written by Douglas Menefee – updated 10/12
Pay attention to injury news that may occur after The Slate has been written.
Adjust your rankings accordingly.
Allen is the #1 Fantasy QB through 11 weeks with eight top-five finishes out of 9 attempts and top-twelve in all of his games. He is ranked 3rd in passing yards, 2nd in air yards, and 2nd in passing TDs for the season. His upcoming game is against the Patriots after a week of rest from Thanksgiving, defeating the Lions. The Pats are ranked 2nd in pass defense DVOA and 23rd in rush defense DVOA, according to (FO). They are a run-funnel defense for most teams. It's doubtful that you are sitting Josh Allen at all ever. He is a top-ten QB1 this week. Allen was QB 23, 3, and 1 in his three games against NE last year.
Devin Singletary/Nyheim Hines/James Cook
Through nine games, Singletary has finished in the top 24 - five times and top 36 once. In the three other games, he was a bust. The Bills are a 5.5-point favorite against a run funnel defense that is New England. They are ranked 21st in run defense DVOA according to (FO). Devin could have a raised ceiling as his team is favored and a bounce back to the mean from busting last week against the Lions. Devin is an RB2 against the Pats. Hines and Cook are not start-worthy options unless in deeper leagues and DFS single-game punt plays.
Stefon Diggs/Gabe Davis/Isaiah McKenzie/Dawson Knox
Diggs is the 2nd overall fantasy WR for the year. 4th in the league in targets overall and has a 30.2% target share on his team and a 31% redzone target share. He is 4th in air yards and 3rd in receiving yards. All that to reconfirm what you already know. He has finished as a top-12 receiver in 6 out of 9 games. Gabriel Davis is a more volatile receiver with a chance of exploding but has finished in the top 24 four-time and busted four times. This week the Bills are a 5.5-point favorite against the Pats, ranked in the top ten in pass defense DVOA according to (FO); the Vegas line on this game currently sits at 45.5. Diggs is an obvious WR1, whereas Gabe Davis is a flex play/Fringe WR2 with upside. Mckenzie is a desperate flex/bench that can still hit but only has hit the top 36 three times, including last week. Knox is a hail-mary TE2/3 who typically needs to score for fantasy relevance.
Mac Jones has mostly finished above QB19 every week played, with his best finish as QB9. However, he did have a quality game against the Vikes on Thanksgiving. He is off the radar as a starter and is a 2 QB league candidate. Minnesota does sport a middling pass and rush defense, but it's hard to trust Jones as a starter for your fantasy league, even as a fill-in.
Rhamondre Stevenson/Damien Harris
Stevenson is the RB9 for the fantasy season and has finishes of RB 2, 5, 10, 9, and 14 in most recent games. He is 3rd in evaded tackles, 11th in redzone touches, and 13th in rushing yards for the season. Harris still boasts some quality, but not "out of the park" games. Both of these backs are the only somewhat trustworthy fantasy production candidates on the Pats. This week the Pats get a Bills defense that is ranked 5th in run defense according to (FO), but the Bills will be missing Von Miller after he went down on Thanksgiving. Stevenson is a fringe RB1/2, while Harris is a hopeful flex play.
Jakobi Meyers/DeVante Parker/Nelson Agholor/Hunter Henry/Jonnu Smith
Meyers is the only somewhat flex option for PPR leagues on the Pats as he is the WR29 for the year with finishes of WR 46, 18, 8, 39, 35, 10, 32, and 46. Meyers went down last week with a shoulder injury, so monitor his progression. The Pats play the Bills this week, who are ranked 6th in pass defense DVOA according to (FO). If he plays, Meyers is usually the best bet for production unless his usage is scaled back from the injury. Meyers is a highly cautious WR3. Parker and Agholor are off the radar and are sits this week; of course, if Meyers is out, one could be desperately used as a flex play. Hunter ranks as the TE27 and Jonnu TE39. Both are sits.
Pickett has finished as the QB12 and QB16 in the last two games and this week gets a Falcons team ranked in the bottom third in both pass and rush defense DVOA, according to (FO). Pickett would be a worthy bye-week fill-in as a QB2 and a great 2 QB league candidate. The game does sport a low Vegas line of 42.5, but again you are using Pickett in hopes of an increased ceiling against Atlanta.
Najee Harris/Jaylen Warren
Harris had his best game of the season in week 11, with 2/90/2 on the ground against the Bengals sans Warren. If Harris is again the "lone wolf" minus Jaylen Warren, he would have RB1 upside against the Falcons, who rank in the bottom third in both pass and rush defense DVOA according to (FO). If Warren plays, consider Harris a fringe RB2/Flex play. Warren is a desperate flex play in PPR leagues, but mostly a sit.
Diontae Johnson/George Pickens/Steven Sims
In his last four games with Pickett - Johnson has finished as the WR 45, 49, 41, 57 with targets of 10, 9, 5, and 5. At the same time, Pickens finished as the WR12, 102, 27, and 11 with targets of 6, 3, 4, and 6. TDs during that span helped Picken's production. This week the Steelers get a none-too-imposing Falcons defense ranked in the bottom third in pass defense DVOA according to (FO). Both have an increased ceiling this game and can be used as flex plays with room for WR2 returns. Sims is off the radar.
