Game Thoughts: The Colts head to Nashville to take on
the Titans after a tough home loss to the Ravens. At 5-3 on the
season, the Colts are very much in playoff contention in large
part to an elite defense and a running game that ranks seventh
in combined fantasy points scored at the position.
The passing game for the Colts has been anything but impressive.
Only the Jets, Giants, and Browns have fewer points scored at
the quarterback position than Indianapolis, and the Colts rank
third to last in combined points scored by wide receivers.
Philip Rivers has been a terrible addition for the wide receivers
on the team, effectively making T.Y. Hilton and the other players
un-rosterable. As expected, Rivers leans heavily on throwing to
running backs and tight ends in favor of wide receivers, with
the running back tandem of Jonathan Taylor, Jordan Wilkins, and
Nyheim Hines combining for the 8th-most receptions in the league.
If there were ever a game for Rivers to get his wide receivers
involved, it would be this week against Tennessee. The Titans
give up the 6th-most points to opposing wide receivers, and every
quarterback who has faced the Titans outside of Drew Lock in Week
1 has thrown for at least two passing touchdowns.
Luckily for the Colts, the Titans also rank in the bottom six
in fantasy points given up to running backs, so keeping with their
run-heavy approach will still be successful against Tennessee.
Tight End Jack Doyle suffered a concussion in a brutal hit last
week against the Ravens, and fellow tight end Mo Alie-Cox missed
practice on Monday with a knee injury. If both Doyle and Allie-Cox
are out, Trey Burton would be an excellent play this week against
a defense that has given up five touchdown receptions to tight
Hilton appears to be on track to return to the field and was
a full participant on Monday. You can play him in this matchup,
but he is a risky play based on his low volume in the passing
TEN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.7
TEN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.11
TEN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.2
TEN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.12
Running Game Thoughts: For the second-straight week, Jordan Wilkins
received more carries than rookie Jonathan Taylor. Neither player
ran well against the Ravens, and Taylor did score a rushing touchdown
despite getting only six carries. The problem for Taylor was a
game-changing rumble that led to a touchdown for Baltimore.
The Colts continue to frustrate fantasy owners with a three-way
spilt in snaps between Wilkins, Taylor, and Hines, with all three
earning around 33% of snaps last week. Taylor started the game
and scored, but the fact that he only got six carries is concerning.
When you consider that the Colts entered the season with arguably
the best offensive line in the league, it is shocking how bad
all of their backs have been in 2020.
The trio of backs currently averages just 3.79 yards per carry.
Not exactly what we all thought heading into the season.
From a fantasy perspective, the Titans are a juicy matchup as
the No. 7-ranked team in fantasy points allowed to running backs.
Seven different backs have posted double-digit performances, including
monster games from James Robinson and Dalvin Cook.
You can score on the Titans on the ground. The question is, who
will be the one to score for the Colts? Will Taylor get out of
the doghouse and get more carries, or will Rivers target Hines
in the passing game?
An injury to watch in this game that will have a positive impact
on both the rushing and passing game is defensive end/OLB Jadeveon
Clowney. Clowney missed last week against Chicago with a knee
injury and was a non-participant on Monday.
Game Thoughts: After a red-hot string of back-to-back
30-point games in Weeks 5 and 6, Ryan Tannehill has been far less
dominant for fantasy managers over the past three games. During
that span, Tannehill ranks 26th in fantasy points per game, behind
Daniel Jones, Matthew Stafford, and Teddy Bridgewater.
This week’s matchup against the Colts could be another
disappointing week for Tannehill managers. Only the Bears and
Rams have given up fewer points to quarterbacks, with three opposing
QBs failing to post a passing touchdown against the DST.
The Colts held Lamar Jackson to 170 passing yards, and both Kirk
Cousins and Joe Burrow failed to throw a touchdown in their respective
matchups. This is not to say that Tannehill won’t have a
good game, as the Colts are the most stingy run defense in the
league and could force Tennessee to throw more.
Corey Davis looked to be a rising fantasy option with 14 catches
for 163 yards and a pair of scores against the Steelers and Bengals
in Weeks 7 and 8. He followed up those impressive games with a
goose egg against the Bears, effectively killing the week for
his fantasy managers.
While it may take some intestinal fortitude to throw Davis back
in your lineup, you should know that ProFootballFocus does have
Davis ranked as the No.11 wide receiver on the season, and his
matchup against Rock Ya-Sin is enticing. Ya-Sin is the No.100
ranked cornerback and has struggled this season against big WRs.
Brown missed practice on Monday with a knee injury and is questionable
for the Thursday Night tilt. While we think he will be fine, keep
an eye on his status leading up to kickoff.
Another key injury for the Titans passing and running game is
guard Rodger Saffold III, who suffered a shoulder injury against
the Bears and is also questionable. His absence against one of
the better front sevens in football would be a huge hit.
IND FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.30
IND FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.31
IND FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.24
IND FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.31
Running Game Thoughts: Derrick Henry posted his worst game of
the season last week against the Bears. King Henry rushed for
a mere 68 yards on 21 carries and failed to score a touchdown
for the first time since Week 2.
It will be interesting to see how Henry responds this week against
the Colts, a team that has given up the fewest fantasy points
to opposing running backs. No player has topped 72 rushing yards
vs. the Colts, and no player has posted a multi-score performance.
If there is a player who is matchup-proof, it is Henry, as he
is always a threat to score a rushing touchdown. Just don’t
be surprised if he struggles to get much going in terms of yards.
Things will also be more difficult for Henry if guard Saffold
III is unable to play on a short week with a shoulder injury.
Game Thoughts: The first game for Antonio Brown with
his new team did not go how he and his roommate, Tom Brady, likely
envisioned it when they started working together this season.
Brown was thought to be the third of what many thought was the
best wide receiving trio in the National Football League, with
Brown joining pro bowlers Chris Godwin and Mike Evans.
Instead of the Bucs getting their revenge on their Week 1 loss
to the Saints, Drew Brees and company demolished the Buccaneers
on their home field, with a decisive 38-3 drubbing.
Brady enters this week’s game against the Panthers as the
No.12 ranked quarterback with 23.6 points per game. He has four
games of 20 or more fantasy points, including a monster 40.6 point
performance against the Raiders Week 7.
One team Brady did not have a good game against was the Carolina
Panthers in Week 2. Brady completed just 65% of his passes for
217 yards and one touchdown. It was the third-lowest yardage day
of the season for Brady and only the third time in which he failed
to throw more than one passing touchdown.
It is hard to discern how targets and touches will be handled
in this game based on what we saw last week. Both Mike Evans and
Chris Godwin say six targets, while newcomer Brown caught three
passes for 31 yards on three targets.
It would make sense for the Bucs to use Evans on deep routes,
with Godwin and Evans working underneath and on short-yardage
passes. But we do not know based on one game, and Brady does have
a history of targeting the open man, not just one alpha-receiver
like Michael Thomas or Davante Adams.
On a positive note for Rob Gronkowski owners, the veteran tight
end tied with Evans and Godwin for six targets on the day. The
bad news, is Gronk caught just one of those passes for two yards.
Running the ball has been the formula that most teams have used
to beat the Panthers. Carolina ranks 5th in fantasy points allowed
to RBs, with seven players scoring at least ten fantasy points
But as Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid proved last week, you can
also pass on the Panthers if you are an elite passing offense
like the Chiefs. I would not call the Bucs an elite passing offense
at this point, but you can certainly argue they have elite talent.
CAR FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.21
CAR FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.5
CAR FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.23
CAR FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.19
Running Game Thoughts: The Tampa Bay Bucs set an NFL record for
the fewest rushing attempts in a game (4) in last week’s
debacle against the Saints. Leonard Fournette rushed just one
time for zero yards, while Ronald Jones added nine yards on three
Like the passing game, we cannot really use last week as a guide
because the game got out of hand so quickly. What does appear
to be clear based on usage from the previous weeks is Fournette
is the preferred passing-down running back and will be used more
than Jones on first and second downs as well if Jones continues
The Panthers are one of the best matchups for running backs.
