The season is 10 weeks old and for the most part, you've learned who the mainstays are in your lineup. However, in case you weren't aware, here's a few others I like this week.
- Mark Sanchez, PHI - Sam Bradford (shoulder/concussion) is likely out for the next two weeks. This opens the door for Mark Sanchez to show why he may be the better quarterback for the Eagles in the stretch run, in a division that is wide open. Sanchez has a semi-favorable schedule against Tampa this week and potentially Detroit on Thanksgiving. On paper these matchups look outstanding, however Tampa is a very sneaky 7th in quarterback points against over the last three weeks. Sanchez had 23 pass attempts last week in second half duty against Miami. He targeted running backs 11 times (Sproles 5, Murray 5, Ryan Mathews 1). This gives an extra boost to DeMarco Murray this week and perhaps Darren Sproles becomes a flex option to consider.
- Derek Carr, OAK - The Raiders have the fortunate luck of playing Detroit this week. The Lions are coming off a gigantic win against the Packers, but they were still horrible against the pass, which is Oakland's strongest offensive asset. Over the last three games, Detroit has averaged 27.4 quarterback fantasy points against, which is fourth worst in the league behind NO, NYG and CLE. Ironically those three teams have a bye this week.
- Alex Smith, KC - It's hard to think about using Alex Smith in your fantasy lineup, however considering the Chiefs opponent, San Diego, you may want to consider Smith this week. The Chiefs play at San Diego, who have allowed 310 passing yards per game and 25.7 quarterback fantasy points against in their last three games. The Chargers are coming off a bye, but at 2-7 they are on the outside looking in, while the Chiefs at 4-5 still have a chance for a playoff berth in the AFC.
- Blake Bortles, JAC / Marcus Mariota, TEN - Consider both of these quarterbacks this Thursday night against each other with a lean towards Bortles who has the home game and the better overall stats this year. Both teams have defenses to exploit. Tennessee is allowing 280 passing yards per game against in the last three games, including 26.4 FP allowed to opposing quarterbacks. Jacksonville is allowing 294 passing yards against per game and 24.6 FP allowed.
- Darren McFadden, DAL - The Cowboys running back by default has earned the upper hand role over the past few weeks, but his role is now more cemented after Christine Michael was released on Tuesday. McFadden had an off-week against Tampa Bay, but this week's opponent (at Miami) is the worst defense against the run over the last three weeks allowing 37.7 PPR points per game to opposing running backs (NE, BUF, PHI), all road games. McFadden is primary and secondary option at running back for Dallas, which means he could cash in big for this game. Perhaps the Dolphins will right the ship at home after three road games, but this matchup for McFadden is one you shouldn't pass up.
- Jonathan Stewart, CAR - The Panthers look to improve their record to 10-0 and their 14th consecutive regular season win. Washington stands in their way, who have allowed 162 yards rushing per game over the last three games and 31.3 running back PPR FP allowed per game in that same span. Carolina is third in the league in rushing going up against one of the worst rush defenses in the league. This screams a run-heavy game, especially if Carolina can control the game and the clock.
- Lamar Miller, MIA - Miami finally returns home after a three-game road trip that saw them go 1-2 against BUF, NE and PHI. Lamar Miller has 18 catches in the last three games and this week's opponent (DAL) has allowed 26.6 PPR FP per game in the same span. Dallas has also allowed 71 receiving yards per game to opposing running backs in the last two games. Don't be too concerned about Jay Ajayi stealing carries. Ajayi had only 12 snaps last week and 7 the week prior. Compared to Miller's 55 and 56 in back to back weeks.
- Ameer Abdullah, DET - Hear me out on this one. The Lions are far from a rushing juggernaut, but they are returning home with momentum in their favor after a surprising win against divisional foe Green Bay. There is talent at running back, but the game script has not been in their favor this year. Plus they have played some of the best run defenses in the league in Denver, Minnesota (twice), Arizona, and Seattle. This week, the Raiders come to town, who were recently gashed by Adrian Peterson for 200 yards. Prior to the game against Minnesota, Oakland was still among the bottom five in the league in rushing defense over the last four games. They especially struggled against pass-catching backs, allowing 8 receptions per game to opposing backs and 32 PPR FP per game. If Abdullah is going to show us something -- anything like what we saw in the preseason, this is the game to do so. Consider him a longshot to excel this week, but the opportunity is there and the matchup is ripe. Perhaps the stars will be aligned for this game?
