Ah, the vast difference between what is good looking football and what is valuable fantasy football. As fantasy football fans, we have a love of strange situations. We cheer for garbage time. We can be seen hoping our quarterback’s team gets blown out early so he has to throw a lot. Sometimes, it means that we are very excited about a player based on numbers that are only gained because of all the other problems. This week, the Green Bay Packers take on the Tennessee Titans in Nashville. Here is a look at what we should be considering this week in Nashville and around the league.
So, Rodgers has been great in terms of fantasy, especially through this 1-2 stretch. Funny, right? Anyhow, Rodgers has been good for 20+ points in three straight weeks. Also, Rodgers has had 3+ touchdowns in each of those three games. The issue you have is he just does not look like that when you watch him live. Granted, Rodgers had a great game attacking the Bears’ 12th-ranked pass defense, while the last two games were against two of the three worst pass defenses in the league. Still, the Titans are the 20th-ranked pass defense and you have to hope Rodgers still finds some room. The new trend is that Rodgers is getting you rather impressive numbers in the run game. You start him, but Rodgers is just not worth the money in Daily Leagues. Rodgers is the most expensive QB in both FanDuel and Draft Kings.
If you were smart, you picked up Mariota early. Mariota has been good for 25+ in three of his last five games and has come on very strong lately. Mariota has had multiple touchdowns in each of those five games. Mariota presents something the could give the Packers fits, a very mobile quarterback. Andrew Luck showed that escaping the pass rush could be damaging. Mariota is faster. Mariota has had some easier pass defenses in the past few weeks, but the Packers banged up secondary presents another chance that he could shine. Mariota is a cheap (15th in FanDuel and 16th in Draft Kings). Rishard Matthews is the WR you pair with Mariota, but Delanie Walker might be a more secure option.
Jordy Nelson/Randall Cobb/Davante Adams/Ty Montgomery
First things first. Any one of these guys might win you your league this week. It might be a bit of a prayer. Jordy has been the deep threat on a team where Rodgers has had difficulty hitting the deep ball so far. Cobb has come on strong, but missed significant time the last two weeks. Prior to that he had 10+ targets in three straight weeks coming out of the bye. Adams has been the Packers’ fantasy stud in the receiving corps so far with six touchdowns to this point. All of them are WR2s at this point with Nelson being the most questionable. Jordy has led the team in targets, but has caught a career low 54% of his targets so far (entering the season he had a career average of 70%). Montgomery seems to be back to full strength. If so he can be a WR2 or an RB2 (depending on how your fantasy site defines him). More to come.
Rishard Matthews/Tajae Sharpe/ ... Delanie Walker
I’m grouping this as “pass catchers” because Walker leads the team in targets per game. The Titans are a conservative offense. They love running the ball and they focus on getting the ball to Walker. Tajae Sharpe has been an interesting look in dynasty leagues. Sharpe does not give big fantasy points because he only catches 50% of his targets and has not yet found the end zone. Rishard Matthews is the better option and he is a WR2. There are not enough targets to get him higher, but he is a solid pass catcher and he can do things once he has the ball and has finished five plays in the end zone.
Ty Montgomery/Don Jackson/James Starks
You are only starting Montgomery. Jackson will not be getting nearly enough touches to matter in any format. Montgomery will be a good, solid start. Now Yahoo is following ESPN’s lead and will allow Montgomery in the RB slot as well as WR. He is the only RB you start for the Packers. Don’t buy in on Starks taking a significant portion of the workload just yet, as he will need some time to get back up to full strength.
DeMarco Murray/Derrick Henry
Murray is a stud. You start him, every league, every format. Now, you might reply, “but the matchup is problematic as the Packers’ run defense is very good.” Well said. Still, Murray is fourth in average fantasy points per game. He is not in a time share and he is on a team that will continue to run. He is right behind Ezekiel Elliott in fantasy and Elliott still found a way against the Packers. We have reached a point where Derrick Henry has value as a handcuff and nothing else. Yeah, 16 carries for 60 yards and a touchdown two weeks ago, but in the four weeks before that game Henry had only thirteen combined carries. Furthermore, last week Henry was inactive and he missed practice on Wednesday as well. This is Murray’s backfield and there is no time share. Unless there is an injury, Henry is droppable in all formats other than dynasty.
REST OF THE LEAGUE
Looking for someone to fill in while Matthew Stafford, Andrew Luck and Derek Carr take the week off? Well, first off, did I mention Mariota? Yes, yes I did. Moving along, Andy Dalton is coming off a bye week and playing the Giants. Dalton averaged 20 points in the four weeks leading up to the bye. Not flashy, but he will get you through the week. Dalton is available in 26% of ESPN leagues and 17% of Yahoo leagues. Carson Wentz might be the sneakier streaming starter this week. The Eagles play the Falcons, whose defense is fantasy gold. The Falcons give up the most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. Give Wentz the home crowd and it could be a playoff saving streamer.
An interesting WR2 option might be Stefon Diggs. The Vikings play Washington this week and Washington has some press cover corners that could get this Vikings passing game off rhythm, no doubt. Still, double digit targets each of the last two weeks makes Diggs the clear favorite of Sam Bradford. If you are in a PPR league this is a great pick up. Diggs is available in just 8.8% of ESPN leagues and 10% of Yahoo leagues, but possibly available. In terms of players you are more likely to get, Corey Coleman should look better in his second game back from injury. Coleman saw seven targets in his return to the field. Coleman is a great dynasty league pick up. He is available in 44.6% of ESPN leagues and 42% of Yahoo leagues. I also think Cameron Meredith should get back on track against a terrible Tampa secondary. Cameron Meredith was the flavor of the month just a few weeks back. Now he is available in 70% of Yahoo leagues and 88% of ESPN leagues. Meredith is a deep threat and he should be able to vertically attack the Buccaneers defense and Cutler definitely likes the deep ball. Alshon Jeffrey should be very involved, but there is going to be a role for Meredith.
Two players currently owned in just 87% of Yahoo leagues are Giovani Bernard and Terrance West. Bernard goes up against the Giants this week. The Giants have offensive firepower and they are fairly middling when it comes to stopping running backs. The Eagles had three separate running backs get 6+ points last week. Bernard should be a valuable asset in the passing game. More interesting is the possibility of adding West. West and the Ravens will be facing the Browns in Baltimore. The Ravens are dedicated to West and it could be a very good game for him. In a look for more easily obtained targets, take a look at C.J. Prosise. Prosise is used more as the third down back and the pass catcher, but Seattle is throwing more and trusting Christine Michael a little less. Thomas Rawls appears at least another week away from being ready and Prosise is still available in about 80% of all leagues.