I hope you made it into your fantasy football playoffs. If you did, congratulations! Time to bear down and strategize for the first round (in most leagues).
If you didn’t, well hopefully I can still help you avoid coming in last place in the consolation bracket — especially if a punishment awaits last place.
Here are three players to start, and three to sit (and I’ve even included one sleeper pick).
QB Case Keenum: If you’ve had Case Keenum on your roster, and you haven’t started him yet, then unless you have one of the best quarterbacks in fantasy football (ex: Brady), what are you waiting for? Keenum has gotten at least 20 points every game since Week 8 (and the one game he didn’t reach it — Week 11 against the Rams — he was at 19). He’s thrown 200+ yards every week in that time frame, and with the schedule the Vikings have for the rest of the year — even a Week 14 showdown with Carolina — Keenum’s output shouldn’t slow down soon.
RB Jamaal Williams: While Williams as the only healthy Green Bay running back has given his fantasy owners a lot of production these past two weeks, things seem doubtful to get to levels like those with the return of Aaron Jones. But even with Jones’ return, Williams is still worth taking a look at. He still has gotten over 15 touches for four straight weeks now. So Williams may still have an RB2 ceiling and FLEX floor.
QB Jameis Winston: In his return from injury, Winston threw 270 yards and got 2 touches for approximately 22 fantasy points against Green Bay. With his match-up against a Detroit defense that let up similar numbers to Joe Flacco and has left up about the same number of fantasy points to QBs every week since Week 5. Winston’s definitely at QB1 level.
Sleeper: WR Josh Gordon: Gordon actually put up some decent numbers in his first game back since 2014. Gordon caught 4 passes for 85 yards, and his 11 targets ties him for the most a Browns receiver has gotten this year. While it’s hard to judge based off of one game, it seems he has already elevated to the top Browns receiver, and he might be worth picking up as a FLEX option for this week against a weaker-than-normal Green Bay secondary.
WR Cooper Kupp: Despite an injury to Robert Woods — a big loss for the Rams passing game — things seem to have been held intact by Kupp’s performances. Kupp is tied at No. 6 for receptions since Week 10, and PPR leagues have seen him enter double-digit fantasy points for the past month. But with a match-up against the dominating Philadelphia Eagles on the horizon for Week 14, it may be best to try to consider other options.
WR Marqise Lee: Lee has entered double-digit fantasy point figures for three of the last five weeks for standard-scoring leagues, and he’s averaged 16.8 fantasy points in the past six games — excluding the Week 12 stinker against the Arizona Cardinals. Lee has some appeal against a Seahawks defense missing Richard Sherman, but with the Seahawks recently, and surprisingly, shutting down the Eagles, give Lee a second thought before inserting him as a starter.
TE Vernon Davis: It’s quite disappointing for Vernon Davis right now. Despite favorable match-ups against the Giants and Cowboys in the last two weeks, Davis has produced little to diddly-squat for fantasy owners. And with Jordan Reed’s return possibly coming, Davis’ fantasy value is decreasing dramatically.
Ben McAdoo, Jerry Reese, John Mara and Steve Tisch have disappointed me as a Giants fan. That’s all I’m going to say for the real football storylines.
As for fantasy football, Week 13 usually presents the final week of the regular season. It’s “make or break” time for those fighting for playoff spots.
Here are three players you should start, and three you should sit, in Week 13.
Start ‘Em: RB Jamaal Williams: This one’s more a conditional selection. Under the most normal circumstances, I would make Williams my start of the week here. The only problem is I can see the number of touches Williams gets go down a bit this week, as Aaron Jones returned to practice this week, and Ty Montgomery’s return is unknown. If Jones and Montgomery both don’t play this week, it could be a big day for Williams, especially for those of you in PPR leagues. Tampa Bay’s defense is bad, and they’re worse on the road. The defense that has given up the second-most PPR points to RBs through 12 weeks may have a rougher time in Lambeau. Even if Jones still plays, Williams can at least still be at the very least an RB3 with RB2/1 ceiling.
