Sunday, December 31, 2017

Week 17 Heroes & Zeros

This was a great week to play…

Philip Rivers, Chargers – Looked sharp while passing for 387 yards and 3 TDs, without a blemish.
Matt Stafford, Lions – Passed for 323 yards and 3 TDs without a turnover.
Andy Dalton, Bengals – Passed for 222 yards and a TD hat trick.

Dion Lewis, Patriots – Scored as a rusher (with 93 yards) and as a receiver (with 6 catches for 40 yards).
Alvin Kamara, Saints – Ran for 44 yards and a TD, added 6 receptions for 84 yards and 106-yard kickoff return.
Latavius Murray, Vikings – Rushed for 111 yards and 2 TDs.
Carlos Hyde, 49ers – Ran for 90 yards and 2 TDs, adding 2 catches for 10 yards, though he lost a fumble.
Orleans Darkwa, Giants – Raced for 154 yards and a TD.
Devonta Freeman, Falcons – Just 23 rushing yards, but added 9 receptions for 85 yards and a TD.

JuJu Smith-Schuster, Steelers – Caught 9 passes for 143 yards and a TD, and added a 96-yard kickoff return.
Keenan Allen, Chargers – Reeled in 9 passes for 133 yards and a TD and ran in a 27-yard fumble (from Melvin Gordon) for a score.
Doug Baldwin, Seahawks – His 4 catches produced 90 yards and a pair of TDs.
Rashard Higgins, Browns – Turned 3 receptions into 68 yards and 2 TDs.

Tyler Kroft, Bengals – Caught 6 passes for 53 yards and 2 TDs.

Cowboys – Collected 3 sacks, an INT and a fumble recovery while shutting out the uninterested Eagles.
Chiefs – Produced 5 sacks, 2 INTs, a fumble and TD return.
Broncos – Amassed 2 sacks, 1 INT, a returned a fumble for a TD.

Matt Bryant, Falcons – Nailed all 5 of his FG attempts (from 30, 30, 33, 42 and 56 yards) and an XP.

This was a great week to play against…

Nick Foles, Eagles – Passed for 39 yards and an INT, without a TD, before getting an early hook.
Kirk Cousins, Redskins – Ran for a 12-yard TD, but ruined it with 3 INTs and just 158 passing yards.
Jay Cutler, Dolphins – Just 6 passing yards before being yanked.
Blake Bortles, Jaguars -- Played the whole game, but finished with just 158 passing yards, 0 TDs and 2 INTs.

Samaje Perine, Redskins – Left injured after gaining 3 rushing yards.
Jordan Howard, Bears – Ran for just 9 yards and caught a 5-yard pass.
Isaiah Crowell, Browns – Settled for 21 rushing yards.
Lamar Miller, Texans – Ran for only 37 yards.
LeSean McCoy, Bills – Just 10 rushing and 22 receiving yards before leaving with an injury.

Robert Woods and Sammy Watkins, Rams – Both were active but neither caught a pass.
Robby Anderson, Jets – Caught a 2 yarder.
Rishard Matthews, Titans -- Had a 7 yarder.
Alshon Jeffery, Eagles – Caught an 8 yarder.
Dede Westbrook, Jaguars -- Had a 9 yarder, but dropped some easy ones.
Nelson Agholor, Eagles – His 3 receptions resulted in 11 yards, plus a 7-yard run.
T.Y. Hilton, Colts – Caught 3 passes for 14 yards.
Will Fuller V, Texans – Turned 2 catches into 17 yards.
Michael Crabtree, Raiders – So did he.
A.J. Green, Bengals – As did he.
Dez Bryant, Cowboys – Caught 3 passes for 24 yards.
Kelvin Benjamin, Bills – Just 2 receptions for 27 yards.

Rob Gronkowski, Patriots -- Not only didn't catch a pass, but he wasn't even targeted for the first time in his career.
Greg Olsen, Panthers – Just a 10-yard catch.
Jason Witten, Cowboys – Only 17 yards on 2 receptions.
Delanie Walker, Titans -- Just 19 yards on 3 catches.
Vernon Davis, Redskins – Held to 2 receptions for 20 yards.
Zach Ertz, Eagles – He left with 24 yards on 2 catches.

Dan Bailey, Cowboys – Unbelievably missed his only FG and XP attempts.

Sunday morning observations -- Week 17

Good morning, Fools, from frigid DFW. It's freezing here, but I know there are many of you dealing with MUCH frostier conditions. Stay warm, my friends!

