Ray Flowers (@BaseballGuys) analyzes Week 11 NFL Gameday Matchups and lets you know who’s in a tough spot, who’s in a soft one, who’s hurt and anything else you need to know before you set your lineups! Armando Marsal (@Armando_Marsal) will include his thoughts from a DFS perspective, giving you his cash game and GPP plays from each game (top plays in bold). The duo will provide you an in-depth analysis to give you an edge against your opponents for Week 11 DFS NFL.
Week 11 DFS NFL Gameday Matchups
Each week Ray Flowers will give his take on the matchups of the week. How are defenses fairing against positions? Which guys have great matchups, or poor ones? Who is dealing with an injury? It’s all in here.
2020 TEAM DEFENSE RANKINGS
Here is a chart of the DVOA ratings of overall defenses from Football Outsiders (1 is best defense, 32 the worst defense).
NFL Gameday Matchups DVOA Table
*From Football Outsiders
2020 RANKING PER POSITION
*Yahoo scoring (1st is best for offense, 32nd is worst for offense).
Team vs. QBs
Team vs. RBs
Team vs. WRs
Team vs. TEs
WEEK 11 DEFENSIVE MATCHUPS
THE BETTING ANGLE TOTAL/SPREAD
BYE: Bills, Bears, Giants, 49ers
Sunday, November 22nd
Titans at Ravens, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Ryan Tannehill cratered last week going 147-1-0 on 27 passes. That was his first game in six without two passing scores. It was a second straight game under 28 passes and his fourth straight under 31 passes. In the last four outings, he’s averaged 190 passing yards on 27 attempts with seven passing scores. In 5-of-6 games he’s failed to throw for 235-yards. There’s zero volume here.
The opponent this week allows the 9th fewest points per game to running backs. The opponent ranks third in rushing DVOA.
RB Snaps: Henry 38, McNichols 17, Foreman 9
RB Touches: Henry 20, Foreman 8, McNichols 4
Darrynton Evans (hamstring) last played in Week 5.
D’Onta Foreman scored last week on a 5-yard catch. In his three games this season, he’s carried the ball five, five and seven times. That’s 17-66 as a ball carrier this year with one catch.
Derrick Henry saw Jonnu Smith score on a 1-yard carry last week. In the end, Henry went 19-103 and caught a six-yard pass. That was his fifth 100-yard outing but his second straight without a score. Henry has been under 80-rushing yards in 2-of-4 and 3-of-6. He has at least 18 carries in every game this season. He has 11 scores his last seven on the road and he has run a route on nearly 80 percent of the dropbacks the last two games.
The opponent this week allows the fourth-fewest points to wideouts per game.
A.J. Brown had a drop last week going 4-1-21 in the outing. He had scored in 5-straight coming in with at least seven targets in every game. He also had at least four catches in every outing previously. He’s been under 25-yards in 2-of-3 outings. Further, he’s been under 60-yards in 3-of-5 games. Only one WR1 has 100-yards this season against the Ravens.
Corey Davis rebounded from his goose egg effort to go 6-5-57. He led the team in targets/catches/yards. That’s at least five catches in 4-of-5 games. However, he hasn’t scored in 2-straight. He has also been under 40-yards in 2-of-4 outings. He saw 20 targets in Weeks 7-8 but has seen just nine targets the last two games.
Adam Humphries (head) last played in Week 8. His last game of more than one catch was in Week 6. He did catch four passes in each of his first four games.
Anthony Firkser has one game of three catches in four outings. In those four, he’s gone 14-8-67.
Jonnu Smith went 6-2-14 last game, saving his outing with a 1-yard rushing score (that’s 2-straight with a score). Smith has been under 40-yards in 7-of-9 games. In his last five games, he’s caught a total of eight passes while averaging 19.4 yards an outing. His total of six targets was a five-game high. He’s tied for the positional leads with six receiving scores.
Lamar Jackson went 249-2-1 as a passer and led the team as a runner going 11-55. That was his highest passing mark since Week 1 and his first game over 210-yards in eight games. In his last four games, on the ground, he’s averaged 12-72-0.5 as a runner with at least 50 in each outing. The opponent this week allows the 8th most points per game to the QB.
The opponent allows the 8th most points per week to running backs. They have allowed the fifth-most the last four weeks.
RB Snaps: Dobbins 29, Ingram 17, Edwards 15
RB Touches: Edwards 8, Ingram 7, Dobbins 6
J.K. Dobbins went 5-13 last week. That’s 17-43 the last two after going 15-113 against the mighty Steelers in Week 8. He has two rushing scores… back in Week 1.
Gus Edwards went 7-42 last week. He had a 31-yard reception, as well. He lost his three-week run of a score. He’s been under 40 percent in the snap count 3-straight games.
Mark Ingram started and went 5-5 on the ground last week, his first since Week 6. He also went 2-24 as a pass catcher. He has scored once in five games, and his season-best is 57 rushing yards. His season-high for carries was back in Week 5 at 11.
The opponent this week allows the fourth-most points to wideouts per game.
Miles Boykin has gone 4-42 the last five games.
Marquise Brown went 6-2-14 last week. In the last three games, he’s at 6-55 and he has one score in four games and two this season. In the last four games, he’s averaged 2.5 catches for 28 yards on just 4.75 targets. There’s just nothing to consistently see though he has scored in 2-of-3 at home.
Devin Duvernay went 3-3-45 last week, his best game of the year as he played 55 percent of the snaps, easily a season-best.
Willie Snead scored twice last week, once on a Jet Sweep. He went 7-5-64-2. He has four or more catches each game since the bye week and in those three he’s averaged 6-5-69-0.67. Note that he has one game this season with 67 yards. He has six catches the last two games in the matchup.
Mark Andrews went 9-7-61 as the catches/yards were a season-best. He also dropped a pass right in his hands. The nine targets tied a season-best, while the seven receptions were a best. That was his first game in four with more than three catches. It was also his first game of 60-yards this season. He hasn’t scored in 4-straight though he is third at the position in end zone targets with eight. Nick Boyle (knee) is done for the year.
DFS Notes: The Ravens and Titans face off in what should be a good football game, though that does not necessarily mean it will translate to fantasy goodness. This contest has a 49.5 over/under and Baltimore is a 5-point favorite. Believe it or not, this is one of just four games on the main slate with an over/under of at least 49 points (at the time of me writing the article).
The Ravens come into this matchup as one of the better defenses in the league. They rank 6th in overall defense according to DVOA, 10th in pass defense DVOA, and 3rd in rush defense DVOA.
The Titans on the other hand, have not been as good defensively this year. They rank 24th in overall defense according to DVOA, 25th in pass defense DVOA, and 19th in rush defense DVOA.
Lamar Jackson (DK $7300, FD $8400, SD 1.1x) has not been as consistent as he was last season, but he remains one of the more productive signal callers in fantasy football. His ability to run the ball, averaging 58.2 rushing yards per game and has three rushing touchdowns, provide him with a solidified floor. The Titans have been generous to opposing quarterbacks this season, allowing 287.3 passing yards (4th most) per game and have surrendered 20 passing touchdowns (tied 3rd most). Aside from the great matchup, Jackson’s price really stands out to me, as it’s the cheapest we’ve seen all season on DK. After a disappointing loss in Week 10, look for the Ravens to come out and play some good football, led by Jackson.
You can play a naked Jackson or you can stack him up. If you decide to stack him up, it’s either Mark Andrews (DK $4900, FD $6500, SD 1x) or Marquise Brown. Personally, I prefer the former. Andrews has regressed this season, after an amazing year in 2019. That said, he continues to see plenty of targets for this offense, accounting for 22 percent of Baltimore’s target share. The matchup is a solid one. Tennessee has done a solid job limiting the yardage against tight ends, but they are allowing a 77 percent catch rate (4th most) and have surrendered five touchdowns to the position. I don’t like his SD multiplier, but it is difficult to pass up on his affordable price on DK.
The Titans will be without some key pieces to their offensive line this week. With that in mind and the tough matchup, it’s tough to feel great about Derrick Henry, regardless of how good he has been this season.
Cash game options: Lamar Jackson
Gpp options: Mark Andrews (DK), Marquise Brown
Lions at Panthers, 1 p.m. (Fox)
Matthew Stafford (thumb) went 276-3 last week. That’s his second game with three passing scores. He also has one passing score in 3-of-5. He has been over 275-yards in 3-of-4. He has been under 35 pass attempts in 6-of-8 games. He was not practicing early in the week.
RB Snaps: Swift 43, Johnson 9, Peterson 7
RB Touches: Swift 21, Peterson 5, Johnson 1
The opponent allows the fourth-most points per week to running backs.
Kerryon Johnson had one carry last week. He has five carries in four games and five receptions in that time.
Adrian Peterson went 4-21 last week and had a nine-yard catch. The last four games: 28-86 on the ground and 6-29 as a pass catcher with no scores.
D’Andre Swift went 21-149-1 last week with 81 rushing yards and 5-68-1 as a pass catcher, as he played a season-best 73 percent of the snaps. He has one score in three games. In the last two games, he’s gone 29-145-0 on the ground. He’s caught at least three passes in every game and for the year is averaging 3.4 receptions an outing.
Danny Amendola (hip) went 3-3-10 last week. He has one game with more than three grabs since Week 1, and he hasn’t scored this year. He was not practicing early in the week.
Quintez Cephus has three catches since Week 2.
Kenny Golladay (hip) hasn’t played for a couple of weeks. In his four healthy games this season, he has scored or gone for 100-yards. He went 8-113-1 in the last meeting. He returned to practice Wednesday.
Marvin Hall went 3-2-63-1 with a 55-yard streaking score. In the last three, he’s averaged 3-67 on five targets.
Marvin Jones (knee) went 10-8-96-1 last week. That’s four scores in three games with at least one in each outing. In his last four games, he’s scored or gone for 80-yards with an average of 5-65-1 on seven targets. He was not practicing early in the week.
TE Snaps: Hockenson 38, James 32
T.J. Hockenson (toe) went just 4-2-13 last week. He ran a route on less than ⅔ of the dropbacks last week. That was his first game this season without a score – he has four scores in six games – or 50-yards. It was also his lowest target total since Week 4. He has scored his last three on the road.
Teddy Bridgewater (knee) has two passing scores in three games. He’s also been under 180 passing yards in 2-of-3 games while throwing less than 25 passes in each outing. He does have a rushing score the last two games. He is second in the league with a 72 percent completion rate.
The opponent this week is sixth from the bottom in rushing DVOA. They have allowed the most points to running backs this season per game.
RB Snaps: Davis 25, Smith 9, Cannon 5
RB Touches: Davis 11, R. Smith 4
Mike Davis went 7-32 on the ground and 4-12 as a pass catcher. He had 33 targets his first four outings, averaging 8.3 a game, as the team went 3-1. He has 21 targets his last five outings, averaging 4.2, as the team has gone 0-5. Davis has single-digit carries in 3-of-4 games even though he has an elite 3.0 YAC and 6.1 rushing attempts per broken tackle. He has a mere 0.7 yards before contact, lowest in football. It ain’t him, it is everyone else.
Christian McCaffrey (shoulder) will not play this week. He’s played once since Week 2.
Robby Anderson went 6-4-21 last week. He has been under 50-yards in 2-of-3. He’s been under 80-yards in 5-straight averaging 6-57 on eight targets in that time. He last scored in Week 1. His aDOT of 10 is five yards below the mark the last two years.
D.J. Moore went 7-4-96-1 last week. He had a 35+ yard play overturned on replay as well. Over his last six games, he’s averaging 4-75-0.67. He’s gone for 90-yards in 4-of-6 but he has just two catches in 2-of-3. He also had more than seven targets once in eight outings. He has a 12.4 aDOT, a three-year high, and leads the league with an 18.9 YPC mark.
Curtis Samuel went 5-3-8 last week with three carries for four yards. He was on the field for 2-of-6 red-zone snaps last week and had three carries for the third straight game and fourth time in five. He has more than a third of the team’s carries/targets in the red zone the last three weeks. He has four scores the last four games (two rushing). He’s been under 35 receiving yards in 2-of-3.
Ian Thomas has one score this season. He’s had one game of 20-yards this season.
DFS Notes: The Panthers and Lions game has a 46.5-point over/under and the Panthers are currently one-point dogs at home.
