Fantasy football: what to watch
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WHO I LIKE
QB, Drew Brees (NO) – Brees continues to dominate as a standout fantasy starting quarterback, not just because of his ability to throw well, but because he is able to throw the ball to any target. He connected with eight different receivers last week, and an upcoming matchup against the porous Detroit defense is a solid start.
RB, Ezekiel Elliot (DAL) – Can any defense stop this guy? The first-year is already in Rookie of the Year talks, and he’ll look to continue his incredible season averaging over 20 carries and a score per game this week against the Vikings.
WR, Odell Beckham Jr. (NYG) – After an unexpected quiet turnout in Chicago, OBJ quickly turned around in Cleveland and torched their corners and safeties. He should have no problem doing that again to an injury-riddled, inexperienced Pittsburgh backfield.
TE, Jordan Reed (WAS) – The Redskins continue to fight a tough battle in the NFC East, but Cousins’ ability to find Jordan Reed in the end zone has played out very well for fantasy owners. Reed faces Patrick Peterson and the Cardinals next week, but don’t worry too much.
WHO I DON’T LIKE
QB, Philip Rivers (SD) – I don’t like this matchup against the Bucs not because I don’t trust Philip Rivers, but rather because I don’t trust his team to have the ball in their hands enough. Tampa Bay has been outstanding on offense and know how to run out the clock. They’re good at defending the pass so look for more involvement from Melvin Gordon.
RB, Todd Gurley (LA) – After a stellar 2015 season, Gurley just could not live up to this year’s hype. Let’s face it, Gurley is cold now. Things shouldn’t change for him against a strong New England team good at defending the run.
WR, Marvin Jones (DET) – A red-hot start at the beginning of the season made a lot of owners excited, but since then, Jones just hasn’t been able to produce similar numbers. It’s clear that Matt Stafford is more often looking for Boldin or Tate in the end zone.
WR, DeAndre Hopkins (HOU) – Hopkins is easily the most talented member of this Houston offense, but Osweiler’s underwhelming ability to throw the football has hurt Hopkins’ fantasy value. He’s on pace for 550 yards less than his past two season averages, and he hasn’t found the end zone since Week 5.
WR, Anquan Boldin (DET) – It’s interesting that Boldin has managed to score four times in the past six games, all while doing this under the fantasy radar. He doesn’t score a lot of points, but he’s available in 77 percent of leagues and could be a sneaky start against a terrible New Orleans defense.
WR, Malcolm Mitchell (NE) – With Gronkowski and Martellus Bennett expected to miss some time, Mitchell, available in 98 percent of leagues, could use their absences to his advantage. After making his first career NFL grab three weeks ago, he’s managed to find the end zone three times. He’s a reliable flex against mediocre Los Angeles coverage.
WR, Taylor Gabriel (ATL) – If you don’t have Julio Jones, don’t sleep on Gabriel! He’s averaging four receptions per game, and has scored four touchdowns in four games. He’s available in 97 percent of leagues, so stash him on your bench for playoff bench depth.