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Favorites & Fades

Week 16

By: Mike Krueger | Ken Ilchuk | Nick Caron | HC Green
Updated: 12/23/22



Saturday Early:



Saturday Late:






- Green highlight indicates plus matchup (top eight)
- Red highlight indicates negative matchup (bottom eight)
- Lines and totals updated Sunday morning

Jaguars @ Jets - (Caron)
Line: NYJ -2.5
Total: 36.5

NYJ FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.26
NYJ FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.24
NYJ FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.31
NYJ FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.17

No Brainers: N/A

Favorite: WR Zay Jones, WR Christian Kirk, TE Evan Engram

Don’t look now, but the Jacksonville Jaguars—yes, those Jacksonville Jaguars—might be making a late-season playoff push, and it’s all centered around their suddenly emerging passing game. There aren’t many wide receiver duos hotter than Zay Jones and Christian Kirk at the moment. Over their past six games, Kirk is averaging over 17 fantasy points per contest while Jones checks in with over 18 points per game after his absurd three-touchdown game against the Cowboys this past week. They do have a fairly tough matchup this week against a Jets defense that has been above-average against opposing wide receivers this season, but they’ve also allowed at least two wide different opposing receivers to go over 11 fantasy points against them in four straight contests. That bodes well for the Jaguars duo who should be heavily targeted again this week.

Even with the return of Dallas Goedert this week, the tight end position remains extremely top-heavy with a bunch of mediocre options after Travis Kelce. One of the players who’s stood out as of late, though, is Jaguars tight end Evan Engram. Engram has seen his opportunities skyrocket over the past three weeks. He saw seven targets against the Lions in Week 13, then had a ridiculous 15-target game against the Titans in Week 14 before this past week’s 10-target game against the Cowboys. That’s 32 targets over his past three games—and he’s been productive with the opportunities, as well, turning in a pair of 14-point fantasy days to go along with a near 40-point outing in Week 14. Now he faces a Jets defense that has given up touchdowns to tight ends in back-to-back games, so don’t be afraid to load up Engram in your tight end spot again this week.

On the Fence: QB Trevor Lawrence

With all the Jaguars pass-catchers listed in the “Favorites” portion of this article, it’s tough to really say that quarterback Trevor Lawrence isn’t himself a must-start option, but he just plays a position that has a lot more competition. If you’ve been rolling with Lawrence lately, you’ve been extremely happy with the results you’ve been getting and by all means, continue to trust him as long as the Jacksonville offense is moving the ball as efficiently as it is. But if you’re someone who’s normally starting a quarterback like Geno Smith, Dak Prescott, or Lamar Jackson, then you’ve got some thinking to do about potential upside in this matchup. Lawrence is up against a Jets defense that has given up the seventh-fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season and with the exception of their two games against Josh Allen, they’ve now held eight of the past 10 QBs they’ve faced to fewer than 17 fantasy points. Add in the unfortunate news that we’re expected to see some significant rain and wind in this game, and it just doesn’t look like a great week to be benching other solid QB options for Lawrence.

Fade: RB Travis Etienne

Etienne has really taken a backseat to the Jaguars’ passing game in recent weeks. He was able to surprise most by rushing for 103 yards against the Cowboys this past week, but he’d previously been held under 55 rushing yards in four straight games, which coincides with the recent breakout we’ve seen from Trevor Lawrence. Unfortunately, Lawrence’s success hasn’t really translated into more opportunities for Etienne in the passing game, either, as he has contributed just five receptions over his past four games. He also hasn’t scored a touchdown since Week 9. Etienne is still seeing enough volume on the ground to be a low-end RB2/Flex for most teams, but he has to face a tough New York defense this week that ranks in the bottom-10 worst matchups for opposing running backs this season.

JAC FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.6
JAC FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.9
JAC FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.10
JAC FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.8

No Brainers: N/A

Favorite: WR Garrett Wilson

It’s nice that we’ve gotten to the point that a nearly 14-point performance is considered a “down week” for rookie wide receiver Garrett Wilson, but that’s what we’ve gotten from him in now two straight contests. This is great news considering that he’s been dealing with a change—and let’s be honest, it’s a downgrade—at quarterback as Mike White went down with an injury and the team has gone back to Zach Wilson. Garrett Wilson’s continued usage is inspiring for fantasy, though, as he’s now seen at least seven targets in six of his past seven contests. He’s producing solid WR2 numbers just about every week while also delivering a WR1 ceiling, so feel confident firing him up in your lineup again as he matches up against a Jacksonville defense that ranks as a top-10 matchup for opposing wide receivers this season.

On the Fence: RB Zonovan Knight

An ankle injury has running back Zonovan Knight listed as questionable heading into Thursday night’s game, and it may have contributed to what was the first true dud of his fantasy football career. Knight ran the ball just 13 times for 23 yards, didn’t catch a pass, and failed to score a touchdown against the Lions in Week 15, which certainly has fantasy managers worried as we near the end of the playoffs. It is worth considering, though, that the matchup against Detroit—who are normally a pretty terrible defense—was actually a fairly tough one, as they have been surprisingly great at containing opposing running backs this season. This week, however, Knight faces a Jaguars defense that is a top-10 matchup for running backs, and they have given up at least 24 total fantasy points to opposing teams’ running backs in each of their past three games. Knight has played fewer snaps than teammate Michael Carter in each of the Jets’ past two games, but he’s still dominating the team’s running back touches, having touched the ball 32 times during this two-game stretch. Knight isn’t a must-start and we’ll have to pay attention to his ankle, but all signs point to him suiting up and he should probably be in most fantasy lineups in this great matchup.

Fade: WR Corey Davis, WR Elijah Moore

While rookie wide receiver Garrett Wilson continues to produce at a high level despite the Jets’ quarterback carousel, the same unfortunately cannot be said for Elijah Moore and Corey Davis. Davis missed this past week’s contest due to a concussion and has been battling various injuries throughout the season which has made him tough to start, but Moore is now averaging just over seven fantasy points per game in the contests he plays. He had an opportunity to play increased snaps with Davis out this past week, but actually saw his snap share drop by a few percentage points from what it was in the previous game. The fact that he was unable to produce in what was one of the best on-paper situations he could’ve possibly had just goes to show that he is not someone we can trust in fantasy lineups at the moment. Davis or Moore might sneak into the end zone and deliver a decent fantasy day, but this is Garrett Wilson’s passing game and in a Thursday game with a low over/under, now isn’t the time to be rolling the dice on other New York pass catchers.

