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Inside the Matchup

Week 11

By: Andy Swanson | Ken Ilchuk | Nick Caron | HC Green



Sunday Early:



Sunday Late:




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

Patriots @ Falcons - (Swanson)
Line: NE -7.0
Total: 47.0

Passing Game Thoughts: Ten weeks is not a large enough sample size to predict whether or not Mac Jones is going to have the best NFL career of the rookie quarterbacks taken in the 2021 NFL Draft. While we can’t say for certain how Jones’ career will unfold, we can discern a few impressive attributes of the young signal-caller.

First, he is calm in the pocket and limits his mistakes for more than the average quarterback. The game does not seem to move too fast for him, and he landed in a perfect situation for him to flourish.

Second, he is completing passes at a historic level. Through 10 games, his 69% rate is higher than the all-time record set by Dak Prescott for an NFL rookie.

Despite how well he is playing and the fact that the 6-4 Patriots are in the playoff hunt, Jones’ lack of running limits his fantasy upside. He currently ranks 21st in fantasy points on the year, with just one week of 20 or more fantasy points. He is a great young player but only worthy of a start in the best of matchups.

This week’s game against the Falcons may just be one of those matchups. Only the Football Team and the Chiefs have given up more fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. Dak just torched them for 300 total yards and three combined scores, Tua Tagovailoa had his best game of the year, and Tom Brady put up five passing touchdowns on the Falcons back in Week 2.

We are not advising starting Jones, but if you need a quarterback with a high floor and a low ceiling with 15-20 points an almost certainty, Jones is not a bad option.

Starting Hunter Henry is also not a bad option, as the former Charger leads all tight ends with seven receiving touchdowns in ten games. He has half the catches of Travis Kelce, and the same receiving yards and No.19 ranked David Njoku. But he continues to score touchdowns and is a favorite red zone option for Jones.

Both Mike Gesicki and Rob Gronkowski had their best games against the Falcons this season. Make sure Henry is in your lineup, especially if Jonnu Smith is out again with an injury.

There are no injuries to report on the Falcons defense that would change the outlook of the Patriots passing weapons. Backup linebacker Daren Bates and reserve corner Kendall Sheffield would have been limited on Monday. Otherwise, the Falcons did not report many injuries after their beatdown at the hands of the Cowboys.

ATL FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.3
ATL FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.4
ATL FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.13
ATL FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.18

Running Game Thoughts: With Damien Harris out with a concussion, rookie Rhamondre Stevenson rumbled for 100 yards and two scores on 20 carries against the Browns. Stevenson looked impressive, with a size, speed, and power combination not easily matched in the league.

With a short week game against a Falcons team that is not a difficult opponent, it might be wise for Belichick and the Patriots to sit Harris down another week. However, he is not listed on the injury report and we anticipate he will return to the lead-back role, with Stevenson spelling him and Brandon Bolden working on passing downs.

The Falcons are only giving up 3.85 yards per carry, but they have started to give up rushing touchdowns as of late and are fifth in fantasy points allowed to opposing running backs. Considering they are also third in most points allowed to quarterbacks and 11th to wideouts, they are an equal-opportunity sieve for fantasy points.

Make sure Harris is in your lineup and Stevenson is also an interesting option. Should the game script go sideways with the Patriots enjoying a large lead in the second half, Stevenson could get some strong mop-up work.

Value Meter:
QB2: Mac Jones (High-End)
RB2: Damien Harris(High-End)
RB3: Rhamondre Stevenson (High-End)
WR3: Jakobi Meyers (Low-End)
WR4: Kendrick Bourne Low-End)
TE1: Hunter Henry (High-End)

Passing Game Thoughts: To say that Matt Ryan’s performance against the Cowboys was a flaming dumpster fire would be an understatement. Ryan managed to complete just nine of his 21 passes for 117 yards and zero scores. He was under constant pressure and was intercepted twice.

Ryan struggles when he is under constant pressure and often times makes poor throws in the red zone. This does not bode well in this matchup, as the Patriots will likely use complex pass rush schemes to take advantage of a subpar Atlanta offensive line, and JC Jackson and the ball-hawking secondary that shut down Baker Mayfield last week should have a field day against the Falcons.

Even if Ryan had a Calvin Ridley and a full complement of receivers, this would not be a good matchup for him. With Ridley out, Cordarrelle Patterson gimpy, and no other playmakers on offense, this could be another bloodbath for the Falcons.

Patterson was limited with an ankle injury in the game but was not listed on the initial injury report for the Falcons on Monday. He is a gametime decision so check the Inactives on Thursday night. His dual-threat ability make him a start-worthy option if he plays.

The Patriots have given up the sixth-fewest points to opposing tight ends. Considering Kyle Pitts is the only receiving threat on the team, we anticipate that the Patriots will make a point of shutting him down. He is not a must-bench, but don’t be surprised if he disappoints.

New England listed multiple players with estimated limited availability on their injury report for Monday. Those of note are starting left tackle Trent Brown with a calf and linebacker Dont’a Hightower with an ankle.

NE FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.28
NE FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.12
NE FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.26
NE FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.31

Running Game Thoughts: It’s difficult to run the ball when you are constantly in negative game scripts. It’s even more difficult when you have a below-average offensive line, and your two top running options are an over-the-hill journeyman in Mike Davis and a converted wide receiver in Cordarrelle Patterson.

Not surprisingly, the Falcons rank dead last in fantasy points scored by running backs. Even if you add in the two rushing touchdowns for Patterson, the team still has fewer points than the Dolphins and Texans.

Davis should likely be dropped in all formats based on his 22 total carries in his last three games. Wayne Gallman might be picked up in your league after his 15/55 performance last week, but he looks more like a landmine for your roster than someone you should play against the Patriots.

The Patriots are a middle-of-the-pack team in fantasy points allowed to running backs. They give up yards but only three total touchdowns on the season. Players have found success moving the ball, but not many have reached the end zone. Considering this fact and the likelihood that the game script will limit the number of rushing attempts for the Falcons, and you have a red alert to avoid for this game.

Value Meter:
QB2: Matt Ryan (High-End)
RB3: Mike Davis/Wayne Gallman (Low-End)
WR3: Olamide Zaccheaus (Low-End)
Flex: Cordarrelle Patterson (ankle)
TE1: Kyle Pitts (Low-End)

Prediction: New England 27, Atlanta 10 ^ Top

Ravens @ Bears - (Green)
Line: BAL -4.5
Total: 44.5

Passing Game Thoughts: On paper, it seemed simple. Jet down to Miami, take care of the two-win Dolphins and then rest up for a trip to Chicago. It didn’t go down like that. Instead, Miami applied near-constant pressure to Lamar Jackson, who didn’t handle it well, completing 26 of 43 passes for 238 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT. He couldn’t find any lanes of escape, either, as the 39 yards on nine rushing attempts were his second-lowest output of 2021. Expect the Bears to borrow some of those elements defensively in Week 11, though Jackson is someone you shouldn’t bench.

One encouraging note from Week 10 is the continued involvement of Rashad Bateman, who had six catches for a team-high 80 yards. That he did it with Sammy Watkins back from injury tells you where the rookie ranks in the pecking order. Marquise Brown (6-37-0) never got going but was targeted 13 times. Mark Andrews (6-63-1) remains the steadiest fantasy option as a TE1. As for the others, Brown (thigh) could fill a WR2 role while Bateman projects as a low-end No. 3 or flex. If you’ve held onto Watkins, consider dropping him; waiting another week would be fine, too, especially in deeper leagues.

The Bears entered their bye on a four-game losing streak, during which they’ve allowed 31 points per game. While their pass defense still ranks a very respectable ninth at 226.1 yards per game, they’ve missed the disruptive presence of Khalil Mack (foot), who hasn’t played since Week 7. He has a shot at returning, which would give the Bears a boost, but that’s far from a certainty.

CHI FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.16
CHI FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.20
CHI FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.6
CHI FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.28

Running Game Thoughts: With Latavius Murray (ankle) missing a third straight game last Thursday, Devonta Freeman saw most of the action, carrying the ball 10 times for 35 yards -- he added another 23 yards as a receiver. While it’s still unofficial that Murray will return in Week 11, the fact that Baltimore released Le’Veon Bell might have tipped their hand. Chicago has struggled against the run this season, allowing 122.8 yards per game on the ground, which is 23rd in the NFL. Pencil Freeman in as a flex regardless of Murray’s status; the former Saint is a flex as well if he plays.

Value Meter:
QB1: Lamar Jackson
Flex: Devonta Freeman
WR2: Marquise Brown
WR3/Flex: Rashod Bateman
TE1: Mark Andrews
Bench: Latavius Murray (inj-ankle)

Passing Game Thoughts: For much of Week 9, the Chicago offense looked as it often has this year, struggling to move the football as Pittsburgh took a 20-6 lead into the fourth. Justin Fields came alive late, though, and ended up passing for a career-best 291 yards on 17 completions with one TD and one INT. He added 45 yards on the ground as that part of his game continues to show signs of development as well. Ultimately, the Bears came up short, but it was still encouraging.

Fields’ big day resulted in the best showing of Allen Robinson’s season as he caught four passes for a season-high 68 yards. Unfortunately, the veteran hasn’t practiced this week due to a hamstring injury, which is concerning coming out of a bye. He'd hold borderline flex value if he plays. Darnell Mooney (3-41-1) caught Fields’ lone TD pass and remains the steadiest option in Chicago’s passing game, though he too is no better than a flex candidate. Cole Kmet (6-87-0) led the way in receiving and might be worth rostering in larger leagues.

Baltimore’s Week 10 loss had a similar feel to the Chicago-Pittsburgh game in that the Dolphins scored 16 of their 22 points in the fourth quarter as the Ravens dealt with some terrible breakdowns in the secondary. It’s an ongoing issue. Baltimore ranks last in pass defense this season, surrendering 283.3 yards per game through the air. Between the way he finished Week 9 and the Ravens’ leaky secondary there’s some interesting upside with Fields this week, though he’d still be a risky start.

