FPPG: Brady ready to roll again

Brady is fantasy's 14th ranked quarterback through six weeks.

David Butler II/David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Through six weeks, our Position vs. Fantasy Defensive Points Allowed tool is solidifying as a tool to help you find good matchups. It’ll get stronger as the season progresses, as we’ll have less reason to say things like, "But they played against Peyton Manning last week – of course their numbers are horrible!"

As always, please remember that the players listed are mostly meant to be borderline guys, who need reasons for you to play or bench them. You won’t see recommendations to start Julio Jones and Matt Forte, because you should always start Jones and Forte. Make sense? Good.

Note: The fantasy points per game (FPPG) referenced below are from FOXSports.com standard leagues.

Week 7 Byes: Eagles, Bucs

Thursday game: Jets at Patriots


Stay away: Andy Dalton, Bengals (at Colts)

Dalton had a nice game last week, even without A.J. Green. However, he’s about to face a Colts’ team that ranks fifth against opposing fantasy quarterbacks, allowing 17.2 FPPG. Dalton doesn’t crack the top 15 in this week’s QB rankings.


The much-improved Cowboys’ defense ranks third with just 16.5 FPPG allowed to opposing quarterbacks. Eli Manning and the Giants will probably bounce back from last week’s debacle in Philly, but he’s still not a great fantasy start.

Play, play, play: Tom Brady, Patriots (vs. Jets)

Hey, remember a couple of weeks ago, when we all thought Tom Brady’s decline and offensive line would prevent him from helping your fantasy team much any more? Since then he’s thrown for 653 yards and six touchdowns in two games. The bet here is still that Brady’s week-to-week fantasy production will be inconsistent, but tonight’s matchup against a 31st-ranked Jets’ defense (26.5 FPPG to opposing quarterbacks) that just lost CB Dee Millner to a torn Achilles’ is one that screams for a Brady start.

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(Note: Rain is in tonight’s forecast in Foxboro, but the thunderstorm portion of the weather is expected to end before kickoff. I’m still starting Brady if I own him.)


If Jake Locker is able to return from his thumb injury, he’ll face a Redskins’ defense that ranks dead last against opposing fantasy quarterbacks (26.8 FPPG). Those of you scrambling to replace Nick Foles this week can consider Locker as a one-week streaming option if his playing status clears up.

Running Backs

Stay away: Mark Ingram/Khiry Robinson (at Lions)

Ingram (hand) returns from a three-game absence to re-muddle the Saints’ backfield. Add that to a matchup with the league’s eighth-best run defense (14.2 FPPG to opposing RBs), and you’ll want to avoid both Ingram and Robinson. Pierre Thomas might not be so bad for the PPR folks out there, though.


Darren McFadden has emerged as the Raiders’ lead back, carrying 59 times for 231 yards (and adding 13 receptions) so far. But, his matchup with the Cardinals’ fifth-ranked fantasy defense (11.9 FPPG to opposing RBs) is one to avoid, as even a healthy McFadden isn’t all that great.

The Bills have the league’s best real-life run defense (2.8 ypc), and allow a league-low 10.5 FPPG to opposing running backs. I’ve got Vikings RB Jerick McKinnon ranked 23rd for his matchup against the Bills, as he appears to have claimed lead-back status over Matt Asiata. The matchup is worrisome, and McKinnon’s fantasy status could go either way depending on the other backs you own.

Play, play, play: Bernard Pierce, Ravens (vs. Falcons)

Pierce regained fantasy relevance last week, running 15 times for 32 yards and a score in a blowout win over the Buccaneers. Those numbers aren’t great, but the workload suggests that Pierce can be flex-worthy against the league-worst Falcons’ run defense (29.4 FPPG to opposing RBs).


If you’re desperate, Storm Johnson and the Jaguars host a Browns’ defense that has allowed 149.6 rushing yards per game, and 22.6 FPPG to opposing fantasy runners. We had Johnson in this space last week, and he ran 10 times for 21 yards with a touchdown. Better to be lucky than good sometimes.

Wide Receivers

Stay away: Marques Colston, Saints (at Lions)

Gee, the Lions’ defense has been good. They’re the top dog against opposing fantasy wide receivers, allowing just 14.7 FPPG. You’ll want to avoid the underachieving (or is it declining?) Colston, and be wary of starting rookie Brandin Cooks unless you’re in a PPR league.


Michael Crabtree has been a bit of a disappointment so far, catching 28 passes for 295 yards and three touchdowns. On Sunday night, he visits a Bronco defense that ranks third with just 16.3 FPPG allowed to opposing wide receivers. Tough call, but sit him if you can.

Play, play, play: Andre Holmes, Raiders (vs. Cardinals)

Holmes has caught nine passes for 195 yards and three touchdowns on 20 targets over his last two games. The last number is the most important one – they’re throwing to him A LOT.

This week, the Raiders host a Cardinals’ defense that has struggled against the pass, allowing 309 passing yards per game and 29.5 FPPG to opposing wideouts. If you were able to pick up Holmes this week, start him if you can. He’s a top-25 WR play.


Roddy White has been underwhelming, with 19 catches for 253 yards and two touchdowns in five games. However, his matchup with the 26th-ranked Ravens’ defense (26.1 FPPG to opposing WRs) is a good one. If you want to give White one more chance, this is it.

Tight Ends

Stay away: Owen Daniels, Ravens (vs. Falcons)

The only thing the Falcons do well on defense is handle tight ends – they rank second with 4.8 FPPG allowed to the position, and haven’t given up a TD despite facing guys like Jimmy Graham and Martellus Bennett. The sometimes-useful Daniels should probably stay on fantasy benches or in free-agent pools.

Play, play, play: Dwayne Allen, Colts (vs. Bengals)

Allen is fantasy’s No. 8 tight end in 2014, largely on the strength of his four touchdown catches, but he’s not a lock to start every week. This week, he deserves a lineup slot against a Bengals’ defense that has allowed a league-worst 13.1 FPPG to opposing tight ends, along with eight receptions and 94.6 yards per game.


Missing Jimmy Graham? If you’re not brave enough to gamble on his real-life backup, Josh Hill, see if you can pick up Rams TE Jared Cook for his matchup with the Seahawks’ 30th ranked fantasy defense (12.7 FPPG to opposing TEs). Cook isn’t explosive, but he’s caught at least four passes in every game this season.

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