Marcel Reece, Chris Ivory and Mark Ingram are both matchup plays this week. Last week, Reece, who to this point had been sort of a Larry Centers type, got over 100 yards from scrimmage with McFadden out. This week, the Saints are up. Great matchup and will be a top 15 start, so bid accordingly.
As for the Saints backfield, last week I said that I preferred Ivory but both Ingram and Ivory were roster-able while we see how that situation sorts. Ingram got double the touches, but Ivory was more productive. I suspect we will see much the same, as the staff does not trust Ivory in passing situations, but he runs hard. Given the matchup against the Raiders, I think both are flex starts this week.
Lots of potential injury substitutions this week. None of them are great options, but if I were looking for a one week fill in for a start two QB league or if I was desperate, I would go with Nick Foles because of the matchup against Washington. That line makes it no more than a moderate play, though. It says a lot about the rest of the league that he may be a better option than about 9 other guys this week.
As for a longer term view, I would pick up Sam Bradford with Danny Amendola back as my backup and potential matchup start. The next three matchups aren’t great, but playoff time in fantasy brings the Bills in week 14, as well as games against Minnesota and Tampa Bay.
If you miss out on the backs from the Oakland-New Orleans game, the other matchup this play is to go back to Danny Woodhead, who I ended up starting in an expert league in my flex spot with great success a week ago, taking advantage of having the RB2 against Buffalo. This week’s matchup, at home against the Colts, is another one where he should at least be a flex start in the 24-30 range.
A few weeks ago, I recommended Jacquizz Rodgers, Kendall Hunter, and Ronnie Hillman. Same holds, and you should have one in that last roster spot instead of a mediocre back or receiver. Rodgers looks closest to getting an increased role. Michael Turner looked terrible on Sunday against the Saints’ porous defense, while Rodgers looks like a better fit. The coaching staff may never agree, but worth a chance.
Your other matchup play is to monitor the Houston situation. Jacksonville’s rush defense is not good, plus they trail a lot so teams continue to run. If Ben Tate is activated, he is a must play. Justin Forsett would be playable if he is still out.
Shallow Leagues: I’ve recommended Darrius Heyward-Bey for three weeks in a row now. Great matchup against the Saints. Likely won’t be still available in 37% of leagues this time around. Top 30 start this week. Cecil Shorts continues to be the only receiver with a pulse in Jacksonville, worth at least a look still, as he should get targets when down big.
Deep Leagues: Donnie Avery and T.Y. Hilton have both been inconsistent, but are both deep threats going against a New England team that has given up big plays, and in a game where the Colts will throw a lot. I would rank Avery ahead of Hilton based on opportunity, and both are matchup fliers.
Brandon LaFell is a matchup play against Tampa Bay, where we just saw Danario Alexander go for big plays. Andrew Hawkins is another matchup play, as the Chiefs cut their 2nd cornerback and will have trouble with the quick slot receiver.
Dwayne Allen is still available, and has a great matchup against the Patriots. He would be option #1 to start off the waiver wire.
Dustin Keller and Dennis Pitta are both owned in less than half of the leagues and would be my other two recommended pickups this week. Not a whole lot at the tight end position at this point.
Cincinnati against the Chiefs, the Cowboys against the Browns, and the Redskins going against the Eagles and Nick Foles would be my recommendation, in that order.
[photo via US Presswire]