I hope everyone out there had a happy Thanksgiving, and I hope that you didn’t have to play against Calvin Johnson and Matt Stafford even more.
Staring at a big deficit after a Thursday night, or a crappy performance a la Dez Bryant can make some owners panic. Those performances could cost you a win this week, but don’t go changing your lineups around because of them. Plenty of people lose with a big game from a quarterback or a receiver every week; the same thing goes for people winning when one of their core players puts up a dud.
The only time, if ever, you should consider changing your lineup based on what has happened is going into a Sunday or Monday night game and you’re in a situation where you need 20 points and you have Danny Woodhead slotted in your lineup, but have an high upside type like Michael Floyd on your bench.
A game on Thursday is no more valuable than a game on Sunday. So don’t panic if you are staring at a 60-2 score right now, anything can happen.
As always if you have any direct start player A or player B questions you can ask me on Twitter @TheSportsGuy40 or in the comment section below and I will try to help you figure out the best option.
Brian Hoyer vs. Saints (27% started): He could be a digging deep option, but I love him this week. The Saints fired Rob Ryan, but the defense is still bad. I expect to see a lot of Hoyer to Hopkins this week. Only two quarterbacks have failed to throw for at least 300 yards and two touchdowns against the Saints this season.
Ben Roethlisberger at Seahawks (33% started): A lot of fantasy owners are scared off of Roethlisberger this weekend because of the matchup with the Seahawks, who are sixth against opposing quarterbacks this season. This is a time where you want to look deeper at the numbers. Seattle has had four fantastic games against quarterbacks, you could call them elite, and six games where they gave up at least 16.8. The 16.8 point game was none other than Blane Gabbert last week and they gave up 19 to Nick Foles, 22.3 to Aaron Rodgers, 27 to Andy Dalton and 20.3 to Carson Palmer. Now who did this defense shut down? Well that would be 3.8 for Jimmy Clausen, 8.1 for Matt Stafford, 5 for Colin Kaepernick and 8.2 for Matt Cassel. Long story short, good and average quarterbacks can beat the Seahawks defense.
Blake Bortles vs. Chargers (44% started): Prior to making a deadline deal myself, I had Bortles lined up to be my starting quarterback. The Chargers have been struggling lately and, unfortunately for T.J. Yeldon owners, this team refuses to score rushing touchdowns. Neither team has a good defense and both have an offense that can put up points.
Andy Dalton vs. Rams (50% started): The Rams have been one of the best defenses against quarterbacks this season. Only Jay Cutler in Week 10 has scored more than 16 points against the Rams.
Matt Ryan vs. Vikings (43% started): Ryan keeps giving owners decent fantasy games, but he isn’t looking good on the field. The upside is surprisingly minimal with Julio Jones as his number one receiver. He only has one three touchdown game this season and he has turned the ball over 13 times. The Vikings have not allowed a quarterback to score 20 points this season.
Philip Rivers vs. Jaguars (49% started): This one pains me because I’ve loved Rivers for a while this season, but the weapons are almost non existent and the offensive line is in shambles. Rivers is still good, but I don’t think he can be started with confidence anymore.
Marcus Mariota vs. Raiders (10% started): He has been up and down a lot this season. He gets a nice matchup with the Raiders and should provide a good game.
Thomas Rawls vs. Steelers (72% started): A fairly obvious play this week with Marshawn Lynch out, but he is still left on the bench by a lot of owners. The Steelers have been good against the run this year, but I think Seattle leans on the run in a game they can’t afford to lose.
Tevin Coleman vs. Vikings (33% started): This one is all about volume. Coleman has elite speed and can take any carry to the house from anywhere on the field. The more carries he gets the more chances he has to break one.
Antonio Andrews vs. Raiders (33% started): Andrews dominated the backfield last week, and I don’t see that changing with David Cobb struggling and Dexter McCluster hurt.
LeGarrette Blount at Broncos (75% started): The Broncos defense all around is great, and I think New England tries to win this game through the air and will figure out the protection issues that hurt them last week.
Lamar Miller at Jets (83% started): He hasn’t had more than 44 yards rushing in the past four weeks. Touchdowns and receiving yards, for the most part, aren’t something you want to hang your hat on, and that was what Miller was providing for owners over the past few weeks that was fueling his production. The Jets have not allowed a rushing touchdown since playing the Eagles in Week 3.
Frank Gore vs. Buccaneers (62% started): He is dinged up and Ahmad Bradshaw is taking some work away from him. Tampa Bay hasn’t allowed a rushing touchdown in the last seven games.
