Fantasy Football Today - fantasy football rankings, cheatsheets, and information
A Fantasy Football Community!

 Log In  | Sign Up  |  Contact      

Inside the Matchup

Week 13

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



Sunday Early:



Sunday Late:

JAX @ LAR | WAS @ LV | BAL @ PIT | SF @ SEA | DEN @ KC



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

Cowboys @ Saints - (Swanson)
Line: DAL -4.5
Total: 47.5

Passing Game Thoughts: The Cowboys passing game is getting some much-needed reinforcements today with the news that Amari Cooper has been activated from the COVID-19 list and will travel with the team to New Orleans. There was some worry that Cooper would not be activated because he reportedly still had a cough, but the team announced today he will likely play.

Joining Cooper will be CeeDee Lamb, who missed the Thanksgiving game with a concussion. Dak Prescott and the passing game were clearly not the same without the two top receivers, although Cedrick Wilson did post a nice day for fantasy owners on Turkey Day.

Dak will need his weapons because the Saints defense is one of the strongest against the run this year. Despite their poor record, no opposing running back has topped 100 yards rushing, and only two running backs have scored over ten fantasy points dating back to Week 5.

Conversely, only the Football Team has given up more fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks on the year. Kellen Moore knows this and will craft a game plan similar to what he did against the Bucs in Week 1 when he ran the ball just 14 times versus that stout defensive front.

Look for bootlegs, play action to tight ends, and more passes out of the backfield than normal.

The only injury of note for the passing game for Dallas is Cedrick Wilson, who is questionable with an ankle injury. With Cooper and Lamb back, you were not starting Wilson anyway, but it should be noted that the Cowboys will be a little light at WR should one of the stars go down.

NO FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.2
NO FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.32
NO FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.5
NO FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.23

Running Game Thoughts: Jerry Jones went on his usual radio spot in Dallas yesterday and said that Ezekiel Elliott would get his normal workload this weekend, and contrary to some reports, the team does not plan on resting his injured knee. Zeke was listed on the practice report as a full participant on Tuesday, so we should expect a full Zeke on Thursday.

The question is how effective will Zeke and his running mate, Tony Pollard, be at running the ball against the league’s best run defense. We anticipate that Kellen Moore will use a similar approach that the Bills used last week in their dominant performance, throwing early and often and not focusing on the run. The Cowboys used a similar approach in Week 1 against the Bucs, a stout run defense with corners who can be beaten.

That is not to say you should not start Zeke as a No.2 RB and Pollard as a flex. But keep in mind that the yardage on the ground may not be there, and they will need to make up for it in short-yardage touchdowns and in the passing game.

Defensive end Marcus Davenport missed last week’s game with a shoulder injury and did not practice on Tuesday. He looks very iffy to play. As does fellow DE Tanoh Kpassagnon, who is questionable with an ankle injury.

Value Meter:
QB1: Dak Prescott (Mid-Range)
RB1: Ezekiel Elliott (Low-End)
RB3 Tony Pollard (Low-End)
WR1: CeeDee Lamb (Low-End)
WR2: Amari Cooper (High-End)
TE1: Dalton Schultz (Low-End)

Passing Game Thoughts: Sean Payton is a master play-caller. An innovative offensive mind and a Super Bowl-winning head coach. He also fashions himself a great deceptor, offering little information to the media and his opponent on who will start at quarterback this week and how many snaps Taysom Hill will get.

Considering Hill was a full participant on the practice report on Tuesday and Trevor Siemian has been mediocre at best, it makes sense for the Saints to go with Hill. Their team is on playoff life support at 5-6, and they are dealing with a ton of injuries to the offensive line that would be a huge disadvantage for an immobile QB like Siemian.

Another huge question mark for the team is the status of Alvin Kamara and his injured knee. The all-pro running back has not been ruled out, but he has yet to log a full practice. We anticipate they will make Kamara active but will play Mark Ingram with more of a workload.

For the passing game, it looks like stud left tackle Terron Armstead could miss this game with a knee injury, and all-pro right tackle Ryan Ramcyck is questionable with a knee injury of his own. Add in the fact that you have DeMarcus Lawrence possibly returning from a foot injury for Dallas, and you have a recipe for a rough game for Taysom.

DAL FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.9
DAL FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.25
DAL FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.9
DAL FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.11

Running Game Thoughts: The running game will be key to victory for the Saints. They need to keep pressure off their depleted tackles, limit the number of passes from Taysom Hill, and keep Dak and the Cowboy offense on the sideline.

If they do not run the ball, this game will be a blowout. To do so, the team hopes Alvin Kamara can return from an MCL injury, but he is still limited in practice and will likely not get a full workload should he play.

Their other goal is to get Mark Ingram and Taysom Hill going on the ground. It doesn’t matter that the Cowboys pass rush is getting healthier if you just run on them. That is what Sean Payton wants.

From a matchup perspective, the Cowboys are not great for fantasy purposes. Only seven total touchdowns have been allowed to running backs all season by Dan Quinn’s defense and just two total rushing performances of over 100 yards.

Look for the Saints to do what the Broncos did to Dallas. Run the ball, and take advantage of their mistakes.

Value Meter:
QB2: Taysom Hill (Mid-Range)
RB1: Alvin Kamara (Low-End)
RB3 Mark Ingram (High-End)
WR3: Tre’Quan Smith (Low-End)
WR4: Marquez Callaway (High-End)
TE2: Nick Vannett (Low-End)

Prediction: Dallas 28, New Orleans 13 ^ Top

Cardinals @ Bears - (Green)
Line: ARI -7.5
Total: 44.0

Passing Game Thoughts: It’s been over a month since Kyler Murray (ankle) last took the field in a Thursday night loss to the Packers. Initially, it was believed the extra few days of rest might get Murray back under center the following Sunday. Instead, he’s missed three straight games with veteran Colt McCoy leading the team to a 2-1 record. Murray is expected to return this weekend in Chicago as Arizona tries to protect its half-game lead over Green Bay for the NFC’s No. 1 seed. While the former Heisman Trophy winner will be well rested, we could see some rust after the long layoff.

During his lengthy rehab, Murray has been joined by DeAndre Hopkins (hamstring), who hasn’t suited up since the Packers game, either. He, too, is expected back this Sunday, and the combo should provide a jolt to the offense. Where that leaves the team’s other pass catchers is less clear. A.J. Green (4-78-0) is probably the No. 2 option, followed closely by Christian Kirk (2-25-0). Speedy rookie Rondale Moore (11-51-0) can also be a valuable weapon in the right matchup, though he’s mostly working around the line of scrimmage these days. Zach Ertz (8-88-2) has been a nice addition to what might be the NFL’s deepest group of receiving threats.

Chicago ranks eighth against the pass this season at 215.8 yards allowed per game, but they’re in the bottom five in opponent passer rating and miss the presence of Khalil Mack (foot) in their pass rush. Despite the long absences, don’t hesitate to get Murray or Hopkins back into your lineup; they’re top guys at their respective spots, even if you should manage expectations a bit. After that, Green is the best play as a flex with Ertz and Kirk risk/reward types for owners in need.

CHI FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.24
CHI FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.17
CHI FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.10
CHI FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.25

Running Game Thoughts: With Chase Edmonds (ankle) ineligible to return from IR until Week 14, James Conner (21-62-1) will be the bell cow this Sunday. In three games without Edmonds, the former Steeler has averaged 112 total yards and 1.7 TDs; only Jonathan Taylor (14) has more rushing TDs than Conner (12) this season. Chicago has experienced some uncharacteristic struggles with the run, yielding 118.5 yards per game on the year, which is 22nd in the NFL. View Conner as a strong RB1 this week.

Value Meter:
QB1: Kyler Murray (inj-ankle)
RB1: James Conner
WR2: DeAndre Hopkins (inj-hamstring)
Flex: A.J. Green
Bench: Chase Edmonds (IR), Christian Kirk, Rondale Moore, Zach Ertz

Passing Game Thoughts: With Justin Fields (ribs) sidelined due to bruised ribs, Andy Dalton got the call on Thanksgiving. He completed 24 of 39 passes for 317 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT in leading the Bears to their first win since Oct. 10. Although Fields has done some work at practice this week, signs point to Dalton making his second consecutive start (and fourth overall) in Week 13 against the Cardinals. It’s a weird situation with Matt Nagy on the hot seat and Dalton arguably more capable of delivering wins at this juncture while Fields is considered the QB of the future.

One player that has done good work with both is Darnell Mooney (5-123-0), who has posted back-to-back 100-plus-yard games and is now averaging 15.1 yards per catch on the season. His running mate Allen Robinson (hamstring) has missed the last two games due to a hamstring injury and hasn’t practiced this week, either, which doesn’t bode well for his availability come Sunday. Cole Kmet (8-65-0) has had his moments during his sophomore season, but he’s dealing with a groin injury and may not play in Week 13.

