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Welcome to Week 11 of The Docket, a weekly column that offers strategy and advice on players that you should be targeting and avoiding each week. We bring the energy each week with the positive, neutral and negative charge.
Jaguars vs Lions (-6.5 o/u 47)
- Blake Bortles – Bortles is a horrible real life quarterback. Don’t look at stat lines, look at the tape. That said, here we are again, the king of garbage time is the king for a reason. While it will be ugly, he should put up decent numbers this week against a Lions Defense giving up over 23 FPG to QBs over the last five weeks. All his production could come in the 4th quarter, but it will come.
- Julius Thomas – His playing time is down, but at least the targets and TDs have been there, seeing 10 last week for a 6/24/1 line. The Lions are giving up a whopping 16.7 FPG to TEs the last 5 weeks, so he’s a sleeper play in all formats.
- Allen Robinson – He’s starting to come on the past three weeks and saw 13 targets for a 9/107/1 line. However he will do battle with PFF’s #9 rated corner, Darius Slay, a lock down guy. I think Robinson comes through with some points in this, but a huge game might not be there.
- Allen Hurns – With Robinson doing battle with Slay on the other side of the field, Hurns gets a choice matchup with CB Quandre Diggs, PFF’s 96th rated corner. While he hasn’t done much all year, inside the dome in a potentially high scoring affair, this could be the week he comes through.
- Marqise Lee – Well what do you know, last week Lee caught 4 passes for 50 yards, because that is what he does every week. If you need 5 catches for 50 or 60 yards for just 10 points in a PPR league, he’s your guy.
- T.J. Yeldon and Chris Ivory – Ivory was a one week wonder and faces off against a solid Lions run defense giving up just 3.7 YPC over the past five weeks; a defense that is even healthier now . If I had to pick between these two to get me some value, I would go with Ivory in Standard leagues and lean towards Yeldon in PPR leagues, as the Lions are at least giving up 5 catches a game to opposing RBs and Robinson will be doing battle with top CB Slay all game.
- Matthew Stafford – Playing at home in the dome makes Stafford a great play that will go under owned in DFS this week. While the Jaguars are actually only giving up just over 16 FPG the past five games, Stafford excels in the short pass game these days, an area of the field the Jaguars give up a ton of production.
- Theo Riddick – The Jaguars have actually been pretty tough against the run and the pass out of the backfield, but they are giving up so much volume to the position that it doesn’t matter. Riddick is a major part of this offense and will be a rock solid RB1 in PPR leagues this week.
- Marvin Jones & Golden Tate – This game could very well devolve into a total shootout, so you are getting both of these guys active this week, especially playing at home. That said, Jaguars CBs Jalen Ramsey and Prince Amukamara have been solid this year. Jones has the tougher matchup against Ramsey and has only been averaging just over 7 FPG the past four weeks, while Tate will run most of his routes against Amukamara and has been averaging over 20 FPG the last four weeks. I think they both get it done this week as WR2’s.
- Eric Ebron – The Jags have been playing the tight end position really tough this year, so I would look to fade Ebron in DFS cash games, but Stafford loves Ebron and when healthy he has been very active, averaging around 9 targets and 7 catches the past two weeks.
Dolphins vs Rams (+1.5 o/u 40)
- Jay Ajayi – The Rams are only giving up 3.5 YPC over the past five weeks, but Ajayi is the foundation of this offense and will get the rock a ton in this projected low scoring affair. While we are not likely to see one of those 200 yard games on the road against this run defense, through sheer volume 100 yards and a TD is very likely. It should be noted though that he will be without LT Branden Albert (wrist) and C Mike Pouncey (hip).
- Ryan Tannehill, Jarvis Landry, DeVante Parker and Kenny Stills – This whole offense is very hard to trust, so best to avoid them all on the road, especially with two crucial offensive line pieces missing. Tannehill should at least be serviceable as a QB2, but Landy isn’t seeing a ton of volume the past five weeks, averaging around 7 targets a game.
- Todd Gurley – He’s not the RB1 you drafted him as, but he consistently puts up top 25 RB numbers every week, so he is now an unspectacular RB2 in season long leagues due to sheer volume and the 70 to 90 yards he gets you a game. He should be left for dead in DFS against a good run defense.
