- Green highllight indicates plus matchup (top eight)
- Red highlight indicates negative matchup (bottom eight)
Cowboys @ Bears
- (Swanson) Line: DAL -3.0 Total: 43.5
Game Thoughts: The Cowboys enter this week’s Thursday
Night Football game with a disappointing 6-6 record after getting
manhandled at home on Thanksgiving by the listing Buffalo Bills.
Luckily for Cowboys fans, the Eagles said hold my beer and lost
to a Miami Dolphins team that is in contention for the first overall
pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.
Despite the poor overall record, Dak Prescott has been sensational
for fantasy owners with 321.6 fantasy points on the year. Only
Lamar Jackson has scored more fantasy points, and outside of tough
matchups against the Saints and the Patriots, Dak has not given
fantasy owners fewer than 20 points per game.
By reputation, the Bears are a tough matchup that is causing
some Dak owners consternation when looking at their rosters this
week. But in reality, Chicago is not the sort defense they were
last season, with four players posting at least 20 fantasy points
against the Bears in 2019, including David Blough last week at
It is not the greatest matchup for Dak, but he should provide
enough of a floor to be a solid QB1. The bigger question surrounds
Cooper ranks fifth overall with 971 yards and seven touchdowns
for 139.1 fantasy points, but he appears to be limited with knee
and foot injuries despite his absence from the injury report and
his insistence that he is ok.
His inconsistent play on the road has to give his owners pause,
as only two of Coopers seven receiving touchdowns have come on
the road, and he was terrible against the Lions and the Patriots
on the road in Weeks 11 and 12.
You are starting Cooper, no doubt, but don’t be surprised
to see Michael Gallup be the top-performing wide receiver for
the Cowboys on Sunday. Gallup lit up the Lions for nine catches
at 148 yards three weeks ago when Cooper struggled, and he will
once again see the No.2 cornerback this week with Cooper seeing
the No. 1 CB for the Bears.
Another player to consider is Jason Witten. The ageless one caught
six passes for 42 yards and a score last week against the Bills,
and the Bears give up the 11th-most points to tight ends.
CHI FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.27
CHI FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.15
CHI FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.28
CHI FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.12
Running Game Thoughts: The Bears have not been a great run defense
since they lost Akiem Hicks to an injury earlier this year. The
Bears rank 15th in points allowed to running backs, with 10 rushing
touchdowns allowed and bit games by Todd Gurley, Jordan Howard,
Latavius Murray, and Josh Jacobs.
The Cowboys made a huge mistake last week giving the ball to
Zeke Elliott only 12 times on the ground against a Bills team
that is better against the pass than the rush. Zeke was reportedly
furious after the game and could be in line for squeaky wheel
The game plan for the Cowboys should be simple. Run the ball
early and often, use play action passing to take advantage of
aggressive linebacker play on run-stopping, and force Trubisky
to make mistakes with the ball.
Zeke owners do not need me to tell them to start their first-round
stud, but rather a confirmation that he is in line for a big day.
Based on this matchup and how they got away from the run last
week, I anticipate Zeke is in line for 25 carries with 100 yards
and a touchdown well within reach.
Game Thoughts: Mitchell Trubisky enters the game against
the Cowboys riding high, with his two best performances of the
year, including 338 yards and three passing touchdowns last week
against the Lions.
Trubisky took advantage of easy matchups against the Giants at
home and the Lions on the road to post those solid games. It will
be interesting to see how he does against a Cowboys defense that
allows the eighth fewest points to opposing quarterbacks.
It is one thing to play well against the Lions and the G-men,
but the pressure put on by the Cowboys is going to force Trubisky
to make quick decisions and smart plays with the ball, which is
something that he has struggled with this year.
Taylor Gabriel is out once again this week with a concussion,
so look for Anthony Miller to be an active part of the passing
offense. Miller is averaging 11 targets in each of his last two
games and should come close to double digits again this game.
Allen Robinson has been amazing for fantasy owners with 217 yards
and two touchdowns combined in Weeks 12 and 13. While I don’t
think he is in line for a massive game against Byron Jones or
Chidobe Auzie, I do think he is still worth a start as a low-end
No outside wide receiver has reached 100 yards this season against
the Cowboys outside of Robby Anderson, who benefited from a fluke
bomb when the Cowboys lost to the Jets Week 6. Most of the damage
has been done in the slot.
DAL FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.25
DAL FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.14
DAL FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.26
DAL FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.13
Running Game Thoughts: The Bears running game has been a massive
disappointment with David Montgomery and Tarik Cohen combining
to score the seventh-fewest points on the year. Montgomery has
just one 100-yard rushing game on the season, and his 3.5 yard
per carry average has been shockingly bad for a guy who flashed
amazing skills in the preseason and in college.
Cohen has not garnered enough volume in the passing game to be
worthy of a start, and the diminutive running back has just one
game of double-digit fantasy points this year.
With that said, Dallas is far easier to run on that they are
to pass against with Leighton Vander Eshe out with a neck injury.
Sean Lee is a stud for his age, but he is not the same quick,
sideline to sideline linebacker he once was.
If head coach Matt Nagy is smart, he will try to get the running
game going with Montgomery to limit the mistakes by Trubisky and
keep the Dallas offense off the field. The last thing he wants
is to try and get into a shootout with Dak and the Cowboys.
Look for Montgomery to get around 20 carries for 80 yards and
a possible score. I would only start Cohen if I were very desperate.
Game Thoughts: It feels like a lifetime ago that Kyle
Allen was racking up wins and having fans saying "Cam who?".
Last Sunday, the Panthers suffered a fourth straight defeat that
brought Ron Rivera's time in Charlotte to an end with Allen passing
for 278 yards and two TDs to go with a pair of turnovers. This
week brings a rematch with Atlanta, who blew out Carolina in Week
11, a game in which Allen threw for a career-high 325 yards but
also tossed four picks and couldn't engineer a TD drive.
D.J. Moore (6-75-1 last Sunday) was again the team's top wideout,
being targeted a dozen times, second only to Christian McCaffrey
(7-58-0), who saw 13 looks. The passing game took a hit when Greg
Olsen (concussion) bowed out with a concussion after three grabs
for 22 yards against the 'Skins. He's currently in the NFL's protocol
and will need to be cleared to play in Week 14. That could mean
more action for Curtis Samuel (4-65-1), who was targeted seven
times last week, his most since Nov. 10. If Olsen is out, the
team could turn to Ian Thomas, though he'd hold no fantasy appeal.
Atlanta's defense was red hot back in Week 11, but after holding
both New Orleans and Carolina without a touchdown, they've reverted
closer to their pre-bye form. For the year, the Falcons are 26th
against the pass (259.5 yards per game), even though they held
Drew Brees to 181 yards on Thanksgiving night. Any hopes of a
strong finish have gone up in smoke, and the Falcons are left
to play out the string.
ATL FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.7
ATL FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.22
ATL FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.7
ATL FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.16
Running Game Thoughts: For the third time this season, someone
held McCaffrey to fewer than 50 yards rushing, but unlike when
the Buccaneers did it in two earlier games, the Redskins allowed
Run CMC to top 100 total yards thanks to his receiving output.
It was also his third game of the year without a TD, and one of
the others came in the first meeting with Atlanta, which held
him to 70 yards on 14 carries. McCaffrey dominated through the
air, though, amassing 121 yards on 11 receptions.
The Falcons sit 17th against the run at 108.7 yards allowed per
contest, and though they held the Saints to 95 in Week 13, New
Orleans did average 5.3 yards per carry. Also of note, Jordan
Scarlett (knee/ankle) was placed on IR, reaffirming Reggie Bonnafon
as the handcuff of choice.
Game Thoughts: Even with Devonta Freeman back, Matt Ryan
attempted 50 passes on Turkey Day, his second-most of the year.
He completed 35 for 312 yards, 2 TDs and 2 INTs while getting
brutalized by the Saints' pass rush for nine sacks. Dan Quinn
was asked in the aftermath if there was consideration to shutting
down Ryan and Julio Jones (shoulder), who was inactive, but he
dismissed that notion. Ryan threw for 311 yards and a score last
time against Carolina, and he remains a solid QB1.
All eyes will be on Jones' status leading into Sunday, as his
status will have a trickledown effect on everyone's fantasy value.
If Jones is active, he's a must start, having caught six passes
for 91 yards in Week 11. Calvin Ridley (8-91-0 on TNF) is another
lock, though his value might vacillate between WR2 and WR3. The
wild card for Week 14 is Russell Gage, who has 13 receptions,
128 yards and a touchdown over his last two games. If Jones is
up, Gage isn't worth playing. If Jones can't go, however, Gage
could be a flex option.
There's optimism that Austin Hooper (knee) can return after a
three-game absence, and if he does that would be a major boon
for the passing game. Hooper was a top-five tight end prior to
suffering a knee injury. Carolina is 14th versus the pass for
the year, but they're in freefall, and it'll be interesting to
see how Rivera's dismissal affects the team's overall performance.
CAR FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.23
CAR FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.1
CAR FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.15
CAR FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.26
Running Game Thoughts: As noted, Freeman returned last week,
carrying the ball 17 times for 51 yards. Only three teams average
fewer yards per carry than Atlanta's 3.5, but if there was ever
a week to get well, this is it. The Panthers have allowed 137.5
yards per game this year (29th) and looked disinterested in tackling
against the Redskins, who averaged a whopping 8.3 yards per carry
and scored three times on the ground. With that matchup, Freeman
is worth rolling the dice on as an RB2.
