With Tee Higgins (hamstring) sidelined last Sunday, Boyd stepped
into a featured role, catching eight passes for 117 yards. Yes,
he dropped a would-be touchdown late in the game, but overall,
it was easily his best statistical effort of the season. Cincinnati’s
short turnaround before a Thursday night encounter with the Ravens
means Higgins won’t return, which once again leaves the veteran
to fill a prominent spot. He was second to Higgins back in Week
2 against Baltimore with 52 yards on six grabs and should be usable
as midrange WR3 on TNF.
The trickledown effect of Higgins’ injury continues with
Irwin, who is an afterthought when the Bengals have their top-three
wideouts available. In two games missed by Higgins this year,
however, the Stanford alum posted 8-60-0 and 2-54-1 lines, respectively.
Those are decent numbers, and if you’re in need at the position
for Week 11 you could consider Irwin a plug-and-play option off
waivers that at least offers some upside. Of course, Baltimore
is a tough defense, so there’d be risk as well.
CIN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.8
CIN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.18
CIN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.16
CIN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.3
Two games in a row now we’ve seen the explosiveness. In Week 9,
Mitchell turned 10 touches into 134 yards and a score. Last Sunday,
it was four touches, 66 yards, and a touchdown. The speed is real.
The X factor, of course, is opportunity. The rookie should be
growing into a larger role, but it’s unclear if he has the all-important
trust factor from John Harbaugh that veterans Gus Edwards and
Justice Hill possess. As a flex, Mitchell is an interesting lottery
Like Mitchell, Beckham (knee) has scored in each of the past
two games, totaling six catches and 96 yards in that span. He
sat out practice with a knee injury, though, and while the TDs
are nice, OBJ has two receptions or fewer in four of his last
six outings. His history gives him a spotlight, and it may be
tempting to think he’s rediscovering his past form but using
him Thursday night as more than a risky flex would be a bad move.
To say Derrick Henry has had a roller coaster season would be
an understatement. He’s had four games with over 80 yards
rushing and two games with under 30 yards rushing. Henry is a
back that thrives with high volume, but the Titans’ struggles
on offense has limited his opportunities. The team is 24th in
rush attempts and 20th in rushing TDs with 5, which Henry has
4 of. Limited rush opportunities plus a struggling offense led
by a rookie equals trouble in paradise from a fantasy perspective.
Chances are you have no realistic choice outside of Henry, so
start him and hope he breaks a long one.
Twenty targets over the past two games for DeAndre Hopkins is
not a bad day at the office, but that hasn’t translated
into much production. Seven catches on those 20 targets and less
than 100 yards combined leaves many fantasy managers reeling.
His 3-TD game in Week 8 against Atlanta brought back memories
of his time in Houston. But let’s be honest—he may
not score three TDs combined for the rest of the season.
At some point, Will Levis may become a viable option in fantasy
football. I feel comfortable saying that probably won’t happen
this season. But he has shown promising flashes of what he can
do and that should have Titan fans excited. Meanwhile, keep him
away from your starting lineup.
TEN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.23
TEN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.19
TEN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.7
TEN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.31
Along with Travis Etienne, Kirk is the only offensive bright
spot on this painfully underperforming unit. Kirk continues to
be what many thought Calvin Ridley would be: a dangerous go-to
receiver who QB Trevor Lawrence could count on. Kirk is coming
off one of his best games of the season last week when he put
up 104 receiving yards against San Francisco. Kirk is a solid
WR2 this week, but don’t count out the ability of Lawrence to
make Kirk a second-class fantasy option this week.
The Titans are one of the worst defenses when it comes to defending
tight ends. They’ve given up six TDs and have surrendered
the most receiving yards to the position. Evan Engram is part
of this underperforming offense, but he remains an option for
TE-hungry fantasy teams. Start him and hope this passing offense
doesn’t go into hibernation once again.
Congratulations to the “experts” who have finally placed Trevor
Lawrence outside of their top-12 fantasy QB rankings for the week.
During the previous six or so weeks, I’d scream at my computer
screen and wonder what some saw in continuing to put Lawrence
among the QB1’s in fantasy. This guy has been an utter bust this
season. Nine TD passes through nine games with THOSE options at
WR and that RB in the backfield makes one wonder if Lawrence was
nothing more than an overhyped media creation. It’s as painful
watching him play as it is Bryce Young, and that’s saying a lot.
Keep this dude on your bench if you can.
Perhaps no other receiver has disappointed fantasy managers more
this year than Calvin Ridley. Remember the season’s opening
game? Remember Week 5 against Buffalo? Those are his top two games
this season; most of the others aren’t even worth mentioning.
A second or third round pick was probably used to draft Ridley,
but his been an inconsistent mess in 2023. He’s gone from
a WR1 in fantasy to start the season to a WR 3/flex option. That’s
With Mike Williams (knee) and Josh Palmer (knee) both on the
shelf, Johnston has become more involved. Last Sunday against
Detroit, the rookie hauled in all four of his targeted passes
for 34 yards and a touchdown. It’s modest production, but it still
represents a step in the right direction after he had seven catches
through the first six games combined. Things are wide open in
terms of utilization after Allen and Ekeler, so rolling the dice
on Johnston as your flex/WR3 going up against a banged-up Packers
secondary doesn’t sound like a bad move.
LAC FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.1
LAC FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.5
LAC FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.5
LAC FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.4
Coming into the season, the belief was that Christian Watson
would be the breakout performer in Green Bay’s receiving corps.
