Despite logging just 30 total touches over the last four games,
Spears is averaging a respectable 56.5 yards per game during that
stretch. There’s undeniably something here, and perhaps the time
to unleash him is Thursday night with Henry just four days removed
from 26 touches against the Falcons. Of course, it’s just as likely
the Titans will continue to give him a handful of touches. Still,
if you’re looking for a high-upside dart throw from the flex spot,
Spears could be your guy.
By any measure, Levis’ first NFL start was a smashing success.
The rookie threw for 238 yards and 4 TDs -- in comparison, Ryan
Tannehill had two passing touchdowns in six starts -- without
an interception. The NFL is a week-to-week league, however, and
the Steelers won’t be caught by surprise the way Atlanta
was. Pittsburgh is a better defense to begin with, and they’ll
have a game’s worth of film to study and draw up a game
plan for Levis. While it might be tempting to try and catch lightning
in a bottle, it’s better to leave Levis out of your starting
TEN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.23
TEN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.26
TEN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.4
TEN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.29
In two games since returning from a hamstring injury, Johnson
has hauled in 13 passes (on 20 targets) for 164 yards. His touchdown
drought continues, having not scored since the 2021 season, but
if he maintains that level of involvement it’s only a matter of
time before he breaks through. The ascension of Pickens should
also help, as the second-year wideout demands more attention and
is a deep threat that allows the possession-oriented Johnson to
work underneath. He’s a solid WR3.
It has not been a good year for Harris. The former first-round
pick has only topped 100 yards in a game once, and that came in
a blowout loss where the Texans played soft. If there’s
one encouraging sign, it’s that the Alabama product finally
got more involved in the passing game last week, catching five
balls for 42 yards -- he entered play with just eight receptions
on the season. It’s a bit of a toss-up these days between
Harris and Jaylen Warren, but Harris feels like a better gamble
from the flex spot.
The Chiefs have been one of the toughest defenses in the NFL
thus far (just 4.7 yards allowed per play) and games played in
Europe (this one in Frankfurt) have tended to be lower scoring
than the average NFL game. The Dolphins, though, are far from
your average offense. Averaging nearly 34 points, they are threatening
numerous records. The most frightening part is that Miami has
been accomplishing this without Jaylen Waddle having performed
up to expectations, thus far.
Last week was finally a real break out for Waddle, capturing
a 121-yard performance with a touchdown on 7 receptions and 12
targets. After averaging under 6 targets through his first three
games – battling nagging injuries – Waddle was showing
signs in the previous three weeks, averaging 8.3 targets and scoring
twice in that span. He now has 3 scores in the last four weeks.
The Chiefs have been tough on receivers (8th fewest points), and
one can expect Andy Reid and company to try and put emphasis on
holding old friend Tyreek Hill in check. Tagovailoa has proven
many times that he can team up for a big day with Waddle when
this happens, and this weekend is likely to be another such occasion.
Raheem Mostert currently leads the league in rushing touchdowns,
with 10 in eight games. At least until Devon Achane returns from
the IR, Mostert should continue to see a lot of red zone opportunities
in this offense.
On the other hand, Mostert has a long history of injuries, and
has been dealing with an ankle injury that’s been affecting his
practice of late. It may also be affecting his share of opportunities
– Jeff Wilson recently returned from injury and last week picked
up 5 carries compared to 13 for Mostert after seeing none against
the Eagles just a week earlier. Mostert’s status is worth monitoring,
but he may also be inevitably due for a time share even before
Achane returns. Additionally, the Chiefs have given up the 8th
fewest points to running backs, and so if a committee ensues,
there may not be enough action for Mostert to be more than a flex
play this week.
MIA FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.9
MIA FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.20
MIA FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.10
MIA FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.9
The Dolphins have been middling against running backs this year,
and it’s really been a battle between teams attempting to ground
their offense by milking the clock versus the Miami attempting
the neuter their opponents run attack by forcing a negative game
script. The Dolphins defense has been a bit leaky, though, and
their offense too good at their jobs, leading to Miami’s opposing
running backs seeing the 10th most carries in the league. This
bodes well for Pacheco, whose clear path to top dog status in
the Chiefs’ backfield got even clearer with news that Clyde Edwards-Helaire
(illness) has already been announced as out for the week.
With few red zone threats in the passing game outside of Travis
Kelce, Pacheco also stands a good chance of punching one across
the goal line this Sunday in Frankfurt. Pacheco likely sees 15+
touches in this one, and in a game with a projected combined point
total over 50, he’s no worse than a borderline RB1.
Rice continues to show that he is the Chiefs top wide receiver,
even if among a relatively weak group. Rice has now seen his highest
snap shares each of the last two weeks (59% and 61%), has had
at least 56 yards receiving each of the last three weeks, and
has had at least 4 receptions each of the last four weeks. He
also continues to be the only Chiefs wide receiver with multiple
touchdowns, and his 3 touchdowns are as many as all other Chiefs
wide outs combined. As such, he’s moved himself into the
flex conversation, and may warrant some consideration again this
It may appear that Rice warrants more than “consideration”
at flex versus a Dolphins team that has surrendered the 4th most
points to opposing wide receivers, but keep in mind that Jalen
Ramsey was activated last week and opposing receivers now have
to deal with him. How much Rice sees Ramsey will likely determine
whether he can have a productive day.
Toney has seen his snap rate plummet to just 19% and 20% in the
two weeks since Mercole Hardman returned to the offense. Toney
wasn’t particularly productive in fantasy football prior
to this downturn, but there was at least hope that he was seeing
a fair number of targets on some weeks. The last two weeks, he’s
seen 1 target in each game. He’s about as safe as they come
to fade from your roster, if you haven’t already.
