Cheerio everyone! We get our first taste of morning football this season as the Chargers and Titans head across the pond to give us the glorious 9:30AM EST NFL action we’ve all been waiting for. Let’s start with this game and touch a couple others that you should be keeping an eye out for.

Chargers vs Titans (London Game)

On paper, this game shouldn’t be close. Philip Rivers is far superior to Marcus Mariota and is also healthy in comparison. Melvin Gordon is right up there with Todd Gurley III as the top fantasy RB this season and this should be another week where Gordon does enough to stay a top-5 RB play. I’m not as worried about Austin Ekeler siphoning touches anymore as it seems like the Chargers have moved on from giving Ekeler 10+ carries in any game. Again, I don’t see how you can justify starting either Dion Lewis or Derrick Henry (#NeverHenry) as the Chargers do well against the run. I think you still start Corey Davis in this one, but temper those expectations as I have him as a WR3 at best this week. He always will have the upside based on volume and target share alone, but this Titans offense is just bad when Mariota isn’t in rhythm or he isn’t 100% healthy. I would also fade Taywan Taylor this week as his targets have been all over the place and I have no faith in him pulling off a TD against a good Chargers D/ST. For the Chargers, you better believe this is the Keenan Allen week. He’s been the team leader in target share % and air yard % for the majority of the season. Expect him to win his matchup and for Rivers to feed his WR1 before heading to the Borough Market after the game for a good hog roast sandwich.

Panthers @ Eagles

This is a game that has many moving parts in terms of fantasy relevance that need to be addressed. There is no Jay Ajayi for the remainder of the season, so expect a good split between Corey Clement and Wendell Smallwood although I prefer Clement if I had to choose one. As for the receiving roles in Philly, Zach Ertz and Alshon Jeffrey are the only real options to take away here  they lead the team in both air yards % and target share % since Jeffrey returned from injury

The Panthers at this point have 4 viable fantasy options. Anyone not in their big four (Cam Newton, Christian McCaffrey, Greg Olsen, Devin Funchess) is too much of a risk and not worth jeopardizing your week.

Bills @ Colts

I refuse to believe that the Colts should be a 7.5 point favorite with a 1-5 record, but I don’t see how the Bills score here. Derek Anderson is technically playing “QB” for the Bills, but he’s been there just about a week. Not overly encouraging to be honest. They’re going to run the crap out of LeSean McCoy as they try and grind this game to a halt.  I also expect Charles Clay to get some good looks here as Anderson has a history of favoring the TE. In the only time I’ll do this, I endorse the idea of starting Kelvin Benjamin as there is an actual history between him and Anderson.

Indy is going to have pretty much 3 guys worth starting as the Bills pass defense is actually rather elite at this point. Obviously you start Andrew Luck as he is on pace to throw the most pass attempts ever in an NFL season. That’s worth rolling him out there regardless of matchup, especially if the game is at home. Marlon Mack is a guy who could have a monster week and needs to be owned in all formats. Mack is clearly the top option for Indy at the RB position and when healthy, he outsnaps every other RB combined. He gets almost every carry and even sees targets in the passing game. Expect a lot of dump-off passes and for Mack to be on the receiving end. Eric Ebron is worth the start as the Bills LB’s are vulnerable  in play action and run routes. He’s a favorite target of Luck and honestly should see a bunch of targets in this game. I’m holding off on T.Y. Hilton right now as he gets a brutal matchup against Tre White. Let’s see what Hilton looks like next week if he’s healthy and then we can return to having him in the lineup.

Patriots @ Bears

This matchup just screams underneath passing to the RB’s which is why I think all 4 running backs in this game (Tarik Cohen, Jordan Howard, Sony Michel, James White) are fantasy viable this week and should be started in all formats. This has the potential of a massive letdown game from Tom Brady and large manchild Rob Gronkowski. I’m fading all of the Pats WR’s this week as well despite everyone in love with Josh Gordon the past few weeeks.

For da Bears, let’s all just put the questions aside and acknowledge Allen Robinson as a WR1 in fantasy. Matt Nagy clearly has it figured out as Robinson is lining up all over the place and succeeding as well as leading the team in air yards and targets share. Taylor Gabriel is a must start as his speed will be a massive advantage against the old and slower Patriots defense. And because we all drafted him probably too early and over George KittleTrey Burton is a must-start this week and he’s always good for a TD. 