Ravens at Bills
- (Katz) Line: BAL -5.5 Total: 43.5
Game Thoughts: Quarterback doesn’t matter in fantasy
football…except when your quarterback is Lamar Jackson.
The man who may go down as the greatest rushing quarterback in
NFL history is having a historic sophomore campaign. He has failed
to finish as a QB1 just once all season and has eight top three
A road date to Buffalo will be one of his toughest tests yet.
The Bills allow fewer than 200 passing yards per game and only
they and the Patriots have yet to reach double digit touchdown
passes allowed this season. With that being said, Jackson doesn’t
butter his bread with his passing, which is why he’s the
best quarterback in fantasy without anything resembling a useful
receiver. Hollywood Brown just hasn’t been the same since
his Week 5 ankle injury. He’s playing a little more than
half the snaps and has surpassed four targets just once in his
past five games. He cannot be started in a matchup against Tre’Davious
The remainder of Jackson’s receivers are on the waiver
wire. Mark Andrews has one of the lowest snap shares and routes
run rates amongst relevant tight ends, but he leads all tight
ends in hog rate, keeping him a strong fantasy option. The Bills
are stifling against the tight end, allowing just 6.0 fantasy
points per game to the position, but it is difficult to imagine
you can do better than Andrews.
BUF FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.30
BUF FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.17
BUF FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.27
BUF FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.32
Running Game Thoughts: The Bills are far more vulnerable on the
ground than through the air. With Jackson freezing linebackers,
Mark Ingram should bounce back after a lackluster effort against
the 49ers. Ingram posted back to back top five finishes in the
two previous weeks so there is no reason to worry. He continues
to split snaps with Gus Edwards, but Edwards does not see remotely
enough touches to be a fantasy option. Continue to treat Ingram
as an every week starter.
Game Thoughts: Is it time to admit that Josh Allen is
just good? Maybe. When it comes to fantasy, Allen has been a must
start. He has only had one dreadful outing all season, which was
against the Patriots. The Ravens are the second best defense he’s
faced all season and it is entirely possible, if not likely, that
his four week run of QB1 finishes comes to an end. Allen’s
35.8 rushing yards per game keep his floor high so it is doubtful
he will be the reason you lose, but the spike week is probably
The situation is also poor for John Brown. While Brown’s
floor remains intact, he struggled against Byron Jones and Chris
Harris the last two weeks. Marlon Humphrey is just as difficult
a matchup. You don’t need to fade Brown, but it is fair
to consider alternatives if you have the depth. Cole Beasley took
his sweet revenge on the Cowboys last week and is a sneaky smart
play this week. If there is an area the Ravens are vulnerable,
it’s the slot. They allow 12.8 fantasy points per game to
the slot. Beasley is a legitimate option. Dawson Knox continues
to see the vast majority of snaps and very few targets. He is
far off the fantasy radar this week.
BAL FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.29
BAL FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.24
BAL FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.18
BAL FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.30
Running Game Thoughts: Devin Singletary was simply awesome against
the Cowboys on Thanksgiving. The Ravens allow just 14.5 fantasy
points per game to opposing RB1s and allow the third fewest receiving
yards to running backs. It is unlikely you have a better option
than Singletary, especially given his usage, but expectations
should be tempered. Frank Gore’s sole job, at this point,
is to aggravate fantasy owners by potentially vulturing a touchdown.
He belongs on the waiver wire.
Game Thoughts: Head coach Zac Taylor benched rookie Ryan
Finley in favor of Andy Dalton for the remainder of the season
when it became clear that Finley is not a franchise quarterback
of the future and the Bengals most certainly will use the first
overall pick on a QB.
Dalton played well in his first of four final games as the QB
of the Bengals, with 243 yards and a touchdown in a 22-6 win at
home for against the Jets. It was the first win of the season
for Cincinnati and the first for Taylor in the NFL.
The Red Rifle gets some reinforcements at wide receiver with
the return of John Ross from IR. Although Taylor did say that
he intends on easing Ross back into the game flow, another skill
position player for Dalton will certainly help the passing offense,
and Ross gives them a fast, outside deep threat that has been
The Browns give up the 14th most points to opposing quarterbacks
and the 23rd most points to wide receivers. On paper, it is not
a great matchup for Dalton or the skill portion players, but both
DaVante Parker and James Washington had solid games against Cleveland
in the last two games, giving hope that Boyd can continue his
solid play as of late.
Boyd has a touchdown in each of his last two games, highlighted
by a 5/101/1 game two weeks ago against the Steelers. His matchup
outside against Denzel Ward is going to be fun to watch.
The Browns rank fourth in touchdown receptions allowed to the
tight end position. Noah Fant posted his best game of the season
against the Browns, and Mike Gesicki also reached pay dirt two
weeks ago against Cleveland.
C.J. Uzomah and Tyler Eifert combined for six catches for 63
yards on eight targets last week against the Jets. Starting either
one of them in the fantasy playoffs is going to take some intestinal
fortitude, but don’t be surprised if one of them scores
CLE FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.14
CLE FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.16
CLE FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.23
CLE FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.10
Running Game Thoughts: Joe Mixon was unquestionably
a monster bust for most of the season after earning a top-15 ADP
in most drafts this summer. He scored a combined 4.4 points in
his first two games and failed to top two yards per carry in four
of his first seven weeks of action.
Flash forward to the second half of the season, and you will
find a much more productive Joe Mixon. With at least 13 fantasy
points in four of his last five games, Mixon ranks 10th in fantasy
points per game since Week 8, just behind Zeke Elliott and ahead
of Chris Carson, Leonard Fournette, Nick Chubb, and Todd Gurley.
The Browns rank 16th in fantasy points allowed to running backs
but have only given up six rushing touchdowns on the season and
two since Week 6. You are going to likely stick with Mixon based
on his recent play, just don’t be surprised if the Browns
keep him out of the end zone.
Game Thoughts: Baker Mayfield enters Week 14 as the No.
25 ranked quarterback in fantasy points per game (minimum of seven
games played), behind Kyle Allen, Daniel Jones, Andy Dalton, and
Ryan Tannehill. Not exactly the breakout season many fantasy writers
and analysts predicted based on how Mayfield played last season
and the addition of Odell Beckham Jr.
Mayfield has been a bust. No doubt about it. But even busts can
come through with monster games for fantasy owners in need of
a streaming option, and this week at home against the Bengals
could be a week in which the second-year former first overall
pick comes through with fantasy gold.
Six opposing quarterbacks have managed to score at least 25 fantasy
points against the Bengals in 2019, including Jimmy Garoppolo
with 28 points Week 2 and Lamar Jackson topping 30 fantasy points
in each of his games against his divisional foe.
Although Sam Darnold was held to just 13 points last week, you
can throw on the Bengals, and Mayfield should air it out to his
wide receivers a ton this week, assuming his bruised hand will
not limit his play.
Ten different wide receivers have topped double digits in fantasy
points against Cincinnati, with Robby Anderson posting a sold
7/101/0 line last week at Paul Brown Stadium.
Like his quarterback, Odell Beckham Jr. has been a massive bust
this season as the No. 43-ranked WR in average points per game.
He has just two 100-yard games on the season and two receiving
touchdowns. If you are somehow still alive and made the playoffs
with ODB on your roster, this is the week in which he could come
through with a week-winning performance.
CIN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.9
CIN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.7
CIN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.20
CIN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.15
Running Game Thoughts: The tandem of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt
have combined for the 9th-most fantasy points over the past three
weeks. Although his volume and yardage totals have been pedestrian,
Hunt has a touchdown in each of his last two games and is in line
for another touchdown this week against a Bengals team that ranks
seventh in points allowed to running backs.
As expected against a stout Pittsburgh run defense, Chubb had
his worst game of the season last week with 58 yards on 16 carries
and no touchdowns. It came at a terrible time for his owners,
but look for him to bounce back this week.
You can run on the Bengals, a team that has allowed the fourth-most
yards on the ground this year. If game flow works out well for
the Browns and they build an early lead that is beneficial for
a positive running game script, Chubb could be in line for a 100-yard
game on Sunday.
Game Thoughts: The Redskins head into Green Bay to take
on the Packers riding a two-game win streak after beating the
Lions at home Week 12 and the Panthers on the road in Carolina
Rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins now has two victories on his
resume, although he has not been the reason for the recent success
for the team. The common denominator for the Lions and Panthers
is an inability to stop the run, and the Redskins rank seventh
in the league over the past three games in combined points scored
by running backs.
Haskins has done a much better job of protecting the ball by
making smart decisions and not throwing into coverage. From a
fantasy perspective, he continues to be un-ownable in anything
other than the deepest of two quarterbacks leagues, as he did
not throw a touchdown pass in either of the team’s two victories.
Leading receiver Terry McLaurin was held to two catches for eight
yards on four targets last week with the offense focusing on running
the ball. The breakout rookie of the year candidate has not scored
a touchdown or topped 100 receiving yards since Week 6 at Miami
and will be a tough start once again this week against a Packers
team that is far easier to run on than pass.
The Packers rank 6th in fantasy points allowed to running backs
and 24th to wide receivers, which tells you everything you need
to know about the game plan Bill Callahan will use this week.
It will be a heavy dose of Derrius Guice and Adrian Peterson,
followed by even more runs by Guice and Peterson.
