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Favorites & Fades


Week 9

By: Mike Krueger | Ken Ilchuk | Nick Caron | HC Green
Updated: 11/6/22

Thursday:

PHI @ HOU


Sunday Early:

MIN @ WAS | CAR @ CIN | BUF @ NYJ | IND @ NE

LV @ JAX | MIA @ CHI | GB @ DET | LAC @ ATL


Sunday Late:

SEA @ ARI | LAR @ TB

TEN @ KC


Monday:

BAL @ NO

Notes:
- Green highlight indicates plus matchup (top eight)
- Red highlight indicates negative matchup (bottom eight)
- Lines and totals updated Sunday morning

Eagles @ Texans - (Ilchuk)
Line: PHI -13.5
Total: 46.5

HOU FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.30
HOU FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.1
HOU FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.28
HOU FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.22

No Brainers: QB Jalen Hurts, TE Dallas Goedert

Favorite: RB Miles Sanders

Sanders has established himself as the clear lead dog in the Eaglesí backfield, averaging 80 ground yards per game and nearly 5.0 yards per carry. Heís also second on the team to QB Jalen Hurts with five rushing TDís. This week he gets a matchup with a Texans defense that has allowed an NFL-high 1302 rushing yards to date, and a 5.6 yard per carry rate, second worst in the league. This is a defense thatís built to eliminate the big plays in the passing game but allows 29.0 fantasy points per game to RBís on the season. Heís a solid RB1 play again this week as he and Hurst ground and pound their way to another big win.

On the Fence: WR A.J. Brown

Brownís big day against the Steelers last week inched him in front of DeVonta Smith for the team lead in targets and catches, but he has a sizeable lead in receiving yards. But that number may hit a slight hiatus this week. If thereís one thing Texansí HC Lovie Smith knows, itís defense, especially when it comes to defending the pass. The Cover Two zone he helped develop and perfect years ago as a Buccaneers assistant in Tampa is meant to limit big plays in the passing game. So, while Brown may catch his average 5-6 passes this week, I donít expect to see him running all over the field for YAC yards. Heís still a WR1, particularly in PPR formats, but his yards could be down this week, and itís not sound strategy to expect three touchdowns a game as he posted last week.

Fade: WR DeVonta Smith

The guy who was once the vertical threat in this offense, Smith is down over three yards per catch on average compared to last season, and itís been a bleak October. The former Heisman winner has just 10 catches on 13 targets for only 67 yards combined over the last two games as A.J. Brown takes center stage in the passing attack. With his slip to WR2 status, the limitations Houstonís Cover Two will put on the deep ball, and what I would expect is a run-heavy gameplan against a porous run defense, look for Smithís slide to continue for at least another week. If youíre going to play a pass catcher from this offense it should be TE Dallas Goedert. TEís traditional find success on seam routes between the two split safeties in the Cover Two.

PHI FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.29
PHI FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.14
PHI FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.25
PHI FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.20

No Brainers: N/A

Favorite: RB Dameon Pierce

Heading into last weekís debacle, Pierce had amassed at least 80 ground yards and averaged at least 4.0 yards per game in four straight games. In that same span, he totaled 15 catches for almost 70 yards receiving. The Titans were ready for him, though. The Eagles might not be. Philly is allowing 5.2 yards per carry and an average of 17.9 fantasy points per game to RBís this season. Thereís really nothing else to defend on this offense though, so limit Pierceís fantasy expectations to a low-end RB2 this week.

On the Fence: QB Davis Mills

It was another tough day on the rollercoaster that is Davis Millsí 2022 season. The former Stanford Cardinal had his second 150-yard day in three weeks and is averaging just over 5.0 yards per attempt during that three-game string. He did squeeze a 300-yard effort in there, and he has found the end zone, throwing five scoring passes in the last four games. But this Eagles defense is 4th in completion percentage, 2nd in yards per attempt, tied for 2nd in interceptions and tied for 5th in sacks. This is probably not the week to put the inconsistent Mills on your roster, though with Philly focused on Pierce and the run game, Mills may have some success using his backs and TEís in the quick passing game.

Update: It appears Brandin Cooks is unhappy and will be inactive tonight.

Fade: WR Brandin Cooks

Cooks should be blowing up the stat line with Nico Collins out these days, but this passing attack has devolved into a check-down marathon. His six targets last week accounted for just 20% of the team target share, and he hasn’t had more than four catches in a game since the beginning of October. Don’t let the stat line from last week fool you either. Of his 73 receiving yards, 70 came on the final drive of the game. It won’t be much better this week against one of the best passing defenses in the league. He's quickly becoming irrelevant.

Prediction: Eagles 41, Texans 20 ^ Top

Vikings @ Commanders - (Caron)
Line: MIN -3.0
Total: 43.5

WAS FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.14
WAS FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.20
WAS FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.9
WAS FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.31

No Brainers: RB Dalvin Cook, WR Justin Jefferson

Favorite: WR Adam Thielen

Itís been the Justin Jefferson show in Minnesota this season, but Thielen is still quietly delivering some quality fantasy performances. The veteran has scored at least 12 fantasy points in four of his past five games and heís now been targeted at least seven times in every game since his disappointing four-target Week 1. His low depth of target means that heís converting a high percentage of his opportunities into catches and while his upside is minimal, heís a pretty high-floor WR3/Flex, especially against a Washington defense that ranks as a top-10 opponent for opposing wide receivers this season.