That hasn’t happened. Instead, Reed has been emerging as the possible
top dog for the Packers. The rookie racked up 84 yards and a touchdown
on five receptions in Pittsburgh, and he now leads the club in
receiving yardage on the season with 417 yards and is second to
Romeo Doubs in touchdowns with four. Nobody gives up more yardage
through the air than the Chargers at nearly 300 yards per game,
which gives Reed some WR3 potential.
Love hasn’t always played crisp football during his first
season as the starter, but he’s looked better the past two
weeks, which included a 289-yard, 2-touchdown effort against the
Steelers in Week 10 -- yes, he did throw a pair of late INTs,
though the second was on a desperation attempt on the game’s
final play. Love’s upward trend could continue against LA,
which ranks dead last in pass defense (291.2 yards/game) and was
just eviscerated by the Lions at home. While there’s ample
risk going with Love, his upside is as a top-10 QB this Sunday.
Barkley is expected to play through an ankle injury that he sustained
in the final minutes of the Giants’ blowout loss to the
Cowboys. He would be an even stronger fantasy asset this week
if the team hadn’t been playing him in meaningless minutes
this past week, but the optimist would also argue that New York’s
willingness to continue to feed their star running back even in
horrible game environments is great for his fantasy floor.
Barkley has touched the ball at least 14 times in every game
he’s started this season, including a 24-touch day against this
same Washington defense back in Week 7, which led to an excellent
fantasy day when he got into the end zone in the passing game.
Unfortunately, the Giants’ offense has looked horrendous with
Tommy DeVito behind center, so don’t expect a monster performance
from anyone in this New York offense, but there’s no question
that Barkley remains the focal point of the Giants’ offense and
should be a solid RB1 as long as he’s healthy.
On the Fence: N/A
Fade: All Giants WRs
A second embarrassing loss to the Cowboys this season meant that
the Giants were playing against backups early on this past week.
That allowed Tommy DeVito to put together his first career multiple-touchdown
game, despite the fact that he threw for just 86 total yards.
DeVito himself is unusable for fantasy purposes right now, even
in good matchups like the one he faces against the Commanders
this week, but his incompetence in passing the ball means that
his pass-catching weapons are even less useful than they normally
are. The Giants, without Darren Waller, are among the least-talented
group of receivers in the league and none of them are worth putting
in lineups at the moment.
NYG FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.17
NYG FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.11
NYG FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.3
NYG FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.26
Washington has been a sneaky fantasy gold mine this season and
much of that has been because of quarterback Sam Howell. Howell
has now thrown for 290 or more yards in six of his 10 starts,
including three-straight, and while he’s also been turning
the ball over like crazy, he’s managed to deliver some impressive
fantasy numbers. Howell is firmly in the QB1 range right now and
it’d be tough to justify benching him even in a relatively
tough matchup like the one he faces here in Week 11 against the
Giants. New York managed to hold Howell to just 249 yards and
no touchdowns through the air when these teams met back in Week
7, but that was also the only bad game on his resume over his
past seven games. We’d prefer to play Howell in a game that’s
more likely to become a shootout, but there’s still a decent
chance that he produces usable fantasy numbers in this one.
Running back Brian Robinson Jr. is coming off of the best pass-catching
day of his career this past week, as he caught six passes for
119 yards and a touchdown against the Seahawks. Fantasy managers
shouldn’t be expecting more of this, as Robinson is not
really known to be or utilized as a pass-catching specialist in
the Washington offense, but he has been a fairly consistent fantasy
back this season who has also been able to deliver a few spike
weeks. He was held in check to just 23 rushing yards on eight
carries when these teams met back in Week 7, but he was able to
get into the end zone in that game and he remains the most-likely
player in the Washington offense to score a touchdown on a weekly
While Howell has been an excellent fantasy find this season,
the truth is that his pass-catching weapons have often been extremely
difficult to predict and very frustrating to manage for fantasy
purposes. The only real consistency we’ve seen has been
from Terry McLaurin who remains the team’s WR1 despite the
fact that he’s only delivered one 20-point fantasy game
this season. He has, however, been able to provide double-digit
points in seven of his 10 games, making him a solid WR2 for fantasy.
He’s been targeted at least eight times in five straight
games and should be in line to lead the team in targets again
Veteran tight end Logan Thomas hasn’t really pushed into
the elite fantasy TE conversation, but he’s actually been
solid enough to be a low-end starter most weeks. He’s seen
at least five targets in five of his past six games and while
he’s only been able to get into the end zone once over that
stretch, it seems likely that the Commanders are going to continue
to feed him enough targets to make him a low-end TE1.
We’ve seen some big games from Curtis Samuel and Jahan
Dotson this season, but the Commanders’ Week 10 matchup
with the Seahawks should remind fantasy managers that there’s
really only one trustworthy fantasy receiver in Washington and
that is Terry McLaurin. The Commanders threw the ball 44 times
in the shootout loss to the Seahawks, but only six of those passes
went Samuel’s way while two went toward Dotson. Samuel finished
with just six receiving yards on the day while Dotson turned in
a blank scorecard for the second time this season. Instead, it
was Dyami Brown who scored a touchdown on two catches for 41 yards.
The Washington passing game is just not enough of a target funnel
to ever really feel confident about any of these pass catchers,
other than McLaurin or Thomas - and even Thomas is really only
because he plays such a thin position. Avoid these pass catchers
in what could be another low-scoring matchup with the Giants.
