This week’s article will be less detailed than most weeks, but the same research goes into my stances on players. I was traveling this week for work (I’m a software engineer by day… or at least when I’m not working on fantasy football), was in meetings all day every day, so time was a real issue. Hope this helps! Will likely see something similar next week with Thanksgiving and family taking up most of my time.
Miami Dolphins @ Cleveland Browns
Miami RBs: Kalen Ballage was the main back on the field for Miami, but he’s terrible. Can I tell you how terrible? On his 64 attempts this season, he’s averaging 1.91 yards per attempt. Really. Patrick Laird only played on 23% of snaps, but he caught all 6 of his targets for 51 yards. You want to avoid this backfield, but Laird seems to be a deeeeep PPR option.
Miami WRs: DeVante Parker is good at football. Dude has been sitting on most waiver wires for weeks now. He has a floor of 12 PPR points per week, is averaging 8.8 targets over their last 5 games, had 10 targets in each game after losing Preston Williams, and has a great rest of season schedule. Start his ass. He’ll also likely stay away from Denzel Ward most of the time.
Browns RBs: Start Nick Chubb in this great matchup. Another likely positive game script, but we’ve seen two games of Kareem Hunt to give us confidence in him being a PPR flex option.
Browns WRs: Finally, a good matchup for OBJ. Start him as a WR1 this week. Hopefully the volume he saw over the last two games spills over in this one. By the way, the past two games were the first two games in a row after Week 1 and 2 where he saw double-digit targets. Jarvis Landry has a decent matchup too, but there’s no reason to go away from OBJ if Baker Mayfield doesn’t have to throw a ton. Still, Landry is a WR3.
Browns QB: Baker Mayfield is a good stream this week, and I’d be willing to play him over other start-worthy QBs for a safe floor. Baker has got it done for fantasy recently in some tough matchups, so he’s finally seeing one where he can show his ceiling.
Browns DEF: Not a bad start against the Dolphins this week. Cleveland is 10.5 point favorites this week, and hopefully that leads to mistakes once Ryan Fitzpatrick is trying to catch up.
Denver Broncos @ Buffalo Bills
Broncos RBs: Phillip Lindsay took the lead in Broncos backfield last week after getting 18 touches to Royce Freeman’s 9, so it looks like there’s a potential significant shift there. He led snap share 64% to 30% as well, so Lindsay is now a TD-dependent flex without Joe Flacco peppering him with targets every game. Freeman is a tough start, even as a flex option.
Broncos WRs: Courtland Sutton will likely see shadow coverage from Tre’Davious White, and while that didn’t affect DeVante Parker last week, Ryan Fitzpatrick was willing to target Parker anyway. He probably will after throwing to Sutton 8 and 9 times, respectively, over the past two weeks. He’s a WR2.
Broncos TE: Noah Fant has a tough matchup, but his target share has been very high over the last two weeks. He’s a low-end TE1, and is a streamer despite the matchup.
Bills RBs: Devin Singletary has been getting the lion’s share of snaps since coming back from his injury, but he’s not getting a ton of touches. Still, 14 opportunities and then 16 opportunities in each of the last two weeks isn’t terrible, and is still low-end RB2 material. Denver is a tough defense, but it’s going to be tougher to throw the ball against them than it is to run. I wouldn’t necessarily stay away from Singletary because of the matchup. Let’s hope he can get more than 1 target… he should bounce back in that department.
Bills WRs: John Brown will get shadow treatment from Chris Harris, and while Stefon Diggs did his thang last week in this matchup, he caught all of his targets outside of Harris’ coverage. That’s the hope with Brown this week, but he gets downgraded to a WR3 because of the tough matchup.
Bills QB: Josh Allen has a pretty tough matchup, and I wouldn’t want to play him, but he still has somewhat of a safe rushing floor. I’m looking for another option if I can get one, but not another QB who has a tough matchup and doesn’t run.
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cincinnati Bengals
Steelers RBs: James Conner is out this week, so we should likely see a lot of Benny Snell and Jaylen Samuels. Samuels is the better start in PPR, but Snell can easily see more touches overall. If that happens, we would see a passing of the guard with respect to who Conner’s actual backup is. Both are in the RB2 conversation in a great matchup, with Samuels slightly safer in full PPR leagues, especially with Juju out.