On the Fence: TE T.J. Hockenson

Losing Irv Smith to what will likely end up being a season-ending ankle injury meant that the Vikings were in the market for a tight end and they absolutely went for it, acquiring Hockenson from the Lions this week. Hockenson has been one of the few tight ends whoís been a difference-maker for fantasy throughout his career and while heís never been at the elite level, heís always been a reliable second-tier tight end who occasionally delivers big weeks. Unfortunately, a move to a new team often means a less-than-full snap share, especially at a complicated position like tight end, which makes things a bit complicated for his fantasy value this week. To make matters worse, Hockenson faces a Washington defense that has been excellent against opposing tight ends, having conceded the second-fewest points to the position on the year. Still, tight end remains a dumpster fire throughout the league, so managers are unlikely to have another option on their roster who can actually deliver difference-making production, so Hockenson is probably a must-start for those who are rostering him.

Fade: RB Alexander Mattison

An Alexander Mattison touchdown in Week 8 had those starting Dalvin Cook on tilt, but donít get too excited if youíve got the Vikings backup on your roster - at least not yet. Mattison is still touching the ball fewer than seven times per game on average this season and while he has snuck into the end zone three times, heís really just a premier handcuff to one of the leagueís best backs. Donít fall for the ďhe scored last weekĒ trap - keep him on your bench unless Dalvin Cook ends up missing time with an injury.

MIN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.8
MIN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.22
MIN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.7
MIN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.9

No Brainers: N/A

Favorite: WR Terry McLaurin

Rookie wide receiver Jahan Dotson remains sidelined with a hamstring injury and is looking less likely to play in Week 9 by the day. This should mean another strong usage week for veteran Terry McLaurin who has really stepped up in the past two weeks since Taylor Heinicke took over as the starting quarterback. McLaurin has delivered his two best fantasy performances of the season in these two games, including a season-high 113 yards against the Colts in Week 8. Heís still not getting a massive target volume as the Commanders remain a very balanced offense, but theyíve also faced a lot of struggling offenses this season which has allowed them to lean heavily on the run. Minnesota ranks in the top-10 offenses in points per game right now, however, so look for the Commanders to have to pass a bit more than usual in order to stay on pace. That should mean good things for McLaurin and his chances to make it three-straight solid WR2 fantasy performances.

On the Fence: WR Curtis Samuel

With only McLaurin as target competition, wide receiver Curtis Samuel has been able to continue producing adequate fantasy numbers since his early season breakout. Sure, heís not winning you weeks, but Samuel does have double-digit PPR points in six of his eight games this season, including each of his past two contests with Taylor Heinicke at quarterback. He saw a season-low four targets this past week which should cause fantasy managers to raise an eyebrow, but heís also carried the ball nine times in his past two games, which means that the team is making it a point to get him the ball, even if it means artificially manufacturing touches for him. Heís a low-ceiling player and doesnít have quite enough volume to be completely safe, but Samuel is someone who you can feel decent enough about starting if youíre in a pinch during this difficult bye-week situation.

Fade: RB Brian Robinson Jr.

Rookie running back Brian Robinsonís season has been a rollercoaster, but this past week was certainly one of the low points as he played the third-most snaps in the Commandersí backfield despite the team winning its third straight game. Robinson is the least likely of the three Commanders running backs to be on the field for passing downs and Washington could very well find themselves trailing throughout this game against the Vikings who are currently 6-1. Robinson has also been less efficient than Antonio Gibson with his carries this season, so thereís also a strong chance that this remains an ugly, crowded backfield that youíll want to avoid unless youíre in utter desperation during this Week 9 bye-pocalypse.

In fact, if youíre in need of a Washington back to start this week, Gibson probably makes the most sense, as heís now caught at least three passes in five straight contests, including his seven-catch performance this past week against the Colts. The fact that Washington didnít move Gibson at the trade deadline would seem to indicate that theyíre still interested in seeing what they have in him. Nevertheless, as stated above, this is a backfield that is probably going to cause a lot of headaches for fantasy managers who think they have it figured out, only to later realize that even the coaches donít seem to have a real grasp on what they want to do.

Prediction: Vikings 24, Commanders 20 ^ Top

Panthers @ Bengals - (Green)
Line: CIN -7.0
Total: 42.5

CIN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.28
CIN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.26
CIN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.24
CIN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.14

No Brainers: WR D.J. Moore

Favorite: RB DíOnta Foreman

Trading away Christian McCaffrey was supposed to be Carolina waving the white flag, but Foreman has stepped in and rushed for 118 yards in back-to-back games while visiting the end zone three times against the Falcons last Sunday. He carried the ball 26 times, which is likely to come down a tick or two if Chuba Hubbard (ankle) returns after missing Week 8 with an ankle injury. Still, watching Nick Chubb run for 101 yards and a pair of TDs gives Foreman a lot of upside against a Bengals defense playing on a short week and in their final game before their bye. Consider Foreman a low-end RB2.

On the Fence: RB Chuba Hubbard (ankle)

The team hopes Hubbard will return in Week 9 after missing the previous game, giving them the one-two punch they utilized in beating the Bucs where Hubbard logged 73 yards and a touchdown before departing with the injury. The play of Foreman means he should serve as the lead back, but taking the Browns as an example, they still managed to get Kareem Hunt 15 touches to Chubbís 24 on Monday night. That gives Hubbard some intriguing flex value, assuming heís active.

