Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton
Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) during an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals Sunday, Nov. 14, 2021, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Darryl Webb)


Nathan Hursh

In this week’s outlook, I am going to give you a few players worth starting and a few players not worth starting. Let’s dive in.

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Running Backs
James Conner is definitely worth a start. This week, the Cardinals face the Seahawks. Against running backs this season, the Seahawks have allowed the second-most fantasy points among all NFL teams. As for Conner, well, he’s been getting into the end zone all season long with 11 touchdowns. His receptions have been up too over the past few weeks as well. With Chase Edmonds out, Conner is a legit RB1. Even if Kyler Murray is good to play this week, this shouldn’t take away from Conner. If anything, the return of Murray could help the Cardinals lean on the run game even more as to help Murray ease back into the offense.

Next, we have Leonard Fournette, who is also worth a start. This week, he and the Buccaneers get to play the Giants. The Giants defense has allowed at least 20 points to opposing running backs in every game except two this season. With Tom Brady struggling a bit the past few weeks, it may be worth it for the Bucs to lean on Fournette a bit more than usual. If that is the case, Leonard will eat.

Antonio Gibson is not worth a start this week. Yes, he was given 24 carries last weekend and scored two times. That said, it was the first time he scored more than 10 fantasy points in four games. Against a stout, Carolina defense this week, Gibson will not have a lot of room to work. I also think Carolina will dominate this game, making run opportunities limited for Washington. Do not be surprised if Gibson gets less than 10 fantasy points yet again.

Wide Receivers
Start Brandin Cooks this week. Although he plays for arguably the worst team in football (Texans), Cooks himself has been a reliable fantasy weapon. On the year, he has gotten at least five catches in all but one game. This week he plays the Titans, who have the worst defense when it comes to limiting wide receiver fantasy points. More than likely in this game, the Titans will dominate. Because of that, Cooks will have ample opportunity to pile up garbage points.

Do not start Chase Claypool. As of right now, Claypool is questionable to play this week against the Chargers. Even if he does gear up, I would stay away. Claypool missed last week against the Lions. He hasn’t had a big fantasy game since week five in which he scored 24 fantasy points. That was his only 20 point outing this season. Against a difficult Chargers pass defense, it will be difficult for Claypool to do much of anything if he even plays.

This might be crazy. I don’t care though. Start Cam Newton. Last week in his return to Carolina, Newton helped the team score two touchdowns. This week, he more than likely gets full control over the offense. With his legs helping, Newton has always been a reliable fantasy option. This week, he gets to face Washington, a team with a terrible defense. Newton’s rushing ability paired with a healthy dose of short passes to Christian McCaffrey will make him a viable starter, especially in deeper leagues.

Do not start Carson Wentz. I will say, although Buffalo has the number one defense in football this season, they haven’t played many great quarterbacks this season. That said, they did shut down Patrick Mahomes, even if he was in the midst of the worst slump of his career. This week against Wentz and the Colts, I still like Buffalo’s stingy defense to continue to shine. Stay away from Wentz.

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