This week’s Fantasy Forecast with PewterReport.com’s Andrew Scavelli and News Channel 8’s Dan Lucas had to be re-scheduled to make room for some real forecast coverage of Hurricane Michael, but the duo will return next Tuesday night on the 11 p.m. newscast to keep you up to date on all the latest fantasy football news.
Below you can find the notes from week 6’s forecast, which include some options for help at the tight end position, players to keep on your fantasy radar from the NFC West and your defensive play of the week.
TIGHT END HELP HAS ARRIVED
If you need help at the tight end position, which most fantasy teams outside of those that field Rob Gronkowski and Travis Kelce could use, you may finally be in luck as a couple of big-name options will be returning from injury soon. It appears as though Carolina Panthers TE Greg Olsen will play this week against the Redskins after he fractured his foot earlier in the season. Olsen was a full participant in practice on Wednesday and although he may be worked back slowly and won’t be at full health this season, he is still quarterback Cam Newton’s number one target in the passing game when he’s on the field and is always a solid bet to put up consistent production every week. Olsen was dropped by many fantasy teams after he initially suffered his foot injury and is owned in about 60% of leagues, so if he’s still available in yours don’t hesitate to put him on your roster.
Giants TE Evan Engram, who also suffered an injury at the beginning of the season and was dropped by some owners, may also be in your free agent pool for pick up and should be targeted if available. Engram is still working his way back and was ruled of Thursday night’s game against the Eagles on a short week, but the second-year tight end looks like he will be on the field again in week 7 when New York goes up against a vulnerable Falcons secondary. As Engram is quarterback Eli Manning’s second passing option behind wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., he should be locked in as a TE1 when he returns to action.
Bucs TE Cameron Brate – Photo by: Mary Holt/PR
As long as Buccaneers tight end O.J. Howard remains sidelined with a sprained MCL, his teammate TE Cameron Brate will be a top five play each week and a solid TE1 against the Falcons on Sunday. Quarterback Jameis Winston should pick up right where Ryan Fitzpatrick left off in Tampa Bay’s pass-first offense and the team will have to keep throwing until the defense improves, which may not happen. Brate is currently owned in half of fantasy leagues but should be in your starting lineup this week against Atlanta’s depleted secondary. Even when Howard returns, Brate will still be an intriguing option due to his redzone chemistry with Winston in the league’s top-ranked passing offense.
LOS ANGELES RAMS
K Greg Zuerlein (60% owned)
If you are still looking for help at the kicker position, my top fantasy kicking option going into the year may still be available to be had. Rams kicker Greg Zuerlein was dropped in many leagues after suffering a groin injury early in the season but is now day-to-day and could possibly return as early as this week against the Broncos. When Zuerlein resumes his kicking duties for Los Angeles, he will be a consistent top 5 kicker play.
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS
RB Alfred Morris (50% owned)
Although the 49ers don’t have the most potent offense, they do like to run the football and their running game has been solid, ranking fourth in the NFL with an average of 136 yards per game on the ground. Starting running back Matt Breida has been banged up a lot this season and it looks like he may miss Sunday’s game against the Packers with an ankle injury, so Alfred Morris may be in line for a big workload. Although Green Bay’s defense has been stout against the run, the high-volume of touches alone that Morris will receive will make him a safe RB2 play this week. Even when Breida returns to the field, his durability remains a concern and Morris will still get plenty of work so he’ll be safe to be used as a FLEX option in favorable matchups.
RB Mike Davis (25% owned)
It looks like the Seahawks will continue to go with a committee approach at running back after Mike Davis played well in the absence of Chris Carson during the team’s week 4 match against the Arizona Cardinals. With first-round pick Rashaad Penny nowhere to be found, Davis looks to play in about 30-40 percent of the team’s offensive snaps going forward in an offense that likes to run the football. In the last two weeks, Davis has scored three touchdowns and will go up against an Oakland Raiders defense this Sunday that allows the fifth-most fantasy points on the ground.
