The Perfect Lineup: Week 9's Fantasy Score Team
Struggling to find players to start while your stars are on bye in your season long fantasy football league? Well, at FantasyScore.com, you don't have to fight the waiver wire to find value -- you just pick your favorite players every week while playing weekly fantasy football for cash prizes.
If you've never played before and aren't sure who to pick, our fancy algorithms have you covered for Week 7. Take a look at this week's FantasyScore Perfect Lineup.
Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers
Despite losing his number-one target, Keenan Allen, for the year due to a ruptured kidney, Rivers is still in an outstanding spot this week. The former number-one overall pick draws an outstanding matchup against a Bears' secondary that ranks 24th in the league in our schedule-adjusted defensive passing Net Expected Points (NEP) metric, having allowed the seventh most fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks. Additionally, San Diego is at home and is a slight favorite in what Vegas expects to be the second highest game on the slate with an over/under currently sitting at 49. Even without Allen, Rivers still has plenty of weapons to choose from and should have little trouble moving the ball against Chicago.
Jonathan Stewart, Carolina Panthers
Stewart has really come on strong the past few weeks, accumulating 294 yards from scrimmage with 3 touchdowns since the Panthers' Week 5 bye. He's averaged 4.2 yards per carry over that span and converted three goal line carries, which is an incredible sign for Stewart who has seen both Cam Newton and Mike Tolbert vulture goal line touchdowns from him in the past. With a matchup against a Packers' squad that just gave up 160 yards and 3 touchdowns to the formerly struggling running back tandem of Ronnie Hillman and C.J. Anderson, Stewart makes a solid play at a very reasonable $5,400 price tag.
Jeremy Langford, Chicago Bears
Matt Forte was one of the many injury casualties we saw last week. Though it doesn't sound like he'll be out for more than a few weeks, while Forte is unable to play Langford will slide in as the Bears starting running back. The Bears' rookie has not shown much this season -- he's touched the ball just 29 times in the first 7 games of his career -- but he has shown flashes of talent when on the field and the ability to convert from the goal line. He is expected to see 20-plus touches against a Chargers' defense that has posted the fifth worst schedule-adjusted defensive rushing NEP, allowing the most fantasy points per game to opposing running backs on the year. At just $5,000 Langford is dollar for dollar one of my favorite plays on the board this week.
Julian Edelman, New England Patriots
The Patriots have had the best offense in the NFL this season and much of their success can be attributed to the consistency of their star wide receiver. Edelman has been virtually unstoppable through New England's first eight games, catching at least five balls for 50 yards in all but one game -- a game in which he recorded 4 catches for 120 yards and a touchdown -- and has eclipsed 16 PPR fantasy points in every game in which he wasn't covered by Darrelle Revis. Edelman should have his way with a Dolphins' secondary that has allowed the seventh most fantasy points per game this season en route to another monster fantasy outing.
Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
If you didn't watch last week's matchup between the Saints and Giants you missed a lot of offense and very little defense. Drew Brees torched the porous Giants' secondary to the tune of a whopping 505 yards and an NFL record 7 touchdowns with a 78% completion percentage. This week, the Buccaneers get the pleasure of facing off against that very same Giants' defense and should have little trouble moving the ball. Vincent Jackson is unlikely to return from his knee injury this week which means the sophomore Evans should continue to soak up all the targets he can handle against the struggling New York secondary who has earned the eighth worst schedule-adjusted defensive passing NEP on the year. Evans is an elite wide receiver play in all formats.
Steve Johnson, San Diego Chargers
As I mentioned earlier, the Chargers lost Keenan Allen for the year. Fortunately, Johnson has returned from his shoulder injury just in time to help fill the major void left by Rivers' top target. Although Johnson will not be able to step into all of Allen's targets, Johnson is a very competent pass catcher who has served as the number one receiving target in the past. He possesses a very similar skill set to that of Allen and should be able to run a virtually identical route tree. The Chargers' veteran receiver should see a tremendous uptick in targets considering Allen ranked third in the league with 89 targets already this season, and should be able to pick apart a less-than-stellar Bears' defense. Johnson is an absolute steal at just $5,000 this week.
Benjamin Watson, New Orleans Saints
With the departure of Jimmy Graham many people expected Josh Hill to have a major role in the Saints' offense this season. However, it has been the veteran Watson who has been the primary pass-catching tight end for New Orleans. Watson has already accumulated 38 receptions for 472 yards and 3 touchdowns on the year with 23 of those catches, 343 yards and 2 touchdowns coming over the past three weeks. The Saints' tight end ranks fourth in the league in Reception NEP behind just Gary Barnidge, Rob Gronkowski and Greg Olsen, and third in Target NEP behind only Barnidge and Gronk and should continue to be targeted heavily this week against the Titans. He provides excellent value at just $4,600.
Kendall Gaskins, San Francisco 49ers
Much like the aforementioned Langford, Gaskins is stepping into a huge workload this week due to injuries to his teammates. Carlos Hyde is still out with a foot issue, Reggie Bush tore his ACL last week and Mike Davis just had surgery on his broken hand. While the 49ers brought in both Shaun Draughn and Pierre Thomas to add depth to their depleted backfield, Gaskins is likely to carry the load for the banged-up Niners. The good news for the 49ers' rookie is that he draws a matchup against a Falcons' defense that has given up the fourth most fantasy points per game to opposing running backs this season. The bad news is he will have Blaine Gabbert handing him the ball. That said, Gaskins should see plenty of touches in a plus matchup and carries little risk at just $4,500.
Despite the fact that the Bills' defense has not lived up to preseason expectations, they have still been a very solid fantasy defense through the first eight weeks of the season. They have already forced 11 turnovers -- two of which were returned for touchdowns -- and have held opposing offenses to the 13th fewest yards per game (347.3), including the sixth fewest rushing yards (91.9). This week they draw a matchup against a Dolphins' offense that has not been able to move the ball through the air this season and is coming off of a game against the Patriots in which they scored just seven points and just 299 yards from scrimmage. Buffalo is favorited at home in what is expected to be a low scoring game. They make a fine fantasy defense for this week.