Lions @ Bears
Safe Bets: Teez Tabor might sound like a bounty hunter based out of Mos Eisley, but it turns out he moonlights as the worst cornerback in the NFL. With Darius Slay potentially sidelined this weekend, poor Teez will draw the on-the-mend Allen Robinson II in what should be a huge bounce back game for the Bear. Trey Burton is quietly giving you TE1 production with his scoring numbers, and you shouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth if you happen to own him. Good ol’ Mitch Trubisky ought to let the good times roll against a Lions defense that seems to have collectively lost the will to live. On the Detroit side, Marvin Jones Jr. is the only player I feel somewhat confident in because, well, somebody has to be on the receiving end of some desperation heaves in garbage time.
Hope For The Best: If you’re a Lions fans, it probably can’t get any worse than losing 24-9 to a division rival while allowing a franchise record 10 sacks in the process… *checks notes, sees that Chicago is up next and that Khalil Mack is scheduled to make his return* umm, scratch that – it can definitely get worse. Matt Stafford will be shuffling for his life and will likely serve up a minimum of two turnovers (to say nothing of the potential, shall we say, “unforced errors” he decides to mix in), so the only reason to consider starting him is for some garbage time scoring. Kerryon Johnson goes as the Lions do, and lately that means he’s heading directly for the shitter. Still, he’s a volume play in a tough matchup, which is better than the majority of RB2/Flex options at this bye-heavy juncture of the season.
For the Bears, I’d give the upper hand to Tarik Cohen in this one. While Jordan Howard bumbled his way to nearly 50 yards and two scores last week, it’s clear by this point that Cohen offers significantly more upside in the backfield. Both are fine RB2’s in a game that Chicago should control.
Hell No: Feel free to downvote me into oblivion, but here are the facts about Kenny Golladay: since the Lions’ bye in week 6, the 2nd year player has gone 2-37-0, 1-12-0, and 3-46-0. I’m not saying he can’t turn it around, but it’s up to you if you want to risk another goose egg against the formidable Bears defense. Not to be outdone, fellow Lion LeGarrette Blount is equally worthless and can remain on the waiver wire. I totally understand that Theo Riddick offers some flex appeal in PPR formats, but the return of Zach Zenner means that the entire Detriot backfield can safely punch their tickets for Shitsville™
Postgame Headline: “Bears, Mack maul spiraling Lions in 27-16 walloping”
Seahawks @ Rams
Story To Watch: If you were holding out hope that the Seahawks would eventually open up the offense to match the fast-paced trends permeating the league in 2018, last week’s game was a harsh reminder that Seattle is firmly committed to a New Deal-era bevy of inside run plays. Down two scores with under five minutes to play, Seattle inexplicably stuck with the run game (including a run on 4th and 4, which was mercifully converted) firmly answering the question of whether last year’s QB1 would be able to replicate his league-winning potential from a year ago (spoiler: he won’t). Russ can still deliver useable numbers, but when your offense is difficult to distinguish from black-and-white Jim Thorpe highlights, the chances for fantasy gold are slim.
Safe Bets: Let’s start by answering the obvious questions. Should Todd Gurley and Jared Goff be in your lineup for this 20+ point beatdown? Yes. Should Brandin Cooks and Cooper Kupp both be given WR2 treatment in what’s likely to be yet another 30 point performance for the Rams offense? Definitely. Is Bob Woods gonna get his to the tune of 5 catches and 80+ yards? He usually does. Will Mike Davis continually get the rock despite facing a three score deficit? As we covered above, absolutely.
Russell Wilson is a tricky play in this one, because despite the relatively juicy matchup, he’s always a threat to barely throw the ball ten times throughout the game. That said, he still has the ability to convert, and he’s a relatively safe bet for at least two scores in a comeback effort.
Hope For The Best: The issue for Doug Baldwin is the same for every pass catcher in the Seattle offense – the volume simply hasn’t been there. While Marcus Peters has more closely resembled barbecue chicken than he has a staring cornerback this season, it will be difficult for Seattle’s presumptive WR1 to take advantage with only 4-6 targets. Tyler Lockett faces a similar conundrum, but at least he’s displayed the ability to break out for a touchdown now and again.
Hell No: You’d have to really be scraping the bottom of the barrel to give Nick Vanett a shot here. But then again, I don’t know your situation. Desperate times call for desperate measures.
