Marquee Fantasy Games
Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears 1:05 p.m. EST
This is my favorite game on the slate as it features the one player who will dominate my DFS lineups. That player is Bears QB Justin Fields. The Vikings have shown that they can’t stop the pass, and Fields has been racking up a ton of fantasy points recently. His rushing ability is what separates him from other quarterbacks on the slate. I would expect 50+ rushing yards and a rushing touchdown. WR D.J. Moore is a must-start Seasonal fantasy player now and will be popular in DFS. WR Darnell Mooney can be sneaky in DFS, as he is better than any Viking corner that will cover him and will be low-owned because he put up a zero vs. Washington. TE Cole Kmet is also a nice option, as the Vikings are slow in recognition and he can get some easy passes underneath. We will have to see where their running game is at as they are dealing with a bunch of injuries. Whoever does make it to Sunday in the Bears’ backfield will be a pass for me as the Vikings do play the run well.
The Vikings are also dealing with an injury on offense and it is a big one in WR Justin Jefferson, who will be out at least four games. The Vikings still have some nice options and I would expect a boost in production for receivers Jordan Addison and K.J. Osborn, but I think people are overhyping Addison. He is solid but now he doesn’t have Jefferson to take away the attention. TE T.J. Hockenson is under a ton of pressure as the Minneapolis media and fans are voicing their displeasure about his poor play. I’m thinking QB Kirk Cousins may feed him here to get him back on track. RB Alexander Mattison did reach the end zone last week but he only had eight carries. The Vikings are reluctant to run the ball and fellow RB Cam Akers is going to peck at his touches. I also predict the Bears will play closer to the line of scrimmage in Jefferson’s absence making it more difficult to run the football, so I don’t love Mattison this week.
Indianapolis Colts at Jacksonville Jaguars 1:05 p.m. EST
Thi is a rematch from opening day in which the Jaguars won 31-21 in a game that was dominated by WR Calvin Ridley, and I would expect a repeat. The Colts are allowing the opposing team’s number-one receiver to gain big yardage every week. What I really like about the Jaguars is that we haven’t seen them put it all together yet. They seem to make a costly turnover or commit a big penalty that kills drives in every game. There is going to be a game when they click on all cylinders and you will need a Jaguar stack to take down a DFS tournament. TE Evan Engram should have a solid game and can be a top tight end if he reaches the end zone. RB Travis Etienne does have a tougher matchup vs. a solid run defense, but we can’t ignore that he had 30 touches vs. Buffalo and made the most of it with 184 total yards and two touchdowns.
The Colts will turn to QB Gardner Minshew to take over for the injured Anthony Richardson. I think, with a full week of practice, he can keep WR Michael Pittman viable and a solid DFS option as I expect the Colts to be playing from behind. The running game is the real question mark. RB Zack Moss was dominant against the Titans and was, in fact, the top-scoring back. Does his performance do enough to keep RB Jonathan Taylor from getting a full workload? I think it does. I know many will look at Taylor’s cheap DFS price and assume he is going to get 15+ touches, but I am going to be very cautious unless the organization comes out and says that they will feature Taylor.
Carolina Panthers at Miami Dolphins 1:05 p.m. EST
WR Adam Thielen has found the Fountain of Youth. As a Viking fan, I am wondering where this production was last season. He is averaging 20.8 fantasy points, and I do not see why that won’t continue going forward. He is the first read in the passing offense, and he’s going to be difficult to shut down. RB Miles Sanders has been ruled out, but Chuba Hubbard is really only a desperation play if you are dealing with bye weeks. All other Panthers should be avoided.
The Dolphins are dealing with a key injury. RB De’Von Achane is expected to miss several weeks, leaving Raheem Mostert the featured back. He has a tasty matchup against a porous Panther run defense, and 100 yards and a touchdown should be his floor. He will be extremely chalky in DFS but I think he is the chalk you need to win. RB Jeff Wilson could also return so keep an eye on that, but I would think they would work him in slowly. Carolina can play the pass, but I don’t know if they can take on this passing game. WR Tyreek Hill’s price is climbing, but he can score on anyone from anywhere no matter the coverage. WR Jaylen Waddle has been the odd man out when it comes to volume but can put up 100 yards anytime. QB Tua Tagovailoa is always a DFS consideration and a must-start Seasonal play.
Seattle Seahawks at Cincinnati Bengals 1:05 p.m. EST
The Seahawks are coming off their bye week, and I wonder if they will have any rust to start the game. Offensively they have the players who can do it all. They can run with RB Kenneth Walker or they can get receivers D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett open down the field. The Bengal defense is solid; they aren’t really great in one particular area, but they aren’t bad in one either. It will be hard work for Seattle to get the job done and no one seems to stand out. I would bet that Metcalf will be the guy they target the most and he has a reasonable price tag in DFS.