Fade: N/A

CAR FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.16
CAR FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.12
CAR FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.10
CAR FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.19

No Brainers: QB Joe Burrow, RB Joe Mixon, WR Tee Higgins

Favorite: WR Tyler Boyd

With JaíMarr Chase (hip) out, the Bengals passing game struggled badly Monday night as Burrow faced down a heavy rush and none of his receivers reached the 50-yard plateau. Carolina lacks Clevelandís ability to rush the passer, however, with only two clubs having fewer sacks on the season than the Panthers. Given time, Burrow should be able to connect with a receiving corps thatís still talented, which pushes Boyd up the rankings. The veteran was a luxury item when Chase was healthy, but now he should step into the No. 2 slot behind Higgins. Thatís enough to provide low-end WR3 value.

On the Fence: TE Hayden Hurst

The other statistical beneficiary from the Chase injury should be Hurst, who finished second on the club in both receptions (4) and receiving yards (42) on MNF. His upside isnít as high as Boydís, to be sure, but he could be a volume target for Burrow if the focus is on moving the chains. Atlantaís Kyle Pitts reemerged after several quiet weeks to post a 5-80-1 line against the Panthers last weekend, and though Hurst canít match Pittsí athleticism, he could still find enough space to be a fringe TE1 candidate.

Fade: N/A

Prediction: Bengals 24, Panthers 19 ^ Top

Bills @ Jets - (Caron)
Line: BUF -10.5
Total: 46.0

NYJ FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.23
NYJ FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.21
NYJ FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.26
NYJ FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.15

No Brainers: QB Josh Allen, WR Stefon Diggs

Favorite: WR Gabriel Davis

Those expecting Gabe Davis to blossom into a reliable every-week fantasy starter here in 2022 have been disappointed, but things really havenít been that bad for the Billsí WR2. Davis has seen at least five targets in all but one game heís started this season, including a season-high seven targets in the Billsí Week 8 victory over the Packers and while he only caught two of those passes, he remains by far the most involved Bills pass catcher, after Diggs. Heís probably always going to be a boom-or-bust type of player, but youíre not going to want to try to guess when heíll have his down weeks and end up missing on a potential boom. Either continue putting Davis in your lineup or look to trade him prior to your leagueís deadline.

On the Fence: RB Devin Singletary

The backfield in Buffalo might have just gotten significantly more crowded and frustrating for fantasy as the team made a move to send Zack Moss and a late-round pick in exchange for Colts pass-catching back Nyheim Hines. Despite playing behind one of the leagueís most dominant backfield-mates, Hines has already made 25 receptions this season and could start assuming a primary passing down role in Buffalo as soon as this week. Itís sometimes tough for a back to immediately cement himself in a new offense so quickly, which is why weíre going to remain at least a big optimistic about Singletaryís chances for success, but heís been a disappointment overall this season even prior to this move. Singletary has been held under double-digit fantasy points in all but three of his games and heís really only delivered one spike performance to help ease the sting that fantasy managers are feeling. The RB landscape is a disaster right now, so Singletary is probably going to be in a lot of lineups this week, but this is the time to start looking elsewhere if possible.

Fade: RB Nyheim Hines, RB James Cook

As mentioned above, the addition of Hines further complicates what was already a frustrating backfield for fantasy purposes, but one thing that it will likely do is completely zap whatever fantasy value James Cook had. Cook was originally believed to have been drafted to play passing downs, but heís actually only caught five passes on the season (four of them in one game back in Week 3) and heís only touching the ball a few times per week as it is. Cook is nothing more than a potential handcuff for Singletary at this time. Hines, on the other hand, has some potential to be useful down the stretch this season as he becomes more acclimated in one of the leagueís best offenses, but heíll likely need at least a week or two to really pick up the offense and start to play a significant enough number of snaps to be fantasy relevant.

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

No Brainers: N/A

Favorite: WR Garrett Wilson

Corey Davis missed Week 8 with a knee injury and still has not practiced as of Wednesday. Even without Davis on the field, Elijah Moore remained an afterthought in the Jets offense as he played just 10 snaps - fifth-most among Jets wide receivers. Meanwhile, rookie Garrett Wilson finished with the most snaps on the team for the second straight week and saw more targets (7) than all other Jets wide receivers combined in Week 8. These trends should have fantasy managers at least a bit excited that we could be headed back toward a heavier target share for Wilson like he was seeing earlier in the season when Joe Flacco was behind center. Wilson is still really only a starter in deep formats, but heís someone to keep an eye on as the Jets will likely need to pass much more heavily than usual in order to compete with the high-powered Bills offense here in Week 9.

On the Fence: RB Michael Carter

Michael Carterís opportunity to earn back the top running back role in New York got off to a bit of a disappointing start in Week 8, as the second-year back touched the ball just 11 times in his teamís home loss to the Patriots. Heíll have another opportunity to command significant touches against another division rival this week as the Jets host the Bills in what will be an extremely important contest for New Yorkís chances of making a playoff run and potentially competing for the division. Carter played more than two-thirds of the Jetsí snaps this past week and should remain the primary back at least for now, but James Robinson had only been on the roster for a few days prior to the game, so heís likely going to begin to see more snaps as early as this week. Those rostering Carter will just have to hope that those snaps come at the expense of Ty Johnson and not Carter.

Fade: RB James Robinson

A five-carry, 17-yard debut in New York wasnít anything special for James Robinson, but thatís about what we should have been expecting from a player who had only been on the Jetsí roster for a few days prior to suiting up. Still, Robinson does not possess quite as wide of a range of skills as Carter does and heís almost certainly still learning the offense this week, so avoiding him for fantasy again this week probably makes a lot of sense. Weíll hope to see him get more opportunities this week, but itís unlikely that he will suddenly become the new bell cow this soon.

