Bye Weeks: Arizona, Chicago, Cincinnati,
Houston, New England, Washington
Jameis Winston's inconsistency makes him
tough to trust as a QB1 even with six teams on bye.
Grab a Helmet
Flacco vs PIT: Flacco has been downright ugly this season.
His deep ball game was a poor fit for the Trestman offense, he missed
the whole offseason after suffering an ACL late last year, and heís
been saddled with inconsistent play from his backfield and line.
A shoulder injury could have played a part in his ugly game against
the Jets, but the bye should have given he and his team time to
get themselves right. In Week 9 they will host a Pittsburgh defense
that is last in the league in sacks and has only intercepted three
passes for the entire year. I expect the Ravens to take plenty of
shots against the Steelers and Flacco should hit a few big plays.
With a host of solid quarterbacks on byes, Flacco makes for a decent
streaming option for teams in need.
Prescott @ CLE: Prescott started Sunday nightís showdown
against the Eagles an ugly 5-13. Other than a few deep balls, he
struggled to move the chains. But he showed an incredible amount
of persistence and poise for a rookie, as he rallied his team from
10 points down in the 4th to earn a huge divisional victory in overtime.
Heís playing solid football, scoring 8 total touchdowns in his last
three games, and gets a gift matchup this week facing the Browns
at home. Heís already scored four rushing touchdowns on the year,
and his dual threat game has given him a very high floor. Heís thrown
for 227 yards or more in every game this year, and has scored near
20 or more fantasy points in every game since the opener. He doesnít
possess the week winning ceiling of other QBs, but heís been a borderline
QB1 all season, and an easy Top-10 option against winless Cleveland.
Kessler vs. DAL: Iím assuming Kessler is healthy and
gets clear to start over McCown obviously, and I know that still
doesn’t quite justify Kessler as a deep sleeper option this
week. The Browns being 0-8 has overshadowed the fact that Kessler
has more than held his own in the three games he’s started
and finished this year. He’s completing well over 65% of his
passes, has a 4-1 touchdown to interception ratio, and could be
on the verge of getting back playmaking rookie receiver Corey Coleman.
Dallas just lost two key starters in the secondary and is overdue
for a poor game. Cleveland has competed well each week for stretches,
and there’s enough offensive talent to move the ball against
Dallas. I’m obviously not advocating benching your stud for
a rookie on winless team, but he’s got some sneaky upside,
and hey, I’m due!
Grab a Headset
Stafford @ MIN: Even with most of his weapons back
healthy, Stafford struggled to keep drives alive last week on
the road against the Texans. Heís protecting the ball exceptionally
well, as he hasnít thrown a pick since Week 4, but a soft schedule
turns nasty with a trip to Minnesota. Itís no secret the Vikings
have been brutal on quarterbacks all year, especially at home
in their new stadium. Stafford is going to need to get the ball
out quick, and hope his receivers can make something after the
catch. Itís hard to sit a player who has been great most of the
year, but Iím scared by the low ceiling in this one. Most weeks
Stafford is going to be better than the match-up. This isnít one
of those weeks. Look at Stafford as more of a QB2.
Winston vs ATL (THU): Winston was flat out terrible
last week against the Raiders. Having a seemingly juicy match-up
at home against a horrid Raiders defense, Winston completed only
50% of his passes for less than 200 yards. This is especially
concerning seeing has he had nearly an entire quarter of overtime
to pad his stats. He had a difficult time getting the ball to
stud wide out Mike Evans, and the other outside weapons are raw
and unreliable at best. Down to their 3rd and 4th string tailbacks,
this offense is a bit of a mess at the moment, and an inconsonant
Winston doesnít help. Heís incredibly tough to sit because of
a decent match-up and big ceiling, but I need to see more week
to week consistently before I can truly trust inserting him as
Fitzpatrick @ MIA: Fitzpatrick has gone from wizard
to muggle right before our eyes. If not for an ACL injury to Geno
Smith two weeks ago, Fitzpatrick would be buried on the bench.
But he’s got a new lease on life, at least for now. With
the Jets at 3-5, they could go to Bryce Petty at any moment, and
that moment almost came after a disgusting first half last week
against the Browns. Fitzpatrick has been more turnover prone than
ever this year, and he seems to lack chemistry with any receiver
not named Brandon Marshall. Miami has returned from the dead,
and should be rested and ready after the bye week. The Miami defense
is certainly beatable, but Fitz simply hasn’t given you
any reason to trust him.