- Green highllight indicates plus matchup (top eight)
- Red highlight indicates negative matchup (bottom eight)
Seahawks at Cardinals
- (Caron) Line: SEA -3.0 Total: 57.5
Game Thoughts: Even superstars have down games and that’s
what we saw from Russell Wilson in Week 10. The Seahawks QB threw
for just 248 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions in a road
loss to their division rival, the Los Angeles Rams. His sub-10
point performance could’ve been even worse if he didn’t
rush for 60 yards on the day. Nevertheless, Wilson has a significantly
better matchup here in Week 11 against another division rival,
the Arizona Cardinals - a defense that he torched for 388 yards
and three touchdowns through the air, along with a season-high
84 rushing yards.
While the fantasy production has slowed down a bit in this passing
game since the red hot start they got off to, Wilson has still
managed to throw for multiple touchdowns in every game this season
prior to his Week 10 stumble against LA. The matchup with the
Cardinals is one that he and the Seahawks should be able to exploit,
even if Arizona does opt to change their defensive scheme. The
Cardinals put cornerback Patrick Peterson in shadow coverage against
DK Metcalf for most of that afternoon, which led to Metcalf’s
worst game of the season. It did, however, leave Tyler Lockett
in an excellent situation as he terrorized the rest of the Arizona
secondary for 15 receptions, 200 yards and three touchdowns. Assuming
that the Cardinals are not interested in that kind of a humiliation
again, we can probably expect to see less shadow coverage on Metcalf,
which should lead to a better spread of target share here in Week
With Lockett progressing well from the minor injury he had coming
into the week, both he and Metcalf are both locked in WR1s at
this point, but the other player who we need to keep an eye on
is third string WR David Moore. Moore hasn’t really had
any huge performances yet this season but he’s seen at least
three targets in all but one Seahawks game this season, including
four touchdown receptions. He’s not someone who’s
a startable option in most leagues, but he’s a player to
look at in DFS and in deep leagues as a Flex.
ARI FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.11
ARI FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.21
ARI FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.7
ARI FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.24
Running Game Thoughts: With Chris Carson unlikely
to play again this week we may be looking at another ugly committee
situation in Seattle here in Week 11. DeeJay Dallas had filled
in admirably for Carson but didn’t see nearly as much playing
time as we expected this past week as it was veteran Alex Collins
who surprisingly took the bulk of the team’s carries in
the loss to the Rams in Week 10. Carlos Hyde off the injury report
and expected to be back on the field, so this is probably a situation
to avoid in most leagues assuming that Carson is unavailable.
The Cardinals have fared well against most opposing running backs
this season, but it’s also worth considering that they’ve
faced a very weak schedule of running backs. Carson and Hyde combined
for 102 yards on 20 carries against the Cardinals back in Week
7, so this isn’t quite as difficult of a matchup as the
overall season numbers might indicate, but the fact that three
different backs could be looking at touches makes this a situation
we’ll probably want to mostly avoid. Those in a tough situation
may consider looking at Hyde as he did look like the “next
man up” prior to sustaining his own injury, but this is
an ugly, low-upside situation.
Game Thoughts: Another tremendous fantasy performance
from Kyler Murray and the young Cardinals quarterback is now the
top-scoring player in fantasy football for the 2020 season. Murray’s
combination of passing game efficiency combined with a tremendous
rushing ability have made him both a high upside play as well
as a high floor play in any matchup.
This week Murray get to face a Seattle defense that he smashed
for 360 passing yards and three touchdowns along with 67 rushing
yards and a touchdown back in Week 7. This Seahawks defense has
given up more fantasy points to opposing QBs than any other team
in the league and now they have to face the league’s best
fantasy scorer. Needless to say, this is the stuff that fantasy
dreams are made of and Murray needs to be the top quarterback
on this week’s rankings.
DeAndre Hopkins’ Week 10 game against the Bills was certainly
made better by the heroic last-second touchdown that gave the
Cardinals the win, but the wide receiver has been a tremendous
fantasy asset all season and also has to be considered one of
the top players on the board this week. Hopkins himself lit up
the Seahawks for 10 catches, 103 yards and a touchdown on 12 targets
when these teams played in Week 7 and there’s little concern
that he’ll again be the team’s target leader in Week
Other than Hopkins, the Cardinals pass catchers have been quite
erratic this season, with the only real exception being Christian
Kirk. Kirk started the season off slow, but he’s gone for
20 or more fantasy points in three of his past four games. His
scoring has certainly been boosted up by an unsustainable touchdown
rate, but Kirk is a talented player who is the second option in
a good offense so he’s likely to continue to score at a
higher-than-normal rate. His floor is low, but Kirk does have
a pretty solid upside so feel free to roll him out as a WR3.
SEA FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.1
SEA FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.11
SEA FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.1
SEA FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.27
Running Game Thoughts: Kenyan Drake returned in Week 10 and did
return to the role as the Cardinals’ primary running back.
Despite some rumors that he might have conceded that spot to Chase
Edmonds, Drake saw 17 touches compared to Edmonds’ 11 in
that contest. Not only did he get two-thirds of the team’s
backfield carries, but he was actually fairly efficient with his
touches as he reached the 100 yard mark on the ground for only
the second time this season.
It’s too early for us to say that Drake is back to being
a solid RB2, but he’s probably right on the borderline of
being an RB2/Flex right now. One thing that’s hurt both
Drake and Edmonds’ upside is that Kyler Murray has essentially
operated as the team’s goal line back. The unique play calling
of Kliff Kingsbury has allowed Murray to make defenses pay for
being indecisive and he leads all quarterbacks with 10 rushing
touchdowns. Meanwhile, Drake and Edmonds have combined for just
five rushing touchdowns between them. Those types of situations
are often frustrating, but Drake and Edmonds are in a good offense
and they’re going to continue to get touches as long as
they’re healthy, so the upside is there for them to have
some week-winning performances as well.
The Week 11 contest against the Seahawks is one that doesn’t
look particularly great for Drake. The Seahawks kept him to just
34 rushing yards on 14 carries - a disgusting 2.4 yards per carry
- when these teams played in Week 7. Edmonds did fare much better
as he was hyper efficient with his touches, but neither player
put together much of a fantasy day.
There is a decent chance that the Seahawks opt to sell out to
stop the pass a bit more than they did in Week 7 when Murray torched
them, which could lead to some additional room in the running
game, but this is still a difficult situation to decipher. We
have to assume that Edmonds will remain involved, especially in
the passing game, which really limits Drake’s upside, but
it’s probably not enough for Edmonds to be more than a PPR
Flex here in Week 11.
Titans @ Ravens
- (Green) Line: BAL -5.5 Total: 49.0
Game Thoughts: When it comes to the passing game in Tennessee,
the law of diminishing returns continues to apply. Following a
hot start in which he topped 300 yards twice and passed for 13
TDs during his first five games, Ryan Tannehill has seen his production
nosedive right into the dirt. In his last four starts, he's averaged
190 passing yards and 1.75 TDs per game; during that stretch he
has completed fewer than 20 passes in each outing. In last year's
playoff upset over Baltimore, Tannehill connected on just seven
passes for 88 yards.
Until last Thursday, A.J. Brown had largely weathered the storm
with a five-game scoring streak and two 100-plus-yard games. Against
the Colts, however, Brown hauled in a 21-yard pass on Tennessee's
second snap and never had another reception, which includes a
brutal drop of what almost certainly would've been a long TD.
Corey Davis (5-67-0 in Week 10) continues to operate on the fringes
of fantasy relevance as someone that has topped 65 yards in four
of his games but failed to reach 40 in the other three.
Baltimore currently ranks seventh in the NFL against the pass,
allowing 213.3 yards per game. Only three teams have fewer INTs
than the Ravens, though they may be the most adept at punching
the ball out. This feels like a ground-and-pound type of game,
making Brown a borderline WR2/WR3 with Davis a flex play. As for
Tannehill, he simply cannot be relied on to produce meaningful
numbers right now.
BAL FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.25
BAL FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.19
BAL FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.29
BAL FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.19
Running Game Thoughts: If there was a bright spot for the Titans
offensively against the Colts it was the running of Derrick Henry,
who carried the ball 19 times for 103 yards (his fifth game of
100-plus on the ground). The last time he was in Baltimore, Henry
logged 195 yards on 30 carries with the Ravens unable to stop
the bruising back. Expect a similar approach this weekend after
the Pats ran for 173 yards on the Ravens Sunday night with little
input from their passing game. Henry is a high-end RB1.