RB Jordan Howard: So, Howard didn’t do much against the Eagles. No surprise there. Against a one-win Niners team however? This may be the biggest chance for Howard to run all over an opposing defense — more specifically, one that’s allowed the most fantasy points to running backs through 12 weeks.
WR Cooper Kupp: Kupp had his best game last week, scoring about 20 points last week against the New Orleans Saints. He should have another decent turnout against the Arizona Cardinals, who have let up an average of about 18 points to slot receivers this season.
Sit ‘Em: QB Jacoby Brissett: I didn’t exactly have high hopes for Brissett and the Colts fantasy-wise last week, considering the non-entertaining affair last time they faced the Titans, but many were riding high on the man. After putting up about seven points last week, do you trust him against that Jacksonville defense? You’re insane if you do.
RB Jay Ajayi: Don’t get me wrong; Ajayi has a lot of talent. But him being traded to the Philadelphia Eagles earlier this season has done nothing good for him. He has gotten about seven or right snaps overall over his three games as an Eagle. Combine that with a match-up against the Legion of Boom, and it’s hard to trust Ajayi.
TE Tyler Kroft: Kroft is usually a streamer, but it might best be smart to avoid him. The Pittsburgh defense, however, has allowed just two touchdowns to tight ends this year. For someone who most likely needs a touchdown to have what’d be considered a good and productive outing, it might be best to turn elsewhere.
It’s Turkey Day, y’all. While you’re getting ready to stuff your face full of Thanksgiving goodness and participate in your own family and friends football games, there’s three NFL games today and plenty more on Sunday. So, here’s my start ’em and sit ’em picks for Week 12.
Start ‘Em: RB Latavius Murray: I don’t think I need to tell you how good of a season the Vikings are having. And while Case Keenum has proven himself thus far with his arm, and Adam Thielen has been achieving as a receiver, it’s Murray and Jerick McKinnon who have taken over the running game in the NFC North. But Murray definitely has had more production, putting up about 20 points last week against the L.A. Rams. In a big Thanksgiving Thursday game against the rival Detroit Lions, let’s hope Murray continues to show up and produce greatly.
QB Matt Ryan: For Ryan owners, it has been a trying season. He has reached only 20+ points twice this season, and last week was the first time he missed 200 passing yards in 2017. Luckily, things ay change this week, as Ryan will have his first of two matchups in four weeks against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, whose defense has been lacking and has let up the fourth-most points to quarterbacks as a road team. If he can’t pull something nice off here, not sure what else to say.
WR Mohamed Sanu: Speaking of the Falcons, Sanu may have only pulled in 34 yards against Seattle (and lost receptions and yardage after Week 8). However, Sanu has proven to be one of Ryan’s favorite targets in the end zone; in fact, more so than Julio Jones! If you’ve got a flex spot open or in a deep league, definitely consider Sand to start.
Sit ‘Em: QB Josh McCown: Believe it or not, McCown has been doing very well in terms of fantasy play this year. But his play is finally starting to come back down to Earth. McCown scored 20+ points against the likes of New England, Miami and Atlanta, but fell back to about 15 points back in Week 10 against Tampa Bay before the Jets’ bye. With what may be a daunting match-up against the Carolina Panthers defense, who have allowed the second-fewest points to quarterbacks on the road, and then games against the likes of Kansas City and New Orleans upcoming, has McCown’s hot streak burned out?
RB Frank Gore: Gore definitely has had consistent production, getting 16-17 carries for three straight weeks. But Gore seemed to hit a wall against Houston and struggled against Pittsburgh before the bye week. Back in Week 6, the last time the Colts faced the Tennessee Titans, Gore had just 10 carries and rushed for 49 yards. Gore’s a big risk this week.
TE Charles Clay: Clay has put up a combined three fantasy points on five receptions and 40 yards over the past two weeks. His schedule doesn’t get any easier, as the Bills are taking a trip to Kansas City this week. Clay’s too much of a risk this week.