Steelers WRs: With Juju out, Diontae Johnson and James Washington are the two guys up, but they both have pretty tough matchups on the outside, believe it or not. Cincinnati has been giving up the 3rd least fantasy points to perimeter WRs, where both of them spend almost all their time. I wouldn’t consider either more than a flex this week.
Steelers TE: Considering how tough the matchups are for their WRs, Vance McDonald seems like the biggest beneficiary to the Steelers being out Juju. He had 7 targets in each of the last three games, and can potentially see a 10-target game this week in a neutral matchup for tight ends.
Bengals RBs: Joe Mixon has woken up over the last couple of weeks, but he does have a tough matchup. Baltimore and Oakland weren’t necessarily walks in the park either, so consider Mixon a RB2 this week in a game that they can surprisingly keep close.
Bengals WRs: It’s really hard to trust Tyler Boyd after being targeted only three times last week in a great matchup. He has another good matchup this week in the slot against the Steelers, but I wouldn’t consider him anything but a flex option. Outside CB Artie Burns is doubtful for the Steelers, but I wouldn’t overreact.
NY Giants @ Chicago Bears
Giants RBs: Saquon has been disappointing lately, but I’m starting him as a RB1 this week.
Giants WRs: Sterling Shepard looks likely to be back this week after being removed from the injury report, so Golden Tate isn’t the guarantee he’s been since coming off of suspension. Shepard’s return also limits Darius Slayton’s floor and upside. I would downgrade Tate to a WR3, and put Shepard in that range as well. As far as matchup, Shepard has the best matchup against Kyle Fuller on the right perimeter, and Golden Tate’s matchup in the slot is workable. Between the two, give me Tate with Shepard as the riskier option.
Giants TE: Evan Engram is out.
Bears RBs: David Montgomery is probably going to average under 4 yards per carry again, but when the ball can move through the air, Montgomery will likely see some opportune touches near the goal line, which help him maintain the ceiling he has. If this is a positive game script, he’ll likely see volume as well. He’s a low-floor, high-ceiling RB2. Tarik Cohen is a PPR flex option.
Bears WRs: Allen Robinson doesn’t have a tough shadow corner on him this week, so he’s in my lineup as a WR2.
Bears DEF: At home, I’m fine playing them against the Giants, who are giving up the 3rd most fantasy points per game to opposing defenses.
Oakland Raiders @ NY Jets
Raiders RBs: Josh Jacobs is a RB1, even with the tough matchup against the Jets… he’s shown he can overcome.
Raiders WRs: Tyrell Williams is in a good spot, despite the fact that he doesn’t get volume. The Jets are allowing the 9th most fantasy points to perimeter WRs, and there’s a good chance he’s back in the end zone this week.
Raiders TE: Darren Waller hasn’t created the same excitement as he did earlier in the year, but he’s still one of the top tight ends in fantasy, so he’s a start if you don’t have a top-5 guy.
Raiders QB: Derek Carr should be in serious streaming consideration this week because of the good matchup. QBs are averaging 3 TD passes against the Jets over the past four weeks.
Jets RBs: Le’Veon Bell is in as a full PPR RB1, and a high-end RB2 in other formats. His pass-catching role is what saves him every week.
Jets WRs: Jamison Crowder is the only reliable WR here, but on the bright side, at least there is one. Crowder has hit 75 yards and a TD in each of the last three games, and there’s no reason to hop off his bandwagon right now. The Raiders have given up the 8th most fantasy points to slot WRs this year.
Jets TE: Ryan Griffin is a boom or bust option, but any tight end who can boom like he has this season might be worth throwing in your lineup to raise your ceiling. The Raiders are a great matchup too, giving up the 5th most fantasy points to the position.
Carolina Panthers @ New Orleans Saints
Panthers RBs: CMC.
Panthers WRs: DJ Moore is a bonafide WR1. He’s had at least 8 targets in all but 2 games this year. After his 15-target game last week, he’s averaging 7 catches on 10.5 targets for 86.3 yards over his last 6 games. Legit. Start him, and even better news: Marshon Lattimore likely won’t play because of his hamstring injury. Curtis Samuel gets an upgrade too because of the sliding coverage; he’s a WR3.
Panthers TE: Greg Olsen’s been getting it done as a TE1, so keep him in your lineup despite the tough matchup.
