More Week 7: Busts– – – – – –
The Lineup Cheat Sheet combines Fantasy analysis and game-flow predictions with a confidence scale to give you a definitive answer on who to start in your leagues.
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Chiefs at Raiders
|Chiefs|| ||Raiders|| |
|Alex Smith||(5.8)||Derek Carr||(5.6)|
|Kareem Hunt||(9.1)||Marshawn Lynch||(6.5)|
|Tyreek Hill||(7.2)||Michael Crabtree||(7.7)|
|Travis Kelce||(8.1)||Amari Cooper||(5.0)|
|Chiefs DST||(8.2)||Raiders DST||(3.8)|
Derek Carr's track record against the Chiefs:
- As a starter, he's 1-5
- He's notched 20-plus Fantasy points in 0 of 6 games
- He's tossed two-plus scores in 1 of 6 meetings
- He's topped 250 yards in 1 of 6 matchups
It's also not good that he's playing on a short week with what's been presumed to be a not-so-great back. He seemed limited last week, not taking many shots downfield. That's exactly what he'll need to do this week, but who knows if the offensive coordinator Todd Downing will dial up deep throws. He hasn't much this season -- Pro Football Focus says Carr is 3 of 10 passing on 20-plus-yard throws for 109 yards and three scores. Until we see the Raiders do more of this, Carr's upside is limited, as will be Cooper's upside since he's known for being a great deep-ball threat, not a red-zone beast.
Buccaneers at Bills
|Buccaneers|| ||Bills|| |
|Jameis Winston||(6.5)||Tyrod Taylor||(6.4)|
|Doug Martin||(8.6)||LeSean McCoy||(8.4)|
|Charles Sims||(3.2)||Zay Jones||(2.5)|
|Mike Evans||(8.0)||Nick O'Leary||(5.6)|
|DeSean Jackson||(6.0)||Bills DST||(7.5)|
|Cameron Brate||(6.4)|| || |
|Buccaneers DST||(5.2)|| || |
The Bills' zone scheme is set up to limit the numbers of guys like Jackson. It doesn't help that Jameis Winston won't be at 100 percent if he plays or that Ryan Fitzpatrick will be under center if Winston is out. Fitzpatrick is known for latching on to primary targets and that figures to be Mike Evans, not Jackson. The Bills have yielded over 100 yards to one receiver (A.J. Green) and 80-plus yards to two receivers (Green, Demaryius Thomas). It's not the best week to trust D-Jax.
Ravens at Vikings
|Ravens|| ||Vikings|| |
|Joe Flacco||(2.6)||Case Keenum||(5.2)|
|Javorius Allen||(4.9)||Jerick McKinnon||(7.8)|
|Alex Collins||(4.8)||Latavius Murray||(3.3)|
|Mike Wallace||(4.0)||Adam Thielen||(7.0)|
|Benjamin Watson||(4.6)||Kyle Rudolph||(5.4)|
|Ravens DST||(6.4)||Vikings DST||(9.6)|
The Vikings did a nice job defensively against the Packers' rushing attack, and they've been good against the run all season, so Allen should struggle despite an unexplainable amount of playing time. Eventually the Ravens will turn to Alex Collins, who will take a lot of touches away from Allen. Maybe that starts this week. But even if it doesn't, Allen has just one game in his last four with more than five Fantasy points (one over 10 in PPR). This isn't the kind of matchup to expect him to notch another nice game.
Despite allowing a pair of touchdowns to tight ends last week (one on a trick play) and three touchdowns to Marcedes Lewis in Week 3, the Ravens defense has been pretty good at taking away the position. In fact, only two tight ends have amassed 10 or more Fantasy points in non-PPR leagues versus Baltimore. It doesn't help Rudolph's case that he's exceeded five Fantasy points once in his last five overall and has just 29 targets from quarterback Case Keenum through four and a half games. He's a touchdown-or-bust tight end.
Jets at Dolphins
|Jets|| ||Dolphins|| |
|Josh McCown||(3.9)||Jay Cutler||(4.0)|
|Matt Forte||(6.2)||Jay Ajayi||(7.9)|
|Jermaine Kearse||(5.4)||Jarvis Landry||(6.5)|
|Austin Seferian-Jenkins||(7.0)||Kenny Stills||(5.3)|
|Jets DST||(5.4)||Dolphins DST||(6.8)|
It's particularly hard to get away from Landry when DeVante Parker is sidelined and Jay Cutler basically force-feeds him targets, but the Jets were prepared for him in Week 3. They've also been stellar against slot receivers this season, and a lot of that has to do with slot corner Buster Skrine playing better than in years past. He's allowed just one score to a receiver in 2017. Tack on a depleted Dolphins offensive line and the Miami pass game could get stunted like it did in Week 3 when the Jets held them to zero points for all but the last six seconds of the game. Landry's fine in PPR because of his targets, but don't expect him to score like he did each of the last two weeks.
