Trending and NoteWorthy: Baker Mayfield and Mitchell Trubisky are fine Fantasy starters
Owners are seeing snake eyes in Week #11, making it easy to go glossy and dream of plucking a diamond from the rough that leads to a miraculous victory in a must-win week. This week I focus my attention on players with golden matchups and successful recent performances.
Don’t Be Fantasy Fooled
Eli Manning, QB New York Giants
2,565 Passing Yards – 11 Passing Touchdowns – Six Interceptions
It’s always prudent to look at the best matchups for potentially the best values, but bad is bad and Manning ain’t good. He gets the opportunities and thrown for the yards to be Fantasy relevant, but he hasn’t been successful at scoring touchdowns and that’s the key at QB.
He has only had one three touchdown game, only two games with two touchdown passes and he has two games in which he didn’t throw a touchdown at all. “Don’t Be Fantasy Fooled” by a sexy situation against a Buccaneers team that has allowed the most passing touchdowns (23), intercepted the fewest passes (1) and allows the third most Fantasy Points Per Game to quarterbacks.
Matchups, both good and bad, are often overplayed and Manning is an example of how owners can be fooled into starting a player that has no place in lineups. In four of Manning’s 10 games this season he has thrown the same amount or more interceptions than touchdowns. The position is too deep to go out on this limb with Manning this week.
Doug Martin, RB Oakland Raiders
66 Rushing Attempts – 281 Rushing Yards – 10 Receptions – 73 Receiving Yards – Zero Touchdowns
For the optimists making a case to start Martin, he had all of his double-digit rushing attempt games and his three highest rushing yardage games in Weeks 8-10. He has been performing better and receiving more opportunities recently and he faces an Arizona Cardinals run defense that ranks as one of the worst in the NFL.
The Cardinals rank fourth-worst in Fantasy Points Allowed per game with a 30.1 PPG average and rushing yards allowed per game with 140.3. And, they have allowed 13 rushing touchdowns – 11 to running backs -, second worst behind only the Cleveland Browns, who have allowed 14.
That is why there might be temptation to start Martin as a Flex this week. The reasons not to? Zero touchdowns, three games of 50+ total yards from scrimmage and only two games with 50 or more rushing yards. He has only had 15 carries or more in a game once and double-digit attempts only three times. “Don’t Be Fantasy Fooled” by a friendly matchup in a must-win week.
Baker Mayfield, QB Cleveland Browns
89 Fantasy Points – 908 Passing Yards – Nine Touchdowns – 72 Rushing Yards
Mayfield began the year as a rookie backing up a veteran on a winless 2017 squad that was expected to be one of the five worst teams in football. Since Fantasy draft season ended, his head coach and offensive coordinator have been fired, a free agent acquisition was traded and Mayfield became Fantasy relevant.
In Weeks Six through 10, Mayfield tied for seventh in Fantasy quarterback scoring (89 points) with Ben Roethlisberger and outscored Tom Brady, Matt Stafford, Aaron Rodgers, Philip Rivers and Kirk Cousins. Rodgers, Rivers and Cousins only played three games, but Mayfield outscored them by between 39 and 45 Fantasy points. He has thrown two touchdowns or more in four straight weeks and five of his eight starts.
Going forward, he has two games against the Cincinnati Bengals, who rank second worst in Fantasy Points Allowed (24.2 Points Per Game Allowed) and one versus the Carolina Panthers, who rank fifth worst (20.5 PPG).
Based on recent performance and schedule, Mayfield has to be considered a Top 10 quarterback going forward In yearly leagues and a legitimate cost-effective alternative in Daily Fantasy formats.
Mitchell Trubisky, QB Chicago Bears
109 Fantasy Points
1,043 Passing Yards – Eight Passing Touchdowns
16 Rushing Attempts – 156 Rushing Yards – Two Rushing Touchdowns
In the last four weeks, Trubisky has been the second highest scoring Fantasy quarterback behind only Patrick Mahomes. He has thrown for 300+ yards or more and rushed for 47 yards or more in four of his last six games. He has three games of three touchdown passes or more and a rushing touchdown in two of his last four.
Trubisky’s recent performance ranks him as a Top Five Fantasy option in yearly leagues and an affordable option in DFS even though his remaining schedule is on the tougher side compared to other mid-range quarterbacks.
Julian Edelman, WR New England Patriots
54.50 Fantasy Points
40 Targets – 29 Receptions – 315 Receiving Yards – One Touchdown
Both Patriots wide receivers, Julian Edelman and Josh Gordon, are among the league leaders in targets, while Edelman is second only to Michael Thomas in receptions over the last four weeks. He has nine receptions and 104 receiving yards without a touchdown in two of his last three games.