If Jones can produce early and not make mental mistakes, he could
be in line for a great game. Fournette posted his biggest game
of the season with 103 yards and a pair for scores on 12 carries
against the Panthers back in Week 2.
Both players are worthy starts in this game, with Jones getting
the edge based on the assumption this game will carry a positive
game script for first and second down rushing attempts.
One of the reasons why the Bucs rushing game was so inept against
the Saints was the absence of starting guard Ali Marpet. Marpet
missed the game with a concussion and is still in the league’s
Game Thoughts: The Carolina Panthers passing game has
been somewhat of an enigma this season. Robby Anderson joined
the team this offseason to presumably be the deep threat in the
offense, with D.J. Moore working as the primary option and high-volume
option for Teddy Bridgewater.
Instead, Anderson leads the team in targets and is working as
both a short yard and deep threat. Anderson’s YPR is at
a career-low seven, while Moore has gone missing in action with
just 14 targets in the last two games and has a higher yard per
reception average than Anderson (9).
Add in the fact that Curtis Samuel has been a monster as of late
and continues to see rushing attempts, and you have a formula
for disaster for the unlucky owners who used an early-round pick
On the bright side for Moore owners, he did post his best volume
day the season against the Bucs in Week 2 (13 targets). Perhaps
the Bucs will focus their attention on Anderson and Samuel based
on how those two players have been used as of late.
Only the Jets and the Patriots have fewer fantasy points scored
by tight ends. The position is clearly not part of Matt Rhule’s
offense and should be avoided in fantasy.
Even with a blowout loss to the Saints, the Bucs still give up
the 8th-fewest points to opposing wide receivers. Only one opposing
wide receiver has reached double-digits in fantasy points dating
back to Week 4, so expecting a monster game from Moore or Anderson
might be tough to achieve.
With Christian McCaffrey out this week with a shoulder injury,
look for Curtis Samuel to get more touches out of the backfield
to help spell Mike Davis. Samuel trails only Robert Woods in rushing
yards this season at the WR position. The added threat of 30 rushing
yards and a score makes Samuel an attractive No.3 WR.
TB FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.26
TB FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.21
TB FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.22
TB FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.16
Running Game Thoughts: McCaffrey looked like the old CMC when
he dropped 151 total yards and a score on the Chiefs. But the
good times did not last long for McCaffrey or his fantasy managers
when the news broke on Monday that he is dealing with a shoulder
injury and is likely out Week 10.
Mike Davis owners now get at least one more game from their waiver
wire gem. Davis ranks 22nd in average fantasy points per game
while spelling CMC, and should once again be the primary ball
carrier with around 20 total targets.
The bad news for Davis is the Bucs have given up the 8th-fewest
points to opposing running backs. No back has topped 60 yards
rushing, although CMC did score twice and posted 89 total yards.
Look for Davis to struggle with yardage, but excel with a ton
of catches out of the backfield and possible receiving touchdown.
Starting left tackle Russell Okung missed last week against the
Chiefs with a Calf injury. Okung did not practice on Wednesday
and is questionable for this game. Considering that the Bucs have
one of the best front sevens in football, his return would be
huge for Davis in the ground game and Teddy Bridgewater’s
Game Thoughts: For the first time since the Texans fired
Bill O'Brien, Deshaun Watson threw for fewer than 300 yards in
a game, settling for 281 and a pair of TDs in the team's second
win of the season (and second over Jacksonville). He did run for
a season-high 50 yards, though, and has averaged 35 rushing yards
per game post-BOB after he averaged less than half of that with
O'Brien. Watson is definitely looking more comfortable with his
receivers, particularly Brandin Cooks, and is playing back to
the QB1 form most expected entering the season.
As for Cooks, he has really turned things on, posting a 27-372-3
line over his last four games, which is far above the 10-138-0
he logged in Weeks 1-4. Cooks is a high-end WR3 now that could
easily return top-20 value at the position. Will Fuller (5-100-1
last week) has now scored in six consecutive games and, more importantly,
has avoided the injury bug that limited him to 28 of 48 possible
games over the previous two seasons. He's a steady WR2. After
those two, Randall Cobb (3-21-0) and Darren Fells (2-26-0) round
things out, though neither has done enough to consider even owning
them outside of larger leagues.
Despite the presence of Defensive Player of the Year candidate
Myles Garrett on their line, the Browns are just 24th against
the pass thus far, yielding 264.6 yards per game. There should
be opportunities for Watson to make plays this Sunday as this
looks like an area the Texans will try to attack.
CLE FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.6
CLE FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.19
CLE FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.5
CLE FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.11
Running Game Thoughts: David Johnson (concussion) departed after
just two carries in Week 9, and his status for Sunday is up in
the air. If he goes, he's an RB3. If not, Duke Johnson will be
the primary back. He compiled 73 total yards and a touchdown last
week in easily his most extensive action of the season. His ability
as a receiver should be helpful as Cleveland is seventh in the
league in yards per carry (4.0) and 11th in rushing yardage (106.8
Game Thoughts: Baker Mayfield was placed on the COVID
list during the team's bye but was activated and is now on track
to start in Week 10. His last time out, the endorsement guru completed
just 12 of 25 passes for 122 yards and no TDs in inclement weather.
While that provides some cover for Mayfield's performance, bear
in mind it was the fifth time this season he has thrown for fewer
than 200 yards -- in three of those games, the Browns scored seven
points or less.
With Odell Beckham Jr. (knee) done for the year, Jarvis Landry
(4-52-0 in Wk 8) is the clear No. 1 option at receiver. Landry
was targeted on 11 of Mayfield's 25 attempts, which was eight
more than anyone else. The expected return of Austin Hooper (appendix)
from a multi-game absence following an emergency appendectomy
should help. Prior to the procedure, Hooper had strung together
three straight games with five receptions, and that was before
the OBJ injury.
Houston has issues in the secondary, allowing a league-high 111.2
QB rating largely on the strength of a 18-to-2 TD:INT ratio. Their
yardage numbers (257.4 per game; 23rd) aren't quite as bad, but
this is still a shaky group. That being said, I wouldn't trust
Mayfield in your lineup. He's done too little, too often this
season. Landry could fill a WR2 role but is better as a WR3 while
Hooper could function as a TE1.
HOU FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.10
HOU FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.3
HOU FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.7
HOU FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.9
Running Game Thoughts: By far the biggest news coming out of
the bye is that Nick Chubb (knee) has returned to practice and
appears to be on track to be activated in time to play in Week
10. Chubb was off to a fantastic start before injuring his knee
in Week 4, and if he's active this Sunday he could slide into
your lineup as an RB2. While his return will take some touches
away from Kareem Hunt, he was arguably more effective when that
duo was intact and retains RB2 appeal under further notice. Houston
sits dead last in run defense (159.5 yards per game); that makes
this a high-upside matchup for both of Cleveland's backs.
Game Thoughts: Some level of cosmic balance has probably
been achieved now that Alex Smith, who famously suffered a catastrophic
leg injury back in 2018, will make his first start since that
fateful day after Kyle Allen sustained a similarly grotesque injury
this past Sunday. After Allen dislocated his ankle, Smith stepped
in and threw for 325 yards, a touchdown and three INTs. While
he looked much better than he did in his previous relief appearance,
the veteran still has a long ways to go to become a game-day option
for fantasy owners.
Even with Washington set to use its third different starting
quarterback, the situation at receiver hasn't changed. For fantasy
purposes it's a one-man show. Week after week teams enter knowing
that Terry McLaurin is the team's only true threat on the outside,
and week after week McLaurin delivers anyway. On the year, the
Ohio State product is averaging 87 receiving yards per game and
has become a viable WR1.
Detroit currently ranks 18th in the NFL against the pass, giving
up 243.9 yards per game, though that mostly reflects the ineptitude
of their run defense rather than the quality of their secondary.
Only six teams have allowed more TD strikes than the Lions' 17.