Saints RBs: Alvin Kamara’s matchup is juicy, and this can be a week where he reminds everyone why he’s that dude – RB1. Latavius Murrays gets a bump, and his 10-15 touches makes him a legit flex play because of the matchup.
Saints WRs: Michael Thomas is good at football, the WR1.
Saints TEs: Jared Cook saved his day with a TD last week, but at least Drew Brees is looking for him. He’s a mid-TE1.
Saints QB: Start Drew Brees as a mid-QB1 this week at home.
Tampa Bay Bucs @ Atlanta Falcons
Bucs RBs: Ronald Jones had a tough matchup last week, but will have a shot to bounce back in a better matchup against the Falcons. They’ve definitely stepped up over the past two games, but Jones will likely have enough work in both the run and pass game to be a RB2 for you.
Bucs WRs: Mike Evans has the better matchup between him and Chris Godwin, but they’re both WR1s.
Bucs QB: Who knows which Jameis we’ll get this week, but his terrible play hasn’t translated to terrible fantasy performances. It’s really only a matter of how much upside, which is nice. He’s a QB1 this week.
Falcons RBs: Devonta Freeman has been ruled out again, but as we saw, I’m not sure we can trust Brian Hill. He’ll likely get the most touches again, but this is a pretty tough matchup against the Bucs. Not to mention Qadree Ollison will likely steal goal line looks again.
Falcons WRs: Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley have the best matchups of the week, and Julio is obviously in. You want to start Ridley, but don’t overvalue him. We are hoping we can see another 8 of 8 for 143 yard performance like we did last week, but there’s no guarantee he sees enough targets. With how tough it’ll likely be to run the ball, there’s a good chance he returns WR2 numbers, but start him as a high-end WR3. The Bucs have given up the most fantasy points to WRs this year, over the last 8 games, and over the last 4 games. Heck, start Russell Gage as a flex this week.
Falcons TE: Austin Hooper has been ruled out.
Falcons QB: Start Matt Ryan as a high-end QB1 because of the matchup for his weapons.
Detroit Lions @ Washington Redskins
Lions RBs: Bo Scarbrough has a chance at volume this week against the Redskins, so play him as a TD-dependent flex with upside.
Lions WRs: The Redskins have actually been pretty good against WRs this year, but Kenny Golladay remains a WR2, while Marvin Jones is a high-end WR3. Jones has the better matchup between the two, so it evens out a bit. The Redskins have allowed the 7th least fantasy points over the last 8 weeks.
Lions QB: Jeff Driskel is a good stream this week because he likes to take off running. That gives him a solid floor, and he’s not afraid to take his shots. Sam Darnold was able to find a guy in the end zone 4 times last week, so Driskel has a decent shot at having a good day.
Lions DEF: Not a bad option this week going against Dwayne Haskins and a struggling offense.
Redskins RBs: Adrian Peterson and Derrius Guice are splitting the early down role, so their floors are pretty low. I’d avoid both, despite the good matchup. If anything they are boom or bust flex options.
Redskins WRs: Terry McLaurin had to make an incredible catch last week to have a decent stat line, so I’m avoiding him if I can this week until he starts being targeted more.
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Tennessee Titans
Jaguars RBs: Leonard Fournette is in as a RB1.
Jaguars WRs: DJ Chark should be considered a low-end WR1 this week with a pretty good matchup. The Titans are allowing the 6th most fantasy points over the last four weeks to WRs who line up on that right perimeter, which is where Chark has been running 46% of his routes. With the Titans giving up 3rd most fantasy points to slot WRs over those same four weeks, Dede Westbrook should be an option as well as a WR3. We can find another WR3 with even more upside in Chris Conley, since the Titans as a whole are giving up the 10th most fantasy points to perimeter WRs this year. For what it’s worth, Conley did out-target Westbrook last week 8-6.
Jaguars QB: With Nick Foles’ WRs all with matchup advantages, it has to make him a decent streamer this week.
Titans RBs: Start Derrick Henry as a low-end RB1. Not a matchup to stay away from.
Titans WRs: Corey Davis is back this week, and while he does have a good matchup in Jalen Ramsey’s vacant spot on that offensive right perimeter, I wouldn’t put too much trust in him. He’s an upside WR3 this week only because of that matchup.
Titans TEs: Jonnu Smith is an option this week with Delanie Walker out. He had 5, 7, and 6 targets over the last three games, and that’s enough to get it done as a low-end TE1 with upside.
