Redskins @ Vikings
Redskins RBs – Adrian Peterson apparently has a high ankle sprain, but he says he’s playing against Minnesota. Chris Thompson has been ruled out, so if Peterson doesn’t play, Wendell Smallwood becomes an option in PPR leagues. It’s hard to imagine Smallwood as an every-down player, but he could see 15+ touches in a tough matchup.
Vikings RBs: Dalvin Cook is already in your lineup. Alexander Mattison is probably playable as a deep, desperate flex option against the Redskins (Vikings favored by 16).
Redskins WRs: Terry McLaurin will likely see a shadow from Xavier Rhodes, but Rhodes is giving up 0.40 fantasy points per route run against him, which is not great. The Vikings have given up the 4th most fantasy points to perimeter WRs over the last four weeks. Starting him as a WR2.
Vikings WRs: Adam Thielen isn’t playing, and the Redskins have stepped up against #1 WRs. Still, the target volume without Thielen gives Diggs a boost this week. Starting him as a WR2.
Giants @ Lions
Giants RBs: You’re starting Saquon.
Lions RBs: Ty Johnson has a great matchup this week; we saw what Chase Edmonds was able to do last week against the Giants. Johnson should be involved in both the run and pass game; I think reasonable expectations is 15-18 touches for Johnson, which would put him in the RB2 conversation. He was the one getting goal line looks in Kerryon’s absence last week, and out-touched JD McKissic 13-5 after he left the game.
Giants WRs: Darius Slay left last week’s game after yet another hamstring injury. If he’s out, would expect Rashaan Melvin to shadow Sterling Shepard if he gets cleared from the concussion protocol. Melvin has been pretty good this year, but hasn’t shadowed a WR as good as Shepard yet. Either way, Golden Tate is a good WR3 start this week; the Lions have been vulnerable against slot WRs.
Lions WRs: Rough game for Kenny Golladay last week… he just wasn’t targeted. Can’t expect that to continue, and I would expect Golladay’s targets to pop right back into place against the Giants. Would start him as a WR2, and Marvin Jones as a WR3. The Giants have given up the 7th most fantasy points to perimeter WRs, where these guys line up on a majority of their routes.
Buccaneers @ Titans
Bucs RBs: You can’t trust either Ronald Jones or Peyton Barber in a relatively tough matchup, but if you had to play one, Jones has the upside. The Titans are giving up only 4 YPC to opposing RBs.
Titans RBs: Bucs have been extremely stout against opposing RBs this year, giving up only 2.71 yards per carry. They limited Christian McCaffrey twice to what are probably his two worst games of his career: 16 carries for 37 yards in Week 2, and 22 carries for 31 yards in Week 6 – not a typo. Henry is a TD dependent RB2 this week.
Bucs WRs: Chris Godwin is the #1 WR in standard and #2 WR in both half point to full point PPR leagues. You’re starting him. Mike Evans will see more of Malcolm Butler than any other corner on the Titans, and that’s where they’ve given up fantasy points – 10th most to WRs running routes on that left perimeter of the field.
Titans WRs: Corey Davis saw signs of life, and AJ Brown finally got some volume to go along with the production we’ve seen from him this year. Both are low-floor, high-upside starts this week against the Bucs with Ryan Tannehill potentially keeping them float. Would treat both as flex options with upside; the Bucs are giving up the 2nd most fantasy points to WRs, and the production is coming from all over the field – 2nd most to perimeter WRs and most to slot WRs over their last four games.
LA Chargers @ Bears
Chargers RBs: Chicago isn’t a terrible matchup, as Josh Jacobs and Latavius Murray will tell you, but it definitely isn’t a great one. Melvin Gordon’s three matchups so far have actually been relatively tough… Denver, Pittsburgh, Tennessee. It resulted in only 2.25 yards per carry… he hasn’t looked great either. I would downgrade Gordon this week to a low-end RB/flex option, especially with how involved Austin Ekeler has been in the pass game. The Chargers offense can’t get anything going right now, and it’s possible they are working themselves back into this game with Ekeler on the field in the second half. Ekeler is a PPR RB2 this week.