Prediction: Bills 30, Jets 17 ^ Top

Colts @ Patriots - (Caron)
Line: NE -5.0
Total: 40.0

NE FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.11
NE FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.32
NE FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.22
NE FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.8

Update: Jonathan Taylor has been ruled out.

No Brainers: RB Jonathan Taylor (ankle)

Favorite: WR Michael Pittman Jr.

The quarterback change from veteran Matt Ryan to first-time starter Sam Ehlinger was bound to bring some changes to the Indianapolis offense, but one thing that seemed to not change was wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr.ís involvement in the offense. Pittman led the team with a whopping 39 percent target share in Ehlingerís debut in Week 8, catching seven of those passes for 53 yards. While his target depth remains quite low for a perceived alpha receiver, Pittmanís usage has helped him remain a mid-level WR2 even in what has been a tumultuous season in Indianapolis. Heís caught at least five passes in all but one game this season and should remain a weekly starter in all formats as he stays healthy.

On the Fence: RB Deon Jackson

One of the more interesting and under-the-radar situations in fantasy this week is the backfield in Indianapolis. The Colts traded longtime satellite back Nyheim Hines to the Bills this week, getting grinder Zack Moss as part of the package in return. Thereís no question that Jonathan Taylor is the bell cow in this backfield when heís healthy, but he tweaked his ankle in the Coltsí Week 8 loss to the Commanders and has still not practiced as of Wednesday. Taylor probably doesnít need to practice at all in order to still have some potential to start against the Patriots, but thereís a real chance that he ends up sitting out this game, considering that the Colts have all but told us that theyíre not trying to compete in 2022 and risking the long-term health of their star offensive weapon is just bad business.

If Taylor does sit, look for Deon Jackson to assume the role of bell cow back, at least for this one game. Jackson was wildly productive in his two opportunities to play significant snaps earlier this season, including delivering a shocking 10-catch game in Week 6. Heíd have an opportunity to touch the ball 20-plus times in this one and that alone would make him a strong RB2 this week if Taylor is unable to go.

Fade: WR Parris Campbell

While Pittman remained a target hog in Sam Ehlingerís debut, the same unfortunately cannot be said for Parris Campbell. Campbell had commanded 22 targets in Matt Ryanís final two weeks as the starter in Indianapolis, but that fell to just two targets in Ehlingerís debut in Week 8. Obviously, this was just a one-game sample size and we canít completely eliminate Campbell from our radar, but this is likely to be a low-volume passing game to begin with and getting ancillary pieces of that type of offense is rarely conducive to success in fantasy football.

IND FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.19
IND FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.11
IND FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.31
IND FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.13

No Brainers: RB Rhamondre Stevenson

Favorite: WR Jakobi Meyers

After matching a season-high 13 targets in Week 8, the strong season from Jakobi Meyers continues to fly under the radar in most fantasy circles. Meyers hasnít delivered a ton of huge games, but heís finished with double-digit PPR points in every game, making him one of the most reliable WR3/Flex options in the game, who occasionally also delivers strong WR2 numbers. This week he faces a Colts defense that has given up the second-fewest fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers this season, but theyíre also coming off of giving up their first 100-yard receiver (Terry McLaurin) of the season this past week.

On the Fence: N/A

Update: Damen Harris is unlikely to play.

Fade: RB Damien Harris

The monster breakout season for Rhamondre Stevenson continues to roll on, much to the frustration of those invested in Damien Harris. Harris has now failed to reach double-digit points in three straight starts and has needed a touchdown to reach that total in all three of the games heís done so this season. Harris is currently dealing with an illness that has held him out of practice this week and while heís expected to play, he might be even more limited than usual. Heíll need a touchdown to be relevant and the Patriotsí offense just isnít producing enough points to make that something youíll want to rely on.

Prediction: Patriots 23, Colts 16 ^ Top

Raiders @ Jaguars - (Ilchuk)
Line: LV -2.0
Total: 48.0

JAC FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.13
JAC FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.9
JAC FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.15
JAC FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.24

Update: Darren Waller is unlikely to play.

No Brainers: WR Davante Adams

Favorite: QB Derek Carr

Listen, I saw it. I know. It was awful last week. And I have watched the Raiders evolve into a run-first, run heavy attack. But everyone needs to pump the brakes on the Carr bashing. This guy is a fierce competitor, and based on nothing more than what I see, I donít expect a second dismal outing. In the two games prior, he was averaging almost 9.0 yards per attempt with three touchdowns. His interception last week was his first since Week 3. This Jaguars defense is focused on stopping the run and has one of the worst pass rush groups in the league. The ball will end up in Carrís hands, and he will have time to throw. As a bye week replacement, heís a valid QB1 on Sunday.

On the Fence: RB Josh Jacobs

At 4.0 yards allowed per carry, the Jags have one of the best run defense units in the league. However, HC Josh McDaniels will still force him the rock, especially early, and Jacksonville is yielding 26.8 fantasy points per game to RBís this season, including a league leading 407 receiving yards.

Fade: WR Mack Hollins

Hollins is the clear WR2 in Vegas now, playing behind Davante Adams and ahead of Hunter Renfrow. He actually leads the team in yards per catch (14.7) and is second in targets, receptions, and receiving yards. Despite that, he hasnít shown much fantasy relevance. His seven catches last week only went for 64 yards and marked his biggest output since Week 3. In the three games prior, he had just five total catches for 77 yards. Heís on the sideline for me this week.