The Packers are an aggressive team that can be beaten with screen
passes and play action when the opposition is running well. Haskins
may be able to find McLaurin on a few big pass plays, but the
risk of a two catch game is high, making the rookie WR a questionable
GB FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.24
GB FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.5
GB FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.24
GB FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.3
Running Game Thoughts: Head Coach Bill Callahan is a throwback
to a different time in the NFL where smash-mouth football and
running the ball 60% of the time was the norm. If he had his way,
he would run the ball nearly every down, with a few play action
passes sprinkled in to keep the defense honest.
Callahan got his way last week against an injury-riddled Panthers
team that could not stop the run. Guice and Peterson combined
to rush for 238 yards and three touchdowns, with Chris Thompson
adding 14 yards on three carries for good measure.
Look for a similar game plan this week against the Packers, a
team that is far worse against the run than the pass. Not only
does running the ball take advantage of a weakness on the Packers
defense, but it also limits the number of pass attempts for Dwayne
Haskins and keeps the ball out of Aaron Rodgers’ hands.
Both Guice and Peterson are worthy of starts this week, as both
players could get upwards of 15 rushes each. The biggest worry
is game script and the possibility of the Redskins falling behind
early and needing to pas more than they would like.
Game Thoughts: As expected, Aaron Rodgers and the Packers
passing offense enjoyed a get-well game against the Giants last
week. Rodgers finished as the No.1 QB for the week with 243 yards
and four passing touchdowns for 30.6 fantasy points. Rodgers also
added 24 yards rushing, including a season-high 15-yard scramble
in the second half.
Prior to the 30-point showing against the Giants, Rodgers had
been struggling with three games of 13 or fewer fantasy points
against the Chargers, Panthers, and 49ers.
The future first ballot hall of fame quarterback has four games
this year of over 30 fantasy points, with all four opponents ranked
in the bottom 12 in pass defense and points allowed to quarterbacks.
Washington ranks 11th in fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks,
with five games allowed of over 28 points this season. Unless
the Packers defense has a monster game and creates a negative
game script for Rodgers, he should once again post a solid game
for fantasy owners.
Davante Adams has not lived up to his first-round ADP as injuries
and subpar play has limited him to just three receiving touchdowns
in eight games. Although Adams’ 10.3 fantasy points per
game place him as the No.17 wide receiver in fantasy, it is over
four points per game fewer than last season, and he failed to
reach six fantasy points three times in eight games. By comparison,
Adams failed to score 10 points in just one game last year.
On a positive note, all three of Adams’ touchdowns have
come in the last two games as he appears to be heating up just
in time for the fantasy playoffs. I just wonder how many of his
owners were able to weather his slow start and still make the
playoffs this year.
Geronimo Allison and Allen Lazard continue to be the other two
wide receivers who have some fantasy value in Green Bay, with
Marquez Valdes-Scantling posting a season-worst 27% of the snaps
last week against the Giants. Lazard had a monster game last week
with 103 yards and a score against the G-men, with a second week
in a row of over 55% of the offensive snaps. Owners looking for
a sneaky deep flex option may want to consider the lizard king.
WAS FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.11
WAS FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.11
WAS FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.13
WAS FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.9
Running Game Thoughts: Aaron Jones is one of the most frustrating
players this season when it comes to predicting fantasy production.
The second-year back from UTEP scored four rushing touchdowns
against the Cowboys in Week 4, only to follow up with six fantasy
points at home against a Lions defense that has been one of the
worst in limiting fantasy production for running backs all year.
Jones has four games of over 21 fantasy points, including three
of 27 fantasy points or more sandwiched between four games of
fewer than four fantasy points. He either comes through with a
monster game or burns you with almost zero production.
It was not a surprise to see him post 13/38/0 against the 49ers
two weeks ago, but his 11/18/0 line last week against the Giants
was shocking. Washington ranks 11th in fantasy points allowed
to running backs, making this matchup a nice one to target for
Jones and the Packers run game. But Washington is just as bad
against the pass, which could make this another Aaron Rodgers
to Davante Adams game.
With 14 total touchdowns on the year, you cannot bench Jones
when he is playing at home to a team like the Redskins. But as
I pointed out in this review, he has not always taken advantage
of excellent matchups in the past and could burn you again this
Game Thoughts: Denver started its third different quarterback
of 2019 this past Sunday, turning the keys over to second-round
pick Drew Lock, who was activated off of IR earlier in the week.
Lock started quickly, firing a pair of early TDs to Courtland
Sutton before switching into game manager mode. His final line
was modest at best, going 18-for-28 with 134 yards, two TDs and
a pick. Lock also drew a late, highly debatable pass interference
call that led to the win. It was a solid debut, but Lock still
looks to be miles from fantasy relevance.
For a short while you could've made a case for Noah Fant to join
Sutton as a possible fantasy starter, but that ship has sailed
for now. Last week, Sutton caught four passes for 74 yards and
two scores. The rest of the team gained 60 yards on 14 receptions
as Lock tossed a series of check downs and screen passes -- Fant's
contribution was a five-yard grab. Heading into Week 14, I could
see Sutton as a WR2, and that's it.
Houston still sits near the bottom of the NFL in passing yardage
allowed (262.9 per game/28th), but they've looked better recently.
Getting Vernon Hargreaves off waivers seems to have helped stabilize
things, and they locked down Jacoby Brissett and Tom Brady in
successive weeks; don't be fooled by Brady's final numbers, he
did little when the outcome was in doubt.
HOU FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.5
HOU FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.8
HOU FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.12
HOU FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.20
Running Game Thoughts: What began as a pretty even split between
Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman has turned into a clear starter/backup
dynamic. Lindsay turned his 20 touches into 62 yards against the
Chargers last week, while Freeman had nine touches for 24 yards.
While I'm sure the Broncos will try to pound the ball, I don't
think Freeman offers enough upside to play him, even as a flex.
As for Lindsay, he's a low-end RB2 against the NFL's 19th-ranked
Game Thoughts: Facing the NFL's top defense last Sunday
night, Deshaun Watson was equal to the challenge, passing for
234 yards, three touchdowns and no picks against the Patriots.
It was just more evidence of how much things open up for the Texans
passing game when Will Fuller is active. Even when he isn't getting
the ball, his deep speed creates space for everyone else to operate.
With a full complement of receivers at his disposal, Watson is
once again a solid QB1.
Despite Stephen Gilmore often shadowing him in coverage, DeAndre
Hopkins led the team in receptions (five) and receiving yards
(64). The touchdowns went elsewhere, however, with Kenny Stills
(3-61-1), Duke Johnson (5-54-1) and Darren Fells (2-23-1) finding
pay dirt against New England. Fuller, meanwhile, was targeted
just twice, catching one for eight yards. It was a disappointing
follow up for Fuller, who'd tallied 140 yards in his return, but
he still offers WR3 value to Hopkins' WR1.
Although they may not carry the cache of a Bill Belichick-led
unit, Denver's defense is no joke, sitting fifth in the NFL against
the pass (210.6 yards allowed per game). The loss of Derek Wolfe
(elbow) is a blow to the pass rush, especially if Von Miller (knee)
is unable to return from a knee injury after sitting out last
Sunday. Chris Harris is healthy, though, and he'll present a tough
matchup for Hopkins and/or Fuller.
DEN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.28
DEN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.19
DEN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.25
DEN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.19
Running Game Thoughts: Carlos Hyde (10 carries,
17 yards) endured his worst game in a Texans uniform in prime
time. At the same time, Johnson (9-36-0) continued to look more
and more effective as Bill O'Brien figures out ways to better
utilize him. Hyde is still the primary runner, but Johnson continues
to make things happen whenever he gets the ball. I'd favor Hyde
slightly ahead of Johnson this week against a Denver D that has
surrendered 113.7 rushing yards per game (20th).
Lions @ Vikings
- (Swanson) Line: MIN -13.0 Total: 43.5
Game Thoughts: Rookie David Blough provided one of the
most impressive performances of the year with 280 yards and two
touchdowns against the Bears on Thanksgiving Day. The undrafted
rookie from Purdue made a last-minute start for the Lions with
Jeff Driskel suffering a hamstring strain at practice on the Monday
leading up to the game.
The unknowns surrounding Blough and how well he would do in his
debut brought massive question marks to the skill position players
for Detroit, especially Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones.
Blough put those concerns to rest as both Golladay and Jones
scored receiving touchdowns against the Bears, with Golladay trailing
only DeVante Parker in fantasy points on the week with 4/158/1.
There may be a bit of regression with a whole week of preparation
for Mike Zimmer to study film on Blough, but one thing we know
for sure is the skill position players for Detroit are still in
play and can always be difference makers.
The Vikings defense that has been dominant for so many years
under Zimmer is no longer great. Minnesota ranks 19th in fantasy
points to quarterbacks with a whopping 21 passing touchdowns allowed
in 12 games. By comparison, that is the same number of passing
touchdowns allowed by the 49ers and Bills combined.
Perhaps even more shocking is how bad the Vikings have been against
wide receivers. Xavier Rhodes has been a turnstile for fantasy
production, and five wide receivers in the past seven weeks have
topped 100 receiving yards.
Look for the Lions to use a pass-heavy approach against the Vikings
for a few reasons. First, the Vikings have struggled against the
pass far more than against the run. And second, the game script
in this matchup could be a big early lead for Minnesota with the
Lions chasing points in the second half.
