NFL Week 8 Wide Receiver Sit/Start Report

Tyler Lockett could put up another big game against the Cowboys

Tyler Lockett could put up another big game against the Cowboys on Sunday

The NFL season is reaching its halfway point where teams are either in the hunt for a playoff spot or already cutting their losses. There are some intriguing fantasy matchups this week that will have everybody watching. Here are the wide receivers who deserve a starting spot and those who should be left on the bench.

Start – Tyler Lockett:  Lockett could be a blessing in disguise for some fantasy owners scrambling for a reliever this late in the season. He accumulated 79 yards and a TD against the 49ers, but Lockett can also have games where he won’t get a catch. This week, Seattle plays the Dallas Cowboys. The Dallas defensive front including Greg Hardy, Randy Gregory, Demarcus Lawrence, Sean Lee, and Tyron Crawford will be pushing back against Seattle’s run game with Lynch. With Jimmy Graham gaining a majority of the defense’s attention, Russell Wilson could have open guys down the field, mainly Lockett. Lockett should be a good plugin for the flex position.

Start – Kendall Wright:  Wright doesn’t have the best numbers coming into this week’s game against the Houston Texans, but numbers can be deceiving. Wright managed to pull in only 46 yards last week, but he did score a touchdown, which saved him. The biggest change for Wright this week will be the return of his starting quarterback Marcus Mariota. With Mariota at the helm, look for the Baylor product to shine against a desperate Texans squad.

Start – Stefan Diggs:  Diggs has made a name for himself in the past few weeks. His production value is through the roof. He’s averaging just over 17 yards a catch in each of his outings. But, Diggs may not be as big a name for most fantasy owners who will make the mistake of starting a more seasoned veteran over the Minnesota receiver. If given the chance to start Diggs or another popular wideout (I.e. Dez Bryant or Odell Beckham Jr.) start Diggs. It’s the best bet.

Sit – Tavon Austin:  Austin is a hit or miss kind of guy. One day he’ll have -2 yards and the next he’ll run back a 100 yard kickoff return. St. Louis also has its best performer in running back Todd Gurley, who they’ll feed for a majority of the game. Austin managed only 6 yards against a Redskins team not particularly known for its defensive prowess. He is playing the 49ers this week, but that bodes well for Gurley, rather than Austin.

Sit – Steve Smith:  Smith is looking to go into retirement with a bang. His numbers have been moderately consistent and he’s a top target for QB Joe Flacco. This week poses a problem for Smith. He has missed practice with an apparent knee injury and is also nursing micro fractures in his back. If any of these injuries flare up against San Diego, he could miss parts of the game, which would kill the score for fantasy owners.Sit – Tavon Austin:  Austin is a hit or miss kind of guy. One day he’ll have -2 yards and the next he’ll run back a 100yr kickoff return. St. Louis also has its best performer in running back Todd Gurley, who they’ll feed for a majority of the game. Austin managed only 6 yards against a Redskins team not particularly known for its defensive prowess. He is playing the 49ers this week, but that bodes well for Gurley rather than Austin.

Sit – Marvin Jones:  Cincinnati has surprised a lot of people this year. That doesn’t mean that fantasy owners should put their faith in Jones to produce points for them. Jones has decent numbers for the year, but is plagued with a crowded wide receiver core that can leave him stranded at times. Jones is suffering from the same problem as Roddy White with Julio Jones in Atlanta. When a team has a go-to guy like A.J. Green, they tend not to look to other options. With the Steelers getting Roethlisberger back, they should be a rejuvenated bunch set on giving their division rival their first loss on the season.

NFL Week 8 Running Back Sit/Start Report

CJ

Chris Johnson looks to keep the magic alive against the defenseless Browns

Fantasy football provides us with tricks and treats on a weekly basis. Here are five running backs sure to treat or trick you if in your lineup.

