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Inside the Matchup
Week 7
10/17/19; Updated: 10/18/19

By: Andy Swanson | Jason Katz | Nick Caron | HC Green



Sunday Early:



Sunday Late:




- Green highllight indicates plus matchup (top eight)
- Red highlight indicates negative matchup (bottom eight)

Chiefs @ Broncos - (Caron)
Line: KC -3.0
Total: 48.5

Passing Game Thoughts: Tyreek Hill made his return to the Chiefs lineup this past week and immediately re-established himself as the top weapon in the league’s highest-octane passing game. Hill caught five passes on 10 targets for 80 yards and two touchdowns, including an acrobatic deep pass in coverage that saw him leap over a Chargers defender, make the catch and then fight for the score. In other words, Hill is back to being a high-end WR1 for the remainder of the season, especially now that numerous of the perceived top wide receivers heading into the season have been struggling or are currently injured. Hill and the Chiefs will have a tough matchup on the road in Denver this week against a defense that held Hill in check in 2018. Hill failed to score a touchdown in either game against the Broncos last year and was held to just 124 receiving yards on 11 total receptions. Hill is still a low-end WR1 given his potential upside in any game but this is not an ideal matchup for him.

The Chiefs will be without wide receiver Sammy Watkins as he continues to nurse a hamstring injury, which will likely mean more playing time for Demarcus Robinson, Mecole Hardman and Byron Pringle. All three players actually out-snapped Hill in Week 6 but don’t look for that to happen again now that Hill has been acclimated to the offense. The player who will most likely see his snaps cut the most by an increase in Hill’s snaps would be the rookie Hardman who has filled in admirably while Hill has been out but finished third in snap count at wide receiver for the Chiefs in Week 6, narrowly edging out Hill. Hardman actually out-produced both Robinson and Pringle but none of the three was particularly effective against the Texans.

The most disappointing player of the bunch has to be Robinson, who led the team in snaps in Week 6 (86 percent). However, Robinson was held without a catch and was targeted only four times on the day. That lack of usage has to be extremely concerning for fantasy owners who have now seen Robinson under 45 yards in four straight contests since his Week 2 breakout. Robinson shouldn’t be in fantasy lineups until he proves that he’s able to get back to productivity.

The only other Chiefs wide receiver who we should be looking at right now is Pringle who has now played more than half of the snaps in each of the Chiefs’ past two games while Watkins has been hampered by injury. Pringle broke out with a six catch, 103-yard, one touchdown performance in Week 5 but was held to just two catches for 24 yards against the Texans this past week. The role he’s playing is least likely to be affected by Hill’s return, though, so he should continue to see some usage. Unfortunately he’s the third best option in this passing game at best and isn’t likely to see enough targets to be a reliable option against a good Denver defense.

Tight end Travis Kelce hasn’t been his usual dominant self from a fantasy standpoint so far this season but most of that is simply due to a lack of touchdowns. That should eventually positively regress for him and it could happen as soon as this week. He’s scored in four straight games that he’s played against the Broncos and continues to be an integral part of one of the league’s best passing attacks.

Broncos haven’t allowed a single touchdown to an opposing offense in either of their past two games but now they’ll be hosting one of the most high-powered offenses, led by the reigning NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes. Mahomes hasn’t been his usual highly-efficient self as of late but he’s still good enough to be at least a top five option in any matchup.

DEN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.30
DEN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.14
DEN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.32
DEN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.23

Running Game Thoughts: It’s difficult to find an uglier backfield situation than the one we’re seeing unfold in Kansas City. Damien Williams was the team’s highest scorer at the position this past week because he scored a touchdown in the receiving game, but Williams touched the ball twice on the day while playing just 38 percent of the Chiefs’ snaps. This comes after a Week 5 performance when Williams touched the ball 12 times in a competitive game against the Colts. Williams continues to see fewer snaps than veteran LeSean McCoy since returning from an injury that kept him out a few weeks early in the season and that makes him extremely difficult to trust, especially against a defense that has been playing as well as Denver’s has.

Both Chiefs backs are Flex plays in this one, but nothing more. The questionable usage in games just makes it too difficult for fantasy owners to rely on this backfield.

Value Meter:
QB1: Patrick Mahomes
WR1: Tyreek Hill
TE1: Travis Kelce
Flex: LeSean McCoy, Damien Williams
Bench: Darrel Williams, Mecole Hardman, Demarcus Robinson, Byron Pringle

Passing Game Thoughts: It’s hard to be too excited about a quarterback who’s failed to throw for even 200 yards in two straight games while only throwing one total touchdown, but if there’s ever a week to get Joe Flacco in your lineup as a QB2 streamer, it might just be this week against a Chiefs defense that got abused for three touchdowns by the combination of Nick Foles and Gardner Minshew back in Week 1 and another three touchdowns by Matt Stafford in Week 4. Flacco isn’t a high-upside option but he does have a decent floor in this game at home against a bad Kansas City secondary.

The Broncos could find themselves behind on the scoreboard in this game which would almost certainly mean that they are forced to rely on their passing game, which would be a great thing specifically for wide receiver Courtland Sutton who has been enjoying a breakout season. Sutton has been targeted at least seven times in every game so far this season, he’s been over 60 yards receiving in all but one game and he’s already scored three touchdowns. The Chiefs have struggled specifically against the size-speed specimen prototype receivers that they’ve faced this season. Tyrell Williams, D.J. Chark and Kenny Golladay (twice) all scored touchdowns against this defense which should give fantasy owners some confidence in starting Sutton this week as a WR2.

Emmanuel Sanders has had a couple of nice games this season but he’s been a non-factor over the past two weeks, having caught just two passes on four targets with no touchdowns. Sanders is a receiver who typically needs volume in order to do much, but look for his targets to increase this week in a game where the Broncos will almost certainly have to pass in order to stay close on the scoreboard. Sanders is only a Flex play in PPR formats and it’s tough to trust him after two disappointing games, but don’t give up on him just yet.

KC FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.8
KC FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.5
KC FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.22
KC FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.9

Running Game Thoughts: The roughly 60/40 split between Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman continues to be a frustrating situation for fantasy owners. If one of these backs was seeing closer to an 80 percent share of the backfield touches then they’d probably be an RB1, but as it sits right now, we’re looking at Lindsay as more of a high-end RB2 with Freeman checking in as a Flex player. It’s a high-volume rushing attack but the offense isn’t particularly good so the touchdown opportunities are limited and then split between the two of them, making it difficult for either of them to produce high-end weeks in fantasy.

The Kansas City defense is one that the Broncos should be able to exploit, however. Kansas City has given up an individual rushing performance of 99 yards or more in five straight games, including this past week to the lackluster Carlos Hyde. It’s very possible that the Broncos go over 150 rushing yards while neither Lindsay nor Freeman exceeds 100 yards individually, but there’s a pretty good chance that at least one of them will give their fantasy owners a quality fantasy day. We’ll continue to lean toward Lindsay being the better option for now, but Freeman does have some value.

Value Meter:
QB2: Joe Flacco
RB2: Phillip Lindsay (high-end)
WR2: Courtland Sutton
Flex: Royce Freeman, Emmanuel Sanders
Bench: DaeSean Hamilton, Noah Fant

Prediction: Chiefs 27, Broncos 23 ^ Top

Rams @ Falcons - (Green)
Line: ARI -3.0
Total: 54.0

Passing Game Thoughts: The Rams arrive in Atlanta on a three-game losing streak, and the play of Jared Goff has a lot to do with it. Injuries have thinned the offensive line, which has put Goff under considerably more pressure. He still managed to throw for big yardage in the first two losses, but he and the offense were completely shut down last week when Goff passed for just 78 yards against the 49ers—it's almost as though Jeff Fisher is back in charge.

There are multiple reasons to be bullish on a bounce-back performance from Goff this week, starting with the trio of Cooper Kupp (45-522-4 this season), Robert Woods (31-355-0) and Brandin Cooks (23-343-1). Collectively, they might form the top receiving corps in the NFL. LA has also utilized more two-tight end sets, allowing Gerald Everett (20-232-1) and Tyler Higbee (16-154-1) to contribute as well.

Of course, the other main reason Goff could have a big day is the disastrous state of the Atlanta defense: they rank 31st in points allowed, 26th in total yards and 27th against the pass. Over the last three weeks they've been lit up by Kyler Murray (340 yards, 3 TDs), Deshaun Watson (426 yards, 5 TDs) and *checks notes* Marcus Mariota!?! (227 yards, 3 TDs). If Goff and company can't get well against these guys then the problems in Tinseltown run deeper than we know.