Mariota is the QB10 through 11 weeks and seemingly finishes in between QB10-20 most weeks. This week he gets a Steelers team, a pass funnel unit ranked 18th in pass defense DVOA according to (FO). This game does sport a low Vegas total of 42.5, and the Steeler D-line with TJ Watt could cause disruptions for Mariota. He is still a quality bye week fill-in and 2 QB starter against the Steelers at home. One caution is this will be TJ Watt's 2nd week back, and Atlanta's O-Line is bottom tiered.
Cordarrelle Patterson/Tyler Allgeier
Patterson is the RB35, and Allgeier is the RB39 through 11 weeks of data. This week boasts a low Vegas total of 42.5 against the Steelers, who are a pass funnel unit, but with Pitts on IR, it may help production slightly for these two. Both are flex options this week with the hope they hit paydirt.
Drake London/Olamide Zaccheaus/Damiere Byrd/Parker Hesse
Drake London is the WR38 for the year with meager returns. This week the Falcons get a Steelers team, who are a pass funnel squad that ranks 18th in pass defense according to (FO). Drake could have a slight uptick in production and be used as a flex fill-in. Byrd and Zaccheaus are both sits, and Parker Hesse will presumably come in for IR Pitts but can be sat for now.
Wilson is the QB22 for the season, and even against soft defenses has not broken through. He is a sit candidate and only a starter in 2 QB leagues. His upcoming game is against the Ravens, favored by 7, and the game sports a low Vegas line of 41.5. Temper expectations.
With Gordon gone, Murray is an every-week RB2/flex play. The Ravens are ranked 19th in rush defense DVOA according to (FO), which is reassuring for Murray owners. With the Ravens favored by 7, this could also push out more receiving work for Murray, which would be helpful in PPR leagues.
Courtland Sutton/Jerry Jeudy/Kendall Hinton/Greg Dulcich
Sutton is the WR31 for the year and is the only trustworthy receiver on this squad if Jeudy doesn't play this week. This week the Broncos get the Ravens, who are favored by 7. If the Vegas script holds, Denver will probably have to throw against the 11th-ranked pass defense DVOA, according to (FO). Sutton is a flex play you are hoping hits paydirt, and Jeudy is a worrisome flex if he plays. If Jeudy is out, Hinton could get increased work but is still a sit. Dulcich is a fill-in TE3/4 if Jeudy is out and a sit if he plays.
Jackson is the QB6 through 11 weeks and is ranked #2 in rushing yards and #3 in carries. This week the Ravens are favored by 7 against the Broncos, who do rank 3rd in pass defense DVOA according to (FO). Lamar is a bonafide QB1, but you may temper expectations this week as the game sports a low Vegas total of 41.5, and the Ravens are clear favorites. Jackson could be more of a fringe QB1/2 this week.
Gus Edwards/Kenyan Drake
Both backs are likely to cannibalize each other's production but could be viable flex plays (hoping to hit paydirt) against the Broncos. Denver is ranked 20th in rush defense DVOA according to (FO), and the Ravens are favored by 7 at home. It's a risky proposition, but you could use one as a bye-week hail mary fill-in if needed.
Devin Duvernay/Demarcus Robinson/James Proche II/Mark Andrews
These receivers are very volatile hit or misses that are mostly misses. All are sits except for Andrews, who is a clear-cut TE1.
Rodgers is the QB11 through 11 weeks. He mostly hovers around the top - 12 in finishes for the year. This week he gets a Bears team that could be minus Fields and who are ranked 30th in pass defense DVOA according to (FO). The current game total is 43.5, with the Packers as 2.5-point favorites, but the line may move sans Fields (Bears do have a bye in week 14). I would treat Rodgers as a top-ten QB1 this week.
Aaron Jones/AJ Dillon
Aaron Jones is the RB9 through 11 weeks but hovers mainly in the RB2/Flex area most of the year, besides a few weekly spikes like this past week against the Eagles. Jones is 7th in targets and 7th in rushing yards but 25th in redzone touches as the Packers haven't hit paydirt routinely this year. This week the Packers get the Bears, who are in the bottom third in both pass and rush defense DVOA, according to (FO). They are a 2.5-point favorite, but that line could move if Fields doesn't play. I would treat Jones as an RB1/2 regardless, while AJ Dillon would be a risky flex option.
Allen Lazard/Christian Watson/Randall Cobb/Sammy Watkins/Romeo Doubs/Robert Tonyan
Lazard has been the least volatile producer on this receiving squad, but it's hard to gauge a safe starter beyond flex plays. Lazard currently ranks 27th at the WR position through 11 weeks, and Christian Watson has come on as of late as he finished as the WR 3 and 8 in weeks 10 and 11. As of this writing, he only has one catch against the Eagles. Next week the Packers get a Bears team that is ranked in the bottom third in pass defense DVOA according to (FO). If Fields plays, the ceiling on this crew moves up, but if he doesn't, it's capped. I would treat Lazard and Watson as flex plays who will have an increased ceiling if Fields plays. If his targets increase in the 2nd half of the Eagles game, I will have more faith in him (He just received a 63-yard TD as of this writing). The rest of the receivers would be sits beyond dart-throw DFS plays for single games. Tonyan is a desperate TE3/4, but a raised ceiling if Fields plays.