His targets and reception totals guarantee that Edelman will be relevant while his lack of touchdowns limits his ceiling. There isn’t a lot of sizzle associated with Edelman, making him a bargain WR3 or Flex play and an interesting week-to-week cash game DFS play depending on the matchup and price tag.
Edelman next faces a New York Jets pass defense that leads the league in receptions allowed twice and a Steelers defense that ranks 11th in Fantasy points allowed to wide receivers. His injury status needs to be monitored after leaving Week 10’s game against the Tennessee Titans with a foot issue, but he will have the bye week to heal up.
Danny Amendola, WR Miami Dolphins
46.50 Fantasy Points
30 Targets – 23 Receptions – 246 Receiving Yards – One Touchdown
Amendola has five receptions or more in five straight games with only one touchdown and zero 100+ yard receiving games. There isn’t much of a ceiling to be excited about, while his target volume is elevating his floor to a level that makes him a Flex consideration.
He ranks 13th in Fantasy scoring for wide receivers over the last four games while being owned in only 41% of Yahoo Fantasy leagues. That kind of production with that level of ownership makes Amendola NoteWorthy and in most leagues, a Flex starter.
Javorius Allen, RB Baltimore Ravens
76.50 Fantasy Points
39 Rushing Attempts – 106 Rushing Yards – Three Touchdowns
43 Targets – 35 Receptions – 196 Receiving Yards – Two Touchdowns
With a friendly matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals this week Allen is a Flex consideration and is owned in only 32% of Yahoo Leagues. He is a distant second in the Ravens rushing attack behind Alex Collins even though he has three rushing touchdowns, while being a close third in their passing attack, 10 receptions behind team leader Willie Snead and tied for second in receiving touchdowns to John Brown.
The Bengals are third worst in the NFL in Fantasy Points Allowed to running backs at 32.8 points per game. They have allowed 1,066 rushing yards, 523 receiving yards and 13 total touchdowns to running backs this season.
When owners are pondering difficult Flex decisions the Bengals matchup and Allen’s all-around skill set makes him a legitimate consideration and at 32% ownership, he is someone who could bail out desperate teams in a crucial week.
Zay Jones, WR Buffalo Bills
30 targets – 9th most at WR in last 4 weeks
33.50 Fantasy points – One TD
The Bills offense is a dumpster fire with LeSean McCoy being the only relevant representative, but if you want to be a contrarian in DFS tournaments next time Buffalo plays, Jones’ targets recently have been intriguing and you won’t find a receiver any cheaper. NoteWorthy
T.J. Yeldon, RB Jacksonville Jaguars
22 targets, 17 receptions, 174 receiving yards and a touchdown in his last three games.
With Leonard Fournette’s return there won’t be much room for anyone except for Fournette, but desperate times or contrarian considerations make a deep dive necessary and that’s Yeldon. He has five receptions or more in three of his last four games and four receiving touchdowns this season. DFS owners looking to be contrarian or find bargains to allow other big-ticket items won’t find a cheaper potential lottery ticket than Yeldon. Eight to 10 points PPR with a chance for 15-20 with a small amount of game flow going his way isn’t too much to expect.
Kerryon Johnson, RB Detroit Lions
22 targets – 17 receptions – 53 rushing attempts – 268 Rushing Yards – 135 Receiving Yards – Two Total Touchdowns
Johnson has become a must-start running back and a Top 10 performer over the last four weeks, but I don’t think owners realize how good he has been. He ranks 11th in rushing attempts and receiving yards, seventh in passing targets and 10th in Fantasy Points for running backs over the last four games, making him a Top 10 overall, RB1 caliber running back. He has combined volume with production and if he can find his way into the end zone more frequently he could be the reason owners win championships. I hate to rain or your parade, but in the spirit of full disclosure I should also mention that he faces the Carolina Panthers, Chicago Bears, and Minnesota Vikings the rest of the year. Not a friendly road to hoe.
Frank Gore, RB Miami Dolphins
55 rushing Attempts
Owners, me included, don’t understand why the Dolphins coaching staff hates Kenyan Drake, but Gore owners – all 26% of you – are happy about it, especially recently. He ranks ninth in rushing attempts over the last four weeks and has averaged over four years a carry in the process. He has 10 carries or more in seven consecutive games and 13 or more rushing attempts in three of those seven, including 20 against the Jets in Week Nine.
Gore isn’t a must-start player any more, but while the attempts are there he is Noteworthy, especially in DFS.