These latest installments in this rollercoaster of an NFL season were anything but predictable.
The Saints, Seahawks, and Eagles battled their way to secure early advantages in the NFC playoff race while the Steelers and their perfect 7-0 record remain atop the AFC throne.
Of course, good news for some inevitably means less-than-ideal results for others. A Pittsburgh win edged the Ravens a little bit further from a potential championship game, and the Titans’ and Patriots’ hot streaks are coming to a screeching halt after losses to conference opponents.
What do these trends mean for your fantasy lineups?
BYE: Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Los Angeles Rams, Philadelphia Eagles
QB: Josh Allen // BUF
Allen is arguably one of the best-performing fantasy quarterbacks and his stats tell it all. He’s passed for over 2,000 yards and 16 touchdowns, which averages out at just over 23 fantasy points per game. Though the past few weeks have been rough for Allen, his next matchup against the Seahawks might be what he needs to get running again.
RB: James Conner // PIT
The Pittsburgh backfield, especially Conner, hasn’t had the stellar second campaign that many had hoped for. Even then, Conner still scored 15 points against the Ravens in what could be considered his toughest matchup of this season. Next on up is a game against a leaky Cowboys run defense with plenty of fantasy points still to give away.
Honorable Mentions: Justin Jackson (LAC), Clyde Edwards-Helaire (KC), Wayne Gallman (NYG)
WR: Marvin Jones // DET
Jones has been a quiet presence this season, but he’s steadily contributed to the Lions offense, nonetheless. It’s looking like he’ll be a favored target alongside the other Marvin (Hall) with Kenny Golladay out due to a hip injury. It’s also good to know that the Vikings are still miserable with wideouts, as they’ve given up over two scores and 30 points per game.
Honorable Mentions: Will Fuller (HOU), Terry McLaurin (WAS), Sterling Shepard (NYG)
TE: Rob Gronkowski // TB
It took some time for Gronk to come back, but now he’s back. Gronkowski has a three-week streak to show that he’s a must-start even with the addition of the notorious Antonio Brown as a receiving target. Tampa Bay hosts the Saints this week, which means that Gronk will be playing a bottom-three defense against tight ends. You get the gist?
D/ST: New England Patriots
Another week, another defense made a must-start simply by playing the woeful Jets. The Patriots haven’t done too well in recent weeks, but a trip to their neighbors in New York will definitely snap their four-game losing streak. No other team has given up more fantasy points or sacks than Gang Green.
K: Younghoe Koo // ATL
Koo hasn’t been a consistent performer this season but he’s due for a good matchup when playing at home. The Broncos aren’t bringing that much trouble on their road trip, either. Denver’s defensive unit have given up almost 10 fantasy points to opposing kickers, which is among the league’s worst.
QB: Ryan Tannehill // TEN
It goes without saying that Chicago is one of the best pass defenses in the league. They’ve been able to limit opposing quarterbacks to just one touchdown and an average of 15 fantasy points. On the flip side, their run defense has been mediocre at best. While Tannehill remains a good streaming option, the Titans will likely depend on the run for this week.
RB: Devin Singletary // BUF
Singletary seems to slide down the totem pole in Buffalo with every passing week. Josh Allen likes to do the work himself, but when he’s not running across the goal line, it’s more likely that Zack Moss or Thurman Thomas is the preferred ball carrier over Singletary. At this one-touchdown, 300-yard pace, he likely won’t have a double-digit performance anytime soon.
(Not-So) Honorable Mentions: Damien Harris and James White (NE), Jonathan Taylor (IND)
WR: All Cowboys receivers
Well, it doesn’t really matter how much money Jerry Jones is paying for Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb, or Michael Gallup. The Cowboys’ offensive plan this week is to bench rookie Ben DiNucci for either Garrett Gilbert or Cooper Rush. Until the offensive line shapes up and actually protects their players, none of the Dallas receivers can be trusted to start.
(Not-So) Honorable Mentions: Robby Anderson (CAR), Corey Davis (TEN), D.J. Chark (JAX)
TE: Mike Gesicki // MIA
Gesicki has been a pain for many fantasy managers this season. After a 19-point performance against the Bills in Week 2, Gesicki has yet to surpass 10 points in any other games. When factoring a greatly improved Cardinals defense that has managed to limit opposing tight ends to single digits, Gesicki looks more like a drop than a starting candidate.
D/ST: Seattle Seahawks
Seattle has probably already accepted the fact that their increasingly inconsistent defense is nowhere near their Legion of Boom days. Despite a strong offensive showing, they ultimately couldn’t hold their ground against Kyler Murray and the Cardinals in primetime and overtime. This next game against Josh Allen and the red-hot Bills won’t be any different.
K: Greg Zuerlein // DAL
Just like the trio Dallas receivers, Zuerlein’s performance relies heavily on whatever is going on at quarterback. Zuerlein definitely won’t be able to replicate an 11-point performance that he had in Philadelphia last week, regardless of who plays at quarterback because the Steelers are only allowing four fantasy points to enemy kickers.
QB: Nick Mullens // SF
This isn’t a quarterback-heavy streaming week but Mullens is a reasonable option given his past performances. He came in to relieve Jimmy Garoppolo last week and put up over 20 points against the Seahawks in less than two quarters of play. Mullens is up against the Packers, who are giving up the same amount of points that he’s expected to score anyways.
RB: DeeJay Dallas // SEA
Dallas came to the rescue for the Seahawks last week and served as an outstanding replacement for the injured Chris Carson and Carlos Hyde. From HC Pete Carroll’s reports on the veteran running backs, it looks like Dallas will be in the spotlight once again as a viable streaming candidate in the event that neither Carson nor Hyde are available against the Bills.
Honorable Mentions: JaMycal Hasty (SF), Zack Moss (BUF), Gus Edwards (BAL)
WR: Allen Lazard // GB
Lazard is on his way back from a core muscle injury and maybe straight into a starting position when he’s fully recovered. In the three weeks of play before his early exit, Lazard caught two touchdowns and 254 yards for an average of 13 fantasy points per game. Keep an eye out for him as a possible streaming option in the coming weeks.
Honorable Mentions: Braxton Berrios (NYJ), Mike Williams (LAC), Zach Pascal (WR)
TE: Jordan Reed // SF
Reed’s value has once again skyrocketed with the news that George Kittle is expected to miss around six to eight weeks of play due to a foot injury sustained against the Seahawks. This next game against the Packers isn’t an exciting matchup, but Reed is an appealing long-term waiver option because the Niners are so dependent on their tight ends.
D/ST: Arizona Cardinals
The Cardinals have increasingly improved their defensive play this season as they’ve averaged just under 10 fantasy points in each of their past three games. The Rams’ impressive showing against the Dolphins on the occasion of Tua Tagovailoa’s debut bodes well for Arizona, as they’ve just fended off the Seahawks’ offensive juggernaut in primetime.
K: Nick Folk // NE
Folk is rostered in just under 3% of fantasy leagues but expect that to jump in anticipation of their upcoming matchup against the Jets. Surprisingly, the Jets are not dead last when it comes to fantasy points surrounded to kickers, but over 9 is just about what Folk needs to render himself a good streamer option to replace players on BYE.
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