Welcome to Week 10 of The Docket, a weekly column that offers strategy and advice on players that you should be targeting and avoiding each week. I bring the energy each week with the positive, neutral and negative charge.
I would like to apologize for the delay in getting this article up this week, but it has been an emotional week for the whole country with the election. But that is why we play fantasy football, to escape, have fun and have a release. Now let’s get money!
Falcons vs Eagles (0 o/u 50)
- Matt Ryan – He’s averaging 26 FPG and the Eagles are giving up around 24 FPG over the past five weeks. The Eagles defense should play much better at home, so this is a bit of a trap spot for him, but their safety play is what helps them out more than their cornerback play.
- Julio Jones – While the Eagles safety’s are great, their corners do give up catches and if Julio gets a little bit of running room he is tough to bring down. That said, this could be one of those games he comes up small if they decide to double him with strong safety play
- Devonta Freeman – Freeman is the best bet for big time production against this Eagles defense that is giving up 4.5 YPC and close to 6 catches to opposing RBs. With Tevin Coleman still out, look for Freeman to put up solid numbers.
- Austin Hooper – He’s coming on and is a great grab to have on your bench, but the Eagles are tough against the tight end, so not a great week to use him. In dynasty leagues, he should definitely be owned.
- Mohamed Sanu – Not an easy matchup against solid slot CB Malcolm Jenkins, so probably not a great week to reach for him. If you do need someone, rather reach for Taylor Gabriel who has an easy matchup on the outside against beatable CB Leodis McKelvin.
- Carson Wentz – This is as good as it gets, but the Eagles are having him get the ball out of his hands quickly with short passes. He certainly viable if you need to reach for him though.
- Darren Sproles – He’s clearly their lead back and played on 80% of the teams’ snaps last week. The Falcons are giving up the most receiving points to opposing RBs of any team, so he’s a great PPR play this week.
- Jordan Matthews – He will avoid CB Trufant, if he even plays, and the Falcons giving up over 46 FPG the past five weeks. Playing at home, this is a great week to use him if you have him, especially since he has seen a whopping 25 targets over the past two weeks.
- Ryan Mathews – They say he’s the starter, but he isn’t. For some reason they are riding Sproles despite Mathews looking pretty good. He’s simply a TD dependent RB who seems to score a TD every game he plays.
- Dorial Green-Beckham – Too tough to trust him, but this is a great matchup if you have nothing else with CB Trufant out this week. He just doesn’t seem to give it his all on every play.
- Zach Ertz – They finally went to him last week and the Falcons have given up a good amount of points to tight ends this year. Tough to fully trust, but he’s their most talented receiver.
Broncos vs Saints (-2 o/u 49)
- Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas – Both of these guys are weekly WR2’s with some upside this week against a Saints defense giving up nearly 310 yards through the air every game.
- Trevor Siemian – I’m just not the sort of pundit to recommend starting Siemian. He’s a game manager that could be benched soon. That said; if you need a streaming option this week, the Saints have been giving up over 23 FPG over the past five weeks, so he’s usable and maybe even a sneaky DFS play, although I prefer my streamers when they are playing at home.
- Devontae Booker – He came up very small against a resurging Oakland defense playing inspired for the lead of the division last week at home. While I concede this is a make or break game for the rookie, I’m willing to go back to the well against a Saints defense that has got gashed on the ground, giving up 5.9 YPC to DuJuan Harris last week, although they did shut down Christine Michael at home two weeks ago and are not the sieve they are being perceived to be.
- Kapri Bibbs - Don’t go overboard just yet, since he played just 16% of the snaps last week. That said, in this very easy matchup, if you are hurting, he’s at least a viable reach and there is always the potential Booker gets benched.
- Mark Ingram II and Tim Hightower – This won’t be as easy as last weeks cake walk, but the Broncos’ defense isn’t a shut down group on the ground, especially on the road. The Raiders laid out the template last week, and running tough on them is the way to go. They currently rank 29th in the league in rushing yards allowed per game and are giving up over 158 yards from scrimmage to opposing RBs.