BAL FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.10
BAL FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.14
BAL FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.22
BAL FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.3

Running Game Thoughts: David Montgomery returned from IR against the Steelers in Week 9 and promptly resumed his role as the bell cow, carrying the ball 13 times for 63 yards and adding a pair of receptions for 17 more. It was a little disheartening to see Khalil Herbert, who played so effectively in Montgomery’s absence, reduced to little more than a bystander with 13 yards on four carries. Baltimore is a stout defense against the run, ranking fourth at 88.2 yards per game allowed. Montgomery still offers RB2 value, while Herbert should be stashed on your bench for the time being.

Value Meter:
QB2: Justin Fields
RB2: David Montgomery
Flex: Darnell Mooney
Flex: Allen Robinson (inj-hamstring)
Bench: Khalil Herbert, Cole Kmet

Prediction: Ravens 27, Bears 19 ^ Top

Lions @ Browns - (Green)
Line: CLE -11.5
Total: 43.5

Passing Game Thoughts: In a game that lasted 70 minutes, Jared Goff (oblique) threw 25 times, completing 14 for 114 yards. That’s 4.6 yards per attempt. As if that wasn’t bad enough, Goff strained his oblique early on and is considered day-to-day heading into Week 11 -- he hasn’t practiced this week. That at least creates the possibility Tim Boyle (thumb) could return from IR to make the start; if Boyle isn’t ready, then David Blough could get the call. No matter who starts, their fantasy value is nominal.

Fourteen completions create few opportunities, and unfortunately T.J. Hockenson was collateral damage, catching no passes on just one target. It’s too soon to slide him out of TE1 territory, but it’s concerning for sure. Amon-Ra St. Brown accounted for 61 of those 114 yards on four receptions, which was more than double anyone else. His growth is one of the few positives in Detroit’s passing game this year. Week 11 could also see the debut of Josh Reynolds, who was inactive after being claimed last week. He has history with Goff so keep an eye on him.

Cleveland got embarrassed last Sunday, ending up on the wrong side of a 45-7 whipping at the hands of the Patriots. Rookie Mac Jones hit on 19 of 23 passes for 198 yards and 3 TDs; then veteran Brian Hoyer passed for another 85 yards and a score. It was ugly. The Browns rank 11th in pass defense for the year (229.2 per game) and do lead the NFL in sacks (29) so don’t expect much from the Lions here.

CLE FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.9
CLE FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.18
CLE FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.10
CLE FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.19

Running Game Thoughts: With Jamaal Williams (thigh) out for a second straight game, D’Andre Swift carried the ball a whopping 33 times for 130 yards. Detroit’s two long TD runs came from backups, though, so Swift had to settle for the yardage. Cleveland ranks fifth in the NFL against the run (94.7 yards per game) but got trucked by New England for 184 yards on 34 rushing attempts. If Williams is back he’s a flex play with Swift as an RB2. If not, Swift elevates to borderline RB1/RB2 status.

Value Meter:
RB1/RB2: D’Andre Swift
Flex: Jamaal Williams (inj-thigh)
TE1: T.J. Hockenson
Bench: Jared Goff, Josh Reynolds, Amon-Ra St. Brown

Passing Game Thoughts: Last Sunday was another rough one for Baker Mayfield (knee), who passed for 73 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT before departing with a knee injury. The former No. 1 overall pick dodged major injury, though, and is simply “banged up.” As such, it sounds as though he’ll get the start versus Detroit. Of course, considering how limited Mayfield’s effectiveness was when he was at full strength, there’s currently no reason to entertain putting him in your lineup.

When the Browns rolled in Week 9, the storyline was that Cleveland was a better team without Odell Beckham Jr. So, what’s the story now? Mayfield and Case Keenum both struggled to move the offense on New England and would-be OBJ replacements Rashaad Higgins and Donovan Peoples-Jones combined for one catch. Jarvis Landry (4-26-0) is the lone playable option right now as a low-end No. 3 receiver or flex. There was also a little encouragement from Austin Hooper (4-25-1), but he needs to string together a few weeks of solid work to enter the conversation again.

As I’ve mentioned before in this space, the Lions’ pass defense only rates as highly as it does (244.1 yards per game; 16th) because of how bad they are against the run. A good passing team could exploit Detroit. Of course, Cleveland isn’t a good passing team, so it’s a moot point. If you’ve heard the phrase “iron sharpens iron,” this is something more akin to “marsh sharpens mallow.”

DET FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.17
DET FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.3
DET FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.19
DET FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.22

Running Game Thoughts: With Nick Chubb (illness) out after testing positive for COVID, the Browns were once again forced to turn to D’Ernest Johnson, and once again he delivered. Johnson accounted for 157 yards on 26 total touches as he led the club in both rushing and receiving. Chubb was activated from the Covid IR on Friday, and will likely resume his RB1 role for Week 11. Only two clubs have allowed more rushing yards per game than the Lions (135.7), so Chubb would be an RB1 if he plays. In that scenario, Johnson would be a shaky flex given Cleveland’s reluctance to use him when Chubb is active. If Chubb sits, Johnson ascends to solid RB2 status.

Value Meter:
RB1: Nick Chubb (COVID)
Flex: D’Ernest Johnson
WR3: Jarvis Landry
Bench: Baker Mayfield (inj-knee), Kareem Hunt (IR)

Prediction: Browns 23, Lions 17 ^ Top

Packers @ Vikings - (Green)
Line: GB -1.5
Total: 47.5

Passing Game Thoughts: Unable to practice with the team leading up to Week 10 after a positive COVID test, Aaron Rodgers (toe) looked a little out of synch last Sunday. He ended the day going 23 of 37 for 292 yards but didn’t throw a touchdown pass and had a brutal interception in the end zone. He hasn’t practiced this week with a toe injury that popped up while on the COVID list but is not considered in danger of missing the game. Rodgers threw for 655 yards and 7 TDs in two meetings with the Vikings last year and can be played as a low-end QB1.

Davante Adams (7-78-0) was solid in Rodgers’ return, but his three TD receptions on the season sticks out like a sore thumb, especially after he led the NFL with 18 a season ago. Five of those came against the Vikings in 2020, so perhaps this is the week he starts to make things happen in the red zone again. He’s a weekly WR1. As usual, it’s Adams and then everyone else. Marquez Valdes-Scantling caught a 41-yard pass on the third play of the game last week but didn’t have another reception. Still, he’s the one to consider after posting a 4-96-1 line the last time he was in Minnesota.

Minnesota is currently 14th in pass defense (238.6 yards per game), and they did a nice job last week of limiting Justin Herbert. Of course, Rodgers and Mike Zimmer have been crossing swords for years now, so that figures to mean little here. The return of Harrison Smith (illness) from the COVID list will help, though, and Patrick Peterson (hamstring) is also eligible to be activated from the IR.

MIN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.19
MIN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.11
MIN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.8
MIN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.29

Running Game Thoughts: With Aaron Jones (knee) sidelined by a sprained MCL, AJ Dillon stepped in and carried the load last Sunday. The bruising back had 23 combined touches for 128 yards and 2 TDs; one of which saw him drive through Bobby Wagner for the game’s first TD. He’ll get most of the work with Patrick Taylor as his backup. The Vikings have really struggled against the run this year, giving up 130.6 yards per game, which is 28th in the league. Start Dillon as a borderline RB1/RB2.

Value Meter:
QB1: Aaron Rodgers (inj-toe)
RB1/RB2: AJ Dillon
WR1: Davante Adams
Bench: Aaron Jones (inj-knee), Marquez Valdes-Scantling

Passing Game Thoughts: Last Sunday, you figured the Vikings would be able to control the ball with their running game against a Chargers team that ranked last in the NFL. Instead, LA loaded up to stop the run and watched Kirk Cousins pass for 294 yards and a pair of touchdowns. This coming after the veteran threw for just 187 yards against the last-ranked pass defense is why it’s so hard for fantasy owners to rely on him. Last season, Cousins averaged 210 yards, 1.5 TDs and 0.5 INTs against Green Bay.

Everyone knows about Minnesota’s one-two punch: Justin Jefferson (9-143-0) and Adam Thielen (5-65-0). That duo is at least in the conversation for the NFL’s best, and Jefferson is still ascending. As a rookie, Jefferson managed just 52 yards in two games against the Packers, while Thielen got most of his 137 yards and both scores in what was essentially garbage time in Week 1. While it’s not enough to devalue either receiver too much, it’s worth remembering that Green Bay just locked down Seattle’s similarly talented duo.

As such, the player to watch might just be Tyler Conklin, who had two TD grabs last week. Both Seattle and KC, the Packers’ last two opponents, were led by their tight ends in receptions and yardage. For the year, Green Bay is third in pass defense at 202.7 yards per game. This is a tough matchup all around with Cousins to be left on your bench and Thielen as more of a WR3. Jefferson has joined Adams in must-start territory. As for Conklin, he’d be an intriguing lottery-ticket play.

GB FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.25
GB FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.22
GB FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.30
GB FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.12

Running Game Thoughts: As noted, the Vikings ground game found little room to operate in Week 10 with Dalvin Cook’s 24 carries producing 94 yards (3.9 YPC) and a touchdown. The Packers had all manner of trouble with Cook last year when he racked up 274 combined yards and a half-dozen touchdowns in their two encounters. Granted, most of that came in the second meeting, but even in Week 1 the talented back scored twice despite posting just 48 yards. He’s an RB1 against a Packers defense that currently sits 13th against the run at 107.2 yards per game.

Value Meter:
RB1: Dalvin Cook
WR1: Justin Jefferson
WR2/WR3: Adam Thielen
Bench: Kirk Cousins, Alexander Mattison, Tyler Conklin

Prediction: Packers 30, Vikings 24 ^ Top

Texans @ Titans - (Swanson)
Line: TEN -10.0
Total: 44.5

Passing Game Thoughts: Tyrod Taylor and the Houston Texans come out of their bye week with a tough matchup on the road against a surging Titans team that has found its way defensively as of late.

