Fantasy Mailbag 2016: Week 11

A common question I have received this week has been, “Prosise or Rawls?” My question to those asking is, “Do you need wins now, or later?”

CJ Prosise provides a skill-set that is similar to Tevin Coleman. He runs very well in open space and is terrific pass catcher. As Thomas Rawls re-acclimates himself to being an early down running back, the confidence should be there for Prosise to take over on 3rd downs and passing situations. When Rawls is right, he’s an absolute beast and we saw that last season. But how sure are you that he is going to stay healthy, especially with an offensive line as bad as Seattle’s.

I would wait and see on Rawls and feel better about Prosise in the short term. If Rawls shows you something this weekend, by all means ride him down the playoff stretch.

Mail Time! 

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I don’t think either of your running back options are great, but you’ll want to go with Duke Johnson for the likelihood that the Browns will be playing from behind against Ben Roethlisberger, who has more wins against the Browns than any Cleveland starter has had since 1999. Wow, they suck…

As for Miller, it’s not a bad idea to keep Alfred Blue hand-cuffed. Running the ball and defense are the only things keeping the Texans ahead of their competition, because it sure isn’t their quarterback.

 

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I can’t pick against Tyler Eifert right now, as he is averaging 6 catches, 99 yards and a touchdown in each of his last 2 games.

 

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Flex: Against the dreadful Packers secondary, go with Jamison Crowder. He has also topped 100 in his last 4 games. This is where we are. Jamison Crowder is a viable Top-20 option now.

 

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Flex: Martysaurus Rex. Dislike him as a person, love him as a football player. He went over 100 yards in the 2 starts that Gronk missed early on and he is second among TEs in touchdowns. Without Gronk, he’ll be a target machine this weekend.

Pick 3: Kelley, Prosise, Riddick – it’s the Magic Number.

 

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Go with Kenneth Dixon. He seems to have finally separated himself as the #1 back in Baltimore. The competition going forward will be tough and his o-line sucks, but he’ll get better volume than most of the other options.

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Gio. Ryan Matthews is going to continue getting back most of the opportunities to score, and overall work for that matter.

 

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Rough doesn’t even begin to describe it…The heat check makes me really like Rishard Matthews (6 TDs in his last 6 games) and Mark Ingram simply for the fact he’s out-touching Hightower again.

 

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Houston defense makes me a little weary, but you have to go with the potential MVP candidate Derek Carr. Both QBs are going against strong defenses, which makes me lean toward the one with more firepower.

 

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I go with Michael Crabtree in Mexico City this weekend. He’s averaging 2 more targets than Amari Cooper per his last 3 games and topped 90 yards twice more than Cooper in that span as well.

 

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Cam Newton plays Tight End? – I’m just going to say Martysaurus Rex this weekend, unless you meant Greg, Son of Olsen. Which in that case, go with Greg, Son of Olsen.

 

Have more Fantasy lineup questions? Don’t hesitate to ask on Facebook or Twitter. 

Fantasy Mailbag 2016: Week 10

I think you can now officially believe the hype on Melvin Gordon.

He has 120+ total yards in each of the last 3 weeks. Call it the “sans-Danny Woodhead Effect” but he is also getting at least 25 touches in each of his last 4 games. He’s coming off the best game of his career (261 total yards and 2 touchdowns) and should be hungry to eat against a Dolphins defense that has allowed 113 yards a piece to DeMarco Murray, Le’Veon Bell and Matt Forte.

 

Mail Time!

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Definitely NOT Allen Robinson. While he might be leaned on more with Allen Hurns banged up, I don’t trust the Jaguars offense as far as I can throw them. Kelvin Benjamin is the safest play. Despite not scoring a TD in his last 4, he’s still picking up at least 70 yards in each of those games and should thrive against a Chiefs defense that doesn’t move their cornerbacks with WR matchups. Also leave Matt Forte in, although I’m confused by that part of the question. Leave him in regardless.

 

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Yes, leave Zach Miller in, as he is a security blanket for Jay Cutler.

I do feel like there was a fire lit under Mark Ingram’s ass last week, despite the skew in production against San Francisco. Unfortunately, I like Tim Hightower’s game against the Broncos more than Ingram’s. The silver lining though: Broncos gave up 286 yards and 2 touchdowns to a similar tandem in Davonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman. I also think you have to ride a hot RB until he slows down before resorting to Jordan Matthews.

