Can I talk about my 4-1 fantasy team instead of my 0-5 TST staff league team? The 4-1 team makes me a lot happier.
DeShaun Watson, HOU
If you’re expecting 5 touchdowns in a game littered with deficits and garbage-time touchdowns, I think you’ll be disappointed. But if anything, Watson has proved that he can flat out ball in this league. Cleveland’s defense has been very generous to opposing quarterbacks this season, ranking inside the top 5 in terms of fantasy points allowed to the position. If he can feed DeAndre Hopkins and use his legs for a few cheeky fantasy points, expect another solid outing from the rookie.
Others receiving votes: This is a chalk week for quarterbacks. I try to highlight appealing matchups that are on the fringe because that’s more helpful than highlighting Tom Brady every week. That being said, it is kind of an ugly week outside of the usual fantasy starters. For owners of Russell Wilson and Dak Prescott, Josh McCown and Kevin Hogan are interesting names. But it’d be wildly irresponsible for me to tell you to take these guys to the bank.
Duke Johnson Jr., CLE
As an Isaiah Crowell owner, I can say that the thorn in my side that is Duke Johnson has now become the more dependable back in Cleveland. Cleveland is really good at falling behind (and...well, losing in general) and Johnson is the passing-down back. Even when Crowell is used, his ineffectiveness has clearly led to more work for Johnson. I expect Houston has no problem putting up points, leaving me to believe Johnson will be the guy in the backfield. Also, Duke Johnson’s name literally translates to
Others receiving votes: Marshawn Lynch, James White, Javorius Allen
Taylor Gabriel, ATL
How’s this for a dart-throw? With Mohamed Sanu out for this game, the door opens for more looks for this speed demon. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Falcons generate touches for Gabriel, be it bubble screens or jet sweeps. If you are looking for a longshot, there aren’t many risks as calculated as this.
Others receiving votes: Larry Fitzgerald, Golden Tate, DeSean Jackson
Marcus Mariota, TEN
Hamstring injury to a mobile quarterback playing on Monday night. I’m sorry, that is too much of a recipe for disaster. If you wanted to roll the dice just to find out he’s inactive, you have to live with making a last-minute move to play Jacoby Brissett. There’s way too much risk involved in this.
Others receiving votes: Matthew Stafford, Carson Palmer
Ty Montgomery and Aaron Jones, GB
With the incumbent starter in Montgomery missing last week due to injury, Jones stepped up in a big way. Montgomery switched to running back during last season when the Packers’ depth at the position was nonexistent. And while reports say that Montgomery won’t be limited, a shot to the ribs can change that quickly. All this boils down to this: I don’t know what’s going to happen between these two players. One could breakout and distance themselves from the other on the depth chart, but I can’t tell you which one will with any certainty. This is a wait-and-see situation for me.
Others Receiving votes: Mark Ingram, Samaje Perine, Carlos Hyde
Sammy Watkins, LAR
I really hope I’m wrong here. Watkins was clearly upset over the lack of looks his way in that tough loss to Seattle last week. He’s an all-world talent that had zero catches in a game decided by less than a touchdown. I’m hopeful that the Rams do enough to sign him in the offseason, but we have to take this one week at a time. Jacksonville’s secondary is no joke. While the talent isn’t in question, the volume and the matchup scare me enough to sit him out.
Others receiving votes: Amari Cooper, Rishard Matthews, Tyreek Hill