Unceremoniously dumped by the Rams in 2022, Henderson returned
via the practice squad when injuries thinned their backfield,
and he has served as the lead back the past two games, racking
up 151 total yards and a touchdown. LA signed him to the 53-man
roster this week, and he potentially looks poised for a big game
on Sunday. Green Bay is 26th in run defense (132 yards/game),
and the Rams will either be starting Brett Rypien or a compromised
Matthew Stafford (thumb), so leaning on the ground game seems
like a sound approach. As such, Henderson has RB2 potential.
A popular option early on, Higbee’s role has dried up since Kupp
returned from IR, catching just 10 passes in the last four games
combined. Half of those came last week, however, and with Rypien
likely to start, it seems logical that an underneath target like
Higbee could get some work. Don’t bet on it. Both Kupp and Nacua
excel in the possession department, and Green Bay will, at best,
have one of their projected top-three CBs -- Jaire Alexander (back)
is banged up, Eric Stokes (hamstring) is on IR, and they just
traded Rasul Douglas. Despite what looks like encouraging circumstances,
Higbee shouldn’t be played.
LAR FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.11
LAR FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.28
LAR FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.23
LAR FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.7
Back in Week 1, Jones had 127 yards and two touchdowns before
departing with a hamstring injury. In seven weeks since, he has
appeared in three games and racked up a combined 117 yards. Word
is he’s trending the right direction in terms of his health,
and the Packers desperately need his playmaking ability on offense.
A no-brainer when the season began, Jones carries plenty of risk
now based on injuries and lack of usage. That being said, his
ceiling is at an RB1 level, and the Rams are a middling run defense.
Plug Jones in as your No. 3 back and cross your fingers that he
gets the ball.
Green Bay’s passing game has been spotty at best in recent weeks,
and that certainly applies to Doubs, who has totaled a measly
52 yards receiving in his last three games. What keeps the second-year
wideout relevant is his continued work in the red zone where has
scored in back-to-back games and has five of Jordan Love’s 11
passing touchdowns on the year. Doubs offers enough to be slotted
in as a WR3.
We haven’t really seen the spike weeks from him, but Terry
McLaurin has settled into being a reliable WR2 for fantasy managers
this season. He’s managed to produce six double-digit fantasy
point days through eight games despite the fact that he’s
only reached the end zone twice, so there could even be some positive
regression coming for McLaurin.
The Patriots have been roughly a middle-of-the-road fantasy defense
against opposing wide receivers, but it is worth noting they have
played one of the toughest schedules including games against A.J.
Brown and DeVonta Smith, CeeDee Lamb, Garrett Wilson, Chris Olave,
Davante Adams and Jakobi Meyers, Stefon Diggs, and two games against
the Miami duo of Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle. Nevertheless,
there’s plenty of reason to be optimistic about McLaurin’s chances
to produce another 10-plus fantasy point day, especially given
that Curtis Samuel is banged up at the moment which could further
consolidate the Commanders’ passing game.
Jahan Dotson has been one of the most disappointing “potential
breakout” players that we’ve had so far in 2023 and
while he finally broke through with a big game this past week,
it’s hard to believe that many fantasy managers had him
in their lineups for his eight-catch, 108-yard, one touchdown
performance against the Eagles. Dotson had previously been held
to 43 or fewer receiving yards in every game this season and had
only scored one touchdown prior to this big game.
Teammate Curtis Samuel is dealing with a toe injury and was knocked
out of the Eagles game, which may have contributed a bit to Dotson’s
big performance, but the most optimistic thing that we can point
to right now is that the Commanders have been finding themselves
in lots of shootouts, which has led to Dotson being targeted seven
or more times in four of his eight games thus far, including 18
targets over his past two contests. If Samuel ends up missing
this game, then Dotson does become an even more intriguing option
for those in tough bye week situations.
We’ve seen the Curtis Samuel small sample-size traps play
out many times throughout his career, so it shouldn’t be
surprising that he would score touchdowns in three straight games
before dropping back-to-back duds on fantasy managers. Samuel
has now been held to eight receptions for just 47 yards and no
touchdowns over his past two weeks and to make matters worse,
he’s missed practice this week due to a toe injury.
Samuel isn’t a player who wins due to technique, so being
banged up is more important for him than it is for most players.
With Jahan Dotson seeming to step up in recent weeks, now is not
the time to be taking a chance on a banged-up Curtis Samuel.
WAS FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.2
WAS FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.19
WAS FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.2
WAS FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.15
It’s been a frustrating season for Patriots fans overall and
now the only pass catcher on the team who’s really been able to
do much of anything - Kendrick Bourne - is out for the season.
There’s really not much to like about this offense at all, but
it’s now likely to be even worse than before.
With that being said, where there are openings in offenses, there
are also opportunities. One of those opportunities is presenting
itself right now to rookie wide receiver Demario Douglas. Douglas,
a sixth-round pick, has seen his playing time increase significantly
in recent weeks. He had not run routes on even 50 percent of New
England’s passing plays in any game prior to Week 7, but
saw his route participation skyrocket to 76 percent in that contest.
Perhaps more interestingly, that number jumped yet again this
past week when he ran rouges on 84 percent of the Patriots’
snaps, including earning a season-high 22 percent target share
in that contest.
It’s entirely possible that the Patriots just end up not
having another pass-catcher on the team who can be useful for
fantasy purposes now that Bourne is out, but if there’s
one player who seems most likely to break out, it has to be Douglas.
He’s a deep option this week, but he has a great matchup
against a terrible Washington secondary that has given up the
second-most fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers
so far this season.
It seems gross to even have Mac Jones in this article as anything
other than a “fade,” but hear me out - this isn’t
a case of being smitten by Jones himself, but rather the situation
that he’s facing here in Week 9.