The Bengals finally got the passing game on track and got WR Ja’Marr Chase the ball as he had a monster game last week, scoring three touchdowns. WR Tee Higgins was out but expect him back this week. If you look at the statistics, the Seahawks are at the bottom in pass defense, but that is a bit misleading. They were without rookie CB Devon Witherspoon and safety Jamal Adams for much of the season, so they are better than what you see on paper now that they are back. What scares me about QB Joe Burrow is that he hasn’t had time to throw in many of his games and the Seahawks are coming off an 11-sack performance. I can see the pressure getting to him here causing his timing to be off and creating a turnover or two. RB Joe Mixon has been underwhelming, if he can just get into the end zone, he would be a great DFS value. I would think that they would want him to get 20+ touches here, so the volume will be there.
Arizona Cardinals at Los Angeles Rams 4:05 p.m. EST
This game is tied for the highest total on the board and figures to have a lot of good fantasy potential from both sides. Starting with the Arizona Cardinals, we have to look at running back, as James Conner had been placed on IR with an apparent knee injury. RB Emari Demercado stepped in and did a decent job scoring a touchdown. Demercado will be heavily picked up off of waivers and will be highly owned in DFS due to his cheap price. I’m not as eager on him as most as rookie RB Keaontay Ingram has been held out with a sore neck. When healthy, I expect Ingram to be the lead back, but he will most likely split carries with Demercado. If Ingram is out, then Demercado has to be a DFS option. WR Marquise Brown has been solid the past two weeks averaging over 16 fantasy points. He could do it again, but the GEM should be TE Zach Ertz. The Rams have been bad vs. the tight end and were shredded by TE Dallas Goedert last week.
WR Cooper Kupp came back and didn’t disappoint with 22. 8 fantasy points. If anyone was wondering, WR Puka Nacua still received double-digit targets. Expect this one-two punch to continue to get open and for Matthew Stafford to get them the football. These three could make for a very nice DFS stack or double stack. RB Kyren Williams could see more work, as the Rams could be playing with the lead. I would expect him to get back into the end zone this week, making him a nice DFS option.
Washington Commanders at Atlanta Falcons 1:05 p.m. EST
There are some decent plays here, especially for the flex position, but nobody really stands out, especially on the Washington side. We have to play RB Brian Robinson and WR Terry McLaurin in Seasonal leagues, but we are left begging for volume and a touchdown. Will Jahan Dotson ever break out? He may be the main target as McLaurin will see A.J. Terrell in coverage. TE Logan Thomas may have resurrected himself and is a cheap DFS option who can score a touchdown vs. an Atlanta team that struggles vs. the tight end.
It figures that Desmond Ridder would put up almost 30 fantasy points a week after I played him in DFS. He did push the ball up the field a bit more vs. Houston, but much of his passing success was a result of quick passes and letting the receivers run. TE Kyle Pitts and WR Drake London at least have a pulse now, and that’s a little bit encouraging. They have a good matchup vs. an under-performing Washington defense that has been scorched vs. the pass. The Washington defense has been good against the run, and RB Bijan Robinson has been solid but a bit underwhelming. He is a must-start in Seasonal but a pass for me in DFS. I would seriously think about trading him in Seasonal and seeing what you can get. He has a slew of less-than-desirable matchups going forward.
San Francisco 49ers at Cleveland Browns 1:05 p.m. EST
The 49ers are dominant on both sides of the ball. They take on a Browns team that plays very good defense and will be the best matchup the 49ers have seen to date. Yes, even better than the Cowboys. But the 49ers could be matchup-proof as they have no weakness and their offensive line doesn’t get overpowered. Still, there is something that tells me this is a let-down spot here. Of course, you are playing their main players in Seasonal. RB Christian McCaffrey should have been the consensus number-one pick, yet we talked ourselves out of it, and all he does is dominate. I think there is a definite spot for him in DFS as well, as his ownership is going to be low because of matchup and price. I think I like WR Brandon Aiyuk the most in the passing game, but I’m not that excited about it. WR Deebo Samuel could get bottled up, and I don’t think this is a week for TE George Kittle. I think people will be chasing his points in DFS and I see him more as a blocker here.
As for the Browns, is there anyone you feel confident playing? QB Deshaun Watson will be out and P.J. Walker will start, which could be a disaster. With Watson out, avoid all Browns players in Seasonal and DFS. Especailly avoid the running game, as the 49ers are stout against the run.
