Alrighty, here we go, a real clash of the titans this week. This week JL and I clash to see who will climb up the standings to potentially earn a better seed in the upcoming Gurley Bowl. Neither of us is probably going to make the playoffs, but do you think NYG and DAL would just mail it in if they were both winless either? Nah fam, this one’s for bragging rights as I try and get revenge for my stat correct loss in CoDG earlier.
JL’s got the clear advantage at QB with the red-hot Rivers. He did just lose his favorite WR in Allen, but I don’t see CHI being able to stop his current roll. CHI actually gives up the 4th fewest pass yds (1500) on the season, but have also ceded the 4th most pass TDs (16). It’s yet to be seen if SD will switch to more 2 TE looks with Gates and Green or if they’ll continue to deploy multiple WRs on the regular. Regardless, Im expecting that with a perpetually injured OL hamstringing the run game, that Rivers throws often in this one. All those targets that Allen was seeing will probably be distributed evenly among Rivers’ pass-catchers.
Versus MIA, we’ll see if Rex stops trying to get cute with his talent rich-defense and if that unit can get back to the dominant, soul-crushing force that it was last year. Regardless, with a renewed commitment to the run game, I’d expect Miller to at least hit his floor for a solid day. His skills as a pass-catcher should be very useful as an outlet against BUF’s pass rush. Gore is quietly having a solid season (can you imagine if he didn’t fumble like a million times at the GL earlier this season?). For as dominant as DEN is against the pass, they are close to average against the run. Gore should also get the volume to matter this week despite Bradshaw vamping a few touches here and there.
DT hasn’t produced quite like the top-5 WR we thought at the beginning of the season, primarily due to having only 1 TD on the season. The TDs are bound to regress, possibly as soon as this week. DT should draw Vontae Davis, but as demonstrated by Marshall and DGB earlier this season, bigger WRs can simply overwhelm Davis. DT’s floor is as high as they come for WRs, despite questions about his QB, and I like his chances for a TD or two (pls not three tho…) this week. If you had a UMD alum in your league, chances are Diggs is on their team. Virtually unknown coming into the season except to fellow terrapins, starting with a strong showing at DEN, Diggs has feasted on poor pass defenses. Perhaps defense will start to focus on him more and this week, STL will pose a stiffer test for Diggs and the MIN offense, but nothing suggests that he wont continue to get the majority of Bridgewater’s targets. Last week was the first week where Moncrief didn’t catch a TD in a game that Luck played in. DEN, like CAR the week before, will be a tough test for Moncrief and the IND pass offense. He is still getting the targets, so Im not expecting another dud, but he will be TD dependent this week. Whatever TE Jon chooses to deploy will probably also just be a TD-dependent play. Im not sure if he’ll stick with Amendola in the FLEX either as Danny’s role really is just tied to Lewis. Kind of like a square/rectangle relationship, they pretty much run the same short routes, but Lewis also can play RB and is simply the better player.
This week, my lineup is mostly dictated by favorable matchups and simply whoever is still healthy. I picked up both Winston and Bortles (bringing my total FAAB spent of QBs that no one else bid on to $44….) this week. Winston for the favorable matchup this week vs NYG and Bortles for later. NYJ did just get blasted by Carr and OAK, but I don’t think JAX and Bortles are on that level, so he’s sitting this week for me. His matchups later are not as hard, so his volume-heavy passing should be more effective then. Winston hasn’t thrown a pick in his last three games and ASJ and Evans should give him two big targets to abuse NYG’s defense with. The biggest risk with Winston is if TB doesn’t fall behind and can just move the ball running, they usually don’t ask Winston to do much as a passer. I doubt this turns into another bonanza like NYG/NO last week (but one can dream right?), but I think Winston can hit the QB2 floor with something like a 200/2 day, with the upside of more with either a rush TD or more passing work.
Ah CJ…the phoenix has risen from the ashes xD. I wonder if he can turn his 40% share of the backfield touches in DEN into something useful this week. I believe Hillman got all the RZ touches last week, so Im not sure if there’s any credence to the idea that CJ is the “big back” that DEN would use close to the GL. If DEN goes up early, maybe CJ gets more touches to salt away the game, but he’s still just RB2 in DEN (RB3/4 for fantasy; #1 in my heart) for the foreseeable future. The move to Manziel probably hurts Duke as Johnny is less likely to look to checkdown to Duke than McCown was. The CLE coaches said they want to get Duke more touches, but I’ll believe it when I see it. PCBs had seen modest success vs CIN, so Duke has a chance at a useful week, but my expectations are low with Manziel under center.
AJ gets to avoid his nemesis, Joe Haden who is out with a concussion, on TNF. Versus CLE, Im not so sure that CIN and Dalton will even need to lean on AJ or the pass game that much. Landry’s outlook is the same as its been all year, 6-8 catches for 60-80 yds, the only question is if he’ll score a TD or not. Austin’s outlook also is the same as always, can he turn any of his touches into big plays/TDs. Jmatt’s best game this season came vs DAL, so theres some hope that he can turn it around coming out of the BYE, but expectations are pretty low versus a DAL defense that has surprisingly held WRs in check for fantasy. Miller has been collecting dust all year since I picked him up weeks ago specifically for this week vs an OAK team that has been legendarily bad vs TEs this year. He had a huge game last week and hopefully Ben continues to use him to attack OAK in the middle of the field and possibly a TD.
I doubt I’ll make any trades this week since owners are understandably very tight with whatever RBs they do have left, but mostly bc Ive being less diligent about seeking out possible trade partners… The chances of me winning this week are probably pretty low as Jon’s team’s floor is probably enough to get him the win this week. I need a lot more to break right than Jon does for the W this week, but perhaps I have a chance if he gets nothing out of his TE and FLEX spot. Im sure he’s a savvy enough owner to make sure that doesn’t happen tho.
In CoDG, fresh off a pair of wins vs the top 2 teams in the standings, Im up against Alee. His team’s record belays their talent mostly due to Lacy and Hilton underperforming and big weeks from Odell/Olsen/Cooper not exactly lining up. No Palmer this week, but Carr is a fine sub. Dude does not turn the ball over and has fine weapons in the receiving game and a strong RB as well. We’re about to see Ingram unleashed with Robinson no longer vamping TDs. This NE/WAS game seems like its ripe for NE to go up big and then just put it away with Blount.
For myself, Hill/Brady/Ryan are the only ones that seem to have plus matchups. This one will probably come down to if AP/Diggs/Alshon can hit their floors and if Benjamin and Cooks can avoid bottoming out. Shoutout to FantasyPros for showing my team the love and projecting them for a lot more points than ESPN 😛