Sat Oct 24 11:01am ET
By CHARLIE WIEGERT
An interesting way to look at Week 7 in most leagues is that you are halfway finished with your regular season. Most leagues playoffs start Week 13 or 14, so this is a good time to take a serious look at your roster and ask yourself, can this team make the playoffs? If not, it’s time to start making trade offers. And be proactive with the waiver wire. With a lot of bye weeks coming, look ahead a week for someone you’ll need to cover, rather than wait and hope you get the player you want that someone else in your league could also be targeting. An example this week is Indianapolis tight end Trey Burton, who is on a bye. Not many team owners go after players on a bye, but next week he could draw a lot of interest as he’s become one of Phillip Rivers favorite targets. And if your in a FAAB league, you can get him with a low bid this week, but it will take a higher bid next week.
The four teams on the bye this week are Minnesota, Miami, Indianapolis and Baltimore. The COVID watch is on in Las Vegas, where their offensive line has lost one starter already and they await tests from the other four. Their game with Tampa has been moved from Sunday night to Sunday afternoon because the NFL did not want to risk not having a prime time game on Sunday night. So obviously the NFL has serious concerns about the game happening. A possibility of the game getting moved to Monday or Tuesday also exists. If the game is played and the Raiders are without some of their starting offensive line, I wouldn’t want to be David Carr. Tampa already will challenge them and without some key players, I’m not sure Jon Gruden will have enough tricks up his sleeve to keep the Raiders in the game.
This is good time to look at the defenses allowing the most fantasy points at each position again and some players who might be good plays this week.
Quarterback: Atlanta, Buffalo, Minnesota, Seattle and Dallas. Matt Stafford against the Falcons, who have given up over 300 passing yards every game, should be good.
I can’t really recommend Joe Flacco against the Bills (or anybody else for that matter), and the Vikings are on a bye. Red hot Kyler Murray has a key matchup with division rival Seattle. And Kyle Allen gets to exploit the Dallas defense.
Running Back: Houston, Carolina, Jacksonville, New York Jets and Green Bay. Houston and Green are playing each other, so you’d expect two of the five teams giving up the most points to have a lot of rushing, right? Aaron Jones should have a huge game. As a side note, Houston shutdown corner Bradley Roby will be shadowing Devante Adams, so Aaron Rodgers will be happy to let Jones be a workhorse in this one. On the other side, David Johnson will try to keep the Packers off the field as he runs the ball for the Texans.
I’m more of a believer in Justin Jackson than Joshua Kelley, but both Chargers running backs could approach triple digits against the Jaguars. And since the Jaguars pass defense leaves a lot to be desired, Jackson should have the better day. Buffalo gets the Jets weak rushing defense, making Devin Singletary a strong play. And Josh Allen could get more rushing yards than passing yards in this one. Plus, it’s a great spot to give rookie Zack Moss a chance to show breakaway skills.
Wide Receiver: Washington, Chicago, Los Angeles Rams, Carolina and Kansas City. I always find it interesting that the teams giving up the most fantasy points to quarterbacks are not also giving up the most fantasy points to wide receivers. One has to assume a lot of the points to quarterbacks are coming from passing to running backs and tight ends, or running the ball.
So the Red Rifle will hope to get Dallas going by passing the ball to CeeDee Lamb and Amari Cooper, and perhaps a long ball to Michael Gallup. All are better choices than having Ezekiel Elliott fumble the ball away.
The Bears and Rams matchup features two of the top three teams giving up points to wide outs. Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods should be busy for the Rams, and Allen Robinson will be Nick Foles favorite target.
New Orleans gets to feast on Carolina’s weak passing defense, so this would be a great spot for the return of Michael Thomas. But a bulky hamstring has him out, giving Emmanuel Sanders another week to be the main man. But Sanders just tested positive for the bat virus, putting him on the bench. So if you’re looking for a sleeper, Tre’Quan Smith becomes one starter and either Deonte Harris or Marquez Callaway the other. Not what Drew Brees was hoping for.
Tim Patrick should be busy for the Broncos as they play catch up with the Chiefs, making him a good play.
Tight End: Buffalo, Atlanta, New Orleans, Philadelphia and Washington. It’s really hard to recommend a Jets player, but if they do find some success against the Bills, Chris Herndon could be the one to do it.
T.J. Hockenson should exploit the Falcons. Other than Kelce and Kittle, I think Hockenson could lead tight ends in fantasy points this week and is a great value in DFS.
I can’t recommend Panthers Ian Thomas against New Orleans after he was catchless last week against the Falcons (and makes me wonder if the Falcons might also stop Hockenson).
Logan Thomas practiced in full Friday, so the Washington tight end is good to go against a Dallas defense that struggles against tight ends (well, against everyone).
