Kenyan Drake/Damien Williams
Drake is the more explosive and talented of the two, but Williams seems to have more of a secure floor in PPR leagues because of his pass-catching role. Both had six receptions in this past game, and it was Drake who was in with the hurry-up offense at the end of the game. Drake is the superior add for a combination floor/ceiling guy, as he is superior in between the tackles and is getting check-downs from Cutler. The Raiders are a bad defense, so we shouldn’t take either performance as gospel, but the Dolphins are switching up how they’re moving the ball. They want to get these guys in space in addition to running the ball. Going forward, I see Drake as the early down back and Damien Williams as the change of pace and passing-down back, although if Drake continues to perform and improves his pass blocking, he’s a capable enough pass-catcher to get more work in obvious passing situations. Drake did out-snap Williams 37-30, for whatever that’s worth.
Darren McFadden/Alfred Morris
Everyone dropped him last week because of his placement on the depth chart. We can’t make our decisions based on this type of ancillary information. We know he’s going to get worked in at some point, so why does the depth chart matter? This is a very fluid situation, and if McFadden ends up being the best back with Zeke out, you’re going to be scrambling on waivers to get him next week. It’s obviously not a sure bet with McFadden, but the risk of just having him on my bench while this backfield shakes out is small compared to the reward. The reward is McFadden being the 3-down back he was in the preseason while he was getting ready to be Zeke’s replacement. And if he’s not, maybe he gets worked in on 3rd down and has a solid PPR floor. There are a ton of possibilities here. Oh, and pick up Alfred Morris too if he’s available in your league.
Say it ain’t so. This backfield was a mess all year, and quite honestly, I can’t blame you if you want to avoid it completely. However, if Lacy’s groin injury lingers, Rawls might have all the early down work for himself. He did well last week in limited work, and if he can see 15 touches a week he might be able to have some relevance in what should be a good offense down the stretch. Rawls was limited earlier in the year while dealing with a high ankle sprain, and now that he’s healthy, he’s a prospective add to see what he can do this Thursday. I’m not starting him this week, but there are a couple of good matchups in the coming weeks that I would start him in if I’m happy with his usage on TNF.
Woodhead is on a bye this week, but if you’re in a PPR format, he can definitely help you down the stretch. He should overtake Buck Allen as Joe Flacco’s check-down and pass-catching RB. Before Woodhead got hurt, we saw that he wasn’t only limited to early down work. He came in on early downs and was involved in route running. He can return to RB2 form if he’s involved as it looked like he was going to be before he got hurt.
If you’re in a PPR league, Forte can give you a solid floor every week. Forget about his 2 TDs last week, because we can’t necessarily depend on that. Forte has got it done in the passing game this year, and provides a solid floor in PPR leagues. The 2 TDs are nice, but can’t rely on that. What we can rely on is the 6 targets and 14 touches he’s been averaging over the last 4 games. Out of the 24 targets he’s had, he caught 23 of them. Forte also out-snapped Powell 32-15 on Thursday night. I feel confident rolling him out as a flex in PPR going forward, and not because of the touchdowns… although I like touchdowns.
Before the Patriots’ bye week, Lewis was trending in the direction of being the lead back. Gillislee was trending down, James White had his role secured, and Rex Burkhead was eating into some passing work. Lewis is probably the most electric running back the Patriots have, and if he continues to get 15+ touches a game he could pay big dividends down the stretch for your fantasy team. He has the capability of catching passes as well, so if that starts happening, look out.
He’s less than 50% owned right now, and he needs to be on rosters. The Vikings defense is pretty good, so they shouldn’t fall behind into too many negative game scripts, which is what we worry about with Murray. If they can stay in games, Murray can get 15+ carries, and he’s a capable enough pass-catcher to get some early down receptions as well. We can’t leave a RB who’s getting those type of touches on a decent offense on the waiver wire.
Cole Beasley, Terrance Williams (if Dez Bryant misses time)
If Dez misses time, Cole Beasley is the superior add this week, as we’ve seen a solid rapport between him and Dak Prescott with Dez out of the picture last year, and the Falcons have been weak against slot WRs. Williams definitely gets a bump as well, but the Falcons do an okay job on the perimeter, but he should get targets especially if this becomes a shootout.
If Anderson is on the waivers in your league, you gotta pick him up. He’s become the #1 WR on the Jets, and has scored in each of the past three weeks. The rapport with Josh McCown is real, and this week the Jets go up against a very weak and banged up Buccaneers secondary. He’s not getting crazy volume, but he’s very efficient with what he’s getting, so we can’t deny him on a spot on our rosters.
Follow the volume and it shall come. Coming into Sunday’s game against the Giants, Woods had at least 5 catches in 4 of his last 5 games. He caught 4 on Sunday, but had 70 yards and 2 TDs. He’s the most reliable WR for the Rams right now, with Cooper Kupp being a close second. He’s been a solid flex option in PPR all season. I wouldn’t expect the TDs to come every week, but he shouldn’t let you down with his high floor.
Lee has been inconsistent in the early part of the year, but he’s pulling it together. He’s had at least 65 yards in 5 out of 8 games and is averaging 9 targets in the last 3. He’s the most dependable receiver on the Jaguars, and even though Blake Bortles isn’t throwing the ball too much, he’s relying on Lee’s ability to get open. Dede Westbrook’s impending return can throw a wrench into Lee’s work, but that remains to be seen. At this point we should pick him up.