Game Thoughts: Despite much of last Sunday night's game
being contested in a rain of nearly biblical proportions, Lamar
Jackson put up some pretty solid numbers with 249 yards passing,
55 yards rushing and two TDs (both via the air). Perhaps it will
serve as a catalyst to get the reigning MVP out of his season-long
statistical doldrums. Or maybe a visit from the Titans will do
the trick. In last year's playoff loss, Jackson posted gaudy totals
with 365 passing yards and 143 yards on the ground. While you
can't expect that level of output, Jackson should rate as a midrange
QB1 in Week 11.
At this point, Mark Andrews (7-61-0 in Week 10) is the only must-play
option among Jackson's targets, and even that has a lot to do
with how few decent TEs there have been in 2020 from a production
standpoint. His role could increase down the stretch after fellow
TE Nick Boyle (knee) was lost for the year last week. Marquise
Brown (2-14-0) is the theoretical top play at receiver, but he
hasn't topped 40 yards in a game since Week 6 and has seen less
work in recent weeks than Willie Snead (5-64-2). I'd still give
Brown a slight nod over Snead but only as a flex.
After watching immobile Philip Rivers ring up 300-plus yards
through the air on the Titans you have to feel good about Jackson's
chances. For the season, Tennessee is 28th against the pass at
277.4 yards per game and boasts one of the most ineffective pass
rushes in the NFL. Advantage: Jackson.
TEN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.5
TEN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.8
TEN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.2
TEN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.13
Running Game Thoughts: Mark Ingram returned from a two-game absence
but posted just five yards on five carries. J.K. Dobbins (5-13-0)
didn't fare much better, though Gus Edwards (7-42-0) ran effectively.
I thought it was at least possible that Dobbins would do enough
to gain separation from the others, but that didn't happen and
now we're back in the unending fantasy quagmire that is Baltimore's
RB committee. Tennessee is 18th in the NFL against the run (120.7
yards per game), but you can't really play any of the Ravens RBs
as more than a flex right now.
Game Thoughts: After hanging on for a 30-27 win over
the Washington Football team at Ford Field, Matthew Stafford and
the Lions head to Charlotte to take on the Panthers. Stafford
threw for a season-high 276 yards and three touchdowns against
Washington to finish as the No.7 quarterback on the week.
Overall on the season, Stafford ranks 19th in fantasy points
per game, making him more of a streaming option than a must-start
play each week.
One of the reasons why Stafford has not been as productive from
a fantasy perspective is the absence of star wide receiver Kenny
Golladay due to multiple leg and hip ailments. When on the field
in four healthy games, Babytron has a touchdown or 100 yards.
He is a difference-maker for Stafford and the offense but based
on practice reports, it does not look like he will play.
Stafford himself is dealing with a thumb injury that he sustained
against Washington. According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network,
the team is optimistic the thumb injury is not serious.
Carolina ranks in the middle of the pack in fantasy points allowed
to quarterbacks. The young secondary led by Jeremy Chinn, who
plays both linebacker and free safety, has been much better this
season than many analysts thought heading into 2020.
Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes each posted monster games vs. Carolina
over the past two weeks, while Derek Carr, Matt Ryan, Justin Herbert,
and Nick Foles all managed just one passing touchdown vs. the
Panthers. Stafford is an ok streaming option, but he could just
as easily give you one score and a couple of picks as he could
posting a strong performance.
T.J. Hockenson played in last week's game despite being hampered
with a foot injury. If he is active, this is a great matchup,
but he could once again be a decoy. Proceed with caution if he
is listed on the injury report late this week.
CAR FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.15
CAR FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.4
CAR FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.20
CAR FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.11
Running Game Thoughts: Fantasy owners hoped all summer long and
into the season that D'Andre Swift would eventually take over
the starting job for the Lions. It took a while, but after back-to-back
weeks of nearly 100 total yards and a workhorse share of the backfield
touches, Swift finally is the main guy for the Lions and someone
who should be considered a strong No.2 RB going forward.
Swift ranks 10th in fantasy points scored by running backs over
the past three games, with 269 yards and a receiving touchdown.
He should continue to do well in this matchup against a Panthers
defense that is weak against the run. However, Swift was added
to the injury report on Thursday with a concussion. If he can’t
get cleared in time it will be Adrian Peterson and Kerryon Johnson
handling the running back duties.
On the season, only the Lions, Texans, and Packers have given
up more points to opposing running backs than Carolina, with eight
different backs posting ten or more fantasy points.
Heck, the Panthers made Roland Jones look like Tony Dorsett last
week, with a record-98 yard rushing touchdown in a 46-23 blowout
loss. Jones and Leonard Fournette combined for older 200 rushing
yards on the day.
Game Thoughts: The good news for Teddy Bridgewater and
the skill position players on the Panthers is the Lions give up
the 13th-most points to opposing quarterbacks. The bad news is
Bridgewater may miss the game with a knee injury or could be hobbled,
which would be a hit to the value of D.J. Moore, Curtis Samuel,
and Robby Anderson for fantasy purposes.
The blueprint for beating the Lions has been pretty straightforward.
Take advantage of their league-worst run defense by running early
and often. If you fall behind, take advantage of Matt Patricia's
terrible defensive calls late in the game with a short, methodical
The Lions do not give up big plays in the passing game, as evident
to the fact that only two wide receivers have topped 100 receiving
yards, and no wide receiver has scored a touchdown since Week
But Detroit has given up the 14th most yards to wide receivers
and the second-most receiving yards to running backs, making them
an excellent matchup for a QB like Bridgewater and a system like
the one the Panthers use.
Look for Curtis Samuel to be the most targeted wide receiver
on short passes, along with Mike Davis out of the backfield. Moore
or Anderson could score on a deep pass or a quick pass with broken
tackles, but that has not been the M.O of this defense.
DET FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.13
DET FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.1
DET FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.17
DET FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.21
Running Game Thoughts: Christian McCaffrey will miss this game
against the Lions with a shoulder injury that he suffered two
weeks ago against the Chiefs. With CMC out, Mike Davis once again
became the workhorse back last week against the Bucs, but a thumb
injury limited him to just 52% of the snaps.
When you consider Davis saw an average for 80% of snaps from
Weeks 3 through 7 when CMC was out, his 52% share last week was
a massive disappointment for his managers. The good news is Davis
is not on the injury report to start the week, and the injury
is not thought to be serious.
Fire up Davis in all formats, with an added boost in PPR. Look
for Davis to catch at least five passes against the Lions, with
the chance of a receiving touchdown out of the backfield.
Game Thoughts: While it's fair to bring up some of the
injuries the Eagles have endured along the offensive line and
skill positions when discussing Carson Wentz's play in 2020, it's
equally fair to point out that he simply hasn't played well. His
low point came back in Week 8 when he passed for 123 yards and
turned the ball over four times against a bad Dallas team. A week
off and getting some guys back from injury was supposed to help.
It didn't. Wentz threw for just 208 yards and no TDs coming off
the bye in a disappointing 10-point loss to the Giants.
His chemistry with Travis Fulgham (1-8-0 in Week 10) was nowhere
to be seen, either, and the returning Alshon Jeffery didn't have
a catch in his 2020 debut. Greg Ward (5-39-0) is a decent enough
chain mover, though the silver(ish) lining had to be the play
of first-round pick Jalen Reagor (4-47-0), who led the team in
targets. On the outside, you can consider Reagor and Fulgham as
flex plays and ignore the rest. At tight end, Dallas Goedert (4-33-0)
represents good potential at a position that has had precious
few difference makers this season. He's a TE1 just based on that.
Defensively, the Browns are tougher on the run than the pass
where they rank 21st in the NFL at 252.2 yards allowed per game.
Their 18 TD passes allowed is also on the high end. Certainly
the Eagles would like to attack Cleveland via the air, but Wentz's
season of shaky play makes him no better than a QB2.
CLE FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.9
CLE FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.23
CLE FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.6
CLE FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.10
Running Game Thoughts: Miles Sanders returned from a two-game
absence to rack up 85 yards on 15 carries (5.7 YPC). Boston Scott,
who filled in as the primary back when Sanders was out, also ran
for 63 yards and a score but had just three carries. Cleveland
has given up just 104.9 yards per game this season (eighth) and
4.0 yards per carry, which means some tough work lies ahead for
the Eagles. Even with that, Sanders is a potential RB1 that should
also contribute as a receiver.
Game Thoughts: For the third time in his last four games
(and sixth time this season), Baker Mayfield passed for less than
200 yards. He also went without a TD for a second straight game.
