Wed Oct 21 9:02am ET
By JEFF PAUR
Sr Fantasy Writer
Jones is a must start Week 7
The only good thing about the pandemic we are in right now and how it is impacting the NFL season is there are games being played at times we aren’t accustomed. I love getting double headers on Monday. There was a game on a Tuesday last week. I mean more football is great. I wish there were games every day of the week. How awesome would that be? That is really the only positive I get out of all the craziness in the world right now. Hopefully, you are getting by alright and staying safe. Now for my random thoughts. . . . .
It is time for the Lions to end the Adrian Peterson era as starter. This team isn’t going anywhere and D’Andre Swift is starting to show his huge potential as a lead back in the NFL. Why keep running Peterson out there at this stage of the game? Swift is the future and a valuable piece of this franchise for years to come. The Lions need to see what they have with him. It doesn’t make sense to keep giving Peterson most of the carries at running back. Let’s see what Swift can do.
Kyler Murray is scoring big for fantasy teams, but his numbers could be even better if he were throwing the ball a little better. He missed on a good number of throws that could have gone for big plays last week and still scored more than 30 fantasy points. Remember, Murray is just in year two and still has plenty to learn. His fantasy future is super bright. He is second overall in fantasy quarterback scoring and struggling some throwing the ball in recent weeks.
I’m anxious to see how the Chiefs use their backfield this week. Clyde Edwards-Helaire is coming off arguably his best game of the season, getting a ton of work last week and producing with his chances. Le’Veon Bell will be here this week, though, and will get carries. It will be interesting to see how this plays out with both backs in the mix. I think Edwards-Helaire still gets more work at this point with Bell getting around double-digit touches and most of the goal-line work. We’ll see. . . . .
The Dolphins are making a switch at quarterback, going Tua Tagovailoa when they come out of their bye this week. The rookie will take over as the starting quarterback going forward. This is a bit of a surprise, considering Ryan Fitzpatrick is playing well as the starter and the Dolphins are in the hunt for a playoff spot. Fitzpatrick is ninth overall in fantasy quarterback scoring. Tagovailoa has fantasy potential as the starter for the Dolphins. He is a bit of a dual threat and gets a chance to start in an offense that likes to throw the ball. He might have some growing pains but could be worth some spot starts the rest of the way. Miami must really like what they are seeing with Tagovailoa in practice to make the change right now.
The tight end position is shaping up to be super top heavy this year. There is a big drop off after the first three or four tight ends right now, meaning if you have one of those guys you have an advantage over the rest of your league. The expected breakout seasons of guys like Tyler Higbee, Noah Fant and Hunter Henry are causing some weekly headaches for fantasy owners. It has been a tough start to the year for the tight end position.
Normally, if you want a good kicker, you get a player from a good team. Kickers on bad teams usually don’t post big fantasy numbers. This year has been a little different when it comes to that. There are some kickers near the top of the rankings after six games that are on bad teams. In fact, three of the first five kickers in scoring are on losing teams (Brandon McManus, Randy Bullock and Younghoe Koo). It will be interesting to see if this trend continues for the rest of the year.
It was good to see Lamar Jackson look more like the Lamar Jackson of last year. He hit the 100-yard rushing mark and scoring his second rushing touchdown of the season. It was his second game with 30-plus fantasy points. This was a welcome sight for fantasy owners after seeing him have three games with fewer than 20 fantasy points. Hopefully, this is a trend going forward for Jackson. We knew it was going to be tough for him to repeat last year, but his start to this season has caused headaches for all the fantasy owners that used a draft pick on him this year. He still has time to get it going, though, and can make those fantasy owners look good if he has a great run the rest of the year. Last week was certainly a step in the right direction for Jackson.
News and Notes: The Dolphins have named Tua Tagovailoa as their starting quarterback going forward, taking over for Ryan Fitzpatrick. It is a little bit of a surprise, considering Fitzpatrick is playing well and the Dolphins are winning games. . . . .The Rams signed kicker Kai Forbath on Tuesday. Forbath gives current starter Sam Sloman some competition going forward. Forbath could take over the kicking duties before long. . . . .The Jets traded defensive tackle Steve McLendon and a 2023 seventh-round draft pick to Tampa Bay for a 2022 sixth-round draft pick. McLendon will try to replace the injured Vita Vea for the Bucs along the defensive line.
