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Favorites & Fades

Week 4

By: Gravy Collins | Ken Ilchuk | Nick Caron | HC Green
Updated: 9/30/22



Sunday Early:



Sunday Late:


NE @ GB | KC @ TB



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

Dolphins @ Bengals - (Green)
Line: CIN -3.5
Total: 47.5

CIN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.29
CIN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.23
CIN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.28
CIN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.10

No Brainers: WR Tyreek Hill, WR Jaylen Waddle

Favorite: N/A

On the Fence: QB Tua Tagovailoa

One week after passing for 469 yards and six TDs, Tagovailoa (back) attempted just 18 passes in a game in which he was temporarily removed due to a ďbackĒ injury. Heís not a sure thing to play Thursday night, but at this point it looks like heíll be able to answer the bell. Even assuming he does, the southpaw wonít be at 100 percent, and Cincinnati is tied for the fewest touchdown passes allowed in the league (2). His upside prevents him from entering the fade realm, but you should look long and hard at your options before rolling with Tagovailoa here.

Fade: RB Chase Edmonds, RB Raheem Mostert

Through three games, the combination of Edmonds and Mostert have split the snaps almost evenly with Edmonds logging 93 (of 174 total) and Mostert 88. The numbers have been modest for both, however, with neither player having reached the 80-yard mark on the season. Edmonds gave fantasy owners a little love in Week 3 when he ran for two scores, but against a Bengals defense yielding just 86 yards per game on the ground neither should be viewed as more than a shaky flex.

MIA FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.1
MIA FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.16
MIA FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.15
MIA FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.3

No Brainers: RB Joe Mixon, WR JaíMarr Chase, WR Tee Higgins

Favorite: QB Joe Burrow

Only the Ravens (353.3) have allowed more passing yards per game than Miami (297.7), and the interceptions that have been such an integral part of the Dolphins defense in recent years have been absent. Plus, keep in mind that Miami played 90 snaps against the Bills in Week 3 amid scorching temperatures. With a short turnaround itís hard to imagine the Dolphins wonít be dealing with fatigue sooner than later. This is one week you definitely want Joe Shiesty in your lineup.

On the Fence: WR Tyler Boyd

Boyd is coming off a 100-yard, 1 TD game against the Jets which may be tempting to chase, but so far this season he hasnít seen the targets (14 in three games) to make you feel comfortable giving him the starting nod. Heís played on 77% of the snaps this season, more than Tee Higgins (56%) but is obviously third in the pecking order for Burrow when all three receivers are healthy. The Dolphins are middle of the pack (15th) against fantasy wideouts making this a middling matchup. Boyd can be used as a Flex in a pinch but you likely have better options.

Fade: TE Hayden Hurst

Hurst (groin) opened his Bengals career with consecutive five-catch efforts. Last week he posted just one grab after reports came out that he’d aggravated a groin injury in practice. He played just 26 snaps. Down from 75 in Week 1 and 57 in Week 2. With only four days between games, it’s unlikely Hurst will be ready to handle a full workload on Thursday Night Football. Stay away from Hurst in this one.

Prediction: Bengals 27, Dolphins 21 ^ Top

Vikings @ Saints - (Ilchuk)
Line: MIN -3.0
Total: 42.0

NO FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.23
NO FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.25
NO FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.24
NO FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.31

No Brainers: QB Kirk Cousins, RB Dalvin Cook, WR Justin Jefferson

Favorite: RB Alexander Mattison

Mattison is averaging nearly 4.5 yards per carry and over 9.0 yards per reception. With RB1 Dalvin Cook nursing a shoulder injury, Mattison is in line for a bump in volume this week. Cook missed practice Wednesday, but did participate on Thursday. Iíd be surprised if he doesnít play on Sunday but even if he does, look for Mattison to spell the starter more regularly this week. These Saints are a tough bunch on defense, so the yards wonít come easy, but heís a sneaky RB2 choice this week and could have some low end RB1 value if Cook ends up not being able to go.

On the Fence: WR Adam Thielen

Thielenís targets, catches, and yards have steadily improved every week, and last week he even got in the end zone. As teams begin to focus on taking away fellow wideout Justin Jefferson, Thielen could continue to see more volume. In theory, K.J. Osborn could cut into that plan as he did last week (led the team with 73 yards). However, more than two-thirds of his yardage total came on the Vikesí final drive. I donít think heís a week-in, week-out threat. Tap Thielen as a WR2 against a Saints defense that just does not give up many yards on the ground.

Fade: TE Irv Smith

Smith is garnering a lot of mid-range TE2 consideration, but this Saints defense is allowing just 2.1 fantasy points per game to the postion, second-fewest in the league. With 14 targets over the last two games, Smith will be on New Orleansí radar. Expect them to shut that weapon down.

MIN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.13
MIN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.4
MIN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.13
MIN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.14

Update: Michael Thomas (foot) is Out, Jameis Winston (back) is Doubtful. Expect Andy Dalton to get the start at QB.

No Brainers: N/A

Favorite: WR Chris Olave

Olave now has 14 catches on 26 targets for over 250 yards over the last two games. Last week featured a little more in the way of catch and run, rather than the desperation downfield heaves of Week 2, which should help in terms of QB Jameis Winstonís completion percentage. And, with Michael Thomas and Jarvis Landry both leaving last weekís game with injuries, Olave figures to continue to get the lionís share of Winstonís attention.

On the Fence: RB Alvin Kamara

While Kamara is averaging over 4.0 yards per carry, he has just 24 carries over two games, and has only five catches for 19 yards. Heís also yet to find the end zone this season. Heís been banged up from the jump with a rib issue that caused him to miss Week 2, Mark Ingram appears to be stealing goal line work, and QB Jameis Winston, playing with back, knee, and ankle issues of his own, is a much better downfield thrower than he is on the short to intermediate stuff Kamara thrives on. It all leads to Kamara not nearly being the offensive threat we assumed he would be in this offense.

Fade: TE Juwan Johnson

Johnson went from surprise sleeper TE in Week 2 (4 catches for 40 yards) to not catching the only target ANY Saints tight end saw a week later. His Week 2 jump probably can be attributed to Alvin Kamaraís absence, and should be dropped in all formats as he now appears to be platooning with both Taysom Hill, Nick Vannett, and even Adam Trautman.