- Kenny Britt – Britt is currently the 20th best WR in fantasy this year and consistently either puts up over 70 yards or a TD every week. He should be at it again against a Miami team giving up 36.4 FPG to WRs the past five weeks. It’s not like Jared Goff can be any worse than Keenum.
- Lance Kendricks and Tavon Austin – There is nothing scary about this matchup for either of these two, but it’s just a leap of faith to expect much with Goff at the helm. It could end up being a blessing, but better to wait a week.
Eagles vs Seahawks (-6.4 o/u 44)
- Jordan Matthews, Carson Wentz, Darren Sproles, Ryan Mathews, Dorial Green-Beckham, Zach Ertz – Playing in Seattle it’s tough to expect much in this game from any of these guys. Wentz hasn’t cracked the top 20 since the beginning of the season and everyone else is far too unreliable. For those in standard leagues, I wouldn’t be scared to start Ryan Mathews as he gets a TD seemingly every game he plays and at least we know he will be used in that capacity.
- Russell Wilson, Doug Baldwin, Jimmy Graham – The Eagles have strong safety play, so it’s tough to put up big numbers on them unless your name is Odell. That said, their corners are not shut down guys, so a player like Baldwin can be fairly active and is a viable WR2 with upside in PPR leagues. Safety Malcolm Jenkins should cover Graham when he runs his routes and is great at his job, making Graham a fine, but not great start.
- Thomas Rawls and C.J. Prosise – Prosise looked great last week and word is that he should be the teams “starter.” While I would feel comfortable rolling him out this week, I think it will be short order before Rawls assumes lead duties with Prosise occupying the change of pass and passing down role. I know some of you are going to tweet that I don’t know what I’m talking about and that Prosise is the guy … but that’s not how the Seahawks and HC Carol are built, they want the run to be the foundation of this offense and releasing Christine Michael shows me they think Rawls is ready to rock. Both of these guys make fine plays this week against an Eagles defense giving up 4.6 YPC to RBs. If you own both and want to be cautious, roll with Prosise, if you want to be smart, I would roll with Rawls in standard leagues and Prosise in PPR.
Bills vs Bengals (-2.5 o/u 47.5)
- Tyrod Taylor – He’s averaging a solid 24 FPG the last four weeks and the Bengal are giving up nearly 28 FPG over that same time period, which all bodes well for Tyrod who has added yards on the ground and three rushing TDs in his last three. He’s a great play this week for anyone looking for some guaranteed points.
- LeSean McCoy – Coming off his bye McCoy should be fully healthy and ready to rock. While the Bengals have a solid run defense, they are giving up points to opposing RBs at the goal line and through the air. McCoy makes for a great DFS play this week since most people won’t be on him on the road.
- Robert Woods – He’s getting a ton of volume as the lead dog in this receiving core, averaging 17 FPG in his last three weeks since getting healthy. They’ve been moving him around the formation, so he should get some good looks and makes for a decent WR3 with little upside though on a run first team.
- Charles Clay – He’s tough to trust since he hasn’t scored all year and has done very little the past few games, but the Bengals are giving up an insane 28 FPG to opposing TEs the last 5 weeks, so he’s on the map in a position where few are giving you weekly consistency.
- A.J. Green and Tyler Eifert – Playing at home both of these guys should be locked into your lineups despite the Bills plays okay pass defense at times. They are giving up 16.7 FPG to TEs the last 5 weeks, especially being gashed by the elite ones. Meanwhile, the Bengals are giving up 35.5 FPG to WRs over that same time, as the Bills top two corners, Stephon Gilmore and Ronald Darby, have terribly disappointed. They did double team Green last year to good effect, but he should get loose in this one.
- Andy Dalton – He’s been putting up around 300 yards a game and with Eifert back, more TDs should be forthcoming. The Bill are giving up over 24 FPG to opposing QBs the past five weeks, so he makes for a solid QB floor play this week but the ceiling has yet to be very high.
- Jeremy Hill – He’s not getting a ton of carries, which is a concern, but he’s averaging a solid 5.8 YPC over the past five weeks and the Bills seemingly give up at least one rushing TD every game.
