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Inside the Matchup

Week 12

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



Sunday Early:



Sunday Late:

MIA @ NYJ | BAL @ PIT | NO @ DEN | SF @ LAR | KC @ TB | CHI @ GB



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

Texans @ Lions - (Green)
Line: HOU -3.0
Total: 51.0

Passing Game Thoughts: New England entered last Sunday on a modest two-game winning streak that had propelled them back into playoff contention. Deshaun Watson was having none of it. He connected on 28 of 37 passes for 344 yards and two TDs in a 27-20 win over the Patriots. Minus David Johnson (concussion), who was placed on IR, Watson also doubled as the team's best ball carrier, running six times for 36 yards and a score. Given how impotent the Lions looked against first-time NFL starter P.J. Walker last Sunday, Watson checks in as a high-end QB1 for Turkey Day.

Watson will be down one of his preferred targets, though, as Randall Cobb hurt his toe in Sunday's win and is headed to Injured Reserve and won't be ready to visit a familiar foe from his NFC North days. Fortunately, Will Fuller (6-80-0 in Week 11) and Brandin Cooks (4-85-0) will be good to go. Fuller has been the steadiest option in Houston's passing attack, though he hasn't scored the past two games after finding the end zone in six straight. Cooks has continued to develop a solid rapport following a slow start to his first season in H-Town.

Detroit currently ranks 25th against the pass this season at 258.4 yards per game, but that probably overstates their ability. The run defense has been a yearlong invitation to keep the ball on the ground, but as Walker proved on Sunday, the secondary is very vulnerable as well. Expect the Texans to have a big day throwing the ball with Fuller as a borderline WR1/WR2 and Cooks as a solid WR2.

DET FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.15
DET FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.1
DET FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.22
DET FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.27

Running Game Thoughts: With David Johnson currently on IR, Duke Johnson is the primary back. He has been largely ineffective in that role, carrying the ball 40 times for 110 yards (2.8 YPC) in two-plus games, though he has always been a capable receiver out of the backfield. Detroit is 30th versus the run (139 yards per game) ahead of only Houston and Dallas, but they did a solid job holding Carolina in check last Sunday. It's still a plus matchup for Johnson, who rates as an intriguing RB3 in Week 12.

Value Meter:
QB1: Deshaun Watson
RB3: Duke Johnson
WR1/WR2: Will Fuller
WR2: Brandin Cooks
Bench: David Johnson (inj), Randall Cobb (inj), Darren Fells

Passing Game Thoughts: Coming into play this past Sunday, Carolina had lost five straight games and had allowed 79 points in their last two. They then proceeded to shut out Matthew Stafford (178 yards, 0 TDs, 0 INTs) and the Lions; marking the first time Detroit has been held off the scoreboard since 2009 in a game that was started by... wait for it... Daunte Culpepper! Yes, the Lions played without Kenny Golladay (hip) and Danny Amendola (hip), but there's no excuse for posting zero points against a defense that would never be mentioned among the NFL's elite.

With a short week, don't expect Golladay or Amendola to be ready, which would leave Marvin Jones (4-51-0 vs. CAR) and T.J. Hockenson (4-68-0) to carry the load. Jones had a TD off of a flea flicker called back on a penalty, which would've extended his touchdown streak to four games. He's playable as a WR3. Hockenson's emergence has been a silver lining in another tough season, and he's currently entrenched as a TE1. If Golladay is somehow able to go, he'd be a WR2. As for Amendola, he could also be played as a flex if he's active and Golladay is not.

Houston is in the same boat as the Lions defensively where their relatively decent standing against the pass (22nd; 252.4 yards per game) has more to do with weakness versus the run. Need proof? Cam Newton threw for 365 yards in Week 11; prior to that, Newton had topped 200 yards in just one of his previous six games. That gives Stafford some upside despite likely being short-handed, though he's still more of a QB2.

HOU FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.16
HOU FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.2
HOU FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.11
HOU FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.17

Running Game Thoughts: With D'Andre Swift (concussion) unavailable, Adrian Peterson (7-18-0) and Kerryon Johnson (6-17-0) split the duties on Sunday. It didn't go well, and now with a short week it seems dubious whether or not Swift can clear the concussion protocol in time to suit up on Thursday. Whoever goes is staring down an enticing matchup with the Texans allowing an NFL-high 159.3 yards per game on 5.1 yards per carry this season. If Swift is active he'd serve as a strong RB2. If not, Peterson slides up into RB3 territory.

Value Meter:
QB2: Matthew Stafford
RB3: Adrian Peterson
WR3: Marvin Jones
TE1: T.J. Hockenson
Bench: D'Andre Swift (inj), Kenny Golladay (inj)

Prediction: Texans 27, Lions 23 ^ Top

Football Team at Cowboys - (Katz)
Line: DAL -3.0
Total: 46.5

Passing Game Thoughts: In what has become somewhat of a Thanksgiving classic, the Football Team once again travels to Jerry World for a nationally televised showdown against the Cowboys. These games typically come with high stakes and this season is no different as the winner of this game will take sole possession of first place in the worst division in NFL history.

Alex Smith was coming off back-to-back 300 yard passing games before last week’s dud, but that was largely due to the Bengals’ inability to score points, which was exacerbated by Joe Burrow’s injury (please recover 100% Joe). Smith still completed 68% of his passes; he just only attempted 25 of them. Although the Cowboys are nowhere near the offense they were with Dak Prescott, they are still competent enough to force Washington to call more pass plays. Washington blew out the Cowboys a month ago and Terry McLaurin went for 90 yards and a touchdown on seven receptions. 74% of the receiving yards allowed by the Cowboys have gone to wide receivers and they’re allowing a league worst 1.9 wide receiver touchdowns per game. Unfortunately, there’s not much behind McLaurin. Cam Sims is the clear WR2, but it was Steven Sims that found the end zone last week on limited snaps and routes. Logan Thomas is always a starting option at tight end because he plays 90% of the snaps, but he’s a touchdown or bust option (but he did score against the Cowboys in their last meeting).

DAL FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.13
DAL FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.16
DAL FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.2
DAL FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.19

Running Game Thoughts: Antonio Gibson and J.D. McKissic split snaps almost evenly last week (53%-52%), but it was Gibson that dominated carries 16-6. With the Football Team experiencing heavily positive game script wire to wire, McKissic didn’t need the 14.5 targets he averaged the previous two games. Expect McKissic’s usage to increase this week, but remember the Cowboys are horrendous against wide receivers so there may not be much need to throw to running backs. The Cowboys allow 153.8 rushing yards per game. Gibson was a smash against them a month ago, posting season highs in carries and yardage, and is a smash again.

Value Meter:
RB2: Antonio Gibson (high end)
WR1: Terry McLaurin (low end)
TE1: Logan Thomas (low end)
Flex: J.D. McKissic
Bench: Alex Smith, Cam Sims

Passing Game Thoughts: Andy Dalton’s return was a welcome sight for anyone that subjects themselves to watching the Cowboys play football in 2020. It was evident the coaching staff spent the additional time provided by the bye week to open up the offense. Dalton only threw for 203 yards, but he looked as good as he has all season and was able to find CeeDee Lamb, Ezekiel Elliott, and Dalton Schultz for touchdowns. That’s the good news.

The bad news is the volume still wasn’t really there. Lamb only caught four balls for 34 yards. Amari Cooper was targeted just seven times. Michael Gallup has been an afterthought all season. 23% of the receiving yards allowed by Washington have gone to tight ends, so this could be a good week to stream Schultz. At receiver, only Cooper can be trusted as the clear WR1 in this offense. Lamb will almost certainly need a touchdown to return value. The Cowboys will do better than the three points they scored the last time these teams met, but don’t expect any offensive explosion, especially on a short week.

WAS FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.24
WAS FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.28
WAS FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.31
WAS FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.12

Running Game Thoughts: After four games without a touchdown and three games not even being an RB2, Ezekiel Elliott bounced back in a big way with his first 100-yard game of the season. Zeke’s receiving game usage has not been there since Prescott went down, but it was a relief to see that Zeke can still be an RB1 with Dalton. The Football Team allows 120 rushing yards per game and a 16% target share to opposing running backs. Elliott is always starting with Dalton at quarterback, even with Tony Pollard’s snap share now hovering around 30%. This is still Zeke’s backfield, but it is worth noting that Pollard is averaging about eight touches over his past four games. That at least gives him a chance to break off a big play much like he did last week. However, Pollard is not a fantasy option as long as Zeke is healthy.

Value Meter:
RB1: Ezekiel Elliott (low end)
WR2: Amari Cooper (low end)
TE1: Dalton Schultz (low end)
Bench: Andy Dalton, CeeDee Lamb, Michael Gallup, Tony Pollard

Prediction: Cowboys 24, Football Team 20 ^ Top

Raiders @ Falcons - (Swanson)
Line: LV -3.0
Total: 54.5

Passing Game Thoughts: Derek Carr and the Raiders head to the Mercedes Benz Stadium to take on Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons. The much-maligned Carr is in the midst of one of his best seasons as a professional. He is on pace to throw for 30 passing touchdowns and a career-best four interceptions while completing nearly 70% of his passes.

For fantasy purposes, Carr is a solid play in the right situations, including matchups against high powered offenses that feature subpar defenses like the Falcons. Carr threw three touchdowns and over 300 yards last week against the Chiefs, which was the second time this season in which Carr threw for three TDs against Andy Reid’s team.

The Falcons are not a potent offense like the Chiefs, but they should be able to put up numbers at home against the Raiders and force Carr to throw more than usual. Atlanta gives up the sixth-fewest points to opposing running backs, but the most points to opposing quarterbacks and a league-leading 22 passing touchdowns.

Josh Jacobs will have a solid day, and the Raiders will undoubtedly try to run on Atlanta, but if history is a guide, Carr and the passing game should have a great day this week vs. the Falcons.

