Bye Weeks: Baltimore, Los Angeles,
Miami, N.Y. Giants, Pittsburgh, San Francisco
Russell Wilson in Week 8: What's the best
thing for a quarterback in a slump? The Saints defense.
Grab a Helmet
Smith @ IND: So with bye weeks and mediocre play making
quarterbacks more unreliable than normal, itís time to consider
streaming options on a weekly basis. Smith is never an attractive
option, but the match-up and a few interesting stats make me believe
heís got a chance at being a solid start this week. In 2015 Smith
completed 20 or more passes only seven times. So far in 2016, heís
completed 20-plus passes four times, and heís been over 30 attempts
in four of the six games this year. Heís also facing an Indy defense
that is struggling to slow teams down. I think the Colts sell out
to stop the run this week, and run some single coverage looks. Smith
has been protecting the ball, and I see a host of scoring chances
for this offense. His potential volume and match-up is just right
to make him a sneaky spot start this week.
Carr @ TB: Carr is a lucky dude. Not only does he throw
one of the prettiest balls in the league, but heís got two solid
pass catching options out wide, and a really cheap laundry bill.
Carrís quick release and stout pass protection means he has a chance
to progress through his reads and make the right play. Heís got
a sterling 13-3 touchdown-to-interception ratio. Heís thrown at
least one touchdown in every game this season, and sits as a QB1
despite going over 300 yards just twice this season. The Raiders
are 4-0 on the road, and they get a very burnable defense this week
in Tampa. The Bucs were roasted by Carson Palmer and Matt Ryan earlier
this year, and Carr has a chance to do the same. 300 yards and a
pair of scores is a decent bet for the ascending signal caller.
Wilson @ NO: To say Wilson has been a fantasy bust is
quite the understatement. Iím not sure why his poor play isnít getting
more attention. In many leagues he was one of the first quarterbacks
selected, and yet heís the 27th ranked QB, sitting amongst the Blaine
Gabberts, and Brock Osweilers of the world. Heís rushed for exactly
3 yards total in his last four games and only has 5 total touchdowns
on the season. Somethingís not right with him physically, as he
lacks the explosive escape ability that made this offense frightening
down the stretch of last year. But when youíre offense is sick and
struggling the New Orleans defense provides the perfect remedy.
Like a bowl of soup, this Saints defense has been boiled on a weekly
basis. They are 28th in the league in sacks with only 9, so Wilson
should have time to work the pocket and hit his receivers all day.
The Saints can score on anyone, and I think this game should yield
a fair bit of points. This could be Wilsonís best game to date,
so donít miss out.
Grab a Headset
Taylor vs NE: With nearly every possible weapon on
offense hurt, Taylor faces the unenviable task of fronting a New
England defense thatís playing great football. With McCoy and
his top three receivers out last week, Taylor tried his best to
claw his team back against Miami, and he just couldnít do it.
Taylor will likely be forced to lean on the top flight combination
of Justin Hunter, and Walter Powell at receiver, and Mike Gillislee
at running back. Taylor was decent in their meeting a few weeks
ago, but that was with a full stable of playmakers. This offense
is going to struggle to sustain drives and make big plays giving
Taylor a low floor this week.
Cousins @ CIN: Cousins had good numbers last week against
the Lions, but they should have been better. He simply hasnít
been able to put together a complete game this year, and travels
across the pond to take on a Bengals team that should be able
to generate consistent pressure. Starting blindside tackle Trent
Williams will be hobbled with a knee injury, the backfield is
in flux, and tight end Jordan Reed is iffy. Cousins and this Washington
offense is largely match-up dependent and this one isnít a positive
one for Cousins and the Skins.
Bortles @ TEN (Thu): I made the unfortunate mistake
of thinking Bortles could bust out of his funk at home against
a shaky Oakland defense. He fell on his face with a thud, punching
in a meaningless garbage time score. He’s not on the same
page with any of his receivers, is completing an incomprehensible
59 percent of his passes despite having better than average skill
position players. He’s thrown more passes to the other team
as he’s found the end zone (9-9) and while the Tennessee
defense has given up back-to-back 300-yard passers, they are still
one of the top-10 defenses against the pass in the league. Now
the second I bash him, Bortles will probably go out and throw
for 400 and 4 scores, just because that’s the way this season
is going for me this year, but at this point Bortles has given
you absolute zero reason to trust as your fantasy quarterback.