Aaron Jones might be out for 3-6 weeks with a MCL injury, and Ty Montgomery re-aggravated his rib injury against the Bears. The only man left is Jamaal Williams, who is capable as both a runner and pass-catcher. He hasn’t played well at all this season, but if he’s going to get a ton of touches, he needs to be added and can produce RB2 value. There is a chance Montgomery plays next week, but I doubt the team puts him back out there for too many snaps if he does with the injury still present. Montgomery has proven to be a more effective runner than Williams this season, but this is more about the possible opportunity Williams can get moving forward. Williams did get 20 carries last week for 67 yards, so the volume can be there.
Rob Kelley has a high ankle sprain and a MCL issue, so it’s safe to say he’ll be out for a while. The opportunity is there for Samaje Perine yet again, and since it’s a much longer timeline for Kelley, Perine needs to be picked up. Yes, Perine couldn’t get it done with multiple opportunities earlier in the year, but he’s getting another shot with an improved offensive line and an improving offense. Kelley couldn’t catch, but Perine has that in his skillset, so he could see some passing work go his way as well. Perine will be the goal line back as well. RBs are hard to get at this time of year, so he’s a must pick-up.
I keep harping on Murray every week. It’s not Jerick McKinnon’s backfield, it’s both of theirs. Murray has been getting serious touches; he’s averaging 17 since Week 5. Pick him up already, he’s starting to score and people in your league are taking notice. Keep in mind that he’s not the exclusive goal line back. Both him and McKinnon seem to be sharing that role, although Murray is probably the best bet to convert them.
More RB Pickups
Rex Burkhead – PPR only
Burkhead led the Patriots backfield in snaps this week with 36, followed by Dion Lewis with 21 and James White with 11. Before the Patriots bye, Rex Burkhead was creeping his way into fantasy relevance and suddenly became one of the main weapons against the Broncos. His versatility is one of the reasons Belichick brought him in. When looking at these numbers, however, we have to understand that this could have been the game plan for this specific game. The Patriots weren’t going to test guys like Aqib Talib on the outside and Chris Harris Jr in the slot so it made sense to line Rex up as a WR and get him looks out of the backfield to test the Broncos linebackers. This is the game plan many thought the Patriots were going to have this week, and that’s what they did. You have to think the versatility is something they want to take advantage of moving forward, so I’m ok picking Rex up in a PPR league, but I would wait until his usage becomes more of a trend before I trust him in my starting lineup.
Matt Forte might be out an extended period of time with his knee issue, but it’s unclear if that’s the case. With Forte out this past week, McGuire led the Jets backfield in snaps 36 to Powell’s 33, out-touched Powell 12-11 and outproduced Powell in yardage 58-36. I’m very surprised how sparingly the Jets used their RBs against a Bucs defense that is very beatable on the ground. I do expect them to get more touches to their backs going forward, so McGuire should have at least some flex appeal and possible low-end RB2 value going forward, assuming Forte’s injury lingers. Since the Jets are on their bye this week, it might be easier and cheaper for you to scoop McGuire up this week.
Rod Smith – PPR only
The Cowboys backfield shook out like this: Alfred Morris is the early down back and Rod Smith is the passing and 3rd down back. Since the Cowboys fell into a huge hole this week, Rod Smith led the backfield in snaps with 38 compared to Morris’ 22. I’m not completely convinced that this is how the backfield will shake out as we move forward. The Cowboys are being very predictable just by looking at who is in the backfield. This might be something they avoid, and one solution can be to start giving Smith some carries. It’s a bit of a longshot, but either way he can have some PPR value in a deeper league as he saw 6 targets this past week.
Danny Woodhead – PPR preferred
Danny Woodhead had a great first drive in his season debut before he got hurt…. on that drive. He’s obviously super injury prone, but he was the Ravens first option in the passing game in Week 1, and I expect him to step right into that role again and move Buck Allen back to the bench. We know how much Flacco likes to dump it to his backs, and Woodhead is a lot better at running routes and making plays than Allen. It’s possible he’s not back this week, but he can maintain RB2 value in PPR leagues for the rest of the season. Update: He is expected to play this week barring a setback in practice.
