Baltimore Ravens @ Buffalo Bills
Ravens RBs: 15 carries seems to be the cap on Mark Ingram’s rushing workload. He’s the primary goal line back, but he is TD dependent. It’s not a bad thing to be TD dependent on as good of an offense as he’s on, but the floor isn’t too high. The upside is tough to bench, so he’s a high-end RB2.
Ravens WRs: Marquise Brown has upside, but his floor is low. If you’re looking for a high-upside edge in your lineup, start Brown. Keep in mind that he will likely be shadowed by Tre’Davious White, but Brown lines up in the slot enough to avoid him. He’s a high-upside, low-floor WR3.
Ravens TEs: Mark Andrews is a high-end TE1, even in tough matchups like this one.
Ravens QB: Start Lamar Jackson.
Bills RBs: The Ravens aren’t necessarily stout against the run; the issue has been the Ravens getting out to big leads, which leads to teams abandoning the run. In Devin Singletary’s case, he’s the primary pass catcher and is playing workhorse-level snaps. However, the Ravens are actually giving up the least amount of receptions to RBs in addition to giving up the 7th least amount of rushing yards to RBs. He’s a risky RB2 start this week.
Bills WRs: John Brown will line up primarily against Jimmy Smith on the left side of the formation, where Baltimore is giving up the 7th least fantasy points over the last 4 weeks and the 6th least over the last 8 weeks. Marcus Peters’ side isn’t as scary, even though he has a knack for jumping routes; it doesn’t mean he’s great in overall coverage. Brown will have some opportunity, but he should be downgraded to a low-end WR2 this week.
Bills QB: Josh Allen has been as safe a QB as there’s been this year, so I’m still starting him this week over streaming options who you might be considering. He’s still a QB1 because of his rushing ability.
Washington Redskins @ Green Bay Packers
Redskins RBs: Derrius Guice (10/129/2) and Adrian Peterson (13/99/1) ran wild in Carolina this past week. I wouldn’t overreact to these performances; we’re talking only 10 carries for Guice. He looked good, but he’s still sharing early down work with Peterson. Despite the success, this is still a 3-man backfield. It was nice seeing Guice getting his goal line TD, but he’s still TD dependent on not enough volume – him and AP are flex plays this week against the Packers (Guice is the preferred play), has a very tough matchup against Philly, and then has a decent matchup against the Giants in Week 16.
Redskins WRs: I wouldn’t start Terry McLaurin in your fantasy playoffs, even though the matchup is good.
Packers RBs: With Davante Adams back, Aaron Jones isn’t seeing the same type of volume in the pass game as he was while Adams was hurt. Jones is averaging 29.78 PPR points per game without Adams, and 13.14 PPR points with him in the lineup this season. The split with Jamaal Williams doesn’t help either. Jones is a boom/bust high-end RB2, but the boom is so good that he has to be in my lineup, especially in a matchup against the Redskins. Jamaal Williams is a PPR flex option, and TD dependent flex option in standard/half point leagues.
Packers WRs: Davante Adams is in as a high-end WR1. 10+ targets in each of the last four games.
Packers QB: Aaron Rodgers has a plus matchup this week; start him as a mid-QB1 with a non-guaranteed floor.
Packers DEF: The Packers are favored by 13 points at home, which means Dwayne Haskins can potentially be put in a one-dimensional game script. The Redskins will try and pound the rock regardless, but there’s a chance Haskins needs to make more plays to catch up which can result in mistakes. Not only that, but the Packers have a great pass rush while the Redskins don’t have good protection, giving the Packers more chances to turn the ball over and rack up sacks. Packers have Chicago at home in Week 15, so you can continue to stream them.
Denver Broncos @ Houston Texans
Broncos RBs: Phillip Lindsay is now the only startable RB in the Broncos backfield. Since Week 10, Royce Freeman didn’t exceed 10 touches in any game while Lindsay has been averaging 18. Drew Lock targeted Lindsay three times last week, which is relatively encouraging, so adding any sort of volume in the pass game in addition to 17 carries he got is welcome. He’s a solid RB2 against the Texans; the hope is that the Broncos take advantage of the fact that the Texans are giving up the most receptions to RBs.