  1. Mr. A Knife says:
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    meanwhile might as well make the rounds on a survivor pool opinion. pretty good sized pot (had allowed 1 rebuy up till end of week 4, and week 1 you could lose and be ok, it was a “gimme” week if you threw in an extra 25% of the buy in, so effectively you picked a team that you never wanted to use again), i’ve gone

    week 1: TB (won this one anyway, fitzmagic in full at least 400 yd effect)
    2: DEN vs OAK (was losing the entire game, we start to remember who keenum is, won last second)
    3: CHI @ ARI (in which we see how bad trubisky can be, but it ain’t close to bradford bad, was losing whole game, win in last minute(s))
    4: SEA @ ARI (biggest money line gamble made, figured i could rebuy for last time here anyway, wouldn’t have even been close, jankow misses 2 easy kicks in 1st half only to make a very not easy kick with seconds left to win. SEA also didn’t really try too hard to move the ball, figuring they didn’t need to)
    5. NE vs IND (only easy win and only time using an “elite” team)
    6. HOU vs BUF (this really should’ve been easy, HOU’s line collapses for entire 2nd half EXCEPT exactly when HOU needs a drive, then they get stuffed at the 1 on 1st and 1, but peterman turns back into himself just in time)

    now, for this week which you like best:
    7. -IND -7 vs BUF (this has the benefit of little IND ROS value but tons of people are picking them)
    – JAX -4.5 vs HOU (JAX little future value and almost nobody is picking it this week and JAX is probably ready for a bounce back week, and watson/HOU o-line might be in for real trouble in this game, i saw that last week with HOU at home vs BUF where i almost lost)
    – LAC -6.5 vs TEN (lot of LAC future value though)
    – ATL -4 vs NYG (this seems risky though)
    -KC -5.5 vs CIN (but in future weeks KC is likely much more needed)
    – LAR -9.5 @ SF (but even more than KC LAR have tons of probably needed future value)

    future ideas without scouring every matchup
    8. LAR vs GB
    KC vs DEN
    PIT vs CLE
    CIN vs TB

    9. MIN @ NYJ (seems risky though)
    DAL @ WAS (similar to MIN)
    KC @ CLE
    CAR vs TB (might have a winner)

    10. KC vs SF
    LAR vs SEA (week 10 is much easier than 9 if i don’t use either of LAR/KC in weeks 7-8)
    NYJ vs BUF (this seems fine if i DID use KC and LAR earlier)
    GB vs MIA
    LAC @ OAK

    11. LAC vs DEN (this week 11 is the thinest i’m looking at)
    NO vs PHI
    BAL vs CIN (but BAL is best served in week 12)

    so it mostly comes down to IND/JAX (or LAC, but i’d need them more later) or one of KC/LAR this week

    • Reid

      Reid says:
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      @Mr. A Knife: For this week I LOVE Jacksonville (-4.5) and I don’t think it’s even close.

      • Mr. A Knife says:
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        @Reid: crizzap, didn’t see this in time, went IND, but mccoy’s out so that’s good. but now ivory/benjamin just broke off big gains.

        • Mr. A Knife says:
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          @Mr. A Knife: well then the fumble…. hehe.

          • Mr. A Knife says:
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            @Mr. A Knife: wow, that turned into my easiest win of the year, and didn’t have to use NE like last time (the ONLY other time i’ve had an easy win). figured the only way JAX wouldn’t win was bortles, and yep, now chainsaw kessler is in.

            • Mr. A Knife says:
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              @Mr. A Knife: WOW, JAX went completely the other way, the D is giving up having to bail out bortles every week of his life and he’s got nothing to give either. pretty clear here chainsaw kessler was only installed by coaches knowing full well the D is giving up as a last gasp to nix that. all of this is probably good for hyde though at least for a while (and good lord fournette/freeman have turned into football versions of young tulowitzi)

  2. Ron P says:
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    Gordon out has me scrambling!

    .25 PPR – Edelman, Crabtree or Barber?

    .5 PPR – Gabriel, A. Robinson or Mack?

    1 PPR – Crabtree, Mack or Chubb?

    • Reid

      Reid says:
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      @Ron P:

      Edelman
      Gabriel
      Chubb

  3. miles proudfoot says:
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    Hey, I need to pick up a flex since Gronk is out. To make room, drop Cobb or Allison? Thanks!

    • Reid

      Reid says:
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      @miles proudfoot: I would drop Allison personally. But I’m not sure there’s that much of a difference

  4. Weird Fishes says:
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    .5 ppr — would drop Clement for either Duke Johnson or Doug Martin? Thanks!

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