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Rank's 11 Sleepers: Cash in on Isaiah Crowell

The Cleveland Browns are doing the right thing with Brian Hoyer. He has played well enough to earn the starting gig, despite calls for Johnny Football to get into the mix. So here's the question I have for the Browns. If you are willing to make the right football decision at quarterback, will that not extend to the running back position?

Because it's absolutely baffling why you would pull the plug on Isaiah Crowell with Ben Tate coming back. And trust me; I'm not saying this with my fantasy goggles on. If anything, I would be holding out hope for Terrance West to be the starter since I've been pot-committed on him since Day 1. This is just Rank (yep, third-person reference) being honest in his fantasy evaluation.

I really hope the Browns coaching staff does that. But then I remember that NFL coaches hate our fantasy football teams so it means all of these guys will end up with like eight carries apiece.

However, if I had to pick one guy to go with, Crowell is going to be my guy. To me, I could see his role being unchanged. He would be the 20-yard line thumper who hammers the ball into the end zone. Tate and West will battle for the other carries in the middle of the field.

The matchup against the Titans makes this a decent enough play to go with the risk. Shoot, man. I have Joique Bell on my team, so I'm really digging deep here.

Alright, you ready for the rest of Rank's 11?

Blake Bortles, QB, Jacksonville Jaguars
Alright, I don't want to say the play calling was conservative against the Chargers, but Stephen Colbert thought it was a little bit tight. But that's understandable. The Chargers are the best team in the AFC right now, so the Jags didn't want to get too crazy.  Look for the Jaguars to open the playbook this week and allow Bortles to fling it around the field. The big numbers will come this week. In fact, I think I'm going to add Bortles to another team this week and go with him.

Alex Smith, QB, Kansas City Chiefs
I just figured it would be fun to point out Smith has more fantasy points than Peyton Manning right now! Right, Manning has played in just three games. Way to ruin my fun. But it is worth noting Smith has more points than Nick Foles. I just realized I wasted two spots here when the only two quarterbacks on a bye this week are Ryan Tannehill and Matt McGloin. So why waste more time? (This doesn't count.)

Bishop Sankey, RB, Tennessee Titans
There are still some heavy concerns about Sankey right now, but he's posted two good back-to-back point totals. And seriously, I'm the (expletive) who lost to Sankey and Knile Davis in my League of Record this week. You have to be kidding me. The Browns have allowed the second-most points to running backs this year. Dammit, and I dropped him in a league, too. This is what I get.

Brian Quick, WR, St. Louis FC
He's been a pretty good revelation for St. Louis this year. He was targeted nine times in both of the opening games. And he followed it up with a huge score against the Cowboys in Week 3. The matchup against the Eagles is pretty good for this undervalued riser. He's had more fantasy points than DeSean Jackson, Vincent Jackson, and is just a tick behind T.Y. Hilton.

Brandin Cooks, WR, New Orleans Saints
The rookie has been a little inconsistent over the past few weeks, and that's cool. The Saints have opened with three of four on the road. So now we should see some more consistency from all of the Saints' skill players. I'm really just writing this because I hope this all means Jimmy Graham is going to become a beast, too.

Travis Kelce, TE, Kansas City Chiefs
Well, we wanted to give Kelce one more run in the sun before we send him off to the "must-start" lists everywhere. If you weren't convinced on Monday night (or maybe you were busy watching RAW), then I really don't know what to tell you at this point.

Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
He returned to the team on Sunday against the Steelers and was on the field for every offensive play. He also was targeted heavily, too. He figures to have an increased role in the offense going forward, especially with Mike Evans out indefinitely because of a groin injury. The Saints aren't a great matchup this week, but he's still somebody to keep an eye on.

Dwayne Allen, TE, Indianapolis Colts
We've all wanted Coby Fleener to be the man in Indy, mostly because he was teammates with Andy Luck at Stafford and this was supposed to mean something. But Allen has been the guy whenever he's been healthy and on the field. Start Allen at tight end if you've been burned by an injury at the position.

Green Bay Packers, D/ST
Man, this is so tough. We talked about the Falcons two weeks ago and it was amazing. So you started to think home teams on Thursday night could be the ticket. And then the Redskins were miserable. I mean, truly awful. But the thing going for the Packers here is they will face either a rookie quarterback who missed practice on Tuesday. Or Christian Ponder. Can somebody please tell me the downside to all of this? Other than (expletive) is going wrong for me all over the place this year.


Jerick McKinnon, RB, Minnesota Vikings
Did you see this guy against the Falcons? But that's the thing with chasing the points. You realize you don't get those points against the Falcons, right? But this is a tough predicament. If this was Sunday, I would go with McKinnon. But a rookie quarterback on the road with three-days rest, well, that's a tough one. I'd start Asiata if you have him. McKinnon is somebody I would break out in rare cases. Or if you fancy a trip to … the #DangerZone.

Darrin Reeves, RB, Carolina Panthers
This is for you 12-team leaguers. Look, there aren't many No. 1 running backs available out there. But just realize that when your head coach does the Peter Griffin sigh when asked about his new running back, well, you really need to temper your expectations.

George Winn, RB, Detroit Lions
The Lions have been decimated at running back and Joique Bell's status is going to be a concern. So Winn had his contract purchased from the practice squad, which is good. The matchup against the Bills is kind of bad. So don't get too excited about it. Though my man Jayke on Twitter won't be deterred (and in fairness, he's been talking about him all week).

Programing note, no #DangerZone on Thursday on NFL NOW. Blame the Angels.

  • Follow Adam Rank on Twitter @adamrank. He surprisingly answers a lot of questions. *
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