Broncos WRs: Courtland Sutton has played with three QBs this year, and hasn’t skipped a beat with either of the two changes. It was very encouraging for Lock to look Sutton’s way even though he was draped in Casey Hayward’s coverage last week; Sutton ended up catching both of his TDs in Hayward’s coverage. Start him as a solid WR2 in a good matchup on the outside.
Broncos TE: Noah Fant got only 3 looks from Drew Lock, so he’s not on the streaming radar this week.
Texans RBs: Carlos Hyde hasn’t had a ton of volume in a while, but it seems like teams are choosing to try and move the ball on the ground against Denver lately. Devin Singletary was successful on 21 carries a few weeks ago, Frank Gore had 15 carries himself, while Melvin Gordon almost had a 100 yard game last week on 20 carries. It’s tough to determine whether Hyde is going to get volume, but the if the game is in hand, they’ll likely keep him involved. He’s a TD dependent RB2, but hoping volume can give him a floor this week. Duke Johnson is a TD dependent flex option, and gets a boost in full PPR leagues.
Texans WRs: DeAndre Hopkins will have a tough matchup against Chris Harris, but Hopkins is the type of WR who can overcome matchups like this. I wouldn’t bench him in the first week of my fantasy playoffs; he’ll likely provide a safe floor regardless. He’s a WR1. Kenny Stills scored last week, but he’s way too undependable to start in the playoffs.
Texans TE: Darren Fells has a low floor, but the chance of him scoring is higher than most TEs who are just sitting their on your waiver wire.
Texans QB: Despite the tough matchup, start Deshaun Watson.. it worked out last week against New England.
San Francisco 49ers @ New Orleans Saints
49ers RBs: Tevin Coleman might have lost his job. Raheem Mostert was out playing Coleman in this past game, and Coleman ended with only 6 touches. Mostert out-snapped Coleman 40-10, and he took 19 carries for 146 yards and a TD against the Ravens on Sunday. He’s the guy right now, and one would assume Matt Breida would step ahead of Coleman as well when he’s back. Coleman should not be in lineups in Week 14. As far as who will get goal line looks, we need a larger sample size. For now, Mostert is a must-pickup. He has a tough matchup this week, but should suffice as a RB2 in what is usually a successful running offense. If Breida is back, I would downgrade both RBs to high-end flex options.
49ers WRs: We should expect Marshon Lattimore to shadow Emmanuel Sanders, so he gets a downgrade. Still, Sanders is startable as a high-end WR3; Marshon Lattimore only shadowed Calvin Ridley last week on 68% of routes, but Ridley ended up doing a lot more than the 2 catches for 28 yards against Lattimore. Eli Apple usually shadows the #2, so expect Deebo Samuel to be shadowed by him. Apple has actually been solid this year in terms of fantasy points given up by him, so Deebo also gets downgraded to a WR3. Because of the fact that they play a fair amount of zone, both of these WRs have a shot at having a good game… just don’t write them off because of the individual matchups.
49ers TE: George Kittle is a baller, start him.
49ers QB: You don’t know what you’re going to get from Garoppolo, but there’s a good chance the game plan will be in his hands, as the Saints have been extremely stout against the run.
49ers DEF: Keep rolling with the 49ers unless you have a great alternative. Their defense is legit.
Saints RBs: The offseason worries about Alvin Kamara not getting workhorse volume has come true, but the fact that he’s averaging 9 targets per game over the last 5 games kind of makes up for it; he just hasn’t seen the end zone during that span. Tough overall matchup for the Saints this week, but the run game will be their saving grace. He’s a low-end RB1 this week.
Saints WRs: Michael Thomas is in despite the tough matchup as a high-end WR1.
Saints QB: Drew Brees isn’t a must-start QB for fantasy, so if you have another option like Tannehill or Fitzpatrick, I’d make the swap for this matchup.
Saints TE: Jared Cook has got it done over the past few weeks… keep riding the production even in a tough matchup. He’s a mid-TE1.
Cincinnati Bengals @ Cleveland Browns
Bengals RBs: Joe Mixon has had a bit of a resurgence after scoring 4 TDs over the last 6 games after only scoring 1 TD in his first 6 games. At least he’s getting volume though… he’s averaging 22 touches per game over the last 5 games. He’s a solid RB2 this week against the Browns.