 

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I think we’re learning now that Russell Wilson is simply a 2nd-half-of-the-season quarterback. We recall his gaudy numbers a year ago after his team’s bye week, but his matchup quite frankly sucks this weekend. The Seahawks are also a very different team on the road. Your safer bet is Carson Wentz.

 

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Can I say neither? The only plus among these two is the fact that Matt Asiata is a goal line back with Jerick McKinnon back. If you have to play either and there is nobody better on the waiver wire, play Asiata and pray to whatever omniscient being you worship.

 

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TE: Miller for the likely volume playing with Cutler.

Flex: If he plays, go with Doug Martin. Crowder is going to draw Terrance Newman in the nickel this weekend, and that will not be pretty.

 

Have more Fantasy lineup questions? Don’t hesitate to ask on Facebook or Twitter. 

Fantasy Mailbag 2016: Week 9

Tim Hightower is one of the best stories in football for the past couple years. He was out of football completely for 4 years, joined the Saints last season and recorded 504 yards from scrimmage with 3 starts. Last week, Mark Ingram fumbled in the first quarter and Hightower took over for 100+ yards on the ground. If they’re willing to feed Hightower the rock for 3 quarters over a healthy former Heisman winner and regular starter, it’s hard to imagine the touches will dip too much.

Hightower says he didn’t feel comfortable in the system last year. He seemed pretty dang comfortable down the stretch when Fantasy owners needed him most, right?

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The Saints play the 49ers this week, who are giving up more rush yards than anyone in the league this season…1,136 to be exact. The Niners are on a record pace, and not in a good way. Hightower should be hungry to eat, regardless of his role on Sunday.

 

Mail Time! 

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Based on the potential for volume, I lean toward Charcandrick West. While Jacksonville is proven to be very good against pass catching running backs, the Chiefs offense goes through their starter.

When it comes to wide receivers in the flex, if I don’t seem them producing in the Top 25 at the position I can’t justify starting them. It’s hard to feel confident about Jordan Matthews against Janoris Jenkins. Mark Ingram’s time-share status makes it difficult to start over an expected full-time back like West.

 

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The Lions are too bad against tight ends to not start Kyle Rudolph.

 

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I am not an oddsmaker, so I never know what to do with questions like that. Ben Roethlisberger took more snaps each day leading up to his game against the Ravens and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette expects him to start, barring a random setback.

Have more Fantasy lineup questions? Don’t hesitate to ask on Facebook or Twitter. 

Michael’s Note: Now that the World Series is over, I should have more time to be more timely answering Fantasy Football questions and can include more content. Thank you for your patience during the Cubs’ historic run. 

Fantasy Mailbag 2016: Week 8

Prior to Arian Foster’s signing in the summer, Jay Ajayi seemed like potential breakout because of Adam Gase’s system and a lack of competition at the position. Then Foster happened, Ajayi reacted poorly, and Kenyan Drake had sleeper aspirations. Fast Forward to now >>>

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Foster has retired. Drake is…hey, where is Drake? And Ajayi has recorded back-to-back weeks of 200+ rush yards. If you saw that coming when the season started, STOP IT NO YOU DIDN’T! Ajayi is on a bye this week, but expect him to continue seeing 20 touches or more going forward.

Mail Time!

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RB – Frank Gore is going to be your guy this weekend. Outside of not trusting the Vikings offense, Frank Gore is the safe bet for his consistency…which bodes well against a very average run defense.

WR – Expect Vernon Hargreaves to cover Amari Cooper, which leads the one of the league’s touchdown leaders, Michael Crabtree, to eat against either Alterraun Verner and Brent Grimes.

 

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Sorry I was late on the Allen Robinson portion of your question. Randall Cobb will be your best choice, after the fact. He has seen double-digit targets in each of the last 3 weeks and won’t be drawing Desmond Trufant. Falcons-Packers has shootout potential too.

 

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Don’t love your options but Demaryius Targaryen has the best matchup and is far more talented than the either two, despite his numbers in the previous meeting.

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Don’t love your options either, but you’re leaning the right way…Jordan Matthews is your guy.

Have more Fantasy lineup questions? Don’t hesitate to ask on Facebook or Twitter. 

