Mitch Trubisky, CHI: this Bears QB will be one of the most popular adds this week. As a lifelong Bears fan, I cannot have ever imagined writing that sentence. Be that as it may, he looks to be turning the corner in playing the game. As a Bears fan I can attest to the fact they have done very well in surrounding him with talent and playing to the strength of each piece. Like many, I do expect a shoot out as New England travels to Chicago this week to attempt to avenge their Super Bowl XX loss. Seriously though: M-Tru has looked good in back to back games. Yes, one had the benefit of coming off a bye week, but it wasn’t the offense that stumbled in Miami. He is set up for a nice run of match ups in the weeks to come as well.
Ownership: Yahoo 30%; NFL 12% & ESPN 33%.
C.J. Beathard, SF: I’ll admit this is a bit of a risky pick, but do hear me out: this is the second year in a row Beathard has ended up with the starting QB job in San Francisco, and you know what? He’s doing MUCH better than he’s gotten credit for. Consider this: in weeks 4-6 this season he is QB #9. When he started weeks 6-10 last season, he was QB 6. That’s…pretty good and I bet few people know that because of the “Jimmy G Story” rolling around up there. Thus far he’s thrown 2 TDs in 3 straight games. I do not like the INTs he throws but in a week where 3 starting QBs are on a bye (Rogers, Wilson & Roethlisberger), and we’re deep enough in the season where if you still are rostering Derek Carr (the 4th QB on bye) you can upgrade considerably with Beathard. Something else you probably didn’t know: SF TE George Kittle (currently ranked top ten) played on the same Iowa team as Beathard from 2013-16.
Ownership: Yahoo 6%; NFL 2% & ESPN 6%
Peyton Barber, TBB: I have to admit, he slipped by me completely last week. I have him on a dynasty team and I didn’t think about giving him a start, figuring it would be murky and lean toward the rookie Jones in week 6. Well, I missed that train and it made me take a clear look at his situation: the first month of the Bucs’ play was inconsistent – and that’s being charitable. Winston, as suspected by many, appears to be the real deal. So you have to re examine that team as of right now week 6: with the dynamic Winston under center, you now have 2 WRs (Jackson and Godwin); and two TEs (Howard and Brate) opening up the running lanes for Barber. That’s it – Football 101.
Ownership: Yahoo 43%; NFL 15% & ESPN 50%.
Frank Gore, MIA: look, I sat down to write this and didn’t even think he’d be on the radar, but, well here he is: Gore has been getting more work each week compared to the previous for the last month. The matchup this week is against the Lions who haven’t met a running back they didn’t set the table for this season. Yum. Of course, this is 2018 Gore, not 2008 Gore, but if he gets 15+ carries against a bad defense who are we to argue?
Ownership: Yahoo 10%; NFL 5% & ESPN 11%.
Marlon Mack, IND: barring another injury, this guy is set up to be the main RB on the Colts and frankly shouldn’t be eligible for this column at week 6. I’m shading a bit on the NFL.com %, but because he’s so widely available elsewhere. The Colts in 2018 appear to be a middling NFL team that will not put up a good record because they are inconsistent, but are still good enough to have some very serviceable fantasy parts, and Mack is one of them for sure. I’d expect him to be a solid RB2 this week against the Bills, who are officially soft against the run in 2018.
Ownership: Yahoo 26%; NFL 52% & ESPN 27%.
Taylor Gabriel, CHI: at the beginning of the year I wasn’t sold on either Allen Robinson or Anthony Miller, two guys who were ahead of Gabriel on the depth chart. At this point, it does appear as if he’s at least the #2 WR, but that # must be given with the caveat that Tarik Cohen is the wide receiver who isn’t, and factors into the mix. Regardless, that mix has seen back to back 100 yard games for Gabriel and he has 5 catches in 4 of 5 games this year. As noted above, the New England game this weekend looks like a possible shoot out, meaning he has nice value with a decent amount of upside this week.
Ownership: Yahoo 50%; NFL 12% & ESPN 42%.
Chester Rogers, IND: in a decimal scoring PPR league that I am in, he has been WR #13 since week 4, scoring more than the likes of AJ Green and JuJu Smith-Schuster. He did that from the opening created by T.Y. Hilton’s hamstring injury. This past week Ryan Grant has gone down with an injury. So logically – and this is up to you to track – barring a healthy return by both of those guys this week he is a clear pick up and play against the Bills. No that is not a good matchup, but he’s averaging 10 targets per game since week 4 and that will give you points regardless of matchup. I’ll put it this way: I have Hilton in a redraft and plan to take the unusual step of picking up Rogers as a WR handcuff this week because Rogers is just too good to pass up right now (thank you Andrew Luck).
Ownership: Yahoo 16%; NFL 1% & ESPN 13%.
Chris Godwin, TBB: a selection last week that turned in a nice game, and as noted in my intro and Barber entry the Bucs have reached a point where a number of their players have to be rostered, and Godwin is no exception. He’s scored in 4 of his 5 games, and only real clunker was the one had in Chicago that the entire team shared in. He’s a solid add at this point in the season for sure.
Ownership: Yahoo 44%; NFL 5% & ESPN 40%.
OJ Howard, TBB: the crème de la crème for this week. He should not be eligible for this column (50% or less ownership in the 3 online league sites) but he is, because of a collective brain fart. Stat: 13 of Winton’s last 24 passing touchdowns were to the TE position. And take note: it was easy to look past him last week because of his injury – as I did – but in a year where TE is BRUTAL if he is available in your league he is likely the #1 add this week if available.
Ownership: Yahoo 53%; NFL 39% & ESPN 37%.
Indianapolis Colts: they are home against the Bills who are starting Nathan Peterman. The Bills are in the bottom third of giving up points to the D/ST position and are on the road. You have to like those intangibles. Plus, I warned you earlier this year I’d be chasing the Bills as a rule this year.
Ownership: Yahoo 6%; NFL 3% & ESPN 7%.
That’s it for this week folks – best of luck out there!
Pickup & Plays Week 7 results:
QB – Jameis Winston, TBB: #1 QB
QB – Blake Bortles: JAX: 24th
RB – Nyheim Hines, IND: 43rd
RB – Alfred Morris, SF: 50+
RB – Wendell Smallwood: 38th
WR – Dede Westbrook, JAX: 37th
WR – Robby Anderson, NYJ: 50+
WR – Chris Godwin, TBB: 18th
TE – Cameron Brate, TB: 14th
Team Defense – Green Bay Packers: 10th