START – Chris Johnson:  Chris Johnson appeared on the Sit Report last week and of course, gashed the Baltimore’s defense to the tune of 18 carries for 122 yards and a touchdown. It was the most fantasy points given up by the Ravens’ defense all season long. Turning back the sands of time, Johnson is once again the lead back in a fast paced offense. This week Johnson gets an enticing matchup with the Cleveland Browns’ 2nd worst rush defense in the NFL. No trick here, in week 8, Johnson should treat owners once again as top-5 fantasy running back in 2015.

START – Jonathan Stewart:  Stewart sure has been a surprise treat these past two weeks. After tallying 78 yards and two touchdowns against a stout Seahawks defense, Stewart carried the ball 24 times for 125 yards against a ferocious Philly unit. Now the Colts sixth worst run defense marches down to Bank of America Stadium. Cam Newton and Mike Tolbert will always be at large to poach touchdowns away but Stewart shall get a healthy dose of yardage to make him a viable RB1 in week 8.

SIT – Carlos Hyde:  Carlos Hyde has certainly played a Jekyll & Hyde so far this season. After exploding for 168 yards and two scores in week one, Hyde found pay dirt only once more and is yet to top 100 yards. Hobbled by nagging injuries, Hyde consistently manages to put up mediocre numbers. Don’t be tricked into believing Hyde will produce against a middling Rams defense. Leave the second-year back on the bench in week 8.

SIT – Duke Johnson Jr:  Duke Johnson Jr. may be pushing for the starting role in the Browns backfield but that doesn’t mean you should start him in your lineup. Duke continues to show off his receiving prowess, which he’ll need against a stingy Cardinals front. The Cardinals are a very opportunistic defense and I envision the birds going up big and early on against a limp Josh McCown. The matchup is not in the Duke’s favor and you should leave him on the bench if possible.

SIT – Rashad Jennings:  Oh you thought there were only three tailbacks in the Giants backfield? GOT HEEEM! Tom Coughlin rolled out Orleans Darkwa to also compete for touches last week against the Cowboys. Darkwa led the Giants in carries while Jennings could only muster up 19 yards on five carries. If two is a crowd and three is company, then four is a surefire trick and you should not trust a Giants running back in any format.

Hot Start for Stefon Diggs is NO FLUKE

Stefon Diggs

Stefon Diggs is the go-to-guy for Terry Bridgwater and hungry fantasy owners

The Minnesota Vikings appear to have locked on to the star receiver the team has been longing for. Stefon Diggs was selected in the fifth round due to injuries and inconsistencies, but has been torching opposing defenses during the last three weeks and seems to be the answer quarterback Terry Bridgewater has been looking for.

Mike Wallace is currently the number one receiver on the team, but make no mistake, Diggs is the go-to-guy for Bridgewater. Diggs may not put up the same numbers as Odell Beckham did last season, but if he continues at his current pace, he could challenge Amari Cooper for rookie of the year.

Diggs saw NINE targets during his pro debut against the Denver Broncos during Week 4, hauling in six catches for 87 yards. Even though he fumbled twice, he still managed to catch all of those balls against the elite cornerback, Aqib Talib. Now he’s on fire averaging more than 6 catches per game to go with his impressive NINE targets per game – These numbers alone make him a must own in EVERY fantasy format.

Diggs speed allows him to make adjustments to almost any poorly thrown passes by Bridgewater. One play that showed off his remarkable talent was last week against the Lions. Diggs ran a vertical route and Bridgewater overthrew the pass. Even though the pass was overthrown, Diggs was able to accelerate and make a difficult catch for his very first touchdown reception. Diggs has nineteen receptions for three hundred and twenty four yards and one touchdown. He is averaging seventeen yards a catch and has broken the 100-yard reception mark in back-to-back games.

Patriots/Dolphins: TNF Sit-Start Report

Ryan Tannehill wants to prove that last week’s game against the Texans was no fluke.

Ryan Tannehill wants to prove that last week’s game against the Texans was no fluke.

This Thursday’s football scene will feature the vaunted New England Patriots against the rejuvenated Miami Dolphins. The Pats are trying to stay perfect in their campaign to reach back-to-back Super Bowls while Miami seems to be steering the ship in the right direction. For fantasy owners, this AFC showdown had the potential to be a good one. Here are the players that should start and sit for this matchup.