The passion that boxing trainer and commentator Teddy Atlas has for the sport can be seen every time he commentates on a fight, even if it earns him some backlash and negative comments from a specific portion of the audience.
But if there’s one thing that Atlas has a bigger passion for than boxing, it most certainly has to be his Dr. Theodore A. Atlas Foundation, which hosted its annual “Teddy” Dinner last night at the Hilton Garden Inn in Staten Island, New York.
Atlas founded the foundation in 1997 in his father’s memory. Atlas’ father was a physician on Staten Island who provided free medical care to those who couldn’t afford it. Up to the age of 80, the elder Atlas, continued to take calls and serve those in need.
According to Atlas, the influences from his father did not come from hands-on, verbal instruction, but rather through “seeing and osmosis.”
“My father was a doer. He wasn’t a talker,” Atlas said in a mid-2017 interview. “He was a strong, very principled tough man.”
Dr. Theodore Atlas’ mother, Teddy’s grandmother, told Dr. Atlas at a young age that he would go into the medical field and to take care of the poor. After graduating from the New York University School of Medicine in 1927, Dr. Atlas practiced on Staten Island for 55 years. During this time, he founded Sunnyside Hospital and Doctor’s Hospital.
Dr. Atlas may be most remembered for his generosity and humility while performing his job, going out of his way to make the lives of those in the community much better. As his son described, Dr. Atlas would take pillows and blankets and make beds to perform tonsillectomies on kids who needed them.
“I learned a lot of things from him,” Atlas said. “I learned about work ethic, I learned about commitment, and then I learned about a word I never understood other than it was a word. I learned what it was to be a professional. It had nothing to do about being paid. It had to about doing what you’re supposed to do.”
Teddy Atlas described his father as being a very sacrificial and giving man from a young age. While interning at Bellevue Hospital, Atlas’ father developed a hernia while trying to help someone having a heart attack. The elder Atlas never corrected the problem, and about 35 years later, he developed a double hernia.
On the same day he was forced to bury a young son, Dr. Atlas received a house call from a woman who needed emergency care for her baby. The woman couldn’t afford to go to the emergency room, nor had the means to do so. Without hesitation, Dr. Atlas got to the woman and performed his job.
One day, a young Atlas traveled with his father and recognized a similar path they had gone down in the same week, Atlas thought his father was taking care of a sick, elderly woman, when in reality it turned out the woman was quite healthy. When Atlas questioned his father, his father responded, “She’s lonely. And loneliness is a sickness, too. I sit, and I listen to her.”
Dr. Atlas died in 1993 at the age of 88. And on the day of the funeral, the influence from Atlas’ father played out when Atlas attended the funeral, and on the same day, he went to the gym to help train future heavyweight champion Michael Moorer. That day, Moorer got into an argument with Atlas over not wanting to spar.
When Atlas got a call from Moorer later, asking why he showed up, Atlas said Moorer shouldn’t be sorry for arguing because Atlas’ father died, but because he tried to get out of something he was supposed to do.
“It was a sorrowful thing that my father died, but it was still my job that day to take care of the responsibilities for my father, and it was my job later that day to train this guy for a fight he had coming up in two weeks,” Atlas said.
After his father died, Atlas said he wanted a way for the man, who went through his profession for passion, care and teaching others how to live, to be remembered and celebrated. Thus, the Dr. Theodore A. Atlas Foundation was born.
The foundation is based off of the same principles Dr. Atlas showed during his work. It helps others in need in a variety of ways, from tasks such as setting up handicap ramps, to giving Thanksgiving turkeys and Christmas toys to those who cannot afford them, and from paying for needed procedures for the sick to providing other resources for those in need.
The foundation has an incentive program for poverty-stricken and troubled students. The program encourages students to grow, improve their behavior and become better people academically, socially and personally. Those who succeed are treated to great rewards, such as trips to MLB and NBA games and Broadway shows.