Justin Fields/Trevor Siemian
If Fields plays, he is a QB1, and I doubt anyone is sitting him. The Bears may hold him out until after the bye, though. If Siemian plays, he is a sit.
David Montgomery/Darrynton Evans
Montgomery is the RB28 through 11 weeks and finished with 14/79/0 on the ground and 3/34/0 receiving last week against the Jets. This week the Bears get a run funnel defense in which the Packers rank 30th in rush defense DVOA according to (FO). With Siemian at the helm, Evans cut into Montgomery's production with nine carries of his own. If Fields plays, Montgomery is an RB2 with upside, especially with the loss of Mooney. If Fields doesn't play, I would treat Montgomery as an RB2/Flex play, as he may get more individual work. Evans is a sit.
Chase Claypool/Equanimeous St. Brown/Dante Pettis/Cole Kmet
With Mooney out, I consider Chase a flex play if Fields plays. Without him, any of these guys would be dart throws and sits. With Siemian as the starter, Chase went 2/51/0, and Kmet 3/27/0. Kmet is a TE1 with Fields and a sit without.
Lawrence is the QB13 through 11 weeks, with finishes that hover around the top 12. He has hit the top five twice, not including this past week's game against Baltimore, where he went 321/3. Lawrence should be a shoo-in QB1 against a Detroit team who ranks in the bottom third in both pass and rush defense DVOA, according to (FO). If Etienne doesn't play, then Lawrence's ceiling may increase, but Etienne stated, "I'll be straight for next week," according to John Shipley on Twitter.
Travis Etienne/JaMycal Hasty
If Travis is a go next week, he is an RB1 unless reports state he will be limited. His ceiling should be raised with a Detroit team that is ranked in the bottom third in rush defense DVOA, according to (FO). Hasty finished with 12/28/0 rushing and 5/67/1 in receiving sans Etienne and would be a fringe RB2/flex fill-in if he gets the nod against the Lions.
Christian Kirk/Zay Jones/Marvin Jones Jr./Evan Engram
Kirk is the WR10 through 11 weeks with finishes of WR 29, 15, 57, 5, and 4 in his last four games, not including last week's game against the Ravens. Last week he took a backseat to Zay Jones, who went 11/145/0 with a monster game. Zay is the WR 44 but has finished 38, 59, 34, and 25 before this past week's game. This week they get a Lions team whose defense bludgeons yardage as they are ranked 24th in pass defense DVOA according to (FO). I consider Kirk a bounce-back candidate WR2 and Zay a fill-in flex play. Marvin Jones did hit paydirt last week but is a sit. If Etienne misses time, the ceiling on this squad's production may balloon. Engram is off the radar as a tight-end play.
Goff is the QB15 through 11 weeks and had one of his best games of the year, trying to come from behind against the Bills sans Von Miller. Goff does get a pass funnel defense in the Jags this week, who rank 31st in pass defense DVOA according to (FO). Goff is a streaming QB2 option, and a quality 2 QB league play. His ceiling may be improved against the Jag's defense, especially if game script favors Jacksonville.
D'Andre Swift/Jamaal Williams
Seeing Swift get meaningful work against the Bills on Thanksgiving was encouraging. Swift has had finishes of 18, 26, 31, 18, and 7 in his last five games, while Williams is the RB12 and has finished 9, 25, 21, 4, and 4 in his previous five. Jacksonville is a pass funnel team but are middling in rush defense DVOA, according to (FO). They rank 31st in pass defense and 13th in rush defense (Football Outsiders). Swift is an RB2/flex play with upside if the Lions get behind, and Williams is an RB2.
Amon-Ra St. Brown/DJ Chark/Josh Reynolds/Kalif Raymond/Brock Wright
Amon Ra is back to form, having received 10, 9, and 11 targets in the past three games and then going 9/122/1 against the Bills on Thanksgiving. Reynolds only had a significant spike in production when St. Brown was injured, but he still could get some usage this week as the Lions face the Jags, who are ranked 31st in pass defense DVOA according to (FO). Amon Ra is the only person with trusted production and is a certified WR1. Chark, Reynolds, Kalif, and Brock are all sits, and single-game DFS plays, although any could easily hit a TD.
Deshaun Watson returns this week against his former team. Having been out of football for what seems like a century, it's hard to tell what type of "game shape" he will be in. It's a wait-and-see approach, but I would give him a fringe QB1/2 nod against his former team in a revenge game. Although as 5.5-point favorites, they may ease him and lean heavily on the run.
Nick Chubb/Kareem Hunt
Chubb is the RB6 through 11 weeks and is 5th in carries, 4th in rushing yards, and 2nd in total TDs. Hunt is the RB33 and mostly hovers around being a flex finisher. The production dynamic could shift this week with these runners being paired with a running QB, but Chubb should stay somewhat idle (in production), and Hunt should get a production boost. The Browns are favored by 5.5 against Houston this week which bodes well for Chubb. The Texans currently rank 31st in rush defense DVOA according to (FO), which paves the way for an increased ceiling for both Chubb and Hunt. Chubb is a bonafide RB1 with upside, and Hunt should also have a raised ceiling as a fringe RB2/flex play.
Amari Cooper/Donovan Peoples-Jones/David Njoku
Cooper is the WR8 for the year with Brissett at the helm, and Peoples-Jones is the WR44. Both get a boost with Watson returning, although they may emphasize the run against the Texans. It is also entirely possible they use this game to get Watson's feet wet. Cooper is a bonafide WR1, Peoples-Jones becomes a flex option, and Njoku stays a TE1.
