Fantasy Football Today - fantasy football rankings, cheatsheets, and information
A Fantasy Football Community!

Create An Account  |  Advertise  |  Contact      

Inside the Matchup
Week 14
12/6/17; Updated: 12/8/17

By: Andy Swanson | Jason Katz | Nick Caron | Jake Gordon





- Green highllight indicates plus matchup (top eight)
- Red highlight indicates negative matchup (bottom eight)

Saints @ Falcons - (Gordon)

Passing Game Thoughts: Fantasy football can be a little odd at times. When looking at these two teams and the rivalry they have shared in high scoring affairs over the past few years it’s odd to consider that Drew Brees - a guy who has thrown for over 7,000 yards in 23 career games against Atlanta - enters this game as a borderline fantasy starter. A lack of touchdowns has prevented Brees from being elite this season and that could be the case again on Thursday night. Up until last year, the Saints’ signal caller had gone two years without a multiple-touchdown effort in this matchup. There will be plenty of situations where Brees could be benched but I’d give him a nod in this NFC South clash. Michael Thomas has only played in two games against last year’s NFC champs but he’s been tremendous with 17 receptions, 227 receiving yards and a pair of scores in those games as a rookie last season. He’s the only receiver getting consistent volume in the passing game to have worthwhile fantasy value this week. Ted Ginn Jr. continues to enjoy a high catch rate with Brees but has not been able to consistently steal enough looks to be a trustworthy fantasy option let alone when playoff implications are on the line. Only Denver and Philadelphia have given up more receiving touchdowns to running backs this season so Brees and his running backs will continue to serve as the primary option behind Thomas in the passing attack.

ATL FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.20
ATL FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.17
ATL FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.29
ATL FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.23

Running Game Thoughts: New Orleans running backs have scored at least 100 fantasy points or more than 30 NFL teams in 2017 using standard scoring. This backfield has been the most productive and consistent producer of fantasy on the year and they look primed for another solid outing against a run defense that has been merely average for most of the year. Mark Ingram rebounded quite nicely against the Panthers last week. He has now gone over 100 total yards and scored a touchdown in three of the last four games. He remains a fixture in fantasy lineups as a low end RB1 this week. Alvin Kamara is the hottest guy at the craps table these days. He has scored a receiving touchdown in five of the past six games and has surpassed Ingram to come into the week as the third highest scoring fantasy running back on the year. Don’t mess with success here folks, start him in all formats.

Value Meter:
QB1: Drew Brees
RB1: Alvin Kamara, Mark Ingram
WR1: Michael Thomas
Bench: Ted Ginn Jr., Brandon Coleman, Josh Hill, Coby Fleener, Willie Snead

Passing Game Thoughts: In case you didn’t think Minnesota’s defense wasn’t good, look at Julio Jones’ game log from Week 13. Ouch. I was expecting a down week, but that performance was rough to have in your lineup. Good news is that Xavier Rhodes left town so Jones, Ryan and the rest of the gang will be going up against a good but not stifling Saints pass defense on Thursday night. As I mentioned above, recent years have made this matchup a high scoring fantasy plunder but that is not the case in 2017. Ryan and the Falcons offense are not flying quite as high as they were a year ago. They are still very capable of putting up big numbers but that is only if the running game is getting stuffed. Jones enters this week with the tenth most targets at his position and remains a must start WR1 for that reason alone. The Saints know how deadly he can be but so does Matt Ryan in a must win game. Beyond Jones, Matty Ice has had a habit of distributing the ball to multiple receivers making it difficult for fantasy owners to identify a secondary target. Mohamed Sanu is the most likely to garner enough looks to have WR3 appeal but I’m not convinced he will deliver. If your playoff hopes were on the line, are you throwing to Jones or Sanu, Gabriel, Hooper, etc.? I’m more inclined to start Ryan than Brees but not by much. I like Ryan’s upside a bit more to make him a better low-end QB1 start, but I’m not chasing anyone in the Falcons’ passing game this week.

NO FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.17
NO FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.22
NO FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.17
NO FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.21

Running Game Thoughts: Coming off a concussion in last week’s game, Devonta Freeman did about what was expected. He had his touches limited to thirteen in a losing effort but was able to grind out 81 total yards in a RB2 effort. This should give his owners plenty of confidence coming into this week’s Thursday night action where he finds himself facing off against a team he has enjoyed plenty of success against in recent years. Freeman has racked up over 600 total yards from scrimmage in his last four outings against the Saints while adding five touchdowns. That’s a good thing because he hasn’t scored since October 1st and his owners are having a hard time trusting him. The Falcons need Freeman to anchor the offense on long extended drives and being another week removed from his concussion should give him the touches needed to deliver for his owners in Week 14. Tevin Coleman is getting just enough playing time to eat away at Freeman’s upside and tends to be a stronger Flex option in higher scoring games. New Orleans has allowed a receiving touchdown to a Falcons’ running backs in every game played over the past two years. Whether it is Freeman or Coleman, fantasy owners should take advantage of a slightly higher ceiling this week.

Value Meter:
QB1: Matt Ryan
RB2: Devonta Freeman
WR1: Julio Jones
Flex: Tevin Coleman
Bench: Mohamed Sanu, Austin Hooper, Taylor Gabriel

Prediction: Falcons 28, Saints 26 ^ Top

Seahawks @ Jaguars - (Gordon)

Passing Game Thoughts: Doug Baldwin hasn’t snared more than five passes in any of the team’s previous four games. He’s remained moderately productive, but his floor seems to be lower than it should for a primary receiver in an offense led by Russell Wilson. He’s fallen into the WR3 ranks and gets knocked down a few more pegs with an unfavorable matchup this weekend. He’s got a better chance of getting a splinter on your fantasy bench than he does of scoring a touchdown in your fantasy lineup. That could change however if Jaguars DB Jalen Ramsey (ankle) isn’t able to play. The guy taking over the passing game is TE Jimmy Graham. He’s been on fire with 9 touchdowns over the last 8 games and should be a tough match up for a quality Jags defense. Russell Wilson is a tougher decision. The Jags pass rush is an X-factor that has the potential to completely derail a team’s passing game. They are good enough to contain Wilson’s “escapability” and prevent a snuff out a few drives that might normally continue. He’s playing on the road, across the country against a tough motivated team. Wilson is a gamer, but the cards are stacked against him this week. Less room to run and less touchdown potential put him outside the top ten for me this week. Paul Richardson will get his looks as well but like Baldwin, a lower floor makes him too risky to start.

JAC FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.32
JAC FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.20
JAC FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.32
JAC FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.19

Running Game Thoughts: The M.A.S.H. unit that is the Seattle backfield comes into Jacksonville this week with plenty of fantasy intrigue. If you have been riding Mike Davis you will probably continue to need him for this game and that’s not the worst situation. There are a lot of potential mouths to feed with J.D. McKissic, Eddie Lacy and Thomas Rawls hanging around for scraps but it looks like the Seahawks are giving the lion’s share of the workload to Davis. The Jags are less dominating against the run and Seattle’s defense should do well enough to make this a close game throughout. All of these factors lean towards a productive RB2 outing for Davis. Any of the others could vulture a touchdown but that hardly makes a compelling case for the other members of this RBBC to be a useful fantasy option for Week 14.

Value Meter:
QB1: Russell Wilson (low end)
RB2: Mike Davis
TE1: Jimmy Graham
Bench: Doug Baldwin, Paul Richardson

Passing Game Thoughts: Blake Bortles reminded everyone that he can be good for fantasy owners last week but chucking up over 300 yards passing against the Colts. I wouldn’t call it luck, but the outing is an isolated event not likely to repeat itself this week. Seattle hasn’t been the same after injuries struck the core of their pass defense. They are still better than the many NFL teams but I’d consider them more in the average group these days. Mining the few fantasy nuggets out of the Jags passing game isn’t a task everyone will want to explore but owners in deeper leagues may decide to give it shot. MAY want to give it a shot…Bortles hasn’t been able to reach 300 passing yards against anyone other than the Colts this year. Furthermore, that 73-percent completion rate a week ago is a total outlier from the rest of his output this year. The only avenue that makes Bortles a useful fantasy starter this week is if his passing attempts take a leap forward and even then his season long yards per attempt of 6.7 is ugly. The gloomy forecast for Bortles makes everyone in the passing game an extremely risky fantasy option this week. Marqise Lee and Dede Westbrook are the likeliest to produce for the believers out there. Lee averages a little over 30 more receiving yards per game at home while Westbrook has six receptions in back to back games. Neither player is a decent starter but if you are left scraping the bottom of the barrel in deep formats they might just do the trick.

SEA FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.23
SEA FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.29
SEA FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.12
SEA FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.15

Running Game Thoughts: This week will reveal plenty about Leonard Fournette as a player and as a fantasy running back. The rookie and his offensive line showed signs of slowing down in the longer NFL season and this week’s opponent has shut down plenty of rushing attacks this season. They will certainly make it tough for Jacksonville but Fournette should still see enough touches to be a useful start - just don’t pencil him in as a top 15 running back this week. I see more drives ending with a field goal rather than a touchdown so there is some boom or bust to Fournette’s game. If you don’t have the depth to keep him on the bench this week, he still warrants low end RB2 consideration.