Prediction: Vikings 27, Saints 12 ^ Top

Chargers @ Texans - (Ilchuk)
Line: LAC -5.5
Total: 45.0

HOU FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.27
HOU FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.2
HOU FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.23
HOU FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.22

No Brainers: QB Justin Herbert, TE Gerald Everett

Favorite: RB Austin Ekeler

The Texansí defense has been strong through the opening weeks of the season, but they have allowed 25 fantasy points per game to opposing RBís. Ekeler has 17 catches for over 100 yards over the last two games. Heíll continue to get a high volume of balls thrown his way as long as QB Justin Herbert continues to work through his rib injury, and as long as Keenan Allen is working less than full strength.

On the Fence: WR Keenan Allen

Allen is dealing with a hamstring injury and listed as questionable for this game, but he practiced on a limited basis on Wednesday and Thursday. When heís healthy, heís one of the best possession receivers in the NFL, and maybe the best 3rd down WR ever. If heís healthy this week, he may be just what Justin Herbert and company need, allowing the Chargers to extend drives. Heís a solid WR2 who will score on volume.

Fade: RB Sony Michel

With Austin Ekeler earning his pay mostly as a receiver out of the backfield, Michel was expected to be the grinder in this offense, and I suppose that may still be true. But he has just seven, four, and five carries in each of the first three games for a paltry 2.9 yards per carry. Heís a non-factor until Ekeler goes down with an injury.

LAC FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.15
LAC FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.7
LAC FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.6
LAC FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.20

No Brainers: N/A

Favorite: RB Dameon Pierce

Pierce seems to have permanently taken over as the RB1 in Houston. He has 35 carries in the last two games and is averaging almost 4.5 yards per carry. With QB Davis Mills and WR Brandin Cooks fading, and injuries mounting along the Chargers D-line, Iím anticipating a heavy dose of Pierce, who has the ability to be a bruising back and a guy who can keep this game close enough to give the Texans a chance. If he scores, itís a bonus for this RB2.

On the Fence: WR Brandin Cooks

Cooks is essentially the only viable target for Davis Mills in this lineup. The problem is, everyone else has figured that out as well and defenses are playing like it. Cooksí numbers have steadily declined week by week. Despite that, he holds minimal value due just to the fact that thereís no one here to compete for targets, but defenses will role to him and force Mills to win with his second WR.

Fade: QB Davis Mills

We had some hope that Mills would make the big Year 1 to Year 2 jump in talent, smarts, and experience. He hasnít, at least not through the first three weeks of the season. His numbers are down almost across the board and heís completing just 57% with just three TDís to two INTís.

Prediction: Chargers 19, Texans 17 ^ Top

Bears @ Giants - (Caron)
Line: NYG -3.0
Total: 39.5

NYG FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.20
NYG FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.12
NYG FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.27
NYG FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.24

No Brainers: N/A

Favorite: David Montgomery, Khalil Herbert

Montgomery left Week 3 with a knee injury and missed practice Thursday so his status will be worth watching on Friday. If he misses this game, then Herbert will be locked into a volume roll on an offense that refuses to throw the ball. Chicago is rushing at a 70% clip, averaging 35 rushing attempts per game, the most in the league. The Giants have allowed the 12th-most fantasy points to the position. If youíre in a 14-team league, you can consider playing Herbert even if Montgomery is active.

On the Fence: N/A

Fade: Justin Fields, Darnell Mooney, Cole Kmet

The Bears passing game is non-existent which has rendered the entire group useless for fantasy lineups. Fields has thrown for 121, 70 and 106 yards in this first three games and hasnít thrown a passing TD since Week 1. Chicago is averaging 54 plays per game (league average 66) and spend only 30 percent of their time throwing the ball. Itís hard to compile stats in this offensive scenario and given the low game total (39.5) it doesnít make sense to predict a turnaround here. The Giants have given up the 5th fewest fantasy points to wide receivers and no receiver has found the endzone against them.

CHI FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.22
CHI FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.13
CHI FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.21
CHI FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.21

No Brainers: RB Saquon Barkley

Favorite: N/A

On the Fence: QB Daniel Jones

Itís tough to find much to be excited about within this Giants offense other than Saquon Barkley, but if thereís one player who fantasy owners should at least be taking notice of, itís quarterback Daniel Jones. Jones and the Giants pass catchers failed to connect for a single touchdown against the Cowboys in Week 3, but Jones did something thatís arguably even more exciting - he got back to running the ball. Nine times for 79 yards, in fact, allowing him to finish with a respectable 17.7-point fantasy day even though he threw an interception at the end of the game. No, he shouldnít be in most starting lineups, but those whoíve lost a quarterback to injury or anyone playing in a Superflex/2QB league should be considering Jones as long as heís going to continue to run the ball this often.

Fade: Giants WRs

Sterling Shepard had been turning heads early this year, but his season is now over following a torn ACL in Week 3. While this means additional playing time for the other Giants receivers including Richie James, David Sills, Darius Slayton, Kadarius Toney, WaníDale Robinson, and yes (gag) Kenny Golladay; the truth is that we just donít know which of these players - if any - are going to play significantly more snaps and get more opportunities. We should be paying close attention this week, especially if Toney and Robinson are active, but donít get caught up in the ďsomebody has to catch the ballĒ narrative this week.

Prediction: Giants 23, Bears 17 ^ Top

Seahawks @ Lions - (Green)
Line: DET -4.0
Total: 48.0

DET FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.3
DET FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.1
DET FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.8
DET FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.12

No Brainers: WR DK Metcalf

Favorite: WR Tyler Lockett

Surprisingly, Lockett (21-211-0) has been a steadier producer than Metcalf (16-135-1) this year, even though the latter remains (marginally) in the no-brainer category for at least a bit longer. Known primarily as a hit-or-miss deep threat when Russell Wilson was at the helm, Lockett has caught nine balls in each of his last two games as more of a chain mover -- he is averaging a career-low 10.0 yards per catch thus far. The Lions have struggled greatly on defense, allowing a league-high 31 points per game, and ranking 25th against the pass. Pencil Lockett in as a solid WR3 with upside.

On the Fence: QB Geno Smith

Smith has primarily been a game manager throughout his career, but he passed for 325 yards and a pair of touchdowns last Sunday. The Lions are going to put points on the board, and theyíve shown that when they push out to sizable leads the defense is going to give their opponent a chance to get back in the game. With that in mind, donít be shocked if Smith is able to cobble together some unusually high fantasy value in Week 4, even if some of that production comes in garbage time. Granted, itíd be a risk to rely on Smith as your QB1, but this is one week where itís at least defensible.