There is a lot of news to unpack here. D’Andre Swift, Kenny Golladay, and Danny Amendola have been ruled out for those contest. Matthew Stafford who is battling a thumb injury, is considered questionable. On the Panthers side, Teddy Bridgewater is considered a true game-time decision due to his knee injury.
The Detroit backfield is a tough one to predict. Adrian Peterson and Kerryon Johnson are likely going to operate as a committee. I am expecting the Lions to use Peterson in early down and short yardage situations, while Johnson handles passing situations. I also expect for Peterson to operate as the goal line backs, so he offers the most touchdown upside if it plays out that way. The Panthers are giving up 108.8 rushing yards per game to opposing backs, as well as a healthy 4.9 yards per carry, while giving up 10 rushing touchdowns. They have also allowed a league high 66 receptions for 445 yards and two touchdowns, with a healthy 82 percent catch rate. Clearly this is a slam dunk spot for the Lions backfield. If I am choosing between the two backs, AP will be my choice.
If there is more clarity on how the Lions are going to split the carries between these backs before lock, we can adjust accordingly, but for now it’s unknown (see below).
Per David Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, here is what the Lions running back coach had to say – “We’ve (relied on) with Adrian for a lot of this season, but Kerryon obviously is playing like a fresh Kerryon right now, so we’re going to allow him to get in there and do his thing as well,” Caskey said. “We’ll find how the rotation goes as we get into the game. I mean, it’s not a bad problem to have a former league MVP and another second- round pick and all that coming back in. So yeah, we’re disappointed we’re not going to have Swift, but we’ll be fine in the running back room.”
A banged up Stafford who is missing two of his most talented players is not ideal, therefore, I do not intend on rostering him. I don’t mind rolling with Marvin Jones or T.J. Hockenson this week if you plan on stacking this game. Jones has been red hot the last four games, finishing with 80 or more receiving yards in two of those games and scoring at least one touchdown in three straight games. He should receive plenty of targets this week once again.
Hockenson (DK $4200, FD $6000, SD 1.1x) is coming off a disappointing performance, but is in a good position to bounce back. The Panthers are giving up 54.8 receiving yards per game to tight ends (7th most) and have allowed five receiving touchdowns. Hockenson has not showed much of a ceiling this year, but has been one of the more consistent tight ends in football. At his DK price tag, it’s difficult to pass up on Hockenson this week in all formats, especially considering how thin the TE position is on the main slate.
If Teddy sits and the Panthers start P.J. Walker (DK $4800, FD $6500, SD 1.85x), I am going to be investing in Walker this week. Not only does he come in at a great price, but he also gets a phenomenal matchup. The Lions rank 23rd in pass defense DVOA and are allowing 272.3 passing yards per game (8th most). In addition, they have surrendered 17 passing touchdowns which is tied for 11th most. We saw Alex Smith carve up this defense last week for 390 passing yards. Walker displayed some nice upside in the XFL (see stats in image below) and makes for an interesting GPP play at his price tag if he starts. I know that this is not the XFL, but the upside here is too appealing to pass up on.
Both D.J. Moore (DK $5600, FD $7100, SD 1.35x) and Robbie Anderson (DK $6000, FD $6300, SD 1.4x) are solid plays this week. On DK, Moore comes in cheaper than Anderson, whereas on FD and SD Anderson is more affordable. I don’t have a strong preference here, but I do want to point out that Anderson leads the team in targets, receptions, and receiving yards. He is second in routes run, but has been targeted 25 percent of his routes run, compared to Moore who has been targeted in 19 percent of his routes run. Neither are cash options for me, but both are certainly in play in GPP’s. Keep in mind, I would not roster both in the same lineup.
Mike Davis (DK $6800, FD $7400, SD 1.35x) will draw another start this week with CMC sidelined once again. Davis has not played well in his recent starts, but this is a get right spot for him. Just as bad as they are against the pass, the Lions are even worse against the run. They are 27th in rush defense DVOA and give up 126.3 rushing yards per game to opposing backs (3rd most), as well as a healthy 4.8 YPC. Not to mention, they have surrendered 13 rushing touchdown (most in the NFL) to the position. To top it off, the Lions have also allowed 49 receptions for 483 yards (2nd most) and a league high five receiving touchdowns to the position, with a healthy 70 percent catch rate. If Davis does not smash here, I’d be surprised.
Cash game options: Mike Davis, T.J. Hockenson
Gpp options: P.J. Walker (if he starts), D.J. Moore, Robbie Anderson, Marvin Jones, Adrian Peterson
Eagles at Browns, 1 p.m. (Fox)
Jalen Hurts sees a few snaps each week.
Carson Wentz went 208-0-0 last week. That was his first effort in five without two passing scores. He has averaged 226 yards the last four with three efforts under 215-yards. He leads the league with 12 picks. He has five rushing scores in eight games.
RB Snaps: Sanders 48, Scott 18, Clement 1
RB Touches: Sanders 17, Scott 4, Clement 1 (TD)
The Eagles are working on becoming the 4th team to average 5.1 YPC through nine games but average 24 or fewer carries per game. They are averaging 4.96 yards per pass play. The last team with more rushing yards per play than passing yards per play was the 1973 Bills.
Corey Clement scored on his lone carry last week from five yards out. He has eight carries since Week 4.
Boston Scott destroys the Giants, and last week, it was 3-63-1 on the ground and a catch for 11 yards. In his last three, he’s gone 30-179-1 on the ground with six catches, as he’s run for 45-yards in all three. He has 70 scrimmage yards in all three.
Miles Sanders had 15-of-19 carries last week. He didn’t score, while Scott/Clement scored twice on four carries. He went 15-85 on the ground. That was his third straight with 80 rushing yards and the fifth time in six games he’s gotten to that level. He has two scores in five games and just 5-23 his last three games through the air.
The opponent this week allows the sixth-most points to wideouts per game.
WR Snaps: Fulgham 59, Reagor 59, Ward 42, Jeffery 18
WR Routes Run Percentage: Reagor 91, Fulgham 84, Ward 58, Jeffery 35
JJ Arcega-Whiteside has one catch since Week 5.
Travis Fulgham went 5-1-8 last week, as he vanished from the offense. He has averaged 9-6-87-0.8 the previous five games. Last week was the first time in six outings he didn’t score or go 5-73. Note, he had only five targets. He has a receiving score in 2-of-3 on the road.
DeSean Jackson is on the IR somewhere.
Alshon Jeffrey finally returned to action and played just 18 snaps while seeing one target (he didn’t catch it). He was used more than 40 percent out of the slot, a nearly five-time increase from his rate there in 2019.
Jalen Reagor went 7-4-47 last week to lead the team in targets. He also led the team in air yards (101). He played 88 percent of the snaps. He has seen 13 targets his last two games and has caught 11 passes his last three. His season-best in four outings is 55-yards.
Greg Ward went 6-5-39 last week, as he basically manned the slot. He has five grabs in 2-of-3 games. He has been under 45-yards in 6-straight. He has one score in four games. In the last six on the road, he has four catches.
TE Snaps: Goedert 62, Rodgers 21
TE Targets: Goedert 6, Rodgers 5
Zach Ertz (ankle) is on the IR. His activation window started Monday (21 days). He has four catches in 4-of-5 games, but he’s been under 35-yards in 3-straight.
Dallas Goedert went 6-4-33 last week on 33 pass routes. In his last two healthy games, he’s gone 7-5-48, which is unacceptable. He has four catches in 5-straight on the road.
Richard Rodgers went 5-4-60 last week on just 11 pass routes. That’s 2-of-3 games at 4-60, but the game in the middle he didn’t see a target.
RT Jack Conklin (Covid) hopes to play this week after being deemed at high risk for close contact.
Baker Mayfield went 132-0-0 last week, as he threw 20 passes compared to 41 runs. In the last four games, he’s averaged 23 passes a game. Not completions but passes. In 3-of-4 games, he has 0/1 touchdown passes. In 3-of-4 games, he’s failed to throw for 135-yards. He’s averaging 183 passing yards a game this season and has one game of 250-yards. The Eagles have the best pass rush in football at PFF. Have at it, folks.
RB Snaps: Hunt 38, Chubb 28
RB Touches: Hunt 22, Chubb 19
Nick Chubb went 19-126-1 but he ran out of bounds at the end of the game with less than a minute left robbing him of a 19-128-2 effort. He touched the ball an insane amount given his snap count. In his last three healthy games, he’s averaged 20 carries, 119 yards (at least 108 each time) while scoring five touchdowns. All three of those games have been at home. The Eagles are allowing the highest percentage of yardage on carries of 10-yards in football.
Kareem Hunt didn’t do much for a month, but with Chubb back he went 19-104 and then 3-28 as a pass catcher last week. He does not have a rushing score in five games but has two receiving in that time. He’s carried the ball at least 11 times in every game this season. He has just one game with four receptions, and that was in Week 1.
WR Snaps: Landry 38, Higgins 38, Hodge 38, Peoples-Jones 16
Rashard Higgins went 4-3-48 last week. His 58 percent snap share was a four-week low. He has gone 4-62 on seven targets the last two games.
Jarvis Landry went 5-3-29 in a terribly disappointing effort last week. Landry’s only touchdown this season was as a passer in Week 4. He has been under 50-yards in 4-straight, and on the year, he’s average 4-50, easily the worst numbers of his seven years in the league. He has the most catches in football without a receiving score.
The opponent this week allows the sixth-most points per game to tight ends than any in football.
Harrison Bryant did not have a target last week.
Austin Hooper went 2-1-11 last week even though he returned to play 85 percent of the snaps. That was his first game in four with less than six targets and five receptions. He has one score this season (Week 4). Hooper leads the team in catches while Mayfield is under pressure.
David Njoku played 23 snaps last week and didn’t see a target. He has one game with two catches since Week 1.
K Cody Parkey (Covid) hopes to play this week after being deemed at high risk for close contact.
DFS Notes: Philly heads to Cleveland to take on the Browns. This contest has a 47.5 implied total and the Browns are three point favorites. They are expecting some rain in this game, but the weather should not have a major impact on this game. It is something to keep an eye on as we get closer to Sunday, however.
The Eagles defense is one that funnels to the pass, ranking 21st in pass defense DVOA and 13th in rush defense DVOA. They rank 15th in overall defense according to DVOA.
Cleveland is more susceptible to the pass as well, ranking 20th in pass defense DVOA and 18th in rush defense DVOA. They are a middling overall defensive unit, ranking 18th in DVOA defense.
The Browns could be without one of their key offensive linemen as Jack Conklin is currently on the reserve/Covid19 list. He has a chance to play, but needs to be cleared. It is certainly something that needs to be monitored. Defensively, they will be without Myles Garrett who tested positive for Covid on Friday and has been ruled out.
Nick Chubb (DK $7000, FD $8100, SD 1.2x) returned to action last week after missing four games with a knee injury. He played in 43 percent of the offensive snaps in his first game back and carried the ball 19 times, turning those attempts into 129 yards and a touchdown. The matchup against the Eagles is not a great one, as the Eagles surrender just 79.2 rushing yards per game and 3.4 YPC to opposing backs. That said, they have allowed nine rushing touchdowns (tied for 5th most). Chubb should carry the rock often, as the Browns continue to implement a run heavy approach. Even in bad matchups, he has been able to shine. Chances are he will come in at a lower ownership than he should, making him an appealing GPP option.
Carson Wentz was atrocious last week. He completed just 57 percent of his passes, while throwing 208 yards and no touchdowns against the Giants. He is in a spot to redeem himself this week against a generous Browns secondary. Cleveland allows 268.6 passing yards per game (10th most) and has surrendered 18 passing touchdowns (tied for 8th most). In addition, they are yielding a 67 percent completion rate, which is good for 13th most in the NFL. Wentz is cheap and is likely coming in at a low ownership this week. He is not a priority play for me, but do think he makes for an interesting GPP option.
For the second straight week, I am interested in Jalen Reagor (DK $4300, FD $5600, SD 1.8x). I had Reagor as one of my favorite bargain plays last week and will be going back to the well on him this week. Once again, he comes in at a very affordable price, less than 10 percent of your salary cap on both DK and FD. He didn’t have a great game last week, catching four passes for 47 yards. However, he did lead the Eagles in targets (7) and routes run (38). In his last two games, Reagor has a team high 13 targets and has run 61 routes, good for second most on the offense. I don’t feel great about playing Reagor in cash, but do think he makes for a strong GPP play.
