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Starts

Phillip Lindsay

With Royce Freeman most likely missing this week, Lindsay’s touch floor should be bumped up to 15 with the possibility of 20, which is mouth watering when you consider how electric he’s been and the fact that he’s going up against the Chiefs. Kansas City’s defense has gotten better, but I wouldn’t expect a rushing attack that’s been efficient in most games to lose that efficiency against this defense. Let’s hope Devontae Booker doesn’t come in and take too many snaps away from Lindsay in a comeback effort. The floor and upside is there this week for Lindsay.

Adrian Peterson

Peterson has been getting volume, and he should get it again this week against a Giants team who just traded away their run stuffer in Snacks Harrison. He had 17+ carries in 4 of 6 games, and the chances the Giants’ offense force the Redskins into a negative game script is low. 17 and 24 carries over the last two weeks, 4 yards combined away from 2 straight 100-yard games. Volume should be there this week; let’s just hope he scores to add to what can be a fine yardage day.

Marlon Mack

Mack was downgraded on Thursday with an ankle injury after getting in a limited session on Wednesday, so keep that in mind going into the weekend. If he misses, Jordan Wilkins and Nyheim Hines will get extra opportunity. It would be really tough to sit Mack if he’s good to go in a game where the Colts shouldn’t fall into a negative game script. The Raiders offense is looking quite inept now that Amari Cooper and Marshawn Lynch are gone, and even though Vegas thinks it’s going to be a close and high scoring game, I’m not sure I see it the same way. Mack had a huge game last week where Andrew Luck threw the ball less than half of what he’s been averaging for the season, so I would expect Mack’s touches regress a bit, but he’s still in a good spot this week. If Mack doesn’t get a full practice in, however, you have to monitor him as a candidate for a pitch count, in which case he’ll be more of a desperate start.

Jalen Richard (PPR)

I would start Richard in a PPR league this week for a safe floor. The Raiders are without Amari Cooper, so there will be some vacated targets available to spread around. Richard has been relatively safe, but it’s possible he’s leaned on even more in the passing game with the lack of weapons they have, so he has some upside as well. The Colts have a good shot of going up in this game with the Raiders trying to catch up, so Richard is a good bet for 5-7 catches. They’ve also given up the 2nd most targets and receptions in the league to RBs this year only behind Atlanta.

Raheem Mostert*

The asterisk is based on the status of Matt Breida. If Breida can’t go, Mostert is a most start. Sorry.. I had to include that somehow in this blurb. But no, he won’t be a must start, but he’ll be a good one; one that can actually be pretty efficient with his carries unlike Alfred Morris. I would expect 15+ touches from Mostert, and with his work in the passing game, he can exceed expectations. If Breida plays, Mostert becomes more of a desperate start, but still has the benefit of his efficiency and a great matchup. The Cardinals have allowed the most attempts and rushing yards to opposing RBs, which bodes well for some volume for this backfield.

Kerryon Johnson

Theo Riddick might not suit up again this week, and with Ameer Abdullah only getting 7 snaps last week, KJ should be in line for another nice workload. The 21 touches he got last week is more than enough to feel confident in him going into this week against a Seattle defense that we shouldn’t be afraid of. All Kerryon needs is volume, so with volume, he’ll be in my lineup… especially when he’s averaging almost 6.5 yards per carry.

John Brown

James Bradberry has been showing a lot this season, and if he does, Michael Crabtree fits the archetype that he usually follows. It’s either that, or he’ll stay to his side. It’s possible Brown gets shadowed by Donte Jackson because of Jackson’s speed, but this would be a plus matchup for Brown either way. The Panthers have allowed the 9th most and 7th most fantasy points to WRs lining up on the perimeter, from left to right, respectively, so Brown can’t be left on benches this week.

Tyler Boyd

The Bucs have allowed the most fantasy points to slot WRs. Anything else to say about a guy who’s been getting it done? Andy Dalton and the entire Bengals offense shit the bed last week against Kansas City, but Tampa Bay has no pass rush, and M.J. Stewart continues to give up big games to slot WRs. QBs understand the plus matchup, as he is targeted on 28% of routes run against him. Jarvis Landry was resurrected last week against him, and this week Tyler Boyd should be able to ball out in what could be a shootout.