DET FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.13
DET FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.1
DET FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.21
DET FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.21
Running Game Thoughts: Down 20-3 by halftime, Washington abandoned
the run almost completely with nine carries compared to 39 pass
attempts. Despite that, they have two playable options in their
backfield. Antonio Gibson has only topped 50 rushing yards twice
this season, but he showed in Week 7 that he could exploit a bad
defense by gaining 128 yards and a TD against Dallas. Backfield
mate J.D. McKissic does the bulk of his work catching passes,
which includes a nine-catch, 65-yard showing in Week 9. View Gibson
as an RB2 and McKissic as a flex versus a Lions defense that ranks
30th in yards allowed (148.1 per game) and have allowed an NFL-high
13 rushing TDs.
Game Thoughts: Yes, Matthew Stafford was unable to practice
all week after having close contact with someone that tested positive
for COVID. Yes, Stafford was without top target Kenny Golladay
(hip). No, his 211-yard, two-turnover effort against the NFL's
30th-ranked pass defense wasn't good enough. Granted, Stafford
did bow out with a head injury in the second half, but nothing
he did up to that point suggested he was going to bring his team
At this point, Stafford's inconsistency makes him a tough add
to your starting lineup. He is certainly capable of posting big
numbers on any given Sunday, but last week proved that even great
matchups are no guarantee of success. Obviously the return of
Golladay would help; he's currently TBD but would constitute a
WR2 if he's active. Beyond that, T.J. Hockenson (foot) is the
lone bright spot. He has been a pretty steady contributor and
has yet to play a game where he didn't either top 50 yards receiving
or score a TD. That's why Hockenson is a solid TE1.
Marvin Jones has scored three touchdowns in his last two games
and could hold value in larger leagues as a depth piece, but he
doesn't look like the same player anymore. The Lions will have
to contend with the NFL's No. 1 pass defense this Sunday, as Washington
has allowed just 185.6 yards per game, and their 27 sacks rank
WAS FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.23
WAS FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.28
WAS FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.32
WAS FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.6
Running Game Thoughts: Although it was overshadowed by Minnesota's
monster game on the ground, the Lions actually ran the ball effectively
in Week 9. It certainly appears as though D'Andre Swift (13-64-0
last week) has become the top back, though the team continues
giving touches to Adrian Peterson (8-29-0) and even Kerryon Johnson
(4-29-0), who looked to have been completely phased out, which
keeps Swift from moving too far up the rankings. Washington is
23rd against the run (128.6 yards per game) so this looks to be
the better plan of attack for Detroit's offense. As such, Swift
rates as an RB3 with upside while Peterson carries flex value.
Game Thoughts: With Gardner Minshew (thumb) sidelined,
Jake Luton made his first NFL start last week. It went pretty
well with Luton passing for 304 yards and posting two total TDs
(one passing, one rushing). He'll make his second start this Sunday,
which figures to be tougher since the Packers are coming off a
mini-bye after playing on TNF and their coaches now have film
on Luton to study. Green Bay also features a better secondary
than Houston, so Luton is best left on the bench in Week 10.
With Luton under center, Jacksonville's passing game was focused
on D.J. Chark (7-146-1 in Week 9) and Chris Conley (7-52-0), though
part of that could be Laviska Shenault (hamstring) leaving early
with a hamstring injury. For now, Chark is the only player I'd
feel comfortable slotting into my lineup, and even then only as
a WR3. Shenault has been limited in practice this week, but if
he's up he could be a flex option. I'd stay clear of Conley, who
has been an uneven producer throughout his career.
Green Bay's pass defense ranks 13th in the NFL, allowing 234.4
yards per game, and that is despite a number of lopsided wins
where opponents racked up garbage-time yardage. The Jags could
catch a break if Jaire Alexander (concussion) doesn't clear protocol,
but the Packers might welcome back Kevin King (quad), who hasn't
played since Week 4. Regardless, expect the Packers to try and
pressure Luton the same way they did with San Francisco's Nick
GB FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.28
GB FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.2
GB FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.28
GB FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.27
Running Game Thoughts: James Robinson ran 25 times for 99 yards
and a touchdown against Houston last week and should be a major
part of Jacksonville's game plan this weekend. Robinson has only
topped 100 yards in a game twice this season, but given that the
Packers have allowed 4.5 yards per carry this year you could see
Robinson generate RB1 value in Week 10.
Game Thoughts: While the 49ers that took the field defensively
last Thursday was clearly not on par with the 2019 version, most
of San Francisco's recent health woes came on the offensive side
of the ball. As such, you shouldn't grade Aaron Rodgers' evisceration
of San Francisco on too steep of a curve. In Week 9, Rodgers connected
on 25 of his 31 passes for 305 yards and four TDs -- it was the
sixth time this season that he threw for three or more touchdowns
and no turnovers.
Rodgers' top target was once again Davante Adams, who caught
10 of 12 targeted balls for 173 yards and a touchdown. Despite
playing in less than six full games this season, Adams has posted
a 53-675-8 line, which works out to a 141-1,800-21 pace over 16
games. He's a surefire WR1 and perhaps the top overall fantasy
receiver around. This could also be the week that the Packers
get Allen Lazard (core) back from IR. He and Adams have only played
about six quarters together this year, so it'd be interesting
to see how they work in tandem. If Lazard is activated, he could
rate as a WR3 or flex.
Marques Valdes-Scantling caught just two passes in Week 9, but
both of them went for touchdowns, including a 52-yard bomb. Although
there's been no consistency from MVS this year, he could be deployed
as a flex if Lazard doesn't return. Robert Tonyan is another guy
that has run hot and cold, posting 79 receiving yards in Week
8 and then just five last week. He's better left on the bench,
even against a Jags defense that sits 28th in passing yardage
allowed (280.0 per game) and second in yards per attempt.
JAC FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.3
JAC FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.6
JAC FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.13
JAC FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.5
Running Game Thoughts: With Jamaal Williams and A.J. Dillon (illness)
both ruled out due to COVID, Aaron Jones returned from a two-game
absence to post 79 total yards on 20 touches last Thursday. Those
numbers don't sound great, but Jones was locked in early on before
going nowhere in the second half to kill his per-touch average.
Jones and Williams will both be in action this Sunday for the
first time since Week 6. That's bad news for Jacksonville, which
is 27th in the league in run defense (138.1 yards per game). Play
Jones as an RB1 and Williams as a flex.
Eagles at Giants
- (Katz) Line: PHI -3.5 Total: 44.0
Game Thoughts: It’s hard to defend Carson Wentz’s
embarrassing 123-yard performance against the Cowboys. Hopefully
he spent the week off thinking long and hard about how to a better
player. The week before his dud against the Cowboys, Wentz had
his best game of the season against the Giants with 359 yards
and two touchdowns plus a rushing score.
The Giants have been solid against quarterbacks, but allow 38.4
fantasy points per game to wide receivers. Travis Fulgham has
emerged into an every week WR1. Week 7 against the Giants is the
only game this season where he hasn’t scored. Opposite Fulgham
will be Jalen Reagor, who we will have to wait and see on. Reagor
caught just three passes for 16 yards against the Cowboys. Dallas
Goedert returned before the bye and is now 100% healthy. Since
Week 5, the Giants have seen 29% of targets against them go to
the tight end position, which bodes well for Goedert.
NYG FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.22
NYG FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.9
NYG FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.9
NYG FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.24
Running Game Thoughts: After missing two games, Miles Sanders
is fully expected to return this weekend and should resume his
usual role as a near every down back. The Giants allow 24.9 fantasy
points per game to running backs. Sanders’ overall efficiency
numbers have been propped up by a couple big runs. He’s
also been banged up for most of the season. He should be completely
healthy now and this is a great spot him to do some damage in
the passing game as 13.9 of the fantasy points allowed by the
Giants to running backs are through the air. Boston Scott remains
an elite handcuff, but he has no value as long as Sanders is playing.
Game Thoughts: After a four game stretch without throwing
a single touchdown pass, Daniel Jones has thrown six in his last
four games. That’s nothing to write home about, but it’s
at least an improvement. Jones threw for just 187 yards in his
last game against the Eagles and is not a fantasy option this
time either. The only two players of real intrigue are Evan Engram
and Sterling Shepard. Engram has been targeted nine, 10, and 10
times in his last three games. He’s been inefficient and
still struggles with mental errors, but that type of volume is
impossible to find as the tight end position, making Engram a
must start. Shepard has also been inefficient, but has caught
at least six balls in each of his three games since returning
from IR. The yardage should catch up eventually, but regardless,
you can trust Shepard to have a nice floor. Darius Slayton has
become an afterthought and cannot be relied upon. Golden Tate
has scored each of the past two games, but he also has caught
three total passes. The Eagles allow 16.5 fantasy points per game
to tight ends. If the Giants are smart, they’ll build their
game plan around Engram.