Allen will get the nod this week against the Browns. He finished with 215/1 and two interceptions last week against the Dolphins. He is not a worthy starter, but maybe playing from a negative game script and against a defense that is ranked 26th in pass defense DVOA according to (FO), so he could have a raised ceiling. I would limit Allen to 2 QB leagues.
Pierce, although the RB18 for the year, does carry some risk as he has finished as the RB43 and 48 the past two weeks. The Browns are currently ranked 32nd in rush defense DVOA, according to (FO), so it would be a good bounce-back game for Pierce. Browns players may get behind Watson as the starter and improve their play since it's a revenge game for Watson. I would treat Pierce as a risky with upside flex to RB2.
Brandin Cooks/Nico Collins/Chris Moore/Jordan Akins
With Allen as the starter, Cooks finished with 5/59/0, Akins with 5/61/1, Nico with 6/44/0, and Chris Moore with 2/7/0. This week they get a Browns team ranked 26th in pass defense DVOA according to (FO) and may be playing from a negative game script, with the Browns favored by 5.5. Cooks is a viable but low-upside flex play, and all other players here are sits.
Mike White finished last week's game against the Bears with 315/3/0, threw the air, and was the QB6 for the week. This week he gets a more challenging defense with the Vikings, but they are middling in both pass and rush defense, according to Football Outsiders. White is a less risky 2 QB option, but if you want to roll the dice and are in a bind, I don't think it would hurt to place him as your starter this week or pick him up for the fantasy playoffs if you have room.
Michael Carter/Zonovan Knight/Ty Johnson/James Robinson
Carter suffered a low ankle sprain last week and is questionable entering the week. If he plays and isn't on a play count, then Carter would be a viable RB2 with upside. Carter is the RB30 for the season. If he is on a pitch count, doesn't play, or news is seemingly wishy-washy, Zonovan Knight may be a sound fill-in flex play hoping to repeat his week 12 success. The Jets get a middling Vikings rush defense this week. If Carter doesn't play, I would still be wary of starting Ty or James Robinson.
Garrett Wilson/Elijah Moore/Corey Davis/Tyler Conklin
With White at the helm, Garrett finished with 5/95/2 (good enough for WR4), Moore 2/64/1 (WR30), and Davis with 1/9/0. Early indicators, but on a very small sample size and against a "Field" less and porous Bears defense, it looks like the Jets may have something in White. I would roll Wilson out as a WR2/Flex, and you could play wait-and-see for the rest of the players. If Mike White continues to show fruit, it may be wise to take a crack at Tyler Conklin as a tight end for the fantasy playoffs (if you need help in this position).
Cousins is a middling fantasy QB ranked 14th for the season. Unless he is your starter, he is primarily a quality 2 QB league candidate. He finished with 299/3/1 against a quality New England pass defense, and this week, he gets a Jets team that is similar in pass defensive rank. If the Jets can go back and forth with the Vikings much as Mac Jones did, then Cousin's ceiling would be raised. I would consider him a fringe QB1/2 this week with a greater ceiling if you believe Mike White will again show out. The Jets have a solid D-Line versus the Viking's lower-tiered O-line, which could cause some disruptions.
Dalvin Cook/Alexander Mattison
Cook is the RB11 for the fantasy season, with finishes of 6, 13, 7, 14, 2, 33, and 34 in his last seven games. I expected a little more work for Cook against the Patriots, but Mac Jones kept the game close. This week the Vikings get a Jets team ranked 10th in rush defense DVOA according to (FO), but Cook is still an RB1 that you are rolling out. Hopefully, he has positive regression this game, given that he has finished outside of his normal range in the past two games; it's also possible that he will come out of his lull the following week against the Lions. I would temper expectations. Mattison is only viable if Cook were to get "......." I won't say it out of respect to not manifest anything negative for any fantasy player.
Justin Jefferson/Adam Thielen/K.J. Osborn/T.J. Hockenson
Jefferson is the WR2 for the fantasy season, is #3 in targets, and has a 27.5% redzone target share. He has finished the top five WR six weeks this year. This week the Vikings get the Jets, who rank 6th in pass defense DVOA according to (FO) and are 3-point favorites on a 45-point game total. Jefferson is a bonafide WR1. Thielen has come in the top 36 five times out of ten. So a coin flip or a TD would put him over the edge. Thielen is a low-probability flex play who hits if he scores. Osborn is a sit. Hockenson's last five games had him as the TE 11, 5, 7, 11, and 6. He is an obvious TE1. If Mike White plays well again, this player's ceiling would increase.
Heinicke has finished as the QB 13, 8, 15, 27, 24, and 25 in his last six games. He also had a similar boom/bust pattern last year, so it's hard to go all-in on Heinicke outside of 2 QB leagues. He finished as the QB12 and 34 last year against the Giants. The G-men are ranked in the bottom third in both pass and rush defense DVOA, according to (FO). Heinicke is a QB3/4 this week.