- Drew Brees, Brandin Cooks and Michael Thomas – If CB Talib misses this week again, then Cooks should be able to find some room, although this won’t be a volume game for him. I actually like Thomas’ chances best, and he is an every week WR2 until proven otherwise as he goes up against the Broncos’ weakest CB, Bradley Roby. PFF’s Pat Thorman also mentioned on twitter that Thomas is Brees' most-targeted pass-catcher against blitzes (16 of 20, 218 yds, TD) and that Denver blitzes at NFL's 2nd-highest rate (41%). Meanwhile, start Brees in season long as he should throw at least 2 TDs, the upside for more probably isn’t there though against a defense giving up only around 14 FPG to opposing QBs the past five weeks.
- Coby Fleener – Here is Fleener’s snap rates over his last 6 games: 77% > 64% > 56% > 57% > 34% >32%. That said, the Bronco’s can be had by athletic tight ends, so if you need him this week, he’s looking better than usual.
- Willie Snead IV – At least they are playing at home, but he has a very tough matchup against CB Harris in the slot.
Texans vs Jaguars (+1.5 o/u 42.5)
- Lamar Miller – He is seeing over 20 touches a game and the Jags defense is not a shut down unit. I’m not sure the upside is there on the road in DFS, but he is locked into your season long lineups.
- C.J. Fiedorowicz – Brock loves looking his way and he has now put up three Top 12 games in a row. The Jags are tough against the TE, so this isn’t the week to reach for him in DFS.
- Brock Osweiler – Even in good matchups, his name is still Brock Osweiler.
- DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller V – It’s tough to rely on these guys as anything more than WR3’s and hope for the best. The Jags have a good secondary, but it’s their quarterback that is holding them back. That said, either of these guys go off at the drop of a hat, so you use them in season long. If Jay Cutler were throwing them the ball would they be both WR2’s with upside this week? Without a doubt. But none of this is the case. Hopkins also isn’t getting the same sort of separation he was last year, which is also a problem.
- T.J. Yeldon and Chris Ivory – Yes they had a good game last week, but the Chiefs were giving up over 24 FPG to opposing RBs the past few weeks. That said, the Texan’s haven’t been shutting down opposing running backs like they were either, so Ivory is on the RB3 map in standard leagues with Yeldon in PPR leagues.
- Allen Robinson – He’s the Jags version of Hopkins, a talented player stuck on a bad passing team. He at least caught 7 passes and a TD last week, so you are using him in season long every week and just hoping for the best.
- Marqise Lee – It looks like Hurns will be out and he is usually good for 5 or 6 catches for 50 or 60 yards if you just need 10 points in a PPR league.
- Blake Bortles – Like Brock, Bortles is a horrible real life quarterback. Don’t look at stat lines, look at the tape. There also might not be any garbage time this week to help his bottom line, which is what he needs to put up points.
- Allen Hurns – Banged up and might not play. If he does, this isn’t a great matchup.
- Julius Thomas – He did nothing again last week. Like every tight end, he can always come through with a TD, but Bortles isn’t a good QB. While Houston has played the TE tough, they are giving up a modest 13 FPG to opposing TE’s the past five weeks.
Vikings vs Redskins (-3 o/u 42)
- Matt Asiata, Ronnie Hillman, Jerrick McKinnon – The Redskins don’t know how to stop the run, but I’m not sure who is going to be doing the running and McKinnon is the only truly talented back here … yet … he’s not fully healthy, so total long shot.
- Stefon Diggs – Got peppered with targets last week, catching 13 passes. This is as tough a matchup as it comes against this secondary, but they move him around enough where he is still a viable WR3 with possible WR1 value in PPR leagues.
- Kyle Rudolph – Put up a dud last week, so hopefully he bounces back this week against a Redskins team giving up 15 FPG to TEs the last 5 weeks. The biggest worry here is that their new OC doesn’t feature the tight end, hopefully that was just a one week thing. We are about to find out.
- Jordan Reed – While the Vikings don’t allow tight ends to score, they do give up a healthy amount of catches, so he’s a viable tight end in PPR leagues as usual.
