BALTIMORE RAVENS at Chicago Bears
Call it a hunch, but we like Flacco better than many outlets this week. His production has been inconsistent and disappointing, but all season he’s had a good week following a bad one, which last week’s 8 points certainly count as. He still has to be considered a QB2, but we think he can put up around 275 yards and 2 TDs against a depleted Bears secondary.
Fake Pigskin Exclusive: Join Monkey Knife Fight and Get an Instant 100% Deposit Match PLUS a Free $5 Game!
Rice’s production this season has been nothing short of shocking. If you own him, he was likely your first round pick, so it’s tempting to keep rolling him out, but we wouldn’t advise playing him as anything more than a flex. The Ravens’ offensive production overall has been sub-par, and it’s an interesting case study in cause and effect, whether the run game is the reason or the victim. Realistically, he should only see 80-90 total yards, but he has a good chance to score this week.
It’s tempting to play Pierce, since he’ll likely see more playing time with Rice struggling. But Pierce himself is averaging just 2.8 yards per carry on the season, and you can’t start a second string player on a mightily struggling unit. Avoid him this week.
We like Smith to score this week. Chicago just lost Peanut Tillman to injury, and Smith’s by far the Ravens’ most dangerous receiving weapon. He’s a high-floor, high-ceiling WR2 this week.
Jacoby Jones / Marlon Brown / Tandon Doss
Fantasy just got a whole lot better thanks to Monkey Knife Fight. With fast-paced games like Rapid Fire and Either/Or, it’s never been easier to play fantasy and win. New to MKF? Get Exclusive $100 Deposit Match + Free $5 Game
It’s simply too difficult to identify which, if any of these three players, will make a fantasy impact from week to week. Marlon Brown followed up his 19 point game against the Browns with a 1 point effort last week. Doss and Jones are battling for playing time.It’s a situation best left well alone.
In the last 3 games, Clark has 2 TDs. He also only has 5 catches in those three games COMBINED, for 24 yards. If you’re willing to bet that he’ll score on one of his few catches this week, feel free to roll him out. We won’t be following your lead. 3 catches, 22 yards for Clark this week.
CLEVELAND BROWNS at CINCINNATI BENGALS
Dalton would have had a fine fantasy week against the Ravens were it not for his 3 interceptions. That makes it 6 INTs in the last 2 games for Dalton. He should approach similar numbers to last week (274 yards, 2 TDs) against the Browns this week, and is a high end QB2 for the week.
Jason Campbell – secretly really good at football? In his two games for the Browns so far, Campbell has over 550 yards, 5 TDs and zero turnovers. Even against a good (though not as good as it was) Bengals defense, Campbell is a bit of a sleeper this week. He should post around 250 yards, and could have a multiple score game.
#FreeGio finally seems to have reached the Bengals coaching staff, and though he’s still not “the guy” in the Cincy backfield, he’s seeing enough touches to make a real impact in fantasy football. Bernard is the 11th highest scoring RB to this point in the season, and will continue to be a safe, high-ceiling RB2. He should have over 100 total yards.
Green-Ellis saw his fewest carries since week 4 against the Ravens, and ended with 9 carries for 36 yards. He’s likely to have less than 50 yards this week, and shouldn’t be in consideration.
As we’ve noted before in this column, this is the ugliest situation in football. Chris Ogbonnaya looks to have taken the lead, with head coach Rob Chudzinski saying he wants to get “Silent G” more involved. Ogbonnaya has been the most productive member of this group, but he had exactly zero carries in the Browns’ last game, so treat the situation with caution. Willis McGahee is no threat, and Fozzy Whittaker is mostly used in the pass game, but someone to monitor in the coming weeks is Dion Lewis, who was just activated from the IR, and looked very impressive in the preseason. You heard it here first!
Green faces Joe Haden this week, our CB man-crush. The last time the two met, Green was targeted 15 times, and could only muster 7 catches for 51 yards. But Green is on arguably the hottest streak of his exceptional young career, and should fare better this time. He’ll likely be held under 100 yards, but we like him to score this week, if he can shake Haden for a play.
Jones’ hot streak coincided with Dalton’s, and he has since come back to earth, culminating in last weeks 1 catch for 2 yards. But Jones is a good player on a team that has searched for an option across from AJ Green for a long time. We like him for around 60 yards this week, and he’s a sneaky candidate for a score.
As always, Gordon is the highest upside WR2 you can play this week. The Ravens did a nice job of limiting his big plays last week, as he finished with just 3 catches for 44 yards and 1 rush for 10 yards. But the Bengals’ secondary is more susceptible to big plays with Leon Hall out, and Gordon seems to have a capable QB back on the team. Start him.
Little was very impressive in his last game, finishing with 7 catches for 122 yards. It’s understandable if you’re tempted to pick him up from the waiver wire, but don’t be putting him into your lineup just yet. He should be back in the 50 yard range this week.
Eifert was presented with a huge opportunity last week, and Jermaine Gresham out of the game and 10 targets thrown his way. He disappointed, and had just 3 catches for 55 yards. He should finish with similar numbers this week, and remains a TE2 at best.
Gresham looks to return this week, and should pick up where he left off – MEDIOCRITY. He’ll have 30-40 yards, and not much else. Eifert might not get much more, but his upside is much higher. Don’t bother with Gresham.
Cameron has proven that he doesn’t need even adequate QB play to be a top-end TE option. With a competent signal caller at the helm now, Cameron might be able to perform even better. In week 4, Cameron had 15 points against the Bengals. We wouldn’t expect such a big game this time, but he should have at least 70-80 yards and is a good bet to score.
Detroit Lions at PITTSBURGH STEELERS
Roethlisberger has been a higher end QB2 all season, but a QB2 nonetheless. It’s a leap of faith, but we like Roethlisberger for a big game this week, in kind of a Bill Simmons “screw you” game given all the trade rumours. We predict Roethlisberger will have over 300 yards passing and a multi-touchdown game, and is a borderline QB1 this week.
Bell has become as dependable an RB2 as there is. That trend should continue this week with around 100 total yards. The Lions’ defense has been capable against RBs all season, but Bell’s steady workload and ability to minimise negative plays mean he’ll be a safe start.
Brown reached must-start status long ago, and now he’s approaching WR1 territory as the #11 WR at this point in the season. Detroit is giving up the third most points in the league to opposing wideouts, so look for another big game from Brown. He should approach 100 yards, and is as good a bet as any Steeler to score.
Sanders has proven to be a consistent player this season, unfortunately that just hasn’t been a very good player. He’s flashed some big-play ability, but most weeks he’ll stay in the 30-50 yard range. Consider him right there for week 11.
Cotchery is, very quietly, the #21 WR at this point in the season. But with 2 games on the season over 60 yards, it’s too difficult to anoint him a starter on your fantasy team. It’ll be more painful if you put him and he has a goose egg than if he has 15 points on your bench.
The talk from the Steelers’ camp is that opposing teams have been focusing on taking Miller out of the gameplan, which seems to have worked over the last few weeks. It’s nothing more than a gut feeling, but we like him to break his slump and record over 50 yards and a TD this week.