Bengals WRs: With Andy Dalton back, the target distribution will be pretty unpredictable. Our money is usually on Tyler Boyd, but we’ve seen other perimeter WRs out-target him at times. Cleveland has defended the slot pretty well this year, but Boyd still a high-end WR3 because of the likelihood of getting 8+ targets. With Dalton, Boyd averages 6 catches on 10 targets per game.
Browns RBs: We should have expected what we saw in the backfield splits in what was a negative game script for the Browns against the Steelers last week. Kareem Hunt ended up out-snapping Nick Chubb 65% to 59% because of it. This isn’t because of Kareem Hunt though, as Chubb was being taken off the field for random pass catching RBs in negative game scripts before Hunt was eligible to return. Hunt is moving from a PPR flex to a PPR RB2 because of his consistency. Chubb should get back on track this week against Cincinnati… he’ll probably end up with a ton of volume in this game.
Browns WRs: Jarvis Landry has a higher target share than OBJ, but it’s only a difference of 26% to 25%. Landry does have more targets, receptions, and TDs than OBJ this year. Cincinnati’s perimeter pass defense has actually been a strength of theirs; they’ve given up the 4th least fantasy points to perimeter WRs.
However, they switched it up last week by shadowing Robby Anderson with William Jackson III… that didn’t work out too well with Anderson catching 6 of 7 for 81 yards in Jackson’s coverage. If that continues this week, OBJ should be able to take advantage as well.
The Bengals have also given up the 2nd most fantasy points to slot WRs over the last 8 weeks coming into Week 13, but Jamison Crowder couldn’t take advantage. Because of their struggles for a majority of the season against slot WRs (7th most fantasy points given up to slot WRs over the last 8 weeks), we should expect Landry to continue doing his thing; he’s averaging 7 catches for 83 yards and a TD over the last 5 games.
Browns QB: With Baker Mayfield’s hand injury, I wouldn’t want to put my fantasy hopes in his… hands. He also has a rib injury, so he’s a bit banged up. I would look for another option, despite what can be a decent matchup for him.
Browns DEF: The Bengals will travel to the Browns, who are favored by 8.5 points. The Browns pass defense and pass rush (even without Miles Garrett) has been solid, so starting them against an inept Cincinnati offense at home is a good idea. Droppable after this week.
Carolina Panthers @ Atlanta Falcons
Panthers RBs: CMC is in, obviously.
Panthers WRs: DJ Moore is in every week as a WR1, regardless of matchup. This week’s matchup happens to be great. Curtis Samuel is a WR3 who doesn’t have guaranteed volume, but can take advantage of a good matchup. Over the last four weeks, Atlanta’s given up the 12th most fantasy points to WRs on the right side where Samuel runs most of his routes from.
Panthers TE: Ian Thomas is a decent streamer this week if Greg Olsen isn’t cleared from the concussion protocol. If he is cleared. Olsen is a low-end TE1 in a neutral matchup.
Falcons RBs: Devonta Freeman has a great matchup this week, and the only reason why I’d be confident in him as a solid PPR RB2 is because of his consistent role in the pass game. He was on the field for 67% of snaps in his return from injury last week. He didn’t have a great result in a tough matchup, and he’s also not that good – dude has averaged more than 3 yards per carry in only 3 of his 10 games played. His volume in the pass game is the only thing saving him as a safe-floor PPR RB2. That being said, he has a great matchup this week against Carolina… hopefully he can take advantage in the run game.
Falcons WRs: No word on whether Julio Jones will be back this week, but if he is, he’s back in your lineup as a WR1. Calvin Ridley has been getting it done over the last three games with Austin Hooper out. He killed it against Carolina a few weeks ago, and sees them again. If Hooper is out again, Ridley should have guaranteed target share once again. If James Bradberry chooses to shadow Julio Jones again, Ridley should be looked at a ton; Carolina has been giving up the 4th most fantasy points to WRs over the last 8 weeks. He’s a WR2 this week, and gets bumped down to a WR3 if Hooper plays.
Russel Gage has seen 10 targets and 9 targets over the last two games, so he’s in play as a WR3 this week against Carolina. Carolina’s been leaky throughout their secondary, but they’ve specifically given up the 5th most fantasy points to slot WRs coming into last week over the previous 8 games. If Hooper is out, Gage is a low-end WR3.