Value Meter:
Flex: Leonard Fournette
Bench: Everyone else

Prediction: Seahawks 16, Jaguars 9 ^ Top

49ers @ Texans - (Gordon)

Passing Game Thoughts: Jimmy Garoppolo is in place as the quarterback of the future and the early returns suggest a bright future is in store for the Bay area fans. There isn’t enough talent surrounding him for immediate fantasy stardom but the arrow is pointing up coming off a game in which he completed 70-percent of his passes. Aldrick Robinson and Marquise Goodwin can get deep but neither are worthy of the “dangerous” label. Goodwin’s eight receptions against the Bears on the road are nothing to sneeze at especially when determining who the new quarterback trusts over the team’s final games. Rolling with Goodwin for a repeat performance is a good gamble this week. Slot receivers and tight ends work well with inexperienced quarterbacks and the guy likely to fill that role is Trent Taylor. He’s worth a look in PPR leagues but I’d be hesitant to make him a WR3 in standard scoring because the touchdown potential for a 5-foot 8-inch slot man is rather low in the NFL.

HOU FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.2
HOU FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.30
HOU FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.8
HOU FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.6

Running Game Thoughts: The playoffs are out of sight so it’s not uncommon for teams to take a look at the younger players on the roster. Perhaps this explains the uptick in Matt Breida’s workload against the Bears or is it simply the team wanting to give its veteran horse more rest down the stretch. Either way points to Hyde potentially losing a few touches over the final month of the regular season. That being said, Hyde remains the starting back and should continue to see the majority of carries for the 49ers. Houston offers plenty of fantasy potential for Hyde. The Texans are allowing over 100 rushing yards and a touchdown to opposing running backs over the past three weeks. The ceiling is capped for Hyde owners but his high floor place him in the middle of the RB2 options this week. The aforementioned Breida’s workload isn’t conclusive enough to make him another more than a notable handcuff down the stretch. If you are playoff bound and he is available, he might be a good guy to pluck off the wire.

Value Meter:
RB2: Carlos Hyde
WR2: Marquise Goodwin
Flex: Trent Taylor (PPR only)
Bench: Jimmy Garoppolo, Matt Breida, George Kittle

Passing Game Thoughts: The damage to the Texans offense continued this week with the team placing starters Bruce Ellington (hamstring) and C.J. Fiedorowicz (concussion) on IR. Braxton Miller shoots up the depth chart and Will Fuller is expected back from his rib injury. In a better offense Miller and Fuller might prove to be a timely fantasy pickup but the Texans are nosediving heading into December football. Tom Savage hasn’t been dreadful but the lack of touchdowns severely cuts into the upside of Hopkins. The added injuries only make it easier for teams to key in on Houston’s best offensive playmaker putting even more pressure on the turnover prone Tom Savage. Few receivers in the NFL are getting as many passes thrown their way as DeAndre Hopkins so keep him plugged into your lineup and hope he can turn one into a score. The rest of the team’s pass catchers offer plenty of risk. The 49ers have given up the fifth most fantasy points to opposing tight ends over the past five games. Savage hasn’t consistently thrown to his tight ends this year but there are not many guys left. As a result, expected starter Stephen Anderson becomes a boom or bust TE play for Week 14.

SF FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.6
SF FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.4
SF FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.16
SF FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.20

Running Game Thoughts: On the year, San Fran has been a great matchup for opposing running backs but they have been excellent lately, yielding only 13 fantasy points and zero rushing touchdowns over their past five contests. Like Hopkins, Lamar Miller is going to get the rock…and the defense knows it. Unlike Hopkins’ ability to simply run faster, jump higher and make highlight reel grabs, Miller must navigate his way through a considerable number of defenders swarming him every time he takes a handoff. He has been held to 61 rushing or less in every game since Week 5 and has only two touchdowns over his last five games. Miller has not proven to be a guy that can carry the offense, let alone one that desperately needs him to do so. Sadly, this is one 15-touch player I’d consider sitting this week. As expected. Alfred Blue took minimal carries in a reserve role last week but will miss Week 14. Meanwhile Andre Ellington settled into a pass catching role and will be a low-end flex option for PPR leaguers once again against the 49ers.

Value Meter:
WR1: DeAndre Hopkins
TE2: Stephen Anderson
Flex: Lamar Miller, Andre Ellington (PPR only)
Bench: Tom Savage, Alfred Blue, Braxton Miller

Prediction: 49ers 14, Texans 13 ^ Top

Vikings @ Panthers - (Gordon)

Passing Game Thoughts: It’s tougher to run against the Panthers than throw against them. That doesn’t mean Case Keenum is going to blow anyone away this week but it also doesn’t mean you should avoid your Vikings’ receivers. This group of receivers has accounted for the eleventh most fantasy points amongst all NFL teams despite using multiple quarterbacks throughout the year. Stefon Diggs let me down last week with only two receptions on five targets. It’s tough to expect more targets when you are not catching the ones you do get. Without the upside of touchdowns, Diggs’ current floor is looking awfully low these days. On the other hand, Adam Thielen had his least productive game in over a month. That had more to do with the game dictating less passing than it did his performance. Look for him to bounce back to his usual levels this week. Case Keenum may not have wowed anyone with his overall numbers, but the fact he nearly posted his fifth straight game with at least 20 fantasy points despite attempting only 30 passes speaks to the efficiency this guy is delivering his fantasy clients. He may not be sexy but he’ll be another safe play at the position this week.

CAR FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.24
CAR FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.28
CAR FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.13
CAR FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.29

Running Game Thoughts: Minnesota has one of the steadiest RB2s in Latavius Murray. Pushed aside by rookie Dalvin Cook earlier in the year, Murray has paced the team with at least 14 touches in every game since taking over in Week 5. He has also gone over 75 yards rushing in each of the last three weeks and tallied three rushing touchdowns in that same span. The Vikings aren’t throwing the ball all over the field and a large part of that is due to Murray grinding out yards on the ground. With the weather getting colder he’s looking like an underrated fantasy playoff performer. The difficult matchup is worth noting but I’ll take my chances with rare consistency that Murray brings to the table. Keep him planted in your RB2 slot and hope for a touchdown to get you into Week 15. Jerick McKinnon is serving as the pass-catching caddie to Murray. He’s a liability facing a tough defense without optimal touches so keep him parked on your fantasy bench for Week 14.

Value Meter:
QB1: Case Keenum
WR2: Adam Thielen
RB2: Latavius Murray
TE2: Kyle Rudolph
Flex: Stefon Diggs
Bench: Jerick McKinnon, Laquon Treadwell

Passing Game Thoughts: Cam Newton and company have had a bumpy ride this season. It hasn’t all been bad with Devin Funchess emerging as a very productive fantasy asset most weeks and Greg Olsen likely back in the mix-more on that later. However, they do not match up well against the Vikings on paper or on the field. If Obi Wan Kenobi were here, he would tell you to “Go away, these are not the fantasy players you are looking for.” Devin Funchess has height going for him and Cam is big enough to avoid sacks but I don’t trust him putting the ball in tight windows. That’s what he will need to do for the Panthers to win this game. Greg Olsen returned from foot surgery then sat out last week with soreness in the same foot. He’s been at practice this week and is on track to play but his owners should take a cautious approach and leave him on the bench. Not only is there a chance he sees less snaps or leaves the game entirely but the tough matchup means there is less reward for the risks taken in starting him.

MIN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.30
MIN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.32
MIN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.19
MIN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.28

Running Game Thoughts: Back to back games with a rushing touchdown for Jonathan Stewart? What is going on here? Hold the phones people, Stewart has only reached double digit fantasy points in three games all year and wasn’t able to do so two weeks ago WITH a touchdown under his belt. His good days are below average and he should only serve as depth on your fantasy squad. The Panthers have won four of their past games because they have been better at using Christian McCaffrey to better out of the backfield. The rookie has put up at least nine fantasy points over the past month by averaging over five yards per carry during that span. The only team to keep McCaffery contained was also the team that snapped their winning streak. The dual threat running back represents the Panthers’ best option to move the ball down the field and will be the toughest guy for the Vikings to defend.

Value Meter:
RB2: Christian McCaffrey
TE2: Greg Olsen (if healthy)
Bench: Everyone else

Prediction: Panthers 20, Vikings 17 ^ Top

Lions @ Buccaneers - (Gordon)

Passing Game Thoughts: Matthew Stafford is trying to get his hand feeling better in time to be effective against the Bucs this week. Reports out of Detroit indicate that the quarterback is making progress but his status is very much in question. The Lions are fighting for a playoff spot, Stafford hasn’t missed a game in forever and their backup has five career passing attempts… this bruise sounds painful but I’m guessing the Lions will figure a way to get Stafford on the field Sunday. Fortunately, Tampa Bay is the type of opponent that can make any quarterback look at least decent. That being said there are a number of elements to consider before relying on Stafford as your quarterback this week. Can he grip the football? Will he be make it through the entire game? Detroit isn’t likely to drop back and throw it 40 times with a quarterback nursing an injury on his throwing hand so you might want to find another quarterback this week.