On the season, the Titans rank 6th in fantasy points allowed to opposing quarterbacks. Yet over the past five weeks, they rank 11th, with just nine passing touchdowns allowed in five games. The pass interior pass rush led by Jeffrey Simmons and Teair Tart has caused a ton of havoc for opposing offensive lines of the Chiefs and Rams.

Against a subpar offensive line like the Texans, Simmons and Tart should have a field day.

Taylor started his first game in over two months when the Texans went on the road and lost to the Dolphins. Taylor threw three interceptions and zero passing touchdowns in what turned out to be one of his worst career starts.

Brandin Cooks continues to be the favorite target in the passing game and is the only player worthy of starting in the Texan passing attack. Although he posted a pedestrian 6/56 vs. Miami, he did have 13 targets and continues to see a sizable target share.

David Johnson is the pass-catching back in the offense and saw all of the five targets out of the backfield from Taylor. Considering he only had four rush attempts in addition to his passing work, he is not someone who should be started in any format.

HOU FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.7
HOU FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.10
HOU FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.14
HOU FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.4

Running Game Thoughts: Four running backs carried the ball for the Texans in their previous game against the Dolphins before the bye. Phillip Lindsay carried the ball a team-high eight times for 28 yards, while David Johnson added 11 yards on four carries. Scottie Phillips and Rex Burkhead carried the ball a combined three times for 11 yards.

This is a bad offense, with a bad offensive line and no clear-cut No.1 running back. None of the running backs are worth a start based on their lack of volume, and the matchup against the Titans projects to be a sideways beat-down.

On a positive note for the Texans, the Titans are beat up on defense, with numerous starts for Tennessee limited or unable to practice on Wednesday. Bud Dupree did not practice with an abdominal injury, Rashaan Evans was limited with an ankle issue, and Simmons was also limited. Of the three, Dupree appears to be the most likely to miss.

Value Meter:
QB2: Tyrod Taylor (Low-End)
RB3: Phillip Lindsay (Low-End)
WR2: Brandin Cooks (Low-End)
TE2: Jordan Akins (Low-End)

Passing Game Thoughts: The Titans are arguably the top team in football after five consecutive wins over playoff teams from a year ago. Mike Vrabel’s team is 8-2 and riding a six-game winning streak.

What's curious about the Titans is they continue to win games despite not having Derrick Henry and with Ryan Tannehill playing well below how he did in his first two seasons with the team.

Tannehill already has more interceptions (8) this season than he did in 2020 and 2019, and his 12 passing touchdowns in 10 games are well off the 33-pace he set last year. Perhaps this game is the one in which Tannehill breaks out and delivers a monster passing performance.

Houston ranks in the bottom 12 across the board in fantasy points allowed to QBs, WRs, RBs, and TEs. They are an equal-opportunity dumpster fire that can be exploited at all levels. Look for Tannehill to give at least ten targets to A.J. Brown, who is looking to bounce back after a one-catch performance against Marshon Lattimore and the Saints.

With Julio Jones on IR again with a hamstring injury, Marcus Johnson posted his first 100-yard game since Week 6 of last season, with 100 yards on five catches. After seeing the field for just 5% of snaps against the Rams in Week 9, he jumped up to 63% last week and could be a sneaky flex play, especially if the Texans look to double-team Brown.

TEN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.5
TEN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.24
TEN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.1
TEN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.26

Running Game Thoughts: The Titans are using a three-headed monster to try and fill the void left by Derrick Henry. The ageless wonder Adrian Peterson is the goal line and short-yardage back, Jeremy McNichols is the passing down weapon, and D’onta Foreman is the favorite option between the 20s.

No player played more than 33% of the snaps last week, and McNichols is currently in the concussion protocol and could miss the game. Should he be out, Tory Carter could be used in the passing game.

Because of their lack of snaps, each player is a risk. Foreman looked like the best running back, but his value is limited with Peterson getting the goal-line work.

From a matchup standpoint, the Texans are one of three teams to give up 1000 yards already this season, and they rank 7th in points allowed.

If you buy into the narrative that the Titans will blow out the Texans, there could be some valuable close-out runs late in the game for Foreman. It would make more sense for Vrabel to use the younger Foreman for that role instead of the 36-year-old Peterson.

Value Meter:
QB1: Ryan Tannehill (Low-End)
RB2: D’Onta Foreman (Low-End)
RB3: Adrian Peterson (High-End)
WR1: A.J. Brown (Low-End)
TE2: Geoff Swaim (Low-End)

Prediction: Tennessee 34, Houston 10 ^ Top

Colts at Bills - (Ken Ilchuk)
Line: BUF -7.0
Total: 50.0

Passing Game Thoughts: There’s little question that QB Carson Wentz is slowly starting to play better under the guidance of HC Frank Reich. But he still has too many head-shaking moments that ultimately affect the fantasy impact of his receivers. The bonehead plays keep him from being an impact QB in fantasy… and in actual football, which may explain why the Colts rely so heavily on the run.

Still, Wentz had six TD passes in two games against the Titans and Jets in Weeks 8 and 9, and posted six straight multi-TD games before being shut out last week. But that was more a factor of how easy it was to run on the Jaguars. Michael Pittman Jr. is a bona fide WR1 with big play ability and has emerged as the top target on this team, even with T.Y. Hilton back in the fold. But he’s a WR2 with Wentz and playing against one of the best defenses in the NFL this week.

Jack Doyle is now the flavor of the month at TE in Indy, ahead of Mo Alie-Cox, who has just one multi-catch game in the last five weeks.

The Bills have the top secondary in the league and do a great job of pressuring the pocket with four defenders, avoiding the need for blitzes that compromise coverage. I’m anticipating a tough day for Wentz and company.

BUF FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.32
BUF FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.30
BUF FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.31
BUF FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.27

Running Game Thoughts: Jonathan Taylor is not only the workhorse of the Colts offense, he’s become one of the top backs in the entire NFL. He has 9 TDs, five 100-yard games, and is tied for the league lead with 937 ground yards. That workload limits RB Nyheim Hynes’ touches, but look for him as an outlet in the passing game. Against a Bills defense that is allowing just 3.8 yards per carry, Reich and company will have to use the short passing game as an extension of the run game.

Value Meter:
QB2: Carson Wentz (low-end)
RB1: Jonathan Taylor (high-end)
WR2: Michael Pittman Jr. (mid-range)
WR3: T.Y. Hilton (low-end)
TE2: Mo Alie-Cox (low-end)
FLEX: RB Nyheim Hines
BENCH: WR Zach Pascal, TE Jack Doyle

Passing Game Thoughts: Josh Allen is coming off his fourth 300-yard game and seventh multi-TD game of the season. While the Colts aren’t the defenseless Jets, they are yielding more big plays than they’d like in the passing game (29 of 20+ yards, including six of 40+).

Allen has the weapons to expose them. He found some chemistry with WR1 Stefon Diggs last week, and Emmanuel Sanders, Cole Beasley, and TE Dawson Knox all have the ability to go off in any given game depending on the matchups

Indianapolis has 22 sacks and 10 INT’s on the season, but they are among the worst in the league in completion percentage and yards per attempt.

IND FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.4
IND FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.29
IND FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.5
IND FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.6

Running Game Thoughts: The two-headed monster of Devin Singletary and Zack Moss has really limited the fantasy value of both players, though it’s obviously working for the Bills. Matt Breida got in the mix with two touchdowns last week. His potential for an increased role further clouds the picture here. Moss and Singletary have some limited potential as low end RB’s or flex options, but the Colts have actually been a little tougher against the ground game this season, which could further limit their ceiling.

Value Meter:
QB1: Josh Allen (High-end)
RB3: Zack Moss (mid-range)
WR1: Stefon Diggs (high-end)
WR3: Emmanuel Sanders (mid-range)
TE1: Dawson Knox (low-end)
FLEX: RB Devin Singletary, WR Cole Beasley

Prediction: Bills 27, Colts 20 ^ Top

Dolphins at Jets - (Ken Ilchuk)
Line: MIA -3.0
Total: 44.5

Passing Game Thoughts: Tua Tagovailoa was healthy enough to replace an injured Jacoby Brissett last Thursday against the Ravens and played pretty well, completing eight of 13 attempts and running for a TD. The truth is Tua had been pretty good before his finger injury sidelined him for Week 9. His previous three games included a 329-yard, 2 TD effort against Jacksonville and a 4-TD showing against the Falcons when he completed 80% of his attempts. Even against a very good Bills defense, he managed to run for a TD. He’s a solid QB2 option against a very bad Jets defense this week.

Who Tagovailoa will throw to is a big question mark. TE Mike Gesicki is the go-to guy. He’s the 6th-ranked TE in fantasy, and while he hasn’t been the red zone target he’s been the last two years, he looks to be on track to obliterate his career highs and 2021 projections in every other category. He’s a set it-forget it TE1 every week.

After that it gets thin. WR Jaylen Waddle has 85 targets on the season despite a near season-low six against Baltimore. Still, he has at least four catches in the last five games and is averaging over 10 yards per catch in that span. WR DeVante Parker was placed on IR, leaving RB Myles Gaskin as the only other reliable target. He averages about four catches per game and has three receiving TD’s on the season.

Anything we say about the Jets defense just feels like piling on at this point, which is really surprising given HC Robert Saleh’s background and the coaches he’s worked with. But as they say, it’s the Jimmy’s and the Joe’s at this level, not the x’s and the o’s. The Jets rank in the bottom five of the NFL in nearly every major defensive category, including a league-worst 108.2 opponent passer rating with just two interceptions. Every Dolphin who catches or runs with a ball gets a little bump this week against this unit.

NYJ FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.18
NYJ FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.1
NYJ FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.12
NYJ FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.13

Running Game Thoughts: The Dolphins are amongst the worst rushing teams in the NFL, statistically speaking, with just 736 yards on the ground through ten games and an average of just 3.4 yards per carry. Gaskin is the clear workhorse with 100 carries. He is averaging at least 15 total touches over the last four games, but he has just two games of at least 50 rushing yards. If he’s going to break out on the ground, this would be the week to do it.