The Walking Dead Power Rankings: S7 E1 “Right Hand Man”

Each week, we give every episode at least 24 hours to breathe…and for you to get caught up. After that, you’re clicking at your own risk. Spoilers ahead.

After the Season 7 premiere, showrunner Scott Gimple told the live Talking Dead audience that the show was “looking for a way to break the audience”…Judging by social media reaction, they certainly accomplished that.

We spent nearly half a year waiting for the answer to the Season 6’s cliffhanger of Who would meet Lucille first and even that didn’t seem like enough time to brace for impact. We’re talking about a series where zombies and humans alike are mangled, torn to shreds, decapitated, curb-stomped even…and the way our two fallen characters died STIL made fans declare that they are “ex fans”. Yes, the bashing of their heads made Noah’s face-ripping death seem PG-13 but in my opinion…

A) I’m really happy to see this series and Game of Thrones haven’t completely desensitized people.

B) Here’s your reminder that The Walking Dead is a horror series. You’re not supposed to be comfortable.

Before we get to the rankings, a quick moment for the fallen.

Abraham

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The tell for Negan, when he decided to absolutely obliterate Abraham’s head, was when he immediately thought he needed a shave after seeing the ginger handlebar mustache. I think we all knew that Abraham wasn’t going to grow anymore in this story. He also seemed to come to grips with that well before his exit. Sasha and everything were just gravy to his arc.

In his last moment though, telling Negan to “Suck my nuts” was as poetic a way Abraham could go out.

Glenn Rhee

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“Hey, dumbass.”

When Glenn literally dodged his near-death last season, it seemed too obvious because it wasn’t a fitting end for him. I know that he died in the books that way, but THAT was the way a character like him should go. Ironic that Glenn was pardoned for his outburst by Negan, and then killed because of Daryl’s.

Lastly, there’s beauty to the brutal way Glenn left the show. While we could see the dent in his forehead and his eye popping from its socket, the only thing Glenn could do was tell his wife “I will find you.” Maggie and their unborn child were his purpose. Those final words before his last breath could be a theme for what’s to come this season…being there for each other when things look the darkest.

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*wipes tears from cheek*

1. Negan

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The N.W.O (Negan World Order) is off to a hell of a start. Besides shortening this list by 2 characters, Negan broke Rick…and the audience.

How often does a character’s actions force fans to take to Facebook and declare they have quit the show? Not since that time the “Lannisters sent the regards” do I recall a reaction like that. What may be even more messed is the fact that I…kinda love him? What keeps me intrigued is waiting to see how he could possibly be dethroned (It has to happen at some point, right?).

2. Morgan Jones

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Before you freak out, think about it…Morgan is the key to helping Rick and well, everyone, right now. He’s in control of his situation. He’s capable of killing again (thanks to saving Carol). And he’s heading to a place where people where street hockey pads and ride horseback with spears. To beat an army, you need an army…and Morgan could be aligning with one at The Kingdom.

3. Maggie Greene

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Maggie was the de facto Matriarch of Alexandria after Deanna was killed. She was strong and diplomatic, even when held hostage by some of Negan’s people (the first time). She has lost the most on the show and lost even more, after watching Glenn’s head be smashed to pieces. Even in the most peril, as someone who desperately needs to see a doctor, Maggie still stood tall after Negan left and said “Fight them.”

She feels responsible, but we know there are plenty more reasons why the group is in the situation that they are in.

4. Rick Grimes

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Rick thought he could be like Negan before ever even meeting the man. People who wouldn’t fall in line with his ideas became expendable to him. It was his idea to deal with The Hilltop and poke the Negan bear in the first place. Despite his mistakes that helped get the group to where they are now, Rick as dangerous as anyone on the show and the leader of the group.

You can tell that Negan finds him useful too, otherwise it would like have been Rick’s brains dripping from “Lucille”.

5. Simon

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You would think the 2nd-in-command to Negan would be 2nd on this list, right? While Simon clearly has power in the NWO, it’s only because Negan allows it…and apparently needs a marker handy from time to time. We’ve seen Simon before, and I do mean before the S6 finale…He was there on the hunt for Dwight, who had obviously tried escaping from Negan’s camp. Simon had a machete handy and cut off one of his men’s limbs that had been bitten. At least he cares about preserving manpower, right?