Prediction: Jaguars 20, Jets 17 ^ Top

Saints @ Browns - (Green)
Line: CLE -3.0
Total: 32.5

CLE FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.28
CLE FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.3
CLE FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.22
CLE FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.27

No Brainers: RB Alvin Kamara

Favorite: TE Juwan Johnson

There haven’t been many offensive highlights for the Saints in 2022 outside of a strong rookie campaign from Olave. One positive development, however, has been the ongoing emergence of Johnson, who converted from receiver to tight end. After a slow start, the former Duck has scored seven touchdowns in his last seven games -- that puts him behind only Travis Kelce (12) in TDs among tight ends. The yardage and receptions are lagging, so he’s very touchdown dependent. Still, at a position that has been thinned out by injury, Johnson is worth trying as a middling TE1.

On the Fence: TE Taysom Hill

Despite being a tight end in the loosest sense of the word, Hill continues to be useable at the position in fantasy leagues where he’s the biggest weekly lottery ticket there is. A week ago, Hill ran for 30 yards and threw for 80 yards with a TD. Two games prior to that he managed 20 yards total. In a game where points may be at a premium, don’t be surprised if the Browns get quite a few looks at Hill, who once again checks in as a fringe No. 1 tight end with an attractive ceiling and a very low floor.

Fade: N/A

NO FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.21
NO FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.18
NO FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.18
NO FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.32

No Brainers: RB Nick Chubb, WR Amari Cooper, TE David Njoku

Favorite: N/A

On the Fence: RB Kareem Hunt

Most expected Chubb and Hunt to be a potent one-two punch. Through 15 games, Chubb has 272 touches to Hunt’s 138, much of which came in the first five weeks as the No. 2 tailback has topped 10 touches once in the past six games. The fact that he hasn’t emerged as a target out of the backfield has been particularly disappointing. Despite his limited work, Hunt has some tangible upside in Week 16 against the Saints after Atlanta deployed a two-pronged backfield assault last Sunday for 191 yards and 2 TDs. As a flex, Hunt has the potential to help fantasy owners.

Fade: QB Deshaun Watson

In three games with Watson as the triggerman, the Browns have scored 29 points on offense. As it happens, the Clemson product’s best statistical effort came in a loss with him passing for a measly 161 yards last Saturday against the Ravens. Considering how offensively challenged the Saints often are, don’t be surprised if Cleveland plays things conservatively again in Week 16. As such, Watson feels like a stretch to be plugged into anyone’s fantasy lineup.

Prediction: Browns 19, Saints 12 ^ Top

Falcons @ Ravens - (Green)
Line: BAL -6.5
Total: 34.5

BAL FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.12
BAL FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.25
BAL FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.7
BAL FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.19

No Brainers: N/A

Favorite: N/A

On the Fence: WR Drake London

It’s tough to endorse any receiver a week after the team passes for 97 yards, but first-time starter Desmond Ridder clearly felt most comfortable throwing to London, who was targeted on 11 of the 26 passes and finished with seven catches for 70 yards. While that’s sure to draw Baltimore’s attention defensively, you must figure they’ll stack the box and make Ridder beat them over the top. That should create chances for London, who rates as low-end WR3.

Fade: RBs Cordarrelle Patterson/Tyler Allgeier

We know the Falcons want to run the ball. The Ravens know the Falcons want to run the ball. The question is, can they? A week ago, the tandem of Patterson (14-52-1) and Allgeier (17-139-1) blistered the Saints. New Orleans is a bottom-10 run defense, though, whereas the Ravens rank third in the NFL at 85.6 yards allowed per game. You can still consider both viable RB3/flex commodities, but the downside is palpable.

ATL FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.9
ATL FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.16
ATL FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.5
ATL FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.6

No Brainers: TE Mark Andrews

Favorite: N/A

On the Fence: RB J.K. Dobbins

Of the team’s 63 offensive snaps a week ago, Dobbins played just 24, which he somehow parlayed into 125 yards on 13 carries. That was more than double the amount of plays that Gus Edwards (11) got, though it was surprisingly matched by Justice Hill (24). That breakdown really undercuts Edwards’ appeal heading into Week 16, pushing him into flex territory at best. Dobbins is a home-run hitter, even post injury, but the Ravens seem cautious to put too heavy of a load on his shoulders. While Dobbins could be a low-end RB2, he’s better viewed as a midrange RB3.

Fade: WR Demarcus Robinson

Robinson led the team in receptions last week with six. That’s good. His six catches went for a combined 29 yards. That’s bad. With Devin Duvernay (foot) hitting IR after injuring his foot in practice, Robinson is the de facto No. 1 receiver in Baltimore. He’d offer a little more appeal if Jackson returns. Even then, Robinson is a sketchy flex.

Prediction: Ravens 19, Falcons 13 ^ Top

Bengals @ Patriots - (Caron)
Line: CIN -3.0
Total: 41.5

NE FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.15
NE FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.31
NE FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.23
NE FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.11

No Brainers: QB Joe Burrow, WR Ja’Marr Chase

Favorite: WR Tee Higgins

Now seemingly fully recovered from the hamstring injury that cost him most of Week 13, Tee Higgins should be back in fantasy lineups again. He does have a difficult matchup against a New England defense that has done a fairly good job of containing opposing wide receivers. They did just hold Davante Adams to four catches for 28 yards this past week, but they’ve otherwise struggled against some of the other top receivers. Ja’Marr Chase is definitely the top pass-catcher in the Cincinnati passing game, but Higgins is still seeing plenty of opportunities in this high-powered offense. If you take out the Week 14 game in which he was taken out of the game almost immediately, Higgins has otherwise averaged almost nine targets per game over his other five most recent contests.

On the Fence: RB Joe Mixon

Mixon is still the top running back in the Cincinnati offense, but things have been getting a lot closer between him and Samaje Perine in the recent weeks since Mixon returned to the lineup. The snap share has been about 60/40 in Mixon’s favor over the past two weeks. While the touch distributions are closer to 75/25, this has still become a more difficult-to-predict situation, especially with Mixon rushing 11 times for just 21 yards this past week. Mixon has proven that he can still be a contributor in the passing game as he caught five passes this past week, but he’s been a weak fantasy producer over these past two games. With the Patriots having allowed the second-fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs this season, this is a situation that fantasy managers may simply want to avoid if they have other decent options.

Fade: WR Tyler Boyd

Week 15 saw Tyler Boyd score his first touchdown since all the way back in Week 8, but fantasy managers shouldn’t start projecting that he’s going to suddenly become a significant fantasy producer this deep into the season, especially now that Higgins appears to be back to full health. Boyd has seen five or fewer targets in four straight contests and he has only exceeded six targets twice all season. He’s a low-level PPR option at best unless the Bengals are in a game script that forces them to throw the ball 60-plus times. That’s unlikely to happen against the slow-paced Patriots.

