Key players that are looking to improve in fantasy footballDate: October 5, 2019
By: Jorie Mickens
Maybe you fell in love with the player every analyst said was “a steal” or “going to put everyone on notice this season” and subsequently, has not lived up to those projections.
Maybe your first-round draft pick has gotten off to a slow start, or even worse, gotten injured. Maybe you consistently face your fantasy league’s weekly scoring leader. Whatever the case may be, if you are sitting with a record of 1-3 or 0-4 right now, there is reason for hope.
With a poor record, you most likely sit atop your league’s waiver order. Submit claims for players that you believe will have a great week, and don’t get caught up with players who unexpectedly exploded for the first time all year. Also, play to win the week.
Don’t pick up a running back because he faces the Dolphins in week nine, play to win now and focus on the upcoming matchups players have. Three players to target this week would be receiver Robby Anderson of the New York Jets, running back Tony Pollard of the Dallas Cowboys and tight end Tyler Eifert of the Cincinnati Bengals.
Anderson faces an Eagles defense this weekend who have allowed the most fantasy points to wide receivers through the first four games this season. Eagles corners Sidney Jones, Avonte Maddox and Ronald Darby are all likely to miss Sunday’s game against the Jets and with Sam Darnold possibly coming back, Anderson could be in for a huge game.
Pollard faces the Packers this weekend who have allowed the third-most fantasy points per game to running backs. Although Pollard hardly saw the field last Sunday night against the Saints, if Pollard gets the touches, he could perform like he did just two weeks ago against the Dolphins when he rushed for 103 yards and a touchdown.
The Arizona Cardinals have allowed 20 points per game to the tight end position through the first four weeks. Eifert, who has yet to score double-digit points in any week this season and is owned in just 18% of ESPN leagues, could finally breakout against the Cardinals. Next on the to-do list is to start firing out trades.
Once again, look at players’ upcoming matchups, see when their bye week is and try to buy low on players who are coming off a poor performance. One trade candidate would be Los Angeles Chargers running back Melvin Gordon.
The Gordon owner in your fantasy league might not be selling him, but if they are, go get him. Gordon could finally be unleashed this week against a Broncos defense that has allowed the third-most fantasy points to running backs and just lost their star outside linebacker Bradley Chubb to a torn ACL. The Chargers are at home and favored to beat Denver, Gordon could have a huge day against the Broncos.
Lastly, don’t be afraid to sit your studs. Nobody wants to be the fantasy player who sits Julio Jones or Saquon Barkley when they score 30 fantasy points but leaning so heavily on your stars is probably the reason for your miserable start to the season. If you have Adam Thielen against the Bears defense starting over John Brown against the Dolphins, play the player with the most breakout potential on a week to week basis.
Jorie Mickens can be reached at email@example.com.