By: Jonathan Goad
It’s that time of week again. Time for the weekly advice so you can dominate your opponent.
With nothing to apologize for this week, let’s get started.
Philip Rivers, QB, Los Angeles Chargers
From the “Bench” column to the “Start” column, Philip Rivers should have a great week against the 49ers (you’re welcome, Tony). Rivers has had a fine season. The Niners have given up eight passing touchdowns, and with the weapons that Rivers has at his disposal, there’s no reason to think he won’t toss three or more TDs. The one issue is that LA will probably get up early on San Francisco, so he may not throw a whole lot in the second half. He should have a solid game before that, however. Start him anyway.
Calvin Ridley, WR, Atlanta Falcons
Ridley exploded onto the fantasy scene last week with a 7-146-3 stat line. He’s also seen his targets increase every week. It’s safe to say that he and Matt Ryan have developed a solid chemistry. The Falcons host the Bengals, who aren’t terrible against the pass. They haven’t seen an aerial attack quite like Atlanta though. By no means does Ridley’s inclusion into the “Start” category mean to bench Julio Jones. He’s a no brainer every week. Ridley is a borderline WR2/WR3 this week, but I’d consider firing him up.
Carlos Hyde, RB, Cleveland Browns
Hyde has scored in every game this season (he scored twice last week). With Baker Mayfield starting on Sunday, Cleveland may rely on Hyde even more until Mayfield gets more acquainted to the NFL game. Look for 20+ touches again for Hyde who is facing a poor Oakland defense. They’ve allowed two backs to rush for over 100 yards so far this season. Hyde could be the third. Give him a place at the table.
Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Arizona Cardinals
Fitz has been a disappointment so far this season. Twelve catches for 113 yards and no TDs is hardly what fantasy owners expected thus far. Josh Rosen is starting at QB this week for the Cardinals. He may very well be better than Sam Bradford, but I’m still hesitant with Fitz this week. His targets have also decreased every week. Sorry Larry, but I’m benching you.
LeSean McCoy, RB, Buffalo Bills
At this point, the Bills entire roster is probably on the bench, if anyone other than Shady is owned. McCoy is dealing with a rib injury, which held him out of the shocking win against the Vikings last week. I don’t see them replicating that result. Expect Buffalo to be behind early and mostly abandon the running game. Green Bay isn’t great against the run, but I don’t like Shady in this matchup. Grab some pine, Shady.
Jordy Nelson, WR, Oakland Raiders
Jordy rewarded the brave owners who started him last week with six catches for 173 yards and a score. Don’t get use to those numbers from Nelson. Those type of games are going to be a rare thing from Jordy this season. Oakland does play Cleveland who isn’t awful against the pass. They’ve given up big games to Michael Thomas and Antonio Brown, but so does the rest of the league. Bench him.
Josh Gordon, WR, New England Patriots
Gordon is still dealing with a hamstring injury, but it appears as if he is healthy enough to play. I would consider starting him. New England needs a big play receiver at the moment, and that is what Josh Gordon is. However, it’s unknown how much of the offense he is comfortable with. The potential is there for a big game, but there’s a little risk involved with it. Be patient with Gordon. He’ll pay dividends soon.
James Conner, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers
Conner hasn’t been bad the past couple weeks. But he hasn’t come close to what he did in week one. He’s still likely to get around 20 touches, which is valuable, but he does play Baltimore. The Ravens have been stingy to opposing RBs so far this season. No back has amassed over 100 total yards against them, and they’ve only given up one touchdown to RBs. The volume should be there for Conner, but don’t expect a repeat of week one.
Kenyan Drake, RB, Miami Dolphins
Drake was abysmal against the Raiders last week and the Dolphins won that game. New England did just give up about 150 yards to Kerryon Johnson and LeGarrette Blount. Drake could have decent success against the struggling Pats defense. Drake should have ran all over the Raiders defense, though. So I’d be a little hesitant with him, but there’s potential for a decent game.
There’s my picks for this week. May the odds be ever in your favor.