Arizona’s defense has been one of the bigger surprises of the 2021 season, and they exit their bye ranking fourth in the NFL in pass yards allowed (204 per game) and tied for eighth in sacks (29). Chandler Jones (8 sacks) and Marcus Golden (10) lead the way in that department. As of now, Mooney is the only solid option for fantasy owners. He’s a WR3 but could bump up to WR2 if Robinson and Kmet both sit. Whether it’s Dalton or Fields, they should be left on the bench.

ARI FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.29
ARI FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.18
ARI FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.25
ARI FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.31

Running Game Thoughts: David Montgomery (17-46-0) was surprisingly ineffective in Detroit on Thanksgiving, managing 74 combined yards and no TDs against a bottom-five rush defense. Expect him to be given every chance to rebound against the Cardinals, which have given up 4.7 yards per carry this year, which is more than just two other clubs. Play Montgomery as an RB2 with some upside.

Value Meter:
RB2: David Montgomery
WR3: Darnell Mooney
Flex: Allen Robinson (inj-hamstring)
Bench: Justin Fields (inj-ribs), Khalil Herbert, Cole Kmet (inj-groin)

Prediction: Cardinals 30, Bears 16 ^ Top

Eagles at Jets - (Ken Ilchuk)
Line: PHI -7.0
Total: 45.0

Passing Game Thoughts: In the last five weeks, QB Jalen Hurts has thrown just 3 TD passes and 4 interceptions and has not eclipsed 200 passing yards in a game. Of course, none of that matters because this week he faces the New York Jets, quite possibly the worst defense in the NFL. Confusing matters is the fact that Hurts is nursing an ankle injury, which will hinder the strength of his game, his ability to make plays with his legs. However, this is a game where he can get right in the passing game and give that wheel a rest. He’s a high-end play as a QB1 this week.

Because of the matchup, just about every skill position starter gets a bump this week. DeVonta Smith should pay good value as a high ceiling WR3, and even last week’s Stone Hands Award winner, Jalen Reagor could have some flex appeal. TE Dallas Goedert suddenly jumps back into the TE1 discussion as well.

There’s really no way to sugarcoat the Jets’ situation on defense. It’s bad – like epically bad. They are bottom three in the league in passing yards, yards per attempt, and completion percentage, and own the worst opposing passer rating and lowest interception total in the NFL. This group had a tough time corralling a bad Texans offense last week. They will struggle to contain the elusive and athletic Hurts and company.

NYJ FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.16
NYJ FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.1
NYJ FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.14
NYJ FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.10

Running Game Thoughts: Hurst has been the driving force in the Eagles rushing attack, averaging over 60 ground yards per game. Miles Sanders, who was thought to be lost to injury…again, has been practicing this week and should play on Sunday. This group has run for over 200 yards in three straight games and four of the last five. Against a Jets defense that has allowed over 1400 yards at a 4.5 clip and yielded a league-worst 20 rushing TD’s, expect to see another two bills, maybe led more by Sanders than Hurts, especially if Boston Scott (illness) isn’t cleared to play.

Value Meter:
QB1: Jalen Hurts (high-end)
RB1: Miles Sanders (low-end)
WR3: DeVonta Smith (low-end)
TE1: Dallas Goedert (low-end)
FLEX: WR Jalen Reagor
BENCH: RB Boston Scott, RB Jordan Howard, RB Kenneth Gainwell, WR Quez Watkins

Passing Game Thoughts: After struggling badly in the first half against the Texans last week, QB Zach Wilson cleaned things up a bit after halftime to salvage some hope out of his return to the field. But he is still struggling with his reads and accuracy, and continues to show he will make big mistakes when pressured, which is almost constantly behind this o-line.

His veteran security blanket, WR Corey Davis, has been nursing a groin injury for two weeks. He hadn’t practiced through Thursday, so he might not play, and is only a low-end WR3 if he does. Even against the Eagles, who like the Jets are amongst the worst pass defenses in the league, guys like WR’s Jamison Crowder and Elijah Moore, TE Ryan Griffin, and receiving back Ty Johnson barely offer any flex value.

PHI FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.20
PHI FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.10
PHI FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.30
PHI FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.1

Running Game Thoughts: Michael Carter was developing into a solid weekly RB2 play, but he’s expected to miss 2-3 weeks with a high ankle sprain. It sounds like Tevin Coleman and Johnson will split the load, with Johnson having more appeal as a potential PPR play given his receiving skills.

Value Meter:
WR3: Corey Davis (low-end, if he plays)
FLEX: RB Ty Johnson, WR Elijah Moore
BENCH: QB Zach Wilson, RB Tevin Coleman, WR Jamison Crowder, TE Ryan Griffin

Prediction: Eagles 32, Jets 21 ^ Top

Colts @ Texans - (Swanson)
Line: IND -10.0
Total: 45.5

Passing Game Thoughts: The Colts head to Houston looking to right the ship after a disappointing loss at home to the Buccaneers in a turnover-laden game. Miscues and a lack of running the ball effectively early cost the Colts a chance at a win that would have placed them just one game behind the AFC South leading Titans.

If there ever was a get-right-game opponent to play after a tough loss, the lowly Houston Texans would be it. The Texans rank in the bottom 15 in points allowed to all skill position players, making them an equal-opportunity giver of fantasy goodness.

Carson Wentz threw for 223 yards and a pair of scores when the two teams faced off back in Week 6 at Lucas Oil Stadium. Jonathan Taylor went bananas with 14/145/2 on the ground, and T.Y. Hilton led the Colts receivers with 80 yards on four receptions.

Hilton abuses the Texans like no other and should garner consideration as an upside flex in deeper leagues.

Michael Pittman Jr. is still the alpha wide receiver on the team and should be started in all formats. He has been in a bit of a fantasy production slump over the past few weeks, but he should get back on track in this game. Look for around 80 and a score for Pittman.

The Texans offense has been playing better as of late with Tyrod Taylor back, which could present a better game script for the passing options for the Colts. One of the reasons why Wentz had so few yards in the first matchup was the lopsided 31-3 score. We anticipate the Colts will win this game without a hitch, but it may not be a one-sided blowout as some expect.

Zach Pascal is on the field for an average of nearly 90% of the team’s snaps as the No.2 wide receiver in three-receiver sets. It is impressive for a player to have that many snaps with next to no fantasy production. Could this be the week for the obligatory 3/40/2 game for Pascal, the touchdown vulture?

HOU FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.12
HOU FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.9
HOU FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.15
HOU FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.8

Running Game Thoughts: 14/145/2. That is all you need to know. Taylor is a stud and the best play of the week. He torched the Texans for 30 fantasy points back in Week 6 and will likely do the same. He is a no-brainer start and needs no further discussion.

Nyheim Hines is not getting enough snaps or touches to justify playing him right now. Sure, the game could go sideways, and Hines gets a ton of garbage carries with the goal of keeping Taylor fresh for the playoff run. But he could also give your 3.7 fantasy points like he has averaged over his last three games.

Value Meter:
QB1: Carson Wentz (Low-End)
RB1: Jonathan Taylor (Elite)
WR2: Michael Pittman Jr. (High-End)
WR4: T.Y. Hilton (Low-End)
TE2: Jack Doyle (Low-End)

Passing Game Thoughts: Over the past two weeks, Tyrod Taylor has quietly been a top-12 fantasy quarterback. His 18.2 points per game are better than Tom Brady, Lamar Jackson, Derek Carr, Joe Burrow, and his opponent in this game, Carson Wentz.

His two starts during that period are really too small of a sample size to get excited about, and it should be noted he played against the struggling Titans and the Jets. Regardless, Taylor has not been a complete doormat for fantasy defenses, and he has produced enough fantasy value to make Brandin Cooks (illness) still valuable.

The rest of the Texans passing options: not so much.

As has been the case all season, Cooks is the only player in the passing game worthy of a start, while Taylor could be started in two-QB leagues.

From a matchup standpoint, the Colts are somewhat hard to peg. On the season, they have given up the 11th most points to QBs, and that is even with Tom Brady not throwing a touchdown last week.

Yet, they stifled Josh Allen and the Bills just two weeks ago on the road in Buffalo and dismantled Jimmy Garoppolo and the 49ers on the road back in Week 7.

IND FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.5
IND FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.22
IND FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.7
IND FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.5

Running Game Thoughts: At the start of the season, we bemoaned the Texans for having four veteran running backs on their roster, wishing the team would run with just a few backs instead of a four-headed monster.

Mark Ingram was traded to the Saints. Phillip Lindsay was released. And yet, the Texans still stink at running the ball, posting just 63 yards on 22 carries against the worst run defense in the league.

Are David Johnson (illness) and Rex Burkhead really that terrible, or is it the offensive line and the scheme? Regardless, you do not want to touch either of them with a ten-foot pole in this game.

Even with four touchdowns allowed to Leonard Fournette last week, the Colts have still just given up ten total scores to running backs on the year. If Burkhead and Johnson can’t get it done against a team that has given up 21 touchdowns to opposing RBs, why on Earth would we expect anything in this game?