- Giovani Bernard - Eifert is draining his value in the short pass game, snatching only 5 catches since his return. The Bills also play opposing running backs tough, especially in the pass game. Tough to totally trust right now particularly since he does not get the goal line looks.
- Brandon LaFell – Should see a lot of shut down corner Janoris Jenkins, so this is not a sneaky LaFell week. The same with Tyler Boyd who should see a lot of Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie in the slot.
Bears vs Giants (-7.5 o/u 45)
- Jordan Howard – He’s all they got, so they are going to lean on him, and volume is king in Fantasy Football. While the Giants defense is playing tough right now, they are not a lock down unit and have given up over 24 FPG to opposing RBs the past five weeks. He’s a solid RB2 in all formats; we just have to hope his Achilles doesn’t flare up.
- Jay Cutler, Cameron Meredith, Zach Miller, Eddie Royal, Cameron Meredith, Marquess Wilson – Alshon is gone, which makes all of these guys viable reach plays for someone that is desperate for something. Unfortunately, Alshon was Cutler’s boy and we are not sure whom Cutler will lock onto. Making matters worse, Cutler melted down last week, lacks motivation as he looks to be a goner in Chicago after this year and the Bears may be missing two starting linemen, G Josh Sitton (ankle) and RT Bobby Massie. The Giants defense is also playing great football right now; so avoid these guys if you can.
- Odell Beckham Jr and Eli Manning – These guys play much better at home and getting it done the past few weeks. While the Bears defense is playing pretty well, they are tougher against the run than the pass, giving up 21.4 FPG to QBs and an insane 52 FPG to opposing WRs the last 5 weeks. Eli makes for a great cheap DFS play this week for those in need.
- Sterling Shepard and Victor Cruz – It looks like Cruz could return this week, and this is a great week to be active going up against De'Vante Bausby, PFF’s lowest rated CB. If he misses again, look for Tavarres King to be able to do something in this game. Meanwhile, Shepard has scored in back to back weeks and could see some decent volume if the Giants can’t get anything going on the ground and if the Bears inevitably focus on Beckham. He’s in the mix as a WR3 with a bit of upside this week.
- Paul Perkins and Rashad Jennings – These two are splitting carries and neither playing particularly well, although they did look better last week. Unfortunately the Bears are playing great run defense giving up just 12.6 FPG and less than 3 YPC to opposing RBs the past five weeks.
Titans vs Colts (-3 o/u 52.5)
- Marcus Mariota, DeMarco Murray, Delanie Walker – The big three are locked in loaded for a big scoring game with a huge Vegas over under. The Titans have put up 25 or more points the past six games and the Colts can’t be confused with having a good defense. They are giving up 4.6 YPC on the ground, 23.4 FPG to opposing TEs and 25.9 FPG to opposing QBs the past five weeks.
- Kendall Wright, Rishard Matthews – While this seems like it should be a great matchup, the Colts have a great outside corner in Vontae Davis and slot corner in Darius Butler. Both of these receivers have also been a bit touchdown dependent. If you need them as WR3’s, they are fine plays, but I would tread lightly in DFS not to chase points.
- Andrew Luck, Donte Moncrief, T.Y. Hilton – All three of these guys are locked and loaded for big games at home against a defense giving up 45.5 FPG to WRs the last 5 weeks. While the Titans do have a decent secondary, these guys will move around enough to do damage, especially when they get some time on LCB Parish Cox, PFF’s 109th rated CB.
- Frank Gore – He is mister reliable, getting it done every week as a floor play RB2 in all leagues. The Titans are giving up 4.5 YPC the past five weeks, and he is an every down player for the Colts playing at home and getting high double digit touches most weeks.
- Jack Doyle and Dwayne Allen – This one is tricky … the chasers will be all over Detective Jack Doyle since he out targeted Allen their last game. However, Allen should be fully healthy coming off their bye and nobody can say for sure who emerges as the better play, with both of them possibly cannibalizing each other’s production. The Titans are giving up a promising 18.2 FPG to TEs the last 5 weeks, so there is value to be had here, and if I’m forced to choose, I say go with the Detective.