Cardinals vs. Rams
|Cardinals|| ||Rams|| |
|Carson Palmer||(8.3)||Jared Goff||(4.1)|
|Adrian Peterson||(7.7)||Todd Gurley||(9.0)|
|Larry Fitzgerald||(8.4)||Cooper Kupp||(5.5)|
|John Brown||(6.8)||Sammy Watkins||(4.8)|
|Jaron Brown||(3.2)||Robert Woods||(3.4)|
|Cardinals DST||(7.8)||Rams DST||(5.7)|
It's a little uneasy touting Palmer when he's played poorly away from Arizona this season, and now he's playing in London! But the team has been in the U.K. since Tuesday and should be acclimated by kickoff. Palmer's track records against the Rams and against Wade Phillips are solid:
- He has two or more touchdowns in each of three career meetings versus Phillips-coached defenses.
- He has multiple touchdowns in two of his last three and 275-plus yards in three of his last four against the Rams.
Furthermore, Larry Fitzgerald has a size advantage in his matchup with Rams slot corner Nickell Robey-Coleman and speedster John Brown had his way with Rams' top cornerback Trumaine Johnson last season. Tack on a (finally) healthy offensive line and an upstart run game with Adrian Peterson and Palmer should be solid.
Jaguars at Colts
|Jaguars|| ||Colts|| |
|Blake Bortles||(5.9)||Jacoby Brissett||(4.9)|
|Leonard Fournette||(9.3)||Marlon Mack||(5.6)|
|Marqise Lee||(5.8)||Frank Gore||(5.4)|
|Allen Hurns||(5.1)||T.Y. Hilton||(7.4)|
|Jaguars DST||(8.3)||Donte Moncrief||(4.3)|
| || ||Jack Doyle||(6.2)|
| || ||Colts DST||(4.0)|
It's no secret that the Jaguars don't want to lean on Bortles to carry their offense, but he's attempted over 30 passes in four of his past five games. It doesn't mean that he's done well -- only one was considered a success -- but the matchup against the Colts is great. Indy has allowed over 200 yards to receivers in four of its last five and passers have racked up 25-plus Fantasy points in three of its last four. Even DeShone Kizer and Brian Hoyer thrived! Bortles also has a nice history against the Colts with 20-plus Fantasy points in each of his last three with no interceptions. He's a risk worth taking if you're streaming quarterbacks or looking for a cheap DFS play.
This isn't about the Jaguars defense being sloppy against tight ends as much as it is Doyle being a big-time target for Jacoby Brissett. Despite missing a game, Doyle has the second-most targets from Brissett (31) and the best catch rate of any pass catcher (71 percent). Third downs are about to get very interesting for the Colts with running back Robert Turbin sidelined, and the Jaguars are likely to key in on T.Y. Hilton on pass plays, not Doyle. He's better in PPR than standard leagues but he's got double-digit Fantasy point potential.
Saints at Packers
|Saints|| ||Packers|| |
|Drew Brees||(8.8)||Brett Hundley||(5.4)|
|Mark Ingram||(8.5)||Aaron Jones||(4.7)|
|Alvin Kamara||(6.7)||Ty Montgomery||(4.5)|
|Michael Thomas||(9.4)||Jordy Nelson||(8.1)|
|Ted Ginn||(4.6)||Davante Adams||(6.1)|
|Willie Snead||(3.1)||Randall Cobb||(5.6)|
|Saints DST||(8.1)||Martellus Bennett||(4.4)|
| || ||Packers DST||(5.6)|
It's bad enough that the Packers' run game has become a mishmash between Ty Montgomery and Aaron Jones. Now they're forced to play without Aaron Rodgers and against what's turned out to be a very good Saints run defense. Last week Montgomery started and rotated series with Jones until the game was out of hand in the fourth quarter and Jones took the extra snaps. Assume a similar approach as the Packers try to figure out how to use these guys. Between the uncertainty of who will do what, the declining health of the Packers offensive line, the downgraded passing game and the Saints run defense playing great the past three weeks, neither Packers running back should be reliably started.
Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore has been outstanding this year. According to Pro Football Focus, he hasn't allowed a touchdown or more than 50 yards in a game, and only one pass play over 20 yards on the season. Lattimore plays almost exclusively to the quarterback's right, across from the receiver who lines up wide left. That's where Adams has played 51 percent of his snaps, so he's expected to see a lot of Lattimore. If Aaron Rodgers were under center, this wouldn't be an issue, but Brett Hundley will make his first start on Sunday and figures to not throw as smoothly as Rodgers. Adams has the worst matchup of any Packers receiver this week and could struggle to score and pick up big yardage.
