Cardinals @ Giants
Stud Starts: David Johnson, Saquon Barkley
Arizona WRs: Larry Fitzgerald has caught at least 5 passes in every game this year, so he’s as consistent as they come as a PPR option. He hasn’t shown the ceiling we saw in his first two weeks, but he should be in PPR lineups this week against a Giants secondary allowing the 4th most fantasy points to WRs. If Kirk is back, he’s worth a start as a full PPR WR3.
Giants WRs: Golden Tate caught 6 of 9 for 102 yards and a TD against a Patriots team who has been limiting WRs all year long, although he was really all they had in that game. This week, Sterling Shepard is out again with Evan Engram returning. Still, Tate is a great WR3 start; Arizona’s been giving up the 2nd most fantasy points to slot WRs this year, and Tate is running 89% of his routes from the slot. Don’t worry about Patrick Peterson; he doesn’t come into the slot, he’ll stay on the outside, which is why you might want to worry if you’re reaching for Darius Slayton.
Vegas: This game has a Vegas total of 50.5 with the Giants favored by 3. Close, high scoring games are what you want for fantasy production.
Texans @ Colts
Texans RBs: It’s pretty encouraging that Carlos Hyde has had 20+ carries and a TD in each of the last two games. The Colts haven’t been giving up a ton of fantasy points, but they’ve actually not been great against stopping the run. In fact, they’re the 4th worst rush defense DVOA according to Football Outsiders. If Bill O’Brien thinks he can run the ball against you, he probably will, so start Hyde as a low-end RB2 in PPR and a solid RB2 in non-PPR leagues. Duke Johnson is a flier as he sees enough of the field, but he’s not getting enough touches for much upside.
Colts RBs: Marlon Mack is well rested after his 32-touch game before his bye week. Houston’s run defense is in the middle of the pack, so there’s no reason to shy away from the type of volume he can potentially get.
Texans WRs: You’re starting DeAndre Hopkins, even in the “slump” he’s in. If you don’t have Hopkins, you still have a shot at buying low. Will Fuller always has ridiculous upside, but the Colts have allowed only one 40+ yard pass play, and ranks 22nd in most 20+ yard pass plays allowed. Still, Fuller has been targeted in the end zone a ton, so he’s still a high-upside WR3.
Colts WRs: TY Hilton runs routes from the left and right perimeter, along with the slot at an almost equal rate. The Texans are giving up the 2nd most fantasy points to perimeter WRs, and is in the middle of the pack against slot WRs. Hilton needs to be in lineups.
Sleeper TE: Darren Fells might still be available in your league, and if you’re hurting, has sneaky upside this week against a Colts team giving up the 3rd most fantasy points to the TE position, and that’s including one of their weeks being a bye. Fells caught 6 of 7 for 69 yards last week, and 2 TDs the week prior.
Dolphins @ Bills
Miami RBs: Kenyan Drake had 19 opportunities last week against Washington – 10 carries and 9 targets on 61% of snaps. Mark Walton got the start, but only ended up with 12 opportunities. Neither are great options this week against a Buffalo team giving up only 4 yards per carry and the 7th least receptions to RBs. With Vegas aggressively favoring Buffalo by 17 points, these two are only startable in full PPR leagues during catch-up mode.
Buffalo RBs: Both Devin Singletary and Frank Gore are startable against Miami. Singletary should eventually get the reins, and while he did log full practices this week, expect both RBs to get run in his first game back. According to Mike Florio, since Sean McDermott has been the HC of the Bills, they’ve ran the ball at the highest rate (61%) when leading. I would consider both RB2s, with Singletary getting a bump in PPR formats.
Miami WRs: If you’re going to start one of DeVante Parker or Preston Williams, Williams has the better matchup of the two. He runs a majority of his routes from the left side of the field where the Bills have been slightly vulnerable this year, giving up the 12th most fantasy points. Everywhere else has been relatively stout.