Falcons TE: There’s a good chance Austin Hooper is back this week, and if he gets a full practice or two in, he’ll be in my lineup as a high-end TE1.
Falcons QB: Matt Ryan’s been up and down, but he simply has a great matchup this week at home. He’s a low-end QB1, especially if Julio is back.
Detroit Lions @ Minnesota Vikings
Lions RBs: Bo Scarbrough is the guy in the Lions backfield. He saw 21 carries against the Bears after an 18-carry game the week prior. He’s a TD dependent flex moving forward, and has a pretty tough matchup this week against Minnesota.
Lions WRs: Whoever is at QB in Detroit seems to be able to keep Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones afloat. TJ Hockenson led the team in targets from David Blough, but Hockenson is now on IR. Because of it, we should expect Jones and Golladay to get a more guaranteed target share in what is a great matchup for both; the Vikings have given up the most fantasy points to perimeter WRs over the season, the last 8 weeks, and the last 4 weeks. Golladay is a solid WR2 and Jones is a high-end WR3.
Vikings RBs: Dalvin Cook said he’ll be playing this week, but the amount of time he sees on the field is still up in the air, and we likely won’t have a real indication of how much. We’ll see if Cook gets any full practices in, in which case you’ll have more confidence in him and him having a big role. With him playing, it puts Cook and Mattison owners in a tough situation. Mattison will be a high-end flex play, and can even be viewed as an upside RB2 if Cook is limited. Since Mattison is so capable, I can’t imagine the Vikings risking Cook re-aggravating his SC joint sprain with a lot of touches. Cook is in for you this week as of today because of the juicy matchup, but I would hate for him to have to come out of the game after re-aggravating his injury like James Conner did a few times this year with a similar injury.
Vikings WRs: It doesn’t look good for Adam Thielen to make his return this week, so Stefon Diggs will have another opportunity to light up the Lions. He’s a solid WR2, even if he’s shadowed by Darius Slay. The Lions have given up the 9th most fantasy points to perimeter WRs over the last 8 weeks.
Vikings TE: Kyle Rudolph has caught 6 TDs over his last 6 games now, so keep riding that production at a low-end TE1. He has a neutral matchup this week.
Vikings QB: Kirk Cousins has been playing pretty well lately, and the Lions secondary has a ton of holes. He has a good matchup, so he’s a low-end QB1.
Miami Dolphins @ New York Jets
Dolphins RBs: Kalen Ballage has been placed on IR, which leaves Patrick Laird and Myles Gaskin to handle backfield duties. Laird was on the field for 59% of snaps with Ballage leaving with a leg injury last week, and it’ll likely be him on the field for a majority this week as well. Laird is a PPR flex option, as he has shown real capability in the pass game twice this year in limited playing time. The Jets are stout against the run, but are tied for the 4th most receptions allowed to RBs.
Dolphins WRs: Start Davante Parker as a high-end WR2. He’s had 10+ targets in the last 4 games, and is averaging 113 receiving yards over that span. The matchup on the perimeter for him is great; the Jets are giving up the 6th most fantasy points on the perimeter for the year and over the last 8 weeks as well.
Dolphins TE: Mike Gesicki is seeing consistent volume lately; he’s seen at least 6 targets in each of the last 5 games, and 7 in each of the last two. His 2 TDs in each of the last two games is a great sign, and he sees the Jets this week, who aren’t particularly giving when it comes to the tight end position… neither were the Eagles last week. Still, he should provide a decent floor in PPR leagues. It’s worth noting that Jamal Adams likely will be out of the lineup this week, and he’s the heart and soul of that Jets defense.
Dolphins QB: Ryan Fitzpatrick has been getting it done, and he has another shot to do it against the Jets. 5 TDs over the last 2 games, and his best WR in DeVante Parker is balling. If he’s still on your waiver wire, he has a good fantasy playoff schedule: Giants in Week 15 and the Bengals in Week 16.
Jets RBs: Le’Veon Bell has lost his ceiling, but his floor is relatively high in PPR leagues. He’s a low-end RB1 in this matchup. The Dolphins have given up the 4th most rushing yards over the last four weeks.
