If you are unlike me, and you still find yourself in the playoff hunt in your league…congratulations! If, however, you are like me, your fantasy season is all but over at this point and you are simply jockeying for draft position…which may result in you asking yourself the question, should you be listening to me?
Well, of course you should – that was a stupid question by yo! After all, I, you, WE, are here to try and spoil the fun of all the successful teams in your league! Sure, playing to win and gain bragging rights over our buddies may be the main reason we play the game, but our secondary reason in playing this frustrating game called fantasy football is just as important, and that is to spoil the fun of those same buddies during the seasons when our team sucks! With that being said, let’s dive into this week’s stone cold ‘Studs, Duds & Sleepers’!
Drew Brees, NO:
Over the last three games, Brees has eight touchdowns, zero interceptions, and is completing nearly 80% of his passes. In the first game with Michael Thomas back, Brees put up a season high four touchdowns. Brees and the Saints offense should have a big day against the decimated 49ers defense this week.
Aaron Rodgers, GB:
Speaking of four touchdown performances, Rodgers put up is fourth four touchdown performance in just eight games. Rodgers is on pace for 4,500 yards, 48 touchdowns and 4 interceptions. His only two interceptions came in the same game – a blowout against the Bucs. This week, he gets a Jaguars defense which ranks in the bottom five in both run and pass defense.
Others receiving votes:
Tom Brady, TB:
Brady burned me last week, and I really have no reason to have him back here…other than the fact that I don’t think he is going to suck two weeks in a row. The Panthers held Brady in check in their Week 2 matchup, but I predict Brady and the Bucs come out angry and put up a ton of points on the Panthers in round two of this NFC South battle.
Deshaun Watson, Hou:
I feel like Watson’s season has flown under the radar – probably because the Texans have been so bad – but, despite the Texans giving away his top receiving option and giving him no line, Watson keeps chugging along…at least from a stats perspective. Like Rodgers, he has eight touchdowns and zero interceptions over the past three weeks and has six straight games with a rating of 109.0 or better.
From The GetSportsInfo Podcast:
Dalvin Cook, Min:
Cook leads the NFL in touchdowns (12) and yards (858), despite only playing seven games. In his first game back from injury, Cook rushed for 206 yards and two touchdowns, while putting up 252 all-purpose yards.
Kareem Hunt, Cle:
It is possible Nick Chubb is back this week, but I don’t think that hurts Hunt – at least not this week. The Texans give up a league worst 159.5 rushing yards per game and are so bad, it is possible Chubb and Hunt both get to 100 yards.
Others receiving votes:
James Conner, Pit:
Speaking of bad run defenses, the Bengals are high on that list as well, and one thing the Steelers have excelled at over the past 20 years is exploiting the Bengals weaknesses. I could see the Steelers using their defense and run game to wear down this young Bengals team. I look for a big game this week from Conner.
Aaron Jones, GB:
He may not be completely healthy, but the Packers should be able to score at will on this Jaguars defense. and I feel like this could be a multi-touchdown game for Jones.
Davante Adams, GB:
Despite missing a few games, Adams leads the NFL in receiving yards per game (112.5) and is tied for second with eight receiving touchdowns. In his two games since returning from injury, he has 17 receptions, 226 yards and four touchdowns on 23 targets. Adams should have a field day against the Jaguars this week.
Michael Thomas, NO:
After being out the past six weeks, Thomas didn’t have a big night (five receptions and 51 yards), but he was going up against one of the NFL’s best defenses. He gets a much easier matchup this week with a 49ers defense missing a lot of talent on the defensive side of the ball.
Others receiving votes:
Cooper Kupp, LAR:
It feels like Kupp is having a disappointing season, and while he has only found the end zone twice, he has 48 receptions and 527 yards, on pace for 96 receptions and 1,000+ yards. Look for Kupp to have a big week this week against the worlds worst pass defense (Seahawks).
Cam Newton, NE:
Cam hasn’t faced a passing defense ranked better than 14th this season, and yet, somehow, he has only managed two passing touchdowns. Two. That is less than the likes of Mitchell Trubisky, Nick Mullens, Joe Flacco, Kyle Allen, Dwayne Haskins, Jeff Driskel, Sam Darnold and Tua Tagavailoa (who only has two starts). In fact, he ranks 38th in touchdown passes – out of 32 starters – and hasn’t thrown a touchdown pass in four games. While he does have a few rushing touchdowns the past couple weeks, I don’t see Cam and the Patriots doing much against the Ravens this week.
Matthew Stafford, Det:
Stafford didn’t have a good outing last week against a bad Vikings defense, and things don’t get easier this week. Believe it or not, the Football Team is tops in the NFL in passing yards allowed (185.6), fourth in sacks (27), seventh in touchdowns allowed and is holding opposing quarterbacks to a rating of just 87.0 (7th).
Others receiving votes:
Daniel Jones, NYG:
As if there isn’t enough ineptitude already going on in this week’s matchup of the Giants and the Eagles, the quarterbacks are battling each other for the world lead in turnovers. Wentz holds a slight edge in turnovers (14 to 11), but at least he has accounted for more touchdowns (17) than turnovers. Jones is just a turnover machine sans the touchdowns – eight touchdowns, 11 turnovers. And the Eagles, despite their many deficiencies, can get after the quarterback. They rank third in the NFL with 28 sacks and second in the NFL in sacks per game.
Chris Carson, Sea:
Carson has a chance to return this week, but even if he does, I would sit him if you can. The Rams rank fifth in the NFL, only giving up 94.8 yards per game on the ground. Between the matchup and the likelihood that his touches may be capped, I would sit Carson.