Running back Antonio Gibson should also be avoided for fantasy
purposes this week. While he’s managed to carve himself out an
impressive role in the passing game, catching five passes in each
of his past three games, Gibson has still yet to surpass six carries
in any game this season. We know from the past that pass-catching
specialists like J.D.
McKissic have some fantasy value in this Washington offense,
but that value is typically much stronger in games that are likely
to be a shootout, as the Commanders are then incentivized to pass
the ball heavily. With the Giants’ offense being as bad as it
is, however, the Commanders will likely not need to lean much
on their own passing game, meaning that another low-touch game
like the one Gibson turned in against the Giants back in Week
7, is fairly likely.
With 53 carries over his past two games, Josh Jacobs remains
a weekly must-start in seasonal fantasy leagues. This is, however,
a game in which his upside is likely limited, as the Dolphins
tend to score a ton of points and that can sometimes lead to some
game scripts which simply do not allow opposing offenses to run
the ball against them. Nevertheless, Jacobs has touched the ball
at least 12 times in every game this season, even in blowout losses,
so he should provide enough of a floor to be a solid fantasy RB1
even in this less-than-ideal matchup.
It’s certainly been a rough stretch as of late for the
Raiders passing game, which has significantly affected the team’s
top pass-catching target Davante Adams. Adams’ target share
has remained relatively strong, but he’s averaged under
nine PPR fantasy points per game over his past six games.
The Raiders moved on from Jimmy Garoppolo to Aidan O’Connell
and while the team has gone 2-0 over that stretch, they’ve also
averaged just 181 passing yards in those contests. O’Connell has
started three total games for Las Vegas but thrown for just one
touchdown pass in those games.
It’s tough to trust anyone in this offense aside from Jacobs
right now, but it’s equally tough to imagine that fantasy
managers will have multiple better options than Adams, who saw
13 targets this past week against the Jets. The Dolphins are a
top-12 opponent for opposing wide receivers and we have to assume
that the Raiders will need to pass early and often in order to
have a chance to stay competitive in this game, so look for Adams
to see plenty of opportunities.
The Raiders’ passing game struggles have also affected
Jakobi Meyers, but it’s worth noting that Meyers has seen
a significant drop-off in usage over the past two games, both
of which were quarterbacked by Aidan O’Connell. Meyers managed
to get into the end zone on a rushing play against the Giants
in Week 9 which saved his fantasy day, but he’s caught just
four of the seven total passes that have come his way over the
past two games. It’s worth noting that neither of these
were pass-heavy Raiders offensive scripts, so the total number
of targets he’s seeing don’t necessarily reflect how
many opportunities he’d have in a game where the Raiders
will need to pass more, but there’s a good chance that the
Raiders will need to pass a ton this week. Meyers isn’t
a must-bench given the potentially high passing game volume in
this contest, but we need to be careful given that he is still
very clearly the second option in this low-powered aerial attack.
LV FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.24
LV FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.8
LV FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.27
LV FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.20
The Dolphins are coming off their bye and one of the most positive
notes heading into this weekend’s contest is that Jaylen Waddle
appears to be healthy. The wide receiver was dealing with a knee
injury, but practiced in full on Wednesday and should be a go
for this matchup with the Raiders. While Las Vegas has been a
difficult matchup for opposing wide receivers this season, those
numbers are also a bit skewed as they’ve faced one of the easier
opposing passing game schedules including the Steelers (without
Diontae Johnson), the Packers, the Patriots, the Bears, the Giants
and the Jets.
Waddle’s start to the season was shaky from a usage standpoint
as he averaged just five targets per game through his first three
contests, but he’s since seen that number rise to nearly
nine targets per game over his past five games. The Dolphins are
huge road favorites in this one and should be a good bet to score
plenty of points, giving the entire offense some nice fantasy
Achane has been out since Week 6, but is finally expected to
make his return to the lineup here in Week 11. The rookie was
looking like one of the league-winners for fantasy prior to his
knee injury and while he did hit the IR, reports have since come
out that it might have actually been possible for him to play
through the injury if he wore a brace, but that the team was being
extra cautious with their explosive young tailback.
Assuming he’s back on the field this week, fantasy managers
should be expecting that Achane at least returns to a fairly prominent
role in the Miami offense right away. He had taken over the role
as the team’s “1A” running back prior to the
injury and while that may look more like a “1B” role
behind Raheem Mostert for now, that could still mean a fairly
significant workload and plenty of fantasy points against this
bad Raiders run defense.
Miami is a double-digit road favorite and Las Vegas has given
up the eighth-most fantasy points per game to opposing running
backs so far this season. This could be another huge game for
the Miami rushing attack, especially if they get ahead on the
scoreboard early. Both Achane and Mostert are good, albeit a bit
risky options given the uncertainty of the backfield touch distribution.
James Conner returned last week after missing the previous four
games and put up respectable numbers. Most encouraging of all
is he got 84 percent of the RB carries, so the coaching staff
trusts him, and he seems to trust his injured knee. Houston gives
up only 3.5 yards per carry, which is 3rd in the league. Conner
is not much of a threat in the passing game this season, and his
production can be capped because of it. Either way, he’s
a good choice as an RB2 this week.
Marquise Brown had the worst game of the season: one catch for
28 yards in Kyler Murray’s return. I wouldn’t let that deter me
from starting him this week, however. TE Trey McBride’s emergence
should help Brown in the long run, especially with Murray bringing
some level of consistency to the offense. View Brown as a low-end
WR2 this week.
