Good news: there are only two bye weeks to worry about this week—Houston and Detroit. Bad news: you probably need a replacement for the likes of Deshaun Watson, let me help you with that. Statistics provided are using 0.5 PPR settings.
QB Alex Smith: The perennially disrespected Alex Smith is the number one ranked quarterback in fantasy football and is still only owned in just 81 percent % of ESPN leagues. If you are a Watson or Matthew Stafford owner looking for someone as a one-week (or longer) filler, Smith is the go-to quarterback this week if he’s somehow still available. A matchup against an Oakland defense that hasn’t intercepted one pass in 2017 projects Smith and Andy Reid’s elite West Coast to have yet another solid week of fantasy production.
WR Nelson Agholor: As an Eagles fan, this is such a great sentence to type: you can start Nelson Agholor in fantasy football! This is a risky play and only really deserves WR3/flex consideration if you’re dealing with some bye weeks, but Agholor has a lot of upside against a Washington defense that he torched for six receptions, 86 yards, and a touchdown in week 1 (17.6 fantasy points). This time, however, Washington won’t have top cornerback Josh Norman and Agholor will be matched up against one of Washington’s depth corners. Carson Wentz has shown his confidence in this reborn Agholor, so you can too.
RB Adrian Peterson: Despite the excitement of future Hall-of-Famer Adrian Peterson becoming the feature-back for another NFL team, Peterson is not going to be a good play this week—or maybe ever this season. The Rams may have statistically the worst rush defense in the NFL, but the Cardinals equally have the worst rush offense. This matchup is going to be a classic case of a stoppable force versus a movable object. The Cardinals have shown no signs of being able to pound the rock while the Rams have held two teams to under 75 yards already this year. Also, NFC West divisional games are typically low-scoring, ugly football making a risky situation even worse.
WR Devin Funchess: Funchess has become one of Cam Newton’s favorite targets this year, but this week against the Bears is a surprisingly bleak matchup for the Panthers. Chicago has only been torched by one quarterback this year—Aaron Rodgers. It’s pretty hard to fault them for that since Rodgers runs over everyone in his way. Outside of the Green Bay game, Chicago has only allowed two total touchdowns to receivers. This statistic becomes even more absurd when you consider who they have played: Mike Evans, Desean Jackson, Julio Jones, Antonio Brown and Stefon Diggs. Newton has woken up from his early season struggles, but a shockingly stout Bears defense should have no problem shutting down Funchess this week. Funchess could prove to be a worthy fantasy starter this year, but this week isn’t the week. Sit him.
Eric Rose is a fourth-year student majoring in communications with a minor in journalism. He can be reached at ER827597@wcupa.edu.