Value Meter:
QB2: Tyrod Taylor (High-End)
RB4: Rex Burkhead (Low-End)
WR3: Brandin Cooks (High-End)
TE1: Pharaoh Brown (Low-End)

Prediction: Indianapolis 34, Houston 14 ^ Top

Chargers @ Bengals - (Green)
Line: CIN -3.0
Total: 50.0

Passing Game Thoughts: To paraphrase the late Roddy Piper, just when you think you have the answers, the Chargers change the questions. Coming off a game in which he threw for 382 yards and 3 TDs (while rushing for an additional 90 yards), Justin Herbert once again had trouble stacking success. He passed for a respectable 303 yards, but that was a bit deceptive as a fourth-quarter pick six left LA down 28-7 with less than eight minutes remaining. It’s a pattern of inconsistency from Herbert, who has been lights out in five of the team’s six wins and shaky in all five of their defeats.

Keenan Allen (7-85-0) has been the team’s most consistent producer, posting 75 or more receiving yards in eight of 11 games, including five in a row. He’s been a no-show in the red zone, however, managing just two touchdowns on the year. Perhaps that’s the problem. Mike Williams (4-39-0) has seven TDs, which is more than double any other tight end or receiver, but his production has ebbed and flowed. With his 6-foot-4, 218-pound wideout unable to deliver consistently, Herbert has struggled to find a reliable second choice in the red zone.

Cincinnati ranks 25th in the NFL against the pass, allowing 254.5 yards per game, but only the Bills have allowed fewer TD strikes than the Bengals (14). They had little trouble with Las Vegas or Pittsburgh in consecutive blowouts, and they’re likely to make things tough on LA’s passing attack. Despite that, Herbert and Allen remain No. 1 options while Williams is a low-end No. 2 or strong No. 3 receiver.

CIN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.26
CIN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.8
CIN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.21
CIN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.17

Running Game Thoughts: Although Austin Ekeler barely ranks in the top 20 in carries or rushing yardage, he’s an elite fantasy back because of his exploits as a receiver and his nose for the end zone -- his 14 touchdowns are second in the NFL. The only possible issue right now with Ekeler is durability as the slightly built RB has already established a career high in carries with six games to go. The Bengals are a tough team to run on, yielding just 93.7 yards per game, which is fifth in the NFL. Those pass-catching skills keep Ekeler as a strong RB1, however.

Value Meter:
QB1: Justin Herbert
RB1: Austin Ekeler
WR1: Keenan Allen
WR2/WR3: Mike Williams
Bench: Jared Cook

Passing Game Thoughts: In two games since returning from the bye week, Joe Burrow has been more game manager than game changer. That includes last Sunday against the Steelers when the LSU product completed 20 of 24 passes for 190 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT while also adding his first rushing score of the season. The question is whether we’re seeing a philosophical change with an increased focus on running the ball, or if it was purely game situation -- they won their last two games by a combined 50 points. It’s difficult to say if we’ll get much clarity in Week 13 as LA is a sieve against the run, which might encourage a lot more Joe Mixon on Sunday.

Following a white-hot start, Ja’Marr Chase (3-39-0) has cooled considerably, accounting for just 152 yards combined over his last four games. For comparison, Chase had 201 yards against Baltimore in Week 7. Perhaps not coincidentally, Tee Higgins (6-114-1) has been on his best run of the season, averaging 76 yards per outing during that same four-game stretch. Tyler Boyd (2-13-0), meanwhile, has been completely hit or miss, with four contests of less than 25 yards receiving in his last seven.

When a team is as bad as LA is against the run, it’s hard to measure their relative strength as a pass defense. The numbers say they’re very good, surrendering 204.9 yards per game, which is fifth in the league. Their pass rush has flatlined, though, with just six clubs posting fewer sacks on the year despite the presence of Joey Bosa. At this point, Burrow is a shaky QB1, and you shouldn’t hesitate to explore other avenues. Chase and Higgins should both be started, but Boyd is a roll of the dice.

LAC FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.28
LAC FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.3
LAC FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.31
LAC FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.4

Running Game Thoughts: Burrow’s loss has been Mixon’s gain, as the talented back is coming off his two best games of the season, posting a 30-123-2 line against Las Vegas and a 28-165-2 game versus Pittsburgh. Next up is a Chargers squad that sits at the bottom of the NFL in run defense, allowing 145.3 yards per game on the ground and 4.7 yards per carry. Mixon is a high-end RB1 with a plus matchup.

Value Meter:
QB1: Joe Burrow
RB1: Joe Mixon
WR2: Ja’Marr Chase
WR2/WR3: Tee Higgins
Flex: Tyler Boyd
Bench: Samaje Perine, C.J. Uzomah

Prediction: Bengals 28, Chargers 24 ^ Top

Buccaneers @ Falcons - (Swanson)
Line: TB -10.5
Total: 50.5

Passing Game Thoughts: Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay passing game get a plus matchup this week on the road against a Falcons defense that has given up the third-most points to opposing quarterbacks in 2021.

Brady posted his best week of the season when the two teams faced off in Week 2 in Tampa Bay, with 276 yards and five touchdowns. Mike Evans posted 5/75/2, Chris Godwin added 4/62/1, and Rob Gronkowski also posted two receiving touchdowns.

Needless to say, you are starting a Tampa Bay player if you have one, and you should expect big games from the big three receiving threats.

Brady surprisingly did not throw a passing touchdown last week against the Colts and should make up for it this week against one of the league’s worst defensive units.

Antonio Brown will miss this game as well as he continues to recover from an ankle injury and will miss additional time thanks to a three-game suspension. Why the team did not place Brown on IR is a mystery.

On a positive note, it does look like Brady and the offense will get back Ali Marpet, their stud guard who has missed a few games with an abdomen injury. Marpet logged a limited practice on Wednesday but appears to be on track to play.

There are no injuries on the defensive side of the football to report that would improve the outlook for Brady and the Bucs receiving weapons. Frankly, they do not need any injuries on the Falcons to destroy that defense.

Look for Brady to have at least three passing touchdowns with a ceiling of five. Evans and Gronk are near locks for a score, and Godwin is also in must-start, WR1 consideration.

ATL FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.8
ATL FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.6
ATL FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.13
ATL FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.21

Running Game Thoughts: Leonard Fournette nearly doubled his touchdown output last week against the Colts with four total touchdowns. He jumped from just outside the top 12 at the position to 6th and currently has more fantasy points than Aaron Jones, Nick Chubb, Alvin Kamara, and Dalvin Cook.

If you used a mid-to-late round pick on Fournette, kudos to you.

The question is not if you are starting the former LSU star. The question is where will the abundance of fantasy points scored this week fall? Considering Brady did not throw a passing touchdown last week, one would think he would want to get his and get his receivers some love.

Yet as bad as the Falcons are against the pass, they are nearly as bad against the run, and Fournette could be in for another monster day.

Game script is a consideration here, and it would not be the worst thing in the world for head coach Bruce Arians to not play Fournette on 81% of the snaps like he did last week in what was a close game against the Colts.

We anticipate a blowout that could give Ronald Jones some garbage time runs. It may be too much of a risk to play him in season-long, but as a cheap DFS play, Jones could be interesting. He saw the field on nearly 20% of the snaps in each of the last two weeks. A lopsided game could push that to 30 %or even 40% of snaps.

Value Meter:
QB1: Tom Brady (High-End)
RB1: Leonard Fournette (Low-End)
WR1: Mike Evans (High-End)
WR1: Chris Godwin (Low-End)
TE1: Rob Gronkowski (High-End)

Passing Game Thoughts: For most of the season, the only two players worthy of a start on the Falcons were tight end Kyle Pitts and WR/RB Cordarrelle Patterson. At times other players like Russell Gage, Mike Davis, and even Olamide Zaccheaus have provided fantasy production, but for the most part, it has just been Pitts and Patterson.

Patterson is a stud and a must-start in all formats despite this challenging matchup. Pitts is another matter. The rookie has not posted more than 62 yards or scored a touchdown since he had two monster games against the lowly Jets and the Dolphins, who at the time were struggling on defense.

Since then, Atlanta has faced four good defenses, and the Jaguars and Pits has been a bust. The Buccaneers do rank 8th in points allowed to opposing tight ends on the year, so technically, this is a plus-matchup for tight ends like Pitts.

However, Matt Ryan is going to be under constant pressure, and the entire passing offense is going to struggle if the team does not give Ryan time. The tight end position is shallow, and finding a stud tight end is not easy, but we are not high on Pitts in this game.

If you are looking for a home run streaming option, Russell Gage should be in consideration. He does have 15 targets in his last two games and a score. Not great, but we anticipate the Falcons will be down early and forced to pass, making Gage a possible garbage time play.

TB FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.7
TB FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.28
TB FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.8
TB FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.6

Running Game Thoughts: My first inclination was just to write the word “no” and move on to the next game. But, I owe it to the readers to explain why you should not consider starting Mike Davis in this game. I wrote above that as a wide receiver and running back, Cordarrelle Patterson is a start.

Davis, on the other hand, as just a running back, is a hard bench. Only the Saints and the Panthers have given up fewer fantasy points to opposing running backs in 2021. The Falcons are the worst running offense in the league and managed just 41 rushing yards when these two teams played in Week 2.

I would rather start Ronald Jones in this game than Mike Davis, because and least Jones has the chance to give you some production.

