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Inside the Matchup

Week 11

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



Sunday Early:



Sunday Late:

NYJ @ LAC | GB @ IND | DAL @ MIN | KC @ LV



- 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

Passing 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 11.

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.

Value Meter:
QB1: Russell Wilson
WR1: DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett
Flex: David Moore (deep leagues only), Carlos Hyde
Bench: DeeJay Dallas, Alex Collins, Greg Olsen, Will Dissly

Passing 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 11.

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.

Value Meter:
QB1: Kyler Murray (high-end)
RB2: Kenyan Drake (low-end)
WR1: DeAndre Hopkins (high-end)
WR3: Christian Kirk
Flex: Chase Edmonds (PPR only)
Bench: Larry Fitzgerald

Prediction: Seahawks 28, Cardinals 24 ^ Top

Titans @ Ravens - (Green)
Line: BAL -5.5
Total: 49.0

Passing 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.

Value Meter:
RB1: Derrick Henry
WR2/WR3: A.J. Brown
Flex: Corey Davis
Bench: Ryan Tannehill, Jonnu Smith

Passing 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.

Value Meter:
QB1: Lamar Jackson
Flex: Mark Ingram
Flex: J.K. Dobbins
Flex: Marquise Brown
TE1: Mark Andrews
Bench: Gus Edwards

Prediction: Ravens 27, Titans 24 ^ Top

Lions @ Panthers - (Swanson)
Line: N/A
Total: N/A

Passing 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.

Value Meter:
QB1: Matthew Stafford (Low-End)
RB1: D’Andre Swift (Low-End)
Flex: Adrian Peterson (is Swift misses)
WR2: Marvin Jones (Low-End)
WR4: Marvin Hall (Low-End)
TE1: T.J. Hockenson (Low-End)

Passing 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 passing game.

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 7.

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.

Value Meter:
QB2: Teddy Bridgewater (High-End)
RB1: Mike Davis (High-End)
WR2: D.J. Moore (Low-End)
WR3: Robby Anderson (Low-End)
WR3: Curtis Samuel (Low-End)
TE2: Ian Thomas (Low-End)

Prediction: Carolina 30, Detroit 27 ^ Top

Eagles @ Browns - (Green)
Line: CLE -3.0
Total: 47.5

Passing 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.

Value Meter:
QB2: Carson Wentz
RB1: Miles Sanders
Flex: Travis Fulgham
Flex: Jalen Reagor
TE1: Dallas Goedert
Bench: Alshon Jeffery, Zach Ertz (inj)

Passing 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 hands...

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 ugly.

Value Meter:
RB1: Nick Chubb
RB2: Kareem Hunt
WR3/Flex: Jarvis Landry
TE1: Austin Hooper
Bench: Baker Mayfield, Rashard Higgins

Prediction: Browns 31, Eagles 20 ^ Top

Patriots @ Texans - (Swanson)
Line: NE -2.0
Total: 48.5

Passing 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 of Baltimore.

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 Cleveland.

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 a must-start.

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 Harris.

Value Meter:
QB1: Cam Newton (Low-End)
RB1: Damien Harris (Low-End)
WR2: Jakobi Meyers (Low-End)
TE3: Ryan Izzo (Low-End)

Passing 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 Browns.

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 respective games.

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.

Value Meter:
QB1: Deshaun Watson (Mid-Range)
RB2: Duke Johnson (Low-End)
WR2: Will Fuller (Low-End)
WR3: Brandin Cooks (Low-End)
WR3: Randall Cobb (Low-End)
TE1: Jordan Akins (Low-End)

Prediction: Houston 28, New England 24 ^ Top

Steelers @ Jaguars - (Swanson)
Line: PIT -10.5
Total: 46.5

Passing 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 yards.

Value Meter:
QB1: Ben Roethlisberger (High-End)
RB2: James Conner (High-End)
WR2: Diontae Johnson (High-End)
WR2: Chase Claypool (Low-End)
WR2: JuJu Smith-Schuster (Low-End)
TE1: Eric Ebron (Low-End)

Passing 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 date.

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 Robinson.

Value Meter:
QB2: Jake Luton (Low-End)
RB2: James Robinson (Low-End)
WR2: D.J. Chark (Low-End)
WR4: Keelan Cole (Low-End)
TE2: Tyler Eifert (Low-End)

Prediction: Pittsburgh 34, Jacksonville 10 ^ Top

Falcons @ Saints - (Swanson)
Line: NO -4.5
Total: 51.5

Passing 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 Foles.

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.

Value Meter:
QB1: Matt Ryan (Mid-Range)
RB2: Todd Gurley (Low-End)
WR1: Julio Jones (High-End)
WR1: Calvin Ridley (Low-End)
TE1: Hayden Hurst (Low-End)

Passing 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 scores.

Value Meter:
QB2: Taysom Hill (High End)
RB1: Alvin Kamara (Elite)
WR1: Michael Thomas (Low-End)
WR3: Emmanuel Sanders (Low-End)
TE1: Jared Cook (Low-End) Bench: Jameis Winston

Prediction: New Orleans 34, Atlanta 30 ^ Top

Bengals at Football Team - (Katz)
Line: WAS -2.0
Total: 46.5

Passing 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 floor.