Jones will be up against a Commanders defense that has given
up the second-most fantasy points per game to opposing QBs. They’ve
given up over 275 passing yards along with multiple passing touchdowns
in six of their eight games, including five straight. Within this
recent stretch were Jalen Hurts (2x), Justin Fields, Desmond Ridder,
and Tyrod Taylor. Hurts is an elite producer, but the other three
are not known for their ability to pass the ball. Nevertheless,
they put up big numbers against this porous Commanders defense
that is now without both Montez Sweat and Chase Young.
Don’t get crazy and think that Jones is going to finish
as an elite QB this week, but this is one of those games where
we could be pleasantly surprised by his output if we need to slide
him into our Superflex lineups.
Rhamondre Stevenson slipped back into the fantasy dumpster this
past week with his 39-yard rushing day that included just two
catches for 11 yards and no touchdowns. Stevenson has now been
held to single-digit PPR fantasy points in four of his eight games
this season while failing to exceed 15 points in all but one of
those contests. He’s been a low-upside, low-floor back who’s still
seeing decent work most weeks but we’ve also seen that he could
end up conceding significant touches and even goal-line work to
The Commanders are a middle-of-the-road fantasy defense against
opposing running backs, but what’s been notable is that they’ve
been able to keep opposing backs in check in the passing game,
which is really where Stevenson has been able to rack up points.
The only backs who’ve gone over 30 yards receiving against this
defense so far this season were Bijan Robinson and Saquon Barkley,
and no back has caught more than five passes in a game against
Chris Godwin is as steady a fantasy receiver as there is in the
league. A low-end WR2/high-end WR3, Godwin’s stats match
teammate Mike Evans’ in practically every statistical category
except TDs. That’s a by-product of the Bucs not having a
prolific offense, but don’t misunderstand: Chris Godwin
is a plug-and-play fantasy option with a predictable floor. Houston’s
five passing TDs allowed places them first in the league for fewest
scores surrendered, so don’t expect too many fireworks through
the air for the Bucs. Nonetheless, Godwin should give you productivity
in Week 9.
Rachaad White’s production over the past few games has
been primarily through the air. He has 13 targets the last two
games and caught each one. His production on the ground, however,
leaves a lot to be desired, as his 33 yards rushing per game average
over the previous three games would highlight. Baker Mayfield
takes his shots downfield, but he can also dink and dunk his way
to advancing the football while making White a viable option in
fantasy. For those who decide to play White, they can only hope
his role in the passing game continues because he’s not
going to get you much on the ground.
Baker Mayfield is the choice for those with bye-week decisions,
such as those managers with Trevor Lawrence, Jared Goff, or Brock
Purdy. Rooting for Mayfield can be hazardous to your sanity at
times with his decision-making. But in a pinch, Mayfield can be
a serviceable fantasy QB, as he’s been the last few weeks. If
he continues that level of play, he should be fine this week,
although he’s facing a defense that’s given up more than 20 points
only once during the last five games.
TB FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.3
TB FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.25
TB FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.9
TB FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.19
Stroud is coming off his worst performance of the season last
week, throwing for only 140 yards and no touchdowns. His prize
for such a performance? A date against the 6th-ranked defense,
although the Bucs have given up more than 300 passing yards in
two of the last three games. Stroud will need to rely on Nico
Collins to battle through what will prove to be a rough and rugged
road game. Collins, though, has been relatively invisible in recent
games, finishing with no more than 39 receiving yards in two of
the last three contests. It would be nice if he returned to the
form that saw him finish Week 4 with 7 catches for 168 yards and
two scores. His managers can only hope that some semblance of
consistency finds Collins before they pull their hair out from
RB Dameon Pierce didn’t practice on Wednesday or Thursday, which
is trending toward him being sidelined this week. Keep tabs on
his availability. But assuming he sits this one out, that will
catapult Devin Singletary into the primary back role this week.
Singletary, however, is not a bell cow type of back. He’s a change-of-pace
option who can potentially provide value through the air. I’d
stay away this week.
And after wowing the fantasy world through the first three weeks
of the season, Dell’s stock has plummeted. His 15 receptions
through the season’s first three games dwarfs the 7 catches
he has combined the last three. I wouldn’t get rid of Dell,
but he needs to be on your bench until further notice.
With the Cardinals trading Josh Dobbs and handing the reins,
for at least one week, to rookie Clayton Tune, expect a heavy
dose of Demercado this weekend if he’s able to go. He’s been absent
from practice this week due to a foot issue. He carried the load
last Sunday, rushing 20 times for 78 yards, against a similarly
stout Ravens defense, so look for a similar approach versus Cleveland,
which has a tough defense but is also working with their own shaky
quarterback situation. Consider Demercado an RB3.
In his first full game this season with Zach Ertz (quad) out
of action, McBride led the team in both receptions (10) and receiving
yards (95) while scoring his first touchdown of the year. The
second-year tight end figures to be a popular target this week
for the inexperienced Tune on short and intermediate routes as
well, which could be enough to give him fringe top-10 appeal at
The speedy Brown posted a 6-33-1 line last week, and he’s likely
to see most of his work near the line of scrimmage in Week 9 as
well. Unless he breaks one, or finds the end zone, like he did
last Sunday, it’s hard to see where he generates much value. Brown
is a fringe WR3 candidate, though his value could increase dramatically
if Kyler Murray (knee) is finally ready to return in Week 10.
ARI FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.8
ARI FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.3
ARI FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.11
ARI FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.26
Initially, the belief was that Ford, who suffered an ankle injury
in Week 7, would miss a couple of games. Instead, he returned
to practice later the same week and was active last Sunday, though
the team gave him just 10 touches -- that was fewer than Kareem
Hunt (15) or Pierre Strong (11). With another week to recover,
look for Ford to be the lead back against the Cardinals. Given
that Gus Edwards posted a 19-80-3 line versus Arizona last weekend,
Ford should be considered a solid RB2.