Fade: RB Kenneth Walker

Many expected a timeshare between Walker, a second-round pick, and Rashaad Penny. Thus far the rookie has played sparingly. In Week 3, Penny logged 49 snaps to Walkerís nine -- that was six fewer than DeeJay Dallas. Detroitís leaky run defense (142.3 rushing yards per game allowed; 27th) creates the possibility of a big game for Seattleís ground attack, but Walker simply isnít getting enough chances to be playable.

SEA FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.17
SEA FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.6
SEA FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.30
SEA FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.8

Update: WR Amon-Ra St. Brown (ankle), RB DíAndre Swift (ankle, shoulder) are not expected to play.

No Brainers: TE T.J. Hockenson

Favorite: RB Jamaal Williams

With Swift (shoulder) already battling injuries, Williams tallied 22 combined touches against Minnesota in Week 3, turning them into 107 yards and a pair of TDs. With Swift out, expect a heavy dose of Williams. The physical back is tied with Clevelandís Nick Chubb for the league lead in rushing scores (4), and the Seahawks have had no answers for opposing backs this season -- only Houston has allowed more rushing yards than Seattle. Williams is a strong flex that moves to fringe RB2 territory if Swift canít go.

On the Fence: QB Jared Goff

Goff was solid against the Vikings, but it wasnít enough as the Lions went scoreless in the fourth quarter while coughing up a 24-14 lead. The former No. 1 overall pick ended his day with 277 yards, 1 TD, and 1 INT. Even with Detroit racking up the points, Goff has only authored one decent fantasy day in three starts. With Seattleís primary struggles coming against the run, Goff could slide into a complementary role this Sunday. Then again, if Swift sits, Goff could be the driving force. Heís a risk/reward play.

Fade: N/A

Prediction: Lions 27, Seahawks 23 ^ Top

Jaguars @ Eagles - (Caron)
Line: PHI -6.5
Total: 45.0

PHI FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.24
PHI FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.11
PHI FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.18
PHI FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.18

No Brainers: N/A

Favorite: WR Christian Kirk

Kirk has been a bright spot in the Jags offense notching six catches in all three games and leading the team with 27 targets. Heís run hot on touchdowns scoring three times (twice against IND in Week 2) and leads all Jags receivers with a 91% snap share. Heís certainly delivered on his draft capital (ADP: WR41) as he currently sits as the WR6 in PPR leagues. Kirk may see a good bit of Darius Slay in this matchup and Jacksonville has been a little more run-heavy than most teams, ranking 21st in passes per game. However, in a game they might be trailing most of the day, I like Kirk to at least deliver a WR2 performance.

On the Fence: RB James Robinson

Speaking of running hot on touchdowns, Robinson has scored four times already (3 rush, 1 rec) and has found the endzone in every game. Howís that for consistency? Shaking off the effects of an Achilles injury, Robinson has begun the season as the lead back for the Jags playing on 57% of the snaps thus far compared to 44% for Travis Etienne. Robinson has also out-touched Etienne 57 to 34. The Eagles have already allowed four rushing TDs to running backs but sit in the middle of the pack in yardage allowed. The potential game script doesnít favor a heavy dose of running for Jacksonville, but if Robinson ends up as a solid RB2 at weeks end, I wonít be surprised.

Fade: TE Evan Engram

The on-going theme of TE being a dumpster fire in fantasy football continues as outside of a few players at the top of the position, there isnít a lot to get excited about. Engram is one of many tight ends lumped in bucket of hope and wish while fantasy owners pray theyíre not facing Mark Andrews or Travis Kelce. Engramís 12 catches for 83 scoreless yards currently ranks him 15th at the position overall, but just 26th in FPT/G. Translation: There are plenty of TE considerations on a weekly basis an Engram is just one of them.

JAC FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.18
JAC FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.21
JAC FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.11
JAC FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.27

No Brainers: QB Jalen Hurts, WR A.J. Brown

Favorite: WR DeVonta Smith

Often times we hear frustrating coachspeak where they say something along the lines of, ďYeah, we need to get that guy involvedĒ and then itís back to more of the same the very next week. That certainly hasnít been the case regarding DeVonta Smith. Since his zero-catch Week 1 stinker, Smith has now been targeted 19 times, catching 15 passes for 249 yards and a touchdown over his past two contests. Heís now set to face a Jaguars defense that has already given up five receiving touchdowns to opposing wide receivers this season. Sure, A.J. Brown remains the alpha in the offense, but Smith is separating himself amongst WR2s this season and heís a must-start in this one.

On the Fence: RB Miles Sanders, Dallas Goedert

A lot of fantasy experts predicted that Miles Sanders would have already lost his job at this point in the season, but that simply hasnít been the case. While he was only able to produce 5.4 points this past week, Sanders actually played a season-high 59 percent of the Eagles snaps and heís now touched the ball at least 15 times in all three games. With the Philadelphia offense moving the ball as effectively as it is and the RB position as banged up as it is, Sanders is a borderline RB2/Flex play this week.

Dallas Goedert is another in the long line of ďmehĒ at tight end after Travis Kelce and Mark Andrews, but at least heís been producing at a fairly decent pace this season. Heís the TE6 in PPR and heís seen at least four targets in all three of the Eagles games. Unfortunately, heís not a lock as a starter this week as heís facing a Jacksonville defense that has actually been good against opposing tight ends so far this season, having allowed the sixth-fewest points to the position thus far. This includes games against decent tight ends in Gerald Everett and Logan Thomas.

Fade: RB Kenneth Gainwell

We had preseason intentions of using Gainwell as a Flex option in PPR leagues but after three games the Eagles backup RB has a grand total of 10 carries and 3 receptions. Not great. Playing on only 29% of the snaps, the usage just isnít there. Even Boston Scott (16%) is failing to make an impact. Miles Sanders is playing twice as many snaps and is the only running back up for consideration on the team and until we see a change in the running back rotation or an injury occurs.

Prediction: Eagles 27, Jaguars 23 ^ Top

Jets @ Steelers - (Green)
Line: PIT -3.5
Total: 41.5

PIT FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.16
PIT FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.9
PIT FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.7
PIT FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.16

No Brainers: N/A

Favorite: RB Breece Hall

This will be a tough matchup to analyze since, barring any setbacks, the Jets will be turning the offense over to Zach Wilson (knee) after veteran Joe Flacco started the first three games. The thinking here is that the team will want to feature the run more with Wilson, especially after a month-plus layoff, and that means more touches for Hall. Itís a coin flip between Hall (213 total yards, 1 TD) and Michael Carter (196 yards, 0 TDs), but the rookie has been a little more potent, so he gets the nod. Plug Hall in as an RB3.