The Browns run defense has been solid this year, but now they will be missing a key part of their defense with Garrett out. This upgrades Miles Sanders (DK $6900, FD $7700, SD 1.35x) for me. Sanders returned to action last week, after being out multiple games and rushed for 85 yards on 15 carries, while catching 2-of-5 carries for 10 yards. His ability to do it all out of the backfield provides Sanders with a strong floor and even in tough matchups, he has flourished this season. On paper, this matchup looks worse than what it is now that we have the Garrett news, so I expect Sanders to be able to have his way with this defense. The Browns allow an 82 percent catch rate to opposing backs, which bodes extremely well for Sanders.
Cash game options: N/A
Gpp options: Nick Chubb, Jalen Reagor, Miles Sanders, Carson Wentz, Dallas Goedert
Patriots at Texans, 1 p.m. (CBS)
New England Patriots
Cam Newton went 118-1 as a passer and then 11-21-1 as a runner last time out. He has three passing scores in eight games. He has nine rushing scores in eight games. In his last six games, he’s averaged 164 passing yards with one game of 175-yards. In the six outings, he’s carried the ball nine times or more five times, and he has four rushing scores the last three.
The opponent this week allows the second-most points to running backs in football. The opponent ranks last in rushing DVOA. They have allowed more than 250 rushing yards more than any other team.
Rex Burkhead has six scores this season, all of them coming the last seven games. In his last five, he’s carried the ball more than six times once and had one game of 35 rushing yards. He’s been under 36 receiving yards in 6-straight though he has seven catches the last two games.
Damien Harris (chest) went 22-121 last week as the yards/carries were season bests. This is his third 100-yard game in six outings as he’s averaged 78.5 yards with at least 59 yards five times (70+ the last three). He has one rushing score. He has two targets all season. His season-best was last week at 55 percent snap share.
Sony Michel (thigh) is close to a return. He has averaged 6.7 YPC on his 26 totes this season with one rushing score.
James White went 2-2-8 last week as a pass catcher. In his last four games, he’s gone 12-9-70 as a pass catcher with four total carries. He’s played fewer snaps than Burkhead each of the last four games. He has not scored this year. He scored twice in the last matchup.
Damiere Byrd has not scored. Last season he played 72 percent of the snaps, a season-low, as he saw zero targets. He has one game with 40-yards in five outings. He has five catches in 4-of-5 on the road.
Julian Edelman (knee) is on the IR.
Isaiah Ford was active but did not play a snap.
N’Keal Harry returned to action and didn’t see a target. He has seen four targets in three games.
Jakobi Meyers went 7-5-59 last week while tossing a 24-yard touchdown to Burkhead. In his last four games, here are his target share percentages: 26, 43, 43 and 41 percent (he has nearly ⅔ of the team’s air yards in that time to lead football). Massive numbers. He’s averaged 7-87 on nine targets the last four. He doesn’t have a touchdown, but he does have ⅔ of the end-zone targets for the club the last four weeks. He is up to third in football in yards per route run.
Gunner Olszewski didn’t play an offensive snap last week.
CB J.C. Jackson has a pick in 5-straight games, a franchise record.
Deshaun Watson was bad last week going 163-1 on 30 passes while rushing for 8-36. Last week was the first time since Week 2 that he failed to throw two passing scores. It was also his first game all season under 250-yards. That is 6-of-7 of 250-2. He has run at least seven times the last three averaging 47 yards. The opponent this week allows the 6th fewest points per game to quarterbacks. The opponent is 30th in DVOA pass defense.
The opponent ranks second to last in rushing DVOA.
RB Snaps: Duke Johnson 54, Prosise 2
RB Touches: Duke Johnson 14, Rest of RBs 0
David Johnson (head) has been placed on the IR.
Duke Johnson was the only game in town last week going 14-54 on the ground but without a catch. In two games as the starter, he’s at 30-95-1 on the ground and 4-32 as a pass catcher. He has a measly 1.7 YAC this year and has broken just two tackles.
Randall Cobb went 5-3-41. He’s been under 50-yards in 5-of-6 games. He has one score in six games.
Keke Coutee had 93 receptions in 2017 at Texas Tech. He has 79 targets in 16 NFL games.
Brandin Cooks went 8-6-39 last week. Since the coaching change, he’s seen at least eight targets in all five games averaging 7-82 with three scores overall. He has six catches in four of those outings. He’s only hit 70-yards once in four games.
Will Fuller lost his scoring streak at 6-straight, but he went 8-5-38. He has scored his last three at home. He’s caught at least five passes in 3-of-4. He’s gone for 100 yards in 2-of-4. In five road games, he’s averaged 6-86 this season.
Kenny Stills has one score this year. He’s seen one target in two games.
The opponent this week allows the fourth-fewest points a week to tight ends.
Six games Fells/Atkins: Atkins 21 targets / 17 catches, Fells 13/9
Jordan Atkins played 42 percent of the snaps and ran 12 routes with one target. In his last two games, he’s at 3-24 and his last score was in Week 1.
Pharaoh Brown went 2-2-21-1 last week as he ran just nine routes. He had four targets entering the game and has just five catches all year.
Darren Fells played 60 percent of the snaps and ran 12 routes with one target. He has two scores in five games, but he has just three catches for 41 yards the last three outings.
DFS Notes: The Patriots are coming off a surprising win over the Ravens and will take on the Houston Texans this week. This contest has one of the healthier implied totals of the week at 49 points. The over/under has jumped up two points from where it opened. The Patriots are 2.5-point favorites in this one and both teams have healthy implied totals.
Both of these defenses rank bottom five in overall defense according to DVOA. Houston ranks 28th, while the Patriots rank dead last. They both struggle against the run and the pass, so are beatable in multiple ways.
David Johnson remains out for the Texans and Julian Edelman remains out for the Patriots.
I really like attacking the Texans with running backs considering they are awful against the run. No other team allows more rushing yards than Houston, who give up 154.3 rushing yards per game and 5.5 YPC to running backs. This puts Rex Burkhead and Damien Harris on my radar, but as usual the Patriots backfield is not one you can confidently invest in. Harris is one-dimensional, which limits his ceiling, but he does have 100+ rushing yards in two of his last three games and has attempted no less than 14 runs in three straight contests. Burkhead on the other hand, does not see as many touches as Harris consistently, but has more upside and leads all Patriots running backs in red zone carries, so there is touchdown upside. He has actually scored three touchdowns in the last two games and has at least 11 touches in each of those contests. It’s truly a guessing game and game script will ultimately determine their roles in this contest. I have interest in both, but if I have to choose between the two, I’d slightly lean with Burkhead just because of his pass catching ability and the fact that he is much cheaper.
Jakobi Meyers (DK $4900, FD $6000, SD 1.65x) remains criminally underpriced considering his role in this offense, making him a strong play in all formats. Since Week 6, Meyers leads the team with 35 targets, 27 receptions, and 346 receiving yards, while running the second most routes (107). He has been targeted in 33 percent of his routes run. Even with N’Keal Harry back last week, Meyers led the team in targets. Meyers has topped 55 yards and has at least four catches in four straight contest, scoring double-digit fantasy points in all of those games (PPR settings). This is arguably the best matchup he has had since his expanded role. The Texans are giving up a 71 percent catch rate (2nd most) and have surrendered 13 receiving touchdowns (tied for 2nd most) to opposing wideouts.
You can make a case for Cam Newton in tournaments this week considering the matchup. However, I prefer other options on the slate this week that come with as much upside and far less downside. I also would not be stunned if the Patriots just ran at will against Houston this week.
Deshaun Watson (DK $6500, FD $7700, SD 1.15x) is coming off a poor performance, but weather had a lot to do with that. He has not been this cheap on DK since Week 3 when he played against the Steelers. This week he faces off against the 30th ranked DVOA pass defense. Watson has played well since the coaching change in Houston and has now thrown for at least 300 passing yards in four of his last six games. During that stretch, he has thrown no less than two touchdown passes in all but one game. Take away last week’s underwhelming performance and Watson has been a model of consistency in every game since Week 4.
You can pair up Watson with either Brandin Cooks (DK $5200, FD $6100, SD 1.5x) or Will Fuller. I’m going with the former here, simply for the discount, as I do believe they offer similar upside. Cooks underperformed last week, but again, the weather had a lot to do with that. He was still peppered with eight targets and has seen at least eight targets in five straight games. Prior to last game, Cooks had scored a touchdown in three of four games, finishing with at least 60 receiving yards in each of those contests. He should be able to get back on track this week in another exploitable matchup.
Duke Johnson disappointed last week as he filled in for the injured David Johnson. Duke should once again see plenty of touches in a much better matchup this week against a Patriots defense that allows 107.9 rushing yards per game and 4.6 YPC to opposing backs. This unit also yields a league high 86 percent catch rate to opposing backs, which is huge for Duke who heavily depends on his role as a pass catcher for his production. He is not a priority play this week, but is certainly a viable GPP play.
Cash game options: Jakobi Meyers
Gpp options: Deshaun Watson, Brandin Cooks, Will Fuller, Rex Burkhead, Damien Harris, Duke Johnson
Steelers at Jaguars, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Ben Roethlisberger went for 333-4 last week, his first four score effort of the year. He’s thrown for at least two scores in every outing but one. He has 10 passing scores in four road games. He has three interceptions in seven games. He has thrown the ball 88 times the last two weeks and 42 or more times in 3-of-4. The opponent this week allows the third-most points per game to the QB. The opponent is 31st in DVOA pass defense.
No team allows more catchers per game to running backs than the Jaguars. They also allow the sixth-most points per game.
The Steelers averaged 130 rushing yards their first six but have been in the 40’s the last three games.
RB Snaps: Conner 64, Snell 4, Samuels 1
RB Touches: Conner 15, Snell 3, McFarland 0
James Conner dominated the snaps and touches last week, going 13-36 on the ground and 2-12 as a pass catcher. He dominates the work every week but has been under 50 rushing yards in 3-straight, as he has averaged 15 touches and just 43 scrimmage yards an outing. He has but one score in four games.
Anthony McFarland last ran for 10 yards in Week 3.
Jaylen Samuels’ season-best is five rushing yards.
Benny Snell last ran for 20-yards in Week 1.
The opponent this week allows the 9th most points to wideouts per game.
Chase Claypool went 10-4-56-2 last week. He also had a carry from the five-yard line that did nothing. He has three scores in three games while averaging 6-56-1 on 11 targets. He had four end-zone targets last week and led football with more than 200 air yards.
Diontae Johnson went 11-6-116-1, his first ever 100-yard game. That’s five fully healthy games this season and five games with at least 10 targets. In his last four games overall, he’s gone 6-77 three times.
JuJu Smith-Schuster went 13-9-77-1 last week. He had two end-zone targets last week. The catches tied a season-best, while the targets were one behind. In his last four, he’s at 6-65 each time, averaging 8-81 on 11 targets. He does not have a 100-yard game and is under 10 yards per catch on the year.
James Washington has gone 4-3-47-1 the last two games.
Eric Ebron went 6-2-38 last week in a third straight game under 50-yards. In those three he has scored twice, but he’s averaged 3-36. He has two scores in six games but at least five targets in 4-straight. The opponent this week allows the fifth-most points per game to tight ends than any in football.
Vance McDonald (Covid).
Jake Luton looked good in his first start. He looked terrible in his second. Luton went 169-1-1, hitting on 18 of 35 passes. Since hitting on that 70+ yard score to Chark two weeks ago, his average yards per attempt has been 5.5 as he’s become the new Minshew, just taller. The opponent this week allows the fifth-fewest points per game to quarterbacks. The Steelers have the second-best pass rush according to PFF and the second-best DVOA pass defense grade.
Gardner Minshew looks cool in jean shorts, and his mustache is sweetness personified.
The opponent ranks sixth in rushing DVOA. The Steelers have allowed 4.9 YPC the last four weeks since losing Devin Bush.
RB Snaps: Robinson 53, Ogunbowale 10, Thompson 1
RB Touches: Robinson 25, Ogunbowale 1, Thompson 0
Devin Ozigbo could get some run this week with the beat-up backfield. He has no touches this season.
James Robinson (shoulder) had not one, but two touchdowns called back last week on penalties. In the end, he went 23-109 with two catches for three yards. He has at least 22 carries in each of the last three games with an average of 23-109-0.67 on the ground and two grabs for seven yards along with an additional score (95 rushing yards in each outing).
Chris Thompson (back) is on the IR.
