(Image credit: Stephen Lew/USA Today Sports)
By: Jett Rosenstein
Welcome back to “The Playbook.” The one-stop-shop that gets you ready for the week ahead in fantasy football. Everything from who to start, who to sit, who to buy low, who to sell high, and much more. For fantasy managers, the goal every week is to set the best possible lineup and be celebrating a victory when it is all said and done. I am back from a bye week and excited to get you ready for the stretch run of the fantasy football season.
QB Russell Wilson (SEA)
Russell Wilson is back! After suffering an injury all the way back in Week 5, Wilson is healthy and determined to get this Seahawks team moving in the right direction. No doubt it is a risk to pencil Wilson in your starting lineup the first week back from injury. However, Wilson has put in the work during rehab and the Seahawks would not throw him out there if they didn’t feel he was ready. Wilson should be involved in a shootout against the Packers (if Rodgers plays), so feel free to let him cook in your starting lineup.
RB D’Ernest Johnson (CLE)
Nick Chubb recently tested positive for COVID-19 and he is expected to miss this upcoming game. Since he is expected to miss this game, D’Ernest Johnson is set to once again see a major workload. Back in Week 7, Johnson saw a huge workload where he amassed 24 total touches en route to 25 PPR points. He will have his hands full with a stout New England defense that is allowing the 14th most PPR points to opposing RBs, but volume should win out and he should have a productive day.
WR Jerry Jeudy (DEN)
Since returning from injury, Jerry Jeudy has led his team in targets with 19. The next closest is Tim Patrick with 12. However, these targets haven’t coincided with mesmerizing fantasy production just yet. As he continues to get back into the swing of things, Jeudy is going to start to look like the player we drafted him to be. This week, Jeudy and the Broncos have a date with an Eagles defense that has been tough on opposing WRs (4th fewest points per game). But, look for Jeudy to continue to get fed the ball and have his most productive outing of the season.
New England Patriots RBs
At the moment, Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson are dealing with concussions and have yet to practice this week. JJ Taylor and Brandon Bolden are healthy and should be called upon if their counterparts need to miss some time. However, due to the range of outcomes we could see from this NE backfield, it is best to stay away from them for fantasy purposes. On top of that, they play a Browns defense that is allowing the 7th fewest points to opposing RBs. Stay away!
WR DJ Moore (CAR)
After starting the season on a high note, DJ Moore has been very inconsistent and has left his fantasy managers in an unfortunate position. Part of the reason for his drop in performance is due to Sam Darnold performing like the QB we remember from the Jets, However, in this one, former XFL legend, PJ Walker will get the nod as the starter. I can’t imagine it getting any better for DJ Moore in this one due to the QB change and because Arizona has been a solid defensive team this year. But, with the Cam Newton reunion coming to fruition, are there better days ahead for DJ Moore?
TE Dawson Knox (BUF)
Dawson Knox is set to return this week after a brief absence due to an injury. Before his injury, Knox was one of the hot TEs and he was finding the end zone a bunch. This week, Knox will face off against a Jets defense that has been extremely kind to opposing TEs (9th most points per game). However, with Knox being extremely TD dependent and him coming off of an injury, it is best you leave him on your bench in this one.
RB Kareem Hunt (CLE)
While Kareem Hunt has been on the shelf since Week 7, many may forget that through the first 6 weeks of the NFL season, Hunt was the RB9 in PPR formats. While he is expected to miss a few more weeks, now would be a great opportunity to go get him for cheap. Check on a team that is not able to hold onto Hunt and create an opportunity to be able to slot Hunt right into your lineup when the time comes.
RB James Conner (ARI)
In this situation, my approach on a sell-high is going to be significantly different than those in the past. James Conner went off last week en route to a 40 point PPR finish and the RB1 on the day. He saw a ton of volume once Chase Edmonds left the game. Now, Edmonds is expected to miss the next handful of games which means Connor is “the guy” in this Cardinals backfield. Despite this, Conner’s value is at an all-time high so it would be best to check in and see what you can get for him. Sell-high, but sell-smart.
Mark Ingram will finish as an RB1
Now that Alvin Kamara is set to miss the upcoming game against the Titans, the New Orleans Saints will get to make use of their new (somewhat) acquisition of Mark Ingram. After spending so many years in New Orleans, Ingram is back and ready to show he has plenty left in the tank. This bold prediction is pretty simple. There are no other threats now in this Saints backfield so we should be sure to see Ingram get fed the ball. On top of that, the Saints are going to lean on the running game just based on the fact that Trevor Siemian cannot be trusted. While it will be a tough matchup against a Titans defense that is allowing the 8th fewest points per game to opposing RBs, the volume should be enough to overcome it. Pick Ingram up and start him. You are in for a treat!
ONE THING BEFORE I GO…
Now that we are in the double-digit weeks in the NFL season, it is really important to evaluate where your team currently stands and what moves need to be made. If you have 1 or 2 losses, your season is most likely over. However, don’t ruin the fun for everyone else and start fire selling. Just keep doing what you’re doing. If you have anywhere from 3 to 5 wins, you will most likely be competing to get into the playoffs and make a run when you are there. Try to buy low on some of the guys coming back from injury and play the weekly game to continue to rack up wins to secure your spot in the playoffs. If you have anything over 6 wins, you should feel really ecstatic right now. Yes, it may be due to a little luck, but this is no time to be complacent. Move some of your depth for star power in your starting lineup. Take a few risks on guys that have league-winning potential and start prepping for the best time of year, fantasy football playoffs!