Atlas, who had a troubled childhood filled with getting in street fights and getting arrested, says the program is successful because it shows the kids there are people who care, and he wants them to be great individuals in life.
“Some of these kids…they don’t need someone to say ‘Stop doing that,’ they need someone to say, ‘I care that you stop doing it,’” Atlas said. “‘Don’t just stop doing it because I say, stop doing it because it matters. I care enough to tell you this.’”
The foundation also funds and supports a youth basketball league with cheerleading squads, all with academic and behavioral performance as qualification for participation. It also gives out four different collegiate scholarships.
Atlas additionally helps with privately funded boxing gyms originally set up by the Police Athletic League (PAL). Atlas trains and mentors young boxers in the hopes that they will be successful in and out of the ring.
The annual Teddy Dinner, where most of the donations to the Dr. Atlas Foundation are received, is held the Thursday before Thanksgiving. Every year, over 1,000 come out for the event, including many celebrities who show support for the foundation. Some of this year’s guests included New York Yankees radio play-by-play man John Sterling; former New York Giants quarterback Phil Simms; MLB Network’s Brian Kenny; and ESPN’s First Take hosts Stephen A. Smith and Max Kellerman.
“After [the celebrities] come, to see what they see — the cases that they see, the testimonials — they believe in what they see and the importance of it,” Atlas said. “I’m very blessed the foundation has celebrities like that.”
In addition, The Dr. Atlas foundation holds an annual golf outing in the fall and a Golden Gloves boxing event in the spring.
Between his foundation and training and broadcasting responsibilities, it may seem like Atlas has a lot on his plate. But for Atlas, it’s all about the passion brought into him through his experiences, and especially his father.
“No matter how you feel, you do your job,” Atlas said.
We’re nearing the end of the fantasy year. Unfortunately for us, the NFL has been plagued with problems like declining ratings, blowouts and uninteresting match-ups (or interesting match-ups on paper that turn awful ones, and vice-versa), and now the Roger Goodell extension drama.
Is fantasy saving your interest? Who knows. But it’s coming down to the wire. So here are my starts and sits for Week 11.
Start ‘Em: QB Alex Smith: As a Giants fan, it pains me to say the following, but it must be said: isn’t it obvious? The Kansas City Chiefs are Super Bowl contenders. The Giants, meanwhile, have let up 20+ points every week this year other than Week 1 (when the Cowboys scored…19). I think this is a rather choice.
Kansas City D/ST: …Again, it’s a game against the Giants. Enough said.
WR Jarvis Landry: Five touchdowns over a six-game span + a nice streak of double-digit points + a game against a weak Tampa Bay defense = Landry is a must-start. Hell, I might be so tired while writing this, or insane enough, that if you somehow have Landry, DeVante Parker AND Kenny Stills, and have no one else better than Stills at flex somehow, start all three!
Sit ‘Em: QB Brett Hundley: So Hundley got his first win last week, and it came against the Chicago Bears defense. Good for the young kid, maybe his story can write itself out similar to Aaron Rodgers’. Unfortunately, when it comes to fantasy (as Shania Twain sings) that don’t impress me much. It was a decent game, but Hundley still feels like just a backup. Doesn’t help the Baltimore Ravens D doesn’t like to give up many points to QBs. Hundley, if anything, should be considered week-to-week before choosing to start him, especially this late in the fantasy year.
TE Coby Fleener: The New Orleans Saints are run-heavy now, as Mark Ingram and rookie Alvin Kamara have been having quite the time putting points up for Brees and the rest of the team. With dependance on the passing game going down, despite a great fantasy QB in Brees, Fleener’s already unimpressive numbers will continue to be where they are, if not worse.
RB Austin Ekeler: Ekeler raised eyebrows last week, rushing 119 yards with two touchdowns. But if any of you have already grabbed him, may not have been the smartest move. And to those of you who are tempted, do it only if you need to and/or have a bench spot. It’s still the Chargers, which have a running game dominated by Melvin Gordon. Ekeler’s going to need lighting to strike twice for him in the same manner as last week.
