Bye weeks are over and all teams are full throttle down the stretch. In many leagues, there are perhaps three more weeks of the regular fantasy football season before playoff games begin. Sleepers have hit – and more still could – and busts have materialized – though some could still deliver some value. It’s time to press on for a final run.
With that, let’s dive into players to deliver the win this week and a few you may want to avoid.
▪ Ben Roethlisberger (Pittsburgh) finally delivered with a four-touchdown game last week, an 88 percent increase over his fantasy-point average over the first 10 weeks. Keep Roethlisberger dialed up at home in another favorable matchup.
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▪ It’s a near can't-miss matchup for Matt Ryan (Atlanta) as Tampa Bay allows 317 passing yards per game on average, 31st in the NFL.
▪ Kirk Cousins (Washington) is an elite play this week at home against the Giants, who allow the third-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks while Cousins ranks as the fourth-best quarterback on the season.
▪ As a sleeper or daily fantasy value play, Andy Dalton (Cincinnati) is s solid play – Dalton has averaged 2.7 touchdowns in his past three games against Cleveland.
▪ Kareem Hunt (Kansas City) has been too quiet of late but stay the course – Buffalo allows the second-most fantasy points to opposing running backs and have allowed 16 rushing touchdowns on the season (versus just 11 through the air).
▪ With Chris Thompson now also out, it's down to Samaje Perine (Washington) to carry the bulk of the load as he comes off his first 100-yard rushing game. Also, check to see if Byron Marshall is on the waiver-wire – Marshall could have value as the team’s passing-down back.
▪ DeMarco Murray (Tennessee) may not be the most exciting fantasy player these days, but he has been the fourth-best running back over the past three weeks. He and teammate Derrick Henry both should put up fantasy points this week.
▪ Orleans Darkwa (NY Giants) is on the starter radar; he’s averaging 86 yards per game over the past three and ranks as the seventh best running back over those three games. He has led the Giants in carries for five straight games.
▪ J.D. McKissic (Seattle) should be a busy back given all the injuries on the Seahawks and a prime matchup against the 49ers, who allow the most fantasy points to opposing running backs.
▪ Alshon Jeffery (Philadelphia) has turned into a must-start with four scores in his past three games. He gets an added boost this week facing his former team, the Bears, for the first time.
▪ T.Y. Hilton (Indianapolis) has the potential for a big game – Tennessee has allowed the most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers over the past three weeks and the fifth-most on the season.
▪ Jared Goff (LA Rams) made the sit list last week and this week as well. Losing Robert Woods could prove significant. Both the Rams and Saints seem likely to focus on the run game.
▪ Jordan Howard (Chicago) has delivered strong numbers some weeks but completely disappointing in others. This looks like a soft week – Philadelphia has given up the third-fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs on the year and the fewest over the past three weeks.
▪ A changing of the guard seems to be going on in the Broncos’ backfield – though he scored, C.J. Anderson (Denver) played just 29 snaps last week to 48 for Devontae Booker.
▪ Alex Collins (Baltimore) has had impact this season but the Ravens’ backfield situation is murkier with Danny Woodhead having another week to get integrated.
▪ It’s good to get part of the Eagles’ passing attack, though Nelson Agholor (Philadelphia) has really cooled off lately, averaging just two receptions and 20 yards over his past three games. Philadelphia may not be throwing as much with the way the ground game is going.
▪ Jordy Nelson (Green Bay) has gone from a former must-start to a must-sit with Brett Hundley under center. With Hundley at quarterback, Nelson is averaging just 26 yards per game over the past three weeks.
Alan Satterlee is in his fourth year of writing about fantasy football for The Charlotte Observer. Find him on Twitter at @Speedkills_DFW.