Panthers at Bears
|Panthers|| ||Bears|| |
|Cam Newton||(7.3)||Mitchell Trubisky||(3.3)|
|Christian McCaffrey||(7.0)||Jordan Howard||(9.2)|
|Jonathan Stewart||(4.2)||Tarik Cohen||(4.3)|
|Kelvin Benjamin||(7.3)||Kendall Wright||(4.5)|
|Devin Funchess||(7.1)||Zach Miller||(6.8)|
|Ed Dickson||(5.2)||Bears DST||(5.8)|
|Panthers DST||(7.0)|| || |
Scared to roll with Funchess after last week's three-catch game? Don't be. Since Greg Olsen's injury, Funchess has 36 targets, 21 receptions, 237 yards and three touchdowns (better than Kelvin Benjamin in every category but yards). Expect a closer-than-expected game where Newton will take aim against Chicago's secondary, partially because the Panthers will struggle to run the ball consistently.
Titans at Browns
|Titans|| ||Browns|| |
|Marcus Mariota||(8.1)||DeShone Kizer||(4.3)|
|DeMarco Murray||(7.4)||Duke Johnson||(6.4)|
|Derrick Henry||(5.9)||Isaiah Crowell||(4.6)|
|Rishard Matthews||(6.2)||Kasen Williams||(4.4)|
|Eric Decker||(4.9)||Ricardo Louis||(2.8)|
|Delanie Walker||(7.1)||Browns DST||(3.2)|
|Titans DST||(6.9)|| || |
A lot of people are going to chase Eric Decker's season-best stats from last week, but I like the matchup better for Matthews. Decker has barely played in the slot (14 percent of his snaps since Week 2) and figures to see the most of Browns top cornerback Jason McCourty on the outside. Matthews runs routes from everywhere, including the slot (35 percent of his snaps this season). He figures to get a load of slot corner Briean Boddy-Calhoun and outside corner Jamar Taylor. Those guys are better matchups. Matthews had a season-low four targets last week after averaging 7.6 per game before Week 6, partially a byproduct of Marcus Mariota's limited mobility. Bottom line: The Titans' leading receiver should never get benched in a matchup against the Browns
Cowboys at 49ers
|Cowboys|| ||49ers|| |
|Dak Prescott||(9.3)||C.J. Beathard||(5.0)|
|Ezekiel Elliott||(9.5)||Carlos Hyde||(7.3)|
|Dez Bryant||(8.7)||Pierre Garcon||(6.6)|
|Cole Beasley||(3.6)||Marquise Goodwin||(3.7)|
|Jason Witten||(4.0)||George Kittle||(5.0)|
|Cowboys DST||(5.9)||San Francisco DST||(4.2)|
The Cowboys defense isn't anything to write home about, but neither is rookie quarterback C.J. Beathard. He'll make his first start at home for the 49ers, taking on a Dallas defense coming off a bye. Garcon will be his No. 1 targets, just as he was last week when Garcon racked up 55 yards on five catches (eight targets) in basically one half of football. But of the eight targets, only one came in the red zone, and it was well short of the end zone. In fact, Garcon has just five red-zone targets on the season, fewer than George Kittle (nine) and Marquise Goodwin (seven). Garcon might be good enough for 90 yards, and he's sure to catch a bunch of passes, but topping the century mark seems excessive considering he's done it just twice in his last three seasons.
Broncos at Chargers
|Broncos|| ||Chargers|| |
|Trevor Siemian||(4.5)||Philip Rivers||(6.2)|
|C.J. Anderson||(7.2)||Melvin Gordon||(7.6)|
|Jamaal Charles||(4.1)||Keenan Allen||(7.6)|
|Demaryius Thomas||(7.5)||Tyrell Williams||(4.2)|
|Bennie Fowler||(2.9)||Travis Benjamin||(3.0)|
|Broncos DST||(8.4)||Hunter Henry||(8.0)|
| || ||Antonio Gates||(3.8)|
| || ||Chargers DST||(7.1)|
There's just too much working against Rivers to call him a reliable starter. Obviously the Broncos secondary is good -- the three touchdowns allowed to Rivers in Week 1 were largely due to fourth quarter turnovers by the Denver offense that gave the Bolts good field position. That seems unlikely to happen again. Strangely, Rivers also has not done well playing the Broncos away from Denver -- his last 20-point game for Fantasy at home came in 2010! Weird, right? There's a lot to like about how often he targets Melvin Gordon and, more recently, Hunter Henry. Those guys should be fine, but for Rivers to thrive he'll have to score with both and not turn the ball over. That's asking a lot.
