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Denard Robinson is worth an add, despite a tough Week 8 match up against the Dolphins

Fantasy Waiver Wire Pickups - 

1. RB Denard Robinson, JAC:

Denard Robinson provided a major upgrade at tailback for the Jaguars this weekend over rookie tailback Storm Johnson. Robinson rushed for 127 yards and a score off of 22 carries. The former Michigan quarterback has successfully made the transition to halfback, and may have earned the starting spot in the Jacksonville rotation. Starting back Toby Gerhart sat out Week 7 with a foot injury, but he was outclassed by Robinson.

Robinson should continue to receive a decent amount of carries going forward, due to lack of competition at the position, and is worth an add in all standard leagues. However, he may struggle to get things going against Miami's 10th ranked rush defense (allowing 100.3 yards per game on the ground) this week, but he is still one of the better fantasy pickups for this week.

2. WR Doug Baldwin, SEA:

Baldwin proved to be QB Russell Wilson's favorite wideout, drawing 11 targets, and going off for 7-123-1. The departure of Percy Harvin left the door open for other WRs to see increased levels of production, and it seems that Baldwin may be the biggest benefactor. Most looks will come to both Baldwin and fellow WR Jermaine Kearse, but Baldwin should be the number one target until further notice. Baldwin is worth an add as a WR4 with major upside, and could pan out as a middle-of-the-pack WR2.

3. RB Tre Mason, STL:

Mason has emerged as the best running back available in St. Louis, and has taken over in recent weeks. The 3rd round rookie out of Auburn put up an impressive line of 18-85-1 against an elite Seahawks defense, while taking 27 out of 51 offensive snaps. During Week 7, Zac Stacy took only 1 snap and Benny Cunningham took 19. With Stacy out of the picture, and Cunningham's role diminishing, this is slowly but surely becoming Tre Mason's team. Look for Mason to get anywhere from 15-25 touches per game. He can be added and implemented into starting lineups starting as a high RB2 going forward.

4. RB Jerick McKinnon, MIN:

McKinnon has not been added in some leagues yet, and there is no reasonable explanation as to why. Once again, he had a solid performance, rushing 19 times for 103 yards. He was able to do this against the Bills number one ranked rush defense, racking up 57 yards after contact. McKinnon is the real deal, and has proven his ability to get the job done on a weekly basis. The rookie halfback has broken 100 yards twice in the last 4 weeks, and looks to be the Vikings solution to fill the void left by Adrian Peterson. He is locked in as a high RB2 in standard fantasy formats, with high value in keeper leagues.

 

Tre Mason is only 5'8, buy he stood tall against the Seattle defense

 

RB Fantasy News -

The St. Louis Rams entered Sunday’s matchup against the Seahawks reeling. Just a week ago, the 49ers manhandled them on national television. The team was a disaster on both sides of the ball and their defense had a grand total of just one sack on the year.

So of course, that same Rams team came out and beat the defending champs this week.

And except for a few gutsy special teams calls, the two biggest reasons for the Rams win was their resurgent pass rush and rookie fantasy RB Tre Mason.

The former Auburn back ran for 85 yards and a score, providing great sleeper RB fantasy football value for any fantasy owner that took a chance on him earlier this year. However, the key question now, is should fantasy owners be rushing to pick him up?

Is the rookie ready to take the reins for the rest of the season?

The answer is yes, and here's why.

First, we need to look at who Mason is competing against to get touches week-to-week.

Benny Cunningham has provided some contribution in the passing game, his best effort coming this week with 46 yards and a touchdown. However, he only had two carries for three yards, and has yet to make a mark in that respect all season.

Zac Stacy? Forget about that guy. Once an intriguing fantasy prospect, Stacy is no more than an afterthought at this point. Against the Seahawks, he had a whopping zero carries. Not only is Mason more talented than Stacy, but the Rams already trust him with the bigger workload.

For the moment, Mason’s biggest competition for carries is Tavon Austin. And while versatile, Austin is not a running back.