ATL FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.3
ATL FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.13
ATL FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.2
ATL FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.13

Running Game Thoughts: Even with Todd Gurley (quad) out, the Rams actually ran the ball pretty effectively against the Niners in Week 6; Malcolm Brown (ankle) and Darrel Henderson tallied 17 carries for 79 yards combined. The team hopes to have Gurley back, though it's anyone's guess what his role will be. Obviously Sean McVay wanted to limit Gurley's touches to save wear and tear on his knee, but with the season reaching a crisis point that plan might be out the window.

While Atlanta ranks 20th against the run (117.7 yards per game), that comes on just 3.9 yards per carry so they've been much better against opposing ground games. Still, Gurley is a must-play if he's active.

Value Meter:
QB1: Jared Goff (low-end)
RB1: Todd Gurley
WR1: Cooper Kupp
WR2: Robert Woods
WR3: Brandin Cooks
TE1: Gerald Everett (low-end)
Bench: Malcolm Brown (ankle), Darrel Henderson

Passing Game Thoughts: Matt Ryan certainly isn't blameless for Atlanta's 1-5 record, but the former MVP has thrown 10 TDs against only two INTs over the last four weeks, has topped 300 passing yards in every game this year and is one of only two QBs with more than 2,000 yards through the air. He's also completing more than 72 percent of his passes. Despite adding no value with his legs, Ryan is an upper-tier fantasy quarterback this season and should remain in your lineup every week.

If anyone can compete with the Rams in terms of receiving talent it might be Atlanta with the trio of Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley and Mohamed Sanu. While Ridley and Sanu have similar numbers, the former is the red-zone threat, and that keeps him above Sanu, who is more of a chain mover. Austin Hooper actually leads the team in both receptions (42) and receiving yards (480) thus far, and he has emerged as one of the league's top pass-catching tight ends.

Defensively, the Rams are in a state of flux, especially in the secondary. Marcus Peters was traded to Baltimore, and then replaced by Jalen Ramsey, who was acquired from the Jags for a pair of first-round picks. Meanwhile, Aqib Talib (ribs) and John Johnson (shoulder) were placed on IR this week. They'll also be without Clay Matthews (jaw), who has six of the team's 13 sacks. Ryan could be in for another big week.

LAR FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.19
LAR FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.9
LAR FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.21
LAR FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.11

Running Game Thoughts: Atlanta's dormant running game looked better last week with Devonta Freeman matching his season high with 88 yards rushing. The veteran back has been able to supplement his value with three receiving touchdowns over the last two games, and that feels like his best chance this Sunday as well. LA's overall rank against the run isn't great, but they stifled San Francisco's lethal ground game in Week 6, holding the Niners to 99 yards on 41 carries (2.4 YPC).

Value Meter:
QB1: Matt Ryan
RB2: Devonta Freeman
WR1: Julio Jones
WR2/WR3: Calvin Ridley
Flex: Mohamed Sanu (low-end)
TE1: Austin Hooper
Bench: Ito Smith

Prediction: Rams 38, Falcons 27 ^ Top

Dolphins at Bills - (Katz)
Line: BUF - 17.0
Total: 40.5

Passing Game Thoughts: Miami had their best shot to win last week at home against the Redskins. It didn’t happen. In their quest to go 0-16, they are still playing hot potato at quarterback. Josh Rosen was benched last week for Ryan Fitzpatrick mostly because Fitzpatrick is a better quarterback. It’s never going to happen. It appears that the Dolphins are resigned to this fact as Fitzmagic is back!

The Bills are one of a handful of teams with more interceptions (five) than touchdowns allowed (three) and allow under 200 yards passing a game. Rosen was never getting to 200 yards, but Fitzpatrick might given his propensity to launch the ball downfield. Tre’Davious White will lock down DeVante Parker or Preston Williams. The only sneaky appeal here might be with Albert Wilson as Fitzpatrick looks to avoid the Bills’ outside cornerbacks. I only bring it up because with a ton of receivers injured or on bye and fantasy owners may be digging deep to fill out their flex spots.

BUF FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.29
BUF FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.24
BUF FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.30
BUF FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.29

Running Game Thoughts: Kenyan Drake has somewhat taken over this backfield, playing 61% of the snaps last week. Mark Walton has been elevated to RB2. Kalen Ballage is now an afterthought, but he still managed to vulture a goal line touch and score on one of the four snaps he played last week.

Opponents average just 22 rush attempts a game against the Bills and 4.0 yards per carry. Any value in Drake will come via the air as Drake has seen at least five targets in four straight games. Walton is unlikely to be of much use, but it is noteworthy that he saw six targets last week. You may be forced to start Drake to cover byes and you can certainly do worse. He has a pretty reliable PPR floor, but there is no ceiling for any Dolphins against the Bills’ elite defense.

Value Meter:
Flex: Kenyan Drake
Bench: Ryan Fitzpatrick, Mark Walton, DeVante Parker, Preston Williams, Albert Wilson

Passing Game Thoughts: Josh Allen is only really useful in favorable matchups and it doesn’t get much more favorable than a Dolphins defense that doesn’t force turnovers and has allowed 14 passing touchdowns on the season. The Bills are coming off a bye, which always helps, and Allen’s only QB1 performance was against a similarly bad defense in the Giants. John Brown will match up with Xavien Howard and while that isn’t the best matchup, Howard has not been great this year, allowing over two fantasy points per target. The sneaky value could come underneath with Cole Beasley. He could have a decent PPR day. He’s caught at least three passes in every game this season.

MIA FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.2
MIA FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.1
MIA FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.7
MIA FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.10

Running Game Thoughts: Devin Singletary has missed a month with a hamstring strain. He was practicing on a limited basis before the bye so with the extra week to recover, he should be 100% and back to splitting carries with Frank Gore. With that being said, Gore is never going away. He is going to lead this backfield in snaps and is a good bet to fall into the end zone as no team sees more rushes per game against them (36.2) than the against the Dolphins. They have also allowed seven rushing scores on the season. Singletary certainly has value as well as Gore is not running the ball 25+ times. With the Bills installed as three score favorites, there should be plenty of running in positive game script. If you have Singletary, it’s difficult to imagine a scenario where you can afford to leave him on your bench.

Value Meter:
QB1: Josh Allen (low end)
RB2: Frank Gore
WR3: John Brown
Flex: Devin Singletary
Bench: Cole Beasley

Prediction: Bills 27, Dolphins 7 ^ Top

Jaguars @ Bengals - (Swanson)
Line: JAX -4.0
Total: 43.5

Passing Game Thoughts: The Gardner Minshew train derailed last week in a 14-6 loss to the New Orleans Saints. The jock-strap stretching rookie from Washington State University threw for 163 yards and an interception, completing a season-low 48% of his passes.

For owners of Minshew who were burned last week, nothing cures a red gluteus maximus more than playing against the Bengals, a team that ranks in the top ten in fantasy points allowed to both quarterbacks and running backs. Three of the four opposing quarterbacks who played the Bengals this season finished with 27 or more fantasy points, and no QB has failed to score at least 18. The floor is high for Minshew this week, and the ceiling is even higher unless Leonard Fournette goes bonkers and takes all the touchdowns on the ground.

D.J. Chark struggled alongside his quarterback last week with Marshon Lattimore limiting the second-year breakout wide receiver to three catches for 43 yards and zero touchdowns. The Bengals have not given up 100 yards to a wide receiver this year, but they are susceptible to deep passes, and Chark could be in line for a big game.

Slot receivers like Larry Fitzgerald and Cole Beasley have found a decent amount of success this season working against nickel corner B.W. Webb. A fun matchup to watch will be Webb against Dede Westbrook (shouilder), the slot receiver for the Jags who has ten catches for 135 yards on 19 targets in his last two games. Fire up Westbrook as a solid flex in all formats, with a huge bump for owners in PPR formats.

CIN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.7
CIN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.2
CIN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.29
CIN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.20

Running Game Thoughts: Leonard Fournette enters Sunday’s matchup against the Bengals as the No.11 running back with 13.9 fantasy points per game. Fournette is second in rushing attempts behind Christian McCaffrey, and his 26 catch in six games is just ten short of his career high for a season back in 2017.