WR Christian Kirk (10% owned)
The Cardinals got a first-round talent in round two of April’s draft in wide receiver Christian Kirk and he’s already paying dividends for fellow rookie quarterback Josh Rosen. Kirk has been the most productive receiver in the Arizona passing game thus far and appears to be Rosen’s favorite target. The Texas A&M product has put up at least 85 yards in two of the last three games and will be going up against a Vikings defense this Sunday that has some issues in their secondary. Arizona will likely be down in games for most of the season, so Kirk is worth keeping your eye on as he continues to develop his chemistry with Rosen.
DEFENSIVE PLAY OF THE WEEK
Green Bay Packers (60% owned)
Green Bay’s defense has been an enigma this season, as they are one of the worst defenses on the road but have been putting up solid numbers at home. As the Packers play at Lambeau Field this week, trends would tell you that they are in for a good performance against the 49ers on Monday Night Football. In their last home game, the Packers defense shut out the Buffalo Bills and put up an impressive 23 fantasy points. San Francisco gives up the second-most fantasy points to defenses, so Green Bay should be a safe bet to dominate their home turf in primetime.
Each week Scavelli will also be answering your fantasy football questions submitted to the comments section of our Fantasy Mailbox, which will be posted on Pewter Report’s official Instagram account @pewterreport every Monday afternoon. Below are the questions that were asked in our mailbox for this week’s edition of the FANTASY MAILBAG.
Question: Do you think Shaun Wilson has value in a dynasty league?
Answer: With second-round rookie Ronald Jones getting worked into Tampa Bay’s offense more after being inactive for the first three weeks of the season, Shaun Wilson is now serving as the team’s fourth-string running back. I don’t expect Wilson to receive any more work than he previously did, which wasn’t much to begin with, and he will likely remain inactive on game day unless the team sustains an injury in their backfield. In the games that Wilson received an opportunity in as the team’s third running back he only received two carries, which he did turn into 15 yards. With no draft capital invested in him by the team, I believe Wilson is safe to drop in all dynasty formats right now.
Question: Who are some good WR3 fill ins with bye weeks coming up?
Answer: Aside from Christian Kirk, there are a few more wide receivers that are only owned in 10 percent of leagues that I believe could have the potential to help fill in during a bye week. The Dolphins have a pair of explosive wide receivers in Albert Wilson and Jakeem Grant that both average about 10 points a week and although their scoring rate has been inconsistent, either could be a potential one-week fill in that you could take a flyer on. If you’re looking for a safer bet, Ravens wide receiver Willie Snead also averages 10 points per week and is consistent with his scoring and targets per game (seven). If your league isn’t as deep, Browns wide receiver Antonio Callaway is still available in 75 percent of leagues and always has big play potential as his chemistry grows with Baker Mayfield.
Bucs WR DeSean Jackson – Photo by: Mary Holt/PR
Question: Given DeSean Jackson’s questionable chemistry with Jameis Winston, do you think he’ll put up similar numbers like the ones he did when Fitzpatrick was under center?
Answer: I don’t believe Jackson will put up the same numbers that he did in the first two weeks of the season with Fitzpatrick, as Winston will spread the ball around more, but he should be a safe WR3 bet against the Falcons and be a consistent FLEX option going forward. Right now I’m taking a wait-and-see approach on Jackson, but I do believe his chemistry with Winston will be improved from last season based upon the way they connected in August.
Question: Do you think Jordan Howard returns to fantasy glory or is he doomed the rest of the season?
Answer: Jordan Howard, like many of his fantasy owners, has been unhappy with his lack of carries and it appears as though his usage going forward will be game plan specific. I don’t think there’s any question he’ll still receive 10-15 touches every week, which should make him a solid FLEX play, and I wouldn’t panic just yet after one poor showing against Tampa Bay. With the emergence of Tarik Cohen it’s also possible that Howard will be a candidate to be moved before the trade deadline so there’s always a chance a team like the Eagles could acquire him and a move like that would boost his value significantly.