The injury lowers the ceiling for the receivers as well so downgrade Golden Tate and Marvin Jones to the WR3 tier. I am not too worried about them playing well when they get their chances but I am worried that they may see fewer targets in this game. The least interesting guy in Detroit’s passing game of late is TE Eric Ebron. He hasn’t scored a touchdown or gone over 50 receiving yards in three weeks. With Stafford banged up and the likelihood of more running plays being called he remains bench fodder this weekend. If Stafford can’t play or has to come out early after starting, it will be Rudock under center for the Lions. It may not come to that but the second-year man out of Michigan is untested at the NFL level but he wouldn’t be playing the toughest defense either. In the event he must play I still like the top two wideouts with everyone else in the passing game on the bench.

TB FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.10
TB FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.6
TB FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.1
TB FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.32

Running Game Thoughts: Ameer Abdullah has been limited in practice with a neck injury last week and into this week. They really need the running game to step up this week so keep a watchful eye on the status of Abdullah leading up to kickoff. Theo Riddick matched his season high of nine carries a week ago but could be in line for even more work if the Lions have to go another week without Abdullah. In that scenario expect the team to work Tion Green and Zach Zenner into the mix. As the best healthy running back going into a game that will want to reduce its passing attempts, Riddick is a flex option regardless of Abdullah’s status so get him ready to go for Week 14.

Value Meter:
RB2: Ameer Abdullah (if healthy)
WR3: Golden Tate, Marvin Jones, Jr.
Flex: Theo Riddick
Bench: Matthew Stafford, Eric Ebron, Kenny Golladay

Passing Game Thoughts: Jameis Winston has a great opportunity to get his team back on track this weekend facing the Lions. The Lions have not been keeping teams off the scoreboard and have given up the eighth most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks over the past three weeks. That should signal Winston owners to plug him in this week and hope he reverts back to his play earlier in the year. Playing at home for the first time since Week 8, look for Evans to rebound from his dismal two-catch outing a week ago and take advantage of the vulnerable Lions secondary. Regardless of volume, Desean Jackson hasn’t been much help to fantasy owners. The most promising secondary pass catchers in the offense lie with the tight ends. Winston helped Cameron Brate find the end zone for the first time since Week 6. His six targets were the most he has seen since Week 7. The added work for Brate coincided with O.J. Howard’s least productive fantasy day in three weeks. It will be tough to determine which tight end will have the better outing each week making both players hit or miss TE1s this week.

DET FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.16
DET FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.3
DET FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.18
DET FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.8

Running Game Thoughts: Doug Martin practiced in full this week and is on track to play in Sunday’s tilt against the Lions. He has extra motivation to get back after watching Peyton Barber fill in with a 100-yard performance against the Packers in Week 13. Barber figures to take a back seat to Martin if the incumbent can return this week so Barber’s fantasy value this week is entirely dependent on the health of the Muscle Hamster. Detroit has given up the third most fantasy points to opposing running backs over the past three weeks making either player a worthwhile RB2 for fantasy purposes. Barber wouldn’t be a factor in a reserve role so monitor the practice reports coming out Tampa throughout the week.

Value Meter:
QB1: Jameis Winston
RB2: Doug Martin
WR1: Mike Evans
TE2: Cameron Brate, O.J. Howard
Bench: DeSean Jackson, Adam Humphries, Peyton Barber

Prediction: Lions 26, Buccaneers 20 ^ Top

Packers @ Browns - (Swanson)

Passing Game Thoughts: Brett Hundley failed to capitalize on a great matchup at home against a Tampa Bay team that ranks in the bottom 12 in points allowed to quarterbacks and wide receivers, with just 10.8 fantasy points on 84 passing yards in a 26-20 win at Lambeau Field. Considering Hundley entered the game on the heels of a career-high three-touchdown performance, it was shocking that he completed just 59% of his throws against one of the league’s worst pass defenses.

Trusting Hundley, even against a Cleveland pass defense that allows the 12th-most points to opposing quarterbacks is a risky proposition for fantasy owners looking to make or advance in the playoffs. The same can be said of Jordy Nelson, a top-5 wide receiver with Aaron Rodgers under center who now has zero fantasy value with Hundley running the offense. Nelson has scored 10.83 fantasy points combined in the six games started by Hundley. A shockingly-low number when you consider that Nelson scored more points in three of his five games with Rodgers, including 19.5 points against Chicago Week 4.

Despite a disappointing 4.2 point showing against the Bucs last week, Davante Adams continues to be the one skill position player in the Green Bay passing game worthy of a start. Jason McCourty is a talented cover cornerback who will likely shadow Adams, but Adams should still garner around ten targets and is worthy of a start as a low-end No.2 WR.

CLE FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.12
CLE FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.23
CLE FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.22
CLE FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.2

Running Game Thoughts: Jamaal Williams took advantage of injuries to Aaron Jones and Ty Montgomery to take control of the lead back role for head coach Mike McCarthy. Over the past four games, Williams has been a fantasy workhorse will 91 touches and at least 95 yards from scrimmage (Only Le’Veon Bell has more touches over that span).

Although the way to find success moving the ball against Cleveland this season is through the air and not the ground, the Browns have started to struggle against the run over the past month. Leonard Fournette and Joe Mixon each topped the century mark against Cleveland over the past month, while Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler combined for 158 total yards last week.

The decline of the Browns run defense coincides with the loss of linebacker Jamie Collins due to an MCL tear against the Lions. Without Collins patrolling the line of scrimmage behind defensive tackles Danny Shelton and Trevon Coley, the Browns are nowhere near the same team as they were earlier in the year.

Value Meter:
QB3: Brett Hundley (Low-End)
RB1: Jamaal Williams (Mid-Range)
WR2: Davante Adams (Low-End)
WR4: Jordy Nelson (Low-End)
WR4: Randall Cobb (Low-End)

Passing Game Thoughts: DeShone Kizer completed 15 of 32 passes for 215 yards against a stout Los Angeles Chargers defense on Sunday, with one passing touchdown and one interception. Kizer added five rushes for 46 yards to finish with a respectable 19.4 fantasy points to finish as the No.16 quarterback for the week, ahead of Case Keenum, Jared Goff, Matthew Stafford, Derek Carr, and Drew Brees.

The big story from the Week 13 matchup was the return of Josh Gordon, who played in his first game since Week 16 of the 2014 season. Gordon looked impressive against Casey Hayward and put away doubts about his game shape, with four catches for 85 yards on 11 targets. Gordon made a couple of impressive catches down the sideline and was constently open against one of the best cornerbacks in the game. Even Hayward was impressed by the performance by Gordon, stating that the former Baylor star was the most difficult wide receiver to cover this season. It should be noted that Hayward and the Chargers have played against some of the best wide receivers in the league, including Odell Beckham Jr., Demaryius Thomas, Brandin Cooks, Alshon Jeffery, and Dez Bryant.

Gordon and Kizer should find it much easier to move the ball through the air this week, as the Packers allow the fourth-most points to opposing wide receivers, behind only Dallas, Kansas City, and Tampa Bay. The Packers have allowed 12 different double-digit performances this season by an opposing wide receiver, including multi-touchdown games by Antonio Brown and Marvin Jones.

Streaming quarterback owners with a high-risk tolerance may want to consider starting Kizer in what could be a 20-plus point game vs. Green Bay. It is a must-win game for the Packers, but the Browns will also be motivated in what is their best shot in avoiding the dreaded winless season. Although Kizer is dead last in completion percentage inside the red zone, he leads his team in red zone carries from the five-yard line or closer, and Gordon now gives him a viable big target in the end zone.

GB FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.13
GB FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.8
GB FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.4
GB FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.30

Running Game Thoughts: The Packers and the Buccaneers are the only two teams to rank in the top 10 in fantasy points allowed to both wide receivers and running backs, making all skill position players on Cleveland attractive plays on Sunday. An opposing back has finished with at least ten fantasy points in all but one game this season against the Packers, including Peyton Barber of the Buccaneers, who posted 143 total yards on 27 touches in Week 13.

Isaiah Crowell’s 2017 season can be described as a massive failure based on the fact that he was drafted in the first five rounds in all formats and is currently ranked as the 43rd ranked RB in average points scored per game (7.5). But he has improved his efficiency over the past five contests by averaging nearly 5.0 per carry in four of his last five games. Owners who drafted Crowell early, only to be disappointing with just two rushing touchdowns 12 games, a home game against the Packers could be a reward for holding onto Crowell.

Duke Johnson is an interesting play this week as well against Green Bay, as the Pack have allowed the 8th-most receptions to opposing running backs. Johnson burned owners last week with a season-low point total on just 12 yards on nine touches, but he should bounce back in a much more attractive home matchup.

Value Meter:
QB2: DeShone Kizer (Low-End)
RB2: Isaiah Crowell (Low-End)
RB3: Duke Johnson (High-End)
WR2: Josh Gordon (Low-End)
TE2: David Njoku (Low-End)

Prediction: Browns 21, Packers 17 ^ Top

Ravens @ Steelers - (Swanson)

Passing Game Thoughts: Joe Flacco posted his most impressive performance of the season with a 269/2/0 line in a blowout win over the Lions last weekend, as the Ravens won their third consecutive game. Mike Wallace continued to be Flacco’s favorite target over the past month with five catches for 116 yards on eight targets, while Jeremy Maclin secured four passes for 41 yards.

