Welcome into 5 to Thrive, 5 to Dive. In this weekly write-up, I’ll try to predict which players will outperform their weekly FantasyPros rank (Thrives) and those who will underperform (Dives). This isn’t a start-sit piece. It’s simply telling you who has a chance to do what this week. After an absolutely brutal Week 1 (2-6-2), I rebounded with an outstanding Week 2, going 7-1-2. I just needed to get that shitfest of Week 1 out of my system. Hopefully I’m ready to keep the fire coming for you. Let’s get to Week 3.
Jameis Winston, QB Tampa Bay Buccaneers
(FantasyPros Week 3 Rank: 13)
What in the H-E-DOUBLE FUCK am I doing?! I’ve preached to you guys for a while now to never trust the crab stealin’, Uber gropin’ skrong QB from Tampa. Much like doing the stranger, this just doesn’t feel natural, but here we are. Winston is setup with an absolutely glorious matchup at home this week against the Giants. New York has gotten torched the first two weeks of the season by Dak Prescott and Josh Allen. The G-Men’s defense has given up the 3rd most passing yards on the season as well as the 3rd most fantasy points to QBs. They #suckbutts. The Bucs’ have the weapons on the outside to dominate the Giants’ lowly secondary in Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. It’s hard to believe, and it’s incredibly difficult to trust, but I’m on board with Winston this week getting in the Top 10 of QBs.
Aaron Jones, RB Green Bay Packers
(FantasyPros Week 3 Rank: 10)
Matt Peter LaFleur needs to just #FreeAaronJones already. Recently, the 1st year head coach said to the media that he wants to split touches up between Jones and Jamaal the human bowling ball Williams. Yeah ok sure, Matt, and I want to be inflicted with gonorrhea. I’m not buying it. The 3rd year back from UTEP is the supremely talented one in this backfield and LaFleur knows it. He’s coming off an enormous Week 2 performance against the Vikings, going over 100 yards on the ground while adding 4 receptions. This week he’ll get to run behind his solid offensive line against a Broncos’ defense that has given up the 10th most rushing yards in the league to Josh Jacobs and David Montgomery. I love Jones this week.
David Montgomery, RB Chicago Bears
(FantasyPros Rank: 21)
Mr. Montgomery finds his way on the Thrives list for the 2nd week in a row after his head coach Matt Nagy decided to listen to our pleas and give the rookie the ball more. The only question now is this: will Nagy continue being smart or will he fall back into outsmarting himself? If he continues keeping the ball out of Mitchell the Bitchell Trubisky’s hands, the running back from Iowa State should have another solid outing for your fantasy teams. This week, the Bears will take on the Redskins at home on Monday Night Football. Do yourself a favor and mute the game because, yikes to that MNF crew, and enjoy watching D-Mont on mute rip up a Redskins defense that has given up the 2nd most rushing yards so far this season.
Kenny Golladay, WR Detroit Lions
(FantasyPros Rank: 17)
Last week, Kenny Golladay Powers and his smooth routes were on my Dives list when he was facing a tough matchup against the Chargers. And Golladay responded to my challenge because he definitely read this piece by torching the LA secondary for over 100 yards and a TD. I see you, Kenny. The Lions will travel to Philadelphia this weekend in a matchup that the tall receiver should dominate. On the season, the Eagles have given up the 2nd most fantasy points to WRs while giving up 680 yards through the air. In his first two games, Golladay has seen 19 targets (26% target share) and that number should increase in a game where the Lions should look to the air for offensive success. Kenny gonna make it rain this week.
Marquise Brown, WR Baltimore Ravens
(FantasyPros Rank: 32)
I’m not 100% sure what the guys at FantasyPros are thinking with this ranking, but I’ll take it. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood Brown is shaped up to ball out this week in a game that has the biggest shootout potential. Not only is he a big play waiting to happen, he’s been highly targeted by Right Vick Lamar Jackson. On the season, Brown has seen 19 targets, which equates to a 30% target share in this explosive offense. His snap total in Week 1 was a concern (18% of offensive snaps) but last week he jumped up to a 65% snap rate. The lightning quick rookie from Oklahoma has a terrific one-on-one matchup against KC corner Charvarious Ward and should win consistently on the outside. Time for Hollywood to shine again. He just needs to dance like Leo when he scores.