On the Fence: RB Michael Carter

As noted, the insertion of Wilson should mean a heavier emphasis on the ground game, at least in his first couple of starts, and that could lead to more work for Carter. He has seven more touches than Hall on the year, but heís done less with them, so his outlook is a bit fuzzier. Still, with the Steelers ranking 28th in the league against the run (142.7 yards allowed per game), there could be enough production to create two viable RB plays for the Jets. Consider Carter a decent flex with some upside.

Fade: WR Garrett Wilson

More running means less passing in my hypothetical gameplan, and from there it makes sense that Wilson, who hasnít taken a regular season snap with his namesake, might not have the same level of chemistry as someone like Elijah Moore. Wilson has been the teamís top receiver with Flacco at the helm, but it looks like a good week to at least temper your expectations for the rookie.

NYJ FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.14
NYJ FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.10
NYJ FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.10
NYJ FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.19

No Brainers: RB Najee Harris, WR Diontae Johnson

Favorite: TE Pat Freiermuth

Given the sad state of tight end play in the fantasy world, Freiermuth is awfully close to being a no brainer, even if his production has been middling. Heís a big, safe target, which generally appeals to Mitchell Trubisky, whose leash must be growing shorter by the week. To their credit, the Jets have held up well against opposing tight ends, including Baltimoreís Mark Andrews back in Week 1, but any defense allowing 27 points per game isnít one to be avoided.

On the Fence: WR Chase Claypool

Claypoolís receiving numbers have ticked up a bit each game so far, and he has shown the ability to make things happen as a runner, too. Although heís not getting a ton of work with six targets in each game this season, there at least seems to be a plan in place to get him the ball X number of times per game -- something you canít say at this point for George Pickens. Claypool is a desperation flex candidate.

Fade: N/A

Prediction: Steelers 19, Jets 17 ^ Top

Browns @ Falcons - (Ilchuk)
Line: CLE -1.5
Total: 47.5

ATL FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.10
ATL FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.28
ATL FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.4
ATL FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.2

No Brainers: RB Nick Chubb, TE David Njoku

Favorite: RB Kareem Hunt

Hunt is averaging three catches per game, which we expected in his 3rd down receiving role. What has been surprising is his 12 carries per game and 4.2 yards per carry. Heís averaging 50 rushing yards per game without cutting into Chubbís work, which is all part of the plan to control possession with Jacoby Brissett at QB. Until Deshaun Watson gets under center, look for Cleveland to run the ballÖA LOT. HC Kevin Stefanski seems intent on that, and the two-back sets with both players in the backfield has been a boon for Hunt. Heís a high end RB2 right now, and if Chubb should go down, heís a high ceiling handcuff, especially in PPR leagues.

On the Fence: WR Amari Cooper

Cooper is coming off back-to-back 100-yard games and two straight games with a touchdown. So why is he here? Because I donít believe he can do it three games in a row. Not even against the Falcons. Week 3 actually marked Cooperís first consecutive 100-yard efforts since 2016. Thatís remarkable for a player of his pedigree. Brissett seems to have developed some chemistry with Cooper, and I think he could certainly post some positive numbers. But even in a strong showing last week, he still had two significant drops. You just never know with Amari Cooper.

Fade: Donovan Peoples-Jones

Peoples-Jones went 6-60 receiving in Week 1 and hasnít been heard from since. He has one catch on three targets over the last two weeks and doesnít seem poised for a bump anytime soon. The Browns are not taking a lot of shots down the field in this Jacoby Brissett-led attack, and as the deep threat in this lineup, heís probably shelf worthy about now.

CLE FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.12
CLE FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.20
CLE FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.9
CLE FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.23

No Brainers: TE Kyle Pitts

Favorite: RB Cordarrelle Patterson (knee)

Patterson is defying age, and heís doing it at the toughest position. Heís got over 300 rushing yards in three games and is averaging 16 carries per game. Not bad for a guy they said would be moving back to more of his natural receiving position. I say ride it while it lasts. Heís a playmaker with the ball in his hands, but I donít think heíll still be surviving in this role come Weeks 8-10.

On the Fence: QB Marcus Mariota

Mariota has been inconsistent at best and downright non-productive at his worst. At the beginning of the season, I wouldnít have picked this as a good matchup game. But the Browns defense ranks in the bottom third of the league in fantasy points allowed to QBís and have just seven sacks. They could get right against this offensive line, but Mariotaís running ability could become a sneaky weapon, especially with Myles Garrett, Jadeveon Clowney, and fellow DL Taven Bryan banged up.

Fade: WR Bryan Edwards

Edwards was a healthy scratch last week and has just one catch over the last two games. He looks to be completely off the Falcons radar, especially when he playing behind guys like Olamide Zaccheaus and KhaDarel Hodge.

Prediction: Falcons 22, Browns 21 ^ Top

Titans @ Colts - (Ilchuk)
Line: IND -3.5
Total: 43.0

IND FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.19
IND FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.19
IND FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.26
IND FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.5

No Brainers: RB Derrick Henry

Favorite: WR Robert Woods

While the Titans talk about trying to get the ball into Treylon Burksí hands, it continues to end up with Woods, who is the clear WR1 for QB Ryan Tannehill. Eight of Woodsí nine catches on the season have come in the last two games, and last week he averaged 21.3 yards per catch. Defenses are stacking the box against Derrick Henry and forcing Tannehill to make plays with his arm. Woods will continue to be the top target and is a high volume WR2, even against a stingy Colts secondary.

On the Fence: WR Treylon Burks

I keep hearing these fancy stats about Burksí snap count and target rate, and routes run. Hereís what I know. He had one catch last week. One. And heís yet to post five catches in a game. OC Todd Downing is trying to get him the ball, but itís not working, at least not consistently. Iím willing wait and see, but so far thereís nothing to see here.

Fade: TE Austin Hooper

I bought the hype on Hooper. Heís a talented guy, whoís done it before (in ATL), and finally in a system that plays to his strength, no longer playing in a platoon. He even got paid, but he hasnít shown anyone that he can be the guy. He has 8 targets, four catches and 44 yards on the season and the Titans are running the 6th fewest plays in the league. Look elsewhere for your tight end.

