Here’s seven plays I like more than usual this week and seven I like less in their match-up.
- QB Andy Dalton CIN. Bad Andy can come out in any big game, though this is a one o’clock kickoff so I think we’re OK here. Pittsburgh hasn’t given up much to opposing QBs but it hasn’t exactly been a murders row (Kizer/ Keenum/ Glennon/ Flacco/ Bortles/ Smith). Dalton is better than most of those, I expect him to exceed Alex Smith’s 15.32 with the potential to get into a shootout with Big Ben.
- RB Carlos Hyde SF. The Cowboys run defense has taken it’s lumps this season. Missing Sean Lee the past few games hasn’t helped. He’s back this week, although coming off a hamstring injury and maybe not 100%. More interesting is their pace of play which, as PFFs Pat Thorman points out, is up this year and the Niners allow the most opponent plays per game. That means more plays for San Fran, too.
- RB Ty Montgomery GB. With Brett Hundley making his first career start I’d anticipate a heavy receiving volume for Montgomery via both designed plays and dump offs. His floor looks like 8-10 carries and 5-7 receptions. He could exceed those and add a TD if things break his way. Don’t forget how dominant he was pre-injury this season.
- WR Michael Thomas NO. The Packers secondary has been a problem this season. They’re banged up and have under performed. Thomas burned people last week, so ownership should be lower than usual. I think he comes back with a vengeance this week with multiple TD potential.
- WR Eric Decker TEN. This is the week Decker scores his first TD as a Titan. He won’t see coverage from Jason McCourty, who’s suddenly locking down opposing WRs. An ankle injury slowed him down coming into the season. Last week he showed he’s over that, converting 7 of 9 targets for 88 yards. Against the Browns, expect them to run the ball and call high percentage throws. Delanie Walker is also trending the wrong way with his calf injury, taking away a safety valve for Mariota.
- TE Kyle Rudolph MIN. The Ravens have struggled to contain TEs this year. Both Bears TEs scored against them last week and Marcedes Lewis posted three TDs in London. Rudolph has shown the ability to score throughout his career. His TD odds get a bump with Stefon Diggs doubtful.
- DEF Miami Dolphins. The Dolphins have played one home game this season. Their defense scored 20 fantasy points in that game, albeit against Matt Cassel. Josh McCown throws his share of picks, though and their OL gives up plenty of pressure.
- QB Trevor Siemian DEN. Gone are the days in the early part of the season where Siemian was the top scoring QB. He’s mediocre at best and is facing a good secondary with a very good pass rush.
- RB Todd Gurley LA. His receiving role may bail out his value but the Cardinals pride themselves on tackling and pursuit. Gurley will find little room to work either rushing or receiving.
- RB Doug Martin TB. The Bills defense has shown up this season. They’re stingy at home and coming off their bye. The Bucs may also struggle on offense with a banged up Jameis Winston (you sort of need a healthy shoulder to throw footballs).
- WR Mike Evans TB. I don’t like Tampa this week if you couldn’t tell. Evans value is tied to the deep ball, which is tough to throw with a bum shoulder. E.J. Gaines has also been much improved under Sean McDermott and should mostly cover Evans.
- WR John Brown ARZ. Brown just doesn’t see the volume to be able to trust as a fantasy starter. He’s dependent entirely on TDs. That’s not a good way to approach lineup construction anywhere but a GPP.
- TE Hunter Henry LAC. I don’t want any fantasy asset facing a riled up Broncos defense coming off that embarrassing loss to the Giants. Henry was blanked in their week one match up, as well.
- DEF Dallas Cowboys. I’m not taking the chance that the Niners can be functional with rookie C.J. Beathard at QB. Dallas can generate a pass rush but that’s about it. They’ve been exposed without the offense controlling the ball with elite run blocking the way the had in previous seasons.
Follow Mike Alexander on Twitter @Roto_Wan.