Targeting tight ends continues to be a major part of the Baltimore passing offense, with Benjamin Watson, Nick Boyle, and Maxx Williams combining for 10 targets against the Lions, a team that has struggled this season at stopping opponent TEs. Although the Steelers allow the second-fewest points to tight ends on the year, Watson and Boyle combined for ten catches for 79 yards when the two teams faced off in Baltimore Week 4.

The surprising lack of involvement of Danny Woodhead in the passing game has been somewhat of a head-scratcher considering how much the team is paying Woodhead, and the type of production the veteran running back has delivered over his career. Woodhead was given just five touches against the Lions, despite a favorable game script that should have been more conducive to Woodhead seeing more action. Owners looking to advance in the playoffs may want to consider other options until Woodhead becomes more of a focus of the Baltimore offense.

The Ravens offense enters the game relatively healthy (not counting the numerous Ravens already placed on IR), with Maclin as the only offensive skill player limited in practice on Wednesday. The vet was out of practice Thursday with a back injury so confirm his status before putting him in your lineup.

The Steelers are not as fortunate regarding injuries, as linebacker and defensive leader Ryan Shazier suffered a serious spinal injury in last week’s bloodbath against the Bengals. Shazier will not play in this game, and his long-term prognosis is in question, which is a huge hit to the Steelers defensive unit.

PIT FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.29
PIT FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.25
PIT FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.23
PIT FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.31

Running Game Thoughts: Alex Collins worked through migraines to deliver an impressive 21.8 point performance against the Lions that included two rushing touchdowns on 98 total yards. The second-year player from Arkansas danced an Irish jig twice for the Raven faithful, including a six-yard scamper with four minutes left in the game to close the door on the Lions.

The absence of Shazier in run support is a big knock for the Steelers run defense, as the former Ohio State Buckeye is one of the fastest linebackers in the league and excels in covering sweeps and outside run plays with his quickness.

Buck Allen continues to work in as the change of pace and primary receiving option out of the backfield, with Woodhead mixing in sporadically, depending on the down an distance. The majority of Allen’s points have come with the Ravens ahead, looking to milk the clock and secure the lead. Unlike when the two teams played in Baltimore, the likely game script in this game does not bode well the Ravens building a big first-half lead.

Value Meter:
QB2: Joe Flacco (Low-End)
RB2: Alex Collins (Low-End)
RB3: Javorius Allen (Low-End)
RB4: Danny Woodhead (Low-End)
WR3: Mike Wallace (Low-End)
WR3: Jeremy Maclin (Low-End)
TE2: Ben Watson (High-End)

Passing Game Thoughts: Ben Roethlisberger continues to climb up the quarterback rankings with a fourth consecutive 20-point performance last week against the Bengals. With 253.7 points on the year, Big Ben now ranks higher than Jared Goff, Philip Rivers, Drew Brees, and Matt Ryan.

Historically, Roethlisberger has not had a great deal of success against John Harbaugh and the Ravens, completing under 60% of his passes, while only averaging 233 passing yards per game in 20 matchups. But the Ravens will be without top cornerback Jimmy Smith, who will miss the remainder of the season with an Achilles injury.

The Ravens enter Week 14 allowing the second-fewest points to opposing quarterbacks, with the Jacksonville Jaguars as the only unit more stingy in points allowed in the passing game. An impressive stat on the surface, yet a closer examination of the numbers reveal a team that has had a fortuitous schedule. Cupcake matchups against rookies DeShone Kizer and Mitchell Trubisky in their respective second NFL game, EJ Manuel filling in for an injured Derek Carr, career backup Matt Moore, and a struggling Marcus Mariota helped skew the numbers for Baltimore.

Expectations of a monster game from Big Ben and the Steelers offense should be somewhat tempered, but the absence of Smith covering Antonio Brown on the outside and the fact that this game is played in Pittsburgh should give Roethlisberger owners a decent floor.

Brown continues to be an elite stud wide receiver that is worthy of a start, regardless of the opponent. JuJu Smith-Schuster will not play in this game due to a one-game suspension for rough block and subsequent taunting in Monday’s win over the Bengals. Martavis Bryant owners may look at Smith-Schuster’s absence as a chance for Bryant to increase his target share, but it should be noted that Bryant continued to see roughly 10% of the targets when Smith-Schuster was out earlier in the year.

BAL FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.31
BAL FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.16
BAL FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.31
BAL FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.11

Running Game Thoughts: The Ravens have not allowed a 100-yard rusher since Latavius Murray posted 113 yards and a score on 18 carries in Week 7. The improvement in run defense is largely due to defensive tackle Brandon Williams returning to health and anchoring the Baltimore defensive line.

With Williams out of the lineup when the two teams faced off in Baltimore Week 4, Le’Veon Bell rushed for 144 yards and two scores, while adding 42 yards on four catches out of the backfield. William’s return will make running more difficult for Bell, but the venerable tailback should still be considered an elite option this weekend.

Bell continues to be the king of volume in fantasy football, with 336 touches in his first 12 games. Todd Gurley ranks second with 271 combined carries and receptions, a whopping 65 touches fewer than Bell. When you consider that a touch target for elite running backs is 30 touches per game, Bell owners, in essence, have two more games of production compared to all other running backs in the NFL.

Value Meter:
QB1: Ben Roethlisberger (Low-End)
RB1: Le’Veon Bell (Elite)
WR1: Antonio Brown (Elite)
WR4: Martavis Bryant (Low-End)
WR4: Eli Rogers (Low-End)
TE2: Jesse James (Low-End)

Steelers 17, Ravens 14 ^ Top

Bears @ Bengals - (Swanson)

Passing Game Thoughts: After four games of throwing at least 30 passes in Week 8 through 12, rookie Mitchell Trubisky returned to his early season form with only 15 pass attempts in a 15-14 loss to the 49ers at Soldier Field. It was a disappointing performance across the board for the Bears as the team managed just 147 yards of total offense against a team that entered the game ranked in the top five in fantasy points allowed to QBs and RBs.

On a positive note, Trubisky completed 80% of his passes on the day, including a nice touchdown throw to Dontrelle Inman in the first half to put the Bears up 7-3. Inman continues to be the only Bear receiver worthy of a start in deep leagues, with 24 targets over his last four games.

The Bengals enter the contest allowing the 22nd-most points to opposing quarterbacks, with only Aaron Rodgers managing to throw for three or more touchdowns in a game. Twice this season, Cincinnati held DeShone Kizer and the Browns without a passing touchdown, while fellow rookie Deshaun Watson failed to throw a TD when the two teams faced off Week 2 (Before Watson went ham on the league).

Injuries to the Bengals secondary and linebacking corps are important factors in this matchup, as Vontaze Burfict, Adam Jones, Darqueze Denard, and Dre Kirkpatrick were all unable to practice on Wednesday after a bloodbath game against the rival Steelers on Monday Night Football.

CIN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.22
CIN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.12
CIN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.30
CIN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.24

Running Game Thoughts: Jordan Howard’s inability to produce fantasy numbers at home against the San Francisco 49ers, a team that has allowed the third-most points to opposing RBs, was one of the most disappointing performances of the season. In a close game in which game script should not have been an issue, Howard carried the ball 13 times for 38 yards, while losing five yards on his lone reception of the day.

Although he currently ranks 11th overall in points scored on the season, Howard has been a frustrating player for fantasy owners in that he fails to take advantage of favorable matchups as a boom/bust player.

On paper, the Bengals appear to be a plus matchup for Howard, as Cincinnati allows the 13-most points to opposing tailbacks and linebacker Vontaze Burfict may not play due to a concussion suffered on Monday against the Steelers. Sam linebacker Nick Vigil’s absence due to a season-ending ankle injury will also be a positive for Howard owners. But just like his dreadful performance against the Niners, predicting usage and points for Howard has been an exercise in futility in 2017.

Value Meter:
QB3: Mitchell Trubisky (High-End)
RB2: Jordan Howard (Low-End)
WR4: Dontrelle Inman (Low-End)
Flex: Tarik Cohen (Low-End)

Passing Game Thoughts: Although Andy Dalton currently sits as a low-end No.2 quarterback as the No.24-ranked QB in fantasy points per game at 18.4, he has been much more efficient over the past four games with nine touchdowns and no interceptions dating back to Week 10 at the Titans. During that span, he averaged 21 points per game, including a three-touchdown performance on the road against the Broncos.

The change at offensive coordinator from Ken Zampese to Bill Lazor helped turn around the season for Dalton, who has thrown at least two touchdowns in all but two of the ten games Lazor has called as Bengals OC.

Continuing his multi-touchdown streak may be a challenge for Dalton, as only three opposing quarterbacks have thrown for more than one touchdown in a game against Chicago, including Jimmy Garoppolo, who was held scoreless despite throwing for nearly 300 yards last week.