Brian Robinson/Antonio Gibson
Robinson has finished as the RB 15, 38, and 5 in his last three, while Gibson has finished 14, 16, and 39. These players cut into each other's production but get a Giants team that is ranked 23rd in rush defense DVOA according to (FO). However, the Giants are coming off a loss on Thanksgiving with extra time to rest, prepare, and possibly right the ship. Robinson and Gibson are both viable flex plays in which one or both could move to RB2 status if one score. You just don't know who that will be.
Terry McLaurin/Curtis Samuel/Jahan Dotson/Logan Thomas
McLaurin is the WR17 for the season and is a shoo-in WR2 with upside against a Giants team ranked 23rd in pass defense DVOA, according to (FO). From Week 7 and on with Heinicke, he has had finishes 11, 18, 26, 10, 43, and 53. Samuel is the WR22 but has finished 64, 41, and 110 in his last three games. I would treat Samuel as a fringe flex play/WR4 with a possibility of hitting. His targets have fallen dramatically from what they were at the beginning of the year with Wentz. In his last six games, Samuel's targets are 8, 4, 4, 4, 2, and 0. Logan Thomas is still a sit and a wait-and-see approach as he gets healthier. Jahan is currently a sit as well.
Daniel Jones is the QB12 in fantasy through 12 weeks. He had his best game of the year against the generous Lions, especially on the ground. Jones has only hit the top 12 three times this year, so he can still be a dicey play in 12-team leagues, but he is a good 2 QB start or possible fill-in for bye weeks. On a positive note, he is 4th in carries, 5th in rushing yards, and 3rd in rushing TDs. This week Jones and company get a Commanders team that is ranked 20th in pass defense DVOA according to (FO) and is a pass funnel defense as they are ranked 2nd in rush defense DVOA (FO). Last year against Washington, Jones finished as the QB4 with 29.5 fantasy points (which came mainly on the ground). Coming off a loss, I would feel safe in deploying Jones as a fringe QB1/2.
Barkley is the RB6 for the fantasy season through 11 weeks. I don't want to overwrite someone you are starting anyways. Some sweet notes, though, for shits and giggles. Barkley is #2 in rushing yards, #2 in carries, and 10th in Total TDs. He has finished in the top 24 every game but once this season. This week Barkley gets a pass funnel defense in the Washington Commanders, who rank 2nd in rush defense DVOA according to (FO), although I wouldn't worry too much about that. Barkley is an RB1, but you don't need to be told that.
Darius Slayton/Richie James/Isaiah Hodgins/Daniel Bellinger
Unfortunately, the Giants keep getting nipped with the wide receiver injury bug as Robinson exited with a torn ACL against the Lions, leaving a hodge-podge of receivers as it has been for this team. In a fantasy-friendly environment against the Lions, Slayton finished with 5/86/0, Richie James 3/48/1, and Golladay 2/29/0. Slayton again led the way in receiving last week with 3/63/0, and Richie hit paydirt. Trusting any receiver here is hard; all could get equal shares. I would treat Slayton with the most value, having seen almost 100 air yards in the last two games. Slayton is a risky flex play while the rest of this squad are sits.
Tannehill has finished 11, 11, and 24 in this last three games, and this week is facing off against an Eagles team that is ranked 1st in pass defense DVOA according to (FO) but did lose Gardner-Johnson with a lacerated kidney in last week's game. Tannehill seemingly shows up in spots like this and could have an increased ceiling if they get into a negative game script. The game boasts a middling Vegas total of 44.5. I would treat Tannehill as a 2 QB league play and a QB2/3 option in standard leagues.
Henry is the RB3 for the season, with six top-ten finishes this season. He is 1st in carries, 4th in TDs, and 2nd in rushing yards. This week Henry gets a run funnel defense in the Eagles, who rank 28th in rush defense DVOA according to (FO). Henry is a bonafide RB1, as if you were sitting him.
Treylon Burks/Robert Woods/Nick Westbrook-Ikhine/Austin Hooper
Burks has finished as the WR12 and 18 in his past two games with receiving lines of 7/111/0 and 4/70/0 in a loss to the Bengals. This week the Titans get the Eagles, who are ranked 1st in pass defense but will be missing Gardner-Johnson, who they lost this past game. I would imagine the Titans will run this game through Henry, but the playmakers here might get a slight boost if playing in negative game script. I wouldn't really trust any as plays, but Burks or Woods could hit flex production. Hooper is a sit.
Hurts is the QB3 for the season and has 7 top-five finishes. He is 1st in carries, redzone carries, and rushing TDs. You are never sitting, Jalen Hurts. The Titans are coming off a loss and are ranked 13th in rush defense DVOA according to (FO). Hurts is a surefire QB1.
Coming off a monster game and best-of-the-season fantasy's RB14 will be facing one of the best rush defense units in a Titans who are coming off a loss. I would temper expectations this week with Miles and treat him as an RB2, as his ground production may be halted, and his fantasy points are likely reliant on him hitting paydirt. Not a foregone conclusion, of course.
AJ Brown/Devonte Smith/Quez Watkins/Jack Stoll
AJ Brown is the WR9 for the year, who commands 28.9% target share and 34.2% redzone shares. This week he gets a Titans team that is strong against the run and is middling against the pass. Brown and Smith get none-too-imposing matchups against the Titans Molden, McCreary, and Fulton. Brown is a bonafide WR1, and Smith, the WR23 for the year, is a WR2 play with some upside, as the Eagles may be less focused on Miles Sanders getting the rock.