Kupp is the second most relied on WR for the potent Rams offense. He has a ton of end zone targets this year, and it’s going to come together for him to start pulling those down. He’s a great depth add to have on your bench in case you’re ever in a pinch. This Rams offense has the ability to move the ball and Kupp has the ability to have a big game when you’re least expecting it.
Chris Hogan’s availability will be unknown until he’s actually declared active for a game, and that’s just how the Patriots role. If he’s out, Amendola should see more time on the field and absorb more targets to give you a nice solid floor in PPR with upside of a TD. He hasn’t been giving us the fantasy output that we need the past few weeks, but with Hogan out, I’m very okay putting Amendola in my lineup.
Marquise Goodwin/Aldrick Robinson
Goodwin only caught 2 of his 8 targets, but doesn’t need too many catches to make big plays. With Pierre Garcon and Trent Taylor out of the picture for now, those targets need to go somewhere and Goodwin becomes the defacto #1 WR along with Aldrick Robinson getting the more short to intermediate routes. If I’m going to throw a dart on either of these guys, it would be Goodwin because of the big play ability that he’s shown this year and last. Robinson can have some PPR appeal if the quality of his targets actually improve.
Samuel played the most snaps out of any Panthers WR this past week, and it seems like the Kelvin Benjamin trade was done partly to get him more involved and become their deep threat and versatile route runner. Ted Ginn was a big part of the Panthers offense with Benjamin sidelined in 2015, and Samuel can fit into that role. Cam has a cannon, so the rookie Samuel can see benefit as he gets more comfortable in the offense.
Stash and Pray WRs
He’s a playmaker, and he’s kind of hiding in the sand because of injuries and a tough matchup last week. But he’s healthy, he’s playing a good percentage of snaps, and he can blow up in the second half of the season. I don’t know if I feel comfortable playing him against the Bengals, but he’s a guy that can become an every-week starter in time for the fantasy playoffs.
It’s taking some time, but Doctson is starting to make plays. Cousins desperately needs a #1 WR, and Doctson fits the bill but he needs more targets. Doctson’s matchup is kind of brutal the rest of the way outside of Dallas, but his talent can rise to the top to make him a worthwhile pickup.
Westbrook was the most productive WR in college last year, and he shined in preseason. Once he becomes active, which could be as early as this week, his potential is slotting in as the #1 WR. It’s not as likely right away, but the potential is there. Keep in mind that the Jaguars are a run first team, so the volume might not be there. However, if Westbrook makes plays, the Jaguars will find ways to get him the ball.
His hamstring injury is lingering.. and lingering.. and lingering. Maybe he plays this week? Once he’s back on the field, he becomes an immediate threat for big plays. Marvin Jones has stepped up his game lately, so once he starts getting the attention from safeties, Golladay can sweep in for the opportunity of single coverage. He’s a long shot at this point since he’s not healthy, but he’s still a good stash.
Must-Add Tight Ends
As long as Reed’s sidelined, Davis should be in lineups. Not rostered, I mean in lineups. He’s a big play tight end, and without a true #1 option anywhere to be seen in Washington along with Jamison Crowder being hurt right now, Davis is as dependable as they get. I can’t imagine Reed getting healthy soon, so Davis can be a solid option for longer than you think.
Olsen is back soon, and once he’s back, he should step right back into one of Cam’s favorite targets. If he’s on your waiver wire, he’s a great tight end to have down the stretch to add some upside to your team. If you already have a solid tight end, Olsen make a fine flex play as well.
Andy Dalton loves a good tight end, and Kroft has got it done for the most part in place of Tyler Eifert. He didn’t get the targets we wanted to see last week, but he took those 2 targets for 79 yards. He’s becoming less TD dependent, and actually providing a decent floor without it. I’m okay playing Kroft the rest of the way if you’re tired of streaming.
Clay was Tyrod’s #1 option and had really good games before he got hurt. He’s scheduled to be back this week, and should re-assert himself as the go-to receiver.
Andy Dalton @ Tennessee
Dalton has played well in good matchups, and played terribly in bad ones. This is a good matchup for him. AJ Green is due for a good bounce back game, and we should see him carve up this Titans zone defense.
Josh McCown @ Tampa Bay
McCown has been playing very well this season, and hasn’t disappointed fantasy owners who like to stream the position. This week he goes into Tampa and is up against one of the worst passing defenses in football. They’re giving up the 7th most fantasy points to QBs, and without a pass rush, McCown should be able to put some points up.
Ryan Fitzpatrick vs NYJ
Fitzpatrick is more of a desperate streamer in a decent matchup at home. The Jets give up the 9th most fantasy points to QBs, and even without Mike Evans, Fitzpatrick should be able to move the ball against this defense.
Detroit vs Cleveland
Cleveland sucks, Detroit is at home and creates turnovers. Not much else to say.
Chicago vs Green Bay
Chicago’s defenser plays very well at home and the Packers offense is struggling to move the ball. Nice mid-priced defense in DFS.
New England @ Denver
The Patriots’ defense is getting better, but there are definitely still holes in it. This is more about Denver’s offense being so bad and Belichick game planning to shut them down.