It’s another day, it’s another week. I’m now a year older, and the NFL has yet another game filled with terrible match-ups ahead.
God, you suck this year, NFL — please improve your scheduling of match-ups.
But, here are my three start ’em and sit ’em picks of Week 10.
Start Em: QB Matthew Stafford: Stafford had another great week, throwing 300+ yards and two touchdowns in a victory against the Green Bay Packers. Sure, the offense may have struggled at times closer to the end zone, but Stafford flat out whipped Green Bay all around the field. And his reward? A game against the Browns. Yeah, I definitely smell another A+ performance here.
RB Jerick McKinnon: The Minnesota Vikings are fresh off of a bye week, and McKinnon has scored at least 20 points in his last few games. The man has been on fire, and he’ll look to continue that role on Sunday against the Washington Redskins. The Redskins D has allowed three top-six PPR performances, and McKinnon may even get some passes coming his way with how Washington’s defense is. McKinnon seems like he is the clear-cut No. 1 back in Minnesota, and this is a matchup you’re going to want to put him in for.
Pittsburgh Steelers D/ST: Sure, Jacoby Brissett and the Indianapolis Colts might have managed to defeat the Houston Texans 20-14 last week, and T.Y. Hilton finally had a big fantasy week, but let’s be realistic. It’s not going to last, because it’s not going to happen against Pittsburgh. The Steelers are fresh off of a bye, and two-thirds of the defenses that have faced the Colts this season have finished in the Top 10 D/STs weekly. Grab Pittsburgh if you can.
Sit Em: QB Matt Ryan: There’s just no supporting Matt Ryan and the Falcons right now. When it comes to Ryan, yes, he performed well last week, but he also didn’t complete any passes of 20 or more yards for the first time since Week 1. He got some of his good fantasy points from last week on TD passes, but he’s also matched the same number of interceptions as he did all of last season already. And as of Thursday morning, Julio Jones is questionable to even play on Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys. Ryan’s too risky this week; I feel he rides the pine for you if absolutely possible.
RB Aaron Jones: Michael Fabiano has mentioned that there are questions regarding the roles of Jones and Ty Montgomery when it comes to the depth chart of Green Bay’s backs. Here’s the thing: that has no matter. The Packers are lame ducks without Aaron “Hold My Beer and Watch Me Throw This Hail Mary” Rodgers. And yes, you can laugh at the Bears and rookie QB Mitch Trubisky all you want, Chicago’s defense, to me, is no laughing matter, ranking sixth in total yards and eighth in total defense. It sounds like it’s going to be a tough time for the Pack to get points on the board.
WR Will Fuller: Oh, Deshaun Watson, why did you have to go down in practice? Now that you’re gone, Tom Savage is back. And I cry in dismay at what you could have been for the second half of the NFL season. Savage definitely is no Watson; we know how bad Savage is. Houston cried when it realized the ball would be turned back to him. Fuller only scored about five fantasy points last week with Savage at the helm. Not to mention, even though the Rams rank 17th in total defense thus far, this is still a good Rams team that’s looking towards a playoff run. No way would I play Fuller this week in my lineup.
Regardless, here are my 3 start ’em and sit ’em choices for Week 9. This honestly feels more like a start ’em, sit ’em for one of my own dynasty teams…
QB Russell Wilson: For four of his last five games, Wilson has thrown 295 yards or more and given his fantasy owners 30+ points per week. This is the first time in his career that he has thrown 300+ yards in back-to-back weeks now, and he has done that three times this season. Prior to this year, Wilson only had eight games where he threw 300+ yards. Definitely start him with this consistency and a favorable matchup with the Washington Redskins.
TE Jimmy Graham: Graham has definitely rebounded from his slow start to the fantasy season. Graham has seen the end zone four times in the past three games. He’s currently second in red-zone targets and tied for fourth in red-zone touchdown receptions. Making things better, the Redskins’ defense that ranks 29th in points allowed to tight ends.