6. Dwight

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Dwight may prove to be the most interesting of Negan’s group. We know he has defied the “supreme leader” and clearly paid for it with the insane scar on his face. He has the upper-hand in his rivalry with Daryl, but perhaps he can be swayed to go against Negan and align with his current mortal nemesis? He’s done it once before…

7. Carl Grimes

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The Carl Haters Club needs to sit down for a little bit. Not once did Carl seem phased by Negan’s barking and the threat of losing his arm. Carl gave Negan that defiant glare that we had seen him give his own father in the past. You also have to give credit where it’s due, as he told Rick to just “do it” when the choice was losing an arm or another member of the group.

8. Jesusscreen-shot-2016-10-26-at-8-17-52-pm

If anyone knows how to adjust and survive in the NWO, it’s Jesus. Rick will not only have to rely on him for advice but also for any chance of keeping the alliance with The Hilltop to stay strong against Rick. As mentioned earlier, in order to beat Negan’s army…Rick and Jesus will have to build one of their own.

9. Michonne

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#Richonne lives on!…for now. Negan doesn’t appreciate people speaking up while he is in the middle of a soliloquy but he did let Michonne speak up when Rick was being told to cut off his son’s arm. Why? In Negan-speak, he did almost compliment her for understanding the gravity of their situation. With Daryl literally in a cage, Michonne is the group’s strongest warrior. How will she be utilized next?

10. Sasha

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Sasha has come a very long way since both Bob and Tyrese were killed. Rather than shutdown while watching Abraham be brutally murdered, she stood up with a purpose to help Maggie. While the premiere was meant to break the group down, I think it has also brought them together more. Initially, it seems Sasha is reacting better than most would with the trauma.

11. Carol

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If you followed along with the Power Rankings last season, then you know there was a love-hate relationship with Carol (much like the one she has with just about everyone outside of her group). Her rivalry with Morgan was such a distraction for everyone involved, but somehow it’s led to their new partnership that is heading to The Kingdom. Carol has saved the group multiple times in the past. Will she come back riding in with the horse guys to do it again?

12. Tara

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As far as we know, Tara and Heath have not been picked up by Negan’s henchmen. The more allies Rick has on the outside, the better. And when she finds out what they did to her girlfriend…OH MAN, IS SHE GOING TO LOOK FOR VENGEANCE. All-caps were necessary.

13. Horse Guy

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Horse Guy doesn’t have a name yet, but he does have a horse, a spear, and a community that could help the Alexandrians. He also looks ready to kick ass in roller derby.

14. Father Gabriel

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Father Gabriel has gone from wet blanket to turncoat to protector of Alexandria in a very short time. Among the group that was left behind, I trust him the most to hold his own and protect Baby Judith…as he has sworn to do.

15. Aaron

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I am very unsure how Aaron is going to deal with the trauma of seeing two people he cared about murdered in front of his face. However, he has evolved with Rick’s group, killed for the first time, and remains the most capable of the original Alexandrians. Aaron is almost an adopted member of the group, and seems to be at their level now having experienced the introduction to Negan with them.

16. Heath

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In a better spot than most for being on the outside with Tara. However, he’s replacing Jack Bauer on 24. So how much longer will he be on the show?

17. Doctor Harlan

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Currently the most important person in Maggie and her unborn child’s life.

18. Gregory

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Speaking of 24 alums, you shouldn’t trust Gregory. But at least Gregory knows what it’s like living in the NWO. The bargaining chips may be pushed into his favor when Rick needs to deal with The Hilltop going forward.

19. Enid

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Enid is not going to take the news about Glenn very well, considering the family dynamic she built with him and Maggie. Enid is a survivor though, and seems to have committed to the Alexandrians’ effort to thrive. She won’t be too happy with Carl for locking her into a closet, but you can see them making a formidable team in the long-term.

20. Eugene

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I was so sure Eugene would be killed. He gave up his value by giving Rick the recipe for making bullets, which may still mean his time on The Walking Dead will be cut short. He was also the only one with his face in his hands for most of the episode. Eugene can either fold or step up into Abraham’s role. What do you think will happen?

21. Rosita

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Rosita is partially responsible for this mess, running out and looking for revenge with Daryl. We also know that she isn’t particularly independent (Abraham, Spencer, you get it). I can see her getting close to Negan, like Andrea had with The Governor. That could prove either useful for the group…or just for her.