Geno is the QB7 for the year and has seven top-12 finishes. He is 6th in passing yards, 5th in passing TDs, and 9th in rushing yards. This week he gets a downtrodden Rams team that is ranked 21st in pass defense DVOA (FO), and the Seahawks are favored by 7. Geno is a solid QB1/2 play this week.
Kenneth Walker III
Walker is the RB17 for the season and has had finishes of RB 19, 8, 3, 25, 2, 19, and 14 in his last seven games. The Seahawks, who are favored by 7, get a Rams team that just lost DL Aaron Donald and seems on the downturn headed into the final stretch. Walker is a seemingly surefire RB1 this week with some upside.
DK Metcalf/Tyler Lockett/Marquise Goodwin/Will Dissly/Noah Fant
Metcalf is the WR18 for the year, and Lockett is the WR12. Both have consistently finished in the top 36 at WR, except for a few weeks out of the year. The Seahawks are favored by seven against the Rams, who rank 21st in pass defense DVOA (FO) but did just lose (A)Aron Darnold opening up space for Kenneth Walker. I would treat Lockett and Metcalf as WR2s with a lower upside. Goodwin, Dissly, and Fant are off the radars as starts, although anyone could hit paydirt.
Bryce Perkins/John Wolford
Whoever starts for the Rams won't be on the radar to play in standard or 2 QB leagues. This week they play the Seahawks, who are middling in both pass and rush defense and are favored by 7.
Cam Akers/Kyren Williams
It's best to take a wait-and-see approach with these two to see if the Rams will focus on giving play to Kyren toward the final stretch of the season. If you don't have much choice, you can hope for the best and toss either as a flex play. I would temper expectations, though.
Ben Skowronek/Van Jefferson/Tyler Higbee
Van Jefferson may be a flyer flex play that could get work in a PPR league. The Rams may be playing from behind as a 7-point dog, but it's hard to trust any player on this team for fantasy production.
Tua is the QB17 for the year and has finished in the top-five four times. I bet with the help of Hill/Waddle - he is 1st in yards per attempt and 5th in passing TDs. This week he gets a challenging Niners team who ranks 10th in pass defense DVOA (FO) and 3rd in rush defense DVOA (FO). The Niners are 3.5-point favorites, and the total for the game is above average at 46.5. Tua has struggled against more challenging defenses this year, finishing 22nd against the Patriots and 25th against the Bills. It could end the week with middling results, but he does have upside. He is a surefire 2 QB league start and a QB 1/2 this week in standard leagues. Hopefully, this game turns into a battle for Tua owners.
Raheem Mostert/Jeff Wilson
Wilson is the RB23 for the year, and Mostert is the RB28. Their upcoming game against the Niners is a revenge game for both players. If Mostert plays, I would consider both flex options, and if Mostert is out, then Wilson becomes an RB1/2 play against his old team.
Tyreek Hill/Jaylen Waddle/Trent Sherfield/Mike Gesicki
Hill is the WR3 for the season, and Waddle is the WR6. They both seem to finish within relatively the same spot weekly (whether it's WR1, WR2, or flex) except two weeks out of the year, where one supremely outperformed the other. Tyreek garners 31.2% of the target shares and 15.4% of the redzone shares. Waddle 22.8% of targets and 15.4% of redzone shares as well. Both have a wide gap of outcomes and always have an upside, but if they don't hit, they may end up, at best, a WR3 for the week (which is much better than an overall bust). You can easily treat both as WR1s, but they may have a capped ceiling this week against a stout 49ers defense ranked 10th in pass defense DVOA (FO). The Vegas total is a higher-than-average 46.5, and this game could swing either way. Sherfield and Gesicki are sits.
Jimmy has finished as the QB 11, 7, 14, 19, 6, and 22 in the last six games averaging about 18 points a game which is honestly quite solid overall. He isn't your primary starter for most leagues, but he should be a decent fill-in against a Dolphins team that ranks 25th in pass defense DVOA (FO). Jimmy G is a solid fill-in QB2 and a solid 2 QB league starter.
Christian McCaffrey/Jordan Mason/Tevin Coleman
McCaffrey is currently day to day with a "knee irritation" and didn't practice on Wednesday. If he is a go, he is a bonafide RB1 after the team lost Elijah Mitchell. If he is a no-go, Jordan Mason will likely get the start. Also, pay attention to see if Tevin Coleman is activated from the practice squad. I would treat Mason as a flex option if CMC is out.
Deebo Samuel/Brandon Aiyuk/Jauan Jennings/George Kittle
Deebo is the WR21 for the year, and Aiyuk is the WR16. Both may have a higher ceiling this week against the Dolphins, who are ranked 25th in pass defense DVOA according to (FO). Aiyuk's last six finishes were 4, 18, 11, 8, 15, and 37. Both players are WR2s with upside. Jennings is off the radar besides single-game DFS dart throws. He did score a TD last week against the Saints and finished as the WR19. Kittle is the TE7 for the year and has finished in the top ten four times. This game may bode well for him, and he should be slotted as a TE1/2 this week.
Mahomes is the QB2 for the season and has had nine top-12 finishes. He is 4th in passing yards, 6th in air yards, and 4th in passing TDs. This week he gets a Cincy defense that is ranked 9th in pass defense DVOA according to (FO), but that should not be a worry. The Vegas total for this game is the highest at 52.5. Mahomes finished with 20 fantasy points in both games against Cincy last year. He is a QB1 with upside.