49ers running backs:
With all the 49ers injuries, who will be starting at running back may be a mystery, but really, with a matchup against a good Saints defense, and Nick Mullens at quarterback, who cares? Two weeks ago, Jamycal Hasty lead the 49ers with 29 yards rushing. Last week, Jerrick McKinnon lead the team with 52 yards rushing.
Others receiving votes:
Melvin Gordon III, Den:
I own Gordon in one of my leagues, and he is so frustrating. He is averaging a respectable 4.1 yards per carry, leads the team in attempts (93), yards (393) and touchdowns (4), yet they use him so inconsistently. In Week 4, against the Jets, Gordon had 23 carries for 107 yards and two touchdowns. In the three games since, he has totaled just 31 carries for 112 yards and one touchdown, seeing his carries and yards decrease every game. Last week, in a shootout against the Falcons, he saw six carries for 18 yards. I wouldn’t expect much this week out of him in Vegas.
Joe Mixon, Cin:
After missing the past two weeks with an injury, it sounds like Mixon may return this week against the Steelers. Not an ideal matchup. Given the Bengals woes on the offensive line, combined with the Steelers tough front seven and general domination of the Bengals, Mixon’s prospects this week aren’t great.
Marvin Jones Jr., Det:
As I mentioned above, I don’t like the Lions passing attack against the Football Team, so I wouldn’t like playing Jones even if he was having a good year…but he is not. The eight year veteran is averaging just three catches per game and has failed to surpass 80 yards in any game this season. While he does have four touchdowns, touchdowns are hard to count on. What I look for is consistency, and in four of the last five games, he has failed to reach 45 yards receiving, and twice in those five games, didn’t even reach 10 yards receiving…ouch.
Tyler Lockett, Sea
Speaking of lacking consistency, Lockett has been maddening for owners this year. Russell Wilson has been throwing the ball all over the place, but for Lockett, it has been boom or bust. Six of his seven touchdowns and nearly half of his 615 yards and 53 catches have come in two games (24 catches, 300 yards, six touchdowns). In those two games, he averaged 12 catches, 150 yards and three touchdowns. In the other eight games, he has 29 catches, for 315 yards and one touchdown – averaging less than five catches and about 50 yards per game. Over the last two games, the Seahawks have put up 71 points and 650 yards in the air, and Lockett has accounted for eight catches for 73 yards.
Others receiving votes:
DJ Chark Jr., Jax:
I whiffed on this last week telling readers to sit Jaguars pass catchers – and some guy named Jake Luton made me look foolish. Well, that was against a porous Texans defense. I don’t see it happening two weeks in a row, especially not against Green Bay. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.
Patriots pass catchers:
This one is simple. 1) Cam Newton has never been a great passer, and he looks even worse this season; 2) the Patriots receivers suck, and 3) the Ravens have a very good defense which is very good at getting after the quarterback and confusing even the most cerebral of quarterbacks. Don’t start any Patriots pass catchers this week.
Jared Goff, LAR:
Goff is having another quietly respectable season. Not exactly the type of season – or description – which will excite a fan base, but ok from a fantasy standpoint, and this week, he gets the world’s worst pass defense – Seattle. Look for Goff to put up 300+ yards and two or more touchdowns.
Alex Smith, Was:
Smith is finally all the way back from his gruesome leg injury, and ironically, finds himself starting this week due to a similar gruesome leg injury to Kyle Allen. While Smith is not the mobile quarterback he once was, and did throw three picks last week, he also had a touchdown and 300+ yards in relief of Allen. With a week of prep and a Lions defense, which struggles to get to the quarterback, I look for a solid game from Smith.
Drew Lock, Den:
Lock is not a regular fantasy QB1, but he could be this week if your regular is injured or on bye. With five touchdowns and 550+ yards passing the last two weeks, Lock is playing well and gets a Raiders defense that has just nine sacks through eight games. Only the Jaguars have sacked the quarterback less.
Zack Moss, Buf:
The Bills backfield this season has been disappointing and hard to rely on. They have run for nine touchdowns, but five of those are from the quarterback. That being said, Moss accounts for three of the other four and is coming off a week where he outpaced Devin Singletary in carries nine to two. He is not a great start, but you could do worse for an emergency Flex option.
Mark Ingram II, Bal:
Lamar Jackson is the Ravens top runner, but when healthy, Ingram is a sold RB2 or Flex play. After being out the last two weeks, it sounds like Ingram may be back, and the Patriots defense could be a good matchup for him. Through eight games, the Patriots rank in the bottom ten in terms of run defense, giving up 4.5 yards per carry and more than 130 yards per game on the ground.
Darrell Henderson Jr., LAR:
After three straight weeks of leading the Rams backfield in terms of yards, it seems as though Henderson is their top back and I like his matchup this week against the Seahawks defense – like many other Rams skill position players.
Terry McLaurin, Was:
McLaurin is seventh in the NFL in receiving yards, so it seems a bit odd to see him in the ‘Sleepers’ section, however, owners may be a bit weary of Alex Smith at quarterback, and therefore, weary of McLaurin. I say “don’t be.” Smith and McLaurin looked just fine last weekend, hooking up on six catches for 103 yards and a touchdown.
Jerry Jeudy, Den:
Jeudy, the highly touted first round receiver from Alabama had a breakout game last week against the Falcons. He saw 14 targets, pulling in seven of those for 125 yards and a touchdown. With the Raiders inability to get after the quarterback, Jeudy could have a his second big game in as many weeks.
Brandin Cooks, Hou:
Over the last four weeks, Cooks has seen 39 targets, pulling in 27 for 375 yards and three touchdowns. It looks like he and Watson are finally starting to click. While the Browns have a decent pass rush, quarterbacks have done pretty well this year against the Browns and I like Watson’s ability to escape the Browns pass rush and have a big day with Cooks.