22. Daryl Dixon

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Daryl was #1 on our list for much of last season’s rankings. Now he’s in the back of a van, and could put chopped into pieces. While the guilt of Glenn’s death may way heavily on him, Daryl always finds a way…

23. Tobin

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Did anyone see the Jack Reacher ads? Tobin was a crooked sherif getting busted by Tom Cruise. It was awesome. For now, he’s one of the few you trust to fall in with what Rick wants in Alexandria…and really misses Carol, I’m sure.

24. Baby Judith

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Being Rick’s baby girl carries more weight than most on this show. You’ve seen #RickRage before, right?

25. Spencer Monroe

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One of the show’s biggest wild cards. Will he hang tough with Rick or align with Negan?

26. Eric Raleigh

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I’m sorry but Eric’s gotta be in the running for people who don’t last much longer on this show. Aaron’s going to be happy to see him when he returns, but he’s not built for NWO.

27. Olivia

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Still counting jars.

28. Andy

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Have to think Negan will be looking for payback, as Andy did help lead the raid on the base last season…

29. Cal

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Remains the least threatening on this list with a spear.

30. Freddie

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Also not built for the NWO.

31. Craig

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Are you still alive, Craig?

 

Coming soon…Ezekiel and Shiva.

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Anyone too high or too low in this week’s rankings? Let me know on Facebook or Twitter.

 

<< Last season’s Power Rankings

Piffcast: Season Two Begins

After a 3 month hiatus, The Piffcast is back!

During that time…

TJ got MARRIED, the Cubs won the pennant, The Walking Dead returned, and a whole lot more happened. We talk about TJ’s wedding reception playlist, why Cubs fans hate Joe Buck (and Mike doesn’t), what made TJ quit Walking Dead BEFORE the Season 7 premiere, where Luke Cage ranks among the Marvel Netflix shows, and the totally off-the-rails tangents you come to expect from us.

Join the conversation on Facebook or Twitter. You can subscribe to The Piffcast on iTunes too.

Fantasy Mailbag 2016: Week 7

Can we talk about LeSean McCoy for a minute?

McCoy is 150 yards from scrimmage away from surpassing both Shaun Alexander and Marshawn Lynch for 39th on the all-time list. Among backs with 10,000 career yards total, McCoy ranks 7th all-time with 4.7 yards per carry. When many (me included) thought he was close to being done, he proved to us that he is still an elite back in the league after scoring 7 touchdowns this season(2nd in the NFL).

He is set to face a Miami defense that is allowing the 4th most rush yards to opposing RBs. He left practice early this week with hamstring tightness and should be worth monitoring before kickoff though. If healthy, McCoy will be a great play this week. If not, be ready to pick up Mike Gillislee.

 

Mail Time!

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It’s never comfortable to play someone on Thursday Night, but Cameron Meredith is legitimate play this week against a Packers defense that is missing its TOP 3 defensive backs. He ranks 3rd in receiving yards and 1st in receptions over the last 2 weeks. Meredith is also a favorite of Brian Hoyers when in the red zone. While I DO believe in Kenny Britt, you have to play Meredith.

 

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If Jordan Reed sits, you should go with Vernon Davis. If he doesn’t, Charles Clay is your next best play against a Dolphins defense that has allowed touchdowns to tight ends in 2 of their last 4 games.

 

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TE: Anyone who had Coby Fleener a week ago (*raises hand*) finally got to unleash the power of an athletic tight end in Sean Payton’s system. This week, however, I would recommend going with Kyle Rudolph. He is second among TEs in touchdowns and is averaging 7.4 targets per game. He is also getting 40% of the Vikings red zone targets and it’s hard to pass on that consistency.

WR: Demaryius Targaryen and Brandin ‘Too Many’ Cooks’

 

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WR: I feel bad about this because I do really like Kenny Britt going forward, but Julian Edelman is healthier and on the Tom Brady Revenge tour. If it doesn’t all come together this weekend against a Steeler’s defense that will be too busy with the tight ends, then bench him.

DEF: Seattle is the better defense but I like Cincinnati’s matchup WAY MORE.

QB: It’s time to unleash #HoyerTheDestroyer.

 

Have more Fantasy lineup questions? Don’t hesitate to ask on Facebook or Twitter.