Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals 1:05 p.m. EST
The Steelers are coming off a battle vs. a very tough Browns defense. The only real offense they had was a 74-yard Jaylen Warren touchdown run. I would expect a heavy dose of both Warren and RB Najee Harris, with about 15 touches apiece. Warren is more explosive, but Harris has been getting the first crack at goal-line opportunities. Their prices are very cheap, and whoever gets into the end zone could be in a winning lineup. I do prefer Harris because he is priced a bit lower. As for the passing game, it’s a bunch of yuck despite having adequate weapons. I am passing on both WR Diontae Johnson and WR George Pickens. I have some interest in TE Pat Freiermuth in his second game back from injured reserve. He is at a punt-play price and will be low-owned against a defense that doesn’t cover the tight end. If QB Kenny Pickett wants to improve, he needs to give him some targets.
The Bengals turn to QB Jake Browning to salvage their season now that QB Joe Burrow is lost for the season. It will be a tall order, and I have very little faith. WR Ja’Marr Chase is priced fairly high for the unknown and WR Tee Higgins is questionable. The only Bengal piece I would consider is RB Joe Mixon, mainly because he has had five catches in two out of his last three games. A trip into the end zone, and he should break 20 points.
New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons 1:05 p.m. EST
QB Derek Carr remains in concussion protocol and his availability is not known. If he is unable to go then QB Jameis Winston will get the start and becomes a player of interest. You know he will throw the ball downfield making WR Chris Olave a player who will be heavily targeted. WR Michael Thomas was placed on injured reserve which makes WR Rashid Shaheed and TE Juwan Johnson a little more valuable no matter who the quarterback is. What about TE Taysom Hill and RB Alvin Kamara? I just never know what kind of volume Hill will get and what his role will be. As for Kamara, if Carr starts, then you expect that he will see quite a few targets in the passing game. If Winston starts, then Kamara is an automatic fade as Winston does not like to throw to the backs.
Atlanta is also coming off a bye and initially, this looks like a tough matchup vs. the Saints’ defense. The Saints are missing CB Marshon Lattimore, but who in the Falcons’ passing game can you trust right now? QB Desmond Ridder is extremely inaccurate, WR Drake London hasn’t taken advantage of good matchups all season, and TE Kyle Pitts never has the big game we have been waiting for. Not to mention the Falcons like to grind the clock and run the ball 35+ times. As for the running game, RB Bijan Robinson will get a ton of volume and the Saints do give up 4.3 yards per carry, but he’s only scored over 20 fantasy points once in his last eight games. You can play him and hope that he breaks out, but I think the chances are slim in this matchup.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans 1:05 p.m. EST
QB Trevor Lawrence came out and had a stellar performance last week, but 13 of his fantasy points came from scoring two rushing touchdowns. That was very unexpected and will be almost impossible to duplicate. Still, when playing the Texans, a shoot-out is always possible, making Lawrence and the Jaguars’ offense stack options. WR Calvin Ridley was also stellar last week and is priced cheap enough to consider here. WR Chrisitan Kirk was the odd man out last week, but I think if you play a lot of lineups then you should have either Ridley or Kirk in them as one should go off. It’s also a good matchup for TE Evan Engram, but I think we are expecting last year’s version of Engram to appear and it’s just not happening. His price is cheap and would be a huge bargain if he were to find the end zone. RB Travis Etienne has seen a major drop in fantasy production over his last two games but those were tough matchups. The Texans’ defense isn’t a pushover, but he will approach 20 points with a score.
The Texans’ offense started on fire last week only to fizzle a bit come the second half. QB C.J. Stroud was mainly responsible, throwing three interceptions, but I like him here. The Jaguars are a good run defense but allow teams to beat them through the air. Stroud has so many explosive weapons that 300 yards and two or three touchdowns should be obtainable. Receivers Tank Dell and Nico Collins are players we have to think about playing every week, even though their prices are starting to creep up. TE Dalton Schultz is consistent, but I don’t think he will have a big enough game to take down a tournament. RB Devin Singletary has been getting a ton of volume and fantasy points, but that will take a hit as RB Dameon Pierce is expected back; considering their prices, neither is viable.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Indianapolis Colts 1:05 p.m. EST
I think the Buccaneers will have to depend on RB Rachaad White. I think he can get five or six catches with over 100 combined yards rushing and receiving. If he can score a touchdown then he will be back into winning lineups. WR Mike Evans is another player to consider because he has been making all the big downfield plays. He’s the guy who can get five catches for over 100 yards and a TD. WR Chris Godwin needs much more volume to be fantasy-viable as he doesn’t score touchdowns. I don’t think you can play QB Baker Mayfield in this situation, but he could reach 20 fantasy points.
The Buccaneer defense is very good vs. the run but not so much vs. the pass, which isn’t good for RB Jonathan Taylor. Taylor will have to be heavily involved in the passing game to get you the points that you need. Instead, I am interested in WR Michael Pittman as he has had three eight-catch performances in a row and I think he will get into the end zone this week to break 20 points. WR Josh Downs hasn’t been productive over his past two games, but this is a much better matchup and his price is very affordable. QB Gardner Minshew is also cheap, and I have a feeling that there is an outside shot that he can throw for three touchdowns. A Colt stack could be very sneaky, and you can bring it back with Evans, White, or both.
