Some players are must starts (Aaron Rodgers, Alvin Kamara, and Rob Gronkowski, to name a few), but here we work to give you value and over-performers, depending on what type of fantasy format you are playing. At this point we are breaking up start/sit for Thursday and Sunday/Monday games. We apologize to those who must have complete lineups in by Thursday’s game.
Matt Phillips is a multiple fantasy football champion, and co-host of the podcast “Pigskin Dynasty: Your Podcast for All Things Fantasy Football”. You can find him on iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, Podbean, and other podcast mediums. He also has live episodes on Facebook every Sunday morning at 9:00 am EST.
BRIAN’S SLEEPER WATCH
RB Austin Ekeler, Chargers
When I saw Ekeler on Matt’s “Sit” list a smile hit my face because I had him as my sleeper. Matt makes a strong argument to sit him, and facing a top 10 Steelers run defense will be a task. That said, against the Jaguars and Broncos respectively, Pittsburgh yielded 95 and 110 yards to Leonard Fournette and Phillip Lindsay. In last week’s loss the Broncos averaged 5.4 yards per rush.
Even in a backup role Ekeler gets looks in the passing game (32 receptions on 39 targets) which make him a tasty start in light of Melvin Gordon’s injury (Gordon has 44 receptions on 60 targets).
Sunday night. Ben versus Rivers. I see points. Many points. Pittsburgh looks to rebound for lethargic play the past two weeks, but Ilike Austin to deliver the points. PPR darling.
Projection: 65 yards rushing, 7 recpetions for 45 yards and 2 touchdowns
QB Russell Wilson, Seahawks
He has been on a hot streak as of late and finally showing fantasy potential scoring at least 19 fantasy points six of his last seven. Matchup against the 49ers is juicy! Should be another solid day at the fantasy office for Wilson.
Projection: 265 yards passing with 3 touchdowns 45 yards rushing
QB Lamar Jackson, Ravens
You are not starting Jackson because of his arm. He should really be a running back but he is a QB. He has a combined 40 fantasy points in the last two games. Atlanta’s defense is not good. He should be a good steaming option.
Projection: 235 total yards with 1 passing touchdown and 1 rushing touchdown
QB Jameis Winston, Bucs
The Carolina Panthers have given up 12 touchdowns and 24 points on average to opposing QBs since week 9. He should have a solid game this week!!
Projection: 345 yards with 3 touchdowns and 2 interceptions
RB Spencer Ware, Chiefs
With the shocking news that Kareem Hunt has been released due to a domestic violence incident, Spencer Ware has been propelled into the RB 10 category. He should be used as the workhorse in this offense, and should produce high fantasy points this week in a prime match up against a league worst Raiders rush defense.
Projection: 115 total yards with 5 receptions and 1 touchdown
RB Josh Adams, Eagles
Josh Adams reminds me of the Aaron Jones situation a couple weeks prior. He is a supreme talent that wasn’t getting enough touches until the coach finally realized that he was a stud. Josh Adams has proven to be the most efficient running back on the team, and recent reports say they are going to give him a more prominent role. I believe he breaks out this game.
Projection: 19 carries for 124 yards and 1 touchdown
RB LeSean McCoy, Bills
The Miami Dolphins have a bottom five rushing defense, With a new focus on the running game with Josh Allen returning to the offense, I wouldn’t be surprise of LeSean McCoy has a pretty great game.
Projection: 95 total yards with 3 receptions and 1 touchdown
WR Christian Kirk, Cardinals
I like Kirk a lot this week. He is going up against the Green Bay Packers who have allowed 10 different receivers to go over 50 yards receiving. The Cardinals will probably be down early and often meaning a lot of garbage time. I believe he will find the end zone.
Projection: 5 receptions for 65 yards and 1 touchdown
WR Josh Reynolds, Rams
He has been sneaky good every since Kupp went down. Detroit’s defense has given up eight receiving touchdowns in the last five games and he should be in the running to find the end zone.
Projection: 4 receptions for 69 yards and 1 touchdown
WR Chris Godwin, Bucs
I believe he will benefit the most with DeSean Jackson being ruled out. With the game that I expect to be fairly high scoring, I suspect targets to be flowing all around. He’s a pretty good streaming option this week.
Projection: 5 receptions for 65 yards and 1 touchdown
TE Eric Ebron, Colts
This is pretty self-explanatory. Jack Doyle out for the season and Eric Ebron has 12 touchdowns on this year. That’s a lot. To put that into perspective during his four year tenure in Detroit, he had less than his current touchdown total for this year. If you have him you start him.
Projection: 5 receptions for 57 yards and 1 touchdown
TE Cameron Brate, Bucs
OJ Howard is done for the year meaning Cameron Brate is a strong fantasy option in a position that is not really deep. As I mentioned before,I suspect this game to be fairly high scoring and Winston seems to target Brate a lot. I am confident he will find the end zone this weekend.
Projection: 5 recpetions for 46 yards and 1 touchdown
K Josh Lambo, Jaguars
He posted a dud last week but in the last four games he has produce double digit fantasy points. He was a standout against the Colts the last time he faced them. Will Kessler move the ball to get him in range? I think so. Start Josh Lambo.