The Jets are allowing nearly 5.0 yards per carry and have yielded a league-worst 19 TD’s on the ground. They have been gashed by the big play, but are vulnerable in the red zone, making Gaskin an interesting consideration as a RB2 or flex option with a high ceiling.

Value Meter:
QB2: Tua Tagovailoa (mid-range)
RB2: Myles Gaskin (low-end)
WR2: Jaylen Waddle (mid-range)
TE1: Mike Gesicki (mid-range)
BENCH: RB Salvon Ahmed, WR Mack Hollins, WR Albert Wilson, WR DeVante Parker, WR Preston Williams

Passing Game Thoughts: So now it’s Joe Flacco’s turn to take the reins of the Jets offense. He threw just three passes last week in relief and hasn’t played a game since last season, but HC Robert Saleh announced this week he will get the ball. He’s got a strong arm and his knowledge of the offense will be a plus against a blitz-heavy Miami defensive scheme. Still, he’s a desperate QB2 at this juncture and provides a slight fantasy bump for WR Corey Davis.

Davis returned from injury last week to average 18.6 yards on a team-high five catches against the Bills. He’s got the ability with Flacco at the helm to stretch the field a bit, which was the knock against QB Mike White. Michael Carter and Ty Johnson feasted on outlet passes with White behind center, so they may see less targets this week, but WR Jamison Crowder could be a viable flex play in this one.

This Dolphins defense is aggressive against the pass. They may not always get home (21 sacks), but they put a lot of pressure on the QB and can force some rushed throws. Flacco is in there to handle that, but behind an o-line that has struggled at times, he may take some lumps as well on Sunday.

MIA FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.6
MIA FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.21
MIA FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.3
MIA FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.9

Running Game Thoughts: I like Michael Carter. He’s a fun runner to watch with quick feet and excellent COD skills. But he’s barely averaging 3.5 yards per carry, and even though he’s getting a larger share of the snap count, he’s still sharing time with Ty Johnson. If the Dolphins D plays anything like it did against Baltimore last week, both runners will find tough sledding on the ground this week. If White was at QB, they could have some value as receivers, but that’s thrown into question with the Flacco move.

Value Meter:
QB2: Joe Flacco (low-end)
RB2: Michael Carter (mid-range)
WR3: Corey Davis (low-range)
FLEX: RB Ty Johnson, WR Jamison Crowder
BENCH: QB Zach Wilson, QB Mike White, RB Tevin Coleman, TE Ryan Griffin

Prediction: Dolphins 23, Jets 16 ^ Top

Saints at Eagles - (Ken Ilchuk)
Line: PHI -1.5
Total: 43.0

Passing Game Thoughts: The Saints have lost both of QB Trevor Siemian’s starts since he took over for Jameis Winston (ACL). HC Sean Peyton has brought him along slowly, and at times this passing game has looked limited. But a closer look reveals that Siemian has posted five TD passes in less than three full games. His yards per attempt have also improved from 5.5 three weeks ago to 8.8 last week against the Titans. Even with a limited receiving cast, he could be trending towards low-end QB2 status.

RB Alvin Kamara leads the team in targets and receptions, but he seems to be trending towards missing a second straight game with an ankle injury. WR Deonte Harris is the new big play threat, averaging 17.0 yards per catch for the season and seeing 19 targets in the last three games with Siemian. Fellow WR Marquez Callaway is explosive, but hasn’t eclipsed 50 yards receiving since Week 5. The player to watch if Kamara is definitely out is WR Tre’Quan Smith. He has 10 catches for 130 yards and two touchdowns in the last three games. Against Philadelphia’s two-deep zone, Smith could be an effective weapon as a catch and run threat on intermediate routes.

This is an aggressive Eagles defense. They like to attack the pocket in the passing game, but the production hasn’t been there in terms of sacks and takeaways. They have scored defensive TD’s in two of the last three games, so there is some big play ability there, but not enough to count on. They are also allowing an NFL-worst 74% completion percentage to opposing QB’s.

PHI FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.24
PHI FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.7
PHI FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.29
PHI FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.1

Running Game Thoughts: Recently acquired RB Mark Ingram came to the rescue last week with 18 total touches for 108 yards and a score against the Titans. It looks like he’ll have to do it again. Kamara did not practice Thursday and seems likely to be out again this week. If RB Tony Jones is activated from IR, he’ll have a limited role. Ingram is a borderline RB1 against an Eagles defense that has allowed the sixth-most rushing yards in the NFL this season.

Value Meter:
QB2: Trevor Siemian (low-end)
RB1: Mark Ingram (low-end)
WR3: Tre’Quan Smith (mid-range)
TE2: Adam Trautman (mid-range)
BENCH: QB Taysom Hill, RB Alvin Kamara, RB Tony Jones

Passing Game Thoughts: QB Jalen Hurts hasn’t eclipsed 200 passing yards in his last three games, and while he’s completing 65% of his passes in that span with three TD’s, it’s his running ability that has been the difference maker with 188 ground yards over the last three weeks. That dual threat capability has him in the conversation with Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson as one of the top fantasy point scorers in the NFL quarterback club.

Former Alabama teammate DeVonta Smith has been Hurts go-to guy. He has at least six targets in eight of ten games, with two 100-yard games on the season. He also has three touchdowns in the last two games. TE Dallas Goedert is more than just a big red zone target and has proven he can make plays all over the field. He his second on the team in targets, catches, yards, and TD’s. Beyond that, the Eagles run first attack will limit all other pass catchers.

The Saints have recorded 20 sacks and 11 INT’s this season and are in the top ten in the NFL in passer rating and completion percentage allowed. Look for their aggressive pass rush to play contain and try to keep Hurts in the pocket. They will want to make him beat them from the pocket with his arm.

NO FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.15
NO FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.32
NO FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.4
NO FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.25

Running Game Thoughts: Jordan Howard has been a godsend for this offense with 200 rushing yards and three touchdowns over the last three weeks, averaging well over 5.0 yards per carry in that time. Though he has only maintained a small advantage in snaps and touches over backfield mate Boston Scott, he has, in fact, held that advantage every week. I have used him successfully as a RB2 in recent weeks, but against a tough Saints front that allows just 3.1 rushing yards per carry, he’s a RB3 this week. Kenneth Gainwell seems to be the odd man out at this point, and Miles Sanders does not appear ready to return just yet from IR.

Value Meter:
QB1: Jalen Hurts (mid-range)
RB3: Jordan Howard (mid-range), Boston Scott (mid-range)
WR2: DeVonta Smith (low-end)
TE2: Dallas Goedert (high-end)
FLEX: WR Deonte Harris
BENCH: RB Kenneth Gainwell, RB Miles Sanders

Prediction: Saints 21, Eagles 18 ^ Top

49ers @ Jaguars - (Swanson)
Line: SF -6.5
Total: 45.0

Passing Game Thoughts: Jimmy Garoppolo and the 49ers head to Jacksonville to take on Trevor Lawrence and the Jags. It may come as a surprise to many to learn that only Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes have more fantasy points than Jimmy G over the past three games.

If you are looking for a streaming option this week or play in a two-quarterback league, you could do worse than a red hot Garoppolo taking on the Jags defense that ranks 16th in points allowed to QBs.

While most would give Cooper Kupp the award for fantasy MVP at the wide receiver position, Deebo Samuel should get some first-place votes as well. Samuel leads the league in YAC by a wide margin and continues to be a monster for fantasy owners. He added a new wrinkle to his game with five carries out of the backfield for 36 yards and a score against the Rams.

The other bright spot on the 49ers is the return of George Kittle to fantasy prominence after posting 150 yards and two touchdowns in his return from the IR. Jacksonville ranks 9th in points allowed to tight ends, with monster games from C.J. Uzomah and Mike Gesicki. Don’t be surprised to see Kittle deliver another top-5 performance this week with the Jags focusing on stopping the vaunted 49er run offense and Samuel.

Another reason why Kittle could be in for a big day is the Jags are dealing with injuries at the linebacker level, with Dakota Allen questionable with a shoulder injury and Myles Jack questionable with a knee. Both players missed practice on Wednesday and could be out on Sunday.

JAC FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.20
JAC FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.17
JAC FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.9
JAC FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.11

Running Game Thoughts: The Jags are not the only team dealing with injuries, as the 49ers’ top running back, rookie Elijah Mitchell, suffered a broken finger against the Rams and has not practiced this week.

Mitchell had surgery on the finger on Monday, yet the team seemed optimistic that he would be able to still play vs. Jacksonville.

Should Mitchell be out, look for Jeff Wilson to be the primary ball carrier, with rookie Trey Sermon being active as well.

At first glance, this matchup looks juicy for the running backs for the Niners, as the Jags rank 12th in fantasy points allowed this season. However, Jacksonville did an excellent job shutting down the Bills back in Week 9 and the Seahawks in Week 8. Jonathan Taylor did rip them for 21/116/1, but he is the league’s leading rusher, and the game was in Indy.

You are starting Mitchell if he is active and Wilson for sure if the rookie is out. The 49ers will look to be run-heavy once again like they were last week vs. the Rams, and the Jags do have a pair of injuries to their linebacking corps that should help San Francisco.

Value Meter:
QB1: Jimmy Garoppolo (Low-End)
RB2: Elijah Mitchell/Jeff Wilson (Low-End)
WR1: Deebo Samuel (High-End)
TE1: George Kittle (High-End)

Passing Game Thoughts: Trevor Lawrence has been stuck in a rookie slump over the past three weeks in which he has just one passing touchdown and has not topped 60% completions in any game. In fact, he managed to complete just 45% of his passes last week against the Colts, although he did add 33 yards rushing on the ground.

You are not starting Lawrence in any format. The question, is can he do enough against the 49ers to make Dan Arnold, Marvin Jones, and Laviska Shenault viable, and can he keep the 49er defense honest and give James Robinson a chance to succeed on the ground.

Only Travis Kelce has more receiving yards (195) and catches (24) than Arnold over the past three games. Although Arnold has not scored during that span, his value in PPR formats is tough to beat at a position void of many good options.

