Love ’em or Leave ’em – OBJ vs Rhodes, The Sequel

October 8, 2020

With so much uncertainty regarding player and game status, setting fantasy lineups has been challenging. Here’s the silver lining: At least we still have NFL football to watch. Read on to see what starts/sits (Love ’em/Leave ’em) I dug up this week. The list includes a WR/CB rematch we’ve waited four years to see.

Week 4/Season Recap    

I was really on my game last week. Listing Darrell Henderson as a start was a miss, but I hit on my recommendations of playing Aaron Rodgers, Copper Kupp, James Robinson, and Devante Parker. I also said to sit Nick Foles and TY Hilton, and both stunk up the joint. My call to sit Leonard Fournette was nullified as he ended up scratched. If you’re keeping score, I’m 16-7 on the season.

Love ‘em (start)

Adam Thielen/Justin Jefferson, WRs Vikings – I’m giving you a twofer since Seattle has been extremely generous to pass catchers this year. The Seahawks rank dead last this season, allowing a league-high 65.13 points to receivers per game. Through four weeks, they have already allowed seven different receivers to amass 100 yards against them.

Thielen was a limited participant in practice on Wednesday with a shoulder injury but should be good to go for Sunday night. Meanwhile, Jefferson held his coming-out party over the last two weeks, racking up 175 yards in Week 3 and backing it up with 103 yards last weekend. The rookie has a very favorable matchup against Tre Flowers and should be in lineups, especially if Thielen isn’t at 100 percent.

Evan Engram, TE Giants – If you haven’t parted ways with Engram, you’re about to be rewarded. Philadelphia, Washington and Dallas are the 3rd, 6th and 7th worst teams against the TE, respectfully. Of the Giants’ next six games, five are against those three teams. Starting this week against Dallas, you’re going to find out if it was worth holding onto him.

Dallas has been handing out points to tight ends like Halloween candy. They’ve yielded 18.2, 11.10, and 14.40 points over the last three weeks to Hayden Hurst, Greg Olsen, and Austin Hooper. They’ve been generous to the passing game in general, so don’t let the recent struggles of Daniel Jones scare you away from Engram this week.

Teddy Bridgewater, QB Panthers – Atlanta is an easy target at this point. They’ve been horrendous against quarterbacks through the first quarter of the season, allowing the league-most points to the position. They’ve also allowed 13 passing touchdowns to date, the highest in the league. To further dampen matters, the Falcons just lost safety Damontae Kazee, who tore his Achilles during Monday’s loss to the Packers. Bridgewater is coming off his best game this season, throwing for 276 yards, 2 TDs, and 1 INT against Arizona. He also added 32 yards and a TD on the ground. He is an appealing streaming option this week.

Leave ‘em (sit)

Odell Beckham Jr, WR Browns – OBJ is coming off a monster game where he racked up 154 total yards and scored three times. But that was against the aforementioned hapless Dallas Cowboys (see Evan Engram). This week he gets a date with CB Xavier Rhodes, and the two have a history.

They first met four years ago during a Monday Night Football game. Rhodes, who was with Minnesota, was emerging as one of the NFL’s elites cover guys and was determined to shut Beckham down. Beckham, who was with the New York Giants, was in the third year of his promising career. During the game, there was a lot of jawing and physicality between the two. Beckham drew a flag for unsportsmanlike conduct when he bumped Rhodes in retaliation after Rhodes hit him out of bounds twice. Things got very intense, as these highlights show.

In the end, Rhodes made a statement in primetime by limiting Beckham to a career-low three catches for 23 yards in the Vikings 24-10 victory. They ended up being NFC teammates at the Pro Bowl a few months later and appeared to get along just fine. OBJ’s nemesis is still formidable, and he might find the “Rhodes” to fantasy points a bit bumpy once more.

Odell Beckham Jr was stymied by Xavier Rhodes the last time they faced off. Leave 'em on your bench this week.
Things got very physical the last time Odell Beckham Jr. and Xavier Rhodes faced off in a game. Photo credit: Minnesota Vikings
OBJ is a sit 'em for me this week.
Oct 3, 2016; New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. argues a call during the second quarter against the Minnesota Vikings. Photo credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Myles Gaskin, RB Dolphins – We love guys who serve a purpose, and Gaskin has done that for us. He’s been a dependable low RB2/RB3 option for those who have been running back deficient. Even though he has lead back duties in Miami, he has yet to break 100 total yards or score a TD this season. It’s highly unlikely that’ll change this week against San Francisco. The 49ers have only ceded two touchdowns to offenses overall so far and they are tops in the league at defending the run.

Jimmy Graham, TE, Bears – Graham has flashed a bit since arriving in Chicago. He has three touchdowns so far, tied for 8th most among TEs, and sees nearly six targets per game. However, his QB Nick Foles just struggled against a stout Indianapolis team, and they face another daunting opponent Thursday when the Buccaneers come to town. Tampa Bay is allowing the 5th fewest points to TEs this season. Graham will better serve as eye candy on the bench this week.

As always, start your studs! Obvious players are not featured in this column.

Logo graphic courtesy of @TheDiamondMike