New Orleans Saints at Houston Texans 1:05 p.m. EST
I really like RB Alvin Kamara in this spot. I think he will get a bump in volume, especially in the passing game. He is priced a bit too low in DFS, and he doesn’t have anyone pushing him for volume. He should catch a ton of passes as QB Derek Carr is playing injured and isn’t getting the ball deep downfield. The negative is that he will be highly owned, but he should be good chalk. Receivers Chris Olave and Michael Thomas aren’t getting enough volume so you are praying that they will score, which hasn’t been happening. TE Juwan Johnson still isn’t practicing, which is too bad as the Texans don’t do well against the tight end. I don’t think Foster Moreau can exploit that weakness if he gets the start.
Texan’s QB C.J. Stroud keeps on putting up the yards, but this is a tough matchup here. First, WR Nico Collins will be locked into a matchup with excellent corner Marshon Lattimore. Next rookie WR Tank Dell is in concussion protocol and isn’t expected to play on Sunday. TE Dalton Schultz is up against a defense that is stingy vs. the tight end. Does WR John Metchie become a factor if Dell is unable to go? Or am I just wishing because I touted him before the season started? As for the running game, the Saints are good against the run, but the Texans may have to feed RB Dameon Pierce the rock. They should get him more involved in the passing game; he seems sneaky as a DFS option, as he will get volume at a cheap price.
New England Patriots at Las Vegas Raiders 4:05 p.m. EST
There is nothing really good to say about the Patriot offense right now. They flat-out stink in all categories, but this is the Raiders, and they are not a defensive juggernaut. RB Rhamondre Stevenson is dirt cheap in DFS, and if they can keep the game close, he should get more volume. Can they get him into the end zone? It’s a chance I’ll be taking in some DFS lineups. TE Hunter Henry is the only receiving option I would consider, and that would be pure desperation.
The Raiders are an easy team to evaluate when it comes to fantasy football. First, you look to WR Davante Adams and then to RB Josh Jacobs. If they have tough matchups, then it’s WR Jakobi Meyers, and that is it. On Monday Night, it was Meyers, as Adams was covered by CB Jaire Alexander. This week, Adams may be my favorite receiver on the board. You know he is going to get peppered with targets. It helps that the Patriots’ best CB Christian Gonzalez is out, and LB Matthew Judon is most likely also out. Jacobs was held in check vs. Green Bay, but I expect him to be solid here. Not a blow-up game, just solid.
Detroit Lions at Tampa Bay Buccaneers 4:25 p.m. EST
Something in my gut is telling me this is going to be a low-scoring game. The Lions are dealing with injuries, but it does appear like WR Amon-Ra St. Brown is on track to come back. RB David Montgomery is having a great season, but the Buccaneers are very good against the run, so he may have below-average production. TE Sam LaPorta has been a fantasy steal at tight end, but will be over-owned in DFS this week. The other receiving options aren’t very appealing. I am keeping an eye on talented WR Jameson Williams to see if he gets more volume going forward. He is a long-shot DFS play that could pay off if he gets behind the defense for a bomb.
As for the Buccaneers, nothing really excites me about their offense either. I do like WR Mike Evans as long as he is able to return from a Week 4 hamstring injury. WR Chris Godwin always has the ability to rack up catches, but his DFS price seems a bit high unless Evans is in fact out. RB Rachaad White is a wild card. I do believe there will be a week in which he is in the winning lineups because he is going to catch seven or eight balls. I think this could be the week if Evans is out. TE Cade Otton is super sneaky, as he is a solid tight end who just needs volume. I’m expecting a 20-17 type of score.
Philadelphia Eagles at New York Jets 4:25 p.m. EST
The Eagles have been relying on the Jalen Hurts to A.J. Brown connection, as Brown has three straight 100-yard games. This week though, they face a Jets team that has a very good secondary and some of the best cover corners in the game. For the Eagles to win, they will need to do it with Jalen Hurts’ legs. The Jets play man and just aren’t allowing much to the receivers, but are allowing for the QB to have open lanes to run, as both quarterbacks Patrick Mahomes and Russell Wilson were able to rush for 50 yards. Hurts should push that to 70+ and could easily have a rushing touchdown or two. TE Dallas Goedert had a big game last week, look for him to have another one this week, especially if the Jets use a lot of spy activity from their linebackers. Hurts/Goedert stacks are a viable DFS option, as I think Hurts will be low-owned. WR DeVonta Smith could also be a forgotten DFS play and it would not surprise me if he has 100 yards and a touchdown.
The Jets said that RB Breece Hall would get more touches, and he didn’t disappoint. He netted me a bunch of DFS cash with a third-quarter 72-yard TD run. He will continue to get the lion’s share of work, but takes on a stout Eagle run defense. I’m not expecting a big game, and he is a total DFS fade. If the Jets can’t run the ball, then what? QB Zach Wilson isn’t good enough to take advantage of the Eagles’ pass defense, and I see sack city and a turnover or two. I am avoiding all Jets players and focusing on the Eagles’ defense.