Pick 6 - Week 8

Does Dez Bryant's potential return mean he should be in your lineup this week?



Each week this column will suggest borderline players that you should start, and borderline players that you should sit. These projections are based on historical match ups, the match up against the current defense, and how the player is performing this year.

Studs

Pittsburgh Offense  - Ben Roethlisberger is returning this week, and all indications are this is his genuine return date (i.e., shouldn't be limited). Antonio Brown, Martavis Bryant, Heath Miller, and Le'Veon Bell all should return to form after struggling through the past few weeks with Vick and Landry Jones at QB. Brown and Bell return to the #1 player at their respective positions in my mind.

Michael Floyd - A "Waiver Wire Stud" from Week 5, I am still high on Floyd this season. John Brown is banged up, and Larry Fitzgerald continues to take the double teams and the coverage from the top corner on the opposing team. Number 2 WR's have been able to do some damage against the Brown's, so Floyd makes for a solid flex play this week, especially if John Brown is limited at all.

Danny Woodhead - He moves into RB 2 status for me this week against the Ravens. With Melvin Gordon banged up (and fumbling) and Branden Oliver taking a sliver of the work (he will never be a true lead back due to size), Woodhead has become the most reliable option for the Chargers at RB. Woodhead leads the league in RB targets, receptions, and receiving yards. He is actually a comfortable second in targets on the Chargers trailing only Keenan Allen. Let's look at how the Raven's have done defending the pass against RB's the last three weeks:

Week 5 - 93 yards, 1 TD to the Browns' RB's
Week 6 - 89 yards to the Raiders' RB's
Week 7 - 28 yards to the Cardinals RB's. We all know that Chris Johnson can't score until the play is over though so we couldn't have expected much here.

Overall, you are looking at a the top pass catching RB against a defense being shredded by pass catching RB's. Use Woodhead as an RB 2 this week.

Duds

Andrew Luck - Garbage time is the only way Luck is going to reach his status as ESPN's #7 ranked QB this week. He is facing a Carolina defense that has been on fire. When throwing at top corner Josh Norman, QB's would have a better QB rating if they just threw the ball in the dirt - that's insane. This is also a road game for the Colts which gets them off of their high flying turf. I'm starting the like of Eli Manning this week instead of Luck to give you a perspective of my #11 QB rank for Luck this week.

Dez Bryant - Whether he plays or not, I'm keeping him on the bench this week. His type of injury takes a while to fully get back in the game. Yes, being on the field is one thing, but being able to cut and jump at your full potential is another. Not to mention, Matt Cassel is starting at QB for the Cowboys for at least the next 3 weeks. I would sit Dez this week until we see him in game action, but he might be ready next weekend to insert into your lineups.

Eddie Lacy  - What is going on with Eddie Lacy this year? An ankle injury seems to have sapped some of his power, and now people are questioning his weight. I for one thought the Packers would lean on him more after the injuries to Jordy Nelson, Davante Adams, and early season shoulder problems of Randall Cobb. Until we figure out what is going on with Lacy (is his ankle still bothering him?), I would consider him a flex play. This week he faces one of the best run defenses in the league in Denver. The Broncos have only given up 4 rushing TD's, and they have only allowed Jamaal Charles to top 100 yards against them. I would rank Lacy as the 20-25th best RB play this week.

Waiver Wire Stud
This is the player that I pick each week who is currently a no-namer or unowned in the majority of leagues, but will become one of the top pickups next week. This player is a great speculative add if you have a free roster spot that you can use before you miss out on him next week due to your league’s waiver wire pickup order.

Mike Davis - With Carlos Hyde out with a stress fracture, Reggie Bush is projected to get the start. I use the term projected, because nobody else other than Hyde has more than 15 carries on the year for the 49er's. Hyde could miss extended time this year if he is shut down, so his backups are worth watching as they could end up starting for multiple weeks. Nothing about Reggie Bush gives me confidence that he could handle a starter's workload. He is 30 and has played sparingly in 4 games this year due to injuries. Not to mention, he is a pass catching back rather than an every down back. I'm not that high on Mike Davis's skill set, but his situation dictates that he should be owned at least this weekend and probably next week as well until we see how carries are distributed and Hyde's injury shakes out.

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