks.
- Dennis Pitta – I wouldn’t chase last week’s production, but if you need 5 catches in a PPR league, he’s probably a decent bet for that. Unfortunately the yards and TDs are tough to rely on with him.
- Terrance West – I’d lean toward Dixon this week if you need one of these guys. The Pats should make this a passing game and are only giving up 3.5 YPC over the past four weeks and have allowed no TD’s during that same period.
- Julian Edelman – With Gronk out/limited he’s been seeing over 13 targets a game and Landry had 11 catches out of the slot last week against them. In a game where running on the ground could be tough, Edelman makes for a great start this week in PPR leagues especially.
- Tom Brady – This has the makings of a trap game, but he’s at home and will probably throw more than 35 times this week making him a solid QB1 in season long leagues. I would probably fade him in DFS since the Ravens are playing great defense lately and this may be a rough and tumble game without Gronk.
- Malcolm Mitchell and Chris Hogan – The Ravens have a great corner in Jimmy Smith and that’s about it. He naturally lines up on Mitchell’s side more, but with Brady throwing more than 35 times this week, I think both of these guys are usable, especially with Gronk out and Bennett a non-factor. Mitchell can be fired up as a RB3 with huge upside in all formats, while Hogan is more of a WR3 flier with a very low floor.
- James White/Dion Lewis – I’m thinking this is the week they finally unleash Lewis and he had a solid 9 touches and 5 targets last week, while the Ravens give up around 7 catches a game to opposing RBs. I think Lewis is a sneaky bet for RB2 numbers in PPR leagues while White is a what the heck flex in PPR.
- LeGarrette Blount – The Ravens have the best-run defense in the league, so this is not a week you can feel confident about Blount. Can he score and go off any given week, sure, but he can’t be listed as even a neutral start. In standard league’s I would still use him as a RB2 since he got you here and is second in the league in carries, although that includes the pre-Brady games.
- Martellus Bennett – Even if Gronk sits, he’s hard to trust. I would rather look to other guys this week.