The Browns, Giants and Steelers are the worst three teams against wide receivers over the last three games (with New Orleans not far behind). All four teams are on a bye this week. The next defenses up in terms of matchups to exploit wide receivers against are PHI, OAK, BAL, NYJ, JAC, NE, WAS, BUF, GB, SD, TEN, KC. Looking at the schedule this week and other justifiable circumstances, a few wide receivers stand out to me as ones to consider that you may or may not be aware of.
- Danny Amendola, NE - Let's face it, Danny Amendola wouldn't be much of a consideration if it were not for the ankle injury to Julian Edelman. Amendola replaced Edelman as Tom Brady's go-to receiving option last week and amassed 10 catches for 79 yards. The Patriots host the Bills this week and the last meeting Brady passed for 466 yards on 38 of 59 efficiency with three touchdown passes. Edelman was a big part of the offense, catching 11 passes for 97 yards and two scores. New England has used this high pass attempt approach in previous games against Buffalo, which leads me to believe it will be the game plan again this week.
- Steve Johnson, SD - Philip Rivers has not had less than 26 completions in each of the last five games. He has six games of 300+ yards passing, including five of the last six. The Chargers have been stung by receiver injuries this year, but Rivers continues to produce. Steve Johnson finds himself as the main downfield receiving weapon and this week's opponent is the Chiefs who have given up a touchdown to at least one wide receiver in every game but one this year. The Chargers are coming off their bye and will play hard despite their disappointing 2-7 record. Look for Rivers to heavily target Johnson, who had 7 receptions in the last game against Chicago.
- Mike Evans, TB - Mike Evans has two consecutive games of 8 catches and 125+ yards. This week the Buccaneers will face the Eagles who have given up a touchdown to at least one wide receiver in every game but one this season. In the last two games against Dallas and Miami, Philadelphia has allowed two touchdowns per game to opposing wide receivers including 48.3 PPR FP per game against.
- Allen Robinson, JAC - 14 of the Jaguars 19 touchdown passes have gone to Allen Robinson (7) and Allen Hurns (7). Hurns is suffering from a sports hernia injury and could miss significant time. His absence opens the door for Allen Robinson to carry the torch and reap the benefits. Robinson has at least one touchdown in four of the last five games and this week the Jaguars draw the Titans in a nationally televised home game on Thursday night. Tennessee has a decent pass rush that could pose problems for Blake Bortles, but their secondary is suspect and could be exploited in this game. Look for Robinson to be targeted often in this game, especially if the Jaguars line can weather the storm of the Titans front four.
- Jacob Tamme, ATL - The Falcons are coming off their bye and will host the Colts who have given up the most fantasy points to tight ends over the last three four weeks, averaging 7 receptions for 95 yards per game against. Tamme has 10+ targets in each of the last two games and is becoming more of a staple in the offense, while Roddy White fades. Tamme's success might hinge on the health of Leonard Hankerson (hamstring) who hasn't played since Week 6. Hankerson is expected to return this week, but how much he'll play is unknown. If Hankerson is eased back in, look for Tamme to continue to be a big contributor.
- Zach Ertz, PHI - Zach Ertz has 5, 4, 5, 5, 7 receptions respectively in the last five games. Mark Sanchez targeted him five times in the second half last week against Miami and this week's opponent, Tampa Bay has been one of the worst defenses against tight ends recently, allowing 20.3 PPR FP per game to opposing tight ends over the last four games. Opposing tight ends have averaged 9 catches for 73 yards per game in that span.
- Mychal Rivera / Clive Walford, OAK - Clive Walford is the future of the Raiders at tight end, but Mychal Rivera is still someone who can produce when called upon. He had 6 catches for 46 yards last week while Walford is recovering from a quadricep injury. This week Oakland plays Detroit, who just allowed 10 catches to Green Bay tight ends last week. So far this season, Detroit has allowed a touchdown to an opposing tight end in 7 of their 9 games. One of Rivera or Walford could have a decent fantasy game this week against Detroit. Both Rivera and Walford each have 13 targets over the last four games.
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