We’re back once again with my fantasy diamonds piece, where I try to give you some names I think are undervalued based on current ADPs (average draft positions) across the three major platforms – NFL.com, ESPN & Yahoo.
I realized this wasn’t posted here until now, so R.I.P. J.K. Dobbins …
If you’re making the initial leap from Redraft to Dynasty Leagues there are a litany of DOs & Dont’s to naviagate. However, one of the main distinctions between your annual Redraft League and Dyansty League necessitates that you are responsive and relatively active when it comes to making trades. Of course building a quality roster via your Dynasty start-up draft goes a long way; but in order to maintain a competitive roster year-to-year, having success in your subsequent rookie drafts is only half the battle. You have to cultivate your ability to execute a Dynasty Football Trade with a lasting Return on Investment (ROI).
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I told you I was going back to the Derek Carr well. That’s three weeks in a row (1-1 thus far). Week 12 was brutal but I am inclinced to trust the process. Carr and the Las Vegas Raiders get yet another favorable matchup in Week 13. Derek Carr has proven inconsistent as evidenced by his stinker last week. However, my primary concern is wind gusts potentially reaching 20 mph in East Rutherford, NJ. Still, I believe Carr and the Raiders passing offense will be much sharper in Week 13. Last week’s opponent, the Atlanta Falcons have played much better as of late. Meanwhile, the Raiders’ Week 13 foe, the New York Jets, are winless and have demonstrated virtually no improvement.
I anticipate the Raiders offensive line bouncing back which is the primary catalyst to Las Vegas’ offensive success. A decent rushing attack should increase the effectiveness of the play-action game and slow down the pass rush. Furthermore, the New York Jets allow the 4th most fantasy points per game (22.0) to the quarterback position. Don’t fail me now Derek Carr… Start em.
START Melvin Gordon @ Kansas City Chiefs
Running the football is one of the few things the Broncos do well. Gordon’s running mate Phillip Lindsay could be limited and I am anticipating an upitck in Gordon’s usage in Week 13. Drew Lock returning to the lineup should help Gordon’s cause and the Kansas City Chiefs aren’t exactly stout against the run. If Denver can keep the score close enough to ensure the running game remains viable, Gordon should return RB2 value this week.
Someone apparently cut the power in Arizona. After a midseason heater, Christian Kirk has a meager 18/11/96/0 line over his last three games. Kyler Murray has been somewhat underwhelming since his late game heroics against Buffalo a few weeks ago. Furthermore, Murray isn’t 100% healthy and Kliff Kingsbury needs to take a look in the mirror as a play-caller. To make matters worse, Arizona faces off against the Los Angeles Rams. The Rams allow the fewest fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers in the NFL. With Larry Fitzgerald and Andy Isabella moving in on Kirk’s target share I am seeking different options. Sit em.
Carr was terrific in Week 11 and I’m going right back to the well considering his matchup this week. Heading into Week 12, the Atlanta Falcons allow the most fantasy points per game (26.5) to the quarterback position. You know the story by now. Atlanta allows the highest QB Rating against (105.9) in the league; a direcct correlation to their inability to affect the passer. Frankly, if you opt to start Carr this week, leave him in your lineup as he gets another choice matchup (NYJ) next week. Start em.
START Wayne Gallman @ Cincinnati Bengals
Since the Devonta Freeman experiement ended in the wake of Saquon Barkley’s injury; Wayne Gallman has been a steay peformer. Gallman has operated as the Giants lead back for a month now and has scored in four straight games. I’ve always believed that Gallman is a capable back albeit not the most gifted. Now with improved offensive line and quarterback play and the requisite opportunity he has become a legitimiate fantasy asset this season. This week’s matchup against the Bengals is particularly intriguing as they allow 136.2 rushing yards per game; 3rd most in the NFL.
Set aside whatever bias you might have based on how things ended for Agholor in Philly and prioritize your fantasy football team’s success. Nelson Agholor is getting open consistently. Agholor has caught five touchdowns in the Raiders last seven contests. Among Las Vegas WRs, he is Derek Carr’s preferred target. If the matchup is good for Derek Carr, the matchup is good for Nelson Agholor. Not to mention the Atlanta Falcons allow the third most fantasy points per game (29.2) to the wide receiver position. Start em.