Jarvis Landry

Like I mentioned in the Boyd blurb above, Landry was resurrected last week in a great matchup, and he gets another one this week against the Steelers. They rank 2nd only to the Bucs in allowing fantasy points to slot WRs. Boyd, Sanu, and Landry all had good days against this defense, and Landry should be able to have another solid outing in a matchup where the Browns can be trying to catch up to the Steelers in Pittsburgh.

Emmanuel Sanders

The Chiefs defense has gotten better, but they’re still top 10 in giving up fantasy points to slot WRs. It’s also been a product of teams having to throw a ton to try and catch up. With Sanders being the #1 option on this offense, and this game being in KC, there’s a high chance the game isn’t as close as it was in Week 5.

Kenny Golladay/Golden Tate

The Seahawks have actually defended WRs pretty well this year, but they haven’t faced a ton of good WRs. Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp both played well against them, and Brandin Cooks sustained a concussion in that game. They played Oakland last, the Cardinals, the Cowboys, the Bears where Robinson caught 10 of 83, and the Broncos where Sanders caught 10 for 135. With that said, the Lions’ WRs are underrated going into this matchup, and Golladay has an advantage against Seattle’s DBs. He moves around a ton, and the Lions will likely have to start throwing the ball more than they have over the past two games, averaging only 24 pass attempts. Outside of last week, Golladay has got it done for you, so throw him back in your lineup. As far as Tate goes, when Seattle has faced good competition in the slot, they couldn’t hold them – Sanders and Kupp both have got it done. So because of that, I’ll have Tate in my lineup, especially in PPR leagues, even though the matchup might not look great on paper.

Geronimo Allison

He should be back this week, and like I always say, give me the WRs on the field with Aaron Rodgers. At least Allison has produced in the games he’s been healthy for. With all the attention on Davante Adams, Allison has been bringing in some chunk gains, and that should continue as Rodgers becomes healthier and can move outside of the pocket. Allison’s worst game was 6/6/64.. if that’s a floor, I’ll take that with the upside he presents. This week, he’ll see a lot of Marcus Peters and Troy Hill, who have both been giving up a ton of big plays. Not a matchup I’ll be worried about in a game where Aaron Rodgers can throw a ton in to try and catch up. What I’m trying to figure out is how and why Allison is less than 50% owned on Yahoo. Keep an eye on his practice participation.

TY Hilton

Of course you’re starting Hilton, but some might have some reservations with all the time he has missed along with his sub-par game last week. Well, last week was against Tre’Davious White and Buffalo, and he’s still a red-hot Andrew Luck’s #1 WR. This week, he has a good matchup against the Raiders, and as soon as he’s lined up against Daryl Worley on the outside or Leon Hall in the slot, Hilton has a shot of coming down with a big play. Keep Hilton in your lineups from here on out.

Doug Baldwin

Detroit has given up the 5th most fantasy points to slot WRs over the last 4 games, and while nickel corner Teez Tabor had an overall good game, he is still giving up some fantasy points. It’s a matchup Baldwin can definitely exploit with the Lions being a lot better defending the perimeter.

Desean Jackson

Jackson has come through in two straight games, even if it didn’t come in the receiving game against Cleveland last week. This week, he goes up against a banged up Bengals defense who has given up a ton of big plays this season; 27 passing plays above 20+ yards, and 5 40+ yard plays. He lines up all over the formation, and Cincinnati has given up fantasy points on the left perimeter, the right perimeter, and from the slot. He’s tough to bench with the upside he presents in this particular matchup. Just know you’re playing him for his ceiling, and not necessarily his high floor.

Desperate Starts

Lamar Miller

It’s a great matchup, but Miller is hard to trust, even after he just had a 100 yard game; it’s his first 100 yard game since 2016, but did reach 98 yards in the first game of this year. He never went over 75 yards in 2017, so temper your expectations on Miller this week. The Dolphins have allowed 5.6 yards per carry over the last three games, so there’s no doubt that this is a good spot. I’m just worried about Miller getting in his own way; let’s hope for some volume against a team that might have trouble scoring after losing a couple of weapons on offense.

Jordan Howard

The Bears have a good shot of going up against the Jets at home. We’ve seen the Jets surprise in a lot of games this season, but the Bears’ defense should be able to hold things down, while the offense can continue to roll. With the game in hand, Jordan Howard should see 15+ touches and potentially get a goal line carry or two. He almost had a second TD last week if it wasn’t for a penalty. Over the last three weeks, the Jets have allowed 4.8 yards per carry to opposing RBs.

