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Inside the Matchup

Week 10

By: Andy Swanson | Jason Katz | Nick Caron | HC Green



Sunday Early:



Sunday Late:

CIN @ PIT | SEA @ LAR | SF @ NO | BAL @ NE



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

Colts @ Titans - (Swanson)
Line: Pick'em
Total: 48.5

Passing 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 ends.

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 game.

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.

Value Meter:
QB2: Philip Rivers (Low-End)
RB2: Jonathan Taylor (Low-End)
RB3: Jordan Wilkins (Low-End)
WR3: T.Y. Hilton (High-End)
WR4: Michael Pittman Jr.(Low-End)
Flex: Nyheim Hines (High_End)
TE1: Trey Burton (Mid-Range)

Passing 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.

Value Meter:
QB1: Ryan Tannehill (Low-End)
RB1: Derrick Henry (High-End)
WR1: A.J. Brown (Low-End)
WR3: Corey Davis (Low-End)
TE1: Jonnu Smith (Mid-Range)

Prediction: Tennessee 24, Indianapolis 21 ^ Top

Bucs @ Panthers - (Swanson)
Line: TB 5.5
Total: 50.5

Passing 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 this season.

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 carries.
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 to fumble.

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 concussion protocol.

Value Meter:
QB1: Tom Brady (Mid-Range)
RB2: Ronald Jones (Low-End)
RB2: Leonard Fournette (Low-End)
WR2: Mike Evans (High-End)
WR2: Chris Godwin (Low-End)
WR3: Antonio Brown (Low-End)
TE1: Rob Gronkowski (Low-Range)

Passing 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 Moore.

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 passing outlook.

Value Meter:
QB2: Teddy Bridgewater (Mid-Range)
RB2: Mike Davis (Low-End)
WR2: D.J. Moore (Low-End)
WR2: Robby Anderson (Low-End)
WR3: Curtis Samuel (Low-End)
TE2: Ian Thomas Low-End)

Prediction: Tampa Bay 30, Carolina 21 ^ Top

Texans @ Browns - (Green)
Line: CLE -3.0
Total: 48.0

Passing 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 per game).

Value Meter:
QB1: Deshaun Watson
RB3: David Johnson (inj)
WR2: Will Fuller
WR3: Brandin Cooks
Bench: Duke Johnson, Randall Cobb, Darren Fells

Passing 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.

Value Meter:
RB2: Nick Chubb (inj)
RB2: Kareem Hunt
WR2/WR3: Jarvis Landry
TE1: Austin Hooper (inj)
Bench: Baker Mayfield, Rashard Higgins

Prediction: Browns 37, Texans 24 ^ Top

Washington @ Lions - (Green)
Line: N/A
Total: N/A

Passing 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.

Value Meter:
RB2: Antonio Gibson
Flex: J.D. McKissic
WR1: Terry McLaurin
Bench: Alex Smith

Passing 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 back.

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 fourth.

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.

Value Meter:
QB2: Matthew Stafford
RB3: D'Andre Swift
Flex: Adrian Peterson
WR2: Kenny Golladay (inj)
TE1: T.J. Hockenson
Bench: Marvin Jones

Prediction: Lions 20, Redskins 17 ^ Top

Jaguars @ Packers - (Green)
Line: GB -13.0
Total: 50.0

Passing 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 Mullens.

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.

Value Meter:
RB1/RB2: James Robinson
WR3: D.J. Chark
Bench: Jake Luton, Gardner Minshew (inj), Laviska Shenault (inj)

Passing 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.

Value Meter:
QB1: Aaron Rodgers
RB1: Aaron Jones
Flex: Jamaal Williams
WR1: Davante Adams
WR3/Flex: Allen Lazard (inj)
Bench: Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Robert Tonyan

Prediction: Packers 41, Jaguars 20 ^ Top

Eagles at Giants - (Katz)
Line: PHI -3.5
Total: 44.0

Passing 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.

Value Meter:
QB1: Carson Wentz (low end)
RB1: Miles Sanders (mid-range)
WR1: Travis Fulgham (low end)
TE1: Dallas Goedert (low end)
Bench: Jalen Reagor, Boston Scott

Passing 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.

Value Meter:
WR3: Sterling Shepard
TE1: Evan Engram (low end)
Flex: Wayne Gallman
Bench: Daniel Jones, Darius Slayton, Golden Tate, Devonta Freeman

Prediction: Giants 24, Eagles 20 ^ Top

Chargers at Dolphins - (Katz)
Line: MIA -2,0
Total: 48.0

Passing 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.

Value Meter:
QB1: Justin Herbert (mid-range)
WR1: Keenan Allen (mid-range)
WR3: Mike Williams
TE1: Hunter Henry (low end)
Bench: Justin Jackson, Joshua Kelley, Troymaine Pope, Kalen Ballage

Passing 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.

Value Meter:
QB1: Tua Tagovailoa (low end)
WR3: DeVante Parker
Flex: Salvon Ahmed
Bench: Jakeem Grant, Mike Gesicki, Matt Breida, Jordan Howard

Prediction: Dolphins 27, Chargers 24 ^ Top

Bills at Cardinals - (Caron)
Line: ARI -2.5
Total: 56.5

Passing 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 performance here.

