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Inside the Matchup

Week 5

By: Andy Swanson | Jason Katz | Nick Caron | HC Green
10/7/20; Updated: 10/9/20



Sunday Early:



Sunday Late:






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

Buccaneers @ Bears - (Green)
Line: TB -4.5
Total: 44.0

Passing Game Thoughts: While Tampa's offense scuffled for a time in Week 4 they eventually found their stride with Tom Brady passing for 369 yards and five TDs (six if you count the pick-six). That set season bests in both categories and was another step in the right direction for an offense that has struggled with consistency. While Brady's lack of mobility undercuts his fantasy value, he has an array of weapons with which to attack Chicago this Thursday. That makes him a low-end QB1.

Arguably the most encouraging development was the play of Mike Evans, who led the way in receptions (seven) and receiving yards (122) against the Chargers while logging his NFL-best fifth touchdown grab. Evans had just two yards receiving in both Weeks 1 and 3, and though he mitigated the damage by having all three of his catches go for TDs it still hadn't been a great start. Running mate Chris Godwin (hamstring) missed the game and is not expected to suit up on Thursday night.

With Godwin out, Scotty Miller (5-83-1 last week) is the clear No.2 option. Miller has put up solid numbers in three of four games and seems to have the best rapport with Brady. With Evans a WR1, Miller rates as a WR3. The passing attack took a hit, though, as O.J. Howard ruptured his Achilles' tendon and is lost for the year. He'd been the main receiving threat at the position, and you have to wonder if this will be the tipping point to get Rob Gronkowski involved as a pass catcher.

Chicago sits ninth in pass defense, allowing 230.3 yards per game through the air. They've been fortunate to draw teams with lesser offenses (Giants and Colts) or those missing key personnel (Detroit without Kenny Golladay and Atlanta without Julio Jones), so it's debatable how good their secondary is. Brady won't shy away.

CHI FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.31
CHI FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.19
CHI FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.29
CHI FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.15

Running Game Thoughts: With Leonard Fournette (ankle) inactive, Ronald Jones set season highs in carries (20) and yards (111) against the Bolts. While Fournette may well become the lead back at some point this season, that almost certainly won't happen Thursday night where Fournette is a game-time decision. The Bears are 16th in the NFL against the run (115 yards allowed per game) but held Indianapolis to just 2.7 yards per carry last Sunday. Consider Jones to be an RB3 this week.

Value Meter:
QB1: Tom Brady (low-end)
RB3: Ronald Jones
WR1: Mike Evans
WR3: Scotty Miller
Bench: Leonard Fournette (inj), Chris Godwin (inj), Rob Gronkowski

Passing Game Thoughts: Last week I warned that the perception of Nick Foles didn't necessarily match the reality. In his first start for the Bears you saw a pretty good representation of the player he's been for most of his career. There were some good throws, some bad ones and some ill-advised ones. He stood in the pocket and delivered the ball, completing 26 of 42 for 249 yards, a TD and an INT. All of which led to three points for the Bears until they scored a touchdown with 90 seconds remaining. Foles simply isn't going to produce viable fantasy numbers most weeks.

One thing that didn't change with the switch to Foles was Allen Robinson's place atop the pecking order as he caught seven passes for 101 yards and the lone touchdown. Robinson is a borderline WR1/WR2 and the only consistent option. After that the safest play is probably Jimmy Graham (4-33-0), who has enjoyed a mini renaissance. He's still largely TD dependent but could function as a low-end starter. Beyond that, Anthony Miller (3-16-0) is wildly inconsistent, while rookie Darnell Mooney (5-52-0) is worth watching. Also of possible interest, Ted Ginn Jr. is still in the NFL. Who knew?!

Tampa Bay is 19th in the league against the pass, yielding 247.8 yards per game. While not terrible, this is almost certainly the area that the Bears will look to attack as the Bucs have looked nearly impenetrable as a run defense -- plus, Chicago's own ground game hasn't been great, even before they lost Tarik Cohen.

TB FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.27
TB FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.16
TB FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.18
TB FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.21

Running Game Thoughts: In their first game without Cohen, the Bears managed just 28 yards on 16 rushes. As expected, David Montgomery (10-27-0) led the way, though even when you factor in his 30 yards receiving it was still a disappointing performance. Don't expect things to get much better against a Buccaneers defense that has allowed just 64.3 rushing yards per game this season; only the Steelers (54) have done better. In a tough matchup you shouldn't count on Montgomery as more than an RB3.

Value Meter:
RB3: David Montgomery
WR1: Allen Robinson
TE1: Jimmy Graham (low-end)
Bench: Nick Foles, Anthony Miller

Prediction: Buccaneers 34, Bears 21 ^ Top

Panthers @ Falcons - (Swanson)
Line: ATL -2.5
Total: 54.0

Passing Game Thoughts: If you are an Aaron Rodgers or Matthew Stafford owner looking for a streaming option at quarterback, you should give serious consideration to Teddy Bridgewater this week against a dreadful Falcons defense.

A decimated unit with seven injuries to their secondary and not enough pass rush up front to hide their deficiencies on the back end, the Falcons have given up at least a total of four touchdowns to opposing quarterbacks in all four games this season. All four teams who have faced Atlanta have a combined fantasy production of over 30 points at the QB position, highlighted by Dak Prescott’s 46.3 points against Atlanta Week 2.

Teddy will not throw as many times as those quarterbacks, and reaching four touchdowns may be difficult. But he has a safe floor of at least two passing touchdowns at 250 yards and could be a sneaky top-10 play this week.

You have to scroll down a bit to find D.J. Moore on the list of wide receiving points scored. The third-year breakout candidate has yet to score a touchdown, and he trails teammate Robby Anderson in receptions, targets, and touchdowns. Not exactly what Moore owners were thinking when they used a third or fourth-round pick on the former Maryland Terrapin.

Look for Moore to bounce back in a big way. Not only do the Falcons struggle in pass coverage, they are terrible at tackling players after the catch. Moore should have his best game of the season in this matchup and help his struggling owners who are having drafter’s remorse.

ATL FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.1
ATL FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.10
ATL FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.10
ATL FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.1

Running Game Thoughts: Mike Davis has been one of the best free agent pickups of the first quarter of the regular season. He has more fantasy points over the past three games than Miles Sanders, Jonathan Taylor, and Clyde Edwards-Helaire, and he should post another great game this week against a Falcons defense that ranks 14th in points allowed to opposing running backs.
Aaron Rodgers and the Packers produced a blueprint for success on Monday Night Football by exposing the Falcons’ ineptness at covering running backs in the passing game. No other team has given up more passing touchdowns to RBs than Atlanta, and their 257 receiving yards allowed is second only to the Packers.

Only Zeke Elliott and Alvin Kamara have more targets than Davis in the last three weeks, leading me to believe that Davis will be active in the passing game again this week at home against the reeling Falcons.

Value Meter:
QB2: Teddy Bridgewater (High-End)
RB2: Mike Davis (High-End)
WR2: Robby Anderson (Low-End)
WR2: D.J. Moore (Low-End)
TE2: Ian Thomas (High -End)

Passing Game Thoughts: What do Jarvis Landry and Matt Ryan have in common over the past two weeks of the 2020 NFL Season? They both have one passing touchdown.

Not exactly the type of stat Ryan owners would like considering the fact that the Falcon defense is terrible, and Ryan boasts one of the best receiving corps in the league.

A big reason for Ryan’s struggles has been the loss of Julio Jones Week 3 against the Bears and then a re-aggravation of the hamstring injury against the Packers. Jones has not been himself, and fellow wide receiver Calvin Ridley is also dealing with an injury that limited his mobility.

Entering the season, the Panthers were thought to have one of the worst defenses in the league based on the logic that they are young and playing a bunch of players with little or no experience. After four games, the Panthers have proven that they are not a pushover defense to target, and we all should re-evaluate our strength of schedule models.

Carolina has given up the fifth-fewest points to opposing quarterbacks. Derek Carr, Tom Brady, and Justin Herbert all were held to just one passing touchdown, and the team stifled Kyler Murray and the Cardinals to just 133 passing yards last week.

Julio Jones looks like he will miss this game because of the hamstring, and we do not know the status of Calvin Ridley. You can try your luck with Olamide Zaccheaus in DFS, and Russell Gage will no doubt get more volume should Ridley join Jones on the sideline.

Hayden Hurst owners looking for a big game from their tight end may be disappointed. Darren Waller managed just 6/45, and Hunter Henry posted 5/50. Not terrible stat lines, but certainly not great success against the linebacking corps of Jeremy Chinn, Shaq Thompson, and veteran Tahir Whitehead.

CAR FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.28
CAR FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.2
CAR FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.25
CAR FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.23

Running Game Thoughts: On paper, Todd Gurley looks to be living up to his draft day cost with four rushing touchdowns in four games. A closer examination reveals not quite a rosy picture. The former fantasy stud is averaging just 3.9 yards per carry, and he is completely absent in the passing game.

Gurley looks slow to the edge and is not breaking many tackles. Luckily for his fantasy managers, Gurley continues to score touchdowns; otherwise, he would be a massive bust due to the lack of passing work.

From a matchup perspective, this game looks juicy for Gurley and the ground game. The Panthers are tied with the Raiders for the most touchdowns given up to opposing running backs, with Josh Jacobs and Leonard Fournette posting multi-touchdown games.