The only reason why Fournette is not a top-five running back is his lack of touchdowns. With just one rushing touchdown on 141 touches, Fournette continues to struggle to find the end zone.
Those struggles will hopefully come to an end this week against the Bengals, a dreadful defense that ranks second in fantasy points allowed to running backs. A whopping ten different players have reached double figures in six games against Cincinnati, including all three San Francisco 49er running backs when the teams played at Paul Brown Stadium back in Week 12.

Next to his Week 16 matchup against Atlanta in the fantasy Super Bowl, things will not get any better for Fournette in terms of an opponent. Fire him up and hope for a monster week.

Value Meter:
QB1: Gardner Minshew (Low-End)
RB1: Leonard Fournette (Elite)
WR1: D.J. Chark (Low-End)
WR3: Dede Westbrook (Low-End)
TE2: Geoff Swaim (Low-End)

Passing Game Thoughts: Andy Dalton is quietly having a solid fantasy season with 1646 passing yards, seven passing touchdowns, and two rushing TDs in his first six games. His 20.7 fantasy points per game are better than Jared Goff, Aaron Rodgers, Kirk Cousins, and his opponent on Sunday, Gardner Minshew.

Playing on a team with an awful defense is usually a recipe for success for a fantasy quarterback, as chasing points late and garbage scores count just as much as points scored in a close contest. The Bengals have given up no less than 21 points in all six games and continue to be one of the worst defenses in the league, forcing Dalton to throw the ball 243 times (third most in the NFL).

Two weeks ago, the Red Rifle was a reliable streaming option at home against the Cardinals, coming through with 262 passing yards and two touchdowns. His home matchup this week against Jacksonville is nowhere near as choice as Arizona, but Jacksonville did give up three passing touchdowns to Joe Flacco and Patrick Mahomes, and even Teddy two-gloves Bridgewater posted 240 yards and a score in Jacksonville last week.

The return of left tackle Cordy Glenn is a massive boost for Dalton and the passing game. The Bengals have one of the worst offensive lines in the league, and Glenn’s return to Dalton’s blindside will give him more time to find Tyler Boyd downfield.

JAC FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.21
JAC FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.8
JAC FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.14
JAC FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.18

Running Game Thoughts: Joe Mixon has to be near the top of fantasy busts in the first quarter of the season. His 6.8 fantasy points per game ranks 46th in the league, he has yet to score a rushing touchdown, and his 3.4 yard per carry average is a yard and a half lower than what he did last season. Mixon is finding out just how hard it is to run behind a terrible offensive line, and his fantasy owners are regretting buying into the Zac Taylor hype surrounding this offense in the preseason.

The Jags boast a talented front line that includes Calais Campbell and Marcell Dareus. Despite these Pro-Bowl caliber veterans in the middle, Jacksonville does rank 8th in fantasy points allowed to running backs, with LeSean McCoy, Carlos Hyde, Christian McCaffrey, and Derrick Henry each posting 80 yards or a score.

By no means does the Bengals offense compare to some of those running attacks, but it is not impossible to think Mixon scores a touchdown in this game.

There are no injuries to report on the Jacksonville defense that would affect the outlook of this game. Jalen Ramsey’s trade to the Rams is a monster hit to the Jacksonville passing defense, but Ramsey has not played much this season due to personal reasons and phantom injuries.

Value Meter:
QB2: Andy Dalton (Low-End)
RB2: Joe Mixon (Low-End)
WR2: Tyler Boyd (High-End)
WR3: Auden Tate (Low-End)
TE2: Tyler Eifert (Low-End)

Prediction: Jacksonville 28, Cincinnati 21 ^ Top

Vikings @ Lions - (Swanson)
Line: MIN -1.5
Total: 45.0

Passing Game Thoughts: Kirk Cousins and the Vikings head into Ford Field on Sunday on the heels of their best passing performance of the season. The much-maligned passing offense exploded for 333 passing yards and three touchdowns, with all three scoring strikes going to wide receiver Stefon Diggs.

Two weeks ago, Adam Thielen got the squeaky-wheel treatment from Cousins. This past week it was Diggs, who posted the first three-touchdown game of his career as the Vikings rolled over the Philadelphia Eagles.

Don’t be surprised to see the Vikings revert to the run-heavy approach that they used to start the season with Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattison. Only the Dolphins and Bengals have given up more fantasy points to opposing running backs, and head coach Mike Zimmer would love nothing more than to run the ball all over their divisional rival.

With a likely return to ground and pound, Cousins’ pass attempts could come down with an emphasis on play-action passes. Both Diggs and Thielen are worthy starts, but the volume their enjoyed last week will most likely not be there and Darius Slay will be covering Diggs, the outside receiver, for most of the game.

The two receivers have just three combined receiving touchdowns in the previous ten meetings against Detroit.

DET FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.16
DET FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.3
DET FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.18
DET FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.22

Running Game Thoughts: If head coach Mike Zimmer had his way, the Minnesota offense would be the most run-heavy unit in the league, with Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattison pounding the rock behind a potent offensive line.

With the Lions run defense allowing the third-most points to running backs, including six running backs posting double figures in fantasy points and seven total touchdowns in six games, it would make sense for the Vikings to unleash their ground attack early and often.

Cook is a must-start regardless of matchup and a possible matchup winner against below-average run defenses. The Lions qualify as a below-average run defense, and Cook should be considered an elite option in all formats.

Mattison could get upwards of 12 touches in this game and could enter flex consideration in deep leagues with multiple flex positions.

To make things even more attractive for Cook, the Vikings could have starting offensive lineman Riley Reiff, and Josh Kline return to the field. Both players were injured last week against the Eagles.

Value Meter:
QB2: Kirk Cousins (Mid-Range)
RB1: Dalvin Cook (Elite)
WR1: Adam Thielen (Low-End)
WR3: Stefon Diggs (High-End)
TE2: Kyle Rudolph (Low-End)

Passing Game Thoughts: The addition of former Seattle offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and head coach Matt Patricia’s persistence on running the ball led many to believe the narrative that Detroit would be a run-first ball control offense like the Seahawks were for years under Bevell.

This narrative pushed running back Kerryon Johnson higher and higher in drafts this summer and caused some to pause on Lions receivers like Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones. While Stafford is not on pace to throw the ball 600 or more times as he did earlier on in his career, the 11-year vet is on pace to throw the ball 550 times, and the Lions rank 13th in the league in average yards per game.

The worries of Kenny Golladay losing target share with the return of Marvin Jones and the selection of rookie T.J. Hockenson have proven to be false as well. Golladay is tied with Adam Thielen for 12th at 12.1 fantasy points per game ranks 12 in the league in red zone targets.

Golladay’s matchup against Xavier Rhodes will be one to watch in this game. Rhodes is widely considered one of the better cover corners in the league, but Golladay’s size and jumping ability will test Rhodes to the max.

Stafford has been a nice streaming option up to this point with three games of 20 or more fantasy points. Most owners should look for other options, but those who are stuck playing against Minnesota should know that Stafford has completed 62% of his passes against Mike Zimmer’s team, with 23 touchdowns to 7 interceptions. Not great, but not too shabby considering how strong the Vikings have been over the years.

Rookie tight end T.J. Hockenson dropped two touchdown passes against the Packers on Monday Night Football and has been relatively a no-show since his monster game against Arizona to start the season.

Although the Vikings have not allowed a tight end touchdown this season, Austin Hooper, Darren Waller, and the tandem of Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert all posted top-10 fantasy performances against Minnesota. Hockenson has been a red zone target for Stafford with eight red zone targets in four games and could be the first to catch a TD pass vs. the Vikings in 2019.

The Lions offense will be playing with a chip on their shoulders and a renewed focus this week with the goal of breaking an ominous streak, as Detroit has not scored a touchdown against Minnesota since Week 4 of 2017.

MIN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.23
MIN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.27
MIN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.20
MIN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.19

Running Game Thoughts: Kerryon Johnson owners are pleased with the volume their stud running back has received this season, especially after the team let C.J. Anderson go after Week 1. Those owners are also super excited to see Johnson get work in the receiving game, with seven total targets out of the backfield against Kansa City and Green Bay in Weeks 4 & 6.

But Johnson owners cannot be happy with how inefficient Johnson has been running the ball this year. His 2.14 yard per carry average against Arizona, the Chargers, Philly, and Green Bay is a huge red flag. If you take away his 125 yard game against the Chargers, Johnson would be considered one of the worst running backs in the league through the first five games of the season.

