Michael Thomas' 3 catches and 11 yards
last week was a career low. Expect a bounceback in Week 7.
Grab a Helmet
Woods v. ARZ: On paper, Jared Goff v. Arizona secondary
doesn’t look like one of the more exploitable matchups of the Sunday
slate, especially when we consider Sammy Watkins’ latest disappearing
act (just two catches for 28 yards since a Week 3 explosion against
the 49ers). Despite his paltry production, however, Watkins is easily
the most talented of the Rams’ receivers, meaning he’s likely to
draw Patrick Peterson’s attention all afternoon. That’s bad news
for him and good news for everyone else running patterns in the
LA offense. Though Arizona (read: Peterson) has essentially shut
down opposing WR1s (T.Y. Hilton, Dez Bryant, Pierre Garçon, and
Alshon Jeffery), they’re still yielding the third most points to
the position, meaning secondary options are making hay. Woods is
a solid secondary option who’s scored seven or more fantasy points
three out of the last four weeks. He’s a good situational play Sunday.
Thomas @ GB: New Orleans managed to score 52 points last
weekend despite getting essentially nothing from its best wide receiver.
The former Buckeye, shadowed by Darius Slay all afternoon, managed
just three catches and a disappointing 11 yards on six total targets.
Ouch. Double ouch for this guy because I just packaged up Mike Evans—scheduled
to face the aforementioned wide receiver snuffer, Patrick Peterson—in
a deal to acquire him. Happily, there will be better days ahead
for the talented Saints wideout, starting this Sunday up in Lambeau
against a severely banged-up Packers secondary. Four of the five
Green Bay cornerbacks will likely end up on the injury report this
week and both starters, Kevin King and Davon House, missed last
week’s game against Minnesota. If they’re out again (and even if
they aren’t), expect a much better performance from Thomas. He’s
a must start every week.
Doctson @ PHI (Mon): The Monday nighter, a rematch of
NFC East foes, features two of the league’s hotter quarterbacks,
Carson Wentz and Kirk Cousins. The former has been on fire all season,
of course, while the latter has started heating up after a slow
start (28.8 points per in his last three games). Helping Cousins’
cause of late has been Doctson, a 2016 first round draft pick who’s
finally starting to contribute after a mostly wasted rookie season.
Though he’s only caught four balls so far (and only six as a professional),
he’s scored two touchdowns, prompting Jay Gruden to say Washington
will be working to “actively expand” the former Horned Frog’s role.
I’m guessing he meant effective immediately, meaning Doctson has
a chance to set career highs in targets and catches as early as
Monday night. If you can stomach the risk, he has lots of upside.
Grab Some Wood Martavis
Bryant v. CIN: Squeaky wheels get the pigskin in Pittsburgh,
apparently, a lesson Bryant seems to have learned by watching
his more celebrated teammates, Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell.
When word leaked he’d (allegedly) requested a trade, one had to
wonder if this was his less public way of politicking for more
attention in the Steelers’ offense. It’s public now, regardless,
and there’s no putting that toothpaste back in the tube. I’m dubious
his complaints will have the same effect his teammates’ more public
complaints have had as Brown and Bell are both more essential
and, frankly, more reliable pieces of the Pittsburgh organization.
Neither of them, after all, is one relapse away from almost certain
NFL banishment. Moreover, Bryant the player is reliant on explosive
downfield plays and he and Big Ben are clearly struggling to connect
through first third of the season. Too many red flags, folks.
Nelson @ LAR: Prior to last week, Carson Palmer had
thrown no fewer than 36 passes in a game and was on pace to possibly
break Matt Stafford’s record for most passing attempts in a season
(assuming he lasted all season). This, of course, made all Arizona
receivers relevant, including the third and fourth options, Jaron
Brown and J.J. Nelson. The trade for Adrian Peterson seems to
have changed all that in an instant. Palmer threw only 22 passes
last Sunday, only one of them to Nelson, and now it appears these
fringe Cardinals receivers must be ignored, if not completely
dropped. Nelson’s got great wheels and could certainly reemerge
should Peterson fade or get hurt. For now, though, he’s probably
not worth the roster spot you carved out for him after a couple
of stellar performances to start the year. Stick with Fitz and
John Brown moving forward.
Hilton v. JAX: This is Hilton’s third “Grab Some Wood”
mention of 2017, though you shouldn’t take that to mean
I don’t like the guy. What’s not to like about a speed
merchant with 10 100-yard games to his credit the last two-plus
seasons? Two of those were accomplished with Jacoby Brissett at
the helm and it appears the duo will have several more opportunities
to work together this season. No, the problem isn’t Brissett
so much as it is volatility and bad matchups. Hilton’s scored
over 70% of his points in just two games (against bottom-feeding
Cleveland and San Francisco), but has averaged only 3.8 in his
four other games. This week, he draws a suffocating Jacksonville
secondary that’s allowed just a single 100-yard receiver
all year, Antonio Brown. For the record, Brown received 19 targets
that day, 10 more than Hilton has in any game thus far.