We do this column every week based on all the information that comes in. Sometimes we’re too influenced by coach speak, which is something you have to be careful of. Just because Bruce Arians deems J.J. Nelson a “starting wide receiver” doesn’t mean Nelson is going to suddenly turn into Julio Jones. (It doesn’t help that Arizona has so many other capable pass catches.) There are situations you prepare well for as we did with Willie Snead and LeGarrette Blount last week. Did anyone see Snead’s two touchdown game coming? No. Did anyone see Blount scoring? Yes, but did we see him scoring three TDs? No. That’s life. That’s fantasy football. We do the best with the information we’re given and the dudes on the field do the rest. All we can do is put ourselves in the best position to win.
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?
Tyrod Taylor (QB – Buffalo)
There are a few good streamer options at quarterback this week, but idiots in your league might be rostering two QBs for no good reason. If that’s the case, you’ll have to look to someone like Taylor, who is ranked 11th in QB scoring so far this year. He’s put up at least 17 points in each of his last four games and now takes on Dolphins, who have given up at least 17 points to any quarterback not named Fitzpatrick and Tannehill this year.
LeGarette Blount (RB – New England)
There were some questions about Blount’s role with Brady and Gronk healthy and Dion Lewis returning from the IR, but Blount is still somewhat you need to put in your lineup every week. He’s run for at least 37 yards and scored a touchdown in every game this season and has no game of less than 13 carries. He’s in line for a huge effort against San Francisco this week in a game New England should be leading big. Don’t be scared off by how the 49ers held down David Johnson to a certain extent last week because they gave up 170+ rushing yards to backs in the five previous games.
Isaiah Crowell (RB – Cleveland)
Just as quickly as he returned from injury, Cameron Heyward got knocked out for the season and that’s a huge blow to Pittsburgh’s run defense. Crowell should see plenty of work against them this week, especially as coach Hugh Jackson acknowledged that maybe his team needs to be more committed to the run. In a week with byes and injuries, you could do worse than Crowell.
Donte Moncrief (WR – Indianapolis)
Maybe this is more of a public service announcement because I hope people are smart enough to have Moncrief in their lineups on a weekly basis, but I’ll put it here anyway. He takes on the Titans this week, who have given up the most receiving yards to receiving corps of any team this year. This sets up to be one of the week’s shootouts, so you’ll want to own shares of Moncrief in your lienup.
Jamison Crowder (WR – Washington)
It’s time to take Crowder seriously. He’s scored a touchdown in three of his last four games and has emerged as a reliable option for Kirk Cousins. With DeSean Jackson beat up and Pierre Garcon lacking talent, Crowder is getting looks because of the mismatches he’s creating in the slot. The Packers have given up 21+ points to the wide receiver position in four of the last five games and the fifth game predominantly featured Matt Barkley, so you know you can discount that.
Martellus Bennett (TE – New England Patriots)
Rob Gronkowski looks likely to miss the game against San Francisco and for good reason. Flying may impair his condition, but most importantly New England doesn’t need its “A” game to beat San Francisco. Bennett has been really effecting when filling in for Gronk this year and gets a chance to be the star once again. He’s been cast to some waiver wires because of Gronk’s return, but you can grab him and start him with confidence in this one as Brady loves using his tight ends.
Other guys you should start: Marcus Mariota (QB – Tennessee), Kirk Cousins (QB – Washington), Colin Kaepernick (QB – San Francisco), Alex Smith (QB – Kansas City), Jonathan Stewart (RB – Carolina), Latavius Murray (RB – Oakland), Frank Gore (RB – Indianapolis), Rob Kelley (RB – Washington), C.J. Prosise (RB – Seattle), Kenneth Dixon (RB – Baltimore), Davante Adams (WR – Green Bay), Julian Edelman (WR – New England), Robert Woods (WR – Buffalo), Kenny Britt (WR – Los Angeles), Sterling Shepard (WR – New York Giants), Eli Rogers WR – Pittsburgh), Tyreke Hill (WR – Kansas City), Eric Ebron (TE – Detroit), Julius Thomas (TE – Jacksonville), C.J. Fiedorowicz (TE – Houston), Charles Clay (TE – Buffalo), Jack Doyle (TE – Indianapolis)
You Know Who You Should Sit?
Carson Palmer (QB – Arizona)
It’s time to face facts: Carson Palmer may be finished. He’s only put up more than 14 points in three of eight games this year despite having a great set of weapons. The Cardinals are really beat up on their offensive line, which doesn’t bode well against the Vikings pass rush. Minnesota is also second best in the league at limiting fantasy production from QBs, so leave old man Palmer at the golf course when you head into Week 11.
Mark Ingram (RB – New Orleans)
The Saints refuse to end the time-share of Ingram and Tim Hightower despite Ingram’s obvious collection of greater talent. The matchupthis Thursday against the Panthers should also hold Ingram down. Carolina has only allowed one rushing touchdown since Week 1 and Ingram only has two on the season. The Panthers have also only allowed two games of over 100 rushing yards, so all signs point in a poor direction for Ingram in this one.
Thomas Rawls (RB – Seattle)
Maybe my expectation of the general public is a little off, but I feel like people are going to want to start Rawls this week. Chances are you spent a lot of money or a high pick on him at your draft and you’ve been waiting for him to return for injury. The truth of the matter is Rawls won’t get 15+ carries because this is his first game back after a broken leg and that’s too much to expect. C.J. Prosise has also been useful in the last two weeks and Seattle realizes their best chance to score is by throwing the ball. With the Eagles sitting fifth in points allowed to RBs, Rawls should hang on your bench for one more week.
DeAndre Hopkins (WR – Houston)
Like with Palmer, it’s time to face facts with Hopkins: his fantasy production just isn’t there this year. Brock Osweiler is largely to blame because his ineptitude is killing his receivers. Hopkins has only exceeded seven points in three of his nine games this year and has under 50 yards in his last three. We’ve reached the show-me stage for Hopkins because he can’t even take advantage of good matchups. Let him rest and prove himself before you start him again.
Cameron Meredith (WR – Chicago)
There’s reason to be excited about Meredith’s physical talent and opportunity with Alshon Jeffery out, but he’s got some things working against him. For starters Jay Cutler hasn’t looked to feature Meredith at all since he returned to the starting lineup. Meredith caught a Hail Mary last game, so that needs to be acknowledged as a negative when looking at his statistics. He’ll take on Janoris Jenkins, who’s living up to his offseason contract as one of the best cornerbacks in the league, and should struggle to see space even as the Bears trail in this one.
Kyle Rudolph (TE – Minnesota)
There are a few teams that really shut down tight ends and Arizona is one of them. No TE has surpassed 53 yards receiving and no TE has scored a touchdown against Arizona this year. Rudolph has taken a back seat to Stefon Diggs in the last couple weeks and is very touchdown reliant in his production. You’ll want to “live the stream” at TE this week.
Other guys you should sit: David Carr (QB – Oakland), Matthew Stafford (QB – Detroit), Carlos Hyde (RB – San Francisco), Giovani Bernard (RB – Cincinnati), Tim Hightower (RB – New Orleans), Terrance West (RB – Baltimore), Ty Montgomery (RB/WR – Green Bay), Jarvis Landry (WR – Miami), Marvin Jones (WR – Detroit), Mike Wallace (WR – Baltimore), Jason Witten (TE – Dallas), Cameron Brate (TE – Tampa Bay)