The Docket: Week 5

A rundown of all the matchups, including notes on all the best players to start, sit and stomach in Week 5. 

Welcome to Week 5 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. 

Cardinals vs 49ers (+3.5 o/u 43)

Positive

  • David Johnson – With Drew Stanton getting the start, Johnson should see all the work he can handle. 49ers giving up 4.6 yards per carry and they just lost their best defensive player, linebacker NaVorro Bowman. On a short week, Johnson should eat.
  • Carlos Hyde – He’s their only weapon and they will stick with him even if they are losing, as Chip Kelly is loathe to abandon his offensive scheme. With Palmer out, this game should be close, as the 49ers actually play much better defense at home. Trot him out as a RB1.
  • Larry Fitzgerald – The 49ers are actually playing pretty good pass defense at home, but he should see a ton of targets as Stanton’s security blanket facing off against beatable slot CB Keith Reaser. It should be noted however that Stanton failed to throw a TD in 4 of 8 games he played in place of Palmer before and Fitzgerald only averaged 5/50 in those games. 

Negative

  • John Brown and Michael FloydJohn Brown is a beast and an ascending talent that should be locked in as a WR2 going forward … unfortunately Palmer is out this week making him a risky play going up against solid CB Rashard Robinson, PFF’s #8 rated CB. Floyd, on the other hand, is totally untrustworthy right now, catching under 40% of his targets, which is 4th worst in the league.
  • Jeremy Kerley – Faces off against top-notch slot CB Tyrann Mathieu, no thanks.

Bears vs Colts (-4.5 o/u 47.5)

Positive

  • Andrew Luck – This should be the week Luck finally goes off against a banged up Chicago defense on the road.
  • Frank Gore – Bears are banged up on defense and he’s getting it done every week, so keep trotting him out in a plus matchup at home as a RB2. Certainly in the DFS convo as well.
  • T.Y. Hilton – Getting double digit targets every week and despite the Bears playing tough at home last week, on the road and banged up, the Colts should take it to them.
  • Jordan Howard – It’s hard to totally trust this Bears offense on the road, but Howard should be a stable play. Against this defense, expect another 100 yard game, in addition to 3 or 4 catches, which should be easily attainable. A great play in DFS this week and must start in season long.
  • Eddie Royal – With Kevin White out and Alshon facing off with CB Vontae Davis, Royal should see a good number of targets and is a sneaky bet to have 8 catches for over 100 yards.
  • Zach Miller – Colts linebackers are very slow and with Kevin White out, and a revulsion to throwing to Alshon, he should be Hoyer’s main red zone target. Good bet to score again.

Neutral

  • Alshon Jeffery – Inexplicably only seeing 16% of the passing targets with Hoyer at QB, but with Kevin White out that should hopefully climb. Still, he seems banged up and will face off against tough CB Vontae Davis, making Alshon more of a low end WR2.
  • Brian Hoyer – Colts giving up a lot of points through the air and he could actually do better without inefficient WR Kevin White soaking up and bungling his targets.
  • Phillip Dorsett – More of a WR3 in standard leagues with weekly upside. Only caught one pass last week, but it was for a TD, something he could do every week. Unfortunately it is not plug and play between him and Moncrief, but at least this week he does have a great matchup.

Negative

  • Dwayne Allen & Jack Doyle – These two are splitting time and sharing targets. It’s tough to know which one will do well each week, and like last week, sometimes it’s neither.  Both are TE2’s and best to be avoided if you can; yet either can score any given week if you need a bye week replacement and don’t have any options. I would lean Doyle.

Eagles vs Lions (+3 o/u 46)

Positive

  • Carson Wentz – The Lions are giving up a ton of yards and big plays to opposing quarterbacks. He’s Pro Football Focus’ (PFF) top rated passer and is coming off a bye; he should be good to go as a Top 10 QB this week.
  • Jordan Matthews – Should destroy Lions slot CB Quandre Diggs who is the 99th rated corner per PFF.
  • Zach Ertz – He’s back and the Lions are giving up touchdowns every week to opposing tight ends. He looked great all pre-season and in week one, so fire him up as a top notch tight end play this week.

