Many under the radar players in line to have big days in Fantasy football this week. Tarik Cohen and Alex Collins could both turn in huge days for their teams. While Desean Jackson could recover from early season struggles against a week Miami Secondary. Read about them and other players using advanced stats, metrics, and analytics profiles.
Chris Thompson vs. New Orleans Saints
The already spectacular Chris Thompson got another major boost to his stock this week. Rob Kelley will be out with a knee injury, thus slating Thompson with an even larger role than he already has. Thompson, who normally has 5-15 touches per game, could be headed for a 20 touch week, something he hasn’t had since week six versus San Francisco.
While the New Orleans defense has been solid overall against running backs, allowing -0.73 (No. 18) fantasy points below the mean, they have allowed receiving backs to put up good numbers against them. James White had 8 receptions for 85 yards in week two, and Christian McCaffrey had 9 receptions for 101 yards in week three. Thompson has 53 receptions (No. 6) on the year, so he will receive the volume required to turn in a good day against what has been one of the league’s stingiest defense.
Alex Collins vs. Green Bay Packers
Flying under the radar due to the impending return of Danny Woodhead, Alex Collins has found himself in an attractive situation in this week. Collins burst onto the scene in week eight with a 143 yard performance against the Dolphins, and could be in line for a similar kind of day against the Packers.
Green Bay has allowed +1.17 (No. 11) fantasy points above the mean to opposing backs this season. With Collins receiving a generous 37.3-percent (No. 43) Opportunity Share, Collins should receive more than enough work to take advantage of what has been a vulnerable rushing defense. Also working in Collins favor is the Ravens propensity to run the ball. The Ravens are currently No. 11 in rushing attempts despite an uninspiring -0.43 (No. 17) Game Script. Assuming that the Ravens defense can keep Green Bay off the scoreboard for most of the afternoon, the Ravens should be set up well to run the ball all game long.
Tarik Cohen vs. Detroit Lions
An early season wonder, rookie Tarik Cohen has fallen off as of late. After finishing as a top 15 fantasy running back for the first three weeks of his career, Cohen has cracked the top 30 in just one week since. Cohen has a great opportunity to return to relevance this week against Detroit.
While Detroit doesn’t give much in terms of receiving yards, they have allowed a lot of receptions to opposing backs. Mark Ingram & Alvin Kamara combined for 8 receptions for 48 yards against them in week six, and Duke Johnson & Isaiah Crowell combined for 7 receptions for 39 yards against them last week. Detroit’s defense is also currently allowing +2.57 (No. 5) fantasy points above the mean to opposing backs as well. This defense is vulnerable right now, and Cohen is in great position to break his cold streak against them.
Kenny Stills vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Kenny Stills has turned in a quietly efficient season in South Beach. He is among the best at his position in several categories including a +18.9 (No. 13) Production Premium and +22.0-percent (No. 16) Target Premium, while also sporting a solid 99.7 (No. 33) QB Rating When Targeted.
This week against Tampa Bay, Stills will likely receive most of his coverage from Robert McClain, who has been dreadful in the slot this season. McCain has allowed a dreadful 115.6 Passer Rating When Targeted, and is currently Player Profiler’s No. 116 ranked cornerback. Stills is too productive of a player to not have a big game against such an overwhelmed opponent.
Bruce Ellington vs. Arizona Cardinals
At some point, Tom Savage will have to turn to his other weapons if he’s going to succeed as the Texans starting QB. Since taking over as the starter, Savage has targeted Deandre Hopkins an absurd 30 times in two games. Starting this week, Bruce Ellington has a great opportunity to pick up more targets. With Patrick Peterson shadowing Hopkins, Savage will be forced to go elsewhere, and Ellington is the next best option.
Ellington is workout warrior, highlighted by his tremendous 10.64 (97th-percentile) Agility Score along with a 125.1 (93rd-percentile) SPARQ-x Score. Ellington will be matched up against Arizona’s No. 2 corner, which has been a huge weakness for the team in recent years. Justin Bethel is currently manning the position for Arizona, this season Bethel has allowed a 101.2 (No. 48) Passer Rating when Targeted. If Savage is to ever break out of his slump, it start’s with taking advantage of the Bethel-Ellington matchup this week.
Desean Jackson vs. Miami Dolphins
Desean Jackson has yet to have a true breakout game since joining the Buccaneers this season. Jackson has topped 100 yards just once this season back in week five against the Patriots, and has yet to finish in the top 20 receivers on any given week. He is coming off one of his better games of the year, posting 6 receptions for 82 yards against the Jets. Jackson has a great chance to build off that performance against the Dolphins.
Rookie cornerback Cordrea Tankersley has struggled mightily for Miami in his inaugural season, posting a Coverage Rating of -0.06 (No. 54) and ranking as the No. 80 cornerback overall. With Ryan Fitzpatrick showing slightly better chemistry with Jackson after one start, it will be intriguing to see what the duo can come up with against a struggling Miami secondary.