You are starting Waller as a top-5 play this week, and Nelson Agholor is also in play. The question is can you insert rookie Henry Ruggs III in your lineup after six games in a row of five or fewer fantasy points. Speedy receivers like D.J. Moore, Ceedee Lamb, and DK Metcalf have all burned the Falcons for deep passes.

I would not expect more than five targets in the game for Ruggs, and he should be considered a boom or bust play. But if there were ever a matchup to play the rookie, it would be this one.

ATL FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.1
ATL FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.25
ATL FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.3
ATL FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.1

Running Game Thoughts: The blueprint for beating Atlanta has been pretty straightforward this season. The Falcons are dead last in points given up to quarterbacks, and their subpar secondary cannot stop anyone from putting up big fantasy points.

By contrast, the Falcons have yet to give up more than 89 yards rushing to an opposing running back, despite playing against Chris Carson, Zeke Elliott, Aaron Jones, and Alvin Kamara. Those backs have had success based on scoring touchdowns or added value in the passing game, but rushing yards have been hard to come by.

Of course, owners are starting Jacobs, and he should deliver a top-10 performance at the position based on his elite touchdown scoring ability. The second-year back from Alabama has four touchdowns in his last two games, including 21/112/2 gains Denver back in Week 10.

Look for around 90 total yards and a score in this matchup, with a high probability of a rushing score or two.

Value Meter:
QB1: Derek Carr (Low-End)
RB1: Josh Jacobs (High-End)
WR2: Nelson Agholor (Low-End)
WR4: Henry Ruggs III (Low-End)
TE1: Darren Waller (Elite)

Passing Game Thoughts: Matt Ryan currently ranks as the No.15 quarterback in fantasy points per game, nearly five points per game less than his best season as a pro in 2018. Despite boasting one of the best receiving corps in the league and a pass-happy offensive coordinator, Ryan has failed to throw a touchdown in four games this season.

When facing subpar defenses like Dallas, Denver, and Minnesota, the veteran quarterback has been solid, with 11 total passing touchdowns in those three games and an average passing yardage of just over 300 yards.

In games against above-average defenses and when he is without Julio Jones, Ryan has been downright dreadful and someone who should be avoided for fantasy purposes.

On a positive note, the Raiders fall under the category of being a subpar defense, allowing the 8th-most points to opposing quarterbacks. On a negative note, Julio Jones is listed as a game-time decision with a nagging hamstring injury and could very well miss this game.

Las Vegas has given up over 300 passing yards in half of their games this season, although only the great Patrick Mahomes was able to throw for more than two passing touchdowns in the contests.

Look for Ryan to come close to the 300-yard mark with a pair of touchdown passes, but he gets a substantial downgrade if Jones is out of the lineup.

LV FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.8
LV FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.4
LV FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.13
LV FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.20

Running Game Thoughts: We have been saying all season long that there are red flags with Todd Gurley because he is too touchdown-dependent and will burn fantasy owners if he does not reach the end zone.

Although he continues to have just above three yards-per-carry in his last five games, the savvy vet continues to reach pay dirt, and his fantasy managers avoid getting goosed. Last week’s eight carry for 26 yards and zero touchdown performance for 2.9 points was precisely what Gurley managers wanted to see as the Saints beat up on the Falcons and effectively took the Falcons out of rushing downs.

On a positive note, the Raiders give up the fourth-most points to opposing running backs and the second-most rushing touchdowns. This bodes well for Gurley reaching the end zone, although there is the concern of a negative game script limiting his touches.

Value Meter:
QB2: Matt Ryan (Low-End)
RB2: Todd Gurley (High-End)
WR1: Julio Jones (High-End)
WR2: Calvin Ridley (High-End)
TE1: Hayden Hurst (Low-End)

Prediction: Las Vegas 31, Atlanta 28 ^ Top

Chargers at Bills - (Katz)
Line: BUF -5.5
Total: 53.0

Passing Game Thoughts: Perhaps my favorite player to watch play this year has been Justin Herbert. From a fantasy perspective, Herbert has been a poor man’s Kyler Murray this season and I mean that in the most positive way possible. Herbert has finished outside of the QB1 range just once all season and has scored at least 21.5 fantasy points in every game except Week 3. The overwhelming favorite for offensive rookie of the year is matchup proof.

The best way to attack the Bills’ secondary has been by utilizing the tight end. 25% of the receiving yards allowed by the Bills have gone to tight ends. That bodes extremely well for Hunter Henry, who was largely left out of the fun despite scoring in back-to-back games. Henry has caught exactly four passes in four straight games, but he’s a strong play this week against a team that struggles at defending the position.

As for Herbert’s favorite target, Keenan Allen is always locked into lineups. He’s coming off his second 19 target game of the season and has now scored in four straight. Allen was never a prolific touchdown scorer and doesn’t need touchdowns to produce in fantasy so when he gets them, that leads to broken score lines. Mike Williams has also been useful over the past month with three top 36 performances in his last four games. The biggest fear is that with Allen running about half his routes from the slot, Williams will draw more of Tre’Davious White. Between Herbert’s favoritism towards Allen and the Bills’ problems against the tight end, Williams could be the odd man out. Jalen Guyton is the clear WR3 for the Chargers, but he simply isn’t targeted.

BUF FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.5
BUF FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.14
BUF FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.24
BUF FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.2

Running Game Thoughts: We are still anxiously awaiting the return of Austin Ekeler, who returned to practice this week, but, at least right now, he appears to be another week away. That means at least one more week of heavy Kalen Ballage. There are multiple columns by me on this site describing Ballage as the least talented running back in NFL history, yet here we are not just talking about his fantasy relevance, but actively promoting starting him. Incredible. Ballage has averaged a 70% snap share over the past two weeks with 24 opportunities to touch the ball each game (carries + targets). Ballage has been kept out of the end zone the past two weeks, but that could change against a Bills’ defense that has surrendered 15 rushing scores this season. With Ballage being used heavily both on the ground and through the air, he’s become a must start. Troymane Pope was never meant to be a heavily used player and Joshua Kelley has evidently fallen out of favor with the coaching staff. Fire up Ballage for as long as Ekeler is out.

Value Meter:
QB1: Justin Herbert (high end)
RB2: Kalen Ballage (mid-range)
WR1: Keenan Allen (high end)
WR3: Mike Williams
TE1: Hunter Henry (high end)
Bench: Joshua Kelley

Passing Game Thoughts: Josh Allen is either a top six QB1 or a middling QB2 – nothing in between. After a four game stretch as the latter, Allen’s two starts before the bye produced overall QB2 and QB4 finishes. The Chargers allow just 228 passing yards per game, but that’s largely been buoyed by a recent run of bad opposing quarterbacks. Allen is an every week starter.

The same goes for his top target, Stefon Diggs, who has pretty much been Keenan Allen east. Diggs averages 10 targets per game and has at least six receptions in all but one game this season. The Chargers allow 0.9 touchdowns per game to wide receivers and this should be a high scoring affair. You’re obviously locking Diggs into your lineups.

John Brown’s last two games have been quite impressive, but he suffered an ankle injury at the tail end of the loss to the Cardinals. If the bye week wasn’t enough to get Brown ready, Gabriel Davis would take over that role, which has not amounted to anything useful for fantasy. Cole Beasley was actually the overall WR1 back in Week 10, but don’t let that fool you into thinking he has this high ceiling. You can certainly do worse than Beasley, who has established a solid floor, but in between his last two 100-yard games were 2-24 and 3-39 stinkers. Dawson Knox plays tight end for the Bills, but not for your fantasy team.

LAC FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.14
LAC FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.11
LAC FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.27
LAC FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.7

Running Game Thoughts: The Bills seem disinterested in wasting their time running the ball with their replacement level running backs. Zack Moss narrowly out-snapped Devin Singletary against the Cardinals, but neither was particularly productive. Singletary has been the preferred option in the passing game, but he’s not so superior to Moss that he warrants any sort of preferential treatment. Whichever back runs the routes in this one could benefit as no team faces more targets to the running back position than the Chargers at 24% of targets against. Moss is the preferred option because he is the goal line back, but neither running back is exciting for fantasy.

Value Meter:
QB1: Josh Allen (high end)
WR1: Stefon Diggs (mid-range)
WR3: John Brown (if he plays)
Flex: Cole Beasley, Zack Moss
Bench: Devin Singletary, Gabriel Davis

Prediction: Bills 30, Chargers 24 ^ Top

Giants @ Bengals - (Green)
Line: NYG -6.0
Total: 43.5

Passing Game Thoughts: While it's easy to scoff at the Giants' 3-7 record, they're just a couple of plays from riding a five-game winning streak. Not much has changed for Daniel Jones during that five-game run, though, as he's averaging 202 yards passing and 1.2 TDs per game. Those clearly aren't QB1 (or maybe even QB2) numbers, but the second-year pro has stepped it up as a runner, topping 60 yards on the ground in three of those five games and averaging 50-plus for that stretch. That generates QB2 appeal.

With everyone healthy (and not suspended) things have gotten a bit crowded in the Giants' passing game. At receiver, you have Sterling Shepard (6-47-0 in Week 10), Darius Slayton (5-93-0) and an on-his-best-behavior Golden Tate (2-44-0). In deciphering the value of that group you have to view Slayton as holding the most upside with Shepard being the steadiest play. Despite seeing five targets before the bye it feels like Tate is clearly behind the others in the pecking order. That makes Shepard a WR3, Slayton a flex and Tate no more than bench depth.

Evan Engram (2-15-0) is also around, and in the three games leading up to Week 10 he was targeted 29 times. Let's consider his light workload against Philly an anomaly and pencil him in as a TE1. Cincinnati has had secondary issues since training camp on, and they're currently 23rd in the NFL with 254.7 yards allowed per game.

CIN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.12
CIN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.18
CIN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.9
CIN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.4

Running Game Thoughts: With Devonta Freeman (ankle) on IR, Wayne Gallman has filled in admirably. Over the last four games, Gallman has averaged 63 total yards and racked up five touchdowns. His yards per carry aren't imposing, but he's walking into a healthy matchup versus the Bengals, which have allowed 136.2 rushing yards per game (29th) and 5.0 yards per carry (31st). Gallman is a confidant play as an RB3 that could over-deliver that designation.