Buffalo WRs: John Brown is a great WR2 start this week against Miami, who’s giving up the 8th most fantasy points to perimeter WRs, where Brown runs 76% of his routes. When he’s in the slot, he probably has an advantage too, since they’ve been giving up the 5th most fantasy points to slot WRs. That leads to Cole Beasley being a nice desperate PPR option, who probably should be upgraded to a PPR WR3; Before last week’s tough slot matchup against Tennessee, Beasley saw 9+ targets in 3 of 4 games.
Sleeper TE: Dawson Knox didn’t do much last week against Tennessee, but he actually had his highest target volume in that game. In the two games before that, he caught 3 for 67 and a TD and 3 for 58. He’s an option against Miami, who’s top-10 in giving up fantasy points to the position.
Vikings @ Lions
Stud Starts: Dalvin Cook
Vikings WRs: Even if Adam Thielen draws a Darius Slay shadow, he’s worth a start. He’s been great, even if there isn’t enough passing volume to go around for the rest of their WRs. With the Lions being vulnerable on the ground, we could see the Vikings back to depending on their ground game, while Kirk Cousins isn’t shelling out a ton of throws to his WRs. Even after Diggs’ big game last week, he’s relegated to a WR3 this week… I’m not chasing those points this week if I don’t have to… he was just in a prime spot in Week 6.
Lions RBs: It’s not a great matchup for Kerryon Johnson this week, but I’m not sitting a talented RB who is had played on 70% of snaps in each of the last three weeks. It was a very tough stat line last week, but at least he scored. Minnesota is a sucky matchup, but he’s still a RB2 this week because of the usage.
Lions WRs: Kenny Golladay is an every-week WR1 at this point. The Xavier Rhodes matchup this week isn’t one to worry about; the Vikings have given up the 7th most fantasy points over the last four weeks to perimeter WRs, where Golladay lines up on 84% of his routes. Marvin Jones is a desperate flex play; if the Lions can’t get anything going on the ground against the Vikings, Stafford might have to depend on his WRs a little more.
Sleeper TE: TJ Hockenson has fell off since his fake breakout in Week 1, but he has a great matchup this week against a Vikings team giving up the 8th most fantasy points to TEs. Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert combined for 17 targets last week.
Raiders @ Packers
Raiders RBs: After Josh Jacobs’ success against the Bears in Week 5, he can have success against anyone!!! Right? Well, Kerryon Johnson didn’t have much success against against the Packers last week, but they’ve given up some big games in weeks prior. Teams are averaging 5 yards per carry against them, not to mention they’re the 7th worst rush defense DVOA… so Jacobs should be in your lineup as a solid RB2. Aaron Rodgers is missing some weapons, so game script should be in his favor as well.
Packers RBs: There’s a good chance Aaron Jones would’ve seen more of the field if he didn’t fumble and drop his TD pass last Monday night. He still had 18 opportunities, so that’s pretty encouraging on a night that seemed to belong with Jamaal Williams. The snaps were split 50/50, and I would expect Jones to see a higher snap percentage this week against the Raiders. Start him as a high-end RB2 with overall RB1 upside. Williams had 19 opportunities himself last week which resulted in a great game, and he can be started in a deeper league as a RB3/flex option, especially in PPR. Keep in mind that Oakland is deceptively good at stopping the run, ranking 6th best DVOA. That didn’t stop Jones from doing what he did against Minnesota, but might be a reason to lean away from Williams this week.
Raiders WRs: I’m not starting anyone with Tyrell Williams out. TE Darren Waller gets a boost. Zay Jones shouldn’t earn your trust just yet.