Bears RBs: Once again, Matt Nagy said that he knows he should’ve ran the ball more last week. That’s easy to say after David Montgomery only had 2 attempts all game long… is that a workload that would make you confident in putting him in your lineup this week? Well, he’s definitely a better play this week than he was last week; he was on my bench in a few leagues. This week, I would consider Montgomery a low-end RB2/flex without a huge ceiling. The Bears defense should be able to handle the Chargers at home, leaving game script in Montgomery’s favor. The Chargers have given up the 7th most rushing yards this year at 4.5 yards per carry, and the 5th most over the last four weeks. Tarik Cohen is a full PPR flex option at best if you’re desperate.
Chargers WRs: Allen’s been struggling over the last four weeks, and hasn’t seen more than 6 targets in that span until last week when he saw 11. The question this week is whether Phillip Rivers will have enough time to throw the ball effectively; Allen has another tough matchup, but he’s obviously tough to bench. I would continue to roll him out, but downgrade him to a WR2. When you look at the Bears’ past matchups, they haven’t faced any good slot WRs, so there’s some hope Allen can take advantage of Buster Skrine, and catch Kyle Fuller as many WRs have been able to do on that right side of the field; Allen runs routes on that side about 20% of the time. Mike Williams moves around the formation more than Allen, and he’s been getting it done for the most part over the past three weeks. I would start him as a WR3 this week.
Bears WRs: Allen Robinson should be started as a WR2, even if he’s shadowed by Casey Hayward. We saw Robinson was able to get it done against Xavier Rhodes and Marshon Lattimore, and Hayward hasn’t been shutdown this year. Robinson’s averaging 7 catches for 77 yards and half a TD per game – legit. It’s a tough matchup, no doubt, but ARob has shown he can overcome. Imagine if he had a good QB.
Seahawks @ Falcons
Seahawks RBs: You’re starting Carson as a RB1 this week in a great matchup. Even with Penny healthy last week, Carson played on 89% of snaps. Elite.
Falcons RBs: After Ito Smith’s scary concussion last week, he has already been ruled out for Week 8. That leaves Devonta Freeman likely staying on the field for more snaps against Seattle than he would normally if Smith was healthy. Brian Hill will be the complement, but we shouldn’t expect him to be too involved. Once Ito Smith was injured at the end of the 1st quarter last week, Devonta Freeman got every backfield touch until he was tossed out of the game. Freeman had 7 touches during that span, which lasted about 1.5 quarters. With Matt Ryan dealing with the high ankle sprain and Mohamed Sanu shipped off, Freeman might be asked to put more on his shoulders this week. Even though he simply hasn’t been great this season, opportunity is what we’re looking for; he was already averaging 19.3 touches per game going into last week. He’s the Falcons’ primary pass-catcher, and there’s a good chance they’ll be chasing Seattle from behind in the 2nd half. I would start him as a solid PPR RB2 this week.
Seahawks WRs: You’re starting Tyler Lockett as a WR1. He’s as money as any other WR in the league for fantasy purposes. The Falcons are giving up the 4th most fantasy points to WRs, which is why DK Metcalf is in the WR3 conversation this week. Metcalf lines up on the outside on 85% of his routes, and the Falcons have been giving up the most fantasy points to perimeter WRs over the last four weeks. Also, 9 targets for Metcalf last week is an encouraging sign.
Falcons WRs: With or without Matt Ryan, you want to start Julio Jones. Calvin Ridley gets a rest-of-season boost with Mohamed Sanu being traded to the Patriots, but he does have a tough matchup this week. The Seahawks have given up the 10th least fantasy points to perimeter WRs, where Ridley lines up 90% of the time. If Matt Ryan doesn’t play this week, I’d find another option, and start feeling confident putting him in my lineup against New Orleans after his bye.
Jets @ Jaguars
Jets RBs: Start Le’Veon Bell as a RB1; the Jets should get back on track this week.