Value Meter:
QB2: Daniel Jones
RB3: Wayne Gallman
WR3: Sterling Shepard (low-end)
Flex: Darius Slayton
TE1: Evan Engram
Bench: Devonta Freeman (inj), Golden Tate

5Passing Game Thoughts: What had been a season of encouraging development for the Bengals came to a halt last Sunday when Joe Burrow (knee) suffered a season-ending knee injury and was replaced by Ryan Finley. Cincy will bypass Finley for Brandon Allen in Week 12, though, and go with the former sixth-round pick. Allen has logged three starts in his career, all coming last season with Denver where he went 1-2 and averaged 172 yards, 1 TD and 0.67 INTs per game.

Accuracy was an issue for Allen, and we'll see if that's improved just by virtue of having a trio of talented targets in Tyler Boyd (9-85-0 in Week 11), Tee Higgins (3-26-0) and A.J. Green (4-41-1). Obviously the loss of Burrow is a blow to this group's outlook the rest of the way, though Boyd, who is more of a possession receiver, seems likely to retain a bigger share of his value than the others. Allen might also look to lean on a veteran like Green, which makes me most concerned for Higgins, who was on the rise.

The Giants sit 24th in the league against the pass (257.7 yards per game), but they've played better recently and have done a solid job of pressuring the quarterback. While this is very much a wait-and-see situation with the Bengals, I'd keep Boyd as a WR3 or even a low-end WR2, Higgins as a WR3 and Green as a flex or bench option. Allen, meanwhile, should be left on waivers in all but the deepest of leagues.

NYG FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.27
NYG FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.8
NYG FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.14
NYG FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.23

Running Game Thoughts: Although the Burrow injury is new, the Bengals were already functioning without top back Joe Mixon (foot), who remains on IR with a foot injury and is uncertain to return this season. That leaves Gio Bernard (concussion) as the top back. He started off well in Mixon's absence but has seen his numbers dip over the last two games. The silver lining is he's a capable receiver and could be a popular check-down target for Allen. Bernard is dealing with a concussion, however, and if he's not cleared the job will fall to Samaje Perine. If he's active, consider Bernard an RB2/RB3 against a Giants defense that ranks an impressive sixth against the run this season. If not, Perine could be plugged in as a flex play.

Value Meter:
RB2/RB3: Giovani Bernard
WR2/WR3: Tyler Boyd
WR3: Tee Higgins
Bench: Brandon Allen, Joe Mixon (inj), Samaje Perine, A.J. Green

Prediction: Giants 27, Bengals 17 ^ Top

Titans @ Colts - (Swanson)
Line: IND -3.5
Total: 50.5

Passing Game Thoughts: Fresh off an overtime victory on the road against the Ravens, the Titans head north to take on Philip Rivers and the Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Tannehill completed 22 of 31 passes for 259 yards and a pair of touchdown passes. Corey Davis posted his third 100-yard game of the season, A.J. Brown scored a touchdown on one of the better catch and runs you will see, and Jonnu Smith bounced back from a two-for-14 day against the Colts in Week 10 to catch his seventh touchdown on the season.

The Titans lost to the Colts 34-17 two weeks ago in what was the worst game of the year for Tannehill. He completed just 55% of his passes for 147 yards and one score. Even with allowing three passing touchdowns and over 300 yards last week to Aaron Rodgers and the Packers, the Colts still give up just the third-fewest points to opposing quarterbacks.

Rodgers did prove last week that you can pass on the Colts, but he accomplished the feat with arguably the league’s best wide receiver in Davante Adams and some big plays down the field to MVS.

The Colts are one of only two teams who rank in the top five in fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks, running backs, and tight ends. Wide receivers have fared a little better but still outside the top 20 in points per game.

There is no great way to attack the vaunted Indy defense. You know Mike Vrabel and the Tennessee coaching staff will look to run Derrick Henry early and often.

The Colts shut down A.J. Brown to the tune of just one catch for 21 yards and a score, while Corey Davis delivered a respectable 67 yards on five catches. Both players are worthy of a start, but expectations might need to be tempered.

IND FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.29
IND FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.30
IND FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.26
IND FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.30

Running Game Thoughts: Derrick Henry proved once again that he is the best closing running back in the game, with a 29-yard game-winning run in overtime to seal the 30-24 win. Henry is like a fine wine that ages with time and carries, punishing defenders late and submitting his will on the opposing defense.

The defending rushing champ posted a solid 103 yards on 19 carries two weeks ago against the Colts, but he did not reach the end zone in what turned out to be a blowout win for Indy. I doubt the Colts will keep King Henry out of the end zone this week, with another 100-yard game likely in the cards.

An injury to watch is guard Roger Saffold, who suffered a shoulder injury when the two teams played back in Week 10. Saffold missed most of the game against the Colts and last week’s game against the Ravens. If Saffold is able to return to the field this week, he will be a big boost to a Titans offensive line that has been beaten down with injuries in 2020.

Value Meter:
QB1: Ryan Tannehill (Low-End)
RB1: Derrick Henry (High-End)
WR2: A.J. Brown (Low-End)
WR3: Corey Davis (Low-End)
TE1: Jonnu Smith (Low-End)

Passing Game Thoughts: Philip Rivers and the Colts came back from a 14-point deficit to hang on and beat Aaron Rodgers and the Packers last week. Rivers threw for 288 yards and three scores, including a long pass and run score for rookie wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. who continues to have the look of a late-season rookie breakout candidate.

Pittman Jr. followed up a stellar 7/101/0 game last week against the Titans to score the first NFL touchdown of his young career last week vs. the Pack. Pittman should be in your lineup every week in the future, as he appears to have gained the trust and confidence of Rivers.

Rivers, on the other hand, is not someone you should start, and neither are T.Y. Hilton, Zach Pascall, or any other Indianapolis wide receivers. Outside of Pittman Jr., the only place to find fantasy value in the passing game is with the tight ends and running backs.

Both Trey Burton and Jack Doyle scored a receiving touchdown last week vs. Green Bay, while Mo Alie-Cox was a bust, with just two catches for 16 yards. If you guess right and start the tight end who catches a touchdown from Rivers you will be happy. But if you guess wrong and get one catch for six yards, you are going to be upset all week long. It might be best to avoid Colts tight ends altogether.

From a fantasy football matchup perspective, things do not get much better for quarterbacks than lining up against the Titans. Tennessee has given up the 6th-most points to quarterbacks, with seven players reaching 20 or more fantasy points. Rivers himself threw for 308 yards and a score two weeks ago.

Curiously, the two players who had the worst fantasy weeks of the season vs. the Titans were Drew Lock (not a surprise) and defending real-life and fantasy MVP Lamar Jackson. Jackson completed just 58% of his passes and only managed to beat the Titans with passes to tight ends. Considering Rivers is a much better pure passer than Jackson, and the Colts feature tight ends, It would not surprise us to see Rivers throw for over 250 yards and a few scores.

TEN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.6
TEN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.10
TEN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.4
TEN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.9

Running Game Thoughts: Entering last week's game against the Packers, only the Lions had given up more fantasy points per game to opposing running backs than Green Bay. Eight opposing players managed to reach double digits, including Dalvin Cook, who torched the Pack for over 200 combined yards and six touchdowns in two games.

The Colts boast arguably one of the best offensive lines in football and someone many consider to be the best run-blocking guard in Quentin Nelson. One would have thought that rookie Jonathan Taylor and Nyheim Hines would torch the Pack for a monster game with multiple rushing touchdowns.
Taylor did rush for 90 yards and added 24 yards in the passing game. But the former Wisconsin Badger did not score, and he didn’t even reach 100 yards despite getting 22 carries.

For someone who many thought would be a breakout candidate, Taylor has been someone underwhelming and has not shown the outstanding athleticism we all expected.

The Titans shut down Taylor back in Week 10 to the tune of seven carries for 12 yards. You will want to start Taylor based on his elite volume, but if running backs coach Tom Rathman likes what he sees for Hines or Jordan Wilkins, Taylor could be a bust once again.

Value Meter:
QB2: Philip Rivers (Low-End)
RB2: Jonathan Taylor (Low-End)
RB3: Nyheim Hines (Low-End)
WR2: Michael Pittman Jr. (Low-End)
WR4: T.Y. Hilton (Low-End)
TE2: Trey Burton (High-End)

Prediction: Tennessee 28, Indianapolis 21 ^ Top

Browns @ Jaguars - (Swanson)
Line: CLE -6.5
Total: 49.0

Passing Game Thoughts: After three straight games of terrible fall weather and windy conditions in Cleveland, Baker Mayfield and the Browns passing offense head on the road to take on the Jacksonville Jaguars in what projects to be perfect football weather, with a high of 74 and light winds.

In the bad weather games against the Raiders, Texans, and Eagles, Mayfield failed to throw a single passing touchdown and topped 200 yards just once, as the Browns relied on a rushing attack and their defense to win two of the contests.

This week’s matchup against a Jacksonville team that gives up the third-most points to opposing quarterbacks may be a return to fantasy form for Mayfield, who is likely on most waiver wires. Every single quarterback except for Matthew Stafford has posted at least 20 fantasy points vs. the Jags, including a monster 42-point showing by rookie Justin Herbert back in Week 7.

If you have held onto Jarvis Landry this season, hoping for a chance at a monster game from a disappointing veteran who currently ranks 86th at the position, you may finally get your wish this week. Look for Landry to get at least eight targets in this game, with around 75 yards and a decent shot of a score.

Weather should not be a problem, but a negative game script created by the Browns defense against Mike Glennon and the Browns running wild with Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt could limit the need for a ton of passes from Mayfield.

