By: Rich Maletto @BodaciousBeer
Last week’s hidden gems were a mixed group. If you took my advice at the running back position, you inevitably loved the advice. At the other positions–there was definite room for improvement.
Don’t worry though, for as hard as you all work on your fantasy teams, I am working equally as hard, finding ways to improve the advice in this weekly piece. I cannot express this point enough, these matchups are often times, the biggest keys in start and sits each week.
While, players like Terry McLaurin can be matchup proof, these matchups can tip us off to game plans, and where we might need help in our lineups for the week. Setting expectations for players each week, is critical in determining your best lineups. So, lets dig in!
QB Gems – Alex Smith, Andy Dalton
I get there is very little to be excited about with the names in this section. We have Alex Smith who has been a fantasy “avoid” for years it seems like. How can I possibly recommend him this week? Three times this year a Washington Football Team quarterback has thrown for 300+ yards, Alex Smith did it twice and he’s only started 1 game.
I was of the opinion, when they moved on from Haskins, Smith was the best quarterback in that group. Smith threw for 325 yards in week nine and 390 yards in week ten. He is facing the Bengals, who are 7th in points allowed to the QB position. There is no reason to see Smith continue to throw like he has and with more playing time, I expect his fantasy numbers to come up.
He does have weapons with McLaurin, Gibson, McKissic, and Logan Thomas. If you are in bind, you can do a lot worse than Alex Smith. Personally, I am starting him over Joe Burrow this week.
I am sure Cowboys fans will just roll their eyes are this. After what we saw so far from Andy Dalton, suggesting him here seems like fool’s gold, or is it?
The Vikings defense has been a great matchup to exploit for quarterbacks this year. They are about mid pack, at 15th for points allowed by the QB, that said, last week’s game against the Bears, is skewing some of the numbers.
In that game, we saw how or why Mike Zimmer is a head coach. He has typically put great defenses on the field, and they get there again, but the group has some talent, but is incredibly young and raw. They played cover two largely last week, and since the bears couldn’t run Foles was a major let down. The Vikings tend to play well against the bears, and Zimmer is a great defensive coach, if you are going to be one dimensional, he’s going to stop you, and that’s what we saw.
In this matchup though, the Cowboys are getting healthier on the offensive line, Zeke is still there and getting healthier (possibly a bounce back game), and the three starting receivers are capable of giving any defense a lot to handle. This is a big gamble, but if you are scraping to fill in this week with Brees out on injury, unsure about Teddy Bridgewater, and even Daniel Jones on bye, you might need a miracle.
News out of Dallas this week was also that Dalton looked so much better. He may end up being the fill in we were hoping for.