Value Meter:
QB2: Matt Ryan (High-End)
RB4: Mike Davis (Low-End)
WR3: Cordarrelle Patterson (High-End)
WR4: Russell Gage (Low-End)
TE1: Kyle Pitts (Low-End)

Prediction: Tampa Bay 42, Atlanta 14 ^ Top

Giants at Dolphins - (Ken Ilchuk)
Line: MIA -4.5
Total: 40.5

Passing Game Thoughts: The big news here is the status of QB Daniel Jones. A neck injury suffered last week has limited his practice time and put his availability into question. Under interim OC Freddie Kitchens, we saw more scripted run plays for Jones and more calls that allowed him to use his athleticism in and out of the pocket. Unfortunately, the result was the same lack of scoring that has plagued this group all year. Whether it’s Jones or backup Mike Glennon, the Giants don’t seem like a place to be looking for your QB this week.

WR Sterling Shepard has only played in five games this season, but when he has, he’s led the team in targets. He’s been limited in practice this week again with a quad injury, but if he is able to go, which there seems to be a chance of, he’s a legitimate WR3 no matter who the QB is. Fellow wideout Kadarius Toney is dealing with a quad injury of his own, but seems less likely to play. An elusive playmaker when healthy, Toney has ben battered by injury and illness and can’t be relied on. WR Kenny Golladay’s seven targets were a positive and the most he’s had since Week 4, but the 50 yards receiving were disappointing. TE Evan Engram is on the field a lot, but hasn’t had more than three catches in a game since Week 7.

The Dolphins’ 61% completion percentage is top five in the league, but they have given up 50 plays of 20 yards or more, second-worst in the league. But they have nearly 30 sacks and have done a better job of pressuring the QB in recent weeks. Against a battered, struggling Giants offense, they could be a sneaky D/ST play this week.

MIA FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.6
MIA FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.27
MIA FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.3
MIA FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.15

Running Game Thoughts: RB Saquon Barkley has yet to run for even 60 yards in a game through seven games this season. With Jones possibly sidelined, you could make an argument that Barkley will get a sizeable workload and put the team on his back. I would argue that the Dolphins, who absolutely shut down Christian McCaffrey last week, will stack the box, stop the run, and force Mike Glennon to beat them with his arm. RB Devontae Booker is only a worthwhile pickup if Barkley is out. I won’t be picking either up this week.

Value Meter:
WR3: Sterling Shepard (low-end, if he plays)
FLEX: WR Kenny Golladay, TE Evan Engram
BENCH: QB Daniel Jones, RB Saquon Barkley, RB Devontae Booker, WR Kadarius Toney

Passing Game Thoughts: In his last five games QB Tua Tagovailoa has completed at least 80% of his passes three times. He’s attempted at least 30 passes in five of his last six games and passed for at least 250 yards in three of his last six with nine TD’s. He’s a borderline QB1, even against a Giants defense that has done a good job against the pass this year.

DeVante Parker looks to be back in the fold this week and should slot in as a WR3 if he does in fact play. Jaylen Waddle has been targeted 104 times this season, 35 of them coming in the last four weeks. He’s also coming off his first 100-yard game of the season and is a WR1. TE Mike Gesicki is second to Waddle on the team with 79 targets, and he’s on pace to shatter all his best single season numbers. But despite not being much of a scoring threat, he’s still a borderline TE1 against the Giants.

NYG FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.14
NYG FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.7
NYG FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.16
NYG FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.16

Running Game Thoughts: RB Myles Gaskin gets the bulk of the carries, stays on for all three downs, is a receiver out of the backfield and a top scoring threat as a runner and receiver in the red zone. Make him a high-end RB2 this week and he will serve you well.

Value Meter:
QB2: Tua Tagovailoa (mid-range)
RB2: Myles Gaskin (high-end),
WR1: Jaylen Waddle (mid-range)
WR3: DeVante Parker (mid-range, if he plays)
TE2: Mike Gesicki (high-end)
BENCH: WR Will Fuller

Prediction: Dolphins 20, Giants 10 ^ Top

Vikings @ Lions - (Green)
Line: MIN -7.0
Total: 46.5

Passing Game Thoughts: Eleven games into the season, Kirk Cousins has yet to throw for 300-plus yards in consecutive outings. Coming off his best game of the year, a 341-yard, 3-TD effort in an upset win over the Packers, Cousins regressed to the mean, completing 20 of 32 passes for 238 yards, 2 TDs and 1 INT -- he put the cherry on top by lining up behind the guard before a critical fourth-down play. At this point, there’s not much more to be said. Cousins giveth, and Cousins taketh away. He has a solid matchup on tap, but the veteran passed for 275 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT in the earlier encounter with the Lions. As always, proceed at your own risk.

Despite the inconsistency of Cousins, Justin Jefferson (4-83-0) and Adam Thielen (5-62-2) continue to put up steady numbers. In Year 8, Thielen has become an underneath and intermediate target, averaging a career-low 10.9 yards per catch; but with two scoring grabs last Sunday he’s now tied with Cooper Kupp for the NFL lead in receiving TDs (10). Jefferson, meanwhile, has continued his ascent into the upper stratosphere of wideouts, ranking third in yardage (1,027) while posting 65 receiving yards or more in all but one of his 11 games. Tyler Conklin (2-25-0), who had a nice midseason run, has tapered off with just 71 combined receiving yards during the past three weeks.

The Lions sit smack dab in the middle of the NFL pass defense rankings, allowing 242.9 yards per game. They contained both Cousins and Thielen (2-40-0) back in Week 5, but Jefferson lit them up for 124 yards on seven receptions. Minnesota’s top two receivers are both must-plays with JJ as a WR1 and Thielen a WR2.

DET FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.21
DET FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.4
DET FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.23
DET FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.18

Running Game Thoughts: For the second time this season, the Lions will avoid facing Dalvin Cook (shoulder), who dislocated his shoulder last Sunday and is expected to miss at least two games. Alexander Mattison will take over Cook’s duties. Back in October, Mattison piled up 153 total yards and a touchdown in Minnesota’s 19-17 win. This Sunday, he should be viewed as an RB1 against the league’s No. 29 run D.

Value Meter:
QB1: Kirk Cousins
RB1: Alexander Mattison
WR1: Justin Jefferson
WR2: Adam Thielen
Bench: Dalvin Cook (inj-shoulder), Tyler Conklin

Passing Game Thoughts: Jared Goff returned from a one-game absence to start against the Bears on Thanksgiving, completing 21 of his 25 attempts for 171 yards and 2 TDs. An early bomb to Josh Reynolds for a 39-yard TD offered a glimmer of hope that we might see some juice from Detroit’s offense, but none of Goff’s other 20 connections covered more than 17 yards. He threw for 203 yards, 0 TDs and 1 INT against Minnesota in Week 5 and is once again of zero interest to fantasy owners.

As expected, Reynolds (3-70-1) immediately became the Lions’ most talented wideout after he was claimed off waivers from the Titans (wonder if they’re regretting that?). His connection with Goff from their time with the Rams is a bonus, and he has enough potential to make a risk/reward flex play for the bold (or desperate). T.J. Hockenson (3-35-1) snagged his first TD grab since Week 2 last Thursday and remains playable as a TE1, though he did little (2-22-0) in his first matchup with the Vikings.

Make no mistake, Minnesota does not have a good defense. A handful of familiar names may try to fool you, but don’t let them. The Vikings are 22nd in pass defense by virtue of giving up 248.5 yards per game. They’re also unlikely to have Patrick Peterson (illness), who was placed on the COVID-IR earlier this week. Of course, the Lions don’t have the players to truly take advantage of it, but it’s still a plus matchup.

MIN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.10
MIN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.11
MIN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.4
MIN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.30

Running Game Thoughts: As it happens, Cook won’t be the only starting back that will be sidelined Sunday as D’Andre Swift (shoulder) is expected to miss some time with a sprained AC joint suffered on Thanksgiving. That should mean a heavy workload for Jamaal Williams (15-65-0). Williams and Swift combined to post a 24-108-1 line back in Week 5, and that looks like an attainable goal for Williams this Sunday. Consider him an RB2 against the Vikings, which are 30th in the league at 134.4 yards allowed per game on the ground.

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

Prediction: Vikings 23, Lions 18 ^ Top

Jaguars at Rams - (Caron)
Line: LAR -13.0
Total: 48.0

Passing Game Thoughts: Expectations are low in Jacksonville so it’s hard to be too critical on him, but it’d be difficult to sell the rookie season of Trevor Lawrence as anything more than disappointing thus far. The No. 1 overall pick has had his moments, including in Week 1 when he threw three touchdown passes, but he’s now failed to reach even two touchdown passes in a single game in any other contest. He’s added a couple of scores with his legs and he’s typically been contributing 20 to 30 yards or so on the ground which is more than most would’ve expected, but he’s still been a low-end QB2 at best most weeks. Don’t look for that to change much in Week 13 as he and the Jaguars head on the road to face Jalen Ramsey, Aaron Donald and the Rams.

