How do you slow down the Saints? You need Drew Brees’ worst NFL start, clock control on offense with a top running back, a lot of questionable flags, and a home team staffer with a cell phone behind Sean Payton (allegedly). All of that considered, I’m happy to have finished in the top 20% of the 15,000+ entries while having several key Saints plugged in my lineup. Perfect picks with Lamar Miller, Jonnu Smith, Corey Davis, Saints D and decent contributions from Nuk Hopkins and Dion Lewis.
Last Week’s Performance: 125.08 FFP
This week we have two very different games on the slate. The first, tonight’s Redskins @ Eagles tilt has several very attack-able matchups while Thursday’s Jaguars @ Titans game is likely to be a sloppier less dependable fantasy showing.
QB: Carson Wentz ($6500)
The Washington defense has eroded as injuries have taken their toll over the course of 11 games and Carson Wentz has an opportunity at home to take advantage. Prior to his injury last year Wentz had been playing at an MVP level, but has regressed season-to-date. In a get well spot tonight Wentz faces a passing defense that has allowed top 12 fantasy QBs more often than allowing 275+ passing yards in 4 of 5. Other QB options of the week handcuff you to Marcus Mariota against the Jaguars (who just blanked Andrew Luck), and backup level Colt McCoy and Cody Kessler.
RB: Josh Adams and Chris Thompson ($6200 and $4800)
Adams has grabbed control of the Philly backfield over the last several weeks. Adams saw a season high snaps and touches last week and will face a run defense that has surrendered over 5 YPC and 6+ receptions per game to opposing running backs. Thompson is a wildcard because of his continued injuries, but is now over the rib injury that held him out. If the Vegas line is an indication of this game the Redskins may not have time to grind with the fading Adrian Peterson and utilize Thompson’s receiving skills. I would have liked Leonard Fournette in my lineup even against a tough Titans D, but with the highest cost for any player in this format there were not enough options to justify.
WR: Alshon Jeffery, Golden Tate, Josh Doctson ($6500, $5400, $5100)
Noticing a trend? I am trying my hardest to avoid a dart throw in the Jaguars/Titans game. As mentioned, the Redskins have been leaky through the air and both Jeffery and Tate should have plenty of yardage to absorb. The Redskins strength, if there is one, is against the TE and slot WRs (yes, I know Tate is a slot receiver) which is why I will be limiting my expectations for Zach Ertz. Jeffery will not have to face Josh Norman’s shadow coverage in this game as the Skins surprisingly ditched that gameplan. That decision turned into Amari Cooper’s monster day on Thanksgiving. Despite stingy slot totals I am convinced that the Eagles at home will make efforts to force feed Tate who has not made an impact since arriving. Doctson has flashed recently and has a plus matchup against an Eagles secondary that has also been decimated by injury and allows near the top in WR yards per game. McCoy’s favorite target, 30% of his total throws this year, Doctson is the most talented of a limited receiver group.
TE: Jordan Reed ($5800)
Mostly an afterthought this year, Reed has surprisingly been more effective with McCoy than he was working with Alex Smith. Reed was on the receiving end of a McCoy TD in week 11 and then reached a season high in yards last week. The Eagles defensive injuries have boosted opposing tight ends (Rhett Ellison dropped 4/77 last week). The other options are last week’s choice Jonnu Smith and the All Pro Ertz. Inconsistent targets for Smith and Ertz’s high salary and tough matchup (if you own Ertz in season long fantasy, no you should not bench him!) made my decision to roll Reed.
Flex Options: Corey Davis, Adrian Peterson, Dede Westbrook/Donte Moncrief ($5900, $5100, $5000/$4900)
Davis will hesitantly be my flex choice with the safest outlook of the cheaper options. Davis has scored in 3 of the Titan’s last 4 and has been Mariota’s only reliable wide receiver. He will face Jalen Ramsey frequently in this matchup, but as the team’s target leader I anticipate a solid fantasy floor especially in a full PPR format. Peterson still remains an important cog for the Redskins, but his touch totals have decreased as has his efficiency (Averaging just 3 YPC). I am putting a lot of faith in the Eagles righting the ship and if this does not happen Peterson will have been the right pick in the Skins backfield. A couple of dart throws round out the usable flex options with Westbrook and Moncrief. The two have gone back and forth as team target leaders, but both are only dart throws with Cody Kessler at the helm and a tough Titans D on tap.
Defense: Tennessee Titans ($3500)
There are several strong options this week which lends itself to the limited position player options. The Titans have been a better NFL defense this year than fantasy ranking 7th in scoring defense, but outside the top 20 in fantasy rankings. The two should align this week against a struggling Jaguars offense and Cody Kessler. Leonard Fournette will be back, but with Kessler at the controls the Titans should be able to stack the box. My second choice would be their opponent Jags who recently came back to relevancy against red hot Andrew Luck and Colts. Both the Redskins and Eagles have shown the ability to turn in strong defensive performances and the offenses have cracks. With a likely sloppy grind of a game on Thursday I will sit back and pray for offense tonight.
Best of Luck!