Bengals at Steelers
|Bengals|| ||Steelers|| |
|Andy Dalton||(4.4)||Ben Roethlisberger||(5.75)|
|Joe Mixon||(6.8)||Le'Veon Bell||(9.6)|
|Giovani Bernard||(4.4)||Antonio Brown||(9.2)|
|A.J. Green||(9.5)||JuJu Smith-Schuster||(3.9)|
|Bengals DST||(6.5)||Martavis Bryant||(2.6)|
| || ||Steelers DST||(8.0)|
Are you ready to trust Roethlisberger after four straight weeks of 14 or fewer Fantasy points? On the surface, this looks like the kind of matchup where he'll go off -- at home, against a division rival he's beaten four straight times. But the Bengals have held Roethlisberger below 20 Fantasy points in three of those four games. Cincy has also kept all but one quarterback it's faced this season under 20 Fantasy points. The next chapter in this rivalry should be a good one, but it's one where Roethlisberger is best left to the bench.
Seahawks at Giants
|Seahawks|| ||Giants|| |
|Russell Wilson||(7.1)||Eli Manning||(3.5)|
|Thomas Rawls||(5.0)||Orleans Darkwa||(6.3)|
|Eddie Lacy||(3.9)||Wayne Gallman||(3.4)|
|Doug Baldwin||(8.5)||Evan Engram||(6.6)|
|Tyler Lockett||(3.8)||Giants DST||(7.2)|
|Jimmy Graham||(8.5)|| || |
|Seahawks DST||(8.5)|| || |
The Giants didn't just discover their top running back last week. They also discovered the right mix for their offensive line when right guard D.J. Fluker made a difference. The Giants also stuck with their rushing attack, a likely trend given their shortcomings at receiver. A big test awaits this week because the Seahawks have allowed just 3.0 yards per carry to running backs in their last two games but have yielded 4.8 on the season and are a Todd Gurley fumble away from giving up a rushing score in each of three road trips. It's just a hunch, but the Giants defense could help keep this a low-scoring game, making it more likely for Darkwa to pick up more carries and potentially score.
Falcons at Patriots
|Falcons|| ||Patriots|| |
|Matt Ryan||(8.5)||Tom Brady||(9.4)|
|Devonta Freeman||(9.7)||Dion Lewis||(5.8)|
|Tevin Coleman||(6.9)||Mike Gillislee||(5.7)|
|Julio Jones||(9.3)||James White||(5.5)|
|Taylor Gabriel||(5.2)||Chris Hogan||(7.9)|
|Austin Hooper||(5.8)||Brandin Cooks||(6.9)|
|Falcons DST||(3.6)||Danny Amendola||(4.7)|
| || ||Rob Gronkowski||(9.6)|
| || ||Patriots DST||(4.6)|
The whole world is expecting a high-scoring shootout between these teams, and the whole world expects Julio Jones to get a lot of attention from the Patriots pass defense. Already a leaky unit that's ranked dead last against the pass, Bill Belichick's boys are sure to try and contain Jones like they did in Super Bowl LI when he had four catches for 87 yards. That should put Gabriel and Hooper in generous matchups. The speedy receiver has 19 targets in his last three games with two four-catch efforts. The tight end has 16 targets in his last two games, catching 12 passes. Both figure to keep getting targeted and are sensational choices as one-week replacements.
Redskins at Eagles
|Redskins|| ||Eagles|| |
|Kirk Cousins||(8.6)||Carson Wentz||(9.0)|
|Chris Thompson||(6.6)||LeGarrette Blount||(7.1)|
|Samaje Perine||(3.5)||Alshon Jeffery||(7.8)|
|Josh Doctson||(5.9)||Nelson Agholor||(6.7)|
|Terrelle Pryor||(5.7)||Torrey Smith||(2.7)|
|Ryan Grant||(4.1)||Zach Ertz||(9.0)|
|Jamison Crowder||(3.5)||Eagles DST||(4.8)|
|Jordan Reed||(4.8)|| || |
|Redskins DST||(3.4)|| || |
It's stunning to see Reed still being started in 70 percent of CBS Sports leagues. Why??? What has he possibly done to make you feel reliant in him as a Fantasy starter? Even though he's played plenty he's maxed out at six catches and 48 yards with two red-zone targets on the season. The Eagles happen to be pretty good against opposing tight ends -- only Travis Kelce has burned them for more than eight Fantasy points on the season. They've also bottled up Reed for less than 50 yards and no scores in six of seven career meetings. Don't torture yourself -- give Reed a rest.