TEN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.4
TEN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.17
TEN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.5
TEN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.11

No Brainers: WR Michael Pittman Jr.

Favorite: RB Jonathan Taylor

The Titans are yielding a league-worst 5.8 yards per carry on the ground. Taylor isnít scoring TDs at the same clip he did last year (1 this season) which is pushing down his fantasy output but that will likely change in the near future. The Colts got back to basics last week, making sure Taylor touched the ball at least 20 times. The results were mediocre as the Chiefs did a good job up front, but Iíd expect more and more of Taylor until the Titans figure out how to stop the run.

On the Fence: RB Nyheim Hines

Hines has more targets than anyone on this team other than Michael Pittman Jr. and is averaging five catches per game. He and Taylor have ended up on the field together this season more than they have in the past, so thereís reason to believe Hines will continue to see the ball. But this Titans defense has been so surprisingly bad against the run, you wonder if Matt Ryan will ever throw the ball. Hines is a nice flex option playing against a defense not nearly as stout as last weeksí Chiefs unit.

Fade: WR Alec Pierce

Pierceís speed and big play ability had a lot of people excited in the preseason, including yours truly. But even in a strong comeback performance last week after missing the second game of the season with a concussion, Pierce was only the third-highest targeted Colts receiver and the clear fourth option in this system. In a game that should be focused on Taylor, there wonít be enough attempts to support a third option in the passing game.

Prediction: Colts 24, Titans 20 ^ Top

Commanders @ Cowboys - (Caron)
Line: DAL -3.0
Total: 41.0

DAL FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.26
DAL FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.24
DAL FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.20
DAL FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.28

No Brainers: N/A

Favorite: WR Curtis Samuel

Perhaps no wide receiver early season breakout has been more surprising than the one weíre seeing in Washington with Curtis Samuel. The Commandersí three wide receiver base offense has allowed Samuel to get on the field at almost an identical rate to Terry McLaurin and Jahan Dotson, but his usage has been off the chart in comparison to them. Heís already secured 22 catches, compared to McLaurinís 12 and Dotsonís nine through three games and heís been targeted at least nine times in every game. Not only that, but heís getting a couple of rush attempts per game, which has helped him add a point or two each week. The Cowboys have been a good defense this year, but volume is king and we should continue to start Samuel as long as heís operating as the top receiving weapon in this offense.

On the Fence: RB Antonio Gibson, WR Terry McLaurin

Aside from his seven-catch performance in Week 1, Antonio Gibson is simply getting by on touchdowns alone from a fantasy standpoint. Heís averaging a horrendous 3.1 yards per carry so far and continues to concede the majority of passing down work to J.D. McKissic, which means that heís teetering dangerously close to complete dud territory if he has a week where he doesnít get into the end zone. Dallas hasnít allowed a single opposing team to score more than 20 points against them yet this season, so there arenít likely to be a lot of scoring opportunities for Gibson in this one. Play him if you have to, but heís not a strong start against Dallas.

McLaurinís usage has increased each week, culminating in a six-catch, 102-yard game against the Eagles in Week 3, but heís still yet to really have a ďbigĒ game this season. McLaurin is a solid WR2/WR3 play against the Cowboys and he will likely see plenty of coverage from Trevon Diggs who is beatable even though he does force a ton of turnovers, but McLaurin is not the borderline WR1 weíve seen in recent years.

Fade: WR Jahan Dotson, TE Logan Thomas

The breakout from Samuel has meant some pretty ugly games thus far for the other Washington pass-catching weapons who are not named Terry McLaurin. Dotson scored three touchdowns in his first two professional games on only seven total receptions but came back to Earth against the Eagles in Week 3 when he caught just two passes for 10 yards, albeit on a season-high 10 targets. Meanwhile, Logan Thomas scored a touchdown of his own in Week 2 but has otherwise been completely unusable in fantasy this season, catching just eight total passes through three games. The volume simply is not there for these two players right now and itís an especially tough matchup against a good Dallas defense.

WAS FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.5
WAS FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.18
WAS FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.3
WAS FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.17

No Brainers: N/A

Favorite: WR CeeDee Lamb

We all watched in horror as CeeDee Lamb dropped what should have been an easy pass during this past weekís Monday Night Football broadcast. Lambís brand has taken a hit early this year due to a few plays like that and of course the loss of Dak Prescott, but the reality is that heís still delivering for fantasy. Since Cooper Rush took over as the Cowboys starter, Lamb has now been targeted 23 times over his past two games, catching 15 of those passes for 162 yards and a touchdown. Heís easily been the top pass catcher in this Dallas offense and thereís no question that heís Rushís favorite weapon. As long as he continues to see 10 targets per game, it really doesnít matter who he faces, Lamb needs to be in your starting lineup.

On the Fence: RB Ezekiel Elliott, TE Dalton Schultz

Week 3 saw Elliott score his first touchdown, but itís otherwise been a terrible start to the 2022 season for the former NFL rushing leader. He is still seeing the volume on the ground, including 15 carries in each of his past two games, but heís running behind a ravaged Cowboys offensive line that is simply not opening up holes on a consistent basis. To make matters worse, heís only caught three passes on the season after being an under-the-radar pass catcher in 2021. Itís tough to say ďbench himĒ when the Cowboys are home favorites in a game, but Elliott is facing a Washington defense that hasnít yet allowed an opposing running back to reach even 70 rushing yards and theyíve allowed just one rushing touchdown to the position so far this season.

Tight end Dalton Schultz might be the biggest casualty of the Cowboysí loss of Dak Prescott. The tight end was a big-time breakout player in 2021, but he caught just two passes for 18 yards in Cooper Rushís first start this season before missing Week 3 with a PCL injury. While itís looking like heíll play this Sunday, thereís a decent chance that Schultz wonít be at 100 percent and this might be a good week to sit him if you have another viable option. Unfortunately, as we know, the tight end position is a total wasteland so most fantasy owners are probably not rostering two startable tight ends.

Fade: RB Tony Pollard, WR Michael Gallup, WR Noah Brown

Cowboys running back Tony Pollard is playing about 46 percent of the Cowboys snaps so far this season, but heís still very much the ď1BĒ to Ezekiel Elliottís ď1AĒ despite what many fans and fantasy owners might want. He has turned in back-to-back double-digit games for fantasy owners, but the reality is that his upside is extremely limited and he needs to break off a long run or reception for a touchdown to deliver strong fantasy value. Washington has done a good job of containing opposing running backs this season and no back has caught more than two passes in a game against them, so this is probably a good week to fade Pollard unless youíre desperate.