Another reason fantasy owners should take a chance on Mason is his aforementioned talent. He may be a rookie, but Mason is the Rams most skilled back. He was a beast at Auburn, and was just as big of a part of their national championship game run as quarterback Nick Marshall. He runs low to the ground, can take a hit, and is deceptively fast. He ran a 4.5 40 yard dash at the combine.

Taking his competition and talent into account, we must also remember that his sample size is small. Mason only has two games’ worth of carries to show. However, there's no reason to believe he won’t keep getting chances to put up stats.  Rams quarterback Austin Davis needs all the help he can get and Mason is their best option for building some type of running game.

The only caveat from the Seahawks game is that Mason will need to prove that he can hang onto the ball, as he had a critical fumble with under two minutes to go in the game. Lucky for him and the Rams, a review of which team recovered the fumble was inconclusive and the Rams were able to run out the clock.

The Rams are 2-4 and likely out of the playoff chase. However, they may have stolen Tre Mason in the third round of last year’s draft and wound up with a running back for the future. Do the same and pick him up if he’s available in your league.

Get the most up to the minute advice and RB news with ASL!

Kelvin Benjamin should have a big day against the Packers secondary

 

NFL player news -

After a grey outlook for a couple of key NFL fantasy players, Panthers wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin and Saints all-start tight end Jimmy Graham look to be in play in for NFL Week 7.  

Kelvin Benjamin: The NFL Network reports that Kelvin Benjamin has passed his concussion protocols and will be a green light against the Packers in an unusually warm and sunny Lambeau Field. The Packers secondary has not been able to slow down opposing receivers, and Benjamin could produce another banner day for fantasy football owners. Get him back into your lineups and watch the points roll in.

Jimmy Graham: The news isn’t quite so rosy for Jimmy Graham owners. Graham is expected to play, but will not start against on the road against the Lions. Expect him to be part of the Saints red zone packages. Fantasy owners have little choice but to plug him in and hope for the best. Unless you somehow snagged Jordan Reed off of the waiver wire, start Graham in a tough road matchup against the Lions.

 

 

Time to pull the plug on Vikings wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson

 

Fantasy Focus - 

Welcome to the fantasy football mid-season point. Week 7 is the last game of the first half of the NFL fantasy season. You should now focus your attention on making a playoff run. In some leagues, playoffs begin in Week 13 meaning you have 6 games after this week to punch your ticket. If you are 3-3 or 2-4 through this point, don't give up on the season just yet. Teams with these records are still in contention to make the playoffs. In Shark leagues the #6 seeded teams average record was 7-6. Some teams were able to sneak in with a 6-7 record. The way this fantasy season has looked you can win 3 or 4 more games and still get into the season. If you had a bad draft, you can revamp your team with waiver pickups and trades. For instance this week, you could have a roster of Brian Hoyer , Justin Forsett , Ronnie Hillman , Branden Oliver, Andre Holmes and Eddie Royal .

The first thing you need to do for the coming weeks is to cut bait on under-performing players, suspended players and unneeded backups. By now some of us have gone through some bye week adjustments. If your defense, kicker or tight end have already had bye weeks then it might be time to drop your backups for these. If you still haven't had a bye week, make sure to gear up for weeks 9,10 and 11 when there is a good amount of teams on a bye.

For players that are suspended such as Adrian Peterson or Ray Rice (guys who have been all over NFL player news), owners are still holding on to these players.  Peterson is still held in 68% of leagues and started in 12%. For Rice, he is owned in about 20% of leagues and started in 9%. Not sure how many of those leagues include draft only leagues or leagues that drafted then moved to another site. The point is these guys are not going to play this season and unless you are in a keeper or dynasty league, they should be dropped.

Under-performing players are the hardest for some owners to let go of. A player such as
Cordarrelle Patterson who was drafted in the 5th round might be hard to drop. However, Patterson is owned in 84% of leagues and started in 19% and is averaging 8.3 fantasy points on the season ranking 52nd among wide receivers. He is averaging just 3 fantasy points over the past 3 weeks.