Matt Ryan, QB, Falcons. It is amazing what healthy Julio Jones can do for the passing game. Ryan was terrible his last three games but rebounded in a huge way last week with Jones looking near full strength. Ryan had his best game of the season, topping 35 fantasy points. He had his second four-touchdown game of the season and threw for 371 yards. He has a chance to keep up his good ways this week against the Lions. Detroit allows the ninth most fantasy points to quarterbacks and 10-passing touchdowns.
Ronald Jones, RB, Bucs. Jones is the top back in the Bucs offense and should continue to keep that job going forward. He has been red hot, having three straight 100-yard games. He has double-digit fantasy points all but a game this year. There was a lot of concern with Leonard Fournette added to the mix, but Jones has emerged as the back in Tampa. He can make it four straight 100-yard games this week against the Raiders. Las Vegas allows the second most fantasy points to running backs and 127-rushing yards per game.
Tee Higgins, WR, Bengals. Higgins has really played well in recent weeks. He had his first 100-yard game of the season last week and has double-digit fantasy points four straight games. He has at least four receptions all four of those games as well. He is getting consistent work and making big plays. Higgins can keep up his great play this week against the Browns, a team that allows the sixth most fantasy points to receivers. He should be considered a low-end No. 2 fantasy receiver in this tasty matchup.
David Johnson, RB, Texans. Johnson had a season high 19 carries last week, rushing for 57 yards and a score. His numbers weren’t great but he got the work and produced for fantasy teams. Johnson has double-digit fantasy points all but a game this year. He gets the weekly work and posts consistent numbers. He isn’t off the charts but solid. Johnson might have that big game this week against the Packers, though. Green Bay has been dreadful against the run, allowing the most fantasy points to running backs. The Packers allowed 158-rushing yards last week and 120-plus rushing yards three of five games.
Terry McLaurin, WR, Washington. McLaurin had his first down game of the season in Week 5 but quickly put that to rest, cashing seven passes for 74 yards on 12 targets last week. McLaurin has been super consistent all season as the clear top targets in Washington’s passing game. He has double-digit fantasy points all but a game and double-digit targets three of six. He gets a ton of weekly looks and should once again this week against the Cowboys. Dallas has been awful defensively this year. The Cowboys allow the fifth most fantasy points to receivers and given up 14-passing touchdowns.
Jared Goff, QB, Rams. Goff did not have a great showing last week, struggling on the road against the 49ers. He finished with fewer than 18 fantasy points, failing to hit the 200-yard mark throwing for the first time this year. His passing numbers have been hit or miss this year, having fewer than 20 fantasy points three of six games. It could be another down game for him this week against the Bears. Chicago allows the fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks and rank 10th overall against the pass.
David Montgomery, RB, Bears. Montgomery gets his weekly work but isn’t doing a whole lot with those chances. He has fewer than 65-rushing yards all but a game despite having double-digit carries every game this season. He is producing a little for fantasy teams but his numbers haven’t been off the charts by any means. He has been really mediocre much of the year. Look for another ho hum game for him against the Rams this week. Los Angeles is 11th overall against the run, allowing 109-rushing yards per game.
Michael Gallup, WR, Cowboys. Gallup had two receptions for 23 yards on six targets last week, his first game with Andy Dalton as his starting quarterback. Gallup has fewer than 30 yards two of three games. He is becoming a clear boom or bust play for fantasy teams. He isn’t getting the consistent targets to be a plug and play fantasy receiver. He is probably best to avoid this week against Washington, a team that allows the fewest fantasy points to receivers. Washington is second overall against the pass, allowing 207-passing yards per game.
Jerick McKinnon, RB, 49ers. McKinnon heads back to the starting lineup this week, starting for an injured Raheem Mostert. McKinnon has produced pretty well in a starting role this season but isn’t a sure thing by any means, especially with the way the 49ers rotate backs. He is a bit of a scary play this week against a very good Patriots rush defense. New England has allowed just one rushing touchdown this season and give up the fifth fewest fantasy points to running backs.
Jerry Jeudy, WR, Broncos. Jeudy hasn’t exactly lit it up this year. He his yet to top 65 yards in a game. He also has fewer than 15 fantasy points every game. HIs game last week was his worst of the year, catching two passes for 32 yards on five targets. Jeudy is a really talented player but until he starts producing on the field, leave him on your bench. Plus, he plays the Chiefs this week, a team that is third overall against the pass and the fifth fewest fantasy points to receivers.
Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Panthers. Bridgewater had his first really down fantasy game of the season last week, scoring just over 13 fantasy points. He was 16-of-29 for 216 yards without a touchdown. He had two straight multiple touchdowns games before last week, though, and has 22-plus fantasy points three of six games. He has produced well this season in an offense with a lot of weapons to work with offensively. Look for Bridgewater to rebound this week against his old team, the Saints. New Orleans allows the fourth most fantasy points to quarterbacks this season.
Latavius Murray, RB, Saints. Murray is getting his weekly work in the Saints offense as the top backup to Alvin Kamara. Murray has double-digit touches all but a game. He has more than 50 total yards three straight games and had a season high in fantasy points Week 4. He could do some damage this week against the Panthers if he gets his usual workload. The Panthers allow the fourth most fantasy points to running backs and 122-rushing yards per game.
James Washington, WR, Steelers. Washington had his best game of the season last week, catching four passes for 68 yards and a touchdown on seven targets. He has been getting some weekly work in the offense, though, having at least three receptions all but a game. But with Diontae Johnson out, Washington’s role increases even more. He can help as a spot starter for fantasy teams, especially this week against the Titans. Tennessee allows the third most fantasy points to receivers.
Justin Jackson, RB, Chargers. Jackson was the better back of the two in Los Angeles after the Austin Ekeler injury. He had 94 total yards on 20 touches in Week 5. He should split work with Joshua Kelley but likely gets a few more touches. Jackson can do well with his work this week against the Jaguars. Jacksonville allows the fifth most fantasy points to running backs and are 28th overall against the run.
Dalton Schultz, TE, Cowboys. Schultz had four receptions for 35 yards on five targets in his first game with Andy Dalton as his starting quarterback. It was an encouraging first game for Schultz, getting a good amount of looks from his new quarterback. Schultz has at least four receptions four of five games. He has a good matchup for success this week against Washington, a team that allows the fifth most fantasy points to tight ends.
High/Low Scoring Games
Each week we will take a look at some of the high and low scoring games for the coming week. In high scoring affairs, get your marginal players on those teams in your lineup to take advantage of the possible points barrage. And in the low scoring games, keep those marginal players on the bench and make sure to have your defenses involved in those contests.
High Scoring Games: Lions/Falcons, Steelers/Titans, Panthers/Saints, Packers/Texans, Seahawks/Cardinals.
Low Scoring Games: Bears/Rams.
Bye Weeks: Colts, Dolphins, Vikings, Ravens.
Jeff Paur is a two-time finalist for FSWA Fantasy Football Writer of the Year and won the FSWA award for Best Fantasy Football Article on the Web in 2011. He also was the most accurate expert in 2012, winning the FSTA Fantasy Football Accuracy Award. If you have any questions for Jeff, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Jeff on Twitter @jeffpaur.
Five Waiver Wire Adds: Week 12
Los Angeles Rams TE Tyler Higbee (elbow) banged up his elbow during the Week 11 game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, which is why he did not practice Wednesday, Nov. 25. Head coach Sean McVay said the tight end is considered 'day-to-day'.
Fantasy Spin: Higbee entered the season with high expectations from a fantasy perspective, but he has really only one impressive game while mostly being equaled or outplayed by Gerald Everett. At this point Higbee is only worth retaining in the deepest of fantasy leagues heading into Week 12 and beyond.
The Atlanta Falcons Defense should stay benched this week when the Las Vegas Raiders come to town. Las Vegas has a capable QB in Derek Carr, along with solid weapons such as Josh Jacobs, Darren Waller, and Nelson Agholor. Meanwhile, Atlanta has allowed at least 20 points in nine of 10 games. The unit has also dealt with injuries throughout the season and that has hindered its overall strength. There are better options to start this week.
Atlanta Falcons kicker Younghoe Koo is a terrific start this week against Las Vegas. Last week, the kicker hit three field goals, including two from over 50 yards. Overall, Koo has gone 24-for-25 in field goals this season and 18-for-21 in extra points. The Raiders rank in the middle against fantasy kickers, so he is a great starting option.
Atlanta Falcons tight end Hayden Hurst is a low-end TE1 this week if active. The TE is currently dealing with an ankle injury and it remains to be seen if he plays. Hurst got nothing last week on two targets but has generally been decent this season. He has gotten at least 50 yards and six targets in six of 10 games this season, so he does bring the potential for some solid numbers. The Raiders are middle-tier against fantasy tight ends, so Hurst is certainly worth starting if he plays. Managers can only hope last week's performance was an outlier.