The pass-catching weapons in Dallas beyond CeeDee Lamb have been rough this season, but Noah Brown has shown a little bit, having delivered double-digit PPR fantasy points in all three games. Unfortunately for him, his playing time may be taking a significant hit this week as wide receiver Michael Gallup is now practicing in full and appears ready to play as early as this week. If he does play, this is a situation to avoid as neither Gallup nor Brown will probably see enough work to make them strong fantasy plays for the time being. Weíll have to keep an eye on this situation.

Prediction: Cowboys 23, Commanders 20 ^ Top

Bills @ Ravens - (Green)
Line: BUF -3.0
Total: 51.0

BAL FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.2
BAL FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.2
BAL FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.5
BAL FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.1

No Brainers: QB Josh Allen, WR Stefon Diggs

Favorite: WR Gabriel Davis (ankle)

Back in action last Sunday after missing a game with an ankle injury, Davis was targeted six times against Miami, hauling in three of them for 37 yards. While it was a quiet day, if we go back to last December the UCF product has scored 10 touchdowns in his past nine games (including playoffs). Baltimore has yielded an NFL-high 353.3 yards per game via the air, and as good as Diggs is, there should still be plenty to go around this Sunday. Pencil Davis in as a solid WR3 that could deliver WR2 numbers.

On the Fence: RB Devin Singletary

Buffalo hasnít asked a lot from any of their top three backs this season with Allen sitting atop the teamís rushing leaders with 113 yards. Singletary quietly ranks second on the club in receptions (13), however, and his 139 snaps are more than Zack Moss (51) and James Cook (32) combined. That could be a boon against the Ravens, as Singletary is equally capable of contributing as a receiver out of the backfield or hitting Baltimore with some runs against light boxes if they keep their safeties back. He could be utilized as a low-end RB2 in Week 4.

Fade: TE Dawson Knox

Knox is off to a slow start, managing nine receptions, 71 yards, and no touchdowns through three games. Although the Ravens have allowed two TDs to tight ends on the year, theyíve been stingy in terms of yardage, which includes holding New Englandís duo of Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith to 33 yards on five grabs a week ago. This looks like a good week to explore other options at the position.

BUF FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.32
BUF FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.29
BUF FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.22
BUF FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.29

No Brainers: QB Lamar Jackson, TE Mark Andrews

Favorite: WR Rashod Bateman

To be clear, the Ravensí passing game revolves around Andrews, who might just be Jacksonís first and second reads on any given play. Bateman has been good for at least one big play per game so far, though, averaging a whopping 28.3 yards per catch on his eight receptions. With Micah Hyde (neck) done for the year, and Jordan Poyer (foot) dealing with a foot injury, expect the Ravens to test Buffalo down the field. That gives Bateman lottery-ticket potential from a WR3 slot.

On the Fence: N/A

Fade: RB J.K. Dobbins

Dobbins made his return from a torn ACL last Sunday, which is good news as heís by far their most explosive back. Still, itís going to take time to round into shape. Dobbins played 26 snaps in Week 3, three fewer than Justice Hill, and the Ohio State product accounted for just 40 combined yards on nine touches. Itís tempting to see the name and want to get him into your lineup, but against a Bills defense that sits second in the NFL against the run (57.7 yards per game), Dobbins is a weak flex play.

Prediction: Bills 34, Ravens 24 ^ Top

Cardinals @ Panthers - (Ilchuk)
Line: CAR -1.0
Total: 43.5

CAR FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.25
CAR FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.15
CAR FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.12
CAR FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.25

No Brainers: QB Kyler Murray, TE Zach Ertz

Favorite: WR Greg Dortch

The little-known Dortch has caught 20 of his 23 targets for 198 yards and a score through three games, and figures to be a factor again this week with A.J. Green (knee) expected to miss more time. Coverages have been rolled to Marquise Brown, and Rondale Moore could potentially make his return this week, which could mean some really favorable matchups for Dortch. Heís a smart FLEX option and even a strong WR3 play with upside.

On the Fence: WR Rondale Moore

I love Moore as a player Ė a receiver who can align anywhere, fill multiple roles in the offense, and is as sure-handed as they come. The Cardinals are hopeful that he returns from his hamstring injury this week and so am I. He could absorb a lot of the hole left by A.J. Greenís injury and is a sneaky WR2 play this weekÖif heís healthy. Keep checking the injury reports.

Fade: RB James Conner

HC Kliff Kingsbury has talked about getting Conner more involved in the offense Ė he has just 90 rushing and 75 receiving yards through three games Ė but I donít see it. The Panthers are allowing 4.3 yards per rush, but the Cardinals just arenít going to push the ball on the ground, even against a Carolina secondary that has firmed up in recent weeks. It was easy to predict some touchdown regression after he scored 18 times last season and that has certainly been the case (1 TD), but even more disturbing is the fact that Arizona starting RB hasnít topped 39 rushing yards in any game.

ARI FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.9
ARI FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.14
ARI FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.16
ARI FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.1

No Brainers: N/A

Favorite: QB Baker Mayfield

Baker has struggled to start the season, completing less than 50% of his throws in his last two games and has just three passing TDs on the season. The good news? The Cardinalsí defense is allowing a completion rate of over 70%, yielding over 8.0 yards per attempt, and has allowed seven touchdowns through the air. Mayfield is starting to build some chemistry with Robbie Anderson (team high 17 targets), and his best receiver, D.J. Moore, hasnít lost any skill from last season and is seeing a 23.4% target share. I think all three could be good one-off options in this matchup this week.

On the Fence: RB Christian McCaffrey (quad)

Anyone who has been reading my articles since the preseason knows that I have been decidedly off the McCaffrey bandwagon. The injury risk is just too high for me, but itís hard to argue with the production. He already has two 100-yard rushing days, running at nearly 5.0 yards per clip, and though he hasnít been quite as productive as usual in the passing game, heís been effective. This team is not getting in the end zone, and thatís hurting him. Of course, heís dealing with yet another injury, a quad that has kept him out of practice this week. You know if heís in there youíre playing him. I just hate waiting until Sunday to find out.

Fade: TE Ian Thomas

Thomas ranks 39th in FPts/G at the position and his running mate, Tommy Tremble, has two targets on the season. Thomas leads all Panthers TEís in targets. Of course, the tight ends on this team account for just 12 of the teamís 77 targets overall. This group is basically Christian McCaffreyís entourage in the run game and never fantasy viable.