Jaguars RBs: You’re starting Leonard Fournette; he’s leading the league in touches up until today.
Jets WRs: The Jaguars have given up 28 passes of 20 yards or more this year – that’s tied for 3rd most in the NFL. They’ve also given up 7 40+ yard receptions, which is also tied for 3rd in the league. That leads to Robby Anderson being a legit WR3 play this week. If Sam Darnold was seeing ghosts against the Patriots, it seems like it was the ghost of Robby Anderson because of the 8 targets he saw. AJ Bouye might shadow Anderson, but he’s no match for his speed. Jamison Crowder’s matchup isn’t great, but it’s not a matchup I’m looking to avoid. Crowder is a PPR flex option until we see his targets come back up.
Jaguars WRs: Chark will line up against Trumaine Johnson most of the day, and as a Jets fan, that’s a great thing for Chark. He lines up on the perimeter about 80% of time, where the Jets are giving up the 12th most fantasy points. Start Chark as a WR2. Dede Westbrook has averaged 9 targets over the last three weeks, so he’s a high floor PPR WR3 in a great matchup; the Jets have given up the 6th most fantasy points to slot WRs this year.
Eagles @ Bills
Eagles RBs: Miles Sanders saw 54% of snaps compared to Howard’s 38% last week, and it’s going to be tough to figure out how that splits this week against Buffalo. The Bills are favored by only 1.5 points, so this game can go any way. Howard is a low floor flex option with upside because of his goal line role, and Sanders is a low-end RB3/flex, more suitable for PPR leagues.
Bills RBs: It’s tough to predict who will get more work this week between Frank Gore and Devin Singletary, but this is a tough matchup either way, and I wouldn’t want to put either in my lineup. The hope is that Singletary is on the field a lot more than his 39% last week.
Eagles WRs: Alshon Jeffery lines up away from Tre White about 60% of the time, so it’s not a matchup we necessarily need to avoid completely. He saw a season-low 5 targets last week in a terrible game for the Eagles offense, so hopefully he can get back to the 10 targets he was averaging during the three games prior. Jeffery is a WR3 this week against a Bills team giving up the 6th least fantasy points to WRs.
Bills WRs: John Brown has a great matchup, and he should be started as a WR2 this week. The Eagles are giving up the most fantasy points to perimeter WRs, but are pretty stout against WRs running routes from the slot (4th best against). It might appear like a great matchup for Cole Beasley, but not when you look a little deeper.
Bengals vs Rams (London)
Bengals RBs: Do you trust Joe Mixon? I don’t. The chances he gets volume against the Rams is low. The Rams are limited opposing RBs to only 3.7 yards per carry. It’s a match made in hell when you compare that to Mixon’s 3.02. Flex option at best.
Rams RBs: Todd Gurley had his largest workload on the ground last week, so it seems like he’s healthy enough to trust him as a RB1 this week against Cincinnati. The Bengals have given up the most fantasy points, the most rushing yards, and 2nd most receiving yards. No brainer. If Malcolm Brown misses this week, Darrell Henderson is a low-floor, high-upside deep league flex option.
Bengals WRs: Tyler Boyd is 3rd in the NFL in targets going into Week 8, so you just have to keep him in your lineup, as inefficient as him and that offense might be. He had 14 targets in two of the last three weeks, so start him as a WR2.
Rams WRs: This offense is nowhere near it was last year, but we’re still starting Robert Woods and Brandin Cooks as solid WR2s against a Bengals secondary without their top two perimeter corners. The real Achilles heel for the Bengals passing defense is the middle of the field with them giving up the 8th most fantasy points to slot WRs; you’re starting Cooper Kupp either way.
Cardinals @ Saints
Cardinals RBs: If David Johnson gets a full practice in, he should be in your lineup, and Chase Edmonds becomes a high-upside flex option. If DJ gets limited practices or no practices in, he’s a tricky start. In that scenario, Edmonds is almost a must-start this week, even in a tough matchup. These guys are matchup independent.
