By: Fan Sports Lists Team
It is the Fan Sports Lists Team’s opinion that you should start your studs and have patience with talent that has under-performed. That said, these lists are designed to give you mid-level players to plug in this week and beyond, players to bench or cut now, and deep-dives to use in a pinch or stash for later.
7 Players to start this week:
1. Jarvis Landry – WR – Mia vs. Pit: Don’t be scared off by Landry’s sub-par performance in week 5. The likely game flow this week versus a team with an elite O sets him up for a ton of action.
2. Jonathan Stewart – RB – Car @ NO: This matchup makes Stewart a must-start if he is healthy. The Saints are a great matchup and look for the Panthers to try to establish the run with Cam nicked up. If you have one of the other Panther RBs, or not, keep an eye on Stewart’s status and plug in another RB last minute if needed.
3. Terrance West – RB – Bal @ NYG: Hopefully West is one of your depth players so you can use him as a bye-week/flex type player. In that case, he is worth playing even in a below average match-up (Giants rank 12th in rush yards allowed) because he looks like the clear-cut #1 RB for a team that is looking to run more.
4. Justin Forsett – RB – Det vs. LA: This is a simple math problem 3-2=1, Dwayne Washington may suit up but only for an emergency situation. Forsett is a good pass catcher and, even though he has only been there since Tuesday, OC Jim Bon Cooter says Forsett is doing a good job picking up the schemes.
5. Spencer Ware – RB – KC @ Oak: Although his carries might decrease, look for him to stay in on passing downs. KC’s schedule looks pretty promising the next 4 weeks (Oak, NO, Ind, Jax).
6. T.J. Yeldon – RB – Jax @ Chi: Jaguars OC says that he has taken ownership of the featured back role. Even though he lacks TD upside, he is getting most of the touches and has a couple nice matchups in the future.
7. Frank Gore – RB – Ind @ Hou: Gore has been a consistent producer all year and has a good matchup against a porous run D. After the few stud RBs, he is the next most must-start worthy.
6 Players to bench or cut now:
1. Eddie Lacy – WR – GB vs. Dal: Lacy has shown some signs of life lately but a tough matchup this week and injury concerns make him a player to keep on the bench for this week.
2. Carolina D – @ NO: Carolina has struggled this year and faces a tough matchup. They may get some sacks and/or turnovers but could give up a bunch of points. Consider another D for this week but don’t cut Carolina yet if you can help it.
3. Michael Floyd – WR – Ari vs. NYJ: You probably know better than to start Floyd so this is more of a recommendation to cut him for a replacement WR, bye week fill-in or deep-shot RB.
4. Jay Cutler – QB – Jax @ Chi: May not ever get his job back as Brian Hoyer may deserve a shot at the starting role even when Cutler comes back from his injury. Plus, the rest of the year the only good matchup they have is Detroit week 14.
5. Tyler Lockett – WR – Atl @ Sea: Even though he has a nice matchup this week, there just isn’t enough balls to go around in Seattle. Although he has been hampered by a knee injury, he has done nothing for 3 straight weeks. At this point your only hope is a kick return and how many of those have we seen this year? Nil.
6. Ryan Tannehill – QB – Pit vs. Mia: He has been really struggling the past 2 weeks, failing to score double digit points either week. If he doesn’t have a nice game this week against a soft secondary in Pit, consider cutting him.
7 Players to plug-in or pick-up if possible:
1. Brian Hoyer – QB – Chi vs. Jax: Hoyer is hot and there are just enough talented playmakers in Chicago to make him a viable matchup play, which includes this week.
2. Chris Conley – WR – KC @ Oak: Conley is a deep cut from a below-average passing O but his physical attributes of size and speed set him apart on the KC roster. The Chiefs string of excellent matchups make him a great speculative pick-up who you can start as needed.
3. Tyrell Williams – WR – SD @ ATL: Pick him up if he is available via free agency or trade. He is a matchup play but has some good ones down the stretch.
4. Hunter Henry – TE –SD @ATL: Hunter has put up 3 straight weeks of over 15 fantasty points and last week nearly 20 against a stout DEN D. Even though rookie TEs don’t usually produce their rookie year, Henry is doing just that – producing. SD has half their receiving core on IR so Henry is getting lots of targets plus he has great matchups down the stretch.
5. Alex Smith – QB – KC @Oak: Alex isn’t a world beater by any means. However, if you need a QB in the next 4 weeks, think about Alex. Week 6-9, KC faces Oak, NO, Ind and Jax. Having a healthy Jamaal Charles should add another target to the passing game. So, don’t expect 50 point games but expect minimal turnovers and an upside of 20-25 points a game.
6. Breshad Perriman – WR – Bal @ NYG: He couldn’t keep his feet in bounds on a game winning first career touchdown last week against Josh Norman. With Steve Smith injured he should see an uptick in targets, plus he has 1st round speed and talent.
7. Buffalo D vs. SF: If you need a D for this week (Carolina owners!), the Bills have been scoring and face a rusty Colin Kaepernick this week. Rex Ryan has been able to get this D to perform above its injury-ravaged talent level.