Murray is going up against a pass defense that is top-3 in TD
passes allowed with 9. He did look good in his first action in
a year, as he showed no ill effects in his surgically repaired
knee. I’m still not quite ready to label him a “must
start” just yet. If he’s on your roster, chances are
you had to rely on another signal caller to this point. But if
he’s paired with an underperforming QB (Trevor Lawrence?)
on your roster, perhaps Murray would get the nod in that scenario.
Just don’t be too hasty with your decision in starting him.
ARI FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.11
ARI FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.3
ARI FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.15
ARI FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.25
Devin Singletary appears poised to lead this backfield once again
as Dameon Pierce continues to nurse an injured ankle—an injury
that has kept him out of practice through Thursday of this week.
Singletary rewarded his managers last week by posting a career
best in carries (30) and yards 150. This week, he gets to go up
against a Houston run defense that in the bottom-4 in the league
in rushing yards against and rush TDs allowed. While I try to
be cautious with gauging a player’s value after a career game,
this week is set up too nicely for Singletary. He should follow
up his stellar performance last week with another gem against
Rookie Tank Dell has 12 catches on 25 targets over the past two
games. And with Nico Collins still iffy for this week, Dell should
continue being the focal point of this passing game and the No.1
option for Stroud. Dell should get some chances to produce against
Arizona’s 28th-ranked defense, so start the rookie with confidence.
Dalton Schultz has a high ceiling for a tight end. While he’s
had a few dudes this season—Week 3 at Jacksonville and Week
8 at Carolina, most notably—Schultz has the potential to
be the No. 1 tight end during any given week. He has that potential.
Schultz is a must-start.
Designated to return from the injured list last week, Herbert
(ankle) appears to have a good chance to be activated in time
to play in Detroit this Sunday. If he does, don’t be surprised
to see him step right back into the lead role ahead of D’Onta
Foreman (ankle), who is battling an ankle injury of his own. In
his last two outings, including the game he got injured in, Herbert
had 198 yards and a touchdown. A year ago, the Bears ran for a
combined 458 yards in two games against the Lions, so don’t
hesitate to try your luck with Herbert and/or Foreman this Sunday.
After four games of Tyson Bagent, Fields (thumb) is set to make
his return. Given how strong he was playing before going down
-- 617 yards, 8 TDs, 1 INT in two games before his thumb injury
-- it is tempting to slide him right back into your lineup. His
running exploits versus Detroit a year ago (279 yards, 2 TDs)
make it doubly so. Before you do, bear in mind that this season’s
Lions have been much better against the run (79.1 yards/game;
third in the NFL), and their pass rush in a loud Ford Field could
be a lot to handle for a potentially rusty Fields. Caveat emptor.
CHI FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.13
CHI FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.10
CHI FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.17
CHI FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.5
After passing for more than one TD just once in his first four
games, Goff has thrown for two or more scores in three of his
last five. That includes this past Sunday when he lit up the Chargers
for 333 yards and a pair of touchdowns. The last time Chicago
came to Motown, Goff passed for 255 yards to go with 3 TDs in
a blowout win. This year’s Bears have stood tall against
the run, but they rank 26th versus the pass and are one of two
clubs to have allowed at least 20 TD passes. Goff is a solid QB1
While Williams is the name listed, this designation can be affixed
to any of Detroit’s wideouts not named St. Brown (Josh Reynolds,
Kalif Raymond, Donovan Peoples-Jones), as none of them are seeing
any separation from one another behind the duo of ASB and LaPorta
-- in fairness, DPJ has yet to suit up since being acquired from
Cleveland. Of the group, Williams clearly has the upside, but
he’s yet to show he’s ready to contribute on a regular basis.
Keep him, and the rest, on the bench or waiver wire.
The tandem of Harris (16-82-1) and Warren (15-101-1) found all
sorts of room to operate against Green Bay’s passive defense
in Week 10, allowing Pittsburgh to run the physical offense the
franchise is historically known for. Cleveland is a much tougher
group, as evidenced by the Week 2 encounter when that duo combined
for 53 yards on 16 carries -- though Warren did add 66 yards as
a receiver. Despite that, with the Browns likely to struggle on
offense, the Steelers could choose to stick with a ground-based
approach to limit mistakes. Both could be used as RB3s.
After managing just three receptions for 45 yards in Week 10,
Pickens has now logged a combined six catches, 66 yards, and 1
TD over his last three games. The reasons have been different
each week -- against the Packers it was the running game’s success
that moved Kenny Pickett and company onto the back burner -- but
the results continue to be disappointing. While he posted a 4-127-1
versus Cleveland back in Week 2, the loss of Deshaun Watson (shoulder)
is likely to make the Steelers more cautions this Sunday. Maybe
you can talk yourself into Pickens as a risky WR3, but he’s been
trending in the wrong direction.
PIT FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.19
PIT FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.13
PIT FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.6
PIT FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.30
Following the news that Dorian Thompson-Robinson will start in
Week 11, there are questions aplenty about what Cleveland’s offense
will look like. First off, don’t put too much stock in DTR’s previous
start as it came on short notice. He’ll have the full week to
prepare this time, and clearly the team sees something in him
since they’re going with the rookie over P.J. Walker, who went
2-1 as a starter. So, what does all that have to do with Njoku?
Tight ends are frequently checkdown targets for young QBs, and
Njoku has played well recently, topping 50 yards in three of his
last four games. He looks like a possible top-10 play.