Postgame Headline: “Rams roll to easy win over ‘rival’ Seahawks in 34-23 romp”
Falcons @ Browns
Safe Bets: I’m not going to predict that Julio Jones’ touchdown last week will be the catalyst for a scoring outburst, but based on the veteran WR’s reaction, he clearly was overdue for a release. His team reacted to him scoring like he was a kid from the make a wish foundation, which shows you just how hard up Julio was for paydirt. Let’s hope it’s the start of something big. Matt Ryan has quietly been on the fantasy QB1 radar for weeks, and he should keep it rolling against a Cleveland Defense that appears to look gassed lately. That means the apparently lightning fast Tevin Coleman shouldn’t have any issues breaking away on a screen now and then. On Cleveland’s side, the only thing holding Nick Chubb back will be how long this game remains competitive. If it’s within 10 points in the 4th, then there’s a good chance Chubb is in line for 20+ touches and a score.
Hope For The Best: Okay, go ahead and gloat, Duke Johnson Jr. supporters. I’ve continually beaten the drum that the glorified backfield receiver is worthless outside of PPR leagues, but Cleveland’s new offensive coordinator clearly feels differently. He should be in line for another massive target share. Baker Mayfield has yet to deliver that “breakout” fantasy performance, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t serviceable. Look for low end QB1 numbers as he keys in on Jarvis Landry here.
On paper, David Njoku should be a monster. On the field, he’s little more than occasional nuisance. Let’s hope that this is finally the 80+ yard, 1+ score game we’ve been waiting on from The Chief. Calvin Ridley is a threat to pop off at any moment, so you shouldn’t lose any sleep over slotting him into your WR3/flex on a weekly basis. On the topic of flex options, Judge Ito Smith should mete out plenty of righteousness with his garbage time gavel in this one.
Hell No: There isn’t a whole lot to dislike with the Falcons offense these days, so this is purely a gut call, but Mohammed Sanu could be the odd man out in what’s looking like a well-oiled machine. The same goes for Austin Hooper. He’s a threat to score, but you can’t exactly set your watch to it.
Postgame Headline: “Falcons cruise to 29-22 win in front of horrified dawg pound.”
Cowboys @ Eagles
Story To Watch: It’s the weekend, so what the hell – let’s do a sing along! Sing it with me now…
“If Dak’s average and you know it, clap your hands…”
“If your season’s over and you know it, clap your hands…”
“If you’re awful but won’t show it and your team is gonna blow it but you’re miraculously still employed, clap your hands…”
Safe Bets: After an unceremonious start for the WFC’s replete with close wins and embarrassing losses, the Eagles are ready to make their move for the stretch run. Carson Wentz is quietly playing the best football of his young career, and he shouldn’t have many issues connecting with Zach Ertz and Al Jeffery under the national spotlight. While those two still remain options 1A and 1B for the Eagles, the seemingly endless receiving options on the team makes their usage a story to watch during this matchup. It will be interesting to see how much, if at all, the arrival of Golden Tate cuts into their target share. On the topic of Tate, I would exercise caution until you see how he’s utilized. That said, Tate owners get to watch his Eagles debut on Sunday night football, so I mean… you’re sure as shit starting him! Fantasy’s more fun that way.
Hope For The Best: As the creator the Zeke Elliott’s “Fantasy Grim Reaper” moniker, it pains me to slide the Dallas Running Back in this section. The volume will be there, but the birds have been the very definition of a brick wall for opposing running backs this season. After Amari Cooper’s encouraging start last week, there’s no reason to downgrade him against Philly’s laughable secondary. Throw in the fact that Sidney Jones is questionable and Jalen Mills is (mercifully) still out, and Coop could be in for his best start of the season. That’s not to suggest that Dak Prescott will be gangbusters here. In fact, it’s hard to imagine a more hostile environment for the struggling quarterback to walk into. That said, he’s a real son of a bitch with his scrambling and there’s a nonzero chance he puts a couple scores on the board.
Hell No: Michael Gallup has the talent, but I don’t see it flashing in a difficult matchup. Not that Nelson Agholor was playing poorly, per se, but the arrival of Golden Tate all but assures the USC product’s relegation to Shitsville™. And since we’re on the topic of that smelly city, a potentially fully healthy Eagles backfield means that literally none of them are usable in fantasy. As far as I’m concerned, Corey Clement, Wendell Smallwood, Josh Adams and Darren Sproles are the four horsemen of the Shitsville™ Apocalypse.
Postgame Headline: “Eagles’ defense terrorizes Dak, Cowboys in 27-17 NFC East hate crime”
Dolphins @ Packers
Safe Bets: Aaron Rodgers, Aaron Jones, Davante Adams, and yes, Marquez Valdes-Scantling
Hope For The Best: Ken Drake, Zombie Frank Gore, Ken Stills.