Isiah Pacheco/Ronald Jones/Jerrick McKinnon
Pacheco has finished as the RB 31, 22, and 16 in his past three games. Whether McKinnon plays or not, he is an RB2. Ronald Jones may get some mix here but is not worth a start. Cincy is middling in rush defense, and this game has the highest Vegas point total of 52.5.
JuJu Smith-Schuster/Mecole Hardman/Marquez Valdez-Scantling/Travis Kelce
JuJu is the WR20 for the year but is slowly coming back from injury and only played 40.5% of routes last week and missed Wednesday's practice. Monitor his progress, but if he is a full go, he should be considered a WR2/Flex play against the Bengals in a potentially high-scoring game with a Vegas total of 52.5. Hardman and Marquez are sits unless JuJu doesn't play. Kelce is a TE1 who has finished in the top five in all but one game this season.
Burrow is the QB4 for the year and has finished 1st overall three times. This week is a potential shootout for Burrow as they face the Chiefs with a Vegas total of 52.5. Burrow is 3rd in passing yards and 2nd in passing TDs, and he gets Chase back this week (possibly in a limited capacity). Burrow had 34.5 fantasy points against the Chiefs last year and 21.5 in the playoffs versus them. He is a QB1 with upside.
Joe Mixon/Samaje Perine
Signs are pointing to fantasy's RB9 returning this week against the Chiefs. Mixon is a RB1 with upside if he plays, and if he sits, Perine is an RB1. The Chiefs are middling in both pass and rush defense, according to Football Outsiders. The game also sports a high total of 52.5.
Tee Higgins/Ja'Marr Chase/Tyler Boyd/Hayden Hurst
Higgins is the WR13 for the year, and Chase, even with missed games, is WR19, who has finished number one overall twice. It's possible the Bengals played it safe with Chase last game, knowing they would be going up against the Chiefs this week. I consider Higgins and Chase WR1s and Boyd (WR32 for the season) a flex play. Hurst may have had increased production with Chase out, but I would still plug him in as a TE2/3 even though there are many mouths to feed in the Bengals.
Herbert is the QB8 for the season but has been missing his top wideouts for a good portion and still making due. This week he gets one of the if not the lowest-ranked defenses with the Raiders, who rank 32 in pass defense DVOA according to (FO). The Vegas game total is one of the highest for the week at 50.5, so it is a potential shootout. Herbert finished as the QB5 earlier this year against Vegas, and last year, he finished as the QB12 and QB2. All signs point to a very respectable finish this week. Herbert is a bonafide QB1 with upside.
Ekeler is the #1 PPR RB this year, with seven top-five finishes. He is 1st in TDs, 1st in targets, and 2nd in redzone touches. Earlier this year, he had "flex" production against the Raiders, but he finished as the RB1 and 8 against them last year. The Raiders rank in the bottom third in rush defense DVOA (FO). With a high Vegas game total of 50.5, historical success, and another week that may miss Mike Williams, Ekeler is a top-tier RB1 with upside.
Keenan Allen/Joshua Palmer/Mike Williams/Gerald Everett
Keenan Allen has finished as the WR19 and 22 in his last two games and Palmer as the WR3 and 41. Mike Williams may likely be out another week, which opens up a more significant production ceiling for this receiving crew. With a potentially high-scoring game and going up against a low-tiered Raiders pass defense Allen should be a shoo-in WR2 with upside, and Palmer, a WR2/Flex, with upside. Everett is likely also to see a boost and is a TE2/3 this week.
Derek Carr is the QB16 for the fantasy season but has had increased production over his last four games, finishing as the QB10, 15, 10, and 10 (averaging 19 points a game during this stretch). This week he gets the Chargers at home, and the Vegas total on the game is 50.5 signaling a potentially high-scoring game. Carr did finish as the QB18 against the Chargers earlier this year and as the QB24 and 18 last year sans Davante Adams. Carr is a fringe QB 1/2 with upside this week and a possible fill-in if you are hurting at QB.
Josh Jacobs/Ameer Abdullah/Zamir White.
Jacobs is the RB2 for the year and has finished in the top-five four times this year. If Jacobs plays, he gets a Chargers team at home that ranks 29th in rush defense DVOA according to (FO). Consider him an RB1 with upside. Assuming he doesn't play, Ameer and Zamir split duties.
Davante Adams/Mack Hollins/Foster Moreau
Adams is the WR4 for the season, #1 in targets and target shares, and has a 32% redzone share. I highly doubt you need a write-up on Adams. He is a surefire WR1 against the Chargers this week. Likely, Hunter Renfrow doesn't play this week, leaving Mack Hollins as a sufficient flex play. Foster is a TD or bust tight end that could see quality production in a potentially higher-scoring game. He is a TE2/3
SUNDAY & MONDAY NIGHT
Ryan is the QB21 through the fantasy season. He has had two top-five finishes, but against a Cowboys defense ranked 4th in pass defense DVOA according to (FO). I am leaving Ryan on the bench, probably even in 2 QB leagues. The Cowboys are also a top-tier defensive line unit, and the Colt's O-line is bottom tiered. This is a good spot for Cowboy's defense.