MIN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.19
MIN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.23
MIN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.5
MIN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.25
Running Game Thoughts: Bo Scarbrough continues to be the lead
running back on first and second down for the Lions with 83 yards
on 21 carries against Chicago. He now has 236 yards on 53 carries
over the past three games, with one rushing touchdown and a 4.5
yard per carry average. Not amazing, but solid production on early
downs for head coach Matt Patricia.
J.D. McKissic is the passing down running back of choice and
could get more action than normal based on the matchup. If the
Lions are down early and are forced to pass more than they would
like, McKissic will be the guy in on those downs and should garner
some flex appeal in deeper PPR formats.
I also like McKissic based on the assumption the Zimmer will utilize
far more blitzes than the Bears did last week to put pressure
on the rookie. One way to combat that pressure is with screen
passes and quick dump-offs out of the backfield.
Game Thoughts: Kirk Cousins became the only player in
NFL history to lose all eight of his Monday Night Football games
after falling to the Seahawks 30-37 at the Link on Monday.
Despite completing just 57% of his passes for 276 yards and two
touchdowns, Cousins continues to be a viable fantasy option in
one-quarterback leagues. His 254.6 fantasy points rank him tied
with Tom Brady for the 10th most in fantasy football, ahead of
Carson Wentz, Philip Rivers, and Jared Goff, three quarterbacks
who had a higher ADP in drafts this summer.
Cousins has at least two passing touchdowns in each of his last
four games, with just four total interceptions on the year. In
games against bad teams like the Lions, Cousins has fared quite
well, with an average of 320 yards and three touchdowns against
the Giants, Eagles, and Lions from Weeks 6 through 9.
With four passing touchdowns and 338 passing yards against Detroit
when the two teams faced off in Detroit Week7, Cousins finished
as the No.4 ranked quarterback that week. He could be in line
for a similar monster game, especially if Adam Thielen can finally
return to the field after missing multiple games with a hamstring
Stefon Diggs scorched the Lions for 143 yards and seven catches
on eight targets Week 7 and should be in for a big game once again
You also have to love playing Kyle Rudolph this week against
a Lions team that gives up the ninth-most points to opposing tight
ends. No tight end has averaged more points in the last five games
the Rudolph, so staying in the flames again this week is a must.
DET FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.8
DET FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.3
DET FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.10
DET FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.8
Running Game Thoughts: Dalvin Cook suffered a shoulder injury
against the Seahawks. Cook has also claimed that he first suffered
the injury against the Broncos the previous week, and he aggravated
it again on MNF.
Cook owners will be in for a massive dilemma on Sunday if he
is active, as it is possible that the Vikings will limit his carries
with Alexander Mattison. It is also possible that Cook could aggravate
the injury again and sit most of the game, like what happened
the James Conner a few weeks ago.
The timing of the injury could not be worse for Cook owners.
Keep a close eye in practice reports as we get closer to Sunday.
Hopefully, many of the Cook owners who read this article were
smart and added Mattison as a handcuff earlier in the season.
49ers @ Saints
- (Green) Line: NO -2.5 Total: 44.0
Game Thoughts: After thumping the Packers in Phase I
of their three-week run of facing top teams, the 49ers found the
going much tougher in Baltimore, losing for just the second time
this season. Jimmy Garoppolo was decent, completing 15 of 21 passes
for 165 yards and a touchdown in tough conditions, but he hasn't
ascended the way some thought he would. In two games against Arizona
this season, Jimmy G passed for 741 yards and 8 TDs; in his other
10, he's averaged 215.5 passing yards and 1.3 TDs per game. Those
simply aren't QB1 numbers.
Despite being shut down by the Ravens, George Kittle remains
one of the game's elite fantasy tight ends, catching six or more
passes in six of his previous seven matchups. He'll doubtless
be a focal point for New Orleans' defense, but he's a must-start.
There's far less transparency at receiver. Emmanuel Sanders scored
in his first two games after being acquired from Denver, but he
has slowed considerably in the wake of a rib injury. Deebo Samuel
has made an impact recently, though he caught just two passes
in Weeks 12 and 13, leaving a razor-thin margin for error.
New Orleans ranks 17th against the pass this season, yielding
234.9 yards per game. While the 49ers are obviously a run-first
team that plays to the Saints' strength, so I think we'll see
Kyle Shanahan ask more of Garoppolo. Whether or not he can deliver
under pressure from Cam Jordan remains to be seen. Kittle is the
only slam dunk here. I'd keep Garoppolo on the bench and consider
Sanders and Samuel shaky flex plays against the Saints.
NO FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.10
NO FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.29
NO FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.8
NO FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.24
Running Game Thoughts: For as great as the 49ers' running game
is, the ability to slot in different players seemingly every week
has made it rough on fantasy owners. On the season, San Francisco
has three backs with between 450 and 550 rushing yards: Tevin
Coleman (120 carries, 454 yards, 6 TDs), Raheem Mostert (92-539-3)
and Matt Breida (109-542-1). I think when all three are healthy,
Breida is the top option, followed closely by Coleman and then
Breida (ankle) isn't healthy, though, having not played since
Nov. 11 due to an ankle injury, and it's unclear if he'll return
in Week 14… and if he does return how much he'll play. It
just further muddies the waters against the NFL's third-ranked
run defense. This is strength on strength here, and with so much
uncertainty it's hard to advocate playing any of the Niners' backs
as more than a flex.
Game Thoughts: New Orleans hasn't been overly impressive
of late, eking out a win over Carolina in Week 12 and leaning
on its defense and special teams Thanksgiving night to topple
the Falcons. Drew Brees completed 18 passes for a 184 yards, his
lowest in a full game, and one TD -- it marked the first time
in his six starts that he threw for fewer than 225 yards (I'm
not counting an injury-shortened Week 2). He'll have his work
cut out for him against the Niners.
Michael Thomas has been nearly bulletproof this season, having
entered last Thursday with five straight games of 100-plus yards
receiving and seven for the year. He tallied a season-low 48 yards
on six grabs against the Falcons, but the Saints will be counting
on him to live up his unguardable moniker. That task may be a
bit easier with Richard Sherman (knee) dealing with a sprained
knee; his status for Sunday is up in the air. No matter who takes
the field, though, Thomas is a must-start WR1.
As usual, Alvin Kamara (4-23-0 in Week 13) and Jared Cook (3-85-0)
are the other notable options in the passing game. The two of
them, along with Thomas, accounted for 22 of Brees' 30 targets
against the Falcons. Cook led the team in receiving yardage but
definitely left some plays on the field, including dropping a
sure touchdown. He's a low-end TE1 against San Francisco's top-ranked
pass defense (134.2 yards allowed per game). As for Brees, I'd
be tempted to leave him out of my starting lineup if I had a solid
second choice as the 49ers' pass rush could be death on a stationary
SF FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.31
SF FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.30
SF FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.31
SF FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.31
Running Game Thoughts: I keep thinking Sean Payton is eventually
going to find a sweet spot with the usage between Kamara and Latavius
Murray, but it doesn't look like it's going to happen. Kamara
carried 11 times for 61 yards against the Falcons last week while
Murray got four rushes for two. With the 49ers down at 22nd in
run defense (116.7 yards per game) I'd expect Payton to feature
Kamara extensively this week. I still think it makes sense to
pound away with Murray as well, but given that the team has shown
no inclination to do that I'd keep him out of my lineup.
Dolphins at Jets
- (Katz) Line: NYJ -5.5 Total: 45.0
Game Thoughts: Ryan Fitzpatrick continues to impress.
He’s posted back to back QB1 finishes and now gets a Jets
defense he lit up for 288 yards and three touchdowns in Week 9.
Fitzpatrick has somehow managed to make DeVante Parker the first
ever first round pick fifth year wide receiver breakout. Parker
was the overall WR1 last week as he extended his double digit
streak to nine games. The Jets are a pass funnel defense that
struggles mightily against wide receivers making Parker a must
start. The Dolphins don’t really have a WR2. It’s
technically Allen Hurns, but you are not even considering him.
TE Mike Gesicki is next up in the passing game. The Jets allow
just 8.0 fantasy points per game to tight ends, but Gesicki has
been the overall TE3 and TE5 the past two weeks. I would view
him more as their WR2 than tight end and consider him a strong
NYJ FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.18
NYJ FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.25
NYJ FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.9
NYJ FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.29
Running Game Thoughts: With Kalen Ballage done for the season,
the Dolphins can no longer force feed their least talented player.
That leaves Patrick Laird and Myles Gaskin to form some sort of
committee. Laird appeared to have the upper hand last week as
he played 58.3% of the snaps and saw five targets. Laird can contribute
in all facets of the game. Jets’ opponents target running
backs 22.25% of the time so Laird actually has somewhat of a floor.
With that being said, he is a committee back on the Dolphins so
we can only get so excited. Gaskin should be rostered, but he
cannot be started.
Game Thoughts: Just when you think good Sam Darnold might
be here to stay, bad Sam Darnold rears his ugly head. This may
just be who Darnold is. Either way, the matchup this week couldn’t
be better, but that was true the first time these teams faced
where Darnold could only muster an overall QB21 finish. We know
the matchup is great so it comes down to whether you think you
can trust Darnold.
For three weeks, it looked like we could trust Jamison Crowder.
Then he posted a total of 6.4 points against the Raiders and Bengals
combined. The Dolphins allow 13.1 fantasy points per game to the
slot. Crowder is once again setup to smash. TE Ryan Griffin ran
a season high 35 routes last week and saw seven targets. He caught
six passes for 50 yards against the Dolphins in Week 9. Robby
Anderson has come on strong recently with consecutive WR2 finishes.
