I hope everyone had a good Halloween weekend this past weekend, my fantasy teams did not going a collective 2-2. Quickly circling the NFL, Alex Smith is not concussed (left game with concussion symptoms), Andre Johnson has retired, and Jamie Collins was traded from the Patriots to the Cleveland Browns for a 3rd round pick. Derek Carr threw for 500 yards, and for the second week in a row there was a tie. Interesting factoid, the last time there was a tie two weeks in a row? The year was 1997, and the Cleveland Indians were in the World Series, which ended in the Indians losing in 7 games to the Marlins. Good news for those Cubs fans out there.
Marcus Mariota – TEN (owned in 60.6% of ESPN leagues): Marcus Mariota has climbed his way up the QB rankings and now he is 9th among QBs. I normally would not talk about someone like him as he is owned in just over 60% of ESPN leagues; but, sometimes exceptions need to be made, and here is one. Mariota has had at least 2 TDs in each of the past 4 weeks, and he has put up at least 16 points in each week. Sure, he plays for the Titans who do not have many options in the passing game, but he is finding a way to get it done. This week the Titans play the Chargers. The Chargers have had trouble stopping opposing QBs. Through the first 8 weeks they have given up 4 300 yard passing games and have given up a passing TD in all but one game this year. I expect Mariota to have a good week, and if for nothing else pick him up to add bench depth in case of injury.
Derrick Henry – TEN (owned in 44.1% of ESPN leagues): Derrick Henry scored his first NFL TD last week against the Jaguars in a game where he toted the rock 16 times for 60 yards. In that game DeMarco Murray left with an apparent toe injury. This opens up many opportunities for Henry if DeMarco cannot play this week. Though Henry has not had many chances to run the ball so far this year, he has been very impressive having at least 40 all-purpose yards in 5 games while only having one game with more than 10 touches. Henry is a must own for all DeMarco owners, and could even have more value than a typical handcuff. This week the Titans play the chargers who are second to last in terms of giving up the least amount of fantasy points to opposing RBs. If Murray plays this week I expect him to have a huge week, and Henry to perform well and maybe get into the endzone; but if Murray does not play this week, Henry is a solid RB2 this week.
Thomas Rawls – SEA (owned in 45.8% of ESPN leagues): Rawls got hurt in week 2 this season, and by now most people who drafted him have dropped him to clear up a spot on their roster. Although, it is coming close to when he will be coming back. The Seahawks are targeting a return of week 10 for Thomas Rawls, so get a jump on your league members and pick him up this week so that you do not need to worry about not having a high enough waiver claim when he gets back. Some might think that Christine Michael will take away some of Rawls’ carries, which is probably true for the first few weeks back as they will probably ease Rawls back on the field, but Michael has only had one game of over 60 yards in the past 5 weeks so when Rawls gets back to being 100% healthy it should be a lot of him and very little Christine Michael.
Kenny Britt – LA (owned in 39.7% of ESPN leagues): Kenny Britt is a guy who I have always thought had potential to be a top WR in the NFL given his large frame and his blazing speed; however, injuries have been an issue with him. Although, this year Britt has been healthy and he has produced well, getting at least 4 catches and 65 yards in 5 of the first 7 games this year. Britt has only gotten into the endzone 2 times so far this year, but TDs can be streaky. This week Britt and the Rams play the Panthers, who in the past 4 games have given up 224 fantasy points to opposing WRs, that is 56 points a game to opposing WRs, so clearly there are the points to go around this week for all the Rams receivers. I think that Kenny Britt will benefit the most this week and I think he will come close to 100 receiving yards and a TD this weekend.
Mohamed Sanu – ATL (owned in 47.1% of ESPN leagues): Sanu finally started to look like the Mohamed Sanu that we remember playing in Cincinnati, piling up 9 receptions for 84 yards and a TD. I would expect more games like this from Sanu, he has had the luxury of playing his whole career across from one of the league’s best WRs (AJ Green when he was with the Bengals, and Julio this year with the Falcons). Defenses are going to have to watch out for Sanu, but they cannot double him because then Julio will take advantage of them like he did the Panthers. Sanu is a guy that I would buy in on if he is available in your league, he should have good value for the rest of the season.
Dennis Pitta – BAL (owned in 47.7% of ESPN leagues): Pitta has had only two games to this point this season in which he has not had at least 4 receptions, and his season low for receptions is 3, so in a PPR you know that he is consistently catching the ball. He has had only 3 games with less than 40 yards, and even without a TD he has been effective as he is the number 9 TE in PPR leagues. This week he and the Ravens play the Steelers who rank close to the middle in terms of fantasy points allowed to opposing TEs. Pitta appears to be the best option this week for a bye week fill-in or if you are streaming a TE.
Dolphins D/ST (owned in 4.4% of ESPN leagues): The Dolphins defense has not been great in terms of an NFL defense, and in terms of fantasy numbers they are very average as they rank 17 in terms of most points scored this year. They do get a lot of sacks though as they have had 16 in the first 7 games. This week they get to play the Jets, whose offense has been terrible to say the best. The Jets offense has already turned the ball over 17 times this season, and on 4 of those occasions they gave up a defensive TD. I expect nothing to change this week with their offense, it will still be really bad, and the Dolphins defense should produce points this week.
The scoring that I have used is based off of ESPN’s standard PPR scoring. Good luck on the waiver wire this week and in your upcoming match-ups. Remember to follow me on twitter and the Fantasy Life app @FantasySportGM and tweet me your start/sit or trade questions this week.
Waiver Wire Finds