Steelers vs Browns (+7.5 o/u 48)
Steelers (Bad weather warning for this game, high winds, with rain and snow - if it holds, downgrade all QBs and WRs)
- Ben Roethlisberger, LeVeon Bell and Antonio Brown – While Big Ben has sometimes struggled on the road, these guys are all locked and loaded as must starts in season long leagues as usual, with Bell and Brown great DFS plays. No need to really over think this, but the Browns are giving up 5.1 YPC to RBs the past five weeks, while Brown has lit them up for 36 FPG in their past two games.
- Eli Rogers - With injuries to Wheaton and Coates, Rogers could do some damage out of the slot against CB Tramon Williams, PFF's 104th ranked corner. He could easily see 5+ targets and he did score last week.
- Ladarius Green – Jesse James is totally TD dependent, and while he played more than Green last week, I think we see Green get something done against the Browns who offer up the league’s worst defense against opposing tight ends. It’s tough to trust either since we don’t know what’s happening, but I say swing for the fences with Green while others are playing it safe.
- Isaiah Crowell – HC Jackson said they need to feed the Crow far more, since he has barley been used the past few weeks. In order to win this game, they need to control the clock. Against a Steelers defense missing DE Heyward and playing at home, I think he scores this week. If the weather is nasty, this should also be a game he's used heavily.
- Duke Johnson Jr – The Steelers are giving up the third most passing yards to opposing RBs, so he’s in a good spot in a game they may have to keep pace. That said, he’s merely a PPR flex play since Kessler is running the show and he had just 5 touches last week.
- Terrelle Pryor – He gets it done every week, so he should be in every owner’s lineup as a WR3 with upside in a game that may be very pass heavy. He will do battle with respectable CB Ross Cockrell.
- Corey Coleman – He could always explode since the talent is immense and he can do a lot with a little, but it would be far better if McCown were at the helm. That said, he should face off against CB Artie Burns, who gets, well … burned. Still, he’s a total what the heck flex, that somehow could win someone a big GPP this week.
- Gary Barnidge – Without McCown he is just a guy.
Cardinals vs Vikings (0 o/u 40.5)
- David Johnson – He gets a Viking’s defense that will be missing DT Sharrif Floyd, which is huge, but he is also missing two starting linemen. That said, he gets it done every week and has shown he doesn’t need high rushing totals in order to do it for Fantasy. You can use him as a contrarian play in DFS, but why?
- Larry Fitzgerald – He’s a bit banged up, but he should be Palmer’s safety blanket and is seeing a ton of volume. Keep rolling him out in season long leagues but look to fade in DFS.
- Carson Palmer, John Brown, J.J. Nelson, Michael Floyd – Low Vegas over/under, playing on the road against a defense that has allowed just three Top 20 receivers the whole season and a mere 17 FPG to opposing QBs the past five weeks. I’d avoid if you can. If there is any saving grace it is that DT Floyd is out and the secondary is banged up, with Captain Munnerlyn (ankle), Terence Newman (illness) and Xavier Rhodes (concussion) all limited this week. On the other hand, LT Jared Veldheer (tricep) and RG Evan Mathis (ankle) are missing for the Cardinals offensive line. Ouch. If looking to play any of these guys I would lean Floyd, who replaced Nelson after he was benched and who ended having a solid game going 5/101.
- Stefon Diggs – When he is healthy he gets absolutely peppered with targets, so I would still roll him out as a WR3 in season long PPR leagues. That said, the Cardinals have stated that lock down CB Patrick Peterson will shadow him, so lower expectations big time.
- Adam Thielen – He’s a sneaky play to put up points this week in PPR leagues against very beatable CB Marcus Cooper and with the Cardinals attention all elsewhere.
- Jerrick McKinnon – He disappoints me greatly.
- Kyle Rudolph – So … the Cardinals have yet to allow a TE to score on them and give up the fewest receptions and yards of any team to the position, allowing just 7 FPG to TEs the last 5 weeks. Additionally, despite being limited it looks like S Tyrann Mathieu will play this week. All that said, I’m seeing 2 catches for 15 yards and a TD baby!!
Ravens vs Cowboys (-7 o/u 45)
- Kenneth Dixon and Terrance West – If I own both of these guys I would lean towards Dixon in PPR leagues and West in standard. The Cowboys are giving up 6 catches a game to opposing RBs, but allowing just 3.7 YPC. The Ravens have said that West is still their lead dog, but I think we may start to see a changing of the guard soon.
