The season is 10 weeks old and for the most part, you've learned who the mainstays are in your lineup. However, here are a few under the radar players that I like this week who might be worthy of finding your starting roster. Most of the rushing matchups favor the studs like Ezekiel Elliott at ATL, Todd Gurley vs KC, and David Johnson vs OAK but there are some nice gems who may be on your bench waiting for an opportunity to start.
- Lamar Jackson, BAL (vs Cincinnati) - It is still unclear if Jackson will start this week vs the Bengals, due to the uncertainty of Joe Flacco's (hip) availability. If Jackson does get the nod, he is someone to consider in deeper lineups or those that carry two quarterbacks. Jackson has Michael Vick-like ability as a runner which could elevate his fantasy production considerably. We've seen Tim Tebow have success as a fantasy option and Jackson has a much better arm and pocket presence than Tebow. If he starts, the fantasy world should be interested in watching him. Oh, by the way, the Bengals have allowed fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this year.
- Josh Rosen, ARI (vs Oakland) Josh Rosen hasn't exactly lit the field on fire with his passing prowess, but he is improving averaging 224 yards passing per game over the last four games with at least one touchdown pass in each of the last three. In the same span, he has averaged 37 pass attempts. This week, Rosen will host the Raiders who have allowed at least two touchdown passes to opposing quarterbacks in every game since Week 3. Rosen is not a must-start, but for those in deeper leagues or two-quarterback leagues, he's someone to consider.
- Eli Manning, NYG (vs Tampa Bay) - We saw Eli Manning have some success against San Francisco last week, which perhaps spiked his confidence level. The Giants have some pieces on offense and are not a fantasy wasteland. Throw in a home game vs the Buccaneers and Manning becomes somewhat appealing. On average, Tampa Bay allows 306 yards passing to opposing quarterbacks with 2.6 touchdown passes per game - a league-high.
- Dak Prescott, DAL (at Atlanta) This is more about the Falcons defense than Prescott. The Cowboys signal-caller does not have a 300-yard passing game or a 3-touchdown pass game. Like Tampa Bay, Atlanta averages 306 yards passing per game to opposing quarterbacks and 2.3 touchdown passes. In nine games, Atlanta has allowed 3 touchdown passes six times (66.6% of the time). That's enough to consider Prescott as a situational starter this week.
- Alex Collins, BAL (vs Cincinnati) - In the last three games, the Bengals have allowed an average of 28 carries to running backs with 150 yards rushing and another 73 yards receiving with 7 receptions. The Ravens are coming off their bye with three losses in a row. You can bet they will look to establish the ground game against the worst fantasy run defense this season. If Lamar Jackson plays, it will be even more difficult to stop a rushing offense that has weapons and uncertain play calls. Remember, it was Cincinnati who allowed 184 yards to Christian McCaffrey this year. Don't forget about Ty Montgomery, who was recently acquired from Green Bay before the trade deadline. He could have a role, especially as a receiving threat.
- Dion Lewis and Derrick Henry, TEN (vs Indianapolis) - Dion Lewis has been the Titans lead back in terms of carries for each of the last two games, totaling 19 and 20 carries with 6 receptions. This week's opponent, Indianapolis, has allowed 10 receptions to running backs and 98 yards rushing on average over the last three games. Derrick Henry also enters the equation, but Lewis is more versatile as a receiving back and could benefit the most. Henry has four scores in the last three games, but his carry totals have decreased while Lewis' have increased.
- Rashaad Penny and Mike Davis, SEA (vs Green Bay) - Both Mike Davis and Rashaad Penny scored last week at the LA Rams with Penny registering the first 100-yard game of his young career. Seattle has found a good combination of rushing talent with Davis and Penny. Look for them to establish the ground game against Green Bay this week. Both could have decent fantasy value but we may be witnessing the rise of Penny as one of the more productive rookie backs in the second half of the season. An increase in carries to their prized first-round pick may be in the cards as early as this game.
- Sterling Shepard, NYG (vs Tampa Bay) - The Buccaneers have allowed at least one touchdown reception to a wide receiver in every game this season. 10 of the 15 touchdowns allowed to wide receivers have been scored by a non-WR1 on the opposing team. The Bucs have a weakness in the secondary and it's being exploited, especially by the complementary receiving threat. Odell Beckham Jr may be the person of interest for the defense, but don't be surprised to see Sterling Shepard get in on the action.
- Jordan Matthews, PHI (vs at New Orleans) - The Eagles are decimated in the secondary, so New Orleans should feast on Sunday. That also means that Philadelphia will have to pass, especially in the second half if the score is lopsided. Alshon Jeffery and potentially Golden Tate should benefit the most this week after Zach Ertz, but Matthews has 8 targets in the last two games, catching seven, all for a first down. On average, the Saints have allowed 15 receptions and 225 yards to opposing wide receivers alone over the last four games.
- D.J. Moore, CAR (at Detroit) -The Panthers are a run-heavy team, but Detroit has been poor against the pass over the last four games, allowing eight touchdowns to wide receivers (2 per game), including two 100-yard efforts last week at Chicago. the main receiving options for Carolina are Christian McCaffrey, Greg Olsen, and Devin Funchess, but Moore is close behind, plus he has rushing ability as well with sizeable rushes in five of the last six games.
- Demaryius Thomas (HOU) at Washington - Washington has allowed at least one wide receiver touchdown in six of nine games this year and they have been especially porous in the last three games allowing a 100-yard receiver in each. Since Week 7, Washington has allowed on average, 16 receptions to wide receivers and 235 yards. DeAndre Hopkins will surely benefit, but that also could mean Demaryius Thomas will see increased activity in his second game as a Texans receiver. Washington is 5th worst in fantasy points against to wide receivers over the last four games. This is a good matchup for Houston and Thomas who will look to show what he can bring to the table for the Texans who have six straight wins.
- Michael Roberts, DET (vs Carolina) The Panthers have allowed the most fantasy points to tight ends this season, including a score in seven of nine games and five touchdowns in the last three games. Start your tight ends vs the Panthers.
- Ricky Seals-Jones, ARI (vs Oakland) Over the last three games, Josh Rosen has targeted Ricky Seals-Jones the most after Larry Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk. He has 14 receptions in the last four games and the Raiders have struggled against tight ends allowing six touchdowns to tight ends over the last six games with an average of 99 yards allowed since Week 7. Oakland has surprisingly not allowed a 100-yard wide receiver this year, but they have allowed a 100-yard tight end (George Kittle). Perhaps Seals-Jones hit paydirt this week in a favorable home matchup?
- Vance McDonald, PIT (at Jacksonville) The Jaguars have allowed five touchdowns to tight ends in the last two games (vs PHI and IND). Both of those are strong tight end offenses, but that may be an area you'll want to exploit. Jacksonville also allowed 100 yards to Travis Kelce this season. McDonald has at least 3 receptions in each of the last four games, plus a score last week vs Carolina.
Good luck. Go earn that playoff spot this week.
Questions, suggestions, and comments are always welcome to firstname.lastname@example.org
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