Despite Chicago’s success in limiting opposing quarterbacks from posting big games, A.J. Green owners should not shy away from playing their stud receiver. Four No.1 wide receivers posted double digits against the Bears over the past month, with Marvin Jones, Davante Adams, and Alshon Jeffery each reaching the end zone. Throwing passing touchdowns against the Bears has been a difficult task in 2017, but wide receivers have still been able to post solid games vs. cornerbacks Sam Acho and Prince Amukamara.

CHI FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.27
CHI FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.19
CHI FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.15
CHI FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.22

Running Game Thoughts: The Bengals are also hurting on the offensive side of the ball with running back Joe Mixon missing practice due to a concussion. As of Thursday, he has yet to clear the protocol and looks iffy to play against the Bears.

Giovani Bernard will get the start and carry most of the load for the Bengals should Mixon be inactive on Sunday. Bernard played well for head coach Marvin Jones when Mixon left the game on Monday Night, rushing for 77 yards on 13 carries while adding 19 yards on two catches out of the backfield.

The Bears rank in the middle of the pack in fantasy points allowed to opposing running backs. No tailback has managed to reach the century mark this season vs. Chicago, although seven players posted double-digit performances against the Bears, highlighted by Jerick McKinnon’s 20.6 point outburst Week 5.

Value Meter:
QB2: Andy Dalton (Low-End)
RB1: Giovani Bernard (Low-End)
WR1: A.J. Green (Elite)
WR4: Brandon LaFell (Low-End)
TE2: Tyler Kroft (Low-End)

Prediction: Bengals 28, Bears 14 ^ Top

Raiders @ Chiefs - (Caron)

Passing Game Thoughts: The Chiefs are one of the league’s worst pass defenses and they’ll be down their best player in the secondary this week as they host the Raiders. The team opted to suspend cornerback Marcus Peters for his actions late in Week 13 when he picked up a referee’s penalty flag off of the turf and flung it into the stands. The decision comes at a dangerous time for Kansas City as they are amidst a big slide and could potentially fall to third in the AFC West with a loss to Oakland. The Raiders passing game has struggled this season but they absolutely torched the Chiefs defense – and that was with Peters – when these teams played back in Week 7. That was the one and only “big” game from receiver Amari Cooper this season who has been one of the biggest disappointments in fantasy football this season. Cooper is recovered from the concussion that kept him out in Week 13 but an ankle injury has kept him out of practice through Thursday this week and he will likely be a game-time decision. Cooper certainly makes for an intriguing “boom or bust” fantasy option if he’s able to suit up but there’s a real chance that he’ll miss this game, leaving Michael Crabtree as the primary option in the passing game.

Crabtree himself missed Week 13 due to a suspension after his on-field brawl with Aqib Talib but he should be ready to get back into fantasy lineups – especially if Cooper is out – in this game. Crabtree was held to just 24 yards when these teams met earlier this season but he did score a touchdown and he will likely be the top target in the passing game even if Cooper is active so a double-digit target day is not out of the question. Tight end Jared Cook remains a mystery as he was unable to do anything of note against the Giants, one of the worst defenses at covering the tight end that we’ve seen in recent history. Cook is startable due to the lack of talent at the position overall but it wouldn’t be surprising for him to be in the single digits for PPR points once again.

KC FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.5
KC FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.14
KC FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.2
KC FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.27

Running Game Thoughts: Marshawn Lynch is the type of running back who can really lean on a defense late in games but that theory also applies late in seasons, especially against struggling defenses that seem to have lost its confidence. The Chiefs rank in the top 10 at defending opposing running backs but they got lit up by the Jets’ stable of backs this past week and they’ve given up at least 100 rushing yards to opposing running backs in six of their past eight contests and a rushing touchdown in six of their past seven games. Not coincidentally, that poor stretch comes during the Chiefs’ losing slump as opposing offenses. Of course, the first time these teams played this season saw Lynch get injured early on and essentially give his fantasy owners no production whatsoever so we don’t have much to go off of with Lynch’s ability to run against this defense but Lynch seems to be improving as the season goes on and a solid fantasy day seems like a good possibility here.

Value Meter:
QB2: Derek Carr
RB2: Marshawn Lynch
WR1: Michael Crabtree (WR2 if Cooper plays)
TE1: Jared Cook
Flex: Amari Cooper (ankle)
Bench: Jalen Richard, DeAndre Washington, Seth Roberts

Passing Game Thoughts: Just when we were ready to stick a fork in Alex Smith and write off the end of his 2017 season as another typical, boring, Smith-like season; the former No.1 overall NFL Draft pick lit up the scoreboard with his biggest fantasy day of the season. Smith keyed in on the top two targets in his passing game, Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce, throwing a pair of touchdowns to each this past week against the Jets. Kelce has been unbelievable this season and remains a must-start TE1 in any matchup. He was held to 33 yards – his second-lower total of the season – when these teams matched up back in Week 7, but he was able to score a touchdown in that contest as well. Hill, on the other hand, torched the Raiders for six receptions, 125 yards and a touchdown. Simply put, Oakland does not have anyone capable of covering Hill and they will need to completely scheme around shutting him down if they hope to take him away. If they do, Kelce will likely have a monster day catching passes underneath. Otherwise look for both players to produce solid WR1/TE1 numbers in what is a great matchup. Smith himself can also be trusted as a QB1 in this matchup as his upside, combined with his high floor, make him one of the better plays of the week.

OAK FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.15
OAK FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.15
OAK FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.14
OAK FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.9

Running Game Thoughts: The struggles in the Kansas City running game continued this past week made it nine straight games without a touchdown in what looked like a good matchup on paper against the Jets. Most concerning, though, is that Hunt does not seem to be the primary focal point of the offense anymore. While no other back has taken a significant share of snaps, Hunt is simply not touching the ball enough to be a RB1 even if he’s rushed for over four yards per carry in most of these games. Hunt himself really isn’t playing that poorly which makes this all the more frustrating for fantasy owners as we just cannot trust the Kansas City offense to consistently put the ball in his hands. On the bright side, Hunt did put together a solid 117 total yard day when these teams squared off in Week 7, so there is upside here. The Raiders have given up at least one touchdown, either as a runner or a receiver, to an opposing running back in four of their past five contests. Hunt will look to make it six of seven and reestablish himself as an RB1 for the fantasy playoff run, but for now he’s an RB2 until the Chiefs prove that they’re willing to feed him the rock.

Value Meter:
QB1: Alex Smith
RB2: Kareem Hunt
WR1: Tyreek Hill
TE1: Travis Kelce
Bench: Charcandrick West, Demarcus Robinson, Albert Wilson

Prediction: Chiefs 27, Raiders 24 ^ Top

Titans @ Cardinals - (Caron)

Passing Game Thoughts: Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota has now failed to throw for even 200 yards in back-to-back games, proving that the Titans simply don’t need him to have a big day in order to win games. It would seem to make sense that the Titans will look to lean on their running game and defense once again in this week’s contest but there is some hope for Mariota and the passing game as they match up against an Arizona secondary that has given up multiple passing touchdowns in three of their past four contests and ranks 30th on the season in fantasy points given up to opposing quarterbacks. The unfortunate thing is that we really can’t trust any of the Tennessee wide receivers but Rishard Matthews (hamstring) is the one you’d want to bet on as he’s been seeing the most targets and he’s been the most efficient player with those targets. If he does play, he may be shadowed by Patrick Peterson would limit his upside. Corey Davis and Eric Decker are essentially non-factors for fantasy purposes and now is not the time to be taking a chance on placing them in your lineup. Tight end Delanie Walker should also be in play this weekend as he’ll look to become the first tight end since O.J. Howard back in Week 6 to go for over 30 receiving yards against the Cardinals. It’s not an easy matchup for the Titans tight end but he’s a definite focal point of the passing game in Tennessee and should be utilized much more than many of the other tight ends that have played against the Cardinals.

ARI FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.3
ARI FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.26
ARI FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.11
ARI FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.16

Running Game Thoughts: The snap count between DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry continues to go in Murray’s favor, which has allowed both players to be fantasy relevant in many weeks but it’s becoming increasingly obvious that the Titans are doing themselves a disservice by not getting the ball into Henry’s hands more often. Unfortunately, the Tennessee coaching staff is one of the most “old school-style” regimes in the league and resting a veteran for a young, emerging talent just doesn’t seem to be in their plans. Because of that frustrating reality, neither Henry nor Murray is more than a Flex option for most teams as both players have limited upside against an Arizona defense that has only given up one individual running back game of 75 or more yards since Week 3 – and that came against the league’s leading fantasy scorer at the position, Todd Gurley.

