Last week as a whole was a decent showing for my fantasy surprises. Matthew Stafford and the Buccaneers defense turned in very productive games while Sebastian Janikowski also had a nice performance. I’ve talked about it before, but more than ever this year’s fantasy winners will likely be determined by the waiver wire than ever before. From the top 15 running backs entering the year alone, Le’Veon Bell, Jamaal Charles and Justin Forsett have had season ending injuries, Matt Forte has missed a few games and Marshawn Lynch figures to miss an extended period of time.
Would you of ever thought in August a fantasy title this year could of been decided by a backfield of Charkandrick West and Thomas Rawls? How about Javorius Allen and Devonta Freeman? Those are all guys who in many leagues except for Freeman, wouldn’t of even been a blip on the radar entering the 2015 season. Now they have the chance to forever be immortalized by fantasy players who they help bring a title to.
QB: Brian Hoyer vs Saints: At this point, I’m going to have faith in any quarterback going against the Saints until proven otherwise. In this case, it’s Hoyer who to his benefit also has DeAndre Hopkins who has arguably been the best wideout in the league this season. In recent weeks the Saints offense has been clicking, so this one also has shootout potential. Hoyer makes for a great option as a streaming option or in daily leagues to save cap for other positions. Expect around 250 total yards and two touchdowns.
RB: T.J. Yeldon vs Chargers: A back who you know is getting 15 to 20 touches a game against what has been the worst defense at stopping running backs? Sign me up. Yeldon has only had two total touchdowns to this point, but he has showed some skills as a receiver and with total yardage should have a pretty nice floor even if he doesn’t hit paydirt. Expect around 90 total yards and a touchdown.
WR: DeSean Jackson vs Giants: After missing the majority of the season with a hamstring injury, Jackson is trying to make up for lost time with fantasy owners. In a divisional matchup with shootout potential, this would be a great place to do it. Due to his playing style, Jackson can be a “boom or bust” play but I’d expect him to produce in this one. Expect around 80 yards and a touchdown.
TE: Jimmy Graham vs Steelers: I never thought when the Seahawks made a trade for Graham that it would be a “surprise” if he had a nice fantasy performance, but it has reached that point. While the Seahawks passing game is very balanced, the matchup for Graham in this one is extremely favorable. This one also has some shootout potential, so Russell Wilson may have to throw more than normal. If you still have Graham, trot him out this week with more confidence than usual. Expect around 60 yards and a touchdown.
K: Dustin Hopkins vs Giants: If you pick kickers based on opportunity, Hopkins could be a good play this week. As I mentioned earlier, this game has potential to be a shootout and even if the Redskins stall on occasion, that could lead to some long field goal attempts. Expect around two field goals and two extra points.
DEF: Browns vs Ravens: The Browns defensively have been a constant target for fantasy owners to this point for all the wrong reasons. But this week could be different. When we last saw Matt Schaub as a starter, it looked like he wasn’t the same guy who had actually been a very effective quarterback for a good stretch. Now he gets his first start in two years in primetime on the road behind a banged up offensive line. If you believe Schaub isn’t what he was, pick up the Browns defense and play them with confidence. Expect around four sacks and an interception.