Hunt has collected double-digit carries in each of the last five
games. He’s turned that usage into 203 yards and is averaging
an unsightly 3.3 yards per carry on the season. Despite that,
the veteran’s fantasy profile has been raised because he has six
TDs in that stretch, including at least one in each game. While
plugging Hunt into your lineup seems like a viable option, especially
as a flex, just realize that his path to value is narrow and based
primarily on his ability to get the ball into the end zone. With
the Steelers likely to load up to stop the run, that might be
tougher than usual in Week 11.
Tony Pollard started the season delivering solid numbers, but
he hasn’t rushed for more than 55 yards since his season-high
122 in Week 3. But here come the Panthers and their 26th-ranked
defense in rushing yards allowed. Carolina has also given up the
most rushing TDs so far this year with 15. This game could get
ugly quick, putting more emphasis on the run game and providing
Pollard with ample opportunity to shine. He’s a solid RB1
Jake Ferguson leads the entire league in red zone targets with
21. That’s gold for a tight end and makes him a must start
each week, regardless of the opponent. He’s on a hot streak
too. Ferguson has scored in three-straight games and could make
it four after this week. Consistent play from tight ends is usually
the exception in fantasy, not the rule. So, if you have someone
like Ferguson on your team, there isn’t much debate to be
had. He’s a plug-and-play option now.
Brandin Cooks is coming off the second-best game in his career
in terms of receiving yards. His 173 yards on 9 catches—to
go along with a receiving TD—placed him as a WR1 last week.
He’s too inconsistent, though, to be considered an every-week
starter. Cooks has already had four games this season with 2 or
fewer catches—not someone you feel comfortable relying on.
The passing game probably won’t be in play the entire 60
minutes for Dallas since most expect the Cowboys to blow this
one wide open at some in the game. I’d caution against using
Cooks this week.
DAL FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.21
DAL FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.25
DAL FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.31
DAL FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.18
Thielen is the only player worth seriously considering in this
offense. He has had a resurgence of sorts during his age-33 season.
He opened the season with 100-yard performances in three of the
first six games, but Thielen has fallen off over the last three—averaging
47 receiving yards per game. Dallas presents a difficult challenge,
but Carolina should be forced to play catch-up in this contest,
making it possible for Thielen to gather garbage-time points.
But hey, garbage-time points just the same as points in the first
quarter. Thielen can be a good WR2 this week.
Chuba Hubbard hasn’t rushed for more than 88 yards this
season, and he’s not much of a threat in the passing game.
That makes him a flex at best most weeks. This week should be
considered “most weeks.” Carolina will have to take
to the air to keep up with the red-hot Dallas offense, which renders
Hubbard bench fodder this week. Proceed accordingly.
It is utterly painful watching Bryce Young play QB in the NFL.
This guy looks completely out of his element. I’m not going
to go as far as to say he’s a bust. That’s ridiculous
to say at this point. The only reason why some utter that statement
is the play of C.J. Stroud. It’s obvious to anyone that
Stroud has not only outplayed his fellow rookie, but Stroud is
one of the best QBs so far this season. That’s the measuring
stick used against Young. That said, Young has a lot of maturing
to do relative to his game. For his sake, I hope it comes next
year because 2023 is a lost cause for him and this offense.
There were a lot of concerns for Evans’ value coming into the
season, but quarterback Baker Mayfield has always struggled with
smaller catch-and-go receivers, and so the disappointing season
that Chris Godwin has had isn’t as surprising as it may seem.
Still, Godwin has done enough (9.1 FPts/G) to warrant consideration
versus a 49ers team whose one defensive weakness is the lack of
lock-down corners in the secondary. Wide receivers are having
a good time of it against San Francisco – 11th most points against
– and that makes Godwin look like a decent option at flex this
week, even if not the most exciting one.
Rachaad White, meanwhile, has been heating up lately – 17.5 FPts/G
over the last month - and in his second year has become the major
figure in the passing game that he was projected to be (35 receptions
and 9.3 yards per reception). Yet the 49ers have given up just
the 25th most points against running backs this season. White
could still find his way to double figure points on the basis
that the Buccaneers play much of this game from behind with Mayfield
attempting to survive Nick Bosa, Chase Young and company. That
makes him a borderline start this week.
Tom Brady saw a statistical resurgence in 2020 after finding
himself throwing to a very strong Tampa offensive unit led by
Mike Evans – a unit that saw Jameis Winston throw for lead leaguing
5100 yards the year before, and Winston and Ryan Fitzpatrick combine
for nearly 5400 yards passing the year before that. Baker Mayfield
is keeping the trend, as he is nearing his peak numbers. Those
numbers are not special, they’re not exciting and in terms of
fantasy football they only add up to a No.17 ranking, but it has
allowed for a number of usable starts from Baker this year. This
week does not look to be one of those weeks.
The 49ers dominant pass rush is likely to take great advantage
of Mayfield’s slow processing time, as well as his lack
of stature in the pocket. The Niners have been brutal to opposing
QB’s, as it is, giving up just 10 touchdowns against 13
INTs. Mayfield is reasonably a must sit.
TB FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.3
TB FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.31
TB FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.4
TB FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.13
Brock Purdy continues to put up QB1-level numbers whenever the
49ers All Pro offensive unit is intact, and that’s likely
to continue this week. The Bucs have given up 17 combined touchdowns
to opposing QBs and the 5th most points. This is a must start,
unless you have an elite QB in front of Purdy.