Jonathan Taylor Thomas
JTT is the RB21 for the year, which is a far cry from his draft capital. Nonetheless, he is a viable "hope for the best" RB2 against a stout Dallas D who is ranked 11th in rush defense according to (FO). Since Saturday took over duties, JTT has finished 1, 9, and 12, which bodes well for his outlook.
Michael Pittman/Parris Campbell/Alec Pierce/Jelani Woods/Mo-Alie Cox
Pittman is the WR14 for the year, Campbell WR38, and Pierce WR63. This week the Colts get a challenging Cowboys defense ranked 4th in pass defense DVOA according to (FO) and a top-tier defensive line unit. Pittman has your best probability of success, but I would temper expectations and place him in the WR2/Flex range. Jelani came out of the woodwork last week with an 8/98/0 line, but it would be fool's gold to think he may strike twice back-to-back. If you are desperate, though, you can hope for the best. I would play the wait-and-see approach here and only use Woods if you need a risky dart throw.
Since returning from injury, Dak has finished as the QB 18, 4, 8, 9, and 17. This week the Cowboys are 9.5-point favorites against a Colts team that is ranked 16th in pass defense DVOA according to (FO). They may focus on the run even though the Colts have a strong rush unit, although they are on a short week after having played Monday night and Benny Snell, McFarland, and Najee had their way on the ground with them. Dak's ceiling may be capped this game, but he is a QB 1/2 this week.
Ezekiel Elliott/Tony Pollard
In their last four games, Zeke has finished as RB 12, 12, 11, and 15, while Pollard has finished as RB 4, 8, 1, and 41. This upcoming game favors Zeke as 9.5 points favorites against the Colts, who are coming off a short week, having played on Monday night. The Colt's run defense has been solid for the season, but they gave up chunks to Benny Snell, McFarland, and Harris on Monday night. Zeke is an RB1, and Pollard is an RB2 this week, with both having upside.
Ceedee Lamb/Michael Gallup/Noah Brown/Dalton Schultz
Missing much of Dak for the season, Ceedee still is the WR7 for the year. He is 6th in targets and has a 30.6% target share which is 5th amongst his group. Since Dak's return, Ceedee has finished as the WR 39, 12, 1, 45, and 17. Ceedee is a WR1 against the Colts, but his ceiling may be capped this game as the Cowboys are 9.5-point favorites. Gallup should hit at some point, and it could be this game, but he is hard to trust, even as a flex play. He did have 135 air yards last week, and his targets have been there with 6, 7, 4, and 8 in his previous four games. I would place him as a hope for the best flex option and only to be used in dire straits. Maybe he gets a "gimmie" TD against the Colts. Schultz is a TE1 with finishes of 11, 5, 3, 20, and 1 in his last five games.
Andy Dalton/Jameis Winston
Dalton is the QB23 for the season and has finishes of 17, 21, 26, 8, and 31 in his last five games. Going up against the Bucs, who lost to the Browns last week, I wouldn't expect much out of either Dalton or Winston if either starts. The Bucs rank 6th in pass defense DVOA according to (FO).
Kamara is the RB13 for the year with finishes of 7, 10, 13, 1, 22, 34, 17, and 30 in his last seven games. This week he gets a Bucs team hoping for a bounce back after a loss to the Browns. The Bucs are middling in rush defense for the year and are 3.5-point favorites after opening as a 6-point favorite. The game sports a low Vegas total of 40, which is on the lower end for the week. Kamara last season finished as the RB17 and 47 against Tampa Bay. I consider him an RB2 this week with a capped ceiling.
Chris Olave/Jarvis Landry/Juwan Johnson/Taysom Hill
With Olave and Landry on the field in the last three games, Olave has finished as the WR59, 7, and 39, and Landry as WR61, 30, and 82. This week the Saints get a Bucs team that is ranked 6th in pass defense DVOA (FO) in a game that sports a low Vegas total of 40. Olave is worthy flex play, while Landry is a sit. It's hard to trust Juwan after he goose-egged last week, even though he scored TDs in his previous three games. He is a TD or bust TE2/3. Hill is off the radar, even though he can blow up on any given Sunday. Or Monday.
Brady is The QB18 through the season and usually finishes between QB13-19. From the eye test, he seems to have improved over the season, especially with Godwin much healthier. Brady is a quality 2 QB league start but more of a QB3 in standard leagues. This week he gets a Saints team that middles in pass defense DVOA, according to (FO).
Rachaad White/Leonard Fournette
It seems likely that Fournette will return this week which would cut into White's production (who finished as the RB7 last week against the Browns). Both backs have been flex options when playing together in their previous two stints. This week they get a Saints team that is ranked 21st in rush defense DVOA according to (FO). The game sports a low total, and the Bucs are 3.5-point favorites after that line moved from the opening of -6. I would feel safe with White as a flex, and I might play wait-and-see on Fournette, but you could also input him as a flex.
Mike Evans/Chris Godwin/Julio Jones/Cameron Brate
Evans is the WR20 for the season, and Godwin is the WR26. Godwin turned on the jets last week against the Browns, finishing as the WR1 overall. This week get a Saints team on Monday night who middle in pass defense. I would treat both Evans and Godwin as WR2s. Brate is an off-the-radar TD or bust TE4.