Things will not likely get easier this week against Minnesota, a team that has shut down all running backs they have faced, not named Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams. Josh Jacobs, Jordan Howard, and Devonta Freeman all struggled mightily against Mike Zimmer’s team this year.

The chance of a rushing touchdown makes Johnson a decent No.2 running back, but don’t be surprised if you are not happy with his production when the final whistle blows in this game.

Value Meter:
QB2: Matthew Stafford (Mid-Range)
RB2: Kerryon Johnson (Low-End)
WR1: Kenny Golladay (Low-End)
WR4: Marvin Jones (Low-End)
TE1: T.J. Hockenson (Low-End)

Prediction: Vikings 28, Lions 17 ^ Top

Raiders @ Packers - (Swanson)
Line: GB -5.5
Total: 46.5

Passing Game Thoughts: The Raiders come off the bye with a surprising 3-2 record after beating the Bears 24-21 in London. Jon Gruden’s team is playing excellent football this season considering all the off-field distractions brought on by the Antonio Brown drama and Hard Knocks.

Their two losses came against the Chiefs and the Vikings, while two of their three wins came on the road against the Colts and the Bears, two teams who were favored in both matchups.

For fantasy purposes, Derek Carr is nothing more than a game manager who should only be started in two-quarterback leagues. Although he has thrown the ball over 30 times in all but one of his games, his 6.9 yard per attempt is lower than Marcus Mariota, Kyle Allen, and Case Keenum, and he has yet to throw more than two touchdowns in a game.

On a positive note, his 73% completion percentage is the best in his career, and he is helping the Raiders win by avoiding bad mistakes and forcing bad throws.

Tight End Darren Waller is sixth in the league in targets and second in the league in catches despite already serving his bye week. Although he has yet to catch a touchdown, he continues to be the favorite target for Carr and will be heavily utilized on Sunday.

Green Bay has been stout against opposing tight ends as the 28th ranked team against the TE position, but those numbers are a bit skewed based on weak competition. Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert combined to catch nine passes for 81 yards and a touchdown vs. Green Bay two weeks ago, giving hope to Waller owners that their budding star may have success at Lambeau.

Tyrell Williams, the team’s leading wide receiver with four touchdowns through four games of action, missed the Week 4 game against the Bears with a foot injury and missed practice Thursday. His return to the field will be critical for the Raiders to upset the Packers on the road.

GB FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.25
GB FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.4
GB FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.19
GB FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.28

Running Game Thoughts: Josh Jacobs has more than lived up to his draft capital as a first-round selection in the 2019 NFL Draft. The rookie ranks 8th at the RB position with 14.9 fantasy points per game, including a career-high 123 yards and two touchdowns last week against the Bears.

Jacobs is also starting to get action in the passing game with five receptions for 49 yards his last two games. It was somewhat surprising to see how little the Raiders used Jacobs in the passing game up to this point, considering how well he graded out as a pass-catcher in college and at the combine.

This is a plus-matchup for Jacobs and the Raider running game. Only the Dolphins, Bengals, and Lions have allowed more points to running backs this season, with three different running backs posting monster performances of 20 or more points against Mike Pettine’s defense.

Green Bay did limit Zeke Elliott to 62 yards and Kerryon Johnson to 34 in their last two games, but both players reached the end zone, and both delivered solid fantasy performances.

Value Meter:
QB2: Derek Carr (Low-End)
RB1: Josh Jacobs (Low-End)
WR3: Tyrell Williams (High-End if he plays)
TE1: Darren Waller (Mid-Range)
Bench: Trevor Davis, Hunter Renfrow

Passing Game Thoughts: Aaron Rodgers threw for 283 yards and two touchdowns on Monday Night Football against the Lions in what could have been a much bigger day for the future hall of fame quarterback. The Green Bay pass cation corps is decimated by injuries and those who are available to run routes rarely get open and drop too many passes.

Jimmy Graham dropped two touchdown passes, Aaron Jones dropped a wide-open wheel route for a score, and rookie Darrius Shepherd slipped on the goal line, let a ball hit his face mask and bounce to a defender for an interception. It was a comedy of errors for Green Bay on Monday, but Rodgers came away with a solid fantasy performance, and the Packers won the game, albeit with some help from the zebras.

The offense is clearly not the same without Davante Adams, who has missed the last two games with turf toe. Adams will once again be questionable for this week’s game and could be scratched to give him another week to rest. Fellow wide receiver Geronimo Allison suffered a chest and head injury on Monday and is also questionable for the game. Allison’s injury did not look good, and he too is a long shot to play against the Raiders.

With the many injuries to the wide receiver group, the Packers will likely need to lean on Allen Lazard again. Lazard led the Pack with four catches for 65 yards and a touchdown, earning the praise of Rodgers in a post-game interview with Lisa Salters. While it may be a stretch to add and play Lazard in season-long leagues, he would be a very attractive play in DFS.

Despite the injuries, Rodgers is a solid play this week against a Raiders defense that gives up the 12th-most points to opposing quarterbacks. Teams have found more success passing on the Raiders than running, with Patrick Mahomes, Jacoby Brissett, and even Chase Daniel posting double-digit passing performances.

OAK FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.12
OAK FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.25
OAK FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.5
OAK FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.6

Running Game Thoughts: It looks like we are back to a full-fledged committee approach for the Packers running backs after a terrible night by Aaron Jones that included a fumble and a dropped pass on an easy touchdown strike.

With Jones struggling, Jamaal Williams looked great, with 104 yards on 14 carries and 32 receiving yards and a receiving touchdown. For Jones owners, Williams’ return to the field did not come at a good time, with Jones looking terrible in the passing game and losing a fumble. Jones is clearly the more talented back, but the team and Rodgers like Williams and both backs will continue to see action.

It has been far easier for teams to pass on the Raiders than run the ball in 2019. Outside of a 16/110/1 day by Dalvin Cook Week 3, no other running back has topped 60 yards. Marlon Mack managed 39 yards on 11 carries, and David Montgomery followed with 25 on 11 totes, although the latter did score a rushing touchdown.

Value Meter:
QB1: Aaron Rodgers (Low-End)
RB2: Aaron Jones (High-End)
RB3: Jamaal Williams (Low-End)
WR3: Marquez Valdes-Scantling (High-End)
WR4: Allen Lazard (Low-End)
TE1: Jimmy Graham (Low-End)

Prediction: Green Bay 21, Oakland 10 ^ Top

Texans @ Colts - (Green)
Line: IND -1.0
Total: 48.0

Passing Game Thoughts: After putting up Madden-esque numbers in a Week 5 beat down of the Falcons, Deshaun Watson came back to Earth statistically last Sunday as he threw for 280 yards, a touchdown and two picks in a win over the Chiefs. He made plays with his legs, though, rushing for 42 yards and a pair of scores, and effectively threw his name into the hat for the MVP race.

Watson's growth as a quarterback is most evident in ball distribution, which is good for the team and bad for DeAndre Hopkins (ribs), who is averaging 67 yards receiving per game this year (down from 98.3 in '18) and hasn't scored since Week 1. A healthy Will Fuller (calf/oblique) plays into that as well. Fuller is seeing regular targets even if his production can still be inconsistent from week to week.

Houston could welcome back Kenny Stills (hamstring) this Sunday after missing the last two games with a strained hamstring. He looked to be pushing Fuller before the injury but will probably now be competing for snaps with Keke Coutee. TEs Darren Fells and Jordan Akins have also see increased action in recent weeks, but I don't see either one as a viable fantasy play at the moment.

Indianapolis, who also beat the Chiefs in their last game, had a week off to prepare for this showdown, which should work to their advantage. The Colts had a good plan in their last two meetings with the Texans, both wins, holding Hopkins to 73 yards receiving combined and limiting Watson to 251 yards passing and one TD per outing. Through five games this season, Indy is ranked 17th against the pass.

IND FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.15
IND FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.23
IND FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.15
IND FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.3

Running Game Thoughts: With consecutive games of 20-plus carries, Carlos Hyde has been established as the top back in Houston with Duke Johnson used as a change of pace and on passing downs. That pair will face the 19th-ranked run defense in the NFL, though that ranking is helped by their Week 5 matchup with KC where the Chiefs ran just 14 times for 36 yards. On the road, I'd be surprised if we didn't see a healthy dose of Hyde once again.