Neutral

  • Matthew Stafford – This Eagles defense is ferocious and bring tons of pressure and have great safety play. That said, I wouldn’t count him out at home where he always plays better, so more of a Top 15 guy this week.
  • Marvin Jones – He’s supposedly banged up and didn’t practice on Wednesday, so watch his status. That said, the Eagles corner backs are the teams’ weakness, so he should continue to be a target hog and put up numbers in this offense.
  • Anquan Boldin – With Ebron likely out, he could catch another 6 passes out of the slot and dominate the middle of the field against beatable CB Ron Brooks.
  • Theo Riddick – Should catch a lot of dump offs this week since they won’t be able to run the ball against the Eagles, who are allowing the fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs in the league this year. Locked in as his usual PPR flex play, but upside limited.
  • Ryan Mathews, Darren Sproles, Wendell Smallwood – The Lions are still banged up on defense, so some points on the ground will be scored. Unfortunately it’s uncertain whom amongst these three will be putting up those points. Sproles is a solid PPR RB2, Mathews if he is a full go, which is looks like, is a RB2 and Smallwood is only a start if Mathews is out, otherwise best to avoid him.  

Negative

  • Zach Zenner and Dwayne Washington – Washington might not play this week and even if he does this is a very tough Eagles defense to run on, giving up the second fewest points to RBs this year.
  • Golden Tate – Not sure what is going on with him, but in a tougher matchup, he’s hard to trust. Then again, maybe they try to get him going. Hopefully it is the latter.
  • Eric Ebron – A tougher matchup against a solid Eagles line-backing core and safety. He’s also a bit banged up right now and may miss the game entirely.
  • Dorial Green-Beckham and Nelson Agholor – Unknown who Darius Slay will cover, probably on both of these guys at times.  DGB actually could be a decent sleeper this week.

Redskins vs Ravens (-3.5 o/u 44.5)

Positive

  • Terrance West – Washington leads the league allowing 176 scrimmage yards per game (6 catch ave) to opposing RBs and have a week run defense, giving up over 5 yards per carry. West should get plenty of snaps despite rookie Dixon being back. Saw 36% of the teams touches last week and should continue to roll this week as a RB1.
  • DeSean Jackson – Should kill CB Sheerece Wright on the left side of the field and be active especially with Reed having a tougher matchup.
  • Steve Smith – Should avoid CB Josh Norman when he plays inside and can take advantage of CB Dashaun Phillips, PFF’s 112-rated CB. Only concern in DFS lineups is that if Smith does start taking over, they will shift Norman over to him in shadow coverage. 

Neutral

  • Joe Flacco – Nothing scary about this matchup with a banged up secondary, but he’s Flacco, so nothing more than a QB2. Hopefully they start to take more deep shots, something HC John Harbaugh has said they need to do.
  • Mike Wallace – Could see a lot of CB Josh Norman when Steve Smith plays in the slot. That said, HC John Harbaugh has said they need to take more deep shots to him, and all he needs is one or two. WR3 in standard leagues but an avoid this week in PPR.
  • Dennis Pitta – Targets have been on a steady decline as Smith’s have increased, the Redskins have also been playing the tight end tough. More of a TE2 this week.
  • Kirk Cousins – Tougher matchup, so best to look elsewhere outside of two QB leagues.
  • Jordan Reed – Safety Eric Weddle has been keeping the clamp on opposing tight ends. In season long your starting him, but be careful paying up for him in DFS.

Negative

  • Chris Thompson – Viable PPR flex play in a week where Jones should struggle.
  • Matt Jones – Football Outsiders rank the Ravens run defense as the best in the league, so, despite playing better this year, it’s going to be a tough game for him.
  • Jamison Crowder – Play time has dropped every week and saw only three targets last week. It looks like Redskins are also going bigger in the red zone with TE’s Paul and Davis, limiting his early (and curious) red zone usage.
  • Kenneth Dixon – Love him and a must add everywhere, but probably going to be eased into the offense his first week back. His time may be coming soon.