While Los Angeles has only been middle-of-the-pack against opposing QBs, they’ve mostly been lit up by some of the truly elite quarterbacks in the game including Aaron Rodgers, Kyler Murray and Tom Brady. When they’ve faced non-elite quarterbacks, they’ve almost always held them in check from a fantasy standpoint.

That doesn’t bode well for Lawrence and really any member of the Jacksonville passing attack. The Jaguars lost tight end Dan Arnold to a sprained MCL and he’ll likely miss the remainder of the season, which really depletes an already ugly passing game. Wide receiver Marvin Jones started the season off hot and he’s continued to see a decent target share given the situation, but Jones has now failed to reach even 10 PPR fantasy points in seven of his past eight contests. He’ll likely see most of the coverage from Jalen Ramsey, so he’s a must-avoid for sure. Meanwhile Laviska Shenault has been in a similar boat, having also failed to exceed 10 PPR fantasy points in six of his past seven games. This just is not a passing game that anyone should be investing in at the moment - at least until we see one of the players reemerge.

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

Running Game Thoughts: The Jaguars have been an ugly fantasy situation for awhile now, but running back James Robinson (heel) continues to be a viable weekly RB2 for fantasy despite some truly horrible game scripts. Robinson has carried the ball at least 12 times in eight of his past nine games and the only exception was in a game that he was knocked out of early with an injury. That type of carry total, especially on a team that doesn’t win many games, is pretty impressive in the year 2021.

Unfortunately, Robinson does seem to lack the true high-end RB1 upside that he had throughout much of the 2020 season. He’s checking in with decent numbers, but he hasn’t reached a 20 point PPR total since Week 5. The Rams aren’t great against opposing running backs, but they aren’t bad either, so we’ll continue to look at Robinson as being a solid RB2 in this contest.

Value Meter:
RB2: James Robinson
Bench: Trevor Lawrence, Carlos Hyde, Marvin Jones, Laviska Shenault, James O’Shaughnessy

Passing Game Thoughts: The Rams have been going through some tough times in recent weeks, but, even in a Week 12 game which saw them down multiple scores for much of the afternoon, quarterback Matthew Stafford showed that he’s still capable of putting a nice fantasy day on the board. Stafford threw for 302 yards - his fifth 300-yard day - and three touchdowns with an interception. Stafford has now exceeded 20 fantasy points in six of his 11 contests.

This high volume passing attack has been great for Rams receivers all season and we now see Odell Beckham Jr. emerging with his new team. Beckham tied Cooper Kupp with 10 targets in Week 12, five of which he caught for 81 yards and a touchdown. Being in a more high volume passing attack seems like a huge improvement for his fantasy prospects going forward and it’s now reasonable to start looking at him as a borderline weekly WR2/WR3.

Kupp and third WR Van Jefferson appear to be essentially keeping their same roles following the injury to Robert Woods. This means that Kupp remains one of, if not the top wide receiver in all of fantasy football while Jefferson is a WR3/Flex.

Tight end Tyler Higbee remains a bit of a disappointment given how much of an opportunity he’s seeing. He’s been targeted 20 times over the past three weeks alone, but has only caught nine of those passes for 74 yards. That’s just not enough. He did get into the end zone against the 49ers in Week 10, but he’s otherwise been held out of the end zone since Week 5. It’s hard to find much at the tight end position, but it looks as though Beckham Jr. is indeed going to fit in as the team’s second wide receiver option, essentially replacing Woods completely, so the potential for Higbee to get more involved seems to be slipping away. You can still put him in your lineup as a low-end TE1, but he’s probably going to disappoint more often than he delivers.

JAC FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.25
JAC FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.23
JAC FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.6
JAC FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.14

Running Game Thoughts: Darrell Henderson headed into Week 12 with his first back-to-back sub-10 PPR point performances in his rear view mirror, but he got back to RB1 status by getting involved both as a runner and as a receiver in the Rams’ victory over the Packers. Unfortunately, Henderson exited the game with a thigh injury and his status for this week’s contest against the Jaguars is now in question. He hasn’t practiced as of Thursday and there’s a real chance that he’ll end up being sidelined in what should be a game that presents a potentially big fantasy opportunity.

If Henderson is unable to go, look for the Rams to turn to Sony Michel to be the team’s primary back on Sunday. Michel has been used only sparingly since Henderson returned from injury early in the season, but we did get a glimpse of what his usage might be like without Henderson when he carried the ball 20 times and caught a season high three passes against Tampa Bay back in Week 3. The Rams don’t seem to care who their top back is - they’re going to feed him - and that’s great news in what could be a game in which the Rams enjoy a significant positive game script.

Pay close attention to what the injury reports sound like, but we’ll want to rank the Rams starter as an RB2 this week for fantasy.

Value Meter:
QB2: Matthew Stafford (low end)
RB2: Darrell Henderson, Sony Michel (if Henderson is inactive)
WR1: Cooper Kupp
WR2: Odell Beckham Jr. (low-end)
Flex: Van Jefferson
Bench: Sony Michel (if Henderson is active), Tyler Higbee

Prediction: Rams 33, Jaguars 16 ^ Top

Football Team at Raiders - (Caron)
Line: LV -1.0
Total: 49.5

Passing Game Thoughts: Quarterback Taylor Heinicke isn’t exactly a household name, but the truth is that he’s actually been a viable QB2 this season and even a decent bye week fill-in at QB1. Heinicke has not scored double-digit fantasy points in five straight games and he’s scored 20 or more points in five out of his 11 starts. Sure, he’s been held to fewer than 12 points in five games as well so it’s been very boom or bust, but he’s the kind of player who can really help put you over the hump when he does boom.

Las Vegas earned an impressive win over Dallas on Thanksgiving and has now had a week and a half to prepare for this contest against Washington. The Raiders have also been very up and down with their defense this season, particularly against quarterbacks. They’ve conceded seven 20-or-more-point fantasy days to opposing quarterbacks, but they’ve also had a few games where they’ve pretty much shut down the opposing quarterback. One thing that is a bit interesting is that they’ve struggled against some of the more mobile quarterbacks they’ve faced, having given up 86 rushing yards to Lamar Jackson back in Week 1 and then 61 rushing yards to Jalen Hurts in Week 7. Heinicke is not as mobile as Jackson or even Hurts, but he’s definitely shown himself to be one of the better runners at the position. He’s already rushed for 279 yards this season and there’s a good chance that he’ll need to use his legs to keep drives alive for Washington this week.

While Curtis Samuel made his return to the starting lineup in Week 12 and appears likely to suit up again in Week 13, the truth is that there’s really only one player who we’re very excited about in the Washington passing game and that’s Terry McLaurin. McLaurin hasn’t been extremely consistent this season, but he’s delivered four 20-point PPR fantasy days which has allowed him to be a WR2 even in a season where his team’s quarterback play has been shaky at times. McLaurin has been targeted at least seven times in every game since Week 1, so he’s getting plenty of opportunities and that makes him a nice WR2 even in what could be a good matchup against a Raiders defense that has given up the 5th most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers this season.

The only other pass catcher in Washington that should be interesting to fantasy owners is tight end Logan Thomas. Thomas made his return to the lineup after missing six straight contests and immediately returned to his role as the team’s primary tight end. Backup John Bates still saw significant playing time, but it’s worth considering that Washington played quite a few two-TE sets against Seattle, so Thomas was on the field for the vast majority of the snaps. Thomas started the season off by scoring two touchdowns in three games and should be back to his role as the team’s second option in the passing game. The tight end position is horrible this year so it’s probably worth taking a shot on him against the Raiders this week, especially considering that Las Vegas has given up the third-most fantasy points per game to the position, including eight touchdowns on the year.

LV FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.13
LV FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.5
LV FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.28
LV FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.2

Running Game Thoughts: A concussion knocked J.D. McKissic out of Washington’s Week 12 game against Seattle and he still hasn’t practiced as of Thursday so his chances of playing are becoming less likely by the day. If he doesn’t play, second-year back Antonio Gibson immediately becomes a legit RB1 for fantasy in this matchup.

Gibson had been a bit of a disappointment this season, but he’s finally been getting a large touch share over the past three weeks, including a ridiculous 36-touch game against Seattle in Week 12. Gibson carried the ball 29 times for 111 yards, but more interesting was his usage in the passing game where he caught seven passes for an additional 35 yards. McKissic has been really throttling Gibson’s fantasy value due to his role in the passing game, but if he’s out then Gibson immediately becomes the team’s best pass catching back and should find himself seeing plenty of opportunities in that area.

Las Vegas has given up the sixth-most fantasy points per game to opposing running backs and there have been times where they’ve really been exposed by pass catching backs. Even if McKissic does suit up, Gibson should see enough carries to be a reliable RB2 with RB1 upside.