Prediction: Panthers 30, Cardinals 28 ^ Top

Broncos @ Raiders - (Collins)
Line: LV -2.5
Total: 45.5

LV FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.6
LV FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.3
LV FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.25
LV FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.6

No Brainer: N/A

Favorite: RB Javonte Williams

This section is all about heading in the wrong direction and trying to get that turned around. Williams led the team in attempts and yards (15-58) against a robust 49ers-D. He is the leader in this split backfield, but hasnít done much with that title. He has averaged a mundane 9.25 FPts/G the past two weeks. His pass catching ability hasnít been utilized as of late. He went from 11 catches in Week 1 to three on Sunday. This is the game for Williams to break out against a very generous Raiders run defense. Las Vegas is 31st in receiving yards allowed to RBs at 64 yards per contest. The concern now is the increase in playing time for Mike Boone, who saw a season-high in third-down snaps (19%). Time to get back on track for Williams where he hopefully will be headed in the direction of the end zone.

On the Fence: RB Melvin Gordon

Looking for some company on the comeback trail? Make room for Melvin! The Raiders are allowing a robust 28.9 FPts/G to RBs, which is 30th and they look like a salve to a struggling Denver offense. His line Sunday wasnít great (12-26-1) but he is still getting the crucial short yardage work. The concern with Booneís rise throws a wrench into Gordonís potential as well. Vegas should allow multiple players multiple opportunities, so letís hope both of them can make some hay.

Fade: QB Russell Wilson

Iím not sure where the Broncos offense is going, but Iím pretty sure it is opposite of where it should be. Wilson has seen his passing yards fall from 340 Week 1 to 184 last week. Could the offensive line be a concern? They are allowing a sack more each week with a season high four on Sunday. The play calling? They havenít scored more than 17 points in a game. Wilsonís yards per attempt is shrinking from 8.1 week one to 5.5 last week. This is a get-right week against the Raiders who are 29th in the league allowing 22.6 FPts/G to QBs. If he canít get it going now, real questions are going to arise.

DEN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.30
DEN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.32
DEN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.32
DEN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.7

No Brainer: Davante Adams

Favorite: RB Josh Jacobs

Jacobs has a certain flair for the dramatic. He didnít fly with the team to Tennessee but did eventually arrive to led the team in all backfield numbers. It wasnít anything fancy (13-66) and five catches for 31 yards on six targets. He will have the bulk of the work on Sunday, which might be a mixed blessing. Denver doesnít give it up easy to RBs, as they only average 12 FPts/G which is third best on the league. If he does have that flair for the dramatic, this will be his best game of the year.

On the Fence: TE Darren Waller

No offense to Foster Moreau, but this is the last guy Waller owners want to see. Waller isnít listed as injured, but he has seen his yards per target drop from 13.1 in Week 1 to a paltry 4.4 last week. His line (3-22) bears that out. The problem is that Moreau had the same number of catches and targets, but ended up with twice as much yardage (44 yards). Moreau splitting more snaps isnít ideal for Waller especially if he becomes the ďexplosive playĒ guy, which was Wallerís role in the past. Denver allows the seventh most fantasy points to TEs, so this might be an interesting test case for the two of them.

Fade: WR Mack Hollins

What a week for Hollins. He was receiver number one for Vegas as he led the team with 10 targets and produced a huge day (8-158-1). His receptions and yards were a career high. If Hunter Renfrow (concussion) returns this week, that will certainly pop Hollinsí feel-good story balloon as he returns to his place lower on the depth chart. But we will always have Tennessee. You should also avoid his siren song of the waiver wire, he is a one-week wonder. Steer clear.

Prediction: Raiders 24, Broncos 21 ^ Top

Patriots @ Packers - (Green)
Line: GB -9.5
Total: 40.0

GB FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.21
GB FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.26
GB FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.19
GB FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.26

No Brainers: N/A

Favorite: RB Rhamondre Stevenson

Although the Packers tightened up their run defense against the Bucs last Sunday, Green Bay still ranks 18th in run defense, making it a much more enticing plan of attack than having Brian Hoyer go after their seventh-ranked pass D. Although Damien Harris leads the team in rushing, Stevenson has seen 83 snaps over the past two weeks to 52 for Harris. Stevenson has also been the more efficient of the two, averaging 5.0 yards per carry on the year. Watching the Packers lock down Leonard Fournette gives me pause about endorsing Stevenson, but as a flex play the upside is worth it.

On the Fence: RB Damien Harris

Whatís written above about Stevenson applies to Harris as well, so rather than rehash that letís focus on the risk a bit. New England needs to keep the game competitive to allow the offense to flow through their two backs, and thereís no guarantee their D will be able to stymy the Packers, which are considerably more potent than their points-per-game average would suggest. Like Stevenson, Harris is a risky flex.

Fade: WR DeVante Parker

People were waiting for Parker, an offseason acquisition, to make his presence felt in New England. That finally happened last Sunday when he posted a 5-156-0 line. Donít bank on a repeat. First, Green Bay has very good cornerbacks, even if Jaire Alexander (groin) canít go. Second, Hoyer is a career backup for a reason. Third, Jakobi Meyers (knee) could return after missing Week 3. All of those say stay away.

NE FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.8
NE FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.27
NE FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.29
NE FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.4

No Brainers: RB Aaron Jones, RB AJ Dillon

Favorite: WR Romeo Doubs

With Sammy Watkins (hamstring) on IR and Christian Watson (hamstring) inactive, Doubs stepped into the starting lineup and produced. The rookie caught eight passes for 73 yards and a touchdown against the Buccaneers, showing the same talent that made him jump off the page in offseason workouts and training camp. While Allen Lazard figures to remain the No. 1 receiver in Green Bay for the time being, Doubs feels like an ascending talent that is doing the important work of becoming a trusted target for Aaron Rodgers. A WR3 designation feels a bit lofty for Doubs still, but as a flex he would carry some tangible upside potential.

On the Fence: QB Aaron Rodgers

Rodgers has been better since a disappointing Week 1, but he hasnít put up the type of numbers weíve come to expect over the years. Granted, many suspected a slower start could be in the works while No. 12 adjusted to a lot of new faces. The question is how long will the middling production continue? On that front, donít be surprised if Rodgers has another modest stat line against the Pats, as this just has the feel of a letdown game for the Packers after playing their historic rival in Week 2 and the high-profile matchup with Tom Brady last week (plus a trip to London on the horizon). Rodgers looks no better than a low-end QB1 this Sunday.