DJ Chark the last four games: 5-68 on 9.5 targets. He’s been under 60-yards in 4-of-5 games. He has one score in five games. He has scored in 2-of-3 at home.
Keelan Cole went 7-5-47-1 last week (he also had a 91-yard punt return for a score). He also dropped a pass. That was his first score in four games. He’s totaled 7-65 on 11 targets the last three games.
Chris Conley has 11 catches on 16 targets in two with Luton. He’s gone 6-48-0 as an average. He had seen two targets in 3-straight heading into the last two.
Laviska Shenault Jr. (hamstring) has gone 7-53 the last three games with two carries for a yard. He was not practicing early in the week.
The opponent this week allows the second-fewest points a week to tight ends.
Tyler Eifert has gone 9-6-63 in two games with Luton. He has one score this season (Week 2).
James O’Shaughnessy has one catch for nine yards in two games.
DFS Notes: The undefeated Steelers take on the Jaguars who have won only one game this season, in what is expected to be a lopsided matchup. Pittsburgh is the biggest favorite this week at -10.5 points and have a healthy implied team total of 28.25 points. The Jags have a low 17.75 implied team total.
The Steelers are one of the better defensive units in the league. They rank 2nd in overall defense according to DVOA, 2nd in pass defense DVOA, and 6th in rush defense DVOA.
The Jaguars are the total opposite. They rank 31st in overall defense according to DVOA, 31st in pass defense DVOA, and 20th in rush defense DVOA.
James Robinson is dealing with a shoulder injury that has limited his practice sessions. However, he is not expected to miss this week’s game due to the injury. It is news to watch, though this is not an ideal matchup for Robinson. Between the tough matchup and the shoulder injury, I have little interest in Robinson this week.
My favorite play from this game is Diontae Johnson (DK $5900, FD $6400, SD 1.45x). For whatever reason, he continues to come in as the cheapest Steelers receiver. However, he is second on the team in targets and third in routes run, despite missing a game and leaving early in a couple of other games. Johnson has been targeted in 25 percent of his routes run and has 10 or more targets in three of his last four games. He remains affordable across the industry and gets a phenomenal matchup against a terrible Jaguars secondary. Jacksonville gives up the seventh most receiving yards per game to wideouts and a healthy 68 percent catch rate, which is tied for 5th most. Johnson is a strong play in all formats this week.
Ben Roethlisberger (DK $6700, FD $8000, SD 1.2x) is in an absolute smash spot this week. The Jaguars are allowing the 3rd most passing yards per game to opposing quarterbacks (289) and a healthy 70 percent completion rate, which is tied for 2nd most. In addition, they have surrendered 19 passing touchdowns, which is tied for 6th most in the NFL. Big Ben is coming off two 300+ passing yard games and has thrown a total of seven touchdown in that span. He is in position for another big game this week and should easily shred this defense. Considering his price, I prefer rolling him out in tournaments this week.
James Conner (DK $6600, FD $7000, SD 1.25x) disappointed us again last week, but I am going back to the well here. The Jaguars are giving up 4.0 YPC to opposing backs and have surrendered eight rushing touchdowns. In addition, they allow a healthy 84 percent catch rate (2nd most) to the position and have yielded 59 receptions (4th most) for 431 receiving yards (7th most) and two touchdowns to opposing backs. Conner has not received the volume he was getting earlier in the season the last two games, but remains the featured back on this high powered offense. He is also an exceptional pass catcher out of the backfield, which sets him up nicely in this matchup. If you decide to fade the Steelers passing game, then invest in Conner this week. He is a GPP only play for me because of his recent inconsistency, but the ceiling is huge here.
JuJu Smith-Schuster, Chase Claypool, and Eric Ebron are all in play this week as well. You can stack any of these with Big Ben this week, as they are all in great spots. I just prefer Johnson over all of these pass catchers because of the price and his role in the offense.
Cash game options: Diontae Johnson
Gpp options: James Conner, Ben Roethlisberger, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Eric Ebron, Steelers defense
Falcons at Saints, 1 p.m. (Fox)
Matt Ryan on the road this season is averaging 303-2 with just one pick in four games. He has just four passing scores his last three overall. He has two picks in four games. He’s been over 280-yards in 4-straight outings. He had four scores in two matchups last year, and he has two passing scores in 4-straight in the matchup. The opponent is 6th in DVOA pass defense.
The opponent this week allows the fewest points per game to running backs. The opponent ranks first in rushing DVOA.
Todd Gurley has four rushing scores in three games. He has eight rushing scores in seven games. He has at least 14 carries in every game. For the last four, it is 18 carries each time with an average of 20-52. That’s horrid on the YPC. He has just seven catches for 41 yards in those four outings.
Brian Hill has at least eight carries in 3-of-4 games. He has just one rushing game of 40-yards in six outings. His last rushing score was Week 3. He didn’t catch a pass last game, his first without two receptions since Week 3.
Qadree Ollison and Ito Smith – no touches last week.
Russell Gage has one score. He has four catches for 50-yards in 2-of-4, but the last two, he’s totaled 9-4-36. He has more than two catches just twice in seven games.
Julio Jones has three scores in four games. He’s caught at least seven passes in three of the four, averaging 9-7-106-0.75. He’s had at least 79 yards in 6-straight in the matchup, and he’s over 140-yards in 2-of-3 in New Orleans.
Calvin Ridley (foot) didn’t play last time out. In his last three healthy games, he’s averaged 6-89-0.67 on eight targets. He has five catches for 60 yards in 6-of-7 healthy games this season.
Olamide Zaccheaus had a career game last time out, going 4-103-9. He ran the second-most routes at WR last game.
Hayden Hurst has one score in four games. In each game, he’s gone at least 4-50, averaging 5.5-60 on 6.5 targets. He’s also been over 50-yards with four catches in 5-of-6 games. The opponent this week allows the seventh-most points per game to tight ends than any in football, but they have not allowed a score to the position in four weeks.
New Orleans Saints
The opponent this week allows the most points per game to the QB.
Drew Brees (ribs) went 76-1 in half a game last week. He broke his body in the effort.
Taysom Hill went 8-45 on the ground last week, tripling the rushing production of Kamara. He also had as many rushing attempts. In the last two games, he’s gone 15-99 on the ground with a 21-yard catch. He is likely to see more work this week with Brees out. Hill scored twice in the last meeting (rushing, scoring).
Jameis Winston went 6-of-10 for 63 yards last week. He threw for 5,109-33-30 last season with the Bucs. He will stretch the field but is incredibly error-prone, as much as any QB in football. Yes, even as much as Daniel Jones. He did lead football with a 10.8 aDOT last year. He has two passing scores in 7-straight in the matchup.
The opponent this week allows the fourth-fewest points per game to running backs. The opponent ranks seventh in rushing DVOA.
RB Snaps: Kamara 39, Murray 24
RB Touches: Kamara 15, Murray 9, Hill 8
Alvin Kamara went 8-15-2 last week and is not averaging even 55 rushing yards a game. Doesn’t matter, as he went 7-83-1 as a pass catcher. In his last two games, he’s at 17-55 on the ground. In his last three, he’s at 29-122-3 as a runner. He has five catches in 5-straight and 8-of-9 on the year. He has seven scores in five home games.
Latavius Murray led the team on the ground going 9-57 last week. That’s his first 50-yard game in five outings. He does not have a score in that time.
The opponent this week allows the second-most points to wideouts per game. That includes 215 yards.
Deonte Harris went 4-4-24 last week. He has 12 catches his last four games, averaging 3-32 with one total score on 13 targets.
Emmanuel Sanders caught his lone target for five yards last week. One stinking target. That was his first game in five without a touchdown or 6-93.
Tre’Quan Smith (head) saw just one target last week. He has one score in five games. He has one game of 45-yards in five outings.
Michael Thomas did nothing, again, going 7-2-22. That’s 7-73 in two games (on 13 targets). He averaged better than that per game last season. It’s Week 11 of the NFL season, and the consensus #1 WR in fantasy football has no scores and no games with 55-yards. He had two end zone targets last week.
The opponent this week allows more points per game to tight ends than any in football.
Jared Cook has scored three times in five games. He has gone a mere 5-2-30 the last two games while playing just 36 percent of the snaps (the mark was over 49 percent in 5-of-6 to start the year). He has scored in 2-of-3 at home and had 85-yards in the last meeting.
Josh Hill (head) has one game with two catches this season.
DFS Notes: This contest has one of the highest implied totals on the main slate at 50.5 points. New Orleans is favored by 3.5 points at this time, after opening up as 6.5-point favorites. Both teams have implied totals of over 23 points, so we should see a competitive and high scoring contest between these two.
The Falcons come in as one of the biggest pass funnel defense in the league. They rank 28th in DVOA pass defense, but 7th in DVOA rush defense. Atlanta allows 63.7 rushing yards per game (2nd lowest) and 3.6 YPC to opposing running backs, while giving up only three rushing touchdowns to the position (tied for fewest). That said, they are vulnerable against pass catching backs. They have allowed 53 receptions for 370 yards and four receiving touchdowns to the position, while giving up a healthy 80 percent catch rate. The four receiving touchdowns are tied for 2nd most in the NFL.
The Saints rank 5th in overall defense according to DVOA. They are 1st in rush defense DVOA and 6th in pass defense DVOA. Running against the Saints has been a difficult task this season. They give up only 67.9 rushing yards per game (3rd fewest) and 3.4 YPC to opposing backs, while allowing only three rushing touchdowns.
Alvin Kamara is dealing with a foot injury that kept him out of practice on Thursday, but is expected to suit up. This is news you want to keep tabs on heading into Sunday.
Julio Jones (DK $7500, FD $8100, SD 1.1x) is coming into this contest fresh off his bye. Prior to the bye week, Jones had posted 90+ receiving yards in three of four games, while scoring three touchdowns during that stretch. He faces off against a defense that he has historically fared well against. Going back to 2014, Jones has topped 90 receiving yards in all but two games against the Saints (11 total games), topping 100 receiving yards five times. He will draw coverage from Marshon Lattimore who is allowing a 68.2 percent catch rate, has allowed five receiving touchdowns, and a 126.2 QB rating when targeted against this season. This is a matchup I expect Jones to exploit. Please note, Lattimore is questionable. If he misses, this matchup becomes even better for Jones.
Calvin Ridley (DK $7000, FD $7800, SD 1.15x) will suit up this week after missing Atlanta’s Week 9 game against the Broncos with a foot injury. He immediately comes into play this week, but preferably in tournaments being that this he is coming off a foot injury. He comes with more risk than Jones, but will also be less owned. Both receivers for Atlanta are firmly in play this week.
Matt Ryan (DK $6300, FD $7800, SD 1.25x) has been hit or miss this season, but this should be a good game environment for him. The Saints don’t give up a ton of yardage through the air, but have surrendered 20 passing touchdowns this season, tied for 3rd most. Atlanta is going to struggle running the ball against the Saints, so I expect them to rely on Ryan’s arm this week. He has attempted no less than 35 passes in all but one game this season and is averaging 39 attempts per game. Ryan has topped 300 passing yards in three of his last four meetings against the Saints. His floor is volatile, therefore I prefer him in GPP’s this week.
Alvin Kamara (DK $9200, FD $9700, SD 1x) is pricey, but understandably so. He is a model of consistency, offering both an immense floor and an incredible ceiling. He is dealing with a foot injury, but is on track to play. The Falcons are tough to run against, but as I pointed out above, they are extremely generous to pass catching backs. This bodes well for Kamara, who leads all running backs by a wide margin in receptions with 67. Considering his high price tag and the uncertainty at QB, Kamara is a GPP only option for me.
We have been getting mixed news throughout the day about the quarterback situation for the Saints. Taysom Hill (DK $4800, FD $4500, SD 1.8x) was reportedly named the starter early in the day, but in the afternoon coach Sean Payton said he has not named the starter. Clearly Payton is doing a spectacular job at trolling us on this fine Friday.
IF Hill starts, he is going to be popular this week and understandably so. The matchup is great, his price is absurdly cheap, and he possesses rushing ability. On FD he is listed as TE and is essentially a lock in cash games, and makes for a strong play all formats. On DK, I am not auto locking Hill into my lineups. Can this be something I regret? Absolutely. However, I am somewhat concerned about the possibility of Hill struggling and the Saints falling behind in this contest, and they decide to take him out of the game. We can afford 8-10 points from a TE, but that would be brutal from a QB. I totally understand if you decide to roll out Hill in all formats on all platforms, but I would much rather be over the field on FD and be underweight on DK.