Titans vs Dolphins (-3.5 o/u 43.5)

Positive

  • Jarvis Landry – Not an easy matchup, but he is matchup proof. Will see a ton of short targets and should put up some big PPR numbers.
  • DeVante Parker – Should destroy CB Parish Cox, PFF’s #111 rated CB who Will Fuller killed last week.
  • DeMarco Murray – PFF’s #6 rated RB, averaging 5.2 YPC and nearly 6 catches a game. He’s also playing on over 90% of the teams’ snaps and the team’s true foundation back.  Blount and Crowell killed them this year, so should be good to go as usual.
  • Delanie Walker – Led the team targets again last week and should be healthier now. Locked in as a TE1.

Neutral

  • Ryan Tannehill – Titans have played good defense, but it should be easier to run on them than pass, so Tanny should have at least 2 or 3 TDs. You just have to hope he controls the ints.
  • Jay Ajayi – If Arian Foster is out, he could put up numbers in this one, especially after HC Gase said they want to commit to him more in the run game. Unfortunately the Titans have one of the toughest run defenses in the league this year. He’s a RB2 in all leagues if Foster is out, and only a standard league flex play if he does.
  • Tajae Sharpe, Kendall Wright – The Dolphins have one of the worst secondaries in the league, so both of these guys could come through as deeper WR3 plays this week. 

Negative

  • Kenyan Drake – Not worth using, especially if Foster is back against a tough run defense.
  • Marcus Mariota – Tough to trust him right now, and Walker is the only consistent receiver they have. It’s not a tough matchup, but best to wait until he puts up numbers before using him, unfortunately that may only be next year when they get a new coach.
  • Derrick Henry – He’s barley seeing the field, so just a high end handcuff for now.
  • Rishard Matthews – Has been replaced by Andre Johnson, making it tough to start either.

Texans vs Vikings (-6 o/u 40)

Neutral  

  • Jerick McKinnon – McKinnon played on 62% of their snaps and touched the ball 21 times. This is a tougher matchup, but Houston giving up the third most fantasy points to opposing RBs this year. Game script should also be on his side as this game will be low scoring with a point spread in their favor.
  • Kyle Rudolph – You can’t sit him in season long leagues, but the Texans are tough against opposing TE’s, giving up only 5.5 fantasy points to the position, including locking down Walker and Kelce, so keep expectations in check.
  • Will Fuller – This is not the best week to reach with him, but at least should have the easier matchup against CB Terence Newman, who may not have an answer for his speed.

Negative

  • Sam Bradford – Getting it done in real life, but tough matchup this week against a tough Texans defense giving up only 13 fantasy points a game. Looking at 200 yards and maybe 1 TD this week.
  • Matt Asiata – You have to hope for a cheap goal line TD, which he seems to get more often than not.
  • DeAndre Hopkins – uggg … things don’t get easier this week going up against lock down CB Xavier Rhodes and this secondary. Not sure if you can even play him this week, but better times lay ahead, although we may never see a return to last years volume totals with Fuller and Miller on board now.
  • Lamar Miller – It’s a tough matchup against a Viking’s defense giving up only 3.1 yards per carry.  By sheer volume only he should remain a RB2, but with little upside this week.
  • Brock Osweiler – Best to look elsewhere this week, he will throw some picks even if he has some TDs.  Very low Vegas over under.
  • Stefon Diggs – Looks like he is out this week, if he plays, move him up to neutral. He’s their top dog, but has come up small two games in a row and the Texans corners are giving up very little in the passing game.

Patriots vs Browns (+10 o/u 46.5)

Positive  

  • Tom Brady – While this should be a “Blount Game,” I think the Pats let Brady get some anger out and wouldn’t be surprised if he threw more than 40 times this week.
  • Julian Edelman – Getting Brady back is huge. Locked in as a WR1 in PPR leagues as long as he plays, but he is on the injury report. 

