Four teams are on bye this week: the Green Bay Packers, Seattle Seahawks, Oakland Raiders, and Pittsburgh Steelers. It’s now halfway through your fantasy season, so now you’re scrambling to figure who to start and who to sit between player X and player Y. Let me help you make that decision and keep you alive for the playoffs, or else you may be playing spoiler the rest of the season.
QB – Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Cleveland Browns
Anyone can pick Rodgers, Brady, or Brees. But I like to be a little different. Give me Winston this week against the Cleveland Browns. Last week, he put up 395 passing yards and 4 touchdowns in a loss against the Atlanta Falcons. This week against the Browns, look for him to pass over 400 and at least 4 touchdowns. Maybe throw in a rushing one, too. Winston is back and ready to lead this team.
RB – Mark Ingram, New Orleans Saints vs Baltimore Ravens
His first game back from suspension went like this: 53 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns. Give him the ball this week with fresh legs off the bye, against the Baltimore Ravens defense, and he should repeat if not double his rushing yards. Alvin Kamara will still the be the main back, especially in the passing game, but another multi-touchdown game from Ingram would bring us back to last year’s form. Get Ingram in your lineup.
RB – Kerryon Johnson, Detroit Lions vs Miami Dolphins
His bye week came at the worst time for him. Just as he was getting hot, the Lions went on a bye. On the plus side, it gives him another week to look at film, get healthy, and get ready to carry the load the rest of the season. Johnson two weeks ago put up 70 rushing yards, 2 catches, and 15 yards. Not bad, for a rookie. He will need to bring it this week against the Miami Dolphins and that defensive line. He will be looking for his second and maybe third touchdown of the season this week. Surely LeGarrette Blount can’t continue to vulture goal-line work.
WR – Calvin Ridley, Atlanta Falcons vs New York Giants
He is playing the New York Giants this week, who’s best DB Janoris Jenkins will likely be shadowing teammate Julio Jones. Ridley will come back from last weeks low performance of 3 catches for 47 yards. He should be able to sneak behind that secondary and grab a touchdown or two this week.
Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers
His hype train has left the station. He may be getting it done in real life, but for fantasy I’m not starting him anymore. Too many mistakes, fumbles, interceptions, and sacks for me to take a risk on him. Last week he produced 237 passing yards, 1 touchdown, and 2 interceptions. Bench him this week as they play the improving Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
RB – Isaiah Crowell, New York Jets vs Minnesota Vikings
You can only go to the well so many times. This week you won’t want to. The Jets play the Minnesota Vikings. It’s going to be a tough matchup for Crowell and the Jets. He had 40 rushing yards last week against the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts defense that is miles away from being called elite! Stay away, stay far away.
WR – Corey Davis, Tennessee Titans vs Los Angeles Chargers
The name alone should scare you away. He is not producing like a first-round receiver should be. This week is a very tough matchup against the ever-present Chargers. The Titans will likely be playing from behind, meaning they will need to pass the ball, but so far this season the performances from Davis have been lackluster. Don’t start him unless you absolutely need too.
TE – Ryan Griffin, Houston Texans vs Jacksonville Jaguars
14 targets, 6 catches, 65 yards in the last two games – that’s great. Except he had no catches or yards last week, despite plenty of targets. So you probably picked him up after his monster game two weeks ago against the Dallas Cowboys. And then you got burned last week with zero points against the Buffalo Bills. Well, it’s not going to get any better this week, as he is up against the Jacksonville Jaguars. They should have a much better game this week, unlike last when they got destroyed by the Dallas Cowboys. Go ahead and bench, or better yet drop Griffin.
by Tyler Belawske – @TylerBelawske