Value Meter:
QB2: Taylor Heinicke
RB1: Antonio Gibson
WR2: Terry McLaurin
TE1: Logan Thomas
Flex: J.D. McKissic (PPR only)
Bench: Jaret Patterson, Curtis Samuel, Dyami Brown, Adam Humphries, DeAndre Carter

Passing Game Thoughts: The Raiders have suffered some serious losses in their passing game, but nothing is more noteworthy than the knee injury that tight end Darren Waller suffered in the team’s victory over the Cowboys on Thanksgiving. We don’t yet know when Waller will be back on the field, but we have to assume that he’ll be out this week and that’s obviously a concern for quarterback Derek Carr who’s been a bit of a rollercoaster fantasy performer as of late. While he’s delivered a couple of 20-point fantasy days, Carr has been held to fewer than 12 points in three of his past seven games. He’s typically been a reliable QB2 throughout most of his career, but Carr just hasn’t done enough to be considered a QB1 even when Waller has been on the field.

With Waller out, the team will turn to tight end Foster Moreau to be their primary pass catching tight end for the foreseeable future. Moreau hasn’t done much most weeks this season, but he’s had his moments where he’s been involved in the offense and he does have some impressive physical attributes. He’s not Waller, but Moreau is in an interesting spot to potentially finish as a fantasy TE1 this week. The Raiders pass catchers are depleted in general and Washington’s pass defense is horrendous in general, so the upside is certainly there.

Only one wide receiver in Las Vegas has really been worth owning and that’s slot receiver Hunter Renfrow. Renfrow has been unbelievably consistent all season long, having scored at least 10 PPR fantasy points in all but two starts, but he finally got his first 20-point day against the Cowboys on Thanksgiving. Renfrow led the team with eight receptions for 134 yards in that contest. With Waller now out, look for Renfrow to see his target share rise even more throughout the remainder of this injury, especially since he and Waller often operate in a similar part of the field. It’ll be hard to ever really consider Renfrow a WR1 for fantasy, but at this point it’s pretty hard to deny that he’s a very reliable PPR WR2.

WAS FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.1
WAS FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.30
WAS FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.2
WAS FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.13

Running Game Thoughts: If you’re looking for a weekly reliable RB2 for fantasy, your search is over. I present to you: Raiders running back Josh Jacobs. Jacobs missed a couple of games earlier this season, but he’s otherwise been an extraordinarily reliable fantasy RB2 this season, having finished with at least 10 PPR fantasy points in all but one game he’s played in. What’s perhaps not overly surprising, though, is that while Jacobs has delivered decent numbers most games, he hasn’t yet delivered a truly big game as he hasn’t yet reached the 20-point mark in any one contest.

Part of that is that while Jacobs has been by far the most productive back, he’s still giving up between five to 10 touches in just about every game to backup Kenyan Drake. That might not sound like much, but in an offense that isn’t particularly high-paced, it can certainly be enough to prevent Jacobs from ever really reaching a truly significant ceiling.

This week Jacobs faces a Washington defense that has been a pass funnel, which defenses have been happy to take advantage of while limiting their running backs’ touches. Only three times all season has a running back carried the ball 15 or more times against Washington. Washington has, however, been quite exploitable through the air as of late. Five different running backs have caught at least five passes in a game against Washington over their past seven games. Jacobs hasn’t been a high-end pass catcher, but he’s seeing more usage in the passing game over the past month than he did earlier in the year, so there’s some hope that he can continue to do that this week against Washington. Realistically, though, Jacobs is more of a mid-to-low-end RB2 in this matchup, as the Raiders are much more likely to want to pass the ball than run against this defense.

Value Meter:
QB2: Derek Carr
RB2: Josh Jacobs
WR2: Hunter Renfrow
TE1: Foster Moreau (low-end)
Bench: Kenyan Drake, Bryan Edwards, DeSean Jackson, Zay Jones

Prediction: Raiders 24, Football Team 23 ^ Top

Ravens @ Steelers - (Green)
Line: BAL -4.5
Total: 44.0

Passing Game Thoughts: It’s difficult to play much worse than the Ravens did on SNF and still win. How difficult? Before Sunday night, teams that had: a) scored fewer than 17 points, b) gained less than 325 total yards, and c) thrown four more INTs than their opponents, had a combined record of 0-275-1 in the Super Bowl Era. Make 1-275-1 after the Ravens beat Cleveland in a game where Lamar Jackson completed 20 of 32 passes for 165 yards, 1 TD and 4 INTs. He salvaged a smidgen of value by rushing for 68 yards on 17 carries, but it was still among the worst performances of his career.

Marquise Brown (8-51-0) returned after a one-game absence to catch a bunch of short passes. It was essentially the same role he played during their Week 10 loss to Miami when he posted a 6-37-0 line. This isn’t a good trend for Brown, who averaged better than 17 yards per catch in three of his first four games. Mark Andrews (4-65-1) is still the 1b to Brown’s 1a in the pecking order, and his 39-yard reception Sunday night will be seen for years to come. Rashad Bateman (4-31-0) looks like a capable third option, but with Baltimore’s passing game scuffling he’s someone to leave on the bench.

Pittsburgh has been shredded the past two weeks. Most of it came on the ground this past Sunday, but they gave up 382 yards passing in Week 11. For the year, the Steelers are 12th at 234.5 yards per game. Despite his recent struggles, Jackson, who passed for 208 yards, 2 TDs and 2 INTs in his lone meeting with Pittsburgh in 2020, is still a solid QB1. Andrews remains a must-start TE1 while Brown can still be used as a WR2, though he’s been delivering nothing more than flex value of late.

PIT FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.18
PIT FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.13
PIT FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.11
PIT FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.24

Running Game Thoughts: When Latavius Murray (9-44-1) injured his ankle back on Oct. 17, he was clearly the top back in Baltimore. While he returned two weeks ago, that job firmly belongs to Devonta Freeman (17-68-0), who has 39 combined touches over the past two weeks compared to 20 for Murray. Once a proud run defense, Pittsburgh had no answer for Joe Mixon last Sunday and currently sits 28th in the league, yielding 133.1 yards per game on an NFL-high 4.8 yards per carry. Freeman is the safe play as an RB3, but Murray can be dusted off as a flex play in this matchup.

Value Meter:
QB1: Lamar Jackson
RB3: Devonta Freeman
Flex: Latavius Murray
WR2: Marquise Brown
TE1: Mark Andrews
Bench: Rashod Bateman

Passing Game Thoughts: Not much went right for the Steelers last Sunday, starting with an abysmal showing by Ben Roethlisberger. The 39-year-old looked like he was moving in slow motion, absorbing three sacks and turning the ball over three times with a pick-six late in the first half officially ushering in garbage time. If things keep trending this direction, you wonder how many starts Big Ben has left in him. Obviously, they won’t make a change while still in the thick of the playoff hunt, but the clock is ticking.

There is at least some young talent at the skill positions in the Steel City, starting with Diontae Johnson (9-95-0), who has solidified his spot as the team’s No. 1 receiver. He has been targeted at least 13 times in five of his last six games, and though he has only scored once since Week 5, Johnson has earned a spot as low-end WR1. Chase Claypool (3-82-0) hasn’t been able to match the success he enjoyed as a rookie, but he’s posted 175 yards receiving over the past two weeks and has borderline WR2/WR3 appeal.

Pittsburgh also appears to have found a young tight end with Pat Freiermuth (head), who has five TD receptions in his last five games. He’s currently in the NFL’s concussion protocol but looks to have chance of being cleared to play in Week 13. The rookie is a TE1 if he’s active. All three of the Steelers’ young playmakers should be attractive versus a Ravens defense that is currently last in the NFL in pass defense; they’ve given up 275.5 yards per game through the air. Even with that, Big Ben must remain benched.

BAL FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.11
BAL FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.24
BAL FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.17
BAL FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.3

Running Game Thoughts: As I noted last week, there were some worrying signs for the Steelers’ running game when Najee Harris (8-23-0) totaled 144 yards on 38 carries in a two-game span against the league’s two lowest ranked run defenses. Last week, the rookie set career lows in carries and yards. He also saw limited involvement as a receiver out of the backfield. Only Tampa Bay has allowed fewer rushing yards per game than the Ravens (84.2), so Pittsburgh will need to involve Harris more in the passing attack. He's still an RB1, but things are heading the wrong way.

Value Meter:
RB1: Najee Harris
WR1: Diontae Johnson
WR2/WR3: Chase Claypool
TE1: Pat Freiermuth (inj-concussion)
Bench: Ben Roethlisberger

Prediction: Ravens 24, Steelers 21 ^ Top

49ers at Seahawks - (Caron)
Line: SF -3.5
Total: 45.5

Passing Game Thoughts: Fantasy managers who selected Trey Lance early in drafts have been hugely disappointed, but the reality is that veteran starter Jimmy Garoppolo has done just enough to hold onto his starting job throughout the season and now it looks like he’s going to continue to keep it down the stretch as the 49ers make a final push for the playoffs. Unfortunately, Garoppolo himself doesn’t bring nearly the fantasy excitement that Lance would from the quarterback position. He’s been held to fewer than 20 fantasy points in all but one game and he’s finished with fewer than 12 points in three contests. That lack of upside combined with still possessing a pretty low floor makes Garoppolo a low-end QB2, especially against a team like Seattle who prefers to run a very slow-paced offense themselves and limit the total opportunities for both teams.