Value Meter:
QB2: Marcus Mariota
TE1: Delanie Walker
Flex: DeMarco Murray, Derrick Henry, Rishard Matthews
Bench: Eric Decker, Corey Davis

Passing Game Thoughts: It’s hard to believe that Blaine Gabbert would be an improvement for a passing game over his predecessor, but that’s been the case in Arizona as the Cardinals passing game does seem to be a bit rejuvenated with Gabbert at the helm as opposed to Drew Stanton. Gabbert has been keeping the target numbers high for Larry Fitzgerald which has allowed him to continue to put up WR1 numbers most weeks. Fitzgerald has now produced at least nine catches and 91 yards receiving in three of his past four catches, making him one of the highest floor players in the league despite his lack of “boom” games. The other members of this passing game are essentially all worthless for fantasy purposes as they’re rarely catching more than three passes for in most games. The one exception might be tight end Ricky Seals-Jones who has burst onto the scene over the past three weeks, going for 170 total receiving yards and three touchdowns over that span. Those numbers very well might be fluky but there’s not a lot of consistency at the tight end position this season outside of the few elite options so Seals-Jones is as good of a dart throw as anyone as he matches up against a Titans defense that has given up 194 yards and a pair of touchdowns to the tight end trio of Jesse James, Jack Doyle and Stephen Anderson over the past three weeks.

TEN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.11
TEN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.27
TEN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.9
TEN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.12

Running Game Thoughts: A neck injury held Adrian Peterson out of the Cardinals’ Week 14 matchup against the Rams and he’s been held out of practice through Thursday this week which doesn’t instill much confidence in us that he’ll be ready to play this Sunday. Peterson continues to be one of the highest-volume backs in the league since his move to Arizona and if he’s active, that figures to continue as he runs against the Titans defense. The problem, of course, is that Tennessee has not allowed a single running back to rush for even 80 yards against them this season. That doesn’t give Peterson a great ceiling but his high usage would give him a nice floor for those who are just looking to not have a disastrous performance out of their RB2 or Flex position. If Peterson is unable to play, chances are good that the Cardinals will again turn to backup Kerwynn Williams who was actually productive in replacement of Peterson, rushing for 97 yards on 16 carries against the Rams this past week. Williams himself suffered cracked ribs in that contest but has practiced during the week and should be ready to play. Unfortunately, this is a very difficult matchup against a team that likes to grind the clock themselves which could lead to fewer total plays ran than in most games and thus a lower potential for fantasy production, especially at the running back position.

Value Meter:
WR1: Larry Fitzgerald (PPR)
TE1: Ricky Seals-Jones
Flex: Adrian Peterson, Kerwynn Williams (if Peterson is inactive)
Bench: Blaine Gabbert, John Brown, Jaron Brown, J.J. Nelson

Prediction: Titans 24, Cardinals 20 ^ Top

Jets @ Broncos - (Caron)

Passing Game Thoughts: Josh McCown continues to be one of the great fantasy stories of the 2017 season as he now ranks in the Top 8 at his position in fantasy points produced so far. McCown has scored multiple touchdowns, whether passing or rushing, in seven straight games, which has corresponded with a big uptick in production from wide receiver Robby Anderson who himself now also ranks eighth in wide receiver fantasy points in 2017. Anderson failed to score a touchdown this past week for the first time in six games but he was still hugely productive, catching eight passes for 107 yards, his second straight 100-yard day. Anderson and McCown have earned themselves the right to be considered as starters even in what looks to be a fairly difficult matchup on paper as they go on the road to Denver.

The Broncos secondary has been good for the most part this season but they’ve quietly been slipping as of late, having given up multiple passing touchdowns in five straight contests. They’ll have Aqib Talib back this week after a suspension which will help but Robby Anderson is getting targeted heavily enough that he should still be a WR2 for fantasy purposes. The other player to watch is tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins who has struggled as of late but did produce well earlier in the season. Seferian-Jenkins will be working against a Denver defense that has given up the third-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends, including touchdowns to the position in five straight games.

DEN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.21
DEN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.21
DEN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.28
DEN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.3

Running Game Thoughts: The formerly 50-50 split between Bilal Powell and Matt Forte is now more of a 40-40-20 split with those two and Elijah McGuire, which makes each of these players very difficult to trust for fantasy purposes. Both Powell and Forte were productive this past week in what ended up being a shootout against the Chiefs but the Broncos are certainly not a team that is typically going to be involved in a shootout. Denver has allowed just three runners to go for even 70 yards on the ground against them so the chances of an individual player in a three-headed backfield producing a big game against them just don’t look good. Avoid this backfield if you can, but Powell has been by far the most effective runner of the bunch as of late and he’s also utilized most in the passing game if you’re in a PPR format.

Value Meter:
QB1: Josh McCown (low-end)
WR2: Robby Anderson
TE1: Austin Seferian-Jenkins
Flex: Bilal Powell (PPR)
Bench: Matt Forte, Elijah McGuire, Jermaine Kearse

Passing Game Thoughts: You know things aren’t great when Trevor Siemian is clearly the best quarterback on the roster. This entire situation would be an automatic avoid for fantasy purposes if it wasn’t so incredibly delicious from a numbers standpoint. No team has given up more fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks than the Jets have this season. They’ve given up multiple passing touchdowns in nine games, including a four TD game to a struggling Alex Smith this past week. Could this be the game that turns the Denver passing game around? It seems unlikely that anything will make them great but this type of matchup could at least get Demaryius Thomas back into the fantasy conversation. Thomas has been held to 70 or fewer yards receiving in seven straight contests but he has scored a touchdown in three of his past five. The targets and catch rate are there for Thomas to produce in a matchup like this but unfortunately the same is not necessarily true for his partner in crime, Emmanuel Sanders, who has been held to 30 or fewer receiving yards in four of his past five games and has not scored a touchdown since Week 2. Sanders just does not look like himself and while he’s getting a decent number of targets, he and Siemian just do not seem to be on the same page at the moment.

NYJ FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.1
NYJ FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.24
NYJ FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.7
NYJ FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.7

Running Game Thoughts: If you thought the Denver passing game was ugly, you probably don’t want to look at their running game. The Broncos have not had a running back hit even 70 yards on the ground since Week 8 and they’ve only had one 100-yard rusher all season, when C.J. Anderson did it all the way back in Week 2. Things have seemed to be getting worse throughout the season as Anderson has been held to fewer than 55 yards rushing in six of his past eight games and he’s only scored once since Week 2. The continued usage of a three-headed backfield including Anderson, Devontae Booker and Jamaal Charles has kept all three players fresh but it has not lent itself to much fantasy production. There was a short while when it looked like Devontae Booker was being utilized in the passing game but he has now seen two or fewer targets in four of his past five games, which pretty much makes that a non-factor at this point. Anderson is the one player you could realistically consider putting into your fantasy lineup against but the Jets have been excellent against opposing running games as of late, so it’d be wise to avoid this backfield entirely if at all possible.

Value Meter:
WR2: Demaryius Thomas
Flex: C.J. Anderson
Bench: Trevor Siemian, Devontae Booker, Jamaal Charles, Emmanuel Sanders

Prediction: Jets 21, Broncos 20 ^ Top

Redskins @ Chargers - (Caron)

Passing Game Thoughts: It hasn’t always been huge production for Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins this season but he’s certainly making a case for himself as being the hottest free agent quarterback heading into 2018. Cousins currently ranks fifth in the league in fantasy points at the quarterback position and that’s despite some serious disappointments out of his wide receivers, injuries at tight end and running back, and some questionable coaching decisions. Cousins has gone for at least 20 fantasy points in four straight contests leading into this week’s matchup against a very good Chargers defense. Los Angeles hasn’t allowed an opposing quarterback to throw for multiple touchdowns against them since all the way back in Week 5 and a road game across the country doesn’t seem like the recipe to break that streak up. Certainly Cousins is still in the conversation to be a fantasy starter for most teams but there are other QBs like Matt Stafford, Dak Prescott, Alex Smith and Philip Rivers who might also be options for some owners given their matchups.

The receiver to key in on for fantasy purposes is Jamison Crowder, who plays most of his snaps out of the slot and will likely avoid shutdown cornerback Casey Hayward for most of the afternoon. Instead, look for Josh Doctson to see a lot of attention from Hayward which will almost certainly make him a non-factor for fantasy purposes, as if his low target share wasn’t doing that by itself. Tight end Jordan Reed is expected to be out yet again which will lead to Vernon Davis getting the start. Davis had been one of the quiet TE1s in fantasy for much of the season but he has become a ghost over the past two weeks, being targeted just three times over that span. The tight end position is extremely weak so you could consider playing Davis this week but the Chargers are quite good against opposing tight ends so try to find help elsewhere if you can.

LAC FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.26
LA2C FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.11
LAC FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.24
LAC FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.26

Running Game Thoughts: The Chargers began the season as one of the worst fantasy defenses in the league against the run but they’ve really turned things around as of late, having allowed just two running backs to get even 50 yards rushing since Week 6. This will be an interesting test for Washington rookie Samaje Perine who has stepped up as of late, compiling 325 total yards over just his past three games since taking over the starting role. Perine should be a good bet to get around 20 touches in the game as long as the Redskins stay competitive on the scoreboard, which makes him a strong case as an RB2 in any format, but he may even be a low-end RB1 in standard scoring leagues where his lack of receptions are not as detrimental to his overall scoring.