Another player you have to cut from your roster is
Chris Johnson . CJ200YD has been a non-factor this season. He did post 21 fantasy points in Week 1 and scored in Week 4 but after last week when he had 3 carries for 9 yards it might be time to rid yourself of this dud. Unless you own Chris Ivory and are holding on to Johnson as a handcuff, there is no reason to justify his 69% ownership with 19% starting percentage.

Injured players should be removed from your roster if they are out for the rest of the season. Even players such as
Montee Ball and maybe even Darren Sproles may be dropped in 8-10 team leagues. Players such as Victor Cruz , Marvin Jones , Knowshon Moreno should be dropped. Cruz is still being held on 48% of rosters.

Quick could be in for a long day being shadowed by Richard Sherman

 

Fantasy Sit Start -

1. WR Brian Quick, STL:

Quick will have a tough time getting open against Seattle this week, as he will be shadowed by CB Richard Sherman for most of the contest. Brian Quick has solidified his status at the Rams number one reciever after a hot start to the season, but playing against this tough Seahawks defense will make it difficult for Quick to get too much production. The 25-year-old breakout performer out of Appalachian State is on pace to break 1,000 yards on the season, but this week's game will not help him move too much closer to that goal. Avoid using Brian Quick against Seattle this week, as he is at best a low flex option.

2. RB Steven Jackson, ATL:

Steven Jackson will not be put in a position to succeed against the Ravens stout rush defense on Sunday. Baltimore ranks 8th in allowing 90.7 rushing yards per game, and SJax will need a lot of help in order to do some damage on the road this week. Jackson was only handed the ball 6 times a week ago, and this decreasing window of opportunity just makes it that much more difficult him to bounce back from a poor showing. Jackson has been a weapon in the passing game in past seasons, with 3,515 receiving yards in 10 seasons, but has not been utilized this way since coming to Atlanta. His value is minimal, especially this week, as he should be avoided in all standard fantasy formats.

3. QB Drew Brees, NO:

Drew Brees will likely struggle as he and the Saints head to Detroit for Week 7. New Orleans has been awful on the road,losing six straight games away from the Superdome. Complicating matters for the Saints and Brees is Detroit's number one ranked pass defense which allows only 197.2 passing yards per game. With RB Mark Ingram back from his hand injury, it could relieve Brees of some pressure and allow them to rely on the running game as well, but not really enough to the point where the passing lanes will be open for the Saints' wideouts. Brees is a middle-of-the-pack QB2 at Detroit for Sunday's contest.

Start

1. RB Jerick McKinnon, MIN:

Jerick McKinnon dominated the Minnesota backfield, out-touching Matt Asiata 17-3. Not only did he get more touches, but McKinnon was on the field for 48 total snaps, while Asiata was only in for 15. The young athletic tailback has most likely established himself as the Vikings starting RB, and they will continue to run their offense through him. He was able to pick up 82 total yards against a stifling Lions defense, and his next task is to take on the Bills. Buffalo ranks number in allowing only 67.5 rushing yards per game, but expect McKinnon to find a way to make an impact as he will get several looks in the air as well as on the ground. McKinnon can be used as a flex play, with low RB2 upside.

2. RB Branden Oliver, SD:

Branden Oliver is a must-start RB1 at this point, as he has become the bell-cow in San Diego. With Ryan Mathews and Donald Brown sidelined, Oliver has come into the starting role and shown why he deserves to remain there even after the injury issues are eradicated. Oliver has put together back-to-back performances with at least 100 yards and 1 TD, as he has continued to gain the trust of the Chargers coaching staff to make plays in clutch situations. Olivers will look to keep the ball rolling against Kansas City's poor run defense, that is ranked 23rd, allowing 127.4 yards per contest. Look for Oliver to run the Chiefs into the ground and keep up the high level of productivity.