Deshaun Watson, QB Houston Texans
(FantasyPros Rank: 4)
This one hurts. My dear Watson is one of my favorite players to watch in the league and calling him a Dive isn’t meant as an insult, so please forgive me, Deshaun. I do not love his matchup this week though. The Chargers have a decent secondary and a formidable pass rush with Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram. Unless the Texans’ offensive line stops leaking like Henrik Lundqvist’s five-hole, (I know he’s good, but hooray it’s hockey season, too) Watson is going to be in trouble. He gets the shit beat out of him every game. And while his mobility can save him from pressure, he still gets hit way too often and has been sacked 10 times this season. If you have him, you’re obviously playing him. I just don’t love this spot for the QB from Clemson.
Le’Veon Bell, RB New York Jets
(FantasyPros Rank: 9)
I’ll admit, I was wrong about Lev. He’s looked like his old self in his action with the Jets. The dude is just a great back. This week shapes up to be a potentially difficult one for Bell, however. Traveling to Foxboro to take on the Patriots is always a challenge. It’s going to be an even bigger challenge with Luke Falk at QB. Who and a what is a Luke Falk? If Sam Darnold could not tongue-fuck someone when he kisses, this would be a better opportunity for Le’Veon , but alas here we are. Besides winning, cheating and being a generally miserable human, if there’s one thing Bill Belichick is known for, it’s that he takes away the other team’s best weapon, and in the Jets’ case, their only weapon. Unless Bell just says fuck it and takes every snap himself, I don’t see him as an RB1 this week.
James Conner, RB Pittsburgh Steelers
(FantasyPros Rank: 18)
Another tough one to put down for me on Dives is James Conner. But, I can’t be a homer. He’s got a lot of question marks right now. His health status is a question (no practice as of Wednesday) as well as his new situation with second year QB Mason Rudolph taking the keys to the offense. If that wasn’t enough, Conner faces a 49ers defense this Sunday that has only given up 3.2 yards/carry and has surrendered the 4th fewest fantasy points to the position. They are going to key on the 3rd year back from Pitt much like other defenses have. So far this season, Conner has faced an 8 man box on 38% of his carries. Not ideal. That number could go even higher unless Rudolph and the Steelers offense can turn it around.
Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints
(FantasyPros Rank: 9)
Thomas is an absolute beast and has a terrific matchup against the Seahawks secondary that has struggled thus far in 2019. So why is he on the Dives? Quarterback. Who the hell is going to be throwing him the football on Sunday? Is it Teddy Two Gloves or Taysom “Steve Young” Hill? (Where does Sean Payton get comparing that dude to Steve Young? I mean, seriously.) Either one doesn’t inspire much confidence. In both games this season, Thomas has seen 13 targets and volume will have to continue to be there for him to return value. Problem is, the volume might not be there. The Saints like to put the ball on the ground and should lean on Alvin Kamara and Latavius Murray even more with Drew Brees down for 6 weeks.
T.Y. Hilton, WR Indianapolis Colts
(FantasyPros Rank: 14)
I swear that I don’t hate T.Y. Hilton. He is perpetually a dive for me and I can’t exactly explain it. He’s a tremendous football player but for some reason, I just don’t trust him all that much. Teams have to start figuring out that he’s the only weapon that the Colts have in the air right now (don’t bring Eric Ebron at me, please. I said weapon.) The Falcons could and should bracket Hilton and make others beat them. Not only should they do that, they should let shutdown corner Desmond Trufant shadow him everywhere (Trufant doesn’t traditionally shadow). Even if they don’t follow through with that strategy, Hilton could be in for a tough week. The Falcons have given up the fewest passing yards this season and that number is inflated by Kirk Cousins’ Week 1 performance of 98 yards, but this defense is improved in 2019. Hilton gets here a lot and usually burns me. Here’s to hoping that doesn’t happen again.
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