Jets WRs: It was a disappointing Week 13 for Jamison Crowder, but he’s still in play as a WR3 this week. He caught only 2 balls on 9 targets last week, but at least Sam was looking his way. Against Miami, perimeter WRs have done pretty well, so Robby Anderson has a shot to continue doing his thing. I would consider Anderson more of a volatile start than Crowder, as he saw more than 5 targets just once over the last 6 games, and that was last week against Cincinnati. Crowder has had 6+ targets in 4 of the last 5 games and 8+ targets in 3 of them. If you need upside, Anderson is the boom/bust play.
Jets TE: Ryan Griffin has a neutral matchup this week, and he caught 5 of 7 targets this past week. He has upside of reaching the end zone in addition to yardage, so he’s a boom/bust streamer if you need some upside.
Jets QB: Sam Darnold is a worthwhile streamer this week against the Dolphins. He has a pretty good matchup last week and couldn’t get it done, but him being at home this week is worth something. Over the last three weeks, all three QBs have thrown for 3 TDs against Miami.
Indianapolis Colts @ Tampa Bay Bucs
Colts RBs: Marlon Mack is practicing in full and should be back this week. The full practices would indicate him getting right into a full workload, but the Bucs run defense doesn’t play. They’re giving up only 3 yards per carry over the last 4 games, 3.25 throughout the course of the season, and the least amount of rushing yards to RBs. Mack can always be put in fortuitous positions, though, because they Colts can easily move the ball through the air against the Bucs extremely suspect secondary. He’s a TD dependent RB2, but I might look elsewhere if I want some upside.
Colts WRs: TY Hilton isn’t going to be back this week, but Parris Campbell should be. He’s a high upside flex play along with Zach Pascal. Pascal’s 10 targets last week was awesome, but he had a total of 2 catches over the previous two games. He’s a boom/bust option in a great matchup. If you’re wondering who has the best matchup, they all do. The Bucs are giving up the most fantasy points to WRs this season and over the last 8 weeks as well, while giving up the 2nd most fantasy points over the last 4 weeks… from the perimeter and the slot.
Colts TE: With Eric Ebron on IR, Doyle is the guy at tight end, and he proved it with 11 targets last week. He has a great matchup against Tampa Bay, and is the top streamer this week.
Colts QB: Tampa Bay’s secondary has been lit up all year, and Brissett will get his shot this week. He’s a low-end streamer, but has a good chance at having a decent game if there aren’t too many options available for you. The Bucs are giving up the most fantasy points to opposing QBs.
Bucs RBs: The Bucs backfield has been pretty confusing this year when it comes to figuring out who the guy will be. We thought Ronald Jones will emerge, but his touches never consistently got to the point where we can trust him. Peyton Barber gets 17 carries and 2 TDs out of nowhere; don’t put your trust in either of these RBs this week against Indy. If I have to start one, it’s Ronald Jones.
Bucs WRs: Start both Mike Evans and Chris Godwin as high-end WR1s. The Colts are giving up the 7th most fantasy points to perimeter WRs over the last 8 weeks, and the 8th most over the last 4, so Evans has an advantage. DJ Chark put up 8/104/2 against them in Week 11, and DeAndre Hopkins put up 6/94/2 two weeks ago. Consider this is a neutral matchup for Chris Godwin.
Bucs QB: Jameis Winston is as shaky as they come, but he’s not as much of a liability when it comes to having a decent fantasy output. The ceiling is always there too, so he’s a mid-QB1.
LA Chargers @ Jacksonville Jaguars
Chargers RBs: Melvin Gordon is finally coming along when you need him most. He’s getting volume, and the Jaguars haven’t been great against RBs. Over the Jags’ past four games, Carlos Hyde, Marlon Mack, Jonathan Williams, and Derrick Henry all went over 100 yards on less than 20 carries. They’re struggling, so keep Gordon in your lineup as a low-end RB1.
Chargers WRs: Mike Williams is averaging 70 yards per game, but hasn’t scored. The TD drought has to end soon, but one can also say he’s dealing with the expected TD regression after scoring 10 TDs on less targets last season… but damn, this is harsh. He’s a volatile WR3, but has upside. The Jaguars were able to limit Mike Evans and Chris Godwin to 103 yards total, so temper expectations on Williams and Keenan Allen. DJ Hayden has been playing great this year, so Allen’s matchup in the slot isn’t ideal. He can overcome, and he’s been playing better lately, so I would classify him as a high-end WR2.