SIT Darrell Henderson/Cam Akers/Malcolm Brown vs. San Francisco 49ers
As much as I would like to see Darrell Henderson featured in the Rams rushing attack it’s not happening. Over the past three contests Henderson has failed to receive double digit rush attempts. However, Henderson’s reduced volume hasn’t made the rushing pecking order in Los Angeles anymore clear. Cam Akers nor Malcolm Brown have eclipsed 10 rush attempts during that three game span. It’s a full blown committee. No telling who will find the endzone. Sit em.
Clearly I began my victory lap too soon after splendid Week 9 Start/Sit recommendations. It bit me (and you) substantially in Week 10. Instead of unveiling my Start/Sit recommendations on Saturday, I got cocky and dropped them on a Friday; and let’s just say that was ill-advised. Injury reports fluctuated up to kickoff and in-game, damning my fantasy football lineup suggestions. I won’t make that mistake again heading into Week 11.
I think it’s safet to say that Alex Smith has knocked off the rust. Smith has 87 pass attempts over the last two weeks, completing 71% of those passes and averaging nearly 360 yards per contest. Unfortunately, only one of those attempts has gone for a score but I firmly expect that to change this week. Smith faces Cincinnati’s listless pass rush and forgiving pass defense. To date the Bengals have allowed the 2nd most passing TDs (21) in the NFL and allow the 8th most fantasy points per game (21.1) to the quarterback position.
START James Conner @ Jacksonville Jaguars
James Conner has been an afterthought in Pittsburgh’s offense during recent weeks. However, I expect a shift this week. Mike Tomlin is already on record indicating correcting the running game struggles is the priority heading into Week 11. You can still count on Pittsburgh airing it out plenty. But assuming the Steelers do not take their opponent lightly I expect them to put this game away early allowing Conner and the offensive line to get lathered up. Jacksonville allows the 8th most fantasy points per game (20.9) to the running back position.
START Calvin Ridley @ New Orleans Saints
Assuming Ridley is back in the lineup for Week 11 I’m starting him. There is an inherent risk here given the nature of his injury (foot) and the fact that Ridley wins with route-running. However, if the Falcons are to move the football it will be through the air. In eight games, Ridley has either scored and/or eclipsed the 100-yard receiving mark six times.
Not only is Ridley the most likely of the Falcons to find the endzone, he has a history of success against the Saints. In four games, Ridley averages 9/6.5/89.5/1 versus New Orleans. As I alluded to previously, there is a risk of re-injury or snap count limitations but I’m rolling the dice. Start em.
Inconsistency. Poor matchup. And may not be available due to injury. When Drew Lock flashes it’s exciting. But he’s more of a tease at this point than anything else. Sit em.
SIT Todd Gurley @ New Orleans Saints
Do you recall when last the Saints allowed a 100-yard rusher? Me either. No wonder why New Orleans allows the least amount of fantasy points per game (13.2) to the running back position. Enter the “Artist formerly known as Todd Gurley” and his 3.7 yards per carry. Atlanta struggles to run the football as evidenced by four straight games of 2.8 yards per carry or fewer; but it serves as a neon flashing sign to consider a different option. Gurley has managed to find the endzone on a relatively consistent basis this season so an RB2 finish is a distinct possibility.But his lack of involvement in the passing game convinced me to fade him this week. Sit em.
That’s more like it. My Week 9 Start/Sit recommendations were a significant improvement on that Week 8 abomination. Onward! Let’s get into Week 10 Start/Sit recommendations.
Quarterback Start/Sit Recommendations
START Drew Brees vs. San Francisco 49ers
Let’s face it, these are two teams going in opposite directions. The Saints are getting healthy; and Brees has his full complement of weapons at his disposal. Meanwhile, the 49ers are a veritable M*A*S*H unit. Don’t get me wrong San Fran still has talent, particularly on the defensive side of the ball but the pass rush simply isn’t the same. How could it be after losing Nick Bosa (injury) and DeForrest Buckner (trade). I anticpate Brees taking what the defense gives him and metriculating the ball downfield for a tidy, efficient Top 12 finish. Start em.
START Jared Goff vs. Seattle Seahawks
I can’t seem to get it right, as to when to start Jared Goff. However, the Seahawks offer the perfect matchup to get an inconsistent passing game on track. Seattle allows the most fantasy points per game to the quarterback and wide receiver positions respectively. I’m banking on Sean McVay looking himself in the mirror, self-scouting and doing a better job of putting his players in a position to have success. I also believe this might be the week L.A. unleashes rookie WR Van Jefferson, to add a much needed vertical threat to the Rams offense.