Saints RBs: If Alvin Kamara gets a full practice in, I’d feel confident putting him in my lineup. If he doesn’t go, Latavius Murray is a RB1 start, meaning he has to be in lineups; he had 32 touches on 83% of snaps last week without Kamara.
Cardinals WRs: It was a very weird game for the Cardinals last week, as Kyler Murray attempted half the passes he normally does. That left Larry Fitzgerald with only one catch. Christian Kirk has a chance of missing again, and Fitzgerald should be started as a high-floor WR2. The Saints have given up the 2nd most fantasy points to slot WRs, so if Kirk goes, he should be started as well as a high-end PPR WR3.
Saints WRs: Michael Thomas is in.
Raiders @ Texans
Raiders RBs: Keep an eye on Josh Jacobs shoulder injury, but if he plays, you gotta play him. He’s been very effective with his touches, and had 20+ each of the last two weeks. The Texans aren’t the best matchup, but Jacobs has shown he can get it done in tough matchups this year.
Texans RBs: The Raiders have quietly been pretty stout against RBs; they’re holding opposing backs to 3.88 YPC, and the 5th least total rushing yards in the league. With that said, the chances that Carlos Hyde is effective in this matchup is low. He’ll be TD dependent, and he’s probably a low-end RB/flex this week.
Raiders WRs: If Tyrell Williams plays, he’s a good start; the Texans are giving up the 2nd most fantasy points to perimeter WRs.
Texans WRs: Hopkins is in, and Kenny Stills without Will Fuller is a great start as well. Stills is a WR3 play with a ton of upside against a Raiders perimeter defense giving up the 4th most fantasy points. The Raiders have given up 7 40+ yard receptions this year, tied for 3rd in the league. They’ve also given up the most receptions (32) over 20 yards. Keke Coutee is a flex start as well in PPR leagues, as the Raiders are giving up the 2nd most fantasy points to slot WRs over the last four weeks.
Panthers @ 49ers
Panthers RB: Yes.
49ers RBs: Tevin Coleman is the 1a in the 49ers backfield, and he’s the one getting all the red zone and goal line work. He’s a high-end RB2 against Carolina. Matt Breida is one of the most efficient RBs in the league, and he’s a low-end RB2 with a lot of upside. No team has given up more than two 40+ yard runs, and the Panthers are one of the teams to have given up two. They’ve also given up 6 20+yard runs, which is tied for 3rd most.
Panthers WRs: Curtis Samuel and DJ Moore have a tough matchup this week against a 49ers team giving up the 2nd least fantasy points to WRs. Not a lot of upside for either this week.
49ers WRs: If Emmanuel Sanders plays this week, it’ll be tough to expect that he’ll get a full complement of snaps. Still, when you look at what the Carolina Panthers have given up, he’s still somewhat viable as a high-risk, high-upside flex option. They’re giving up the 7th most fantasy points to WRs. I would rather wait and see on Sanders unless I really don’t have many options.
Broncos @ Colts
Broncos RBs: Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman are both low-end RB2s in PPR leagues because of their involvement in the passing game. Outside of PPR, they are high-upside flex options. This isn’t a matchup to be scared away from, and I wouldn’t put too much stock into Denver’s implosion against Kansas City last week.
Colts RBs: The upside of Marlon Mack’s potential volume in this game is why he is a solid RB2 against Denver. Mack’s averaging 21.5 touches per game, and teams have racked up the 8th most attempts against the Broncos.
Broncos WRs: Courtland Sutton is a locked-in WR2 with Emmanuel Sanders traded to the 49ers. It’s not an amazing matchup, but it doesn’t matter; the volume should be there.
Colts WRs: TY is in, even with the potential Chris Harris shadow, and I’m not chasing Zach Pascal’s big game last week unless you’re in a deep league with no options.