If ever we needed a reminder why Week 17 is a terrible time to contest a fantasy championship, today is that reminder. So many studs -- led by Todd Gurley, Le'Veon Bell and Kareem Hunt -- will either be watching from the sidelines or yanked early from meaningless games. Fielding a respectable lineup simply won't be possible for many owners.

Don't make this mistake again! Change your rules for next year and play your title game in Week 16, as God intended.

That said, for those who still have something to play for today, here's a quick run-down on what we can expect:

The following players have already been ruled out (officially or unofficially) for today's games:
Ben Roethlisberger
Jared Goff
Alex Smith
Todd Gurley
Le'Veon Bell
Kareem Hunt
DeMarco Murray
Charcandrick West
Matt Forte
Aaron Jones
James White
Mike Gillislee
Rex Burkhead
DeAndre Hopkins
Antonio Brown
Tyreek Hill
Davante Adams
Jordy Nelson
Emmanuel Sanders
Sterling Shepard
Marqise Lee
Jeremy Maclin
Cole Beasley
Evan Engram
Austin Seferian-Jenkins
Richard Rodgers

Others expected to be pulled early, if they play at all: Nick Foles, Blake Bortles, Jay Cutler, Leonard Fournette, Jay Ajayi, Joe Mixon, Dez Bryant, Chris Hogan, Alshon Jeffery, Nelson Agholor, Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods and Sammy Watkins.

And I probably missed several.

Melvin Gordon will play, despite his gimpy ankle. The Chargers need to win, so expect a big dose of Gordon (as well as Rivers and Keenan Allen) in this one.

Akeem Hunt will get the start today at RB for KC, and he should be a very interesting (high-potential) play.

Wendell Smallwood is expected to get the lion's share of the carries for the Eagles. While I'm not too excited about his potential against Dallas, he could come through in a pinch.

Also note that it's going to be bone-chillingly cold today in Foxborough (for the Patriots and Jets), in Pittsburgh (for Steelers/Browns), New York (for the Giants and Redskins), Baltimore (for Ravens/Bengals), Philly (for Eagles/Cowboys), Denver (for Broncos/Chiefs) and even sub-freezing in Nashville (for Titans/Jags).

As always, good luck to all Fools! And stay warm!

Friday, December 29, 2017

Week 17 Starters & Benchwarmers

Week 17 is always a crapshoot, with several teams resting starters or coasting into the off-season. Typical “no-brainer” starters aren’t so obvious this week, while seldom-used backups get their moments in the sun. In short, it’s a terrible week to contest your fantasy Super Bowl.

In my leagues, we play a “Free for All Bowl,” in which everyone except the champ sets one final lineup. Highest points gets a token share of the pot.

Here are my picks to roll, and get rolled, in Week 17 of the 2017 season.

Watch ‘em roll

Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, 49ers at Rams. Garoppolo is exactly the kind of guy who soars in Week 17. Not only has he taken the league by storm, winning all four of his starts as a 49er, but he humbled the league’s most fearsome defense (Jacksonville) last week. With the Rams resting Aaron Donald, and probably other defensive starters, Garoppolo will have a perfect opportunity to end his season on a very high note.

Alex Collins, RB, Ravens vs. Bengals. Not only is Baltimore battling for a wild card spot, but they’re facing the rushing doormats from Cincinnati. Collins needs 105 yards for his first 1,000-yard season, and that’s well within his reach in this matchup, despite the nagging presence of Buck Allen and Danny Woodhead.

Kenyan Drake, RB, Dolphins vs. Bills. Drake put up a semi-stinker in Week 16 against the Chiefs, but he is a near lock to shine in the finale against the horrid Buffalo run defense. Miami would love to play spoiler to their division rivals’ postseason hopes, and Drake will be the key ingredient in their winning recipe. Look for copious touches – both running and receiving – for the Dolphins’ emerging workhorse.

Jamison Crowder, WR, Redskins at Giants. Cousins has one more chance to impress the scouts before entering free agency again. Look for him to exploit a depleted and demoralized Giants secondary with the help of his only reliable wideout, Crowder, and TE Vernon Davis, who has scored twice over the last three weeks despite catching just two passes each game.

T.Y. Hilton, WR, Colts vs. Texans. Hilton has been the model of inconsistency this season, so perhaps we’d be wise to overlook his 175-yard, 2-TD outburst in Week 9 against the Texans. But that seems silly. That was also Jacoby Brissett’s best performance of the season, and Houston’s defense has only gotten worse since then.