The Panthers did do a better job as of late by not giving up a ton of rushing yards to the Chargers and Cardinals, including limiting Kenyan Drake to 35 rushing yards on 13 carries.

Value Meter:
QB1: Matt Ryan (Low-End)
RB2: Todd Gurley (High-End)
WR1: Calvin Ridley (Low-End)
WR2: Julio Jones (Low-End) (Injury)
TE1: Hayden Hurst (Low -End)

Prediction: Carolina 30, Atlanta 20 ^ Top

Bengals @ Ravens - (Green)
Line: BAL -13.0
Total: 51.5

Passing Game Thoughts: Following two close losses and a tie, Joe Burrow finally logged his first career win last Sunday, throwing for 300 yards, a TD and an INT against the Jags. It was another measured, steady performance from the rookie as he continues to make smart decisions, complete passes at a high rate and avoid killer mistakes. His lack of running since Week 1 has been disappointing, though, as it puts everything on his arm to generate fantasy value. Facing a tough Ravens defense, Burrow is a QB2.

Probably the most interesting subplot in the Queen City these days in what's going on at receiver where seven-time Pro Bowl selection A.J. Green has become an afterthought, catching just nine passes for 68 yards in the last three games combined -- that looks even worse when you consider that Burrow has 93 completions in that time. At this point, Green is barely clinging to flex value.

Green's statistical decline has coincided with the emergence of Tee Higgins; over that same three-game stretch, Higgins has accounted for 12 catches, 152 yards and 2 TDs. Higgins is pushing for WR3 status but is better off as a flex. Tyler Boyd (7-90-0 last week) is the best option, though, checking in as a steady WR2. This group should have room to work against a Ravens defense that has given up 270 passing yards per game, which is 26th in the NFL. Marcus Peters (thigh) and Jimmy Smith (knee) both missed practice this week, so that bears watching.

BAL FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.9
BAL FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.23
BAL FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.15
BAL FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.11

Running Game Thoughts: Last week I wrote not to worry too much about Joe Mixon's slow start. Hopefully you listened. Mixon ran 25 times for 151 yards and 2 TDs against the Jaguars and added another touchdown along with 30 receiving yards on six grabs. His two meetings with Baltimore were wildly different last year with him running for just 10 yards in October and 114 in November. This Sunday against the NFL's sixth-ranked run defense, Mixon is a borderline RB1/RB2 selection.

Value Meter:
QB2: Joe Burrow
RB1/RB2: Joe Mixon
WR2: Tyler Boyd
Flex: Tee Higgins
Flex: A.J. Green
Bench: Drew Sample

Passing Game Thoughts: For lack of a better term, Lamar Jackson has been on cruise control, averaging 224 passing yards, 51 rushing yards and 2.33 total TDs per game during three easy wins. That's top-10 fantasy stuff, but Jackson hasn't been the elite option owners were expecting. Will that change this week? It's hard to say, especially with Jackson missing back-to-back practices due to a knee injury -- an issue that's doubly concerning given how much value comes from Jackson's legs. To underscore that, remember that Jackson ran for 217 yards and 2 TDs against Cincy last season. If he plays, the reigning MVP is a solid QB1.

Nothing of substance has changed over the season's first month when it comes to how involved players are in the passing game. Mark Andrews (3-57-2 last week) remains a top-five tight end, though he's far more TD dependent than the likes of George Kittle or Travis Kelce, which makes him a riskier weekly option. Marquise Brown (4-86-0) is the only name to know on the outside. Even though the team continues to monitor Brown's work load, he rates as a decent WR3 most weeks.

Cincinnati enters Week 5 allowing 243 passing yards per game, which is 16th in the NFL. It's not bad, but the reality is teams have found so much success on the ground that the pass becomes secondary. It's an approach the Ravens are eminently qualified to follow.

CIN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.23
CIN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.13
CIN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.16
CIN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.18

Running Game Thoughts: It's rather remarkable that the NFL's third-ranked rushing offense doesn't contain a single reliable fantasy producer at the running back position. Through four games, these are per-game averages: Mark Ingram (8.5 carries, 37 yards, 0.25 TDs), J.K. Dobbins (3.75, 23, 0.5) and Gus Edwards (6.75, 42, 0). Ingram remains the best bet given his history and style, but even that is fringe value right now. Dobbins has enough upside to be owned whereas Edwards is more of a mop-up guy with all but 18 of his rushing yards coming in the second half.

There's no questioning the Bengals' weakness against the run. Their 158.5 rushing yards allowed per game is 27th in the NFL. The problem is you can't trust anyone specific to get enough opportunities on the ground other than Jackson.

Value Meter:
QB1: Lamar Jackson
RB3/Flex: Mark Ingram
WR3: Marquise Brown
TE1: Mark Andrews
Bench: J.K. Dobbins

Prediction: Ravens 34, Bengals 24 ^ Top

Jaguars @ Texans - (Swanson)
Line: HOU -6.0
Total: 54.5

Passing Game Thoughts: Gardner Minshew enters Week 5 against the winless Houston Texans as the No.9 ranked quarterback in fantasy football. His 96 fantasy points are more than Matt Ryan, Carson Wentz, and Deshaun Watson, and he is just .2 points behind Lamar Jackson.

Minshew is on pace for 4552 yards and 32 passing touchdowns, yet he has not run the ball as much as anticipated, and he has yet to score a rushing touchdown. Rookies James Robinson and Laviska Shenault have added two more dynamics to the offense that were lacking last season, and D.J. Chark is back and healthy.

Chark has at least 84 yards or a touchdown in three of his four games, including 8/85/2 last week against the Bengals. Considering the fact that both Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson posted 100-yard games against the Texans last week, it is safe to say that Chark is a must-start this week in what could be a high-scoring game.

Shenault posted a career-high five catches for 86 yards and a score last week against the Bengals. Unfortunately, he is the latest wide receiver to suffer a hamstring injury and may miss this matchup against the Texans. Look for Keelan Cole to get more work if Shenault is out.

The Texans fired head coach and general manager Bill O’Brien on Monday after a 0-4 start to the season. A change at head coach, with interim Romeo Crennel taking over for the remainder of the season, may light a fire under the Texans defense. While I’m not sure I agree with that narrative, it is possible that the 0-4 team we watched in the first month of the season may not be the team we see for the next three months.

Tight end Tyler Eifert suffered a concussion on a brutal hit in the Bengals game, calling into question whether or not he will be available on Sunday. James O'Shaughnessy would become the primary tight end option for Minshew, but not someone you should consider starting in fantasy.

HOU FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.29
HOU FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.4
HOU FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.20
HOU FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.17

Running Game Thoughts: It may surprise many to learn that James Robinson, an undrafted rookie from Illinois State, has more fantasy points than four running backs taken in the first round, including Nick Chubb, Joe Mixon, Josh Jacobs, and Clyde Edwards-Helaire.

Robinson is averaging just under five yards per carry and has a decent amount of work in the passing game with 14 catches for 161 yards in four games. He projects to have a great game this week against a Texans team that trails only the Raiders in fantasy points allowed to running backs.

The Texans have given up a 100-yard rusher in three of four games, including 27/130/2 last week to Dalvin Cook. Robinson is not the explosive player that Cook is, but he has excellent body control and is a threat to score in the red zone as their only short-yardage back.

Value Meter:
QB2: Gardner Minshew (High-End)
RB1: James Robinson (Low-End)
WR1: D.J. Chark (Low-End)
WR3: Keelan Cole (High-End)

Passing Game Thoughts: The Bill O’Brien era of Houston Texans football is over. Say what you want about the man, but just over a year ago his team had a 20-point lead over the Chiefs in the NFL playoffs. Now he is looking for a job.

For Deshaun Watson owners, a change is welcome, as Watson is not a QB1 right now and is on pace to average the fewest fantasy points of his four-year career. His 58 rushing yards are half as many as Ryan Fitzpatrick and Carson Wentz, and Ryan Tannehill has the same number of passing touchdowns despite missing a game because of COVID-19.

It does not take captain obvious to explain that the team misses DeAndre Hopkins, and the replacement of Brandin Cooks has not been successful. Cooks is nearly droppable in all formats after posting ten catches for 138 yards in four games, including a nice goose egg last week against the Vikings.

Will Fuller has been the bright spot so far in the WR corps with 18/274/2 in three games. As long as he is healthy and playing, he should be in your lineup. The worry is he is a threat to strain a hamstring at any time and carries a ton of risk.

The Jaguars are far worse against the run than the pass, and the Jacksonville defense has been surprisingly good against opposing wide receivers. No opposing WR has topped 100 yards, and only three WRs have reached pay-dirt in four games.

JAC FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.12
JAC FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.6
JAC FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.23
JAC FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.9

Running Game Thoughts: Only the Giants and Jets have fewer combined fantasy points at the running back position through the first month of the season. This is not a huge surprise when you consider who the Texans played against to start the season. Baltimore and Pittsburgh boast two of the best defensive units in the league, while Kansas City has a way of taking teams out of their rushing game plans with a potent offensive attack.

On the positive side, the Jags just gave up 181 total yards and three touchdowns to Joe Mixon and the Bengals. I would not expect that type of production from Johnson, but he should find some success in both the ground game and the passing attack, with 100 total yards and a score well within reach.