SIT Matthew Stafford vs. Washington Football Team
No Kenny Golladay and now Stafford’s top target in 2020, T.J. Hockenson is battling a foot injury. I just don’t like it. Washington has a formidable pass defense as is and Detroit is certainly lacking in perimeter threats. Furthermore, I’ve little to no confidence in the Lions’ coaching staff. No need to deliberate on this one. Sit em.
START Nick Chubb vs. Houston Texans
Nick Chubb is back folks and I for one am NOT taking a “wait & see” approach to see how his knee responds to game action. First and foremost Chubb is a STUD; he leads the NFL in number of rushes of 20+ yards (6) despite not having played since Week 4. Secondly, offensive guard Wyatt Teller returns to the lineup having graded out as a top interior olineman this season. Finally, the Houston Texans are awful defensively, allowing the third most fantasy points per game to the running back position this season. Even if Chubb doesn’t get a full workload he has the ability to turn 12-14 touches into low end RB1 fantasy production. Start em.
START J.K. Dobbins @ New England Patriots
The Baltimore Ravens of 2020 barely resemble the team of 2019. The offensive line is no longer a strength and there is a dearth of explosive plays. Furthermore, the Ravens are missing the heart & soul of their offense, Mark Ingram. However, I believe J.K. Dobbins is the injection of life the Ravens need in addition to committing to their power run game.
Prior to the the Ravens bye week, Dobbins did not have a single game with double-digit carries. However, since the bye week Dobbins has averaged just under 14 touts per game, including his 1st career 100-yard rushing performance in Week 8. I believe the fresh, young legs of Dobbins will help resotre some explosiveness to the Ravens offense.
This week’s matchup against New England isn’t nearly is a daunting as one may have thought prior to the season. In fact, the Patriots allow the 11th most fantasy points per game to the running back position. We all watched the Jets of all teams “run left” with considerable success on Monday night. A favorable matchup indeed.
SIT Mike Davis vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
With Christian McCaffrey sidelined by injury once again I certianly can understand why you might start Davis. However, after the Buccaneers’ embarassment on national television last week I believe they will be playing with a new found sense of urgency. Furthermore, the Bucs have been among the best in the NFL in defending opposing running backs. Davis’ involvement in the passing game may solidify his floor as an RB2; but his lack of scoring opportunites and the matchup leave me fading him in Week 10.
Every week COVID-19 throws us more curveballs but the 2020 Fantasy Football season rolls along. Four teams on a bye as we enter Week 6 further complicating start/sit decisions. No matter, full steam ahead into the Week 6 Start/Sit recommendations.
Quarterback Start/Sit Recommendations
START Ben Roethlisberger vs. Cleveland Browns
The Cleveland Browns are 4 -1 for the first time in more than two decades. But that doesn’t matter. Is that right? Fact check me. Despite the Browns’ new found success they miss Greedy Williams as a cornerstone member of their pass defense. The Browns give up the 8th most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks and have surrendered 12 TD passes on the season; tied for 2nd most in the NFL.
Ben Roethlisberger has thrown for at least two touchdowns in each game this season; and currently sports a 10:1 TD/INT ratio over four games. He hasn’t put up gaudy yardage totals but that could change in Week 6. At a minimum, I’m thinking 260 yards passing a trio of TDs good for a Top 12 finish.
START Matthew Stafford @ Jacksonville Jaguars
Fresh off the bye, Matthew Stafford and the Detriot Lions face the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jags have allowed the third most touchdown passes on the season (11). Jacksonville also allows the fourth most passing yards per game and are tied for a league low five sacks. I had high hopes for the Lions offense entering the 2020 Fantasy Football Season. It hasn’t quite materialized thus far, but I think Stafford & Co. get on track in a big way against an overmatched Jaguars defense. Start em.
SIT Joe Burrow @ Indianapolis Colts
The Colts defense wasn’t at their best a week ago but they enter Week 6 allowing just 12.5 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks. That makes them the stingiest defense in the league against QBs in fantasy football. Thus far, Joe Burrow has looked like the rookie that he is. The reality is, the Bengals supporting cast (oline) simply isn’t good enough to solidfy Burrow’s fantasy floor. Couple that with an awful matchup on paper and I’m going to pass. Sit em.