Value Meter:
QB1: Kirk Cousins (low-end)
RB2: Samaje Perine (high-end)
WR2: Jamison Crowder
Bench: Josh Doctson, Ryan Grant, Vernon Davis

Passing Game Thoughts: There aren’t many quarterbacks hotter right now than Philip Rivers, and much of that has to be attributed to the incredible performances of wide receiver Keenan Allen. Allen has caught 10 or more passes in three straight games, totaling 436 yards and four touchdowns over that span. While Travis Benjamin and Tyrell Williams have made a few big plays as of late, neither player should be trusted as long as the Rivers-Allen combo is clicking as well as it is. There simply aren’t enough pass targets to go around. The only other player in this passing game who fantasy owners should have their eye on is tight end Hunter Henry. Henry has been extraordinarily frustrating to own this season but he is the ninth-highest-scoring tight end on the season and he does have back-to-back solid games heading into this week’s contest against the Redskins. Washington is a middle-of-the-road fantasy defense against opposing passing games as a whole but where teams have been able to exploit them is at tight end. Opposing TEs have scored seven times this season against the Redskins and that includes scores in four of their past five games.

WAS FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.14
WAS FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.7
WAS FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.27
WAS FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.4

Running Game Thoughts: It’s easy to overlook Melvin Gordon’s highly productive season because it lacks many of the huge games that other backs have had but he currently ranks sixth in the league in fantasy points at the running back position. Gordon continues to produce consistent numbers each week with a high volume, both as a runner and as a pass catcher. Gordon has seen at least 15 touches in all but one game this season and he’s been at 20 more carries in seven of the team’s 12 games. The Chargers passing game is working better which would seem to limit Gordon’s upside but that’s not necessarily the case as it does lead to more potential scoring opportunities. The Redskins have given up 13 touchdowns to opposing running backs this season and they’ve given up the seventh-most fantasy points to opposing running backs overall. Gordon remains an RB1 with Austin Ekeler playing a complementary role that is really only suitable for deep PPR Flex usage.

Value Meter:
QB1: Philip Rivers
RB1: Melvin Gordon
WR1: Keenan Allen
TE1: Hunter Henry
Flex: Austin Ekeler (PPR only)
Bench: Travis Benjamin, Tyrell Williams, Mike Williams, Antonio Gates

Prediction: Chargers 27, Redskins 20 ^ Top

Eagles @ Rams - (Caron)

Passing Game Thoughts: The Eagles got a bit of a reality check this past week as they fell to the Seahawks but there’s still plenty of reason to be excited about this Philadelphia offense. The leader of the offense, quarterback Carson Wentz, has thrown a touchdown in every game this season and he has still not thrown more than one interception in any game, which has given him a nice high floor to begin with each week. He’s also been quietly productive as a runner, averaging nearly 25 rushing yards per game. What’s been great, though, is that Wentz has been keying in on his top three targets: Alshon Jeffery, Nelson Agholor and Zach Ertz, and each of them is among the top scorers at his position on the season. Jeffery has been the top receiver for most of the season and should continue to be as long as he’s on the field. This isn’t a great matchup given that the Eagles are on the road against a top five fantasy pass defense but the Eagles have been hot enough that none of these players should realistically be benched.

LAR FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.28
LAR FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.2
LAR FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.26
LAR FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.25

Running Game Thoughts: The Philadelphia running game has been quite productive this season but it’s been a bit frustrating from a fantasy perspective, especially since the addition of Jay Ajayi. While LeGarrette Blount seems to be the clear lead back, both Ajayi and Corey Clement are seeing between five to 12 touches per game, which really limits the upside of all three players, especially if they’re not scoring touchdowns. Thankfully they have an excellent matchup against a terrible Rams run defense that has given up the second-most fantasy points to opposing running backs this season. The Rams have conceded 14 total touchdowns to opposing running backs on the season and the Philadelphia backfield looks like a good bet to get into end zone at least once in this game. Unfortunately, we don’t know which back the coaching staff will choose to feed at the goal line. One would assume it’d be Blount but he only has three total touchdowns on the season so that’s certainly no guarantee. Playing a back in the Philadelphia offense is a complete dice roll at this point with a hope for a touchdown.

Value Meter:
QB1: Carson Wentz
WR1: Alshon Jeffery
TE1: Zach Ertz
Flex: Jay Ajayi, LeGarrette Blount, Nelson Agholor
Bench: Corey Clement, Torrey Smith

Passing Game Thoughts: Jared Goff continues to produce solid fantasy numbers this season as the leader of one of the top offenses in the league, as he has now scored multiple touchdowns in five of his past six contests. The team has been missing and will likely again be without their top receiver, Robert Woods, which has led to an increase in targets for wide receiver Cooper Kupp. Kupp has 13 receptions in his past two games and will likely be a focal point of the Rams passing game yet again this week against a tough Philadelphia defense that has forced the second-most interceptions in the league this season. Sammy Watkins is also a fantasy consideration as he has scored in back-to-back weeks since Woods’ injury and four of his past five overall but his production has been extremely touchdown-dependent as he has averaged just 2.6 receptions per game over that span. Watkins has an extremely low floor and not a particularly high ceiling in this matchup so it’s probably best to avoid him other than in leagues that give extra points for long touchdowns. Meanwhile, Kupp is a PPR-only play who should see around eight to 12 targets.

PHI FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.19
PHI FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.31
PHI FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.21
PHI FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.13

Running Game Thoughts: The top-scoring back in fantasy football is Todd Gurley and that doesn’t figure to change despite a tough matchup against a very good Philadelphia run defense that has conceded the second-fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs this season. Gurley has touched the ball at least 16 times in every single game this season and his impressive usage in the passing game has made him one of the most dominant running back options in both standard and PPR formats. The matchup against Philadelphia could turn out bad if the Eagles get out to a lead early and the Rams have to play behind but even then Gurley’s usage in the passing game would theoretically go up. There might not be a safer play in fantasy football right now, so deploy Gurley as a stud RB1 as usual.

Value Meter:
QB1: Jared Goff
RB1: Todd Gurley
WR2: Cooper Kupp (PPR only)
Flex: Sammy Watkins
Bench: Josh Reynolds, Tavon Austin, Tyler Higbee, Gerald Everett

Prediction: Rams 27, Eagles 24 ^ Top

Colts at Bills - (Katz)

Passing Game Thoughts: Jacoby Brissett is coming off an awful performance, but there is reason for optimism surrounding his upcoming game. Brissett’s two worst outings from a passing standpoint have come against Jacksonville, which should be no surprise. Buffalo however, is a much more forgiving defense. T.Y. Hilton managed to beat the vaunted Jaguars secondary for a touchdown last week, but otherwise he has been completely shut down in all but three games this season. Hilton has three games with 150+ receiving yards. Outside of those three games, he hasn’t caught more than four passes nor had more than 57 receiving yards. He is a true boom or bust option with way more busts than booms. The Bills are a more favorable matchup and Hilton has only succeeded against weaker opponents, but he’s also flopped against bad defenses as well. We know to bench him against strong opponents, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he can be trusted against weak ones. The lack of Donte Moncrief this week will mean more of Chester Rogers, but neither was a fantasy option to begin with. Jack Doyle has posted duds in two of his last three games, but is still one of the safer back end TE1 options.

BUF FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.25
BUF FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.1
BUF FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.25
BUF FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.14

Running Game Thoughts: This is still Frank Gore’s backfield. He’s had double digit carries in all but one game this season and has been extremely consistent in his yardage output, often hovering around his 52.7 per game average. Gore needs a touchdown to produce, something he’s only been able to do three times this season. The Colts should probably give Marlon Mack some more work, especially in a lost season, but that would imply that Chuck Pagano has a modicum of a clue as to how to coach an NFL team. Mack is firmly off the fantasy radar.

Value Meter:
QB2: Jacoby Brissett
WR3: T.Y. Hilton
TE1: Jack Doyle (low end)
Flex: Frank Gore
Bench: Marlon Mack, Donte Moncrief, Chester Rogers

Passing Game Thoughts: Tyrod Taylor’s return to practice Thursday was a huge step in the right direction for all Bills offensive players. Taylor injured his knee early in last week’s game and was eventually carted off the field with what looked to be a serious injury. Evidently, Taylor has averted disaster and is likely to start this week. The world has seen enough of the Nate Peterman experience. If for some reason Taylor can’t play, you cannot start anyone in the Bills passing game. Even with Taylor out there, this passing attack is not exactly rife with options. Jordan Matthews was just placed on IR and Kelvin Benjamin hasn’t played in weeks. Even if Benjamin returns, this is a low volume passing offense and Benjamin hadn’t exactly been lighting it up this season anyway. There have been rumblings about a Zay Jones breakout, but that’s just not possible on the Bills. Taylor is averaging just 174.2 passing yards per game and has as many touchdown passes as games the Bills have played. Charles Clay is Taylor’s favorite receiver, but even his performance has been propped up somewhat unjustly. When Clay was “thriving,” he only appeared to be doing so by virtue of scoring twice in his first three games. Yes, he had that huge 5-112 game in Week 4, but since then, he’s had five games of no more than three catches for no more than 31 yards. Clay is not a trustworthy option this week.