It is difficult to be optimistic about the outlook for any other pass-catching option on the team. Marvin Jones has just one game of over ten fantasy points dating back to Week 3, and Shenault has yet to score a single touchdown or top 100 yards this year.

Basically, the only player worthy of a start in all formats is Arnold. The 49er secondary is not great and can be beaten, but the inconsistency of volume and production for the Jags wide receivers make them too risky.

SF FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.14
SF FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.13
SF FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.23
SF FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.24

Running Game Thoughts: James Robinson continued to be limited with a heel injury and did not practice on Wednesday. Robinson played through the pain last week with 84 total yards and a score against the stout Colts front seven.

If he plays, Robinson is too talented to sit, and the 49ers rank 13th in points allowed to running backs. The problem is that heel can flare up at any time, and Robinson could give you a dud game.

Should Robinson be limited, the Jags would turn to former 49er Carlos Hyde in what could be a revenge game (if you are a fan of that narrative).

There are not any injuries on the 49ers' defense that would positively affect the outlook for the Jags running game. Backup defensive lineman Maurice Hurst is questionable with a calf injury.

Value Meter:
QB2: Trevor Lawrence (Low-End)
RB1: James Robinson (Low-End)
WR4: Marvin Jones (High-End)
TE1: Dan Arnold (Low-End)

Prediction: San Francisco 28, Jacksonville 10 ^ Top

Football Team @ Panthers - (Swanson)
Line: CAR -3.5
Total: 43.0

Passing Game Thoughts: Taylor Heinicke and the Washington Football Team shocked the visiting Tampa Bay Bucs with a 29-19 win last week. Heinicke played a nearly flawless game, completing 81% of his passes for 256 yards and a score. For fantasy purposes, he was not spectacular, but for his real-life team, he was phenomenal.

On the season, Heinicke ranks 15th in fantasy points per game, ahead of Russell Wilson, Carson Wentz, and Matt Ryan. In two-quarterback leagues he should get some consideration, but in one QB leagues, he is not someone we recommend this week against a Panthers defense that gives up the fourth-fewest points to opposing quarterbacks.

Carolina has been solid on defense and would have even stronger numbers had Sam Darnold not put them in a ton of bad spots in the middle of the season. Outside of Dak Prescott’s four-touchdown game and Kirk Cousins’ three TD performance in Week 6, Carolina has been pretty darn stingy against opponent QBs.

The addition of Stephon Gilmore to the Panthers secondary has been evident over the past two weeks. Although the veteran CB played through a dislocated finger on Sunday, he should be good to go and will likely shadow Terry McLaurin.

McLaurin led the Football team with six catches for 59 yards on eight targets against the Bucs, while DeAndre Carter caught a touchdown for the second-straight week. Carter played in 70% of the snaps and continues to make big plays for Heinicke. While it may take some intestinal fortitude to start him as a flex in season-long leagues, he is a nice value in DFS.

Ricky Seals-Jones suffered a hip injury last week against the Cardinals and is day-to-day, according to head coach Ron Rivera. He has played in nearly 100% of snaps over the past four weeks and could be a very low-end boom or bust play.

CAR FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.31
CAR FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.31
CAR FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.28
CAR FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.20

Running Game Thoughts: The value of the Football Team running backs for fantasy depends largely on game flow. If the Football Team is up in the second half, Antonio Gibson will get a ton of work and will have value.

If they are chasing points, J.D. McKissic will get more snaps and will have solid PPR value. Vegas has this game fairly close with a -3 spread for the Panthers, so they project for the game script to be balanced.

However, as McKissic managers can attest from last week, projections for game scripts do not always come to fruition, as McKissic was seldom used in a game that we all thought the Football Team would be chasing points.

From a matchup standpoint, this game is not great for either back. The Panthers give up the third-fewest points to running backs, and they are one of two teams who have yet to allow a receiving touchdown.

Value Meter:
QB2: Taylor Heinicke (High-End)
RB2: Antonio Gibson (Low-End)
WR2: Terry McLaurin (Low-End)
WR4: DeAndre Carter (High-End)
TE2: Ricky Seals-Jones (High-End)

Passing Game Thoughts: Cam Newton announced to the world that he is back with a two-touchdown performance in limited action against the Cardinals on Sunday. With a full week of preparation ahead of him and a chance to take on his former head coach, Newton should be amped and ready to go this week.

It is difficult to project how well Newton will do with such a small sample size as the QB for Matt Rhule. We can assume he will get some work around the goal line and could eat into Christian McCaffrey’s workload. What we don’t know is how well he will throw in that system and if he will be a boon or burden for wide receivers D.J. Moore and Robby Anderson.

Moore has been dreadful in the last three weeks and has not scored a touchdown or posted 100-yards receiving since Week 2 at Dallas. Anderson was un-ownable for most of the year but did post 4/37/1 last week against Arizona.

The matchup dictates that the passing options for the Panthers are in play, as the Football Team has given up by far the most points to opposing QBs and WRs.

It also doesn’t hurt their outlook now that the football team will be without stud pass rusher Chase Young, who suffered a season-ending knee injury vs. Tampa Bay.

Newton is a low-end No.1 or high-end No.2 QB this week with a ton of upside and a ton of question marks. You drafted Moore as a starter, and he is going to be in your lineup with fingers crossed. Anderson is a coin toss but could be a huge waiver wire addition should he have another good game this week.

WAS FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.1
WAS FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.28
WAS FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.2
WAS FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.15

Running Game Thoughts: Christian McCaffrey has just one total touchdown in five games this season, yet he ranks 7th in fantasy points per game in half PPR scoring because of his massive use in the passing game.

He played in just 59% of snaps last week against Arizona, did not score a touchdown, but still finished 5th on the week at the position.

Start CMC and hope he does not get hurt. If he plays the full game, he should be an RB1 and well worth a start.

The one area in which the Football Team has not been terrible is fantasy points allowed to running backs. This is in part to their formidable front seven but also because teams have had so much success passing the ball that they don’t run as much.

Value Meter:
QB1: Cam Newton (Low-End)
RB1: Christian McCaffrey (Elite)
WR2: D.J. Moore (Low-End)
WR4: Robby Anderson (High-End)
TE2: Tommy Tremble (High-End)

Prediction: Carolina 30, Washington 21 ^ Top

Bengals at Raiders - (Caron)
Line: CIN -1.0
Total: 50.5

Passing Game Thoughts: Fantasy owners are hoping that the Week 10 bye week will re-energize the Bengals offense that struggled in their Week 9 loss to the Browns. Quarterback Joe Burrow had his worst fantasy output of the season in that contest, but has otherwise been a quality low-end QB1 in 2020. Burrow had thrown multiple touchdown passes in every game in 2021 prior to that blip on the radar, so fantasy owners should expect he and the rest of the Bengals passing game gets back to their usual level of high-end production this week as they head to Las Vegas to play the Raiders.

The Raiders had been a decent fantasy defense against opposing quarterbacks prior to the dismantling they went through in Week 10 against Patrick Mahomes. Mahomes torched them for 406 yards and five touchdowns. Of course that isn’t a normal NFL passing offense so we shouldn’t immediately jump to the conclusion that the Raiders are suddenly a pass-friendly defense, but this certainly shows us that this team is capable of giving up some huge games to opposing passers.

Rookie wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase has been one of the breakthrough fantasy players of the 2021 season and he’s likely in line for another heavy target share here in Week 11. He’s averaged nearly 10 targets per game over his past five games which alone would make him a great play in just about any situation, but he’s also producing some huge numbers to go along with those opportunities. Chase is a WR1 this week, and really every week, until we see something change in Cincinnati.

Fellow wide receiver Tee Higgins has taken a backseat in his second season, but he’s still been a reliable WR3 for fantasy, having scored double-digit PPR fantasy points in all but one game. Higgins hasn’t scored a touchdown since all the way back in Week 2, so he’s in for some positive regression, which could come this week against the Raiders. Consider him a solid WR3 with WR2 upside.

Tyler Boyd has been one of the more consistent fantasy contributors for the Bengals throughout the years, but he’s really become the third option in the Bengals passing game and that’s meant far less consistency for fantasy. While Boyd has delivered four games of 13 or more PPR fantasy points, he’s failed to reach even eight PPR fantasy points in five other contests. His target share has also been difficult to predict, making him a very risky play. The Raiders have been quite good at containing opposing wide receivers in general and they’ve been particularly good against slot receivers, so this is probably a week to keep Boyd on your bench.

Tight end C.J. Uzomah has had his moments and he currently ranks just outside of TE1 range in PPR formats, but he’s been an extremely touchdown-or-bust option. He’s had five or fewer targets in all but one game this season so the yardage upside just isn’t there. Nevertheless, if you’re going to ever play him, this is probably about as good of a situation as you can hope for. The Raiders have given up six touchdowns to opposing tight ends in addition to five games of 70 or more receiving yards to a tight end. Don’t be surprised if he gives you nothing at all, but you could do worse than Uzomah as a flier tight end this week.

LV FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.12
LV FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.8
LV FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.27
LV FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.2

Running Game Thoughts: Running back Joe Mixon is one of the few top fantasy running backs who’s been able to suit up and play in every game this season. Sure, he’s battled through some minor injuries, but Mixon has thus far been able to beat the stigma that many fantasy owners have about him being injury-prone. Not only that, but he’s performing at a very high level, having already scored nine total touchdowns. He’s not scored at least one touchdown in six straight games heading into this week’s contest with the Raiders.

The Raiders have been terrible against opposing running backs, particularly those who can contribute as pass catchers, which Mixon is capable of doing. They’ve given up 10 touchdowns to running backs, including a nine catch, 101 receiving yard game to Kansas City backup Darrel Williams this past week.

Mixon is a rock solid RB1 this week who has serious upside to be a week-winner if the Bengals get out to an early lead and end up leaning on him heavily.

