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So Bishop Sankey didn’t exactly pan out last week …
Mr. Ken Whisenhunt is the worst, by the way. You’re up in a game 28-3 and instead of running the clock with your best running back, you throw the football and all this other nonsense. And you know something? Because you refused to give Sankey the football on Sunday, I am glad you lost that game, you hear me, Ken?
Okay, okay. Rant aside, let’s get to this week’s under the radar plays. The Chiefs and Saints are on bye, which might be a good thing for Drew Brees with the way he’s looked.
Joe Flacco @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers- I really don’t like trusting Flacco, especially away from home. However, I can’t ignore this matchup against arguably the worst secondary in all of football. Opposing passers are averaging a gaudy 71.4 completion rate this year, allowing 292 passing yards per game. Teams are also averaging 37.8 pass attempts per game against the Bucs, good for the 9th-most in the NFL right now. I could see Torrey Smith (gasp!) haul in a long touchdown pass in this game, and Flacco has one of the strongest arms in football to exploit this secondary. Look for the Ravens to take some shots down the field in this contest against a Bucs defense with two corners ranked inside the bottom-20 in pass coverage, according to Pro Football Focus. If you’re missing Brees or aren’t comfortable with playing Tony Romo in Seattle, Flacco should be at least serviceable.
Antone Smith vs Chicago Bears- If you are really hurting at running back, why not play Smith and just wait for the inevitable 50-yard touchdown? Seriously, all this guy does is make big plays, posting longs of 38, 48, 54, and 74. After Sunday’s game, Mike Smith stated that the team needs to create more plays set for him and give him more opportunities. This game should be an absolute shootout with gangbusters fantasy numbers, and Smith could very well break another one. Last year, Chicago surrendered 10 100-yard rushers and have allowed multiple 20-yard runs, including one 40-yarder this season. The Bears are also surrendering a healthy 4.6 red zone scoring attempts per game thus far (2nd-most in football), so perhaps Smith can score from short yardage, too.
Storm Johnson @ Tennessee Titans- Toby Gerhart and his 2.6 yards per carry are banged up, dealing with a sprained foot. He didn’t practice on Thursday, but the Jaguars were already flirting with the idea of giving Johnson more playing time, and head coach Gus Bradley already stated that he would get a shot at a big amount of playing time against the Titans this week. Johnson is a candidate to touch the football 12-17 times this week against an exploitable Tennessee defensive unit that is surrendering a strong 136.6 rushing yards per contest, the 7th-most in football. Teams are also averaging 33.6 rushing attempts per game against the Titans thus far, the fourth-most in the league.
Odell Beckham Jr. @ Philadelphia Eagles- Beckham made his rookie debut on Sunday, playing 38 snaps, catching four balls for 44 yards and an impressive touchdown. ODB wasn’t even supposed to play that many snaps in Week 5, but now he’s not even on the injury report, a great sign. Speaking of great, how about this matchup with an Eagles secondary that is god awful, allowing 13 passing scores through five games, the most in the NFL. Beckham may be guarded by Cary Williams, who apparently doesn’t like to run, and ranks as the 22nd-worst coverage corner in football, according to PFF. A high-scoring game against an atrocious defense? Sounds good to me.
Andre Roberts @ Arizona Cardinals- A very deep sleeper here, but Roberts has been an underrated free agent addition this year, and has played well for the Redskins. He’s now caught a touchdown in two straight contests. He’s averaging over six targets per game with Kirk Cousins under center and now gets a bit of a revenge game in Arizona against his former football club. After being torched last week (granted, it was Denver), the Cardinals now are coughing up the second-most fantasy points per game to opposing wideouts, as well as a league-high 17.6 receptions per game to pass-catchers.
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