Value Meter:
QB1: Deshaun Watson (Low-End)
RB2: David Johnson (High-End)
WR2: Will Fuller (Low-End)
WR3: Brandin Cooks (Low-End)
TE2: Jordan Akins (Low -End)

Prediction: Houston 31, Jacksonville 24 ^ Top

Raiders at Chiefs - (Caron)
Line: KC -12.5
Total: 55.5

Passing Game Thoughts: The Raiders passing game isn’t likely to ever be a high-volume attack and that continues to limit almost everyone within it. Quarterback Derek Carr has been respectable this season as a middle-of-the-pack QB2, but the upside just hasn’t been great and it probably never will be. Unfortunately, things don’t look much brighter on the surface heading into Week 5 as the Raiders head to Kansas City to face the undefeated Super Bowl champions.

The Chiefs offense forces teams to keep up with them on the scoreboard, but they’ve actually given up the eighth-fewest fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks so far this season. They’ve only given up a total of four passing touchdowns - exactly one in each game - while forcing a total of five interceptions. With the Raiders’ offensive line struggling a bit more than they have in recent seasons, Carr could also be under pressure more in this game than he has been in recent seasons when he’s matched up against the Chiefs, and he’s actually struggled in those games, throwing for just 430 yards and two touchdowns with four interceptions in the two games he played against the Chiefs in 2019. Carr will still be a borderline QB2 this week just given the reality that he’s probably going to have to pass more than usual if he hopes to keep his team in the game, but there’s not a great chance that he gets into the QB1 territory.

From a pass-catching standpoint, there are really only two players who fantasy owners should be concerning themselves with at the moment - those being wide receiver Hunter Renfrow and tight end Darren Waller. Renfrow has been targeted 17 times over the past two weeks, catching 11 of those passes for 141 yards and a score. He’s become the defacto WR1 in the offense with rookies Henry Ruggs III and Bryan Edwards being sidelined. It’s still unknown whether Ruggs or Edwards will suit up here this week, but neither of those players have been utilized enough to be useful for fantasy purposes anyway. What their absences would do, however, is continue to funnel targets toward Renfrow who has shown that he is a capable PPR fill-in when he’s been given the opportunity in the past.

Darren Waller remains one of the better fantasy tight ends in the league despite having turned in a dud in Week 3. Waller got back on the right track in Week 4 as he was targeted 12 times, catching nine of those passes for 88 yards. Few tight ends have a higher target ceiling than Waller, especially right now with the Las Vegas pass catching weapons being as banged up as they are. The Chiefs were able to hold Mark Andrews in check in Week 3, but they did get beaten up for six catches and 83 yards by Hunter Henry back in Week 2, so don’t be afraid to drop Waller in your lineup as usual.

LV FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.25
LV FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.1
LV FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.21
LV FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.30

Running Game Thoughts: A monstrous Week 1 performance had some fantasy owners risking it all to acquire second-year back Josh Jacobs in trades, but things have pretty much been downhill since that point. While Jacobs continues to turn in low-double-digit fantasy days, he hasn’t gone over 100 rushing yards in any game this season and he hasn’t been in the end zone since his three-score performance back in Week 1.

While Jacobs’ production as of late hasn’t been great, the nice thing is that we’re pretty much seeing the floor from him from a fantasy standpoint. As long as the Raiders continue to target him a handful of times per week while giving him between 15 to 25 carries, he’s going to continue to produce as - at minimum - a mid-level RB2. On the flip side, this type of workload gives him the potential to be the top-scoring back in any given week.

This matchup against the Chiefs is one that doesn’t sound great on paper given the potential game script, but the reality is that opposing teams have been able to find ways to get the ball into their running backs’ hands in just about every game they’ve played against Kansas City. This past week it was Damien Harris - who was getting his first work of the 2020 season after doing essentially nothing as a rookie - who carried the ball 17 times for 100 yards for the Patriots in a loss to the Chiefs. Rex Burkhead also carried the ball 11 times in that game and James White added in seven receptions. Despite practically no threat of a passing game, the Patriots were able to utilize their running backs in a variety of ways to stay in the game until the very end while nearly squeaking out a victory.

With the Raiders dealing with some banged up weapons in the passing game, it seems like a near certainty that they will lean heavily on Jacobs in this contest. That perceived workload should make Jacobs a solid RB1 this week.

Value Meter:
QB2: Derek Carr (low-end)
RB1: Josh Jacobs
TE1: Darren Waller
Flex: Hunter Renfrow (low-end, PPR only)
Bench: Jalen Richard, Devontae Booker, Henry Ruggs III, Bryan Edwards, Nelson Agholor, Zay Jones, Jason Witten, Foster Moreau

Passing Game Thoughts: A 236-yard, two touchdown, zero interception game with 28 rushing yards would be a pretty solid performance for most quarterbacks, but Patrick Mahomes’ Week 4 output was definitely a disappointment from a fantasy standpoint. The Patriots are always a difficult defense to play against, but we’ve just become accustomed to Mahomes tossing the ball all over the yard for huge numbers each and every week so it’s tough to swallow the reality that - sometimes - even Patrick Mahomes is going to have a down week.

Don’t let that less-exciting-than-usual fantasy day lead you in the wrong direction for Week 5, however, because there’s a great chance that Mahomes gets right back into the top five QB point totals this week against the Raiders. While Las Vegas has actually been fairly good against most opposing passing games this season, it’s worth considering that they’ve played some offenses that were pretty banged up or just not that great to begin with. This past week they did allow Josh Allen to throw for 288 yards and a pair of touchdowns, so don’t get it twisted - this is still a very beatable secondary. Throughout his career, Mahomes has averaged 298.5 passing yards and 2.75 passing touchdowns per game against the Raiders and he’s only ever thrown one interception against them. He’s a locked in top five option in any matchup, but this is one that could see him finish as the QB1 for the week.

Wide receiver Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce continue to crush and are must-starts in any format, with Hill having scored a touchdown in every game so far this season and Kelce currently ranking as the top-scoring tight end in the league through the first quarter of the season. Meanwhile, it’s Sammy Watkins who continues to dominate the snap counts opposite Hill as the WR2 in this offense. Mecole Hardman has scored in back-to-back games but he continues to battle Demarcus Robinson for playing time as the WR3 in the offense. Hardman isn’t going to be reliable until he starts seeing more snaps, but he’s the kind of player who can score a long touchdown in any game.

KC FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.24
KC FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.18
KC FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.32
KC FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.20

Running Game Thoughts: Like Josh Jacobs, Clyde Edwards-Helaire’s huge Week 1 has left fantasy owners feeling discouraged after a few middle-of-the-road performances in a row since that point. Edwards-Helaire continues to get plenty of work on the ground and he’s now caught 14 passes over the past three weeks, however, so there’s still plenty to be excited about from a fantasy standpoint.

This week Edwards-Helaire gets to face a Raiders defense that has been absolutely pummeled by opposing running backs so far this season. Las Vegas has already given up eight total touchdowns to opposing backs so far in 2020 and their 30.3 standard fantasy points per game given up to the position is dead last in the league. They did have to face Christian McCaffrey and Alvin Kamara in Weeks 1 and 2, so it’s easy to see why they’d be ranked pretty low after four games, but the Raiders have also given up a 100-yard day on the ground to Sony Michel and a three-touchdown day to Rex Burkhead.

The upside in this matchup is huge for Edwards-Helaire and his floor is quite high as well. Don’t be surprised to see Edwards-Helaire break his own career high of six receptions in this game, and it seems likely that he’ll have a few opportunities to finally get back into the end zone.

Value Meter:
QB1: Patrick Mahomes (high-end)
RB1: Clyde Edwards-Helaire (high-end)
WR1: Tyreek Hill
TE1: Travis Kelce (high-end)
Flex: Sammy Watkins, Mecole Hardman (low-end)
Bench: Demarcus Robinson, Darrel Williams, Darwin Thompson

Prediction: Chiefs 35, Raiders 24 ^ Top

Cardinals at Jets - (Katz)
Line: ARI -7.0
Total: 47.0

Passing Game Thoughts: As one of Kyler Murray’s most ardent supporters, it’s been disappointing to see the complete lack of progression as a passer. Murray had 26 money throws in 2019. He has just two through a quarter of the season. His completions are almost entirely underneath and in front of the defense. Fortunately, he’s been an elite fantasy quarterback because he’s improved greatly as a runner. Murray leads all quarterbacks in rushing yards and touchdowns.

A road date with the Jets is just what the Cardinals need to get off this two game skid. The Jets are allowing a league worst 71.43% catch rate to opposing wide receivers. De’Andre Hopkins currently possesses an 84.8% catch rate. Hopkins has been inefficient (through no fault of his own), but the recipient of massive volume. Against the Jets, efficiency could merge with volume and Hopkins could be in line for a massive outing. Christian Kirk remains the Cardinals’ second receiver, but with Hopkins as a target hog and Murray running more than he did last year, there just isn’t anything left for Kirk. With injuries piling up, teams missing entire games due to coronavirus, and bye weeks beginning, Kirk in this matchup isn’t the worst option, but he’s not someone you want to start. Larry Fitzgerald is done and Andy Isabella’s 29% snap share is not going to get the job done. TE Dan Arnold is not on the fantasy radar.

NYJ FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.20
NYJ FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.7
NYJ FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.22
NYJ FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.14

Running Game Thoughts: I’m ready to close the book on Kenyan Drake. The matchup couldn’t be much better, but the Cardinals have faced soft run defenses two consecutive weeks and Drake has done nothing. Like any starting running back, Drake has a chance to fall into the end zone, but ideally you don’t want to need a touchdown from your second round pick for him to be productive. And it’s not like Drake is some goal line specialist. He only has two goal line carries this season. The Jets do allow a 24% target share to opposing running backs, but the Cardinals do not throw the ball to Drake. Through four games, Drake has seen just five targets, while Chase Edmonds has seen 17 targets despite just a 32.1% snap share. It’s a frustrating situation in Arizona where Drake is getting the snaps, but not the production and Edmonds isn’t playing enough to trust. You likely can’t afford to bench Drake, but don’t expect a sudden spike in production.