Njoku is dealing with an ankle injury, but the belief is that
he’ll be ready to roll come game time. The perpetual tease is
at it again, catching nine of 17 targeted passes over the past
two weeks for 131 yards and a touchdown. Arizona allowed just
one TD through the air in Week 8, but that came from Mark Andrews,
so we’ll see if Njoku can find the end zone as well. He has TE1
upside, albeit with some risk.
Predictably, after D.J. Moore’s explosive Week 5 contest against
Washington, his numbers have come back down to earth the previous
three games. Despite Tyson Bagent’s inexperience at QB, Moore
continues to be a starting option as a low-end WR2. A road game
against a formidable defense will prove to be one of the toughest
challenges so far in 2023, so the possibility of Moore falling
short of expectations is a definitely on the table.
Meanwhile, Cole Kmet continues to be an every-week starter in
spite of a rookie being under center. Bagent leaned on Kmet heavily
last week with a team-leading 10 targets. Kmet may very well be
his go-to option again this week, giving you a decided advantage
of teams with lesser options at the position.
D’Onta Foreman’s production has been all over the map this season,
making it nearly impossible to start him with any confidence.
If you throw in the fact that the Chicago backfield is now essentially
a three-headed RBBC with Roschon Johnson and Darrynton Evans,
you know that keeping Foreman on your bench is a wise choice.
CHI FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.5
CHI FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.6
CHI FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.14
CHI FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.11
Chris Olave leads the team in targets, catches, and receiving
yards, but it seems he’s left so much production out on the field.
He had a strange drop last week for what could have been a long
TD catch, as the pass smacked him in the facemask. His chemistry
with QB Derek Carr appears off for some reason because it wasn’t
just last week. The QB/WR duo has had a few instances where they
saw things differently. That said, Olave is still a big play waiting
to happen, and hopefully we start seeing more of it moving forward.
Continue to start Olave.
Everyone sees the big plays and the league-leading 20.8 yards
per reception and think that Rashid Shaheed is a starting option.
I’m not ready to crown him a starter because his efficiency
is not sustainable. He hasn’t had more than 4 catches since
the opener, and his production is usually found in one long pass
play. That’s a slippery slope to rely on big plays for production
week after week. While Shaheed is certainly a stash player on
your roster, he’s simply too hit or miss for anything other
than managers in bigger fantasy leagues.
Michael Thomas has a chance for a good week. The Bears have allowed
the second-most TD passes this season with 17, and they just gave
up nearly 300 passing yards to the Chargers. For whatever Thomas
has lost physically he’s made up for it in savvy play. Thomas
could be a sneaky flex play this week.
Derek Carr is in play this week for several reasons. First, he’s
playing against a team that’s giving up the third-most passing
yards this season. Second, he’s playing against a team that’s
won only two of its last 12 road games. And third, Carr has three
straight 300-yard passing games. Carr is in this section instead
of the Favorite section because I don’t trust him, despite
his recent success. Those on bye this week might make deciding
to start Carr an easier decision. If you choose to start him,
In four games before Seattle’s bye, Smith-Njigba totaled 12 catches,
62 yards, and no TDs. In three games since, JSN has 11 receptions,
147 yards, and two TDs. Those aren’t huge numbers, and he must
contend with Metcalf, Tyler Lockett, and the surprising Jake Bobo
for touches, but the rookie is becoming a factor. If you’re looking
for someone to plug into your flex spot that has a decent ceiling,
JSN has a shot to deliver.
Few quarterbacks have as many weapons to work with as Smith.
Despite that, the veteran hasn’t consistently posted big
numbers -- that includes one TD or fewer in four of seven games,
and none with more than two. Don’t expect that to change
against the Ravens, which rank third in pass defense (176.6 yards/game)
and are one of just three teams to have more INTs (8) than TD
passes allowed (6). If you have a passable alternative, Smith
is a good candidate for bench duty in Week 9.
SEA FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.14
SEA FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.16
SEA FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.7
SEA FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.22
This may be the final week Edwards (toe) doesn’t appear on the
no-brainers list. The veteran back is the clear workhorse ahead
of Justice Hill at this point, and over the last two weeks he
has racked up 238 yards and four touchdowns. His previous weeks
weren’t nearly as productive, but even then, he saw double-digit
touches in every game since the opener, which is when J.K. Dobbins
got hurt. Seattle has good season-to-date numbers against the
run, but the Browns got them for 155 yards and a TD last week,
and Baltimore has the same kind of commitment along with a much
better QB. View Edwards as an RB2 with top-10 potential.
Perhaps believing the only way Arizona could compete last Sunday
was if they turned the ball over, the Ravens were ultra-conservative
in the passing game. To that end, Flowers led the club with five
receptions, but for a season-low 19 yards -- Andrews led the way
with 40. The rookie was still the most-targeted option, though,
and there’s no reason to think he won’t be heavily
involved once again. Flowers is a low-end No. 2 wideout or a high-end
Rookie 5th round draft pick Jaren Hall takes the reins of this
offense in Kirk Cousins’ absence, so we should expect a major
decline in production across the board. Conventional wisdom is
when a young QB plays, he usually locks in on his security blanket,
either a nifty RB out of the backfield or a reliable TE navigating
the middle of the field. In this case, Hockenson could see his
target share remain the same. Those opportunities should translate
into Hockenson maintaining his TE1 status in Week 9, although
his ceiling may be capped. To be sure, though, this Minnesota
offense will look vastly different, so we all need to temper our
The 21-year-old rookie has really come on of late, scoring in
four straight games (5 TDs total in that stretch). His seven receiving
TDs for the year are second only to Tyreek Hill’s eight,
so the young fella has been ballin’. But we have no idea
if Hall can get Addison the ball downfield in a way that fuels
his big play potential. At this stage of the season, benching
Addison may be too much of an extreme decision for most, as the
rookie has established himself as an every-week starter. But we’ll
just have to understand the change at QB to an inexperienced rookie
will put training wheels on this offense, which will hinder Addison’s
value. Start Addison and keep your fingers crossed.