Value Meter:
QB1: Deshaun Watson
RB2/RB3: Carlos Hyde
WR1: DeAndre Hopkins
WR2/WR3: Will Fuller
Flex: Duke Johnson (low-end)
Bench: Kenny Stills, Keke Coutee, Jordan Akins

Passing Game Thoughts: When last we saw the Colts back in Week 5, Jacoby Brissett was playing a game manager role, completing 18 of 29 passes for 151 yards and no TDs (he did score on a QB sneak). That marked the third time in five games that Brissett has thrown for fewer than 200 yards this season. He's certainly capable of more, and against a defense that handles the run better than the pass he may have to.

One thing that should help facilitate that is a healthier T.Y. Hilton, who had a week off to rest a troublesome quad that has bothered him much of the season thus far. Hilton dominated in three matchups with the Texans last year (including the playoffs), catching 18 passes for 399 yards. Yes, that was with Andrew Luck at the helm, but the Texans secondary hasn't fared well against the speedy wideout throughout his career, and I don't see Jonathan Joseph or Lonnie Johnson changing that.

Despite missing time, Hilton still comfortably leads the team in receiving, which speaks to how little the likes of Eric Ebron and Jack Doyle have contributed. Rookie Parris Campbell (abdomen) is also likely to miss the game, further weakening the options behind Hilton. Expect Houston, currently ranked 24th against the pass, to double Hilton, though history suggests it won't matter.

HOU FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.10
HOU FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.20
HOU FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.8
HOU FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.31

Running Game Thoughts: Marlon Mack rushed 29 times for 132 yards against the Chiefs in Week 5, and he has been the steadiest contributor on offense. He continues to be a nonfactor as a pass catcher, though, leaving backup Nyheim Hines to fill that role. Mack appeared in two of the team's three meetings with Houston last year, stumbling in the regular season (14 carries, 33 yards, one TD) before dominating in the playoffs (24-148-1). He'll have his work cut out for him against a talented Texans front.

Value Meter:
QB2: Jacoby Brissett
RB2: Marlon Mack
WR1: T.Y. Hilton
Bench: Eric Ebron, Jack Doyle, Nyheim Hines

Prediction: Texans 27, Colts 23 ^ Top

Cardinals at Giants - (Katz)
Line: NYG -3.0
Total: 50.0

Passing Game Thoughts: We got a glimpse of Kyler Murray’s true ceiling against Atlanta last week. Yes, it was against the league’s worst pass defense, but it would have been extremely concerning if Murray didn’t pop. The only concern for Murray this week is being a west coast team playing at 1:00 pm on the east coast. The matchup itself is just as easy. The Giants allow 285 passing yards per game, which includes a game where the Redskins’ quarterbacks combined for just 144 yards. Arizona plays at the fastest pace in the league, running a play every 24.01 seconds. This game features two bad defenses and could see a ton of points. Murray is setup to thrive once again. Unfortunately, it does not look like Christian Kirk will return so he will once again lean on Larry Fitzgerald and a medley of uninspiring ancillary receivers including KeeSean Johnson, Pharoh Cooper, and Trent Sherfield. Fitz hasn’t had a big game since Week 2 and is more of a floor play as Murray spreads the ball around while leaning on his running backs. Fitz should remain in your lineups. Unfortunately, without Kirk, none of the other Cardinals’ receivers can be trusted.

NYG FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.5
NYG FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.10
NYG FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.3
NYG FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.26

Running Game Thoughts: David Johnson played through a back injury and looked fine last week, posting his best fantasy performance of the season. Things will be just as easy this week against a Giants’ defense that allows 20% of opposing targets to running backs. Johnson has been poor and inefficient running the ball this season, but has excelled as a receiver. He’s on pace for nearly 110 targets. It goes without saying that you are starting DJ confidently. As for DJ’s backup, Chase Edmonds is a legitimate option this week. The 90% opportunity share DJ we saw back in 2016 is gone. For what it’s worth, Edmonds looks faster and more explosive than DJ. He only played 29% of the snaps last week, but he was effective when he touched the ball. You could do much worse than a running back on a high powered offense seeing 6-8 touches with the upside for more.

Value Meter:
QB1: Kyler Murray (high end)
RB1: David Johnson (high end)
WR2: Larry Fitzgerald (low end)
Flex: Chase Edmonds
Bench: Christian Kirk (ankle), KeeSean Johnson

Passing Game Thoughts: Daniel Jones is who we thought he was when the Giants drafted him. He’s just not that good. However, he is going to smash this week against the Cardinals’ league worst pass defense that has yet to record an interception while allowing a league high 16 touchdowns. They do get Patrick Peterson back, which obviously helps, but Peterson is going to lock down an outside receiver, likely Darius Slayton. Golden Tate runs nearly 90% of his routes from the slot and is setup for a big game. Most appetizing, though, is the return of Evan Engram after a one game hiatus to face a defense that seems to forget the tight end position exists. No team allows more fantasy points to opposing tight ends and it isn’t close. Engram is the overall TE1 this week.

ARI FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.1
ARI FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.21
ARI FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.12
ARI FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.1

Running Game Thoughts: Returning alongside Engram is Saquon Barkley, who clearly is not human. The Cardinals allow 4.7 yards per carry and 18.2 fantasy points to opposing RB1s. They have been relatively good at preventing running backs from doing work in the passing game, but Barkley is not going to be contained. He will make a return reminiscent of Thor’s arrival at the battle of Wakanda in Avengers: Infinity War. This game should be fast paced and high scoring with Barkley racking up stats as a runner and a receiver.

Value Meter:
QB1: Daniel Jones (low end)
RB1: Saquon Barkley (high end)
WR2: Golden Tate (low end)
Flex: Darius Slayton
Bench: Sterling Shepard (concussion)

Prediction: Cardinals 30, Giants 28 ^ Top

49ers at Redskins - (Katz)
Line: SF -10.0
Total: 41.5

Passing Game Thoughts: There isn’t much fantasy excitement in the 49ers’ passing game outside of George Kittle. Jimmy Garoppolo is on pace for 467 pass attempts, which would be bottom five in the league. The 49ers have also been using wide receiver by committee between Dante Pettis, Deebo Samuel, and Marquise Goodwin.

Only the Falcons and Cardinals have allowed more passing touchdowns than the Redskins’ 14. If the 49ers wanted to throw, they would succeed. So when Garoppolo does drop back to pass, expect the ball to be headed in the direction of Kittle, who is catching an absurd 83.9% of his targets. Kittle has just one 100-yard game and one touchdown on the season. Regression is coming. The Redskins only allow 16.26% of passing yards to tight ends, but that shouldn’t scare anyone away from the surefire top three tight end. As for the receivers, Pettis led the team in snaps last week, which is about the only positive thing I can say about him. If you need a long shot at flex this week to cover byes or injuries, I guess you could do worse.

WAS FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.6
WAS FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.7
WAS FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.6
WAS FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.14

Running Game Thoughts: Now this is where the 49ers make their money. Only the Ravens have been more productive on the ground and, well, they kind of cheat. The 49ers average just under 180 rushing yards a game. This game is setup well for the 49ers to dominate on the ground as they are 10 point favorites and the Redskins allow 4.6 yards per carry. Since Tevin Coleman has returned, he has clearly been reinstated as the lead back. He out-snapped Matt Breida 43-28 last week, which is still a split, but it’s clear that Coleman is 1A to Breida’s 1B. Coleman also handled every single goal line carry, giving him more touchdown upside. Breida is the preferred passing down back, though, which bodes well for him this week against a Redskins team that allows 24.98% of passing yards to running backs, fourth most in the league. You can confidently start Coleman and Breida in this one.

Value Meter:
RB2: Tevin Coleman (low end)
RB2: Matt Breida (low end)
TE1: George Kittle (high end)
Bench: Jimmy Garoppolo, Dante Pettis, Deebo Samuel, Marquise Goodwin

Passing Game Thoughts: It appears Case Keenum has earned himself at least one more start before the Dwayne Haskins era officially begins. The matchup couldn’t be worse against a 49ers pass defense that allows the fewest passing yards per game at 150.2 and has more interceptions (seven) than touchdowns allowed (five). I would be surprised if Keenum threw for a single touchdown this week, which would make this just the second game of Terry McLaurin’s career where he doesn’t score. McLaurin has at least seven targets in every game. He’s difficult to bench, but the ceiling is not there this week. Paul Richardson and Trey Quinn are way off the fantasy radar and even those in desperate need of a tight end to stream should look elsewhere.

