With each passing week, the one thing I can count on more than anything with my one-week fantasy football rosters is injuries.
I’ve even gone out of my way to choose players who I consider safe plays for one-week fantasy football, but nobody can predict injuries. I’ve just been the unfortunate benefactor of at least one first quarter QB injury in each of the past three weeks. Is it too much to ask for these guys to get hurt in the third quarter? The funny thing was that I posted on Twitter about knowing that Rodgers was going to go down, obviously in jest, and had someone ask me how I knew. REALLY? Obviously it was a sarcastic comment. C’MON MAN! People never cease to amaze me. By this point, I consider my one-week fantasy football strategy and lineups to be pretty solid for the most part, but this past week went south quickly on Monday night when Aaron Rodgers was felled. Nearly 75% of my one-week fantasy football lineups not only included Rodgers, but Jordy Nelson as well. When Rodgers went down so did any chance of Nelson having a big night. I was banking big time on those two, as well as Eddie Lacy, to carry me to a late victory. Fortunately Lacy came through in a big way. He saved me in a few of my double ups, while I finished outside the money in all my GPP tournaments. Guys such as Kenny Stills, Terrance Williams, and DeMarco Murray were virtually non-existent. It was a week where the big names finally resurfaced, with Chris Johnson and Adrian Peterson coming back in a major way. I think that Christian Ponder is huge for Peterson, not even because he is a barely above average QB, which Matt Cassel is not, and Josh Freeman obviously isn’t, but because he knows the offense. It has been frustrating rostering guys like AP and Marshawn Lynch in one-week fantasy football because their offenses seem to be focusing more on the pass. I just don’t understand why. Marshawn Lynch wasn’t even given a chance at the goal line in the fourth quarter, while Russell Wilson promptly threw an interception. I already miss the Chiefs defense, and the week hasn’t even begun yet. I love having them as an option, but for one week, I’ll have to find the next team to join the pick six parade.
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This week, I’m going to focus my time targeting guys who I know will produce for one-week fantasy football, rather than digging deep and trying to find the needle in a haystack. While that strategy has worked to some extent, I’ll be playing mostly head-to-head and double-up one-week fantasy football contests this weekend. I need players that I know can keep me afloat. Here’s hoping I can avoid the four-peat of QB injuries this week. With that being said, I’ll certainly avoid using one QB across most of my one-week fantasy football lineups. It’s time to spread the wealth. Here are my guys for the week. I’m anticipating a torn ACL or two just in case.
One-Week Fantasy Football Quarterbacks
Drew Brees vs DAL - Brees is obviously my top play, as the Cowboys are the worst in the NFL against opposing QBs. Brees is coming off an uncharacteristic week in which he looked scared and lost at times. I can’t imagine him having a second week in a row on the run, especially against this Cowboys secondary. I know Peyton Manning is back this week, but I’m going Brees as my top target. That means he will likely throw an interception on the first series, and then be knocked out with an injury making a tackle on the play. Proceed with caution.
Philip Rivers vs DEN - Rivers is averaging over 330 yards per game over his past five, and is facing a Broncos defense that has allowed opposing QBs to throw for 8 TDs and 734 yards in their past two road games. Rivers has been the model of consistency this season, and seems to have finally emerged as a reliable player week in and week out.
One-Week Fantasy Football Running Backs
Zac Stacy @ IND - I love this kid. It’s becoming more than a man crush at this point. I feel like I NEED him (in my lineups) each week. He ran all over the Seahawks and Titans the past two weekends, and both were top-10 defenses against the run at the time. He is the real deal, and you’ll be hard pressed to find one of my lineups that doesn’t include him. This of course means that you should avoid him at all costs, because he will probably eat some bad Chinese food on Saturday night, try to give it a go, and then get pulled after his second carry of the day.
Reggie Bush @ CHI - This Bears defense is just plain awful against the run right now, there’s no two ways about it. They have given up over 400 yards and SEVEN scores to opposing backs over the past three games. I know that Bush isn’t a power runner like Eddie Lacy, but when you add in the points per reception aspect of daily fantasy sports Bush could be the top play of the week. Pierre Thomas GASHED this defense to the tune of 9 grabs and two scores a few weeks ago. Pierre Thomas is not Reggie Bush. I can’t wait to watch this matchup.
One-Week Fantasy Football Wide Receivers
Keenan Allen vs DEN - I’m not the only person who is obsessed with this guy. CrazyGabey may actually be in love with him, and for good reason. This kid is a stud. He is the most reliable receiver on an incredibly underrated offense. As I mentioned before, the Denver defense is bad. They have allowed AT LEAST 215 yards to opposing WRs in five out of eight games so far. Sign me up.
AJ Green @ BAL - Last season, this matchup may have been worrisome. The Ravens have allowed at least 200 yards to opposing WRs in two of the last three games, and they were against Cleveland, Miami, and Green Bay. Aside from the Packers, who were missing two of their top three wideouts for the game, they didn’t face a single elite WR during that embarrassing stretch. Green will get his in a game that is huge for Cincinnati.
One-Week Fantasy Football Tight Ends
Jimmy Graham vs DAL - Do I need to elaborate? Terrible pass defense against the best TE in the game. This will be no contest. Graham could have a huge game in his sleep. I already feel bad for these guys.
Greg Olsen @ SF - This guy seems to be good for a score nearly every week. His price is always decent, and his upside is high. Carolina will likely struggle to run the ball, and Olsen is the most reliable pass catcher in this offense. This is about as deep as I’ll dig at TE.
One-Week Fantasy Football Defenses
Bengals @ BAL - Call me a homer all you want, but this Baltimore offense is a mess. They can’t run the ball, seem to only be able to pass once they have dug themselves a hole, and Joe Flacco is one of the least reliable QBs in the game. The loss of Geno Atkins will hurt in the long run, but not this week. I think the Bengals make life hell for an offense that doesn’t even seem capable of helping themselves.
Bills @ PIT - This isn’t an elite defense by any means, but the Steelers offense is anything but intimidating. The Chiefs didn’t score an offensive touchdown against this team last week, and the Steelers have struggled to find any rhythm on offense this year. I like the Bills to step up this week in a big way.
If I can make enough references to avoiding big injuries, I like my chances of un-jinxing myself. So, once again, don’t play any of the guys mentioned above, because they will likely all get carried off on stretchers by the end of the second series. With that being said, I love Chargers players this week in case you hadn’t noticed. I also will be avoiding Steelers and Ravens, which means we can all expect some fireworks from those two offenses. Best of luck this week, but I think I need it more right now. I need some Angels on the Gridiron to protect my one-week fantasy football rosters.