3. TE Jordan Reed, WAS:

Jordan Reed has fully recovered from his Week 1 hamstring pull, and is a tough guard for all defenses, so we have him listed as a fantasy football start. Reed went for a line of 8-92-0 against the Arizona Cardinals as he was eased back into action a week ago, only playing 35 of 65 offensive snaps. He received 11 targets in such little time on the field, and will certainly see similar production in Tennessee this week. The Titans rank 18th in pass defense, allowing 247.3 yards per game through the air. It will be even more difficult for the Titans defense to contain Reed this week, as it is unlikely that QB Jake Locker will be able to suit up. Without their starting QB, the Titans defense will be on the field much longer, allowing Jordan Reed to light them up. Jordan Reed can be used as a top 5 TE1 this week.

 

With Cruz out, the Giants need Beckham to take center stage

NFL Injury Updates - 

Calvin Johnson is very doubtful for Week 7 and has been a headache for fantasy owners, as he has been in our injury updates list constantly. Kelvin Benjamin is putting together an early season Offensive Rookie of the Year campaign and is also questionable for Week 7. Fantasy owners of both players need to start looking elsewhere to get through a tough Week 7 given the fact that Philadelphia and Tampa Bay are on a bye.

Calvin Johnson has not practiced once this week and has pretty much already been ruled out for Sunday's game against the Saints. Johnson missed his first game of the year last week against Minnesota, and Head Coach Jim Caldwell hasn't ruled out the possibility of sitting Johnson until after the Lions bye week in Week 9. Johnson has stated to the media that he will return when he feels like he can contribute at a high level.

While Fantasy owners selfishly want Johnson back in their lineup, it's better in the long-run to have Johnson sit out a few weeks and get back to producing Megatron numbers. With Detroit sitting at 4-2 and first place in the NFC East, they have the luxury of not being in a must-win scenario at home this week against a Saints team that struggles on the road. Megatron owners need to start looking for a replacement.

Kelvin Benjamin has yet to practice this week after suffering a concussion during Week 6 against the Bengals. Benjamin is considered questionable heading into Week 7 and Fantasy owners won't get much more information on Benjamin until Friday. Fantasy owners need to prepare for the worst if Benjamin is not cleared to play by Sunday.  Stay tuned to our fantasy injury updates to follow Kelvin's status.

Owners looking for temporary replacements for Johnson and Benjamin need to consider grabbing Andre Holmes or Odell Beckham Jr.

Raiders wideout Andre Holmes has established himself as Derek Carr's go-to receiver in Oakland. At 6'4" with break-away speed, Holmes has a lot of upside on a team that will be trailing a lot this season and will be getting a lot of garbage-time fantasy points this year.

With Victor Cruz out for the season, Odell Beckham Jr. has an opportunity to produce strong numbers on another team that might be trailing most of the year. Beckham has a favorable schedule down the stretch and will only get better as he gains experience during his rookie campaign.

 

IDP Fantasy Waiver Wire Pickups- 

LB K.J. Wright, Seattle (#37 DL for Week-7 on Fantasy Pros)

Seattle OLB K.J. Wright is averaging 7.8 tackles per game and 0.4 PDs this season...he was already a solid IDP LB. However, Seattle star LB Bobby Wagner is slated to miss at least a week, if not a few more with turf toe.

K.J. Wright is slated to move into the ‘4-3’ Middle Linebacker spot, which should push him toward being a potential double-digit tackle producer while Wagner is out (Wagner is averaging 10.0 tackles per game this season).  Definitely one of the best fantasy pickups for the short-term.

CB Blidi Wreh-Wilson, Tennessee (Not In current Top-50 DB rank for Week-7 on Fantasy Pros)

The second-year CB, 3rd-round pick out of UConn is back from concussion, and played 98% of the defensive snaps for the Titans against the Jaguars during Week-6. Against Jacksonville, Blidi Wreh-Wilson had 11 tackles (10 solo), 2 PDs, and 1 INT. He is the CB that gets picked on by Titans' opposing QBs, which is a good thing for IDP when he has Kirk Cousins and Ryan Fitzpatrick ahead.