He flopped against the Dolphins in the first go round, but comes
with touchdown upside against a defense that gives up the most
touchdowns to wide receivers.
MIA FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.4
MIA FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.4
MIA FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.3
MIA FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.14
Running Game Thoughts: Le’Veon Bell flopped in a dream matchup
against the Bengals last week. It’s hard to imagine that
happening again. Bell was the RB9 against the Dolphins the first
time around and fantasy owners can expect similar production this
week. Bell caught eight passes in that first game, but Dolphins’
opponents target the running back just 17.14% of the time, making
that first performance somewhat of an outlier. Either way, Bell
is a no question starter against a defense allowing 143.5 rushing
yards per game.
Game Thoughts: Indy's once-promising season has begun
circling the drain, and Jacoby Brissett's play has followed suit.
After passing for 16 TDs in his first six games, the NC State
alum has thrown for just two over his last four-plus matchups.
He did throw for 319 yards last Sunday, marking the third time
he's topped the 300-yard mark, but it was largely an empty gesture
as it accompanied multiple INTs for the first time all year.
A distinct lack of weapons is also an ongoing issue. Eric Ebron
(ankle) is done for the year, and T.Y. Hilton (calf) suffered
a setback with his calf before last week's game and it's unclear
when/if he'll return. Making things even worse, Chester Rogers
(knee) was lost last week to a knee injury, and Devin Funchess
(collarbone) won't return from IR. That leaves Zach Pascal, who
had seven catches for 109 yards last week, and Jack Doyle (6-73-1)
to hold down the fort, though the Colts are hopeful Parris Campbell
(hand) will return from injury in Week 14.
Only Arizona has allowed more passing yards per game this season
than the Bucs, who have surrendered 281.8 per game. The best hope
for Tampa's maligned secondary is the presence of Shaq Barrett,
who has 14.5 sacks on the year. If he can heat up Brissett it
should help cover up some deficiencies on the backend. I don't
particularly like anyone in Indy's passing attack, but Pascal
could hold low-end WR3 value and Doyle has TE1 potential with
a positive matchup.
TB FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.2
TB FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.32
TB FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.1
TB FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.2
Running Game Thoughts: Reinforcements may be en route in the
backfield as Marlon Mack (hand) eyes a return after breaking his
hand on Nov. 17. If Mack is back he should be a full go; prior
to injury, Mack averaged 86.2 rushing yards per game and would
make a solid RB2. Indy looked to have found something in Jonathan
Williams, who ran for 220 yards in Weeks 11 and 12, but he never
got going and watched Jordan Wilkins step in this past weekend.
There's zero clarity if Mack is inactive, but Wilkins seems the
likeliest bet to deliver some return on investment.
Then again, the Bucs don't allow running backs in general to
do much damage against them, sitting second in the NFL with 76.2
yards per game allowed in 2019. No matter who's in/out this Sunday,
playing a Colts back carries some risk.
Game Thoughts: For the first time this season, Jameis
Winston didn't pass for a touchdown last Sunday, throwing for
268 yards on 21 completions. He also didn't throw an interception
for the fourth time in 2019. It was an odd game that saw the team
jump out to a 25-0 lead on the strength of two rushing TDs and
a fumble return for a score, and that changed the play calling.
A desperate Colts team will try to harass Winston into rediscovering
his turnover-prone ways, but I'd keep him as a low-end QB1 this
Even stranger than Winston not throwing a TD was the fact that
Breshad Perriman (5-87-0) and O.J. Howard (5-61-0) were the team's
top receivers in Week 13, while Mike Evans (4-53-0) and Chris
Godwin (4-50-0) having forgettable performances. Don't read anything
into it. The game situation dictated a lot of it, and Evans was
still targeted 11 times against the Jags. Don't be tempted by
Howard, either, as he has teased fantasy owners a couple of times
this year. It's still Evans and Godwin as WR1s, and stay away
from everyone else.
Indy sits 12th against the pass, allowing 226.9 yards per game,
and they did a nice job against Ryan Tannehill (182 yards, 2 TDs)
last week, including sacking him six times. They have the players
to get after Winston and put pressure on his decision making.
Given their own deficiencies offensively, the Colts will be hunting
IND FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.21
IND FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.28
IND FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.14
IND FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.18
Running Game Thoughts: About that whole Ronald Jones is the starter
thing... yeah, obviously that was a ceremonial proclamation by
Bruce Arians, as last Sunday Jones carried all of six times (for
eight yards) while Peyton Barber logged 17 carries, 44 yards and
both offensive TDs. After a dozen games there's still no clarity
here; I do believe that Jones is more talented and thus a better
gamble each week, but to be clear he is exactly that, a gamble.
They're probably both best suited as flex options.
As for the Colts D, they've held their opponents to 101.8 yards
rushing per game this season, which is ninth-best in the NFL.
They couldn't stop Derrick Henry last week, but no one has recently,
and neither Jones nor Barber is on Henry's level.
Game Thoughts: Nobody finds more creative ways to lose
football games than the Chargers, who have suffered ALL EIGHT
of their defeats by seven points or less. The culprit in many
has been the shaky play of Philip Rivers, and he wasn't great
last week, either: 265 passing yards, 2 TDs and an INT. He managed
to lead them to a tying score with less than 20 seconds left,
but they still lost in regulation. The once-steady Rivers has
become a turnover machine this season, and the team could look
to feature the run game against the Jags in Week 14.
LA features dynamic players in the passing game: Keenan Allen
(6-68-1 last week), Hunter Henry (2-10-0), Mike Williams (5-117-0)
and Austin Ekeler (4-51-1). It hasn't been a great season for
Allen, who last topped 100 yards in Week 3, but he's been better
recently, scoring in each of the last two games. That's something
Williams can't relate to. After logging 10 TDs last year, Williams
has been inexplicably shut out in 2019, trailing only Robert Woods
for most yards without a TD (778). Allen is a midrange WR2, while
Williams is a fringe WR3/Flex.
Despite his poor showing last week, Henry might be the most reliable
option from a fantasy perspective, returning TE1 value most weeks.
Ekeler, too, could be the top pass-catching back this side of
Christian McCaffrey. While he doesn't get the number of touches
that Melvin Gordon does, Ekeler is nearly on par with him as an
RB2, especially in PPR formats. While J-Ville is better against
the pass (223.8 yards per game; 11th), the Chargers have too much
talent to shy away from airing it out.
JAC FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.15
JAC FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.6
JAC FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.22
JAC FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.17
Running Game Thoughts: It took a couple of weeks after he ended
his holdout, but Gordon has emerged as the clear No. 1 rushing
option for the Bolts. Over his last four games, the former Badger
has averaged 110.5 total yards and 0.75 TDs per. Ekeler has done
little on the ground recently, failing to crack 25 rushing yards
in three straight. On the other side, the Jaguars had been largely
abysmal against the run before last week, currently sitting 28th
in the NFL at 136.6 yards allowed per contest. Make sure you find
room for Gordon in your lineup.
Game Thoughts: Remember when all the Jaguars needed to
contend was a decent QB? And then that decent QB was gonna be
Nick Foles? Oops. After just three games the team pulled the plug
on Foles and inserted Gardner Minshew back into the starting lineup,
theoretically for the rest of 2019. Minshew was mostly ineffective
last week in relief of Foles, but he played some nice ball earlier
in the season. Considering the Chargers have already lost to Drew
Lock and Devlin Hodges, it wouldn't be a shock to see Minshew
play well in his return.
One thing Minshew and Foles have in common is D.J. Chark as the
receiver of choice. He's been quiet the last two weeks, but for
the season he's averaging better than 70 yards per game and has
eight TDs. I've seen him rated as a WR1 in some places, but I'm
more comfortable with him as a WR2. After Chark it's Dede Westbrook,
who had 60 yards and a TD on five grabs last Sunday. He's more
of a flex candidate that could be slotted in as a No. 3 fantasy
wideout as needed. Chris Conley has done some good things, too,
but he's no more than a desperation play with the others healthy.
Los Angeles got some reinforcements in Week 13 as Derwin James
(foot) made his debut and Adrian Phillips (forearm) returned from
IR. On the year, the Chargers rank fourth in pass defense (199.3
yards per game), and they owe much of that to the pass rushing
tandem of Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram. This should be a test for
Minshew, who is better off left on your bench.
LAC FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No26.
LAC FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.9
LAC FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.29
LAC FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.21
Running Game Thoughts: While LA isn't nearly as stout against
the run (109.9 yards per game allowed; 18th), I'd expect them
to stack the box and dare Minshew to beat them instead of allowing
bowling ball Leonard Fournette (91 total yards last week) to run
over them. It's possible, though, that the Jags mimic what Pittsburgh
did with Hodges and do lots of short throws to their back(s) in
the flat. However the Jags get Fournette the ball, I like him
as an RB1 for Week 14.
Game Thoughts: In a week where the Steelers were using
their third starting quarterback of the season, their third starting
running back and were without their top wide receiver, it was
hard to believe that anything positive would happen, but Pittsburgh
was able to keep their playoff hopes alive with a big division
win over the Browns in Week 13. Perhaps not all hope is lost for
this offense to produce some quality fantasy numbers down the
While quarterback Devlin Hodges is too inexperienced and hasn’t
produced enough to be trusted as a QB1 for fantasy, he does have
the best possible matchup on paper this week as he and the Steelers
head on the road to face the Cardinals’ league-worst fantasy
defense against opposing quarterbacks. The Cardinals have already
given up 31 passing touchdowns (most in the league) and nearly
3,900 passing yards (also most in the league) this season. Not
a single opposing starting quarterback has been held to fewer
than 16 fantasy points in a start against the Arizona this season.
