How to properly prepare your
team as the fantasy football
The Santa Clara
November 16, 2017
Buy Low – Michael Thomas (WR, NO)
Michael Thomas continues to be in the “buy low” column, as he’s yet to have a true breakout game in 2017. The crazy part is that he’s still a top ten receiver in receptions and yards, which gives a great indication of what should follow—touchdowns. Drew Brees has thrown at least 32 touchdowns in each of the last nine seasons, so when you see him have just 13 touchdowns through eight games, you should know that positive regression is coming. Thomas will be on the receiving end of a lot of those touchdowns.
Sell High – Ezekiel Elliot (RB, DAL)
This one is quite obvious. If you can get someone in a trade who will contribute each and every week for the remainder of the season, do it. There is a lot of uncertainty, yes, and it’s possible that he skirts the suspension altogether with some out-of-left-field injunction from the players association. But you don’t want your fantasy season hinging on it. If he was suspended for the next six games, you wouldn’t have him until Week 16—if you even make it that far without him. Unless you have a crystal ball telling you the suspension will be lifted, sell him to someone who believes in a late season investment.
Key Waiver Wire Pickups – Jamaal Williams (RB, GB) and Austin Ekeler (RB, LAC)
Aaron Jones was carted off the field in the Packers’ 23–16 win over the Bears in the first quarter with a knee injury. Ty Montgomery took advantage of his opportunity, rushing for a touchdown shortly after Jones left the game, but he aggravated the rib injury he suffered earlier this season and missed the entire second half. Jamaal Williams shouldered the load the rest of the game, running for 67 yards on 20 carries. The rookie out of Brigham Young University is, for the time being, atop the Packers depth chart for Week 11. So long as those two backs are on the shelf, Williams will be on the RB2 tier.
Austin Ekeler is proving to be more than just Melvin Gordon’s backup, posting 119 total yards and two receiving touchdowns in Week 10 against Jacksonville. The speedy back is someone to watch down the stretch. It’s also possible Ekeler could get a few more carries because Gordon is banged up, which would increase Ekeler’s value above just a receiving running back. Don’t expect performances like this every week, but Ekeler could have value as a possible flex piece.
Key Matchups for Week 11
Titans @ Steelers: Both of these teams have stellar offenses: Pittsburgh has the star power, and the Titans have the well-rounded ground-and-pound game.
These teams will likely meet in the AFC playoffs at some point. In the meantime, their injured defenses will fail to keep both sides from running up the score. Expect this to be a fantastic game to watch, with Pittsburgh stars Antonio Brown, Le’Veon Bell and up-and-comer JuJu Smith-Schuster all putting up big numbers in the fantasy columns.
In terms of Tennessee’s fantasy value, Marcus Mariota will put up a great game. However, don’t expect one guy to stand out for the Titans just because he likes to spread the ball around.
Rams @ Vikings: Like I mentioned in last week’s article, the Rams are for real. Now it’s time to see if the Vikings are. The defense known as the “Purple Reign” will have a tough task as they face a future All-Pro quarterback in Jared Goff, along with star names like Todd Gurley and Sammy Watkins.
I would like the Vikings defense to slow down the Rams a bit in this one, with Case Keenum seeking Stefon Diggs for a couple scores. Expect this to be a down-to-the-wire game, with the final score being somewhere in the ballpark of 27-24 in favor of the Vikings.
Eagles @ Cowboys: Cowboys fantasy owners beware. After the embarrassment against Atlanta, things don’t get any easier against the first place Eagles.
This game has enormous playoff implications. In terms of fantasy value, I recommend starting anyone that you have for the Eagles and benching anyone you have for Dallas. Dallas has shown that they cannot be competitive without Ezekiel Elliott against even a run-of-the-mill defense, and will struggle more so against the Eagles’ above average front seven and secondary. Running back Jay Ajayi, along with quarterback Carson Wentz, will have a field day against the usually subpar Dallas defense, so expect this game to be in the Eagles 30, Dallas 10 range.
Contact Alex Stewart at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (408) 554- 4852.