Seven Up/Down

Here are seven plays I like more than usual this week and seven I like less.


  1. QB Marcus Mariota TEN. Mariota looked over his hammy injury last week. He always has a great shot at a rushing TD when his legs are good. The Bengals also aren’t all that worrisome as a defense on the road. I think exotic smashmouth gets into gear via Mariota.
  2. RB Leonard Fournette JAX. Refocused after a one week suspension, Fournette is in a terrific spot. The Chargers are coming cross country. They’ve had tackling issues this season. Fournette has a TD in all but one game he’s started. I expect 100 yards and a TD with ease here.
  3. RB Carlos Hyde SF. The Giants have quit on their season. They’ve quit on their coach. Their best players are injured. They face a Niners team desperate for a win. A team that will look to run the ball heavily Sunday. Hyde should light up like a slot machine hitting 7’s. His receiving work is a great bonus against a team that doesn’t cover backs well.
  4. WR Stefon Diggs WAS. Diggs is finally off the injury report. Washington’s secondary has been solid on the whole this season, but they’re achilles heel has been the big play. That’s a knack of Diggs’. He could post a big line here.
  5. WR Corey Davis TEN. Am I pandering to my audience here? Yes. I was correctly low on him last week, but promised he’d be fine. He didn’t look very rusty and gets a good home match up against a past his prime Adam Jones. I also wouldn’t put it past the Titans organization to make a point of showing Jones up for all the grief he gave them as former player.
  6. TE Garrett Celek SF. He’s basically free everywhere this week. The Giants are one of the worst teams against TEs. Celek has shown the ability to capitalize on opportunities in the past. Consider the limited SF receiving corps as well.
  7. DEF Cleveland Browns. Coming off their bye this Browns defense is finally healthy. Their secondary match’s up well with Detroit’s WRs, with Jason McCourty shadowing Marvin Jones. The real gold mine here should be the Browns pass rush with a finally healthy Myles Garrett. The Lions OL is falling apart right now. They cut LT Greg Robinson, hoping Taylor Decker returns but he still isn’t activated off the IR. Now T.J. Lang is in the concussion protocol. Getting pressure on pillar of salt, Matt Stafford, is the best way to beat the Lions. Ask the Saints.


  1. QB Phillip Rivers LAC. This is an easy one. On the road against an aggressive defense is a bad spot for the soft tossing Rivers.
  2. RB C.J. Anderson DEN. We find ourselves at the same place we always do with Anderson at this point in the year. Knicked up, ineffective, and splitting work. The Patriots run defense is a liability for them but it’s guessing game which Broncos back benefits.
  3. RB Chris Thompson WAS. Counting on pass catching backs is always dangerous. I think the Vikings limit Thompson this week. They have good linebackers and safeties who are very solid tacklers.
  4. WR Marvin Jones DET. This week’s don’t chase last week’s points. Plus he’ll draw shadow coverage from the resurgent Jason McCourty.
  5. WR Ted Ginn Jr. NO. I had a hard time coming up with another WR to be down on so I picked my least favorite receiver ever: Ginn. The one trick pony will find Buffalo in November a harder place to win deep routes. Sean McDermott should also be well aware of him, both having been with Carolina last year.
  6. TE Delanie Walker TEN. I’m a fan of Walker but he’s clearly hobbled at the moment. There’s too many other viable options in Tennessee to go out of the way getting a one legged man the ball.
  7. DEF Cincinnati Bengals. If you couldn’t tell by now, I don’t have much concern for the Bengals defense this week. Mostly it’s that they’re on the road but they’ve also been average this season. I wouldn’t pay for their name recognition this week.

Follow Mike Alexander on Twitter @Roto_Wan. 

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