There was always some concern that the loss of Odell Beckham Jr.
would depress the passing attack, but at this point it's all but
been abandoned. While the odd game of statistical relevance may
pop up here and there, like it did in Week 7 against the Bengals,
Mayfield has become an unplayable option in fantasy circles.
Jarvis Landry (3-29-0 in Week 10) remains the team's most accomplished
receiving threat, but in two games without OBJ he's managed seven
grabs for 81 yards combined. Although Rashard Higgins (3-48-0)
outperformed him, Landry is the better option to use as a WR3
or flex. Austin Hooper caught just one pass in his first game
since having his appendix removed, but like Goedert, the miserable
state of tight end production across the NFL keeps Hooper viable
as a TE1 based on his time in Atlanta.
Given Cleveland's outright refusal to throw the ball very often
it arguably doesn't matter much as to the relative strength or
weakness of an opponent's secondary. For the record, Philadelphia
ranks sixth in the NFL in passing yards allowed (211.8 per game)
and are tied for third in the league with 31 sacks. As if the
Browns needed more incentive to keep the ball out of Mayfield's
PHI FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.19
PHI FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.28
PHI FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.19
PHI FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.4
Running Game Thoughts: Playing for the first time since Week
4, Nick Chubb picked up where he left off, carrying the ball 19
times for 126 yards and a TD. For the year he's averaging 6.1
yards per carry and has rushed for 100-plus in three of his four
full games. He's absolutely one of the elite backs in the NFL
and a mid-level RB1. Kareem Hunt also ran for a season-high 104
yards on 19 carries (he added 28 more as a receiver). While not
as reliable as Chubb, Hunt remains an RB2. Against an Eagles D
that ranks 26th in the league against the run things could get
Patriots @ Texans
- (Swanson) Line: NE -2.0 Total: 48.5
Game Thoughts: Cam Newton and the New England Patriots
head to take on former longtime Patriots assistant coach Romeo
Crennel and the Houston Texans. Newton ranks 18th at the position
with 22 fantasy points per game and trails only Kyler Murray for
the lead in rushing touchdowns by a QB with 9.
31% of Newton's rushing attempts are high value rushes in the
red zone, and he is second in the league with 12 rushing attempts
inside the five-yard line. He is the quarterback and the top running
back on the team. Unfortunately, he has just three passing touchdowns
in eight games.
Jakobi Meyers has the 5th-most targets over the last three weeks,
with 23 receptions for 286 yards. Although he has not reached
the end zone over that time, he has a massive 40% target share
and should be a strong play this week against a Texans defense
that has given up the 11th-most points to opposing wideouts.
Outside of Meyers, there is no passing option worthy of starting.
N'Keal Harry was a non-factor in his return to action last week
and cannot be trusted.
Rex Burkhead looks to have taken over the passing down role for
the team from veteran James White. Of the five passing touchdowns
thrown this season by Patriots quarterbacks, Burkhead has caught
three of them and should be active this week against Houston,
making him a nice flex option.
HOU FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.20
HOU FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.3
HOU FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.12
HOU FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.15
Running Game Thoughts: Damien Harris saw a season-high 32 snaps
last week against the Ravens, with the Patriots taking advantage
of the weather conditions and injuries to the defensive front
Only the Lions have given up more fantasy points to opposing
running backs than Houston. An opposing back has topped ten fantasy
points in each of the last three games against the Texans, including
both Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt posting 100 yards last week in
You can run on the Texans, and the Patriots are going to run
early and often. Harris has the third-most rushing yards in the
league over the last three games and over 100 rushing yards in
half of his games this year.
Look for Harris to have another 100-yard game this week with
the upside of a score or two, making him a low-end No.1 play and
Rex Burkhead should get around five targets and some rushing
attempts on third down, and even more work if the Texans jump
out to a big lead and create a negative game script for Damien
Game Thoughts: Deshaun Watson enters this matchup as
the No.8 fantasy quarterback with 25.4 points per game. Although
he is on pace for just two rushing touchdowns, Watson is on pace
to throw 30 passing touchdowns for the first time in his career,
and he is completing 68% of his passes. The lack of rushing touchdowns
has kept him out of the top-5 at the quarterback position, but
he is still an excellent every-week play.
Watson and the Texans passing game could not get anything going
last week in the windy conditions in Cleveland. This week at home
in the climate-controlled NRG Stadium should be much easier, although
their opponent in the Patriots is far more challenging than the
New England gives up the seventh-fewest points to opposing quarterbacks.
They are a Jekyll and Hyde unit that gave up three passing touchdowns
to Joe Flacco in Week 9 but held Josh Allen, Ryan Fitzpatrick,
Drew Lock, and Jimmy Garoppolo to no passing touchdowns in their
The Pats give up the second-worst yards per passing play (7.8)
in the league, and Watson is one of the best deep throw passers
in the league. If his subpar offensive line can give him enough
time, look for Watson to hit Will Fuller and Brandin Cooks on
a few deep balls.
Duke Johnson will get the start again at running back with David
Johnson on IR with a concussion. Although he is one of the better
pass-catching running backs in the league, the Texans inexplicably
did not throw a single pass to Johnson last week in the crazy
windy conditions in Cleveland.
Cornerback Stephon Gilmore missed a third-straight game last week
against the Ravens with a knee injury. If he cannot play this
week, his absence would be a big boost for Fuller and Cooks.
NE FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.26
NE FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.16
NE FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.21
NE FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.29
Running Game Thoughts: Duke Johnson will get the start at running
back for the Texans with David Johnson on IR with a concussion.
The Houston running backs have combined to score the third-fewest
points at the position, trailing only the Bears and the Jets for
running back fantasy point futility.
Duke is barely averaging over three yards per carry on his 48
totes this season, and for some odd reason, the team is not using
him in the passing game. The former Miami Hurricane is on pace
for the fewest targets and receptions, despite being widely considered
one of the better route running backs in the NFL.
The Patriots are not the vaunted run-stopping team of yesteryear.
They currently rank 13th in fantasy points allowed to running
backs and give up a whopping 4.6 yards per carry. Although they
did shut down the Ravens last week, the Bills found success running
against the Pats in Week 8, and the 49ers clobbered them for three
rushing touchdowns back in Week 7.
Game Thoughts: Ben Roethlisberger and the 9-0 Pittsburgh
Steelers head to Jacksonville to take on a Jaguar team that has
not won a game since their upset win of the Colts to kick off
the 2020 regular season.
As you would expect, the Steelers are massive favorites, with
Vegas giving 10 points to the Jags on the opening line. I would
expect the Steelers to cover, assuming they do not play down to
their opponent's level like they did two weeks ago against the
Cowboys when they barely escaped Jerry's World with a win.
Although the Jags did an excellent job stifling the Packers'
running game and forced the Packers to come from behind last week
in Lambeau, they are not a great defense, and all of the passing
options for the Steelers should be in play.
Big Ben is a top-five play, all three of the wide receivers in
Diontae Johnson, Chase Claypool, and JuJu Smith-Schuster are start
worthy, and even tight end Eric Ebron is in play, as the Jags
give up the third-most points to opposing tight ends.
Perhaps the biggest question mark for the Steelers passing game
options is the possibility for a negative game script in which
the Steelers defense stifles rookie Jake Luton and the Jacksonville
offense. It is possible that Jacksonville struggles to get on
the board in this game, thus making the Steelers not need to throw
the ball as much as fantasy managers would want.
JAC FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.3
JAC FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.5
JAC FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.11
JAC FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.7
Running Game Thoughts: Don't let the Jacksonville defense's performance
against the Packers last week fool you. They are not a great run-stopping
team. The defense stacked the box because of the windy conditions
at Lambeau and forced the Packers to beat them in the air.
Five opposing running backs have topped ten fantasy points, including
a monster three-touchdown game by Joe Mixon back in Week 4. Rookie
D'Andre Swift delivered the first 100-yard and multi-touchdown
game of his career, and even Duke Johnson managed to reach the
end zone two weeks ago.
James Conner has been somewhat of a disappointment this season
as the No.20-ranked running back in points per game, but he should
be in your lineup in this game. Look for him to get into the end
zone for the first time since Week 8, with around 80 combined
Game Thoughts: The Jags nearly pulled off the upset of
the season when they scored 20 points on the Packers and forced
Green Bay to come from behind in their 24-20 win. Rookie Jake
Luton completed just 18 of 35 passes for 169 yards and a score
in the game, with the Jags using their run game and special teams
touchdown to make the game close.
