Fantasy Football: Start Bilal Powell, Bench Greg Jennings
by Adam Ronis
Terrelle Pryor (Raiders): Make sure you check on his status after he suffered a concussion against the Broncos late in the game Monday night. Pryor made some good throws against the Broncos and his rushing prowess can offset a mediocre passing line. The Redskins rank 30th against the run and 31st against the pass. If you have Aaron Rodgers or Cam Newton on a bye, Pryor is a consideration.
Jay Cutler (Bears): Cutler is another good fill-in for a bye week QB. Cutler is coming off his worst game statistically, but keep in mind that the Bears had the lead, scored two defensive TDs and didn’t need Cutler to do much against the Steelers. Cutler has six TDs, three INTs and been sacked just three times. The Lions have allowed only two passing TDs, but two of their games were against Arizona and Minnesota.
Ben Roethlisberger (Steelers): After two bad Fantasy games in the first two weeks, Roethlisberger had 406 passing yards, two TDs and two INTs in Week 3 against the Bears. The offense still has issues and Roethlisberger has lost three fumbles, but the Vikings rank 28th against the pass and have allowed nine passing TDs.
Matt Schaub (Texans): Schaub had good stats the first two weeks, but he isn’t playing well and it made an impact on his numbers in Week 3 against the Ravens. It doesn’t get easier this week against the top-ranked Seahawks pass defense. The Seahawks have allowed one passing TD and picked off five passes.
Jake Locker (Titans): Locker took advantage of a porous Chargers defense last week, passing for 299 yards with a TD, and rushed for 68 yards and a TD. The Jets are a very good defense, so don’t chase last week’s stats.
Joe Flacco (Ravens): A lot of people might look at the matchup against the Bills and get excited after an injury-depleted defense was carved up by the Jets. In deeper leagues, Flacco could be an option, but he lacks weapons and doesn’t have a high ceiling.
Bilal Powell (Jets): The running back landscape is disgusting right now and Powell is coming off an impressive performance, even if it came against a bad Bills defense. Powell rushed 27 times for 149 yards and caught two passes for nine yards. Chris Ivory is hurt again and Powell will get another big workload against a Titans run defense that is ranked 20th and allowing 4.4 yards per carry. The Jets threat of throwing it deep is helping Powell find more room to run.
Maurice Jones-Drew (Jaguars): If you rolled the dice on MJD last week, it worked out fine. He rushed for just 43 yards on 19 carries, but he scored a TD and caught two passes for 19 yards against a stingy Seahawks defense. The Colts rank 26th against the run and it could be worse if the 49ers didn’t abandon the run so early last week. The Colts have allowed an average of 129 rushing yards per game and 4.7 yards per carry.
Frank Gore (49ers): People are hesitant to use players in Thursday night games because the play has been poor offensively leading to less than desirable Fantasy stats. Gore had 11 carries for 82 yards and caught two passes for 21 yards last week, but the 49ers went away from him after a big first quarter. Gore gets a Rams defense that was gashed by DeMarco Murray last week.
Ryan Mathews (Chargers): Mathews isn’t playing enough snaps to be productive. He’s losing too much playing time to Danny Woodhead and Ronnie Brown. He had 16 carries for 58 yards last week but no receptions, and he will face a Cowboys defense that ranks second against the run.
Rashard Mendenhall (Cardinals): Mendenhall was limited in practice with a toe injury on Wednesday and he had a season-low nine carries last week, as the Cardinals used several running backs. The offense is struggling and the Buccaneers have not allowed a rushing TD.
Montee Ball (Broncos): Ball looked good last week with 11 carries for 61 yards, but he lost a fumble for the second consecutive week and he made a bad play by going out of bounds to stop the clock in the final minutes of the game with the Broncos leading.
Antonio Brown (Steelers): Brown is coming off a big game in which he had nine catches for 196 yards and two TDs on 13 targets. Brown has 29 targets on the season and will be involved heavily. The Vikings, who rank 28th against the pass, have allowed a 100-yard receiver in every game this season.
Josh Gordon (Browns): After serving a two-game suspension, Gordon returned and showed his high ceiling last week with 19 targets against the Vikings. He caught 10 passes for 146 yards with a TD and had a 22-yard rush. The matchup is much tougher this week against the Bengals, but Gordon is extremely talented and rising fast.
Torrey Smith (Ravens): Smith owners might be frustrated since he has yet to score a touchdown. Don’t be, and expect a good chance at a TD this week against a banged up Bills defense. Smith has at least eight targets and at least 85 yards receiving in each game. He has at least 13 points in a PPR league every week.
Roddy White (Falcons): At some point, White will get going. He played a season-high 47 snaps last week, but had just two catches for 16 yards and in three games has seven catches for 56 yards. Until we see better production, it’s difficult to trust him.
Greg Jennings (Vikings): It shouldn’t be a surprise that Jennings is struggling. When you go from Aaron Rodgers to Christian Ponder production suffers. Jennings could also see a lot of Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor.
DeAndre Hopkins (Texans): Andre Johnson is looking like he will be a game-time decision and should he miss the game, many will boost Hopkins up. It will actually hurt Hopkins more if Johnson is out. If that happens, Hopkins could see a lot of cornerback Richard Sherman.
Heath Miller (Steelers): Miller made his return from an ACL tear last week and played limited snaps. He’s expected to see more snaps against the Vikings in a great matchup. The Vikings have allowed five TDs to tight ends the last two weeks.
Antonio Gates (Chargers): Gates looks good and is running well. Philip Rivers doesn’t have many weapons and is relying on Gates, who had five catches for 55 yards with a TD last week.
Brandon Myers (Giants): The Chiefs have been one of the best teams at defending the tight end and Myers is coming off a bad week.
Brandon Pettigrew (Lions): Some might think Pettigrew gains targets with the loss of Nate Burleson. Pettigrew has been terrible with just two targets last week, and five catches for 38 yards with a lost fumble for the season.
Dan Bailey (Cowboys): Bailey is available in more leagues than he should be. He’s on a good offense and will be in position to score against a poor Chargers defense.
Josh Brown (Giants): Brown didn’t get any Fantasy points last week and that was a product of the putrid Giants offense. It won’t get easier in Kansas City.
Kansas City Chiefs: The Chiefs defense has been excellent and is still available in quite a few leagues. A matchup against a struggling Giants offense is appetizing.
New England Patriots: The Patriots defense has been good, but they have faced E.J. Manuel, Geno Smith and Josh Freeman. It gets tougher against Matt Ryan and the Falcons.
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Tags: Fantasy Football