While Garoppolo himself isn’t exciting for fantasy, things have been good for wide receiver Deebo Samuel who has not only been an exceptional traditional pass catcher, but has also been one of the league’s most prominent “gadget” type contributors. Unfortunately, it looks as though Samuel is going to miss this week’s contest due to a groin injury, which certainly throws a wrench into things for this offense which has been featuring him so prominently.

With Samuel out, the obvious beneficiaries should be wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk and tight end George Kittle, both of whom have mostly been performing well as of late even with Samuel on the field. Aiyuk appears to be completely out of the dog house now and he has to be looked at as a pretty solid WR2 this week. The Seahawks have actually been quietly good against opposing wide receivers, but a consolidated target share should allow Aiyuk to still deliver a pretty decent fantasy day.

Kittle did have his worst game of the 2021 season this past week, but it looks to be mostly a blip on the radar, as he had scored a touchdown in each of his three previous games since returning from injury. The tight end position is just so terrible that it’s hard to believe that anyone has a better option than Kittle on their roster, so just try to look beyond this past week’s performance and understand that Kittle is one of the league’s most physically gifted players and should have an increased opportunity share here in Week 13.

SEA FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.22
SEA FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.2
SEA FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.19
SEA FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.9

Running Game Thoughts: Rookie running back Elijah Mitchell missed Week 11’s contest against the Jaguars due to injury, but sandwiching that game on either side is a 27-carry performance against the Rams and a 27-carry performance against the Vikings. That kind of usage on the ground is almost completely unprecedented in today’s game and with Deebo Samuel likely sidelined, there’s a real chance that Mitchell makes a push for that level of touches yet again this week.

Mitchell has emerged as a potential league winner down the stretch and he’ll have a huge opportunity this week against a Seahawks defense that has been horrible against opposing running backs. Seattle is coming off a game in which they just allowed the duo of Antonio Gibson and J.D. McKissic to 202 total yards and two touchdowns, including 12 receptions. The week prior to that saw them give up nearly 100 total yards and a touchdown to James Conner. Then before that they gave up 214 total yards and a pair of touchdowns to the duo of Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon. Needless to say, this team is getting exposed by opposing backs and Mitchell is red hot heading into this one. It’s been tough to truly call him an RB1 going into most weeks, but this is that opportunity. Play Mitchell with confidence this week.

Value Meter:
QB2: Jimmy Garoppolo (low-end)
RB1: Elijah Mitchell
WR2: Brandon Aiyuk
TE1: George Kittle (high end)
Bench: JaMycal Hasty, Jeff Wilson, Trey Sermon, Trent Sherfield, Jauan Jennings

Passing Game Thoughts: Following his injury and three relatively mediocre performances, Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson has now failed to reach 20 fantasy points since all the way back in Week 4. He had started the season off fairly hot with three such performances in his first four starts of the season, but he’s now been held to fewer than 250 yards passing in every game since Week 3. We’ve rarely seen Wilson be a truly high volume passer, but he’s typically been able to remain fantasy relevant due to his rushing ability and touchdown efficiency. That hasn’t been the case, however, as Wilson has reached 30 yards on the ground just once and he’s been held to one or fewer passing touchdowns in four of his seven starts. It’s tough to admit, sure, but this might just be what we get from Wilson through the remainder of the season, as it seems obvious that he isn’t fully healthy and the Seattle offense just isn’t innovative enough to get much out of him at the moment. With that information, it’s safe to move Wilson out of your fantasy team’s QB1 role, especially when playing a defense like San Francisco’s which hasn’t allowed a 250-yard passer since all the way back in Week 3 when Aaron Rodgers narrowly did it.

The low volume Seattle passing attack hurts everyone in the offense, but DK Metcalf has suffered the worst of all as of late. Metcalf has now turned in three straight sub-10-point PPR fantasy days for the Seahawks - the three worst fantasy games of his 2021 season. He’s only gone over 10 targets once this entire season, but he had been still delivering for fantasy owners due to his big play expertise and touchdown proficiency. That hasn’t been the case as of late, obviously. We have to assume that Metcalf’s upside is limited right now due to the Seahawks offense in general, so he needs to be dropped down from his usual mid-to-low WR1 status to more of a WR2.

Fellow wide receiver Tyler Lockett has actually put up decent fantasy numbers in back to back weeks, but he’s done so on just 10 total targets and it’s tough to believe that he can continue to have much success given his low opportunity share. The Seahawks have made it clear that they plan on continuing to run a very slow-paced, control-the-clock-type offense which just doesn’t give many opportunities for pass catchers to truly have huge days. Still, Lockett is a WR3/Flex player this week given that he’s scored 12 or more PPR fantasy points in three of his past four games. He’s a notoriously streaky player and this could just be one of his “hot” streaks.

Tight end Gerald Everett is a sneaky pickup on waiver wires this week as he’s now seen 21 targets over his past three games. For perspective, that’s more than either Metcalf or Lockett over that stretch. Certainly we shouldn’t be expecting that Everett is suddenly emerging as some sort of target volume monster, but we do know that Wilson seems to trust him and he’s been performing relatively well with the opportunities he’s been given. Tight end is a dumpster fire, so if you’re looking for a Darren Waller replacement or just in need of a change at the position, you could do worse than Everett right now.

SF FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.23
SF FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.14
SF FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.20
SF FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.29

Running Game Thoughts: An abdomen injury has Alex Collins’ status in doubt for this Sunday’s game against the 49ers. The running back saw just seven carries this past week - his fewest since becoming the every week starter earlier - and the Seahawks just added Adrian Peterson to their practice squad this week. Peterson hasn’t yet been activated to the main roster and likely won’t be if Collins is able to play, but that’s a situation to keep an eye on as Peterson’s lack of effectiveness in the passing game would be totally fine in this Seattle offense that pretty much doesn’t even bother to use their running backs as anything other than between-the-tackles grinders.

Assuming Collins is able to go, it’d be tough to trust him as anything more than a non-PPR flex play. Despite being the top back on the roster, Collins has failed to reach even 12 total touches in any game since Week 7. Not coincidentally, he also hasn’t scored a touchdown in any of those games.

Opportunity is king in fantasy football and we know that Seattle is willing to give him the ball near the goal line so there’s always the potential for a touchdown or even a multi-touchdown game, but this is just not a backfield you want to be invested in right now.

Value Meter:
QB2: Russell Wilson
WR2: DK Metcalf
WR3: Tyler Lockett
TE1: Gerald Everett (low end)
Flex: Alex Collins
Bench: Adrian Peterson, DeeJay Dallas, Rashaad Penny, Travis Homer, Freddie Swain, D'Wayne Eskridge, Will Dissly

Prediction: 49ers 27, Seahawks 20 ^ Top

Broncos at Chiefs - (Caron)
Line: KC -9.5
Total: 47.0

Passing Game Thoughts: Broncos quarterback Teddy Bridgewater hasn’t thrown for multiple touchdowns since all the way back in Week 7 and he’s now failed to reach even 225 passing yards in five straight contests after being knocked out of this past week’s contest against the Chargers. This week he gets another division matchup against the Chiefs.

Kansas City ranks third-worst in the NFL in fantasy points per game conceded to opposing quarterbacks this season so there’s some reason to believe that Bridgewater has hope in this game. However, the Chiefs have actually been quite good against opposing passers as of late. They completely shut down Dak Prescott when we saw them most recently, allowing him to throw just 216 yards and no touchdowns with two interceptions. They haven’t allowed a quarterback to reach 300 passing yards or throw for more than two touchdowns in a game since they played against Josh Allen back in Week 5. With the Chiefs coming off of their bye week, they should be well-rested and as healthy as they’ve been in quite some time, so it’s just too risky to go with someone with a low ceiling like Bridgewater in your lineup this week.

There are really only two pass catchers in Denver who should be considered for fantasy at the moment. The top one is wide receiver Jerry Jeudy who is coming off of his worst performance of the season, catching just two passes for 25 yards on only three targets this past week. Jeudy had, however, seen 17 targets over his previous two games and while he’s yet to find the end zone since returning from his injury, he’s still likely to continue to see the heaviest share of targets in this low volume Denver passing game. He’s not very exciting, but you could do worse than Jeudy in a PPR right now.

Tight end Noah Fant is also coming off of a disappointing performance against the Chargers, but he’s seen at least four targets in all but one game this season while averaging nearly six targets per game. No, those numbers aren’t anything to jump out of your chair for, but the tight end position is pretty terrible in 2021 so he’s a low-end TE1 in this contest.

Wide receivers Courtland Sutton and Tim Patrick have each had their moments, but neither player has done much since Jeudy returned to the lineup. In fact, the two of them each have just one double-digit PPR game over the Broncos’ past five games. That’s just not enough to make them viable fantasy options right now.

KC FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.3
KC FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.15
KC FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.26
KC FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.7

Running Game Thoughts: As fantasy owners, we absolutely hate split backfields. We’d much prefer one back to just become the every down bell cow so that we can reap all of the rewards in one easy little roster spot. Unfortunately, that’s not what we’ve seen in Denver at all this season. Through 12 weeks, Denver’s duo of Melvin Gordon and Javonte Williams have split the work almost equally and it’s shown in the fantasy numbers as neither player has been able to consistently deliver RB2 numbers, but both have been productive enough to be pretty consistent Flex players.