Value Meter:
QB1: Kyler Murray (high end)
WR1: DeAndre Hopkins (mid-range)
Flex: Kenyan Drake, Chase Edmonds
Bench: Christian Kirk, Larry Fitzgerald

Passing Game Thoughts: Despite battling through a shoulder injury last week and finishing the game, Sam Darnold is not going to start this week as the Jets exercise caution with their (presumed) franchise quarterback. That means Vanilla Joe Flacco is back in our lives for at least one week! Flacco was benched last season for Drew Lock after three consecutive games without a touchdown pass. And he had far superior weapons in Denver than he has with the Jets. Jamison Crowder’s return and completion of last week’s game healthy certainly helps, but Crowder doesn’t help a quarterback as much as being the only game in town helps Crowder. Pure volume alone puts Crowder firmly on the fantasy radar. He has only played two games but he’s caught seven balls in each of them and has 23 targets. With the alternative options being Jeff Smith and Chris Hogan, we have every reason to believe Crowder will once again see double digit targets.

Chris Herndon continues to be a popular streaming candidate at tight end because he’s playing 75% of the snaps and ran 31 routes last week, but the production hasn’t matched the playing time. Cardinals’ opponents have targeted the tight end position on 25.56% of their passes and Joe Flacco has a history of targeting his tight ends, doing so around 22% of the time in Baltimore. If there ever were a week for Herndon, it’s this one.

ARI FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.19
ARI FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.9
ARI FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.31
ARI FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.16

Running Game Thoughts: The Jets’ running back situation has been a complete mess since Le’Veon Bell went down. Frank Gore continues to command volume that would lead to fantasy relevant production if he wasn’t 89 years old on a terrible team. There is good news, though, as Bell is set to return from IR this week. However, he will be a risky start for multiple reasons. First, with the new Covid rules allowing gameday activations, similar to what we saw with the Patriots and Damien Harris on Monday, the Jets may not tell us that Bell is playing until a few hours before kickoff. Second, it seems unlikely the Jets will give Bell a full workload in his first game back. Third, Bell wasn’t exactly thriving behind this offensive line. He had just 14 yards on six carries in Week 1. If Bell does play, he’d be nothing more than a volume based flex option. If he doesn’t play, it’s back to the status quo from the last three weeks of ignoring everyone in this backfield.

Value Meter:
WR3: Jamison Crowder
TE2: Chris Herndon (desperation streamer)
Flex: Le’Veon Bell (if he plays)
Bench: Joe Flacco, Chris Hogan, Frank Gore

Prediction: Cardinals 30, Jets 17 ^ Top

Eagles @ Steelers - (Green)
Line: PIT -7.0
Total: 44.5

Passing Game Thoughts: Injuries have been a major story this season, and Philadelphia is one of the teams that have been hit hardest, particularly at receiver and along the offensive line. That has forced Carson Wentz to make do with patchwork groups, and the results have been predictable. His seven INTs lead the NFL, and he's averaging just 233 passing yards per game. While Wentz led his team to an upset win last Sunday night, he threw for a paltry 193 yards. Keep him glued to your bench.

With Alshon Jeffery (foot) yet to debut and DeSean Jackson (hamstring) battling through a second hamstring injury, the Eagles receiving corps has been led by Greg Ward, who paces the team with 146 yards on 18 receptions. At this point it's unclear if D-Jax will be back in Week 5, but Jeffery looks to be another week away. If Jackson is active both he and Ward offer flex value. Zach Ertz (19-139-1 this season) is the most dangerous weapon for Wentz, but the loss of Dallas Goedert has allowed defenses to focus their attention on him. Despite underwhelming production, Ertz remains a TE1.

Pittsburgh is 12th versus the pass through three games, having not played last week due a COVID outbreak with the Titans. Their hallmark, of course, is getting after the passer, and it's here that Wentz could pay a price; especially since Pittsburgh is so tough against the run, which forces teams to try to move the ball through the air.

PIT FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.17
PIT FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.30
PIT FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.7
PIT FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.22

Running Game Thoughts: Miles Sanders has averaged 105 total yards per game since missing Week 1 with a hamstring injury. He'll be a focus of Pittsburgh's top-ranked run defense as they try to bottle up Philly's premier offensive player and turn them into a one-dimensional team. With Sanders in the lineup, Boston Scott and Corey Clement have been relegated to minor roles offensively. Despite a tough matchup, Sanders holds borderline RB1/RB2 appeal.

Value Meter:
RB1/RB2: Miles Sanders
Flex: Greg Ward
Flex: DeSean Jackson (if active)
TE1: Zach Ertz
Bench: Carson Wentz, Alshon Jeffery, Dallas Goedert (inj)

Passing Game Thoughts: While the Steelers have done some chirping about the fairness of their unplanned week off, the team ought to be well rested compared to a Philly squad that played a physical game on the other side of the country last Sunday night. That should apply to 38-year-old Ben Roethlisberger, who is averaging 259 passing yards and 2.3 TDs per game on the young season. The veteran hasn't been dynamic but should be a midrange QB1 for Week 5.

JuJu Smith-Schuster (knee) and Diontae Johnson (toe) both benefitted from the week off as well, particularly Johnson, who was concussed during the Week 3 game. Smith-Schuster (17-160-3 this season) and Johnson (14-149-1) form one of the better receiving tandems in the NFL, and rookie Chase Claypool (6-151-1) has made some splash plays in the early going. This has been a more balanced Steelers attack than in the recent past, however, so Smith-Schuster is best deployed as a WR2 with Johnson at WR3 level. As for Claypool, he's someone to carry on your reserve roster.

The Eagles are currently 17th against the pass, allowing 243.5 yards per game to go with 1.75 TD passes. While the offseason acquisition of Darius Slay has helped stabilize the secondary, both Rodney McLeod (hamstring) and Avonte Maddox (ankle) are banged up. Big Ben is the best QB the Eagles have seen this year, though, and the second-best, LA's Jared Goff, hit them for 267 yards and 3 TDs. Don't shy away from Pittsburgh's skill players this week.

PHI FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.22
PHI FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.22
PHI FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.14
PHI FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.3

Running Game Thoughts: Felled by an injury early in Week 1, James Conner resolved not to miss time and bounced back with consecutive 100-plus-yard showings. It isn't via attrition, either, as Conner is averaging 5.6 yards per carry thus far -- that's well above the 4.4 YPC he had entering the season. The Eagles are 12th in rushing yards allowed (108.8) and seventh in yards per carry (3.9) so this should be a good test for Conner, who is an RB2. Benny Snell, who went off in relief of Conner in Week 1, has just 16 yards on 10 carries in two games since.

Value Meter:
QB1: Ben Roethlisberger
RB2: James Conner
WR2: JuJu Smith-Schuster
WR3: Diontae Johnson
Bench: Benny Snell, Chase Claypool, Eric Ebron

Prediction: Steelers 27, Eagles 23 ^ Top

Rams at Football Team - (Katz)
Line: LAR -7.0
Total: 46.0

Passing Game Thoughts: The good news is Jared Goff has played pretty well this season. He’s third in clean pocket completion percentage, second in play action completion percentage, and ninth in true completion percentage. His receivers lead the league in yards after catch per target. All in all, this is a pretty good passing attack. It’s also one you want no part of for fantasy football. Why? Sean McVay is just your standard run-of-the-mill pound the football head coach. The Rams are dead last in the NFL in passing plays and Goff is dead last in pass attempts per game, on pace for just 488 attempts. We’ve seen Goff toss it up 50+ times before when he has to. Against the Football Team as favorites, it is extremely unlikely that game script gets away from the Rams. We are looking at yet another run heavy script, which severely caps the upside of one of the best wide receiver duos in the NFL, Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp.

Woods is on pace for over 30 fewer targets than he saw last season, despite possessing a career high 73% catch rate, Woods is a low floor play in what should be a favorable matchup. Kupp is on a similar pace as Woods, having seen just two more targets than Woods. Kupp also possesses a career high 82% catch rate. Washington has allowed just one receiving touchdown this season and just 208 passing yards per game, but they’ve also faced two struggling quarterbacks and the league’s two best rushing quarterbacks. This is not necessarily a strong pass defense. They’ve conceded five touchdowns to tight ends and 26% of the receiving yards it has given up has gone to the tight end position. Tyler Higbee has yet to see more than five targets in a game and even though McVay should utilize Higbee against a team that’s struggled against the tight end, that conflicts with his overall philosophy of not calling pass plays. Temper expectations for all Rams here as they look to win a low scoring, boring slogfest.

WAS FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.7
WAS FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.26
WAS FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.30
WAS FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.6

Running Game Thoughts: If there’s one thing Sean McVay hates more than calling pass plays, it’s Darrell Henderson. You could feel the pain emanating from his body in Weeks 2 and 3 when injuries to Cam Akers and Malcolm Brown (who must not have been 100% for Week 3) forced him to actually play Henderson. Every time Henderson touches the ball, he produces, because he’s good at football. Brown played 61% of the snaps last week and out-touched Henderson 14-9. Back in Week 1, with all three backs healthy, Henderson played 7% of the snaps. With Akers set to return from his rib injury, expect Henderson to see a snap share south of 20% and perhaps significantly less if Akers doesn’t need to be eased back in.

