By now it’s pretty clear to some that they will not be making the playoffs. I, once again, implore you to play out these last few weeks to assure a fair opportunity for all involved. Also, there is another great way to stay in the action, by getting on the DRAFT App and draft a new team each week. It’s the perfect place for anyone whose season long leagues didn’t go according to plan. Go to playdraft.com/FLAFFL to download and get a free entry into a contest when you deposit $10 or more. Look me up under the username Sal33 and challenge me to a contest. The guys on this list are also great to try in a few DRAFT lineups, especially in the expert draft format.
Drew Stanton @ Houston Texans Note: This was written before the possibility that Stanton could miss the game with a knee injury, but all the same, the matchup is great even for Blaine Gabbert
Stanton? Yes, yes, just hear me out. First, I’m not here to tell you to start Russell Wilson and Tom Brady. We need to find the deeper play. Let’s take a look at the Texans pass defense over the last three weeks. They have yielded 1,115 yards and nine touchdowns while registering only one interception. Houston is much better at stopping the run and the Cardinals have their full complement of receiving targets healthy and ready to produce. Overall, Stanton was ok and usable against a much better Seattle defense a week ago.
Case Keenum vs. Los Angeles Rams
Case Keenum has had some real solid games this season and he was probably on your bench for most of them. That’s because guessing when he will have the good game isn’t easy. The Rams have been steady all season against quarterbacks, checking in at fourth best overall defending the position on the season. Keenum followed up his 30+ point performance in week three with an eleven point clunker the following week. I see the same here.
Joe Mixon @ Denver Broncos
Remember that stalwart Broncos run defense from the first six games of the season? You know, the one that gave up an average of 65 rushing yards to running backs per game and zero rushing TDs? Well, they’ve been replaced by some imposters who have given up 111 plus yards over the last three and SEVEN total touchdowns to running backs in that time. Mixon hasn’t exactly set the world on fire but he has a touchdown in each of the last two and is a prime matchup against a reeling defense.
Kenyan Drake vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
In the two games since Jay Ajayi was traded, the snap percentage has been similar and the carries, receptions and touchdowns are identical for Drake and Damien Williams. What’s not the same? How much better Drake has been rushing the ball. He’s averaging 9.4 yards per carry over these two games compared to the 2.1 for Williams. Yes, Drake’s totals are inflated due to a 66 yard touchdown run and another big run over 40 yards. The point is still the same though, he’s been far more explosive. Aside from the Jets’ weak and unintelligent game plan last week, the Bucs had given up point per reception totals of 25.4, 29.2 and 33.2 to individual running backs in three of the four previous games.
Adrian Peterson @ Houston Texans
Had him queued up to be here a week ago and then pulled him. That was a mistake. As good as he’s looked in some matchups, he really is matchup dependent. He draws the best run defense in fantasy this season in the Houston Texans. The Texans have only allowed one rushing touchdown to running backs all season and that came in week one. I could see a scenario where Ellington is the higher scorer this week based on a pass heavy game plan for the Cards.
Alfred Morris vs. Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles continue to slow down running backs on the ground giving up just 383 yards over nine games. That’s nearly 300 less than any other team. Alfred Morris has never been mistaken for a pass catching back and that’s exactly the type of back that has found more success against Philly. I’d be looking at Rod Smith in this one. Smith also out snapped Morris 39 to 21 last week.
Amari Cooper/Michael Crabtree vs. New England Patriots in Mexico
In seven of nine games this season the Pats have given up double digit point totals to two or more wide receivers. Given New England’s recent defensive resurgence (they haven’t given up more than 17 points in five straight games) you would think those two games where the second receiver didn’t go off must be recent right? Wrong. One was week one and the other was week five. In week five the second receiver went for 9.9. Overall for nine games, the Patriots suck at defending wide receivers. Get them both in.
Sterling Shepard vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Two things are sure things in this game. The Giants will be throwing to play catch up and the Chiefs will give up big wide receiver totals. Kansas City has given up the most PPR points to wide receivers to go along with the most touchdowns. It’s been open season on them all year. Fifteen different receivers have scored double digit PPR points against the Chiefs. Six of those were 20 or more points and one was 44 points (Amari Cooper). Shepard has taken over lead duties with Giants and should see plenty of targets.
Washington Redskins Wide Receivers @ New Orleans Saints
In a group that seems to change on a weekly basis, it’s hard to feel comfortable starting any of the Washington receivers against the Saints. How crazy is that sentence? The Saints are playing real solid defense all around and haven’t allowed a touchdown to a wide receiver in four straight games. I found it hard to come up with any Washington player I’d plug in this week.
Golden Tate @ Chicago Bears
The Bears have played better defense than people might realize and over the last four games have done a very solid job stopping wide receivers. They’ve allowed one touchdown to the position over that time. For whatever reason, Tate has struggled facing the Bears in recent history. Over the last four games he averages four receptions and 33 yards with just one touchdown.
Tyler Kroft @ Denver Broncos
Kroft had actually been serviceable the five weeks before his last game. Even in a down game, he did see six targets meaning he is a weekly part of this offense. This week he gets to rebound against the second worst tight end defense on the year. The Broncos are doing their best to keep pace with the awful Giants (my God, what Kelce should do this week). With four tight end touchdowns allowed in the last five games, Kroft is in a prime spot to succeed.
Ben Watson @ Green Bay Packers
Watson has been worth a fairly consistent eight points or more in most weeks since week two. This week, he’s going to see a Packer defense that has shut down tight ends in all but one game so far this year. With the Packers yet to surrender a touchdown to the position on the season, I expect to see more from the wideouts this week as Green Bay has a much tougher time defending them.