SF FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.31
SF FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.31
SF FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.24
SF FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.30

Running Game Thoughts: The Redskins are going to do their damnedest to #establishtherun. It worked against the Dolphins last week with Adrian Peterson carrying the ball 23 times for 118 yards. It won’t work this week. Expect Peterson to see his usual 10-12 carries for his usual 25-40 yards. It would be embarrassing if he saw any more volume than that with the projected negative game script and the 49ers’ stout rush defense that only allows 87.2 yards per game and has allowed just one touchdown. Chris Thompson is dealing with a toe injury and may miss this game. If that is the case, Wendell Smallwood would likely take over the role and can be completely ignored in fantasy.

Value Meter:
Flex: Terry McLaurin
Bench: Case Keenum, Adrian Peterson, Chris Thompson, Paul Richardson, Trey Quinn

Prediction: 49ers 24, Redskins 6 ^ Top

Chargers @ Titans - (Green)
Line: TEN -2.0
Total: 40.0

Passing Game Thoughts: As hard as it is believe, Philip Rivers was effectively outplayed by an undrafted rookie third-stringer last week in a humiliating loss on Sunday Night Football. Statistically, some of his numbers weren't terrible as the veteran passed for 320 yards and two touchdowns, but it was his sloppiness with the ball (two INTs and a fumble that was returned for a score) that cost the team. He'll look to bounce back against a stingy Titans squad in Week 7.

Easily the most encouraging development last Sunday was the return of Hunter Henry from a knee injury. Henry, who missed the previous four games, caught eight passes for 100 yards and both touchdowns. If he was dropped in your league during his recovery stop reading this immediately and go add him! He provides a fifth dynamic option in the passing game to go with Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, Austin Ekeler and Melvin Gordon.

Williams has looked good since returning from his own brief absence, drawing 23 targets in the past two weeks. Ekeler was quiet last week but caught 15 passes in the previous game. Allen is the team's best receiver, but he has done little since torching the Texans (13-183-2) back in Week 3—in the three games since he has combined to post just 11 catches for 99 yards.

Tennessee's CBs Malcolm Butler, Adoree' Jackson and Logan Ryan won't make things easy on this group. They're a big reason the team is sixth in passing defense, allowing just 217.3 yards per game. I could see the Chargers relying on quicker releases this week to compensate for injuries along the offensive line.

TEN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.24
TEN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.26
TEN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.25
TEN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.7

Running Game Thoughts: On paper, Gordon and Ekeler are one of the NFL's best RB tandems. Following Gordon's holdout, however, they've struggled to get going: Gordon has 20 carries for 49 yards in two games while Ekeler has eight for 21. Tennessee has been decent at containing the run, ranking 15th in yards allowed (104.5) and 12th in YPC (4.2), but they struggled to contain Phillip Lindsay, who ran for 70 yards and a score on 15 carries. Ekeler offers a similar profile to the Broncos back.

Value Meter:
QB2: Philip Rivers
RB2/RB3: Melvin Gordon
RB3: Austin Ekeler
WR1/WR2: Keenan Allen
WR3/Flex: Mike Williams
TE1: Hunter Henry

Passing Game Thoughts: After scoring seven points in Week 5 and being shut out last Sunday, the Titans finally pivoted away from Marcus Mariota to Ryan Tannehill. Now the question becomes whether it'll make a difference or simply amount to rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic (get it, Titan-ic!). Tannehill certainly has more prolific numbers than Mariota, including a pair of 4,000-yard seasons on his resume, but that was before his knee injuries. It's unclear how much the 31-year-old has left in the tank.

What that means for the Titans' 29th-ranked passing attack is unclear, though it would not be surprising to see a lot of underneath throws to either the backs or possession targets like Adam Humphries or Delanie Walker—Pittsburgh's horizontal passing game certainly seemed to befuddle the Chargers last Sunday. On the outside, I could see Casey Heyward locking down Corey Davis or A.J. Brown; whichever one they stick the former Pro Bowler on.

Despite their overall struggles, the Chargers' defense is no joke with premium pass rushers helping the club rank fifth in passing yards allowed. After allowing a ridiculous seven sacks last week, more talented edge rushers is the last thing the Titans want to see. Other than Walker, who's a fringe option as well, I don't like any of Tennessee's wideouts this week.

LAC FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.26
LAC FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.11
LAC FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.27
LAC FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.16

Running Game Thoughts: If you watched the Chargers' would-be tacklers bounce off of 233-pound James Conner in Week 6, you can imagine that 247-pound Derrick Henry will likely get a lot of touches against the Bolts. LA currently ranks 22nd against the run this season, and they're generally more of a speed group than a physical one. Conner also exploited the Chargers with swing passes, so if there was ever a week for Dion Lewis to prove he's still alive this might be it.

Value Meter:
RB1/RB2: Derrick Henry
TE1: Delanie Walker (low-end)
Bench: Ryan Tannehill, Corey Davis, A.J. Brown, Adam Humphries

Prediction: Chargers 20, Titans 12 ^ Top

Saints @ Bears - (Swanson)
Line: CHI -3.5
Total: 38.5

Passing Game Thoughts: Teddy Bridgewater has done an excellent job running the Saints offense with Drew Brees on the shelf with a thumb injury. He has completed nearly 70% of his passes, with seven touchdown throws compared to just two interceptions.

For fantasy purposes, Bridgewater has been a decent streaming option, but the real benefit to his solid play has been the fact that Michael Thomas continues to be a No.1 fantasy wide receiver without Drew Brees. Thomas has at least 80 yards and/or a touchdown in each of his last five games and continues to enjoy a monster target share.

It what projects to be a low scoring game between two teams with top 10 defenses, Thomas is the only receiving option in the passing game you can start with confidence.

Alvin Kamara’s nagging ankle injury continues to be a concern as it has affected his ability to make cuts and be the dynamic player that made him a top three pick in fantasy drafts. Kamara has just two total touchdowns in six games and three games of fewer than nine fantasy points. He has not practiced and looks like he could be headed for the dreaded game-time decision designation.

Should he suit up and play through pain, the matchup is not great from a pass-catching prospective for the All-Pro running back. Chicago has yet to give ups a receiving touchdown, and all running backs besides Chris Thompson have fewer than 48 receiving yards.

Tight ends have found little success against Chicago, with only one touchdown reception allowed this season, and no opposing tight end has reached double digits in fantasy points. Jared Cook is banged up, and the matchup is not great. If you have other options, it might be a good idea to look elsewhere.

CHI FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.28
CHI FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.19
CHI FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.28
CHI FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.15

Running Game Thoughts: Kamara has yet to practice this week and looks like he could be a game-time decision against a Bears team that ranks 19th in fantasy points allowed to running backs. With Akiem Hicks out with an injury in the middle of the Chicago defensive line, the Bears are a much different team against the run.

Josh Jacobs torched the Bears for 125 yards and two scores two weeks ago in London, and the Saints could take a page out of the Raiders playbook and attack the middle of the Chicago line with inside traps, and other power runs with Latavius Murray.

If for some reason, Murray is available in your league, it would be a good move to pick him up. Even if Kamara does play, he will likely be limited, and Murray should see a decent workload in this game. Teddy Two Gloves will continue to run a scaled down offense with the goal of keeping the Saints in the game and limiting mistakes.

Value Meter:
QB2: Teddy Bridgewater (Low-End)
RB2: Alvin Kamara (Low-End)
WR1: Michael Thomas (Low-End)
WR5: Ted Ginn Jr. (Low-End)
TE2: Jared Cook (Low-End)

Passing Game Thoughts: Mitchell Trubisky was a full participant in practice on Thursday and appears ready to return to the field after suffering a shoulder injury against Minnesota Week 4. Chase Daniel led the Bears to a 16-6 victory over the Vikings Week 5, only to stumble the following week against the Raiders with two interceptions in a 21-24 loss in London.

Neither quarterback has been great for fantasy, with both ranking out of QB2 status. The running aspect of Trubisky’s game has not been there so far the season with a mere 21 rushing yards in three games. By comparison, Trubisky rushed for 421 yards and three scores in 14 games last season.

Without those rushing numbers to boost up his value, the second overall pick in the 2017 draft has no business in anyone's starting fantasy roster, especially this week against the Saints. New Orleans shut down both Dak Prescott and Gardiner Minshew in Weeks 4 and 6, and limited Jameis Winston to 204 passing yards Week 5.