Packers WRs: Davante Adams, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, and Geronimo Allison are not practicing on Friday, so I am assuming none will play. MVS is probably droppable at this point if you need a roster spot. Both Allen Lazard and Jake Kumerow are desperate options against the Raiders. Lazard will play primarily in the slot, while Kumerow primarily is on the perimeter. The Raiders are giving up the 9th most fantasy points to slot WRs and the 3rd most to perimeter WRs lining up on the right, where Kumerow ran a majority of his routes from last week. With Rashaan Melvin draped all over Kumerow last week on 84% of his routes, there probably wasn’t much opportunity to get him the ball. This week can be a different story… he’s a low-floor, high-upside flex option.
Jaguars @ Bengals
Jaguars RBs: Start Fournette.
Bengals RBs: The Jaguars rank dead last in rush defense DVOA, so this is a great matchup for Joe Mixon. With Jalen Ramsey moving west, this defense takes a big step back overall. Even though the Bengals’ offensive line is not helping Mixon, he’s still getting enough volume to start as a RB2 this week.
Jaguars WRs: DJ Chark was shadowed by Marshon Lattimore last week, which definitely affected his production. The only other game he didn’t produce was in Denver – another tough matchup. This week, he goes up against a Bengals defense without their top two perimeter corners. He was probably in your lineup last week, but I wouldn’t think twice about keeping him in this week. Dede Westbrook also has a good matchup; the Bengals have allowed the 11th most fantasy points to slot WRs. He did pop up on the injury report mid-week, and is probably a game-time decision for the early Sunday games. The volume has been there with him, though, even during Chark’s breakout; Dede has averaged 8.5 targets per game over the last four weeks.
Bengals WRs: Tyler Boyd was shadowed by Marlon Humphrey last week everywhere he went – in the slot, outside, didn’t matter. This week, he has a relatively good matchup in the slot. Auden Tate made some spectacular grabs last week, and he goes up against a Jalen Ramsey-less Jags defense. Boyd is a WR2 start, and Tate is a WR3 after getting 11 targets last week.
Rams @ Falcons
Rams RBs: Todd Gurley has a chance to play, but no guarantee. Malcolm Brown probably won’t play after not practicing on Thursday and a designation of day-to-day. Darrell Henderson might be the best play of all of these guys, especially if Brown doesn’t play. If both Brown and Gurley don’t play, fire Henderson up as a high upside RB2.
Falcons RBs: Devonta Freeman took control of the backfield last week with him on the field for 72% of snaps. If that continues, we should upgrade Freeman going forward. He hasn’t played great, but he’s getting touches. This week, he has a tough matchup against the Rams, who have been giving up only 3.77 yards per carry. Freeman’s a RB2 until snap share gets closer between him and Smith, but I’m not excited about his matchup.
Rams WRs: Start all of them. Kupp might be the best WR play this week. Brandin Cooks and Robert Woods are WR2 starts. The Falcons are giving up fantasy points at every position a WR can run routes from; the most fantasy points to perimeter WRs and the 4th most to slot WRs over the last four weeks.
Falcons WRs: You’re obviously starting Julio. Jalen Ramsey will likely start on the right side of the offense where Aqib Talib previously posted up – that’s where Calvin Ridley runs a majority of his routes – might not be the best matchup for him. Who knows though? It’s possible Ramsey is asked to shadow Julio. Mohamed Sanu’s matchup is neutral, so it’s possible he sees more looks this week; he’s a desperate PPR flex option this week.
49ers @ Redskins
49ers RBs: Both Tevin Coleman and Matt Breida are RB2s this week, with Coleman getting the edge as the clear goal line back. According to NFL.com’s Graham Barfield, Coleman played on 12 of the 49ers’ 13 snaps inside the 10-yard line since he returned two weeks ago. Breida has only played on two, so he’s depending on big plays for him to score. Still, this matchup is conducive to production from RBs. When you consider Shanahan’s scheme to Washington giving up the 5th most fantasy points to RBs this year to the 49ers controlling this game, it all adds up for these two.
Redskins RBs: I probably want to sit Adrian Peterson this week. Chris Thompson probably won’t play, and Craig Reynolds has been getting first team reps at practice this week. I would steer clear against what has turned out to be a great defense.