Hodges might not be a QB1, but he’s absolutely a viable
QB2 due to the matchup and the hope that wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster
could be back on the field this week.
Smith-Schuster continues to battle a knee injury that has held
him out of each of the past two Steelers games but he’d
immediately become a WR2 again if he’s able to get back
into the lineup. If he’s not out there, though, the Steelers
will again turn to the duo of Diontae Johnson and James Washington.
While Johnson was the better player earlier this season, he’s
fallen behind in recent weeks as he’s been held out of the
end zone in five straight contests. He’s produced just 31.5
yards per game over his past eight contests, making him someone
who should probably be on your bench this week, even in what is
a great on-paper matchup.
Washington is a player who should absolutely be in the discussion
for a Flex starter at this point, however. He started off slow
this season, but Washington has really broken out over his past
five games, averaging 83.4 yards per game over that stretch while
scoring a total of three touchdowns. He’s not seeing a huge
target volume, but he’s been targeted at least four times
in seven straight games, making him Pittsburgh’s top receiving
weapon over that stretch.
The under-the-radar start of the week at tight end both from a
seasonal and DFS standpoint has to be tight end Vance McDonald.
McDonald has been a disappointment for those who had hoped he’d
become this season’s breakout fantasy tight end, but this
week he gets an unbelievably juicy matchup against an Arizona
defense that has been comically bad against opposing tight ends
this season. The Cardinals have given up by far the most fantasy
points to tight ends in 2019, including a ridiculous 13 touchdowns
to the position - five more than any other team. Not only that,
but they’ve given up four touchdowns to the position over
their past three games alone, to the likes of Tyler Higbee, Ross
Dwelley and O.J. Howard. McDonald can pretty much be written off
as a fantasy asset in any other matchup, but this one is just
too good to look past. If you’re not rostering an elite
TE already, look at McDonald to be your plug-and-play option here
in Week 14.
ARI FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.1
ARI FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.10
ARI FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.6
ARI FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.1
Running Game Thoughts: The Pittsburgh running game has mostly
been a major disappointment this season and usual starter James
Conner has been ruled out. A shoulder injury has kept him out
in two straight weeks. It appears as though the Steelers have
made the commitment to give Benny Snell the majority of the touches
out of the backfield. From a fantasy standpoint, this is probably
the best situation we can hope for as Snell would likely see at
least 15 touches against a middle-of-the-road-at-best Arizona
run defense. The Cardinals got trampled this past week by Todd
Gurley for nearly 100 rushing yards and there’s a strong
likelihood that Snell would see some goal line touches as the
Cardinals defense has been terrible all season. Conner missing
his third straight game would make Snell a low-end RB2 option.
Jaylen Samuels continues to be more of a jack-of-all-trades/master-of-none
type player who simply isn’t seeing enough touches to be
viable most weeks from a fantasy standpoint. He’s the best
pass catcher of the bunch and has caught at least two passes in
all but his upside is very limited and he should be on your bench
or on waivers.
Game Thoughts: Kyler Murray had really been putting together
a strong second half of his rookie season prior to his disappointing
performance against the struggling Rams this past weekend. Even
in a game where threw failed to throw for 200 yards or a single
touchdown pass, however, Murray wasn’t a complete disaster
from a fantasy standpoint as he got into the end zone as a runner,
again proving the point that rushing quarterbacks are significantly
better floor plays than their pocket-passing counterparts. Murray
is now second in the league behind only Lamar Jackson (although
admittedly far behind him) in rushing yardage from the quarterback
position, which has helped make him a solid QB1 this season.
He doesn’t have a particularly great matchup this week,
however, as he faces a Pittsburgh secondary that has been borderline
elite since the acquisition of Minkah Fitzpatrick. They’ve
given up just two 200-yard passers since Week 3 and they’ve
only given up four passing touchdowns over their past four games.
Still, Murray remains a borderline QB1 due to his rushing floor.
He’s exceeded 15 fantasy points in all but three games this
season while reaching at least 20 points in six games.
Wide receiver Christian Kirk has been hit or miss lately, having
been held to fewer than 11 PPR fantasy points in three of his
past four games along with a massive 37.8 point game mixed in.
It’s difficult to be excited about him in this difficult
matchup but the positive is that Kirk is still seeing a very high
target share. He’s been targeted at least five times in
every game he’s played this season, including double-digit
targets in four of his nine starts. That type of volume is very
difficult to come across in today’s NFL and it proves that
his upside for another huge game is still there. Feel free to
put him in your lineup as a low-end WR2.
The only other pass catching weapon who’s producing with
any sort of consistency in this offense continues to be veteran
Larry Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald has caught at least four passes in
each of his past four games and while his upside has been pretty
much nonexistent, he’s still producing viable PPR Flex numbers
for those who are in deep leagues and are just looking for a decently
PIT FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.22
PIT FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.27
PIT FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.17
PIT FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.11
Running Game Thoughts: A split backfield behind
a terrible offense line is just not conducive to fantasy production
but that seems to be what we’re getting in Arizona. Both
David Johnson and Chase Edmonds returned to the active roster
this past week and while Edmonds didn’t play a snap, it
appears as though this backfield might be headed for at least
a two-headed, if not three-headed approach.
Kenyan Drake is now the front-runner to lead the team in touches
down the stretch but even he is far from a sure thing, especially
if Johnson or Edmonds gets back to near full speed in practice.
The Steelers have given up the sixth-fewest fantasy points to
opposing running backs this season so this isn’t a good
spot to trust any of these players. Even if it was a good matchup,
however, this rushing offense simply hasn’t been good enough
to produce usable fantasy numbers most weeks even in good matchups,
so do your best to avoid the situation entirely if you can.
Titans @ Raiders
- (Caron) Line: TEN -2.5 Total: 47.0
Game Thoughts: The Titans offense has been a boring,
uninventive, fantasy production sieve for the better part of the
past handful of years. Whether it’s been coaching, personal,
situation or a combination of many factors, the reality is that
other than a few short stretches here and there, we really haven’t
seen much to be excited about from this offense from a fantasy
That has all changed over the past six weeks, however, since veteran
took over as the starting quarterback in Tennessee. Tannehill
has quietly been one of the league’s best fantasy players
at the quarterback position since getting the job, having scored
multiple touchdowns in every game he’s started. Advanced
analytics are showing that this recent surge might actually be
legitimate and not some sort of fluke.
Despite this impressive run, however, the Titans have still not
seen consistent production from any of their pass catching weapons.
The most reliable option continues to be rookie wide receiver
A.J. Brown, who leads the team in targets, receiving yards and
touchdowns this season, however, he's still only seeing an average
of just over five targets per game since Tannehill took over,
which is only a slight uptick from what he saw with Marcus Mariota
under center. While he’s been a bit more productive with
those targets than he was with Mariota, that type of volume is
just not enough to trust as anything other than a deep Flex option
in PPR formats.
Things aren’t any better for fellow wide receivers Corey
Davis and Adam Humphries or tight end Jonnu Smith, either. All
three players have had moments of fantasy production this season,
but none of them are reliable enough to be in your starting lineup
in these always important late-season fantasy games.
Tannehill will face an Oakland defense that has been an absolute
disaster in stopping opposing passing games this season. The Raiders
have given up the third-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks
and they’ve held just two quarterbacks - Cincinnati's Ryan
Finley and Minnesota’s Kirk Cousins - to fewer than 17 fantasy
points in a game this season, while having conceded six different
25-plus fantasy point days to the position. While they did hold
Patrick Mahomes to just 175 yards and one passing touchdown (along
with a rushing touchdown) this past week, it’s also worth
noting that the Chiefs were up multiple scores for almost the
entire game and were not really in a situation where they needed
to risk anything by passing the ball.
It sounds crazy to say, but Tannehill is a fantasy QB1 this week
and should probably be in most lineups for teams that don’t
already have the luxury of an elite quarterback.
OAK FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.3
OAK FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.12
OAK FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.11
OAK FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.5
Running Game Thoughts: It shouldn’t be all that surprising
to find out that with an improved passing game, the Titans running
game has also seen a nice jump in production since Tannehill took
over behind center. In the six games that Tannehill has started,
Titans running back Derrick Henry has averaged over 120 rushing
yards per game while scoring a total of seven touchdowns. He’s
also ripped off three straight huge games of 149, 159 and 188
He’s still not producing much as a pass catcher, but Henry
is an absolutely elite fantasy option right now due to the Titans’
willingness to feed him carries all game long. With the Raiders
reeling after back-to-back losses, Henry might just be one of
the absolute best plays in all of fantasy football this week.
Oakland has only given up two 100-yard rushers so far this season,
but there’s a pretty fair chance that they give up their
third this week.
Game Thoughts: Derek Carr has long been a low-end QB2
fantasy option who can typically support only one, maybe two viable
fantasy options at a time and that still hasn’t changed.
With only one game of 20 or more fantasy points so far this season,
Carr just lacks the upside to be anything other than a floor play
as a low-end QB2. That’s not particularly interesting from
a fantasy standpoint, so let’s move on to his pass catching
At this point, Tyrell Williams has become a fantasy afterthought.