PHI FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.20
PHI FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.26
PHI FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.18
PHI FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.4
Running Game Thoughts: Devonta Freeman has missed the last two
games and Wayne Gallman has actually been quite productive. Gallman’s
yardage and efficiency numbers have gone up in three straight
games and he’s scored in all of them. Gallman doesn’t
deliver much in the passing game so you’re heavily reliant
on touchdowns, which is always a dicey bet. The Eagles also defend
running backs out of the backfield very well, allowing just 7.3
fantasy points per game via the air. With the Giants home, there
is home for some neutral to positive game script, which could
lead to volume for Gallman. If Freeman ends up playing, this is
probably going to be an undesirable timeshare. If he remains out,
you could do worse than Gallman.
Chargers at Dolphins
- (Katz) Line: MIA -2,0 Total: 48.0
Game Thoughts: There is little doubt as to who the overwhelming
favorite is for rookie of the year: Justin Herbert. The kid looks
like a five year veteran. Herbert is an every week no brainer
fantasy starter. He’s scored multiple touchdowns in every
game except Week 3, but he threw for a season high 330 yards in
that one to make up for it.
Herbert absolutely loves Keenan Allen. Since Herbert replaced
Tyrod Taylor, Allen has double digit targets in every game except
the one he left early due to injury. In those games, Allen has
at least seven receptions and 62 yards in all of them. The Dolphins
have been atrocious defending wide receivers, allowing 38.8 fantasy
points to the position. Both Allen and Mike Williams will have
plenty of opportunity this week. Williams is clearly behind Allen
in terms of drawing Herbert’s attention, but he’s
picked it up recently with 15 targets over his last two games.
The Chargers have yet to play a noncompetitive game and their
best offensive game plan is one that involves Herbert throwing
the ball. Unfortunately, this hasn’t benefited Hunter Henry.
Despite playing nearly every snap, Henry has just one touchdown
and hasn’t caught more than four passes since Week 3. You’re
using him if you have him because the alternatives aren’t
much better, but Henry is clearly a disappointment.
MIA FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.11
MIA FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.13
MIA FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.10
MIA FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.26
Running Game Thoughts: Fair warning – this might be the
least helpful analysis you ever get from me. Austin Ekeler is
still not close to returning. Justin Jackson is not going to practice
all week after departing last week’s game on the first series.
Troymane Pope missed last week’s game as well and is no
guarantee to suit up this week. As a result, the Chargers activated
Kalen Ballage, who I maintain is the worst running back in NFL
history, to split snaps with Joshua Kelley. It is anyone’s
guess as to what this backfield will look like this week.
Ballage is back on the practice squad, which means there is no
intent to make him a thing going forward, but he could be needed
if Jackson and Pope are both out again. Herbert has been targeting
running backs at a strong 24% rate. There is value in the Chargers
backfield. We just have no way of knowing where it will come from.
If Jackson and Pope are both out, I guess the move is to use last
week as a guideline and presume it will be Ballage, but that’s
extremely risky. If one of Pope or Jackson can go, conventional
wisdom suggests that is the player you’d want. Regardless
of who ends up playing, Kelley is not the answer.
Game Thoughts: The debut of Tua Tagovailoa was seen by
many as a disaster, but it wasn’t really fair to judge his
putrid 93-yard effort as Jared Goff was so bad that Tua didn’t
have to do anything. Against the Cardinals, Tua had to duel Kyler
Murray and duel he did. He threw for 248 yards and two touchdowns
while completing 71% of his passes and added 35 yards on the ground.
The Chargers allow 21.5 fantasy points per game to quarterbacks,
making Tua one of the better streaming options this week. And
for anyone peeking ahead at the Dolphins’ rest of season
schedule, Tua may be an every week starter before long. The bad
news for Tua is he lost Preston Williams, possibly for the season,
due to a foot injury. Williams’ absence leaves DeVante Parker
on an island and subject to bracket/double coverage. Parker is
coming off a respectable 6-64 effort, but he hasn’t been
the WR1 he was down the stretch last season.
The Chargers allow just 18 fantasy points per game to outside
receivers and teams target the wide receiver position just about
half the time. Jakeem Grant steps into the WR2 role while Mack
Hollins saw the field last week as well. Neither is a fantasy
option. According to the box score, someone named Mike Gesicki
plays tight end for the Dolphins, Gesicki has 22 receptions for
331 yards on the season. 13 of his receptions and 221 of his yards
were in two games. That is a player you can’t start even
with a depleted tight end position.
LAC FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.8
LAC FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.10
LAC FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.25
LAC FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.10
Running Game Thoughts: With Myles Gaskin and Matt Breida out,
the Dolphins surprisingly turned to Jordan Howard as their starter.
This was strange given that Howard was a healthy scratch for weeks.
Howard predictably turned his 10 carries into just 19 yards. Of
course he fell into the end zone though. My guess is that if Breida
can’t return this week, we see a lot more of Salvon Ahmed.
He carried the ball seven times for 38 yards last week. 24% of
targets against the Chargers have gone to running backs, but Tua
threw just a single pass to a running back last week. It will
be interesting to see if the Dolphins exploit this weakness in
the Chargers defense, especially given their lack of depth at
the wide receiver position.
Bills at Cardinals
- (Caron) Line: ARI -2.5 Total: 56.5
Game Thoughts: If you jumped in a time machine to the
year 2018 and told someone that a Bills-Cardinals game was considered
to be a game with the highest possibility of a shootout, that
person would’ve probably looked at you like you were crazy.
But here we are, in 2020, and the Josh Allen-led Bills heading
to face the Kyler Murray-led Cardinals is a game that fantasy
owners are extremely excited for.
Allen had struggled for a couple weeks in a row, but got back
to the elite fantasy quarterback conversation this past week when
he completely obliterated the Seahawks for 415 passing yards,
three touchdowns and a rushing score. His top wide receiver, Stefon
Diggs, now leads the league in total targets with 91 and this
Bills offense has gone from being a boring, run-heavy offense
to a high-powered passing attack that’s capable of shooting
out with some of the best opposing offenses in the league.
The Cardinals have been a middle-of-the-road passing defense as
a whole, but they’ve allowed multiple passing touchdowns
to every QB they’ve faced other than Joe Flacco, Andy Dalton
and Dwayne Haskins. Allen has his moments where his accuracy leaves
you shaking your head, but he’s unquestionably better than
any of those players at the moment and he should be considered
a strong QB1 again this week.
Diggs’ crazy-high target numbers have made him into an elite
fantasy option once again and a matchup with the Cardinals shouldn’t
scare anyone away. Sure, Patrick Peterson is still a very good
player, but he hasn’t been the complete lockdown corner
this season that he’s been known as throughout most of his
career. Diggs should see plenty of an opportunity for a solid
Aside from Diggs, John Brown is the only other pass catching weapon
in Buffalo who we should be looking at from a fantasy standpoint
right now. Brown saw 11 targets this past week in the shootout
with the Seahawks and he’s someone who could see an increased
opportunity if Peterson does end up making things difficult on
Diggs. There’s still a potential for a dud from Brown given
his play style, but he’s someone who could be looked at
as a Flex option this week.
Fellow wide receiver Cole Beasley isn’t a complete zero
in PPR formats, but he’s failed to exceed seven targets
in all but one game this season and his average target distance
just isn’t deep enough that he can be considered anything
other than a floor play in deep PPR leagues. That type of player
just doesn’t win fantasy championships, so keep him out
of your lineup for the time being.
ARI FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.17
ARI FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.14
ARI FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.15
ARI FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.22
Running Game Thoughts: We may be seeing a change in the Buffalo
backfield as running back Devin Singletary saw just two carries
in the Bills’ Week 9 victory over the Seahawks. Meanwhile
Singletary’s backfield-mate, rookie Zack Moss, carried the
ball nine times, including a goal line touchdown.
