This week the NFL says goodbye to another legend. Andre Johnson announced his retirement this week. When I hear names like Andre Johnson, Calvin Johnson, and LeDainian Thomlinson I think about the need for a Fantasy Football Hall of Fame. Sure there have been a lot of great players over the years. But once in a while a player comes along and changes the Fantasy Football landscape.
Andre Johnson was one of those players. Johnson was the first WR to be constantly taken in the first round. Season after season when the pre-draft ranking came out, Johnson was somewhere near the middle of the pack. Probably a top five pick in PPR leagues. Andre Johnson paved the fantasy first round road for players like Magatron, OBJ, and Antonio Brown. Despite struggling with injuries, Johnson was always a fantasy producer. Seeing his name in the opponent’s line up left an uneasy feeling even well after his prime. Everybody knew that Johnson had the potential to do real damage and seal a win for his fantasy owner. Johnson ended his career with 1,062 receptions, 14,185 yards, 70 rec. TD, and millions of fantasy football memories. Farewell to the player known as The Natural. He truly was, and we in fantasy football land thank you.
There are a lot of fantasy football website that refuse to put the same players on week after week. I am not one of those writers. First of all, I don’t expect anyone to go back and read the blog from week #2. Also, I don’t want to turn attention away from some real potential in order to throw an unlikely scenario to you that won’t help. With that being said, there is going to be some repetition this week. I will make the case for “I told you so” in hopes that it will stick.
Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys- 66%
Prescott’s ownership went up 6% from last week which is astonishing. He scored the 5th most fantasy points last week on his way to leading the Cowboys to an impressive win over the Eagles. “How about dem Cowboys?” Prescott is the reason this team continues to impress. He is 10th in the overall QB rankings. Take into the account that many of the QB’s ahead of him on that list are going into their bye week. He is only 20pts from being in the top five. He has only thrown two interceptions to go with his nine TD passes. Prescott leads the league in QB rushing TD’s with a total of 4. There are 6 teams on a bye this week and Prescott is available in a lot of leagues.
Marcus Mariota, Tennessee Titans- 60%
Mariota saw no gain in his ownership this week. Maybe he is flying under the radar because of his early season struggles. Maybe it is the fact that he plays for the Titans. It could be the fact that he ended last season in Jameis Winston’s rookie shadow. Whatever the preconceived notion is, now is the time to change it. Mariota is a top 10 fantasy QB and it is time to get with the program. Titans are getting better each week and when Mariota plays well they almost always win. They are heading to SD who gives up over an average of 23 pts to opposing teams. Again, with 6 teams on a bye, Mariota is probably available.
Tyrod Taylor, Buffalo Bills- 6-%
Like Mariota, Taylor did not see an increase in ownership. He is currently ranked 10th overall. Statically Taylor is almost a carbon copy of Prescott. Nine TD passes and only two interceptions. Taylor is 2nd in rushing TD’s with 3, but leads all QB’s in rushing yards. Taylor had a mistake free game against the Patriots last Sunday. Buffalo heads west to Seattle, which might be the toughest place to play in the entire league. That is not a good sign for Taylor owners. However I am a firm believer that the “cream always rises to the top.” I think Taylor struggles in Seattle and still heads home to Buffalo with 16+ fantasy points. It might not be pretty, but it will get the job done.
Josh McCown, Cleveland Browns- 2%
WARNING: THIS COULD BE SOMETHING OR IT COULD BE NOTHING. McCown has always been a fantasy enigma. He never seems to begin the season starting yet always finds his way onto the wire. In two starts this season, McCown has averages 17pts. He has always been able to produce when he is on the field. With him behind center in Cleveland, Duke Johnson’s stock rises. However, there has been no commitment to McCown this week as Kessler has cleared concussion protocol. Keep an eye on this situation. If McCown is named the starter this week, he is good to roll.
Robert Kelley, Washington Redskins- 23%
Last week was another great week for this blog as most of the picks were spot on. I am still very high on Chris Thompson, but Kelley ran away with his spot last week. Kelley was non-extent in the passing game. But that didn’t stop him from scoring 14pts on 21 carries for 87 yards and TD. It is important to note that Kelley is on a bye this week and the team says they are still behind Jones. I just don’t see how Gruden can continue to put Jones on the field when he clearly has two backs who produce better. If Jones is out Kelley is a must start against the Vikings in two weeks. As for now, he is a one and done until we see more. He is well worth the stash and wait.
Charcandrick West, Kansas City Chiefs- 8%
KC has been getting great production out of backup option Spencer Ware. But before Ware, there was West. With Ware dealing with a concussion this week, West is in a strong positon to get the start. Was have seen West produce when given the opportunity. If he starts he is an immediate flex option or RB2. Sunday West had 50+ yards on 14 carries to go along with 2 catches after coming for the injured Ware. With Jacksonville coming to visit, I would not hesitate to get West in my lineup.