Start – Ryan Tannehill:  Ryan Tannnehill humbled the lowly Texans last week with a 94.7 completion percentage. The fourth year QB has had some great games in terms of fantasy production numbers this season, but his good fortune could be a side effect of the quality of his opponents. Against some of the better defenses in the league (the Bills and the Jets), Tannehill had multiple interceptions, so look for the Pats to try to put pressure on him to throw the ball more and make mistakes. New England has been winning, but it’s defense has given up some big plays this season. If Tannehill can come out guns blazing, he should put on another solid performance.

Start – Lamar Miller:  Miller had 175 rushing yards last week against a defense that features J.J. Watt. He even had 35 fantasy points in the first half alone. The Pats defense had been giving up huge rushing yards in the beginning of games( they let Dallas Cowboy Joseph Randle have his way with them in the first quarter) and Miller is poised to take advantage of that. After having a shaky start in the beginning of the season, Miller has put up two solid performances in the last few games. He has an even bigger chance to do some damage if Tannehill starts to tear New England’s secondary apart, which will open up the ground attack.

Start – Jarvis Landry:  Something about Landry makes me start him every Sunday. Good thing I’ve gone against my better judgment because, like the rest of his team, Landry has turned around his level of play with the departure of Joe Philbin. Jarvis put up only 86 yards last week, but he also pulled in 2 TDs in the process. As a solid target for Tannehill, look for Landry to have a good showing as long as Malcom Butler continues to ease off his coverages.

Sit – LaGarette Blount:  Blount seems to be suffering from the same problem a lot of players deal with after having a great season. Like them, Blount can’t seem to get back to the type of productivity he displayed in his 2014 campaign. Last week, Blount recorded -3 yards on 3 attempts. His highest total this season has been 93 yards against a troubled Colts team. Even if Blount manages to pull out a monster game, I wouldn’t risk a roster spot for him, especially with New England deciding to abandon the run game at times.

Sit – Danny Amendola:  Amendola has a chance to put up great numbers. He is always good for a big play every now and then. But, unlike most QBs who throw to the open guy when their main target is double covered, Tom Brady still throws to the main guy. On Thursday night, you can bet on Brady looking to Gronkowski or Edelman for a a huge gain before anyone, especially late in the game. Don’t waste a start on Amendola when there are plenty or other quality wideouts playing on Sunday.

NFL Week 8 – Waiver Wire Essentials Report

It's a mystery that Stefon Diggs is still UNOWNED in

How is Stefon Diggs still UNOWNED in more than half of fantasy football leagues???

Next man up: the phrase is so commonly used throughout the National Football League. With injuries come opportunities for another guy to show what he’s got. It’s also an opportunity to get your season back on track with the right waiver addition. Target these four players on waivers heading into week 8.

Stefon Diggs (Ownership: 44.0%)

Truth is, Stefon should’ve been dug up from waivers about a week ago! The rookie excelled with each passing week including a 6-108-1 stat line last time he took the field. In the absence of Charles Johnson, it seems as if Diggs, not Mike Wallace, took over the X position and is now the favorite receiver for Teddy Bridgewater. With defenses keying in on Adrian Peterson and at least four favorable matchups to close the season, Diggs should be a viable fantasy option for the rest of the year.

Alfred Blue (Ownership: 19.2%)

The injury bug can’t seem to stay away from Arian Foster. After missing the first three games of the season due to a groin tear, Foster tore his Achilles in week 7 and will now miss the rest of the year. In his seven-year career, Foster has only played in a full 16-game season twice. If that’s not a good enough track record to handcuff the brittle back, I don’t know what is. Alfred Blue should now be owned in all formats. Earlier in the season, it took Blue a few games to get on track but he is the undisputed lead ball carrier now for the Texans.

Jordan Reed (Ownership: 41.8%)

Reed picked up right where he left off. Returning from a two game absence, Reed caught 11 balls for 72 yards and a pair of touchdowns. The big tight end was targeted the most on the team and helped Kirk Cousins and the Redskins complete the biggest comeback in franchise history (YOU LIKE THAT?!). Reed is undoubtedly the focal point of the passing game as he has led Washington three times in five appearances this season. The Redskins are on bye in week 8 but he should be added before the team’s week nine matchup in Foxborough against the Patriots.

