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Brian Hoyer, Houston Texans (home vs. New Orleans Saints) – Let’s do the math: Eli Manning/New York Giants threw for six touchdowns, rookie Marcus Mariota/Tennessee Titans threw for four touchdowns, and Kurt Cousins/Washington Redskins threw for four touchdowns…all against the Saints defense!! Hoyer is a MUST START.
Eli Manning, New York Giants (away vs. Washington Redskins) – Eli has been hot in the past three games, throwing for ten touchdowns and just two interceptions. Next up is the Redskins, who have allowed multiple passing touchdowns in five straight games and in seven of their past eight.
Special mentions – Matthew Stafford/Detroit Lions vs. Philadelphia Eagles and Blake Bortles/Jacksonville Jaguars vs. San Diego Chargers
Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons (home vs. Minnesota Vikings) – Remember when the Falcons were 6-0? Now they have lost four in a row and the “boos” Matty-Ice have received recently are growing fast like fungus. Even though I personally picked Atlanta to beat Minnesota, starting Ryan is a serious risk.
Aww Running Backs
Chris Johnson, Arizona Cardinals (away vs. San Francisco 49ers) – Johnson has seen a dip in production in recent weeks, but it’s going to be tough to sit him against the 49ers. Their defense has been vulnerable to runners all season, allowing 12 total touchdowns and an average of more than 23 fantasy points per game to the position. I see a good game from CJ2K this weekend.
T.J. Yeldon, Jacksonville Jaguars (home vs. San Diego Chargers) – Yeldon is coming off a mediocre stat line against the Titans, but he should be well rested after a long break. That’s good news for his fantasy owners, as is a matchup against San Diego’s weak run defense. Six straight games with at least 16 touches, only one team has allowed more rushing touchdowns than the Chargers
Special Mentions – Thomas Rawls/Seattle Seahawks vs. Pittsburgh Steelers and Eddie Lacy/Green Bay Packers vs. Chicago Bears
Naw Running Backs
Frank Gore, Indianapolis Colts (home vs. Tampa Bay Bucs) – Now I’m normally all in for running backs in their 30’s, but Gore is banged up. The presence of Ahmad Bradshaw is a cause for concern after he scored twice last week in Atlanta. Gore also has a tough matchup against an underrated Bucs run defense.
Jeremy Hill, Cincinnati Bengals (home vs. St. Louis Rams) – Yes, Hill scored twice last week, but has become very touchdown dependent this season. The LSU product has done little in the stat sheets overall, and this week’s game versus the Rams and their tough run defense makes him hard to trust
Aww Wide Receivers
Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions (home vs. Philadelphia Eagles) – Johnson has not been much of a fantasy stud in the past three games, but I don’t care. I’m starting Megatron on Thanksgiving against a terrible Eagles pass defense. Philadelphia has allowed the third-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers this season.
Randall Cobb/James Jones, Green Bay Packers (home vs. Chicago Bears) – Cobb and Jones has been listed as a “Naw” in the past recent weeks, and for good reason. But an upcoming matchup against the Bears, well, it’s hard not to start them. Cobb has found the end zone six times in his last four games versus Chicago, and the Bears have also allowed 13 scoring catches in their last three games vs. Green Bay.
Special Mentions – Vincent Jackson/Tampa Bay Bucs vs. Indianapolis Colts and Eric Decker/New York Jets vs. Miami Dolphins
Naw Wide Receivers
Sammy Watkins, Buffalo Bills (away vs. Kansas City Chiefs) – The road does not get easier for Watkins as now they play a tough Kansas City defense. Watkins has been held under 50 yards in four of his past five games. Chiefs are all that and a bag of chips lately, allowing the fewest passing yards per game and being the No. 1 scoring defense the past five weeks.
Stefon Diggs, Minnesota Vikings (away vs. Atlanta Falcons) – We were all digging on Diggs a few weeks ago, but his stats over the last few games have been a total disappointment. The Maryland product is unlikely to make improvements against the Falcons, who have surrendered the fourth-fewest fantasy points to wide receivers. Keep Diggs on your bench if you have other options.
Aww Tight Ends
Gary Barnidge, Cleveland Browns (home vs. Baltimore Ravens) – If anyone is jumping for joy that Josh McCown is back at quarterback…it’s Barnidge, who has double digit standard points in every game they’ve played together this season.
Delanie Walker, Tennessee Titans (home vs. Oakland Raiders) – Walker has been solid in the past few weeks, putting up over 10 points against the Jaguars last week. Over the past three games, the veteran tight end has scored over 39 points and should remain in your starting lineup against the Raiders, who have been vulnerable to tight ends.
Special Mentions – Travis Kelce/Kansas City Chiefs vs. Buffalo Bills and Julius Thomas/Jacksonville Jaguars vs. San Diego Chargers
Naw Tight Ends
Jimmy Graham, Seattle Seahawks (home vs. Pittsburgh Steelers) – I’m just giving up on Jimmy Graham from here on out. The matchup is actually good, but every time I give Graham praise, I get burned. As for this week, I would start the four tight ends above plus Jordan Reed/Washington Redskins, Antonio Gates/San Diego Chargers and even Jason Witten/Dallas Cowboys over Graham.
Aww Team Defense
Kansas City Chiefs (home vs. Buffalo Bills) – You might not know it, but the Chiefs have the hottest defense in fantasy football right now. In fact, this unit has seen a four-game increase in points culminating in a 20-point effort against the Chargers. Next up is a home date with the Bills, who have been quite kind to opposing defenses over the last four weeks plus have a banged up quarterback.
Arizona Cardinals (away vs. San Francisco 49ers) – The Cardinals defense hasn’t put up great numbers in recent weeks, but that should change in a matchup against Blaine Gabbert and the 49ers. Their offense doesn’t have much pop, and Gabbert has never been the most accurate quarterback in the NFL either.
Special Mentions – Green Bay Packers vs. Chicago Bears
Naw Team Defense
Denver Broncos (home vs. New England Patriots) – Yes this is shocking to have such a great defense as a “Naw”, but a matchup against Tom Brady and the Patriots is enough to put any defensive team on the list. Opposing defense that has gone up against New England has put up an average of 3.11 fantasy points a game. That’s the fewest in the NFL.