Following an impressive start to the season wherein he scored
a touchdown in each of his first five starts, Williams has since
failed to get into the end zone a single time while producing
an average of just 2.6 receptions per game and 36.4 yards per
game. In short, he’s been completely useless from a fantasy
standpoint - and he’s still by far the team’s best
weapon out wide. That should go to show just how bad this situation
is and Williams shouldn’t be in your lineup as anything
more than a low-end WR3 in standard-scoring leagues as a touchdown-or-bust
The only player we should continue to care about in this passing
game is tight end Darren Waller. Following his 100-yard performance
in Week 13, his third such performance this season, Waller is
now the No. 3-scoring tight end in standard scoring fantasy football
this season. He’s doing so while having only scored three
total touchdowns this season, as well, so if anything he’s
under-performed in one of the key areas for fantasy production,
but he’s still an elite producer at an otherwise brutal
position. The Titans have mostly been solid against opposing wide
receivers, but one area where they’ve struggled is defending
tight ends. They’ve given up six touchdowns to the position
on the year along and they’ve given up 70-plus receiving
yard days to four different tight ends over their past nine games.
Waller makes for a great start again this week.
TEN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.17
TEN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.13
TEN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.16
TEN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.6
Running Game Thoughts: It’s hard to pull much positive information
out of the Raiders’ discouraging blowout loss to the Chiefs
this past week, but if you’re looking for a silver lining
from a fantasy standpoint, it should be that rookie running back
Josh Jacobs was still productive even in a terrible game script.
Jacobs still got 17 carries in the loss, which he turned into
104 rushing yards - his fifth 100-yard rushing day of the season
- and he’s now reached at least 10 PPR fantasy points in
all but three starts this season.
On the flipside, however, it should also be noted that Jacobs
has essentially been a ghost in the passing game, even in these
past two losses blowout Raiders losses to the Jets and Chiefs.
Often times we’ll see that a running back becomes more involved
in the passing game when his team is behind multiple scores because
opposing defenses will play softer coverage, allowing more underneath
passes which are often funneled to running backs who are more
reliable with YAC production than most receivers and tight ends.
That simply hasn’t happened for Jacobs, however, as he’s
caught only one pass over these past two games. It seems to be
a trend, too, as he’s only caught 18 total passes on the
season which puts him on a pace for 24 catches for the entire
season, which would be one of, if not the fewest total for any
“bell cow” running back in the league this season.
Sure, Jacobs’ rushing totals are good enough that he’s
been able to sustain borderline RB1 production this season even
in PPR formats, but his lack of pass catching prowess has really
limited his upside as a fantasy producer. Unless he scores a touchdown,
he’s often outside the RB1 range and while his floor makes
him a quality start still, he’s not particularly exciting
as week-winning option.
Chiefs at Patriots
- (Katz) Line: NE -3.0 Total: 49.0
Game Thoughts: Patrick Mahomes is still the best quarterback
in the NFL. He just hasn’t been a true difference maker
in fantasy football. Since Week 4, Mahomes has just one finish
higher than QB10. The Patriots are the league’s best pass
defense with 20 interceptions against eight touchdowns allowed.
Opponents throw for just 163.5 yards against them. With that being
said, Mahomes is still a must start. As we saw when the Patriots
played the Ravens, elite offenses can move the ball and the Chiefs
qualify as an elite offense.
Tyreek Hill has completely torched the Patriots in the past.
He’s also been shut down by them. You are never benching
Hill, but he should see a lot of Stephon Gilmore, which is less
than ideal. Gilmore is third in fantasy points per target allowed
and first in catch rate allowed. He’s a true shutdown corner.
If Hill is double teamed, that could open things up for Travis
Kelce, who has just one 100 yard receiving game this season. This
could be a big Kelce game, especially given the lack of passing
game options outside of Hill. Sammy Watkins, Mecole Hardman and
Demarcus Robinson could randomly pop a big play, but they’re
not legitimate options.
NE FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.32
NE FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.31
NE FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.32
NE FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.27
Running Game Thoughts: Damien Williams is not yet recovered from
his rib injury and Darrel Williams strained his hamstring last
week. Neither Williams is going to play. That leaves LeSean McCoy
to presumably split the work with rookie, Darwin Thompson. Andy
Reid seems intent on keeping McCoy fresh so it does not matter
who the other back is, McCoy is not seeing more than 40-50% of
the snaps. Against the Patriots, you simply cannot start him.
Thompson is preferable to McCoy, but I can’t shake this
feeling that Spencer Ware is going to get some burn this week.
He’s healthy, knows the system and he’s excelled in
this offense before. The Chiefs will likely go very pass heavy
and teams don’t target the running back particularly often
against the Patriots, doing so just 17.72% of the time. I don’t
see how you can feel confident with any Chiefs running back.
Game Thoughts: Week 6 against the Giants was the last
time Brady surpassed 20 fantasy points prior to last week. Brady
did much of his work in garbage time last week when it looked
like the Texans truly did not care about playing defense since
they knew the game was over. Brady should have to throw a bunch
against the Chiefs, which is great news for Julian Edelman. Brady’s
top receiver has seen double digit targets in seven straight games.
Expect that streak to extend to eight.
Mohamed Sanu has become an afterthought, playing just 26.3% of
the snaps last week. You can probably drop him. Phillip Dorsett
played well ahead of Sanu last week, but has proven to be nothing
more than a random touchdown hopeful. Ben Watson and Matt LaCosse
are splitting snaps and seldom targeted. They can be safely ignored.
When Brady isn’t throwing to Edelman, he will probably be
throwing to James White, who had his best game of the season last
week. This game projects similar in terms of game script. White’s
80% snap count last week was by far a season high (his previous
high was 50%). Don’t expect 80% again, but do expect another
number over 50%, especially given how well he played.
KC FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.13
KC FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.2
KC FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.30
KC FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.7
Running Game Thoughts: With White likely to dominate snaps again,
Sony Michel and Rex Burkhead are off the table. Since returning
from injury, Burkhead hasn’t played more than 35% of the
snaps. Throwing out last week’s 3.9% outlier, Burkhead has
typically been around 20%. He just cuts into White’s upside
more than anything. As for Michel, he’s coming off his fifth
straight single digit outing, which marks his eighth of the season.
His 19.7% snap rate was a season low. Michel truly has no redeeming
qualities. He is a bad runner. He is a bad receiver. He doesn’t
have the volume. There is simply no reason to start him. The Chiefs
allow the highest percentage of passing yardage to running backs.
You can bet that Bill Belichick knows this and will look to exploit
it. That means more White and less Michel.
Game Thoughts: The NFL MVP conversation is really coming
down to just a few players and Russell Wilson is absolutely on
that list, but it’s worth noting that his fantasy production
has really taken a big step back in the second half of the 2019
season. Wilson has been held to fewer than 17 fantasy points in
all but one of his past six starts. He mixed in his second 50-yard
rushing day of the season during that stretch, but Wilson has
now thrown four interceptions over that stretch after starting
the season with six straight games without a pick. We shouldn’t
be concerned about his sudden increase in interceptions as the
number is still very low but it does show us that Wilson is beginning
to regress to the league mean a bit more than it appeared he would
earlier this season.
The biggest concern that we had about this passing game heading
into the season was simply that they wouldn’t pass enough.
We’ve now seen Wilson throw the ball 32 or fewer times in
six starts. Not surprisingly, he failed to reach even 17 fantasy
points in all but one of those games. The one exception came back
in Week 5 when the Seahawks hosted the Rams and Wilson completed
17 of 23 passes for 268 yards and four touchdowns, while adding
32 rushing yards. He’ll face that same Rams defense again
here in Week 14, but this time they’re coming off of a dominant
division win over the Cardinals and the game won’t be played
in Seattle. Wilson is still a good enough passer that he has to
be considered a mid-level QB1 in this matchup even if he and the
Seahawks have been struggling through the air as of late, but
there is reason to be a little more skeptical about this matchup
given that he’s not likely to repeat the same type of efficiency
that we saw from him back in Week 5.
Seattle’s top pass catching weapon, Tyler Lockett, has really
been disappointing as of late, having been held to just four total
catches over his past three games since his monstrous Week 9 blowup
game against the Buccaneers. In fact, he was held without a catch
for the first time since 2017 this past week in Seattle’s
victory over Minnesota on Monday night. Lockett suffered a shin
injury back in Week 10 and it’s beginning to look possible
that he might be bothered by that injury enough that it’s
keeping him from making plays on the field. He hasn’t been
on the injury report, but this sudden drop off in production is
certainly concerning. Still, he’s Wilson’s most-trusted
go-to weapon and has to be in most lineups here against a bad
Rams defense that he scored against back in Week 5.
Rookie D.K. Metcalf continues to turn in a strong rookie season
and he has now averaged over 75 receiving yards per game over
his past four games. Metcalf also scored against the Rams back
in Week 5 and can be considered a WR3 with upside in this matchup.
Tight end Jacob Hollister is now averaging six targets per game
since becoming the team’s top tight end option. Wilson loves
to throw to his tight ends in the end zone, which gives him plenty
of upside on any given week, but his high target share also gives
him the nice floor that makes him a quality TE1. Hollister didn’t
play in the Week 5 matchup these teams had, but fellow tight ends
Will Dissly and Luke Willson combined for 91 receiving yards in
that contest, so he’s an even stronger play in this matchup
LAR FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.20
LAR FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.20
LAR FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.19
LAR FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.23
Running Game Thoughts: The Seahawks duo of Chris Carson and Rashaad
Penny ran the ball 38 times in their close Week 13 victory over
the Vikings while quarterback Russell Wilson attempted just 31
passes. That number alone should show exactly why this running
game has such a huge upside on a weekly basis, but it’s
also noteworthy that the backfield is absolutely becoming more
of a split than it was throughout most of the season.