Value Meter:
QB1: Joe Burrow (low end)
RB1: Joe Mixon
WR1: Ja’Marr Chase
WR3: Tee Higgins
TE1: C.J. Uzomah (low-end)
Bench: Samaje Perine, Tyler Boyd

Passing Game Thoughts: Derek Carr’s 2021 season started off extremely strong as the Raiders QB turned in three straight 20-plus-point performances, but he’s failed to reach 20 points in seven of his nine games since. Carr remains a solid QB2 in 2QB/SuperFlex leagues, but he simply lacks the upside to be considered a viable QB1 most weeks. The Bengals are a middle-of-the-road fantasy defense against quarterbacks so there’s not much to change our normal outlook on Carr and the Raiders passing game.

Tight end Darren Waller has remained the team’s most productive fantasy asset through the air, but it’s now becoming obvious that he’s not going to see the type of target share and overall production numbers that made him a huge difference-maker in 2020. Waller has been targeted at least seven times in all but one game, but he’s only exceeded eight targets twice. Those numbers have made him a reliable TE1 for fantasy, but he’s simply not moving the needle enough to justify his high draft day cost. Still, you really can’t bench a player who’s consistently delivering double-digit PPR points at the tight end position, so Waller remains a must-start in almost all situations.

The wide receivers in Las Vegas have been difficult to predict all season and their ceilings have mostly been fairly low. The best of the bunch has been slot receiver Hunter Renfrow who has dominated the targets for the position. Renfrow has scored at least 11 PPR fantasy points in all but one game, while never reaching 19 points in any contest. That’s nothing exciting or week-winning but it’s hard to find a more reliable WR2/WR3 in fantasy.

The remaining wide receivers, including Bryan Edwards and DeSean Jackson, remain nothing but touchdown-or-bust dart throws. Edwards hasn’t seen a meaningful bump in targets even now that Henry Ruggs is off the team so he’s ceiling remains extremely low and Jackson saw just one target in his debut for the team this past week. Fantasy owners would be wise to look elsewhere until we see more consistent targets coming their way.

CIN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.21
CIN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.5
CIN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.16
CIN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.23

Running Game Thoughts: It’s hard to know whether it’s because Josh Jacobs’ knee continues to bother him or if it’s just a team philosophy shift, but the Raiders backfield has become much closer to a 50/50 split in recent weeks than it was to start the season. Jacobs was originally close to a bell cow to start the season, but he’s now played 89 snaps compared to Kenyan Drake’s 74 over that same stretch. As long as there’s a split like this, it’s going to be tough to rely on either of these players as anything more than low-end RB2/Flex options for fantasy.

On the bright side, the Raiders do face a Bengals defense this week that has been getting gashed on the ground by opposing running backs as of late. Nick Chubb ran all over them in their most recent game and the duo of Michael Carter and Ty Johnson both put up significant fantasy performances against them in the game before that.

Value Meter:
QB2: Derek Carr
RB2: Josh Jacobs (low end)
WR2: Hunter Renfrow (PPR)
WR3: Hunter Renfrow (non-PPR)
TE1: Darren Waller
Flex: Kenyan Drake
Bench: Bryan Edwards, DeSean Jackson

Prediction: Bengals 28, Raiders 27 ^ Top

Cardinals at Seahawks - (Caron)
Line: ARI -2.5
Total: 48.0

Passing Game Thoughts: It was fun while it lasted, but the “Colt McCoy keeping the Cardinals relevant” train came to a screeching halt in Week 10 when Arizona got smashed at home by the Carolina Panthers, scoring just 10 points in the process. If we’re going to have anything to be excited about in the Arizona offense, we’re going to need to see the healthy return of at least quarterback Kyler Murray, but also hopefully wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, who’ve both missed the past two games with leg injuries.

While Hopkins hasn’t yet practiced this week as of Thursday, things seem more optimistic for Murray who at least turned in a limited practice on Thursday. Assuming he is back on the field, we also have to admit to ourselves that he likely won’t be his usual, highly-mobile self. That alone limits Murray’s ceiling and also his floor for fantasy, as much of his fantasy production has historically come via his legs. Add in the fact that he won’t be as capable of avoiding opposing pass rushers and ad-libbing passes down the field and we’re going from a locked in high-end QB1 to more of a low-end QB1 for fantasy.

If Murray is unable to play, the Cardinals will either turn to Colt McCoy again, or perhaps Chris Streveler if McCoy is also unable to play due to the pectoral injury that knocked him out of last week’s game. Either way, this is not a quarterback situation we want to be invested in unless Kyler is back on the field.

From a wide receiver standpoint, we need to again assume that the team will be without Hopkins. He could play, and if he does he’s probably at least a WR3 given his high share of targets in the Cardinals offense, but the outlook doesn’t seem positive given that he hasn’t practiced for almost a month at this point.

With Hopkins sidelined, it’s been veteran Christian Kirk who has really stepped up as of late, leading the team in target share and fantasy production from the wide receiver position. While he hasn’t really produced any truly big games, Kirk has been reliable whether Hopkins has been in or out, averaging over 14 PPR fantasy points per game over his past five contests. He’s not particularly exciting especially if Murray is out, but Kirk is a player who you could drop in your lineup as a WR3 in PPR formats.

The other Arizona pass catchers have remained too inconsistent to trust as of late, as A.J. Green has averaged just seven PPR fantasy points over his past three games while Rondale Moore hasn’t reached double-digit PPR points in a game since Week 5. Sure, they’d get a bit of a boost if Murray plays, but neither of them should be in fantasy lineups right now.

The only other player in the Arizona passing game that fantasy owners should have any interest in is tight end Zach Ertz. Ertz had been fairly productive when he first joined the Cardinals, but the injury to Murray has really caused him to see a dip in fantasy production. Seattle gave up an eight catch performance to Jaguars tight end Dan Arnold just two games ago, so there’s some upside here, but Ertz is ultimately just a bye week fill-in at TE right now.

SEA FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.22
SEA FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.2
SEA FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.20
SEA FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.16

Running Game Thoughts: The first full game without Chase Edmonds and without Kyler Murray meant that many fantasy owners were all-in on James Conner heading into Week 10. While Conner ended up delivering due to a touchdown, the running back was otherwise quite unproductive on the day, rushing for just 39 yards on 10 carries while adding 25 receiving yards. Conner has been a touchdown-or-bust fantasy producer for most of the season and, despite the odds saying that it won’t continue, he’s consistently delivered on that touchdown almost every single week. He’s scored 12 touchdowns in 10 games, including at least one score in seven of his past eight contests, and he now faces a Seattle defense that has been horrible at containing opposing running backs.

The Seahawks have already given up nine total touchdowns to running backs, including a pair of rushing scores to Green Bay’s AJ Dillon in Week 10. They’ve also given up at least 80 total yards to 10 different running backs. This is about as good of a matchup as Conner owners can hope for, so get him in your lineup now.

Value Meter:
QB1: Kyler Murray (low end)
RB1: James Conner
WR3: Christian Kirk, DeAndre Hopkins (inj)
TE1: Zach Ertz (low end)
Bench: A.J. Green, Rondale Moore

Passing Game Thoughts: Russell Wilson has historically been one of the most reliable QB1s in fantasy football, but this season has certainly been a struggle for him. Even if we want to excuse his performance and blame play calling or the finger injury that knocked him out for three weeks, fantasy owners can’t be confident heading into Week 11 after what we saw from Wilson and the Seahawks in Week 10. Wilson was held to just 161 yards on 40 pass attempts as the Packers stunned the world by shutting out the Seahawks.

Now Seattle has an even more difficult task as they host an Arizona defense that has been excellent. They’ve given up the seventh-fewest fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks and while their opponents haven’t been particularly scary, that still has to be a concern for Wilson owners. The last time that Wilson threw for over 200 yards in a game came all the way back on September 26th against the Vikings. The last time that he threw for more than two touchdowns in a game was in Week 1 against the Colts. Needless to say, the ceiling has not been there for this passing game.

Given that low ceiling, it’s really only been DK Metcalf who’s been at all reliable in this Seattle passing game. He’s provided double-digit PPR fantasy points in all but one game, including three 20-plus point performances, which should continue to make him a low-end WR1 fantasy option even in this tough matchup. Teammate Tyler Lockett has chipped in some boom weeks, but he’s been otherwise extremely disappointing, having scored fewer than 10 PPR fantasy points in five of his nine games. Lockett remains a low-level Flex option who does have the potential to go off, but his floor is practically nonexistent.

Tight end Gerald Everett did show up in Week 10 which is something that we should be taking note of as a fantasy community. He was targeted a season high eight times in Wilson’s return, catching all eight of those passes for 63 yards. Of course, the Packers were ahead by multiple scores down the stretch and were willing to give up passes over the middle in order to run out the clock, but it’s still worth considering that Everett tied Metcalf and Lockett as the target leader for the Seahawks in Week 10. Everett himself is probably not someone you want to start until we see more, but he could be a decent fill-in if you’re in desperate need, even though the Cardinals do have the league’s best fantasy defense in points-per-game allowed to the tight end position.

ARI FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.26
ARI FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.16
ARI FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.21
ARI FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.32

Running Game Thoughts: With Chris Carson not practicing on Wednesday, it appears as though he’ll miss yet another contest, leading the way for what will likely be another start for Alex Collins (groin).

Collins’ lack of usage in the passing game mirrors Carson, but his lack of per-carry production has made it extremely difficult to use him even though he’s seeing at least 10 touches every week. Only once since Carson went out has Collins delivered even a 10 point PPR fantasy day and that came in the only game where he scored a touchdown, back in Week 6 against the Steelers. Even with that game, Collins is averaging just over eight PPR fantasy points per game as Seattle’s primary back. That’s just not going to cut in in a world where most fantasy-relevant backs are at least contributing something as pass catchers.

Collins can be looked at as a Flex, especially in non-PPR format, but he’s just too one-dimensional to be a big time fantasy asset in 2021, especially given Seattle’s overall offensive struggles.

