Colin Kaepernick QB, SF, is coming off of a bye week and will play at home against the St. Louis Rams. Just 3 weeks ago against the same Rams team, Kapernick had his best game of the year with season-highs in passing yards and passing touchdowns. Kaepernick will be well protected since the Rams are last in the NFL in sacks. If he does have to scramble he will do it with ease as the Rams have allowed the 3rd-most rushing yards per game to quarterbacks. Expect Kaepernick to have his way with a less than impressive Rams defense. Prediction: 20 pts; 240 yds and 2 TDs
Ahmad Bradshaw RB, IND, will face his former team in the New York Giants. The Giants have allowed the 4th-most fantasy points to running backs this season. They have also allowed the 2nd-most yards per reception to running backs (11 yards/reception), which bodes well for Bradshaw who is a key target in the Indy passing attack. With a favorable matchup and motivation to beat his former team, expect Bradshaw to excel in multiple facets of his game. Prediction: 14 pts; 80 yds and 1 TD
DeAndre Hopkins WR, HOU, has had 11 catches for 203 yards in the past 2 games. Hopkins has had 6 games this season with more than 60 receiving yards. Fortunately for Hopkins and his fantasy owners, the Texans will face the Philadelphia Eagles who have allowed the 4th-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers. The Eagles have also allowed 10 touchdowns to wideouts this season. Expect Hopkins to have another game of at least 60 yards with a good chance of reaching the end zone. Prediction: 14 pts; 80 yds and 1 TD
Robert Griffin III QB, WAS, is expected to play this Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings; this will be his first outing since leaving week 2 with an injury. RG3 was unable to throw for a touchdown while turning the ball over once, in his only full game this season (week 1). The Vikings have allowed the 2nd-fewest fantasy points per game to quarterbacks. Expect RG3 to struggle in his first game back. Prediction: 15 pts; 220 yds and 1 TD
Branden Oliver RB, SD, may experience a reduced role this week, with the possibility of both Ryan Mathews and Donald Brown returning to the Chargers lineup. Even if Oliver sees a fair amount of touches he is unlikely to have much to show for them, as he will face a tough Dolphins defense that has allowed the 2nd-fewest yards per play (4.79). Expect Oliver to have minimal yards and only have fantasy value if he sees some goal line carries. Prediction: 5 pts; 50 yds
Percy Harvin WR, NYJ, was unable to make much of his opportunities last week, when he had 3 receptions and 4 carries for a total of 50 yards. It doesn’t help any that Harvin is playing for a less than mediocre Jets offense that has had many problems at the quarterback position this year. Even worse, the Jets are facing the top-ranked pass defense in the Kansas City Chiefs. Expect Harvin to show little production once again. Prediction: 4 pts; 40 yds
Top Players by Position
Peyton Manning, DEN: Has thrown for 14 touchdowns in his past 4 games. Expect Manning to throw for at least 3 in a shootout against the Patriots. Prediction: 26 pts; 280 yds and 3 TDs
Andrew Luck, IND: Faces a Giants defense that has allowed the 2nd-most yards per pass attempt (8.3). Expect Luck to throw for 350 yards for the 6th time this season. Prediction: 26 pts; 360 yds and 2 TDs
Tom Brady, NE: Is the hottest player in all of the NFL with 1,268 yards, 14 TDs, and 0 INTs in his past 4 games. Expect Brady to continue his hot streak. Prediction: 26 pts; 280 yds and 3 TDs
Arian Foster, HOU: Has 601 total yards and 8 touchdowns in his past 4 games. Expect Foster to go for over 100 yards and a touchdown again. Prediction: 18 pts; 120 yds and 1 TD
DeMarco Murray, DAL: Still has not rushed for under 100 yards in 8 straight games. Expect at least 100 yards per game out of Murray until he proves otherwise. Prediction: 18 pts; 120 yds and 1 TD
Jamaal Charles, KC: Similar to Foster, Charles has been outstanding over his past 4 games with 416 total yards and 6 touchdowns. Expect Charles to find the end zone once again. Prediction: 16 pts; 100 yds and 1 TD
Antonio Brown, PIT: Has seen double-digit targets in 7 consecutive games. Expect Brown to continue to make the most of his heavy workload. Prediction: 18 pts; 120 yds and 1 TD
DeMaryius Thomas, DEN: Has 626 yards and 5 touchdowns in his past 4 games. The fact that he will be covered by shutdown corner Darrelle Revis is a little concerning, but DT will find a way to produce a decent outing. Prediction: 16 pts; 100 yds and 1 TD
T.Y. Hilton, IND: Has had over 100 receiving yards in 3 straight games. Expect Hilton to torch the 25th ranked Giants pass defense. Prediction: 16 pts; 100 yds and 1 TD
Here are some roster moves to consider as you try to strengthen your team for a playoff push.
Drop Em’ Like They’re… Not So Hot
Doug Martin RB, TB: This one is tough for many fantasy owners who invested a top pick in Martin, but the Tampa running back is simply not worth keeping. Martin has yet to rush for over 50 yards in a game and he only has one touchdown on the season. To make things worse Martin has been battling an injury all season, which might cause him to miss an extended period of time in the near future.
Cecil Shorts III WR, JAX: It’s bad enough that this guy plays for Jacksonville but on top of that he has provided a lack-luster performance this season. Shorts has only one touchdown on the season and only one game with over 50 receiving yards. The problem isn’t the amount of action that he’s getting, it’s what he is doing with his opportunities. He has had 16 targets in the past 2 games, but only 53 yards to show for them.
Kirk Cousins QB, WAS: Is likely to remain on the sideline the rest of the year, with the return of RG3 and the presence of Colt McCoy. Cousins was unable to prove why he deserved the starting job in his few outings this year, which makes the case for McCoy that much stronger, if RG3 were to go out with an injury again.
Here is a full list of the most added/dropped players.
Top Players For the Remainder of the Season
QB: Peyton Manning DEN, Andrew Luck IND, Aaron Rodgers GB
RB: DeMarco Murray DAL, Matt Forte CHI, Arian Foster HOU
WR: Antonio Brown PIT, Jordy Nelson GB, DeMaryius Thomas DEN
Out: Giovani Bernard RB, CIN, Jordan Cameron TE, CLE, Montee Ball RB, DEN, Rashad Jennings RB, NYG, Brian Quick WR, STL
Questionable: Owen Daniels TE, BAL, A.J. Green WR, CIN, Tony Romo QB, DAL, Ronnie Hillman RB, DEN, Calvin Johnson WR, DET, Andre Johnson WR, HOU, Arian Foster RB, HOU, Reggie Wayne WR, IND, Trent Richardson RB, IND, Travis Kelce TE, KC, Cordarrelle Patterson WR, MIN, Ryan Mathews RB, SD, Doug Martin RB, TB
Probable: Michael Floyd WR, ARI, Justin Forsett RB, BAL, Dez Bryant WR, DAL, Alex Smith QB, KC, Darren Sproles RB, PHI, Donald Brown RB, SD, Marshawn Lynch RB, SEA, Kenny Britt WR, STL, Robert Griffin III QB, WAS
Week 9 Byes: Atlanta Falcons, Chicago Bears, Buffalo Bills, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, and Tennessee Titans
Check back next week for the latest edition of Coach on a Couch!
Collegian Sports Reporter Alec Grimes can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @GrimesAlec.