LV FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.2
LV FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.5
LV FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.16
LV FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.3

No Brainers: N/A

Favorite: RB Travis Etienne

Etienne is the Jaguars offense, and with James Robinson off to New York, the path has been cleared for an even bigger role. Etienne has at least 10 carries in each of the last four games, and that number has grown steadily, culminating in 27 total touches last week. Heís averaging 6.2 yards per carry and 9.2 yards per catch for the season, and his 50.9 fantasy points over the last three weeks is fourth among all RBís. Heís looking more and more like a clear RB1 the rest of the way, especially this week against a Raiders defense that is allowing nearly 20 fantasy points per game to RBís.

On the Fence: QB Trevor Lawrence

The Raiders are allowing the second most fantasy points to QBís in the league (25.8), which explains why Lawrence is ranked No.8 in this weekís FFT rankings. But he has just one 300-yard effort on the resume this year, is averaging just 6.6 yards per attempt, and has thrown only two touchdown passes in the last month. Plus, with the emergence of Travis Etienne, the Jags are leaning on the run game more and more. I just donít know if the matchup alone is enough to make me take the leap.

Fade: WR Christian Kirk

Kirk, while still the top target in this passing attack, hasnít topped 40 yards in a game in three of the last four and hasnít posted a 100-yard effort since Week 1. Heís averaging more than seven targets per game, but what he does with them is inconsistent at best. The Raiders are middle of the pack against wide receivers and havenít allowed a 100-yard game yet this season.

Prediction: Raiders 28, Jaguars 27 ^ Top

Dolphins @ Bears - (Green)
Line: MIA -4.5
Total: 46.0

CHI FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.20
CHI FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.6
CHI FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.30
CHI FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.25

No Brainers: RB Raheem Mostert, WR Tyreek Hill, WR Jaylen Waddle

Favorite: QB Tua Tagovailoa

Tagovailoa is coming off his best game since Week 2, passing for 382 yards and three TDs in a comeback win over the Lions. Heíll remain in the NFC North this Sunday against a Bears defense that has traded away premium players Robert Quinn and Roquan Smith in successive weeks. While Chicagoís pass defense ranks fifth at 188 yards allowed per game on the year, thatís more a byproduct of their porous run defense (156 YPG; 31st in the NFL) than an actual asset. Miami is a passing team, and their strength is the duo of Hill and Waddle. That wonít change this weekend, making Tagovailoa a solid QB1.

On the Fence: N/A

Fade: RB Jeff Wilson

As noted, the Bears are atrocious defensively against the run, and that was before the Quinn and Smith deals. Wilson, acquired this week from the 49ers, should be able to hit the ground running for the most part, but itíd still be a lot to ask for Wilson to step right in and deliver fantasy-worthy numbers. A more likely scenario is heíll spell Mostert in a similar capacity to Chase Edmonds, who was traded to Denver, which would mean around 20 snaps. Wilson is worth owning, but the safe play is to keep him benched here.

MIA FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.9
MIA FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.10
MIA FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.12
MIA FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.6

No Brainers: RB David Montgomery

Favorite: RB Khalil Herbert

It took a while, but it appears the Bears have finally warmed to the idea of getting Herbert meaningful touches even when Montgomery is healthy. Over the last three games, the second-year pro has 35 carries and one reception, 260 combined yards, and a pair of touchdowns. Miami ranks among the NFLís better run defenses, sitting sixth at 100.6 yards allowed per game on the ground, but watching the Bears shred both New England and Dallas should be enough to give you the confidence to get Herbert in your lineup as a midrange RB3.

On the Fence: QB Justin Fields

As a passer, Fields still appears painfully slow to pull the trigger. As a runner, however, the Ohio State product is making things happen. Over his last three games, Fields has rushed for 230 yards and 2 TDs, which puts him squarely into QB1 territory at a time when so many normally reliable producers (Brady, Rodgers, Stafford, Wilson...) have gone into the tank statistically. The concern, of course, is if Miami can lock down Fields as a runner, his limitations as a passer could lead to a low floor. At this stage, though, itís a risk worth taking.

Fade: WR Chase Claypool

After trading away a pair of premium defensive players, the Bears swung a deal with the Steelers to acquire Claypool in the hope heíll give Fields another reliable target to pair with Darnell Mooney. It may bear fruit. It may not. Fantasy owners would be wise to adopt a wait-and-see approach with Claypool, however, as the Notre Dame alum has only topped 50 yards in a game once this year and has just three TDs over his last 23 games. He belongs on your bench.

Prediction: Dolphins 30, Bears 20 ^ Top

Packers @ Lions - (Green)
Line: GB -3.5
Total: 49.5

DET FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.4
DET FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.3
DET FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.5
DET FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.7

No Brainers: RB Aaron Jones

Favorite: QB Aaron Rodgers, WR Allen Lazard (shoulder)

Points have been hard to come by during Green Bayís ongoing four-game losing streak, but there are two things working in their favor: 1) the Lions rank last in the NFL in yards and points allowed this season, and 2) Rodgers torched Detroit in 2021, passing for 393 yards and six TDs in six quarters of action. If anything can get No. 12 and this offense back on track, itís the Lionsí defense. Given how badly heís struggled this year, Rodgers does carry some risk, but heís a worthwhile gamble as a QB1 here. As for Lazard, he could be a WR3 if he returns from the shoulder injury that kept him out Sunday night. If not, slide Romeo Doubs into that spot.