Chargers TE: Hunter Henry had a disappointing Week 13, but I’d be going back to the well with him. Henry was averaging 8.2 targets, 5.8 receptions, and 71.2 yards before last week, so I’d play him a high-end TE1 this week. He has a neutral matchup.
Jaguars RBs: Leonard Fournette is a high-end RB1. The Chargers have been better on the ground as of late, but Fournette produces a ton through the air as well. LA has been giving up the 8th most receptions to RBs this year, and the 6th most over the last 4 weeks.
Jaguars WRs: DJ Chark is a solid WR2 regardless of matchup, and he’s proved that he can overcome a few tough ones. Casey Hayward will likely shadow him this week, so Chark’s ceiling should be lowered. This is a tough matchup overall for all WRs, as the Chargers are giving up the 2nd least fantasy points to WRs over the last 4 weeks, the 3rd least over the last 8 weeks, and the 4th least over the entire season.
Kansas City Chiefs @ New England Patriots
Chiefs RBs: Damien Williams has been ruled out for this week, and Darrell Williams was placed on IR, so it’s going to be a combination of LeSean McCoy and Darwin Thompson against the Pats. What the split will look like is anyone’s guess, but my guess is that Shady leads while Thompson shares snaps somewhat evenly. They’re playing the Patriots, which always sucks, but this is the Chiefs offense, and there’s going to be upside. McCoy is a RB2 and Darwin is an upside flex option.
Chiefs WRs: Tyreek Hill likely will not be shadowed by Stephon Gilmore, but will demand bracket coverage… meaning the corner will follow him underneath while a safety grabs whatever comes over the top; it’s a form of double coverage. Hill should still be played this week as a WR1, since he can beat any coverage. The upside might not be there, but I wouldn’t bet the connection between Patrick Mahomes and Hill, even against the Patriots. Sammy Watkins will likely see the most of Stephon Gilmore, so he might be a bench candidate for you this week.
Chiefs TE: Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert combined for 12 catches for 130 yards a few weeks ago against the Patriots, and that was without any other threat outside of those guys. The Chiefs have a few, so Kelce should still be started as a high-end TE1. The Patriots also haven’t faced a plethora of good TEs, so I wouldn’t overthink this one.
Chiefs QB: Again, it’s a tough matchup, but Patrick Mahomes can score in multiple ways – if not to his WRs, it’s to his TEs, and if not to his TEs, he’ll pass it to whichever RB is on the field… if not that, he can rush one in. I won’t be benching Patrick Mahomes for anyone outside of Lamar Jackson this week.
Patriots RBs: James White had a ridiculous game last week, and he should still be played as a PPR RB2… not because of that game but because of the matchup and usage. The Patriots are devoid are of weapons outside of Julian Edelman and James White in Tom Brady’s eyes, and the Chiefs have given up 2nd most rushing yards and receiving yards to RBs this year. He out-carried Sony Michel last week, and the assumption is because the Patriots were down, so White was the RB on the field. Still, it’s encouraging. As far as Michel, he’s a TD dependent flex at this point without any guarantee of volume. Still, the matchup is juicy if the Patriots can keep the game close.
Patriots WRs: Julian Edelman is a low-end WR1. The Chiefs have given up the 8th most fantasy points to slot WRs and the 2nd least amount of fantasy points to perimeter WRs, so the funnel is there for Edelman to succeed out of the slot. I wouldn’t start any other Patriots WR in your fantasy playoffs.
Patriots QB: Tom Brady is a low-floor high-end QB2 this week. The potential for multiple TDs is there, but I rather play guys like Ryan Fitzpatrick and Ryan Tannehill in better matchups.
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Arizona Cardinals
Steelers RBs: James Conner has been ruled out. Benny Snell becomes the main guy in that backfield getting most of the carries. The matchup is neutral for a pure rusher. He’s a TD dependent low-end RB2, so he’s usable.