The Browns do not have injuries on the offensive side of the ball that could negatively affect the production of the passing game. They do have three injuries to their secondary, including the loss of cornerback Denzel Ward, that could lead to a more favorable game script.

JAC FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.3
JAC FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.6
JAC FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.8
JAC FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.6

Running Game Thoughts: The Jaguars are one of only a few teams that rank in the bottom ten in points given up to quarterbacks, running backs, and wide receivers. For a team like the Browns, who are a run-first offense with the best one-two punch in the league at RB in Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, the outlook on Sunday looks beyond juicy.

The dynamic duo is tied for second in rushing yards behind the Vikings RBs, with Chubb averaging a ridiculous six yards per carry Hunt leading all running backs with four receiving touchdowns.

The Jags have a ton of injuries that will adversely affect their ability to limit both the rushing and passing attack of the Browns. Starting defensive end Josh Allen suffered a knee injury that will keep him out for this game and likely multi games down the stretch of the fantasy season.

Safety Daniel Thomas and cornerbacks Chris Claybrooks and DJ Hayden will also miss time with knee and groin injuries. Fellow cornerback Sidney Jones is also listed as questionable, but he is more likely to play than the other two.

Value Meter:
QB2: Baker Mayfield (High-End)
RB1: Nick Chubb (High-End)
RB1: Kareem Hunt (Low-End)
WR2: Jarvis Landry (Low-End)
WR4: Rashard Higgins (Low-End)
TE1: Austin Hooper (Low-End)

Passing Game Thoughts: Head Coach Doug Marrone has named Mike Glennon the starter this week against the Browns. Rookie Jake Luton has just two passing touchdowns in three games started this season and has not topped 170 passing yards since Week 9 against the Texans. His lack of passing touchdowns has greatly limited the value of passing weapons like D.J. Chark, who has not caught a touchdown since Week 9. Glennon is a career 60% passer with just seven total passing touchdowns in his last 171 pass attempts - not exactly someone you want to start on your fantasy roster.

It remains to be seen how Glennon will do under center and if he will heavily target one of the receiving options or spread the ball around.

Chark is only playable in matchups against teams that have a bottom-ranked secondary that gives up a ton of points to wide receivers. The Browns would fit into that category as the 11th ranked team in fantasy points allowed to opposing WRs, and even more so now that Denzel Ward, the team’s top cornerback, is out with a calf injury.

The Browns could also be without backup safeties Ronnie Harrison and Sheldrick Redwine, making an already shaky secondary more shallow.

An interesting matchup to watch will be the play action passing game of Glennon and the aggressive Browns safeties. Cleveland is one of the better run-stopping defenses in the league because of the aggressive play of their safeties in run support. With Ward out, look for the Jags to try to beat the Browns subpar secondary on multiple deep shots on play action, with the safeties out of position in the middle of the field.

In addition to the loss of Ward, the Browns will be without defensive player of the year candidate Myles Garrett, who will miss the game due to testing positive for COVID-19. The lack of Garrett in both run sport and the pass rush should help the Jags significantly.

The Browns will also be without Sione Takitaki after the linebacker tested positive for COIVD-19. That means Cleveland will be without their two best players because of COVID-19 and their best cornerback due to injury. The Glennon news is not great for the skill players on Jacksonville, but the depleted defense will certainly help.

CLE FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.7
CLE FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.22
CLE FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.10
CLE FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.3

Running Game Thoughts: James Robinson continues to impress with 94 yards on 19 touches against the stout Pittsburgh pass rush last week. Robinson has at least seven fantasy points in every game this sans and 11 or more points in six games.

He ranks 12th at the position on our Consistency Calculator tool, ahead of Ezekiel Elliott, Todd Gurley, and Clyde Edwards-Helaire.

After starting the season as one of the more stout rushing defenses, the Browns have been somewhat vulnerable as of late, with 100-yard games give up to both James Conner and Josh Jacobs, and the duo of Miles Sanders and Boston Scott combined for just under 150 total yards.

Look for Robinson to get at least 20 carries in this game and finish with around 90 total yards and a possible score.

Value Meter:
QB2: Mike Glennon (Low-End)
RB1: James Robinson (Low-End)
WR2: D.J. Chark (Low-End)
WR3: Keelan Cole(Low-End)
TE2: Tyler Eifert (Low-End)

Prediction: Cleveland 28, Jacksonville 17 ^ Top

Panthers @ Vikings - (Green)
Line: MIN -4.0
Total: 51.0

Passing Game Thoughts: With Teddy Bridgewater (knee) unable to go last Sunday, the team turned to XFL import P.J. Walker, who passed for 258 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions (both of which occurred in the end zone) in a win over Detroit. It appears the week off will do the trick in getting Bridgewater back on the field as he's expected to make the start against his original team this Sunday. That should serve as a little added motivation for the veteran to bring his "A" game in Week 12.

With the offseason signing of Robby Anderson (7-46-0 last week) and emergence of Curtis Samuel (8-70-1) as more than a gadget guy, the Panthers suddenly feature one of the top threesomes at the receiver position. At the top of that totem pole is D.J. Moore (7-127-0), who has emerged as one of the game's most dangerous downfield threats and a solid WR2 for fantasy purposes. That was how the Jets viewed Anderson during his time there, but the fifth-year pro has been reinvented as a strong possession option and perfect complement to Moore. Samuel mans the slot and has done a little bit of everything in 2020. He's a WR3 while Anderson mirrors Moore as a WR2.

All three are quality plays this Sunday in part because of their matchup with the Vikings, which rank 26th in passing yards allowed (260.7 per game) and are tied for 29th in TD passes (22). There should be plenty to go around, though Bridgewater's season-long issues in the red zone (just 13 TD passes in nine starts) keep him on the borderline of QB1/QB2 despite his receivers' value.

MIN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.11
MIN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.15
MIN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.5
MIN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.18

Running Game Thoughts: Christian McCaffrey (shoulder) is not expected to play this week, which isn't a surprise since the Panthers have a Week 13 bye. In his stead, Mike Davis (19-64-1) will get the nod. Davis has been a nice find for the Panthers after several nondescript seasons with the 49ers, Seahawks and Bears. He could fill an RB2 slot in your lineup versus Minnesota's 22nd-ranked run defense (122.1 yards per game).

Value Meter:
QB1/QB2: Teddy Bridgewater (inj)
RB2: Mike Davis
WR2: D.J. Moore
WR2: Robby Anderson
WR3: Curtis Samuel
Bench: Christian McCaffrey (inj)

Passing Game Thoughts: After throwing a grand total of 34 passes in his first two games after the bye, Kirk Cousins' usage has increased markedly over the past two weeks with a combined 66 attempts. He played one of his better games of the year last Sunday when he completed 22 of 30 passes for 314 yards, 3 TDs and no turnovers. Down three in the final minutes with a chance to tie, however, Cousins couldn't get a first down and Minnesota fell to Dallas, 31-28, in a game that all but extinguished their playoff hopes.

It's fair to wonder if Mike Zimmer will dial back the offense to something closer to what we saw in Weeks 8 and 9 or if he'll stick with more balance. Two players hoping for the latter are Adam Thielen (8-123-2) and Justin Jefferson (3-86-1), who have bounced back after posting anemic numbers in those earlier weeks. Thielen is a technician as a route runner and the target of choice in the red zone while Jefferson is more of a deep threat. At this stage, Thielen's status for Sunday is TBD as he's currently on the COVID-19 list. If he plays, consider both as WR2s with the ability to under- or over-perform that spot. If not, elevate Jefferson to WR1 status as the only game in town.

Carolina ranks 19th in the league in passing yardage allowed (245.5 yards per game), and they've been an uneven group this year. That's been underscored recently as they allowed 79 points in Weeks 9 and 10 before shutting out the Lions last Sunday. With so much uncertainty about which Panthers team will show up, not to mention what game-plan Zimmer will green light, Cousins is a QB2 or bench option.

CAR FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.19
CAR FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.5
CAR FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.23
CAR FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.11

Running Game Thoughts: Dalvin Cook (27-115-1) continues to function as the engine of the Minnesota offense. His usage over the past month has been insanely high with him averaging 31 touches, 188 yards and 1.75 TDs per game. That feels unsustainable, and it's unclear why the team has no confidence in Alexander Mattison. For the time being, Cook is a surefire RB1 against the 17th-ranked run defense of Carolina that has given up 116.8 yards per game this season.

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

Prediction: Vikings 30, Panthers 27 ^ Top

Cardinals at Patriots - (Katz)
Line: ARI -1.5
Total: 49.0

Passing Game Thoughts: 2019’s rookie of the year is now right up there with Patrick Mahomes for MVP. Kyler Murray has been, by far, the best fantasy quarterback. He has yet to finish lower than overall QB10 and has seven top five finishes. 23.1 fantasy points is his floor. For Murray, the fact that the Patriots feature multiple shut down corners does not matter. For DeAndre Hopkins, it might. Murray is going to get his numbers, but it’s possible this is more of a Christian Kirk/Larry Fitzgerald game with Bill Belichick committed to erasing Hopkins.

Fitz is coming off his best game of the season with eight catches for 62 yards. Unfortunately, Fitz tested positive for Covid on Thursday and will not be able to play. Andy Isabella should assume Fitz’s snaps, but Isabella is terrible. He can always catch a long one, but do not go relying on him for any consistent production. Christian Kirk was dismissed early in the season, but he’s actually been quite the useful little player. He had a four game stretch of at least WR2 production from Weeks 5-9. The last two weeks have been duds, but I like Kirk’s chances to bounce back this week.

NE FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.20
NE FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.21
NE FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.20
NE FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.28

Running Game Thoughts: Kenyan Drake’s return hasn’t seen him thrust into a clear lead back role based on snaps, but the touch counts tell a different story. Drake has played 50% of the snaps the past two weeks, but has out-touched Chase Edmonds 32-17. Edmonds is nothing more than a desperation back of the starting lineup option. Drake’s volume has him back in the RB2 realm, but he just hasn’t been very good. The Patriots allow just 21.9 fantasy points per game to running backs and are particularly good defending running backs out of the backfield. Just 13% of the receiving yards they’ve allowed have gone to running backs. I doubt you have a much better option than Drake, but neither Cardinals’ running back is anything resembling a must start.