Fade: N/A

Prediction: Packers 27, Patriots 12 ^ Top

Chiefs @ Buccaneers - (Ilchuk)
Line: TB -1.0
Total: 45.5

TB FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.28
TB FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.31
TB FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.17
TB FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.13

No Brainers: QB Patrick Mahomes, TE Travis Kelce

Favorite: RB Jerick McKinnon

Clyde Edwards-Helaire is listed as the RB1 on the depth chart, but the truth is McKinnon is on the field just about as much, is getting most of the 3rd down work and is a major part of the sub-packages HC Andy Reid likes to use down in the red zone. Against a tough Bucs run defense, I expect a lot of motion and movement to open up quick reads in the short passing game as an alternative. After Travis Kelce, itís crap shoot as to who will see the ball week to week, but McKinnon makes a lot of sense this week as Mahomes and company try to get that defensive front moving sideline to sideline in space where McKinnon can use his quick cut abilities.

On the Fence: WR JuJu Smith-Schuster

Working primarily out of the slot, Smith-Schuster is settling into his new surroundings and is actually second on the team in targets behind TE Travis Kelce. The problem is heís too inconsistent Ė 8 targets in Week 1, 3 in Week 2, back to 8 in Week 3. Not all of that is of his doing. QB Patrick Mahomesí strength this season has been his ability to spread the ball. As a result, Smith-Schuster, or anyone in this receiving corps for that matter, is a high risk, high reward play.

Fade: RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire

For some reason, HC Andy Reid and his staff are reluctant to hand the workload over the Edwards-Helaire, and while fellow backs Jerick McKinnon and Isiah Pacheco have already been stealing snaps, word out of KC this week points to even more of a RB by committee approach, making it harder for CEH to make any sizeable fantasy impact.

KC FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.11
KC FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.8
KC FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.14
KC FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.9

No Brainers: RB Leonard Fournette

Favorite: WR Mike Evans

Before his suspension, Evans was growing into big play form, averaging over 16 yards per catch. Julio Jones (knee) and Chris Godwin (hamstring) are both gametime decision while Breshad Perriman (hamstring) is Doubtful making Evans the only trustworthy receiver of the bunch. Brady is looking for a spark for this offense, so he will be thrilled to have Evans back and will force him the ball this week. I have Evans pegged for a 100-yard, 2 TD effort in a spotlight game for this team.

On the Fence: WR Russell Gage

Gage stepped up when his team needed him last week with a 12-catch game that went for 87 yards and a score. Thatís something he was always able to do during his days in Atlanta, too. The problem is Mike Evans is back this week, which is going to seriously reduce Gageís opportunities. If Chris Godwin and Julio Jones return from injury, heíll get pushed even further down the list. Even if the situation does turn favorable for him this week, heís only averaging about 7.0 yards per catch, so heís not going to be a big volume play anyway. Heís a viable WR3.

Fade: QB Tom Brady

Brady has not been Brady. Whether it’s issues at home, issues with coaching, or just the fact that his whole receiving corps has been M.I.A., it hasn’t looked as smooth and effortless as it always has. He could still just be knocking the rust off, but at 45 I just don’t think he can carry the offense anymore. The return of Evans could give a bump to his stats this week, but there’s too many other options out there to put your faith here against a tough Chiefs defense.

Prediction: Chiefs 21, Buccaneers 20 ^ Top

Rams @ 49ers - (Collins)
Line: SF -1.5
Total: 43.0

SF FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.31
SF FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.22
SF FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.31
SF FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.32

No Brainer: WR Cooper Kupp

Favorite: RB Cam Akers

Akers looks to have finally secured the role as RB1, much to the delight of everyone who drafted him early this year. He led the team (12-61-1) last week although he wasnít involved in the receiving game at all. He was on the field for 50 % of the snaps, a season high, so this is beginning to look like this might be the split. San Francisco gives up the 10th fewest FPts/G to RBs this year at 18.6. He is back in the driver seat, now he just needs to avoid fumblingÖ

On the Fence: WR Allen Robinson

Robinson remains in the mix for the Rams, although he has had more disappearing acts than impacts. He was second on the team on Sunday with 5 targets, although it produced a negligible 2-23. He will need to come out of hibernation against a 49ers-D that is second in the NFL in FPts/G to WRs with a skimpy 26.6. Letís hope this is the game that you can build some momentum off because all this starting and stopping is hurting my neck.

Fade: WR Ben Skowronek

Skowronek was the surprise on Sunday, tying for the lead with 4 receptions and leading with 66 yards. The Cardinals did a good job limiting Cooper Kupp and Skowronek became the deep threat, averaging 16.5 yard per throw, doubling his previous highest output. You canít keep Kupp down and San Francisco is an eraser against WRs as previously stated, so this might be the week to pass on him and wait to see if this was just a one-week occurrence.

LAR FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.7
LAR FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.30
LAR FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.2
LAR FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.30

No Brainer: N/A

Favorite: WR Deebo Samuel

As long as he stays on the field of play, Jimmy Garappolo gives Samuel his best chance of producing at the same all-pro clip as last year. He went for 5 for 73, both season highs, and had the longest depth of target number of 9.1 yards on Sunday. The Rams are 31st against WRs, allowing a whopping 51.5 FPts/G. Samuel continues to round into shape in what should be a high-scoring affair and he should secure his first TD catch of the year.

On the Fence: TE George Kittle

It was good to see Kittle back healthy on Sunday, but the 49ers never got the passing game going as he finished with a 4-28 line. It looks like it might be more of the same against the Rams, who surrender only 5.8 FPts/G to TEs, third fewest in the league. Hopefully Kittle can ease back into playing shape but this game looks to be WR heavy, so donít expect much from Kittle.

Fade: RB Jeff Wilson

This looks like Wilson’s backfield at the moment. He led the team with 12 carries and 75 yards, caught 3 for 31 and he was on the field for a season-high 73% of the snaps last week. Now say hello to the Rams run defense, which only allows 11.7 FPts/G, second fewest to RBs. Wilson’s cause won’t helped by the ankle injury to all-pro tackle Trent Williams. He might be getting all the snaps this week, but he also might be getting all the icepacks afterwards.

Prediction: 49ers 24, Rams 23 ^ Top