IF Jameis Winston (DK $5900, FD $7200, SD 1.65x) starts, he becomes one of my favorite quarterback plays on the slate. He is not only affordable, but draws a great matchup against a very weak Atlanta secondary. Winston has a superb history versus the Falcons. Since 2016, he has faced this defense seven times. In six of those games, he threw for at least three touchdown passes and has topped 250 passing yards. Winston is volatile, but makes for a strong tournament play.
I really liked Michael Thomas (DK $7300, FD $8200, SD 1.2x) this week when Winston was expected to start at quarterback, but now that we are unsure, I am taking the wait and see approach with him. If Winston starts, Thomas is a viable option in all formats and a receiver I’d prioritize. If Hill starts, Thomas will be a GPP only option for me and not a receiver I’d prioritize.
This remains one of the better matchups for a wide receiver, as Atlanta gives up 215 receiving yards per game to the position (2nd most) and has allowed 10 receiving touchdowns, while yielding over 30 fantasy points per game in all scoring settings. It’s all a matter of who is under center for the Saints this weekend for me when deciding on Thomas.
Emmanuel Sanders also becomes a viable option in tournaments if Winston is the starting quarterback.
Cash game options: Taysom Hill (if he starts-preferably FD)
Gpp options: Jameis Winston (if he starts), Julio Jones, Matt Ryan, Alvin Kamara, Calvin Ridley, Michael Thomas (prioritize if Winston starts/downgrade if he doesn’t), Emmanuel Sanders (if Winston starts), Hayden Hurst
Bengals at Washington Football Team, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Joe Burrow was destroyed, as predicted, by the Steelers pass rush last week, as he took four sacks and failed to complete any of his 13 pass attempts while pressured. He went 213-1 last week, going 21-for-40. He has failed to reach 250-yards the last two. In 4-of-6 games, he has 0/1 passing scores. He has not been picked in two games. He has seven scores and two picks in five road games. The opponent is 5th in DVOA pass defense.
The opponent this week allows the second-fewest points per game to running backs.
RB Snaps: Bernard 44, Perine 16, T Williams 5
RB Touches: Bernard 12, Perine 8, T. Williams 5
Gio Bernard was a disappointment last week, going 8-30 and then 4-17 as a pass catcher. In three games without Mixon, he’s averaged 12-43 on the ground and 4-31 as a pass catcher with a touchdown per outing. In his last four, he’s averaged 3.8 receptions.
Joe Mixon (foot) did not play again last week. He never went on IR but has missed three games. He was still not practicing early in the week. He has averaged 22-88-1 his last three games with 4.7 catches an outing.
Samaje Perine only got work last week late in the game when it was over. He’s gone 17-80-1 on the ground the last two games with two catches for nine yards.
The opponent this week allows the second-fewest points to wideouts per game.
Tyler Boyd went 8-6-41, his second-lowest yardage total of the year but the sixth time in nine outings with six receptions. In his last eight games, he’s averaged 7-74 on nine targets. He has two scores in three games. He is tied for fourth in football in end-zone targets the last four weeks with five.
A.J. Green has 1.0 yards per route run this season. He didn’t catch any of his five targets last week. After going 24-15-178 in two outings, he’s gone 10-2-19 in two games.
Tee Higgins went 9-7-15-1 last week. That’s 100-yards twice in four games and at least 5-71 in all four of those outings averaging 6-97. He has gone 4-60 in his last six outings.
Auden Tate has 2.1 yards per route run this season. In the last two weeks, he’s gone 9-91 on 11 targets and has seemingly passed Green.
John Ross got hurt playing defense in practice.
Drew Sample has gone 3-1-9 his last two games and has been under 10-yards in 3-of-4. The opponent this week allows the 8th most points per game to tight ends than any in football.
Washington Football Team
Alex Smith threw for 390 yards on 55 passes last time out. The yards and attempts were career-highs. In the last two games, he’s thrown for a massive 715 yards. He also has but one score and three picks. His 6.1 air yards per attempt is his worst mark since 2009. The opponent this week allows the 7th most points per game to the QB, and they produce the lowest pressure rate in the league.
The Bengals are allowing 5.2 YPC the last four weeks.
RB Snaps: McKissic 62, Gibson 33, Barber 10
RB Touches: Gibson 17, McKissic 15 (15 targets)
Peyton Barber has gone 40-88-2 this season.
Antonio Gibson touched the ball on 3rd down for the second time all season last week. He went 13-45-2 on the ground and then 4-20 as a pass catcher. That’s four scores in three games and seven rushing scores his last eight. He has accounted for a third of the teams’ touchdowns, a top-5 mark in football for a back. However, he’s been under 50 rushing yards in 6-of-7. He has at least three catches in 6-of-7.
Bryce Love (knee) is still on the IR.
J.D. McKissic has seen 29 targets the last two weeks, going 29-16-108-0. Last week, he went 7-43 as a pass catcher and 8-27-1 on the ground. That was his first score of the year. He has caught at least six passes in 5-of-6 outings.
The opponent this week allows the 7th most points to wideouts per game.
WR Snaps: McLaurin 86, C. Sims 84, S. Sims 40, Wright 29
Antonio Gandy-Golden (hamstring) last played in Week 6.
Dontrelle Inman (hamstring) hasn’t caught a pass since Week 6.
Terry McLaurin went 9-7-95 last week with a 27-yard run. That’s 14-210-1 in two games with Smith. He has at least seven targets in every game. He has two scores in three games. He’s caught exactly seven passes in 4-straight.
Cam Sims went 5-4-54 last week. He’s at 9-7-164-0 the last two with Smith, as he’s played well over 80-percent of the snaps.
Steven Sims Jr. went 6-5-46 last week. He has gone 7-6-50-0 in two games with Smith.
Isaiah Wright went 6-6-59 last week. He has caught at least three passes in 5-of-6. He doesn’t have a score and just one game of 35-yards.
Logan Thomas went 6-4-66 last week. That’s two straight with Six targets working with Smith. He has a touchdown or six targets in 4-straight. He’s been at 60-yards in 2-of-3. The opponent this week allows the second-most points per game to tight ends than any in football.
DFS Notes: Washington and Cincinnati face off this weekend in what is expected to be a close game. The over/under for this contest is 47 points, a 1.5-point increase from where it opened. The Bengals are 1.5-point dogs in this one on the road.
Washington’s defense has been very good this season. They rank 7th in overall defense according to DVOA, 5th in pass defense DVOA, and 14th in rush defense DVOA. The Bengals have been the total opposite sitting at 30th in overall defense DVOA, 29th in pass defense DVOA, and 21st in rush defense DVOA.
Joe Mixon has already been ruled out for this contest, which means that Giovani Bernard (DK $5500, FD $6300, SD 1.7x) is in line for another start. This is not a great matchup for Bernard, but Washington is not flawless against the run. They allow 98.3 rushing yards per game and 4.1 YPC to opposing backs. In his last three games filling in for the injured Mixon, Bernard is averaging 16 touches per game and scored three touchdowns, while eclipsing 75 total yards in two of those contests. Considering his role when Mixon is off the field and his price, Bernard is a viable option in all formats this week. I am not expecting a ceiling game, but he should provide us with a solid floor.
The Washington backfield is a tricky one. Both Antonio Gibson and J.D. McKissic are in good spots this week. The Bengals are awful against opposing backs, allowing 115.7 rushing yards per game (4th most) and a healthy 5.2 yards per carry. Gibson is the primary ball carrier for Washington and this should be a favorable game script for their backfield, considering they are slightly favored. However, the fact that his touches are inconsistent, makes him a volatile option, even in a great matchup. McKissic continues to see an abundance of targets, with 29 in his last two games. However, he has only 11 rush attempts combined in those two contest and has yet carried the ball more than eight times in a single game this season. Of the two, I’d prioritize Gibson.
Terry McLaurin (DK $6900, FD $7300, SD 1.4x) is in a great spot this week against a very generous Cincy secondary. The Bengals give up 181 receiving yards to opposing receivers (9th most) and have surrendered 13 touchdowns (tied for 2nd most). In addition, they allow a healthy 67 percent catch rate. As Tyler Buecher pointed out in his WR Coach article, McLaurin draws a great one-on-one matchup. He has now finished with at least 90 receiving yards in three straight games and has scored a touchdown in two of those, while catching seven passes in four straight contests. Look for McLaurin to continue dominating this week in yet another favorable matchup.
I have recommended Logan Thomas in the past and considering how miserable the tight end position is this week, I will do so again. Look, he’s not great by any means, but he does come at a cheap price and sees decent volume. Thomas has no less than four targets in a single game this season and has 11 in his last two. Not to mention, he accounts for 30 percent of Washington’s red zone targets and has a big role in their passing game. The Bengals are giving up the second most receiving yards per game to tight ends and have allowed six touchdowns to the position. This sets up to be a solid matchup and he gives you some nice salary relief.
Cash game options: Giovani Bernard
Gpp options: Terry McLaurin, Antonio Gibson, Logan Thomas, J.D. McKissic, Washington defense
Dolphins at Broncos, 4:05 p.m. (CBS)
The Dolphins have won 5-straight, three with Tua.
Ryan Fitzpatrick still awaits another chance.
Tua Tagovailoa (foot) became the second rookie in the Super Bowl era to go three outings without throwing a pick. However, he went just 162-2 on 25 pass attempts, and two of his passes should have been picked last week, while one of his passes two weeks ago was a pick overturned on replay. In three games, he’s averaged 25 attempts, going 170-1.7-0.
RB Snaps: Ahmed 44, Laird 10, Washington 4
RB Touches: Ahmed 22, Perry 3, Washington 2, Laird 2, Breida/Howard 0
Lynn Bowden Jr. last touched the ball in Week 5.
Salvon Ahmed handled nearly 85 percent of the rushing attempts going 21-85-1. He also ran 15 routes. In two games, he’s at 28-123-1 with one catch. He was the only game in town last week, just as Myles Gaskin had been before him.
Matt Breida (hamstring) can’t get healthy. He was practicing early in the week and seems likely to suit up.
Jordan Howard leads the team with four scores (tied with P. Williams). He was a healthy scratch last week and released this week.
Patrick Laird has four carries this season.
Jakeem Grant led the team with four grabs last week. That’s 2-straight games of five targets and four catches for less than 45-yards. That is 3-of-4 with four catches and less than 50-yards. His score last week was the first of the year as a pass catcher. He has a score in 3-of-4 against the AFC West.
DeVante Parker lost a score on review last week and ended up going 7-2-31. In three games with Tua, he has gone a measly 16-9-98-1 with one outing of 35-yards. He does have seven targets in two straight. He has one score in four games.
Preston Williams (foot) is on the IR.
TE Snaps: Smythe 39, Gesicki 28, Shaheen 22
TE Targets: Gesicki 5
Mike Gesicki went 5-2-40 last week, as he was second on the team in yardage. In three games with Tua, he’s at 9-5-82. He last scored in Week 3. He has one game of 45-yards in seven outings.
Adam Shaheen has two scores in five games but one catch in three.
Durham Smythe scored last game, when he wasn’t covered. That’s two scores in four.
The Broncos have 12 points the last three first halves.
The opponent is 8th in DVOA pass defense.
Brett Rypien might be the QB this week. He has two scores and four picks on 40 passes this season.
Drew Lock (ribs) threw four picks last week. He’s tossed one pick in 5-straight games, throwing a remarkable 10 in that time while throwing just six passing scores. He’s hit on just 54 percent of the 40 passes a week he’s thrown in that time. He’s bottom three in the league in completion rate while under pressure. It is unclear if he will play this week, but the team is holding out hope.
The opponent this week is fourth from the bottom in rushing DVOA.
RB Snaps: Gordon 40, Lindsay 21, Freeman 10
RB Touches: Gordon 11, Lindsay 4, Freeman 2
Royce Freeman doesn’t see the field with the other two backs healthy.
Melvin Gordon (ankle) went 11-46 last week. He has 25 carries the last three games going 25-90-0. He has caught seven passes for 30-yards in that time. He has scored in 6-straight against the AFC East.
Phillip Lindsay went 4-2 last week. He has gone 12-25 the last two games. He has single-digit carries in 5-of-6 games. He has one rushing score this season with two catches for 14 yards. He has 75 scrimmage yards in 2-straight at home though he doesn’t have more than nine touches in any game that Gordon has played.