49ers WRs: Dante Pettis’ snap count has gone up in each of the last two weeks, and was at 71% last week. He has missed on a couple of TDs, but has a good opportunity this week at some production. As a whole, Washington has given up the 5th most fantasy points to WRs. Pettis has lined up all over the formation, and Washington has been vulnerable in the slot (12th most fantasy points) and the right side (5th most fantasy points). Pettis has run 69% of his routes from those two positions this year, so he’s a desperate flex option this week.
Redskins WRs: Terry McLaurin has a really tough matchup this week, as the 49ers have been stout at every WR position. He’ll avoid Richard Sherman on about 50% of his routes, but it probably doesn’t matter the way this defense has been playing. Still, McLaurin is a WR2 start as Case Keenum’s first option. He’s overcome tough matchups this year, so it’s tough to bench him.
LA Chargers @ Titans
Chargers RBs: The Chargers backfield has been tricky since Melvin Gordon came back. He hasn’t looked great, and probably needs some more time to get in the groove of things. Tennessee is a pretty good defense against the run – 10th best DVOA. But, they have given up the 5th most receptions to RBs. This lines up nicely for both Gordon and Ekeler, but they’re tough to trust in an offense that hasn’t shown life for a couple of weeks. Gordon is still a RB2 start, while Ekeler is a flex if you need one.
Titans RBs: Derrick Henry has had 15+ carries in every game this season. He came up short against Denver last week, but this is a much better matchup against the Chargers at home. He’s a high-end RB2 start this week.
Chargers WRs: Start Keenan Allen, even while in his slump. Don’t overthink it. Mike Williams saw his second straight double digit target game, so keep him in your lineup. He’ll see more of Malcolm Butler than any other Charger WR, and that’s a good thing; the Titans have given up the 6th most fantasy points to WRs on that left side.
Titans WRs: We could view this passing offense a bit differently with Ryan Tannehill at the helm, but we won’t know for sure. Casey Hayward will likely shadow Corey Davis, but he does have new life now. AJ Brown also has a tough matchup. I’d stay away this week; the Chargers have been great against WRs this year.
Ravens @ Seahawks
Ravens RBs: Ingram’s ceiling hasn’t been limited by his snap count, but playing on 39% of snaps last week in a great matchup definitely limited his ceiling. In a game where he could’ve had at least 20 carries, he had 13 instead, while Gus Edwards was in more. Still, Seattle isn’t a great rushing defense, so this isn’t a matchup you’re staying away from when it comes to Ingram. A close game might actually be better for him.
Seahawks RBs: Chris Carson is a RB1; start him every week.
Ravens WRs: Marquise Brown probably won’t play this week, and there isn’t another WR we should necessarily trust in his place.
Seahawks WRs: Tyler Lockett’s volume has gone done over the last few weeks, but he’s caught every pass that has gone his way over the last three weeks. Lockett runs 70% of his routes from the slot, and Baltimore has allowed the 13th most fantasy points to slot WRs. Marlon Humphrey shadowed Tyler Boyd last week, but Boyd isn’t as speedy as Lockett is, so there isn’t a guarantee Lockett is or isn’t shadowed. I’d still have Lockett in my lineup as a WR2. DK Metcalf has 60+ yards in 4 of 6 games this year, which puts him around a 10-point floor in PPR leagues. If Humphrey isn’t on him, he has a chance to exploit Marcus Peters.
Saints @ Bears
Saints RBs: My guess is that Alvin Kamara won’t play this weekend, so Latavius Murray is a great start… right? The Saints get the Bears this week in Chicago, which isn’t great. Murray should see a large majority of snap share, so he has that going for him if Kamara misses. Josh Jacobs was able to have a great game against the Bears, but that was on a neutral site (London) and considered a home game for the Raiders. Murray is a flex option against the Bears based on volume.