NFL football always reminds me how unpredictable it can be sometimes. Last week, the Minnesota Vikings should have had their best offensive production of the year against a porous Falcon team that just fired their coach and GM. If it wasn’t for some easy yards in mop-up time after the game was decided, it could have been one of their worst. And Big Ben should have had a huge game against the Browns, but the Browns rolled over early so there was no need for him to be passing. That’s what keep it’s it interesting for us, I guess!
Have a good Week 7!
Charlie Wiegert was the sixth person to be inducted in the Fantasy Sports Hall Of Fame in 2001. He is a founder of CDM Fantasy Sports and Fantasy Sports Trade Association. He has been playing and winning fantasy baseball leagues since 1984. If you have any questions for Charlie, email them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @GFFantasySports.
Five Hot Plays: Week 13
Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Mike Glennon will once again get the start this week but should remain benched in fantasy. Glennon posted 235 yards and two touchdowns last week in an impressive performance, but that was only one game and the journeyman has not proved he is worthy of a start each week. The Vikings are middle-tier against fantasy QBs, but there are certainly better, proven options out there.
Jacksonville Jaguars running back James Robinson is an RB1 this week against the Vikings. The 22-year-old has now rushed for at least 99 yards in four of the last five games and has been stellar this season as the lead back for the Jags even though his value in the passing game has been minimal. The Vikings are middle-tier against fantasy backs, but Robinson's high weekly volume sets him up to produce once again.
Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Hunter Renfrow had a good performance last week against the Falcons, and he will look for another solid performance this week against a poor Jets secondary. He is a consistent possession receiver but lacks the explosion to be considered a viable fantasy option. Renfrow is averaging 3.5 catches and 46 yards per game this season, so those numbers make him a fringe flex option. He has not found the end zone in four consecutive games, but the Jets Defense allows a lot of points. He consistently catches passes every game, but his ceiling is low.
Las Vegas Raiders tight end Darren Waller disappointed last week against a bad Falcons Defense but will likely bounce back this week against the Jets. The Jets Defense ranks 29th against opposing tight ends, and Waller is the second-most expensive DFS tight end this week. Waller has had a few bad performances this season but always seems to bounce back. He has followed up his disappointing performances this season with at least five catches in the following game. Look for Waller to rebound in a big way this week. He is definitely a must-start TE1 in Week 13.
Indianapolis Colts TE Trey Burton (non-injury) fully participated in practice Friday, Dec. 4, and is not on the injury report for Week 13.
Fantasy Spin: Burton has been targeted 11 times over the last two games and has two touchdowns during that span. He could be a possible low-end No. 1 tight end in deeper leagues.
Las Vegas Raiders RB Devontae Booker (back) fully participated in practice Friday, Dec. 4, and is not on the injury report for Week 13.
Fantasy Spin: Booker likely will receive most of the work at running back with Josh Jacobs ruled out. He will have a favorable matchup this week and can be considered a low-end No. 2 running back or flex option.
Las Vegas Raiders RB Jalen Richard (chest) fully participated in practice Friday, Dec. 4, and is not on the injury report for Week 13.
Fantasy Spin: Richard may have a bigger role in the offense with Josh Jacobs not available to play. He has a chance to be a flex option in deeper point-per-receptions leagues but is not a must-start option.
Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Henry Ruggs III had three catches on five targets for 56 yards last week and sees a favorable matchup this week against the Jets. Ruggs had a 36-yard reception last week against the Falcons, and the Jets have allowed 38 passing plays over 20 yards this season. His fantasy value is still limited considering he is not even averaging two receptions per game. He also has just one touchdown and has only helped the team move the chains eight times all year. The big-play potential is there against this Jets secondary, but Ruggs has proved to be unreliable. Fantasy owners can feel comfortable leaving him on the bench this week.
Indianapolis Colts WR T.Y. Hilton (non-injury) did not participate in practice Friday, Dec. 4, but is not on the injury report for Week 13.
Fantasy Spin: Hilton posted a season-high 81 yards last week and picked up his first touchdown of the season. He will see a handful of targets this week and could be at least a flex option because of the matchup.
Indianapolis Colts QB Philip Rivers (toe) fully participated in practice Friday, Dec. 4, and is not on the injury report for Week 13.
Fantasy Spin: Rivers has thrown at least two touchdowns in four of the last six games and has posted solid passing numbers over the last several weeks. He could be a possible low-end No. 1 quarterback in some deeper leagues this week.
Las Vegas Raiders running back Devontae Booker is set to start Sunday against the Jets due to Josh Jacobs (ankle) being out. Jacobs is a workhorse back, so Booker's touches have been limited throughout the season. He has just one game where he has seen double-digit carries, and he took advantage of that opportunity. While Booker has seen a limited amount of attempts, he is averaging 5.5 yards per carry. The Jets have actually been decent against the run, allowing 3.8 yards per carry so far this season. Booker will likely share some touches with Jalen Richard and Theo Riddick, but he is worthy of starting consideration.
