Latavius Murray, RB Minnesota Vikings:
Coming off of a tough loss to the Carolina Panthers in Week 14, the Minnesota Vikings will look to get back to their winning ways this weekend. The offense had a tough time moving the ball for much of last week’s game but should be much more efficient against the Bengals this weekend. Running back Latavius Murray has received the majority of carries this season and should see his workload increase after only touching the ball 11 times last week. There has been a split in snaps between Murray and fellow running back Jerick McKinnon, but the former has proven to be the preferred player for goal-line carries and early down work. The Bengals have allowed 132 yards per game to opposing running backs this season to go along with 10 rushing touchdowns. The matchup seems to be right for Murray to make a strong comeback after last week’s disappointing performance. McKinnon will continue to see a good amount of work, but he is more valuable in a PPR format compared to standard scoring. Expect a nice bounce-back game from Murray this weekend, and slot him in as an RB2 you can trust in the fantasy football playoffs.
Mohamed Sanu, WR Atlanta Falcons:
The Falcons’ offense seems to fluctuate between good and bad every single week. Last year’s highest scoring team hasn’t been anything close to what took them to the Super Bowl back in Feb. There are some weeks the offense looks great, but then they fall flat in other games. This weekend they play a divisional matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers who feature one of the league’s worst defenses. Going against a team that has allowed a league-high of 276 yards per game through the air should give the Atlanta receivers a boost. Julio Jones is the obvious vote to have a big game, but after him, I would recommend starting Mohamed Sanu. The sixth-year wide receiver has been one of quarterback Matt Ryan’s favorite targets this season, and that connection should continue to show this weekend. Sanu is on pace to finish the year with 92 targets making more than enough in the Atlanta passing attack to be worth a start. In Week 12 when the two teams first played each other, Sanu caught eight of 10 targets which were only behind Jones who had 15. There is good chance the former Cincinnati Bengal has another good game, and he could be relied on as a solid flex option this week in a great matchup.
Nick Foles, QB Philadelphia Eagles:
An obvious choice to be considered the quarterback sleeper this week, Nick Foles will be filling in for the injured Carson Wentz when the Eagles travel to New York to play the Giants. The Eagles offense has been flawless all season, but when Wentz tore his ACL in last week’s game against the Rams, the future of the team was not as bright. Philadelphia is still hoping for a trip to the Super Bowl, and Foles might be able to lead them the rest of the way. Foles will get an easy assignment in his first start of 2017, playing a Giants’ defense that has allowed 266 passing yards per game and 26 touchdowns through the air this season. Foles began his career with the Eagles, and there was a time that he was considered to be their answer at quarterback for the future, but that obviously didn’t work out. Starting didn’t work before, but Foles is stepping into
the best offense he’s ever played with. There is more than enough talent on the team, and the sixth-year quarterback should have no problem putting up good numbers while he has the starting job. No one is expecting Foles to perform like MVP-candidate Carson Wentz, but a couple of touchdowns and around 250 yards is all fantasy owners need to make him worth starting this week.
Mike Davis, RB Seattle Seahawks:
Up until this point in the season, it has been nearly impossible to predict who the lead-runner would be for the Seahawks each week. Now after receiving 31 carries over the last two games, we can say that running back Mike Davis should lead all other players in backfield snaps going forward. The third-year running back has only played in three games this season but has performed well enough over the last couple of weeks to earn the starting job. Seattle has used a running back-by-committee approach most of the season, and that drives fantasy owners mad. Davis should be a safe start this week after averaging 4.2 yards per carry against two tough defenses in recent weeks. He has yet to score a touchdown this season, but that opportunity could come this weekend in a favorable matchup. The Seahawks will play a big game against the Los Angeles Rams, who have allowed 4.7 yards per carry to opposing running backs this season along with 12 rushing touchdowns. Davis is only owned by 33 percent of ESPN.com leagues, but he should be a great flex option for any owner this weekend.
Mike Wallace, WR Baltimore Ravens:
It is always tough to recommend starting a player on the Baltimore Ravens’ passing attack, but Mike Wallace might be able to put up some good numbers this weekend for fantasy owners. After an incredibly slow start to the season, Wallace has been a consistent fantasy contributor down the stretch. The veteran wide receiver has at least 72 yards or a touchdown in four out of his last five games giving him a decent floor for this week’s game against the Browns. Cleveland has allowed 26 receiving touchdowns and 10.6 yards per catch this season. Wallace has been one of quarterback Joe Flacco’s favorite targets over the last few years, and the pair has found their connection again in recent weeks. It should be known that the speedster is questionable heading into Sunday with an ankle injury, but if he plays, he is well worth a start. Wallace should have no problem providing fantasy owners with flex-worthy production this week against a division rival.