Projection: 2 for 2 on field goals and 2 for 2 on extra points
Los Angeles Rams Defense
The Detroit Lions have been giving up 12 fantasy points per game to opposing defenses. The Rams are coming off their best performance of the fantasy season against a top notch offense of the Chiefs and I suspect a lot of sacks and a lot of turnover in this game
Projection: 10 points allowed with 7 sacks and 3 turnovers
QB Matthew Stafford, Lions
So no Tate, no Jones, and going up against the Rams. To add more assurance to sitting him, he scored fewer than 18 fantasy points in the last 7 games. Sit him as this offense is horrible.
Projection: 245 yards passing with 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions
QB Josh Allen, Bills
He is not an accurate passer. Do not chase the points, I know you may be tempted as Allen scored a lot of fantasy points (26) against the Jaguars, but I believe that was an anomaly. Allen’s legs made him a diamond. Let me remind you his completion percentage was 42.1%. The Miami Dolphins have averaged about 13 points to opposing quarterbacks when they play at home.
Projection: 173 yards passing with 1 touchdown and 1 interception with 62 yards rushing
QB Eli Manning, Giants
Eli is facing the Bears. Opposing quarterbacks average just about 15 fantasy points per game, ranking the seconded fewest in the league. The only saving grace for Eli is Saquon Barkley, who offers a nice outlet, but on the whole Eli should have a very bad game.
Projection: 250 yads passing with 2 touchdowns and 1 interception
RB Austin Ekeler, Chargers
I don’t understand the commotion or the excitement of Austin Ekeler this week. Just because Melvin Gordon is out doesn’t mean he will get the same numbers. Yes, he is the starting running back, however we have seen this before against Tennessee when he was the starting back in the game and failed to produce.
You can’t automatically assume Austin’s going to replace Gordon. I think what made him so dominate was the fact he was playing behind Gordon and he was a change of pace type running back that kept defenses guessing. With the starting role I don’t think defenses are going to be surprised and I think he will be stuffed often against the Steelers.
Projection: 16 total touches for 65 yards and 4 receptions
RB LeGarrette Blount, Lions
Another example of not chasing the points, Game script I suspect to be a big problem for LaGarrette this game and I don’t envision him touching the field a lot. Stafford’s going to have to throw therefore no touchdown chances.
Projection: 11 carries for 45 yards
RB Adrian Peterson, Redskins
He has failed to score 9 fantasy points in three of the last four games, and the offensive line is in shambles. With gun slinger Colt McCoy at quarterback, I don’t see much work for AP. I’m guessing another dud performance. If the rumors about the Redskins looking at Kareem Hunt are true, the speculation to bring on that baggage to fill a gap speaks volumes.
Projection: 14 carriers for 52 yards
WR Demaryius Thomas, Texans
He did score twice last week, but keep in mind he only had five targets and he is only averaging 2.7 targets per game during his tenure as a Texan. While Cleveland’s defense is giving up yards, they are also taking the ball a way. Tread lightly on him, but if you are desperate and willing to risk the position he may be a WR3 flyer.
Matt’s Projection: 3 receptions for 45 yards
Brian’s Projection: 5 receptions for 52 yards
WR John Brown, Ravens
A receiver is only as good as his quarterback, Lamar Jackson only completed 27 passes over the last two games, therefore rendering John Brown useless. I recommend sitting all Ravens wide receivers until proven otherwise.
Projection: 4 receptions for 45 yards
WR Golden Tate, Eagles
Over the course of the last two games Tate been targeted 16 times. However, he’s only produced a combined 16 points from those targets. He has not been very productive in this offense, with recent media reports actually speaking to his challenges adjust to being an Eagle.
Projection: 6 receptions for 35 yards
TE Vance McDonald, Steelers
The Chargers have only allowed four touchdowns to opposing tight-ends this year, and have been giving up roughly 42 yards per game to the position. He is also dealing with a hip injury and may not be 100%. If you are desperate for a Steelers tight-end you might want to go Jesse James.
Projection: 5 receptions for 34 yards
TE Austin Hooper, Falcons
Hooper has shown fantasy potential, but has only tallied 31 and 27 yards in the last two games. This offense seems to be really struggling and they’re going up against one of the top-tier defense is in Baltimore.
His double digit performance against the Cleveland Browns three weeks ago is a distant memory. The defensive matchup does not favor him finding that form.
Matt’s Projection: 4 receptions for 41 yards
K Chris Boswell, Steelers
The Steelers score touchdowns. He averages close to six points per game. If Ben executes last week he doesn’t touch double digits. The Chargers defense is averaging just a shade under 20 PPG, and you might be tempted to ride the Steelers recent lack of productivity. Do so at your own risk.
Projection: 1 for 1 on field goals and 4 for 4 on extra points
Minnesota Vikings Defense
The new England Patriots have only allowed 10 sacks all season, and are giving up an awfully low 0.8 giveaways a game. Tom Brady throws the ball quickly and he rarely turns the ball over. Home field advantage is on the table as the season closes out, and Brady should be a top form. The Vikings defense has underperformed this year, and this looks like a bad matchup for them.
Projection: 28 points allowed with 1 sack