- Kirk Cousins, DeSean Jackson, Jamison Crowder, Chris Thompson, Rob Kelly and Matt Jones – Even at home and with the Vikings not playing as well, none of these guys are great starts, especially with tackle Trent Williams out. If reaching for any, the best bets are Crowder, who is looking good, and Kelly, who has passed up Jones as the team lead RB.
Bears vs Buccaneers (-1 o/u 46)
- Jay Cutler, Alshon Jeffery – Tampa are easier to pass on and these two guys have great mojo. Alshon is a solid WR1 going up against CB Vernon Hargreaves III III, PFF’s 116th rated corner, with Cutler a quality bye week fill in.
- Jordan Howard – He’s back in the circle of trust after bringing it against the Vikings two weeks ago and that was without his two top Guards who are back this week. John Fox would love the run game to be the foundation of their offense, so until he messes up or doesn’t perform, he should be their lead guy. The Bucs have been pretty tough against the run, but recently they have given up 4.7 YPC over the past five weeks.
- Zach Miller – What a difference a Cutler makes, he should be a solid TE1 against a team giving up 18 FPG over the past five weeks.
- Cameron Meredith – Great matchup, but Cutler has his boys, and he’s not one of them, plus Eddie Royal may be back this week. If you are in a pinch, he’s just a flier, but at least one with a good matchup.
- Mike Evans – His target share is unreal and he saw another 17 targets last week. Playing at home he is a no brainer WR1 against a team giving up 54 FPG to WRs over the past five weeks.
- Jameis Winston – He’s not always trustworthy, but these corners aren’t over imposing and Mike Evans should have a solid game.
- Doug Martin – It looks like he’s back so use him if you need him. For those in DFS and with deeper benches, best to give him a full week back against a Bears defense playing pretty well.
- Cameron Brate – He’s a TD dependent tight end like most of them. At least he had 6 targets last week and with VJax gone, they don’t have too many other options outside of Evans.
- Adam Humphries and Russell Shepard – Both of these guys could get some action this week, but really tough to predict which one. I would lean towards Humphries in PPR leagues and Shepard in standard playing against a defense giving up 54 FPG.
Chiefs vs Panthers (-3 o/u 44)
- Travis Kelce – Should see 10+ targets due to the strength of the Panthers run defense and the weakness of their pass defense. They are also giving up 17.3 FPG to TEs the last 5 weeks. You just have to hope they don’t ask him to block a lot.
- Alex Smith – The Panthers are giving up over 25 FPG over the past four weeks, as their pass defense can be had. Just remember, he’s Alex Smith and playing on the road, so just a safe floor QB2.
- Spencer Ware– It looks like he will be back and West will be back riding the pine. While the Panthers are tough against the run, giving up only 3.3 YPC, but Ware is a bruising and physical runner, the Panthers also giving up 7.5 catches per game over the last four weeks.
- Tyreek Hill and Albert Wilson – Both are dart throws, but with Maclin out and the Panthers being a funnel defense, giving up around 45 FPG to opposing wide receivers, they are both viable reach plays. The Chiefs will take shots to both of these guys who can both get deep and make plays after the catch. Hill may be used as a bit of a chess piece too, so I lean towards him.
- Jeremy Maclin – Looks like he will miss this week and if he does play, he may be very limited.
- Cam Newton – At home he should be a solid QB1 in season long although I’m not paying up for him in DFS with his erratic game scores this season. The Chiefs have given up around 24 FPG to QBs over the past five weeks, but the Panthers offensive line is missing LT Michael Oher (concussion), C Ryan Kalil (shoulder) and backup C Gino Gradkowski (knee). It should also be noted that all pro Chiefs OLB Justin Houston might return this week too.
- Kelvin Benjamin – Lines up on the opposite side of the field than highly rated CB Marcus Peters covers and has a great matchup against CB Phillip Gaines, PFF’s 111th rated corner. This sets up for a monster game for him at home.
- Jonathan Stewart – The Chiefs defense isn’t stopping the run well right now, giving up 4.8 YPC in their last four games and getting gashed by Yeldon and Ivory last week. The only issue here is that Cam could start to steal back some of those red zone runs and this offensive line is banged up.
- Greg Olsen – Eric Berry is very good at keeping opposing tight ends in check. Newton loves Olsen, so use him in season long but not in DFS.