Danny Amendola (Ownership: 16.1%)

That’s two respectable efforts put up in a row by Danny Amendola. The veteran receiver has been hit-or-miss all season with Brandon Lafell sidelined. However, now that LaFell is back, Amendola may see his share of targets decrease. Alternatively, if LaFell continues to drops balls at the rate that he did in week 7, Belichick will have no problem benching him and Amendola could continue to grow great chemistry with Brady. If there were one offense in the NFL to support and sustain four different receivers, it would be New England’s Brady Bunch.

NFL Week 7 – Injury Check Down Report

Fantasy owners depending on Antonio Gates are on shaky ground this week

Fantasy owners depending on Antonio Gates are on shaky ground this week

Brandon LaFell – Active

Dion Lewis – Doubtful

Ben Roethlisberger – Game Time Decision

Dez Bryant – OUT

Chris Thompson – Doubtful

Nelson Agholor – OUT

Antonio Gates : Gates suffered an MCL sprain last week against the Packers and is a game time decision against the Raiders. If he can’t play, expect Ladarius Green to get the start.

Ben Roethlisberger: The Steelers QB suffered and MCL injury and is traveling with the team as they play Kansas City, but do not expect him to play.

John Brown: Brown suffered a hamstring injury in both legs, but expect him to get the start Monday as they play the Baltimore Ravens.

Jeremy Maclin: Kansas City Chiefs Receiver suffered a concussion and passed all exams and will play against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Dez Bryant – OUT

Brandon LaFell: New England Patriots Wide Receiver has been activated from the PUP list and is expected to play this week against the New York Jets. Expect him to make an impact in his debut game back.

Odell Beckham: Beckham is still battling a hamstring injury in practice and was limited this week, but expect him to play Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys.

Keenan Allen: Allen suffered a hip injury and will play Sunday against the Oakland Raiders; he says he does not feel the injury at all expect him to make an impact.

Matt Jones: Jones will play Sunday against the Tampa Bay Bucs. Expect him to be heavily involved in the passing game as Chris Thompson is doubtful for Week 7.

Melvin Gordon: Gordon is listed as questionable this week against the Oakland Raiders. He is suffering a toe injury, but expect him to play in this favorable matchup.

Dion Lewis: Lewis is listed as questionable as he is dealing with an abdomen injury. He was limited in practice. Expect him to play against the New York Jets on Sunday.

T.J. Yeadon: The Jacksonville Jaguars running back is battling a groin injury. After managing back-to-back practices this week, expect him to play against the Buffalo Bills.

NFL Week 7 Wide Receiver Sit/Start Report

Michael Crabtree could be in a from big game against the Chargers

Michael Crabtree could be in a for a big game against the Chargers

With Week 7 upon us, it’s becoming much clearer to fantasy owners which players are studs and which are duds for their teams. Besides quarterbacks, wide receivers have a way of making or breaking a fantasy owner’s season. Some owners can be down by 20 points in a weekly matchup, but a Julio Jones or Calvin Johnson can turn that around. Here are a few wide receivers fantasy owners should give a shot and shoot away from their rosters.

Start – Michael Crabtree:  Has put together a nice little season so far and his fantasy prospects are looking up this week against a Chargers secondary that will be focused on slowing down Amari Cooper. The Raiders coaching staff indicated that they are determined to increase Crabtree’s role in the offense. Couple this with the fact that Crabtree will likely match up with Chargers defender Brandon Flowers who has been abused by opposing receivers this season. Look for a banner performance in Week 7 from this veteran wide receiver.

Start – John Brown:  The second-year receiver has made a little name for himself. Brown had 196 yards in his last game against the Steelers. The Arizona Cardinals are proving once again that you can get a good player out of the third round of the draft. Brown is no Larry Fitzgerald, but quarterback Carson Palmer called Brown one of the fastest he’s seen. 196 yards last week. Hopefully, he can continue his progress against the struggling Baltimore Ravens.