With Moss seemingly performing as the team’s goal line back
and neither player being a particularly strong contributor in
the passing game, this looks like a “bench Singletary”
type game against the Rams and their seventh-ranked fantasy defense
against opposing running backs. Moss isn’t necessarily a
strong play either, but if he’s becoming the lead back while
also being the goal line back then he does have the opportunity
to reach at least RB2 status.
Game Thoughts: A red hot Kyler Murray has continued to
improve as a passer throughout the season and he’s having
a 2019 Lamar Jackson-like season as a runner. Murray is now on
pace for an absurd 1,086 rushing yards and 16 rushing touchdowns.
It seems obvious that these numbers will regress to some degree,
but even a regression would put Murray in historic territory as
a runner. Even if he’s only an average passer, Murray is
a must-start in any matchup - and he’s not just an average
Wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins is coming off of his worst performance
of the season but he’s been among the most consistent, elite
producers at the position this season. He’s a must-start
on a weekly basis in season leagues but this might be a week to
avoid Hopkins on the DFS front as he is likely to be matched up
with the exceptionally talented Tre’Davious White at cornerback.
The other player in this passing game who’s been breakout
as of late is wide receiver Christian Kirk. Kirk has been in a
weird position throughout most of the season as he’s found
himself seeing far fewer targets than the newly-acquired Hopkins,
but he’s been making the most of his limited target share
as of late, having scored six touchdowns over just his past five
games. Kirk finally reached the 100-yard mark this past week when
he caught five passes for 123 yards against the Dolphins in Week
9 and it was his second straight eight-target game. It’s
certainly possible that he goes back to a low target share again,
but this is a good matchup for Kirk given that Hopkins will be
dealing with one of the top cornerbacks in the league.
BUF FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.16
BUF FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.18
BUF FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.26
BUF FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.3
Running Game Thoughts: Kenyan Drake is still questionable to play
this week which means fantasy owners will need to pay close attention
to the game day inactive list as the Cardinals matchup with the
Bills this week. If he’s unable to go, look for Chase Edmonds
to again operate as the bell cow back in the Arizona offense as
he touched the ball 28 times this past week. Edmonds wasn’t
very efficient with the touches, but that type of workload is
almost unprecedented in today’s game and it’s enough
that we need to consider him an RB1 - even against a decent Bills
run defense - if Drake is unable to play.
Unfortunately, the situation becomes extremely murky if Drake
is active. We can assume that Edmonds won’t completely go
away, but we just don’t know exactly how healthy Drake really
is. It’d be wise to view both players as Flex options if
that scenario does play out, at least for this week, until we
see how the utilization shakes out.
Broncos at Raiders
- (Caron) Line: LV -4.0 Total: 50.5
Game Thoughts: The Jerry Jeudy breakout has officially
happened as the stud rookie receiver finally cracked 100 yards
for the first time this past week, catching seven of a season-high
14 targets for 125 yards and a score. Sure, it happened in what
was ultimately a garbage time-heavy game against a bad Atlanta
defense, but we’ll take what we can get. What the game ultimately
did is solidify that Jeudy needs to be a weekly fantasy WR2 in
most formats after a few disappointing weeks.
This week Jeudy and the Broncos have another plus-matchup against
the Raiders who’ve been up and down throughout most of the
season, but most recently gave up a nine catch, 100-plus yard
game to Keenan Allen in Week 9. The Raiders have actually struggled
against interior pass catchers this season which Jeudy doesn’t
exactly specialize in, but he does play out of the slot about
as often as Allen does and that’s a great sign for his fantasy
potential this week. Another player that has to be given a bit
of a boost is tight end Noah Fant who has been struggling to shoot
up into the “must-start” fantasy territory as he hasn’t
scored since Week 2. Fant is still a great talent and someone
who should be considered a starter in fantasy due to the high
injury rate we’ve seen at the position this season, especially
when you consider the matchup he gets this week against the Raiders
who’ve struggled against the good tight ends they’ve
Tim Patrick and KJ Hamler are both players who we’ll keep
an eye on this week, but they’re really only options in
the deepest of leagues. Hamler is beginning to see more playing
time and targets which is a good sign so he’s a speculative
add in deeper leagues, but he’s not someone we’re
confident enough to be putting into lineups yet, while Patrick
should probably already be owned in most competitive leagues.
Quarterback Drew Lock isn’t likely to break into QB1 territory
this season other than in his absolute best matchups but he’s
someone who can be considered a mid-level QB2 in SuperFlex or
LV FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.12
LV FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.4
LV FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.16
LV FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.23
Running Game Thoughts: A significant negative game script led
to a pretty ugly game from the Denver running backs in Week 9,
but it does appear that this is a full blown committee at this
point, and that’s terrible for fantasy purposes. Melvin
Gordon had been a pretty consistent RB2 through the first half
of the season but he’s becoming a player we have to be concerned
about now that Phillip Lindsay is back on the field more often
on early downs. Gordon is still considered the primary pass catching
back in this offense but he’s caught three or fewer passes
in all but two games this season so there’s not exactly
a great floor on being that. Realistically, Gordon needs to get
into the end zone to be much more than a borderline RB2/Flex player
at this point.
Unfortunately Lindsay is in an even worse spot as we’ve
seen that he’s practically completely worthless from a fantasy
standpoint if the Broncos fall behind multiple scores. Lindsay
hasn’t seen more than 10 carries in a game other than in
Week 6 when Melvin Gordon was out, so his upside just isn’t
there. Sure, he’s explosive and probably a better pure runner
than Gordon at this point, but the Broncos just don’t seem
to believe in him and for that reason we need to be very skeptical
of him from a fantasy standpoint.
You could do worse than Lindsay and Gordon who face a Raiders
defense that has given up the fourth-most fantasy points per game
to opposing running backs this season, but neither player is one
we should be banking on for a monster fantasy day.
Game Thoughts: Two straight very low passing volume days
have led to some ugly fantasy performances from Derek Carr over
the past two weeks, but a matchup against the ninth-worst fantasy
defense against opposing quarterbacks could be just what this
passing game needs to get back on track. The Broncos have given
up six passing touchdowns over their past two games and Carr could
be a streaming option this week for those who are without their
normal starter, but he’s probably more of a high-end QB2
given the lack of rushing upside that he presents even though
he does have a relatively high floor.
From a receiver standpoint, the Raiders are finally getting healthy
but that has meant a pretty difficult situation to prognosticate.
Nelson Agholor continues to lead the team in snap count, but who
knows how long that’ll last now that rookie Bryan Edwards
is back on the field. Agholor is also scoring touchdowns at an
unsustainable pace, so don’t fall into the trap of trusting
him in your lineup as anything other than a boom-or-bust Flex
option. Rookie Henry Ruggs continues to play a high snap count
but he hasn’t been targeted more than five times in any
game this season. That low of a target share just isn’t
going to get it done from a fantasy standpoint. Hunter Renfrow
is also playing a high number of snaps and he’s seeing more
targets than Agholor or Ruggs most weeks, but he isn’t getting
deep enough targets, or targets in the end zone, so he’s
nothing more than a floor play in deep PPR formats.
The only pass catcher in this offense who can really be trusted
is tight end Darren Waller. Waller has been a difference-making
stud this season at a terrible tight end position and he’s
established himself as Carr’s favorite target regardless
of the part of the field that the team is at. The Broncos aren’t
particularly bad against opposing tight ends but Waller is a player
we’re not benching for anyone other than Travis Kelce at
DEN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.9
DEN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.25
DEN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.12
DEN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.20
Running Game Thoughts: It wasn’t a huge
performance this past week by Josh Jacobs, but he finally got
back into the end zone again and that was enough to make him a
quality fantasy starter. Jacobs is still seeing practically no
usage in the passing game which certainly limits his upside, but
he’s among the league leaders in carries per game and that’s
been enough to keep him in the RB1 range.