Steelers WRs: If you need to shoot for upside, James Washington is in play against a porous Arizona secondary. Devlin Hodges loves him some Washington, as the two have accounted for 203 yards and 2 TDs this year in limited playing time. Juju Smith-Schuster has been ruled out.
Steelers DEF: Pittsburgh has a solid rush defense, pass defense, and has a solid pass rush. They’ve been one of the most consistent fantasy defenses, so keep them in your lineup.
Cardinals RBs: With all three of the Cardinals RBs active last week, Kenyan Drake was in on 80% of snaps. He didn’t have a great performance, but the usage is there. Tough matchup against Pittsburgh this week, so he’ll have to depend on his usage in the pass game to get results. Still, he’s a very tough sit now that we know he’s the guy in this offense, so he’ll be in my lineups as a PPR RB2 with RB1 upside.
Cardinals WRs: Christian Kirk is the primary outside receiver on the right side for Kliff Kingsbury now, so he’ll see a lot of Joe Haden. The Steelers have been a top-10 fantasy defense vs perimeter WRs on either side, and specifically that side of the field. It’ll be a tough matchup, but Kirk should still provide a solid floor in PPR leagues. With Larry Fitzgerald the primarily slot WR now, he’s been providing a decent floor in full PPR leagues, and that’s where the Steelers have struggled this year, particularly earlier on. They’ve gotten better, so consider him a low-end WR3.
Cardinals QB: Kyler Murray can overcome a tough matchup because of his legs, so he’s still in the QB1 conversation this week. He had great fantasy outcomes against the 49ers twice, so the upside is there regardless of the matchup.
Tennessee Titans @ Oakland Raiders
Titans RBs: Derrick Henry is a RB1 regardless of matchup. He’s getting volume and performing.
Titans WRs: Adam Humphries hasn’t been getting a ton of volume, but there will be some targets available for both Corey Davis and A.J. Brown. I want to avoid the situation, but the outside WRs do have an advantage this week. If I’m choosing anyone, it’s Brown, but I would love to stay away.
Titans QB: Ryan Tannehill has been one of the most consistent QBs since he made his first start. Since then, he’s been the 6th highest scoring fantasy QB. He’s a great streamer this week in a good matchup; Oakland is giving up the 4th most fantasy points to QBs.
Raiders RBs: Josh Jacobs “didn’t do much” at practice on Friday according to Jon Gruden, and is listed as questionable. You will definitely need a backup plan, because there aren’t good vibes around Jacobs playing this week. If he plays, I’d play him, but would downgrade him to a risky low-end RB1. The matchup is a neutral one.
Raiders WRs: Tyrell Williams’ volume has been an issue, but the matchup is pretty damn good this week; I would upgrade him to a WR3 because of it. Adoree Jackson is out, and the Titans have given up the 8th most fantasy points to perimeter WRs over the last 8 weeks.
Raiders TE: Darren Waller is the only weapon Derek Carr can rely on, so he’s a high-end TE1 this week. Both Travis Kelce and Jack Doyle tore them up over the last couple of weeks.
Seattle Seahawks @ LA Rams
Seahawks RBs: The Seahawks ran the ball 23 times with Chris Carson in Week 13… so he got his workload. Rashaad Penny was the beneficiary of a ton of overall volume in the run game with his 15 carries. However, it’s worth noting that Carson’s fumbling issues and Penny taking advantage of his opportunities has opened the door for a backfield committee the rest of the way.
Carson played on only 52% of snaps with Penny on the field for 47% this past week, so Penny is definitely in RB2/flex consideration moving forward in this run heavy offense. He’s playable this week against the Rams, and then has a couple of pretty good matchups against Carolina and Arizona over the last two weeks of the fantasy playoffs.
There’s no guarantee Penny continues to split snaps 50/50 with Carson, so he’s a risky play this week, but there’s no doubt that the upside is there. In the three games Penny had more than 10 touches, he’s averaging 18 PPR points per game. Treat him as a flex play this week because of the risk, but know that the upside is there.