Alexander Mattison has gotten 73 percent of the RB carries in
2023, and the Vikings are 31st in rushing yards and 31st in rushing
TDs. It may not all be on Mattison because the offensive line
has had its struggles. But at some point, we may start seeing
more of Cam Akers if Minnesota’s struggles on the ground continue.
Not that Akers is vastly superior to Mattison but changing things
up a bit could be in the cards. It’s just frustrating that Mattison
has had the keys to this backfield all season long with no real
competition for carries, yet he hasn’t done much with that opportunity.
Fantasy season is halfway over. It’s time to start looking elsewhere
for backfield production.
MIN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.10
MIN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.27
MIN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.6
MIN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.20
Drake London is iffy this week with the groin injury that cut
short his Week 8 performance. A hobbled London with a new QB in
Taylor Heinicke triggers too many question marks. Keep tabs on
London’s availability, but do exercise caution with deciding to
play him. Same with Kyle Pitts. I remain baffled at the degree
to which Pitts is utilized in this offense. Experts harped on
his unicorn-like prowess, but we haven’t seen much of it throughout
his career. For Pitts and London’s sake, they better hope Heinicke
proves a better option than Desmond Ridder. Otherwise, their fantasy
ceiling will remain a wishful goal.
Tyler Allgeier has 104 rush attempts this year and averages 3.2
yards per carry. Bijan Robinson has 92 with a 5.1 YPC. Why Allgeier
continues to have as big a role in this offense—to the direct
detriment of Robinson—remains one of the biggest mysteries
so far this season. However, maybe last week’s usage was
a sign of things to come. Robinson saw 73 percent of snaps against
Tennessee to Allgeier’s 23 percent. Robinson owners can
only hope. Either way, keep Allgeier stashed on your bench.
At some point, most fantasy folks believe Jonathan Taylor will
take over this backfield. But are we sure? The team continues
to split carries evenly between the two, but I just can’t see
that continuing for much longer. At his best, Taylor is in the
conversation as one of the top backs in the league. Zack Moss
is not. Taylor managers will have to maintain patience and hope
that Moss’s role starts to decrease a bit. Starting Taylor this
week, despite his ceiling being capped because of Moss, is an
easy choice. Don’t overthink it.
Indianapolis has given up a league-worst 28.6 points per game,
meaning their offense has to play keep-up by throwing the ball
all over the yard. Michael Pittman Jr. should benefit from that
strategy, despite his 5 yards-per-reception average last week
on his 8 catches—a laughable stat if you don’t have
Pittman on your squad. Pittman should rebound this week. Start
Josh Downs has steady climbed the WR ranks each week, as his
play has warranted the added attention. He’s flirting with must-start
status and may very well get there before the end of November.
With the four-team bye week and the likes of Brandon Aiyuk and
Christian Kirk and Amon-Ra St. Brown unavailable, Downs moves
up the weekly rankings and becomes an intriguing option. Personally,
I’m starting him over George Pickens this week while hoping he
continues his hot streak.
One of these weeks, we’re going to expect Moss to be involved
in the gameplan, only to see Taylor rekindle the magic from 2021
when he averaged 20 carries per game, leaving nothing for his
backups. That could be this week for Moss, or next week, or sometime
later this year. But putting a player in your lineup with that
hanging over his head—a player that has a realistic chance of
not receiving much playing time—could doom your week. Keep him
away from a starting spot, but keep him rostered.
IND FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.12
IND FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.5
IND FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.15
IND FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.6
The Colts have given up the most points and the 4th-most yards
this season, so the situation is set up nicely for Bryce Young
to have the best game of his rookie campaign. I believe his ceiling
is capped because of a lack of weapons outside of Adam Thielen.
But Young should still be able to put up numbers for those missing
Trevor Lawrence this week. He’s been steady the last two
weeks, but nothing spectacular—two TDs total with no interceptions.
Playing at home against an inferior pass defense should give him
the edge needed to be productive.
Miles Sanders returned last week but played only 12 snaps while
Chuba Hubbard played 40 snaps. Hubbard didn’t do much with
the additional playing time—as has been the case with him
for most of the season, besides a solid game against Miami in
Week 6. The Colts have given up the second-most rushing TDs with
15, but they may not be able to capitalize on that weakness. Keep
both on the bench until or unless a clear-cut lead back emerges.
With Daniel Jones returning and Darren Waller out, the Giants
offensive weapons look fairly similar to last year. When Isaiah
Hodgins joined the Giants mid-year in 2022, he proved to be Jones
most reliable and consistent target, producing 33 receptions,
351 yards receiving and 4 touchdowns in 8 games. He also picked
up 9 receptions 108 yards and another touchdown in two playoff
games. As a matter of fact, during his final seven games with
the Giants last year, Hodgins picked up 5 touchdowns.
The Raiders have not been particularly kind to opposing receivers,
giving up the 6th fewest points to the position. Yet the Giants
may get some shots in the red zone, if nothing else than due to
the real possibility that the Raiders rookie QB makes costly mistakes
deep in his own team’s territory. Hodgins may return to
being New York’s top target by default, particularly in
the red zone, and that makes him a fringe flex candidate whose
potential for production will likely be touchdown reliant.