This week Jacobs faces a Broncos defense that has been great against
opposing running backs this season. They’ve only given up
30 receiving yards to two running backs so far and they haven’t
given up a 100-yard rusher since all the way back in Week 2. Jacobs’
high usage still makes him a strong floor candidate so fantasy
owners have to still consider him a low-end RB1, but this isn’t
the strong matchup, or projected favorable game script, that we’d
want to consider Jacobs one of the top plays on the board in Week
Game Thoughts: Prior to last week's bye, the Bengals
put together their best showing of 2020, toppling the Titans,
31-20. It wasn't Joe Burrow's biggest statistical outing as he
threw for 249 yards, two TDs and no INTs -- his first game without
a pick since September. He'll be introduced to the Steelers rivalry
this week, and there is cause for concern. By far his worst game
came against Baltimore, which features a similarly aggressive
style of defense, where Burrow was sacked seven times, turned
the ball over twice and passed for just 183 yards in a 24-point
Not much has changed at receiver as Tyler Boyd (6-67-1 in Week
8) and Tee Higgins (6-78-0) continue to sit atop the pecking order.
For the season, Boyd is averaging nearly seven receptions per
game, while Higgins has topped 70 receiving yards in four of his
last five games. A.J. Green (2-19-0) remains the wild card. His
output leapt dramatically following the aforementioned Ravens
game where he didn't record a catch, but he was nearly invisible
against Tennessee. This week you can consider Boyd (WR2) and Higgins
(WR3) as safe options with Green as a flex play.
With top-tier pass rushers and playmakers in the secondary, the
Steelers are one of the NFL's tougher matchups. They're fifth
in passing yards allowed (214.6 per game), second in passer rating
(79.7) and first in sacks (32). While you could glean some hope
from Pittsburgh's struggles with Garrett Gilbert last Sunday,
don't expect them to come out flat in a division game. Burrow
has some value as a QB2, but there's real downside.
PIT FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.27
PIT FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.32
PIT FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.11
PIT FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.30
Running Game Thoughts: Joe Mixon hasn't played since Week 6 due
to a foot injury, and it looks as though the bye wasn't enough
to get him back on the field, either. In his absence, Gio Bernard
has turned back the clock, gaining 174 total yards and three touchdowns
in two starts. If Mixon plays, he'd slot in as an RB2. If it's
Bernard he's more of an RB3. Either back is looking at a long
day at the office given Pittsburgh's strength against the run:
they fell to ninth (102.8 yards per game) after Dallas ran for
144 last week, but for most of 2020 they've been in the top five.
Game Thoughts: Pittsburgh looked sluggish early on against
injury-depleted Dallas and needed some late-game heroics from
Ben Roethlisberger to escape with their perfect record intact.
He passed for 306 yards and three TDs despite briefly departing
to have his knee checked -- it marked the first time this year
that Big Ben topped 300 yards and threw for three TDs in the same
game. While Roethlisberger is on the COVID list, that's from close
contact and not a positive test, so he should be cleared in time
Most weeks it's something of a shell game trying to find which
of Pittsburgh's three dynamic targets will step up. Last Sunday
it was all of them as JuJu Smith-Schuster (6-93-1) led the way
followed by Diontae Johnson (6-77-0) and Chase Claypool (8-69-0).
Unlike in Cincy, where Green clearly lags behind the other two,
this trio is tough to separate as Roethlisberger has been willing
to feature any of the three in a given week. With that in mind,
let's roll with Smith-Schuster as WR2, Johnson as more of a borderline
WR2/WR3 and Claypool as a solid WR3. Assuming Roethlisberger goes
he'd check in as a QB1.
Eric Ebron (3-22-1) has also emerged as threat, topping 40 yards
receiving in five of his last seven games. He's a middling TE1.
Cincinnati ranks 23rd in pass defense, allowing 256.6 yards per
game. Their pass rush has also been largely toothless with just
11 sacks, good for 25th (tied) in the NFL. Things might be even
worse for the Bengals here if their soft run defense weren't so
CIN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.14
CIN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.16
CIN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.17
CIN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.2
Running Game Thoughts: James Conner (9-22-0) will be looking to
bounce back this Sunday after the Steelers' ground game struggled
badly against the Cowboys -- one of just three defenses allowing
more rushing yards per game than the Bengals (144.3). Cincy's
5.2 yards per carry allowed is the worst mark in the NFL. Expect
to see a lot of Conner in Week 10 and pencil him in as an RB1.
Seahawks at Rams
- (Caron) Line: LAR -2.0 Total: 54.5
Game Thoughts: The consolidated target share in the Seattle
passing game continues to yield excellent fantasy results for
quarterback Russell Wilson and wide receivers DK Metcalf and Tyler
Lockett. Wilson has thrown and/or rushed for at least three touchdowns
in all but one game this season and he’s exceeded 260 passing
yards in all but one contest. He’s one of fantasy football’s
most consistent players this season and he’s combined a
high upside along with a high floor which is something that fantasy
owners have been dreaming of from him for years.
Metcalf has now asserted himself into the elite conversation as
a fantasy wide receiver as he’s reached 19 or more PPR points
in all but two games so far this season. He’s scored in
all but two contests and reached 90 or more receiving yards in
all but one game. Despite possessing a body type and skill set
that would normally be found in a more boom-or-bust-type receiver,
Metcalf has been a remarkably consistent, high-end option in his
sophomore season and he’s become Wilson’s favorite
red zone target. He’ll likely see plenty of coverage from
Jalen Ramsey this week, but Metcalf is seeing enough of a target
share in this high-powered offense that we simply can’t
risk doing anything other than starting him as a WR1 in any matchup
Lockett, on the other hand, has been a little less consistent
with his output, but still remains a WR1 himself on the season.
He’s been held to fewer than 10 PPR fantasy points in four
of his past five games, but he absolutely torched the Cardinals
in the fifth game of that sample, finishing as the WR1 for the
week. It’s hard to know whether this is just happenstance
or if it’s a trend given the small sample size, but Lockett
has seen an increased target share in games where the opposing
team has a lockdown corner who’s been matched up primarily
with Metcalf. The Rams certainly fit that criteria, so this could
actually be a bigger-than-usual opportunity week for Lockett.
Another player who has quietly been shooting up the fantasy rankings
is the Seahawks’ third receiver, David Moore, who had become
a fantasy afterthought since the addition of Metcalf. Moore has
now scored four touchdowns this season and he’s seen at
least three targets in all but one game for the Seahawks this
season. This Rams-Seahawks game looks like one that could turn
into another shootout so don’t sleep on Moore. He’s
probably not someone you want to start in traditional seasonal
leagues, but he’s a player who could be a boom-or-bust Flex
option in deep leagues and he’s certainly a player to consider
as a low-priced DFS option.
LAR FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.31
LAR FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.23
LAR FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.31
LAR FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.15
Running Game Thoughts: Things are looking less and less optimistic
with Chris Carson still not practicing as of Thursday and fantasy
owners will need to keep an eye on things as we head into Week
10. Both Carson and backup Carlos Hyde have been sidelined and
DeeJay Dallas has been filling in admirably - at least from a
fantasy standpoint. The best case scenario from a fantasy standpoint,
at this point, is probably that Hyde and Carson remain out while
Dallas gets another start in what could be a shootout against
The Rams, led by superstart defensive lineman Aaron Donald, have
been excellent against opposing running backs, currently ranking
seventh-best in fantasy points per game given up to the position.
The Seahawks have been a pass-heavy offense this season out of
necessity so there’s not necessarily a ton of work to go
around even if Dallas is the only healthy back on the team, but
he’s someone who has to be looked at as a low-end RB2 in
that scenario just given that the offense is as good as it has
been and there should be plenty of opportunity to get into the
If Carson is active, of course, we need to treat him as a low-end
RB2 and move Dallas back to the bench. It could be an ugly timeshare
split and that’s just not something we want to be part of
if we can avoid it.
Game Thoughts: Hopefully the bye week has allowed the
Rams to refocus and get things back in order for the second half
of the season because things were pretty ugly the last time we
saw Jared Goff on the field back in Week 9 against the Dolphins.
