Whether you have playoffs starting this week or next week, each decision that is made could be the one that makes or breaks your season. In times like this, just looking at the rankings and starting the guy who is ranked higher may not always be the best course of action. I know saying that while presenting rankings later may sound counterproductive, but believe me it isn't.
If you are in desperate need of a win this week and know you need a high point total to do it, you should look towards playing some high risk, high reward type guys at the WR position. So instead of starting a Jarvis Landry, you may be better off starting a DeSean Jackson, or even Landry's teammate DeVante Parker. Team context looms large in these weeks. If you just need a consistent contributor and not go for the home run swing, you are better off starting Jarvis Landry or Jamison Crowder over the likes of a Taylor Gabriel.
Even though my rankings may say otherwise, you always need to remember what your team may need this week. The rankings are based on what a neutral team would do that doesn't need a safe nor risky type player. With all of that in mind, let's dive right into the rankings and commentary on a select few players that warrant a discussion.
Teams on bye: Cleveland Browns, Tennessee Titans
|4||Odell Beckham Jr.||Giants||Steelers|
|28||Steve Smith Sr.||Ravens||Dolphins|
Brandin Cooks - So that was a crazy Saints game last week. They scored 49 points, yet Cooks who played in over 60% of the team's offensive plays, didn't receive a single target. I can't really explain what happened here, but I know that this won't happen again. All this did was confirm to me that Thomas is the number one guy in terms of safety, and Cooks is still the guy who can alone win a week for you. That is what results in the gap between the two of them.
Sammy Watkins - Watkins return performance has given me a lot of confidence in him this week and moving forward. I was probably his biggest supporter before the season, and I still believe in him. Just coming off of the IR he goes out and picks up a few big plays to amass 80 yards on 3 receptions against the Jaguars. This week we will see Watkins on the field for about 10-15 more plays is the sounds of it. It is clear that the Bills are going to look his way in his limited amount of work. Against a Raiders defense that has allowed receivers to beat them each week, I am more than willing to take the gamble that it works out for Watkins.
Allen Robinson - This is a ranking based solely on the matchup. Going up against the Broncos is brutal for receivers. While this game could turn into a blowout where we see Robinson get some garbage time stats, I don't actually see it that way. The Jaguars are probably going to work hard at running the ball against a susceptible Broncos front 7 and try to burn as much clock as possible. A chance of a redzone TD keeps him up in FLEX territory for me.
Taylor Gabriel - This is the ultimate gamble play this week. As I wrote on Monday, all Gabriel has done the last four weeks is score TD's and put up fantasy points. The Falcons know what they have in Gabriel, and they are trying as hard as they can to put him in a position to succeed. This is a guy who is still readily available in almost 80% of ESPN leagues, and I am saying that he is a FLEX worthy option. As I said in the beginning, if you need big points out of the position and you are looking around this range, there is no one better than Gabriel and his game-breaking speed.
Randall Cobb - Well we are back to the old Cobb again. After a nice two week stretch back in week's 6 and 7, we see what Cobb's real role is. He is the guy who has been beat out by Davante Adams as the short to intermediate guy. Cobb will still see his looks, but the upside just isn't there for me. It is too random with Cobb at the moment, and he needs to score a TD to be useful at this point.