It’s time to get out there and make some deals. We’ve got enough of a sample size to make some strong opinions on who’s good and who’s not. (Five games isn’t that much, but it is in the sense that it’s about 1/3 of the fantasy season.) There are also teams out there panicking about their star players. Go get Lamar Miller, Odell Beckham Jr., and Allen Robinson. Better days are lurking for those boys. Trade off the likes of Melvin Gordon, Tevin Coleman, and Demaryius Thomas if you can. They all have flaws in their fantasy profile. Just don’t be an idiot when making trade offers. Don’t offer quarterbacks to teams who have Drew Brees or Russell Wilson. They obviously don’t want them. Trade from strength (say wide receiver depth) to improve weakness (lack of quality RBs). Generally remember as well that running backs tend to show up on the waiver wire as the season goes on. Wide receivers generally do not. I’m always here to help with your trade talks, so tweet at me for help.
Below is a list of guys I’m focused on for one reason or another this week. They’re especially important in daily fantasy sports (DFS) leagues like DraftKings. If you’re curious about guys you don’t see listed here, you can always find me on Twitter (@MrT_BroBible) to ask questions, but remember to mention league specifics like PPR. You can always ask about trades as well.
You Know Who You Should Start?
Alex Smith (QB – Kansas City)
It’s really tough to have faith in Alex Smith if you watch him play. He doesn’t create big plays with his arm and seems to check down whenever possible. This week, however, it’s hard to ignore the opportunity in front of him. Oakland has been getting absolutely gashed by opposing pass defenses all season. They have given up 20+ points to fantasy quarterbacks in four of their five games. With Jamaal Charles coming back to add another passing weapon (and we know Andy Reid loves using his running backs in the passing game), Smith should provide quality numbers if you need a streamer.
Ryan Mathews (RB – Philadelphia)
There were concerns coming out of the bye week regarding Mathews’ health and share in the offense. We can all move on from Wendell Smallwood for now as Mathews showed he’s still going to receive the lion’s share of the carries. No one is sure why Baltimore went away from the run in the second half last week because it worked so well in the first half. Doug Peterson has shown quality coaching ability to start his reign in Philadelphia. He should be smart enough to feed Mathews early and often in a prime matchup against a team that have given up the highest yard per carry of any team in the league.
Jonathan Stewart (RB – Carolina)
The bye shouldn’t make you forget how bad the Saints run defense has been this year. They’ve given up eight rushing touchdowns in four games and over 120 rushing yards to the position in each game. You always have to worry a little bit when a player comes back from a hamstring injury, but at least Stewart didn’t rush back. His hamstring should be in decent shape after a three week break and he’ll get the opportunity to dominate carries since Cameron Artis-Payne and Fozzy Whitaker didn’t exactly shine in his absence.
Will Fuller (WR – Houston)
The key to playing anyone involved in the Texans passing game is to look at the matchup. Brock Osweiler clearly isn’t good enough to do anything against good defenses. He struggled against both Minnesota and New England, while getting something done against Chicago, Kansas City, and Tennessee. He will continue to eat against the Colts, who are giving up 301 passing yards per game. That means the ball has to go to someone and Fuller will be heavily involved. Both Fuller and Hopkins move from side to side and Indianapolis’ best corner, Vontae Davis, remains on one side of the field in coverage. With big play ability, Fuller should be locked and loaded for your lineup this week.
John Brown (WR – Arizona)
Your guess is as good as mine when it comes to why Michael Floyd sucks this year. He’s not performing as you’d expect a contract year WR to play and even was out-snapped by Jaron Brown, the expected WR4 on the team, last week. Therefore I can’t recommend him here against the awful Jets, but I can push the John Brown agenda. Like Fuller, Brown loves the big play and no secondary has been taken to the woodshed as much as the Jets have this year. The Jets rank last in yards allowed per passing attempt, second to last in passing yards allowed per game, and second to last in points allowed to fantasy WRs. They’re pretty awful however you slice it. The whole Arizona passing offense should be firing with Carson Palmer back in the lineup, so you want to invest in those John Brown shares this week.
Jimmy Graham (TE – Seattle)
It looks as if Jimmy Graham is back to his old tricks and he’s turning into a weekly must-start given how bad the tight end position is this year. This is a great scenario for him as he goes up against a defense that gave up over 70 yards and a touchdown to Greg Olsen a week after giving up 100 yards and a touchdown to Coby Fleener. It looks like it’s shaping up to be another double-digit points week for our former Hurricane.
