Welcome to Week 11 of The Docket, a weekly column that will highlight rule and policy issues effecting players as well as offer strategy and advice on a select few players that you should be targeting or avoiding.
This is where we look at select players who are on the verge of an upgrade or downgrade.
Brock Osweiler (Den, QB) – When the end comes, sometimes it comes out of nowhere and fast. It looks like Manning was toast before his foot injury that looks to keep him out at least a few weeks, and if Osweiler plays well, it may be a permanent benching. Brock has been learning behind the NFL’s greatest quarterback (in my opinion) and has the physical tools to thrive in this league. This team also has serious weapons with Demaryius Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders, Vernon Davis and an underutilized Cody Latimer. The Bronco’s have a great matchup this week against the Bears, so if you are in need, Brock is a guy to grab and in dynasty, he may be their guy going forward for many years to come.
Cody Latimer (Den, WR) – He’s done absolutely nothing so far, so he’s hard trust, but he stands 6’2” 215lbs and ran somewhere between a 4.39 and 4.43 at his pro-day, supposedly on a broken foot. He’s clicked with Brock Osweiler in practice as the two have been practicing together for two years now on the B team. With Brock getting the start, and Peyton Manning not making him nervous, we just might see Latimer finally emerge.
Johnny Manziel (Cle, QB) – The Browns have to see what they have with Manziel, so this is his team for the rest of the season. Manziel had his best game as a pro throwing for 372 yards with 1TD, 1INT and adding another 17 yards on the ground. Manziel is a gamer and in college he always manufactured a way to get it done. It won’t be pretty, in fact, it could be down right ugly at times, but he should put up steady QB2 numbers the rest of the way, especially because he can get it done with his feet behind this great offensive line.
Robert Turbin (Dal, RB) – Turbin is worth an add if you own Darren McFadden. For some reason the Cowboys love all of Seattle's running back cast offs (Christine Michael, Rod Smith and now Turbin). Behind the leagues best offensive line, a player like Turbin who can run and catch could actually put up solid RB2 numbers every week if given the chance. He is the least sexiest handcuff in football, but hey, we'll take it.
Stefon Diggs (Min, WR) – You may want to sell high on Diggs before the games kick off this week. The Viking’s just don’t have a viable pass game as they rely on Adrian Peterson to carry the offensive load and play a tough defense to keep them in games. Teddy Bridgewater is simply being tasked with managing the game and not with making plays. Sure Diggs can go off any week with his run after the catch ability, but if you can get another solid option, like Michael Crabtree, I would do it.
Devin Funchess (Car) – Funchess is another receiver that hasn’t really done much just yet, but he seems to be finally adjusting to the the NFL game and has been more involved the past two weeks. With Corey Brown injured, Funchess could see his first start this week. If you are hurting at wide receiver and have the bench space, he’s worth a grab now before he potentially becomes a hot waiver wire commodity later on. This is a team devoid of any receiving play makers outside of Greg Olsen, so the opportunity is there. In dynasty leagues, he could also make a great one-two punch with Kelvin Benjamin next year.
Jamison Crowder (Was, WR) – Crowder has been playing well out of the slot and the Redskins' are lining up with three wide a lot this year. He reminds me of Jarvis Landry, not a special athlete, but a player that has good hands, gets open and can make things happen after the catch. He’s a great grab in PPR leagues. It wouldn’t shock me for him to make a Landry type leap next season as well for those of you playing dynasty.
Terrance Williams (Dal, WR) – Williams did a horrible job filling in for Dez Bryant as the teams’ number one receiver and he did nothing with with Matt Cassel under center. But with Tony Romo back at the helm, Williams is set to turn things around. And by turn things around I mean going back to the 4 targets for 3 catches and a touchdown line that we saw from him regularly last year. He’s not a guy you want to rely on every week, but he should provide you with decent WR3 value with Allen Hurns upside.
Denver Broncos (Def) – Just in case they have been dropped or you can find an owner that has soured on them the past two weeks, see if you can get your hands on the Denver Defense. Manning absolutely killed them with all his turnovers, putting them in unmanageable situations. Despite that, they have actually played pretty well and haven’t allowed a passing touchdown in three weeks and teams are only averaging three yards a carry against them. They also get Aqib Talib back from suspension so they should be rocking and rolling once again as the leagues best defense. This is a special unit.
This is where we highlight players that are looking particularly good.
Brandin Cooks (NO, WR) –Cooks is finally the player I expected him to be to start the season. While I concede he is not a legitimate WR1, he put up 5/98/2 last week and is averaging over 23 points a game over the past three weeks. Brees is healthy and getting him the rock every week, grass or no-grass. With a great schedule for the rest of the season, sans the Carolina game, (@Hou, vs Car, @TB, vs Det, vs Jax), Cooks has the upside to lead you to the promised land.
Eric Decker (NYJ, WR) – Decker now has 7 touchdowns in the past 8 games, and gets it done every week. He’s a great floor player with upside every week in both standard leagues and in DFS.
Jay Ajayi (Mia, RB) – I’ve mentioned him here the past two weeks, so I’ll do it one last time. Pick him up. He’s a first round talent that fell down draft boards due to a possible long term knee issue. While Lamar Miller is still the man in Miami, Ajayi has proved he can do a lot with even a few touches and if Miller wetn down, he’s a RB1.
DFS – PLAYS OF THE WEEK
- Cam Newton (The Redskins are no match for Cam at home. The safest QB play every week)
- Tony Romo (People talking about his long layoff, he’s played football his whole life. There shouldn’t be much rust behind this offensive line)
- Case Keenum (Only if you want to go dirt cheap at QB, but he isn’t afraid to turn it loose and the Ravens can be thrown on)
- Matthew Stafford (He’ll throw for at least two touchdowns against the Raiders at home. West Coast teams playing the early game usually means a sleepy defense the first half)
- Derek Carr (The Lions defense is not very good at stopping anyone)
- Frank Gore (They should lean on the run with Luck out and the Falcons can be run on)
- Devonta Freeman (The Colts can’t stop the run either and he should catch a tons of balls to boot)
- Adrian Peterson (He’s back and he’s rolling. He should run all over the Packers)
- Lamar Miller (Gets it done by land, sea and air. Top fantasy RB since they switched coaches)
- Jay Ajayi (If you are looking for a cheap tournament option, I could see him scoring this week)
- Charcandrick West (The Chargers can’t stop the run and Andy Reid running backs always produce)
- Dez Bryant (Romo is back and so is Dez)
- Terrance Williams (Always gets a cheap TD on 2 targets when Romo and Dez are both playing)
- Michael Crabtree (I think this is a shootout and more affordable and a better matchup than Amari)
- Eric Decker (Gets it done every week, high floor player)
- Steve Johnson (He's the number one receiver on a team that is a pass first offense)
- Danny Amendola (Take advanatge of his cheap price)
- Leonard Hankerson (With Julio facing Vontae Davis, Hankerson should put up numbers)
- Greg Olsen (Went 8/80 last week and he is rolling now with Cam)
- Jason Witten (Seeing a trend here? Start your Cowboys while they are cheaper than normal)
- Eric Ebron (Last week I thought would be a great Stafford/Ebron stack and it didn’t work out. I’m doubling down with Ebron playing the Raiders who have been gashed by tight ends regularly)
- Clive Walford (If you are going super cheap, he has scored in three of the past four and leads the Raiders in redzone targets the past few weeks)
SONG OF THE WEEK
This week I present the Chelsea Effect, a cool new indie project that just released their debut song, Good Enough. Check it out below:
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