Value Meter:
QB1: Russell Wilson (low end)
WR1: DK Metcalf (low end)
Flex: Alex Collins, Tyler Lockett
Bench: Rashaad Penny, Travis Homer, D'Wayne Eskridge, Freddie Swain, Gerald Everett

Prediction: Cardinals 24, Seahawks 21 ^ Top

Cowboys at Chiefs - (Caron)
Line: KC -2.5
Total: 56.5

Passing Game Thoughts: The Cowboys offense fell flat in Dak Prescott’s return game against the Broncos in Week 9, but they bounced back in a big way against the Falcons in Week 10, crushing Atlanta by a final score of 43-3. Quarterback Dak Prescott has now scored at least 18 fantasy points in all but one start, making him a QB1 for the year despite the fact that he missed a game and the Cowboys have already had their bye. Prescott has been an elite fantasy option despite a lack of rushing ceiling as the Cowboys passing game has been one of the league’s most efficient.

This week they face a Chiefs defense that has been terrorized by opposing passing games in 2021. Kansas City has given up the second-most fantasy points to opposing QBs per game, slightly edging out the Washington Football Team. Sure, Kansas City has faced some of the league’s better fantasy QBs including Lamar Jackson, Justin Herbert, Jalen Hurts and Josh Allen who all scored 30 or more points against them, but Prescott certainly falls into that category and should be considered one of the top plays of the week.

Wide receiver Michael Gallup returned to action this past week, giving the Cowboys yet another weapon in their already stacked passing attack. Gallup returned to a prominent role and actually out-snapped CeeDee Lamb in the game. It’s worth noting, of course, that the Cowboys were ahead by multiple scores and may have been resting Lamb, but it’s still something to note considering that it was Gallup’s first game back. Despite his high snap share, though, Gallup saw just five targets on the day, catching three of them for 42 yards. He looks to still be the third option at best in this passing game and that will make him a player who’s very difficult to predict from week to week. This is a game that could easily turn into a shootout, though, so if you’re looking for a week to get him in your lineup, this is probably your opportunity.

We mentioned Lamb’s lower-than-expected snap share in Week 10, but don’t think that meant a down week for fantasy. Lamb actually had one of his best games of the season, catching six of the seven targets that came his way for 94 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the blowout win over Atlanta. Lamb has now scored 17 or more PPR fantasy points in three of his past four games and has established himself as a WR1 for fantasy, especially in matchups like the one he’ll face against Kansas City in Week 11. While the Chiefs and slot cornerback L’Jarius Sneed have mostly been good against opposing slot receivers , Lamb is a unique physical specimen at the position and you’ll want him in your lineup this week.

Amari Cooper has mostly been carried by a few big spike weeks, but he’s otherwise had a relatively forgettable 2021 fantasy season. He’s still a fairly solid WR2, but he’s seen eight or fewer targets in all but two games which has really limited his upside to become a weekly WR1. Still, talented enough and he’s in an offense good enough to make him a must-start player in Week 11.

Tight end Dalton Schultz might have been the most-affected player in the Cowboys offense with the return of Gallup. Schultz had been seeing between five to eight targets per week while Gallup was sidelined, but he immediately saw his targets tank all the way down to two in Week 10. Of course, the game script could have also played a big part in that so we shouldn’t be too quick to write off his fantasy value, but he’s more of a borderline TE1 at this point than he was earlier.

KC FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.2
KC FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.15
KC FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.24
KC FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.7

Running Game Thoughts: Very few high-end fantasy running backs have made it through the first half of the season without significant injuries, but Dallas’ Ezekiel Elliott has been one of them. Elliott has carried the ball at least 10 times in every game, adding 26 receptions thus far while delivering eight total touchdowns. He hasn’t had many truly monster games, but he’s been a reliable fantasy RB1 in a season of extreme uncertainty at the position.

This week he’ll face a tough matchup against a Kansas City defense that hasn’t allowed a 100-yard rusher all season and hasn’t allowed a running back to score a touchdown since all the way back in Week 4. That stretch includes games against Antonio Gibson, Derrick Henry, Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon, and Josh Jacobs and Kenyan Drake. Certainly we can’t be considering benching Elliott given his workload, but this is probably a lower ceiling game for him than most, especially given that there’s a potential for Kansas City to pull ahead on the scoreboard which would likely lead to increased playing time for Tony Pollard.

Pollard’s fantasy production remains very streaky as he’s not consistently seeing red zone work, but he’s been a productive enough player to be considered a PPR Flex in potential high-scoring matchups like the one we have in Week 11. Pollard caught a season high six passes this past week, in addition to 11 carries, in what was a dominant Cowboys win over the Falcons, but his upside remains low given how the Cowboys use Elliott.

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

Passing Game Thoughts: Did you bench Patrick Mahomes in Week 10 because you were worried about the stretch he had been on? If so, shame on you - and let’s right that wrong this week by getting your super-stud quarterback back in your lineup.

The Chiefs quarterback threw for a season-high five touchdowns and 406 yards in their huge victory over the Raiders in Week 10 and Mahomes is now back to being the season-long QB1. It happened just that quickly. Of course, he’s played an extra game over the likes of Tom Brady, Josh Allen and Lamar Jackson who are all technically ahead of him in points per game, but the point is that Mahomes needs to be a locked-in part of your lineup. If you’re going to bench him, you might as well trade him because someone else is going to give you a pretty penny in exchange.

Similarly, Mahomes’ top two weapons, Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce, are undisputable high-end weekly fantasy studs. Hill scored twice against Las Vegas this past week and although he hasn’t gone over the 100 yard mark since Week 4, he’s seeing a massive target volume on a weekly basis that would indicate that more big boom weeks are incoming. Week 11’s game against the Cowboys will likely mean that he’ll face cornerback Trevon Diggs who, despite leading the league in interceptions, has given up a ton of fantasy production in coverage.

Kelce is well on his way to finishing as the fantasy football TE1 for the sixth straight season, which is completely unheard of. His production and health have made him one of the only real difference-makers at the position and he’s someone who needs to be in all seasonal fantasy lineups until something drastically changes.

The other pass catchers in Kansas City have been far too unreliable to spend time thinking about for fantasy. Mecole Hardman is seemingly picked up and dropped every week in every fantasy league in America, but he’s still yet to provide a multi-touchdown or 100-yard receiving game in his entire career. If you want to bank on low-upside with a floor of almost nothing, go for it - but he’s better off on your league’s waiver wire, or better yet clogging up a roster spot on somebody else’s team.

DAL FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.11
DAL FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.25
DAL FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.17
DAL FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.14

Running Game Thoughts: Chiefs running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire could return this week after spending the previous five weeks sidelined with a knee injury, but things have certainly changed in the Kansas City backfield. Since Edwards-Helaire went down, it has been veteran Darrel Williams who has stepped up in a big way, providing both rushing and receiving game production. Williams, in fact, caught a season-high nine passes for 101 yards and a touchdown against the Raiders this past week.

Assuming Edwards-Helaire does come back, we have to assume that this Kansas City backfield is going to be more of a committee than it was to start the season when Edwards-Helaire was pretty much the only show in town. Even if Edwards-Helaire does return to his primary back role, his total opportunities could be diminished in an offense that is already pass-heavy to begin with and Williams’ production in the receiving game has to at least give the Chiefs some reason to give him additional work in obvious passing downs.

If Edwards-Helaire is back, both he and Williams should only be trusted in your Flex spots here in Week 11 against the Cowboys. Dallas is quite good against opposing running backs to begin with so a potentially split backfield is just too risky to trust. Of course, if Edwards-Helaire does end up sitting out, we can bump Williams up to being a mid-level RB2 just given that we should expect him to see significant touches in the game, even if it is a below-average matchup on paper.

Value Meter:
QB1: Patrick Mahomes
RB2: Darrel Williams (if Clyde Edwards-Helaire is out)
WR1: Tyreek Hill
TE1: Travis Kelce
Flex: Darrel Williams (if CEH is active), Clyde Edwards-Helaire
Bench: Jerick McKinnon, Derrick Gore, Mecole Hardman, Josh Gordon, Byron Pringle, Demarcus Robinson

Prediction: Cowboys 34, Chiefs 31 ^ Top

Steelers at Chargers - (Caron)
Line: LAC -6.0
Total: 47.0

Passing Game Thoughts: We don’t yet know whether quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will be cleared to play in Week 11 following a positive COVID-19 test this past week, but given the Pittsburgh offense’s recent lack of firepower, it’s hard to believe that it matters much whether it’s Roethlisberger or Mason Rudolph.

Rudolph actually started this past week in what was an embarrassing performance for the Steelers as they tied the winless Lions, but Rudolph himself did enough to be a decent fantasy quarterback and he also got the ball to top wide receiver Diontae Johnson. Johnson was targeted 13 times on the day, tying a season high, and caught seven of those passes for 83 yards. James Washington also saw his highest target number of the season with six and while he was only able to come down with two of them, one did go for his first touchdown of the season.

We don’t yet know if wide receiver Chase Claypool will be back on the field yet, but that will be an important thing to consider when we’re looking at the Pittsburgh pass catching weapons this week. Claypool has been pretty lackluster as of late, but he’s still one of the team’s target leaders and would absolutely relegate Washington to being a nonfactor if he does suit up. Johnson could also see his target share cut into a bit, but he’s been so consistently productive that we shouldn’t be bumping him down no matter who else is on the field with him.

One player who popped up in Week 10 that fantasy owners in deep leagues should pay attention to is wide receiver Ray-Ray McCloud. McCloud hadn’t caught more than three passes in any game prior to Week 10, but injuries at the position and a sudden change at quarterback meant that McCloud was catching passes from a quarterback, Rudolph, who he has spent most of the season practicing alongside. McCloud stepped up in a huge way, catching nine of the team-high 12 targets that came his way for 63 yards. Should Claypool miss this week’s game again, McCloud could again be in line to play a significant role, especially if it’s Rudolph behind center again. He’s a desperation play only in the deepest of leagues, but he’s a better bet than most of the touchdown-or-bust players that you’d find on the waiver wire this deep into the season.

Tight end Pat Freiermuth is another player who fantasy owners should be paying closer attention to. He’s been targeted an average of over seven times per game over his past four contests, including a season high nine targets from Mason Rudolph a week ago. It’s tough to find tight ends who are doing anything at all in fantasy football right now, so Freiermuth’s high target share has to make him a viable streaming option if nothing else.