Value Meter:
RB2: Giovani Bernard (low end)
WR2: Tee Higgins (mid-range)
WR2: Tyler Boyd (low end)
Bench: Joe Burrow, A.J. Green, Drew Sample

Passing 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.

Value Meter:
QB2: Alex Smith (viable streamer)
RB2: Antonio Gibson (mid-range)
RB2: J.D. McKissic (mid-range)
WR1: Terry McLaurin (mid-range)
TE1: Logan Thomas (low end)
Bench: Steven Sims

Prediction: Football Team 27, Bengals 24 ^ Top

Dolphins at Broncos - (Caron)
Line: MIA -3.0
Total: 45.0

Passing 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 opportunity share.

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.

Value Meter:
QB2: Tua Tagovailoa
RB2: Salvon Ahmed
WR3: DeVante Parker
Bench: Matt Breida, Patrick Laird, Jakeem Grant, Mike Gesicki

Passing 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.

Value Meter:
WR3: Jerry Jeudy
TE1: Noah Fant (low-end)
Flex: Melvin Gordon
Bench: Phillip Lindsay, Tim Patrick, KJ Hamler

Prediction: Dolphins 24, Broncos 20 ^ Top

Jets at Chargers - (Caron)
Line: LAC -9.5
Total: 46.0

Passing 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 passing game.

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.

Value Meter:
WR3: Jamison Crowder
Flex: Breshad Perriman
Bench: Joe Flacco, La’Micael Perine, Frank Gore, Denzel Mims, Chris Herndon

Passing 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 offense.

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 player.

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.

Value Meter:
QB1: Justin Herbert
RB2: Kalen Ballage
WR1: Keenan Allen
WR3: Mike Williams
TE1: Hunter Henry (low-end)
Bench: Joshua Kelley, Jalen Guyton, Donald Parham

Prediction: Chargers 24, Jets 16 ^ Top

Packers @ Colts - (Swanson)
Line: IND -2.0
Total: 51.5

Passing 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 Murray.

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 2007.

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 yardage game.

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.

Value Meter:
QB1: Aaron Rodgers (Low-End)
RB2: Aaron Jones (High-End)
WR1: Davante Adams (High-End)
WR3: Marquez Valdes-Scantling (Low-End)
WR3: Allen Lazard (Low-End)
TE2: Robert Tonyan (High-End)

Passing 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 player.

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 games.
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.

Value Meter:
QB2: Philip Rivers (Low-End)
RB2: Jonathan Taylor (Low-End)
WR3: Michael Pittman Jr. (Low-End)
WR4: T.Y. Hilton (Low-End)
TE1: Trey Burton (Low-End)

Prediction: Green Bay 24, Indianapolis 17 ^ Top

Cowboys @ Vikings - (Green)
Line: MIN -7.5
Total: 47.5

Passing 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.

Value Meter:
RB1/RB2: Ezekiel Elliott
WR3: Amari Cooper
WR3/Flex: CeeDee Lamb
TE1: Dalton Schultz (low-end)
Bench: Andy Dalton, Tony Pollard, Michael Gallup

Passing 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.

Value Meter:
RB1: Dalvin Cook
WR2: Adam Thielen
WR3: Justin Jefferson
Bench: Kirk Cousins, Alexander Mattison

Prediction: Vikings 34, Cowboys 24 ^ Top

Chiefs at Raiders - (Caron)
Line: KC -7.5
Total: 57.0

Passing 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 this week.

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 playing time.

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 pass-heavy offense.

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.

Value Meter:
QB1: Patrick Mahomes (high-end)
RB2: Le’Veon Bell (if Edwards-Helaire is out)
WR1: Tyreek Hill
TE1: Travis Kelce (high-end)
Flex: Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Demarcus Robinson (if Watkins is out)
Bench: Bell (if Edwards-Helaire is active), Sammy Watkins, Demarcus Robinson (if Watkins is active), Byron Pringle

Passing 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 this season.

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 back.

Value Meter:
QB2: Derek Carr (high-end)
RB1: Josh Jacobs
TE1: Darren Waller (high-end)
Bench: Devontae Booker, Henry Ruggs III, Hunter Renfrow, Nelson Agholor, Bryan Edwards

Prediction: Chiefs 34, Raiders 30 ^ Top

Rams @ Buccaneers - (Swanson)
Line: TB -3.5
Total: 48.0

Passing 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 avoid it.

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 risky plays.

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.

Value Meter:
QB2: Jared Goff (High-End)
RB2: Darrell Henderson (Low-End)
RB3: Malcolm Brown (Low-End)
RB3: Cam Akers (Low-End)
WR2: Robert Woods (Low-End)
WR2: Cooper Kupp (Low-End)
WR3: Josh Reynolds (Low-End)
TE1: Tyler Higbee (Low-End)

Passing 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

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 Week 2.

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 pass.

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.

Value Meter:
QB1: Tom Brady (Low-End)
RB2: Ronald Jones (Low-End)
RB4: Leonard Fournette (Low-End)
WR2: Mike Evans (High-End)
WR2: Chris Godwin (High-End)
WR3: Antonio Brown (Low-End)
TE1: Rob Gronkowski (Low-End)

Prediction: Tampa Bay 24, Los Angeles 17 ^ Top