WR Snaps: Hamler 62, Jeudy 61, Patrick 42, Hamilton 31
DaeSean Hamilton went 6-4-33-1 last week. That is his second game with four catches in three outings, and in both, he has a touchdown (his only two of the year). He has one game of 35-yards.
KJ Hamler went 10-5-50 last week. That’s 2-straight with double-digit targets leading to 10-125-0. That’s 3-straight with a score or 10 targets.
Jerry Jeudy went 8-4-68 last week. In the last three, he’s averaging 11-5-89. He’s been over 60-yards in 3-straight but just 3-of-5. His aDOT of 14.2 is impressive. In the last four games, he leads wideouts in routes run and is first in air yards. He has one score in five games.
Tim Patrick was ejected last week for fighting but went 6-4-61. He has caught four passes in 5-of-6 games averaging 4-65 in that time. He has three scores in six games.
Noah Fant (ankle) saw seven targets last week but went just 3-18. That’s 3-of-4 games with three catches. He has seven targets in 3-of-4, as well. In those four, he’s averaged 4-37-0 though. His last game of 50-yards was Week 2, which is also the last time he scored (the Dolphins have allowed three touchdowns to ends the last two weeks). He was not practicing early in the week.
DFS Notes: This is one of my least favorite games on the board this week and one I plan on having little exposure to. The red hot Dolphins head to Denver to take on the Broncos. This contest has the lowest over/under of the week at 45.5 points. Miami is a 3.5- point favorite in this contest, though both teams have low implied totals.
Miami’s defense has played well as of late, though they do funnel to the run. They rank 8th in pass defense DVOA and 29th in rush defense DVOA. They have struggled against the run, but the Broncos have not been able to run the ball efficiently as of late. Denver ranks 12th in pass defense DVOA and 17th in rush defense DVOA.
Drew Lock is considered questionable for this contest with a rib injury. He was able to practice Thursday and Friday, which bodes well for his availability for this contest.
Miami will once again be without Myles Gaskin, but do get Matt Breida back this week. His presence will likely cut into Salvon Ahmed’s workload who is coming off a game where he attempted 21 runs.
Overall this is a game where I do not want much exposure to. In fact, both defenses are viable options this week.
Cash game options: N/A
Gpp options: Dolphins defense, Broncos defense
Jets at Chargers, 4:05 p.m. (CBS)
New York Jets
Sam Darnold (shoulder) will not play this week. It’s Joe Flacco time! Flacco wasn’t bad last time out, going 262-3-1, and he has four scores and two picks his last three outings. His 57-percent completion rate is horrible, though his 71.4 QBR is a career-best. The opponent this week allows the 6th most points per game to the QB.
Frank Gore has carried the ball at least nine times his last eight games. In those eight, he’s averaged 13-45-0. Yep, no scores and one catch a game for six yards.
La’Mical Perine has finally been named the feature back, well probably. Maybe. He has one rushing score this season. He has one game of 30 rushing yards with a high of 40. He has a 3.6 YPC mark and is at 1.7 in YAC with a broken tackle every 24 carries. None of this is good.
The opponent this week allows the sixth-fewest points to wideouts per game.
Jamison Crowder has seven catches or a touchdown in all five games he’s played. Alas, after seeing at least 10 targets his first four games, he saw just two last week. He’s scored twice in three games and has caught seven passes in 4-of-5. He also has three scores his last four on the road.
Denzel Mims has played 96 percent of the snaps the last two games going 11-6-84-0. He has no scores in three games but at least 42 yards in all three.
Breshad Perriman (shoulder) scored twice in his last game. He has caught four passes for 60-yards in 2-of-3. He also has been under 30-yards three times with four scoreless outings in five contests.
Ryan Griffin had his best game of the season last time out. He went 2-28. The opponent this week allows the fourth-most points per game to tight ends than any in football.
Los Angeles Chargers
Justin Herbert became the first rookie with 6-straight games of two touchdown passes last week, but he didn’t play well, going 187-2-1. He also added a rushing score. That was his first game under 250-yards this season. He also has at least three touchdowns in 4-of-5 games, and he has nine scores (two rush) in four home games. The opponent this week allows the fourth-most points per game to the QB, and they rank last in DVOA pass defense.
Tyrod Taylor still isn’t throwing interceptions.
The opponent allows the 7th most points per week to running backs.
The Chargers have NO plan in the backfield. They just make it up weekly (they have had five different lead backs this year – Ekeler, Pope, Kelley, Jackson, Ballage).
RB Snaps: Ballage 46, Kelley 17
RB Touches: Ballage 23, Kelley 7
Kalen Ballage went 18-68 on the ground and 6-5-34 as a pass catcher on 22 pass routes. He carried the ball four times inside the 10-yard line. That’s 2-straight of 15-65 while he’s averaged 4.15 YPC. He’s touched the ball 40 times the last two games averaging 93 scrimmage yards while scoring once. He’s their guy.
Austin Ekeler (knee/hamstring) is on the IR.
Justin Jackson (knee) didn’t play last week and won’t for at least a few more, as he was placed on the IR.
Joshua Kelley went 7-21 on the ground last week, and he did not see a single target. He’s been under 35 rushing yards in 6-straight games, and his last rushing score was Week 1. He has caught six balls for 24 yards the last three games. He has 50 scrimmage yards in 4-straight home games.
Gabe Nabers has two scores in three games. He also has three touches in three games.
Troymaine Pope was active in Week 10 and didn’t see a touch – or a snap.
Keenan Allen fumbled last week and went just 7-3-39, but he scored. He has scored in 3-straight and 4-of-5. He has at least seven catches or a touchdown in eight straight outings. He has seen 10 or more targets in six of those. He has gone 9-100 in 3-straight at home.
Jalen Guyton saw six targets last week, going 4-24. That was his first game with more than two catches and his first game in three outings with 10 yards. He has one score in five games.
Mike Williams went 5-2-38 last week, his lowest yardage total since Week 7. It was his second in five under 40-yards, though, in the other three outings, he’s at 5-80 each time out. He has three scores in five games. He has a huge 16.5 aDOT. He is tied for fourth in football in end zone targets the last four weeks with five.
Hunter Henry scored last week when he was left wide open in the end zone. He went 6-4-30-1 in the outing. He has exactly four catches in three straight without an effort of 35-yards. In fact, he hasn’t hit 35-yards in 5-straight though he has caught exactly four passes in four of those games. He has one score in four outings.
DFS Notes: The Chargers host the Jets this weekend and are 9.5-point favorites. This contest has a 46-point implied total, one of the lowest on the slate, but the Chargers do have a healthy implied team total of 27.75.
Justin Herbert (DK $6800, FD $8500, SD 1.15x) did not have a great game last week, but still managed over 20 fantasy points. He threw for 187 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception, adding a rushing touchdown. He draws a great matchup this week against the Jets 32nd ranked DVOA pass defense. New York is allowing 287.1 passing yards per game (5th most) and a league high 72 percent completion rate to opposing signal callers. Herbert has thrown for over 260 passing yards in all but one game this season and has two or more touchdown passes in every single game. He should be able to absolutely carve up this Jets defense on Sunday.
I will be pairing Herbert up with Keenan Allen (DK $7400, FD $8000, SD 1.2x) who has been a model of consistency all season long. Allen has scored a touchdown in three consecutive games and continues to be one of the highest targeted receivers in football. He has double-digit targets in all but two games since Herbert started playing and in one of those games, Allen exited early. Allen should have a field day with this Jets secondary who gives up a 72 percent catch rate and the 4th most receiving yards to opposing receivers.
In tournaments, I like the idea of looking at the cheaper and lower owned Mike Williams (DK $5100, FD $5900, SD 1.75x). Williams is far more volatile than Allen, but he offers an insane ceiling. Not to mention, Williams has been getting solid looks every week, with at least five targets in four of his last five contests. Like Allen, Williams should be able to exploit this soft matchup and has the potential for a big outing.
For the second consecutive week, Kalen Ballage got at least 17 touches and has been the featured back for the Chargers backfield. In Week 9, he rushed for 69 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries, while catching two passes for 15 yards. In Week 10, he ran for 68 yards on 18 carries, catching five passes for 34 yards. Not to mention, he has 11 red zone carries during those two games and accounts for 27 percent of the team’s red zone carries this season. This type of usage should not go unnoticed, making Ballage a viable option in tournaments. However, I would much rather focus on the passing attack for the Chargers this week.
Jamison Crowder (DK $6100, FD $6600, SD 1.35x) can be considered in tournaments if you are trying to run it back with a Jets player. He didn’t have a great game his last time out, but did score a touchdown. Prior dealing with his groin injury, Crowder was playing at a high level and seeing serious volume. In his first four games of the season prior to last game, Crowder had received no less than 10 targets in a single game and had come down with at least seven receptions, topping 100 yards in all but one game. In a game where the Jets are expected to be chasing points, Crowder could be in for another high volume day.
Cash game options: Justin Herbert (DK), Keenan Allen
Gpp options: Mike Williams, Kalen Ballage, Jamison Crowder, Chargers defense
Packers at Colts, 4:25 p.m. (Fox)
Green Bay Packers
Aaron Rodgers went 325-2-1 last week while also scoring on the ground. He’s either produced two scores or thrown for 300-yards in every game this year. Further, his per outing average is 286 yards, 2.9 touchdown passes and 0.33 interceptions. In five road games, he has 15 touchdown passes. The opponent this week allows the fewest points per game to quarterbacks. The opponent is 4th in DVOA pass defense.
The opponent this week allows the third-fewest points per game to running backs. The opponent ranks fourth in rushing DVOA.
RB Snaps: Jones 41, Williams 31
RB Touches: Jones 18, Williams 11
Six games together (touches): Jones 111, Williams 57
AJ Dillon (illness) last played in Week 8.
Aaron Jones went 13-46 on the ground and 5-49 as a pass catcher. He had one fewer touch than normal and his second-highest snap percentage of the season last week despite the panic on Twitter. He has one rushing score in four games. He has no scores in two. He still has seven scores in seven games. He has five receptions in 3-of-4 games.
Jamaal Williams went 8-30 on the ground and 4-3-25 as a pass catcher. In the last three, he’s averaged 4.3 grabs for 30 yards. He has one score this season.
The opponent this week allows the 7th fewest points to wideouts per game.
WR Snaps: MVS 60, Adams 53, Brown 31
Devante Adams (ankle) went 12-8-66-1, as he played hurt. He lost a second touchdown on a holding penalty. He has seven scores his last four. He is one of three players with 700-9 the first seven games of a season (Harrison/Moss). He has 10 targets and six catches each of his five games since returning. He was not practicing early in the week.
Equanimeous St. Brown has 35 snaps the last two games – and no targets.
Allen Lazard (abdominal) is expected to suit up this week. In his only three games this season, he averaged 4.3 catches, 84.7 yards and 5.7 targets while scoring twice and playing more than 85 percent of the snaps. He may not see a full snap share.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling went huge last week at 6-4-149-1. That was his fifth score of 40-yards since the start of last season, one off the NFL leader (Hill/A.J. Brown). MVS has three scores in two games. He also has three scores his last seven games and has been over 55-yards once in that time.
The opponent this week allows the fewest points a week to tight ends.
Jace Sternberger has one catch in two games. Robert Tonyan went 4-3-33 last week. He has not scored since Adams returned to action after scoring five times his first four games. He has one game of 35-yards in five games.
Philip Rivers went 308-1-0 on 39 passes last week. Rivers has just 11 passing scores in nine games, including just one his last two games. He has only one pick in three, but in 7-of-9 outings, he’s tossed 0/1 touchdown passes. In four home games, he’s thrown five passing scores. The opponent this week allows the fourth-fewest points per game to quarterbacks.
The opponent allows the third-most points per week to running backs.
RB Snaps: Hines 39, Taylor 17, Wilkins 14
RB Touches: Hines 17, Taylor 9, Wilkins 8
Nyheim Hines had his best rushing game of the season last time out, going 12-70-1 on the ground and then 5-45-1 as a pass catcher. That was his first game with 30 rushing yards. He has six touchdowns this season in just three games. That means he has six scores but also six games without a score this season. He does have four scores the last three overall. The Packers allow 7.5 yards per target to backs, most in football.
Jonathan Taylor continues to regress. He went 7-12 last time, as he was stuffed at the goal line on a carry. In the last three games, he’s at 24-61-1, just 2.54 YPC. He has a mere 13 carries the last two games. His three-week high in the snap share is 34 percent, and the mark was just 24 percent in the last game. His 1.3 YAC is terrible. He has a rushing score in 3-of-4 home games.