Marshon Lattimore continues to play well out as a shutdown corner out on an island against the No.1 WR for the opposition. Amari Cooper, Mike Evans, and D.J. Chark all were limited to 50 yards or less by Lattimore after DeAndre Hopkins lit up the team for 111 yards and two scores Week 2,

Allen Robinson will likely be the recipient of the Lattimore coverage this week, making him a less than attractive start in what already could be a low scoring game. The other receiving options for the Bears, including Anthony Miller and Taylor Gabriel (assuming he is back from his concussion), will need to step up for this offense to move the ball in the air.

NO FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.11
NO FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.28
NO FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.9
NO FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.27

Running Game Thoughts: The Bears used a third round pick on David Montgomery and traded Jordan Howard to the Eagles with the goal of improving their rushing attack. As the No.28th rank team in fantasy points per game at the running back position is safe to say that the moves have not had the desired effect.

Montgomery does have two total touchdowns on the year, but his 3.3 yard per carry average is 47th among qualified rushers, and his nine total receptions for 72 yards and zero touchdowns has been a letdown.

The entire ground game for the Bears has been a fantasy wasteland. Tarik Cohen’s 4.5 points per game are more than half of what he did last season. He is averaging barely over two yards per carry and has not been much of a factor in the passing game.

Injuries to the offensive line, particularly Kyle Long, have limited the offense’s ability to run between the tackles, and the imaginative plays Matt Nagy has been known for are nowhere to be found.

Perhaps the bye week will give Nagy and the coaching staff time to rethink how they attack the running game, and hopefully, they will get more creative with Cohen.
From a matchup standpoint, running the ball will be an uphill battle against New Orleans, the No.28th ranked team in fantasy points allowed. Montgomery’s touchdown upside makes him a low-end No.2 running back even in this tough matchup. Just don’t expect a ton of yards or a receiving touchdown.

Value Meter:
QB2: Mitchell Trubisky (Low-End)
RB2: David Montgomery (Low-End)
WR2: Allen Robinson (Low-End)
WR4: Anthony Miller (Low-End)
TE2: Trey Burton (Low-End)

Prediction: Saints 17, Bears 10 ^ Top

Ravens @ Seahawks - (Caron)
Line: SEA -3.5
Total: 49.5

Passing Game Thoughts: Lamar Jackson has been one of the league’s most surprisingly efficient passers this season but he reminded all of us why we were so excited about his fantasy outlook for 2019 when he punished the Bengals with 152 rushing yards and a touchdown to go along with his 236 passing yards. While he failed to throw a touchdown, Jackson still turned in a huge fantasy performance - his third 30-plus point fantasy day over the first six weeks of the season - and he’s now failed to exceed 20 points just once so far in 2019.

This week Jackson will face a Seattle defense that narrowly squeaked out a victory over the Browns in Week 6, allowing Baker Mayfield to both pass and rush for a touchdown, after conceding a 395-yard day to Jared Goff the previous week. Seattle has now allowed two rushing touchdowns to opposing quarterbacks on the season and Jackson seems like as good of a bet as any QB in the league to dash into the end zone as a runner here in Week 7. The Seahawks have been decent against opposing passers overall, but Jackson is practically matchup-proof at this point given his unparalleled rushing ability, so look for him to have another nice fantasy day in Seattle.

If Jackson produces through the air, it may very well be through tight end Mark Andrews. Andrews has produced at least 99 yards in three of his six games this season, he’s scored three times and he’s been targeted at least seven times in every contest. Seattle has been weak against opposing tight ends in recent weeks, having conceded 239 yards and a touchdown to the position over the past two weeks despite playing against the Rams and Browns, neither of whom have established pass-catching tight ends on their roster.

The only Ravens wide receiver who we should be interested in from a seasonal fantasy standpoint is Marquise “Hollywood” Brown who missed Baltimore’s Week 6 matchup against the Bengals. He remains sidelined in practice as of Thursday, however, so the chances that he plays and produces anything of significant value for the Ravens this week seem small. If he is able to go, Brown is merely a boom-or-bust Flex option who is probably more likely to bust than to boom as long as he’s hampered by the ankle injury.

From a DFS standpoint, the trio of Miles Boykin, Willie Snead and Seth Roberts would likely see a bit of an uptick in targets if Brown is inactive. The only one who possesses much upside, however, is Boykin who at 6’4” and 220 lbs with high-end speed has proven to be a big play maker, particularly in the red zone where he’s already scored twice this season.

SEA FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.14
SEA FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.16
SEA FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.23
SEA FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.4

Running Game Thoughts: Mark Ingram continues to be a touchdown-scoring machine for the Ravens and there’s little reason to believe that it’ll stop anytime soon. The former Saints tailback has already scored seven times this season, matching his 2018 total in that category, and he’s seen at least 12 carries in every game so far this season. He is splitting carries to some extent with both Gus Edwards and Justice Hill, but Ingram is getting the money touches near the end zone and he’s involved enough with the passing game that he has a reasonably high floor even if he doesn’t get into the end zone. The Seahawks have given up four rushing touchdowns to opposing running backs over their past two games so Ingram looks like a good bet to score his eighth and possibly even his ninth touchdown of the season here in Week 7.

Value Meter:
QB1: Lamar Jackson
RB1: Mark Ingram (low-end)
TE1: Mark Andrews
Flex: Marquise Brown
Bench: Gus Edwards, Justice Hill, Miles Boykin, Willie Snead, Seth Roberts

Passing Game Thoughts: After throwing for 295 yards and a pair of touchdowns while also rushing for 31 yards and a touchdown, Russell Wilson has now scored multiple touchdowns in all but one game so far this season. Perhaps most importantly, he seems to be getting back to making plays with his legs after a down season as a runner in 2018. Wilson isn’t quite as good of a runner as the QB on the opposite side of the field from him, Lamar Jackson, but Wilson is now on pace to rush for over 400 yards this season and he’s already scored three times with his legs to go along with his 14 touchdowns as a passer. Perhaps most impressively, Wilson has not yet thrown an interception this season.

He’ll have a tough matchup here in Week 7, however, as the Seahawks host the Ravens who have allowed just six passing touchdowns this season and have held every opposing quarterback they’ve faced to one or fewer touchdowns with the exception of Patrick Mahomes. Baltimore has been susceptible to allowing passing yardage, however, as they’ve allowed three quarterbacks to throw for more than 340 yards against them and if the Ravens offense is as successful as they have been throughout most of the season, then the pressure will likely be on Wilson to pass the ball early and often.

Wilson will be without breakout tight end Will Dissly who suffered a season-ending Achilles injury this past week. It’s believed that backup tight end Luke Willson will see more playing time as a result of Dissly’s injury, but Wilson is only a player to stash in very deep leagues at the moment.

The Ravens have quietly struggled this season against opposing slot receivers. They allowed a 167-yard day to Jarvis Landry back in Week 4 and both Christian Kirk and Larry Fitzgerald exceeded 100 receiving yards playing primarily out of the slot against Baltimore back in Week 2. Baltimore isn’t a bad secondary anywhere but Tyler Lockett does seem like a good bet to put up some nice fantasy points in this contest. Lockett had played nearly 60 percent of his snaps out of the slot so far this season and he’s caught at least four passes in five straight contests. He’s a reliable high floor player who also possesses exciting upside to be a WR1 this week.

Rookie D.K. Metcalf is the other Seattle receiver who we’re watching from a fantasy standpoint. We know all about his physical talent and his ability to make big plays, but Metcalf could also benefit a bit from the injury to Dissly. Dissly was one of Wilson’s favorite targets in the red zone and there’s reason to believe that Metcalf will see an increase in designed end zone targets now that the tight end is sidelined. He’s still a fringe Flex option but this game could very well turn into a shootout so there are definitely worse options than Metcalf against the Ravens in Week 7.

BAL FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.22
BAL FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.18
BAL FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.10
BAL FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.21

Running Game Thoughts: Rashaad Penny did not appear on the injury report as of Wednesday which should mean that he’ll be on the field this weekend but the Seattle backfield is still going firmly through Chris Carson. After starting the season off with three straight 15-carry games, Carson has now seen his usage jump over the past three weeks as he’s accumulated at least 22 carries in all three contests. He’s made use of those touches by cracking the 100-yard mark in all three contests. Carson’s usage in the passing game continues to be hit or miss but he’s now on pace for over 50 receptions this season which would be a huge increase from the 20 he had in 2018. In fact, Carson is now only one catch away from matching that 2018 total after only six games.

