By Greg Larnerd
A lot of fantasy football greatly depends on matchups. Sometimes you overthink a decision, sometimes you don’t put enough thought into one and sometimes no matter what you do you have a week where you just don’t feel completely confident in many of the matchups your players have. The latter scenario is the one I found myself in this past week and it showed as I lost three of the four matchups I was involved with. These things will happen in fantasy football and the biggest thing is to not read too much into it. Chalk it up to a down week where there wasn’t much you could have done and look forward to this week’s matchups!
As we usher in a new week, a week that will signify the halfway point in this NFL season once it wraps up on Monday night, there’s a fresh batch of players dealing with injuries. This is where the kinda, sorta trusty waiver wire comes in handy. Let’s look into this week’s crop of players you’re looking to add.
Chris Thompson (Washington Redskins, 36% owned): With the unreliable Matt Jones fumbling once and not being able to handle a botched hand off from QB Kirk Cousins another time, head coach Jay Gruden’s patience is wearing thin with another loss. Enter Chris Thompson, who has been the third-down receiving back the past few seasons. Now, with the butter fingers of fellow Jones, Thompson may finally get his shot at more than just the third down back slot. He led the team in rushes (12) and rushing yards (73) and spent more time on the field than any of the Washington Redskin backs (60 percent of the snaps). This is a guy you’ve got to own in PPR leagues as he continues to eat into the playing time of Jones.
Matt Asiata (Minnesota Vikings, 51% owned): You remember way back when, when Adrian Peterson was suspended all year and Matt Asiata was the man to own in the Vikings backfield? That time has seemed to come again since Peterson is out and now Jerick McKinnon has gone down with an injury. If you took a chance on him as a goal line threat just hoping, wishing, praying for a touchdown or two then it’s now paying off for you. For the rest of us in need of a running back we’ve got to rush to the waiver wire to see if we can grab a guy who’s now the lead dog in Minnesota. Don’t forget, he’ll have a tasty matchup this coming week on Monday night against the Chicago Bears.
Ty Montgomery (Green Bay Packers, 50% owned): The running back position is unsettled in Green Bay to say the least. Knile Davis was brought in and eventually will take over as the guy in the backfield, but last Thursday night we saw a formation that got the Packers offense back in synch when they successfully utilized Montgomery as a Swiss Army knife out of the backfield. This man did it all, rushing the football (nine rushes for 60 yards) and receiving (10 for 66 yards) as well, and because of that has now been granted RB/WR eligibility for the rest of the season. I expect Davis, with more than a week to get familiar with the offense, will become more involved in the running game but I don’t think the Packers will completely dismiss having Montgomery in the backfield. With the success the offense had he’ll still be able to make a flex impact for your fantasy football squad.
Brandon LaFell (Cincinnati Bengals, 20% owned): Bengals QB Andy Dalton is realizing that he’s going to need another WR other than AJ Green to step up and be productive and lately it’s been Brandon LaFell. LaFell has registered four touchdowns in the past three games along with 65-plus yards receiving in two of the three. Tight end Tyler Eifert is still banged up and running back Jeremy Hill left Sunday’s game late with an injury, so LaFell has a real opportunity to make a consistent mark on this Bengals offense.
Jack Doyle (Indianapolis Colts, 61% owned): I’ve got to be honest here, I really thought Dwayne Allen was going to emerge as the Colts top TE this season with Coby Fleener moving on to the New Orleans Saints. Yet, little known Jack Doyle has stolen the spotlight after Allen went out with an injury in Week 6 and now Doyle is back in the good graces of QB Andrew Luck with two straight games of 50+ yards receiving plus a TD in each. He’s back to getting his targets up as well, trailing only T.Y. Hilton (21 to 14) in the Colts wide receiving corps. I don’t love Doyle, especially this week against the Kansas City Chiefs but you could do much worse at TE. Roll him out, cross your fingers and pray for at least a TD catch.
Greg Larnerd is the CBS Sports Radio Round-Up Midday Host on CBS Local Sports, 10am-2pm on RadioRoundup.com. Greg’s the resident fantasy football nut, constantly talking everyone’s ear off around the office about all things fantasy football and the glory that is this great game.
You can find him on Twitter: @glarn34