Titans QB: Ryan Tannehill hasn’t had a bad fantasy outing yet after four full games. Jacksonville isn’t the easiest matchup, but he’s still stream worthy.
Dallas Cowboys @ New England Patriots
Cowboys RBs: Zeke is still a start, despite the perceived tough matchup. Three RBs were able to have 100-yard games against the Cowboys, so if they can do it, Zeke can do it. He’s a RB1.
Cowboys WRs: Tough matchups all around for Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup. I’d still start Cooper this week, downgraded to a WR2; we’ve seen Cooper overcome tough matchups in the past… and yes, this is probably the toughest. I’m looking for another option for Gallup; he’s downgraded to a flex option. The Patriots have allowed the least amount of fantasy points to perimeter WRs, so maybe Randall Cobb can take some load off of these two guys… the Pats have allowed the 5th least to slot WRs.
Cowboys TEs: Jason Witten is a low-end TE1.
Cowboys QB: Are you benching Dak this week? If you have another option and want to be safe, yes. If you have to reach deep into the waiver wire, I wouldn’t. Dak has legs too, so we can potentially miss out on a good fantasy day with him on our bench.
Patriots RBs: Sony Michel has a decent chance to get some volume this week. Dallas’ defense is easier to run on than it is to pass on, so that’ll likely be the route the Patriots attempt early on. He’s a TD dependent RB2, and I wouldn’t downgrade him just because he didn’t see the end zone in several weeks. James White might be relied on a bit more with Mohamed Sanu most likely out with a high ankle sprain and Phillip Dorsett potentially out as well. He’ll have his normal floor in PPR leagues as a RB2.
Patriots WRs: Julian Edelman should get back on track as a high-end WR2 after a tough matchup last week. The perimeter is where the Eagles struggle, but the slot is a position they’ve actually defended well. This week, the perimeter is a bit tougher, especially on Byron Jones’ side…. and that’s where rookie N’Keal Harry played a far majority of his snaps. There’s a chance he switches sides, but I personally wouldn’t risk it. If Dorsett plays, he’s a flex option.
Patriots TE: Ben Watson is a desperate TE play, but with how banged up the Patriots are and how the matchups play out for their WRs, Watson is a mismatch I would personally take advantage of. Dallas is giving up the 4th most fantasy points to tight ends.
Patriots DEF: I won’t be benching the Pats defense at home. They’ve got it done almost every week this year.
Green Bay Packers @ San Francisco 49ers
Packers RBs: Even in a perceived tough matchup, Aaron Jones is a RB1. Jamaal Williams is an upside flex. The strength of the 49ers defense is their pass rush and secondary, so the natural attack vector is running the ball and passing to their RBs.
Packers WRs: Davante Adams is in as a WR1, even in the tough matchup.
Packers TE: It’s not an ideal matchup for Jimmy Graham, but his good lines aren’t in line with good matchups this year. Start him if you’re feeling lucky, but I’ll be looking elsewhere.
Packers QB: Aaron Rodgers hasn’t been getting his fantasy points from his WRs; a lot of it has been through his RBs, so he’s still in play… although he should be downgraded to a low-end QB1.
49ers RBs: Tevin Coleman has disappointed since his big game against Carolina, but he’s still a solid RB2. The Packers have given up the 4th most rushing yards to RBs on almost 5 yards per carry. With Matt Breida doubtful, Raheem Mostert is in play as an upside flex option.
49ers WRs and TEs: I’m grouping them up since they have a lot to do with each other. Deebo Samuel should be considered a legit WR2 this week, even if Emmanuel Sanders suits up… the reason being that Sanders can easily be in and out of the game once again with his rib injury. He also goes up against Kevin King most of the day, and the Packers have given up the 3rd most fantasy points to WRs lining up on that side over the last 8 weeks. George Kittle practiced on a limited basis each of the last two days but wore a non-contact blue jersey each day… same with Samuel and Sanders. Kittle is listed as questionable, and if he’s out, Samuel should definitely be in. If Kittle is in, Samuel should be downgraded to a WR3. Also, if Kittle doesn’t go, his backup Ross Dwelley has another good matchup; Green Bay has given up the 3rd most fantasy points to tight ends this year. If Emmanuel Sanders is in, he’s a risky WR2 start due his ribs potentially being re-aggravated.