Jordan Wilkins went 8-28 on the ground last week, though he was stuffed at the goal line on a carry. He also failed to catch his lone target. In the last three games, he’s at 39-156-1. His snap percentage the last three is at 51, 34 and 20 percent. He has a 1.9 YAC.
The opponent this week allows the 9th fewest points to wideouts per game.
Parris Campbell (knee) last played in Week 2. In his lone healthy game, he went 9-6-71.
T.Y. Hilton (groin) ended up playing last game and – doing nothing. He went 5-44-0. In his last three games, he’s gone 12-7-60-0. He does not have a touchdown this season. He does not have a game of 70-yards. He’s been under 45-yards in 4-of-5 games.
Zach Pascal went 5-4-33 last game. Over his last four games, he’s averaged 4-47 while seeing six targets per outing. He’s also caught four passes in 3-of-4. He has one score in seven games.
Michael Pittman went 8-7-101 – setting bests across the board. He also led the team with 29 percent of the air yards. He also had a 21-yard carry in a breakout effort. In the previous three games, he went 12-8-88. In the last two outings, Pittman has played more than 80 percent of the snaps while seeing 15 targets, leading to an average effort of 5.5 catches and 78.5 yards.
The opponent this week allows the third-fewest points a week to tight ends.
TE Snaps Last Game: Cox 46, Burton 37
Trey Burton went 3-3-24 last time out. He has one receiving score, back in Week 6. In the last three games, he’s gone 11-7-39. He does have three scores in four games, but two of them were rushes, and that’s just not something to count on in the least.
Mo Allie-Cox went 4-3-19 last game. He has two scores but hasn’t scored in four. In his last three games, he’s caught exactly three passes, leading to an average of 3-33 an outing.
Jack Doyle (head) did not play in the last game. He has two scores his last three games. However, his last game with 30-yards was in Week 1. He has just two games with three catches this season.
DFS Notes: The Colts and Packers game has the highest implied total on the slate at 51 points, a two-point increased since it opened. The Packers are on the road as 2.5-point underdogs. This is total is somewhat surprising to me considering how good the Colts defense has been this season. Then again, the Packers offense has been stout as well.
Indy ranks 4th in overall defense according to DVOA, as well as 4th in both pass and rush defense DVOA. The Packers come in as a middling defense, ranking 16th in overall defense according to DVOA, 16th in pass defense DVOA, and 22nd in rush defense DVOA. The best way to target the Green Bay defense is with opposing backs, but considering the mess this Colts backfield has become, it may be difficult to do this week.
On the injury front, Green Bay gets Jaire Alexander back this week who missed last week’s game. This is huge for their defense and bad news for Michael Pittman who could draw coverage from Alexander this week.
Davante Adams (DK $8600, FD $9500, SD 1x) who is battling an ankle injury is fully expected to suit up against the Colts. This is not an ideal matchup for Adams, but even in tough matchups he is in play. The type of volume that Adams receives on a weekly basis is insane. He has 10 or more targets in all but one game this season. In the only game he didn’t receive double-digit targets, he left early, but was off to a great start catching all three of his targets for 36 yards. Adams is ninth in targets this season among receivers, but has missed two games. We have seen him smash in difficult matchups in the past and considering his potential low ownership this weekend, he can be considered in GPP’s.
I am on the fence about considering Aaron Rodgers (DK $7000, FD $9000, SD 1x) in cash this weekend or leaving him strictly for tournaments. This is not an easy matchup. The Colts have limited quarterbacks to 212.9 passing yards per game (lowest in the NFL) and 11 passing touchdowns (tied for 2nd fewest). Not to mention, give up just a 62 percent completion percentage, which is tied for third fewest. Despite all that, we can’t ignore how well Rodgers has played this season. He has had one bad game this season and that was against the Bucs in Week 6. Outside of that week, Rodgers has thrown for three or more touchdowns in all but two games. He is averaging 284 passing yards per game and has topped 300 passing yards four of his nine games this season, including his last two. The matchup is making me hesitate, but Rodgers is having a stellar season and can erupt for a big game at any moment.
I want to have exposure to the Colts backfield because of how great this matchup is. However, as I pointed out in my Snap Counts article at Fantasy Guru, this backfield has been difficult to predict in recent weeks. Taking that into consideration, along with no real price discount, I do not plan on investing in it. I would not be surprised if one of the Colts backs had a big game, but pinpointing who it will be, is going to be a tough task.
Cash game options: N/A
Gpp options: Aaron Rodgers, Davante Adams, Aaron Jones
Cowboys at Vikings, 4:25 p.m. (Fox)
Andy Dalton has been activated off the Covid list and is expected to play this week. He has one passing score and three picks in 85 passes. That’s 17 passing scores and 17 picks his last 17 NFL outings. The Vikings have the third-worst PFF pass rush grade, which could help the battered Cowboys o-line this week.
Ezekiel Elliott does not have a score in four games, though he leads the league with 13 carries inside the 5-yard line this season. In those four, he’s averaged 15-52 on the ground and 3-16 as a pass catcher. He has one game of 65 rushing yards in seven outings. He has one game of 35 receiving yards this season. He has scored three times in four road games.
Tony Pollard has one touchdown this season. In the last four games, he’s at 34-144-0 on the ground and 9-6-40-0 as a pass catcher. In the last two, he’s at 16-97 with three grabs for 25 yards.
Amari Cooper has gone 5-65 in 3-of-4 games. He has one score in that time, his only score in five. He has gone 7-80 in 3-of-4 road games. His aDOT was 12.5 last year and is way down to 8.6 this year. He’s only added three-tenths of a yard to his YAC at 3.8 per catch.
The opponent this week allows the 5th most points to wideouts per game. That includes 1.8 touchdowns per game.
Michael Gallup has seen a large total of targets (19) the last two games, going 10-97. He hasn’t hit 65-yards in four games, and he has but one score this season. He’s still played at least 81 percent of the snaps in every game. He has six catches in 2-of-3 on the road.
CeeDee Lamb scored last time out, his first in five games. He has four receptions each of the last two, and he’s caught four in 8-of-9 games. Alas, he has a total of 98 yards the last three games.
Dalton Schultz has not scored in five games. He has four catches in 3-of-4 games. In those four, he’s at 4-39.5 on six targets as an average. He has 15 targets the last two.
Kirk Cousins went 292-1-1 on 36 pass attempts. That was his first game in three with 21 passing attempts. He has just one pick in three, and in his last seven, he has 15 passing scores while averaging 254 passing yards. He has six passing scores and five picks in five road games.
The opponent this week is fifth from the bottom in rushing DVOA.
Dalvin Cook went 30-96 last week with just two runs of 10-yards (both in the 4th quarter). He also caught four balls for 16 yards. He has 100 scrimmage yards in 5-of-6 (the one with injury). He has at least 22 carries for 95 yards in 5-of-6 outings. Last week was the first time he didn’t score this season, but he still has 13 touchdowns in eight games and 12 rushing scores his last nine at home.
Alexander Mattison went 2-4 last week, a season-low carry total, and did not see a target. He’s seen no targets in three games and has been under 10 rushing yards in 2-of-3.
The opponent this week allows the third-most points to wideouts per game. That includes 1.8 touchdowns a game.
Justin Jefferson went 10-8-135, his fourth 100-yard game of the year (the rookie record is seven). He’s been under 65-yards in 2-of-3 and 3-of-5 outings, but he is still third in football with nearly 50 percent of his team’s air yards the last four weeks. He also has three catches in 3-of-5. His aDOT is 12.6, while his YAC is a healthy 6.7. He has two scores in six games. Oh, and he leads football in yards per route run.
Adam Thielen went 7-4-43-2 last week. He leads the NFL with nine receiving scores, tying his career-best, in just nine games. He has eight scores his last eight at home. However, his average game the last four outings is 3-40 on 5.3 targets as he has a high of 51 yards and four receptions.
Kyle Rudolph went 5-4-63 last week with a fumble, the first lost one of his career. His yardage total was a season-best and his first of 50 this season. He has one score, back in Week 3.
Irv Smith (groin) did not play last week. He has a score or four receptions for 50-yards in 3-of-4 outings. However, he’s at 3-26 the last two, though he’s also scored twice in those two outings.
DFS Notes: The Cowboys and Vikings game is one I have plenty of interest in this week. It has a 47.5-point over/under and the Vikings are seven-point favorites. That said, neither of these defenses are all that imposing.
Dallas ranks 20th in overall defense DVOA, 18th in pass defense DVOA, and 28th in rush defense DVOA. Minnesota ranks 10th in overall defense DVOA, 11th in pass defense DVOA, and 15th in rush defense DVOA. Despite being top 16 across the board according to DVOA, the Vikings have been exposed multiple times this season and are far from elite.
Dalvin Cook (DK $9000, FD $10,500, SD 1.05x) is my favorite overall play on the entire slate. He will be chalk, but this is chalk I am willing to eat. He faces a Cowboys defense that is giving up 126.6 rushing yards per game (2nd most) and a healthy 4.8 YPC to opposing backs, to go with eight rushing touchdowns. Cook has been insanely good this season. In fact, for the first time all season, he failed to score a touchdown in last week’s game. It was bound to happen at some point, but even against a stingy Bears defense, Cook topped 100 total yards. He is going to have a field day against the Cowboys and makes for a strong play in all formats.
Adam Thielen (DK $6300, FD $7300, SD 1.3x) is mispriced this week at just 12 percent of the salary cap on both FD and DK. He faces off against a Cowboys defense that is giving up 175.1 receiving yards per game to wideouts, a defense that has allowed 16 receiving touchdowns to the position, which is tied for most in the NFL. This bodes well for Thielen who has 11 red zone targets, good for 48 percent of the Vikings target share inside the 20-yard line. Thielen has caught 91 percent of his targets and has scored in 80 percent of his receptions. Talk about the perfect matchup for Thielen, who I expect will light up this secondary.
The Cowboys will get Andy Dalton (DK $5300, FD $6900, SD 1.55x) back this week. His first game as a starter, Dalton was bad and then in his second game he was knocked out of the game after a brutal late hit, which sidelined him for a few games. This week he gets a nice matchup fresh out of his bye. The Vikings are giving up 278.6 passing yards per game (6th most) and have surrendered 19 passing touchdowns (tied for 6th most). This will be Dalton’s best matchup thus far and his cheap price, along with the expected game script, makes him an appealing GPP option.
Pairing him up with either CeeDee Lamb (DK $5000, FD $5800, SD 1.65x) or Amari Cooper (DK $5400, FD $6900, SD 1.25x) is the way I would approach the Cowboys stack. On DK, both are fairly priced, but on both SD and FD I am going to be taking the discount on Lamb.
The Vikings are giving up 179 receiving yards per game (11th most) to opposing receivers and a healthy 68 percent catch rate (tie for 5th most). Let’s not forget the 16 receiving touchdowns to the position, which is tied for most in the NFL. Cooper and Lamb should EAT in this contest and considering their talent, I think we could all agree that they come at a bargain price, especially on DK.
I love the idea of stacking this game!
Cash game options: Dalvin Cook, Adam Thielen
Gpp options: Andy Dalton, Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb, Justin Jefferson
Chiefs at Raiders, 8:20 p.m. (NBC)
Kansas City Chiefs
Patrick Mahomes has 25 touchdown passes on the season and one pick in Week 5… in the previous matchup with the Raiders. In that game, he went 340-2-1 with a rushing score. In the last two games, he’s gone at least 370-4 in both outings. In five outings in the matchup, he’s averaged 307 yards and 2.6 touchdown passes.
The opponent allows the fifth-most points per week to running backs. The opponent this week is seventh from the bottom in rushing DVOA.
RB Snaps: CEH 25, Bell 19, Williams 18
RB Touches: CEH 8, Bell 5, Williams 1
Three Games With Bell (touches): CEH 26, Bell 20, Williams 5
Three Games With Bell (scrimmage yards): CEH 128, Bell 80, Williams 29
There has been no rushing attack in three games with Bell on the roster.
Le’Veon Bell is at 10-15 on the ground the last two outings with four catches for 26 yards. He’s been an abject failure to date.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire, the last three games, is at 19-80-1 on the ground (he’s at 11-35 the last two). That is his only rushing score since Week 1. He has at least three catches in 7-of-8 games and scored as a pass catcher last time. He’s had 10 or fewer carries in 4-of-5, which includes a 10-40 effort in the Week 5 matchup. He has 125 scrimmage yards in 2-of-3 on the road.
