Sat Oct 16 10:15am ET
By CHARLIE WIEGERT
The bye weeks start this week with Atlanta, New York Jets, New Orleans and San Francisco not playing. Plan accordingly!
The teams giving up the most fantasy points to quarterbacks through the first five weeks are interesting with the top two teams, Washington and Kansas City, playing each other Sunday. So we should expect Patrick Mahomes, reeling from three losses already this year, to have one of his biggest games of the year. And you should feel safe playing Taylor Heinicke against a Chiefs defense that has yet to stop anyone this year. Key for success of both quarterbacks here is the health of their wide receivers, so check on their injury status!
Indianapolis (playing Houston) Dallas (playing New England) and Miami (playing Jacksonville) are next in line, but three rookie quarterbacks are hard to recommend! Ben Roethlisberger has a home game against a very generous Seahawks defense. Joe Burrow might have trouble calling signals against Detroit, but won’t have trouble completing passes. And Buffalo’s Josh Allen should continue his MVP performance in Nashville. On the other end of that game, Ryan Tannehill will wish he was at the Grand Ole Opera rather than trying to figure out the Bills defense.
Kirk Cousins and Vikings receivers will have their hands full at Carolina as will coach-less Las Vegas as they send Derek Carr to battle in Denver. A couple other top quarteterbacks face tough defenses this week. Dak Prescott is at New England, and Baker Mayfield is against Arizona. Don’t expect great results!
The top five teams giving up fantasy points to running backs are the NY Jets (on bye), Miami (in London against Jacksonville), Seattle (against Pittsburgh), Detroit (against Cincinnati), and Baltimore (against the Chargers). The top play of the week would be Christian McCaffery’s return against Minnesota, except it isn’t going to happen. So Chuba Hubbard owners should get another good week from him. Both Cleveland running backs, Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, should top the century mark against Arizona, but Chubb is out. So you don’t have to Hunt far for the guy to play.
It should be tough going on the ground for Josh Jacobs and the Raiders at Denver, Dalvin Cook and the Vikings at Carolina, Derrick Henry and the Titans at Buffalo, Alex Collins and Seattle at Pittsburgh, and Chase Edmonds and James Conner’s Cardinals at Cleveland.
The top five defenses giving up points to wide receivers this year are Pittsburgh (here comes Russell Wilson-less Seattle with DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett hoping Geno Smith does his best Wilson impression), Washington (Chiefs hoping for a healthy Tyreek Hill and Mecole Hardman), Miami (Marvin Jones and the Jaguars taking the show overseas), Dallas (Jakobi Myers hoping to be Mac Jones and the Patriots top choice), and Seattle (Ben Roethlisberger to Diontae Johnson goes up a notch with JuJu Smith-Schuster out).
A tough day ahead for the Brown brothers, Marquise and Ravens against the Chargers and A.J. and the Titans play the Bills. Courtland Sutton and Tim Patrick face a good but coach gone Raiders, and the Panthers will try to make it tough for the Vikings receiver Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson.
The generous defenses to tight ends are Houston (Mo Alie-Cox), Baltimore (Jared Cook) , Los Angeles Chargers (Mark Andrews), Kansas City (Ricky Seals-Jones) and Indianapolis (Jordan Akins).
Teams tough against tight Ends have been New England (Dalton Schultz), Arizona (Austin Hooper and David Njoku), Tennessee (Dawson Knox), Denver (Darren Waller) and Cincinnati (T.J. Hockenson).
Try Cincinnati’s Evan McPherson at Detroit.
Teams to consider streaming this week are Miami in London against Jacksonville, Washington against Kansas City, and Dallas against New England. All three teams have giving up over seven fantasy points on average each week this season.
Six teams are on the bye next week, so plan ahead if you have players on Pittsburgh, Buffalo, LA Chargers, Jacksonville, Minnesota and Dallas.
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 email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @GFFantasySports.
Carolina Panthers tight end Ian Thomas should be far away from starting lineups in Week 12. The 25-year-old has posted three receptions for 26 yards total in the last three games and that goes to show how little of a role he has in this offense. There are much better TE options to start in fantasy this week.
The Denver Broncos still have plenty of confidence in running back Melvin Gordon III despite the fact that he's fumbled twice in the last three games, and his last one in Week 10 was returned for a touchdown. "Melvin's one of the top backs in this league," head coach Vic Fangio said. Despite the fumbling issues, Gordon leads the team with 522 rushing yards on 118 carries (4.4 yards per carry) and has found the end zone seven times (five rushing, two receiving) while sharing snaps with rookie Javonte Williams almost evenly. There's no reason to think the Broncos will change their backfield game plan in Week 12 against a Los Angeles Chargers defense that is surrendering the most rushing yards per game (145.1). Gordon will be an RB2 in fantasy in this revenge game.
