Sometimes you’re the dog — sometimes you’re the hydrant. Ben Roethlisberger was one of my QB sit recommendations last week and this week he is my first QB start recommendation. Last week I recommended you start 49ers WR Marquise Goodwin and this week I want nothing to do with anyone on offense for San Francisco. What a difference a week makes!
I’ve got your cure for the bye week blues right here:
Ben Roethlisberger, PIT, 26.0% starting: Oh ye of little faith. I had Roethlisberger as a sit last week against the toughest-against-QB’s Jacksonville defense and he was talking about retiring after the game. However, I think Roethlisberger is going to ROAR back for 20+ fantasy points this week in a high-scoring loss to the Chiefs. The Chiefs to their disservice have allowed the 6th most passing yards to opposing QBs. The funeral for Ben Roethlisberger has been a bit premature — he is still a quality QB and a great fill-in option this week.
Josh McCown, NYJ, 6.7%: I’m so committed to McCown performing well this week that I recommended him as an add in my waiver article, he’s listed as a start right here, and I’m even starting him in my work league as Marcus Mariota’s replacement. Whooaaaa I’m living on a prayer! But in a big rivalry game against the Pats I see McCown having his best game all year and netting me at least 16 fantasy points. The Patriots have allowed the most passing TDs and second most passing yards. If McCown has a bad game against them then you’ll never see him in any article of mine again!
Alex Smith, KC, 51.2%: Opposing Roethlisberger is Alex Smith. However, unlike Big Ben, Smith is facing a stingy Steelers pass defense that has allowed the fewest passing yards to QBs and the second fewest passing TDs. I think Andy Reid is smart enough to realize this and will be running Kareem Hunt for a 200 yard game. I know that is a bold statement to make but while the Steelers pass defense has been elite, their run defense has been the anything but. They have allowed the 3rd most rushing yards to opposing RBs.
Derek Carr, OAK, 20.1%: This is a fair matchup for Carr, but I can guarantee that Oakland Raiders head coach, Jack del Rio, is going to play it extremely safe with their franchise QB. Also, similarly to Smith and the Chiefs — Carr is facing a Chargers defense that has allowed the 8th fewest passing yards, but the most rushing yards. So make sure Marshawn Lynch is in your lineup.
Chris Thompson, WAS, 45.1%: This is a lot more obvious than my other start suggestions, but in a crowded Redskin backfield, Thompson is definitely someone you want to start over some of your other RBs. Thompson has the 5th most receiving yards and he’s facing a 49ers defense that has allowed the 3rd most receiving yards to RBs. The math is there for a big Thompson day.
Elijah McGuire, NYJ, 13.8%: Bilal Powell is still questionable, but I don’t think he’ll be ready in time for his game. And while Matt Forte is healthy after missing the past two weeks with knee and toe issues, I think Todd Bowles is going to take it easy on Forte for another week to make sure he really is 100%. That leaves us with Elijah McGuire taking on a Patriots defense that has allowed the second-most points to RBs. A lot of those points came from 372 receiving yards and 3 receiving TDs, which only makes Elijah even better looking in PPR leagues.
Carlos Hyde, SF, 75.9%: Matt Breida had more rushing attempts and more rushing yards than Hyde in week 5. I still think Hyde is the RB1 in San Fran, but coach Kyle Shanahan saying that he is going to run with the “hot hand” week to week should make you a bit concerned. Hyde’s matchup is also rough against a Redskins defense that has allowed the 3rd fewest rushing yards.
Adrian Peterson, ARI, 20.2%: Everybody chill. I know we’re all excited that one of the greatest RBs of all time is now free from Sean Payton’s doghouse, but at least for 1 week — don’t start him. The Bucs have allowed the 5th fewest rushing yards this season and he hasn’t really had enough time to familiarize himself with the Arizona playbook. Next week he faces the Rams who have allowed the most fantasy points to RBs — start him then, not now.
Giants RBs vs. Denver: I know we’re all expecting the Giants to run the ball now that they’re down to their WR17, but the Giants RBs don’t want none of this Denver run defense. No, they don’t want none. They looking scared, no they don’t really want none. They’re going to split time between all Wayne Gallman, Shane Vereen and Orleans Darkwa and they’re all going to run for about…25-30 yards a piece with 0 TDs.
Jermaine Kearse / Robby Anderson, NYJ: Both these guys have 29 targets and 220 yards on the season. Check out Josh McCown or Elijah Mcguire above to see why I’m buying into the Jets offense this week.
