By Jared Clifton
Well, the inaugural Predictive Flexing went ok and in 2020, ok is…well, ok. We’re going to give it another shot this week and see if the calibrations to my future-seer-thing were done correctly by the Geek Squad.
For those that didn’t join us last week, we’re going to take a crystal ball look at the FLEX options for this week and try to determine who will finish as the top FLEX options for the week. It’s important to note that these aren’t rankings, but rather premonitions on where the players will actually finish from your FLEX spot in ½ PPR leagues. The top 20 ranked RB, Top 20 ranked WR and Top 10 ranked TE are all out for this exercise. These are just players that could conceivably be in your FLEX spots.
So once again, here goes Predictive Flexing.
- Odell Beckham Jr. CLE vs. PIT: 8 catches 108 and 2 TD (26.8)
Pittsburgh has been one of the better defenses this year, but that hasn’t carried over to slowing fantasy production from wide receivers. Giving up the 4th most points to WR, bodes well for the superstar receiver after getting phased out of the game last week against Indy, despite 9 targets. With a banged up Jarvis Landry and a tough go on the ground against the stout Steelers front 7, this is a good spot for a big game in potential garbage time.
- Myles Gaskin MIA vs. NYJ: 21 carries for 88 yards and 1 TD/ 4 catches for 28 yards and 1 TD (25.6)
- Justin Jefferson MIN vs. ATL: 9 catches for 142 yards and a TD (24.7)
- Tyler Boyd CIN @ IND: 7 catches for 117 yards and a TD (21.2)
- Jamison Crowder NYJ @ MIA: 8 catches for 98 yards and a TD (19.8)
Crowder was my number two FLEX pick last week and Miami has struggled covering the slot, with over 350 yards from that spot this season. There aren’t many weapons left in Jersey, so Crowder should be heavily involved in what offense they are able to muster.
- Devonta Freeman NYG vs. WAS: 13 carries for 62 yards/ 5 catches for 49 yards and a TD (19.6)
- Laviska Shenault JAX vs. DET: 6 catches for 88 yards and a TD/ 2 carries for 17 yards (19.5)
- Preston Williams MIA vs NYJ: 6 catches for 102 yards and a TD (19.2)
- DeVante Parker MIA vs NYJ: 5 catches for 97 yards and a TD (18.2)
Both Williams and Parker, as well as Gaskin above, are poised for big games this week. The Jets are entering that level of demoralization and embarrassment that lends itself to giving up half a hundred and Miami nearly did that last week on a vastly superior San Francisco team. Unless the Fitzpatrick wheels come off (and there’s always a chance of that), these two talented receivers and several other Dolphins are going to smash.
- Miles Boykin BAL @ PHI: 5 catches for 92 yards and a TD (17.7)
Sure, this feels like a stretch, but John Harbaugh and Greg Roman are both fantastic coaches and after watching Chase Claypool and his unfair physical advantage last week, it makes a lot of sense for Miles Boykin, who also has an imposing stature, to be used similarly against an Eagles secondary that hasn’t fully clicked.
- Scotty Miller TB vs. GB: 5 catches for 89 yards and a TD (17.4)
- JuJu Smith-Schuster PIT vs. CLE: 10 catches for 122 yards (17.2)
- Russell Gage ATL @ MIN: 7 catches for 74 yards and a TD ( 16.9)
- Darius Slayton NYG vs. WAS: 5 catches for 83 yards and a TD (16.8)
- Marvin Jones Jr. DET @ JAX: 5 catches for 81 yards and a TD (16.6)
Much like Russell Gage above, Marvin Jones Jr. is among the most dropped players in most formats. Which means they’re both going to come through for your teams…the week after you cut them. The Jacksonville D is pretty bad and despite Jones Jr. struggles this season, he’s pretty good. If it doesn’t happen this week, it isn’t happening this season.
- Chase Edmonds AR @ DAL: 6 carries for 27 yards/ 6 catches for 48 yards and a TD (16.5)
- Michael Gallup DAL vs. ARI: 4 catches for 71 yards and a TD (15.1)
- Andy Isabella ARI @ DAL: 4 catches for 68 yards and a TD (14.8)
- Chase Claypool PIT vs. CLE: 5 catches for 61 yards and a TD (14.6)
I’d be lying if I said I even considered Claypool for my top FLEX plays last week and you’d be lying if you were shocked I didn’t. Honestly, outside some premier DFS plays and deeper/desperate league lineups, his 4 TD performance came as a shock to everyone. He’s certainly on the radar now, but I don’t expect him to come anywhere close to that type of performance again this season. I do however see his presence in the offense to be a huge benefit to both JuJu and Diontae Johnson, as accounting for the imposing Claypool will open up space for the other receivers.
- Darnell Mooney CHI @ CAR: 4 catches for 64 yards and a TD (14.4)
- Irv Smith Jr. MIN vs. ATL: 4 catches for 56 and 1 TD (13.6)
- Phillip Lindsay DEN @ NE: 12 carries for 60 yards/ 4 catches for 48 yards (12.8)
- Adrian Peterson DET @ JAX: 17 carries for 58 yards and a TD/ 1 catch for 9 yard (12.7)
- Jerry Jeudy DEN @ NE: 6 catches for 91 yards (12.1)
With Stephon Gilmore back, Jeudy isn’t a guarantee when he’s on his side, but this Patriots passing defense as a whole isn’t as intimidating this year. Assuming Lock is back, Jeudy stands to be heavily targeted and is a good bet for a spectacular 50/50 ball at some point in the game.
- Darrell Henderson Jr. LAR @ SF: 14 carries for 61 yards/ 3 catches for 44 yards (12)
Just Missed: Jarvis Landry CLE, John Brown BUF, Golden Tate NYG, Mark Ingram II BAL, DeMarcus Robinson KC
Again, this is equal parts research and hunch, so use it as a tool to break ties or confirm your own hunches. The projections are largely based on trends of the opponent, their own team and fluidity of their fantasy situation. A good number of us get laser focused on rankings, so hopefully this helps give a spin with a hybrid approach of legitimate rankings vs. a healthy dose of clairvoyance. That’s a good basis for choosing those tough lineup spots, right?
Jared Clifton – Host of Cover 3 Podcast, Editor, Writer
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