START: LeGarrette Blount, RB – New England Patriots
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
201 yards. 217 yards. 183 yards. That is what the Miami Dolphins defense has allowed in rushing yards the last three games. Jonas Gray is in the doghouse. Brandon Bolden was just a one-game mirage. Shane Vereen is asked to catch the ball, not to run with it. Blount has been the bell-cow since he returned from Pittsburgh, so there is no need to worry about someone else stealing the carries from him. While the New England game plan switches up week-to-week, expect New England to try to jump out to an early lead and then give the Dolphins a dose of Blount Force Trauma Sunday afternoon.
SIT: Frank Gore, RB – San Francisco 49ers
I laughed at all the owners rushing to draft Carlos Hyde. I had Frank Gore: he is probably the most consistent running back in fantasy football. He had topped 1,000 yards rushing in seven of the last eight seasons. He was good for a touchdown just about every other game. Even this year, he maintained his spot at the top of the depth chart in San Francisco. But do not count on him in your championship game. Reason one: he could not get it done against Oakland last week. Reason two: the match-up is against Seattle this week. I think that sums it up perfectly.
SLEEPER: Eli Manning, QB – New York Giants
Here in New England, the theory is that if it is a big game, beware of Eli. Well, this is the championship round in most fantasy football leagues, and guess who is up against Washington and their terrible pass defense. Yes, Eli Manning. Do you feel that hesitation? That catch in your throat? That comes from rolling out Eli Manning in a big game. Imagine being Tom Coughlin and feeling that every single week season after season after season. This is the ultimate risk/reward move, and you have to have guts to put out Eli Manning this week. Just remember he is throwing to Odell Beckham Jr. and it makes the decision a little easier.