Although the conditions at home this week appear to be far better
for Luton and the passing game, the fact that the Steelers and
their potent pass rush and pass defense, along with the likely
loss of starting tackle Cam Robinson, makes this a recipe for
disaster for the rookie QB from Oregon State.
No opposing quarterback has thrown for more than two touchdowns
in any game against the Steelers, and no QB has topped more than
279 passing yards. Under no circumstances are you starting Luton
in fantasy, as the Steelers have done a great job setting down
Joe Burrow, Lamar Jackson, Ryan Tannehill, and Deshaun Watson.
The question is, can you start D.J. Chark, Keelan Cole, or any
of the receiving options on the Jags. The answer is yes for Chark
and maybe Cole, but expectations should be tempered.
It is a rarity for a team to be in the top-five in fewest points
allowed to quarterbacks while at the same time giving up the 8th-most
points to opposing wide receivers. Pittsburgh is tied with the
Seahawks, Texans, and Bengals for the second-most wide receiver
touchdowns at 13.
Chark and Cole will not likely do much in terms of yards, but
a garbage touchdown is not out of the question.
PIT FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.28
PIT FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.32
PIT FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.10
PIT FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.32
Running Game Thoughts: James Robinson is one of the most impressive
stories of the 2020 season. The undrafted rookie from Illinois
State ranks seventh in fantasy points per game among running backs,
ahead of other first-round backs like Zeke Elliott, Josh Jacobs,
Joe Mixon, and Miles Sanders.
Robinson has double-digit fantasy points in all but two of his
games this season, including two games of over 20 fantasy points.
You are not benching Robinson, but keep in mind that this week's
matchup against a Steeler run defense that gives up the second-fewest
points to running backs will be his most challenging start to
Pittsburgh has allowed just six total touchdowns to running backs
and only one game of over 100 rushing yards. It is not impossible
to score vs. Pittsburgh, but the possibility of a lopsided score
and negative game script could limit the rushing attempts for
Falcons @ Saints
- (Swanson) Line: NO -4.5 Total: 51.5
Game Thoughts: Matt Ryan and the Falcons return from
the bye for the first of two meetings against the Saints in three
weeks. The bye came at a good time for the 3-6 Falcons, as it
gave wide receivers Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley time to heal
up from nagging hamstring and foot injuries.
Ryan's 22.3 fantasy points per game place him just inside QB1
rankings, but he is way off the pace of top performers like Kyler
Murray, Russell Wilson, Patrick Mahomes, and Josh Allen, all of
whom are averaging above 28 points per game.
Although he has completed over 70% of passes in each of his last
four games, he managed to throw just one passing touchdown against
Detroit in Week 7 and no passing touchdowns against the Panthers
the following week.
He averages just under 300 passing yards per game in 23 career
games vs. New Orleans, but he has two or fewer passing touchdowns
in eight of his last ten meetings vs. his divisional rival.
The Saints passing defense was downright dreadful to start the
season, but Dennis Allen and the Saints D has turned it around
as of late with cupcake matchups against Nick Mullens and Nick
The fact that Jameis Winston and not Drew Brees will start opposite
of Ryan could mean a few short fields based on turnovers by the
erratic backup QB for the Saints. Atlanta will need to improve
on their 27th ranked red zone offense and convert those short
field opportunities into touchdowns and not field goals.
New Orleans jumped up from one of the bottom 15 teams in sacks
per game to No.7 with an average of 3.3 sacks in the last three
contests. The Falcons rank in the middle of the pack in sacks
allowed per game. The ability for the Falcons offensive line to
protect Ryan and give him time to target Ridley and Jones downfield
will be critical.
You are starting both Ridley and Jones in all formats. Ridley
has 26 catches for 358 yards and four touchdowns in four meetings
against the Saints, and Jones averages just under 100 yards per
game in 16 meetings vs. New Orleans. Plug them both into your
lineups and enjoy.
Ridley is still listed as questionable, but at this point, it
appears he is trending on playing. An injury for the Saints that
could hope the passing attack for the Falcons is starting cornerback
Marshon Lattimore, who left Sunday's game against the 49ers with
an undisclosed injury.
NO FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.17
NO FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.31
NO FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.16
NO FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.6
Running Game Thoughts: The Falcons rushing attack led by Todd
Gurley and Brian Hill ranks a combined 15th in fantasy points
scored per game. Gurley is having one of his worst seasons as
a pro based on his yard per carry average of 3.7 and the fact
that he is not at all involved in the passing game, but he does
have nine rushing touchdowns on the season.
He is a touchdown-dependent running back who has hit pay dirt
in all but two games. This week's matchup against the Saints may
be a tough road for Gurley and his fantasy managers, as the Saints
give up the fewest fantasy points to running backs.
No opposing back has more than 88 rushing yards in a game, and
no back has scored a touchdown vs. New Orleans since week 4.
You are starting Gurley for the touchdown upside, but don't be
surprised to see him disappoint. Almost 40% of his production
this season, but he does average just under 20 touches a game
and should be a low-end RB2.
Game Thoughts: Get your popcorn ready. Say what you want
about Jameis Winston. He is erratic, makes poor decisions, and
forces the ball into windows that do not exist. Despite these
downfalls, he is entertaining to watch and will throw the ball
a ton against a Falcons pass defense that ranks second in points
allowed to quarterbacks.
Winston's matchup could not be any better, as the Falcons are
terrible on defense, and the Atlanta offense will likely score
over 20 points on the Saints, forcing Winston to throw a ton.
Atlanta is far better at stopping the run than the pass, so look
for Sean Payton to attack the Falcons in the air, especially to
Alvin Kamara and Michael Thomas.
But as good as the matchup looks for Winston, it will take some
intestinal fortitude to start him. We don't know how much Taysom
Hill will be used, and it is feasible that multiple interceptions
could force Payton to play Hill even more than he originally planned.
Another question is Winston's accuracy throwing to running backs
out of the backfield. The Bucs were in the bottom five every season
in passes to running backs when Winston was the starting QB. That
could be more of an indictment of the offense than Winston's ability
to hit running backs, but it is safe to say he is not as accurate
at hitting RBs with passes as Brees has been.
Editor's Note: According
to Adam Schefter, Taysom Hill has been named the starter and Winston
is not expected to be involved in any offensive packages. Given
his rushing ability and tasty matchup, Hill becomes a viable high-end
QB2 streamer while Winston is unplayable. Note that Hill is TE
eligible on some fantasy platforms including Fanduel.
Wide receiver Tre'Quan Smith suffered a concussion against the
49ers and may miss this game. Joining Smith in the concussion
protocol is backup tight end Josh Hill.
ATL FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.2
ATL FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.27
ATL FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.3
ATL FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.1
Running Game Thoughts: Although the Falcons are much better at
stopping the run than the pass in 2020, it would make sense for
Sean Payton to use a run-heavy approach on Sunday to help ease
the burden on backup QB Jameis Winston while also limiting the
time of possession for the Atlanta offense.
Atlanta gives up the fifth-fewest points to running backs and
just three rushing touchdowns on the season. On the positive side
for Kamara (foot), the Falcons continue to be terrible at covering
running backs in the passing game and are second in the league
in touchdown passes given up to RBs.
Of course, you are starting Kamara in this matchup. He is second
in fantasy points scored by running backs, behind only Dalvin
Cook. Even in tough matchups like last week against the 49ers,
Kamara game through big Tim with over 100 total yards and three
Bengals at Football
Team - (Katz) Line: WAS -2.0 Total: 46.5
Game Thoughts: Joe Burrow’s string of quality performances
came to a crashing halt when he faced the Steelers’ stifling
defense last week. While the Football Team is a far less imposing
foe, they do possess a strong pass rush. That’s bad news
for Burrow, who struggles mightily when under pressure, completing
just 25.3% of pressured throws, 34th in the league.
The bad matchup last week did produce one positive – it
proved that Tee Higgins is matchup proof. He’s not just
some random starting option; Higgins is a locked in WR2. Since
Week 3, Higgins has hit at least 62 yards or a touchdown in every
game. In a blowout loss last week, Higgins had his best game of
the season (7-115-1). Washington allows just 27.5 fantasy points
per game to wide receivers, but 18.8 of those are to outside receivers,
which is where Higgins plays.
They’ve been excellent defending the slot, which could
spell another down week for the otherwise reliable Tyler Boyd.
The good thing about Boyd is even in his down weeks, he doesn’t
totally flop. He did manage six catches for 41 yards last week.