Sit – Keenan Allen:  Allen missed his second straight practice this week due to injury. The San Diego receiver started off slow this season, but recorded 157 yards last week against the Packers. I wouldn’t necessarily bet on that performance repeating itself on back to back weeks from an ailing receiver.

Sit – Dez Bryant:  Bryant is coming off foot surgery and is not ready to take the field just yet. He missed practice on Friday and is very unlikely to play this week against the Giants. The Cowboys number one target hasn’t seen the playing field since early in Week 1 against the Giants. This Sunday is a rematch of those division rivals. Bryant is making the trip to New York, but don’t expect him to play. There’s also no telling how productive Bryant will be on the field without the services of Tony Romo.

NFL Week 7 Running Back Sit/Start Report

It took 5 weeks, but Dolphins RB Lamar Miller is finally a must start

It took 5 weeks, but Dolphins RB Lamar Miller is finally a must start

Some things are just better when you wait for them. For instance, when you turn the legal age of 21. Edwin and Anthony (not their real names) are the youngest of my friend group and while everyone heads out to the bars on a Saturday evening, their night is abruptly cut short because of late birthdates. The anticipation is almost unbearable waiting for the day. It’s as if the age of 20 is useless because you’re no longer a teenager but you’re still not old enough to be considered an “adult”.

Well the 21st birthday is always memorable (or not) and well worth the wait. Cheers to my two long-time friends who just turned 21 and cheers to you fantasy owners who’ve waited on a few players to get their butt in gear! Patience is a virtue and the payoff is high. Now heading into the second half of the season, the real fun can finally begin.

Start – Lamar Miller:  Well would you look at that, it only took a few people to lose their jobs in order for Lamar Miller to finally be effective. Miller managed 18 total fantasy points in weeks one through four before finally busting loose for 113 yards and a score on 19 carries during Week 6. With a sub 4.4 40, Miller can actually do some damage when the ball is consistently handed to him. Look for new head coach, Dan Campbell to feed the ball to Miller against the Texans 10th worst rush defense in the league.

Start – DeMarco Murray:  Remember when DeMarco Murray had only gained 11 yards on 21 carries two weeks into the 2015 season? Well after the past two weeks, I sure don’t! In the last fortnight, Murray notched 41 carries for 195 yards and two TDs. A complete turn around from his start in early September. Look for the good times to keep rolling heading into Week 7. The Eagles travel to Carolina to take on a Panthers team that surprisingly struggles against the run. Lock Murray in for another 20 carries and a score. I mean, it’s not like Chip is gonna let Bradford throw the ball…right?

Start – Frank Gore:  After two abysmal weeks to start the season, I wouldn’t be surprised if many fantasy owners sold out on Gore. However, keep in mind if Gore had not fumbled twice inside the red zone, he’d be a top 10 RB this season. During the past four weeks, Gore is averaging 17 carries per game. Consistent touches will keep Gore in the RB2 discussion and this week against New Orleans, he is flashing RB1 upside. Lastly, keep in mind Ahmad Bradshaw re-signed with the team a week ago and is lurking to poach touches away from Gore.

Sit – Melvin Gordon:  Talks of Rookie of the Year have certainly quelled in favor of Gordon. The freshman running back hasn’t lived up to the hype fumbling three times in two weeks and five times on the year. Benched in the second half of week six, veteran Danny Woodhead is in line to take a significant amount of touches. The Oakland Raiders can be beaten through the air and Rivers will be looking for blood after throwing for over 500 yards last week. Woodhead is the back that favors the passing game and Gordon is simply a struggling flex.

Sit – Chris Johnson:  CJ2K returned back to Earth last week against the Pittsburgh Steelers accumulating a mere 40 yards on 14 carries. This week presents another tough matchup as the Baltimore Ravens come to town for primetime television. The Ravens are allowing on average just 80 rush yards per game, ninth best in the league. Furthermore, the Ravens have allowed nine passing touchdowns this season and are the second worst at stopping the pass. Carson Palmer just might have a field day at home, leaving little for Johnson to feast on.