Only two teams allow a lower percentage of receiving yards to running backs so don’t expect much production from Brown or Akers in the passing game. While Washington is allowing 119 rushing yards per game, 120 of the yards they’ve allowed were to Lamar Jackson and Kyler Murray. This is a better than expected defense that will make playing any Rams back a frustrating endeavor.

Value Meter:
WR3: Robert Woods
WR3: Cooper Kupp
TE1: Tyler Higbee (low end)
Bench: Jared Goff, Malcolm Brown, Cam Akers, Darrell Henderson

Passing Game Thoughts: In one of the most inevitable benchings in NFL history, Ron Rivera finally pulled the plug on the Dwayne Haskins following what was actually his best performance of the year (a low bar, but still). There is a 100% chance that Alex Smith ends up starting eventually, but before we get there, Rivera is going to give Kyle Allen a whirl under center. Allen was last seen in Carolina as the guy repeatedly throwing the ball nowhere near a wide open Curtis Samuel. However, he was capable of peppering D.J. Moore with underneath targets. Allen definitely caps Terry McLaurin’s splash play ability, but he could be a boon for McLaurin’s overall PPR value.

The Rams have only allowed one receiving touchdown thus far and Aaron Donald is going to be up in Allen’s business all afternoon, but McLaurin is pretty much the only game in town. You’re never benching him even though he’s likely to draw Jalen Ramsey most of the time. The switch to Allen could also be sneaky good for Logan Thomas, who is playing 90% of the snaps and running about 35 routes a game. Last week he saw his highest snap count and routes run, but only caught one ball. Don’t bail on Thomas yet. With Steven Sims still out, Dontrelle Inman has assumed WR2 duties. He is not fantasy relevant.

LAR FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.16
LAR FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.15
LAR FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.27
LAR FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.12

Running Game Thoughts: Whatever the opposite of a smash spot is, that’s what Antonio Gibson faced last week against the Ravens and he shocked the world by smashing. Gibson was effective both on the ground and through the air to the tune of 128 yards on 17 touches. 20.42% of the receiving yards the Rams have allowed have gone to running backs. Gibson is still being out-snapped by J.D. McKissic, but his usage is superior. After last week’s performance and a quarterback change, we can reasonably hope for increased usage for Gibson. The Rams are giving up 5.0 yards per carry and have allowed four rushing scores this season. Gibson has earned a spot in your lineup.

Value Meter:
RB2: Antonio Gibson (mid-range)
WR2: Terry McLaurin (mid-range)
TE2: Logan Thomas
Bench: Kyle Allen, J.D. McKissic

Prediction: Rams 23, Football Team 17 ^ Top

Dolphins at 49ers - (Caron)
Line: SF -9.0
Total: 52.0

Passing Game Thoughts: Four passing touchdowns with five interceptions through the first quarter of the 2020 season and there are now calls for the Dolphins to bench veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick and turn to rookie Tua Tagovaiola. Fitzpatrick saved what was otherwise a pretty miserable fantasy day in Week 4 against a mediocre Seattle defense by rushing for 47 yards and a touchdown, but there have to be concerns that the Dolphins’ offense just cannot seem to get into the end zone consistently. While Fitzpatrick himself ranks inside the QB1 range on the season, he’s still among the highest-risk players in the league to be benched at any time and that’s why he can’t be trusted as a weekly QB1 for fantasy.

His pass-catchers haven’t been helping matters as wide receiver DeVante Parker just finally got his first 100-yard game of the season during the Week 4 loss to the Seahawks. He’s really been the only consistent pass catcher on the team this season, with tight end Mike Gesicki having caught just two passes over his past two games and Preston Williams having just six total catches on the season. In fact, Isaiah Ford is actually second on the team with 26 targets, including a nine-target game in Week 2 and a 10-target game in Week 4. Ford hasn’t been hugely productive with the opportunities he’d had, though, so it’s more that Ford is standing in the way of the other pass catchers than that he himself is much of a fantasy option.

In Week 5, the Dolphins have to head across the country to face the 49ers who have given up the second-fewest passing yards so far this season, only behind the Colts. Of course, the 49ers have played against some passing games that are truly struggling thus far, but they’ve still been able to hold pretty much everyone they’ve played in check, other than allowing Kyler Murray to rush for 91 yards and a score against them back in Week 1.

Parker is fine to put in your lineup as a WR2 and Ryan Fitzpatrick is a QB2 if you’re in that type of league. You could even consider giving Gesicki another shot given his talent profile, but this Dolphins offense should probably be avoided for the most part this week.

MIA FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.4
MIA FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.11
MIA FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.6
MIA FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.25

Running Game Thoughts: The running back situation in Miami continues to be a dumpster fire, but it appears as though Myles Gaskin has taken his spot atop the depth chart as the top back on the team. He’s still yet to exceed 15 PPR fantasy points in any game, but Gaskin is touching the ball plenty both as a runner and as a pass catcher, so he’s someone who could be in lineups this week as a Flex or low-end RB2 for teams in a pinch.

The 49ers have given up the league’s fewest points per game to opposing running backs so far this season, however, and they’ve been good at shutting down the position for a few years now, so don’t expect the Myles Gaskin blowup game here in Week 5. This is a tough spot in what could be a game where the Dolphins find themselves down multiple scores.

Value Meter:
QB2: Ryan Fitzpatrick
WR2: DeVante Parker
TE1: Mike Gesicki (low-end)
Flex: Myles Gaskin
Bench: Jordan Howard, Matt Breida, Isaiah Ford, Preston Williams

Passing Game Thoughts: We still don’t know if Jimmy Garoppolo is going to be ready to play in Week 5, but the 49ers offense desperately needs him after the ugly performances we saw from Nick Mullens and C.J. Beathard against the Eagles in Week 4. It’s hard to say which one of those QBs would even get the start in this week’s game against the Dolphins if Garoppolo is unable to go, but they both would probably be players to avoid in most leagues.

Tight end George Kittle doesn’t seem to care who’s throwing him the ball as the super-stud tight end returned this past week after missing two games. He caught all 15(!) of the targets that came his way for a ridiculous 183 yards and a score. Needless to say, Kittle is back and needs to be in your lineup in any matchup.

The wide receiver situation is getting better for the 49ers, too, now that Deebo Samuel is back on the field. Samuel will likely need a few weeks to get acclimated back so keep him on your bench for now, but he’s someone who could break out at any time and become an every-week fantasy starter as he was toward the end of his 2019 rookie season.

Current rookie Brandin Aiyuk is currently operating as the team’s top receiver and he’s now scored in back-to-back weeks on rushing plays. The Week 4 “rush” was actually a screen pass that technically started behind the line of scrimmage so it was deemed a run, but the point is that Aiyuk possesses excellent open field playmaking ability - a trait that is absolutely critical in the Kyle Shanahan offense. It’s tough to trust a rookie who has only caught more than two passes in a game one time, but Aiyuk has real upside, especially if Jimmy G is back on the field.

SF FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.26
SF FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.32
SF FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.24
SF FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.31

Running Game Thoughts: With Raheem Mostert still dealing with a knee injury, it seems likely that the 49ers will again turn to veteran Jerick McKinnon to lead their backfield here in Week 5. There was some concern that Jeff Wilson would continue to see a high touch share after his two touchdown game in Week 3, but McKinnon dominated the touches in Week 4 while playing on 92 percent of the 49ers’ offensive snaps. He took 14 carries for 54 yards and a touchdown while adding seven receptions for 43 yards, further establishing himself as one of the few bell cow backs - at least for now - in the league.

McKinnon now gets an opportunity to play against a bottom-10 NFL run defense in the Dolphins, who have conceded five total touchdowns to opposing running backs over just the past two weeks. They’ve also given up 17 receptions to opposing running backs over that same stretch, so there’s plenty to like here for high-end upside when it comes to McKinnon. Assuming that Mostert is still out, feel confident putting McKinnon in your lineup as a solid RB2.

Value Meter:
QB2: Jimmy Garoppolo
RB2: Jerick McKinnon
WR3: Brandon Aiyuk
TE1: George Kittle (high-end)
Bench: Jeff Wilson, Deebo Samuel, Kendrick Bourne

Prediction: 49ers 27, Dolphins 20 ^ Top

Colts @ Browns - (Green)
Line: IND -2.0
Total: 46.5

Passing Game Thoughts: If this season was your first exposure to Philip Rivers you'd have a hard time believing he has passed for over 60,000 yards in his career and may someday be enshrined in Canton. The current version of Rivers looks more like a game manager than a gunslinger as ever since a disastrous Week 1 loss where the team threw the ball 46 times the 38-year-old has averaged just 25 attempts per game. While Rivers may still be capable of having some big weeks it's clearly not the direction the Colts want to go. Leave Rivers on your bench.

Just two seasons removed from a 76-1,270-6 campaign, T.Y. Hilton barely resembles that player. He has just 13 catches for 162 yards and 0 TDs for the year, and even as the top option in an injury-riddled receiving corps Hilton only offers flex appeal. As to those injuries, Parris Campbell (knee) and Michael Pittman (calf) remain on IR, which leaves Zach Pascal as the No. 2 receiver, though he's of no interest to fantasy owners. Mo Alie-Cox has put himself on the radar with some solid showings early on, but he hasn't demonstrated he can be trusted with a starting slot.