Taylor Gabriel, ATL, 6.3%: There’s a few things working in Gabriel’s favor this week: Julio Jones is 100% after leaving his week 4 matchup with a hip injury meaning he’ll be grabbing a lot of the Dolphins defense’s attention, next: the usual WR2 in Atlanta, Mohamed Sanu, has been ruled out for week 6 and finally: the Dolphins have allowed 247.3 yards/game to WR and their secondary has grabbed 0 INTs. I think Gabriel sneaks behind that secondary for a big score
JuJu Smith-Schuster, PIT, 1.3%: I told you in my Waiver Wired article that I loved JuJu and was going to start him this week. He’s increased his receiving yards every week and in week 6 he gets the Chiefs who have tied the Titans for most receiving TDs allowed to WRs with 9. Check out my Waiver Wired article here if you need more info: Waiver Wired, Week 6.
Jarvis Landry, MIA, 68.9%: I’ll admit I’m not 100% convinced on this sit suggestion, but Jay Cutler is a clown and the Falcons defense is well rested after a week 5 bye. Landry’s battery mate DeVante Parker is doubtful to play in this game which could further hurt Landry’s fantasy stats as the Falcons will be keying in on him in the secondary.
Pierre Garcon, SF, 67.7%: The Redskins secondary has been lights out so far in 2017. They’ve only allowed 1 TD and 422 yards to opposing WRs. Garcon, Brian Hoyer and the 49ers are going to have a bad time.
Rams WR vs. JAX: Sammy Watkins, Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods are going to have a rough day against this Jaguars secondary. The Jaguars grabbed 5 INTs against Ben Roethlisberger in week 5 and have only allowed 1 TD to WRs and that was way back in week 1.
Zach Miller, CHI, 15.2%: The Bears wide receivers haven’t really done much so I could see Miller becoming a solid security blanket for rookie QB Mitch Trubisky. He already is a Chicago pub trivia answer as being Trubisky’s first TD pass. Ravens have allowed 4 TDs and the 6th most fantasy points to TEs this year.
Austin Hooper, ATL, 12.2%: If Taylor Gabriel doesn’t thrive against the Dolphins for the reasons I listed above, then you can believe that Austin Hooper will for those same reasons. Hooper went off in week 1 with 128 yards and a TD then disappeared for the next 2 weeks averaging 8 yards. Week 4 is the more typical floor I think we will see from Hooper: 5 receptions, 50 yards. I think he can get 6 receptions for 65 yards and a TD this week.
Jordan Reed, WSH, 69.1% starting: Reed had a week to recovery from the ailing injury to his everything, but reports are that he still isn’t 100%. Reed is averaging 5.8 fantasy points per game and this is his 3rd appearance as a sit candidate. The 49ers haven’t allowed more than 6 fantasy points to TEs all season. Expect another bad game from Reed.
Evan Engram, NYG, 48.3%: This is a make or break series of games for Evan Engram. With their top-3 WRs out, Engram could become the de facto top receiving target for Eli Manning…eventually. But not this week. The Broncos secondary is going to cause fits for Eli and accelerate the termination of Ben McAdoo’s contract.
Tennessee Titans D/ST, vs IND, 35.9%: The Titans D haven’t been putting up huge fantasy numbers at all this season, but last week against a worse defense than the Colts, the Titans only allowed 10 points scored with an INT and a fumble recovery. Recommending a defense really just comes down to match-up and this is a good one.
Pittsburgh Steelers D/ST, vs. KC, 40.0%: I know I told you not to start Chiefs QB Alex Smith this week, but the Chiefs should still continue their torrid scoring. They lead the NFL with 32.8 points per game and while the Steelers know how to stop the pass, they can’t stop the run, can’t stop the run, they can’t stop the run, can’t stop the run.
Dustin Hopkins, WSH, 22.8%: As you can guess by my Defense start recommendation, I think the 49ers are going to have a terrible day against the Redskins. The Redskins are going to get a lot of possessions and I could see the 49ers allowing 4 field goals for the 3rd game in a row.
Mason Crosby, GB, 66.7%: Crosby is 25th in average fantasy points scored this year. He’s only attempted 5 field goals all year. I blame Aaron Rodgers, that bum! Scoring all those TDs! Crosby will face off against a Vikings team that has averaged only 4 fantasy points allowed to kickers over the past 3 weeks.