Not terrible. For some reason, A.J. Green is still playing over
80% of the snaps.
WAS FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.22
WAS FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.24
WAS FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.31
WAS FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.9
Running Game Thoughts: At this point, we should assume Joe Mixon
is not coming back this season. It was a poor outing last week,
but Giovani Bernard still played 68% of the snaps. Most importantly,
he saw seven targets. Samaje Perine definitively outplayed Bernard
and looks like the superior player, but the Bengals don’t
see it that way, which keeps Bernard as a fantasy starter for
as long as Mixon remains out. This game should be far more competitive
than last week’s so Bernard won’t be benched in the
fourth quarter while the teams are just trying to run out the
clock and go home.
Washington has been very good at limiting pass catching running
backs, allowing 2.1 fantasy points less than league average in
that area. Bernard is never lighting the world on fire, but he’s
a volume play. The 12 touches he handled last week is his absolute
Game Thoughts: Alex Smith is not going to attempt 55
passes in most games, but it’s very encouraging to see that
he can. The incredible comeback story continues as Smith has completed
over 70% of his passes in his two starts and hit 325 yards both
times. The running backs stole all the touchdowns last week or
we’d be talking about Smith in a much different light.
Smith has not hurt Terry McLaurin at all. McLaurin has caught
seven passes in four straight games and has 90+ yards in three
straight. He’s a locked in WR1. The Bengals allow an outrageous
26.2 fantasy points per game to outside wide receivers, which
is 4.3 more than league average. Steven Sims has taken over the WR2
role, but he’s not a fantasy option. Logan Thomas has six
targets in back to back games and with the tight position a complete
wasteland, he’s a safe, floor option with touchdown upside.
The Bengals are below average at defending the tight end.
CIN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.6
CIN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.20
CIN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.8
CIN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.2
Running Game Thoughts: The passing game really bleeds into the
running game for the Football Team as the biggest beneficiary
of Alex Smith taking over has been J.D. McKissic. No player in
the NFL has more than McKissic’s whopping 29 targets the
past two weeks. Smith is just checking it down so frequently,
pushing McKissic into RB1 territory on volume alone. The Bengals
are 1.7 points better than league average defending receiving
backs, but that shouldn’t deter you from starting McKissic.
The best part of this all is that McKissic’s success hasn’t
hindered Antonio Gibson much at all. Gibson has seven receptions
himself over the past two games. He’s coming off a 13 carry,
45 yard, two touchdown effort. Gibson being the goal line back
is huge for his fantasy value.
The Bengals have only allowed six rushing scores this season,
but that’s largely because they’re so vulnerable through
the air. The Football Team should have no trouble moving the ball,
which means there will be scoring opportunities. The running backs
are unlikely to take them all again this week, but all we can
ask for are the chances.
Dolphins at Broncos
- (Caron) Line: MIA -3.0 Total: 45.0
Game Thoughts: The Dolphins move from Ryan Fitzpatrick
to rookie Tua Tagovailoa appeared to be a “look toward the
future” move, but it’s now becoming clear that the
staff in Miami viewed it as a “win now” move - and
apparently rightfully so. Tua has now led the team to three straight
victories as they make a push for the playoffs.
The fantasy production hasn’t been particularly strong,
however, as Tagovailoa has been careful to avoid making mistakes
while limiting down field pass attempts. This has led to some
poor performances from the pass catching weapons in Miami, most
notably DaVante Parker who has caught just nine passes for less
than 100 total yards in Tua’s three starts. Parker is still
the best option in the Miami passing game, but he can’t
be considered much more than a WR3 at the moment until the Dolphins
start targeting more often and further down the field.
The other Miami pass catching weapons haven’t been any better,
either. Jakeem Grant has caught four passes in back-to-back games
with Tua which should give us some hope but that’s not enough
for him to be a fantasy option this week. Tight end Mike Gesicki
has caught three or fewer passes in six of his past seven games
so he’s not at all in play in anything other than deep leagues
that require more than one TE starter per team.
The Broncos defense has been smashed on the ground lately which
has meant that opposing passing games haven’t needed to
pass the ball much against them, but this is still a decent matchup
all things considered. Nevertheless, Tua and Parker are the only
players who should be in fantasy lineups at the moment.
DEN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.18
DEN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.14
DEN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.18
DEN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.20
Running Game Thoughts: Those who watched the Broncos-Raiders game
in Week 10 are already well aware of where this one is going.
Denver got absolutely humiliated by Las Vegas this past week as
Josh Jacobs and Devontae Booker took a combined 37 carries for
193 yards and four touchdowns. Denver hasn’t always been
this bad at stopping the run, but that was one of those “give
up” games where their will was broken. We’ve seen
this happen with teams many times and it rarely turns around.
This could become one of the defenses that opposing offenses really
attempt to bully on the ground going forward.
We’ll have an opportunity to see how it plays out this week
when the Dolphins head to town to face the Broncos. Miami’s
backfield hasn’t been much to be excited about this season,
but things got interesting this past week when rookie Salvon Ahmed
got his first real opportunity to shoulder the load. Most expected
that it’d be Matt Breida, who the team acquired this past
offseason, but Ahmed dominated the backfield opportunities with
22 touches to Breida’s four. Certainly things can change,
but the Dolphins have actually been utilizing a bell cow back
throughout most of the season with Myles Gaskin so it wouldn’t
be all that surprising if they stick with Ahmed getting a 75-plus-percent
That type of usage should lead to some fantasy production this
week against the beaten down Broncos defense. Consider Ahmed an
RB2 here in Week 11.
Game Thoughts: Quarterback Drew Lock has been objectively
bad this season, but he’s somehow found a way to keep multiple
players in this Denver passing game at least somewhat fantasy
relevant. Rookie wide receiver Jerry Jeudy seems to be breaking
out. He’s caught 15 passes for 266 yards and a touchdown
on 32 targets over the past three weeks, clearly establishing
himself as Lock’s go-to target. He’s still probably
too erratic to look at as more than a WR3/Flex, but Jeudy has
to be owned in all leagues. Tight end Noah Fant is the other must-own
in this passing game. It’s been shaky for him this season
and he’s only a borderline TE1 but he has the physical skill
set to be a top six option at the position if he continues to
seven-plus targets per game as he has been as of late.
The other options in the passing game are wide receivers Tim Patrick
and KJ Hamler. Patrick has been a decent complementary piece but
he’s not much of a fantasy option at the moment given the
overall low quality of targets coming his way, but Hamler is someone
who we need to keep an eye on. It’s too early to look at
Hamler as a weekly starter in seasonal leagues but he’s
someone who has to be on the radar in DFS. He’s a field-stretching
receiver who’s seen 10 targets in each of the past two weeks.
He hasn’t yet converted that target share into high level
fantasy production but there’s some serious potential here
if he keeps seeing this type of volume.
With the Broncos struggling to stop opposing offenses right now,
there’s a real possibility that this becomes an early negative
game script situation, which could mean a higher-than-normal pass
attempt number for Lock. We’ll still avoid Lock himself
in seasonal leagues given his propensity to throw the ball to
teams wearing the opposite color jerseys, but there’s enough
potential volume here for quality fantasy days from one or more
of his pass catchers.
MIA FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.8
MIA FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.13
MIA FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.13
MIA FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.25
Running Game Thoughts: Melvin Gordon is still the lead back in
the Denver backfield, but that hasn’t meant much as of late.
Gordon has carried the ball just 25 times total over his past
three games and his production with those attempts has been less
than inspiring. He’s still being utilized much more than
the other backs in the passing game but the Broncos have been
more interested in passing to their receivers and tight ends especially
as of late, so we can’t even rely on Gordon as a three-catch-per-week
type back in PPR formats.
This week Gordon and the Broncos face an ugly matchup against
a Dolphins defense that has been excellent against opposing running
backs as of late. No player has rushed for more than 70 yards
against the Dolphins since Raheem Mostert did it all the way back
in Week 5 and they haven’t given up a single touchdown to
an opposing running back since that Week 5 game with the 49ers.
Gordon is someone who will likely see decent enough volume if
the Broncos stay in the game, but he becomes practically useless
if the team falls behind. There’s enough of a chance that
happens that we need to be cautious with him in this matchup.
He could be a low-end RB2 on teams with bad RB options, but we’re
going to call him a Flex for most teams. Phillip Lindsay, on the
other hand, cannot be trusted until Gordon is out of the picture.
