Yeah, this is going to be a long week. What will make it even longer is the fact that Jimmy Graham looks like he's going to be out for a few weeks. So it's going to be imperative that we get a tight end to back him up. Owen Daniels was the guy I picked up on the waiver wire last week to replace Graham on his bye week. Turns out he's the only guy on the Ravens who didn't score a touchdown. Which absolutely figures.
You could roll with him this week because he's now due. The matchup against the Falcons isn't great because Atlanta headed into Week 6 having allowed the second-fewest points to tight ends. Martellus Bennett did have a decent game against the Falcons, so it's hard to really know. I mean, it's tight ends. We just need a few points from them. Maybe a red zone target and we'd be happy.
I'm really torn about this. Because Rex Ryan really loves to tweak the Patriots, and he's had great success with it in the past. But this is a short week and the Jets haven't really stood out when it comes to their preparation. At least this game is ET, so none of the Jets will need to worry about switching their watches to the correct time. So there is that.
Odds are, I will end up with Wright in my lineup this week and risk a full weekend of a bagel laughing at me in the face. Check in with me on Thursday night, though. I might change my mind. But when I think about it, the Patriots did send Logan Mankins to Tampa Bay for him. The team obviously likes him a great deal. Let's make this happen.
Are you ready for the rest of Rank's 11? I thought so. We will start with quarterbacks this week, as always. But it's very important because Nick Foles is on a bye this week. And since I use Foles in my league of record, this is huge. First order of business, see if somebody dropped Tom Brady in your league. He could be out there and he'd be a nice start. But I'm not going to burn one of the eleven on somebody you already knew to pick up, so let's move on.
Derek Carr, QB, Oakland Raiders
I don't want to chase the fantasy points here. And rookies are totally unreliable. But this could be a new world order for the Raiders behind coach Tony Sparano. Carr has a great arm, a lot of upside and the matchup against the Cardinals isn't too bad. Again, there are going to be no guarantees this week, but I kind of like this kid.
Brian Hoyer, QB, Cleveland Browns
Hoyer has been a solid quarterback for the Browns so far this season. Not a huge surprise when you consider how effective he was during his brief stint in 2013. His stat line against the Steelers wasn't great. But the Browns built such a huge lead, Hoyer wasn't asked to do a whole lot out there. In fact, the Browns kind of coasted. This game with the Jaguars won't be as easy. Can you imagine that? Saying the Jags are a tougher opponent than the Steelers?
Blake Bortles, QB, Jacksonville Jaguars
All right, our faith in Bortles finally paid off as he was one of the highest ranking quarterbacks in Week 6. Now we're at that point in our fantasy lives when we can either cash-in after we broke even, or we can continue to chase the points. I'd rather double-down and go for it. But the Browns have been kind of tough on quarterbacks. And they kind of abused Blake's NFL doppelganger last week, too. So I kind of like him, but I'm going to probably tread lightly with him and go with the two guys listed above him here.
Joe Flacco, QB, Baltimore Ravens
Flacco would be a nice choice, too. Not sure if he's going to be available in your league, though. Flacco does play well at home. He also was dealing last week at Tampa Bay. Seriously, dude was like one of those kids from NBA Jam. He's on fire! But seriously, no love for Daniels? That's harsh, dude.
Alex Smith, QB, Kansas City Chiefs
He's also back this week, too. Probably dropped. I don't know how deep your league is so he's worth looking at. Since I'm not the bean counter a lot of guys are, I don't have the exact numbers but I feel like Andy Reid is like 421-2 after the bye week. Or something like that. You might want to check that out for yourself. I can tell you, Reid has a weird level of success after the bye. So yeah, slot Smith just ahead of Bortles. Maybe he is the best of this bunch.
I guess you need some running backs, too.
Justin Forsett, RB, Baltimore Ravens
He doesn't have a huge workload. I mean, he's not Ben Tate for crying out loud. But he's gotten it done with minimal looks. Which should continue this week when he plays the Falcons, who have allowed the most fantasy points to running backs this season. This would be the time where I really belabor this point because it makes my editor happy to see a bunch of words here. But why go on? You're in desperate need for a running back so you should probably just start whomever you have.
Jeremy Hill, RB, Cincinnati Bengals
The Colts provide a pretty good matchup for Hill, as they've allowed the eighth-most fantasy points to running backs this season. The Bengals could be without A.J. Green again, so there could be more opportunities that present themselves here. Plus, if you watched the Bengals take on the Panthers, Hill is starting to look a little bit better.
Brandon Bolden, RB, New England Patriots
I know, I know. If you pick up Bolden, Shane Vereen or even James White, it can only mean one thing: Jonas Gray will be the guy to pick up and play. I mean, Bill Belichick likes to play mind games with your fantasy team. Well, he's probably doing it to mess with his future opponents. But there's a small part of him that enjoys tweaking the fantasy folks.
Jarius Wright, WR, Minnesota Vikings
This one might be hard to take. So let's just pretend this is the Vikings' receiver we all picked in the fifth or sixth round this year. And then it would make it easier to swallow. He's easily the guy Teddy Bridgewater is looking for when he drops back, so it makes sense you would look for him on your waiver wire, too. He has regressed a little bit in the last two games, especially last week. But this is too good of a matchup to ignore this week.
Golden Tate, WR, Detroit Lions
Tate has thrived in the weeks when Calvin Johnson has been on the field as a decoy. But he clearly stepped back this past week with Johnson out. Teams don't have to respect the run as much, and there is absolutely no tight end threat to make defenders take notice. I like Tate if he's got Mega on the other side of him. Otherwise, you might need to chill out just a bit.
Andre Holmes, WR, Oakland Raiders
Holmes is the most-targeted Raiders receiver right now. Carr certainly seems to like him. I like Holmes a lot more than a Megatron-free Tate. You might think the matchup against the Cardinals is tough this week, but overall the team has been generous. The only downfall could be if Patrick Peterson takes a hold of Holmes. Wait, I'm not making any of you guys feel better about this at all.
Odell Beckham, Jr., WR, New York Giants
I always feel a little dodgy about this. I want to show the proper restraint for Victor Cruz, but at the same time I want to move forward with a fantasy replacement. I know Reuben Randle is going to be the first person folks look to. I like ODB a little bit more. Maybe it's because I've been locked in to "Finding Giants" on NFL Network. Wait, is that a cheap plug? My bad, folks.
Buffalo Bills D/ST
Well Elliot's pick of Carpenter goes along well with my desire to use the Bills D/ST this week. A rookie quarterback on the road should mean big points for the Bills. But Rank, why do you advocate the Bills when you want to start two Vikings? And that's a fair point. But if the Bills could get a handful of sacks to go with a few picks, that should outweigh Wright and McKinnon having good games, right? Right?
Tre Mason, RB, St. Louis FC
Mason was the only of the three St. Louis running backs to grade out positively on Monday night. He's not great in pass pro, but I don't really care. They need somebody to run the ball. He's going to be hamstrung by that and Brian Schottenheimer. But I like his long-term potential.
For the record, you can submit your fantasy questions to NFL Fantasy Live, Michael Fabiano or me on Twitter. But realize, NFL Fantasy Live has 270K followers, and Fabiano has 165K. Me? Just four. See, the odds are better I will answer your question, so hit me up both via Twitter or via Facebook. And if you follow him on Sundays, he'll quote "The Wolf" from "Pulp Fiction" and then it's game on! Although, it's tough to catch me on Facebook. Twitter is your go-to." Plus seriously people, I'm not taking your fantasy tweets after Midnight. I'm into the #HashtagWars via @Midnight, so don't try. Just ask the people on Monday night