The AFC East goes on its bye this week, so we’ll all miss… well some Pats (maybe) this week.
Cleveland’s exciting batch of rookies also get a break. If you’ve been starting Nick Chubb and cheered on his 92 yard TD streak last week you may be scrabbling for a flex starter on Sunday.
Here are some useful pick-ups who could help you lock downa playoff spot…
Arizona Cardinals Defence
Increasingly, picking a defence for fantasy is a bit of a lottery. The Jags would’ve likely flown off your draft board in the eighth or ninth round back in August – I hope you didn’t pick ’em – and have done very little to justify buying them that high.
Really, at this position, unless you land a team defence that’s cheap in the draft and get off to hot a hot start, I’d prefer to play week-to-week, and doing that you’re looking for teams in good spots rather than the highest profile names or star defensive players.
Arizona fit the bill in week 11, though it’s all about Oakland really.
The Raiders have scored 10 points or fewer in four of their last five games. Jordy Nelson’s hurt and reports are circulating that he may retire. They’ve let Amari Cooper saddle up in Dallas. Marshawn Lynch is gone to IR. They’re as close to a tanking team as you’re likely to see in the NFL.
And the Cards have some strong defensive performers. Sack machine Chandler Jones, veteran corner Patrick Petrson, sophomore safety Budda Baker, they can shut down teams on their day.
And recently, every team’s had their day against Oakland. If you need a defensive starter this week, Arizona should be added.
Rashaad Penny – Seahawks RB
One of the stories of the season has been the turnaround in Seattle. It’s been built on the run, but strangely not involving their first round running-back Penny.
Well it does now.
They pushed the Rams very hard in LA on Sunday night thanks to rookie Rashaad Penny’s breakout game. He got his chance thanks to an injury to Chris Carson and ripped up the Rams at nine yards per attempt and a touchdown.
The Seahawks are one of this week’s Thursday night victims of the NFL schedulers as they welcome the Pack to Washington state, so get your claim in for Penny early if you need running back help. He should see a similar workload with Carson likely out again, and could be a useful hold through the rest of the season.
Josh Reynolds – Rams WR
Cooper Kupp ACL injury opens up an opportunity for the second year recevier in one of the league’s powerhouse offences.
He showed his talent in limited action against the Packers two weeks ago, snaffling two scores on three receptions. Now, he should see an up-tick in playing time.
Others who might see a benefit are tight ends Tyler Higbee and Gerald Everett. Both are far from ideal as starters, but if you’re struggling, each are worth a flier.
Marcus Mariota – Titans QB
We go again. One of the most frustrating characters in recent fantasy seasons, the Titans’ QB has edged back to relevance with his performances in the last couple of weeks against Dallas and New England. Possessing the potential for rushing stats as well as passing – and even receiving based on last week’s game – he’s the prime pick up if you’re without Tom Brady this week.
Another situation to monitor though is Baltimore. Joe Flacco’s hurt hip could allow Lamar Jackson start. He was picked in the 2018 first round to eventually replace the veteran, but has seen some snaps already this year. If Flacco is ruled out, Jackson’s threat as a more mobile QB could see him post respectable stats as a bye-week replacement and has a huge potential upside.