Happy Halloween, y’all.
Here’s hoping fantasy owners aren’t spooked by an ugly Thursday night game.
Anyway, with Halloween puns and analogies around every corner, I thought it would be appropriate to play a little Trick-or-Treat game. This is similar to Start/Sit, but these will be some more under the radar options. And with another period of six teams on a bye, some sneaky plays are just what fantasy owners will need to march on.
Darren Sproles @ New York Jets: It’s hard to sit a guy like Sproles. Or is it? Last week, in a favorable matchup, Sproles failed to see one carry (New Orleans was ahead), and while he did catch four balls, he managed zero yards. What? I know six teams are on a bye, so the odds of you being able to afford benching Sproles are slim, but I don’t like him this week. Khari Robinson has seen a healthy 14 carries over the last two weeks, and the matchup is tough, as the Jets are allowing the third-fewest fantasy points to opposing rushers this season. Also, the Jets are only allowing opposing backs to total 17 receiving yards per game, which is Sproles’ forte. This New Orleans offense simply spreads the ball around too much for my liking, at least for this week.
Mike James @ Seattle Seahawks: James looked okay in his debut as the starting tailback, but not nearly good enough to consider starting him against the top defense in football. The Buccaneers are a sinking ship (no pun intended) and it’s hard to hold much fantasy stock out of Tampa Bay. Seattle has allowed the fewest fantasy points per game when in their own home, less than 10 points per contest. Guess what, folks? This game is in Seattle. Six teams are on a bye, but I still think you can find a better option than James this week.
Danny Amendola @ Pittsburgh Steelers: Every person before the season said that Amendola would be an awesome fantasy wideout… if he can stay healthy. Well, nine weeks in, and Amendola is only played in four games. That’s sickening. When he returned to the lineup last week, he posted a less-than-stellar three fantasy points. He’s been bad, quarterback Tom Brady has been bad and the Patriots head to Pittsburgh to take on a top-notch pass defense. This unit is allowing the third-fewest fantasy points to opposing wideouts (20.74 per game), and have only surrendered five touchdowns through the air this season, which is the fewest in all of football. Meanwhile, Amendola has only scored more than eight fantasy points once all season long, and then he got hurt. Again.
Dexter McCluster @ Buffalo Bills: Don’t look now, but McCluster has been the best fantasy wide receiver out of Kansas City lately. That’s right. We’re looking at you, Dwayne Bowe. Anyway, McCluster is coming off of his best game of the season, hauling in seven of 10 targets for 67 yards and a score. He’s now been targeted 20 times over the last three weeks, and considering quarterback Alex Smith is averaging over 35 pass attempts per game this year, there will be plenty of opportunity. The matchup is as good as it gets. Buffalo has been hurting in the secondary, allowing the second-most fantasy points to wideouts. Only Buffalo and the Eagles are allowing over 40 fantasy points per game this season, and the Bills have allowed a league-high 20 passing touchdowns on the year.
David Nelson vs New Orleans Saints: Nelson has been very quietly productive over the last two weeks, hauling in 12 balls. He’s also posted exactly 80 yards in both games, and has been targeted a very healthy 19 times. Nelson is quickly seeing his snaps increase, playing on 38.8 per game. He’s a big target who can catch six or seven balls this week, and although the Saints matchup isn’t all that favorable, the Jets should be behind in this game, which means they’ll have to air the ball out quite a bit. Meanwhile, the Jets receiving corp is still murky. Santonio Holmes (hamstring) is still sidelined and tight end Jeff Cumberland, who has seen a solid 14 targets over the last three weeks, is not going to play on Sunday. Nelson should continue to see enough targets to matter, and Geno Smith is looking for him.
Ted Ginn vs Atlanta Falcons: Believe it or not, Ginn can actually do more than return punts and kickoffs in this league. In fact, it’s Ginn, not Steve Smith, who is leading the Panthers in receiving yards this week with 357. He’s also scored two touchdowns on the year, and should have had his third score last Thursday night, but the ball did that thing where it goes directly through your hands. That’s a shame. Anyway, Ginn has averaged five targets per game over the last four weeks, and the matchup is very favorable. The Falcons defense is incredibly bad, allowing the fourth-most points to wide receivers, coming in at 35.20 per contest. Ginn has playmaking ability, and I think Cam Newton and the Carolina offense put up a ton of points in this game. If you are desperate, you could do worse than Ginn this week.
Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy sports columnist for Rant Sports.
You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.