Sometimes, I feel like I make fantasy football harder on myself. I feel like the research and analysis, the constant scouring of the waiver wire, and the weekly nerve-wracking decisions on who to start in my flex spot are just a waste of time. This gets to me even more when the guy who auto-drafted in my auction league because he was at a wedding is now 3-0 with the most points scored and has made a total of 3 moves all season, one of which was picking up Gronk, who remains on his roster. But I’m not bitter. I keep at it, because I know that his lack of depth will hurt him when the byes start hitting, and as the injuries continue to mount. Depth is a vital part of mid- and late-season fantasy football.
With that depth, however, comes some awkward decisions. I have 5 WRs who all have been putting up around 10 points/wk. Which matchups are favorable? Which should I steer away from? We’re not worried about studs – @ Bears is a tough matchup for any RB, but you’re not going to sit Dalvin Cook this week. Michael Thomas doesn’t have Brees right now, but he should still be started in 100% of leagues. We’re looking for guys who are in the RB2/WR2-3/Flex area who have rough matchups or have other circumstances working against them, as well as just the opposite.
With that said, this article is all about giving you a fresh take on some guys that I feel have the clearest path to succeed at their position and the dudes who are going to have a real hard time getting it done on gameday. Let’s dive in!
Daniel Jones – vs WAS Daniel Jones is now the locked-in starter for the Giants, as well as the owner of a terrible new nickname. But Mr. Dimes showed what he could do on the road in Tampa, and although the defense he was facing wasn’t exactly impenetrable, he draws an equally-porous Washington team at home this weekend. The breakout of Evan Engram as a pass catcher should inspire confidence, and although Saquon will be missing time, Gallman was the man on the field when Jones orchestrated the comeback on Sunday. Count on him to follow up with another solid performance.
Honorable mention: Jacoby Brissett, Jared Goff
James Conner – vs CIN I know I said I wouldn’t talk about studs, but I feel like some people who drafted Conner are doubting his ‘stud’ status right now. The Steelers have had a horrendous start to 2019. They were embarrassed in prime time to start the season, and have dropped two NFC West matchups, and a QB, since. Conner has struggled just like his team, but this is the week he bounces back. Their second game at home comes against an also-struggling Bengals squad, who will be desperately trying to get a win after also losing to those NFC West teams. But this matchup favors the Steelers, where I think Mason Rudolph’s first home start will show why the Steelers had him graded so highly in the draft. This should open Conner up for a big game.
Honorable mentions: Wayne Gallman, Carlos Hyde
Christian Kirk – vs SEA The Cardinals draw the Seahawks at home this week. Kingsbury seems committed to establishing a run game, and with David Johnson getting the ball it will likely work out. This should open some routes against man coverage for Kirk, who has been a favorite target for rookie Kyler Murray so far this season (Tied for 3rd in WR targets with 32). Expect a high-volume game for Kirk, in a game that should stay close and has the potential to be high scoring.
Honorable mentions: Marvin Jones Jr., John Ross III
Will Dissly – @ ARI Well, this one is probably a no-brainer, but Dissly doesn’t have a proven track record in the NFL so far. He’s 10th in TE receptions so far this season with 12, but he’s scored on a quarter of them. And the situation is tasty, because he’ll be facing the Cardinals defense, which evidently never learned that tight ends can catch the ball, as well as block. They’ve allowed the most points to the position so far this year, and I don’t expect that to change after this weekend.
Honorable mentions: Austin Hooper, TJ Hockenson
Josh Allen – vs NE Josh has been great so far this year, but expectations should be tempered a bit, since they’ve played three of the worst teams in the NFL to start the season, and all of them* have been in their home state. While they get to extend the “homestand”, the Patriots defense will be the best they’ve faced, and I think this game will be a low-scoring affair, with very few big days for fantasy. Count on Josh not being among the big winners.
*(Meadowlands is basically NY. Just go with it)
Honorable mentions: Carson Wentz, Jameis Winston
Sony Michel – @ BUF Sony has been a bit of an enigma this season, with his usage extremely sporadic and his efficiency lacking, with two games already under 15 yards. Finding the endzone has been his only saving grace this season, with two scores thus far. With the return of James White this week, the increased usage of Rex Burkhead, and the more difficult matchup in Buffalo, I just don’t see him having a big fantasy day in New York on Sunday. Of course, this is Bill Belichick, so there’s always the chance he gets 3 TDs on 38 yards or something ridiculous. But I’m not taking that chance this week.
Honorable mentions: Kenyan Drake, Peyton Barber
Nelson Agholor – @ GB Thursday night games are the worst. I’m generally in favor of more football, but the product we get is typically not the highest quality, and it usually either ends up as a defensive showdown, or a blowout. There have been barn-burners in the past, but they are rare and notable when they occur. That said, I think this game will have some highlights from both teams, but with the return of Alshon Jeffery and Dallas Goedert, there won’t be many targets left for Nelson, especially after squandering some last week. I don’t think he has a decent day unless he hauls in a score, and I don’t like his chances.
Honorable mentions: Will Fuller, Philip Dorsett
Jared Cook – vs DAL While Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara can overcome the loss of their star QB with their own elite-level play, Jared Cook needs to have some quality feeding him the ball. While Dallas hasn’t shown any specific propensity for defending tight ends, it doesn’t seem like Jared Cook will be posing a great threat to them. He has barely been targeted (12, with 5 comp), and has yet to record a red zone target at all. He’s just not in sync, and you can’t count on this to be the week that he snaps out of it. There’s probably a better option in the free agent pool.
Honorable mentions: Vance McDonald, Greg Olsen