Hell No: Weird, Devante Parker followed up his random 6-catch, 128-yard outburst with a 1-catch, 2-yard dud the following week. Imagine my shock. It should go without saying the Brock Osweiler is a bad idea, and I don’t think there’s a single person outside of Jamaal Williams’ mother who actually wants Jamaal Williams to succeed.
Postgame Headline: “Packers keep their middling season alive with 26-19 win over Dolphins.”
Jaguars @ Colts
Story To Watch: You could be forgiven if you forgot that Leonard Fournette even existed, but he was shockingly removed from the injury report this week. That’s right – a full practice for the man you likely sunk a first round pick on back in August – and not a moment too soon. There’s a good chance that your season is likely in the shitter, but if you’ve managed to cobble together a few wins in the interim, then you should hail the arrival “Len the White” at the turn of the tide…
Safe Bets: Whether or not he fought the Balrog in the shadow realm to gain supernatural powers, a healthy Leonard Fournette is always a tasty proposition. No way in hell you’re sitting him after waiting all year long, potential hamstring setbacks be damned. Andrew Luck should be started with confidence even against the once-vaunted Jaguars defense. He might throw three interceptions, but the NFL’s passing touchdowns leader will offset the picks with at least as many scores. The Jaguar’s rush defense still cuts the mustard, however, so Marlon Mack is in line for some difficult work. Still, you’d be hard pressed to find a more effective offensive line than the Colts right now, and you’d have to shoot me in the face to stop me from starting Mack with the way he’s been playing.
Hope For The Best: The return of Jack Doyle may spell eventual doom for Eric Ebron, but for now at least, they’re still both contributing. There’s a decent chance that either could cross the pylon in this one, but Doyle obviously gets the edge in targets and yards. Maybe it’s due to the prolonged absence of Len Fournette, but the Jaguars quietly morphed into a passing offense over the course of the season. That’s not to suggest that the horrendous Blake Bortles will win your fantasy matchup single-handedly, but he’s not altogether useless against the Colts defense. After a rough October, there’s nowhere to go but up for T.Y. Hilton as we enter the holiday season.
Hell No: It’s weird, I could’ve sworn the headlines a couple of weeks ago stated that Carlos Hyde was traded to Jacksonville, but it seems he got lost along the way and wound up in Shitsville™? Let me know if you have any information on his whereabouts. Actually, y’know what? just have T.J. Yeldon lead the search party.
Postgame Headline: “Colts outlast Jaguars behind Luck’s Three-Touchdown performance in 26-20 win”
Redskins @ Buccaneers
Safe Bets: Despite the loss at Carolina last week, the Buccaneers seem committed to riding out their disaster of a season with Ryan Fitzpatrick at the helm. While such a move has historically been viewed as a white flag in NFL circles, it’s a godsend in this fake game of ours. Despite Mike Evans one catch aberration last week, Fitzmagic gives him a much better chance of success than the supplanted Jameis Winston. OJ Howard also offers touchdown potential in an increasingly difficult tight end market.
Hope For The Best: Quick, who had Week 10 as the cutoff point for when we could finally stop taking the Redskins seriously? I get it, it’s been a nice story and everything, but selfishly I’m glad I don’t need to recommend their players with a straight face any longer. Adrian Peterson should still see feature volume and Alex Smith can cobble together a usable stat line, but you know what you’re getting with this geriatric combo. Desean Jackson always offers tantalizing upside at the expense of a dismal floor with Fitz at the helm, but that’s a risk I’m willing to take. Peyton Barber isn’t the worst play in the world, which is about the kindest thing I could muster saying about Peyton Barber. With Chris Thompson yet again sidelined, Kapri Bibbs serves both as a pain in the ass to AP owners and to offer flex upside to owners in a bye week pinch. Adam Humphries seems to be the apple of his quarterback’s eye, so we’ll see if that carries over to this matchup.
Hell No: Since we’re talking about finally being able to forego taking the Redskins seriously, it gives me great pleasure to firmly plant Jordan Reed in this category. Vernon Davis is outplaying him in nearly every facet of the game, so Reed is barreling violently towards Shitsville™. The emergence of Adam Humpries makes Chris Godwin a dicey proposition. Don’t be fooled by Josh Doctson’s acrobatic score last week – there’s a monument erected in his honor in Shitsville™ for a reason.
Postgame Headline: “Redskins continue spiral as Buccaneers win 30-23”
Bills @ Jets
Story To Watch: See, the problem with writing about this matchup is that I don’t hate my life. Sure, I could sit here and pull some stats on what makes Kelvin Benjamin so horrendous, or maybe discuss how Elijah McGuire is poised to take over primary ballcarrier duties in the Jets backfield; but again, I still have the will to live. Come to think of it, I could even describe the general uptick that all Jets skill players will experience as a result of Josh McCown getting this start, but I digress because, hey… I’m not suicidal just yet! If you actually dedicate time to watching this godforsaken matchup this Sunday, please respond to this post with some contact information so we can put you in touch with a mental health professional. Things may seem dark, but Jets-Bills isn’t the answer!