Value Meter:
QB1: Kyler Murray (the best)
RB2: Kenyan Drake (low end)
WR2: DeAndre Hopkins (high end)
WR3: Christian Kirk
Bench: Chase Edmonds, Larry Fitzgerald, Andy Isabella

Passing Game Thoughts: Cam Newton just can’t seem to get it done both on the ground and through the air anymore. It’s either one or the other. Last week, he threw for 365 yards, but only rushed three times for six yards. Newton’s rushing numbers have been way down since early in the season. The Cardinals allow just 3.0 rushing fantasy points per game to quarterbacks. Those numbers are often skewed based on what quarterbacks a team faced, though. Newton is still a rushing threat and banking on his passing numbers is a risky proposition.

His top receiver remains Jakobi Meyers, notwithstanding last week’s dud. I wouldn’t go chasing Damiere Byrd’s 6-132-1 line. The Cardinals allow 40.9 fantasy points per game to wide receivers. N’Keal Harry had a respectable eight targets last week, but he can be left on the waiver wire. If Newton’s accuracy is there this week, he should be able to throw effectively.

ARI FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.9
ARI FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.20
ARI FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.7
ARI FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.26

Running Game Thoughts: Sony Michel is healthy now, but he was inactive last week because he’s the worst running back on the Patriots. With Rex Burkhead done for the season, Michel will likely be active this week and could eat into Damien Harris’ early down role. Harris’ carry count is strong, but he’s playing fewer than 40% of the snaps. James White saw his role increase last week after Burkhead went down, playing a season high 57% of the snaps. If the Patriots are in negative game script, White could be heavily used down the stretch. He’s hard to trust after just one productive game, but he’s worth a shot if you’re in a bind.

Just 14% of the receiving yards allowed by the Cardinals have gone to running backs and they allow just 22.6 fantasy points per game to the position. Harris is a touchdown or bust option as he is never used in the passing game (he has four targets all season). White feels a bit safer, but it’s difficult to know until we see what Belichick chooses to do in a post-Burkhead world.

Value Meter:
QB1: Cam Newton (low end)
WR3: Jakobi Meyers
Flex: James White, Damien Harris
Bench: Sony Michel, Damiere Byrd, N’Keal Harry

Prediction: Cardinals 30, Patriots 25 ^ Top

Dolphins at Jets - (Katz)
Line: MIA -7.0
Total: 44.5

Passing Game Thoughts: Brian Flores can spin it any way he wants, but saying that Ryan Fitzpatrick gave his team the best chance to win in the fourth quarter last week is a scathing indictment of Tua Tagovailoa. Tua has now failed to reach 100 passing yards in two of his four starts and only surpassed 200 yards once. Making the switch to Tua, but actively hiding him and running as much as possible seems like a strange decision.

Tua is supposedly going to remain the starter this week at the Jets, where the Dolphins look to bounce back from an embarrassing loss, but he has been limited in practice with a left thumb injury, which is something to monitor. The Dolphins shut out the Jets in their last meeting behind 191 yards and three touchdowns from Fitzpatrick. Whomever starts at quarterback, the volume is unlikely to be there.

Despite the favorable matchup against a Jets defense allowing 22.3 fantasy points per game to quarterbacks, the Dolphins’ projected positive game script and run heavy game plan makes starting either Tua or Fitzpatrick less than ideal. The Jets allow 42.3 fantasy points per game to wide receivers. Even if there is a run heavy scheme, there will be enough pass attempts for DeVante Parker to produce. He saw eight targets in the previous contest. Outside of Parker, there’s not much here without Preston Williams. Jakeem Grant, Malcolm Perry, and Mike Gesicki all vie for secondary and tertiary targets, but none are fantasy options.

NYJ FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.4
NYJ FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.7
NYJ FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.6
NYJ FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.10

Running Game Thoughts: Myles Gaskin was designated to return from IR this week, but that does not mean he will necessarily play. Typically, when players are set to return, it takes a week or two before they are activated. Salvon Ahmed has been the clear primary back the past two games, but he is currently dealing with a shoulder injury. Check on his final status after Friday’s practice. Regardless of who starts at running back for the Dolphins, he will be a solid play for a team that wants to run against a defense can’t stop the run.

The Jets allow 25.9 fantasy points per game to running backs. Their overall inability to stop either the run or the pass puts opposing offenses in scoring position, which is what we want for our running backs in fantasy. Matt Breida was the clear backup to Ahmed and he would figure to touch the ball the most if both Ahmed and Gaskin do not play. If both Ahmed and Gaskin play, my guess is Gaskin leads a committee 60-40. If just one of them plays, that’s the guy you want.

Value Meter:
RB2: Salvon Ahmed (if Gaskin sits)
WR2: DeVante Parker (low end)
TE2: Mike Gesicki
Flex: Matt Breida (if Ahmed and Gaskin both sit)
Bench: Myles Gaskin, Jakeem Grant, Tua Tagovailoa, Ryan Fitzpatrick

Passing Game Thoughts: Sam Darnold returned to practice this week, but it is still looking like Joe Flacco will be under center for one more week. The Jets are certainly going to try as no one wants to go winless and they are running out of opportunities. Unfortunately, there’s not much here for fantasy. Denzel Mims led the team with eight targets and 71 yards last week. His usage is encouraging, but the quarterback play is always going to hold him back. Breshad Perriman is a touchdown hopeful. Jamison Crowder was once a PPR must start, but after a three target, one reception game, he can’t be trusted. Chris Herndon caught a touchdown last week as well. You’re not starting Chris Herndon. The Dolphins have two shut down corners in Byron Jones and Xavien Howard. The Jets haven’t scored a point against this team yet. Just avoid all Jets.

MIA FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.10
MIA FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.13
MIA FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.16
MIA FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.24

Running Game Thoughts: The same goes for the running backs. With La’Mical Perine out with a high ankle sprain, Frank Gore is once again the top dog in the Jets backfield. Gore touched the ball 17 times last week and scored his first touchdown of the season. Gore’s volume has always made him a target on the waiver wire when the starter in front of him inevitably goes down, but Gore just never produces. He’s seldom used in the passing game and just 17% of targets against the Dolphins go to running backs. Touchdown or bust options are not great starts and that’s especially pronounced when those players are on the Jets. It’s possible Ty Johnson gets more involved this week. He at least has some juice and could be worth a flier if you have the spot, but you’re not using him this week.

Value Meter:
Bench: Joe Flacco, Sam Darnold, Frank Gore, Ty Johnson, Jamison Crowder, Denzel Mims, Breshad Perriman

Prediction: Dolphins 23, Jets 13 ^ Top

Ravens @ Steelers - (Green)
Line: N/A
Total: N/A

Passing Game Thoughts: As has been the case for most of 2020, nothing came easily for Lamar Jackson in Sunday's loss to the Titans. His reads looked slow, and his delivery was off target at times. When the final whistle blew, Jackson had completed 17 of 29 balls for 186 yards, one TD and an INT. He added 51 yards on 13 rushes, but with each game that goes by it's becoming increasingly obvious that the 2019 version of Jackson and the Ravens offense isn't going to make an appearance this season.

That being said, the Ravens are likely to need more from Jackson this Thursday due to issues with their running backs. That effort starts with Mark Andrews (5-96-1 in Week 11), who is Jackson's most dependable and consistent target; he's a solid TE1. Marquise Brown was supposed to serve as the top receiver, but he has just six catches in his last four games combined. Willie Snead went over 100 yards against Pittsburgh back in Week 8 and has been the more productive option of late. Both players are risky flex plays with modest upside. Dez Bryant (4-28-0 in Week 12) is watch-list material.

Pittsburgh is among the NFL's best, allowing just 203.5 passing yards per game and leading the league in both sacks (38) and interceptions (15). They've made life miserable on Jackson in the last two meetings, sacking him nine times and forcing seven turnovers. Despite this, Jackson holds fringe QB1 value in a game where he'll likely be asked to pick up the slack of a depleted running game.

Update: Lamar Jackson has tested positve for COVID-19 and will not play Sunday, if the game is played.

PIT FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.30
PIT FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.31
PIT FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.18
PIT FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.31

Running Game Thoughts: As mentioned, the Ravens will have a streamlined look in their backfield as both J.K. Dobbins and Mark Ingram will miss the game after being placed on the COVID-19 list. That means Gus Edwards (16-87-1 vs. PIT in Week 8) will be the primary back with Justice Hill as the backup. While the Steelers are a top-10 defense against the run, Baltimore hit them for 265 yards on 47 rushes in their first meeting. Edwards is a confident play as an RB2 that could easily return RB1 value given what's expected to be high usage.

Value Meter:
QB1: Lamar Jackson (low-end)
RB2: Gus Edwards
Flex: Marquise Brown (low-end)
Flex: Willie Snead (low-end)
TE1: Mark Andrews
Bench: Mark Ingram (inj), J.K. Dobbins (inj)

Passing Game Thoughts: While the Steelers' ground game was more effective than it had been recently, Pittsburgh still threw the ball 46 times against the Jaguars compared to 27 runs (including kneel downs). The numbers weren't huge for Ben Roethlisberger, who threw for 267 yards, two TDs and an interception (his first since Week 7). During the first meeting with the Ravens, Pittsburgh ran just 50 plays with the veteran throwing for 182 yards in a game that was primarily won on defense. The offense is clicking now, though, and Roethlisberger could still be played as a QB1.

Whether or not top target JuJu Smith-Schuster (toe) will play remains unclear after he was injured against Jacksonville and didn't return. He was able to practice on Wednesday so he’s trending in the right direction. Minus Smith-Schuster, Diontae Johnson (12-111-0 in Week 11) led the way while Chase Claypool (4-59-1) scored his 10th TD of 2020. If Smith-Schuster is active he'd rate as a WR2/WR3 as there'd still be some concern about his ability to handle a full load. Johnson looks like the steadiest play while Claypool has emerged as a frequent red-zone option. Both can be deployed as WR2s.