On the Fence: RB AJ Dillon

The highlight of Green Bayís performance in Buffalo was their running game, which accounted for 208 yards on 31 attempts (a very healthy 6.7 YPC). Dillon chipped in with 10 of those carries for 54 yards and added a nine-yard reception for good measure. The bruising back could be in for a big day against the leagueís 30th-ranked run defense, but there are a pair of caveats. The Packers typically shy away from their running game, even when itís working, and Jones is the star attraction, so Dillon might not get enough touches to deliver. As an RB3 or flex, Dillon is a decent selection.

Fade: N/A

GB FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.31
GB FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.17
GB FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.23
GB FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.29

Update: D'Andre Swift expected to be limited.

No Brainers: RB DíAndre Swift, WR Amon-Ra St. Brown

Favorite: RB Jamaal Williams

Thereís a lot to like about Williamsí prospects this Sunday. The former Packer is already motivated to play his former club, and Green Bay has been only slightly better than the Lions in run defense as they sit 29th at 141.3 yards per game. Then thereís Swift, who returned in Week 8 but only had 10 combined touches to Williamsí 13 -- Swift did play 11 more snaps. Only Nick Chubb (10) has more rushing scores than Williams (8), and the veteran looks like a borderline RB2/RB3 for this divisional matchup.

On the Fence: WR Josh Reynolds

With T.J. Hockenson being traded to the Vikings and D.J. Chark (ankle) on IR, Reynolds is the No. 2 option for Detroitís passing game behind St. Brown. Heís done nothing in two games since the bye with 22 yards on three receptions combined, but if the Lions find themselves playing from behind, he could see a lot of action. Consider Reynolds a dicey flex with some juice.

Fade: QB Jared Goff

Over his last three games, Goff has averaged 259 yards and posted a combined 1:3 TD-to-INT ratio. For all their struggles, the Packers rank second in the NFL in pass defense, allowing 174.8 yards per game via the air -- Josh Allen managed just 13 completions on Sunday night. Expect a lot of running from Detroit and keep Goff on your bench.

Prediction: Packers 31, Lions 23 ^ Top

Chargers @ Falcons - (Ilchuk)
Line: LAC -3.0
Total: 49.5

ATL FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.3
ATL FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.19
ATL FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.1
ATL FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.4

No Brainers: QB Justin Herbert

Favorite: RB Austin Ekeler

Ekeler popped up on the injury report with an abdomen injury causing him to be limited in practice this week. It sounds like heís good to go but check his status Friday evening to make sure. On the field, Ekeler is the team leader in targets (61) and receptions (53), and is also pacing the Bolts in rushing, averaging 4.5 yards per carry. He has 10 total touchdowns through seven games. Heís a set it and forget it RB1.

On the Fence: TE Gerald Everett

Normally, Everett would be a fourth option at best in this attack. But with every viable WR threat either out completely, or playing at less than full capacity, heís had a bit of a coming out in recent weeks. His nine targets against the Seahawks in Week 7 were tied for second on the team and he has 16 total targets in the least two contests. He has also posted at least five receptions in three of the last four games. He takes his recent hot streak to ATL, which is giving up just under 10 fantasy points per game to TEís this season. Heís a low-end TE1 play.

Fade: All wide receivers

Word came down this week that Mike Williams, who leads the team in receiving yards, yards per catch, 100-yard games and receiving touchdowns, will be out weeks, not days with the ankle injury suffered in Week 7. There was hope, certainly amongst some fantasy owners, that last weekís bye would allow Williams to be ready for a return against the Falcons, but itís not to be. Keenan Allen (hamstring) isnít completely healthy either and unlikely to play. Time to look for other options. Josh Palmer, DeAndre Carter, Michael Bandy are likely to be the starting receivers with Palmer being the only real consideration. His low aDOT might be helpful in PPR leagues but this a group to avoid.

LAC FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.15
LAC FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.2
LAC FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.11
LAC FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.18

Update: Cordarrelle Patterson expected to play.

No Brainers: N/A

Favorite: RB Tyler Allgeier

The critics will say Allgeier is splitting snaps with Caleb Huntley. What I see is a guy who has touched the ball at least 15 times in each of the last three games. Granted, it has been with modest results behind a below-average o-line. But what the run-first Falcons hopefully saw last week is what he can do with the ball in space as a receiver out of the backfield. With even Kyle Pitts suffering the effects of HC Arthur Smithís refusal to throw the ball, Allgeier is the only viable fantasy option in this offense, albeit as a low end RB2 or flex option.

On the Fence: TE Kyle Pitts

Pitts made all the highlight reels in Week 8 with his second touchdown of the season. But while some may see it as a turning point for his season, I donít. HC Arthur Smith isnít going to suddenly ask him not to block anymore. It was a blip on the screen of this season, and if you hit on it, great. But I canít say that heís in line for another big day against a physical Chargers secondary that has done a pretty good job on TEís thus far this season.

Fade: WR Drake London

London hasnít had more than four catches in a game since Week 2, and in that same span has eclipsed 50 receiving yards only once, barely. He hasnít seen the end zone since Week 3. This much talent being wasted in this offense is bordering on criminal.

Prediction: Falcons 18, Chargers 17 ^ Top

Seahawks @ Cardinals - (Krueger)
Line: ARI -2.0
Total: 49.0

ARI FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.5
ARI FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.16
ARI FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.17
ARI FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.2

No Brainers: RB Kenneth Walker

Favorite: QB Geno Smith, WR DK Metcalf, WR Tyler Lockett

Geno Smith has been one of the surprises halfway through the season currently sitting as the QB10 in FPts/G. His 1924 yards ranks 8th in the league and the Arizona defense, while better than you might expect, has given up the 5th most fantasy points to QBs including two blow up games to Patrick Mahomes and Andy Dalton. Smith leads the league with a 72.7% completion percentage.