RB Adrian Peterson: Peterson struggled against the Los Angeles Rams in Week 7, and now he’ll have to earn some of his fantasy value back thanks to the Arizona Cardinals’ loss of Carson Palmer until the end of the year. However, at the same time, David Johnson is not expected to return this season now, so Peterson seems to be the primary back in Arizona. But considering this is the San Francisco 49ers, who have given up probably more to running backs than any other team this season, consider Peterson someone to play this week.
TE Martellus Bennett: Don’t feel like I need to explain much here. Bennett was already not producing with Aaron Rodgers at the QB helm, and now with Rodgers done for the year with injury, doesn’t seem to be a lot of passing going on in Green Bay — at least for the time being.
QB Matt Ryan: Man, what a struggle. NFL Fantasy Football has considered Ryan to be one of the biggest busts at this point through the fantasy season, and Ryan had entered as one of the “must-have” QBs along with Tom Brady, Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers. Guess it goes to show QBs aren’t everything in fantasy. Ryan simply hasn’t produced what brought him an NFL MVP trophy. And while he’s scored 19 points in back-to-back weeks, it still feels like more could have been done. In the six times Ryan has faced the Carolina Panthers, he’s gotten at most one touchdown in each game. Best to sit him.
WR Jordy Nelson: What did I say before about Green Bay? Maybe Nelson will get more balls to him once again over time, but nothing is for certain. Until something comes up, don’t play him unless you’re screwed by the six-team bye week.
The disarray and madness in the NFL is about to be halfway over, as Week 8 out of 17 approaches. And fantasy football has just passed its halfway mark. Some owners are figuring out how to continue fantasy success into the playoffs. Others are looking for a big deal before trade deadline, and yet others are just praying the end comes quicker than it actually will.
More importantly, I hope you’re not scrambling around when you realize six teams are on the BYE this week.
Here are the start ’em and sit ’em selections for Week 8.
NOTE: Remember that Sunday’s Minnesota Vikings vs. Cleveland Browns game will take place in London and start at 9:30 a.m. ET.
Start ‘Em: QB Carson Wentz: Wentz and the Philadelphia Eagles helped give a couple of my opponents wins against me this week. Combine that with me being a Giants fan, I have to swallow my pride for a second week in a row and pick a rival team’s QB as a start of the week. Wentz has been a fantasy monster by scoring 20+ points for three straight weeks now. In fact, he put up at least 30 (regardless of format) last week against the Washington Redskins. And he moves from that to the San Francisco 49ers? The door is open for another big Wentz week.
WR Kenny Stills: This is one I’m going against the “experts” on. Stills went off and ended up having a big game following the injury to Jay Cutler. Stills ended last week’s comeback win against the New York Jets with 85 yards and two touchdowns on six receptions — bringing fantasy owners 20+ points. And with Matt Moore taking over the QB role in Miami, you never know what to expect tonight against the Baltimore Ravens. At the very least, perhaps consider Stills as a FLEX.
RB Joe Mixon: Not a lot of rushing in Cincinnati, and recent reports state the running unit of the Bengals have just about had enough. Making things worse is that Tyreek Hill has been ineffective at the position this year. Mixon’s hungry and looking for a big game, and he may get that against an Indianapolis Colts team that has let up 10 touchdowns to rushers this year. Mixon owners, it may soon be time…
Bonus Sleeper Pick: RB Jalen Richard: Last week, Richard got a total 31 rushing yards on nine attempts, plus another 45 yards on four receptions. In fact, he and Marshawn Lynch both have 43.4 yards from scrimmage this year. With Lynch out this week due to a one-game suspension, Richard will split most of the work with DeAndre Washington, but Richard is definitely the one with stronger possibility of a nice game. Even if it’s not the greatest game, more opportunities should come his way, so those of you in deeper formats might be able to enjoy at least an above-mediocre game from Richard.