Jets at Chargers
- (Caron) Line: LAC -9.5 Total: 46.0
Game Thoughts: Veteran Joe Flacco is set to take the
field again this week for the Jets with Sam Darnold still sidelined
with a shoulder injury. It probably doesn’t make much of
a difference who’s behind center in this offense right now
as the passing game has been among the league’s worst both
from a fantasy standpoint and an actual on-field NFL standpoint.
This week the Jets face the Chargers whose pass defense has been
rather unlucky in terms of fantasy points given up to opposing
quarterbacks. While they’ve only given up three games of
250 or more passing yards, opposing quarterbacks have already
thrown 18 touchdown passes against them - that’s tied for
eighth-most in the league. What’s also a bit odd is that,
while they’ve been fairly good at stopping opposing wide
receivers, they’ve given up the fifth-most fantasy points
per game to opposing tight ends, including seven touchdowns to
the position - second-most in the league.
Typically this would mean great things for a tight end and perhaps
Chris Herndon will surprise everyone with a breakout performance,
but that seems extremely unlikely given that he’s caught
just one pass over the past four weeks. We’ll continue to
leave Herndon in free agency.
The wide receivers in New York are really where we might be able
to extract some fantasy value. Breshad Perriman is coming off
of his best game of the season when he caught five passes for
101 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Perriman is dealing with a
shoulder injury that has limited him in practice, but the Jets
did have a Week 10 bye so it looks likely that Perriman will be
back on the field this week. He seems to be Joe Flacco’s
favorite target at the moment for what that’s worth, but
Jamison Crowder is back after missing a few games with an injury
of his own, so he should see some targets come his way as well.
Perhaps the most exciting player in the offense, though, is rookie
wide receiver Denzel Mims. Mims has a tremendous physical profile
but missed most of the first half of the season so he’s
been flying under the radar and is available in most leagues.
He’s seen 18 targets over his three NFL starts thus far
and is someone to keep an eye on, although this isn’t a
great matchup to deploy him in your starting lineup.
LAC FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.10
LAC FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.12
LAC FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.25
LAC FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.5
Running Game Thoughts: A split backfield in a bad offense is rarely
conducive to fantasy production and that’s exactly the situation
we have in New York. The Jets backfield has been a gross situation
throughout most of the season, even when Le’Veon Bell was
still on the roster, and things haven’t gotten any better
now that La’Mical Perine is splitting carries with veteran
Frank Gore. Perine has typically been the better player in PPR
leagues but only because he’s catching a couple of passes
each week whereas Gore has been practically nonexistent in the
Neither player is someone who fantasy owners should have a lot
of interest in this week in what projects to be a negative game
script situation with the Chargers.
Game Thoughts: Another two-touchdown performance from
Justin Herbert this past week against the Dolphins marked the
sixth straight game that the rookie QB has thrown for multiple
touchdown passes. He hasn’t quite ascended into the elite
fantasy performer category, but there’s no question that
he’s been a reliable fantasy starter since taking over this
Herbert gets an excellent matchup this week against a Jets defense
that has conceded the fifth-most fantasy points per game this
season to opposing quarterbacks. Despite playing from behind in
most contests, which typically leads to opposing offenses leaning
heavily on their running games, the Jets have really had trouble
stopping quarterbacks. They even got beaten up by Cam Newton and
the Patriots, who had been struggling themselves to throw the
ball. The Jets have allowed an average of nearly 320 passing yards
per game over their past five contests, so this has some serious
potential to be a huge game for Herbert and the Chargers.
Wide receiver Keenan Allen has reestablished himself as a WR1
in fantasy football since getting the opportunity to play with
Herbert and he’s a must-start this week against a bad Jets
secondary. Allen has seen double-digit targets in all but three
games this season, making him an ideal floor/ceiling combination
Mike Williams remains a boom-or-bust player, but this does look
like a potential “boom” week for him from a matchup
standpoint. It’d be nice to see him commanding a higher
target share on a weekly basis, but it might only take him a couple
of deep targets to make a fantasy impact this week. Fantasy owners
could do worse than Williams as a WR3 this week.
Tight end Hunter Henry hasn’t seen the big weeks that Allen
and Williams have so he hasn’t exactly been an exciting
fantasy player but he remains a low-end TE1 on a weekly basis
given how bad the position has been overall. The Jets have given
up the ninth-most fantasy points per game to opposing tight ends,
so Henry should probably be in most fantasy lineups.
NYJ FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.4
NYJ FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.7
NYJ FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.9
NYJ FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.12
Running Game Thoughts: Austin Ekeler and Justin Jackson are still
on IR so the Chargers backfield would presumably be handed over
to rookie Joshua Kelley who had been seeing playing time early
this season even when Ekeler and Jackson were both healthy, but
that hasn’t been the case. Instead, the Chargers have turned
to perennial fantasy football disappointment Kalen Ballage who
- shockingly - hasn’t been all that bad since joining the
team in Week 9.
Ballage has carried the ball 33 times compared to Kelley’s
16 over the past two weeks and he’s also caught seven passes.
That usage has put Ballage on the fantasy radar this week as he
faces a Jets defense that has given up the eighth-most fantasy
points per game to opposing running backs this season. They haven’t
really given up many big fantasy games but opposing starters have
typically had solid enough fantasy days against the Jets.
It probably doesn’t feel good to do, but Ballage can be
deployed as an RB2 this week in what could be the best matchup
he sees this season. Meanwhile, Kelley needs to be on benches
for now until we see the Chargers trusting him with more touches
- or at least a higher share of the goal line touches.
Packers @ Colts
- (Swanson) Line: IND -2.0 Total: 51.5
Game Thoughts: To give you an idea of how much fantasy
football has changed over the past five seasons, Aaron Rodgers
is averaging 27.3 fantasy points per game in 2020. That is just
.3 points per game less than he averaged in 2016 when he was the
top fantasy football QB in the game. In 2020, 27.3 fantasy points
will not even give you a top-5 finish, as Rodgers currently sits
seventh in points per game, nearly seven points less than Kyler
Rodgers is on pace for 46 passing touchdowns and 4583 passing
yards. Not bad for a quarterback who was likely taken outside
of the first ten rounds in fantasy drafts this summer.
A big reason for Rodgers' success is the stellar performance
of Davante Adams (ankle). Adams leads all wide receivers with
18.3 fantasy points per game, with nine receiving touchdowns and
741 yards on 61 catches.
To put Adams' fantastic season in perspective, he is averaging
.3 more points per game than what Randy Moss posted when he set
the NFL record for 23 receiving touchdowns in a season back in
The Packers' offense is getting healthier and stronger with the
return of wide receiver Allen Lazard. Lazard will give Rodgers
a more trusted second option than Marquez Valdes-Scantling, a
wide receiver who has a few boom games in the past two weeks,
but someone who continues to drop easy passes in critical moments.
This week's matchup against the Colts will be a challenge for
Rodgers and the passing game. Indianapolis gives up the second-fewest
points to opposing quarterbacks, with only three opposing QBs
throwing for more than two TDs in a game. The Colts held Ryan
Tannehill to one of his worst performances on the season last
week, and Lamar Jackson failed to throw for a passing touchdown
two weeks ago.
Adams missed practice on Thursday so check his status on Sunday
but a fun matchup to watch in this game will be between the Packers
star receiver and Xavier Rhodes. The two played against each other
many times when Rhodes was a member of the Vikings, with Adams
often getting the better of Rhodes.
IND FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.31
IND FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.30
IND FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.27
IND FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.30
Running Back Thoughts: After a red hot start to the season that
included 41 fantasy points against the Lions in week 2, Aaron
Jones has been somewhat disappointing against the 49ers and Jags.
Jones has not scored a touchdown since Week 6 and could have another
rough game against a Colts defense that ranks third in fewest
points allowed to running backs on the season.
You are starting Jones in your lineup with the hope of a rushing
touchdown and work in the passing game, but do not expect a big
Kareem Hunt, Dalvin Cook, James Robinson, and Joe Mixon all delivered
subpar performances against the Colts, with Derrick Henry coming
through with the only 100-yard game against this tough front seven.
Game Thoughts: Philip Rivers currently ranks 28th in
fantasy points per game, outside of QB2 standing and someone who
should not be started in most leagues, even two-QB formats. His
11 passing touchdowns are the second-worst among quarterbacks
with eight or more games, trailing only Daniel Jones. But unlike
Jones, who adds a ton of value in the running game, Rivers is
a statue who gives no value at all on the ground.
Wide receiver T.Y. Hilton retired last season but failed to notify
the Colts and fantasy managers. He has not scored a touchdown
or posted more than 69 yards in any game. If you are thinking
of starting him, you might want to reconsider your options.