DK Metcalf (knee) and Tyler Lockett (hamstring) both played through injuries last week and both found the endzone. Metcalf has double-digit targets in three out of 8 games this season while Lockett leads the team in receptions (46) and yards (531). Despite a low-scoring affair back in Week 6 (SEA 19, ARI 9), this is the second-highest total game of the week (49.0).

On the Fence: TEs Will Dissly, Noah Fant

It seems weíve been targeting the Cardinals defense with our tight end plays for years, and for good reason. The annually are a great matchup for the position and this year is no exception. Only Seattle has given up more receiving yards to the position and a whopping 7 TD have been scored against them. Problem is, both Dissly and Fant are seeing a significant number of snaps making it difficult to pick a favorite. For the season, Dissly has the slightly higher snap percentage (65 to 60). Fant has more targets but Dissly has more yards (206) and TDs (3). Both are viable options this week.

Fade: WR Marquise Goodwin (groin)

The third wide receiver hasnít been a factor in the Seattle offense for many years and thereís no reason to expect Goodwin to be a thing this week. His five targets in each of the last two weeks are noteworthy, but heís missed practice this week with a groin injury and both Lockett and Metcalf are expected to play.

SEA FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.12
SEA FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.8
SEA FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.29
SEA FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.1

No Brainers: QB Kyler Murray, TE Zach Ertz

Favorite: WR DeAndre Hopkins

Hopkins hasnít wasted any time getting into the action, posting two 100-yard receiving games on 27 targets since returning from his six-game suspension to start the season. The Seahawks have done a good job against receivers this season, allowing only one 100-yard game (Jerry Jeudy Wk1) but Hopkins is an alpha and his target share alone is good enough to feel comfortable with him as a WR1 any week. If youíre concerned about such a thing, Seattle rookie cornerback Tariq Woolen typically sticks to one side of the formation so he wonít be shadowing Hopkins all game.

On the Fence: WR Rondale Moore

Moore is coming off his best game of the season, a 7-92-1 line on 8 targets against the Vikings. Playing second fiddle to Hopkins can have its advantages if the defenseís attention is focused elsewhere. Moore did have ten targets the last time these two teams played (Wk6) and the game environment does give hope the Kyler can support two receivers in this contest even with tight end Zach Ertz gobbling up receptions over the middle. Flex consideration is where Moore lands this week.

Update: James Conner likely to play.

Fade: RB James Conner (ribs)

Conner has missed the last three games with a rib injury but has been getting in some practice time on a limited basis. On the field heís uninspiring, running 3.7 yards every time he touches the ball and only has 1 TD on the season. Whether or not he plays is still up in the air, but even if he does, heís simply not a trustworthy option as the Cardinals are likely to keep Eno Benjamin involved limiting Connerís ceiling. The Seahawks represent a positive matchup for running backs keeping the door open, but Iíd prefer Eno over the veteran.

Prediction: Cardinals 27, Seahawks 24 ^ Top

Rams @ Buccaneers - (Ilchuk)
Line: TB -3.0
Total: 43.0

TB FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.18
TB FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.27
TB FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.18
TB FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.5

Update: Cam Akers expected to play.

No Brainers: N/A

Favorite: WR Cooper Kupp (ankle)

There isnít anyone else doing much of anything in this offense, so Kupp gets the nod here even if heís a little less than 100 percent coming off a late-game ankle injury last week. He has double digit targets in three of the last four games and hasnít had less than seven catches since September 25th. Heís seemingly QB Matthew Staffordís first read in every situation.

On the Fence: TE Tyler Higbee

While he got off to a hot start to the season, Higbee has been reduced to a total of three catches for 22 yards combined over the last two games. There was a bye in between those games and the issue, whatever it is, still wasnít addressed. His run as a TE1 may be coming to an end.

Fade: WR Allen Robinson

Robinson has 10 catches on 13 targets over the last two games. Thatís pretty good. But when you bring in a guy with WR1 experience, you donít expect that to be the high-water mark. He hasnít even sniffed a 100-yard game and has just two scores on the season.

LAR FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.26
LAR FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.23
LAR FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.14
LAR FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.30

No Brainers: RB Leonard Fournette, WR Mike Evans

Favorite: QB Tom Brady

This offense is in disarray right now, but make no mistake, Brady will get his. As the screws begin to tighten even more in Tampa, Brady will throw more, not less. As an example, Brady has at least 40 pass attempts in every game since Week 3. In that same run he has three 300-yard games and has thrown a touchdown pass in every game but one this season. Even against a tough Rams defense, heís a low-end QB1.

On the Fence: RB Rachaad White

Whiteís role continues to grow. He has at least seven touches in each of the last five games, and he has shown an ability to consistently produce as a runner and a receiver. Heís been the more explosive back in Tamps this season and it seems inevitable that he will surpass Leonard Fournette on the depth chart at some point. The question is when.

Fade: WR Chris Godwin

Godwin is solid week in and week out, but thought of him being a game-breaker is losing steam. He doesnít have a touchdown or a 100-yard game all season. In PPR leagueís Godwin is fine but it seems like his ceiling is capped given the current state of the Bucs offense.