New England Patriots at New York Giants 1:05 p.m. EST
This will be an ugly game on both sides of the football. RB Rhamondre Stevenson and WR Demario Douglas are worth a little consideration. Not much, just a little, as even though the Giants were good last week, they aren’t a good football team. The only reason why I am not confident in them is because of QB Mac Jones and the passing offense. I can’t figure out if it’s Jones or just the offensive strategy. I think Jones would be fine in the right system, but this New England offense is from the Stone Age.
The Giants were the shock of Week 11; who knew QB Tommy DeVito would throw for three touchdowns? But let’s get back to reality: The Patriot defense isn’t going to allow players to run wide-open and for the running back to gash them play after play. There is nobody from the passing game I like, but I think I have to show some interest in RB Saquon Barkley. He has the “it” factor at times. If I play 10 lineups, then I would play him in two.
Carolina Panthers at Tennessee Titans 1:05 p.m. EST
I am going to make this very short and sweet. For Carolina, I love WR Adam Thielen, as the Titans’ pass defense isn’t very good. He had double-digit targets again last week and is a touchdown from breaking 20 fantasy points.
For the Titans, I love RB Derrick Henry. I think he gets close to 150 yards and at least one touchdown against a horrible Carolina run defense. Don’t worry that Henry has been underwhelming; it’s not his fault. He’s still fast and powerful, he’s just had bad matchups. RB Tyjae Spears may be sneaky because I think he can get 12-17 fantasy points at a dirt-cheap price. He is worth a milli-maker flyer.
Los Angeles Rams at Arizona Cardinals 4:05 p.m. EST
The Rams have two major concerns that will greatly affect the way I attack this game. First, WR Cooper Kupp is dealing with an ankle injury. Now, there are reports that he has a “chance to play,” but if I had to bet on it, I think he will be out as there is no need to play him as they aren’t making the playoffs. If Kupp doesn’t play then WR Puka Nacua becomes a top DFS play vs. Arizona’s zone defense. Second, RB Kyren Williams comes back from injured reserve and is in a smash spot. Will he get a significant workload? Will they ease him in? They just cut Darrell Henderson, so I am banking on a heavy workload here and 20+ fantasy points.
Last week, I had a ton of lineups with QB Kyler Murray and WR Rondale Moore, and I texted Doc full of excitement as they connected for a 48-yard TD pass less than two minutes into the game. My excitement waned dramatically as that was Moore’s ONLY target for the entire game. To top it off, both TE Trey McBride and WR Marquise Brown also disappointed. This week, I will go back to Murray and McBride, as I think both could bounce back and push for 20+ points.
Cleveland Browns at Denver Broncos 4:05 p.m. EST
The Browns ‘offense also only has one player I am interested in and that is running back Jerome Ford. The Broncos are the worst run defense in football, and I would expect the Browns to pound the rock considering their quarterback situation. Denver’s secondary has been playing excellent, mainly CB Patrick Surtain, so I expect low numbers from WR Amari Cooper.
Denver’s offense has played better but isn’t setting the world on fire. They have an extremely tough matchup vs. a very good Browns defense. I can’t imagine them having one player in the winning lineups.
Kansas City Chiefs at Las Vegas Raiders 4:25 p.m. EST
The Chiefs’ offense hasn’t been all that impressive and has been a fade for most of the season. Outside of the Bears game, they have been underwhelming. We all know that they can go off at any time, but they are playing a Raider defense that has been playing much better. RB Isiah Pacheco has been getting consistent touches, but he will have to score to even be worth mentioning because he doesn’t do enough in the passing game. TE Travis Kelce’s price is astronomical, and hasn’t had one of his big games in a month. I know he can have a big game any week, but I’d rather fade him and play the field. To top it off, no receivers are stepping up; WR Rashee Rice hasn’t broken 10 points in his last three games. The Chiefs will be a complete fade again this week.
For the Raiders, I would expect a heavy dose of RB Josh Jacobs and WR Davante Adams, but both aren’t in great spots either. The Chiefs have been winning games because of their defense, and I don’t think a team led by QB Aidan O’Connell will be all that effective. WR Hunter Renfrow could be a punt play only because of his dirt-cheap price. He did have five catches last week; if he finds a touchdown, he could be in the milli-maker lineup.
Buffalo Bills at Philadelphia Eagles 4:25 p.m. EST
QB Josh Allen is who I pick to lead all quarterbacks this week in fantasy points. You can stack him with WR Stefon Diggs, as I expect him to have a huge week vs. a bad Eagle secondary. WR Gabe Davis could be a nice pivot or can be used in double stacks. WR Khalil Shakir had a ton of points last week. To expect that again this week would be a lot to ask, but 15 points is still obtainable. TE Dalton Kincaid let us down last week, but the Eagles struggle the tight end and will have their hands full with Diggs and Davis, so I expect some easy catches for Kincaid. I will pass on the running game as the best way to beat the Eagles is through the air. In conclusion, I really love the Bills’ passing game and will have them stacked in multiple ways in many lineups.
I like the Eagles’ offense as well, and I think the game could turn into a shootout. RB D’Andre Swift will need to have a big week, and I think he can approach 20 fantasy points. Receivers A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith both have their work cut out for them to be productive, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Brown doesn’t have a huge game. I also like QB Jalen Hurts as he always has a pathway to 25+ points as he is likely to score a rushing touchdown. I think he will also have to run a bit more in this one and have 50+ yards rushing. These two teams are priced up, and will be difficult to build a complete game stack of, but this game should have plenty of points.