I wish you congratulations if you made your league’s playoffs. (Although I hope your six- or eight-team playoff includes more than 10 teams. Otherwise that’s pathetic.) I wish you congratulations if you already made next week’s playoffs and you’re taking this week easy. (Although hopefully you have a regular season points title or a weekly winner prize to chase this week.) I wish you congratulations if you’re still fighting for a playoff spot this week because you’re still alive. (Although how come you haven’t clinched one by now?)
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 Know Who You Should Start?
Ryan Tannehill (QB – Miami)
You might’ve been all over Tannehill last week, especially in DFS, but the reality is that it was a trap game for Miami on the road. Now they’re home and should be focused despite the short week. The Ravens have given up 26.75 fantasy points in their last four games to quarterbacks not named Mettenberger.
Andre Williams (RB – N.Y. Giants)
We’ve been down this road before and it wasn’t good, but I’m firing things up again. Rashad Jennings is a fragile man and I don’t see him playing on Sunday. That means Williams will get the look against the second-most porous fantasy defense against running backs. At the very least you know Williams will control the goal-line carries.
Daniel Herron (RB – Indianapolis)
It’s time to go boom. Herron has taken over Ahmad Bradshaw’s role in Indianapolis’ high-scoring offense and he’s run with it. (No pun intended.) Williams put forth 12 fantasy points last week on 10 carries and that included a lost fumble. It’s clear he’s much more explosive than Trent Richardson and Cleveland’s defense can be attacked with the run.
Kenny Stills (WR – New Orleans)
Stills showed he’s ready to perform in a bigger role over the last two weeks. Since Brandin Cooks went down for the season with an injury, Stills has posted 260 yards and a touchdown in his two starts. The Panthers practically cut a new defensive back every week and have gotten carved up routinely by the pass this season.
Jordan Matthews (WR – Philadelphia)
You may be confused when you see which QB I’m telling you to sit (hint: it’s Mark Sanchez), but Matthews has a nice element working for him here. He’s a big, physical receiver, so he should deal well with Seattle’s press coverage. The real key, however, is that Seattle generally doesn’t move their corners around so don’t expect to see Richard Sherman or Byron Maxwell guarding Matthews in the slot. That means the rookie should feast on inferior competition for whatever Philadelphia can get in the passing game.
Kyle Rudolph (TE – Minnesota)
The tight end position has been an albatross on most people’s lineups this year. Rudolph isn’t going to light the world on fire, but he’ll give you a ray of hope this week. The Jets are the third-worst team at defending TEs for fantasy purposes. We saw that last week when they allowed Dion Sims to go for four catches and 58 yards. That’s Dion Sims we’re talking about, not the legendary Keith Jackson. (The tight end, not the broadcaster…) Rudolph should see the same holes this week as he looks to exploit the Jets’ defense.
You Know Who You Should Sit?
Mark Sanchez (QB – Philadelphia)
I’ll believe in Sanchez as much as the next guy (as long as Chip Kelly is his coach), but I’m a little worried about him this week. Seattle has given up six fantasy points a game to QBs in their last six games. Sure, some of those games involved the likes of Derek Carr and Drew Stanton, but they also involved Cam Newton, Eli Manning, Alex Smith, and Colin Kaepernick. The latter are as capable as Mark Sanchez is, which has me looking elsewhere for QB help this week.
Alfred Morris (RB – Washington)
Ol’ Alfie just isn’t the same without Robert Griffin III behind center. He only managed 67 yards and no touchdowns last week. In the previous stint without Griffin starting, Morris managed two touchdowns and a high of 77 yards in a game. That’ s not exactly scintillating. The Rams’ run defense is starting to lock in and has only given up more than 70 yards rushing once in the last five games.
Giovanni Bernard (RB – Cincinnati)
Bernard is no longer a thing. Jeremy Hill has been more effective as a running back and Bernard has only caught three balls in the two games since his return. The Steelers are decent enough against the run, having allowed more than 80 rushing yards in only one of the last five games. Numbers and allocation of work aren’t on Bernard’s side.
Keenan Allen (WR – San Diego)
It was nice to see Allen come alive last week against the Ravens, but that was expected given the Ravens’ pour secondary as mentioned above. Now he gets to face Revis Island, who held Jordy Nelson to 47 yards and a touchdown on two catches. The touchdown was slightly fluky and Allen certainly doesn’t have the same kind of speed as Nelson. You can’t rely on Allen in crunch time this week because unlike Julio Jones against Joe Haden last week, he’s not at that elite talent level.
Jeremy Maclin (WR – Philadelphia)
So by now you know I like Matthews this week, but don’t like Sanchez. Something has to give with that, so that means Maclin will be shut down by Richard Sherman this week. It’s quite simple.
Greg Olsen (TE – Carolina)
You probably won’t bench Greg Olsen because the tight end position is so poor, but let me warn you. Last time Olsen played New Orleans, he only went for 30 yards on three catches. That’s no surprise if you look at the numbers since the Saints haven’t given up more than 82 receiving yards in any game to tight ends. That was last week when they were focused on shutting down Pittsburgh’s receivers. Carolina only has one receiver to shut down, so New Orleans won’t have the same problem. Olsen’s also tailed off after a hot start, putting up double digits points in only one game in his last five and not scoring a touchdown since Week 6.