One thing to keep in mind is that the Chargers defense has been excellent against opposing passing games, having given up the third-fewest points per game to quarterbacks. This isn’t to say that you should bench all of your Steelers players, but consider that they probably have a lower ceiling this week than they do in most contests, especially given that Roethlisberger will have not practiced recently by the time Sunday rolls around and the other option is...well, Mason Rudolph.

LAC FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.30
LAC FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.6
LAC FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.32
LAC FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.5

Running Game Thoughts: Pittsburgh being without their starting quarterback in what was expected to still be a pretty easy win for them meant that they were leaning even more heavily on their running game than they normally would. Running back Najee Harris tied a season high with 26 carries. While he produced 105 yards, that was just a four yards per carry average which isn’t anything particularly special. In fact, Harris’ season-long yards per carry average now sits at just 3.7 - a number that would normally mean fantasy irrelevancy if it wasn’t for such an incredibly heavy workload and plenty of usage in the passing game. Harris’ lack of rushing success has been buoyed by his monster usage in the passing game. He’s already caught 44 passes, putting him on pace to exceed 80 receptions on the season.

That kind of usage makes Harris a must-start in any matchup, but especially when he’s facing a defense like Los Angeles’ which has given up the league’s most rushing yards to opposing running backs. Not only that, but they’ve given up 12 running back rushing touchdowns, which is second-worst, only ahead of the Jets.

Needless to say, Harris is a rock solid RB1 this week with huge upside if the Steelers do end up getting ahead on the scoreboard. If nothing else, his touch share makes him an extremely safe option.

Value Meter:
RB1: Najee Harris
WR1: Diontae Johnson (low end)
TE1: Pat Freiermuth
Flex: Chase Claypool
Bench: Ben Roethlisberger, Mason Rudolph, Ray-Ray McCloud, James Washington, Eric Ebron

Passing Game Thoughts: It’s controversial to say anything negative about Justin Herbert but the fact is that the second-year quarterback has not been performing well as a fantasy asset in recent weeks. Sure, he completely lit up the Eagles in Week 9, but he’s otherwise failed to reach even 14 fantasy points in three of his past four contests. Social media graphics showed us that the Chargers are simply not drawing up many plays to get their receivers down the field which is shocking given their quarterback’s arm talent, but we have to take this into consideration when we’re making fantasy sit/start decisions right now.

Herbert and the Chargers do have a tough task this week as they host a Pittsburgh team that has given up the sixth-fewest fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks. Jared Goff’s dreadful performance against them this past week certainly helped push Pittsburgh up the defensive rankings, but even before that, they had done a good job of containing most of the quarterbacks that they’ve faced. Given Herbert’s recent struggles and the unlikelihood of this turning into a shootout, it’s reasonable to think that this is likely a low upside game for Herbert. Still, he’s good enough that he’s still a low-end QB1 this week.

The seeming shift in offensive philosophy as of late has been frustrating for Herbert managers, but it’s meant good things for wide receiver Keenan Allen. Allen has scored double-digit PPR fantasy points in every game, but he’s had his best stretch of the season over his past three games, scoring nearly 20 PPR points per game while being targeted at least 11 times in each contest. Don’t look for things to change too dramatically in Week 11 and Allen should be in lineups as a low-end PPR WR1 even in a difficult on-paper matchup against Pittsburgh.

While Allen has thrived as of late, it’s been Mike Williams who’s suffered the biggest consequences in the Chargers’ low-depth-of-target passing game. Williams has been known throughout his career as a big play threat and he’s not just seeing those targets in recent weeks. In fact, since his gigantic Week 5 game against the Browns when he was targeted 16 times, Williams has failed to reach seven targets in any game. Without a touchdown to help carry him, this has meant that Williams has been held to fewer than eight PPR fantasy points in now five of his past six games. The massive early season target share that he was once seeing seemed to be unsustainable at the time and it’s now come back to reality. The Chargers are a good enough team that Williams could make a play down the field and score a touchdown, but he’s not reliable enough to be trusted as anything more than a WR3/Flex at the moment.

Tight ends Jared Cook and Donald Parham continue to split snap while being low-volume options to begin with, so it’s best to avoid that situation if at all possible.

PIT FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.27
PIT FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.26
PIT FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.15
PIT FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.21

Running Game Thoughts: Austin Ekeler’s dominance of the touches in the Los Angeles backfield makes him a weekly must-start RB1 for fantasy. He’s caught at least three passes in eight straight games while carrying the ball an average of over 12 times per game. Like Najee Harris on the opposite side of the field from him, Ekeler is one of the few true do-it-all backs who’s played every game.

From a matchup perspective, the Steelers have been a top-10 fantasy defense against opposing running backs, but they’re coming off a game in which they - shockingly - gave up a total of 229 rushing yards to the Detroit Lions’ backfield. Sure, the Lions ran the ball 39 times with their backs to get to that total, but still, it tells us that they identified some sort of weakness in the Pittsburgh defense that other teams could potentially exploit. It’d be tough to imagine that the Chargers come out and run the ball 30 times this week, but a high-teens carry total with a handful of receptions seems like a pretty reasonable expectation for Ekeler, and that should be enough for him to be viewed as a solid RB1 heading into this week’s game.

Value Meter:
QB1: Justin Herbert (low end)
RB1: Austin Ekeler
WR1: Keenan Allen
WR3: Mike Williams
Bench: Larry Rountree III, Josh Palmer, Jalen Guyton, Jared Cook, Donald Parham

Prediction: Chargers 26, Steelers 20 ^ Top

Giants @ Buccaneers - (Swanson)
Line: TB -11.0
Total: 49.5

Passing Game Thoughts: Daniel Jones and the G-men head south to take on the Buccaneers on Monday Night Football. The Giants are getting healthy after their bye week, while the sluggish Bucs are looking to bounce back from a shocking loss to the Football Team last Sunday.

Jones should have Kenny Golladay, Kadarius Toney, and Evan Engram back, along with Saquon Barkley and starting left tackle Andrew Thomas. It does not look like possession wide receiver Sterling Shepard will be available as he continues to heal from a soft tissue injury.

While we all think of the Bucs as a great defense, they have given up the eighth-most points to opposing quarterbacks and wide receivers, and their vaunted run defense ranks 19th in points allowed over the last five weeks.

Some of their injured corners could be back with Carlton Davis on the mend, but they just lost Richard Sherman to the IR. They will also likely be without stud run-stopper Vita Vea, who was injured last week against the Football Team.

The blueprint for teams to beat the Bucs has been to protect the quarterback and attack the secondary. Unfortunately, the Giants have the second-worst offensive line heading into Week 11, according to

Will this be the week where we finally see Kenny Golladay used in the offense? The high-priced free-agent played in just 55% of snaps last week in his first game back from a stint on the IR and has just one game this season over 90% of snaps.

From a matchup standpoint, only one player has topped 100-yards receiving against Tampa Bay since Week 3, although a wideout has hit pay dirt in each of the last two games. Golladay is not a great start, but he could finally reach the end zone for the G-men in this game.

No tight end has topped 75 yards or caught more than one touchdown against the talented linebacking corps of Devin White and Lavonte David. Engram is likely a top-12 option, but the matchup is not great.

TB FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.28
TB FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.27
TB FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.7
TB FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.8

Running Game Thoughts: Saquon Barkley appears to be back after his ankle injury and should get a ton of work with Devontae Booker likely out for this game. Prior to injuring his ankle, Barkley looked to be back on track with 125 total yards and two scores against a top-rated run defense in the Saints.

The Bucs, too, are an elite run-stopping defense, but they will likely be without their best interior lineman in Vita Vea, and the Giants offensive line is getting healthy.

Don’t expect a monster game, but don’t be surprised to see around 80 total yards and a possible score for Barkley.

Value Meter:
QB2: Daniel Jones (High-End)
RB1: Saquon Barkley (Low-End)
WR3: Kenny Golladay (High-End)
WR3: Kadarius Toney (High-End)
TE2: Evan Engram (High-End)

Passing Game Thoughts: Tom Brady and the Buccaneers offense looked sluggish in their first game off their bye, with Brady throwing for just 220 yards, with two picks and two touchdowns. It was a bit of a surprise considering the Football Team was the worst at points allowed to opposing quarterbacks.

As Jalen Hurts said after his worst game of the season, flush that turn goodbye and move on. Brady should have little trouble against this pass defense, as teams like the Rams and Cowboys, who have multiple weapons, have found success throwing against the Giants.

James Bradbury is a solid corner and should be able to limit Mike Evans on the outside, but Adoree Jackson will struggle against Chris Godwin.

The Giants do have some playmakers in their front seven, but they have been fairly weak against the run this season. They rank 11th in fantasy points allowed to opposing running backs, so don’t expect the Bucs to struggle with Leonard Fournette or Giovani Bernard running the ball. This will likely be a balanced approach for Brady and the Bucs offense, with Brady looking to pick apart the Giants on play action.

Rob Gronkowski practiced in full on Thursday as he recovers from injured ribs and back spasms. He may see the field this week so follow his status this weekend. Cameron Brate and O.J. Howard will be Brady’s primary tight ends if Gronk sits.

Brate did score on a red zone touchdown pass last week but saw just one catch for six yards and the score. He is the definition of a boom/bust tight end play and one you should likely avoid.

NYG FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.19
NYG FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.9
NYG FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.11
NYG FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.17

Running Game Thoughts: As the season has gone on, we have had more clarity on the backfield for the Bucs, with Leonard Fournette emerging as the clear No.1 option for head coach Bruce Arians, with Ronald Jones no longer a factor.

Giovani Bernard does get some work in the passing game and as a change of pace, yet he does not get enough work to be fantasy relevant.

Fournette is the starter and places in around 60% of snaps. This Giants defense is middle of the pack against the run and should not keep the Bucs from looking to run between the tackles.

Look for Fournette to get around 20 total touches with 80 yards and a score. Bernard could be started as a low-end second flex play in very deep leagues, and Jones should be on the waiver wire.

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

Prediction: Tampa Bay 30, New York 17 ^ Top