There seems to be new faces that jump into the fantasy football horizon every week, but this week seems to have plenty of new figures. Maybe it’s the injuries of Randall Cobb and DeMarco Murray along with the New Orleans and Oakland byes that have opened those doors. We’ve also had a few players show that they’re not one-week flukes at this point, which works out quite well for their owners.
Below is a list of guys I’m focused on for one reason or another this week. If you’re curious about guys you don’t see listed here, you can always find me on Twitter (@MrT_BroBible) to ask questions, but remember to mention league specifics like PPR.
You Know Who You Should Start?
Nick Foles (QB – Philadelphia)
This is targeted at all Drew Brees owners who have to deal with their stud being on the bye this week. Foles has shown that the Eagles offense doesn’t miss a beat with him behind center. The Cowboys secondary hasn’t been good for years and hasn’t shown improvement allowing the most points to fantasy quarterbacks this year.
Zac Stacy (RB – St. Louis)
The Rams are loving what they’ve found in Zac Stacy. He may not be Adrian Peterson, but he’s a clear upgrade on Daryl Richardson. He only managed 79 rushing yards last week, but the number would’ve been higher had the Rams not had a defensive and special teams touchdown keep the ball away from them.
Joseph Randle (RB – Philadelphia)
Randle replaces Demarco Murray for one week at least and it’s a good week to be starting. Sunday’s game between Philadelphia and Dallas promises to be a high scoring affair, which should lead to many goal-line attempts for Randle. He’ll also carry most of Dallas’ rushing attempts, so there’s lots like.
Keenan Allen (WR – San Diego)
Keenan Allen has definitely become a thing. Allen has put up strong numbers for three straight weeks. It’s evident that he has the full confidence of Philip Rivers despite being a rookie. The situation continues to be one to enjoy as San Diego faces the terrible Jaguars this weekend.
Kris Dunham (WR – Detroit)
Right there with Allen in targets over the last couple weeks is Dunham. His game might not look pretty, but he’s been reasonable effective as Matt Stafford looks for alternatives to Calvin Johnson, who’s hobbled with a knee injury. Stafford trusts Dunham because they played college ball together at Georgia, so look for the attention to continue this weekend.
Jordan Reed (TE – Washington)
Some people are saying Reed has the same skill set as Aaron Hernandez, but you just need him to be good enough to replicate Chris Cooley’s productive years. RGIII likes targeting his young receiver and that should continue this weekend against the Bears. Chicago has faced average or better talent at tight end this year in all games -- except last week’s Giants game -- and hasn’t done the best job of preventing production.
You Know Who You Should Sit?
Colin Kaepernick (QB – San Francisco)
After a sluggish start to the season, the 49ers have put more focus on running the football. It’s also become evident to opposing defenses that Anquan Boldin can be shut down with tough man coverage and there isn’t anyone other than Vernon Davis for Kaepernick to throw to. Kaep isn’t running like we’d like him to and half his games haven’t topped 10 fantasy points.
Maurice Jones-Drew (RB – Jacksonville)
MJD’s owners probably aren’t sure what to do with him at this point. They can’t get much for him in trades and they’re unsure whether or not to start him in their lineup. You probably wouldn’t think the Chargers pose a threat to MJD’s production, but San Diego hasn’t allowed a rushing touchdown all season and has only allowed two teams to run for 100 yards.
Stevan Ridley (RB – New England)
I’m taking a chance here even though I believe Ridley is on his way to regaining his pre-draft form. My issue is the Jets are an absolute menace against RBs. They’ve held the following names under 81 yards rushing: Doug Martin, Ridley, CJ Spiller, Chris Johnson, and Le’Veon Bell. That’s an impressive stable of talent to be stymied.
Dwayne Bowe (WR – Kansas City)
Honestly, there’s no point in expecting anything out of Bowe anymore. The Chiefs just choose not to use his strengths because they’re afraid of Alex Smith’s ability to make the throws. Bowe hasn’t surpassed 60 yards in any game. You’re praying for a touchdown to have him matter. The Texans are also the best against fantasy wide receivers.
Larry Fitzgerald (WR – Arizona)
For starters, there’s the Richard Sherman factor. Then there’s the fact that Fitzgerald has less time than normal to recover from a hamstring injury that was hurting him so bad on Sunday, Fitzgerald could barely bend over. If you saw his touchdown catch, you also saw that he was basically running a 5.6 40 down the field. I own him in two leagues and I’m benching him.
Greg Olsen (TE – Carolina)
I was on the Olsen bandwagon to begin the season, but I’m pulling it over to the side of the road for a couple weeks. Olsen’s clearly affected by a foot injury and isn’t able to be as effective as normal. Despite a plus matchup last week, Olsen was only able to manage two catches.