On the other end of the spectrum is Michael Pittman Jr., who
is coming off the first 100-yard game of his rookie season and
has 15 targets in his last two games. The Packers are far easier
to run on than pass for fantasy purposes, but you should still
have Pittman Jr. in your lineup as he appears to be an ascending
No other team in the NFL has more injuries on their report than
the Packers. Their report looks like War and Peace than a typical
injury list, with a ton of big-name players on both the offense
and defense. One to watch is cornerback Jaire Alexander, who missed
the last few games with head and hand injuries. If he is able
to return to the field, the Packers' pass defense will get a huge
shot in the arm.
Running Game Thoughts: The Colts entered 2020 with arguably the
best offensive line in the league and a rookie sensation running
back in Jonathan Taylor, who looked primed to set the fantasy
community on fire.
GB FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.29
GB FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.2
GB FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.26
GB FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.28
When Marlon Mack suffered a season-ending knee injury that presumably
opened the door for Taylor to become the "lead workhorse
back," fantasy managers salivated at the prospect of Taylor
becoming a league-winning asset.
Instead of looking like the next Saquon Barkley, Taylor looks
more like Trent Richardson or Montee Ball. He currently ranks
29th in fantasy points per game and has not topped 22 rushing
yards in a game since Week 6.
He looks indecisive and does not show great vision, while the
vaunted offensive line looks average at best.
If there were ever a week for Taylor to shine, it would be this
week at home against a Packers defense that gives up the third-most
fantasy points to running backs. Eight different players have
posted monster games against the Packers, including Dalvin Cook,
who has a whopping 63 combined points against the Packers in two
If given a choice, I would rather start Nyheim Hines in this matchup
base on the fact that teams have found great success in the passing
game with running backs. Hines is coming off a monster two-touchdown
game and could be in line for another nice game.
Cowboys @ Vikings
- (Green) Line: MIN -7.5 Total: 47.5
Game Thoughts: All you really need to know about Dallas'
passing game is that they've started four different quarterbacks
in their last five games. This Sunday they'll turn back to Andy
Dalton, who hasn't played since being knocked from Week 7 with
a concussion; an injury that was followed by time on the COVID
list. Dalton's only full game played was in Week 6 against the
Cardinals where he passed for 266 yards, a TD and a pair of INTs.
Clearly Dalton had some good years in Cincinnati, but he has done
little thus far to instill confidence in his current abilities.
Dalton certainly has a collection of talented targets, though,
led by Amari Cooper, who leads the team with 655 yards receiving
on the year and posted 14 catches for 159 yards and a score in
the two games Dalton played in extensively. He checks in here
as a WR3. Up next is CeeDee Lamb, who posted a 4-71-1 line against
the Steelers in Week 9 (that was with Garrett Gilbert under center).
The rookie has proven to be a dangerous threat with the ball in
his hands, and while I'll call him a WR3/flex for this week he
certainly has the capability to do more.
After that you're looking at Michael Gallup and Dalton Schultz.
Gallup was the apple of Ben DiNucci's eye in Week 8, catching
seven passes, but he has just five receptions total in his other
three most recent games. Schultz has developed into a decent safety
net and could hold low-end TE1 value at a scarce position. Minnesota
is 27th in the NFL against the pass, which is an improvement from
their early struggles, but how much of that is genuine and how
much is recent competition is debatable.
MIN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.12
MIN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.18
MIN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.4
MIN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.18
Running Game Thoughts: It's been a rough season for Ezekiel Elliott
(hamstring), who has yet to top 100 yards rushing in a game this
year. He seems to have cleaned up his fumbling issues from earlier
in the season, but he hasn't scored a touchdown since Dak Prescott
was lost to injury. He's a borderline RB1/RB2 against the Vikings.
Tony Pollard has quietly played well recently and could offer
deeper-league appeal as a flex. The Vikings are 15th against the
run this year, yielding 115.7 yards per game.
Game Thoughts: After running the ball all over the Packers
and Lions coming out of their bye, the Vikings had to dust off
Kirk Cousins on Monday night, and the forgotten man delivered
a capable 292 yards, 2 TDs and an INT. It was his highest yardage
output in a win this year and an encouraging sign that perhaps
he's turned the corner after playing absolutely terrible football
during their 1-5 start. Dallas cannot match the Bears' run defense,
though, so this seems like a week where Cousins will be relegated
to handing the ball off.
While the two touchdowns were a welcome sight for Adam Thielen
owners, let's try to maintain some perspective. Monday's outburst
brought the veteran's four-week totals to just 12 receptions and
159 yards. Justin Jefferson (8-135-0) fared better, notching his
fourth 100-plus-yard outing of the season. He's only scored TDs
in two of the team's nine games, though, and clearly is behind
Thielen and the tight ends when it comes to looks in the red zone.
Between that and week-to-week inconsistency, I'm inclined to keep
Jefferson as a WR3 this weekend while Thielen is a low-end WR2.
Dallas' pass defense ranks 11th in the NFL at 224.6 yards per
game, but don't be fooled. Only the Falcons have given up more
touchdown strikes than the Cowboys' 21, and their pass rush is
mediocre at best. They'll have the benefit of rest, having last
played in Week 9 whereas Minnesota played Monday, but they'll
be without Trevon Diggs (foot), who has been their best cornerback.
DAL FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.16
DAL FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.17
DAL FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.5
DAL FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.17
Running Game Thoughts: Speaking of rest, that's been a topic
of conversation this week after Dalvin Cook logged another 34
touches against the Bears on Monday night -- those 34 touches
covered just 112 yards (3.3 YPT) and Chicago made him earn it.
While Cook has been amazing since returning from injury, you have
to ask how sustainable it is for him to average 30 touches per
game given his history of durability issues. He's a clear RB1
until he breaks down, though, and is a top-tier play against a
Dallas run defense that has allowed 5.0 yards per carry this year.
Chiefs at Raiders
- (Caron) Line: KC -7.5 Total: 57.0
Game Thoughts: With nine touchdown passes over his past
two games and a 25-to-1 touchdown-to-interception ratio on the
season, Patrick Mahomes continues to defy all conventional wisdom
when it comes to quarterback production and efficiency. Simply
put, he is the greatest fantasy football quarterback of all-time
on a per-start basis and he doesn’t appear to be slowing
down whatsoever. He threw his only interception of the season
against this very same Raiders defense back in Week 5 but he still
managed to score more than 33 fantasy points in that contest.
Needless to say, this is another must-start week for Mahomes.
Not only is Mahomes one of the elite fantasy players in the league,
but so, too, are his top wide receiver and tight end, Tyreek Hill
and Travis Kelce. Hill is tied for the league lead with nine touchdown
receptions on the season and he’s been red hot as of late,
scoring five times over his past three games. The Raiders did
hold him to three catches when they played against him earlier
this season so this isn’t necessarily the best matchup for
him, but Hill is seeing enough deep volume to make him one of
the premier weapons at the position. With Kittle still sidelined,
Kelce really doesn’t even have any serious competition for
his crown as the top tight end in fantasy football. He’s
like a WR1 who you get to play at tight end. It’s barely
even fair. He torched the Raiders for eight catches, 108 yards
and a touchdown on 12 targets when these teams played earlier
this season, so he’s the top tight end on the board again
The other pass catchers in Kansas City continue to be extremely
frustrating and inconsistent. Mecole Hardman has been on the COVID-19
list and hasn't been able to practice this week so his chances
of playing on Sunday night look murky at best. Even if he did
get back on the field, he’d probably be playing limited
snaps as Sammy Watkins looks like he could make his return. Watkins
has been dealing with a pretty severe hamstring injury but he’s
been able to get on the practice field this week - albeit in a
limited capacity - and his return would be a nice addition to
the Kansas City passing game. If he’s unable to play, look
for Demarcus Robinson to fill in as the second wide receiver option
in this game. Robinson has scored in each of his past two games
and could be a sneaky Flex option if he ends up seeing significant
LV FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.14
LV FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.6
LV FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.15
LV FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.23
Running Game Thoughts: An illness held rookie Clyde Edwards-Helaire
out of practice on Thursday and his status for Sunday night’s
game against the Raiders is now in question. Edwards-Helaire has
been a big disappointment this season, especially as of late,
as he’s only seen 19 total carries over this past three
games combined. He has remained somewhat useful in PPR formats
as he’s on pace for 50 catches, but the chances of him finishing
as a fantasy football RB1 seem to be practically nonexistent at
this point. He’s splitting touches with Bell in an extremely
If he does play, Edwards-Helaire will be facing a Raiders defense
that he rushed for just 40 yards against back in Week 5. He was
able to also contribute a season high of 40 receiving yards as
well so his day wasn’t a complete disaster, but Edwards-Helaire’s
two rushing touchdowns on the season just aren’t enough
for us to be particularly excited about him right now in this
- or really any matchup.