Neutral

  • Isaiah Crowell – HC Hue Jackson loves to run, even when they are behind, and Crow is his guy. He is currently the 6th best RB in fantasy this year and is averaging 6.1 yards per carry. It’s time to start believing in him, even against a tough Patriots front 7.
  • Terrelle Pryor – Saw 14 and 9 targets the past two weeks and even scored on CB Josh Norman. He’s a WR3 with tremendous upside if he plays some QB this week.
  • Duke Johnson – Only a flex PPR play, but he’s been involved the last three weeks.  
  • Gary Barnidge – Has been a Top 10 TE since Kessler took over. There is not much upside in this offense, but if you need help, he is viable. 
  • Martellus Bennett – Running more routes than Gronk right now, so he could absolutely destroy against this week Brown defense that is giving up more yards to opposing tight ends than any other team in the league.
  • Rob Gronkowski – Big questions about how healthy his hamstring is and has been blocking more because of it. Tough to sit, but I would lean towards a solid tight end option if you have, like Cameron Brate, until we see how he does.
  • Chris Hogan and Malcolm Mitchell – Call this a gut call, but I think the Patriots let Brady go wild and throw it 50 times, enabling both of these guys to score.  Only use in deeper leagues as of now, but both could be very fantasy relevant soon.
  • LeGarrette Blount – Browns run defense were killed by Matt Jones last week, so Blount should roll this week, especially getting those red zone looks now that the offense should be rolling. However ... there is always a however, I think they may let Brady just destroy thie Browns, meaning we see a bit more of James White this week. In season long, do not hesitate to roll out Blount, but in DFS, be careful. 

  • James White – Has been irrelevant without Brady. While this should be a "Blount game," as mentioned above, I think White is actually used a bit in this one, making him a viable PPR flex play. He will eventually be more active in tougher matchups now that Brady is back.

Jets vs Steelers (-7 o/u 48)

Positive

  • Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown – These two have serious mojo at home and the Jets are far easier to throw on then to run on, getting roasted through the air. Look for Ben to keep taking shots down field as he has thrown for 6 TDs already beyond the 20.
  • LeVeon Bell – Jets are tough to run on and giving up an averaging of only around 65 yards per game to opposing running backs, at a 3.6 yards per carry clip. However, Bell is not your average back and will be used heavily in the pass game as well, so use in season long but maybe fade in DFS.
  • Quincy Enunwa – Averaging 8 targets a game, with 6 catches. With Decker out, he should be serviceable as a WR2 with the Stealers giving up the most catches of any team to opposing wide receivers. He just popped up on injury report though, so make sure he is a go. If not, Marshall should see a ton of targets. 
  • Brandon Marshall – With Decker gone he is the team’s top dog, seeing 11 targets last week. The Stealers are giving up 16 catches a week to opposing wide receivers, and while the secondary is decent, Marshall will move around the formation and is essentially uncoverable for a whole game.

Neutral

  • Ryan Fitzpatrick – It’s very hard to trust him after two horrible outings in a row, but this game could very well devolve into a full on shootout, as the Stealers giving up over 320 yards per game in the air.
  • Matt Forte – The Steelers have a tough run defense and while they are giving up 6 catches a game to running backs, Powell is starting to eat into that work. You are hoping for a shootout.
  • Sammie Coates – Led the team in targets last week and has a chance to do something against a secondary that lacks speed. They are starting to take shots to him now, so could emerge as a dangerous fantasy weapon. 

Negative

  • Markus Wheaton – Just not doing enough to be useful for your fantasy team.
  • Jesse James – He’s blocking a lot, and might need to do a lot of that against this tough Jet’s front 7, but at least they are giving up 6/78 to opposing tight ends, so he has a chance.
  • Bilal Powell – Played on over 50% of their snaps last week, so he is starting to enter the world of relevancy. A must own handcuff and a great stash if Forte continue to break down. 

Falcons vs Broncos (-5.5 o/u 47.5)

Positive

  • Emmanuel Sanders & Demaryius Thomas – Falcons only good CB, Trufant, should see time on both of these guys as they move around the formation. He typically lines up on Sanders side of the field, but Sanders is a movable chess piece. Look for both of them to put up solid WR2 numbers with upside for much more.
  • C.J. Anderson – This is the week he gets back to business against the Falcons who give up 4.4 YPC and 10 passes a game to opposing running backs. He is the top play of the week at the position.