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.

Value Meter:
QB1: Josh Allen
RB2: Zack Moss (low-end)
WR1: Stefon Diggs
Flex: John Brown
Bench: Devin Singletary, Cole Beasley, Gabriel Davis, Tyler Kroft, Dawson Knox

Passing 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 passer.

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.

Value Meter:
QB1: Kyler Murray
RB1: Chase Edmonds (if Drake is inactive)
WR1: DeAndre Hopkins
WR3: Christian Kirk
Flex: Kenyan Drake, Chase Edmonds (if Drake is active)
Bench: Larry Fitzgerald, Andy Isabella

Prediction: Cardinals 27, Bills 24 ^ Top

Broncos at Raiders - (Caron)
Line: LV -4.0
Total: 50.5

Passing 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 faced.

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 2QB leagues.

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.

Value Meter:
QB2: Drew Lock
RB2: Melvin Gordon
WR2: Jerry Jeudy
TE1: Noah Fant
Flex: Phillip Lindsay (non-PPR only)
Bench: Tim Patrick, KJ Hamler

Passing 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 this point.

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 10.

Value Meter:
QB2: Derek Carr (high-end)
RB1: Josh Jacobs (low-end)
TE1: Darren Waller (high-end)
Bench: Nelson Agholor, Henry Ruggs III, Hunter Renfrow, Bryan Edwards

Prediction: Raiders 21, Broncos 20 ^ Top

Bengals @ Steelers - (Green)
Line: PIT -7.5
Total: 47.0

Passing 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 loss.

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.

Value Meter:
QB2: Joe Burrow
RB3: Giovani Bernard
WR2: Tyler Boyd
WR3: Tee Higgins
Flex: A.J. Green
Bench: Joe Mixon (inj)

Passing 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 to play.

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 enticing.

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.

Value Meter:
QB1: Ben Roethlisberger (inj)
RB1: James Conner
WR2: JuJu Smith-Schuster
WR2/WR3: Diontae Johnson
WR3: Chase Claypool
TE1: Eric Ebron
Bench: Benny Snell

Prediction: Steelers 31, Bengals 19 ^ Top

Seahawks at Rams - (Caron)
Line: LAR -2.0
Total: 54.5

Passing 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 right now.

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.

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 end zone.

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.

Value Meter:
QB1: Russell Wilson (high-end)
RB2: Chris Carson, DeeJay Dallas (if Carson is out)
WR1: DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett
Bench: Dallas (if Carson is active), Carlos Hyde, Travis Homer, David Moore

Passing 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 share.

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 fantasy profile.

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.

Value Meter:
QB1: Jared Goff
RB2: Darrell Henderson
WR1: Robert Woods (low-end), Cooper Kupp (low-end)
Flex: Malcolm Brown (if Henderson is out)
Bench: Cam Akers, Josh Reynolds, Van Jefferson, Tyler Higbee, Gerald Everett

Prediction: Seahawks 28, Rams 24 ^ Top

49ers @ Saints - (Swanson)
Line: NO -9.0
Total: 49.5

Passing 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 limiting Mostert.

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.

Value Meter:
QB2: Nick Mullens (Mid-Range)
RB2: Jerick McKinnon (Low-End)
RB3: JaMycal Hasty (Low-End)
WR2: Brandon Aiyuk (Low-End)
WR4: Richie James (Low-End)
TE1: Jordan Reed (Low-End)

Passing 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 defensive line.
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.

Value Meter:
QB1: Drew Brees (Mid-Range)
RB1: Alvin Kamara (Elite)
RB3: Latavius Murray (Low-End)
WR1: Michael Thomas (High-End)
WR3: Emmanuel Sanders (High-End)
TE1: Jared Cook (Low-End)

Prediction: New Orleans 34, San Francisco 10 ^ Top

Ravens at Patriots - (Katz)
Line: BAL -7.0
Total: 43.0

Passing 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 potential.

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.

Value Meter:
QB1: Lamar Jackson (low end)
TE1: Mark Andrews (low end)
Bench: Hollywood Brown, J.K. Dobbins, Gus Edwards, Mark Ingram

Passing 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.

Value Meter:
WR3: Jakobi Meyers
Bench: Cam Newton, Damiere Byrd, James White, Rex Burkhead, Sony Michel, Damien Harris

Prediction: Ravens 27, Patriots 13 ^ Top

Vikings @ Bears - (Green)
Line: MIN -3.0
Total: 43.5

Passing 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.

Value Meter:
RB1: Dalvin Cook
WR2: Adam Thielen (low-end)
WR3: Justin Jefferson
Bench: Kirk Cousins, Alexander Mattison, Irv Smith

Passing 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).

Value Meter:
QB2: Nick Foles
RB2/RB3: David Montgomery (inj)
WR1: Allen Robinson
Flex: Darnell Mooney
TE1: Jimmy Graham (low-end)

Prediction: Vikings 23, Bears 20 ^ Top