By MIKE HERNDON
Fantasy football is a fickle mistress. Josh Allen looked like a slam dunk last week against Jacksonville. The New York Jets looked like a full fade against the Colts, particularly if I’d told you Mike White would miss most of the game with an injury. And if I’d told you Patrick Mahomes would throw for only 166 yards, you would have logically assumed that: 1. He probably got hurt, and 2. The Chiefs lost.
So it’s only the brave soul that steps out with more fantasy predictions in what has become and remarkably unpredictable NFL season. Or a foolhardy one. We’ll let you decide which.
Carson Wentz, Colts: He’s slowly becoming more comfortable and more trustworthy in Indianapolis. He clearly clicks with Frank Reich. And while Jacksonville made Josh Allen look like Nathan Peterman last week, Indy’s got a better offensive line to keep Wentz clean.
Derek Carr, Raiders: Yes, we’re going back to the well. He laid an egg last week – despite nearly breaking the 300-yard mark again he threw for only one score, leaving his fantasy managers underwhelmed. But Carr always seems to be up for the Chiefs, whose defense hasn’t been particularly good this year.
Jalen Hurts, Eagles: He hasn’t thrown for over 170 yards in the last two weeks – though he admittedly didn’t need it two weeks ago against Detroit. He’ll need it this week, but even with Patrick Surtain sidelined that’s a tall order on the road at Denver.
Jimmy Garoppolo, 49ers: He’s finally got all his weapons healthy and he’s looked good the last two weeks, but he’ll be facing an angry Rams defense bent on erasing the sour taste of last week’s loss to Tennessee. And he’ll be doing it without injured right tackle Mike McGlinchey.
Javonte Williams, Broncos: He’s still mired in a timeshare with Melvin Gordon, but Williams broke out last week with 111 yards in a big win over Dallas. Here’s betting he’ll build on that momentum this week against Philly.
D’Ernest Johnson, Browns: We all saw what he did when given an opportunity last time. Nick Chubb is on the COVID list, Kareem Hunt’s still on IR, and the Browns’ offensive line is still the best in the league.
Antonio Gibson, Washington Football Team: Banged up. Losing work to J.D. McKissic (and even Jaret Patterson). Facing Tampa Bay. Pass.
Adrian Peterson, Titans: D’onta Foreman was far more involved than those with Peterson on their rosters would’ve hoped last week, giving this the look of a three-way timeshare. And New Orleans’ defense is stout against the run.
Diontae Johnson, Steelers: JuJu Smith-Schuster’s on IR, and now Chase Claypool’s out with a toe injury. Already a target hog, Johnson figures to see an enormous workload Sunday against the Lions. Fire him up with confidence.
Tyler Lockett, Seahawks: Russ is back and Lockett will be ready to cook.
D.J. Moore, Panthers: With Cam Newton newly signed but not active, P.J. Walker might still be an upgrade over whatever Sam Darnold has become. But it’s still not enough to make me want to proactively start any of Carolina’s receivers, even one as good as Moore.
Corey Davis, Jets: Finally back from an injury, Davis is welcomed by a matchup with Tre’Davious White and a quarterback in Mike White who’s not inclined to take a lot of risky downfield shots.
Pat Freiermuth, Steelers – He’s got three touchdowns in his last two games and is establishing himself as the Steelers’ top red-zone option. This week, he gets the Lions with Chase Claypool out with an injury. Fire him up.
T.J. Hockenson, Lions – The targets are coming back and if you watched how the Steelers’ defense was abused by Chicago’s tight ends last week, you should be feeling pretty good that they’ll keep coming.
Mike Gesicki, Dolphins: Too soon?
Categories: Fantasy Football