Sit ‘Em: WR T.Y. Hilton: One point against the Tennessee Titans in Week 6; two against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 7. Only three total receptions and a little less than 50 yards in the past two games. A strong Cincinnati defense that’s allowed the fewest receptions per game and fifth-fewest fantasy points to receivers is on deck. Bench Hilton at all costs.
TE Jack Doyle: Like quite a few of his teammates in Indy, Doyle has been iffy when it comes to this fantasy season (though if you’re in a PPR league, he has reached double-digit points for two straight weeks now). He’s seventh in targets and 11th in points per game among all tight ends, but things don’t look to bright this week against the Bengals. Cincinnati has let up the fifth-fewest yards to tight ends this season. Doyle may be a TD boom-or-bust, and I’m not sure if that’s a risk to take.
QB Trevor Siemian: Siemian has been unable to get to the 20-point mark following Week 2. What makes things worse is this week is he’s on the road at Kansas City against the Chiefs. In Week 3 at Buffalo, he scored just seven fantasy points, while he put up just five in Los Angeles last week. And now he goes to Kansas City? Bench duty.
The New York Giants have actually won a football game. All we need now are for San Francisco and Cleveland to win a football game and the end of the will be upon us.
But that being said, here are my start ’em and sit ’em picks for Week 7.
QB Dak Prescott: Prior to last week’s BYE for the Dallas Cowboys, Prescott scored over 20 fantasy points in three straight games — including 29.7 against the Green Bay Packers in Week 5. Now, Prescott and Dallas head to San Francisco. With the 49ers letting up numerous points to quarterbacks thus far this season, not to mention being one of the league’s worst teams with an 0-6 record, it’d be stupid to consider Prescott’s roll fading, even after a BYE. Expect another 20+ point performance this week.
RB Mark Ingram: Wow. In the first week without Adrian Peterson on the team, Ingram delivered in a big way for both his New Orleans Saints and his fantasy owners — 25 touches for 114 yards, two touchdowns and 27 fantasy points. His next matchup is against the Green Bay Packers, and that team’s defense has struggled against runners in the past couple of weeks. Hopefully after this week, we can officially say Ingram is back and a full-on, no-doubt WR1 once again.
WR Adam Thielen: Last week, Thielen saw nine receptions and 97 yards — he has not seen that many receptions since Week 1 and that many yards since that same week and Week 3. But he’s still yet to find the end zone. But don’t fret, Thielen owners. He still ranks seventh in targets and 13th in PPR points among receivers. He’ll have the opportunity to continue his trend this week at home against the Baltimore Ravens and next week on the road against the Cleveland Browns. And as long as Case Keenum performs decently, and Stefon Diggs is out or limited, I hope it won’t be too much longer before Thielen really breaks out.
QB Eli Manning: Congratulations Eli, you won a season game without any of your big stars with you. While you’re being a workhorse on the field and helping the young blood, your fantasy numbers still are dreadful. Last week, you had 128 yards and a touchdown, and while some may feel I’m being a bit harsh (and trust me, I do love you), you and the New York Giants get to meet The Legion of Boom this coming week. Have fun. Fantasy players, don’t play Eli. Nuff said.
TE Coby Fleener: After the first two weeks of the season, Fleener’s workload has dropped. After 2.1-point performances in Weeks 3 and 4, he was a part of just 18 snaps last week against the Detroit Lions. Josh Hill and Michael Hoomanawanui took up most of the workload, and Fleener earned his owners a big fat zero points. Not to mention, Willie Snead’s returned to the team. Fleener’s outlook this season, in my humble opinion, is beginning to look bleaker by the week.
WR Sammy Watkins: To say Watkins has been a disappointment this season is pretty accurate. Outside of the LA Rams’ visit to San Francisco in Week 3, Watkins hasn’t chalked up more than 5.8 points this season. In fact, he’s gotten a combined 2.8 fantasy points in the past three weeks. This week’s matchup with the Arizona Cardinals doesn’t make it sound like Watkins will turn the corner any time soon.