49ers QB: All of Jimmy’s weapons have good matchups, so fire him up if most of them are in. He’s a mid QB1 this week.
49ers DEF: I’m fine continuing to leave the 49ers in at defense. They’re at home, and they have enough to keep Green Bay… at bay. They’re still a top-8 play this week.
Seattle Seahawks @ Philadelphia Eagles
Seahawks RBs: Start Chris Carson as a low-end RB1, despite the tough matchup. He’s overcome a few of these tough matchups this year.
Seahawks WRs: The perimeter is where the Eagles struggle, specifically where DK Metcalf primary lines up on that left side. They’ve given up the 5th most fantasy points on that side over the last 8 weeks, and Metcalf has been running almost 60% of his routes from there. He gets a bump to WR2 status after also seeing 9+ targets in 3 of his last 4 games. Tyler Lockett’s matchup is tough on paper; as a matter of fact, the Eagles are actually the most stout against slot WRs. Still, I’ll be playing him as a high-end WR2 this week.
Seahawks TE: Jacob Hollister has a lot of upside, but the activation of Ed Dickson can squander some of that. We’ll see how it affects Hollister, but Dickson can also catch the ball. He’s in play if you need some upside.
Seahawks QB: Russ is a high-end QB1.
Eagles RBs: It doesn’t look like Jordan Howard is suiting up this week; as of Friday, he still hasn’t been cleared for contact. I would assume Jay Ajayi would make his debut for the Eagles (this year) after being with the team for a week now. Miles Sanders is the preferred start after playing 85% of snaps last week and being involved in the pass game, but Ajayi is a flex play. The matchup isn’t amazing, but it’s not one to stay away from.
Eagles WRs: Alshon Jeffery got limited practices in this week, so there’s a chance he plays this week. He’ll have a good matchup against Tre Flowers; the Seahawks have actually given up the the 2nd most fantasy points to WRs lining up on that left side. Jeffery has happened to run a majority of his routes from that side. Keep an eye on any reports of him being limited; otherwise, he’s a low-end WR2. If Jeffery doesn’t go, Nelson Agholor becomes a WR3; the Seahawks have given up the 8th most fantasy points over the last 8 weeks to slot WRs.
Eagles TEs: Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert both have a great matchup this week; Ertz is a high-end TE1, and Goedert is a mid-to-low TE1, but a great streaming option. The Seahawks have given up the 5th most fantasy points to tight ends this year. Goedert gets a big boost if Jeffery is out.
Baltimore Ravens @ LA Rams
Ravens RBs: Mark Ingram is a TD dependent RB1. He happens to be on the best offense in the league, so he’ll have more opportunities than most at a TD. His touches don’t justify his numbers, but it doesn’t matter. Matchup independent.
Ravens WRs: Marquise Brown isn’t 100%, but if he plays, he always has upside. This week, though, Jalen Ramsey will likely follow him around most of the game. I’ll probably stay away.
Ravens TEs: Mark Andrews is getting it done lately, keep him in your lineup as a high-end TE1. Nothing about this matchup says to stay away.
Ravens QB: Keep riding Lamar Jackson.
Rams RBs: Todd Gurley’s usage over the last two weeks have been encouraging, especially last week. The touches weren’t there against Pittsburgh, but the snaps were. Last week’s 28 touches were easily a season-high, and hopefully that doesn’t mean a sharp reduction this week. Start him as a high-end RB2.
Rams WRs: Brandin Cooks is set to make his return this week, and Robert Woods seems to be back from his disappearance, but there’s a chance he doesn’t suit up. We’ll likely hear more over the weekend. Woods has the best matchup of the WRs, but Cooper Kupp is the best play as a low-end WR1. Cooks has the worst matchup of the three, and with the lack of targets he’s received in games he was healthy for, he’s a WR3 at best. If Woods goes, consider him a low-end WR2; the Ravens have allowed the 12th most fantasy points to WRs lining up on that right side over the last 8 weeks, and the 11th most in the last 4 weeks.
Rams TEs: Gerald Everett’s usage has been all over the place this year. He had a great matchup against Chicago last week, but he only had one target. He seems to have a high target game every other week, so he’s boom/bust by definition. Start him as a mid-to-low-end TE1, but know he can disappoint. The matchup hasn’t seemed to have mattered for his past usage.