CIN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.25
CIN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.23
CIN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.25
CIN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.12

No Brainers: RB Rhamondre Stevenson

Favorite: N/A

On the Fence: N/A

Fade: Everyone else

This seems like a cop-out, but truly—this offense is terrible other than Rhamondre Stevenson. Even players like Jakobi Meyers—who we’ve spent nearly two seasons relying on as a solid PPR WR3—have become fantasy afterthoughts in this embarrassingly bad offensive situation. Meyers hasn’t been targeted more than six times in a game since Week 8, which is—not coincidentally—also the last time he saw the end zone. Similarly, running back Damien Harris could be back this week, but he, too, has been terrible even when he’s had opportunities. With Stevenson dominating both the carries and the catches out of the backfield, Harris is an easy player to avoid right now.

Prediction: Bengals 24, Patriots 16 ^ Top

Bills @ Bears - (Green)
Line: BUF -8.0
Total: 40.5

CHI FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.10
CHI FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.8
CHI FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.21
CHI FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.30

No Brainers: QB Josh Allen, WR Stefon Diggs

Favorite: WR Gabriel Davis

If you saw last week’s Bears-Eagles game, you may have noticed DeVonta Smith, Philly’s No. 2 wideout, torch Chicago for 126 yards on five receptions. You can rest assured the Bills saw it, too. That should bode well for Davis, who, while highly inconsistent, has shown himself capable of some big games. Granted, he hasn’t topped 70 yards since Nov. 13, which makes using Davis a risk. Anyone looking for a high-upside matchup can feel justified rolling the dice on Davis as their No. 3 receiver.

On the Fence: RBs Devin Singletary/James Cook

The Bears have a porous run defense, allowing 143.9 yards per game on the ground, which ranks 27th in the league. On paper, that’s a plus matchup. Is that what the Bills want to do, however? Buffalo has the personnel to attack Chicago multiple ways, and to their credit, the Bears did a solid job of limiting Philly’s stout running game a week ago. The thinking here is that the Bills lean on Allen’s right arm early, and if they put Chicago in a hole they’ll look to Singletary and/or Cook to protect the lead (and Allen). Consider Singletary a middling RB3 with Cook as a risk/reward flex for desperate owners.

Fade: N/A

BUF FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.24
BUF FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.21
BUF FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.11
BUF FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.29

No Brainers: QB Justin Fields, RB David Montgomery

Favorite: TE Cole Kmet

Somebody has to catch the ball, right? RIGHT!?!? With Darnell Mooney (ankle) on IR and Chase Claypool (knee) missing last week, Fields’ “weapons” are even more limited than usual. His most reliable option is Kmet, who led the team in targets (5) and receptions (4) during their Week 15 loss to Philadelphia. Those numbers don’t jump off the page to be sure, and there are no guarantees with Chicago’s offense at this stage other than Fields’ running ability. Still, at a thin position like tight end, Kmet’s primary role and upside make him a low-end fantasy starter.

On the Fence: N/A

Fade: RB Khalil Herbert (hip)

Herbert (hip) hasn’t played since Nov. 13 due to a hip injury. He was designated to return from IR earlier this week and has a good chance to be activated before the Week 16 kickoff. Even if that happens, the savvy move is to keep the second-year back on ice for at least one week. Odds are the Bears will ease Herbert back in a bit, making him a very risky choice at a critical time of year for fantasy owners.

Prediction: Bills 31, Bears 20 ^ Top

Giants @ Vikings - (Green)
Line: MIN -4.5
Total: 48.5

MIN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.5
MIN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.11
MIN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.2
MIN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.16

No Brainers: RB Saquon Barkley

Favorite: WR Darius Slayton

Although he’s been quiet the past two games, totaling just 65 yards on seven catches, Slayton surpassed 85 yards receiving in three of his previous four games. A meeting with the Vikings might be just what he needs to get back on track. For the season, only the Titans have allowed more passing yards than Minnesota (278.8 per game), and only the Lions have surrendered more yards per attempt (7.9). The bend but don’t break style Minnesota has favored has helped the team win a lot of close games. At the same time, it lets opponents put up big numbers. Consider Slayton a flex with solid upside.

On the Fence: QB Daniel Jones

Even at this late stage of the season, Jones has yet to throw for more than 200 yards with multiple touchdowns in the same game. His rushing exploits keep him on the outskirts of fantasy relevance with five TDs on the ground and five outings of 50 yards or more. Most weeks, Jones should be summarily left on your bench. Given the Vikings’ issues outlined above, however, this is one week where rolling the dice on Jones seems to be defensible. The Vikings have not handled mobile quarterbacks particularly well this year, giving Jones some juice for those in need of a one-week option.

Fade: N/A

NYG FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.20
NYG FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.13
NYG FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.19
NYG FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.14

No Brainers: RB Dalvin Cook, WR Justin Jefferson, TE T.J. Hockenson

Favorite: N/A

On the Fence: QB Kirk Cousins

With the Vikings playing from behind much of the past two weeks, Cousins has thrown a ton, passing for 885 yards, 6 TDs, and 2 INTs combined. He’s also taken 10 sacks. Certainly, Minnesota would like to feature a more balanced attack against the Giants, which rank 30th in run defense (150.4 yards per game). There’s also a case to be made for riding the hot hand, which Cousins would certainly qualify as. At this point it feels like you probably should pencil in Cousins as a top-10 fantasy quarterback, but at least explore your alternatives as there’s some sneaky downside in this one.

Fade: WR K.J. Osborn

Yes, Osborn had a huge game last Saturday, hauling in 10 passes for 157 yards and a touchdown. Don’t overreact. The third-year receiver has been an afterthought for most of 2022, topping 50 yards in a game just one other time this season, and he is, at best, the fourth option in the passing game behind Jefferson, Hockenson, and Adam Thielen (and probably Cook as well). Leave him on your bench as two good games out of 15 aren’t the kind of odds you’ll want to play in Week 16.

Prediction: Vikings 26, Giants 22 ^ Top

Lions @ Panthers - (Ilchuk)
Line: DET -2.5
Total: 43.5

CAR FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.17
CAR FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.15
CAR FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.8
CAR FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.25

No Brainers: WR Amon-Ra St. Brown

Favorite: QB Jared Goff

Goff has gone from punch line to prime-time performer. Prior to a touch matchup with a very good Jets defense last week (where he posted a respectable 252 yards and a TD), he had posted back-to-back 300+ yard efforts and three straight games with multiple TD passes while completing over 70% in that stretch. He’s a low-end starter if you’re in a playoff jam this week with Carolina on his plate. Look for an uptick this week with a floor of a high-end QB2.

On the Fence: RB D’Andre Swift

There has been a concerted effort to get the ball in Swift’s hands in recent weeks. He has had at least 17 combined carries/targets in two of the Lions’ last three games, and posted 75 total yards against a very good Jets defense in Week 15. If given the chance, he can do more of the same against this Panthers defense. However, one never quite knows how the touches are going to shake out between he and Jamaal Williams, and Williams is normally the favored number near the goal line, which will cap Swift’s fantasy production.