Austin Ekeler – PPR preferred
Ekeler simply outplayed Melvin Gordon this week. Gordon out-snapped him heavily, 47-23, but only out-touched Ekeler 21-15. Going forward, it’s very possible that Ekeler has standalone value in PPR leagues because of his pass-catching talent. He had 10 carries for 42 yards and caught 5 of 5 targets for 77 yards and a TD. He’s been flashing his talent all year, and I don’t think it will go unnoticed. He did lose a crucial fumble late in the game, so it’s possible that affects his playing time, but if you’re in a deep PPR league, he can provide value the rest of the way.
JD McKissic – PPR preferred
CJ Prosise’s inability to stay healthy is mind-boggling. Assuming Eddie Lacy’s groin injury keeps him out further, there are only two RBs left in Seattle right now. Thomas Rawls has proven to be ineffective, and McKissic has shown flashes on limited opportunity. He should see plenty of snaps against Atlanta on Monday night, and we know that Atlanta has struggled against pass-catching RBs. If it’s only these two guys playing, I would consider McKissic a high-upside flex play in PPR leagues in Week 11.
Goodwin’s speed is unbelievable, and he’s now the #1 WR in the 49ers passing offense. If he can get behind Janoris Jenkins like he did on his long TD, he can get behind anyone. CJ Beathard likes to take deep shots, and his volume along with his deep threat ability to win your week on one play is very appealing as a flex play. Keep in mind that Goodwin has a bye this week and then plays Seattle in Week 12.
Davis is a special player, and is seeing a ton of targets whenever he’s been healthy this season. He was very close to a TD, which would make his name a lot more popular on waivers, but he’s a high potential receiver in an offense that has potential for more this year. He is starting the become the #1 option, so he needs to be picked up before he blows up.
More WR Pickups
The Bears might have found a temporary #1 WR in Dontrelle Inman. They traded for him and immediately placed him in the starting lineup. Mitch Trubisky actually threw 35 times for almost 300 yards, so if the Bears get into a negative game script, we can see Inman get a large target share. They’ll probably have to open up the passing game a bit in the next two games against the Lions and Eagles. We obviously have to worry about Darius Slay covering Inman next week, so he’s a WR to pick up in PPR leagues if you’re desperate at the position or if you’re in a deep league.
Coleman is coming back this week, and he will become the de-facto #1 WR in Cleveland. He’s been injured much of his career, but when he’s on the field, he can get it done. Coleman is a very talented player that can win you a week. He’s had solid volume in the two games he played earlier this year with 6 and 7 targets, so with no WRs emerging in Cleveland during his absence, he should step right in to be the guy. Cleveland should be either down or be competitive in most games, so the volume will be there for the passing offense.
Golladay only played 11 snaps in Week 10, but he made a splash catching 2 of his 3 targets for 64 yards. He should pass TJ Jones in snaps next week as he gets healthier, so I’m not starting him until he sees more than 50% of snaps. Either way, he’s a red zone threat and has big play ability in a Lions offense that likes to pass the ball. Keep in mind that Marvin Jones has been playing well outside of this last game, so the target share can bounce around a bit with Golden Tate being the most reliable of the three.
In the last two games Crowder played, he’s had 13 and 11 targets which produced 199 yards total. Cousins is looking his way when he’s on the field, and could be the #1 option moving forward. Josh Doctson is obviously getting the most love from the fantasy community because of his talent and Crowder’s early season ineffectiveness, but I’m following the numbers before the hype. Doctson is still a pickup for sure, but right now Crowder is the one getting the looks. If he continues to get 10+ targets, that’s elite level volume.
He’s a great flier to have on your team. He can be activated this week, and if Allen Hurns doesn’t play like expected, Westbrook can get a lot of play and have a good week. He was the most productive wide receiver in college football last year, and was the most productive in the preseason. Marqise Lee has been consistent this year, but with Allen Hurn’s inconsistency and Keelan Cole not producing much, Westbrook has an opportunity for some time on the field going forward. He could be someone that can help you down the stretch if things go his way, but keep in mind that there are a few hurdles.
The hype is real on Doctson. We’ve seen him be an option in the red zone, he’s flashed with a few big plays, but he’s yet to see the volume we need to see to feel confident plugging him into our lineups. He’s definitely worth a pickup because he has WR1 talent, and if he starts getting volume, he should put up numbers. He’s seeing the field a ton right now, and it could be a matter of time before he has a big game. We need to have him on our bench and not on waivers when that blow-up happens.