Browns @ Patriots
Browns RBs: It’s a tough matchup, but I’m still starting Nick Chubb as a low-end RB1. Teams haven’t been able to put up volume against the Patriots because they’ve ran away with almost every game this year. Hopefully Chubb was as involved in the pass game against the Patriots as he was against the Seahawks before his bye.
Patriots RBs: Sony Michel is a good start this week, but if Rex Burkhead is back, the backfield gets tricky. The Browns have given up 5 YPC, so Michel shouldn’t have problems finding run lanes. It really comes down to him finding the end zone as a TD dependent option. Michel has surprisingly seen 15+ carriees in every game except one, considering how up and down his season has been before the last few weeks. James White is a consistent PPR RB2, so he should be in lineups for that safe floor.
Browns WRs: OBJ has been disappointing this year, and he has a really tough matchup against Stephon Gilmore. He also already talked about how he’s probably not going to have a good game. Still, he’s a WR2 this week as all he needs is one big play to make your week.
Patriots WRs: Julian Edelman is in. With Josh Gordon on IR, Phillip Dorsett should be a mainstay on this offense all year, and is a WR3 this week with the rapport he’s shown with Brady this year. Mohamed Sanu is a wait and see start to see how and where he fits in.
Packers @ Chiefs
Packers RBs: Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams split snaps 57% to 40% last week, and Jones out-touched Williams 16-9. Jones is in every week; the upside he’s shown is too high even with the split. Williams is definitely in flex consideration against a Chiefs team giving up the 2nd most rushing yards in the league… only 4 yards from tying for 1st with the Bengals. They’re giving up 5 yards per carry, and game script should be in their favor with Patrick Mahomes likely out.
Chiefs RBs: LeSean McCoy is probably the only potential start this week out of this backfield, as he led them in snaps the past two weeks. Without Mahomes, the Chiefs will likely try and win on the ground. McCoy led the team last week with 12 carries, and that is likely to increase if they can stay in the game. The Packers are giving up 5 YPC for the season, and over the last four weeks as well. If McCoy can get somewhere between 15 and 20 carries, he should return RB2 numbers.
Packers WRs: It’s pretty tough to start any WR for the Packers not named Davante Adams, who isn’t practicing as of Thursday; none of the WRs got volume last week against the Raiders. The Chiefs are great on the perimeter against WRs, but are susceptible to the slot. Geronimo Allison is the primarily slot, so he’s a low-floor flex option this week.
Chiefs WRs: Even with Mahomes, you have to start Tyreek Hill. This guy made plays with Alex Smith, obviously Patrick Mahomes, and even with Matt Moore last week. Outside of him, I wouldn’t put any WR in my lineup.
Dolphins @ Steelers
Dolphins RBs: Mark Walton is a desperate flex option against the Steelers this week, but it’s a relatively tough matchup. Pittsburgh’s giving up less than 4 yards per carry, but it’s possible Walton makes up ground in the receiving game. It doesn’t excite me, but he’s an option if you’re scrambling.
Steelers RBs: Great matchup for James Conner this week… he’s in. With Jaylen Samuels out, Benny Snell should get some run this week. No idea how much it will be, but Snell did get 17 carries in Week 6 behind Conner. Conner’s also nursing a quad injury, and if the Steelers are in control of this game (favored by 14 points), Snell can be desperate flex against a Miami team giving up the 3rd most rushing yards in the league… and they had a bye.
Dolphins WRs: The Steelers are pretty tough on the perimeter, so this might not be the ideal week for Davante Parker and Preston Williams. The Steelers are one of the best teams at defending the perimeter. Ryan Fitzpatrick is going to sling it either way, and the Bills were also a tough perimeter defense last week… both WRs were able to get it done. They are flex options this week, with Parker getting the advantage as the primary end zone target.
Steelers WRs: Juju Smith-Schuster had a good game the last time Mason Rudolph was under center in Week 5 against the Ravens. Consider him a low-end WR2 against a Miami team giving up the 7th most fantasy points to slot WRs. The only concern with Juju is that Rudolph doesn’t need to throw it much, and the run game is all they need to get the win at home.