- Mike Wallace – This won’t be easy going up against PFF’s 14th rated CB Carr and against a Dallas defense that doesn’t give up big plays on the back end allowing just two receivers to gain more than 75 yards on the season. If you play him, you are just hoping for one big one, which at least he is capable of providing.
- Joe Flacco – This is probably not Wacko for Flacco week on the road against this solid pass defense. That said, at least they are down top CB Claiborne and Safety Barry Church.
- Steve Smith – The Cowboys are giving up 45 FPG to WRs the last 5 weeks and are without Claiborne and Safety Church. The slot has been where they have been weakest, although CB Orlando Scandrick is rounding into form. He’s on the WR2 PPR map this week.
- Dennis Pitta – He’s a floor play only in PPR leagues if you need some points at the position. Last week he caught 6 passes …. For 26 yards. Ouch.
- Ezekiel Elliott – Even if Zeke doesn’t hit 100 yards on the ground this week against this resurgent run defense giving up only 2.8 YPC, he should still put up solid RB1 numbers through the air and at the goal line. Although, honestly, this offensive line is so good, I wouldn’t doubt him breaking off some big runs on the ground as well. RB1 with a bullet.
- Dez Bryant – CB Jimmy Smith is out, which is great news for Dez. The Ravens do have some decent depth at the position, but Dez should be locked in as a solid WR2 with some upside.
- Dak Prescott – If you have been using Dak, keep on using him, but he’s not a great streamer even at home against this solid secondary that is 5th in Football Outsiders DVOA metric and gives up the leagues 5th fewest passing yards.
- Cole Beasley – If you are looking for 5 catches for 50 yards, he’s your guy, against just okay slot CB Jerraud Powers.
Buccaneers vs Chiefs (-7.5 o/u 44.5)
- Mike Evans – Seeing a ton of volume, but he does sometimes come up small on the road. That said, CB Marcus Peters looks to be out and plays on the other side of the field, so Evans should see CB Phillip Gaines, the sieve that is allowing the Chief’s to give up 42 FPG to WRs over the past five weeks.
- Doug Martin – Poor return to action last week, but Chiefs giving up 4.4 YPC and the 10th most yards a game on the ground. I can’t say he is a great start, especially when game script doesn’t appear it will be on their side.
- Jameis Winston – He’s not always trustworthy, especially on the road. While the Chiefs are giving up a healthy up 25 FPG to opposing QBs, the Chiefs get Justin Houston back this week and it is a very tough environment for a young QB to play in. Avoid if you can.
- Cameron Brate – Eric Berry doesn’t allow opposing TEs to do anything. The Chiefs defense should be rolling this week.
- Adam Humphries and Russell Shepard – Both of these guys could get some action this week, but really tough to predict which one. I would lean towards Humphries in PPR leagues and Shepard in standard playing against a defense giving up 42 FPG.
- Alex Smith – The Bucs are giving up over 27 FPG over the past five weeks, as their pass defense can be had. Just remember, he’s Alex Smith, so a safe streamer and season long play, but upside is never there in GPPs.
- Spencer Ware – He didn’t get many touches last week, but he looked good. At home against a Bucs team giving up 4.8 YPC to RBs and over 6 catches a game, he should be locked in as a RB1, especially with Maclin out.
- Travis Kelce – Locked in as a solid TE1 against a team that has been ripped by opposing TEs. Smith missed him for an easy TD last week too.
- Tyreek Hill – Hill is getting it done big time with Maclin out with injury, catching 10 passes last week. They move him around a ton, so he will have some favorable matchups all game and is electric with the ball in his hands, allowing him to make some big plays.
Patriots vs 49ers (+11.5 o/u 51)
- Tom Brady, Julian Edelman, James White, LeGarrette Blount, Martellus Bennett – Use them if you have them. With Gronk out, Bennett is a phenomenal TE play in DFS, while White is a PPR Flex play. Meanwhile, the 49ers are giving up 45.3 FPG to WRs the last five weeks, so Edelman, and perhaps rookie Malcolm Mitchell, should put up some points in this one while Blount destroys on the ground.