More thumbs up: QBs Tom Brady, Matt Stafford, Philip Rivers; RBs LeSean McCoy, Alvin Kamara, Mark Ingram, Derrick Henry, Bilal Powell, Carlos Hyde, Christian McCaffrey, C.J. Anderson, Jamaal Williams, Frank Gore, Dion Lewis; WRs Kelvin Benjamin, Marvin Jones, Julio Jones, Demaryius Thomas, Jarvis Landry, Larry Fitzgerald, Marquise Goodwin, Michael Thomas, Keenan Allen.

Roll ‘em back

Nick Foles, QB, Eagles vs. Cowboys. We’ve been told that Foles will start, mostly due to his sub-par outing last week. But it would be foolish for the team to risk their only viable QB’s health for long, given their hopes for a deep playoff run. Be prepared for Foles to get an early hook if he (a) gets knocked around by the Dallas pass rush, (b) looks sharp or (c) leads a scoring drive or two.

Charcandrick West, RB, Chiefs at Broncos. In all likelihood, Kareem Hunt will see little – if any – action in this meaningless contest. That should mean the majority of the touches would go to West, the next man up. But don’t be surprised if West gets an early hook, too, and Akeem Hunt takes over. Regardless, they all will face the stout Denver run defense. Avoid this backfield entirely, if at all possible.

Giovani Bernard, RB, Bengals at Ravens. Over the last few weeks, Bernard has resembled the fantasy stud he once was. With Joe Mixon still troubled by a tender ankle, Bernard should again see the lion’s share of the carries. But they will come against a stalwart, highly motivated Baltimore run defense.

Doug Baldwin, WR, Seahawks vs. Cardinals. Baldwin has just five receptions for 41 yards (and 1 TD) over the last two games, and his slump is likely to continue. Arizona sports one of the league’s stingiest secondaries, and Baldwin will inevitably draw elite CB Patrick Peterson in Sunday’s rematch.

Michael Crabtree, WR, Raiders at Chargers. Crabtree left Monday night’s game early with a hamstring issue and a big, fat Christmas goose egg. He’s not on the injury report this week, but look for another disappointing outing against one of the NFL’s top coverage units. It’s a must-win game for the Chargers, while Crabtree and friends are just hoping to get through the game unscathed.

More thumbs down: QBs Andy Dalton, Marcus Mariota, Jay Cutler, Derek Carr, Dak Prescott, Eli Manning, Brett Hundley, Joe Flacco; RBs Marshawn Lynch, Kerwynn Williams, Jay Ajayi, DeMarco Murray, Matt Forte, Samaje Perine, Mike Davis, Wayne Gallman, Mike Gillislee, Aaron Jones; WRs Alshon Jeffery, Nelson Agholor, Kendall Wright, Amari Cooper, Eric Decker, DeSean Jackson, Paul Richardson, DeVante Parker, Randall Cobb, Dez Bryant, Josh Gordon, Robby Anderson, Sammy Watkins, Cooper Kupp, Devin Funchess, Sterling Shepard, Chris Hogan, Jeremy Maclin.


Keelan Cole, WR, Jaguars at Titans. Cole has been en fuego throughout December as Allen Hurns, and then Marqise Lee, were sidelined. Look for the rapidly emerging rookie to build on his stellar month in Tennessee. Though the Jags could pull their starters early, Cole may not be one of them, given his inexperience and the team’s depleted WR corps.

DON’T BE THE BONEHEAD WHO… assumes your stalwarts will suit up as usual this weekend. The Rams, Chiefs and Steelers have already signaled they will sit their stars, while playmakers on the Eagles and Jaguars may see only minimal action. Other teams with nothing on their minds but the offseason could choose to limit their stars’ exposure to potential injury in inconsequential games. Plan accordingly.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Week 16 Heros & Zeros

This was a great week to play…

Jared Goff, Rams – Passed for 301 yards and 4 TDs, with a fumble.

Todd Gurley, Rams – Had another monster game, rushing for 118 yards and added 10 receptions for 158 yards and 2 TDs.
Dion Lewis, Patriots – Owned the 4th quarter, with 129 rushing and 24 receiving yards on 5 receptions, scoring both ways.
Giovani Bernard, Bengals – Rushed for 116 yards and a TD and added 7 catches for 52 yards.
C.J. Anderson, Broncos – Ran for 88 yards and a TD, caught 7 passes for 45 yards and added a 2-point conversion.

Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals – In PPR leagues, his 9 receptions for 119 yards and a TD were sweet.

Cardinals – Amassed 2 sacks, 2 INTs, 1 fumble and a TD on a fumble return while shutting out the Giants.
Seahawks – Collected 4 sacks, 2 INTs, a fumble and a TD on an INT return.

Harrison Butker, Chiefs – Nailed 5 of his 6 FGs (from 21, 29, 31, 32 and 49 yards) and both his XPs.

This was a great week to play against…

Brett Hundley, Packers – Just 130 passing yards and 48 rushing yards without a score, plus 2 INTs.
Marcus Mariota, Titans – Passed for 275 yards and an INT and ran for 24 yards, without a TD.
Eli Manning, Giants – Passed for 263 yards without a score but with 2 INTs and a fumble.
Dak Prescott, Cowboys – Threw 2 INTs without a TD, and just 182 passing and 21 rushing yards.

Jonathan Stewart, Panthers – Ran for 19 yards and lost a yard on his only reception.
LeGarrette Blount, Eagles – Continued to take a back seat, totaling just 15 yards.
Joe Mixon, Bengals – Left early after combining for 32 yards. 
Derrick Henry, Titans – Rushed for 25 yards and caught a 6 yarder.

Alshon Jeffery, Eagles – Blanked on MNF.
Will Fuller, Texans – Had a 10 yarder in his Christmas stocking.
Jordy Nelson, Packers – Surely his 11 yards on 3 receptions came on someone’s bench.
Devin Funchess, Panthers – He had 11 on 3 as well.
Golden Tate, Lions – Limited to 14 yards on 3 receptions.
Josh Gordon, Browns – Caught 2 passes for 19 yards.
Brandin Cooks, Patriots – So did he.
Paul Richardson, Seahawks – Caught 2 passes for 21 yards.
Adam Thielen, Vikings – Saved his worst game of the season for championship weekend, with 24 yards on 2 receptions.
Randall Cobb, Packers – Just 22 yards on 4 catches.
Danny Amendola, Patriots – Took 3 passes 28 yards.
Marquise Goodwin, 49ers – His team put up 44 points on the Jags’ defense, but he only had 37 yards on 3 catches to show for it.

Kyle Rudolph, Vikings – Caught a 6 yarder.
Evan Engram, Giants – Had a 12 yarder.
Jared Cook, Raiders – Finished with a 15-yard reception.

Greg Olsen, Panthers – Bounced back the wrong way, with 3 catches for 27 yards.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Christmas miracle or meltdown?

I don’t know if the NFL intentionally plans it this way, but scheduling Week 16 on Christmas weekend seems especially cruel. 

Who wants to spoil their merriment by losing a fantasy championship on Christmas? Sure, a victory is an extra sweet gift, but half of us are now licking our wounds, and the vast majority of fantasy owners weren’t even in the game.

I’ve already made one New Year’s resolution: to never draft Cam Newton again. That way I won’t have to labor over the start/bench decision on him, even in very favorable matchups. I trusted him in Week 15 against the Packers, and he came through with flying colors. So why not one more time against a sorry Bucs secondary?

Yep, he Scrooged me.

Benching Jared Goff was the right call last week, but the same decision nearly spoiled my Christmas Eve.

At least I didn’t have to face Todd Gurley, who has apparently been doubling up on his Wheaties. Gurley not only led countless fantasy teams to glory, but he cemented his status as the consensus first pick in next year’s draft.

For that matter, for the first time since the Kurt Warner era, everyone is going to want a stake in the Rams next season. Gurley and Goff, the defense and Greg Zuerlein and at least two wideouts will be in high demand.

I should have known the weekend wouldn’t go my way after Adam Thielen turned in his worst performance of the season on Saturday. To underscore his poor timing, my opponent was treated to one of Stefon Diggs’ best days of an otherwise disappointing 2017.

Oh well, there’s always next year. Congrats to everyone hoisting a trophy today. And to those who save their championship matchups for Week 17, prepare to play with some of your top talents – including Gurley, Kareem Hunt and others – either sitting out or exiting early.


To win a fantasy championship, it helps to start with a great draft. But filling gaps in your roster with the occasional waiver-wire acquisition is also important. At this point in the season, the pickings are slim and your best bet is to stick with your regular starters. But here's a look at some players worth considering for one last week.

Derrick Henry, RB, Titans. Still available in roughly four out of 10 leagues, Henry should shoulder the load against the Jaguars in the finale with DeMarco Murray likely sitting out after sustaining a knee injury. It’s a tough matchup, but the 49ers just exposed some serious cracks.