You might be able to get a nice two-week run out of him before the Titans Week-9 BYE. Wreh-Wilson is a sizeable CB at 6’0.5”, 195 pounds, possession 4.45+ speed and nice agility (as measured at the 2013 NFL Combine). He has done some work as a Free Safety, so he is a decent hitter (he had 11 tackles this week). He’s the Titans full starter, especially with CB Coty Sensabaugh out with a banged up knee.

DT Kawann Short, Carolina (Not in current Top-50 DL rank for Week-7 on Fantasy Pros)

Kawann Short was one of our computer scouting model's highest rated DT prospects for the 2013 NFL Draft. He was drafted in the 2nd-round by Carolina to pair with Star Lotulelei (Carolina 1st-round DT that year). Lotulelei was more coveted, but we liked Short's NFL/IDP outlook better--Shorts was a higher producer in college, and showed as good/better athletically compared to Lotulelei.

Short averaged 16.3 tackles for loss in his final two seasons at Purdue, and also posted 6.8 sacks per season during that two-year span. He was a top-10 producer in the Big-Ten for both sacks and TFLs in his Sophomore, Junior, and Senior seasons.

In 2014, Lotulelei has averaged 2.0 tackles per game, with a high of 3.0 tackles in a game this season to date. Short is averaging 3.0 tackles per game this season, and has made 5.0 tackles in a game, in two out of his last three games. He's also registered a sack, forced a fumble, and added two PDs as well this season. Short is starting to make a trend move up. He's one to keep an eye on to see if a minor breakout is on the verge.

-- R.C. Fischer is an NFL Draft analyst for College Football Metrics.com, and a football projections analyst for Fantasy Football Metrics.com. His group also provides player projections for Advanced Sports Logic’s football software "The Machine.”

Overlooking Jordan Reed is nothing but fantasy suicide

 

Fantasy Waiver Wire Pickups-

1. TE Jordan Reed, WAS:

Redskins tight end Jordan Reed should not be on anybody's waiver wire, but if he is, get him now. After a 4 week absence due to injury, Reed quickly made his presence known in Washington's Week 6 loss to the Cardinals. He was only on the field for 35 snaps, and still managed to receive a team high 11 targets, turning them into 8 catches for 92 yards in his return.

His size and athleticism makes him a tough guard for any defense. Reed's snap count should continue to rise as he gets closer to 100% healthy. With more playing time, his production will rise as well. Reed should be added in all formats, as he can be a top 5 tight end going forward.

 2)  WR Andre Holmes, OAK:

Andre Holmes has established himself as the number one option in Oakland's passing game, showing he can get the job done regardless of who his quarterback is. Last week with Matt McGloin at QB, he was able to turn 12 targets into 5 catches for 74 yards and a TD. During Week 6 with he saw 8 targets this week from Derek Carr, coming down with 4 catches for 121 yards and 2 TDs.

It's difficult to value anyone from the Raiders too highly as a consistent fantasy option, but Andre Holmes holds significant value as a wide receiver with major importance within their offense, and has major upside on a weekly basis. Holmes should be added and into starting lineups as a WR3 or a low WR2 with potential.     

 3)  RB Branden Bolden, NE:

Branden Bolden is worth a look in standard leagues now that Stevan Ridley has gone down with an ACL/MCL injury, and will most likely be out for the season. Bolden's fantasy potential is really a bit of a question mark, because he has not been given enough carries to get himself in a solid and comfortable place yet.

Bolden will definitely see his touches increase drastically in Ridley's absence, and will have to be a solid contributor to New England's offense to maintain a balanced offensive attack. This recommendation may be a little optimistic, but Bolden will be a middle-of-the-pack flex option, with low RB2 potential.  He is worth a shot out of the fantasy pickups available.

4)  QB Carson Palmer, ARI:

After returning from what looked like a never-ending nerve injury, Carson Palmer turned in a solid performance as the Cards were able to take down the Redskins in Arizona. Palmer threw for 250 yards and 2 scores without committing any turnovers. While the Cardinals stated that Palmer's arm was only at 80 percent, it was more than enough to punch holes through the woeful Redskins pass defense.

