Hey there championship week! Or late-start-first-round playoff week! Or… I guess just “I do DFS weekly so it’s nothing special to me” week?
Let’s go another rousing round of stud/dud/sleeper as we try to bring that bag home (or whatever the kids say these days), starting with our Ravens on Thursday Night Football against the Jests.
Stud: Lamarvelous Jackson
On any given week, Lamar Jackson is absolutely a fantasy starter, but tonight? At home? Coming off of 2 relatively rough performances by his standards (which is funny when you consider 23 & 24 FP games are low for Lamar)? In a game that can clinch the AFC North 2 weeks early?
He’s going to light up the Jets.
Dud: Mark Andrews
I expect Andrews to play, but I expect limited snaps tonight as he heals up. Ideally, the Ravens get an early lead in Q1 then rest up Andrews for the rest of the game, which kinda sorta makes him fantasy irrelevant this week (unless that early lead comes on a pair of Andrews scores, of course).
Sleeper: Hayden Hurst
With Andrews likely being limited in looks, I expect Hayden Hurst to see an increase number of snaps, targets, receptions and another touchdown this week.
Stud: Jameis Winston vs Lions
I always scoff at Winston, but yanno what? Turnovers be damned- this will be a high scoring affair and Jameis will absolutely have a big day against the Lions, who have allowed the 7th most fantasy points to opposing QBs. Will it be another 40+ game for Winston? Meh… call it 35.
Dud: Matt Ryan vs 49ers
Yes, I know the 49ers defense just allowed Drew Brees to destroy them (49 FP), and Lamar was good the week before (24 FP), but those two are anomalies, not the norm. I expect more of what they did against Aaron Rodgers (7 FP) instead, based on a return to form, and coupled with Matt Ryan’s struggle to score over 20 FP in 6 of the past 7 weeks.
Sleeper: Jared Goff vs Cowboys
Name 10 fantasy starting QBs you’d like this week, and I’d bet Goff isn’t on your list. He’s surely been better (4 pass TDs past 2 games) but Dallas has allowed the 11th fewest FP to opposing QBs so tougher matchup will stifle him, right? Wrong! Dallas has let Trubisky (35 FP) and Josh Allen (21 FP) shred them in the past 2 weeks. Goff has all of his weapons healthy, and I expect 25+ FP game from him against a defeated Dallas defense.
Stud: James White vs Bengals
Since the Pats have tape of the Bengals play calling, I’d imagine White goes off… seriously though, White is clearly stealing the love from the Pats backfield, and with 47 FP in his last 2 weeks combined against equally weak fantasy defenses against opposing backs, this is just an easy play (and inexpensive buy). Expect a 20+ FP day here.
Dud: Sony Michel vs Bengals
I know, I know. I just suggested the Patriots backfield has a good matchup versus the Bengals, but now I’m saying Michel is a bust this week. But have you actually looked at his fantasy play of late? The last 2 weeks of cupcake matchups against bad run defenses has seen a total of 5(!) fantasy points from Michel, with only 5 carries last week in a crucial game. After back to back loses, the Pats won’t take risks- they’ll play the hot hand, not this cold one.
Sleeper: Austin Ekeler vs Vikes
Ekeler isn’t a ‘true’ sleeper by any definition, but I think his matchup against the Vikings (5th fewest points allowed to opposing RBs) will scare plenty of folks off… don’t let it. Ekeler has had 4 games against teams in the top-10 of fewest FP allowed to RBs (Denver x2, Indy, Pittsburgh) and is averaging 20 FP per game. Don’t. Be. Fooled.
Stud: Kenny Golloday vs Bucs
I feel like this is kind of a no brainer but for those not in the know: Bucs give up the most fantasy points to opposing wideouts, and Golloday has been racking up points at a generous rate of late. Marvin Jones being on the IR helps too. BOOM!
Dud: Robby Anderson vs Ravens
What’s that Jets fans? Robby Anderson had a 117 yard, 1 TD game last week? I wouldn’t expect him to duplicate those efforts against a stout Ravens defense tonight. 24 FP was his highest production this season, and it’ll stay that way for at least one more week.
Sleeper: AJ Brown vs Texans
153 yards and a pair of touchdowns last week for Brown against Oakland, only 2 weeks after 135 yard game against the Jags, and yet, Brown still has been a relatively quiet name on fantasy boards. The Texans and Houston are tied for the top seed in the AFC South, and this crucial game will need to feature AJB heavily if they want to solidify playoff hopes.
Stud: George Kittle vs Falcons
Analysis: Kittle is very good. He scores points. Start the guy that scores lots of points.
Dud: Austin Hooper vs 49ers
Hooper was a fire Tight End for the better part of the season, missed 3 games with a knee injury, came back against the Panthers and was largely ineffective from a fantasy standpoint. Look for more quiet from Hooper as he faces a stout 49ers defense this weekend.
Sleeper: Tyler Higbee vs Cowboys
I guess he’s a sleeper? For the purposes of this blog, Higbee is indeed a sleeper based largely on a quiet season until recent weeks. Look for Higbee to extend his 2 game tear (41 FP combined) as he faces a Cowboys defense that’s given up the 10th most fantasy points to opposing Tight Ends
Stud: Ravens vs Jets
Dud: Falcons vs 49ers
San Fran offense is hot. Falcons defense is not.
Sleeper: Denver vs Kansas City
Denver’s defense has 6 sacks, 3 picks, 2 fumble recoveries and a touchdown in the past 2 weeks. The Chiefs are a tough opponent, but… call it a hunch, I suppose.
Stud: Kickers you can name.
Dud: Seriously, how many can you name without cheating?
Sleeper: It’s probably like… 10, isn’t it? And you probably named a kicker not in the league anymore and said “wait, when did he retire or lose his job?”