Arizona Cardinals WR DeAndre Hopkins (non-injury) fully participated in practice Friday, Dec. 4, and is not on the injury report for Week 13.
Fantasy Spin: Hopkins continues to be one of the top receivers in the NFL and is a must-start option in all fantasy leagues.
Atlanta Falcons kicker Younghoe Koo has been cleared to play in Week 13 against the Saints. Koo was dealing with a quad injury, though he is good to go for the divisional rematch with New Orleans. The 26-year-old has been the best kicker in fantasy football this year, which shouldn't change against the Saints. Koo made all three of his field-goal attempts in his previous meeting with New Orleans and is a top-five option this week.
Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr struggled mightily last week against the Falcons but will have a good chance to bounce back against the 0-11 Jets. The Jets have allowed 21 touchdown passes and a passer rating of 104.8. Carr has played well against the Jets in his career, averaging 210 yards and over two touchdowns. Other than last week's performance, Carr has also played well on the road. He has nine touchdown passes and a passer rating of 103.1 away from Las Vegas. Carr does not put up the volume numbers to be in the QB1 conversation, but he should have QB2 value against a horrendous Jets team.
Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Russell Gage has been a streaky fantasy performer this year. Gage has just four games this year with over 50 receiving yards and has been a little too streaky for his fantasy managers. The former LSU receiver has had some of his best games with Julio Jones (hamstring) in the lineup- and there's a chance his teammate returns this week. Still, the matchup with New Orleans is a tough one, given how well their defense is playing. Gage shouldn't be trusted in fantasy lineups for Week 13.
Los Angeles Chargers WR Mike Williams (non-injury) fully participated in practice Friday, Dec. 4, and is not on the injury report for Week 13.
Fantasy Spin: Williams has been targeted at least seven times in four of the last seven games and has posted at least 70 yards in all four of those games. He should see a handful of targets this week and could be a possible flex option in deeper leagues.
Seattle Seahawks running back Carlos Hyde (ankle) and defensive end Carlos Dunlap (foot) are listed as questionable for Week 13 against the Giants. Hyde got in a limited practice on Friday, so we'd anticipate him playing on Sunday. Dunlap missed practice all week, so he's definitely on the wrong side of questionable for a great matchup against the Giants and backup quarterback Colt McCoy. Hyde out-snapped Chris Carson in Week 12 as the Seahawks eased Carson back into action after an extended absence. Despite seeing more work on Monday night, Hyde had just 29 total yards on 17 touches and should take a back seat to Carson if he plays this weekend. Hyde is a RB3/4 if he plays, but he's best served as a Carson handcuff at this point. Dunlap has been excellent since joining the team and would be a starting defensive lineman in IDP leagues if he can suit up. Seattle's defensive unit is also a great streaming option this weekend against New York.
Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald remains on the Reserve/COVID-19 list as of Friday, according to head coach Kliff Kingsbury. It means that the veteran receiver is likely to miss his second straight game in Week 13 against the Rams. DeAndre Hopkins is facing a showdown with All-Pro cornerback Jalen Ramsey, giving Christian Kirk plenty of opportunities to break out of recent funk that has coincided with quarterback Kyler Murray's shoulder injury. Hopkins remains a fantasy must-start despite the tough matchup, while Kirk will have WR3/flex value with some upside. Andy Isabella should operate as the No. 3 wideout once again with Fitzgerald out of the picture, giving him deep-league and DFS appeal as a sleeper.
Seattle Seahawks OT Brandon Shell (ankle), RB Travis Homer (wrist, thumb, knee) and CB Tre Flowers (hamstring) did not practice all week and are listed as doubtful for Week 13 versus the New York Giants. DE Carlos Dunlap (foot) also did not practice all week but is listed as questionable. OL Kyle Fuller (ankle) did not practice Friday, Dec. 4, and is also listed as questionable. OL Damien Lewis (groin) and RB Carlos Hyde (toe) were limited in practice Friday and are also listed as questionable. OL Cedric Ogbuehi (calf) was added to the injury report Friday but is expected to play after getting in a limited practice. OL Duane Brown (knee, rest), OG Jordan Simmons (calf), RB Chris Carson (foot), WR Tyler Lockett (knee), DE Benson Mayowa (ankle), WR Freddie Swain (foot), S Jamal Adams (shoulder), TE Jacob Hollister (knee, neck), WR David Moore (hip), CB D.J. Reed (foot), CB Shaquill Griffin (hamstring, elbow) and OG Mike Iupati (shin) practiced in full Friday and no longer appear on the injury report.
Updating a previous report, Jacksonville Jaguars WR DJ Chark Jr. (ribs) fully participated in practice Friday, Dec. 4, and is not on the injury report for Week 13.
Fantasy Spin: Chark should be the main option in the passing game for the Jaguars this week and can be at least a flex option in fantasy leagues.