Christian McCaffrey is generally a no-brainer, but out of a respect
for a Buccaneers defense that has been has given up the 2nd least
points to running backs this year and just held Derrick Henry
to 2.5 points, McCaffrey finds himself here instead. He’s
still a must start, as there’s just so many ways for him
to get to a solid fantasy day, but it may be tough for him to
do it by racking up efficient run totals, or by restarting his
TD streak. Per the latter, the Bucs have given up just 1 total
touchdown to running backs this season.
Mitchell has been virtually completely absent from the 49ers
game plan this season, even as a change of pace option. It may
be that repeated injuries have taken their toll on Mitchell, who
has just 73 yards on 30 carries, this season. For a few weeks,
Jordan Mason passed Mitchell on the depth chart, but more recently
Mitchell has regained a foothold on the 2nd spot behind McCaffrey,
and last week logged 8 carries (his 2nd highest total of the season).
It’s very possible that the 49ers run away with this game
against the Bucs, and turn to Mitchell to run out the clock, but
Tampa’s extremely stiff run defense is unlikely to reward
him with many fantasy points as a result.
The Rams have been somewhat tough on wide receivers – having
given up the 11th fewest points to the position. But numerous
WR1’s have had their way with the Rams secondary. CeeDee
Lamb went off for 35 points against the Rams in Week 8, and that
was the 3rd time this season that an opposing WR1 has cashed in
for at least 16 points against the Rams. Metcalf also had 12.2
points against these Rams on the opening week of the season. There’s
very high ceiling upside here, making Metcalf a quality start
as a WR2.
Geno Smith is coming off of a season high 369-yard passing performance.
The Seahawks passing attack finally looked capable of what was
expected prior to the season. Getting members of an injury-plagued
offensive line back onto the field and having both Metcalf and
Lockett looking healthier certainly helped, but so did playing
The Rams are not rough on quarterbacks, but they aren’t
a doormat, either. Smith could see a good follow up to last week’s
performance, especially by frequently targeting his myriad of
tight ends to take advantage of the Rams weak linebacker core,
but it still remains to be seen whether last week was a stepping
stone or whether it was just another parade for a Commander’s
opposing QB. As such, Geno is worth considering for as a starter
if you don’t have any strong options this week, but should
be viewed as a mid-to-high end QB2.
The Rams erased Lockett in the first matchup with Seattle, holding
him to 2 catches for 10 yards. This could be viewed as an aberration,
except the Rams have made their money against WR2’s this season,
giving up just three double-digit performances to their opponents
2nd receiver and no 20+ point outcomes. The floor has also been
really low, as in addition to Lockett, DeVonta Smith was held
to just 1.1 points by these Rams and Tee Higgins was held to 3.1
despite 5 and 8 targets, respectively.
The sour cherry on top is that Lockett has essentially been an
every other week receiver this year, following strong performances
with quiet ones on all three occasions. Lockett is coming off
a strong performance (8-92-1), and facing the Rams he’s
ripe for another quiet follow up.
As for Jaxon Smith-Njigba, the news is tougher. The Rams haven’t
surrendered a single double digit fantasy performance to any WR3
or 4 this year. As a matter of fact, Tyler Boyd’s 6.4 points in
Week 3 is the highest point total any opposing WR3 has put up
against L.A. (Dontayvion Wicks collected 6.9 as a WR4 during Week
9). Smith-Njigba has continued to show signs of growth in the
offense and has put up just over 10 FPts/G over the last month,
but this is likely a step-back week for him, in terms of fantasy
SEA FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.10
SEA FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.6
SEA FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.14
SEA FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.17
You have to start the Rams go-to wideout, but it’s a decision
that comes with the awareness that (a) QB Matthew Stafford may
or may not be fully healthy, (b) Cooper Kupp hasn’t done much
in Stafford’s absence this year, and (c) the Seahawks secondary
has been stiffening (most recently, just 5.3 points for McLaurin
and 0 for Jahan Dotson). The ceiling is obviously unbeatable,
but Kupp – a model of consistency – has suddenly become as volatile
a WR1 start as you can have with the conditions being what they
Darrell Henderson has only mustered up 2.8 yards per rush in
three games since stepping into the backfield following Kyren
Williams injury, but he has seen at least 10 rushes in all three
games, has been targeted multiple times each outing, and is facing
a Seahawks team that has been very vulnerable against running
backs (5th most points against). He’s averaged deep flex
production through his previous starts (9.2 points per game),
but stands as more of a solid flex option against the Hawks.
Nacua was Cooper Kupp in the absence of the Rams All Pro WR,
and furnished himself a solid role even in Kupp’s return.
Yet, like Kupp, injuries to Stafford have smothered his embers,
and it remains to be seen whether that fire reignites this week.
Freeman has been a bit more efficient as a runner than Henderson
over the last three games, picking up 4.3 yards per carry during
that time. Yet he hasn’t caught a single pass and has only
been targeted once in total, limiting his upside. He’s been
seeing 11 carries a game and so he carries some deep flex value
in a plus match up, but probably not more than that.
