Matt Ryan struggled to take advantage of a great matchup against a soft Pittsburgh secondary in week five. Up next, Ryan heads into another favorable matchup with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers coming into town. Ryan has averaged 33.7 points at home this season and the Buccaneers have given up the most fantasy points to quarterbacks this year. Besides a 16-point effort by Nick Foles, no quarterback has put up less than 25 points against this Buccaneer defense. Ryan is a top five-quarterback option for me this week.
Sit: Philip Rivers
Entering his 15th season, Philip Rivers has rewarded fantasy owners that selected him with at least 17 points in every game and over 20 in all but one contest. Rivers has also recorded multiple touchdown passes and at least 225 passing yards in every game this season. This week he goes on the road to face the Cleveland Browns and its stout defense. The Browns defense ranks second in the league in quarterback rating allowed at 74.2 and gives up the eighth-fewest fantasy points to the position. Aside from a 33-point performance from Derek Carr when the Browns went on the road to face him, only one QB has put up over 14 points, that QB was Drew Brees in New Orleans.
Sleeper: Sam Darnold
After getting his second career win against the Denver Broncos, Sam Darnold gets another good matchup at home this week as the depleted Indianapolis Colts come to New York. The Colts allow the eighth most fantasy points to QBs and have allowed a combined 61 points over the last two weeks. In both of Darnold’s home games (vs. Miami and Denver), he’s had at least 15 points and both of those teams are better on the defensive end than the Colts when it comes to fantasy points allowed to QBs. Darnold provides a good option in two QB leagues for Matthew Stafford or Drew Brees owners that are dealing with a bye.
Running Backs (PPR)
Start: Sony Michel
Through his first games of the regular season in weeks two and three, Sony Michel averaged 12 carries per game while he averaged 21.5 carries in the following two weeks. Michel has seemed to put a stronghold on the lead back duties in New England, at least as much as you can be given Bill Belichick’s history rotating RBs, and now he’s facing one of the worst defenses in the league with the Kansas City Chiefs coming to Foxborough. I wrote about T.J. Yeldon last week as he was facing this same defense and he responded with a 26-point output. I expect the Patriots to wisely run the ball a ton to exploit this questionable defense and keep Patrick Mahomes on the sideline. Michel should put up RB1 numbers with top-five upside.
Sit: LeSean McCoy
Last week’s 12 point performance against the Tennessee Titans marked the second time this season that LeSean McCoy has broken double digits. Although 12 points isn’t that bad, it looks worse when you see he had 26 total touches (24 rush, 2 catches) and averaged just 3.5 yards per carry. Back on the road this week to face J.J. Watt and the Houston Texans, McCoy will have another tough game for fantasy owners. No running back that has gone on to score more than eight points against this defense without having at least five catches or a receiving touchdown, both of which McCoy has been unable to do. The QBs for those teams, Brady, Manning, Luck and Dak, are all better than Josh Allen so I expect the defense to stack the box much like its been for the entire season when it comes to defending the Bills. I’m leaving McCoy on the bench this week.
Sleeper: Tarik Cohen
With zero games of over 10 points in the first three weeks, Tarik Cohen exploded in week four for 30 points. With a week off and going up against the Miami Dolphins, Cohen has a chance to put up another big week. Miami has given up the fourth-most fantasy points to running backs and has allowed players with a similar style to Cohen to flourish. Scat backs that typically come in for passing down situations or a change of pace like Dion Lewis, Bilal Powell, Jalen Richard and James White are averaging 21 points against the Dolphins. Bears coach Matt Nagy has emphasized that running back touches will be determined based on game flow and matchups. There’s no denying Cohen is a matchup nightmare for linebackers and should be on the FLEX radar this week.
Wide Receivers (PPR)
Start: Tyler Boyd
After putting up more than 20 points in the previous three weeks, Tyler Boyd came back down to earth when he played Miami recording four catches for 44 yards, his lowest totals for both since week one. I see that performance speaking more towards Miami’s ability to defend against the pass (6th fewest fantasy points to WR) and the effective running game. Despite the disappointing performance, Boyd was still second on the team in targets, receptions and yards behind only A.J. Green. Going up against the Steelers, Boyd should have an easier time against a struggling secondary that has given up the fourth-most fantasy points this season to wideouts and should have its hands full with A.J. Green. I see Boyd as a WR2 this week.
Also: Quincy Enunwa vs. Indianapolis and Robert Woods vs. Denver
Sit: Allen Robinson
Even though he’s a number one option, Allen Robinson hasn’t put up the stat lines that back up that title. Through four games he has just one game with more than five catches and is second on the team in fantasy points, receptions as well as touchdowns. This week he’ll be matched up Xavien Howard and a Dolphins secondary that’s allowed just three receiving touchdowns to wide receivers and two receivers to score more than 16 points this season. Robinson is a low-end WR2 for me in this one.
Sleeper: Chester Rogers
With T.Y. Hilton out in the last game, Chester Rogers took advantage of extra looks and finished with a team-high in targets (11), receptions (eight) and yards (66). This marked the second straight week with Rogers seeing 11 targets and his next opponent, the New York Jets, has struggled against wideouts this season with seven receivers scoring 16 or more points. With Hilton looking questionable at best for the matchup, Rogers should continue to see a high amount of targets. He’s a flex option for me but has the opportunity to put up WR2 numbers.
Also: Chris Godwin vs. Atlanta
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