Fade: WR Kalif Raymond

Raymond had a nice pop in production last week (5-53-0) as D.J. Chark had a tough time with the Jets’ corner tandem in Week 15. But expect Chark and St. Brown to be the priority in the passing game again this week, leaving Raymond as the third option in this attack.

DET FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.1
DET FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.26
DET FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.3
DET FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.5

No Brainers: None

Favorite: RB D’Onta Foreman

Foreman’s numbers were alarming last week against the Steelers – just 10 yards on 10 carries but expect him to bounce back this week. The Panthers want to run the ball, and Foreman had at least 20 carries in three of the previous four contests, and at least 100 rushing yards in four of the previous seven. He’s a solid RB2 option in your fantasy playoffs.

On the Fence: WR D.J. Moore

Moore is the top receiving option in this offense with 103 and 73-yard days sandwiched around a zero-catch Week 14 performance in Seattle since Sam Darnold stepped back under center. But this has become a ground and pound offense under Steve Wilkes, and unless he scores, or the Panthers are forced into a game of catch-up, he won’t be a boom candidate.

Fade: QB Sam Darnold

Darnold has been doing a solid job for a mildly resurgent Panthers team, but he has not been on the fantasy radar. However, people keep talking about how bad this Lions defense is. It was. It’s not anymore. They have three games of under 300 yards passing, including two under 200 yards passing allowed in the last six games, and in that same stretch, they’ve posted 18 sacks. If there was any question, owners should stay away from Sam Darnold.

Prediction: Lions 34, Panthers 17 ^ Top

Seahawks @ Chiefs - (Krueger)
Line: KC -10.0
Total: 49.5

KC FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.4
KC FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.14
KC FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.4
KC FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.15

No Brainers: N/A

Favorite: QB Geno Smith, WR DK Metcalf

Geno has been on a roll this season but suffered a setback last week, finishing as the QB16 against one of the best defenses in the league (SF). This week, the matchup is softer as the Chiefs defense has allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to QBs including a league-leading 30 TD passes. They also allowed Russell Wilson to have his best game of the season just two weeks ago. Geno will be without one of his key weapons as Tyler Lockett will miss this game with a finger injury. That should allow DK Metcalf to be peppered with targets against a defense that plays its fair share or man-to-man coverage. Count me in on DK this week, even at a chilly Arrowhead stadium.

On the Fence: RB Kenneth Walker (ankle), WR Marquise Goodwin

Walker returned last week after missing Week 14 with an ankle injury. His usage was good, playing 75 percent of the snaps, spitting time with Travis Homer (25%). Tony Jones has been released which should leave Walker and Homer locked into their roles moving forward. Walker isn’t the best-looking play on paper with Seattle being a 10-point underdog, but volume should be in his favor as he logged an 86% share of the Seattle running back carries last week and has been used in the pass game when Seahawks find themselves in a negative game script. Assuming he’s not limited by his ankle injury, Walker is mid-range RB2 in Week 16.

Marquise Goodwin will be stepping into a bigger role this week with Tyler Lockett (finger) out and the matchup is certainly enticing as the Chiefs have given up the most TDs (19) to the position. Goodwin has had two spiked weeks this season including Week 14 against Carolina when he finished with a 5-95-1 line when he was on the field for 76% of the plays. The opportunities should be there if the most likely game scripts plays out with Seattle trailing most of the day, making Goodwin a risky WR3.

Fade: N/A

SEA FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.13
SEA FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.2
SEA FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.29
SEA FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.2

No Brainers: QB Patrick Mahomes, TE Travis Kelce

Favorite: RB Jerick McKinnon

McKinnon’s two-week tear has seen him find the endzone four times and rack up 15 catches and 256 total yards. We know he’s their trusted option on third down and after Pacheco put on the ball on the ground last week and missed a blitz pickup that resulted in a Mahomes’ sack, it wasn’t much of a surprise that McKinnon found himself on the high end of the 62-35 snap share split with Pacheco against the Texans. As long as this game remains reasonably close, McKinnon’s going to be involved and there’s no sense trying to predict when this train is going to stop. He’s a solid RB2 in juicy matchup against the forgiving Seattle run defense.

On the Fence: RB Isiah Pacheco

For all the same matchup reasons mentioned above, this game sets up nicely for Pacheco as well. Will there be any reluctance by Andy Reid to limit Pacheco after his miscues last week? Not likely when Ronald Jones is your only answer on the bench. Touch counts for the rookie over the last five weeks: 16, 15, 23, 16, 16, 16. A 16-touch floor as a 10-point favorite seems pretty safe as a Flex play.

Fade: WRs not named JuJu Smith-Schuster

The Chiefs came into the season with the intention of spreading the ball around at receiver and that’s exactly what they’ve done. Kelce was always going to get his catches but after that, it’s been tough to count on any of Andy Reid’s wideouts for consistent production. Only JuJu Smith-Schuster has a chance at a 1000-yard season as Justin Watson, Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Skyy Moore are all playing meaningful snaps. This week, Mecole Hardman returns to the mix and will we see a bigger role for Kadarius Toney? There’s too much guess work here and not enough clarity, making everyone outside of JuJu a fade.

Prediction: Chiefs 30, Seahawks 24 ^ Top

Texans @ Titans - (Ilchuk)
Line: TEN -3.0
Total: 35.5

TEN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.2
TEN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.30
TEN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.1
TEN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.4

No Brainers: None

Favorite: WR Chris Moore

Moore posted 14 catches on 19 targets for 166 yards over the last two games in the absence of the injured Brandin Cooks (calf). Some will sit him now that Cooks is expected back. However, Moore has earned more snaps, and the Texans will not be able to run against the Titans front, so look for more throwing this week, meaning plenty of opportunities for both Moore and Cooks.

On the Fence: WR Brandin Cooks

Cooks returns from injury, and the Texans should be looking to match up against a Titans defense that has allowed over 300 passing yards in three straight games, and yielded an average of nearly 30 points per game in that same span. But soft-tissue injuries are tough to manage, and I’m not sure how much work Cooks will get, especially with Chris Moore playing well.

Fade: QB Jeff Driskel

Driskel is listed as a TE in some leagues, so some owners were flexing him due to the goal line work he was getting in the Texans’ QB platoon. But the ride has come to an end. It wasn’t working last week, and Tennessee is tough against the run, particularly down in the red zone, so I don’t expect much of a role here.

HOU FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.30
HOU FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.1
HOU FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.30
HOU FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.10

No Brainers: TE Chigoziem Okonkwo

Favorite: RB Derrick Henry

Let’s not overthink this. The Titans are reeling, losers of four in a row, and the Texans are giving up 26.0 fantasy points per game to RB’s this season, the most in the NFL. When Ryan Tannehill sits and Malik Willis starts, the Titans have become even more run-heavy than normal. HC Mike Vrabel is going to hand the ball to Derrick and get this thing back on the rails.