Tyler Higbee hasn’t had much to say this season, with or
without Stafford. He’s posted no double figure scoring performances,
hasn’t reached the end zone, and is averaging just 4.6 fantasy
points per game. That’s not likely to change against a Seattle
defense that has given up just 1 touchdown to tight ends this
The Jets’ offense is one of the most putrid that we’ve
seen in recent seasons, but running back Breece Hall is such a
special talent that he’s managed to remain a must-start
fantasy option even despite the lack of talent around him. Hall
has carried the ball at least 12 times in every game since being
officially anointed as the team’s “starter”
back in Week 5, but even prior to that he was breaking off big
plays both in the running and passing game, including against
this very same Buffalo defense back in Week 1. Hall rushed the
ball 10 times for 127 yards in that opening contest, adding a
20-yard reception in the passing game, and now he’s in line
to see even more work. He should be viewed as a solid RB1 this
Zach Wilson has been terrible, but the one positive thing that
we’ve been able to count on him doing is providing opportunities
for superstar wide receiver Garrett Wilson. Despite this bad offensive
situation, Wilson has averaged over 12 targets per game over his
past six games. Wilson may not have the touchdown opportunities
that other top receivers do, but he did score against this Bills
defense back in Week 1 and his volume makes him a must-start.
The number of usable fantasy tight ends seems to be growing as
we’ve reached the second half of the regular season and
one of the players who’s come alive in recent weeks is Jets’
tight end Tyler Conklin. Conklin has seen 13 targets over his
past two contests, catching every one of them for a total of 136
yards over that stretch. While he’s failed to reach the
end zone, he’s seemingly become Zach Wilson’s second-most-trusted
pass-catching weapon and could be considered a low-end TE1 for
those in need.
The Jets’ offense as a whole is completely embarrassing
and much of that is due to quarterback Zach Wilson. Wilson might
not have started back in Week 1, but he came into the game almost
immediately when the Jets faced the Bills and despite managing
to get the win, Wilson was otherwise pretty bad in that game.
That trend has pretty much continued since then and he’s
now averaging just 207 passing yards per game while having thrown
just five touchdown passes in nine games. He has provided a bit
in the running game, but Wilson remains one of the absolute worst
starting quarterbacks both in fantasy and in the real-life NFL.
NYJ FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.27
NYJ FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.12
NYJ FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.32
NYJ FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.15
Monday night’s home loss to the Broncos was a new low for
the Bills this season, with quarterback Josh struggling against
a defense that had been one of the easiest to exploit so far this
season. That led to the worst performance of the season for wide
receiver Stefon Diggs, who managed to catch just three passes
for 34 yards in the loss. This being a primetime game meant that
many fantasy managers saw the poor performance and are, understandably,
concerned about their superstar wide receiver. Fear not, though,
as this one game was more likely to be a blip on the radar than
any sort of indication of future performance. Diggs has been his
usually studly self this season, both from an opportunity and
production standpoint. He even dominated in Week 1 when he faced
this very same Jets defense, as he caught 10 of the 13 passes
that came his way for 102 yards and a touchdown. Don’t get
cute and bench Diggs after one bad performance. Get over it and
Tight end Dalton Kincaid has broken out over the past few weeks.
His first big game came back in Week 7, but he’s now played
on at least 85 percent of the Bills’ offensive snaps over
their past three games, leading to 20 receptions on 24 targets.
Kincaid has become an every-week must-start at the tight end position
and while the Jets are a great defense overall, they’re
only a middle-of-the-road unit against opposing tight ends.
James Cook’s early fumble in Week 10 led to an early lead
for the Broncos and the Bills’ coaching staff seemed to
punish him throughout the game. He saw his lowest snap percentage
in a game since all the way back in Week 3, playing fewer than
50 percent of the Bills’ offensive plays despite them trailing
throughout the evening. He did break through with a huge rush
down the stretch which allowed him to reach the 100-yard mark
for just the second time this season, but he actually fumbled
(and recovered) on the play which had to annoy his coaches even
The truth is that Cook doesn’t have a history of being a fumbler
throughout his professional or collegiate career, but these mistakes
can sometimes come in patches and there’s no question that the
coaching staff will be keeping a close eye on how he’s handling
the ball. This matchup against the Jets isn’t a great one to begin
with, but it becomes even riskier when we consider that Cook has
continued to concede goal line carries to Latavius Murray and
could potentially find himself riding the pine if he loses another
The Gabe Davis rollercoaster continued this past week as the
big play specialist managed to secure two passes for 56 yards,
including a 38-yard reception. He actually led the team in receiving
yardage for the day despite this low reception total, but it wasn’t
nearly enough to make him a usable fantasy option. Davis has now
been held below double-digit PPR fantasy points in four of his
past five games, having not exceeded six targets in any of those
games. He also was held to just two catches for 32 yards when
he faced the Jets back in Week 1. We know that Davis is capable
of exploding for a big play and getting into the end zone at any
time, but this is just not a good on-paper matchup for him.
Veteran running back Latavius Murray hadn’t scored double-digit
fantasy points since Week 2, but he had his best fantasy game
of the 2023 season this past week when he scored a touchdown and
rushed for 68 yards on nine carries. Murray played on a season-high
50 percent of the Bills’ offensive snaps while also carrying
the ball on 36 percent of the team’s rushing plays, which
was his second-best opportunity share day of the season. Of course,
we don’t know how things would have played out if starter
James Cook wouldn’t have fumbled the ball on the team’s
first offensive drive, but we have to assume that, based on how
things had been trending, that Murray is still essentially a touchdown-or-bust
fantasy player. The Jets have only given up three running back
rushing touchdowns this season, so don’t bet on Murray to
have back-to-back big fantasy days.