Packers vs Titans (+2.5 o/u 49.5)
- Aaron Rodgers – While this whole offense has been out of synch for most of the year, Rodgers is getting it done and is a safe bet as anyone for weekly fantasy production. He should have no problem picking apart the Titans zone defense that are giving up nearly 300 yards and 2 TDs a game over the past five weeks.
- Randall Cobb, Devante Adams, Ty Montgomery – Nothing scary about this matchup for any of these guys who should all be able to find holes in this zone defense. I would fire these guys up as you normally would in season long, but I’m not being overly proactive in playing them in DFS.
- Jordy Nelson – Jordy gets his own blurb since he should be running a lot of his routes on the side of the field that CB Parish Cox mans, PFF’s 107th rated corner. He is seeing the most red-zone targets on the team and is second in touchdown catches this year, so he’s looking great this week even if he is not the Jordy of old.
- James Starks – It looks like he could return this week, but his snap count will probably be limited. Best to wait at least one more week before using him and he didn’t look particularly good earlier this season in any event.
- Marcus Mariota – He’s getting it done for fantasy purposes every week, and in a game that could end up being played from behind or end up in a shootout, keep rolling him out at home since he is averaging over 28 FPG the past five games. A great GPP DFS play and possible cash game viable too.
- DeMarco Murray – With Henry banged up, Murray is going to see a ton of volume, and volume is king, as we’ve seen with Melvin Gordon III in San Diego. This is a tougher matchup, with the Packers giving up just 3.35 YPC, so doesn’t feel like a week to pay up for him in DFS.
- Kendall Wright and Rishard Matthews – Nothing particularly scary about this matchup, especially since the Packers secondary is still banged up. There is not a ton of reliable volume for either of these guys, but if you need, at least both start and have a chance of putting up a TD especially if the Packers put up some points.
- Delanie Walker – It’s a bit tougher of a matchup, so in season long keep riding him and in DFS it may not be worth paying up for. He can always go for two or even three TDs any given week, but this is a sort of meh matchup for him
Rams vs Jets (-2 o/u 39.5)
- Todd Gurley – He’s not the RB1 you drafted him as, but he consistently puts up top 25 RB numbers every week, so he is a solid RB2 in season long leagues and should be left for dead in DFS against a great run defense.
- Kenny Britt, Brian Quick, Lance Kendricks – All these guys are viable this week against a Jets defense giving up big plays on the backend. Kendricks has been quietly emerging as a reliable backed TE1, seeing over 22% of the teams’ targets the past three weeks, while Britt has emerged as a reliable WR3 with upside.
- Tavon Austin – He faces off in the slot against very beatable slot CB Buster Skrine, so the matchup is at least good on paper, but he just doesn’t seem to produce on a weekly basis despite the targets.
- Brandon Marshall and Quincy Enunwa – It’s tough to rely on these guys as anything more than a low end WR2 and a WR4 respectively with this passing offense stuck in neutral, scoring only 4 passing TDs in the past 5 weeks. Marshall does have a great matchup on his side of the field against CB E.J. Gaines, PFF’s 108th rated corner, so he has a legit chance of coming through. Meanwhile Enunwa faces off against tough slot CB Lamarcus Joyner.
- Matt Forte – The Rams are only giving up 14.3 FPG to opposing RBs and this looks to be a low scoring affair, so he is a RB2 in season long. That said, with the Rams playing at 10am on NYC, there is a chance he breaks some decent gains early while their still sleeping, giving him some contrarian DFS appeal.
- Ryan Fitzpatrick – Looks like he should play, but he’s not producing, so he’s only a total desperation play this week.
Dolphins vs Chargers (-4 o/u 48.5)
- Jay Ajayi – This is his team and you have to keep riding him in season long leagues. In DFS, the Chargers are actually playing really solid run defense lately, allowing just one running back to gain more than 100 yards. That said, they are giving up on average of one rushing TD a game over the past five weeks and 7 catches to opposing RBs. I also think Ajayi is a special talent who will never be shut down completely.