Sit – Charcandrick West:  West was worth a speculative add after Jamaal Charles went down with an injury but could not do anything as a starter versus the Vikings. West mustered 33 yards on nine carries and also had a fumble in the game. Truth of the matter, the 2015 season for the Chiefs is in free fall and it’s too risky to play any skill player at the moment. Specifically, West is in a timeshare with Knile Davis and should not be a starter in any fantasy format until the carries are sorted out between the two of them.

Do NOT Sleep on Brandon LaFell

Make no mistake, Brandon LaFell will provide a spark to any fantasy lineup

Make no mistake, Brandon LaFell will provide a spark to any fantasy lineup

After missing at the first six games with a foot injury, there’s rampant speculation as to when Brandon LaFell may return to the playing field for the New England Patriots. He’s already practicing again and may be the missing piece the Patriots need to put the finishing touches on their juggernaut offense.

As to when the Patriots might activate LaFell, it could be any day now. There is now a 21-day activation clock running and New England could activate LaFell this week against the Jets, Week 8 against the Dolphins or even Week 9 to face the Redskins.

Sitting at 6 and 0, the Patriots don’t have to hurry the receiver back into action. Last season, LaFell tallied 74 receptions for 953 yards and 7 touchdowns. Tom Brady is putting up great numbers and seems to be more dangerous every week. He’s thrown fourteen touchdowns and only one interception through the first six games of the season.

As we said, LaFell is eligible to play this week against the division rival New York Jets. If the coaching staff has made a decision on when to activate him, they are not sharing their thoughts with anyone else. With his return, Brady will have even more passing options, which is a terrifying thought for opposing defensive coordinators. As one of Brady’s most trusted receivers, LaFell is a MUST-ADD in every fantasy format under the sun.

Seahawks/49ers: TNF Sit Start Report

Fantasy owners are hoping Lynch can rediscover his "beast mode" against the Niners

Fantasy owners hoping Lynch can rediscover his “beast mode” against the Niners

The Niners and Seahawks are all set for an NFC West showdown this Thursday. Both teams currently sit at 2-4 on the season and are looking to right the ship this week. In order to do that, the teams’ respective best players have to perform well. For some fantasy owners, like San Fran and Seattle, this week is a make or break week for their season. Here are the players that should start and sit for Thursday Night Football.
  

Start – Marshawn Lynch:  Lynch returned from injury last week managing one touchdown and 54 yards on the ground. Lynch is currently averaging 45 yards per game. That won’t cut it in a real NFL game, let alone for a fantasy team. The 49ers defense is not being helped by its offense in terms of time of possession, so this should help Lynch and the offense wear San Francisco down. Others teams have found a way to blow out the 49ers, why can’t the Seahawks? Lynch isn’t the best bet for this week, but the lack of quality backs available this season is what saves his fantasy value.

Start – Russell Wilson:  Wilson is yearning for a breakout game this season. This two-time NFC Champion already finds himself clawing for a playoff spot in a tough division. If team wins were what counted most in fantasy, the owners would have to steer clear of Russell. But, Wilson is boasting a 98.7 QBR and is averaging 238 yards and at least 1 touchdown per game. He also remains relatively healthy, which might not last long. He should definitely start this week.

Sit – Colin Kaepernick:  Kaep is averaging just over 7 yards per attempt and has 6 touchdowns on the season. Those stats aren’t horrible, but not what you’d expect from a quarterback who has taken his team deep in the playoffs multiple times. Kaep is inconsistent in the same way Matthew Stafford and Andrew Luck have been this season. There are plenty of other QBs, even quality backups, that fantasy owners can start this week rather than take this gamble.

Sit – Carlos Hyde:  Hyde killed it in fantasy week 1, but has fizzled out ever since. It seems that the 49ers just haven’t been using him in the same way as before. Then again, they haven’t been playing the rebuilding Vikings the past 5 weeks like the were in the season opener. The legion of boom is looking to reclaim its status as one of the leagues most revered defenses. With that said, and Hyde nursing a sore foot, don’t look for Carlos to bee too productive this week.