Well, that was a big goose bomb Cam Newton dropped last week, but I told you to avoid him and I hope you did. There were also some big performances from rookies Martavis Bryant and Jordan Matthews, and two more touchdowns scored by touchdown machine Julius Thomas. All in all week 10 was a week where a lot of close battles made for some good fantasy scores… if you picked the right players. This week’s contests should also be close, and hopefully that benefits you as well. Just pick the right players and you’re all set.
It’s time for Setting Your Lineup…
Mark Sanchez, PHI. I’m all in on the possible shootout at Lambeau Field, and I’m all in on Mark Sanchez, especially after last week. He is a perfect fit for that Chip Kelly offense, and he was actually poised in the pocket running those schemes. I think it continues here, and he stretches the field with Maclin and Matthews in a high scoring affair. Fantasy gold.
Robert Griffin, III, WAS. RGIII is finally rounding into form after a couple of weeks back from injury, and if he doesn’t get hurt again in this one he will have a good afternoon against a punchless Tampa Bay defense that gives up tons of yards and points to quarterbacks this year.
Derek Carr, OAK. I like Carr. He’s a tough competitor who never gets down even though the Raiders have yet to win a game this season. They will win at least one, and maybe it’s not this week, but I think Carr will play tough once again. He’s been putting up some good fantasy points lately, and this game against San Diego fits the category of a good matchup for him.
Matthew Stafford, DET. We know all about that Arizona run defense, but Detroit has Matthew Stafford, so why would they need to run the football in this one? I think they come out throwing early and often, which is why I like both Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate in this game as well. As long as Stafford can keep the turnovers under control he will put up a lot of points in the desert.
AVOID: Shaun Hill, STL. While it’s a good thing that they’ve been so decisive with who would quarterback this team from week to week, I think St. Louis has to let Austin Davis have his growing pains. They think differently, though, and the veteran Hill is starting this one. I think the rust shows early against that tough Denver defense and his stat line won’t look great. Avoid him at all costs.
Alfred Blue, HOU. I don’t count on Arian Foster being active for this matchup with the Browns, and with Ryan Mallett making his first start I also don’t anticipate the Texans going away from their run-heavy game plan. Hence, Blue should get a lot of touches and have an outstanding day against a poor run defense. I predict 100 total yards and a 2 total touchdowns.
Montee Ball, DEN. Yes, I saw what C.J. Anderson did last week with the football, but I think the Broncos will have more of a combination of the two backs in this one, and I can see Ball being more explosive since he’s rested and trying to take back the lead back designation from Ronnie Hillman (who is out for this one). I like both, but would start Ball this week.
Steven Jackson, ATL. Don’t look now, but Steven Jackson has been relatively good of late, and did I mention Atlanta is playing the Carolina defense that just got destroyed last week and is still obviously hurting? I like the matchup, and the way the Falcons have been using Jackson lately. Get him active.
Jeremy Hill, CIN. Yes, I saw what happened with Hill last week, and most of it was due to that fumble that got him into the doghouse for a quarter. By then the game was out of reach and they had to pretty much throw the ball on every down. This week in New Orleans things will be different. I don’t see the Bengals getting down early, and they won’t trust Dalton to throw it anyway. Against a bad run defense, they will pound it, and pound it hard. Advantage: Hill.
AVOID: Frank Gore, SF. Gore is banged up, and I know what the other experts are saying. He was banged up last week and he did well. Well, that was against the aforementioned poor Saints rushing defense. This week he faces a better Giants defense that knows his name isn’t Marshawn Lynch (the guy who gashed them for four touchdowns last week). Gore will come back down to earth in this one.
Kelvin Benjamin, CAR. Who else is Cam Newton going to throw the football to besides Greg Olsen? Oh, and they’re playing against Atlanta. That should be enough to convince you that Benjamin is due for a huge afternoon on Sunday.
Brandin Cooks, NO. Cincinnati hasn’t exactly been lights out against the pass lately, and Cooks has been on fire, obviously catching Drew Brees’ eye. When he’s not throwing it to Graham or Ingram, he’s targeting Cooks, and the youngster has been making catches. It will continue against the Bengals.
John Brown, ARI. It looks like Drew Stanton’s favorite receiver is in for a good game this week, and his name isn’t Fitzgerald or Floyd. It’s Brown. John Brown. I like Brown so much with Stanton starting that I’m playing him over some big names this week.
Odell Beckham, Jr., NYG. You know I can’t stand the Giants, but I also can’t help being impressed by this rookie receiver who took Richard Sherman to school last week. He’s fearless, which helps, and he’s facing a San Francisco defense this week that hasn’t been that great against wide receivers. He is Eli Manning’s number one target, which means he will get his touches. Activate him this week.
AVOID: Doug Baldwin, SEA. There’s just something wrong with that passing attack, and I don’t see much changing on the road in the raucous environment at Arrowhead Stadium. I think that defense gets after Wilson and forces him into dumping the ball off a lot in this game, which doesn’t play to Baldwin’s strengths.
Jared Cook, STL. Cook actually has a good rapport with Shaun Hill, even though it’s been a small sample size, and I like his prospects this week against a Denver defense that has struggled against the tight end position this season. I also like Lance Kendricks because he tends to vulture touchdowns from Cook, but for yardage and in PPR leagues Cook is a good bet.
Zach Ertz, PHI. If he can’t have a breakout game against the Packers then it’s going to be okay to drop Ertz in all formats, but I think he does have a resurgence here. Sanchez has shown that he’s not afraid to target the tight end, and we all know that the game by Celek last week was flukey, so how long until Sanchez finds his #1 tight end? Ertz is the man this week. It’s his last stand.
Martellus Bennett, CHI. That whole Chicago offense took a night off against the Packers last week, but against an easier opponent at home I think they rebound, particularly Cutler’s safety net, Bennett. With all the extra hype surrounding Marshall this week, I think the quiet man in the middle will catch everything thrown his way and score at least one touchdown against a soft Minnesota secondary.
Travis Kelce, KC. Hopefully this is the last time I put him here in this section because Kelce has so much potential that isn’t being explored on a consistent basis in that offense, but I think he explodes in this one against Seattle at home. With Richard Sherman busy with Dwayne Bowe and other wide receivers matched up against him, Alex Smith will find Kelce early and often underneath.
AVOID: Kyle Rudolph, MIN. Yes, he is likely to go after recovery from groin surgery, but he will probably be on a limited snap count, and the Minnesota offense goes through the run right now anyway, so don’t count on a rusty Rudolph to make an instant impression in this one.
3 BEST BETS
Kickers – Kai Forbath, Blair Walsh, Mason Crosby
D/STs – Kansas City, Denver, Detroit
Good luck setting your lineups.
The Fantasy Ace