If you’re sitting so damn pretty on the top of the standings, you have a ridiculous team, and just need fliers, fine, pick up Josh Gordon. There are reports that he’s in really good shape, and maybe he’s a guy that can help you during the fantasy playoffs. But do you trust him enough to put him in your lineup during the playoffs? If he plays in Week 13 and gets 10 targets, maybe, but only if you’re really hurting at WR.
Eli Manning vs KC
I always get nervous streaming Eli, but you gotta do what you gotta do when streaming QBs. The Chiefs have given up the 6th most fantasy points to QBs, and neither of his favorite targets in Sterling Shepard or Evan Engram line up on Marcus Peters’ side. I’m good streaming him this week.
Blake Bortles @ Cleveland
Cleveland’s defense has been tough against the run, but has been giving up the 7th most fantasy points to QBs. If the Jags have a tough time running the ball against the Browns, they might need to resort to airing it out against a beatable defense. Allen Hurns will probably be out, but Dede Westbrook should be activated to give Bortles another option in the passing game.
Jay Cutler vs TB
Cutler has always performed horribly in primetime for whatever reason, so I’m throwing that game away. He has thrown multiple TD passes in his last 4 games, so in a good matchup at home against a very beatable Bucs defense, I’m okay starting him. If you want to point to Josh McCown not being able to get it done against TB, these are different QBs, situations, and the game isn’t in Tampa. Tom Brady also wasn’t able to get it done in Tampa. I’m fine streaming Cutler in a great matchup with all of the weapons he has at his disposal.
Ryan Fitzpatrick @ Miami
With Mike Evans back in the lineup, Fitzpatrick has weapons at his disposal. The Miami defense looked like they didn’t even want to play Monday night. Fitzpatrick didn’t look good this past week, but he can do enough this week to give you a solid week against the 13th worst fantasy defense against QBs.
Blaine Gabbert @ Houston
Gotta consider anyone going against this Houston defense. They are a complete mess at this point, giving up the 3rd most fantasy points to QBs. Hopefully Gabbert can keep it together while Drew Stanton is out and give Larry Fitzgerald all he can eat this week.
Tyler Kroft @ Denver
He shit the bed this past week, but he has a great matchup this week against a Denver defense who has given up the 2nd most fantasy points to tight ends in 1/2 PPR scoring. Denver’s defense isn’t what it used to be, so this matchup isn’t as scary as it seems.
Charles Clay @ LAC
It’s a tough matchup, but Clay has to be an option as possibly the Bills #1 option in the passing game. He didn’t have a good game in limited snaps last week, but nobody on that offense did. Clay should be closer to full strength next week and play more snaps.
Jermaine Gresham @ Houston
Like I mentioned earlier, Houston’s passing defense is a hot mess, so Gresham can see some work in this game from backup Blaine Gabbert, especially around the red zone.
Marcedes Lewis @ Cleveland
There has been a theme this season, and that’s been to start your tight ends against the Browns and Giants.
Los Angeles Chargers vs Buffalo
With the Bills QB change to rookie QB Nate Peterman, we have to consider the Chargers defense this week as a streaming option. Tyrod Taylor does take a lot of sacks, but he typically doesn’t force throws into coverage or fumble often when pressured. Football Outsiders puts together an Adjusted Sack Rate for each team, which is a metric they define as the number of sacks per pass attempt adjusted for down, distance, and opponent. This is one of many indicators we can look at when choosing a defense, with the reason being that sacks and pressure cause interceptions and fumbles, which can lead to big plays on defense. The Chargers pass rush has an adjusted Sack Rate of 9.0%, third best in the league, while the Bills pass protection has an adjusted Sack Rate of 9.8%, which is 3rd worst. That combined with a 5th round rookie’s first NFL start away from home is a recipe I like this week.
Chicago vs Detroit
Chicago did not play well at home against the Packers last week, but I think Brett Hundley caught them off guard. The Bears defense usually play well at home, so without that many choices to stream this week, we have to settle.
New Orleans vs Washington
The Saints defense has been playing great this season, and have been getting it done for fantasy. The Redskins scored a bunch of points at home this past week against the Vikings, but based on how they were able to shut down Buffalo this past week, I’m okay streaming the Saints.
Green Bay vs Baltimore
Baltimore’s offense is anemic, so Green Bay can be solid against them at home. I would take a chance at an away team with a bad offense.
Cincinnati @ Denver
Denver’s offense can’t seem to get anything going, especially scoring TDs, so with Brock Osweiler still behind center, we have to consider Cincinnati’s decent defense this week against them.