With studly receivers like Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd, and a solid complimentary rushing attack led by Andre Ellington, Palmer is in a position to succeed with this versatile Arizona offense. Carson Palmer can definitely be added and used as a strong QB2 in upcoming contests with subpar pass defenses, including the Raiders, Eagles and Cowboys. 

Time is running out if you plan to trade away Eddie Lacy

 

When looking for fantasy sleeper picks, sometimes you do the best you can in fantasy football and you still fall short. Last season in my smaller experts' league (by smaller I mean 24-man rosters) I led the league in scoring during the regular season and lost in the first round of the playoffs. So, not being happy with that outcome, I set out to make some changes for the 2014 season.

The first big deal I made was back in May when it was announced the Josh Gordon had failed another drug test. I probably could have gotten him for less, but my exuberance got the best of me and I dealt Calvin Johnson (a member of the list of best fantasy football keepers) for Gordon and pick 1.11. At the time, I took some heat for that deal, but I'm very please the way things have turned out.

I attempted to deal Eddie Lacy and Montee Ball throughout the offseason but nobody was willing to part with a 1st round pick (I would have asked for more, but their 1st rounder would have been a must) so I just held on and wound up dealing both prior to the start of Week 5 last week.

I dealt Eddie Lacy last Thursday and received Travis Kelce and a 1st round pick in return. Lacy proceeded to go out and put up some monster numbers that night. I'm not totally sure that he'll be able to remain healthy given his violent style of running and so far this season in 5 games he's produced against the weaker teams and been stymied by the tougher teams. Bottom line, I wasn't happy with Lacy and decided to move on.

As was the same with Montee Ball, whom I dealt Sunday morning. The negotiation was a lot harder and I also gave up Andre Williams (one of the better NFL fantasy sleepers) in exhcange for Isaiah Crowell and a 1st round draft pick. I now have both Terrance West and Crowell, so I should be set once Ben Tate moves on which should be no later than after the 2015 season. I didn't want to give up Williams, but given that I think Crowell has a higher upside than Williams and that I couldn't have even gotten a 1st rounder for Ball back before the rookie draft, I'm pleased.

Obviously, I didn't consult The Machine on either of these deals as these were deals done from emotion and gut and definitely lowered my team's chance of winning. But I'm not looking to play it safe, I'm swinging for the fences. As I did in the Megatron-for-Gordon deal back in May, and I think that's now looking like a pretty good deal for me.

Speaking of The Machine, if you haven't had your team rated, now's the time to do it while they're still offering that service for FREE! Just click here for your free team analysis.  Find out what fantasy players are trending in the NFL.

Now, in the experts' league in which I'm attempting to 3-peat I don't think that my team could be playing much better as I lead the league in scoring. But, if the post-season were to start today I'd be on the outside looking in as I currently have a record of 2-3. Last week's loss was due to a mistake on my part. I realized 5 minutes before the Thursday night game (our fist-come, first-serve waiver wire closes with the start of the Thursday night game) that Vontaze Burfict was not going to play in Week 5 so I picked up LB Gerald Hodges of the Vikings and was about to put him into my lineup when my daughter asked if I could help her with her math homework. So, in my attempt to not put fantasy football over my child's education, I answered her question and then turned back to change my lineup....but it was too late. The Vikings/Packers game had already started and Hodges' 7.5 points would be left on my bench and I'd have to take the a zero from Burfict. As it turned out, I would lose by 5 points, 212 to 207. Just another reason to not like math.

Depending on your team needs and roster size, here this weeks...

Stashes of the Week

Brian Tyms, WR, New England - Was rated the top WR in the preseason by PFF and was kept around during his 4-game suspension and was added to the roster at the expense of Kenbrell Thompkins. Get him before he plays a game as he could blowup at any time and be next week's Tim Wright.