Safe Bets: I mean… the Jets Defense?
Hope For The Best: Josh McCown, Elijah McGuire, Robby Anderson, and hmm.. what’s that I hear off in the distance? It’s a certain “call” if you will… from an avian creature perhaps?
Hell No: Literally every Bill.
Postgame Headline: “If a team wins and nobody sees it, does it still count? Jets sure hope so after 20-9 victory over beleaguered Bills.”
Patriots @ Titans
Safe Bets: It’s funny with Josh Gordon. Sometimes he looks like he’s out of gas, sometimes it looks like he’s running through quick sand on routs, and yet.. he’s still delivering some big performances. The fact that the struggles stick out point to just how untapped this guy’s potential is with Tom Brady throwing to him. Against the embarrassing Malcolm Butler, we might finally see a 2014-esque Flash flood warning this weekend. James White should continue his campaign for fantasy MVP out of the flex spot, and former Patriot Dion Lewis is finally looking like the player you likely drafted back in August. He should be in for plenty of work in what should be a surprisingly entertaining game. An allegedly healthy Rob Gronkowski simply has to be in your lineup, even if he’s sucked ass since September 10th.
Hope For The Best: Corey Davis has all the talent in the world, but he’s been a victim of circumstance thus far in his career (namely, that his quarterback airmails passes like he’s paying extra for overnight delivery). Still, the targets are there, and sooner or later one of those awful throws are going to find their mark in the painted area. Julian Edelman will be a safe option in this one, and I think you need to exercise caution with Sony Michel now that Belicheck did the Belicheck thing were he went and fucked up everything by finding a newly designated RB in Cordarelle Patterson. Marcus Mariota is playing better, to be sure, and he should deliver a decent performance in this one. That said, we’ve been down this road before, so if you suddenly think you’ve found your solution at quarterback for the playoff push…
Hell No: For a guy who was once clocked with the fastest top end speed in the NFL, Derrick Henry sure runs like a 56-year-old insurance salesman during the cooldown phase of his elliptical workout.
Postgame Headline: “Patriots deliver huge road win against surprisingly feisty Titans, 27-21”
Giants @ Niners
Safe Bets: Since we’re talking about NFL games that sound about as fun as jamming an ice pick directly through your cornea, we might as well get this matchup over with. You’re obviously starting Saquan Barkley and his likely 13 checkdown receptions for about 56 yards, but after him it gets a little dicey. As much as I’d like to recommend Odell Beckham Jr. in what should be a blow up spot, his quarterback is purely answering to a biological imperative to get through this season alive at the expense of winning. Without the willingness to hang in there and deliver the ball downfield (an ability that disappeared from Eli’s arsenal about three seasons ago), you’re not going to get the 60+ yard scores that make OBJ so special. I mean, obviously you’re starting him, but temper expectations. One person you should not temper expectations with is George Kittle, who is rapidly becoming my favorite player in fantasy. There aren’t many tight ends in the game with this kind of breakaway speed…
Hope For The Best: There’s a lot to like about Matt Breida in this one, but I don’t think you’ll see more than 16-18 touches, even with Raheem Mostert’s grisly injury last week. Everybody’s favorite story Nick Mullens gets to follow up his magical debut with yet another game in the national spotlight. I like how cable producers have already flexed numerous games, but when they saw this one they thought, “Hey, it’s what the people want!” It’s that kind of detachment from reality that makes me think the schedulers are the same people fixing a salad at a pizza joint…
In what’s easily the most shocking statement I’ll write this week, Eli Manning isn’t a terrible option if you’re in a pinch. His risk-averse style of play means limited turnovers, and there’s a good chance at two scores given the weapons around him. Evan Engram, there’s no time like the present to remind us that you’re actually in the NFL this season.
Hell No: I’m officially calling Pierre Garcon’s performance last week a fluke (feel free to @ me on twitter when he scores at the 13:26 mark in the first quarter Monday night). Unless the Giants find themselves in a 30 point hole – which, hey, it’s possible – I don’t see Alfred Morris getting enough burn to warrant start consideration.
Postgame Headline: “Giants show some fight, silence critics by only losing 20-17 to Niners.”
