That is how I envision Nathan Peterman going out on Sunday will look like. It’s an embarrassment to football and modern civilization that he continues to get opportunities to start games in the National Football League. Where we all saw Nick Mullens last night destroy a Raiders team that is actually an abomination, it will be a real contest to see if Peterman can do worse. Let’s look at some of the key games for fantasy this week…
Tampa Bay @ Carolina
We have FitzMAGIC baby! The epitome of the Circle of Life Ryan Fitzpatrick has returned as the starter and should be airing it out this week. The Panthers really don’t give a whole lot up on the ground, so expect Fitz to throw all over the place to the likes of Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Desean Jackson. All 3 should be starting for you this week in what I expect to be the 2nd highest scoring game of the week. I am a little skittish on OJ Howard as Fitz has shown that he throws quite a bit to fellow Crimson grad Cameron Brate (did you know both Fitzpatrick and Brate went to Harvard?). I’m fading Peyton Barber this week and Ronald Jones isn’t expected to suit up.
The Panthers are where the real treasure is this week. Cam Newton is QB1 for both Rudy and myself this week (the rankings and tools from Razzball are second to none and I highly recommend subscribing to them). Christian McCaffrey should get back on track even if he is mainly accumulating points as a receiver. This week is one where I can comfortably suggest DJ Moore and Devin Funchess both. There’s been enough targets and snaps for Moore that I think Cam airs it out a ton to him and the YAC for Moore is where he really separated himself from the other WR’s in the draft this past year. I think you can go with Greg Olsen again if you want, but he doesn’t seem 100% and for me would be very TD-reliant.
**Before I get into the next game, I would like to say a few words about the Cleveland Browns. I honestly feel horrible for Baker Mayfield. The guy is the ultimate competitor. He is so good and is already a great leader. He just happened to go to the worst possible situation imaginable. Hue Jackson was an absolute joke of a HC who should have been fired after his 1-15 season, then again after the 0-16 campaign last year, and at any point between those dates.
Browns owner Jimmy Haslem is just as big of a joke as Hue Jackson, and really it all starts and ends with him. I won’t even get into the private issues Haslem has with his company. But good lord how can such incompetence be allowed to own an NFL franchise?
Hue Jackson is now going on a media tour blaming the moon and the stars and everything and anyone but himself for the Browns futility these past 2.5 seasons. Any team that even considers bringing in Hue Jackson for so much as parking attendant should suffer forever 7-9 seasons. It’s an assault on accountability and being a god damn adult to go and blame everyone after you get fired for how shitty of a coach you are. Just keep that in mind when Hue gives all these interviews and goes on all of these talk shows and tries to peddle absolute bullshit about how he actually knows what he is doing with the game of football. End Rant**
Atlanta @ Washington
Hotlanta really has only 4 names to even discuss in terms of starting in fantasy this week. Matt Ryan is a must start each week, but it’s an outdoor game and he statistically just isn’t as prolific outdoors as he is in a dome. Julio Jones is again a must-start although he may never catch a TD pass for the remainder of his career. I’m still trying to figure out how he doesn’t even have 1 yet. Calvin Ridley has moved into must-start territory this week with Mohammed Sanu listed as a DNP for Thursday practice. If Sanu doesn’t dress for this game or is severely limited in action, Ridley should pick up a bunch of those targets. I’m also high on Austin Hooper this week for the same reason as Ridley. No Sanu gives Hooper and Ridley a big boost this week. I’m staying away from the RB position on Atlanta because honestly nobody runs well against Washington. They’ve faced elite RB’s the last 3 weeks and have completely shut them down.
Washington to me has only 2 people you can actually start this week. Adrian Peterson is a top-5 RB play this week despite Trent Williams probably missing this game on the OL. I stated a while ago that the rule of thumb is to always start the RB that goes up against the Falcons. Peterson has been one of the most consistent RB’s at a position that has very few consistent players. He should beast out this week and you’ll reap the benefits. I also am way too high on Jordan Reed this week. The Atlanta linebackers are…. not overly good, and Reed had 12 targets last week. The production is coming, and I think this week is when he puts up a performance that will get him drafted higher than necessary next year.
Houston @ Denver
It’s the Demaryius Thomas revenge game!
Actually, it’s going to be a rather open game to be honest. Deshaun Watson has found his footing by just throwing to DeAndre Hopkins a bunch and honestly it’s a good idea to do that. Lamar Miller is a must start this week as the Denver defense is rather awful at stopping the run. With Thomas added to the mix, Keke Coutee should see slot receiver snaps and that’ll help in PPR leagues. I expect there to be a bunch of scoring in this game and to be highly fantasy-relevant.
Denver is interesting. You’re obviously starting Phillip Lindsay this week with Royce Freeman still battling injury. Case Keenum could also claim this is a revenge game, and I think he throws to Emmanual Sanders and Courtland Sutton (My WR2 coming out of the draft last year) quite a bit this week. I don’t necessarily trust anyone else on the Denver offense in this game, but frankly you shouldn’t need to go deeper than those 4 players for the Broncos.
LA Rams @ New Orleans
This is the highest total of the week and I actually don’t think it’ll go over (60 points as of 11/2) as that total is just way too high for my liking. That being said, the Saints defense is pretty trash again and I’m all for starting every single Rams player you have. Sign me up for Jared Goff, Todd Gurley, Robert Woods, and Brandin Cooks. I know you’re interested in Josh Reynolds, but he was very TD heavy last week and didn’t see much in terms of targets. I don’t expect his targets to go up much at all this week. The Rams are somewhat boring to discuss in fantasy because they’re always playable for each matchup they face.
The Saints are very awkward. I’m starting Drew Brees and part of me is scared about it. I shouldn’t be scared, but it’s just a gut feeling that something really wrong could happen here. I think Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara are must-starts based on when you drafted them, but Kamara has been really poor these past weeks since Ingram returned from suspension. You’re hoping he sees enough in the passing game and finds the end zone multiple times this week in PPR leagues to keep your hopes this week alive. Tre’Quan Smith is the trendy sleeper pick for deep leagues this week and you’re always starting Michael Thomas because he’s just that good and sees too much volume to not play.