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?
Eli Manning (QB – N.Y. Giants)
Peyton’s little brother hasn’t been a reliable quarterback in fantasy this year by any means, but things work out pretty well for him this week. Facing the worst defense at limiting fantasy quarterbacks in Dallas is a nice start. Also, he now has a running game, which means defenses actually have to respect the play-action fakes he performs so well. He also lit up Dallas in the season opener, so all things are pointing up for this game.
Frank Gore (RB – San Francisco)
You might see Gore’s name on this list and wonder why he’s here considering he’s the seventh-highest ranked running back this season. But Gore has a very specific pattern this year. He performs well against bad teams and sees less carries against the good ones. Gore only managed 16 carries or less against Seattle, Indianapolis, Carolina, and New Orleans. He had 17 or more against the crap on the rest of the schedule and we all know Washington’s defense falls into the crap category.
Rashad Jennings (RB – Oakland)
Darren McFadden is in a contact year, so it’s in his best interest to get those hamstrings healthy to impress over the last few weeks of the season. It’s in Oakland’s best interest to see if they have something in Jennings, who’s performed well over the last three weeks. The Titans have given up the fifth-most points to fantasy running backs, including 13 rushing touchdowns, so it’s game on for Jennings this weekend.
Jarett Boykin (WR – Green Bay)
Boykin surprisingly hasn’t suffered since Scott Tolzein took over as Green Bay’s quarterback. It’s possible that Tolzein’s lack of arm strength forces him to check down more to Boykin, but that’s cool with me and other Boykin fantasy owners. Boykin has produced in every game of the last five except the one started by Seneca Wallace, so look for things to continue against one of the worst secondaries in football.
Aaron Dobson (WR – New England)
New England is going to have to match Denver shot for shot on Sunday night, which means the Patriots receivers should perform. Dobson has looked good in recent weeks, but came down to earth a little against Carolina. He’ll rise again with Denver missing starting safety Rahim Moore as the Patriots attack the Broncos deep with their best deep weapon.
Coby Fleener (TE – Indianapolis)
I’ve been on Fleener’s case this year because he hasn’t lived up to his talent…before last week. Fleener finally came through with a career high of 107 yards. Next up he’ll get Arizona, who gives up the most points to fantasy tight ends. Luck’s looking his way after losing safety blanket Reggie Wayne, so the time is now for Fleener.
You Know Who You Should Sit?
Philip Rivers (QB – San Diego)
People got back on board the Rivers’ bandwagon after he started off with 11 touchdowns in his first four games. He’s since cooled off, with only two games with multiple touchdowns. More of the same should be expected this week since San Diego’s offensive line is beat up and few teams bring a pass rush like Kansas City.
Lamar Miller (RB – Miami)
Remember when Lamar Miller was a thing two weeks ago after back-to-back high yardage totals? Those days disappeared quickly as Miami has gone away from Miller for some reason in the last two weeks. Things won’t get better against Carolina’s menacing front seven, which has allowed RBs to reach 100 yards in only to games this season. With Miami splitting carries between Miller and Daniel Thomas, that makes things even worse for Miller.
Ray Rice (RB – Baltimore)
Rice looked less like a “little kid in a snowsuit running in the open field” last week and more like the All-Pro he was supposed to be. The Jets, however, will return Rice to his early season form. They’ve given up the least rushing yards to RBs of any team in the league. Their secondary is their weakness and Joe Flacco always plays better at home, so look for the Ravens to go to the air more than the ground on Sunday.
Denarius Moore (WR – Oakland)
Moore’s got plenty of talent, but Matt McGloin can’t get the ball down the field like Terrelle “Two-Ply” Pryor. Last week was a good example as Rod Streater saw two more targets than Moore and Moore only managed two catches for 11 yards. Part of it was Houston’s relatively strong pass defense, but Moore gets another tough foe in Tennessee this week. The Titans are giving up the least amount of points to fantasy wide receivers and Moore isn’t an every-week play to begin with.
Antonio Brown (WR – Pittsburgh)
If you’re not aware of what Joe Haden can do then you haven’t been paying attention to this fantasy football season. He shut down A.J. Green last week and did a good job of limiting Torrey Smith in the game before. Want to know when Calvin Johnson had his worst game of the season? The answer is when he went up against Haden. You may not have better options than Antonio, but those that do should look in that direction.
Antonio Gates (TE – San Diego)
It’s been a nice year for Gates because he’s been able to stay healthy. He ranks as the fifth-highest scoring tight end, which may say more about the position this year than it does about Gates himself. When you take a closer look at Gates’ year, you’ll notice that he hasn’t had more than 62 yards since Week 5 and also only has one touchdown in that time. The Chiefs dominate TEs to tune of 3.6 points per game and have only given up one touchdown to the position all year.