We definitely forget what happens at this point of the season when we draft at the beginning of the year. Injuries always torpedo rosters as we’ve seen in recent weeks with A.J. Green and now Rob Gronkowski. There’s really nothing you can do other than to prepare yourself every week to put the best roster on the field and roll with the punches. With injury comes opportunity as we’ve seen with Tyler Boyd and now Martellus Bennett. You just need to act fast to get the newly hot stocks.
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?
Matthew Stafford (QB – Detroit)
There was talk before the season that Jim Bob Cooter was gonna turn Stafford into an explosive offensive weapon. It started that way as Stafford blew up early, but he’s tailed off and the Lions now rank 31 in offensive plays ran per game. The good thing for Stafford in this game is that the Saints will put up points against the Lions 32nd ranked pass defense according to DVOA and they run 69.5 plays per game. That will force the Lions to keep up with Stafford chucking it around.
Jordan Howard (RB – Chicago)
It’s been pretty impressive what Howard’s been able to do given the loss of talent around him. He’s put up at least 77 rushing yards in the last three games and now gets to face a team giving up the most fantasy points to running backs. Even Matt Barkley can’t hold him back.
Tim Hightower (RB – New Orleans)
For some reason the Saints keep splitting work between Hightower and Mark Ingram despite Ingram being the much better player. That’s good for Hightower owners in a projected high-scoring game against the Lions, who also have the 28th ranked DVOA run defense in the league.
Donte Moncrief (WR – Indianapolis)
It shapes up as a great situation for Moncrief on Monday Night Football. Andrew Luck returns from his concussion, the Jets are terrible at defending the pass, and the Colts are equally bad on defense. All this means Moncrief should continue his production when healthy.
Jamison Crowder (WR – Washington)
Crower continues to be undervalued as an option in the Redskins passing game. Jordan Reed’s injury situation means more targets over the middle for Crowder. Patrick Peterson defending other wide receivers on the outside will increase those targets even more. Crowder will continue the success that’s brought him to 88+ yards in four of the last five games and a touchdown in four of the last six.
C.J. Fiedorowicz (TE – Houston)
As Brock Osweiler continues to check down then Fiedorowicz will continue to be useful. He’s incredibly useful this week in a game where Houston’s a reasonable underdog and will likely be chasing points the whole game.
Other guys you should start: Philip Rivers (QB – San Diego), Tyrod Taylor (QB – Buffalo), Colin Kaepernick (QB – San Francisco), Alex Smith (QB – Kansas City), Ryan Fitzpatrick (QB – New York Jets), Matt Forte (RB – Chicago), Spencer Ware (RB – Kansas City), Theo Riddick (RB – Detroit), Wendell Smallwood (RB – Philadelphia), Kenneth Dixon (RB – Baltimore), Tevin Coleman (RB – Atlanta), Denard Robinson (RB – Jacksonville), Brandin Cooks (WR – New Orleans), Tyrell Williams (WR – San Diego), Michael Thomas (WR – New Orleans), Golden Tate (WR – Detroit), Sammy Watkins (WR – Buffalo), Kenny Britt (WR – Los Angeles), Marques Wilson (WR – Chicago), Cole Beasley (WR – Dallas), Zach Ertz (TE – Philadelphia), Kyle Rudolph (TE – Minnesota)
You Know Who You Should Sit?
Blake Bortles (QB – Jacksonville)
Despite looking completely inept on the field, Bortles has pushed his way to the QB10 ranking so far this season. That’s pretty funny all things considered, but he does chase a lot of garbage time. This week, however, he’ll be limited by the Broncos, who are holding QBs to the fewest fantasy points of any team in the league. Denver’s offense also isn’t good enough to create much garbage time for Bortles.
Jay Ajayi (RB – Miami)
Ajayi took the world by storm with his back-to-back 200 yard rushing games earlier this year, but he’s cooled as the offensive line in Miami has broken down due to injury. Ajayi hasn’t exceeded 80 yards in the last three games and while the offensive line is slowly rounding into health, the matchup against the Ravens this week isn’t a good one. Baltimore has allowed under 65 rushing yards in all but three of their games and there won’t be much touchdown equity for Ajayi in a low scoring game.
Rob Kelley (RB – Washington)
It’s a shame that Kelley goes against a terrible opponent for his needs after last week’s dud because it would be a perfect DFS opportunity otherwise. Sadly Kelley takes on Arizona, who’s only allowed one 100-yard rusher all season. There’s the thought that a high-scoring game could present Kelley with some touchdown opportunities, which gives him the edge over some other poor options, but still leaves him far down the ladder.
Allen Robinson (WR – Jacksonville)
This obviously ties in with the instructions to bench Bortles mentioned above. Robinson has proved this season that he can’t overcome his QB’s ineptitude and he likely won’t be able to overcome the great Broncos secondary either.
Randall Cobb (WR – Green Bay)
The improvement of Davante Adams has really hurt Cobb more than Jordy Nelson. Cobb’s only scored three touchdowns so far this year and has only one game of over 100 receiving yards. Now Cobb goes against one of the best pass defenses in the league in a game the Packers will likely be leading. That doesn’t bode well for a strong weak.
Vernon Davis (TE – Washington)
Jordan Reed’s injury will have you look at Davis for a tight end option this week, but you should keep looking. Arizona has been lockdown on TEs this year with no more than 53 yards to anyone they’ve seen as well as keeping them out of the end zone.
Other guys you should sit: Jameis Winston (QB – Tampa Bay), Andy Dalton (QB – Cincinnati), Jeremy Hill (RB – Cincinnati), Jerick McKinnon (RB – Minnesota), James White (RB – New England), Emmanuel Sanders (WR – Denver), Kelvin Benjamin (WR – Carolina), Desean Jackson (WR – Washington), Sterling Shepard (WR – New York Giants), Jordan Matthews (WR – Philadelphia), Cameron Brate (TE – Tampa Bay), Austin Hooper (TE – Atlanta)