Darwin Thompson has no carries the last two games.
DeAndre Washington has five carries this season (two last game).
Darrel Williams has three carries and two catches in three games.
Mecole Hardman (Covid) has one score in five outings. In his last three games, he has at least 57 yards each time while averaging 5-4-67. In the earlier matchup, he went 3-2-50. His aDOT is just 9.6.
Tyreek Hill had his first 100-yard game of the year last time out. In his last three outings, he’s scored five times while averaging 11-6-89. In the earlier matchup, he went 6-3-78-0. He leads the AFC with nine receiving scores.
Demarcus Robinson has scored the last two games. In those two, he’s gone 8-7-99-2. He has two games of 35-yards this season.
Sammy Watkins (hamstring) last played in Week 5, going 2-2-24-1 against the Raiders on just 26 snaps. He has two scores in five games but has just two games in five of 45-yards.
Travis Kelce has four scores in five games. In the last two, he’s seen 12 targets each time, averaging 9-134. Moreover, three times in five games, he’s gone at least 12-8-100, including the Week 5 matchup.
Las Vegas Raiders
Their entire defensive group is seemingly in the Covid protocols.
Derek Carr went 154-0 last week on 25 passes. That’s his third straight under 170-yards with no picks and a three-week high of 25 passes (all three games are wins). He has seven scores and one pick in four home starts. In the Week 5 matchup, he went 347-3-1 in his most productive outing of the season. The opponent this week allows the 8th fewest points per game to quarterbacks.
The opponent ranks third to last in rushing DVOA.
RB Snaps: Jacobs 44, Booker 25, Richard 3
RB Touches: Jacobs 25, Booker 17, Richard 0
Devontae Booker went 16-81-2 last week. Half his carries, and both scores, came in the 4th quarter of a blowout victory. He has three scores in two games. For more, see Buy or Sell?
Jalen Richard (chest) didn’t touch the ball last week.
Josh Jacobs went 21-112-2 last week. He also caught four passes for 28 yards. He has three scores in two games. In the earlier matchup, he went 23-77-2. He averages 20-78 on the ground and 2.6 grabs for another 17 yards. He has eight scores in nine games. He has five scores in his last three inner-division games.
The opponent this week allows the fifth-fewest points to wideouts per game.
WR Snaps: Ruggs 45, Agholor 43, Renfrow 34, Edwards 20, Jones 8
Nelson Agholor went 4-1-8 last week. He has four scores in six games but just one his last three. He has a total of three catches his last three games, twice finishing below 10 yards. He has scored on 28 percent of his catches, the only man over 25 percent in football.
Bryan Edwards has one target in two games since returning.
Hunter Renfrow lost a score last week on a penalty. He went 2-1-42 in the earlier matchup, and over his last five games, he’s seen 17 targets going 13-200-1. He’s been under 45-yards in all but one of those games.
Henry Ruggs went 4-3-31 the last game. His seasonal best is three catches. The only game this season that he has 10 PPR points was the Week 5 matchup with the Chiefs when he went 3-2-118-1 to get everyone excited. In four games since, he hasn’t hit 35-yards or scored.
Darren Waller dropped what would have been an easy score last week. It was brutal. He went 5-3-37. He was at 12.7 YPC last season, but that number is a mere 8.1 this season. Still, he’s caught five balls 5-of-6 games and averages 5.9 catches per outing. He has scored three times in five games and went 7-5-48-1 in the last matchup. The opponent this week allows the seventh fewest points a week to tight ends.
DFS Notes: It would be awesome if this game was on the main slate, but at least we get a great showdown slate game this week. The Chiefs and Raider will face off for the second time this season. This contest has the highest implied total of the week at 57 points. The last time these two teams faced off, the Raiders gave the Chiefs their only loss of the season, beating them 40-32. The Chiefs are fresh out of their bye week so we should expect them to be well prepared for this contest.
Kansas City solid defense that funnels to the run. Overall they rank as the 14th best defense according to DVOA. They sit at 7th in pass defense DVOA and 30th in run defense DVOA. They have truly struggled against the run, allowing 108.6 rushing yards per game (6th most) and a healthy 4.6 YPC to opposing backs. They have limited the damage, allowing just five rushing touchdowns to the position. However, they have also allowed 52 receptions for 439 yards and one touchdown, along with an 80 percent catch rate to backs.
This puts Josh Jacobs in a great spot against this defense. He rushed for 77 yards and two touchdowns against this defense the last time they faced off. Devontae Booker who has also been more involved as of late, makes for an interesting flex play on this slate.
The Raiders come in as a below average defense. They rank 21st in overall defense according to DVOA, 19th in pass defense DVOA, and 26th in rush defense DVOA. They are just as generous as the Chiefs are against the run, allowing 90.2 rushing yards per game and 4.6 YPC to opposing backs. In addition, the Raiders have surrendered nine rushing touchdowns. Not to mention, they have given up 55 receptions for 457 yards and two touchdowns to the position. They are just as bad against the pass, allowing 271.7 passing yards per game (9th most).
Patrick Mahomes, Tyreek Hill, and Travis Kelce should be able to shred this secondary apart this week and all make for strong captain options.
Captain slot options: Patrick Mahomes, Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, Josh Jacobs, Darren Waller
Flex slot options: Derek Carr, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Devontae Booker, Henry Ruggs, Nelson Agholor, both kickers
Monday, November 23rd
Rams at Buccaneers, 8:15 p.m. (ESPN)
Los Angeles Rams
LT Andrew Whitworth (MCL/PCL) is on the IR.
Jared Goff was disappointing last week, going 302-0-0 against Seattle. He has one score, though he’s thrown for 657 yards, the last two games while tossing 98 passes. On the road, he has 10 passing scores and five picks in five games. That’s a 5-game road average of 290-2-1. The Bucs have the 4th best PFF pass rush grade, and Goff stinks against the rush. The Bucs are #1 in DVOA passing defense. The opponent this week allows the 9th fewest points per game to the QB.
The opponent this week allows the sixth-fewest points per game to running backs. The opponent ranks second in rushing DVOA.
RB Snaps: Brown 32, Henderson 20, Akers 18
RB Touches: Akers 10, Brown 8, Henderson 8
Cam Akers led the backfield in touches and went 10-38. It was his most carries since Week 1. He doesn’t have a rushing score this season and has just one game of 40 rushing yards. He has one catch since Week 1.
Malcolm Brown went 6-33-2 last week, getting a third of the red-zone touches out of the backfield (he has 40-percent of the team’s carries inside the 10-yard line the last four weeks). He also went 2-18 as a pass catcher. In the last three, he has gone 26-130-1 as a runner with four catches for 35 yards.
Darrell Henderson went 7-28-1 last week. That was his first rushing score in four outings. In his last four games, he’s run for 88, 63, 47 and 27 yards. He carried the ball 29 times the first two of those outings but has just 15 carries the last two games. He has four scores his last five road tilts.
The opponent this week allows the 8th fewest points to wideouts per game.
WR Routes: Reynolds 37, Wood 35, Kupp 29
Cooper Kupp (wrist) barely played half the snaps last week. He went 7-5-50 in the game. He has five catches in 7-of-8 games. He has gone 16-160 the last two, but he’s been under 45-yards in 2-of-4 games. He also hasn’t scored in 5-straight.
Josh Reynolds led the team in routes and targets (10) last week. He went 10-8-94 in the effort. He has a 22-percent target share the last three games, as he has run only one less route than Woods in that time. He has four grabs in each game, averaging 5-63 on nine targets.
Robert Woods went 6-5-33 last week. He has 12 catches for 118 yards the last two outings. He has one game of 35 receiving yards in four, averaging 5-42. In his last five games, he’s scored four times, once rushing. He has six scores his last five on the road.
Six different tight ends have scored against the Bucs.
TE Snaps: Higbee 59, Everett 43
TE Touches: Higbee, 3, Everett 3
Gerald Everett went 3-2-27 last week. He is seventh in yardage by a tight end since Week 5. Over those five outings, he’s averaged 3.6 catches for 41 yards on five targets. He has one score in that time, and one this season.
Tyler Higbee went 6-3-60 last week. He could have had a score, but Goff simply missed him. His 60-yard total was a season-best, and his last game with more than three catches was Week 2. He hasn’t scored in six outings.
K Kai Forbath (ankle) is on the IR. Matt Gay will take over.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tom Brady went 341-3 with a rushing score last week, his third rushing score of the year. Brady has two passing scores in 4-of-5 outings averaging 2.2 touchdown passes in that time. He has three picks in six outings and four in eight. He has thrown the ball at least 38 times in 4-straight and 7-of-8. The opponent this week allows the second-fewest points per game to quarterbacks.
The opponent this week allows the fifth-fewest points per game to running backs.
RB Snaps: Jones 47, Fournette 29, McCoy 3
RB Touches: Jones 24, Fournette 10
Leonard Fournette went 8-19 last week and then 2-11 as a pass catcher. He played 36 percent of the snaps after being at 2/3 each of the previous two. He has nine carries in two games, but he does have 17 catches his last four. He hasn’t had a score since Week 2.
Ronald Jones went 23-192-1 as he had a 98-yard scoring run (he also fumbled in the game). He played 70 percent of the 1-2 down snaps. He had a total of 23 carries the previous three games going 23-66. He has four rushing scores in four games.
LeSean McCoy has six carries and 10 catches in six games.
Ke’Shawn Vaughn is still on the team.
The opponent this week allows the fewest points to wideouts per game.
The last two games (snaps/targets): Godwin (112/12), Evans (101/17), Brown (73/13)
Antonio Brown could be in more legal trouble. He went 8-7-69 last week, and Brady missed him on what could have been a big play on a crossing route. In two games, he’s gone 13-10-100-0.
Mike Evans went 11-6-77-1 and just missed a couple of other catches by inches. However, he has 181 yards in two games against the Panthers and is average under 45-yards an outing in all others. He has two scores in five games and just one outing of 65-yards in six games. He leads football with eight end zone targets the last four weeks.
Chris Godwin went 6-6-92 last week. He has at least six targets in every game, and he has five catches in 5-of-6. He has one score in four outings. He scored in the last meeting.
Tyler Johnson has gone 4-3-46-0 the last three games.
Scott Miller has gone 10-5-49-0 the last three.
Justin Watson last caught a pass in Week 4.
Cameron Brate went 3-3-31-1 last week. That was his first score since Week 4. It was his first game since Week 5 with three catches. It was just his third game this season with 30-yards.
Rob Gronkowski went 3-2-51-1 last week. He has a score or 50-yards in 6-straight games. He also has seven catches for 94 yards the last three games, including just three catches the last two games. He is second in football with seven end zone targets the last four weeks.
DFS Notes: The Bucs and Rams face off on Monday night in what should be a great football game. The over/under for this contest is 48.5 points and Tampa Bay is a 3.5-point home favorite.
Both of these defenses are good. Tampa Bay ranks 1st in overall defense according to DVOA, 1st in pass defense DVOA, and 2nd in rush defense DVOA. The Rams rank 8th in overall defense according to DVOA, 9th in pass defense DVOA, and 12th in rush defense DVOA.
The Rams could give brady a hard time with their pass rush Tom Brady and the same can be said about the Bucs defense for Jared Goff. We could see these two have trouble reaching their ceilings in this contest.
The Rams backfield is a mess, hence why I rather just fade them entirely, especially in this matchup. The Bucs are giving up just 54.7 rushing yards per game (fewest) and 3.1 YPC to opposing backs. They have allowed 66 receptions for 426 receiving yards and two receiving touchdowns, so there is a small path to success here.
The same can be said about the Bucs backfield, who we have seen feature both Ronald Jones and Leonard Fournette in recent weeks. The Rams are giving up just 78.4 rushing yards per game, but do allow 4.0 YPC. They have only surrendered four rushing touchdowns, tied for second fewest.
This matchup could end up being more of a defensive battle despite the talented offenses, as both defenses are also loaded with talent. These are two very strong teams going head to head on Monday night.
Captain slot options: Rob Gronkowski, Mike Evans, Cooper Kupp
Flex slot options: Tom Brady, Chris Godwin, Antonio Brown, Leonard Fournette, Ronald Jones, Robert Woods, Josh Reynolds, Jared Goff, both defenses, both kickers
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