You've figured out most of your starting lineup. Quarterback? Check. Running backs? Check. Receivers, tight ends, kicker and defense? Check, check, check and check. But there's still that pesky flex spot. Do you go with that mid-round running back you drafted for this exact purpose? What about that wide receiver that has a favorable matchup this week? Then there are you masochists who play in Superflex leagues. Godspeed to all of you.
If you're looking for help, you've come to the right place. Every week in this space I'll do my best to help you #FixMyFlex. Well, actually I'll try to fix YOUR flex. But that's not how the hashtag goes. I guess it just wasn't quite as catchy. Anyway, you've got problems, I've got answers. Here we go.
This decision could be made for you by the simple fact that the Jaguars are taking a cautious approach with Yeldon's injured ankle and, more importantly, that Leonard Fournette could return this week. Meanwhile, Sony Michel's profile is raised by Rex Burkhead moving to injured reserve. New England's backfield now looks like a two-man affair between Michel and James White. Further, Lamar Miller is facing a tantalizing matchup against the Colts, who have given up more than 20 fantasy points per game to running backs.
This one is vexing me. Michel is due for expanded opportunities in the Patriots offense but I still think it's fair to question how good New England's attack is this season. Furthermore, the Patriots have tried to force-feed Michel on a couple of opportunities with moderate success (90 yards on 26 touches). On the flip side, New England's defense hasn't exactly been a formidable stop unit. Lest we forget, the Lions just had their first 100-yard rusher since 2013 against this defense. That bodes well for Drake, who has looked spry in limited chances this year (we'll chalk last week up as a hiccup). Even though #FrankGoreWillNeverDie, I'd still give the Miami lead back a shot.
This response is as much for the benefit of John Harbaugh as it is for the fantasy managers out there fretting over this choice. It's a case of believing in opportunity versus chasing touchdowns. The latter will usually lead you astray. Anyone who has watched the Ravens this season could tell you that Collins has looked like the better back. Yet for some reason, Baltimore is giving Allen 46 percent of the snaps, 10 touches per game and a good number of the goal line chances. It's enough to make one spit out their crab cake. Nonetheless, I still believe in Collins and his production when given the chance -- especially against a bad Steelers defense. Hopefully, the Ravens coaching staff gets the message.
Now this here is a different situation. As much as I want Alex Collins to gobble up all of the chances for Baltimore, we do have to accept the reality of Buck Allen burgling touches. There doesn't appear to be any such larceny happening in Cleveland with Carlos Hyde. The veteran has a team-leading 65 touches through three games. The next closest Brown is Jarvis Landry (20) and the next closest running back is Duke Johnson (15). That kind of volume against a bad Raiders defense is too much to ignore.
A month ago, this question would have been ridiculous. But fantasy football is funny that way. Regardless of what happened last week, the Bills are still one of the worst offenses in the league and a veteran running back trying to play through a rib injury isn't inspiring. Lindsay, on the other hand, has been a revelation early in the season and is getting plenty of opportunity in the Broncos backfield. That's good news with the Chiefs porous defense on tap this week. Let's just hope he doesn't get tossed early again this week.
Aaron Rodgers' knee injury scares me but not enough to avoid Geronimo Allison against the Bills. I'm not sold that what we saw from Buffalo's defense last week was a glimpse of the future. This is still a unit that has issues in the secondary -- they did still give up 296 passing yards to Kirk Cousins. I like Ridley's longterm value in the Falcons offense and Freeman ... well, I'm just gonna leave that alone.
I like Tyler Lockett ... but I like Golden Tate more. Lockett has the potential for a high ceiling in a Seattle passing game without a lot of solid pass-catching options. Yet there's always the concern that Russell Wilson will be under duress all day, hampering his ability to get the ball out to Lockett. There aren't really such problems with Tate, who offers a safe floor each and every week with his consistent share of the Lions targets. If you're confident in the production of the rest of your roster, go with Lockett. Otherwise, play the safe floor and start Tate.
This is sort of like the last question only in reverse. In this scenario, it's the Lions receiver who has the high ceiling but potentially low floor -- aided and abetted by Kenny "Babytron" Golladay transforming into a full grown wide receiver. Meanwhile, it's Enunwa who has been the target hog and a favorite target of Sam Darnold. But the biggest reason I would fade Enunwa this week is because the Jaguars defense that has clamped down on slot receivers this year. This has the makings of a tough week for Sammy and the Jets. Meanwhile, the Cowboys defense is without Sean Lee, which has never worked out well for them. Marvin Jones is the answer here.
Oooh, tantalizing ... two guys on opposite guys of the same game. I mentioned above how much I love Calvin Ridley's longterm potential but the idea of starting Boyd against a shaky Falcons defense without top safeties Keanu Neal and Ricardo Allen. In fact, I'm on board with pretty much every Bengals offensive player this week. Even John Ross. Maybe. Possibly. I'm not sure. Okay, maybe not.
This is where we are now with Julio Jones. Look, everything about Julio's performance this year has been worthy of the spot you likely drafted him in. Except for one ... touchdowns. It's super frustrating, I get it. But remember what I wrote about opportunity versus chasing touchdowns? It's back up near the beginning. Scroll back up, check it out. Anyway, the point is that Julio Jones is always going to occupy a larger target share than Mike Williams -- at least while Keenan Allen is still alive. I'll take a large target share over the kinda semi-random happenstance of a touchdown opportunity. I know it's hard, but hang with it.