So you need to find a temporary replacement for Aaron Rodgers huh? Is no one safe anymore? Luckily, there are some QBs with pretty solid matchups this week that might be available to you. Jake Locker plays Jacksonville and we all know how great Jacksonville has been this year. There’s also Eli Manning who plays against Oakland. I’m not saying he’s gonna light up Oakland like Nick Foles did this past weekend, but I’ve done some research on this Eli guy and it turns out he has two Super Bowl rings so he should be competent enough. Also, speaking of Foles, he’s still available in well over half of leagues out there and against a Green Bay team that has given up a lot of points this year and won’t have Aaron Rodgers to eat up the clock, Foles should have plenty of time to throw another 7 TDs, or at least maybe 3.
Unlike last week, many of the most reliable fantasy performers are in great to average matchups this week. Chris Johnson against Jacksonville? Uhh…yes please. Adrian Peterson against Washington? I mean, if the guy can drag two of Dallas’ defensive backs with him for a good five yards, I think he’ll be alright against one of the worst run defenses in the league this year. Wes Welker against the Chargers? I’ll just answer that with another must start…Peyton Manning. Still, you didn’t need me to tell you to start those guys so let’s start with the good players in bad matchups.
Zac Stacy has been absolutely awesome the last few weeks and he crushed Tennessee this past weekend, but there’s also a big difference between Tennessee’s run defense and the Colts’ run defense. Tennessee has given up more than 100 yards per game to running backs and allows more than 1 TD per game on the ground. The Colts are significantly better than that. I’m not saying Stacy isn’t a worthy start this week, but he’s in a tough matchup so don’t expect RB1 numbers from him again until he plays Chicago the following week.
The best RB duo in football, Arian Foster and Ben Tate, are also tough to rely on recently. First of all, there are the injuries. Foster is likely unable to play this week which would leave Tate to carry the load, but Tate has about as many broken ribs as he has good ones and that could catch up to him on any play. As if that wasn’t enough, however, they’re playing a very well rested Arizona defense this week. In short, keep an eye on their statuses, but this likely won’t be a good week for the Houston run game.
Frank Gore, Le’Veon Bell, and Ray Rice are all in rough matchups as well, but like Stacy, they’re still too talented to bench in most scenarios, but with guys like Maurice Jones-Drew facing the Tennessee defense I mentioned previously, they should at least slide down your personal weekly rankings a bit.
I’ve torn into the Tennessee defense quite a bit today, but to be honest, they’re quite good at covering the pass which makes Cecil Shorts’ value less than usual. Plus, with Justin Blackmon on his way to rehab, all eyes are going to be on Shorts. He was doing just fine before Blackmon got back originally, but he hasn’t played Tennessee yet this season so move him down your ranks.
Anquan Boldin is also in a tough spot against Carolina. Boldin has been all kinds of frustrating for fantasy owners recently and with less than 6 fantasy points against Jacksonville in standard scoring leagues week 8, it’s hard to have much faith in him this week.
Unlike Boldin, Harry Douglas has been great for fantasy owners ever since Julio Jones went down. However, with the possibility of Roddy White returning and a difficult matchup against Seattle after only catching three passes in Carolina, Douglas comes with plenty of question marks this week. If White comes back as his usual self and can take enough attention away from Douglas, I still like his chances at a score, but only if White is more than just a banged up decoy this time.
If you’re looking for someone to start, however, there are plenty of great options. Emmanuel Sanders, Greg Jennings, and Hakeem Nicks are all in fantastic matchups and worth a start despite being relatively hit or miss this season. For tight ends, Jordan Reed is in a perfect situation for success as well.
Need some sleeper picks? Garrett Graham and Tim Wright are in fantastic positions for big games. Also, although he may not be a sleeper anymore after his big game last weekend, Jerricho Cotchery is in a great position for a repeat performance when Buffalo comes to town.