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- Unpopular Opinions- Volume 3 - April 23, 2020
Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars (away vs. Baltimore Ravens) – Bortles has been one of the more underrated quarterbacks in fantasy land so far this season, and this week’s matchup in Baltimore makes him a legitimate option across most formats. The Ravens have been bad against the pass, surrendering 16 touchdown passes and the second-most fantasy points (21.89 PPG) to quarterbacks in 2015.
Eli Manning, New York Giants (home vs. New England Patriots) – Starting Manning is much like riding a roller coaster, has it’s full of ups and downs in the stat sheets. I like him this week against the Patriots though, as their defense has allowed an average of almost 17 fantasy points a game to quarterbacks. Also, Manning has nine touchdowns in four career starts versus the Pats (including postseason).
Special mentioned – Kirk Cousins, Washington Redskins vs. New Orleans Saints
Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals (away vs. Seattle Seahawks) – Some fantasy owners may not have another option at quarterback this week but in two games versus Seattle as a member of the Cardinals, Palmer has just two touchdowns and six interceptions. Never like going against a team at home, off a bye, especially in a prime-time game and Seattle is no exception. The Seahawks are allowing just 186 yards a game, second lowest in the NFL.
Marcus Mariota, Tennessee Titans (home vs. Carolina Panthers) – I liked Mariota a lot last week, and he paid dividends against the Saints. Too bad he can’t face New Orleans more often, right? I’d keep the talented rookie on the sidelines against the Panthers, who have one of the league’s better defenses. In fact, quarterbacks have averaged just 13.12 fantasy points a game against them.
Aww Running Backs
DeAngelo Williams, Pittsburgh Steelers (home vs. Cleveland Browns) – Back to back Aww’s for Williams as he has been a stat-sheet stuffer this season in the absence of Le’Veon Bell, and that trend should continue against the Browns. While their defense has been better against the run in recent weeks, Cleveland has still been vulnerable to runners overall. In fact, backs have averaged 23.16 fantasy points a game against them in 2015.
DeMarco Murray, Philadelphia Eagles (home vs. Miami Dolphins) – Murray hasn’t made even close to the same impact this season as he did in 2014, but he’s still in the borderline No. 1 fantasy runner conversation when the matchup looks good on paper. That’s the case this week against the Dolphins, who have given up an average of more than 23 fantasy points per game to opposing running backs.
Special Mentioned – Jeremy Hill, Cincinnati Bengals vs. Houston Texans and James Starks, Green Bay Packers vs. Detroit Lions
Naw Running Backs
Chris Johnson, Arizona Cardinals (away vs. Seattle Seahawks) – Johnson has been reborn in the desert, making it tough to bench him in most fantasy leagues. Keep in mind though, that the Seahawks have been tough on runners on their home field this season. While Jonathan Stewart did score twice in Week 6, Seattle has still allowed just seven rushing touchdowns in their last 17 home games.
T.J. Yeldon, Jacksonville Jaguars (away vs. Baltimore Ravens) – It’s tough to bench Yeldon, who has scored 10-plus fantasy points in each of his last four games. Just keep in mind that this week’s matchup against the Ravens is a difficult one, at least on paper. In three home games, Baltimore’s defense has allowed an average of just 83.3 rushing yards and 15.6 fantasy points to opposing runners.
Aww Wide Receivers
Brandin Cooks, New Orleans Saints (away vs. Washington Redskins) – After a slow start, Cooks has scored a combined 33.6 fantasy points in his last two games. Fantasy fans should ride him while Drew Brees is hot, and this week’s game against the Redskins makes him a solid option. Washington’s defense has struggled against the opposition’s No. 1 wide receiver, so look for Cooks to post another solid total.
Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns, Jacksonville Jaguars (away vs. Baltimore Ravens) – There’s a big reason why I have Blake Bortles as my Aww quarterback this week!! The Ravens have given up an average of more than 31 fantasy points per game to opposing wideouts so I love the matchup this weekend.
Special Mentioned – Stefon Diggs, Minnesota Vikings vs. Oakland Raiders and Jarvis Landry, Miami Dolphins vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Naw Wide Receivers
Jeremy Maclin, Kansas City Chiefs (away vs. Denver Broncos) – Once again, it’s all about the Broncos, who have allowed only one touchdown to opposing wide receivers this season, tied for fewest in the league. Only two receivers have scored double digit fantasy points against Denver this season.
Golden Tate, Detroit Lions (away vs. Green Bay Packers) – Tate emerged into a solid fantasy option last season, but he was only reliable when Calvin Johnson was injured or acting as a decoy. This year, Tate has scored 10 or more fantasy points just once in his eight games. That trend is likely to continue against the Packers, who will be motivated at home in this NFC North battle.
Aww Tight Ends
Jordan Reed, Washington Redskins (home vs. New Orleans Saints) – Three scores in his last two games, which means he’s the focal point of the offense. New Orleans is allowing the most receiving yards per game to opposing tight ends this season. Reed is a MUST START!
Delanie Walker, Tennessee Titans (home vs. Carolina Panthers) – Since missing Week 2 with an injury, Walker has been targeted at least six times in every game, and that’s led to six or more receptions in each of his past four games. Over the past four weeks, the Panthers have allowed the third-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends, including a double-digit scoreer in three of four weeks.
Special Mentioned – Eric Ebron, Detroit Lions vs. Green Bay Packers
Naw Tight Ends
Julius Thomas, Jacksonville Jaguars (away vs. Baltimore Ravens) – Thomas doesn’t seem to be a huge part of the offense plus the Ravens allow the fourth fewest fantasy points to opposing tight ends.
Aww Team Defense
Carolina Panthers (away vs. Tennessee Titans) – The Panthers defense has looked good in recent weeks, scoring a combined 26 fantasy points in their last three games. That streak should continue vs. the Titans, who have been a prime target for owners looking to stream defenses.
St. Louis Rams (home vs. Chicago Bears) – The Rams defense has 18 sacks in the past four games. Good luck Jay Cutler!!
Special Mentioned – Arizona Cardinals vs. Seattle Seahawks
Naw Team Defense
Baltimore Ravens (home vs. Jacksonville Jaguars) – Remember when you used to start any defense against the Jaguars? Well not anymore! As much as Bortles throws, the Ravens have just four total takeaways all season, tied for fewest in the league.