A week ago Dak Prescott passed for more than 500 yards against the Browns, though much of it came with the Cowboys trailing big in the fourth quarter. That performance is at least part of the reason that Cleveland is 30th in the NFL against the pass, but don't expect that type of game this Sunday.

CLE FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.3
CLE FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.21
CLE FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.2
CLE FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.4

Running Game Thoughts: Second-round pick Jonathan Taylor (17-68-0 last week) has stepped in as the primary back, a role he filled at the University of Wisconsin so there shouldn't be any concerns about his ability to carry the load. He'll face plenty of resistance in Week 5 as the Browns feature one of the league's better run defenses, sitting fifth at 91.8 yards allowed per game on the ground. Nyheim Hines has also been logging 10-plus touches most weeks and is the best receiver out of the backfield. Both are playable this Sunday, Taylor as an RB2 and Hines as a flex.

Value Meter:
RB2: Jonathan Taylor
Flex: Nyheim Hines
Flex: T.Y. Hilton
Bench: Philip Rivers, Mo Alie-Cox

Passing Game Thoughts: In a game where the Browns hung 49 points on the Cowboys, this was Baker Mayfield's final line: 19 of 30, 165 yards, 2 TDs. It marked the third time in four games this season that the former No. 1 overall pick passed for fewer than 200 yards as head coach Kevin Stefanski emphasizes the running game. It's been successful, and even the injury to Nick Chubb is unlikely to generate a change in that approach. As such, Mayfield should remain on your bench.

Rumblings about Odell Beckham's discontent have certainly quieted in recent weeks as the mercurial receiver has become the clear go-to guy in Cleveland's scaled-back passing game. Last week, Beckham tormented a familiar foe, accounting for 154 total yards and three touchdowns against the Cowboys. One of those TDs came on a pass from Jarvis Landry, who matched Beckham's five receptions but gained just 48 yards. Austin Hooper made his first meaningful impact last Sunday, posting a 5-34-1 line. It's still not on par with his production in Atlanta, but it's a step in the right direction.

Indianapolis has allowed a league-low 159.3 passing yards per game this season and has been pretty much airtight since struggling with Gardner Minshew in Week 1. Also, since giving up 27 points to the Jags, the Colts have yielded just 29 points total in their three subsequent games. This looks like tough work for the Browns passing game where Beckham carries WR2 value but Landry (flex) and Hooper (low-end TE1) are shaky choices.

IND FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.32
IND FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.31
IND FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.26
IND FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.32

Running Game Thoughts: While losing Nick Chubb to an MCL injury hurts, the presence of Kareem Hunt means they shouldn't miss a beat. Don't forget that, prior to his off-the-field issues, Hunt was a top-five fantasy back with the Chiefs and has proven he can be a bell cow. Previously unknown D'Ernest Johnson also looked good last week, running 13 times for 95 yards. The Colts feature a much better run defense than Dallas to be sure as they're fourth in the NFL with just 77 yards allowed per game. Despite that, Hunt can slide into an RB1 spot while Johnson could be a risk/reward play for the bold.

Value Meter:
RB1: Kareem Hunt
Flex: D'Ernest Johnson
WR2: Odell Beckham Jr.
Flex: Jarvis Landry
TE1: Austin Hooper (low-end)
Bench: Baker Mayfield, Nick Chubb (inj)

Prediction: Browns 23, Colts 19 ^ Top

Giants at Cowboys - (Katz)
Line: DAL -9.5
Total: 54.0

Passing Game Thoughts: Daniel Jones has been atrocious through the first four weeks of the season. Some of it can be blamed on a brutal schedule, but the fact remains Jones has yet to finish higher than QB18, which he did Week 1. Since then, his best finish has been QB28. This is gut check time for Jones because if he can’t torch one of the worst defenses in NFL history, then all hope is lost, at least for the 2020 season.

To put into perspective how bad the Cowboys are defensively, opponents are averaging 42 points per game over their last three games. FORTY TWO! They’ve given up a league high nine touchdowns to wide receivers and opposing teams target the tight end the third most frequent against them. Basically, this should be a smash spot for Darius Slayton and Evan Engram, and possibly Golden Tate as well. Going over the performance of Giants’ receivers for the first four games isn’t helpful because the matchups were difficult. This is as good as it gets, but it is still worth noting that Engram leads all tight ends in route participation and is fourth in target share. The volume is there. The efficiency should follow in this plum matchup.

DAL FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.8
DAL FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.17
DAL FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.3
DAL FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.7

Running Game Thoughts: It’s pretty clear the Giants want Devonta Freeman to be their primary running back. There were moments where he looked like he had some juice, but overall, he mostly looks like dust. Wayne Gallman showed much more last week, but played just 10% of the snaps. It’s possible his role increases, but between Freeman, Gallman, and Dion Lewis, this three-headed monster largely devoid of talent.

With the Cowboys so vulnerable over the top, teams have no need to dump it off to running backs. Just 6.76% of receiving yards allowed by the Cowboys have gone to running backs, which is the fewest in the league. The Cowboys have actually been getting gashed on the ground worse than the air. They’re allowing 172 rushing yards per game. Their first four opponents have all been able to create positive game script, though. It remains to be seen if the Giants are able to do that and exploit the Cowboys’ weaknesses. However, if there’s anyone who knows how to beat the Cowboys, it’s former offensive coordinator, Jason Garrett. This one should be interesting.

Value Meter:
QB2: Daniel Jones (if not now, when?)
WR3: Darius Slayton
WR3: Golden Tate
TE1: Evan Engram (high end)
Flex Devonta Freeman
Bench: Wayne Gallman, Dion Lewis

Passing Game Thoughts: Dak Prescott is on pace to shatter Peyton Manning’s single season passing yards record. Prescott’s trend of throwing for more yards in each subsequent game will undoubtedly come to an end this week as his 502 passing yards from last week will almost certainly go down as his career high. Prescott and the Cowboys have benefited from extremely negative game script in three straight games, forcing Prescott to attempt 47, 57, and 58 passes over that span. The volume has resulted in Amari Cooper leading all receivers in receptions and CeeDee Lamb breaking out much sooner than most anticipated. Somehow, Michael Gallup seems to have been lost in the shuffle. He’s been targeted just five times in three of his four games.

The Giants defense has been better than expected. They’re allowing just 221 passing yards per game and have yet to allow a touchdown pass to a tight end. With the Cowboys heavy home favorites, Kellen Moore and Mike McCarthy might be interested in giving Prescott a break. It remains to be seen if the defense can stop anyone, even Daniel Jones, but it’s fair to say Prescott shouldn’t have to lead a frenzied comeback in this one. The Giants aren’t as favorable a matchup as they once were, but this Cowboys offense is elite.

NYG FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.30
NYG FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.14
NYG FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.13
NYG FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.24

Running Game Thoughts: Ezekiel Elliott has really struggled to get going on the ground, due in no small part to the team falling so far behind so early. What Elliott has failed to do on the ground, he’s made up for in the passing game. Zeke has caught at least six balls in his last three games and remains one of the best fantasy running backs in the game.

The Giants have been stout defending the run, allowing just 3.6 yards per carry, but 22.44% of the receiving yards they’ve allowed have gone to running backs. Zeke is more of a checkdown option than a deliberate part of the passing game plan, but he should get heavy usage this week and is a strong bet to find the end zone. Tony Pollard always looks good in limited action, but he’s not a threat to Zeke’s workload. Pollard’s season high in snaps was last week at 27%, which had more to do with the 79 total plays run than any intent to give him more work. Fire up Zeke as usual.

Value Meter:
QB1: Dak Prescott (high end)
RB1: Ezekiel Elliott (high end)
WR1: Amari Cooper (low end)
WR2: CeeDee Lamb (low end)
TE1: Dalton Schultz (low end)
Flex: Michael Gallup
Bench: Tony Pollard

Prediction: Cowboys 31, Giants 24 ^ Top

Vikings at Seahawks - (Caron)
Line: SEA -7.0
Total: 57.0

Passing Game Thoughts: It looks like Kirk Cousins’ disastrous Week 2 performance as the Vikings QB has checked in with back-to-back decent fantasy outings since, but the high-end upside that we once saw out of him does seem to be a thing of the past. Cousins is still yet to exceed 260 passing yards in a game and he hasn’t even attempted 30 passes in a game yet. This is even despite the Vikings being blown out by the Packers and Colts in Weeks 1 and 2, so game script hasn’t been an excuse that we can fall back on.

Realistically Cousins has to throw the ball more often to be considered a viable fantasy option in anything other than deep two-QB/Superflex formats, but he is at least consolidating enough of his pass attempts to two players - Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson - that there are actually two solid fantasy contributors in this passing game right now. Thielen has seen 31 targets on the season thus far and he already has two 100-yard games along with four total touchdown receptions. He’s a borderline top five overall WR right now and this week he gets to face a Seahawks defense that has already given up 500 more receiving yards to opposing wide receivers than any other team in the league. He’s an elite option this week and the rookie, Jefferson, is even a solid WR2. Jefferson has gone over 100 yards in back-to-back weeks and looks like a serious candidate to be the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year. He’s a threat to hit the century mark for the third consecutive week against a truly awful Seattle secondary.