So, I think I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth when it came to fantasy football last week. Despite starting two less-than-stellar running back, I won one match-up by about four points. In another league, I played without a QB and with just one RB due to bye weeks…I won by about 30 points. I had most of my team on a BYE in another league and won 91-90. I won one matchup by 10 points despite just scoring 67, and won another league’s game 112-106…
In the NFL, however, it’s a whole different story. The New York Giants are savaged with injuries and an 0-5 record. Ben Roethlisberger had a raspberry-worthy performance against the Jacksonville Jaguars. And somehow, someway, the New York Jets are 3-2, Mitchell Trubisky is starting for the Chicago Bears, and Cam Newton thinks all women know nothing about sports.
It’s a crazy time in the NFL. But, fantasy football goes on. And I usually try to not go with the obvious who the experts are going with, but I’m in complete agreement. Thus, here we go with the Week 6 start ’ems and sit ’ems.
QB Deshaun Watson: Just wow. Three weeks, 12 touchdowns, 90 fantasy points. And a match-up against the Cleveland Browns this week. If Watson isn’t in a fantasy starting lineup in a fantasy football league, that’s crazy.
RB C.J. Anderson: One team’s curses is another team’s opportunity. And, boy, oh boy, is the opportunity truly there for Anderson. Nothing has gone right for this Giants team — they’re coming off a bad loss against the Los Angeles Chargers, thanks in part to another abysmal performance by the offensive line. Most of their receiving unit is injured, with Odell Beckham and Brandon Marshall both done for the year. It’s not a fun time to be a Giants fan, but it’s going to be a big game for Anderson, as the G-Men’s defense has given up 12-plus PPR points to four runners in five weeks, and 28.10 PPR points per game to running backs in general. Maybe that’s why Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie walked out on the team.
WR Adam Thielen: I know, I know. Here it comes: Am I crazy for choosing to start a guy against the Green Bay Packers defense? Well, yes, but there’s no reward without a little risk (I mean, look what I did last week…). The Packers have let up an average of 186 receiving yards thus far in the year, they have given up the fourth-most PPR points to wideouts on the road, and slot receivers have three touchdowns on that defensive unit. Not to mention, if Stefon Diggs can’t go, Thielen’s output could increase.
QB Ben Roethlisberger: Roethlisberger had five picks against Jacksonville, and after the game he stated he’s not sure if he has it anymore. Well, as someone who is working as a combat sports writer, UFC President Dana White always states, “If the R word comes into your head, maybe it’s time to get out.” Doesn’t help the Steelers offense has had its fair share of struggles all around, and the team is 3-2. Not to mention, he’s struggled consistently on the road since 2014, and he’s playing in Kansas City, against an undefeated Chiefs team. Not looking good for Big Ben.
RB Adrian Peterson: So AP has moved from the New Orleans Saints to the Arizona Cardinals. Maybe Arizona is desperate with their running game since David Johnson’s probably not coming back until December, when it’s likely too little, too late to save the season. So, instead, they get the experienced Peterson (not to mention cut Chris Johnson, who ironically stated on Twitter that Peterson needed more reps in New Orleans). While a new team presents new opportunities, a matchup against the hot Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the first week on a new team isn’t exactly the best risk option right now. Not to mention Arizona needs to rebound after a bad loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. Could AP have a spark late in the year? Maybe. But, not feeling him this week.
TE Martellus Bennett: I was banking on Bennett this year, but my fantasy patience might be wearing thin. Yes, him and his team are facing the Minnesota Vikings — but like I hinted with Thielen, maybe there are some Vikings you should consider starting and some that need to sit. Bennett has been in No Man’s Land with this Green Bay offense, ranked 25th on the tight end rankings of fantasy football. He has yet to get a touchdown this season. How much longer do we need to wait on him? I say, until he does something productive on the field fantasy-wise, it’s wise to stash him a spot on your bench.