Bears RBs: The Saints are middle of the pack in rush defense DVOA, but they’ve played well against some good RBs this year, including Chris Carson and Ezekiel Elliott. There’s no guarantee David Montomery gets volume, as his opportunity has been all over the place. He’s a flex option this week with the hope of volume and a TD.
Saints WRs: Michael Thomas has been money regardless of QB. He’s in.
Bears WRs: Allen Robinson has a tough matchup against Marshon Lattimore, who’s shadowed Amari Cooper, Mike Evans, and DJ Chark over the last three weeks. While in his coverage, those three WRs have combined for 6 catches for 60 yards in his coverage; they were in his coverage for at least 80% of their routes. Robinson gets downgraded to a flex option this week, but has some upside when he lines up in the slot, where he’s run 42% of his routes from – Lattimore hasn’t played much in the slot this year. Anthony Miller has a good matchup in the slot, but he’s hard to trust. Desperate deep league or DFS GPP option. The most upside this week probably belongs to Taylor Gabriel, who is expected to play after his concussion.
Eagles @ Cowboys
Eagles RBs: Jordan Howard is a pretty good RB2 play this week. Howard’s 63% of snaps last week is very encouraging, and he has a neutral/plus matchup this week. He’s TD dependent, but he has a good chance of scoring most weeks in his expanded role. The Cowboys are tied for most TDs given up on the ground; they’ve also tied for 2nd most receptions given up to RBs. Even though it’s not a big part of Howard’s role, we’ve seen him be involved in the pass game in certain games this year. Miles Sanders is a low-floor, high-upside flex option this week.
Cowboys WRs: Amari Cooper has a chance to play on Sunday. If he plays, I’m starting him as a WR1. This Eagles secondary has been so terrible, it revived Stefon Diggs last week (I love Diggs, but the current offense isn’t making use of his talent). Since they are giving up the most fantasy points to WRs this year, Michael Gallup is a high-end WR2 this week, with Randall Cobb (who has a chance to play as well) and Devin Smith treated as high-upside, low-floor flex options.
Eagles WRs: Alshon Jeffery has averaged 10 targets over the last three games; he’s in, even in a perceived tough matchup. DeSean Jackson has been ruled out.
Cowboys RBs: Zeke’s in, even in a tough matchup.
Patriots @ NY Jets
Patriots RBs: Sony Michel is always a risky start, even in what seems like a potential blowout. The Jets are sneaky this week, considering they are at home and played well last week. Sam Darnold is back, and CJ Mosley said he’ll be back on Monday night. If Rex Burkhead plays, all bets are off in this backfield. James White might be the only trustable asset in PPR leagues this week. I would treat Michel has a low-end RB2 this week; the volume he had over the last three games came without Burkhead active. If Burkhead is out, bump him to a mid-RB2.
Jets RBs: This offense is upgraded with Sam Darnold back, and Le’Veon Bell is a RB1 start every week, regardless of matchup.
Patriots WRs: Julian Edelman is a low-end WR1, so he’s in; the Jets have allowed the 6th most fantasy points to slot WRs over the last four weeks. No word on whether Josh Gordon will play on Monday night, but he’s yet to practice… his chances don’t look good. Phillip Dorsett seems likely to play, and he’s a good start. He runs 41% of his routes from the slot, and we know that’s good, but he also runs 30% of routes from the left side of the perimeter, where the Jets have given up the 4th most fantasy points over the last four weeks. Consider Dorsett a WR3 this week, especially if Gordon misses.
Jets WRs: Robby Anderson is back with Darnold, but Stephon Gilmore will likely shadow him. Anderson should remain on the bench until Week 8 because of it. However, if you need high upside option, Anderson can beat anyone deep. Jamison Crowder is a PPR WR3 this week against the Patriots, who have allowed some production to slot WRs: Tate last week (9/6/102/1), Beasley (13/7/75) a couple of weeks ago. In Darnold’s two starts, Crowder had 17 and 9 targets for 99 and 98 yards, respectively.