The Carolina Panthers defense is a top-five option for Week 12 against the Dolphins. This unit has gotten 30 sacks, eight picks, and 14 forced fumbles on the season thus far. While they do allow more points in some games, this unit has generally done a good job against weaker offenses. The Dolphins don't have an explosive offense and Tua Tagovailoa is still a young QB who is prone to mistakes, so there is reason to stream the Panthers defense this week with confidence.
New England Patriots wide receiver Jakobi Meyers has failed to surpass 50 receiving yards in each of his last six games. Although, it's worth noting that Meyers has seen four or more targets in every game this season. His production has been inconsistent, which makes him a difficult fantasy option on a weekly basis. Fantasy managers should consider Meyers a low-end flex option in PPR formats for Week 12. He'll face off against a Tennessee Titans defense that has allowed the most fantasy points to wideouts this season. The Patriots aren't exactly a pass-heavy team, but this is a favorable matchup for Meyers. The targets should be there, which makes him a solid candidate for PPR formats in Week 12.
Carolina Panthers wide receiver D.J. Moore is a WR2 option in Week 12 against the Dolphins. Moore's production has dipped a bit recently after a hot start to the season. In the last three games, he's posted 50 yards only once. Still, the WR is the top pass-catching option on this team and the target share will be there each week. Miami allows the second-most fantasy points to wideouts, so this could be the week Moore gets back on track.
Denver Broncos quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is coming off the bye week looking to put the team's disappointing Week 11 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in the rearview mirror. A week after a huge upset over the Dallas Cowboys, Bridgewater went 22-for-36 for 226 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions. Bridgewater hasn't turned the ball over since Week 7, but he has only thrown for 300-plus yards twice this year and not since Week 6. The Los Angeles Chargers defense won't exactly make it easy on Bridgewater to put up big numbers, either -- they've allowed the fifth-fewest passing yards per game (209.9), although they've been more generous to QBs in recent weeks in fantasy. In Denver's run-first, ball-control offense, Bridgewater will come out of the bye as a low-end QB2 once again.
Carolina Panthers wide receiver Robby Anderson should remain on benches for the Week 12 clash against the Dolphins. The WR has a been a super disappointing fantasy option all season, not having posted more than 40 yards in a game since early October. Despite having a good target share in most games, Anderson cannot seem to take advantage of that. Because of his low production, he shouldn't be trusted even in a matchup with a Dolphins squad that allows the second-most fantasy points to WRs.
New England Patriots running back J.J. Taylor was a healthy scratch last week. In fact, Taylor has only played in five games this season. Although, he could be asked to step up for the Week 12 matchup against the Tennessee Titans. Both Damien Harris (neck) and Rhamondre Stevenson (knee) are listed as questionable for this contest. That leaves Taylor and Brandon Bolden as the primary options. However, fantasy managers shouldn't get too excited. The only time Taylor was productive was in Week 7 when he posted a two-touchdown performance. It's uncertain if Harris or Stevenson will actually be inactive yet. Taylor would be a desperation deep league option even with an expanded role.
New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones has thrown for over 230 yards just once over his last six games. Despite that, his team has won every game, but one of those contests. The rookie quarterback isn't putting together superstar numbers, but is helping his team win. That being said, Jones is unlikely to be worth streaming against the Tennessee Titans in Week 12. A defense that ranks ninth in pass DVOA this season. There isn't a ton of upside here with the Pats being a run-heavy offense. Jones will be towards the bottom in terms of streaming options at QB this week. It's not because he's bad, but because he normally doesn't produce reliable fantasy numbers.
Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton is in the QB1 conversation against Miami in Week 12. The QB has been fantastic since returning to his old squad. He has now posted five touchdowns in the last two games, three passing and two rushing. The 32-year-old has proved he still has it in terms of his dual-threat abilities. The Dolphins allow the seventh-most points to fantasy QBs, so Newton is a solid start.
Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey is a solid RB1 against Miami. The RB has accumulated at least 52 rushing yards and 54 receiving yards in the last three games and always has a high chance to get over 100 yards of scrimmage in any contest given his large role. Miami is somewhat stingy to fantasy backs, but McCaffrey's rich volume still makes him an elite play.