Prediction: Buccaneers 18, Rams 14 ^ Top

Titans @ Chiefs - (Krueger)
Line: KC -12.5
Total: 46.0

KC FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.1
KC FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.7
KC FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.3
KC FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.10

No Brainers: RB Derrick Henry

Favorite: N/A

On the Fence: WR Robert Woods

Robert Woods has topped 39 yards in a game just once this season. Four is the high-water mark for receptions and heís scored one touchdown. In other words, itís been ugly for the defacto No.1 receiving option for Tennessee. Ryan Tannehill (ankle) is going to be less than 100 percent, and Malik Willis threw 10 passes last week against the Texans, completing six for 55 yards. If Willis plays, then Woods can be left on your bench. If Tannehill gives it a go, then the projected negative game script along with the Chiefs forgiving defense against the pass is enough to make Woods a Flex option on a week with six teams on bye.

Update: Ryan Tannehill is a gametime decision.

Fade: QBs Malik Willis, Ryan Tannehill (ankle)

The Titans rank second to last in passing yards per game (147.6), tied for the second fewest passing TDs (7) and Tannehillís best fantasy finish (QB13) came back in Week 1 against the Giants. You can get behind the potential negative game script and assume Tennessee will be forced to open it up, but who is Tannehill going to be throwing it to? With an implied team total of 17, there just isnít enough here to consider a hobbled quarterback on the road in Arrowhead.

TEN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.10
TEN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.29
TEN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.6
TEN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.11

No Brainers: QB Patrick Mahomes, TE Travis Kelce

Favorite: WR JuJu Smith-Schuster

Outside of Travis Kelce, itís been difficult pinpointing which Chiefs receiver to highlight for fantasy purposes. The distribution of wealth was something Patrick Mahomes alluded to this preseason and his words have been spot on. JuJu leads the wideouts receiving yards (494), targets (48) and plays a healthy 72 percent of the snaps, second only to Marquez Valdes-Scantling at 74%. Tennessee has a weak spot in the secondary, giving up the 6th most fantasy points to the position. Stefon Diggs, Mack Hollins and Dyami Brown have all had 100-yard games against the Titans.

On the Fence: RB Isiah Pacheco

Pacheco was named the ďstarterĒ against the 49ers back in Week 7 and that led to 8 carries, 43 yards, zero targets and a 30% snap share as KC continued to rotate their three running backs. I imagine weíll see Pacheco get the start once again and if heís able to impress early, heíll turn in a usable fantasy performance as the Chiefs are projected for a positive game script. If heís the status quo, then weíll see plenty of CEH and McKinnon making this another frustrating week for fantasy trying to extract value out of the KC backfield.

Fade: RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire

Stuck in a three-man committee, CEH was living off efficiency early in the season as he stormed out of the gate with a 7.8 rushing average and two TDs in the first two weeks. Now that heís regressed to the mean, averaging 4.4 yards per carry, the former first round pick in 2020 is feeling Pacheco nipping at his heels. Andy Reid is comfortable with Jerick McKinnon as the third-down back so whatís left for CEH to do?

Prediction: Chiefs 30, Titans 17 ^ Top

Ravens @ Saints - (Ilchuk)
Line: BAL -2.0
Total: 47.0

NO FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.17
NO FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.24
NO FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.8
NO FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.32

No Brainers: QB Lamar Jackson

Update: Mark Andrews is listed as Doubtful.

Favorite: TE Mark Andrews, Isaiah Likely

Mark Andrews is the TE2 in this weekís FFT rankings, and rightly so. But what we learned last week is that QB Lamar Jackson really likes throwing to his TEís. Rookie Isaiah Likely had six catches for 77 yards and a touchdown and didnít get in the game in a real way until midway through the second quarter. If Andrews (knee, shoulder) is a go, start him. If he isnít, then get Likely on your roster and start him too.

On the Fence: RB Gus Edwards

In the two games he has played, Edwards has 131 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 27 carries. Thatís solid work in the pass-happy NFL. The problem is he just canít stay healthy. Heís returning from a torn ACL and is now dealing with a hamstring injury. If heís good to go, heís a FLEX or a TD-dependent low-end RB2. But those TDís may be hard to come by given his lack of a role in the passing game, and Lamar Jacksonís running ability near the goal line.

Fade: WR Devin Duvernay

Duvernay caught everyoneís attention with a broad skill set on national television last week, and he is becoming an integral part of the Ravensí offense. But his versatility hasnít translated to fantasy points in any consistent way. Donít get hooked by one game. We knew Rashod Bateman wasnít playing this week before the news of his surgery so donít let that boost your reasoning for Duvernay.

BAL FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.7
BAL FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.13
BAL FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.4
BAL FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.17

No Brainers: RB Alvin Kamara, WR Chris Olave

Favorite: QB Andy Dalton

Donít look now, but Dalton is the 4th-best fantasy QB option over the last three weeks, averaging 22.6 fantasy points per game. Heís got three INTís against his 7 TDís in that span, but heís averaging nearly 40 attempts per game. This week, he sees a Ravens defense that has been torched by the pass, allowing over 2100 yards and 12 TDís through the air.

On the Fence: TE Taysom Hill

Hill continues to find ways to be involved. Last week he ran 10 times and threw two passes, but heís listed as a TE, at least in most leagues. Heís also been involved as a receiver with two catches over the last two weeks, and heís always a threat to score. The problem is, you never know when itís coming. Heís had at least three carries in every game this season, so heís a solid FLEX option.

Fade: TE Juwan Johnson

He had a nice start to the season and a big two-TD effort in Week 7. But then he answered with a 2-14 line last week. It feels to me like Taysom Hill is stealing reps, and his snaps will go down even more whenever Jarvis Landry returns. I think we’ve seen his best effort for this season already.

Prediction: Saints 31, Ravens 28 ^ Top