Goff did finish the day with 355 yards and a touchdown, but it
took him a ridiculous 61 attempts - nearly double his previous
season high - to get to that total, and he also threw a pair of
interceptions in addition to at least a couple more passes that
probably should’ve been picked off. The Rams haven’t
been nearly as high-powered with their passing attack this season
as they had been throughout Sean McVay’s first few seasons
with the team, but they’re still attempting around 30 to
35 passes per game most weeks and that’s enough to make
Goff a mid-range QB2 while giving his receivers an ample opportunity
to perform as WR2s given the team’s consolidated target
Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp both fall in the WR2 territory on
the season and they’ve both been exceptionally consistent
PPR producers at the position despite lacking the big game upside
that you’d find with some other players. Woods has also
been seeing a few rushing opportunities per week - even near the
goal line - which has allowed him to boost his already strong
This week the Rams face a Seahawks defense that is absolutely
ripe for the picking from a fantasy standpoint. Seattle has been
absolutely terrorized by opposing wide receivers this season as
they’ve given up by far and away the league’s most
fantasy points per game to the position. They’ve given up
13 touchdowns to the position and they’ve allowed 16 wide
receivers to reach at least 75 yards against them thus far. The
only teams who didn’t have at least one 100-yard receiver
against the Seahawks were Minnesota, who still saw Adam Thielen
go for 80 yards and a pair of touchdowns, and San Francisco, when
rookie Brandon Aiyuk still reached 91 yards and a touchdown. Needless
to say, it doesn’t get any juicier for Goff, Woods and Kupp,
who are all strong plays this week.
Tight ends Tyler Higbee and Gerald Everett continue to vulture
one another’s opportunities, as they have throughout most
of their respective careers, and neither player is a fantasy TE1
unless the other is out with an injury.
SEA FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.1
SEA FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.17
SEA FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.1
SEA FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.29
Running Game Thoughts: The backfield situation in Los Angeles
has been a confusing mess throughout most of the season, especially
now that Darrell Henderson has been dealing with a quad injury.
Henderson has logged a few limited practices this week and McVay
expects him to suit up, but we’ll need to keep an eye on
this one as the Rams haven’t always been forthcoming with
their injury reports.
If Henderson is able to play, we’ll have to assume that
he’s going to be back to his role as the team’s lead
back, albeit in what has been a split backfield. He’s still
seeing the majority of snaps, but he’s certainly not a bell
cow and his usage in the passing game hasn’t been anything
particularly exciting so his upside remains limited. This also
isn’t a strong matchup as the Seahawks have been decent
at slowing down opposing backs. Of course, some of that is probably
due to the fact that opposing offensive coordinators know that
they can absolutely gash the Seahawks through the air and thus
abandoning the run is a viable option, but that could very well
again be the case this week, especially if the Rams find themselves
behind on the scoreboard.
Henderson can be cautiously added back into fantasy lineups as
an RB2 as long as he’s active. If he’s out, though,
look for this to be another ugly split backfield situation between
Malcolm Brown and rookie Cam Akers, with Brown likely taking the
lead role in a 60-40-type backfield split. That’s not anything
great for fantasy purposes, but it’d be enough that he can
be a Flex option in that scenario.
49ers @ Saints
- (Swanson) Line: NO -9.0 Total: 49.5
Game Thoughts: The 49er team that the Saints lost to
48-46 in a shootout in the Super Dome last season is nowhere near
the team that New Orleans will host on Sunday afternoon.
There will be no Raheem Mostert breaking off long passes, both
George Kittle and Jimmy Garappolo are out for most of the season,
and Emmanuel Sanders is on the Saints roster.
In fact, only three offensive starters who played in that game
will be on the field for San Francisco on Sunday, with fullback
Kyle Juszczyk and linemen Mike McGlinchey and Laken Tomlinson.
Deebo Samuel was thought to be ready this week but appears now
to be a long-shot, and both Trent Taylor and River Cracraft missed
practice with back and knee injuries.
The 49ers are a mess, plain and simple. You can start Brandon
Aiyuk based on volume, as he will likely get upwards of ten targets
like Richie James did last week. But if the Saints put the same
amount of pressure on Nick Mullens like they did in last week’s
lopsided win over Tom Brady and the Bucs, those targets will be
low value at best.
If you believe in the revenge narrative, you would not be surprised
to see the Saints destroy the 49ers for payback on last season’s
loss that ended up costing New Orleans home-field advantage. The
Saints don’t have any pity for a 49er team that has nearly
$80 in salary cap on IR. They want a decisive win and will take
it out on the red and gold this week.
If you are desperate at tight end, Jordan Reed could be a sneaky
play. The Saints rank 8th in points allowed to the position. Although
Reed was MIA last week, he could get peppered by Mullens with
the Saints bringing pressure.
NO FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.15
NO FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.29
NO FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.14
NO FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.7
Running Game Thoughts: Kyle Shanahan is known for designing an
offense that is favorable to running backs. Despite losing their
No.1 running back to two separate injuries and their tight end,
quarterback, and No.1 receiver, the 49ers rank second in total
running back fantasy points behind only the Vikings.
San Francisco can run, no doubt about it. And it will be helpful
to have starting left tackle Trent Williams back off of the COVID-19
list. But the Saints continue to be one of the top run-stopping
teams in the league, trailing only the Colts for the top spot.
It will be a battle between a team who likes to run the ball
and a defense that excels in limiting yards and rushing touchdowns.
Based on the injuries to the 49ers offense and the fact that the
Saints are getting healthier on defense, I would give the nod
to the Saints.
Tevin Coleman did not practice on Wednesday with a knee injury,
making it all but a certainty that Jerrick McKinnon and JaMycal
Hasty will carry the load. Mostert was eligible to return from
the IR this week, but Shanahan said his high-ankle sprain is still
Look for McKinnon to get the majority of carries, but Hasty will
likely be used as well, including short-yardage and goal line.
Neither is a great option this week.
Game Thoughts: The Saints enter this Week 10 matchup
on the heels of an impressive 38-3 win over the Bucs last week.
Drew Brees threw for a season-high four touchdown passes in an
incredibly efficient 26 of 32 passing attempts for 222 yards.
The defense made it easy on Brees and the passing offense with
short fields, and Brees did his part with four TD strikes.
The passing attack got Michael Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders back
for the first time since Week 1. Sanders caught four passes for
38 yards and a score, while Thomas had a pedestrian game for the
first wide receiver drafted this summer, with five catches for
51 yards and no scores.
Unlike last season, Brees spread the ball around more to receiving
options, which is better for the overall success for the team
but not exactly what Thomas owners want to see.
This week’s matchup at home against a beat-up 49ers defense
projects to be an excellent game for everyone in the passing game.
The 49ers are missing their top two pass rushers outside in Nick
Bosa and Dee Ford. Both of their starting cornerbacks are out,
and so is their starting strong safety.
Aaron Rodgers picked them apart last week with four passing touchdowns
and over 300 yards. While I anticipate the Saints will stick more
to the run, especially in the red zone, I do think Brees will
have a solid day.
The 49ers are one of the better teams at stopping tight ends.
Partially because it has been easier to attack outside, and also
because Fred Warner is one of the better cover linebackers in
the league. Warner’s coverage on Jared Cook and running
back Alvin Kamara is going to be fun to watch.
SF FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.18
SF FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.30
SF FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.19
SF FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.28
Running Game Thoughts: The Bucs have one of the best run defenses
in the National Football League. They have yet to give up more
than 59 rushing yards to any one player, and only two players
have been able to score a receiving touchdown out of the backfield.
In both games against the Bucs, Alvin Kamara has reached the end
zone a total of three times while logging a modest amount of yards.
The bottom line is Kamara is a must-start regardless of matchup,
and in games like this against otherwise good defenses that are
missing a ton of starters, Kamara is going to go off.
Fred Warner is one of the best middle linebackers in the league
and did a solid job covering Aaron Jones last week. But Jones
was still able to find room to run against San Francisco, a team
that is certainly missing DeForest Buckner in the middle of their
Kamara, too should find room against this defensive front. He
continues to be an elite play and will be a top-5 play this week
at home vs. San Francisco.