Kapri Bibbs, RB, Redskins. Samaje Perine left Sunday’s contest with an Achilles injury, opening the door for Bibbs to lead Washington’s depleted backfield against the vulnerable Giants run defense. The Redskins will go scrounging for another back, but Bibbs is the next man up and he could offer solid returns for those playing one more game.

Peyton Barber, RB, Buccaneers. Barber had more than twice as many carries as Doug Martin against the Panthers, which confirms that Tampa Bay’s coaches have accepted what we already knew: Martin’s days as a workhorse are long gone. Barber should again get the majority of the touches against the Saints in Week 17.

Giovani Bernard, RB, Bengals. Just when we thought Cincinnati’s backfield would return to Joe Mixon’s hands, the rookie exited with an ankle injury. Bernard exploited the Lions as both a high-volume rusher and receiver, and he should get a similar workload in a tough contest with the Ravens next weekend.

Keelan Cole, WR, Jaguars. With both Allen Hurns and Marqise Lee missing time, Cole has been a target magnet. He found the end zone in three straight weeks before the 49ers game, but still breached the 100-receiving-yard mark on Sunday. He’ll be in position for another stellar outing against the Titans.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Sunday morning observations -- Week 16

Good morning, Fools. If you're reading this, you're probably playing for a fantasy championship, and that makes me happy. What makes me even happier is that I am, too!

I'm already playing from behind, however, since I started Adam Thielen and my opponent had Stefon Diggs. But there's plenty of ball left to be played -- including a two-fer on Christmas Monday.

Here's what we need to know to set our best lineups today:

In case you've been living under a rock, Zeke Elliott is back. If you've been sitting on him, look for a fine outing from him today. It looks like LT Tyron Smith will play, too, which is great news for him and the Cowboys' passing attack.

Samaje Perine has been dealing with a groin injury and at one point was trending toward not playing. Now, he's a game-time decision. If he plays, he'll get some help from Kapri Bibbs. Against Denver's solid run D, I don't like either of their chances.

I doubt you're counting on Matt Forte or Elijah McGuire, but both are expected to play. Maybe you have Bilal Powell; so note that he'll have a lot of competition for touches.

It's never good when a player lands on the injury report late in the week, but that's what happened to Michael Thomas. He tweaked his hammy -- presumably in practice -- and is questionable for today's contest. That could be a brutal, unexpected loss, so keep an eye on the inactives in a bit. He did appear to warm up well this morning, so there's reason for optimism; but he's clearly going to be a game-time call.

Both Emmanuel Sanders and Cody Latimer stayed behind in Denver and will not play in Washington.

Allen Hurns is likely out. And the Pats are planning to play without both Chris Hogan and James White. Rex Burkhead is already on I.R.

Kelvin Benjamin is expected to play today, but he's been a disappointment ever since he was traded to Buffalo. He's also still dealing with a knee injury that will require offseason surgery. Despite the good matchup with the Pats, I wouldn't start him.

And if you're counting on any Eagles players, you got good news last night. The Vikings' win means Philly still has incentive to play its starters. They need a win to advance their cause for the top seed in the NFC.

Finally, it's the time of year for weather concerns, and we have some potential issues today in Chicago (snow, winds) for the Bears and Browns; in Kansas City (cold, winds) for the Dolphins and Chiefs; and in Tennessee (wind, rain) for the Titans and Rams.

That's it for now, Fools. I probably won't be able to tweet the inactives today because we're leaving early for Christmas Eve service. So be sure to check them yourself ( Good luck to all Fools! Let's go get us another title!

Friday, December 22, 2017

Week 16 Starters & Benchwarmers

It’s title time! Wondering whether or not to start Ezekiel Elliott and DeAndre Hopkins, or to bench Eddie Lacy and Justin Hardy? The network bozos specialize in that kind of advice. If you’re looking for help with your real starting lineup conundrums, read on.

Here are my picks to roll, and get rolled, in Week 16 of the 2017 season.

Watch ‘em roll

Philip Rivers, QB, Chargers at Jets. Rivers is coming off his second-worst game of an otherwise solid season, so a nice rebound is in order. Fortunately, Keenan Allen is on track to return for this delicious matchup, and the Jets’ young and generous pass defenders await with another embarrassing outing.