Los Angeles Rams DL Aaron Donald (non-injury), LB Micah Kiser (knee) and TE Tyler Higbee (elbow) didn't practice Wednesday, Nov. 25. OL Brian Allen (knee) was limited.
Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Russell Gage is in the flex conversation this week. Due to Julio Jones going down with an injury last week, Gage had seven receptions for 58 yards on 12 targets. This week, Jones is still dealing with a hamstring injury and may be a game-time decision. If Jones doesn't play, Gage is the biggest player to benefit and would be a flex piece to start this week. Nevertheless, there is a bit of risk considering the WR has only posted over 50 yards in four games and doesn't necessarily get all the attention even when Jones is out. Still, he's the best guy to trust for fantasy over Olamide Zaccheaus and Christian Blake. The Raiders are middle-tier against fantasy wideouts.
San Francisco 49ers CB K'Waun Williams (ankle) and LB Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles (hamstring) didn't practice Wednesday, Nov. 25. DL Arik Armstead (non-injury) was limited and OL Hroniss Grasu (non-injury) practiced in full.
Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones is currently dealing with a hamstring injury and could be a game-time decision this week against the Raiders. Thus, if he plays, he will be a lower-end WR1 and certainly a riskier option to start considering his injury. Last week, Jones only managed two receptions for 39 yards on two targets. When healthy this season, the WR has seen his usual volume and put up fantastic numbers, including three 100-yard games. Nevertheless, proceed with caution this week on Jones and monitor his status closely. If he cannot play, Russell Gage would see an uptick in value.
Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley is a low-end WR1 this week against the Raiders. It's worth noting he is dealing with a foot injury right now, but there is no sign that his status for Sunday is in jeopardy. Ridley posted five receptions for 90 yards on nine targets last week and has gotten at least 90 yards in five of nine games. He has also seen at least seven targets in seven of nine games. With Julio Jones ailing, Ridley could see more looks on Sunday if Jones doesn't play. Regardless, he remains a solid play due to his weekly volume and consistency.
Buffalo Bills C Jordan Devey, C Jonotthan Harrison, WR Jake Kumerow and LB Darron Lee were designated as protected practice squad players for Week 12 Wednesday, Nov. 25.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Kenjon Barner, PK Greg Joseph, DT Jeremiah Ledbetter and G John Molchon were designated as protected practice squad players for Week 12 Wednesday, Nov. 25.
San Francisco 49ers RB Tevin Coleman (knee) was limited at practice Wednesday, Nov. 25.
Fantasy Spin: Coleman and Jerick McKinnon will be splitting backfield work until Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson are able to return to the lineup. Both make for a risky FLEX option with McKinnon slightly safer due to more work in the passing game.
Atlanta Falcons running back Todd Gurley II is a low-end RB1 this week versus the Raiders. The RB is coming off a season-low eight carries for 26 yards but has nevertheless remained decent on this offense. Gurley still has had double-digit carries in nine of 10 games and has rushed for over 50 yards in seven of 10 games. That volume and the fact that the Raiders allow the fourth-most points to fantasy backs makes Gurley a solid play. He is dealing with a knee injury, so his status is worth monitoring.
New Orleans Saints DT Sheldon Rankins (knee) was designated for return from the Reseve/Injured list Wednesday, Nov. 25.
Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan is a low-end QB1 against the Raiders this weekend. Ryan has been a bit streaky this season and posted 232 yards and two picks last week. Overall, he has thrown for over 300 yards in only three of 10 games this season and only has four games with multiple passing touchdowns. The Raiders allow the ninth-most points to fantasy QBs, so this is a good week to start Ryan if you have him.
Green Bay Packers DE Montravius Adams (toe) and LB James Burgess (hamstring) were placed on the Reserve/Injured list Wednesday, Nov. 25.
Houston Texans WR Randall Cobb (toe) and DT P.J. Hall (knee, shoulder) were placed on the Reserve/Injured list Wednesday, Nov. 25.
Jacksonville Jaguars DT Abry Jones (ankle) and LB Shaquille Quarterman (knee) were designated to return from the Reserve/Injured list Wednesday, Nov. 25.
Updating a previous story, Los Angeles Chargers RB Austin Ekeler (hamstring) was designated to return from the Reserve/Injured list Wednesday, Nov. 25.
Cincinnati Bengals DT Andrew Brown was signed off the practice squad to the active roster of the Houston Texans Wednesday, Nov. 25. Texans RB Scottie Phillips was also signed off the Houston practice squad to the active roster.