Neutral

  • Trevor Siemian (or Paxton Lynch) – Both of these guys are in the QB2 convo this week and deep DFS GPP plays against a Falcons team that gives up 323 yards and 3 TDs per week.
  • Julio Jones – I fear this could be another 1 or 2 catch game like two weeks ago, but you have to use him in season long and hope he puts up numbers like Kelvin Benjamin did when he played in Denver Week 1, but a complete fade in DFS playing a team that gives up less than 10 catches a game to opposing teams.
  • Devonta Freeman – Denver giving up only 3.7 yards per carry and while this offensive line has been playing well, they haven’t faced a team like this. His saving grace will be his pass catching ability, where he should catch at least 5 passes. He’s a fine RB2 in PPR leagues with Coleman being limited.

Negative

  • Matt Ryan – Hardest matchup he will face all season, so best to use the QB you drafted in front of him. If he performs well here, then he’s officially matchup proof and the resurrection is complete.
  • Devontae Booker – A high end handcuff and must own in all leagues.
  • Tevin Coleman – May dial back his usage due to a medical condition and this may be more of a Freeman, passing game, as the Broncos are tough to run on.
  • Mohamed Sanu –Still banged up with a separated shoulder, so not worth using him against this tough matchup.  
  • Jacob Tamme and Virgil Green – Best to avoid both of these tight ends this week. Tamme just isn’t used enough, missing out on a TD last week to intriguing rookie TE Hooper and Green coming off of injury and a fringe player right now still.  

Bills vs Rams (-2.5 o/u 39.5)

Neutral

  • LeSean McCoy – Rams run defense is top notch, but he’s an every down player and his pass catching ability will keep him in your lineups, but more of a RB2 this week. Bump him up to RB1 if DT Brockers and DE Quinn are out. 
  • Robert Woods and Charles Clay - Both of these guys should have at least five catches, but tough to expect much in this very low projected scoring affair.
  • Todd Gurley – Looked great catching passes last week, so there is hope they use him as an every down back. It’s a tough run defense, but Bills headed across the country in a close game that Gurley should be very active in. A sneaky play to put up some points despite Bills giving up just 3.6 yards per carry.

Negative

  • Tyrod Taylor – He will take some deep shots every game and add some yards on the ground, but with Watkins hobbled, he’s tough to trust in this tough matchup.  
  • Case Keenum – This game should come in even under the very low 39.5-projected over/under. He could always do something, but everyone can always do something. This could be a 9 – 6 game for real.
  • Kenny Britt and Brian Quick – Their top outside receivers, which means nothing.
  • Tavon Austin- Not an easy matchup against solid slot CB Nickell Robey, especially with Quick and Britt coming on a bit, but at least he’s seeing 9 targets a game. Back end PPR flex option, but better option than the two guys above.  

Chargers vs Raiders (-3.5 o/u 50)

Positive

  • Philip Rivers – Should have a solid outing against a divisional rival giving up 46 FPG to opposing receivers and giving up 332/2 to opposing QBs.
  • Melvin Gordon – He’s averaging 3.2 yards a carry and the Raiders allowing 5 yards per carry and 5 catches a game to opposing RBs, so he will continue to put up numbers despite playing horribly. He scares me in fantasy; I would look to trade high. He’s not a good running back.
  • Hunter Henry – Has been a Top 12 TE since taking over for Gates and the Raiders continue to give up production to the position. A solid TE1 if Antonio Gates doesn't play, although he did get in a limited practice this week. If Gates does go, Gates would get the edge as a backend TE1. 
  • Derek Carr – He is a top play at the position this week as the Chargers are getting lit up by opposing quarterbacks and top notch CB Verrett and Flowers are both out this week. 
  • Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper –With shut down CB Verrett out, fire up both of these guys as WR1 plays this week at home. Crabtree actually has the tougher matchup against PFF’s second best CB Casey Hayward, so this could be the game Cooper finally goes off.
  • DeAndre Washington – With Murray out, Washington gets the start in a choice matchup against a defense giving up a ton of yards on the ground and 9/70/.5 to RBs through the air. If he goes off, this job may be his going forward.

