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Luck’s performance over the past two weeks has been impressive if only because he threw the ball 121 times in the span of five days and his arm didn’t fall off. The fact that he threw for 829 yards and seven touchdowns isn’t bad either.
In the span of two weeks, Fantasy owners went from “you can’t trust Luck, he won’t throw deep” to “how could you bench Luck?” Well, I’m going to tell you.
Against the Texans, the Colts were down by two touchdowns before halftime and three scores midway through the third quarter. Then they got a full overtime to pad stats. The following week against New England they were staring at a 21-3 deficit at the half. In those two game scripts it only made sense for Luck to wing it. You’re not making up those deficits against those offenses with the Colts running game.
The problem is, without T.Y. Hilton, Luck needs that type of volume to give you a good day. And it’s not particularly likely he’ll get it against the New York Jets. If his defense plays more like it did against Washington and Philadelphia, he’ll be in the 30-40 range in terms of pass attempts, and that likely won’t cut it. I’m not saying you have to bench Luck this week, but I’d much rather start Andy Dalton or this next guy.
Jameis Winston is back as a starter and he gets a soft landing spot.
If you read anything I wrote in the preseason, you know I was excited about Winston once his suspension ended. Due to Fitzmagic, we had to wait a little longer than expected, but there’s no looking back. Winston’s first start comes against a defense that is one of the worst in the league, the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons have been chewed up by injuries and thoroughly dominated in Fantasy by quarterbacks.
This game has the second-highest over/under of the weekend (57.5), and most of those points are going to have to come through the air, because Tampa Bay ranks dead last in rushing at 3.1 YPC. Winston is a top-six quarterback for me and our. Start him with confidence, and don’t be shy about with him.
It’s always hard to guess what effect the London game is going to have on teams. We’ve seen certain teams completely fold and others thrive. We’ve seen shootouts and defensive struggles. It’s frustrating. That makes these two teams the perfect candidates to play there.
The Seahawks have gone to a run-heavy approach, and it’s working. So as long as they’re in a positive game script, I wouldn’t expect that to change. That’s extremely frustrating for Russell Wilson and Doug Baldwin owners. Wilson may have thrown three touchdowns last week, but he hasn’t thrown 30 passes in a game since Week 2. You can’t trust him with that low volume and no rushing production. One guy you may be able to trust is Tyler Lockett. Lockett has thrived on the big play, and the Raiders have given up more big plays than any defense in the NFL.
On the other side, Derek Carr has looked like a good quarterback in terms of efficiency, but his performance in the red zone and turnovers has looked anything but. Amari Cooper has been maddening as well. I’m not sure we’ll learn anything more about this Raiders offense, but I’ll start Marshawn Lynch and Jared Cook.
Washington’s offense is almost as beat up as the Falcons defense.
There’s been a lot of talk about the Falcons injuries, but take a look at Washington’s injury report. Adrian Peterson and Chris Thompson were both limited on Wednesday. Paul Richardson and Jamison Crowder both missed practice. Josh Doctson didn’t play last week. Jordan Reed my be the only healthy skill position player, which is just amazing. All of this is to say the Panthers are a good DST play this week, and you can’t consider Alex Smith. if you need a receiver option in a very deep league, Maurice Harris may be Smith’s No. 1 target.
Keep an eye on target shares for the Bears and Texans.
Early in the year it’s easy to get fooled by a couple of games of data, but there are definitely some interesting things to watch with the targets for the Bears and the Texans. For the Bears, it’s Taylor Gabriel looking like a 1B in the passing game to the detriment of everyone not named Allen Robinson. For the Texans, it’s Keke Coutee taking targets away from Will Fuller due to Deshaun Watson’s lack of time. If those trends continue this week we’re going to have to reevaluate how we view Gabriel, Fuller and Coutee.
We could get some really ugly games in Cleveland, Tennessee and Dallas.
We talk a lot about starting players in high-scoring games, but it’s just as important to avoid the Fantasy duds. And there are three prime candidates this week.
The Ravens travel to Tennessee in a game that features a grand total of zero must-start players. John Brown and Corey Davis are both low-end No. 2 receivers, and both Ravens running backs are better options than their Titans counterparts.
Jacksonville is at Dallas in a game that’s really easy. Start the running backs and the defenses. Try to get away from everything else. The one sneaky DFS play could be Niles Paul, who saw nine targets last week.
Finally, the most difficult game is Los Angeles at Cleveland. The Browns have been a surprisingly good defense in a variety of ways. They rank third in Fantasy points scored and fourth in defensive DVOA. They’ve been even better against the pass, which makes Philip Rivers and Keenan Allen more of low-end starters than must-start options. You can’t sit Melvin Gordon, but you shouldn’t trust Austin Ekeler.
Winter came early in Denver.
It’s not even mid-October, but the forecast in Denver this weekend looks like January. On Sunday it is forecast to be 27 degrees with a chance of snow at kickoff. That’s miserably cold, and something Jared Goff simply has no experience with. Historically there’s no evidence that shows cold weather has an impact on a macro level, but I’d be a little concerned about Goff considering how many good starting options there are at quarterback. As for the Rams receivers, you pretty much have to start whoever is healthy.
The Packers play in prime time at Lambeau.
This is interesting for a couple of reasons. Most notably, their receivers are a mystery as of Thursday. Randall Cobb is still battling a hamstring injury and Geronimo Allison’s status in the concussion protocol has not been updated. You should be prepared that we may not have a final word on these receivers when lineups lock on Sunday. If they’re both out again, Marquez Valdes-Scantling would be a flexworthy receiver, but you can’t start him if there is a chance Allison or Cobb is playing.
The other impact of this primetime game is the effect a night crowd at Lambeau could have on C.J. Beathard and the Packers defense. It is one of the top streaming defenses of the week. Alfred Morris and George Kittle are the only 49ers I’d consider starting.
So who should you sit and start? And what shocking QB could win you Week 6? Visit SportsLine now to get Fantasy football rankings for every single position, and see which shocking QB finishes in the top 10 this week, all from the model that out-performed experts big time last season.