On the Fence: RB Hassan Haskins

With QB Ryan Tannehill (ankle) likely done for the season, the Titans will hand the ball to rookie Malik Willis. During his most significant action of the season in Weeks 8 and 9, Dontrell Hilliard was his top target in the passing game with 11 targets in two games. Houston is tough against the pass, so when Tennessee has to throw, I could see them giving Willis some high percentage throws to Haskins when they're not handing the ball off to Henry. The question is will he see enough volume?

Fade: WR Robert Woods, WR Treylon Burks

As I’ve written several times through the season, Woods has been a huge disappointment. Now his QB is out, and he’s facing a tough pass defense in the Texans and the Titans pass attempts will be minimal. There just won't be enough volume to consider either one of these receivers.

Prediction: Tennessee 16, Texans 14 ^ Top

Commanders @ 49ers - (Krueger)
Line: SF -6.5
Total: 37.5

SF FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.31
SF FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.32
SF FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.13
SF FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.28

No Brainers: N/A

Favorite: WR Terry McLaurin

McLaurin is the leader of this offense. He’s seen at least six targets in his last eight games and quite frankly and is probably Washington’s best option at moving the ball this week. There is some intrigue at quarterback as Carson Wentz (finger) is now healthy and back practicing with the team and if Heinicke continues to struggle we could see a switch. Either way, the likely game script will be Washington playing from behind and 40 throws from this offense is in the range of outcomes. On a secondary note, Jahan Dotson is now back playing a higher snap share than Curtis Samuel and could be used as WR4.

On the Fence: RB Antonio Gibson, RB Brian Robinson Jr.

It’s not a great week to be counting on Gibson or Robinson. Sure, the Commanders love to ground and pound but the 49ers are stout against the run, having allowed just 803 rushing yards to the position and have allowed just 1 TD to a running back since Week 5! Robinson has seen double-digit carries in eight out of the ten games he’s played but is rarely used in the passing game with just 9 catches on the season. Gibson had a higher snap share last week (60%-38%) but was out-touched 13 to 7 by Robinson. If you’re forced into choosing one of these backs, I’d lean towards Gibson for his pass-catching ability but otherwise steer clear.

Fade: TE Logan Thomas

The tight end position seems to be lost in this offense as the running game and use of three wide receivers have taken priority. In addition, Logan Thomas is splitting time with John Bates and occasionally Cole Turner. Thomas played just 64% of the snaps last week finishing with one catch for six yards. He had two usable PPR week this season (Wk2, Wk11) otherwise it’s been bust city. Take your tight end dart throw elsewhere.

WAS FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.19
WAS FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.27
WAS FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.16
WAS FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.31

No Brainers: RB Christian McCaffrey

Favorite: TE George Kittle

It’s tough to pick a favorite for the 49ers as this offense has turned into the Christian McCaffrey show the last three weeks. We could see a spiked week from Brandon Aiyuk with Deebo Samuel out, but the safer bet is probably Kittle even though his usage is a little flimsy. Sure, he’s on the field for just about every play, but the last time he’s seen more than 5 targets was Week 11 and he has only one double-digit target game this season. Still, he’s so good after the catch that he can be incredibly efficient (like we saw last week) when turned four catches into 93 yards and 2 TDs. He did the same thing back in Week 11 (4-84-2). Brock Purdy has probably two passing TDs in his likely outcome this week and if we’re choosing the recipients, Kittle has to be high on the list above the wide receivers.

On the Fence: QB Brock Purdy

Purdy has thrown exactly 2 TDs in his last three games but his low yardage numbers are keeping his fantasy finishes in check (QB15, QB8-rush TD, QB18). Washington has allowed just one 300-yard passing game all season and with an O/U of 37.5, this doesn’t seem like the spot for a spiked week for Purdy. In fact, nothing about this matchup indicates we’ll see an explosion in pass attempts by HC Kyle Shanahan who will likely continue to ride Christian McCaffrey as long as he can. As a result, a mid-range QB2 is the likely outcome for the rookie QB.

Fade: WR Brandon Aiyuk

Theoretically, Aiyuk has stepped into the WR1 role for the 49ers with Deebo Samuel out with an ankle injury but with just 7 targets in his last two games, the usage with Purdy at the helm just hasn’t been there. Wide receivers are inherently volatile and Aiyik could pop up for a big game here, but I’d prefer to take my chances with other options in the WR3 range like DeVonta Smith or Drake London.

Prediction: 49ers 24, Commanders 13 ^ Top

Eagles @ Cowboys - (Caron)
Line: DAL -4.5
Total: 46.5

DAL FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.22
DAL FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.29
DAL FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.9
DAL FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.26

No Brainers: WR A.J. Brown

Favorite: WR DeVonta Smith

The Cowboys' defense has been great for most of the season, but they’ve really been struggling against opposing wide receivers as of late. Rookie Christian Watson lit them up for three touchdowns back in Week 10 and they’ve now allowed six different receivers to exceed 15 fantasy points against them over their past four games. This past week it was Zay Jones who became the second wide receiver to score three touchdowns against the Cowboys and while his play style certainly more closely resembles that of A.J. Brown, the Cowboys have also struggled against the likes of Christian Kirk, Amari Rodgers, and Richie James as of late. There’s reason to be worried that Gardner Minshew is a significant step down from Jalen Hurts, but Minshew has proven to be a capable passer before. He threw for a pair of touchdowns in both of his starts for the Eagles in 2021 and he’s thrown for two or more scores in 15 of the 22 games he’s started or played the majority of snaps in throughout his career. DeVonta Smith has been red hot lately with 292 receiving yards over his past three games, so don’t be afraid to fire him up as a WR2 again this week.

On the Fence: RB Miles Sanders, TE Dallas Goedert

While the wide receivers should continue to be useful even with Minshew behind center, the same might not be quite as true for tight end Dallas Goedert and running back Miles Sanders. Goedert is expected to be back on the field this week after missing the past five weeks with a shoulder injury, and certainly, the tight end position is bad enough that he will probably be in most lineups, but there’s no question that Goedert had developed some real rapport with Hurts and that same level of comfort might not be there with Minshew. Not to mention that we don’t know for certain that he’s really back to full health.

For Sanders, the loss of Hurts could be borderline catastrophic. The narrative that the team might “lean more on the running game” is valid, but that could easily be counteracted by the fact that the defense doesn’t have to worry nearly as much about Minshew taking off and running on option plays as they do when Hurts is on the field. Sanders has had some absolutely terrific fantasy performances as of late when he’s been given a high workload, so it’s understandable if fantasy managers want to play him, but the Cowboys have been an excellent defense against opposing running backs, having conceded the fourth-fewest fantasy points to the position. Only three running backs—Leonard Fournette, Saquon Barkley and Aaron Jones—have reached 15 fantasy points against the Dallas defense this season. Sanders himself scored 14 against the Cowboys when these teams played back in Week 6. That game saw the Cowboys playing without Dak Prescott, however, and the Eagles dominated for most of the afternoon which led to plenty of touches for Sanders. The same might not be true this week as the Cowboys are actually four-point favorites at home.