Eric Ebron (4-36-1) continues to carve out a niche as a touchdown-dependant TE1, especially given the lack of reliable fantasy options at the position. They'll face a Ravens squad that is seventh against the pass (217 per game) but failed to make stops late in their loss to what had been a struggling Tennessee offense this past Sunday.

BAL FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.26
BAL FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.19
BAL FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.28
BAL FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.14

Running Game Thoughts: James Conner (13-89-0) shook off consecutive poor outings by averaging 6.8 yards per carry against the Jags. Unfortunately, he stepped aside near the goal line and watched Benny Snell step in and vulture a touchdown. Baltimore held up early against Derrick Henry in Week 11 but faded late, ultimately allowing 173 yards on the ground -- that's well above their season average of 116. Consider Conner, who ran for 47 yards and a score in the first meeting, an RB2 this weekend.

Value Meter:
QB1: Ben Roethlisberger (low-end)
RB2: James Conner
WR2: Diontae Johnson
WR2: Chase Claypool
WR2/WR3: JuJu Smith-Schuster
TE1: Eric Ebron
Bench: Benny Snell

Prediction: Steelers 24, Ravens 20 ^ Top

Saints at Broncos - (Caron)
Line: NO -6.0
Total: 43.5

Passing Game Thoughts: The Taysom Hill/ESPN tight end controversy has been put to rest, but Hill’s fantasy relevance surged across other platforms this past week after the 30-year-old made his first NFL start this past week. Albeit on mostly short passes, Hill completed 18 of his 23 pass attempts against the Falcons for 233 yards. He didn’t throw a touchdown, but he also didn’t throw and interception, which allowed his fantasy production to shine as he ran the ball 10 times for 51 yards and a touchdown. We all knew that Hill’s primary value would likely be in his legs, and that he could end up being essentially the team’s goal line runner while he’s behind center, so this wasn’t much of a surprise, but it was good to be validated in our assumptions that he is, indeed, a worthwhile fantasy asset as long as he’s the primary quarterback for the Saints. Of course, there remains a concern that he could end up getting benched mid-game if he’s struggling, particularly if the Saints fall behind on the scoreboard, given that Jameis Winston is waiting on the sidelines with a clipboard in hand, but the reward might just be worth the risk regarding this mobile QB.

Hill being the Saints’ starting quarterback was widely believed to be a massive downgrade for wide receiver Michael Thomas. Thomas had missed most of the first half of the season due to injury and off-field issues and had struggled in the two games he played prior to Week 11 so a move to Hill had many owners concerned that the top-scoring WR from 2019 may not be a fantasy stud again until Brees returned. Hill, however, would make up for a low overall passing volume day by absolutely keying in on his team’s top pass catcher. Hill targeted Thomas on 12 of his 23 pass attempts, giving Thomas a monstrous 52 percent target share for the day. Thomas caught nine of those passes for 104 yards, proving that he can still be productive in this offense even with a less-than-prolific passer behind center. Thomas remains a WR1 for fantasy - albeit a low-end one - this week as the Saints head to Denver to face the Broncos.

Denver has been decent against opposing wide receivers this season but they’ve also had the benefit of playing a few of the lowest-volume passing games in the league. High-level receivers like Keenan Allen, Tyreek Hill, DeVante Parker, Chris Godwin, Mike Evans, Diontae Johnson, Chase Claypool and Julio Jones have all scored touchdowns against the Broncos this season, which should give fantasy owners a fair bit of confidence that Thomas can provide fantasy production here in Week 12.

Unfortunately, despite Hill’s connection with Thomas, the same cannot exactly be said about Hill with the other members of this New Orleans passing attack. Emmanuel Sanders did catch four of his five targets for 66 yards, but that’s just not enough volume for us to be confident in him for fantasy purposes right now. The only other member of this passing game who could even potentially be on the radar this week would be tight end Jared Cook, but he faces an awful matchup against the Broncos, one of the league’s best defenses against opposing tight ends. Denver hasn’t allowed a touchdown to an opposing tight end since all the way back in Week 1 and they’ve since held the likes of Travis Kelce, Darren Waller, Rob Gronkowski, Hunter Henry, Eric Ebron, Hayden Hurst and Mike Gesicki to 62 or fewer receiving yards - with no touchdowns - since. Cook is typically only a borderline starter on a week to week basis anyway, so look for another option this week as this is as brutal of a matchup as it gets.

DEN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.21
DEN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.17
DEN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.19
DEN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.22

Running Game Thoughts: We knew the New Orleans passing game would look different with Taysom Hill leading the charge, but what no one expected was that the running game would also look dramatically different in Week 11. Alvin Kamara carried the ball just 13 times for 45 yards in that contest while backup Latavius Murray took 12 carries for 49 yards, nearly evenly splitting the backfield workload. Perhaps most importantly, concerns about Kamara’s passing game usage with Hill at QB were validated as the back who had caught at least three passes in every game prior was held without a catch on the day. Kamara did emerge from the game with a bit of a foot injury, and the Saints were up multiple scores late in the game so they didn’t need to rely on Kamara, but there is some worry that the Saints may opt to utilize what essentially equates to a three-headed backfield with Kamara, Murray and Hill himself, particularly near the goal line.

While Kamara has to still be considered an RB1 given the gigantic upside we’ve seen from him throughout the season, there’s little question that this switch of offensive philosophies is harmful to his usage. Thankfully this week he does face a Broncos run defense that has allowed Josh Jacobs and Devontae Booker to combine for over 200 rushing yards and four total touchdowns against them just two weeks ago, so there’s some potential for a high-end RB1 day for Kamara even if Murray remains nearly as involved as he was in Week 11. Murray himself is still too risky to play at the moment but we’ll monitor the situation this week and reassess for Week 13.

Value Meter:
QB1: Taysom Hill (low-end)
RB1: Alvin Kamara
WR1: Michael Thomas (low-end)
Bench: Latavius Murray, Emmanuel Sanders, Tre’Quan Smith, Marquez Callaway, Deonte Harris, Jared Cook, Adam Trautman

Passing Game Thoughts: Drew Lock’s struggles continued in Week 11 against the Dolphins as the second-year QB completed just 18 passes and failed to throw a touchdown pass. He also threw an interception, bringing his streak to six straight games with at least one pick, and a total of 11 interceptions over that span. The volume in Denver just is not high enough to make up for Lock’s turnover problems so he shouldn’t be looked at as anything more than a low-end QB2 this week against a Saints pass defense that has only allowed one passing touchdown against them in their past three games.

Lock himself has struggled, but the pass catching weapons in Denver have had their moments this season. Wide receiver Tim Patrick has been quietly productive as he’s now finished with double-digit PPR fantasy points in six of his past seven games, including this past week when he caught five passes for a season-high 119 yards on eight targets. If it were just Patrick in the passing game then it’d be much easier to trust him as a fantasy option but the Broncos actually have a decent number of passing game weapons and they just don’t have a high enough volume offense to feed all of them. As such, rookie wideout Jerry Jeudy has mostly been a disappointment from a fantasy standpoint so far this season as he’s only exceeded 75 receiving yards once and he’s only scored two touchdowns on the season. While he’s certainly the more well-known player between the two, Jeudy has been outperformed by Patrick on a per-game basis and could see plenty of coverage from cornerback Marshon Lattimore this week, so it’s probably best to keep him benched here in Week 12.

The only passing game target in the Denver offense who really has starter potential this week in most fantasy leagues is tight end Noah Fant. While Fant hasn’t had many big games, he’s caught at least three passes in every game this season which is more than most of the non-elite tight ends can say. He’s been targeted at least five times in all but one game so far in 2020 so the volume potential is always there for him to have a fairly big game. Fant isn’t more than a low-end TE1 but that’s about as good as it gets in Denver.

NO FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.23
NO FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.32
NO FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.15
NO FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.13

Running Game Thoughts: Melvin Gordon got back to some semblance of fantasy value this past week when the veteran took 15 carries for 84 yards and a pair of touchdowns against the Dolphins. Most importantly, Gordon visually looked to be rejuvenated which has to give fantasy owners at least some hope this week as he heads into what will be the most difficult on-paper matchup that he faces all season. The Saints have given up the league’s fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs so far this season, including having held their past three opponents’ backfields to just a combined 112 total rushing yards with zero touchdowns.

While Gordon is still the back you want to own in this backfield, he’s been essentially splitting carries with Phillip Lindsay in recent weeks which further limits his upside. To make matters worse, Gordon has become less and less involved in the passing game with each passing week as he has now caught just one pass over his past three games combined.

Gordon should still probably be considered a Flex in most leagues but it’s tough to trust him as an RB2 even coming off of a quality fantasy performance against Miami. He, and to a further extent Linsday, are low upside options who have potential game script problems if the Broncos fall behind on the scoreboard.

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

Prediction: Saints 27, Broncos 20 ^ Top

49ers at Rams - (Caron)
Line: LAR -7.0
Total: 45.0

Passing Game Thoughts: The 49ers hope that a bye week has their team recharged and repaired heading into their pivotal Week 12 matchup with the division-leading Rams. While San Francisco is not technically out of playoff contention, things are looking worse by the week in what could be a lost season as they sit at the bottom of one of the league’s best divisions. If they want a shot at the playoffs, this is essentially a must-win game for San Francisco and we have to assume that they will be very prepared for this week’s contest.