START James Robinson vs. Detroit Lions
The James Robinson buzz has died down a bit over the past two weeks. However, a Week 6 matchup with the Detroit Lions should vault Robinson back into Top 12 consideration. In fact, top 12 may be a modest outlook. The Lions allow the most fantasy points per game to the running back position in the NFL. Detriot has been gashed to the tune of 5.2 yards per carry too.
Robinson continues to dominate backfield carries (73). Chris Thompson is next in line with just six touts. Furthermore, Robinson remains involved in the passing game with just over four targets per contest. The rookie running back has failed to reach the endzone the last two games but i believe he reaches pay dirt twice in what should be a stat padding contest.
START Ronald Jones vs. Green Bay Packers
I’m not sure Ronald Jones will ever be an accomplished receiver out of the backfield; but you cannot deny his ability as a ball-carrier. Jones is coming off of back-to-back 100-yard rushing performances and has a firm grasp on early down work. All that’s missing are touchdowns. He was robbed of a TD, receiving no less, last week but I think that changes against Green Bay. The Packers struggle to defend the run and allow the 2nd most fantasy points to the running back position. Start Jones with confidence.
SIT Phillip Lindsay @ New England Patriots
Phillip Lindsay had been on the mend for several weeks but he’s healthy now; and just in time with Melvin Gordon ruled out. While Lindsay’s expanded role would generally be something fantasy owners should be all over, this week’s matchup isn’t favorable. Even with Drew Lock back in the lineup to legitimize the Broncos passing game I expect that Patriots to force Lock to beat them and elimiante Denver’s rushing attack.
New England is only allowing 15.3 points per game to the running back position. Furthermore, they’ve allowed only ONE rushing touchdown all season tied for the least in the NFL. Injuries and committees may force your hand but I recommend you Sit em’.
Wide Receivers Start/Sit Recommendations
START Justin Jefferson vs. Atlanta Falcons
Justin Jefferson (3/23/0) disappeared last week against a poor Seahawks pass defense. Such is apt to happen with rookie wide receivers. That being said, I expect Jefferson to bounce back in a big way against the hapless Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons have surrendered a league high 15 passing touchdowns and are tied for the 3rd fewest sacks (7) in the NFL. The inability to affect the passer, nor hold up on the back end in a passing league is a recipie for disaster. But for Justin Jefferson owners, you should be licking your chops, salivating. Start em’.
START Chase Claypool vs. Cleveland Browns
Claypool flashed several times ahead of his Week 5 coming out party; scoring four touchdowns and putting non-dynasty football enthusiasts on notice. With Diontae Johnson still out with injury Claypool has become the the receiver to own and START in Pittsburgh. I mentioned how forgiving the Browns defense has been to opposing quarterbacks previously. Well, Cleveland is even MORE generous to opposing wide receivers.
Currently, the Browns are allowing the third most fantasy points per game to WRs. There 12 touchdown passes allowed is tied for the 2nd most in the NFL. Suffice it to say that if Myle Garrett isn’t sacking the quarterback the Browns are hemorrhaging fantasy points thru the air.
SIT Jerry Jeudy @ New England Patriots
I didn’t like Jeudy last week when I thought he was going to avoid the “Gilly-Lock.” I definitely don’t like the talented rookie with Stephon Gilmore expected to play this week even with Drew Lock in the lineup. No thanks.
START T.J. Hockenson @ Jacksonville Jaguars
See Matthew Stafford.
START Mike Gesicki vs. New York Jets
The Jets have faired pretty well against opposing tight ends to this point. However, I like Ryan Fitzpartick quite a bit this week (not as much as Roethlisberger, Stafford) and I think Gesicki is due for a touchdown grab. I imagine the Jets will have their hands full with DeVante Parker and Preston Williams on the perimeter. Meanwhile, Gesicki will take advantage in the middle of the field and redzone. Start em’.
SIT Logan Thomas @ New York Giants
Despite his consistent involvement in the passing game Logan Thomas simply isn’t Varsity yet. Tight end is such a difficult position to learn, particularly at the NFL level. Thomas is a phenomenal athlete transitioning from QB to tight end, but he can’t be trusted as of yet. Not to mention the New York Giants secondary has played pretty well this season. They are are the third best team in the NFL at defending the tight end position; allowing only 4.4 fantasy points per game. I’m avoding Thomas for the forseeable future no matter who is under center in Washington. Sit em’.
Best of luck this weekend. Remember always start your STUDS and I take ZERO responsibility if these Start/Sit recommendations are wrong. Also, if my calls are right make certain you tell a friend.Start/Sit.