SB Nation has partnered with FanDuel, a site that hosts daily and one-week fantasy game. It's just like regular fantasy football, except you can reset your roster and start all over again. Each week, fantasy general managers can relive the best part of each fantasy year, the draft. But the skill involved with regular fantasy and FanDuel doesn't change - the key to winning any fantasy league is finding the value in your picks.
If I had told you that Ryan Fitzpatrick would throw for 358 yards and six touchdowns in his return to the starting lineup last week, you would have probably said I was high - and high on the good stuff at that. What a weird result for the Texans. Everything pointed to Arian Foster getting the ball a zillion times and running all over the Titans and their poor run defense. Little did we know that Tennessee is just bad at everything on defense.
If you started Ryan Fitzpatrick for some reason last week, congratulations. I want to hear from you - why did you start him? A feeling? Two-quarterback league? Insanely deep league? Injury bug? Tell your tale of joy in the comments.
Moving on to this week's opponents, the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jaguars are still adrift at sea with a rookie quarterback, a former quarterback playing running back, and a defense that can get after the quarterback. Football Outsiders ranks the Jags' defense as the twelfth-best defense in the league, thirteenth against the pass and twentieth against the run. Jacksonville allows the seventh-most rushing yards per game to opponents at 129.4, and they have allowed the most rushing plays of 20+ yards in the league (14).
The Jaguars rank twenty-eighth in interceptions (5), thirty-first in passes defended (40), and sixth in passing plays allowed of twenty yards or more (46). The one place Jacksonville excels is pass rush, as they sit third in the league in sacks with 37. Defensive tackle Sen'Derrick Marks and defensive end Chris Clemons each have seven sacks this season.
The question will be if the Texans can protect Ryan Fitzpatrick enough to allow for another stellar game from the Harvard man.
QB: Ryan Fitzpatrick - Don't get your hopes up for another insane stat line from Fitzpatrick. Just ask Buffalo. Fitzpatrick has struggled mightily with pressure in the pocket, and the Jags plan to bring plenty. Fitzmagic isn't worth the risk in your fantasy playoffs.
RB: Arian Foster - Foster returned to the lineup against the Titans and ran well to the tune of 79 yards on 19 carries. Jacksonville is another prime matchup for the fantasy playoffs, with the Texans more likely returning to a run-first form after last week. Foster will be option number one in Houston's offense.
WR: Andre Johnson - Johnson found the end zone against the Titans as part of his 53 yards on seven catches. Johnson saw 11 targets in the game on Sunday, and he continues to be Fitzpatrick's safety valve underneath. He hasn't cracked 70 yards receiving in his last three games, but still has over ten targets per game during that stretch. Johnson has value in a PPR league, but he slides down to a flex play in standard leagues.
WR: DeAndre Hopkins - Nuk has arrived. Hopkins was a guy that was drafted to the third or fourth wide receiver on most fantasy squads, but he has played his way into number one status. Hopkins carved up the Titans' secondary and looked effortless doing it as he collected 238 receiving yards and two scores on nine catches (on nine targets). He now has at least eighty yards receiving in five of his last six games.
TE: Garrett Graham - Graham suffered an ankle injury in the Texans' win over the Titans, and it appears he won't be able to go on Sunday. Clarifying the situation, the Texans signed tight end Anthony Denham off the practice squad yesterday. Ryan Griffin and C.J. Fiedorowicz will fill in for Graham. I want no part of either.
Summary: Don't trust Ryan Fitzpatrick; he won't win your playoffs for you. Arian Foster is ready to go against the Jags; he is the easiest fantasy start of anyone on the Texans. Hopkins and Johnson should both have solid days against Jacksonville. Avoid the Texans' tight end situation like the plague.
Editor's Note: FanDuel is hosting a $400,000 fantasy football league for SBNation. It's $5 to join and first place wins $35,000. League starts Sunday 1 PM ET and ends on Monday. Here's the link.
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