The unfortunate reality is that, even with plenty of preparation, the team is still trotting out Nick Mullens as their starting quarterback. While Mullens has shown competence in the past, he’s still a low volume passer who lacks upside as a runner, doesn’t have a huge arm and won’t likely be trusted to throw the ball much more than 35 times in any game this season. With George Kittle and Brandon Aiyuk sidelined this week, an already consolidated target share situation becomes even tighter. Wide receiver Deebo Samuel has been able to practice in limited capacity this week and could suit up, but otherwise it’s looking like we could see another heavy usage game for wide receiver Richie James. James has quietly been targeted 18 times over the past two weeks, catching 12 passes for 210 yards and a touchdown over that span. The concern, of course, is that the Rams may opt to use star Jalen Ramsey in shadow coverage against James if Samuel is unable to play. That would be a huge hit to James’ potential and it’s enough to have us avoiding him in seasonal leagues. If you want to throw him in as a low-priced DFS tournament option in hopes that he doesn’t see shadow coverage from Ramsey then you might be able to extract some value, but other than that he’s probably a pass here in Week 12.

Tight end Jordan Reed (illness) is probably the only player who’s realistically on the fantasy radar in this passing offense here in Week 12. Reed caught five of the six targets that came his way in Week 10, converting them for 62 yards, including an impressive circus catch. He’s not likely to be a high upside option but Reed has produced when Kittle has been off the field in the past so it wouldn’t be all that surprising if he turned in a TE1 performance this week. He’s a low-end option but you could do worse if you’re in a tough spot.

LAR FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.31
LAR FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.29
LAR FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.32
LAR FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.16

Running Game Thoughts: The 49ers remain non-committal about Raheem Mostert’s ability to suit up in Week 12, so the 49ers backfield remains one that is unpredictable at best. We do expect Mostert back and he should immediately find himself in the RB2 conversation once that becomes official, but for now we need to pay close attention to the situation. In addition to Moster’s potential return, it also remains possible that veteran Tevin Coleman may also make his return to the lineup, further muddying an already ugly situation.

If Coleman and Mostert are inactive, however, this backfield could go from being a total question mark to one that is extremely clear, as Jerick McKinnon would essentially be the only back on the active roster who has any real NFL experience. McKinnon has touched the ball 34 times over the 49ers’ past two games, both blowout losses, which should give us some confidence in him heading into Week 12.

The 49ers running backs combined for 120 rushing yards on 32 carries in victory when these teams played back in Week 6, so there’s some potential here for the 49ers’ lead back to have some pretty decent fantasy value in this one.

Value Meter:
RB2: Raheem Mostert, Jerick McKinnon (if Mostert and Coleman are inactive)
TE1: Jordan Reed (low-end)
Bench: Tevin Coleman, McKinnon (if Mostert or Coleman are active), Deebo Samuel, Richie James, Kendrick Bourne, Trent Taylor

Passing Game Thoughts: It’s hard to get too excited about Jared Goff as he just lacks the upside to be a consistent QB1 given his lack of mobility, but there are still times - like in Week 11’s game against the Buccaneers - when the Rams let him throw the ball 50 times and he produces a 350-yard, multi-touchdown game. In Week 12 he’ll face a 49ers defense that he threw for a season low of just 198 yards against back in Week 6 and that came in a loss so it wasn’t game script-related. The 49ers have only been middle-of-the-pack against opposing quarterbacks as a whole this season, but they’ve actually held most opposing QBs in check. Only three quarterbacks - Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson and Ryan Fitzpatrick - have thrown for more than two touchdowns against this defense and only Goff himself threw for two scores against the 49ers in that mediocre Week 6 performance. Other than that, the 49ers have kept most quarterbacks they’ve faced in check, at least through the air.

While Goff is only a QB2 this week, as he is most weeks, he continues to key in on his top two pass catching weapons and that extremely consolidated target share has allowed both Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp to be in consideration as high-end WR2s, if not low-end WR1s.

Woods was able to salvage an otherwise ugly fantasy day when these teams played back in Week 6 as he caught just four passes for 29 yards, but he did get into the end zone. Kupp, on the other hand, had what was by far his worst game of the season in that Week 6 matchup, catching just three passes for 11 yards and no touchdowns. Nevertheless, this does - at least on paper - look like another potentially strong week from Woods and Kupp who both produced monster games this past week. No one else in the Los Angeles offense, including wide receiver Josh Reynolds and tight ends Tyler Higbee and Gerald Everett, have been producing anything other than replacement-level numbers, so look for Goff to target Woods and Kupp each with around 20-to-25 percent his targets.

SF FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.17
SF FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.27
SF FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.22
SF FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.32

Running Game Thoughts: We thought we had some clarity in the Rams backfield earlier this season, but things have continued to deteriorate and it appears that we have a full blown, three man committee in Los Angeles - and an unproductive one at that.

Darrell Henderson has to still be considered the top player in this backfield, but what good is that really for fantasy owners when he’s now failed to exceed even 10 touches in a game since Week 7? Henderson has been held to 4.0 or fewer yards per carry in half of his games this season and he hasn’t caught more than two passes in any game, so there just isn’t enough here for him to be anything more than a low-end, touchdown-dependent Flex option.

Meanwhile veteran Malcolm Brown and rookie Cam Akers have continued to be sprinkled into the offense, but neither of them has done much on a per-carry basis and Akers hasn’t even scored a touchdown yet.

This is a bad backfield for fantasy purposes and one that we need to be avoiding this week as they face a 49ers defense that has given up the seventh-fewest fantasy points per game to opposing running backs so far this season.

Value Meter:
QB2: Jared Goff
WR2: Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp
Bench: Darrell Henderson, Cam Akers, Malcolm Brown, Van Jefferson, Josh Reynolds, Tyler Higbee, Gerald Everett

Prediction: Rams 24, 49ers 20 ^ Top

Chiefs @ Buccaneers - (Swanson)
Line: KC -3.5
Total: 56.0

Passing Game Thoughts: Another week of football goes by and another 300-yard, three-touchdown performance for Patrick Mahomes and the potent Kansas City Chiefs passing game. With 3035 passing yards, 27 touchdowns, and just two interceptions, Mahomes is atop a short list of MVP candidates and continues to be a fantasy stud.

Mahomes is fifth among quarterbacks on our Consistency Calculator, with two or more passing touchdowns in all but one game this season. The only game in which Mahomes did not reach 20 fantasy points and multiple passing touchdowns was a snow game against Denver in Week 7 when the Chiefs defense dominated the Broncos in a 43-16 shellacking.

The Bucs young defense turned heads when they held Aaron Rodgers to 9.4 fantasy points in Week 6. They had constant pressure on Rodgers and forced two interceptions, including a pick-six that sealed the game early in the second quarter.

Since that time, the Bucs have looked very mediocre on defense with five-straight 20 point games allowed to opposing quarterbacks, highlighted by Jake Goff’s 376/3 game on Monday Night Football.

Tampa Bay has given up the 5th-most points to quarterbacks over the past five games and is tied for the most touchdowns given up to opposing tight ends. Fire up Kelce and expect around 75 yards and a score.

The Bucs are dominant when they shut down the run and get pressure on the quarterback. They will most likely shut down the run game of the Chiefs, but they will have trouble getting to Mahomes, as the Chiefs give up the forth-fewest sacks per game. If they blitz, Mahomes and Co. will burn them with quick passes and screens. If they rush four and play coverage, Mahomes will move around and hit one of his many options on the run.

There is simply no right way to defend the Chiefs passing attack, and Mahomes is a must-start. He is even more of a great start in a game like this that has a high over-under. The Bucs will put up some points on the suspect Kansas City defense as well, leading to at least 30 pass attempts for Mahomes.

TB FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.18
TB FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.24
TB FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.17
TB FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.15

Running Game Thoughts: Only the Saints and the Steelers have given up fewer points to opposing running backs than the Bucs, and not defense has given up fewer rushing yards. Tampa Bay is on pace to give up a league-low 848 yards this season.

Rookie Clyde Edwards-Helaire overcame a slow start and is quietly rising up the leaderboard for running backs. CEH struggled with five carries for 14 yards and six carries for 21 yards against the Panthers and the Jets but bounced back big time with 69 yards and a pair of scores against the Raiders last week.

Considering how stout the run defense is for the Bucs it would make sense for Andy Reid to focus more on the pass than the run. That is not good news for CEH, as Le’Veon Bell and Darrel Williams are better pass catchers so far this season and continue to be used in that fashion.

CEH is a must-start, but if he does not reach the end zone, he is going to disappoint with low yards vs. Tampa Bay.

Value Meter:
QB1: Patrick Mahomes (High-End)
RB1: Clyde Edwards-Helaire (Low-End)
WR1: Tyreek Hill (High-End)
WR3: Demarcus Robinson (Low-End)
TE1: Travis Kelce (Elite)

Passing Game Thoughts: Tom Brady looked very much like a 43-year old man against the Rams on Monday Night Football. He made terrible throws, including two-head scratching interceptions, and he cannot throw the ball downfield with power or accuracy.

When facing a top defense with a stout pass rush, Brady has been mediocre at best. The good news for Brady and his fantasy managers is the Chiefs rank 21st in sacks per game, and their secondary is not very good at stopping opposing passing attacks.

Teddy Bridgewater and Derek Carr have a combined 585 passing yards and six total touchdowns in each of the past two weeks, as the Chiefs gave up 62 points combined in those games.

Look for Brady to bounce back in a big way, with at least 300 yards and two passing touchdowns on Sunday. The Chiefs do not have playmakers in the secondary to match up against Mike Evans, Antonio Brown, Chris Godwin, and Rob Gronkowski, so if Brady can get enough pass protection, he should be able to have a solid fantasy day.

Starting center A.Q. Shipley, guard Ali Marpet, and tackle Donovan Smith are all list as questionable for the game. Their health and ability to play at a high level will be critical for the fantasy success for Brady and the passing weapons.

Shipley did an excellent job limiting Aaron Donald, and Marpet is widely considered one of the best guards in the league.

KC FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.22
KC FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.12
KC FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.29
KC FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.21

Running Game Thoughts: It would make a ton of sense for the Bucs to try and run the ball on Sunday to help take the pressure off of Brady and the offensive line while also keeping Mahomes and the Chiefs offense on the sideline.