However, for the first time this season, it appears as though we might actually see a close-to-full touch distribution headed in one direction as Gordon is nursing multiple injuries that have kept him off of the practice field this week. He’s currently listed as questionable and we don’t have a great understanding of what’s to come for the remainder of the week, but with Gordon hampered and potentially completely sidelined, Williams becomes a very intriguing upside fantasy running back this week.

The Chiefs defense has been quite good against opposing running backs this season, but don’t let that take you off of Williams if we do find out that Gordon is going to be out or even limited. A 20-touch game would be quite attainable for him in that scenario and we’ve seen the rookie show off some truly special talent this season.

Pay close attention to the injury reports leading up to this weekend’s games, but understand that the Broncos and Chiefs play on Sunday night and there’s a chance that you won’t have the opportunity to shift around your lineup if Gordon does end up being out, so plan accordingly.

Value Meter:
RB2: Javonte Williams
TE1: Noah Fant (low end)
Flex: Melvin Gordon, Jerry Jeudy
Bench: Teddy Bridgewater, Courtland Sutton, Tim Patrick

Passing Game Thoughts: It’s no secret that the Chiefs and quarterback Patrick Mahomes have been struggling on offense as of late. Sure, they had the Week 10 slaughtering of the Raiders in which Mahomes threw for 406 yards and five touchdowns, but aside from that one exceptional performance, he’s been far outside of QB1 range in recent memory. Mahomes has been held to 14 or fewer standard fantasy points in four of his past five games, including his most recent game against the Cowboys in which he threw for just 260 yards and an interception while failing to throw a touchdown for the second time this season.

With the fantasy playoffs just around the corner, it’s reasonable to be worried about this passing game as defenses seem to be fully aware that the only two players on the roster who are capable of consistently getting open are Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce.

To make matters worse, the Chiefs now have the difficult task of playing against the Broncos who boast one of the league’s best pass defenses in 2021. While they struggled a bit this past week against Justin Herbert, Denver has still not allowed any quarterback to score more than two touchdowns against them yet this season and they’ve conceded just three passing days of over 270 yards on the year.

We know that Mahomes is capable of completely shattering all expectations, but this just isn’t an ideal on-paper matchup. He’s still a QB1 because of his insane upside, but we shouldn’t be looking at him as a locked in top-end option for this week.

While the other wide receivers in Kansas City have been a gigantic dud from a fantasy standpoint, Hill remains one of the league’s best. Not only has he delivered some big spike weeks with six 20-or-more point PPR days and four 27-or-more PPR days, but Hill has also been remarkably consistent for a player of his skill set. He’s only been held to fewer than 12 PPR points in three games. Sure, he does have a difficult on-paper matchup against a good Denver secondary, but his combination of floor and ceiling is practically unmatched. He’s a WR1 in just about any matchup.

With Darren Waller going down, the tight end position got even thinner this past week and it’s again looking more and more likely that Travis Kelce is going to finish as 2021’s highest-scoring fantasy tight end. The only player who even has a realistic chance of catching him is Baltimore’s Mark Andrews. Sure, it’s easy to look at Kelce’s total numbers this season and be a bit disappointed when comparing them to what he did last year, but the reality is that he’s still an incredible producer at the fantasy football’s thinnest position. The Broncos have been great against opposing tight ends this season, but this is a different beast that they’re facing here in Week 13.

DEN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.27
DEN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.21
DEN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.24
DEN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.28

Running Game Thoughts: Second-year running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire made his return to the field in Week 12, rushing for 63 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries against the Cowboys. This was notable because we weren’t entirely sure that he’d be able to get back to the workhorse role that he had been carving out earlier this season prior to his injury. What ended up happening, though, was that Darrel Williams saw just six touches in the game and it appears that the backfield is back to being a roughly 70/30 split.

Edwards-Helaire is in an interesting spot this week as he’ll be up against a Denver defense that is fairly good overall, but they’ve really struggled against opposing running backs in games that they’ve lost. With the Chiefs being about a 10-point favorite on sportsbooks, we have to assume that the Broncos could fall behind multiple scores in this one, which could certainly lead to a higher-than-normal workload for the Kansas City running backs.

Edwards-Helaire’s usage in the passing game has been disappointing since he came into the NFL, but he’s shown himself to be a reliable between-the-tackles runner. He had an additional week to get even healthier this past week, so this looks like a potential smash matchup for him. We’ll keep him out of RB1 territory for now, but CEH might be getting slept on by some fantasy analysts this week.

Value Meter:
QB1: Patrick Mahomes
RB2: Clyde Edwards-Helaire
WR1: Tyreek Hill
TE1: Travis Kelce (high-end)
Bench: Darrel Williams, Mecole Hardman, Demarcus Robinson, Byron Pringle

Prediction: Chiefs 30, Broncos 17 ^ Top

Patriots at Bills - (Ken Ilchuk)
Line: BUF -2.5
Total: 43.0

Passing Game Thoughts: Don’t look now, but Bill Belichick may be loosening the reins on rookie QB Mac Jones. Over the last three games, Jones is completing nearly 80% of his passes, has tossed 6 TD’s, is averaging just under 9.0 yards per attempt, and even has a 300-yard effort thrown in for good measure. Experts keep talking about his rookie mistakes and the Patriots’ run-first attack. But in that same three week span he’s thrown just one INT, and the run game is setting up the play-action game that is essentially driving his success. It’s a tough machup this week against a defense that has been embarrassed recently and may be looking to avenge itself. But Belichick and OC Josh McDaniels have been putting Jones in a position to succeed, and I wouldn’t be afraid to play him in a pinch.

The volume hasn’t been there for the Pats’ receivers. Given the run focus of the system and Jones’ ability to spread the ball around, only Jakobi Meyers and Kendrick Bourne get flex treatment this week. Bourne has caught 13 of 14 targets over the last three games for 201 yards and 3 TD. Meyers has caught 13 of 18 for just under 190 yards in the same span. TE Hunter Henry has been quiet in recent weeks and is coming off back-to-back scoreless weeks for the first time since Week 3. He will always be a threat the closer New England gets to the goal line, but he’s a TD-dependent TE2 this week.

BUF FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.32
BUF FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.26
BUF FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.32
BUF FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.27

Running Game Thoughts: The Bills defense was exposed by Colts RB Jonathan Taylor two weeks ago. I would expect Belichick to take a page from that book and attack Buffalo on the ground, keeping that pass rush at bay and using the play action pass to by time for Jones. Damien Harris splits 1st and 2nd down work with Rhamondre Stevenson, but Harris has been the favored back and should maintain RB2 status given his goal line work. Brandon Bolden has emerged as a 3rd down receiving threat, but as mentioned above, look for Harris to drive the offense, especially early.

Value Meter:
QB2: Mac Jones (mid-range)
RB2: Damien Harris (low-end)
RB3: Rhamondre Stevenson (mid-range)
TE2: Hunter Henry (low-end)
FLEX: WR Jakobi Meyers
BENCH: WR Kendrick Bourne, WR Nelson Agholor, TE Jonnu Smith

Passing Game Thoughts: When Allen has been on this year, like he was Thanksgiving night, he has been unbelievable. But when he’s struggled, he’s struggled badly. Last week, he faced a banged up Saints team. This week he lines up across from the best defense in the league, especially against the pass. Expect Bill Belichick to pressure from every corner of the field to keep Allen off-balance. He will also have to deal with a ball-hawking secondary that leads the NFL with 19 INT’s.

The good news is Allen has started to re-connect with WR Stefon Diggs, who has 6 TD’s in his last six games and at least five catches in five games during that stretch. Given the matchup, he’s a safe play as a WR2. TE Dawson Knox has returned from injury with 10 catches for 129 yards and two touchdowns in the last three games. He has been a go-to guy for Allen, but Belichick historically takes away what you do best, so expect tough sledding for the young, budding superstar this week.

NE FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.31
NE FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.12
NE FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.29
NE FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.32

Running Game Thoughts: The Patriots are allowing a surprising 4.5 yards per carry. RB Devin Singletary has taken over the lead role for now, and as a bit of a slasher, could post some decent numbers on the ground. But Matt Breida was averaging just under 10 yards per carry over two games leading up to Thanksgiving, and may be auditioning for a bigger role. But the truth is either of them is as critical to the rushing attack as Allen. The Bills staff has started including more designed runs in the game plan and given Allen more freedom to tuck it and run when he sees the opportunity. That could be a key to keeping this New England defense honest, but it will boost Allen’s stock more than any of their backs.

Value Meter:
QB1: Josh Allen (mid-range)
RB3: Devin Singletary (low-end)
WR2: Stefon Diggs (mid-range)
TE1: Dawson Knox (low-end)
FLEX: RB Matt Breida
BENCH: RB Zack Moss, WR Emmanuel Sanders, WR Cole Beasley

Prediction: Bills 16, Patriots 14 ^ Top