The cold truth is that the best case scenario right now, if we
want a chance at an RB1 fantasy week out of this backfield, is
that Edwards-Helaire sits out and Bell gets an opportunity to
play as the team’s primary back. Bell hasn’t been
great with the opportunities he has had, but the split backfield
situation has made him essentially useless for fantasy purposes
unless Edwards-Helaire does end up sitting.
Game Thoughts: It’s been three straight sub-200-yard
games for Las Vegas quarterback Derek Carr, yet the Raiders have
been able to out-score their opponents by a total of 40 points
on their way to a 3-0 record over that stretch. This context is
necessary to understand why Carr could be in consideration as
a low-end QB1 this week against the Chiefs.
Kansas City did allow Carr to throw for 347 yards and three touchdowns
against them when these teams played back in Week 5 - a shootout
which saw the Raiders shock the Chiefs by a final score of 40
to 32. That game gives us a glimpse into what could happen if
the Raiders again opt to sling the ball down the field rather
than lean quite so heavily on their rushing attack as they have
in recent weeks. This situation doesn’t come without downside,
however, as it’s entirely possible that the Raiders choose
to play ball control offense and limit the possessions for the
Chiefs offense. That wouldn’t necessarily mean a disastrous
fantasy day for Carr but it’d certainly cap his upside and
it’s something we’ve seen them do quite a bit over
the past three weeks, which again, were all Raiders victories.
The only safe option in this passing game right now is tight end
Darren Waller. Waller continues to produce fantasy points even
in the low volume passing game as he’s completely dominating
the targets. Waller is averaging over 8.5 targets per game this
season - second-most among tight ends, only behind Travis Kelce.
He’s a high-upside option who also has an excellent floor,
making him the locked-in second-best fantasy tight end right now.
He caught five passes for 48 yards and a touchdown when he faced
the Chiefs back in Week 5.
Other players in the Raiders passing game, including receivers
Nelson Agholor, Hunter Renfrow, and rookies Henry Ruggs III and
Bryan Edwards, simply are not seeing the requisite target numbers
to be considered for fantasy purposes at the moment.
KC FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.23
KC FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.10
KC FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.28
KC FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.26
Running Game Thoughts: A 21-carry, 112-yard, two touchdown performance
gave Josh Jacobs his second-best fantasy performance of 2020 this
past week when he and backfield mate Devontae Booker demoralized
the Broncos on their way to top-12 fantasy performances. While
Booker did see a season-high 16 carries in the game, it’s
still fairly apparent that he is a complementary piece in this
offense who is not going to steal many important touches for Jacobs
unless a game gets out of hand in a Raiders-friendly way. Most
importantly, despite his skill set, Booker is not stealing passing
game usage from Jacobs who is now on pace to catch over 40 passes
Jacobs doesn’t have a great matchup this week as he’ll
be up against a Kansas City defense that has allowed just one
100-yard rusher all season, but it is a defense that he scored
twice against back in Week 5. Jacobs rushed for less than 3.5
yards per carry on 23 carries in that game so there wasn’t
much in the yardage department but what that game did tell us
is that the Raiders are going to continue to feed him even if
the production isn’t there.
Jacobs is an RB1 this week given his heavy usage and he should
be able to remain a factor even if the Raiders were to fall behind
multiple scores. Continue to treat him as a borderline stud running
Game Thoughts: The Rams sit tied with the Cardinals and
the Seahawks at 6-3 in the NFC West, led by a potent defense and
a strong running game. The passing attack for Los Angeles and
Jared Goff has been underwhelming for most of the year, with Goff
ranking 22nd in fantasy points scored by quarterbacks and just
13 passing touchdowns in nine games. Goff is on pace to be his
21.0 points per game average from last season, but he is way off
the rate of his career-year in 2018 when he there 32 passing touchdowns.
Robert Woods continues to be a viable fantasy option with 10.4
fantasy points per game (16th at the position). He has six total
touchdowns on the season and is tied for the league-lead at two
rushing touchdowns for wide receivers.
Cooper Kupp, on the other hand, has been one of the more disappointing
wide receivers on the year. Although he is on pace for 1,025 yards,
his two touchdowns in nine games are well off his career average.
The benefactor of Kupp's decline is Josh Reynolds, who has 27
targets in his last three games and two games of ten or more fantasy
points in his previous four. Reynolds is the deep target for Goff
and continues to gain favor in terms of targets and trust.
The biggest concern for Goff and the passing options in this
game is the pressure put on the quarterback by the Bucs front
seven and the loss of stud left tackle Andrew Whitworth. Look
for head coach Sean McVay to implement a ton of quick passes and
more bootlegs than normal to help protect his quarterback and
negate the pass rush. This bodes well for Woods and the tight
ends but may limit the production of Reynolds on deep passes.
The Bucs give up the ninth-fewest points to opposing quarterbacks,
with only two QBs posting more than two passing touchdowns in
a game. You do not want to start Goff in this matchup if you can
TB FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.24
TB FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.22
TB FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.23
TB FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.14
Running Game Thoughts: The good news is the Rams running backs
combine to score the 10th-most fantasy points in the league, and
McVay runs the ball more than any coach in the red zone. Just
over 28% of Darrell Henderson's rushes have come inside the red
zone, the highest of any running back in the league.
The bad news is the team is no a full-blown timeshare with Malcolm
Brown, Cam Akers, and Henderson all sharing carries. Both Henderson
and Brown Corded last week against the Seahawks, but Akers led
the team in rushes. It is now almost a guess on who will score
touchdowns on the ground, which makes all of the players somewhat
From a matchup perspective, the Bucs give up the forth-fewest
points to opposing running backs on the year and are one of the
most difficult teams to run on. No player has rushed for more
than 59 yards, and if you take out the games by Alvin Kamara and
Christian McCaffrey, the Bucs would be the best defense against
the run by a wide margin.
Game Thoughts: Tom Brady is on pace to score 24.8 fantasy
points per game, the most in a season in his storied Hall of Fame
career since 2015 when he threw for 36 passing touchdowns and
rushed for three more scores.
You can make an argument that at age 43, Brady has the best set
of skill position players of his career, with Antonio Brown joining
Mike Evans and Chris Godwin in the wide receiving corps, and the
resurgent Rob Gronkowski catching touchdowns in nearly every game.
After a slow start to the season, Gronk has a score in four of
five games, including two catches for 51 yards and a score last
week against the Panthers.
This week's game against the Rams will be a difficult challenge
for Brady and the passing game weapons. Only the Bears and Colts
give up fewer points to quarterbacks, and no team gives up fewer
points to opposing wide receivers than the Rams.
Cornerback Jalen Ramsey continues to be one of the best shutdown
corners in the league, and Darius Williams has also emerged as
a solid cornerback. Williams currently ranks third overall at
the position, according to PFF.com.
The Rams shut down DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett last week, as
Russell Wilson has his worst game in years. Only the Steelers
and Eagles put more pressure on the quarterback than the Rams,
and Brady is well known to struggle with pressure from the middle
of the defensive line. If the Bucs cannot at least slow down Aaron
Donald and the Rams pass rush, this could be another ugly game
for Brady like what we saw two weeks ago against the Saints.
You are starting Mike Evans because of the threat of a touchdown
and Chris Godwin because of his volume in the slot. Antonio Brown
can be played as a flex, but he has been less than impressive
from a fantasy perspective since joining the team.
LAR FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.30
LAR FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.26
LAR FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.32
LAR FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.16
Running Game Thoughts: The Rams give up the sixth-fewest points
to opposing running backs and just five total touchdowns on the
season to RBs. No opposing running back has topped 100 rushing
yards, and the team has given up just two rushing touchdowns since
Ronald Jones had a career-best 192 yards rushing last week against
the Panthers, which included a 98-yard score. It was nice to see
Bruce Arians stick with Jones after an early lost fumble and dropped
Jones managers will certainly want to insert Jones in their lineups
after last week, but don't be surprised if he is someone of a
dud. The Rams are a stout defense, and their pass rush could put
the Bucs in a ton of third and long situations. Jones is still
worthy of a start, but expectations should be tempered a bit.