You can run on Kansas City, and opposing running backs have had some success this year. The Chiefs rank 15th in fantasy points given up to running backs. Eight opposing backs have at least ten fantasy points, including Josh Jacobs, who had 12.4 points last week on Sunday Night Football.

The question is who will be the primary back for the Bucs and will either one of them be able to hold onto the ball and secure passes from Tom Brady. Leonard Fournette looked like he had butter on his hands against the Rams, and Ronald Jones did not run the ball effectively despite torching the Panthers back in Week 10.

Value Meter:
QB1: Tom Brady (Low-End)
RB2: Ronald Jones (Low-End)
RB3: Leonard Fournette (Low-End)
WR1: Mike Evans (High-End)
WR2: Chris Godwin (High-End)
WR3: Antonio Brown (High-End)
TE1: Rob Gronkowski Low-End)

Prediction: Kansas City 31, Tampa Bay 28 ^ Top

Bears @ Packers - (Green)
Line: GB -9.0
Total: 45.0

Passing Game Thoughts: When we last saw the Bears, Nick Foles (hip) was being carted off the field at the end of a Week 10 loss to Minnesota. While the injury turned out to not be as severe as initially feared, it's unclear who will be under center when Chicago visits Lambeau Field on Sunday night. Foles has yet to practice, while Mitchell Trubisky (shoulder), who has been dealing with an injury of his own, looks to be further along in his recovery. At this point it could either of them, or even Tyler Bray, in Week 12, though none of them would be worth starting.

About the only definite starter for the Bears is Allen Robinson (6-43-0 in Week 10), who has been a steady source of receptions no matter who is delivering the ball. He topped 100 yards in both of his meetings with the Packers in 2019 and should be a WR1/WR2 this week. Jimmy Graham could also hold fringe TE1 appeal in his return to Green Bay after being released during the offseason, though the veteran has slowed considerably, scoring once in his last five games after posting four TDs in the first five.

While Green Bay ranks 13th in the NFL in passing yards (230.6 per game), they've dealt with injuries on the backend for much of 2020. Last Sunday marked the first time Jaire Alexander and Kevin King played together since Week 4, and Alexander has developed a reputation for locking down top receivers in primetime games. It shouldn't dissuade anyone from playing Robinson, but it's worth noting.

GB FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.28
GB FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.3
GB FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.25
GB FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.25

Running Game Thoughts: Chicago used Cordarrelle Patterson (12-30-0) as their primary back in Week 10, but David Montgomery has cleared the NFL's concussion protocol and is set to return this Sunday. Montgomery has been a high-volume, low-efficiency option this season, averaging 18 touches per game but just 4.3 yards per touch. The Packers rank an identical 13th against the run (113.7 yards per game) but have struggled with physical running attacks this season. Montgomery is an RB2/RB3 this week.

Value Meter:
RB2/RB3: David Montgomery
WR1/WR2: Allen Robinson
TE1: Jimmy Graham (low-end)
Bench: Nick Foles (inj), Darnell Mooney

Passing Game Thoughts: It was a weird game for Aaron Rodgers, as the Packers took it to the Colts' top-tier defense in the first half, racking up 28 points, only to struggle with just three points after halftime. Turnovers were a big issue, including two from the always careful Rodgers, who was intercepted and fumbled a center exchange. He still ended the day with 311 yards passing and three TDs, but there was more to be had. The Bears are a familiar foil for No. 12, who passed for exactly 203 yards, 1 TD and 0 INTs in each of his 2019 matchups with Chicago.

Of course, this version of Green Bay's offense is much more potent, and Davante Adams (7-106-1) continues to lead the charge -- in fact, his 68-847-10 line across eight games equates to a ridiculous 136-1,694-20 pace over a full 16-game slate. The Packers got Allen Lazard (2-18-0) back from core muscle surgery last week, though it appeared as though they tried to ease him back. Marquez Valdes-Scantling (3-55-0) saw most of the work as the No. 2 receiver, delivering a couple of big plays but ultimately fumbling away the game in overtime. He'll be looking for some redemption this Sunday.

Chicago is 10th against the pass this year (225 yards per game), and only the Rams have surrendered fewer TD passes (12). Much of that applied to the Colts last week, too, and they had only modest success in containing Rodgers, who feels like a midrange QB1. As for the others: Adams is a WR1, MVS is a flex, and Lazard and Robert Tonyan (5-44-1) are better suited on your bench.

CHI FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.32
CHI FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.23
CHI FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.30
CHI FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.8

Running Game Thoughts: Aaron Jones (10-41-1) and Jamaal Williams (5-12-0) split the duties as usual, though it was odd to see Williams get the nod during the game-tying two-minute drive. Both contributed in the passing game with Jones adding 30 yards on four receptions and Williams snagging a four-yard TD pass. Chicago, which ranks 14th against the run (115.1 yards per game) will make you earn it, but Jones still holds RB1 appeal (he ran for two TDs vs. CHI in their last meeting) with Williams as a flex.

Value Meter:
QB1: Aaron Rodgers
RB1: Aaron Jones
Flex: Jamaal Williams
WR1: Davante Adams
Flex: Marquez Valdes-Scantling
Bench: AJ Dillon, Allen Lazard, Robert Tonyan

Prediction: Packers 30, Bears 17 ^ Top

Seahawks at Eagles - (Katz)
Line: SEA -5.5
Total: 50.0

Passing Game Thoughts: After one game without a touchdown two weeks ago, Russell Wilson was back to his multi-touchdown ways against the Cardinals. That’s the good news. The bad news is he attempted a season low 28 passes and threw for a season low 197 yards. Although the Eagles are a bad football team, look for Wilson to get back on track this week.

The Eagles only allow 18.1 fantasy points per game to quarterbacks, but don’t let that deter you from starting Wilson (not that anyone is thinking about benching him). The same goes for DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. Metcalf scored last week, but has caught just five total passes the past two weeks for 74 total yards. The Eagles’ stinginess against wide receivers can be attributed to a favorable NFC East schedule. You’re starting Metcalf and Lockett, who caught all nine of his targets last week for 67 yards and a touchdown. The Eagles have been vulnerable to the tight end this season, with opponents targeting the position 23% of the time. Unfortunately, this is difficult to exploit as the Seahawks don’t have a reliable tight end. Some combination of Will Dissly and Jacob Hollister could produce, but your guess is as good as mine as to which one.

PHI FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.25
PHI FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.26
PHI FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.21
PHI FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.5

Running Game Thoughts: With this game on Monday night, there won’t be much clarity on the Seahawks’ running back situation by the time this is published. Thursday practice reports are largely meaningless, so all we have to go on is what’s been happening. Last week, we saw Carlos Hyde return from injury and immediately establish himself as the primary back and the only fantasy relevant back. That will be the case for as long as Chris Carson remains out. Carson has seemingly been a week away from three weeks now. If Carson plays, he will get his job back because Pete Carroll loves him. If not, Hyde will be a locked in RB2.

Just 12% of the receiving yards allowed by the Eagles have gone to running backs, so temper expectations for passing game work for Hyde. Nevertheless, Hyde is averaging 16 touches in his two starts. You can rely on that volume. The biggest question will be what to do if Carson is listed as questionable on Saturday. If you don’t have a backup ready to go on Monday night, I would err on the side of caution and sit Carson, unless, of course, the guy you are playing in his stead is a complete dart throw. It’s a case-by-case decision.

Value Meter:
QB1: Russell Wilson
RB2: Chris Carson or Carlos Hyde (mid-range)
WR1: DK Metcalf (low end)
WR2: Tyler Lockett (high end)
Bench: Travis Homer, Jacob Hollister, Will Dissly

Passing Game Thoughts: It’s tough to find a starting point when it comes to Carson Wentz. There’s the fact that he’s been a bottom five starting quarterback this season (excluding injury replacements). There’s the fact that he actually hasn’t been terrible in fantasy because of volume. Then there’s the fact that this matchup against the Seahawks isn’t as favorable as it would’ve been a month ago. The Seahawks have gotten healthier on defense and somewhat contained Kyler Murray last week (as much as anyone can). Russell Wilson should make Wentz have to throw so I’d be surprised if he wasn’t fantasy viable, despite likely playing awful, turning it over multiple times, and ultimately losing the game.

The Seahawks allow 13.2 more fantasy points per game to wide receivers than the second worst team against receivers. If there were ever a week for a Jalen Reagor breakout, it’s now. Travis Fulgham is still leading the Eagles in snaps, but he’s caught just one ball for eight yards over each of his last two games. A floor like that makes him hard to trust, especially with Zach Ertz potentially returning this week. Ertz sure looked washed when we last saw him, but the fact remains that he commands targets. I don’t think his return will put too much of a dent in Dallas Goedert’s upside, though. Goedert may not play 100% of the snaps like he did last week. The Seahawks only allow 9.9 fantasy points per game to tight ends, but that’s mostly due to their inability to stop wide receivers. Goedert is like the Eagles’ de facto WR1. Alshon Jeffery played just 7% of the snaps last week.

SEA FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.2
SEA FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.9
SEA FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.1
SEA FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.29

Running Game Thoughts: Miles Sanders and Boston Scott formed a perfect 60-40 split last week, but Sanders touched the ball 19 times compared to Scott’s eight. It’s very clear this is Sanders’ backfield. The only problem with Sanders since his return from injury has been the lack of touchdowns. Those will come, perhaps this week against a Seahawks team that has allowed 15 rushing touchdowns this season. Sanders’ volume makes him a locked in RB1. As for Scott, you can do worse as a desperation flex play because you know he will touch the ball 6-8 times, but he’s not a recommended start.

Value Meter:
QB1: Carson Wentz (low end)
RB1: Miles Sanders (mid-range)
WR3: Jalen Reagor
WR3: Travis Fulgham
TE1: Dallas Goedert (mid-range)
Bech: Zach Ertz, Boston Scott, Greg Ward

Prediction: Seahawks 31, Eagles 24 ^ Top