Baltimore has been excellent against opposing running backs when the game script has forced their opponents to pass more than they’d like to, but that won’t likely be the situation here against the Seahawks. Seattle’s entire gameplan is built around keeping games close, controlling the clock and that all but ensures that Carson will see 15 or more touches in any game where he’s healthy, making him a solid RB1 in practically any contest.

Value Meter:
QB1: Russell Wilson
RB1: Chris Carson
WR1: Tyler Lockett
Flex: D.K. Metcalf
Bench: Rashaad Penny, Jaron Brown, Luke Willson

Prediction: Seahawks 27, Ravens 23 ^ Top

Eagles at Cowboys - (Katz)
Line: DAL -2.5
Total: 48.5

Passing Game Thoughts: Carson Wentz had a surprisingly good fantasy day against an elite Vikings defense. Now he gets a Cowboys defense that has only allowed five passing touchdowns all season, but also doesn’t force takeaways with just two interceptions. Byron Jones will face off against Alshon Jeffery, which could force Wentz to look elsewhere to move the ball down the field. The Cowboys are one of just 10 teams allowing double digit fantasy points to opposing tight ends. This could be a Zach Ertz week, especially with DeSean Jackson still recovering from his abdomen injury. Given the state of the tight end position and the Eagles’ lack of WR2 at the moment, Dallas Goedert is not the worst option given the Eagles’ increased use of 12 personnel without DJax. Goedert saw eight targets last week. Nelson Agholor is not a fantasy option.

DAL FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.27
DAL FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.12
DAL FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.26
DAL FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.12

Running Game Thoughts: It appears as though the pundits predicting that Doug Pederson would stray from his three-man committee were correct after all. Jordan Howard has seized control of this backfield, commanding a 63% snap share, which I believe is the highest of the Doug Pederson era. Howard didn’t do much with his touches because of the Vikings’ stout pass defense, but the Cowboys have shown vulnerability to the ground game. They’ve allowed seven rushing scores this season, including four by Aaron Jones in a single game. Miles Sanders also has value as the primary passing down back, but he only saw six touches last week. He did take one 32 yards for a score, but the volume is discouraging. Regardless, bye weeks and injuries push Sanders into the flex conversation.

Value Meter:
QB1: Carson Wentz (low end)
RB2: Jordan Howard (low end)
WR3: Alshon Jeffery
TE1: Zach Ertz (high end)
Flex: Miles Sanders
Bench: DeSean Jackson, Nelson Agholor, Dallas Goedert

Passing Game Thoughts: The Cowboys started out 3-0. Dak Prescott threw nine touchdowns and rushed for one more during that span. The Cowboys are now 3-3 and Prescott has thrown just two touchdowns while rushing for one during that span. The Cowboys’ offense has seriously regressed, but a reprieve could be coming in the form of a subpar Eagles’ pass defense that has allowed 13 touchdowns and 280.2 yards per game. The Eagles are an all or nothing defense. They’ve allowed the most 40+ yard pass plays in the league with seven, but are also fourth in the league in interceptions with seven. The bad news is Prescott will be operating without Amari Cooper, who is nursing a quad injury. With the Cowboys’ bye coming up, it makes sense to hold Cooper out and give him two full weeks to recover. Michael Gallup is talented enough to be a team’s WR1, but the team has nothing behind him. Some combination of Randall Cobb, Tavon Austin, and Cedrick Wilson will share the non-Gallup targets. Even with defenses shifting primary focus to Gallup, he is a lock to lead the team in targets and is a must start with Cooper out. Jason Witten may be second in targets. He saw seven last week and is a boring floor based TE option.

PHI FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.9
PHI FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.29
PHI FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.1
PHI FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.17

Running Game Thoughts: Ezekiel Elliott finally had an elite RB1 performance. It may have taken him 33 touches, but that usage can be expected with Cooper out. Elliott has now scored exactly once in five out of six games this season. Even with the Eagles’ sporting one of the league’s best rush defenses allowing just 3.3 yards per carry, Zeke is a good bet to score with the Cowboys’ lack of other options. Tony Pollard barely sees the field with Zeke firmly entrenched as the every down back. Look for the Cowboys to involve Zeke more in the passing game as well to make up for the lack of Cooper.

Value Meter:
QB1: Dak Prescott (low end)
RB1: Ezekiel Elliott (high end)
WR2: Michael Gallup (high end)
TE1: Jason Witten (low end)
Bench: Amari Cooper (quad), Randall Cobb, Tony Pollard

Prediction: Eagles 27, Cowboys 24 ^ Top

Patriots at Jets - (Katz)
Line: NE -10.0
Total: 43.5

Passing Game Thoughts: Tom Brady currently sits as the overall QB8 as he exploits favorable matchups. He’s certainly been a tremendous value based on where he was drafted, but he’s not suddenly an elite QB1. The Jets, surprisingly, are not a favorable matchup. They have allowed a mere five touchdown passes on the season. Their cornerbacks are weak, but the Patriots’ receivers might be even weaker. Josh Gordon has yet to practice as of Thursday and is trending towards sitting this one out. Even if he does suit up, this game is Monday night so fantasy owners will have to make a decision on Sunday. Gordon is good enough to warrant rolling the dice on a zero. Phillip Dorsett returned to practice this week and although hamstring injuries are tricky, he looks like he is going to play. He immediately slots back in as the secondary option behind Julian Edelman, pushing Jakobi Meyers back to the bench. I anticipate a run heavy script this week and an overall down week for the Patriots’ passing attack. It is worth noting that the Patriots resigned Ben Watson this past week, but he is not on the fantasy radar.

NYJ FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.18
NYJ FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.15
NYJ FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.13
NYJ FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.25

Running Game Thoughts: Just because the Patriots are going to run a lot doesn’t mean Sony Michel will produce. Michel has been better over the past two weeks, finishing as the RB22 and RB9, but he is still seldom used in the passing game and has no chance at exceeding low RB2 numbers without a touchdown. The good news is the Jets have allowed seven rushing scores this season. The bad news is they only allow 3.5 yards per carry, which is the same number Michel averages. I would not be surprised to see Brandon Bolden or a potentially returning Rex Burkhead get involved. The Patriots’ running back you want most is James White. White has 28 targets over his past three games and although he hasn’t had much of a ceiling, he comes with a very high floor. Look for him to be utilized frequently as a quasi-slot receiver to cover the Patriots’ injuries.

Value Meter:
QB1: Tom Brady (low end)
RB2: James White (mid-range)
WR2: Julian Edelman (mid-range)
Flex: Sony Michel, Phillip Dorsett
Bench: Josh Gordon (knee)

Passing Game Thoughts: Sam Darnold returned with a vengeance last week to upset the heavily favored Cowboys, much to my chagrin. Darnold threw for 338 yards and two touchdowns against just one interception. A second consecutive home game is a plus, but facing the Patriots’ defense is as negative as it gets. If not for an incredibly fluky long touchdown to Golden Tate last week, the Patriots would still sit at zero passing touchdowns allowed. As it stands, they’ve allowed the one passing touchdown while recording 14 interceptions and allowing just 161 passing yards a game. Robby Anderson also caught a long touchdown last week, but unless something random like that happens this week, Stephon Gilmore is going to lock him down. Jamison Crowder is the only interesting option as he’s now seen 26 targets in the two games Darnold has played and his 64.5% slot rate more suits how to attack the Patriots’ defense. Chris Herndon will be on the fantasy radar when he returns, but that won’t be this week.

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

Running Game Thoughts: Le’Veon Bell has now finished as an RB3 two of the past three games. Darnold’s return was supposed to help Bell, but Bell saw just one target last week. While that is likely an anomaly, Bell’s already low ceiling is even lower against the Patriots. Given the constant negative game script of Patriots’ opponents, they average the fewest rushing attempts against per game at just 17.7. If Bell is going to produce, it will be via receptions. It is difficult to envision Bell getting anywhere near 100 yards so unless he’s pushing double digit targets, it will be another down week for Bell.

Value Meter:
RB2: Le’Veon Bell (low end)
WR3: Jamison Crowder
Bench: Sam Darnold, Robby Anderson, Chris Herndon

Prediction: Patriots 20, Jets 13 ^ Top