Chargers @ Raiders
Safe Bets: Mel Gordon, Phil Rivers, Keenan Allen, Jared Cook. Mike Williams seems to be the apple of his quarterback’s eye once again, and he was a drop away from a massive game last week. He’s got tremendous upside as a WR3
Hope For The Best: Tyrell Williams, Derek Carr, Doug Martin, Austin Ekeler
Hell No: Jordy Nelson, Martavis Bryant, Jalen Richard
Postgame Headline: “Chargers continue silent charge through AFC in 31-16 shellacking of Raiders”
Saints @ Bengals
Safe Bets: Last week was a great reminder for disgruntled Drew Brees owners that the 39 year old can still fill it up when necessary. While he might not replicate his bonkers performance he had against the Rams, Brees should still provide QB1 numbers against a spiraling Bengals squad. Michael Thomas proved that he is possibly the baddest man in the NFL, and I don’t see anyone on the Bengals defense that can slow him down. Emphasis on Bengals there, as the only thing holding back Big Mike is the bevy of weapons the Saints have at their disposal. They can’t all be 211-yard performances, but he should still deliver WR1 numbers here. You’re obviously starting Al Kamara, and Joe Mixon should see bellcow usage even with Gio Bernard set to return.
Hope For The Best: The general consensus seems to be that with AJ Green sidelined, Tyler Boyd will immediately be catapulted to Randy Moss status. I’d obviously pump the brakes on that presumption, as the ailing Bengals receiving corps will make it easier for defenses to key in on Boyd. There was a time when Mark Ingram fumbling in Saints territory would’ve resulted in Sean Payton banishing him to a Siberian Gulag. Payton clearly is a bit more zen lately, as Ingram thankfully stayed in the game after his gaffe last week. He needs all the help he can get in the touches department, but I have a hunch that this will be an “Ingram Game”. For precisely the 7th year in a row, Andy Dalton hoodwinked us into thinking he was a legitimate quarterback. Against a Saints defense yielding points by the boatload, here’s another opportunity for the Red Rifle to suck us back in. Tre’Quan Smith, Ben Watson, and Gio Bernard all have flex appeal here. CJ Uzomah is likely the guy to benefit the most from A.J. Green’s late season sabbatical
Hell No: Taysom Hill is trying to pull his own version of the Donner Party, cannibalizing his teammates’ valuable red zone opportunities nearly every possession. He can take a hike.
Postgame Headline: “Saints hang on to topple Bengals 27-24 in difficult road win”
Cardinals @ Chiefs
Safe Bets: Scenario: the shit-hottest offense in the NFL is playing the most hopeless franchise not named the Raiders or the Giants. Do you really need me to spell out the gameplan here? Let’s not make it more complicated than it has to be – Patrick Mahomes, Kareem Hunt, Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce should be affixed to your starting lineup with rubber cement. On the Cardinals side, the only thing keeping David Johnson out of the “Hope For The Best” category is his name. But hey, that’s good enough for me. Let’s see if Byron Leftwich can get our guy rolling this week.
Hope For The Best: There isn’t a bigger Larry Fitzgerald fan than The BFG, but I’m wondering if Week 8’s 100-yard performance was fool’s gold. One thing’s for sure, he should have plenty of opportunities as the Cardinals play from behind from the opening kickoff. Sammy Watkins has his ups and downs, but his services might not be required in what’s looking like a historic blowout.
Hell No: There will be ample opportunity, but you’d have to be desperate to fire up Josh Rosen this week. I feel similarly about Ricky Seals-Jones, who hasn’t exactly earned his paycheck this season to date.
Postgame Headline: “FCC fines NFL for televising gratuitous 42-23 massacre at Arrowhead Stadium”
Shameless Plug Time
It’s Week 10, which means that if you’re still reading the blog, you fall into one of two categories…
Category One: You’re whooping ass and you’re looking to keep the train rolling, perhaps aided by some fantasy advice from The BFG. If this sounds like like you, hey – mazel tov
Category Two: You’re either eliminated or you’re on the brink, but you keep coming back because you enjoy the blog. They say that not all heroes wear capes, and that certainly applies to you readers who are sucking wind but keep reading anyway.
In any event, I’m happy to be of service. I genuinely do this because I enjoy the feedback and I feel that people appreciate it, but it’s been difficult to manage with all of the priorities in my life. I know it’s still early November, but if you’ve caught a bit of the holiday giving spirit, feel free to donate to the BFG cause below…
Donate on Venmo: Nick-Devine
Or simply follow the blog or check me out on twitter (@ThaBFG).
I truly do this because people enjoy it, but if that’s not the case for you, feel free to write me a strongly worded letter on my shameless grab for meaningless internet fame. Otherwise, I hope you pull off a win this week and get closer to locking up that playoff spot. Until next time…