Daniel Jones began the with no worse than borderline Top 12 QB
expectations in the fantasy football world. It has not panned
out that way, to say the least. Most owners have parted ways with
Jones by now, but for those who have held out hope, there may
be a bright light at the end of the tunnel – it’s
just not likely to shine this week.
Jones’ return does come with some encouraging signs, as
promising rookie center John Michael-Schmitz returned from injury
last week, and star tackle Andrew Thomas has logged back-to-back
limited practices to start this week. Thomas returning would be
a major boost for Jones, who faced over an unfathomable pressure
rate of over 40% before getting injured. It’s fair to say
that Jones never had a chance in such conditions, and the fact
the Giants two other quarterbacks combined for negative net passing
yardage against the Jets last week, reveals just how dire the
situation has been.
The rain upon Jones return parade is that - just as the offensive
line appears to be getting healthy - Darren Waller has gone out
with a hamstring injury. The Raiders have also been fairly stingy
against quarterbacks, giving up the 9th fewest points to the position,
and their new head coach is a former linebacker who likely will
Jones has a favorable schedule down the stretch and may suddenly
return to fantasy relevance before the year is through, but if
you’ve kept the faith (or are really desperate at QB) and
waited this long, perhaps it’s best to give it a little
NYG FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.25
NYG FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.11
NYG FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.16
NYG FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.23
It’s been a devastating few weeks for fantasy owners holding
Davante Adams stock. It hit rock bottom last week when Adams came
away with a 1-11-0 line on 7 targets against the Lions. I’ve
witnessed Adams owners in numerous leagues bail on him for as
little as the price of Kendrick Bourne and D’onta Foreman.
If you’ve had the intestinal fortitude to hang on to one
of the league’s most dangerous receivers, the payoff you
were counting on is likely about to come in.
Josh McDaniels is out as head coach. Jimmy Garoppolo is out at
quarterback. While it’s extremely unlikely that rookie Aidan O’Connell
will be a better option under center and we don’t know much about
interim head coach Antonio Pierce, it’s nearly impossible to imagine
that we won’t see a sinking Raiders ship use the star power of
Adams as a life raft to try and survive the season. The Raiders
presumably also want to keep him from demanding a trade in the
off-season, and it’s no secret that the way to a wide receivers
heart is through being fed.
Look for heavy, heavy target loads from Adams going forward,
beginning this week. The results should follow. The Giants have
a respectable secondary, but that hasn’t stopped Terry McLaurin
(12.2 pts) and Garrett Wilson (14.1 pts) from having productive
days with far less than stellar quarterbacks over the last two
Two years back, Hunter Renfrow was a 100-catch, 1000-yard receiver
with the Raiders. While last year’s injury-plagued year
was a huge disappointment, it wasn’t immediately clear that
Josh McDaniel’s plan was to relegate Renfrow to the dust
bin of history. With McDaniel’s career in Vegas over while
Renfrow is still in town, might we see Renfrow re-emerge?
O’Connell does not have a particularly strong arm, and
indications from his previous start suggest that he’ll work
a lot underneath. In four previous seasons, Renfrow’s has
never topped 7.1 intended air yards per target, making him a potential
fit for an offense built more to O’Connell’s abilities.
This is not so much a recommendation to consider starting Renfrow
as it is to consider rostering him if you are short at wideout
and/or flex – particularly for those in deeper leagues.
There’s a chance he proves to be more than relic of Raiders
Jakobi Meyers fantastic season took a sudden and brutal turn
last week when he was targeted just 1 time. For what it’s
worth, the Raiders only threw 21 passes in the game, so this isolated
event could be dismissed as an anomaly. On the other hand, with
a new coach at the helm, it’s hard to know how Meyers role
might change. Meyers yardage output had already been in decline
after producing over 80 yards in his first two outings, and he’s
only averaged 48 yards per game since. Additionally, in Aidan
O’Connell’s one start, Meyers was targeted just 4
times out of 39 pass attempts.
Meyers has also leaned on red zone production, having 5 touchdowns
on the season – something that will be hard to continue,
especially for a Raiders team that may reach the red zone even
less often in the weeks ahead.
To top it all off, the Giants defense has allowed just one No.2
receiver to go score double digit points this season (Jaylen Waddle).
Tyler Lockett (7.4 pts), Gabriel Davis (3.6 pts), and Michael
Wilson (7.1 pts) have been the most notable victims. Meyers likely
joins them this week.
At the quarterback position, as much as Jimmy Garoppolo has struggled
to find consistency this year (71% On Target Rate versus an expected
75% on 8.2 intended air yards per target), the Raiders alternate
options have been worse. Aidan O’Connell, penned to start
“the rest of the year”, took 7 sacks in little more
than one game’s worth of snaps (compared to 13 sacks against
Garoppolo in six starts) and while he has had a slightly higher
On Target Rate (73%) than his veteran counterpart, it came largely
on dump-offs (just 6.8 intended air yards per target). Garoppolo
wasn’t really a fantasy football option except in extremely
deep leagues or superflex leagues, and O’Connell may only
be a fringe candidate even in such formats.
The Cowboys’ passing game finally seemed to get on track
this past week when Dak Prescott threw for 304 yards and four
touchdowns in the team’s blowout win over the Rams. Prescott
has now turned in quality fantasy performances in back-to-back
games after a very rocky start to the season.
Prescott and the Cowboys now face an Eagles defense that has
been one of the biggest pass funnels in the league. They’ve given
up the seventh-most fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks
thus far despite playing some fairly weak competition including
Mac Jones, Baker Mayfield, Sam Howell (x2), and Zach Wilson. Howell,
in fact, threw for 687 yards and five touchdowns against this
defense in their two matchups.