- Ryan Tannehill, Jarvis Landry, DeVante Parker and Kenny Stills – Yuck. The Chargers still have solid corners in Casey Heyward and Brandon Flowers in the slot, so it is going to be tough sledding for this pass game. Stills actually may have the best shot of doing something against beatable corner Trevor Williams, but it’s just a hope and a prayer.
- Philip Rivers – The Dolphins defense has played better lately, and as Rich Hribar from Rotoworld mentioned, “after allowing 289.3 passing yards per game over their opening four games (24th), the Dolphins are allowing 196.3 passing yards per game since, fewest in the league.” That said, I’m willing to ride with Rivers at home this week.
- Tyrell Williams – He didn’t do great in his two games against Denver, but who does. Outside of that, the Gazelle has been a solid WR2 that is slowly inching his way towards WR1 status. He had 6/65/1 last week and should have no trouble exceeding that this week going up against former WR Tony Lippett.
- Melvin Gordon III – He has seemingly turned the corner, finally seeing the Matrix and running much better the past two weeks. Bolstering that is an insane amount of volume seeing 36 touches last week. He’s a great play in all formats, you snooze, and you lose.
- Antonio Gates and Hunter Henry –Gates is that old dude you play basketball against in the park – slow, big, sweaty and somehow boxes you out and leaves you hurting. He’s Rivers guy in the red-zone, so as viable as any other tight end outside of top 5. Henry meanwhile looks like he may return this week, and if so, he returns as a solid PPR tight end option, especially with Benjamin dealing with injuries.
- Travis Benjamin – It doesn’t look like he will play this week, if he does go, move him up to Neutral, but he’s hobbled.
Cowboys vs Steelers (-2.5 o/u 50)
- Ezekiel Elliott – Even if Zeke doesn’t hit 100 yards on the ground this week against this resurgent run defense, he should still put up solid RB1 numbers.
- Dak Prescott – Not a great week to reach for him on the road against a defense giving up just 17.2FPG over the past five weeks to the position and one that is finally healthy.
- Dez Bryant –Not sure what to do about Dez. CB Haden had his number last week, which can be excused, but Dak doesn’t seem to want to actively feature him, which is a problem. He does get a great matchup against CB Artie Burns, PFF’s 94th rated corner, so if you have him, he’s worth trying again this week.
- Cole Beasley – If you are looking for 5 catches for 50 yards, he’s your guy, but the Steelers do have a solid slot corner in William Gay.
- Jason Witten - He has very little upside with his old man skills and moves, but as we saw last week, in plus matchups he can still get it done. The Steelers play a zone defense, which Witten can take advantage of, and unlike Dez, Dak does like throwing to Witten.
- Ben Roethlisberger, Le'Veon Bell and Antonio Brown – At home these guys ball, even in a tougher matchups. The Cowboys also lost their top corner Claiborne and their safety, Barry Church, which helps too.
- Jesse James and Ladarius Green – James is TD dependent, and Green is coming off injury. I’m excited to see what Green can do in this offense if he ever gets activated.
- Sammie Coates Jr – He can’t catch, dropping a sure fire TD that hit him in his mitts. Total flier, with the boom being incredibly big, and the bust being a total bust. At least he’s at home.
49ers vs Cardinals (-13.5 o/u 48.5)
- Colin Kaepernick, Jeremy Kerley, Torrey Smith, Carlos Hyde, DuJuan Harris – Depending on who starts, Hyde or Harris has value. Hyde would be a RB2 and Harris a RB3/Flex play.
- David Johnson – His usage should be around 100% in DFS this week. Every running back gets at least 100 yards against them, they have allowed over 170 yards on the ground the past five weeks and opposing RB’s are averaging 43.9 FPG during that period. Enough said.
- Carson Palmer, Larry Fitzgerald, John Brown, J.J. Nelson – The 49ers allow everyone to score, so you should use everyone, except for Michael Floyd (maybe I’m jinxing myself and he is the one that scores more than anyone, but probably not).
Seahawks vs Patriots (-7.5 o/u 49)
- Russell Wilson, Doug Baldwin, Jimmy Graham – None are great starts and full disclaimer, this could end up being a low scoring affair, although that’s what we thought last week. If the Bills offense can put up points against this Seattle defense, then the Patriots surely can, especially at home, turning this game maybe into a big time shoot out. They have given up 21.1 FPG to opposing QB’s the past five weeks, while the Patriots have struggled against slot receivers and opposing tight ends.