Seahawks WRs: Tyler Lockett is the most perplexing decision we have to make this week. Outside of Week 9’s explosion, the targets haven’t really been there, and he’s coming into Week 14 catching only 4 of 9 targets over his past three weeks. That being said, I do want to start him this week unless I have another reliable option. Jalen Ramsey went into the slot for Juju a few weeks back, but he hasn’t gone there much since, even though Allen Robinson runs a good amount of routes from the slot. They did shut Robinson down that game, so there’s no doubt Lockett is a risky play this week. Unfortunately, we might have to view him as a high-end WR3 this week.
Seahawks TE: Ed Dickson hasn’t seen the field yet, and Jacob Hollister continues to be the guy. He saw 8 targets on Monday night, which actually led the team. He doesn’t have a great matchup, but I’m not too worried since he’s seeing targets.
Seahawks QB: Russell Wilson doesn’t have a high floor, but his ceiling is up there if you want some upside. He’s still a solid QB1 because of that upside.
Rams RBs: Todd Gurley’s volume isn’t dependable, but at least we know the Rams are willing to give him volume if the game calls for it. When he gets the volume, he’s performing. He’s a solid RB2.
Rams WRs: Robert Woods has the toughest matchup of the three Rams WRs, but he’s still a better play than Brandin Cooks, who’s hardly been involved over the last two weeks. Cooks has a good matchup, but I won’t be starting him because of the lack of use. Cooper Kupp is a solid WR2 play with overall WR1 upside. The Seahawks have progressively given up points to slot WRs; the 13th most over the last 8 weeks and the 9th most over the last 4. As far as Woods’ matchup, the Seahawks have been stout against WRs running routes from that right perimeter where he lines up most of the time. Woods is a low-end WR2, but would consider him a WR3 this week.
Rams TE: Tyler Higbee got it done against the league’s worst defense against tight ends with Gerald Everett out of the lineup this past week. If Everett is out again, you might want to start Higbee this week against Seattle; the Seahawks are giving up the 3rd most fantasy points to tight ends.
Rams DEF: Outside of Baltimore, they’ve been legit. Even against the Seahawks, they’re a good start.
NY Giants @ Philadelphia Eagles
Giants RBs: Saquon Barkley is a high-end RB2 this week. The Eagles are extremely tough to run against even for Saquon, who hasn’t been the same guy since his high ankle sprain. The Eagles have been in the top-12 as far as giving up receptions to RBs, so hopefully Eli Manning takes advantage and peppers Barkley.
Giants WRs: Golden Tate has been cleared from the concussion protocol, so he will likely play on Monday night. With Eli Manning back for the week, the top two targets outside of Saquon are likely Tate and Sterling Shepard. Tate has the tougher matchup between the two; the Eagles have given up the least amount of fantasy points to slot WRs over the last 8 weeks, but perimeter WRs have scored the 3rd highest fantasy points over that span. Darius Slayton has some upside for big plays as well, considering the Eagles have given up the most fantasy points over the last 8 weeks specifically on that left side where he runs most of his routes from. Since it’s tough to determine where the majority of target share will go, I would consider both Tate and Shepard WR3s this week, while labeling Slayton an upside flex play.
Eagles RBs: It doesn’t look like Jordan Howard will be cleared to play, and Miles Sanders has played on 86% of snaps in his absence. He’s being used as a workhorse, just hasn’t received a ton of touches. They have the Giants this week, and he has more upside from a touch count perspective because of it. I’ll be starting him as a high-end RB2.
Eagles WRs: Alshon Jeffery caught 9 of 16 targets for 137 yards and a TD this past week, and is tied with Landry for 4th in target share among all WRs at 26%. Janoris Jenkins has exclusively defended the right side of the offense, not that it matters… he hasn’t played well this season. Jeffery runs a majority of his routes on the left side of the formation, where the Giants have given up the 3rd most fantasy points over the last 8 weeks, and the 6th most over the last 4 weeks. He’s a high upside WR2 this week.
Eagles TEs: Zach Ertz is still a top-6 TE because of his consistency, and Dallas Goedert has also been relatively consistent. He’s averaging 7 targets over the last three games, so start him as a low-end TE1 because of his TD upside.
Eagles QB: Carson Wentz is a streamer this week, as the Giants have given up the 9th most fantasy points to QBs. 3 of the last 5 QBs to face the Giants threw for 3+ TDs. The two that didn’t were Sam Darnold and Mitch Trubisky. With Alshon Jeffery back, Wentz is more trustworthy.