IND FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.7
IND FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.5
IND FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.6
IND FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.10

Running Game Thoughts: LeSean McCoy, on the other hand, is quite trustworthy. The overwhelming majority of McCoy’s big games on the ground have come at home and as long as Taylor plays, the Bills can be expected to see positive game script, at least to the extent that running the ball should always be an option. McCoy’s yards per carry averages over his last four games are 6.2, 2.2, 8.8, and 6.1. He’s been moving the ball much better on the ground after struggling early in the season. His workload remains as safe as ever and although Travaris Cadet has been stealing some passing down work, it’s probably for the best as McCoy doesn’t need to be run into the ground. So we sacrifice a little fantasy production for health. Shady hasn’t scored in his last two games, but is a good bet to break the dry spell against a soft Colts defense. Even if Peterman is forced to start, it’s not like you’re benching McCoy anyway.

Value Meter:
QB2: Tyrod Taylor
RB1: LeSean McCoy (mid-range)
Bench: Travaris Cadet, Charles Clay, all Bills WRs

Prediction: Bills 23, Colts 17 ^ Top

Cowboys at Giants - (Katz)

Passing Game Thoughts: The Cowboys offense got back on track last Thursday against Washington, putting up 38 points after looking downright pathetic for three straight weeks. Dak Prescott played better, but the fantasy output just isn’t where it was earlier in the year. He threw for two touchdowns and didn’t turn the ball over, but 102 yards just isn’t cutting it. While some of that can be attributed to Redskins turnovers giving Prescott short fields, the reality is the Cowboys just aren’t looking to move the ball through the air if they can avoid it.

Against the Giants as four point favorites, the Cowboys are unlikely to have to throw the ball any more than usual. Dez Bryant looked the best he’s looked in the last three seasons last week. He caught five of Prescott’s 11 completions for 61 of Prescott’s 102 yards as well as a touchdown. The touchdown was vintage Dez, which was both exciting and infuriating at the same time. It’s clear Bryant still has the talent to be an elite wide receiver in this league, but it’s also clear he hasn’t been giving his full effort every game. He is still not the Dez Bryant of old, but at least we know any problems are self-created. Bryant caught just two of nine targets when these teams played back in Week 1. Jason Witten did a ton of damage as he typically does against the Giants. While this Cowboys team is not the same as the one we saw opening Sunday, Witten is always an option against the Giants. Bryant, even in a situation where he won’t be dealing with Janoris Jenkins, is still a touchdown dependent WR3.

NYG FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.4
NYG FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.9
NYG FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.10
NYG FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.1

Running Game Thoughts: Alfred Morris solidified himself as the feature back last week, ripping off 127 yards and a touchdown on 27 carries. He played firmly ahead of Rod Smith, who can now be dropped across the board. Morris is a zero in the passing game, which caps his upside, but his rushing ceiling isn’t much lower than Ezekiel Elliott’s. The Cowboys are still going to try and win this game on the ground making Morris a very viable fantasy play against one of the league’s worst rush defenses. If the Cowboys can get a lead, they will look to sit on it with Morris, resulting in some heavy second half volume.

Value Meter:
QB2: Dak Prescott (still not ready to trust him again)
RB2: Alfred Morris (mid-range)
WR3: Dez Bryant
TE1: Jason Witten (low end)
Bench: Rod Smith, Terrance Williams, Cole Beasley

Passing Game Thoughts: After Eli Manning’s consecutive games started streak was broken unceremoniously by the now deposed Ben McAdoo’s decision to start Geno Smith, Manning is back under center for this week’s tilt against the Cowboys. The Giants managed just three points on offense back in Week 1 and Manning has not been a startable option this season. Sterling Shepard returned after missing two games with migraines and while he only managed 56 yards on three targets, his return did wonders for Evan Engram, who struggled in Shepard’s absence as Engram was the only pass catcher worth paying attention to for opposing defenses. Engram had the best game of his young career, catching seven of eight targets for 99 yards and a touchdown.

Even with Manning back under center, there is no reason to fade Engram as he had been strong with Manning earlier in the year. It is no surprise that Engram’s two bad games came with Shepard absent. Even with Sean Lee returning, Engram should have no trouble performing well this week, but temper expectations if Shepard cannot go. The Giants are hopeful Shepard can play after returning to a limited practice Thursday, but hopeful is not as encouraging as “expected.” Be sure to monitor Shepard’s status throughout the weekend.

DAL FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.9
DAL FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.18
DAL FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.3
DAL FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.17

Running Game Thoughts: Sean Lee’s return is far more of a problem for the Giants run game, which was never all that good to begin with. Orleans Darkwa is still the leader, but he only managed 32 yards on 14 carries last week against the Raiders. The Cowboys with Lee are not an easy matchup and the Giants RBs as a group are not that talented. Making matters worse could be the return of Paul Perkins, who looks to recapture his title as worst RB in the NFL. Darkwa is still the only back worth rostering, but he’s probably not worth starting anymore.

Value Meter:
QB2: Eli Manning
WR2: Sterling Shepard (low end)
TE1: Evan Engram (high end)
Bench: Roger Lewis, Tavarres King, Giants RBs

Prediction: Cowboys 20, Giants 16 ^ Top

Patriots at Dolphins - (Katz)

Passing Game Thoughts: Another week, another dominant Patriots performance. I don’t see how this team doesn’t go to the Super Bowl. They don’t even need Tom Brady to carry them. He was just a passenger last week as his 10-game touchdown streak came to an end. He didn’t play poorly. He just wasn’t needed. Out of Brady’s 258 yards, 147 of them went to Rob Gronkowski. I would say that bodes well for Gronk this week, but Gronk went and got himself suspended with a totally meaningless late hit after Brady was picked on a pass to Gronk where Gronk was clearly interfered with, but there was no call. In any game that’s unacceptable, but especially in a game that was well over. I get that it is frustrating when a bad no call leads to a turnover, but players have to control their tempers.

Brady should bounce back in a big way against a laughably bad Dolphins pass defense and he should do so by featuring Brandin Cooks, who was absent as well last week. Chris Hogan has a shot to return, but, since they’re the Patriots, we likely won’t know until Monday. His return to practice Wednesday bodes well though. I expect Hogan to play, which is a slight downgrade for Cooks, but without Gronk, both Hogan and Cooks will be heavily in involved. Danny Amendola is just not a consistent part of the offense. The Patriots settled for an unusually high number of field goals last week and both touchdowns came on the ground. That’s unlikely to repeat itself.

MIA FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.18
MIA FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.10
MIA FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.20
MIA FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.5

Running Game Thoughts: Just when we thought we had figured the Patriots backfield out, James White returned from the dead to lead the backfield in snaps. It wasn’t a huge lead as it was essentially a three way split with Rex Burkhead and Dion Lewis, but it was significantly more than he’d been seeing. Nevertheless, Burkhead and Lewis remain the two primary backs and both have high weekly floors. Burkhead is consistently targeted at least a couple times in the passing game and has solidified himself as the goal line back. He now has five touchdowns in his last four games. Meanwhile, Lewis has been a monster on the ground, posting yards per carry averages of 6.1, 7.5, and 6.0 over his last three games. The only problem with Lewis is he comes out for Burkhead in the red zone and he’s not being used at all in the passing game, which keeps him as more of a flex play because of the lack of touchdown and reception upside.

Value Meter:
QB1: Tom Brady (high end)
RB2: Rex Burkhead (mid-range)
WR1: Brandin Cooks (mid-range)
Flex: Dion Lewis, Chris Hogan
Bench: James White, Rob Gronkowski (suspended), Danny Amendola

Passing Game Thoughts: Jay Cutler had a very Jay Cutler game last week, throwing for 235 yards, two touchdowns to his own team, one touchdown to the other team, and one other interception. His primary target was Kenny Stills, who seems to have surpassed DeVante Parker in target priority. Stills still isn’t consistent enough to be trusted, but he has posted WR1 numbers in two of his last three games. At the very least, the upside is there. The same cannot be said for Parker, who continues to prove how overrated a player he is. I’ll give him credit for consistency, though, with exactly one catch for five yards in back to back games. You can drop him if you want. Jarvis Landry almost saw his streak of five receptions in every game come to an end…almost. Ultimately, he got there and remains a high floor, low ceiling PPR option. Julius Thomas found the end zone and managed to post yet another useful week. I still feel like it’s smoke and mirrors. The Patriots defense has been the best in the league over the past six weeks. I would not confidently start any Dolphins passing game members.

NE FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.8
NE FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.13
NE FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.5
NE FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.18

Running Game Thoughts: Kenyan Drake’s debut as the feature back went about as well as it could’ve. Drake handled 23 carries for 120 yards and a touchdown while adding 21 yards on three of five targets. I don’t anticipate Damien Williams returning this week (or this season), which puts Drake in a great spot again. Even in a blowout loss, LeSean McCoy managed to average 6.2 yards per carry against the Patriots. Just because the Patriots are going to win this game easily doesn’t mean Drake can’t be productive. Drake is a legitimate every week starting option given his volume and splash potential.

Value Meter:
RB2: Kenyan Drake (high end)
WR2: Jarvis Landry (low end)
Flex: Kenny Stills
Bench: Jay Cutler, DeVante Parker, Julius Thomas, Damien Williams (shoulder)

Prediction: Patriots 34, Dolphins 19 ^ Top