Neutral

  • Jalen Richard – With Murray about he should see 8-10 touches, so has a chance to do something against this weak run defense. He did drop two passes last week, which does hurt his value and trust in the passing game this week.
  • Clive Walford – With tougher CB’s, the Chargers are usually vulnerable in the middle of the field, giving up 15.5 FPG to opposing tight ends. So despite limited targets, he is a streamer this week and a reach play in DFS.
  • Travis Benjamin and Tyrell Williams – Benjamin has the tougher matchup when lined up outside against PFF’s #1 rated CB David Amerson, although the Raider have struggled to contain smaller, quick receivers. Williams on the other hand missed a little time last week due to injury, but still saw 8 targets. He has a bit easier matchup against CB Sean Smith. Overall, the Raiders are giving up 46 FPG a game to opposing receivers, so both should be in play this week.
  • Dontrelle Inman – He went off last week, but I still think he is fourth in the pecking order behind Benjamin, Williams and Henry.  If you need a WR3 in PPR leagues, he is usable and if he does it again this week, then it’s time to start moving him up.

Negative

  • Dexter McCluster – Not worth using until his role grows, which could happen at any time since Gordon averaging under two yards per carry and having trouble running out of the shotgun. 

Bengals vs Cowboys (+1 o/u 45)

Positive

  • Jeremy Hill – Per the Vegas line, this will be a close game, which means a lot of Hill who should produce against a Dallas defense giving up 4.9 yards per carry.
  • A.J. Green – Leads the NFL in receptions and is locked and loaded as an every week WR1 despite Dallas holding opposing WRs in check, partially due to limiting the number of snaps other teams get to run due to controlling the game clock.

Neutral

  • Andy Dalton – Still just a QB2, but averaging 300 yards every week. He just needs some more TDs, which is tough with Eifert out.
  • Ezekiel Elliott – The Bengals have a tough run defense, giving up only 3.8 yards per carry. That said, he’s playing much better and with this offensive line, they are always going to open up a big hole or two every game, which Zeke will exploit for big yardage. He’s a RB1.

Negative

  • Giovani Bernard – Hard to trust since he doesn’t score many TDs and this game will be close, meaning much more Hill. Always in PPR flex contention, but you can’t count on a big week, especially averaging only 2.7 yards per carry.
  • Brandon LaFell and Tyler Boyd – Tough to trust either of these guys right now. If you need one, LaFell is by far the better option, seeing 6 targets to Boyd’s 3 last week.
  • Dak Prescott – Playing a tough defense, at least he is at home.
  • Cole Beasley – Bengals are tough against slot receivers, so not the best game to use him.
  • Jason Witten – They defend tight ends well, and as you can sense, this is a tough defense, so not a great week to reach for him unless you just need 3 to 5 catches.
  • Dez Bryant – If he plays, he is a low end WR2 in season long, but an avoid in DFS.
  • Brice Butler and Terrence Williams – I prefer Butler if you need to target one of these guys, as he had 9 targets compared to Williams 6. Plus Williams just isn’t very good and Butler just might be okay.
  • Alfred Morris – Relying on a cheap TD for value this week, so not a good bet.

Giants vs Packers (-7.5 o/u 48)

Positive

  • Odell Beckham Jr. – It’s been a rough start to the season, but as my mad Adam Harstad mentioned, through the first 4 games in 2015 he went 24/307/2 and through the first 4 games this year, he sits at 22/303/0. Essentially two touchdowns is all that separates him from last years numbers, and he’s actually dropped two easy TDs this year that he should have caught.  With CB Sam Shields still out with a concussion, and with the Giants having to keep pace, look for ODB to get back to business this week.  If you need more ammo … as Rich Hribar from Rotoworld mentioned in his fantastic weekly Worksheet column, “27.3 percent of the completions against the Packers have gone for 20 or more yards, the highest rate in the league.” ODB will get deep in this one.
  • Aaron Rodgers – Giants have played good run defense but little pass rush and a ton of injuries on the backend. He kills it at home and after a bye, he should put up monster numbers. A must start and great play in DFS.
  • Jordy Nelson – Getting better and healthier with each passing week. Rodgers loves him and looks to him often, so a solid WR1 play at home even against a tougher matchup at times with Giants top CB Janoris Jenkins, although Jenkins usually sticks to Adams' side of the field. 
  • Randall Cobb – Giants injured in secondary and have got gashed from the slot position. It’s tough to trust him after he’s let us down since 2014, but it’s now or never and he’s too talented for it to be never.

