Must Start QBs –
Colin Kaepernick – San Francisco 49ers (v Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
San Francisco’s much maligned QB returned to NFL action in Week 6 against the Bills – a game where the offence had few opportunities as a rampant Shady McCoy led Buffalo to a big win. In saying that though, Kap managed to have a few moments to provide Niners fans and fantasy coaches alike with optimism for 2016. He threw for just under 200 yards and a TD while picking up 66 rushing yards on his way to a respectable 18 fantasy points. Given the Bucs struggle defensively (conceding almost 30 points per game), I’m picking cap to have somewhat of a breakout game through the air whilst continuing to rack up easy points along the ground.
Philip Rivers – San Diego Chargers (v Atlanta Falcons)
The San Diego veteran has had a solid, if unspectacular, start to the year. Nearing the halfway point he’s thrown for 1647 yards and 12 TDs with only 3 picks. Given the matchup this week, I’m forseeing a decent showing as the Chargers come up against one of the form teams in the NFC – Atlanta. Whilst the Falcons offence has been dominant this year, their defence has left a bit to be desired. In a game where they’re expected to win, I see them playing from the front and leaving Rivers to play catch up. This game situation, along with the emergence of Hunter Henry gives me plenty of confidence Rivers is primed for a big one.
Must Sit QBs
Carson Wentz – Philadelphia Eagles (v Minnesota Vikings)
After a brilliant start to the year, the Eagles rookie QB has come back to reality somewhat in the last couple of weeks. It doesn’t get any easier in Week 8 as Wentz and co host Minnesota – by far the leagues most dominant defence in 2016. Through 6 games, Purple Reign has amassed 19 sacks, 7 interceptions, 5 recovered fumbles, 2 TDs and a safety. Scary stuff, but that’s not the only reason for Wentz’s inclusion here. Philly has a decent defence of their own, so I’m predicting this one to be a tough, in the trenches, low scoring affair – and that’s generally bad news for most offensive skill players.
Must Start RBs
Jacquizz Rodgers – Tampa Bay Buccaneers (v San Francisco 49ers)
The former Falcon and Bear must have come to Tampa in the off season with fairly low expectations, and proceeded to start the season as a third string RB behind Martin and Sims. But much like how Chicago rookie Jordan Howard’s fortunes changed a couple of weeks back, the same has now happened for Jacquizz. In his first showing as the Bucs main man, he proceeded to pick up 100 yards in a demonstration of what he was capable of. With this weeks match up being one of the leagues worst at stopping the run, I’m tipping Rodgers to make his mark while grabbing his first TD in two years.
Jeremy Hill – Cincinnati Bengals (v Cleveland Browns)
Out of all of last years playoff teams, the Bengals appear to have suffered more regression than most. The once high flying Cincinnati have been a shell of themselves this year, with Dalton, Green, Hill and Bernard all playing below their 2015 standard while Eifert hasn’t played at all. However despite all their woes, they’re still not the worst team in Ohio – that dubious mantle goes to their old rivals Cleveland – who happen to be their opponent this week. Like most, I’m expecting the Bengals to win this one. I’m also expecting them to lead for most of this one. Given the game situation I’m expecting the Bengals offence to be led by their RBs – Hill and Bernard – with the former having a strong game whilst picking up a short yardage TD or two.
Must Sit RBs
Matt Forte – New York Jets (v Baltimore Ravens)
This one pains me to include, as I had high hopes for a Matt Forte career renaissance in New York following the departure of Chris Ivory. He got off to a great start too, with 100 yards in week 1 against the Bengals followed by a 100 yard, 3 TD showing against Buffalo the following week. Unfortunately though, it’s all been downhill from there with a 65 yard game in Week 3 his best outing since. Having seen such a swift, shocking slide, as well as the extra duties picked up by Bilal Powell, it’s time to say goodbye to Forte. The fact that the Jets are up against Baltimore this week confirms this decision, with the Ravens boasting the second stingiest running defence in the NFL.
Must Start WRs –
Marvin Jones – Detroit Lions (v Washington Redskins)
After Megatrons abrupt off season retirement, many (myself included) were predicting Golden Tate to be the man to pick up the massive workload left by Johnson’s departure. But it seems that Matt Stafford had other ideas, with new recruit Marvin Jones acting as the dominant wideout so far. Highlighted by a massive game in Green Bay a few weeks back, Jones has led the way with over 500 yards and 4 TDs thus far. Against a soft Washington pass defence, I’m predicting another productive game for the former Bengal.
Allen Robinson – Jacksonville Jaguars (v Oakland Raiders)
I’ve mentioned the Jaguars passing offence in previous columns and will continue to do so from time to time, purely because they have the ability to be so lethal. Robinson and Hurns were dominant last year, and while we are yet to see them reach those kind of heights as yet, I’m confident a big showing isn’t too far away. And with a matchup against the Raiders on the cards this week, I’m tipping “not too far away” to be this week. The Raiders are one of the worst teams in the league against the pass, and Blake Bortles is more than capable of exploiting that. Watch for a big game from the Allens, who are both must starts this week in my humble opinion.
Must Sit WRs –
Antonio Brown – Pittsburgh Steelers (v New England Patriots)
Out of all my outlandish predictions this year, this one surely takes the cake. But the reason is quite simple. No Big Ben equals BIG trouble for the Steelers. As soon as he went down last week in Miami, the entire Pittsburgh offence immediately struggled. Brown himself ended his day with a mere 39 yards. This week’s matchup against New England is vastly tougher than the Dolphins, and I’m calling a torrid day for backup QB Landry Jones. If the Steelers have any hope of being competitive on Sunday, it’s going to be their superstar RB, Le’Veon Bell. The best Jones can hope for is a decent attempt at managing the game, meaning the likes of Brown, Coates and co will be struggling for opportunities.
Must Start TEs –
Vernon Davis – Washington Redskins (v Detroit Lions)
It’s been an inconsistent year for TEs, so from now on I’m only going to be discussing my top pick of the week, leaving aside obvious candidates like Gronk. This week the man I’m expecting big things from is Redskins backup, Vernon Davis. Usual TE Jordan Reed is out injured which means Davis will be the main man in the middle, and given Kirk Cousins relative return to form I’m calling a decent day for the backup. The Lions are weak against the position, and given both teams defences I wouldn’t be surprised to see a high scoring affair, meaning plenty of opportunities for receivers on both sides.
Must Sit TEs –
Jesse James – Pittsburgh Steelers (v New England Patriots)
James has proven to be a brilliant streaming option this year, picking up 3 handy TDs when faced with favourable matchups. But as discussed earlier in regards to Antonio Brown, this is a bad, bad week for Pittsburgh receivers. James was a favoured redzone target of Roethlisberger, but this week they’ll be lucky to even find themselves in that part of the field. Back to the waiver wire you go.