SEA FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.2
SEA FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.28
SEA FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.1
SEA FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.29

Running Game Thoughts: While it’s been a slow start for everyone in the Vikings passing game other than Thielen and Jefferson, the Vikings’ running game and running back Dalvin Cook have been absolutely crushing for fantasy thus far. Cook has already scored six touchdowns this season and he’s rushed for 311 yards over just the past two weeks alone.

Cook has been everything that his fantasy owners could have hoped for - and more - through the first quarter of the season, but now he’ll face a Seattle defense that has been excellent at shutting down opposing running backs. Of course, Seattle has had games against New England and Miami - two teams with bad committee backfields - but they’ve also held Todd Gurley to 56 rushing yards and Ezekiel Elliott to 34 rushing yards. Some of this is due to the way that opposing offenses are choosing to attack the Seahawks, however, as Atlanta, Dallas and Miami have been significantly more effective through the air this season than they have been on the ground. Nevertheless, this isn’t exactly an ideal matchup for Cook to feast in.

The Vikings will almost certainly continue to lean heavily on their running game unless they fall behind multiple scores - and even then, it’s still possible that they decide to continue to run the ball at their own peril. Cook is a top five option this week and realistically cannot be benched in any matchup at the moment.

Value Meter:
QB2: Kirk Cousins (low-end)
RB1: Dalvin Cook
WR1: Adam Thielen (high-end)
WR2: Justin Jefferson
Bench: Alexander Mattison, Olabisi Johnson, Kyle Rudolph, Irv Smith

Passing Game Thoughts: The consensus first-quarter NFL MVP has been Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson. Wilson’s ridiculous numbers put him on pace for 5,140 passing yards, 64 passing touchdowns, 380 rushing yards and just eight interceptions. The terrible performances by the Seattle defense has forced the Seahawks into extreme pass-heavy game scripts and Wilson has delivered time and time again, with both wide receivers Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf currently ranked firmly inside WR1 territory in scoring thus far.

This week Wilson and the Seahawks host the Vikings, who have already conceded three 300-yard passing games to opposing quarterbacks so far this season. Wilson looks like a near lock to become the fifth QB to hit 300 yards against the Vikings as there seems to be no real reason why the Seahawks wouldn’t continue to put the ball into their best player’s hands as often as possible.

Consider Wilson one of - if not the top overall player on the board this week and his top two receivers, Metcalf and Lockett, are both easy WR1s in this week’s game. Don’t risk it with any of the other Seattle pass catching weapons, however, as none of them have been seeing consistent enough work to be trusted.

MIN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.18
MIN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.12
MIN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.4
MIN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.19

Running Game Thoughts: It’s been “Let Russ Cook” season in Seattle, which would seemingly be detrimental to running back Chris Carson’s fantasy value as he’s historically been only a minor contributor in the passing game. Carson was seemingly a lock for 250 carries heading into the 2020 season, but he’s now pacing at just 212 carries. He has, however, seen an increase in passing game work and he’s now on pace for 60 receptions this season, which would easily crush his career high of 37 receptions which he achieved in 2019.

It’s tough to believe that Carson is going to continue to be as involved in the passing game as he has been and he’s going to be even tougher for him to carry his fantasy production with lots of touchdowns despite a less-than-normal workload, but it does seem possible that Seattle starts to lean a little more heavily on their running game in the upcoming weeks, starting here in Week 5 against the Vikings. Minnesota is probably the least-explosive offense that Seattle has played against, so they won’t likely need to score as many points as they have through the first four games. That should allow them to get back their running game a bit more in this game. In fact, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Carson exceed 20 touches for the first time this season.

The lack of work being seen by other players in this running game makes Carson a pretty solid bet to finish as at least an RB2 in any game, but he has the upside to finish as a mid-level RB1 in games like this. Feel confident with him in your lineup this week.

Value Meter:
QB1: Russell Wilson (high-end)
RB1: Chris Carson
WR1: Tyler Lockett, DK Metcalf
Bench: Carlos Hyde, Travis Homer, David Moore, Greg Olsen, Jacob Hollister, Will Dissly

Prediction: Seahawks 30, Vikings 20 ^ Top

Broncos at Patriots - (Katz)
Line: N/A
Total: N/A

Passing Game Thoughts: In my six years writing this column, this is the most difficult matchup preview I’ve ever had to do. The game has already been moved to Monday and the NFL hasn’t ruled out pushing it to Tuesday or postponing it altogether. There is so much uncertainty surrounding this game starting with whether it will even be played and continuing through the status of numerous players.

One of those players is Drew Lock, who returned to a limited practice this week after missing two games with a sprained AC joint in his right shoulder. Lock returning to practice gives him a chance to return if this game happens. If not, Brett Rypien will make his second career start. I don’t think Lock is very good, but Rypien was pretty bad against the Jets. In just 4.5 quarters of play, Rypien has already managed to throw five interceptable passes on top of the two picks he threw last week.

Rypien’s primary target looked to be Noah Fant, but he went down with an ankle injury and will not play this week. With Courtland Sutton and K.J. Hamler out, Tim Patrick has become the new WR1 in Denver. He led the team with seven targets and is a viable bye week/injury fill in this week against a Patriots defense that has surrendered seven touchdowns to wide receivers already. Overall though, this is a bad matchup for the Broncos with the lack of clarity at quarterback and the depleted pass catching corps.

NE FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.15
NE FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.27
NE FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.9
NE FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.27

Running Game Thoughts: One good bit of injury news for the Broncos is they are going to get Phillip Lindsay back from his toe injury. Lindsay practiced in full and looks ready to go. Melvin Gordon played 80% of the snaps last week, a number that should come down with Lindsay back in the fold. Royce Freeman will be reduced to just a bit role. Gordon had his best game of the season last week with the Broncos correctly trying to hide Brett Rypien. The Patriots are allowing 115 rushing yards per game and have allowed just one rushing touchdown. Despite the unfavorable matchup, Gordon’s volume, even with Lindsay returning, should remain relatively strong. Lindsay slots in as a desperation flex play.

Value Meter:
RB2: Melvin Gordon (high end)
WR3: Tim Patrick
Bench: Phillip Lindsay, Drew Lock, Brett Rypien, KJ Hamler

Passing Game Thoughts: The next bout of uncertainty is the Patriots’ quarterback situation. With Cam Newton asymptomatic, there’s still a chance he could play this week if he records two consecutive negative tests. So we have Covid affecting not only whether this game happens, but also who plays quarterback for the Patriots if it does. For the purposes of this preview, I will assume Newton is unable to get cleared and that Jarrett Stidham starts.

Stidham took over for Brian Hoyer in the third quarter of last week’s loss against the Chiefs. Stidham is significantly better than Hoyer, but by no means did Stidham play well; it’s just that Hoyer was a complete disaster.

Damiere Byrd led the Patriots in targets last week with 10 while N’Keal Harry and Julian Edelman each had six. A full week of practice with the first team should give Stidham a chance to develop more of a rapport with Edelman. The Broncos have been weak against the pass, allowing 256 passing yards per game and seven touchdowns thus far. However, Stidham is not about to light it up against anyone. The Broncos will likely pressure Stidham and force him into mistakes. Stidham is a downgrade for this entire offense.

DEN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.11
DEN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.29
DEN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.5
DEN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.13

Running Game Thoughts: The Patriots’ backfield underwent a big overhaul last week. Sony Michel and Damien Harris swapped places and James White returned from a two game absence. The split was about 50-30-30 between White, Harris, and Burkhead (the Patriots occasionally put two running backs on the field). White commanded eight targets and is the best fantasy option going forward, but it’s worth noting that the Broncos have allowed just 9.34% of their receiving yards against them to go to running backs. With the vast majority of White’s production coming as a receiver, this is a bit of a concern, but in PPR formats, White should get there on receptions alone.

Harris, despite being third in snaps, led the team with 17 carries and rattled off 100 yards. He may have only played 23 snaps, but he was given the ball on 17 of them. That’s the good news. The bad news is he’s being used exactly like Michel with zero work in the passing game. Rex Burkhead was the primary goal line back so while Harris definitely looks like someone worth rostering in fantasy, his upside is capped due to the lack of passing down and goal line work. With the Patriots as home favorites, even if it is Stidham at quarterback, game script should not get away from them like it did against the Chiefs, which should allow Harris a chance to splash. He’s a viable option this week.

*Final note on this game: Only Melvin Gordon is a must start. If you don’t need to start anyone else in this game, err on the side of caution and start players playing on Sunday in games you know will happen.

Value Meter:
WR3: Julian Edelman
Flex: James White, Damien Harris
Bench: Cam Newton (Covid), Rex Burkhead, N’Keal Harry, Damiere Byrd

Prediction: Patriots 20, Broncos 14 ^ Top

Chargers @ Saints - (Swanson)
Line: NO -7.5
Total: 51.0

Passing Game Thoughts: With Tyrod Taylor sidelined with a punctured lung, rookie Justin Herbert continues to impress with big-time throws and a stellar completion percentage. The former Oregon Duck completed 20 of 25 passes for 290 yards and three scores against the Bucs last week, including a ridiculous 72-yard bomb to Jalen Guyton that turned heads on both sidelines.

Keenan Allen continues to be Herbert’s favorite target, with 327 yards and a score on 49 targets. Allen is on pace career highs in targets (196) and receptions (126). He is a must-start every week regardless of matchup and should shine on Monday Night Football.

Both Tyron Johnson and Jalen Guyton scored on deep passes from Herbert. They will likely see more snaps this week if Mike Williams is out again with a hamstring injury, but their low volume compared to Allen and tight end Hunter Henry.