Christian McCaffrey, RB, Panthers vs. Buccaneers. Jonathan Stewart fell back to Earth last week, while McCaffrey shined. That trend should continue Sunday against a Bucs defense missing two of its best run defenders. McCaffrey will produce in both phases, especially if Devin Funchess is limited with his shoulder.

Dion Lewis, RB, Patriots vs. Bills. As Tom Brady continues to work through his late-season blues and the weather outside turns frightful, New England’s running game will remain on center stage. Lewis should continue to be the featured back, especially with Rex Burkhead out. Look for stellar production as a runner and receiver against the imploding Buffalo defense.

Golden Tate, WR, Lions at Bengals. Marvin Jones has been producing at a high level, but Tate has actually been targeted more frequently over the last four weeks (32 for Tate vs. 26 for Jones). Against Cincinnati’s decimated and weary secondary, both wideouts should shine as the Lions continue to rely almost exclusively on Matt Stafford’s arm.

Mike Wallace, WR, Ravens vs. Colts. I rarely vouch for Joe Flacco, or his wideouts, but this week is promising. Not only has Flacco been on his game lately, but he’ll be facing arguably the NFL’s most vulnerable secondary. Jeremy Maclin may miss this game, further boosting Wallace’s prospects for a fine showing.

More thumbs up (excluding the no-brainers): QBs Cam Newton, Matt Stafford, Blake Bortles, Case Keenum, Drew Brees, Jared Goff, Russell Wilson, Nick Foles; RBs Devonta Freeman, Mark Ingram, Alvin Kamara, Latavius Murray, Kenyan Drake, Leonard Fournette; WRs Larry Fitzgerald, Keenan Allen, Adam Thielen, Stefon Diggs, Nelson Agholor, Dede Westbrook, Robert Woods, Michael Crabtree, Demaryius Thomas, Dez Bryant, Brandin Cooks, Jarvis Landry

Roll ‘em back

Matt Ryan, QB, Falcons at Saints. Chances are, you haven’t advanced this far because of Ryan, who has thrown as much interceptions (3) as TDs over the last four games. Ouch. By the way, all three of those picks came against the Saints just two weeks ago.

Carlos Hyde, RB, 49ers vs. Jaguars. Hyde has had an up and down season, but it’s mostly been down since Jimmy Garoppolo ascended to the starting job. Hyde’s role in the passing game has diminished, and he’s not grinding out a ton of rushing yards, either. Against the Jaguars’ mighty defense, he can’t be trusted.

Marshawn Lynch, RB, Raiders at Eagles. In order for Lynch to be an effective fantasy contributor, he needs to break a big one or score on a limited number of touches. With his best blocker sidelined and a talented Philly defense on tap, Lynch’s carries are unlikely to deliver big returns.

Randall Cobb, WR, Packers vs. Vikings. Both Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams were placed on I.R. after Green Bay’s postseason hopes were dashed. Brett Hundley will be back under center, and we know he still doesn’t recognize Jordy Nelson. That means Cobb will likely be shadowed by Xavier Rhodes in a matchup you don’t want to see in your championship lineup.

Marquise Goodwin, WR, 49ers vs. Jaguars. Goodwin has been a revelation in the early stages of the Garoppolo era, but both players will be facing tough sledding this weekend against the stifling Jaguars secondary. While Goodwin should remain a highly targeted go-to option for the young QB, A.J. Bouye and Jalen Ramsey will be blanketing him all day.

More thumbs down: QBs Kirk Cousins, Jay Cutler, Andy Dalton, Derek Carr, Eli Manning, Marcus Mariota, Jimmy Garoppolo, Brett Hundley; RBs Tevin Coleman, Ameer Abdullah, Samaje Perine, Jamaal Williams, Frank Gore, Derrick Henry, Mike Davis, LeGarrette Blount, Matt Forte, Wayne Gallman; WRs Robby Anderson, Jordy Nelson, Rishard Matthews, Josh Gordon.


Martavis Bryant, WR, Steelers at Texans. Even without Antonio Brown in the lineup, Pittsburgh’s passing game is one to reckon with. Bryant has been a disappointment most of the season, but he came alive in the red zone last week. With Houston’s defense forced to focus on Le’Veon Bell, its porous secondary will have a rough time keeping up with Bryant and fellow wideout JuJu Smith-Schuster.

DON’T BE THE BONEHEAD WHO…ignores the quirky schedule this weekend. Not only is there no Thursday or Sunday nighter, but there are two Saturday and two Monday games. And keep in mind that if the Vikings win on Saturday, the Eagles could potentially rest some of their starters for at least part of their Monday night outing.