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 Hot Plays: Week 12
Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tyler Boyd should be the only pass-catcher in Cincy to not be too negatively impacted by the team's move to Brandon Allen at quarterback. Last year, Boyd managed to finish with 90 catches for 1,046 yards while playing with Andy Dalton and Ryan Finley at quarterback, so Boyd doesn't need Andy Dalton to produce. He's a solid WR2/3 play with a high floor this week against this Giants Defense.
That's a weird headline, huh? The entire Denver Broncos quarterback unit is on the COVID-19 list and will miss Sunday's game against the Saints. There was speculation running back Royce Freeman would be the emergency quarterback, but it looks like it will be practice squad wide receiver Kendall Hinton, who played some quarterback at Wake Forest. He wasn't particularly good there, but considering he was wide receiver eligibility on most fantasy providers but will play quarterback, there's value in using him as a FLEX play in 14-team leagues. The Broncos entire pass-catching unit sees a sharp downgrade, though.
Cincinnati Bengals rookie wide receiver Tee Higgins has been playing some solid football, but he should see a downgrade in value as the team moves to Brandon Allen at quarterback with Joe Burrow (knee) out. We expect the Bengals to lean more on their veteran options this week, so even though Higgins has nine or more targets in three consecutive games, this might look more like his Week 2 performance (three catches for 35 yards) than like his recent showings.
With D.J. Chark Jr. (ribs) out, Jacksonville Jaguars rookie wide receiver Laviska Shenault Jr. could slide into the No. 1 receiver role on this team. But with Mike Glennon at quarterback, Shenault's upside is limited. Shenault hasn't played since Week 9, and while he was trending up at one point, that was with Gardner Minshew II under center. Now, Shenault's a risky WR4/5 play against the Cleveland Browns, albeit one with some upside based on potential volume.
Jacksonville Jaguars rookie running back James Robinson continues to be one of the biggest workhorse backs in the NFL this season. He's seen 17 or more carries in four consecutive games, with at least 3.96 yards per carry and two targets in each of those. Volume alone makes Robinson a matchup-proof RB2 play every week.
Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Mike Glennon will be starting against Cleveland in Week 12, but he shouldn't be starting in your fantasy football lineup. His top wide receiver, D.J. Chark Jr. (ribs) is out, and Glennon hasn't started an NFL game since 2017, when he threw four touchdowns and five interceptions in four games. Glennon might be an upgrade over rookie Jake Luton, but he's still just a low-end QB2 play for desperate managers.
Kansas City Chiefs running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire remains the team's top running back and should be in line for solid work against Tampa Bay in Week 12. It's a fairly tough matchup, but CEH has low-end RB2 value based on his upside. He scored twice last week, potentially suggesting that the rookie rusher is trending up after struggling at times earlier in the season.
Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce has been targeted 10-plus times in three consecutive games. He remains the No. 1 play at the tight end position this week despite a tougher matchup than usual against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. With other top tight ends injured, Kelce is worth paying up for in DFS, as positional scarcity makes him essentially matchup proof at this point.
Kansas City Chiefs running back Le'Veon Bell has struggled to make much of an impact since joining the team.Last week's seven carries were his most as a member of the Chiefs. Sure, he scored a touchdown, but Bell's been a low-volume guy since arriving in K.C., and at this point he's just a Clyde Edwards-Helaire insurance policy, not a standalone fantasy asset. He's a risky deep-league option against the Buccaneers on Sunday.
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes faces a Tampa Bay defense that allows the seventh-fewest fantasy points per game to quarterbacks this week. It's not the greatest matchup for Mahomes, but that doesn't matter a ton for fantasy managers. He has 348 or more yards in three consecutive appearances. He's a clear QB1 play every single week when it comes to season-long formats, though there's slight reason for concern when it comes to paying up for Mahomes in DFS.
Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill is playing his best football of the season right now and there's no reason to think that changes in Week 12 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, even if the Bucs have one of the best defenses that K.C. has faced this year. There has been one game this year in which Hill didn't manage to get into the end zone. He's had 98 or more yards in three straight games. Things are clicking. Play him as a WR1.
Tennessee Titans DB Tye Smith (shoulder) was activated from the Reserve/Injured list Saturday, Nov. 28. LB Tuzar Skipper was activated from the Reserve/COVID-19 list. LB Will Compton was elevated from the practice squad to the active roster.
Washington Football Team DT Matt Ioannidis was activated from the Reserve/COVID-19 list Saturday, Nov. 28.
New York Giants LB Tae Crowder (hamstring) and DB Xavier McKinney (foot) were activated from the Reserve/Injured list Saturday, Nov. 28. PK Graham Gano was activated from the Reserve/COVID-19 list. DE Niko Lalos was elevated from the practice squad to the active roster.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers LB Jack Cichy (hamstring) was activated from the Reserve/Injured list Saturday, Nov. 28. DB Herb Miller and G John Molchon were elevated from the practice squad to the active roster.
Denver Broncos TE Troy Fumagalli, DB Alijah Holder and LB Josh Watson were elevated from the practice squad to the active roster as COVID-19 replacements Saturday, Nov. 28.
Jacksonville Jaguars PK Aldrick Rosas was added to the active roster from the practice squad as a COVID-19 replacement Saturday, Nov, 28. DB Josh Nurse and WR Trey Quinn were also elevated from the practice squad to the active roster.
Las Vegas Raiders DE Chris Smith was added to the active roster from the practice squad as a COVID-19 replacement Saturday, Nov. 28.
Buffalo Bills LB Darron Lee was elevated from the practice squad to the active roster Saturday, Nov. 28.
Carolina Panthers DB Natrell Jamerson was elevated from the practice squad to the active roster Saturday, Nov. 28.