Chris Carson

Carson is who we think is the leader of the Seattle backfield right now, but who knows what is actually going to happen in the RB shuffle they have going on. The matchup is sweet, so Carson can perform even on 15 touches or so, and he will likely get goal line work if the Seahawks are presented the opportunity. The Lions are giving up 5.6 yards per carry over the last three games, so there’s a reason they traded for Damon Harrison. Harrison should help, but the Giants weren’t necessarily the best rush defense with him – the Giants were still ranked 22nd DVOA. I wouldn’t bench Carson because of it; what I am concerned about is the other RBs getting more of a workload than expected coming out of the bye.

Randall Cobb

With him likely back this week, Cobb a play for me in PPR, because I like WRs who are on the field and have a rapport with Aaron Rodgers; it’s really that simple. The Rams are in the middle of the pack as far as allowing fantasy points to WRs, but in what should be a shootout, potentially with Aaron Rodgers coming from behind, there will be plenty of targets to go around. Cobb had 10+ targets in 2 of his 3 games played, so I would expect him to get a similar target count in this week’s matchup. The only reason why he’s listed as desperate is because you probably found a decent replacement for him while he was gone. He’s low on the desperate scale for me, especially with Rodgers back to full health.

Danny Amendola

In the two games with Brock Osweiler, Amendola caught 14 of 18 targets for 143 yards and a TD. I don’t know where Ryan Tannehill is, and this is Osweiler’s team for the immediate and possibly longer term future. With the injuries at WR, Amendola is probably their #1 WR right now. In a PPR league, Amendola is worth the dart throw on Thursday night, and the Texans haven’t shut down that position by any means.

Tre’Quan Smith

Need some upside this week? The Vikings are tied for the most 40+ yard passing plays and the 3rd most 20+ yard passing plays given up this season.  If Xavier Rhodes were to play, he would likely shadow Michael Thomas on the outside, but it’s possible Rhodes is out this week. That would mean Tre’Quan Smith will see even less of Trae Waynes and have an advantage with Drew Brees slinging it. The Vikings have given up big plays all year, and while a lot of them have come out of the slot, Smith has moved around enough to get about a third of his work from that position. The Vikings have allowed 30 20+ yard passing plays, and 7 40+ yard passing plays which would’ve turned into 8 if Sam Darnold didn’t overthrow Robby Anderson on a would-be TD this past week. Smith out-snapped Cam Meredith 73% to 25% in Week 7, so Smith is the clear #2 WR in New Orleans. A shootout between these two teams would definitely help, and with a projected total of 53 and a spread of -1, there’s a good chance it happens.

Chris Godwin

Godwin has come through in every game except one this season, even in a part-time role. He’s been somewhat TD dependent unless you play in PPR leagues. Still, 4 TDs in 6 games is pretty good, and that can continue against Cincinnati’s struggling pass defense. The Bengals have allowed fantasy points from all over the formation, so Godwin can find success on limited work, although he’s targeted at a high rate for the time he’s on the field.

Marcus Murphy

The Bills defense has been good this year, but the Patriots should have a handle on them. They’re favored by 14 points in Buffalo, which is not a good sign. This has the makings of a terrible MNF game. Either way, Marcus Murphy should see a ton of time on the field while the Bills try and catch up. In a PPR league, he’s a super desperate play for the hope of him catching 4-6 balls.

Temper Expectations

TJ Yeldon

With a tough matchup against Philly along with the debut of Carlos Hyde, Yeldon’s workload and production is up in the air. He’s involved enough in the passing game where he’s not a bench, and he’ll likely get enough touches to warrant a start in PPR. Just lower your expectations this week.

Nick Chubb

Pittsburgh has been stout against the run over the past three weeks, allowing 3.5 yards per carry, and when playing in Pittsburgh, you have to account for the Steelers potentially going up and leaving Cleveland in a negative game script… which would end up taking Chubb off the field. You have to hope for a close divisional game, but Big Ben at home after a bye sounds like a game where he can go off. The Steelers are 22-6 after a bye week, regardless of whether they’re at home. Chubb is always good for some goal line carries, and hopefully 15+ carries, so he’s tough to sit as a RB2 unless you have other options.

Isaiah Crowell

Yes, with Bilal Powell out, Isaiah Crowell will likely get a bump in carries, but in a negative game script he might be taken out. Also, the Bears have been pretty stout against the run at home, but they also haven’t faced any daunting rushing attacks. Crowell can be started in the hopes for a TD, and can see enough volume to warrant the start. Just temper your expectations in case the Bears go up early, or if the Jets just can’t get anything going against this Bears D. We’ve seen some big plays from Crowell this year, so if you’re going for some upside, he’s not a bad play.