Yes, Prescott has struggled to get things going at times this
season, but this looks like it could be another shootout on the
Eagles schedule and when that happens, we want to get the quarterback
in lineups. This is a high-upside potential game for Prescott.
Cowboys running back Tony Pollard has now failed to reach double-digit
fantasy points in three of his past four games, including this
past week’s blowout win over the Rams. There’ve been
times throughout the year for the Cowboys where it’s been
somewhat understandable why Pollard wasn’t very involved,
but the 12-carry, 53-yard, no-touchdown game against the Rams
has fantasy managers very discouraged.
To make matters worse, Pollard now faces a Philadelphia defense
that has been the stingiest in the league against opposing running
backs. They’ve held every back they’ve faced to fewer
than 60 rushing yards while only giving up a total of two touchdowns
to the position on the year. They’ve also held all but two
backs to fewer than 30 receiving yards against them, so there’s
not much meat on the bone in the passing game either. It’s
tough to bench a player like Pollard who has seen at least 12
touches in every game this season, especially in a game with a
reasonably high probability of shooting out, but this is also
a terrible on-paper matchup. If you have other decent options
who may have a higher ceiling, this might be the week to sit Pollard
on your bench and let him clear his head leading into his Week
10 matchup against the Giants who he torched back in Week 1.
While it was CeeDee Lamb who really blew up with the huge game
as a receiver, another player who got into the end zone was tight
end Jake Ferguson, who made four catches for 47 yards on the day.
Ferguson had been held to just four catches for 43 yards and no
touchdowns over his previous two contests, so fantasy managers
had to be excited to see him finally get back into the “usable
fantasy tight end” conversation.
This week Ferguson faces a Philadelphia defense that has been
absolutely terrible against opposing passing games. They’ve been
roughly middle-of-the-road against tight ends, but they’ve also
faced some mediocre competition. They did give up two scores to
T.J. Hockenson back in Week 2, along with touchdowns to Logan
Thomas and Hunter Henry when they faced them, but the next-best
tight end that they faced this season is probably Tyler Higbee.
Needless to say, Ferguson will be one of the better tight ends
they have faced and with the Cowboys likely needing to pass the
ball early and often to stay in this game, look for him to have
a solid opportunity to get back into the end zone in this one.
Ferguson ran routes on a season-high 85 percent of passing snaps
for the Cowboys this past week and should be heavily involved
against the Eagles.
Cooks has now scored touchdowns in back-to-back games and we’re
beginning to see some fantasy buzz about him after his slow start
to the season. However, while Cooks has consistently run the second-most
wide receiver routes for Dallas, he’s managed to see exactly
four targets in five of his six games. That lack of usage has
really limited his fantasy output, even in these past two games
where he scored touchdowns. We’ve now seen Cooks in six
games for Dallas and he hasn’t yet reached even 50 receiving
The Eagles have given up more fantasy points per game to opposing
wide receivers than any other team this season, so there’s
some reason to have hope here, but he’s either going to
have to get into the end zone again or see a significant target
boost in order to provide real value for fantasy managers. Both
of those things are possible, of course, but we haven’t
seen it yet and there sure are a lot of people who are banking
on him keeping up this recent warm streak.
DAL FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.29
DAL FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.22
DAL FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.31
DAL FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.14
We haven’t seen a high-end game from D’Andre Swift
since back in Week 2 (when most fantasy managers had him benched),
but the Philadelphia running back has been consistently delivering
solid double-digit fantasy points each week, in large part due
to his usage in the passing game. Swift is currently on pace for
nearly 60 receptions and he’s still managed to see 14 or
more carries in six of his past seven games.
Swift’s consistency and high usage in one of the league’s best
offenses make him a player who has to be in lineups even against
defenses like Dallas’. The Cowboys have not yet allowed a 100-yard
rusher and only one back (James Conner in Week 3) has even reached
70 rushing yards against them. They’ve also been able to hold
running backs in check within the passing game, as Austin Ekeler
is the only running back who’s even caught more than three passes
against them in a single contest.
This is a tough matchup for Swift, but usage can easily trump
that. We know that the Eagles are prioritizing getting the ball
to Swift each week, and there’s no reason to think that
it won’t continue against the Cowboys.
Goedert saw a dip in his production this past week when he was
able to haul in just four passes for 36 yards against the Commanders,
but we have to remain a bit optimistic as Goedert has continued
to be a highly-targeted option in the Eagles passing game. The
tight end has seen at least seven targets in five of the Eagles’
The Cowboys have been solid against opposing tight ends overall,
but it’s worth noting that they did get absolutely scorched for
three touchdowns by George Kittle back in Week 5. With this being
a potential shootout game and the Cowboys’ secondary being very
good against opposing wide receivers, Hurts may end up checking
it down to Goedert quite a few times this week.
DeVonta Smith had been on a horrible three-game stretch, but
he got things back on track in Week 8 when he caught seven passes
for 99 yards and a touchdown against the Commanders. Smith has
been very volatile this season, with three games of 17 or more
fantasy points, but also four games where he’s failed to
reach even 10 fantasy points. This has made him an extremely frustrating
player to manage normal redraft leagues.
Smith now faces a Cowboys that has given up the second-fewest
fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers. No wide receiver
has reached even 90 yards in a game against them and the biggest
game they’ve given up to an opposing “WR2” came back in Week 3
when they gave up two catches for 86 yards to Arizona’s Michael
Wilson. Dallas even held Cooper Kupp to four receptions for 21
yards on 10 targets and Puka Nacua to three receptions for 43
yards on seven targets this past week.
Smith always has the potential to go off for a big game and it’s
tough to bench a player who’s coming off of a nice performance,
but on paper this has the makings of what could be another down
week for the Eagles’ WR2.