New England Patriots running back Brandon Bolden is coming off one of his worst games of the season. He finished with one rushing yard and two receptions for 15 yards last week. Now, he could see a significant role in the offense versus the Tennessee Titans in Week 12. Both Damien Harris (neck) and Rhamondre Stevenson (knee) are listed as questionable heading into this contest. That means, Bolden and J.J. Taylor could be asked to pick up the slack, assuming both players are out. A majority of Bolden's value does come in the receiving game. However, two inactive backs would mean more chances for Bolden. A could have some sneaky PPR value, but it would be dependent on the status of Harris and Stevenson.
The Cleveland Browns officially activated running back Kareem Hunt (calf) and offensive tackle Jack Conklin (elbow) from Injured Reserve on Saturday, and both players are on track to play on Sunday night against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 12. It's great news for a Browns offense that has been slowed of late due to all the injuries to quarterback Baker Mayfield. Hunt has been out since Week 6, so it's fair to wonder if his snaps will be limited in his first game back. The 26-year-old had carved out standalone value in PPR leagues before his injury despite splitting backfield work with Nick Chubb. At the very worst, Hunt will probably be in play as an RB3/flex this week, even though the Ravens have been more vulnerable deep down the field than against RBs this season.
Miami Dolphins wide receiver Mack Hollins is coming off his best performance of the season. Last week, he hauled in two receptions for 72 yards and one touchdown in the win. That is not exactly an outstanding performance, but Hollins hasn't been involved much this season. There is a good chance he is quiet again versus the Carolina Panthers in Week 12. A defense that ranks second in pass DVOA heading into this contest. There might be a few targets for Hollins, but it won't be enough to warrant starting him in any formats. There are too many options ahead of him in the pecking order in Miami.
The Dallas Cowboys placed tight end Blake Jarwin on the Reserve/COVID-19 list on Saturday after he tested positive for the virus. Jarwin is also currently on Injured Reserve after he suffered a serious hip injury in Week 8. However, the 27-year-old has already missed four games, so if is asymptomatic and returns two negative tests, there's a chance he could be eligible to play next Thursday against the New Orleans Saints. The Cowboys have yet to open his 21-day window to return from IR, though, so we'd be surprised if Jarwin is active for Week 13. Jarwin can be left to the waiver wire in most leagues, as he has only 10 catches on 15 targets for 90 yards and two touchdowns in seven games this year as the clear No. 2 TE option in Dallas behind Dalton Schultz when he's healthy.
Miami Dolphins tight end Mike Gesicki has seen at least six targets in all, but two games this season. The Dolphins continue to work the 26-year-old heavily into their weekly gameplan. Sadly, Gesicki could have some trouble making noise against the Carolina Panthers in Week 12. He'll get to play against the second ranked pass defense in DVOA this season. The targets should be there, but Gesicki has also posted two zero-reception duds as well. Despite that, Gesicki should be considered a low-end TE1 for this matchup.
Miami Dolphins wide receiver Albert Wilson has seen an increased workload over the last few weeks. Sadly, the increase in targets hasn't exactly resulted in better results. In fact, Wilson has only surpassed 20 receiving yards in a single game once this season. That is unlikely going to change against the Carolina Panthers in Week 12. A defense that ranks second in pass DVOA this season. There could be a handful of targets for Wilson, but that won't be enough to warrant starting him in any formats.
Miami Dolphins running back Myles Gaskin has been held to 60 rushing yards or less in every game, but three this season. However, Gaskin is coming off a season-high 89 yards in Week 11. He also saw a season-high 23 carries in that performance. Now, he'll head into a fairly favorable matchup against the Carolina Panthers in Week 12. A defense that ranks 19th in rush DVOA this season. The absence of Malcolm Brown (quad) has increased Gaskin's involvement in the offense. Fantasy managers should be able to count on Gaskin as a RB2 for this week.
Miami Dolphins wide receiver Jaylen Waddle has seen eight or more targets in five of his last six games. The Dolphins continue to work the rookie into their gameplan with DeVante Parker (hamstring) and Will Fuller (finger) still sidelined. Sadly, the Dolphins could have trouble getting Waddle the ball in Week 12. He'll head into a matchup against the Carolina Panthers who rank second in pass DVOA this season. Over the last three games, Waddle has been able to surpass 60 receiving yards in all of them. However, that streak could come to an end against Carolina. Fantasy managers should consider Waddle a WR3 in PPR formats for this matchup.
Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa has been an inconsistent fantasy option all season long. However, it's worth noting Tagovailoa has three multiple touchdown games in three of his last five games. Unfortunately, it's unlikely that he is going to succeed against the Carolina Panthers in Week 12. A defense that ranks second in pass DVOA this season. The Dolphins have limited weapons and one of the worst offensive lines in the league. Fantasy managers should continue to consider Tagovailoa a QB2 moving forward.