Prediction: New Orleans 34, San Francisco 10
Ravens at Patriots
- (Katz) Line: BAL -7.0 Total: 43.0
Game Thoughts: Lamar Jackson is a QB1…barely. The
Patriots are not only allowing just 15.8 fantasy points per game
to quarterbacks, but just 1.9 of those points per game are via
the ground. Obviously opponent matters and they haven’t
faced Jackson, who will undoubtedly score more than two points
rushing, but this is not a good matchup, especially on the road.
Jackson hasn’t thrown for more than 208 yards in a game
since Week 1. He is sustaining back end QB1 value on his rushing.
There is not a single fantasy viable pass catcher on this team.
Mark Andrews still plays around 60% of the snaps and last week,
he was out-produced by Nick Boyle. Andrews’ last three games:
2-21, 3-32, 3-22. You’re not benching him, but you’re
not happy about starting him.
The most talented wide receiver on the Ravens is Devin Duvernay,
but they don’t put him on the field. Instead, we get the
likes of Miles Boykin and “just a guy” Willie Snead.
Supposed WR1 Hollywood Brown is not someone you should be starting.
He’s hit double digit fantasy points just three times this
season. The last time he did it was Week 5. His last two games
saw him catch a total of four balls for 41 yards (38 of those
yards were last week).
Dez Bryant returned to an NFL field last week for the first time
since 2017. It’s really cool to see Dez back in the NFL,
but he was done in 2015. He played just two snaps and is not going
to be a real factor. The Ravens are just not a team with fantasy
NE FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.29
NE FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.15
NE FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.20
NE FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.32
Running Game Thoughts: It’s amazing that a team as good
as the Ravens is a complete fantasy wasteland. Mark Ingram apparently
has a shot to return his week, which would return this backfield
to a three way split with J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards. The latter
two split touches evenly last week (14-13) and will likely do
so again. Jackson throws to running backs just 16% of the time,
so there’s no receiving upside here. The Patriots have allowed
eight rushing touchdowns this season and Edwards seems to have
the leg up on Dobbins for goal line priority. If you’re
gambling on a touchdown, Edwards is the better bet. Dobbins has
looked like the better runner, but with Jackson the actual top
runner on this team, there’s just not enough work to go
around. If Ingram returns, this is a situation to completely avoid.
QB1: Lamar Jackson (low end)
TE1: Mark Andrews (low end)
Bench: Hollywood Brown, J.K. Dobbins, Gus Edwards, Mark Ingram
Game Thoughts: Cam Newton threw for 274 yards last week
as the Patriots had to come back to defeat the winless Jets. Newton
had his worst game on the ground all season with just 16 yards,
but he did score twice, which was crucial as Newton’s streak
without throwing a touchdown extended to four games. Newton has
two (yes, two) passing touchdowns through half a season. With
Julian Edelman out, Newton has zeroed in on Jakobi Meyers. With
24 targets over the past two games, there is no denying Meyers’
status as a must start in fantasy. He put up 169 yards on 12 receptions
last week. He probably won’t score much given Newton’s
inability to throw touchdowns, but that type of volume is unparalleled.
Damiere Byrd was second on the team with nine targets and is worth
at least a look.
The Ravens allow just 31.4 fantasy points per game to wide receivers.
However, with the Patriots as touchdown underdogs at home, Newton
will likely be in comeback mode once again. There’s some
volume potential here for Newton and Meyers, but Newton is a very
sketchy option right now.
BAL FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.25
BAL FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.27
BAL FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.27
BAL FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.17
Running Game Thoughts: After playing through an ankle injury
(and playing well), Damien Harris was knocked out of Monday night’s
comeback win due to a chest injury. Harris was never going to
be a recommended start against an elite Ravens run stopping unit
allowing just 19.4 fantasy points per game to running backs, but
now he’s completely off the board.
As if the injuries weren’t enough, Sony Michel is eligible
to return this week. The Patriots don’t have to activate
him until Sunday afternoon and with this being the Sunday night
game, waiting to see if a healthy Harris would even be worth anything
is too risky. James White has been a drop for weeks. He’s
not even remotely relevant. Rex Burkhead hadn’t touched
the ball more than seven times in three straight games before
his 12-carry, three reception outing on Monday night. There’s
some desperation appeal there, but not much. Just avoid all running
backs in this game.
Vikings @ Bears
- (Green) Line: MIN -3.0 Total: 43.5
Game Thoughts: Just in case you had any doubt if Minnesota's
Week 8 shift away from Kirk Cousins was deliberate and not a weather-related
one-off, the Vikings emphatically answered in Week 9. Facing a
suspect Lions secondary, Cousins threw the ball just 20 times,
completing 13 for 220 yards and three touchdowns. That's good
efficiency, but fantasy owners cannot bank on Cousins creating
meaningful value with any consistency given his low usage.
Minnesota's new direction has serious repercussions for the tandem
of Adam Thielen (2-38-0 in Week 9) and Justin Jefferson (3-64-0).
A month ago you could argue that Thielen was a WR1 with Jefferson
pushing WR2 status; now you might make a pretty persuasive case
that they both belong on the bench until further notice. I'm not
going that far just yet, and I have long-terms concerns about
Minnesota's approach, but Thielen is being downgraded to a low-end
WR2 while Jefferson is a WR3/flex.
I've mentioned Irv Smith a few times here, and after catching
two touchdown passes last week it feels like a good time to bring
him up again. While I like Smith's upside, he needs to show some
level of consistency to warrant a spot in your lineup. On the
defensive side of things, Chicago ranks seventh in the NFL against
the pass (218.2 yards per game) and only the Rams have allowed
fewer passing TDs. You can bet the Bears will ask their DBs to
man up and focus on stopping the run.
CHI FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.32
CHI FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.22
CHI FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.30
CHI FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.8
Running Game Thoughts: If the question is, "Who is the best
running back in the NFL?," you'd answer anyone other than
Dalvin Cook at your own peril. Cook ran around and through the
Lions defense last Sunday, amassing 206 yards and two TDs on 22
carries; he also added 46 receiving yards, giving him 478 total
yards and six touchdowns in his last two games combined. While
Cook carving up defenses is a boon for fantasy owners, I do question
the sustainability of putting so much on a player with a lengthy
history of durability issues.
If Alexander Mattison (12-69-0) could run that well in relief
every week it might go a long way toward keeping Cook on the field.
He hasn't proven he can, however, so expect Cook to see most of
the touches in contested games. The Bears sit 14th versus the
run this season (116.9 yards per game) and are tied for ninth
in yards per carry. That makes this the stiffest test of Minnesota's
new offensive philosophy to date.
Game Thoughts: Back in Week 4 when the Bears made the
move to Nick Foles I warned not to get excited. Six games later,
you can see why. Foles has been decent at best, though if you're
seeking optimism the arrow seems to be pointing up recently with
the veteran passing for 607 yards and four TDs over his last two
games. He draws a plus matchup against an inexperienced Vikings
secondary, which means Foles is actually worthy of consideration
as an under-the-radar streaming option.
While Allen Robinson (7-81-0 in Week 9) remains the primary receiver
in Chicago, rookie Darnell Mooney (5-43-0) has seen his role increase
-- Mooney was targeted a team-high 11 times against the Titans
last Sunday. His production wasn't great, but I still prefer him
to long-time tease Anthony Miller. Perhaps the most surprising
development has been the semi-resurgence of Jimmy Graham (6-55-1),
who looks like he was miscast in Green Bay where they wanted him
to work downfield more often.
As noted, the Vikings' secondary has been ripe for exploitation
throughout 2020 with only the Seahawks and Falcons allowing more
passing yards per game than Minnesota's 287.9. As such, Robinson
is a legit WR1 this week with Mooney a flex candidate. You could
also start Graham as a low-end option.
MIN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.5
MIN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.12
MIN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.3
MIN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.14
Running Game Thoughts: It's anyone's guess what Chicago's backfield
will look like on Monday night. David Montgomery (concussion)
suffered a concussion last Sunday and needs to clear the NFL's
protocol to play; if he does, he'd make a weak RB2 or strong RB3.
If he's out, the team could turn to Cordarrelle Patterson or summon
Lamar Miller from the practice squad. In that scenario you could
consider either player a risky flex. The Vikings rank 20th in
rushing yards allowed (125.0) but are tied for the fewest rushing
TDs allowed this year (five).