Trey Watts, RB, STL - He ran a slow 40-yard dash, 4.78. He's third on the depth chart behind Zac Stacy and Benny Cunningham. But Watts has great bloodlines as his father, J.C., was a starting QB at Oklahoma. With Zac Stacy yet to practice this week, and a Monday night date with the 49ers, Watts has a good chance to get a handful of touches and I'd rather roster him now than do battle on the waiver wire next week. And, if he doesn't see the field or disappoints, I'm free to cut him loose for someone new next week.

Jim Bukowski is Content Manager/Senior Editor/Writer for FantasySharks.com and is a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  and you can also follow him on Twitter at @fantasyshark .

The Rams lack the fire power to slow down Gore on Monday night

Fantasy Sit Start - 

What once looked like a potential division war, pitting an always strong 49ers squad against a hungry and up-and-coming Rams team, now seems less appetizing. Although the 49ers have regained their form to an extent, the Rams are sputtering. With major injuries on both sides of the ball and poor play, this team now looks like a potential candidate for a top 5 pick in the draft.

However, if you have fantasy players on either team, you don’t care whether this is supposed to be a good game or not. You just care about your players winning you the matchup this week.

But what if there are options?

Take a look at our Sit/Start report for Monday night’s San Francisco vs. St. Louis game for guidance.

MUST STARTS

Frank Gore, RB, San Francisco

Three weeks ago after a loss to the Arizona Cardinals, there was turmoil in the 49ers locker room. Much blame passed between players and coaches, including Gore, who was none too happy about his lack of touches. His stat line that Sunday read 6 carries for 10 yards.

Well, it appears someone listened to Gore after the Cardinals game. He’s averaged 113 yards per game the last two weeks, and while he hasn’t found the endzone, the 49ers getting back to their running game roots is paying dividends for everyone.

Expect Gore to have a big night against a once tough, but now sorry, Rams running defense. They rank 29th in the league, surrendering 152.5 yards per game on the ground.  He is an absolute fantasy football start this week.

Anquan Boldin, WR, San Francisco

I’d love to be able to give you a Rams player to start in this game, but in good conscience, I can't do that. There's a good chance for any number of St. Louis players to lay an egg, and while one player may have a decent game, who knows who it might be?

Furthermore, San Francisco’s defense has been laying the wood to teams lately. They didn’t give up an offensive point against Philadelphia, and they rank 4th and 5th against the pass and run, respectively.

Hence, I give you Colin Kaepernick’s most reliable target.

Boldin has yet to put up a TD this season, but he is still on pace for nearly a thousand yards receiving. He will rarely, if ever, let you down should you need a solid 6-10 point performance.

MUST SITS

Zac Stacy, RB, St. Louis

For reason number one, see above. That is, the 49ers defense.

Stacy is prone to an occasional solid running effort. One of those efforts is not to come against the 49ers on Monday night.

While a back such as Jamaal Charles can churn out 80 yards (but without a score) against San Francisco’s D, Stacy cannot. Many fantasy owners have seen the promise of Zac Stacy in recent years, and it’s never fully come to fruition.

This season, Stacy’s best game was a 71 yard effort against Tampa Bay in week 2, which included his only touchdown of the year. Don’t rely on him if you need a last second spark.

Michael Crabtree, WR, St. Louis

While Anquan Boldin is a steady force for Kaepernick and the 49ers, Crabtree can easily standout out as exceptional or pathetic. He can always be counted on to be a Boom or Bust player from week to week.

For example, during Week 3 against the Cardinals, he had 10 catches for 80 yards and a touchdown. In other words, a great day for a fantasy owner who started him. However, last week’s 16 yards on 1 catch for no scores is also on the table. That would be classified as a devastating stat line for owners.

Plus, for all of the trouble St. Louis has had against the run, they’ve been great against the pass. In fact, they rank 1st in yards per game against air traffic. And, when push comes to shove for Kaepernick on 3rd down and he needs to go to the air, look for him to eye Boldin, not Crabtree, on Monday night.