Injuries to key members of the Saints secondary and pass rush have greatly limited New Orleans when it comes to stopping opposing wide receivers. Kenny Golladay and Danny Amendola combined for 119 yards and a score last week against the Saints, and Allen Lazard torched New Orleans for 6/146/1 back in Week 3.

Starting cornerbacks Marshon Lattimore and Janoris Jenkins missed last week against the Lions, and their availability this week is up in the air. Even with Lattimore and Jenkins, Keenan Allen is a strong start. Without those two players in the lineup, Allen could be the No.1 WR in fantasy Week 5.

NO FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.5
NO FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.20
NO FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.28
NO FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.2

Running Game Thoughts: Starting running back Austin Ekeler suffered a grade-two hamstring strain that will force him to miss at least a month of action. Rookie Joshua Kelley should get more work with Ekeler out, and veteran Justin Jackson should also get an uptick in snaps.

Kelley looked like a steal of the draft after posting 12/60/1 in his first NFL game against the Bengals and 113 total yards against the Chiefs Week 2. But he came crashing back down to earth with a disappointing 8/43 performance against the Panthers that included a costly fumble. He then followed up with just seven yards on nine carries and another fumble against a tough Tampa Bay run defense.

We anticipate that the Chargers will use a split backfield of Jackson and Kelley this week against the Saints. How the snaps are divided is still up in the air, but we can assume that Kelley will be the primary goal line back.

New Orleans ranks 19th in fantasy points allowed to opposing running backs in 2020. No opposing back has reached 100 total yards against the Saints, yet New Orleans has given up three rushing and two receiving touchdowns to opposing running backs.

Value Meter:
QB2: Justin Herbert (High-End)
RB3: Justin Jackson (High-End)
RB3: Joshua Kelley (Low-End)
WR1: Keenan Allen (High-End)
WR4: Jalen Guyton (Low-End)
TE1: Hunter Henry (Low -End)

Passing Game Thoughts: The loss of Michael Thomas to the passing offense of the Saints has been glaring. Drew Brees ranks 20th in fantasy points scored at the position, with just five more points than his opponent Justin Herbert, despite playing in one more game.

The first ballot hall of famer has just one game of three or more passing touchdowns, while not adding a single fantasy point on the ground with his legs.

On a positive side, Brees and veteran free agent Emmanuel Sanders appear to be building a solid rapport after a slow start. Sanders has ten catches for 149 yards and a score in his previous two games, compared to just four catches for 33 yards and one score in his first two games.

Another positive sign has been the emergence of Tre’Quan Smith; the No.18 ranked WR over the past three weeks. Smith has 13 catches for 182 yards and two touchdowns and could continue to be a viable low-volume option when Thomas returns.

With Jared Cook sidelined, the Saints used a combination of Garret Griffen, Josh Hill, and rookie Adam Trautman at tight end. The three players combined for one reception for seven yards.

After limiting Joe Burrow, Patrick Mahomes, and Teddy Bridgewater to three total passing touchdowns in three games, the Chargers were lit up by Tom Brady and the Bucs to the tune of 369 passing yards and five touchdowns.

While we don’t anticipate Brees will put up five touchdown passes on this defense, Brady and the Bucs did prove that you can pass on the Chargers as long as you provide enough pass protection for the QB to find his targets.

LAC FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.6
LAC FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.24
LAC FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.17
LAC FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.10

Running Game Thoughts: Alvin Kamara leads all running backs in fantasy points through four games and continues to be the focal point of the New Orleans offense. Kamara is the second read on every play for Brees and leads all running backs with 30 receptions for 321 yards and a score.

Latavius Murray posted his best game of the season last week in the shootout win over the Lions. Murray rushed the ball 14 times for 64 yards, with two rushing touchdowns.

The Chargers have given up the sixth-fewest points to opposing running backs this season, and they are the only team who has yet to give up a rushing touchdown. You can, however, find success in the passing game against Los Angeles, which bodes well for the best pass-catching back in the league.

Kamara is an elite play, and a must-start. If you are dealing with injuries and bye week blues, Murray is also a decent play with a floor of 13 carries for 60 yards and touchdown upside.

Value Meter:
QB2: Drew Brees (High-End)
RB1: Alvin Kamara (Elite)
RB3: Latavius Murray (Low-End)
WR2: Tre’quan Smith (Low-End)
WR4: Emmanuel Sanders (High-End)
TE1: Jared Cook (Low -End) (Injury)

Prediction: Saints 38, Chargers 21 ^ Top

Bills @ Titans - (Swanson)
Line: N/A
Total: N/A

Passing Game Thoughts: Josh Allen entered this season as a breakout candidate for many fantasy analysts in the industry. The narrative on Allen was simple. If he could somehow improve on his efficiency or increase his passing volume while continuing to be one of the best running quarterbacks for fantasy, he could become a fantasy star.

Through four weeks of the season, that narrative has proven to be correct. Allen ranks second in fantasy points, with 12 passing touchdowns and 1326 passing yards on 148 attempts. He is completing an astounding 70% of his passes, while throwing just one interception. Not only has Allen improved his volume (he is on pace for 592 pass attempts), his efficiency is off the charts.

Assuming this game does not get postponed due to a COVID outbreak on the Titans, Allen should have an excellent performance against a Tennessee team that ranks 14th in fantasy points allowed to QBs. Both Gardner Minshew and Kirk Cousins managed at least three passing touchdowns against Mike Vrabel’s defense.

If you were lucky enough to snag Stefon Diggs in the middle rounds of your draft, you could possibly have the steal of the draft. Diggs has been a revelation for the Bills offense and for fantasy owners. The former Viking leads the NFL in receiving yards by WRs and is on pace for his second career 100-catch season.

Some injuries to keep an eye on for the Bills passing game are wide receivers John Brown and Cole Beasley. Brown is questionable with a calf injury, and Beasley practiced on a limited basis on Wednesday.

TEN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.14
TEN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.8
TEN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.12
TEN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.8

Running Game Thoughts: The downside of the Buffalo pass offense being so dominant is the fact that the Bills run game does not have much value right now for fantasy. We all knew Josh Allen’s rushing ability would eat into the red zone touches for Devin Singletary and Zack Moss.

What we didn’t anticipate was such a drastic decrease in rushing attempts for the team. The Bills have just 70 rushing attempts as a team for running backs. By comparison, the Steelers have seven more rushing attempts on the year and have played in one less game.

Singletary, Moss, and T.J. Yeldon are averaging a disappointing 3.9 yards per carry. No Bill has a 100-yard rushing game, and the three players have combined for just two total touchdowns. Moss has missed two games with a toe injury and may not play against the Titans.

From a matchup perspective, this is an excellent opportunity for Singletary to have a strong performance. Tennessee ranks 6th in fantasy points allowed to running backs, while giving up nearly six yards a tote.

Value Meter:
QB1: Josh Allen (Elite)
RB2: Devin Singletary (Low-End)
WR1: Stefon Diggs Low-End)
WR3: John Brown (High-End)
WR4: Cole Beasley (High-End)
TE2: Tyler Kroft/Dawson Knox (High-End)

Passing Game Thoughts: The Titans organization is a mess with a COVID-19 outbreak that could force the team to miss a second-straight game. If this game gets played, quarterback Ryan Tannehill will be without starting wide receiver Corey Davis, who was added to the COVID-19 list that includes another starting WR, Adam Humphries.

A.J. Brown has missed two games with a bone bruise on his knee and is still up in the air as well, leaving Jonnu Smith as the main receiving option for Tannehill in this matchup. Look for Kalif Raymond and Cameron Batson to get more snaps in this game with Davis and Humphries out. Neither is a great option in redraft, but they could be sneaky plays in daily fantasy has cheap, home run options.

The Bills rank 13th in fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks and wide receivers. Tight ends have been very valuable plays against the Bills, with Mike Gesicki putting up a monster 8/130/1 line and the Raiders tight ends posting 12 catches for 120 yards and a score. If you have Jonnu Smith and want to roll the dice on this game not being postponed, he is a great option.

If Tannehill had his full complement of wide receivers, he would be a strong play in what could have been a high scoring game. With Davis, Humphries, and possibly Brown out, it is hard to see where he will be a great play this week.

BUF FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.13
BUF FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.25
BUF FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.11
BUF FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.5

Running Game Thoughts: Buffalo is far better against the run than the pass. The Bill give up the 8th-fewest points to running backs, with only one player (Darrell Henderson) topping nine fantasy points.

The Bills held josh Jacobs to 48 yards on 15 carries, and Le’Veon Bell managed just 14 yards on six carries to open the season.

Derrick Henry owners will start their running back regardless of matchup, and Henry has a history of having strong games regardless of who is lined up across the ball.

Based on fantasy points per game, Henry ranks 9th overall at the position. His 82 rushing attempts are second to Josh Jacobs, despite the Titans playing in one fewer game. He has double-digit performances in two of three games and has yet to get fewer than 25 carries in any game in 2020.

The Titans will lean on Henry to shorten the game and keep Josh Allen off the field. The question is, how effective will Henry be with that volume, and will he be able to reach the end zone.

QB2: Ryan Tannehill (High-End)
RB1: Derrick Henry (Low-End)
WR4: Kalif Raymond Low-End)
WR4: Cameron Batson (Low-End)
TE1: Jonnu Smith (High-End)

Prediction: Buffalo 28, Tennessee 14 ^ Top