This week is already filled with a lot of surprises. Deshaun Watson is out for the season and Ezekiel Elliott is going to be available this week. A late surprise for this week is the Jacksonville Jaguars benching star running back Leonard Fournette due to him breaking a team violation. Zack Ertz is out due to injury in a tough match up against the Denver Broncos. This is a lot to take in and these moves affect your roster tremendously. Let’s dive into who you should start and who you should sit for this week.
Quarterback: Jared Goff (Los Angeles Rams)- Jared Goff might not be the hottest quarterback in the league, but he is a solid contributor. His value takes a slight hit due to the Rams ability to run the football, but Goff is always on the streaming radar. Goff averages about 20 fantasy points in the SportingEdge league. That number shows that Goff is far from an elite QB, but he is a solid contributor that can be a great addition on a bye week.
Running Back: Chris Thompson (Washington Redskins)- Chris Thompson shares touches with other Redskins running backs, most notably Rob Kelley. Thompson’s true value comes in the receiving game. He is a good pass catcher and against a tough defense like the Seattle Seahawks, the short passing game could be relied upon quite often. Thompson strives with those short type passes because he can utilize his speed to get to the outside if needed. Thompson is always a good flex play, but should be a solid running back option as well.
Wide Receiver: Devin Funchess (Carolina Panthers)- Funchess has played well thus far. Before the Kelvin Benjamin trade, Funchess was the number two option with the injury to tight end Greg Olsen. With that said, Funchess was still getting his fair share of looks and playing well. With Benjamin out of the picture and Olsen still hurt, Funchess is now elevated to the top receiving spot on the Panthers. The inconsistent play of quarterback Cam Newton could hurt Funchess’s production a little bit, but I would still start Funchess with confidence.
Tight End: Vernon Davis (Washington Redskins)- With Jordan Reed being ruled out, Vernon Davis will get the call as the Redskins starting TE this week. Davis is a solid streaming option who has played better than expected. Davis is averaging 6.2 points in the SportingEdge league. That doesn’t sound like a lot, but for a position that doesn’t usually amount to a ton of Fantasy points, Davis is a solid option this week, albeit still a risky one against a tough Seahawks defense.
Defense/Special Teams: Houston Texans The Houston Texans are playing so good football this season, but have major season ending injuries on both sides of the ball. Watson is out for the season on the offensive side of the ball and Watt is out for the season on the defensive side of the ball. The injuries shouldn’t derail the defense too much in this match up against an Indianapolis Colts team that is struggling to win games and play at a high level with their star QB Andrew Luck out for the season.
Quarterback: Kirk Cousins (Washington Redskins)- Kirk Cousins has been a good QB this season. Cousins has done quite well to keep the Redskins in the playoff hunt. He needs help and hasn’t gotten much from his offense. Terrelle Pryor Jr. has been almost non-existent (more on that later) and the team has had to rely on TE Jordan Reed and the running game when they are healthy. Cousins has a tough match up this week against the Seahawks. I would look elsewhere for a QB.
Running Back: Jay Ajayi (Philadelphia Eagles)- The Philadelphia Eagles acquired Jay Ajayi from the Miami Dolphins at the trade deadline. Ajayi was struggling on a bad Dolphins team, but will get a fresh start in Philadelphia. The Eagles are still working to get Ajayi acclimated to the Eagles culture and their system, so although he is active this week against the Denver Broncos, his role will be limited. Keep him on the bench.
Wide Receiver: Terelle Pryor Sr. ( Washington Redskins)- As I previously mentioned, Pryor has been almost non-existent this season. The former QB has transitioned fairly well to the wide receiver position up until this point, but his struggles to find chemistry with QB Kirk Cousins is a sign for concern. Keep Pryor on the bench this week and moving forward.
Tight End: Coby Fleener (New Orleans Saints)- Fleener is a possible streaming option this week against a poor Buccaneers defense. He is best off staying as a free agent. He hasn’t had much of a role in Drew Brees’s high-powered offense and it doesn’t look like that is going to change. There are safer options as free agents than Fleener and I would avoid him at all costs.
Defense/Special Teams: Kansas City Chiefs- The Kansas City Chiefs defense/special teams is a good one, but this match up against a high-powered offense like the Dallas Cowboys is one you might want to avoid. The Cowboys will have Elliott this week, making the decision easier to justify.
Author: Nick Eberhardt