Latavius Murray

Murray has had some big fantasy weeks the last two times out, but the Saints have been the best rushing defense in the league this year. They’ve allowed the least amount of yards, the third least amount of attempts, and also happens to allow the least amount of yards per attempt at 3.1. Not a great spot, but with an offense that moves in what should be a high scoring game, Murray can see some opportunistic goal line attempts. I would try and find another option, or even better, sell him to whoever has Dalvin Cook if that’s not you.

Will Fuller

Fuller’s tough to bench, and Miami is tied for allowing the most 40+ yard passing plays this season. With Keke Coutee out, we can see Fuller come back to form. Last week, he caught 6 of 8 balls for 68 yards with Keke getting hurt early. It’s a tough overall matchup, but at home, Fuller can come through. You just have to temper your expectations, as Miami has been pretty stingy to WRs. Either way, even though Deshaun Watson is banged up, Fuller will be in my lineup.

Josh Gordon

Really tough matchup against Tre’Davious White this week for Gordon. He definitely gets a downgrade, and I’m even starting other good options ahead of him. He stills presents some upside, so there’s that, but White has played well against some pretty good receivers so far: Davante Adams, Corey Davis, DeAndre Hopkins, and TY Hilton. With Gordon playing 90%+ of his snaps outside, there’s not much of a shot for him to avoid White. Temper your expectations for your up and coming WR this week; do we really expect Brady to try and test that matchup, or will he take what the defense gives him?

Chris Ivory

Chris Ivory has a shot at being the early down back this week if Shady can’t get through the concussion protocol. The Patriots are favored by 2 TDs against the Bills in Buffalo. That’s terrible. How much work can Chris Ivory possibly see on early downs? Marcus Murphy will likely beat Ivory in snap share this week while the Bills pathetically try and catch up.

Devin Funchess

He’s close to a sit, but it really depends on your options. Funchess has a shot to catch a TD on anyone, but this is a very tough matchup for both him and the Panthers offense. The silver lining is that this game is in Carolina, where Cam tends to play a better game. Funchess has been getting it done, but I’ll be looking at another option this week if I have one.

Alshon Jeffery

He’ll see a very tough matchup against Jalen Ramsey, but are you really benching Jeffery? He’s been killing it for you. Might have to just take one on the chin if he doesn’t come through.

Sterling Shepard

Shepard had a big week last week in a great matchup, but this week he goes up against a Redskins defense who actually plays the slot pretty well. The Redskins allow the 27th least fantasy to WRs lining up out of the slot, while they’re terribly giving on the perimeter. Shepard will need to overcome the matchup for him to succeed, so I won’t be trying too hard to get him in my lineup this week.

Sits

Frank Gore/Kenyan Drake

Tough matchup this week for the Dolphins RBs against a team giving up only 3.4 yards per carry this year. We haven’t seen the Dolphins run a lot of plays or give their backs enough volume for us to be confident starting them. Even though Drake had a long play for a TD last week, he only had 10 touches. The positive is that Drake has been efficient over the last three games, outside of his goal line fumble two weeks ago, and that he’s caught at least 4 balls in each of the last three. If you’re desperate in PPR, Houston is in the middle of the pack in giving up receptions to RBs, so Drake might be able to break off a long one if you’re lucky… just don’t count on it.

Corey Clement/Wendell Smallwood

When the workload is up in the air, it’s tough to put these guys in your lineup. The touches were about even last week for these two, but Smallwood was on the field more. Each of them got about 10 touches, and with Josh Adams also slightly involved, I’m not sure I want to start either of these two against Jacksonville, and I’ll be trying to find another option.

Doug Martin

Indy has been relatively stout against the run, and when you combine that with Doug Martin’s inefficiencies over the last couple of years, it doesn’t add up positively. The Raiders need to stay in this game for Martin to produce with volume on early downs. Marshawn Lynch has averaged less than 4 yards per carry in 5 out of 6 games played, so how do we think Martin is going to do with volume? The Raiders have lost by multiple TDs over the last two weeks, so the game script doesn’t look particularly good this week for him against Indy.

Aaron Jones

Until he starts getting some volume or Jamaal Williams is out of the way, I won’t be starting Jones.