Fade: QB Gardner Minshew

Dallas has struggled to contain opposing passing games as of late and there are plenty of reasons to still like A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith, but you could be asking for trouble if you’re firing up Gardner Minshew even as a QB2. The Cowboys have only given up two or more passing touchdowns to five quarterbacks this season. One of them was actually Jalen Hurts back in Week 6, but that also came with only 155 passing yards from him, so the fantasy impact was still relatively minimal. Minshew is a fine backup quarterback but don’t get too sneaky here in the fantasy playoffs.

PHI FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.29
PHI FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.17
PHI FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.28
PHI FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.24

No Brainers: WR CeeDee Lamb

Favorite: RB Tony Pollard

The Cowboys running game continues to crush for fantasy even when Dallas loses games. This past week marked the sixth time in his past seven games that Tony Pollard has scored at least 14 fantasy points and he’s now averaging a ridiculous 16.6 fantasy points per game this season—a monumental number for a player who is still in a full-blown backfield split. Pollard’s explosiveness has been undeniable and while Ezekiel Elliott remains the team’s primary goal-line back, Pollard has now himself contributed four touchdowns over his past three games. The Eagles have a very good defense, but they’ve been susceptible to allowing some decent fantasy games, even to split backfields like the Cowboys’. Pollard himself was held to 44 yards on just 11 carries against the Eagles back in Week 6, but we should expect this game to have quite a different game script with a potential multi-score Cowboys win even possible, so don’t get too worried about what happened the last time Pollard matched up against this defense.

On the Fence: RB Ezekiel Elliott

Elliott has definitely been the beneficiary of extreme usage at the goal line. He missed a pair of games midway through the season, but he has otherwise scored at least once in seven straight games, ranging all the way back to Week 6 when he scored against this same Philadelphia defense. Now with the Eagles' defense looming again, Elliott will likely need to get into the end zone again if he’s going to return any sort of serious fantasy value. He’s obviously been doing it, so there’s really no reason to think that it won’t continue, but keep in mind that the Cowboys running back would have scored 12 or fewer fantasy points in every game this season if he had not scored touchdowns. He isn’t contributing really anything in the passing game and he hasn’t yet rushed for 100 yards, so there’s a pretty low floor for him if he does fail to get into the end zone.

Fade: QB Dak Prescott, TE Dalton Schultz

Dak Prescott has thrown multiple touchdowns in six of his past seven games, so he’s certainly bringing a decent enough floor to the table, but the ceiling has really not been there from him here in 2022. Aside from his Week 8 matchup in which he rushed for a touchdown, Prescott has otherwise failed to really be a true needle-mover for fantasy. He now faces a tough Philadelphia defense that has given up the fourth-fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season. The Eagles could realistically struggle themselves on offense which would play right into what the Cowboys like to do when they run the football like crazy, so that would obviously further limit Prescott’s opportunity to produce big numbers. He’s a fine low-end QB1, but this could easily turn out to be one of his lowest-scoring games of the year.

Tight end Dalton Schultz has found himself on the “fade” list quite a few times this season and for good reason. Schultz has now been targeted six or fewer times in four of his past five games, including this past week in which he saw just four passes come his way in an overtime shootout against the Jaguars. Tight ends are rather fluky to begin with, other than the obvious studs, so the touchdown-or-bust outlook that Schultz provides is pretty normal, but he’s only scored a touchdown in two games this season. With Dallas potentially leaning more heavily on their running game than normal and the Eagles having avoided giving up a touchdown to the position since Week 9, this seems like a good time to leave Schultz on your bench if you have another option who’s been getting more opportunities as of late.

Prediction: Cowboys 26, Eagles 20 ^ Top

Raiders @ Steelers - (Green)
Line: PIT -2.5
Total: 38.5

PIT FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.11
PIT FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.22
PIT FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.6
PIT FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.21

No Brainers: RB Josh Jacobs, WR Davante Adams

Favorite: N/A

On the Fence: TE Darren Waller

After missing more than two months with a hamstring injury, Waller returned last Sunday against the Patriots, hauling in all three of his targeted passes for 48 yards and a touchdown. He played only 33 snaps, compared to 38 for Foster Moreau. Expect that to tilt back toward Waller as he shakes off the rust and proves he’s back to full health. He entered the season a notch below the likes of Travis Kelce and Mark Andrews at the position, so his upside is high-end TE1. While it may be a stretch to expect that so soon after returning, Waller deserves a starting slot.

Fade: WR Hunter Renfrow

Like Waller, Renfrow returned from injury last Sunday. Unlike Waller, Renfrow made no impact whatsoever, catching one pass for 14 yards. Coming off a year in which he had 103 receptions, 1,038 yards, and 9 TDs, the Clemson alum has never found his stride alongside Adams, and at this point he’s working behind Mack Hollins (60 snaps to 29) as well. With no games of more than 60 yards on the season, Renfrow should be ticketed for your bench against the Steelers.

LV FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.8
LV FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.4
LV FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.17
LV FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.9

No Brainers: RB Najee Harris, TE Pat Freiermuth

Favorite: N/A

On the Fence: WR Diontae Johnson

Johnson set season highs in both receptions (10) and yards (98) during the team’s Week 15 win over Carolina. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean much for their Christmas Eve showdown with the Raiders as that came with Mitch Trubisky at quarterback, and Kenny Pickett (concussion) is expected to return this week. Johnson now has 77 receptions on the season and yet remains without a touchdown -- that is easily the highest number in the NFL with Kalif Raymond and Ben Skowronek tied for second-most among wideouts with 39. At best, Johnson is a decent WR3 this Saturday.

Fade: WR George Pickens

With two grabs last Sunday, Pickens has now caught more than three passes in a game just once in his last seven. He has managed to top 50 yards receiving four times during that stretch, however, which speaks to his downfield ability. Still, the rookie has fallen well behind Johnson in terms of volume -- he has been targeted 16 times in the past four games to Johnson’s 37. The Raiders rank 26th in pass defense, so there should be opportunities, but Pickens would be a risky choice.