Neutral  

  • Eli Manning – It’s tough to trust him, but this should be a shootout and Vegas doesn’t see a positive game script, which means lots of passing for the Giants. He should have at least 40 attempts and despite a good defense, the Packers are giving up 330 yards and 2 TDs this year.  Even just at home in Week 3, Stafford threw for 385 yards and 3 TDs, so Eli is in play.
  • Victor Cruz and Sterling Shepard – Both of these guys offer PPR WR3 value and could come through for you in you are in a pinch.  Victor Cruz actually has the easier matchup going up against CB Damarious Randall, while Shepherd will deal with solid slot CB Ladarius Gunter, PFF’s 23 rated CB.
  • Will Tye  - If Donnell is out, then bump him up to Neutral. Packers are allowing nearly 17 fantasy points per game to opposing tight ends.  In a high scoring affair, he is in play.
  • Eddie Lacy – The Giants have a tough run defense, giving up only 3.3 yards per carry, but Starks isn’t in the picture right now, so he should see the bulk of the carries and Rodgers should get him in a good position to succeed coming off the bye. Trot him out as always in season long leagues, but probably fade in DFS since he’s not a high upside player to begin with.
  • Richard Rodgers – With Cook still out, the middle of the field should be all his and the Giants have struggled to cover opposing tight ends. A sneaky play this week.
  • Davante Adams – This is a week Adams could come through if you are desperate if CB Jenkins hangs more on Nelson. 

Negative

  • Orleans Darkwa – Packers are tough to run on this year, giving up only 2 yards per carry on the ground. Not the best week to use him, especially since game script won’t be in his favor. This could actually be a Bobby Rainey or Paul Perkins week. Rainey had 7 catches for 43 yards last week while Perkins caught 2 for 72. If you are looking for that sleeper in PPR or DFS that nobody is on, it very well could be Rainey.

Buccaneers vs Panthers (Vegas Line N/A Because Cam is Questionable)

Positive

  • Cam Newton or Derek Anderson – Back home, this offense should get back to business. McCoy, Spence and Ayers are all out for Tampa, so there should be little pressure up front and their secondary is beatable. Both are great starts in season long and DFS this week.
  • Greg Olsen – Should be locked in as a Top 10 TE this week and Anderson loves him if he gets the start.
  • Kelvin Benjamin – After two tough matchups, he should abuse Tampa CB Vernon Hargreaves III, PFF’s 83rd ranked CB.
  • Mike Evans – He should eviscerate Panthers CB Bene Benwikere who Julio destroyed last week.  Keep in mind that the Panthers actually played pretty well on the backend before last week’s debacle.
  • Cameron Brate – The teams clear-cut second option in the passing game and the Panthers have already given up four TDs to TE’s this season.

Neutral

  • Jameis Winston – Great matchup against a divisional rival he averaged 23 FPG last season against (when Carolina had a tougher defense) and this year Carolina is giving up over 24 FPG to opposing QBs. 
  • Charles Sims – Once again on the PPR flex radar as the team’s lead back with Martin injured. Panthers are tough to run on though.
  • Adam Humphries – Should have an easier time putting up numbers against beatable slot CB Robert McClain, but as long as you are not expecting more than 5 catches for 50 yards, you should be in good shape, especially if he puts up more points. At least Vincent Jackson is a non-factor these days.
  • Fozzy Whittaker – He’s been a Top 20 fantasy back in PPR leagues with Stewart out. If Stewart misses again, he’s putting up a solid 5.2 YPC and over 4 catches a game, so he’s viable, but TD’s hard to come by.
  • Ted Ginn – Could easily catch a long one in this game, and I think he does, but he’s not a reliable option.

Negative

  • Mike Tolbert and Cameron Artis-Payne – Only desperation plays against a tough run defense giving up only 3.3 YPC. Could get goal line work if Cam is out.
  • Devin Funchess – Just not seeing the field and getting enough looks. Always a chance to come through, but a desperate reach.

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