Carson took 23 of those 38 carries for 102 yards and he’s
now seen at least 20 carries in seven of his past nine games.
His passing game production has fallen back closer to his 2018
numbers, but 20 carries per game is elite territory in today’s
game. Whether or not he has elite skill really isn’t as
important as the fact that the Seahawks coaches seem to believe
strongly enough in him that they’re willing to feed him
a back-breaking numbers of carries almost every single week. That’s
been key to Carson’s production this season as he’s
only been held below 10 PPR fantasy points once during this nine
While Carson is still the lead back, things seem to be getting
a lot more competitive with second-year back and former first
round NFL Draft pick Rashaad Penny. Penny has now seen 29 carries
over his past two games, including out-touching Carson in Seattle’s
Week 12 victory over the Eagles. He’s been more productive
on a per-touch basis than Carson over these past two games and
he also showed some receiving game ability this past week as he
caught four passes for 33 yards, including a nice touchdown on
a screen pass.
There was some question as to whether or not Penny had overtaken
Carson in the Seattle backfield and that appears to not be the
case, but it does seem as though we’re going to see more
of a 60/40 split going forward.
Carson smashed the Rams for 118 yards on 27 carries when these
teams played back in Week 5, so he’s still going to be a
high-end RB2 in this game, but keep an eye out for Penny who himself
could be Flexed.
Game Thoughts: Jared Goff and the Rams passing game had
been on an absolutely horrible stretch and was probably on most
fantasy benches in Week 13, but we did mention that there was
a fair chance of a big bounce-back week for the Rams as they were
facing the horrible Cardinals secondary. Goff showed up in a big
way, reaching 424 passing yards along with two touchdowns, while
wide receiver Robert Woods led all pass catchers for the week
with 13 catches for 172 yards. Tyler Higbee and Cooper Kupp both
got into the end zone as well, so it was a great game for pretty
much everyone in the passing game other than Brandin Cooks.
Unfortunately, we’re at the point with Cooks where we have
to stop trusting him in our lineups. Maybe it’s the concussions,
maybe it’s coaching, maybe it’s miscommunication with
his quarterback - we just don’t know. But what we do know
is that Cooks hasn’t produced a double-digit PPR fantasy
day since all the way back in Week 4 and he’s been targeted
more than four times in a game just once over that stretch. There
just aren’t enough balls coming his way for him to do anything
from a fantasy standpoint, so this week - against a pretty good
Seattle defense against opposing WRs - we’re going to bench
The positive thing is that the lack of targets coming Cooks’
way means an increase in looks for wide receivers Cooper Kupp
and Robert Woods. Woods is without a touchdown this season but
he’s now seen a ridiculous 39 targets over his past three
games, which he’s turned into 26 catches for 364 yards.
He’s playing at a WR1 level and he’s now seen seven
or more targets come his way in all but three games. If he was
producing touchdowns at even a league average rate, Woods would
be a WR1 for fantasy this season. But since he’s been unlucky
in that area, he’s barely a WR2. Still, fantasy owners need
to continue to trust that he’s going to see enough targets
to give you productive fantasy days even without the touchdowns.
And when those touchdowns eventually come, it’ll just be
the icing on the cake.
Kupp’s touchdown this past week earned him his first double-digit
fantasy day since Week 8, but his targets have been much less
consistent than Woods’ as of late. Still, he’s produced
a ton of WR1 games this season and remains a major part of the
Rams’ passing game, so don’t avoid him now.
Tight end Gerald Everett missed what could’ve been a huge
game for him this past week as a knee injury kept him out against
the Rams and it’s possible that he’ll again be out
here in Week 14. The Seahawks aren’t quite as bad as the
Cardinals are against tight ends, but they’re still firmly
in the top five worst defenses against the position, so it’ll
be interesting to see if he’s able to get on the field.
If he is, we’ll rank him as a borderline TE1. If he’s
not, however, Tyler Higbee should again be in consideration as
a low-end TE1 himself, as he produced nice numbers against the
Cardinals this past week and would see increased playing time
again if Everett is indeed out.
SEA FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.12
SEA FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.21
SEA FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.21
SEA FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.4
Running Game Thoughts: Todd Gurley continues
to mostly be a touchdown-or-bust fantasy option, but the nice
thing is that he’s continuing to score on a fairly regular
basis. Gurley has not scored nine total touchdowns this season
and the Rams seem to be confident in giving him plenty of carries
when the game situation calls for it as it did this past week
in their blowout win over the Cardinals.
Unfortunately, there appears to be no real interest in getting
Gurley the ball in the passing game as he’s caught more
than three passes in a game just once this season after being
one of the league’s best pass catching backs over the past
few seasons. Still, Gurley is producing good enough numbers to
be a good RB2 even in what is only a middle-of-the-road matchup
against the Seahawks.
Giants at Eagles
- (Katz) Line: PHI -9.0 Total: 47.0
Game Thoughts: Two words I never thought I’d write
again: Eli Manning. The greatest mediocre quarterback of all time
is back for a retirement tour. Daniel Jones is dealing with a
high ankle sprain that Pat Shurmur described as similar to the
one Saquon Barkley had. Barkley missed three games and is also
an alien. It is entirely possible that Jones, who has shown enough
to be the unquestioned starter in 2020, will be shut down in a
lost season. Manning may get the benefit of a fully healthy supporting
cast for the first time all season.
The Eagles have allowed 16 touchdowns to wide receivers this
season. Sterling Shepard is a strong play here as he has a rapport
with Manning and has a proven target floor of at least seven.
Darius Slayton has played well and been a usable fantasy asset,
but it’s unclear what his role will be with everyone healthy
and whether Manning has any interest in throwing to him. He’s
an avoid if possible. Evan Engram appears ready to return. He
hasn’t played since Week 9. Just 17.17% of passing yards
given up by the Eagles have gone to tight ends. We also can’t
assume a full complement of snaps for Engram. You are still starting
Engram if you have him, but make sure he’s definitely returning
as this game is on Monday night and you don’t want to be
caught without a replacement. Golden Tate is also working through
the concussion protocol. He is expected to be cleared by Monday
and will be an excellent checkdown option for a quarterback that
can’t throw downfield anymore. Just make sure he’s
playing as concussions are notoriously tricky. It is worth nothing
that the Eagles allow just 9.0 fantasy points per game to the
PHI FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.16
PHI FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.26
PHI FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.4
PHI FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.22
Running Game Thoughts: Saquon Barkley hasn’t finished higher
than RB16 in a month. His 19 carries last week tied his season
high. Over the first two weeks with Eli Manning under center,
Barkley saw a total of 13 targets. Manning’s presence is
likely a boon for Barkley’s passing game usage. The Eagles
have only allowed one receiving touchdown to running backs, but
opponents target the running back often against them, 23.63% of
the time. Barkley will need to get it done with volume as the
Eagles allow the fourth fewest rushing yards per game at just
91. Barkley is undoubtedly a bust on the level of 2018 David Johnson,
but unlike DJ, there is still hope for a Barkley splash game.
I think we may get it this week, which will swing matchups on
Game Thoughts: Carson Wentz is another quarterback that
played much worse than the box score indicated. After all, when
you lose to the Dolphins, how well could you have actually played?
Despite Wentz doing a poor job for the Eagles, he did a great
job for fantasy owners. His 22.4 fantasy points were his most
since Week 1 and resulted in his highest weekly finish of the
season at QB7.
The Giants are a gift to opposing passing games, allowing 22.5
fantasy points per game to quarterbacks. It helped Wentz to get
Alshon Jeffery back healthy last week as Jeffery had by far his
best game of the season and is setup nicely to excel once again.
The Giants allow a laughable 21.5 fantasy points per game to opposing
WR1s. Zach Ertz was able to talk his way into playing through
a hamstring injury and while the result was lackluster, he played
his usual complement of snaps and actually ran the most routes
since Week 2. Ertz emerged from the game no worse for wear so
if you have him, you’re starting him. It is interesting
to note that teams target tight ends against the Giants less than
any other team at just 12.76% of the time.
Dallas Goedert is essentially the Eagles’ WR3, but he played
just 52.3% of the snaps last week, his second lowest total of
the season. This game after three straight games over 80%. The
good news is Goedert was targeted seven times. He remains a TE1.
Nelson Agholor didn’t practice Thursday. Even if he plays,
he is a desperation flex play if you need someone in a good matchup
that sees the field, but nothing more.
NYG FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.6
NYG FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.18
NYG FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.2
NYG FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.28
Running Game Thoughts: Jordan Howard continues to be limited
in practice and continues to not play. There is nothing to indicate
this week will be any different and with the game on Monday night,
Howard simply isn’t good enough to roll the dice on him
getting cleared for contact. Miles Sanders is averaging a 90%
snap share since Howard went down. The Giants have yet to allow
a touchdown pass to a running back this season, but that shouldn’t
keep you from believing in Sanders, who has seen 14 targets over
the past three weeks. The Giants have also allowed 13 rushing
scores this season. Fire up Sanders with confidence.