Prediction: Steelers 20, Raiders 17 ^ Top

Packers @ Dolphins - (Caron)
Line: MIA -4.0
Total: 49.5

MIA FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.3
MIA FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.10
MIA FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.15
MIA FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.3

No Brainers: N/A

Favorite: RB AJ Dillon, RB Aaron Jones

The 2022 season has largely been a disappointment for the Packers, but two players who’ve really been heating up for them as of late—at least for fantasy purposes—have been running backs Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon. The duo absolutely torched the Rams this past week, with Dillon delivering a pair of scores on the ground to go along with 71 total yards, while Jones scored a touchdown of his own on 126 total yards. Jones has now provided at least 14 fantasy points in six of his past eight games and he’s caught multiple passes in every game this season. Dillon, on the other hand, went on a 10-game stretch in which he failed to reach double-digit fantasy points, but he’s now scored 17 or more points in three straight contests while scoring at least once in all of those games. This duo now faces a Miami defense that has been getting smashed by running backs. Opposing team RBs have averaged over 26 total fantasy points against this defense over their past seven games and that’s a good enough reason to trust Jones as a low-end RB1 and Dillon as an RB2/Flex.

On the Fence: QB Aaron Rodgers, WR Christian Watson

It was certainly disappointing that a multi-score victory for the Packers over the Rams in Week 15 didn’t produce more fantasy results for Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay passing game. Rodgers finished as the QB22 for the week while failing to throw for multiple touchdowns for the fifth time this season. In fact, other than his Week 10 performance in which he threw three touchdown passes to Christian Watson, Rodgers has otherwise failed to reach three scores in any other game this season. That doesn’t sound like much of an endorsement, but if there’s a time for him to finally buck his recent trend and get back into fantasy relevance, it’s probably this week against this terrible Miami secondary. The Dolphins have given up at least 16 fantasy points to an opposing QB in every game they’ve played since Week 1 and they’ve conceded the third-most total fantasy points to the position so far this season. They’ve really struggled against the more mobile quarterbacks they’ve faced and Rodgers is certainly not that anymore, but the Packers could find themselves in a shootout in this one, which would be huge for his potential fantasy outlook. Don’t bench obvious studs for Rodgers, but he’s probably available in a lot of leagues and you could do worse if you’re looking for a replacement for Jalen Hurts, Kyler Murray, or another injured QB.

Rookie Christian Watson failed to score a touchdown for the first time since Week 9 this past week, but now we’re looking at a real opportunity for him to produce. Watson has been targeted at least six times in five straight games and, more importantly, he’s seeing a lot of chances in the red zone. He’s still somewhat of a boom-or-bust type of player, but that’s exactly what some managers need as their WR3/Flex here in the fantasy playoffs.

Fade: WR Allen Lazard

There was something to be said for Allen Lazard’s high usage earlier this season, but things have really tapered off for him as of late. The Packers wide receiver has now been targeted just 11 times over his past three games, which has been good enough for just under a 13 percent target share over that stretch. In fact, if you go back to Week 11, he’s now been targeted six or fewer times in four of his past five games. This, of course, directly coincides with the late-season breakout we’ve seen from Christian Watson, so it might be more of a trend than it initially looked like. Lazard really needs to start seeing some more opportunities before fantasy managers should start trusting him again.

GB FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.27
GB FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.12
GB FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.27
GB FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.23

No Brainers: WR Tyreek Hill

Favorite: WR Jaylen Waddle

A player with a high yards-per-reception like Jaylen Waddle is almost always going to have some streakiness to him, so those who stayed the course after a couple of bad games and started him this past week against the Bills were rewarded as he delivered a nice 20-point fantasy day despite only catching three passes. Waddle is definitely behind Tyreek Hill in the Miami passing game pecking order, but he’s by far the second option in what has been a high-powered attack this season. The Packers have been good against opposing wide receivers this season, but we’re not looking for a huge volume game from Waddle—we just need him to do what he normally does and connect with Tua on a few long passes. That should be good enough for him to provide some useful fantasy numbers.

On the Fence: RB Raheem Mostert

The Dolphins' passing game has been carrying them throughout most of the season, but this past week it was actually their running game, headed by Raheem Mostert, that allowed them to nearly squeeze out a win on the road against the Bills. Mostert rushed for a season-high 136 yards in that contest, dominating the snaps out of the Miami backfield in the process. His day could have been even bigger had he been on the field when fellow running back Salvon Ahmed scored. Mostert is expected to continue to be the team’s primary back going forward, but there is a little bit of worry about his workload as teammate Jeff Wilson is expected to be back on the field. The team had recently transitioned back to Mostert over Wilson prior to the injury, but Wilson is still much more of a threat to Mostert’s workload than Ahmed was, which is why we have he’s “on the fence” as opposed to being a “favorite.”

Fade: QB Tua Tagovailoa

Once looked at as a legitimate potential MVP candidate this season, Tua Tagovailoa has regressed as of late, back into the QB2 range for fantasy. He hasn’t been truly detrimental, but he’s just not providing the high-end games that we became accustomed to earlier this season when he was pummeling defenses for three-or-more scores seemingly every week. He now faces a Green Bay defense that has given up the sixth-fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks so far this season. They’ve only given up one game of three-or-more touchdowns on the year. Tua is absolutely capable of breaking the trends and producing a solid fantasy game, but he’s been looking shaky and it’s probably wise to look elsewhere if you have other borderline QB1 options to roll with this week.

Prediction: Dolphins 26, Packers 23 ^ Top

Broncos @ Rams - (Krueger)
Line: DEN -3.0
Total: 36.5

LAR FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.23
LAR FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.20
LAR FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.12
LAR FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.22

No Brainers: N/A

Favorite: RB Latavius Murray

Murray is a hold your nose play and hope the volume is there in a game with a very low total (36.5), especially considering there are no weather issues in LA. Murray turned 25 touches last week into 142 total yards and a score against a weak Cardinals team struggling to move the ball with backup quarterbacks. Baker Mayfield is technically the starter for the Rams but has only played two games with his new team and despite the heroics against the Raiders, isn’t fully adjusted to this offense. Translation: this should be another low-scoring affair meaning game-script shouldn’t get away from Denver allowing 20 touches for their veteran RB and nice RB2 floor.

On the Fence: QB Russell Wilson, WR Jerry Jeudy

The Rams certainly aren’t the shutdown defense we’ve seen in prior years but they’re not a pushover either. They’ve been decent against fantasy quarterbacks even without Aaron Donald, but have given up some big days to No.1 fantasy receivers including both Seattle guys, Chris Olave, Deebo Samuel and Stefon Diggs. Jeudy isn’t on par with those wideouts and we’ll see if Courtland Sutton (hamstring) gets back on the field this week, but if anyone is going to have a big game against this bunch it will be Jeudy. He’s had 15 catches in his last two games averaging 75 yards and scored three times against the Chiefs. The concern is, will Russell Wilson revert back to what he’s been for a big chunk of the season, or do we get a better version of Russ, which we saw in Week 14 before his concussion?

Fade: TE Greg Dulcich

The role has been nice for Dulcich but the production has been hit or miss, with too many misses. Last week, the Broncos were thin at receiver and decided to play four tight ends to pick up the slack. The result was a slight decrease in snaps for the rookie tight end and only 2 targets for one catch for 11 yards. If Courtland Sutton continues to miss, we might see a similar scenario which would put a wet blanket on Dulcich’s fantasy value.