DeAngelo Williams at Seahawks (70% started): The Seahawks might be deceivingly good against quarterbacks, but they are actually really good against running backs. They have been consistently shutting down running backs. Other than Andre Ellington’s late touchdown a few weeks ago and Jonathan Stewart scoring twice earlier this season, no other running backs have scored a rushing touchdown against the Seahawks.
Spencer Ware vs. Bills (27% started): He is not at all like the guys he is replacing, Jamaal Charles and Charcandrick West. With a lot of running backs, Ware included, volume is the most important thing when it comes to who to start for fantasy.
Brandin Cooks at Texans (66% started): Cooks has been on fire. The New Orleans defense is almost always going to force the offense to keep throwing the ball.
Martavis Bryant at Seahawks (54% started): Richard Sherman has been shadowing receivers lately, so Bryant might be able to feast on the secondary corners for Seattle. Bryant is always a boom or bust play and I think he can make some big plays this week.
Eric Decker vs. Dolphins (73% started): He is coming off his worst fantasy game of the season, a “horrible” 8.1 points. He seems to find the endzone or gain solid yardage every week, and the Dolphins have not been playing well lately.
Sammy Watkins at Chiefs (43% started): The quarterback play is going to keep him as a boom or bust option. His only game this season where he got more than 60 yards receiving was when his quarterback threw 11 total passes. If you need a prayer then start him, but if you do, don’t be surprised if you wind up getting 4 points.
T.Y. Hilton vs. Buccaneers (47% started): I am starting to get pretty worried about Hilton. Only one good game all season and it came against the Saints, so it really doesn’t count.
Brandon LaFell at Broncos (33% started): LaFell is far from an elite talent, and the Broncos have two corners than can easily take him out of the game.
Michael Floyd at 49ers (15% started): Floyd is looking like a good bet to play this week. The Cardinals offense should be treated similar to how the Broncos and Packers were in recent seasons. Fitzgerald, Floyd and Brown are all viable options on a week-to-week basis.
Vincent Jackson at Colts (25% started): He played a large portion of the snaps in his first game back, and the Colts have been vulnerable against receivers.
Jordan Reed vs Giants (58% started): He might have a permanent spot on this list, and his matchup this week is great too.
Delanie Walker vs. Raiders (68% started): He has at least six targets in eight of his last nine games this season. The Raiders are terrible covering the tight end after the catch; only the Lions and Broncos failed to get a touchdown out of a tight end against the Raiders this season.
Gary Barnidge vs. Ravens (66% started): I don’t know if I buy that he needs Josh McCown to produce, but I do think McCown is better for his production. McCown is the better pure passer and he should get some opportunities to score against a bad secondary.
Jimmy Graham vs. Steelers (65% started): Start him for the upside if you want. He is producing just like any other tight end so far this season.
Travis Kelce vs. Bills (67% started): Another expected top-level tight end who has struggled this season.
Charles Clay at Chiefs (11% started): Tyrod Taylor appeared to be injured at the end of the last game against New England, and Clay has really struggled after a nice early season start.
Julius Thomas vs. Chargers (29% started): The Jaguars seemed to want to get him involved in the offense last week. He has the talent, if he can get the volume he can be a top-10 play.
Oakland Raiders at Titans (7% owned): Marcus Mariota is one of the most sackable quarterbacks in the NFL and the Raiders have 11 interceptions so far this season.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Seahawks (39% owned): Russell Wilson can get sacked his fair share of times himself. He has been sacked at least twice in all but one game this season.
Minnesota Vikings at Falcons (48% owned): Matt Ryan is one of the most turnover prone quarterbacks in the league so far this season.
Cleveland Browns vs. Ravens (5% owned): Are you feeling lucky? The Browns defense isn’t good, but they get to play Mr. Pick-six himself, Matt Schaub.
St. Louis Rams at Bengals (92% owned): The Bengals might be losing, but the offense can still put up points. I would avoid the Rams if I could, but if you have to start them or drop them I would keep them owned and start.
Houston Texans vs. Saints (50% owned): Any game with the Saints can turn into a shootout.
Chandler Catanzaro at 49ers (46% owned): Great kicker on a great offense. Keep rolling him out there or add him if he is still available.
Connor Barth at Colts (11% owned): He has been slowing down of late, but he is still averaging over 11 points per game.
Nick Novak vs. Saints (38% owned): He should get a lot of scoring opportunities.
Brandon McManus vs. Patriots (84% owned): I don’t see the Broncos will have much success moving the ball against the Patriots with a rookie quarterback at the helm.
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