After a slow start to the season, Kincaid has come on over the
past couple of weeks, catching eight passes for 75 yards in Week
7, and then following that up with a 5-65-1 effort last Thursday
night against the Buccaneers. With Dawson Knox (wrist) on IR with
a wrist injury, the rookie doesn’t have anyone on his level at
the position to compete with for snaps and touches. The Bengals
had all kinds of problems when it came to containing George Kittle
last weekend, allowing 149 yards on nine catches, which provides
Kincaid with loads of upside as a midrange TE1.
Cook has been solid recently, averaging 82 total yards per game
over the last three while scoring once. The Bills got little going
against the Bengals the last time these clubs faced off in the
AFC Divisional Round, but after watching San Francisco average
nearly 5.0 yards per carry on Cincy last Sunday, there are reasons
to be bullish. Latavius Murray has also done next to nothing recently
after a respectable start, and newcomer Leonard Fournette seems
like a longshot to contribute right away. Cook is a borderline
RB2/RB3 with some upside this weekend.
BUF FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.31
BUF FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.10
BUF FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.20
BUF FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.31
Higgins opened the season as a no-brainer, but early struggles
and a rib injury have left him as a week-to-week proposition.
Coming out of the bye, the talented wideout looked more like his
old self in Week 8, catching five passes for 69 yards in a 14-point
win over the 49ers. That’s not enough to regain must-start status,
but it’s a step in the right direction. He may line up across
from new addition Rasul Douglas as well, which could work to his
advantage given Douglas’ unfamiliarity. Higgins is a midrange
WR3 that could produce WR2 numbers Sunday night.
It had been a rough return from injury for Chargers’ running
back over the previous two weeks, but Austin Ekeler got things
going again this past week when he and the Chargers pummeled the
Bears. What’s interesting, though, and perhaps a bit scary
is that Ekeler was still highly ineffective on the ground, rushing
for just 29 yards on 15 carries against a bad Chicago defense.
He did, however, show off his ability to be game script-proof
as he caught seven passes for 94 yards and a touchdown. We can’t
expect that Ekeler is going to continue to get into the end zone
every week if he’s struggling to run the ball, but his high
usage makes him a must-start in almost any matchup.
This week he faces a Jets defense that has been excellent against
opposing passing games, but that has struggled at times against
running backs. Saquon Barkley carried the ball 36 times for 128
yards against them this past week, but perhaps more interesting
for Ekeler managers is that they’ve also given up four or
more receptions to four different opposing running backs, including
a seven-reception game to Tony Pollard and an eight-reception
game to D’Andre Swift.
Normally a must-start, Chargers’ wide receiver Keenan Allen
could be in for a tough game this week as he faces a Jets defense
that has allowed the fewest fantasy points per game to opposing
wide receivers. On a positive note, they have given up three 100-yard
games to wide receivers Stefon Diggs, CeeDee Lamb, and A.J. Brown.
Otherwise, no other wide receiver they’ve faced has exceeded
even 50 yards through the air against them. Shockingly, they’ve
also only one total touchdown to an opposing wide receiver on
Don’t bench Keenan Allen - just temper your expectations
in this difficult matchup.
The Jets have faced a murderer’s row of quarterbacks so far this
season, including Josh Allen, Dak Prescott, Patrick Mahomes, Russell
Wilson, and Jalen Hurts. Yet, only two of them (Prescott and Hurts)
reached even 240 yards passing against this defense and only two
(Prescott and Wilson) threw for multiple touchdowns against them.
The Jets are coming off of a game in which they allowed seven
- yes, seven - total passing yards against the Giants quarterback
duo of Tyrod Taylor and Tommy DeVito, who attempted 14 passes.
It’s unlikely that fantasy managers have a stronger option
on their bench than Herbert, but understand that this is probably
the worst matchup that Herbert will face all season.
LAC FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.1
LAC FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.8
LAC FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.3
LAC FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.4
Jets wide receiver Garrett Wilson has lacked high-ceiling games,
but he’s been a fairly consistent producer as a WR2. He’s
managed to score 14 or more fantasy points in five of his seven
games, including each of his past two games against the Eagles
The Chargers, meanwhile, have given up the third-most fantasy
points to opposing wide receivers so far this season. Through
seven games, 13 different wide receivers have had double-digit
fantasy performances against this defense and there’s a
fairly good chance that Wilson ends up becoming the 14th.
It’s always scary to recommend a player who is objectively
not good like Zach Wilson. The guy has been held under 200 passing
yards in five of his seven games and there really has only been
one game where we thought, “hey, maybe this won’t
be so bad.” Otherwise, yuck. But this is purely a matchup
The Chargers have given more fantasy points per game to opposing
quarterbacks than any other team so far this season. Every QB
they’ve faced has thrown for over 230 yards against them,
including the Bears’ Tyson Bagent and the Raiders’
Aidan O’Connell in recent weeks. They’ve also given
up three games of three or more touchdowns to opposing quarterbacks.
Wilson does have some mobility and the Chargers have struggled
against quarterbacks who can run, having already given up four
rushing scores to opposing QBs this season.
He’s not someone you’re excited about, but this is
probably the best matchup that Wilson will get all season. He’s
a “close your eyes and hope it works out” QB2 this
While we’re hopeful that Wilson can make this game interesting,
one thing that fantasy managers should not be doing is looking
down the depth chart at the plethora of mediocre options in the
Jets’ passing game after Garrett Wilson. The next best option
is probably Allen Lazard who has a season-high of just six targets
in a game. He hasn’t gone over three receptions in any game
and is really just a touchdown-or-bust player.
The Chargers' defense is one that can be exploited, and maybe
Lazard gets into the end zone to save fantasy managers, but he
is far from a high-upside play while also having a floor of practically