Tim Hightower, New Orleans Saints- 2%
No Hightower is not a rookie. In fact he is past his 30th birthday. This is the same Hightower who we thought would take the fantasy world by storm while in Arizona. The problem was injuries and underwhelming performances. However, after another fumble by Ingram, Hightower has resurfaced and made his presence known. Hightower ran for over 100 yards on 26 carries on his way to double digit fantasy points. The kicker is that he was productive without being involved in the passing game. For an RB in NO that is rare. Not sure where the Saints will turn this week, but know that Hightower is on the radar. Increase trust equal increased touches. Increased touches equal increased opportunity. Increase opportunity equal fantasy victory.
Antone Smith, Tampa Bay Buccaneers- .1%
There are few backfields in the history of the NFL that has taken a hit like Tampa Bay this season. The have lost starter Martin, #2 Sims, and now #3 Rodgers. Smith will share an opportunity with newly acquired Mike James and Peyton Barber. Barber had a nice showing against the 49ers but returned to insignificance last week. This is a dire situation that you should keep your eyes on. When this happened and Quizz got the start he became an instant starter. Smith could do same.
Mike Gillisee, Buffalo Bills- 58%
McCoy is not expected to play in Seattle this week. Yes, I said Seattle which is a red flag to any player. However, Buffalo is going to have to figure out a way to compete and in a close game they will keep it on the ground. Gillisee did well against the Patriots even after Buffalo was forced to abandon their run game in order to try and score fast. Seattle’s defense is good, but they are hiding behind their reputation. If they continue to see key defenders sit, Gillisee might be a smart play. Either way, if he is starting for Buffalo he should be starting for you.
Jamison Crowder, Washington Redskins- 44%
Can Crowder get any louder? Crowder saw only a 4% increase in ownership this week. He finished the week 5th overall in scoring. He caught 9 passes on 13 targets for over 100 yards. This is his second 100 yard receiving game in a row. Week after week he is catching passes from Kirk Cousins and week after week he is ignored. He is ranked as the 15th overall WR going into his bye week. He is top 20 in receptions so far this season. Yes, like the Redskin players he is on a bye week. But don’t lose this stash opportunity. If he keeps it up he will be a steal in any dynasty or keeper league.
Mohamed Sanu, Atlanta Falcons- 48%
Time and time again Matty Ice has shown how good a pick up Sanu was for the Falcons in the offseason. Jones is always going to get targets as he is one of the top players in the league. Jones is also going to get double teamed most of the time. When he is called upon Sanu has stepped up every time. Sanu has caught almost 65% of the passes that have targeted him. To put that into perspective, his percentage is 4% higher than Julio Jones. Sanu is no Jones, but he is heavily targeted in one of the hottest and highest scoring offenses in the league. He is always one catch away from a fantasy explosion.
Eric Ebron, Detroit Lions- 38%
Ebron was a mass drop early in the season. It isn’t hard to see why. It seems like expectations are always high and then an injury derails them. Ebron returned last week and caught 7 passes for over 70 yards. He didn’t score, but in PPR leagues that is a double digit afternoon. If he stays healthy he will be a big target against Minnesota next week. He is bound to find the end zone in the Stafford pass happy offense. TE is always a rough patch when trying to keep the season together. Ebron is not going to hurt you this week.
C.J. Fiedorowicz, Houston Texans- 13%
CJ showed up on my radar last week. Not because he sounds like a character from “An American Tale,” but because he catches footballs. A lot has been made about Osweiler’s choice to leave the Broncos. Everyone in Texas is talking about that “failure” or they talk about J.J. Watt. CJ is coming off of his third week in a row where he has caught 5 or more passes. It is the second time in three weeks that he has scored a touchdown. Don’t sleep on Fiedorowicz just because the Texas media does. He can do real well for your fantasy team. HE IS ON A BYE, but I don’t want you to miss out on this opportunity.
Kendall Wright, Tennessee Titans- 4%
Wright caught 4/5 passes last week for 84 yards and touchdown. It was his second TD in three games. He has been the most targeted receiver in the Titans offense for two games in a row now. As Mariota continues to improve, Wrights numbers will as well. He is a good add this week to fill a bye slot.
J.J. Nelson, Arizona Cardinals- 2%
The 2nd year speedster out of UAB is starting to make some noise in the desert. Two weeks ago Nelson produced 84 yards against the Seahawks. He followed that up last week by producing 74 yards which resulted in two touchdowns. Arizona is still trying to find “it.” The WR core is banged up, but Nelson appears to be up for the task. He is heading into a bye week, so he is a stash like many on this list.
Dontrelle Inman, San Diego Chargers- 4.3%
With so many teams on byes this week, it might be a good time to try out someone new. Inman is flying under the radar in SD, but he has shown some potential in the last couple of weeks. He runs more routes than any receiver on the Chargers, but has not produced much as of yet. He is a stretch, but you might be able to get away with one this week.
Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs- 2%
Hill leads the Chiefs in touchdown receptions and is second overall behind Maclin. This is unique because Hill is the 3rd or 4th most targeted receiver week after week. He has impressive speed that makes him difficult to cover. He is a rookie this season, drafted in the fifth round. He might just now be figuring this whole NFL thing out. Even if he doesn’t earn a start he is the second Chief WR that you should own this season.