Alexander Mattison was a limited participant on Thursday, and
if he can be activated for this weekend’s match up with the Broncos,
he’ll be facing the league’s most gashed rush defense. Right now,
the Broncos rush defense is every running back’s dream, and with
Cam Akers unfortunately suffering another season-ending injury,
the lane is wide open for Mattison to regain full control of the
Vikings running back room. Despite an underwhelming, frustrating
season from Mattison to-date, if he can get active by Sunday,
those who’ve held him may finally enjoy a substantial pay off.
If he is Inactive, expect to see Ty
Chandler get the bulk of the carries.
Wide receivers got off to a surprisingly strong start against
the Broncos, but that has changed as the season has gone on (18th
most points to the position). The stellar rookie may be outmatched
by the more experienced Patrick Surtain II, finding the Broncos
elite corner lined up opposite him often. Volume could get Addison
through the day, especially with Justin Jefferson appearing to
still be at least one week away from returning and T.J. Hockenson
playing banged up (ribs). But it will not be an easy task, and
in a game where the Vikings and Broncos could opt to grind it
out, even volume is not a lock. Addison is a very risky play this
Dobbs has earned the excitement coming his way since he’s
arrived on the Vikings just a couple of weeks ago. On the whole,
he’s certainly outdone expectations for both Minnesota and
his previous team, the Cardinals. But with Justin Jefferson likely
out and the Broncos entertaining Dobbs and company, he’s
probably best to sit this week.
You might say “but the Broncos have given up the 8th most
points to quarterbacks”. That’s true, but the defense
appears to have turned a leaf and returned to its old form of
being stingy against the passing game. Most recently, Patrick
Mahomes picked up just 25.9 combined points in two starts against
the Broncos, and last week Denver made it a nightmarish day for
Josh Allen (just 14.4 points). Dobbs has been a good story, but
he is not on the level of Mahomes nor Allen, both of whom have
been muted by Denver’s defensive revival.
MIN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.14
MIN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.26
MIN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.8
MIN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.16
Courtland Sutton ranks No.20 among wide receivers in points per
game (11.8) and he now has 7 touchdowns on the season. He draws
a Vikings secondary that hasn’t had a ton of answers for
receivers, giving up the 8th most points to the position. Sutton
is in a good spot to continue WR2 production this week.
Wilson has definitely made some strides with Sean Payton this
year, but Payton sees him as a game manager (just 29 pass attempts
per game, 6.8 intended air yards per target). This has left Wilson
in QB2 territory, albeit on the higher end.
Wilson draws a Vikings defense that has been middling against
quarterbacks, and perhaps their biggest weakness has been against
quarterback’s legs (200 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns allowed).
Wilson has nearly matched his rushing total of last season, so
he may be still have enough in his legs to take advantage of this
vulnerability. Still, the Broncos offensive strategy limits his
upside, and he’s once again best used as a starter for those
without a viable alternative.
Meanwhile, Javonte Williams has now seen over 20 rushes and picked
up a receiving touchdown in each of the last two weeks. It appears
that the Broncos may finally be turning to him as a workhorse.
The challenge this week will be a Vikings defense that has given
up the 6th least points to running backs. The only two running
backs that have had RB1-type performances against the Vikings
both ran behind dominant blocking units (Swift of the Eagles and
McCaffrey of the 49ers). Most other units have been pushed around
by the Vikings front, and the Broncos are likely to experience
that this week, making Javonte better viewed as a flex option.
Smith is an incredible route runner with fine hands, but he comes
in to Week 11 at 28th among wide receivers in fantasy points per
game. This is despite the fact that he has 4 TDs through nine
games (career high, thus far, is 7 for a season). But Dallas Goedert
is expected to miss some time after undergoing forearm surgery,
and that opens up a fair amount of targets (52, to-date). Expect
some of those targets to go Smith’s way, as his ranking among
WR’s has everything to do with Eagles not having needed more from
him prior to now. The Chiefs are not easy on wideouts (24th most
points), but Smith has more than enough talent to work out a productive
day against a good-but-not-great secondary in a situation where
talent meets opportunity.
Swift’s snap count remains strong (65% and 70% the last
two weeks), so despite three low efficiency games in the last
month and not having reached a hundred yards rushing since his
huge back-to-back games in Week 2 and 3, this designation isn’t
based on any concern that he might be losing grip on his role.
More so, it has to do with the fact that Swift is already getting
close to his previous career high in touches (207, 165 this season)
and is facing a Chiefs team that has been tough on the run, having
allowed just the 22nd most points to backs.
Swift also continues to be victimized most especially by Dr.
Tush Push, Jalen Hurts in the red zone. That limits his ceiling
most weeks and he’s probably no more than a flex in this
match up, especially on the road.
PHI FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.4
PHI FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.32
PHI FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.1
PHI FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.6
Rashee Rice picked up his 4th touchdown in the Chief’s
last game (vs Miami), and continues to be the only Kansas City
wide receiver that Pat Mahomes is relying on in the red zone.
Enter the Eagles, who have been scorched by receivers, giving
up what has easily been the most points to the position of any
team. Safety help has been a big issue, and Rice’s vertical
ability and solid frame (6’1 204) command that help. This
is a very sweet spot for the very respectable rookie.
Isiah Pacheco is a worthy start just about every week, but facing
the league’s stiffest defense against running backs put’s
him on the shelf this week. The Eagles have only allowed three
running backs to produce double figure points this season, and
just one to land RB1 value for the day. With just 482 rushing
yards and 2 touchdowns allowed to the position, it’s looking
to be a very tough day for Pacheco.