Other guys you should start: Carson Palmer (QB – Arizona), Matt Stafford (QB – Detroit), Derek Carr (QB – Oakland), Marcus Mariota (QB – Tennessee), Brock Osweiler (QB – Houston), Trevor Siemian (QB – Denver), C.J. Anderson (RB – Denver), Christine Michael (RB – Seattle), Theo Riddick (RB – Detroit), DeAndre Washington (RB – Oakland), Bobby Rainey (RB – New York Giants), Chris Thompson (RB – Washington), Jeremy Maclin (WR – Kansas City), Doug Baldwin (WR – Seattle), Jordan Matthews (WR – Philadelphia), Willie Snead (WR – New Orleans), Cameron Meredith (WR – Chicago), Cole Beasley (WR – Dallas), Coby Fleener (TE – New Orleans), Jason Witten (TE – Dallas), Charles Clay (TE – Buffalo)
You Know Who You Should Sit?
Matt Ryan (QB – Atlanta)
We projected Ryan to struggle last week and while he wasn’t completely overwhelmed, he still only managed 14 fantasy points. That was good for a tie at 15th overall for the week. Championships aren’t exactly won with those performances. The same applies this week when Ryan takes on Seattle, who’s allowing the fewest points to fantasy QBs. The caveat is two of the QBs they’ve faced are Blaine Gabbert and Case Keenum, but they also held Ryan Tannehill and Ryan Fitzpatrick in check too. As bad as you may think they are, they still have weapons and have produced well historically. There are just better options than Ryan this week with only two teams on bye, so be smart and bench him for someone else.
Matt Jones (RB – Washington)
After pumping the breaks with Jones last week, I’m doing the same again this week. Jones only managed 31 yards on 14 carries against a quality Ravens run defense and this week he faces the Eagles. Philadelphia hasn’t allowed more than 84 rushing yards to RBs in any game this year and have seen RBs beat them through the air rather than on the ground. Those numbers would indicate heavy Chris Thompson usage this weekend instead of Jones, who doesn’t work well in the passing game. There’s also talk of Robert Kelley getting carries because of Jones’ ineffectiveness last week. That’s a pass in our book.
Matt Forte (RB – New York Jets)
It’s a bad week to be named Matt. Think the Jets are wishing they didn’t overuse Forte in the first two games of the season? Forte hasn’t been the same since, putting up 65 or less rushing yards in each of the last three games. He also isn’t being featured as much in the passing game as you would’ve thought given his history. Bilal Powell seems to have that role. With the Jets secondary as bad as it is, the Jets will be chasing points all season long against good passing teams. Arizona should take the lead at home with their high-end passing offense leaving Forte on the bench as the Jets chase the game.
Desean Jackson (WR – Washington)
I wanna tell you to sit A.J. Green, but you likely won’t bench your first round draft pick. Instead I’ll push you towards benching the dynamic Jackson, who’s been hit or miss so far this season. Expect a miss this week as the Eagles have done a really good job against other team’s top WRs. They’ve shut down Alshon Jeffery and Marvin Jones so far this season and will focus extra defensive attention on Jackson if Jordan Reed misses the game. While the Eagles corners aren’t an elite group, it’s hard to get work done against double coverage.
Travis Benjamin & Tyrell Williams (WRs – San Diego)
We know the Chargers offense is pass heavy, but it’s tough to trust Benjamin and Williams this week. Rivers struggled last year in his two starts against this Denver defense. He only threw for 430 yards and two touchdowns combined in both games. Denver continues to produce against passing defenses this year, limiting fantasy WRs to 9.8 combined points this year. That’s not exactly an opportunity for the Chargers receivers to shine when they’re not overwhelming talents.
Dwayne Allen (TE – Indianapolis)
Allen’s owners might be getting excited after last week’s effort. Let’s dial it back a notch. Allen won’t see much space this weekend as he goes against the second best defense at limiting fantasy tight ends. Houston shut down a quality list of TE option so far this year including: Travis Kelce, Delanie Walker, and Kyle Rudolph. It’s a rough week to stream TEs, but Allen is not one you want to be using.
Other guys you should sit: Kirk Cousins (QB – Washington), Philip Rivers (QB – San Diego), Eli Manning (QB – New York Giants), Ryan Fitzpatrick (QB – New York Jets), Devonta Freeman (RB – Arizona), Isaiah Crowell (RB – Cleveland), Giovanni Bernard (RB – Cincinnati), Jeremy Hill (RB – Cincinnati), Devante Parker (WR – Miami), Quincy Enunwa (WR – New York Jets), Phillip Dorsett (WR – Indianapolis), Allen Hurns (WR – Jacksonville), Zach Miller (TE – Chicago), Jacob Tamme (TE – Atlanta)