- Colin Kaepernick – He’s a horrible QB but gets a ton of yards on the ground, which helps get him yards and TDs in the air. He makes for a fine play in all formats if you need him.
- Jeremy Kerley, Torrey Smith, Carlos Hyde, DuJuan Harris, Vance McDonald – Tough to rely on any of these guys. If reports on Hyde are positive, I would roll him out as a RB3 with possible upside, although the Pats are just giving up 3.9 YPC. McDonald is actually a sneaky play for those in desperate need of TE help, but most aren't that desperate.
Packers vs Redskins (-2.5 o/u 50)
- Aaron Rodgers – He’s been throwing a ton, averaging over 45 pass attempts a game the past four weeks. He’s a rock solid QB1 in season long leagues, but in DFS I may look to fade on the road against this decent pass defense and with missing LT David Bakhtiari (knee) and RG T.J. Lang (hip).
- James Starks – The Redskins don’t know how to play run defense, which sets up well for Starks who handled 70% of the RB touches last week. The only bit of caution is that they are missing two offensive linemen, but he is in play as RB2 with upside.
- Randall Cobb, Devante Adams, Jordy Nelson – The three amigos should be solid starts if you have them this week. While CB Josh Norman should cover Nelson most of the game, I don’t think he will shadow him the whole game and it really doesn’t matter with Nelson, who Rodgers trusts and who is just a beast of a player despite losing a step. Meanwhile, Adams will see RCB Bashaud Breeland who is having an off year and Cobb gets rookie CB Kendall Fuller. Both Cobb and Adams should be able to abuse their matchups.
- Ty Montgomery – With Starks back, he’s been phased out, so not worth using at the moment.
- Jared Cook – Looks like he will be back this week and this matchup is pretty solid. Best to wait a week though, but viable if totally desperate.
- Jordan Reed – He’s averaging over 15 FPG and the Packers are giving up 15 FPG, so …. I think he gets 15 FP this game.
- Kirk Cousins – He’s a great start at home in a shootout against a defense that is giving up over 22 FPG to QBs the last 5 weeks.
- Jamison Crowder – The Packers have been gashed in the slot all year so Crowder should be able to take advantage of slot CB Micah Hyde on his way to a TD, a 100+ yards or both.
- DeSean Jackson – Looking like he may miss, but if he played he has a great matchup against beatable CB Quinten Rollins, PFF’s 77th rated corner.
- Rob Kelly – The Packers have been gashed on the ground without their defensive leader, Clay Mathews. Unfortunately for Kelly, he is set to return this week, making him more of a mid-tier RB2, especially in PPR leagues where he is a zero in the pass game.
- Chris Thompson – In a game where the Redskins may have to keep pace and where there may not be a lot of room on the ground, Thompson is a viable PPR flex play that could easily have 5 catches for 50+ yards.
Texans vs Raiders (-5.5 o/u 46)
- Lamar Miller – He’s been averaging 5.2 yards per carry the past four weeks and the Raiders are giving up 4.5 YPC the last five. With Blue sidelined, he should have 20+ touches this week.
- C.J. Fiedorowicz – Brock loves looking his way and the Raiders are not great at covering the TE, giving up the 6th most TDs to the position this year. He makes for a fine TE steaming play this week.
- Brock Osweiler – Even in good matchups, his name is still Brock Osweiler.
- DeAndre Hopkins – Brock kills him, he’s not gaining separation and the Raiders big corners matchup perfectly with him.
- Latavius Murray – Murray is a TD machine even though he’s still a part time player. I think the Raiders look to lean on him a bit as the Texans are giving up 4.6 YPC.
- Derek Carr – While they are the home team, this game is actually being played in Mexico. Fortunately Carr has played well on the road this year, but the Texans have allowed just 19.5 FPG to opposing QBs the past five weeks. He’s a fine season long play, but not someone to each for in DFS this week.
- Michael Crabtree & Amari Cooper – This is not an easy matchup for either of these guys, especially Cooper who struggles against man coverage this year. I would start them as always in season long but probably fade in DFS. Crabtree at least makes for a better Fan Duel play because he’s a better bet to score a TD.