DEN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.32
DEN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.19
DEN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.32
DEN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.13

No Brainers: N/A

Favorite: RB Cam Akers

On a team void of skill position players we want to play in fantasy football, Cam Akers stands out as the best of the bunch for the Rams. He saw a 76% snap share last week against the Packers, handled 15 touches, and seems to be Sean McVay’s preferred option in the backfield as Malcolm Brown and Kyren Williams combined for just 11 snaps. The Rams have scored 17 and 12 points with Baker at quarterback which doesn’t translate for a lot of scoring opportunities for Akers… or anyone else on the team for that matter. That alone keeps Akers ceiling at a middling RB2 level but this is where we are with the Rams.

On the Fence: N/A

Fade: QB Baker Mayfield, WR Van Jefferson, WR Tutu Atwell

The Rams lost Ben Skowronek (calf) for the rest of the season which leaves the receiving duties to Jefferson and the 165-pound Atwell. Facing the leagues’ best pass defense with a quarterback two games into his tenure with the team isn’t a recipe for success. The Broncos have allowed the fewest fantasy points to both quarterbacks and receivers this season. Let’s not get cute here. Avoid the Rams passing game.

Prediction: Broncos 23, Rams 16 ^ Top

Buccaneers @ Cardinals - (Krueger)
Line: TB -7.5
Total: 40.5

ARI FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.7
ARI FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.7
ARI FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.20
ARI FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.1

No Brainers: WR Chris Godwin

Favorite: RB Leonard Fournette, RB Rachaad White

Fournette got the better usage between the two Tampa backs last week and looks like a solid RB2 floor option this week in a plus matchup against the Cardinals defense. Fournette was in on 58% of the snaps last week compared to 39% White and out-touched him 14 to 12. The split usage caps the upside of both but we could see an elevated floor for this offense here with the Bucs a 7.5-point favorite against a Cardinals team quarterbacked by third-stringer Trace McSorley.

On the Fence: QB Tom Brady, WR Mike Evans

After a middling fantasy season that has Brady ranked 15th among qualifying quarterbacks, the veteran QB finds himself on the plus end of the schedule this week facing a forgiving Cardinals defense in comfy conditions while much of the league plays in freezing temperatures. By all measures, Brady hasn’t been great and Evans has been allergic to the endzone with only 3 touchdowns on the season and none since Week 4. However, this could be a spiked week for both given the positive matchup. Arizona has allowed 25 passing TDs, tied for 2nd most in the league with the Tennessee.

Fade: TE Cade Otton

The matchup doesn’t get any better as the Cardinals have given up the most fantasy points to the position but the Bucs are still rotating three tight ends. Otton, Cameron Brate and rookie Ko Keift are getting playing time and Brady has plenty of weapons on the outside and out of the backfield to throw to. If you’re in a pinch, I could see deploying Otton as a prayer given the matchup, but otherwise I’d stay away.

TB FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.18
TB FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.28
TB FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.14
TB FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.7

No Brainers: N/A

Favorite: RB James Conner

Conner has seen at least a 90% snap share since Week 12 which guarantees him a RB2 floor with easy RB1 upside whenever he finds the endzone. The matchup isn’t great against a Bucs defense that’s only given up 5 rushing TDs to the position but they have given up four scores through the air and Conner is certainly capable in the receiving game. Given the Arizona QB situation and low team total, Conner isn’t a slam dunk no-brainer this week, but the usage is more than comfortable enough to keep him in fantasy lineups.

On the Fence: WR DeAndre Hopkins

We’re used to Hopkins being a no-brainer but this week should give us some pause as Trace McSorley gets the call at quarterback. Hopkins will no doubt be on the field the majority of snaps and should be the focus of the passing game but efficiency is a real concern. McSorley has completed just 52% of his pass attempts this season and has only played in six NFL games in the span of three years. As a result, Hopkins is more of a WR2 than WR1 this week.

Fade: QB Trace McSorley, Secondary WRs

The Cardinals are down to their third-string quarterback with Kyler Murray (ACL) out for the season and Colt McCoy sidelined with a concussion. McSorley has tossed three INTs and zero touchdowns during his limited playing time this season. This isn’t the time to be taking shots on secondary options in the passing game like Marquise Brown or TE Trey McBride.

Prediction: Buccaneers 27, Cardinals 17 ^ Top

Chargers @ Colts - (Ilchuk)
Line: LAC -4.5
Total: 45.5

IND FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.14
IND FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.6
IND FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.26
IND FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.20

No Brainers: QB Justin Herbert, RB Austin Ekeler, WR Keenan Allen, WR Mike Williams

Favorite: RB Joshua Kelley

If I’m picking someone outside the obvious names listed above, Kelley could be a smart play as a flex option. I think Ekeler’s shoulder scare last week could alter the Bolts’ gameplan this time around. Look for Ekeler to play more in his comfort zone as a receiver while LA works Kelley in as an early down runner to try and keep Ekeler healthy for a potential postseason run. Kelley has shown over recent seasons that he’s capable of handling a load and the Colts have struggled at times against the run.

On the Fence: WR Josh Palmer

When you’re the third wheel behind Keenan Allen and Mike Williams it can be a while between targets. But Palmer has been steady with eight straight games of 40+ yards (including two 100-yard games) and has caught nine of 11 targets the last two weeks. Indy’s corners are tough, so it’s not hard to see Palmer stuck in the mix as a WR3 or flex option this week.

Fade: N/A

LAC FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.16
LAC FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.5
LAC FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.24
LAC FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.18

No Brainers: WR Michael Pittman Jr.

Favorite: RB Zack Moss

Moss had 24 carries last week and seems to be the preferred replacement for the IR-bound Jonathan Taylor. He averaged just 3.4 yards per carry, but that’s manageable RB2 territory given the workload. The Colts o-line has been atrocious all season, but the Chargers are allowing a league-worst 5.4 yards per carry on the season. Expect lineman turned HC Jeff Saturday to run the ball extensively to shorten the game and try and keep Chargers’ QB Justin Herbert off the field.

On the Fence: TE Kylen Granson

Granson has been up and down all season, but so has the Colts’ QB play. New QB Nick Foles has always liked throwing to his tight ends, and with the Colts trying to play ball control, I could see Granson popping in the middle of the field, giving Foles a big target and some high percentage looks in his first NFL game in a year.

Fade: WR Alec Pierce

Pierce ranks second on the team in targets and is tied for second in receiving yards. But he’s been shut out (zero catches) three times over the last five weeks. He’s a deep threat, but I don’t see Indy’s gameplan pushing the ball down the field much this week. I’d expect another uneventful outing for Pierce this week.

Prediction: Chargers 26, Colts 17 ^ Top