- Christine Michael and C.J. Prosise – This run game is stuck in neutral and it probably doesn’t get going this week against a Patriots team giving up just 3.4 YPC. Thomas Rawls going be back next week and could immediately take over lead duties.
- Tyler Lockett, Paul Richardson Jr and Jermaine Kearse – Too tough to trust any of these guys. One could always come through.
- Tom Brady – The Seahawks gets their safety back in Kam Chancellor, but are still without all-pro defensive end Michel Bennett, which is a big loss resulting in the Seahawks giving up 24.7 FPG to QBs over the past five weeks. While this might not be a 400 yard and 4 TD game, 300 and 3 is very much in the realm of possibility since they can’t really run on them. This is also a Seattle defense that just got lit up by the lowly Bills at home.
- Julian Edelman – He has a decent matchup against beatable slot CB Jeremy Lane and the Seahawks are giving up the 6th most FPG to WRs out of the slot, so it could be dink and dunk heaven for Edelman this week with the other receivers on lock. Yet, he’s really only seeing 4 or 5 catches a game right now, which for a reception dependent fantasy receiver, is not good, but this lines up as a good week for him on paper.
- Rob Gronkowski – It’s as tough as it comes, so fade in DFS and play as usual in season long. The Pats always find a way, so does Gronk.
- James White – This sets up as more of a White game, with the Seahawks giving up around 6 catches a game to opposing RBs. While the return of Dion Lewis could cut into his workload eventually, I can’t imagine they give him more than a few snaps or more than a series or two. This team is thinking Super Bowl, so there is no rush.
- LeGarrette Blount – Not a good week for him against this tough run defense.
- Martellus Bennett – Not the week to use him unless you have no other options.
- Chris Hogan – He can always score on a deep bomb, so viable if you need a reach play, but this is a tough matchup even at home. Brady will test this defense though.
Bengals vs Giants (-2.5 o/u 47)
- Jeremy Hill and Giovani Bernard – Over the last five weeks the Giants are giving up a TD a game, 6 catches a game and a solid 4.4 YPC. Hill has always been running way better, and since Week 5 the Bengals have averaged nearly 160 yards on the ground per game. Hill should be a RB2 and Bernard a Flex in PPR leagues.
- Tyler Eifert – He’s baaack and looking great. The Giants give up an average of 6 catches a game to the opposing tight end and he should be very active in this one.
- Andy Dalton – While the Giants are playing opposing QBs tough, if you have him in season long or 2QB leagues, there is no reason to shy away from him. He’s been putting up around 300 yards a game and with Eifert back, more TDs should be forthcoming.
- A.J. Green – Unless they shift shut down CB Janoris Jenkins on him the whole game, which is unlikely, he should see enough of rookie LCB Eli Apple to do some damage against a Giants secondary that is giving up 37.8 FPG to WRs over the past five games.
- Brandon LaFell – Should see a lot of shut down corner Janoris Jenkins, so this is not a sneaky LaFell week. The same with Tyler Boyd who should see a lot of Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie in the slot.
- Odell Beckham Jr Jr. and Eli Manning – These guys play much better at home and the Bengals secondary has been getting lit up this year. The Bengals are giving up 27.2 FPG to opposing QBs the past five weeks and Beckham will have no problem deposing or corners Adam Jones and Dre Kirkpatrick, both ranked near the bottom of PFF’s corner rankings (98th and 102nd respectively).
- Sterling Shepard – It is looking like Victor Cruz is going to miss this week, so Shepard is looking more attractive than usual. He’s best still relied on as just a flex or WR3 option since he is only seeing very short passes and slot CB Joshua Shaw has been decent this year.
- Paul Perkins and Rashad Jennings - It looks like we could be seeing a changing of the guard with both Perkins and Rashad Jennings receiving 14 touches last week. The difference being, Jennings doing nothing with his touches and Perkins looking decent. The Bengals have actually been giving up a decent amount of yards on the ground, so if you need one of these guys, I would lean Perkins.
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