Arizona Cardinals at Pittsburgh Steelers 1:05 p.m. EST
Even though Kyler Murray’s passing numbers aren’t the greatest, he still has over 20 fantasy points per game. He is a good bet to score a touchdown, and there is going to be a week when he dominates the slate. I don’t think this will be the week, though, as Pittsburgh loves to rush the passer. Murray has been inaccurate because he’s been under such duress and it probably continues here. If for some miracle Kyler gets time, he can find WR Marquise Brown, who should be able to get open. I don’t think Pittsburgh has a defensive back who can hang with him. There may be a secondary receiver who can contribute, but I’m going to pass on those guys. TE Trey McBride is always viable because of his size and athleticism. He has been disappointing the past two weeks which may lead to lower ownership. However, I think we can find much better value on the slate. RB James Conner is cheap but he has to get more volume so we would need the Cardinals to stay in this one. I’m just not that excited about him because there are other backs who have better matchups.
The Cardinal defense just gets gashed by running backs, and this could be the week to start both RB Najee Harris and RB Jaylen Warren, as both could eat and score a touchdown. They are both cheap, which can help you get Tyreek Hill into your lineups. I personally prefer Harris over Warren, but that’s just me. Since teams are so successful running the ball against the Cardinals, there has been no need to get the receivers involved. I don’t know if either WR Diontae Johnson or WR George Pickens do enough to win a tournament, as I think there are a handful of receivers who put up huge scores. TE Pat Freiermuth is coming off a huge game and should see a ton of targets and see the endzone. I can see a QB Kenny Picket stack with Freiermuth and Harris or Warren to allow you to get both Tyreek Hill and A.J. Brown into your lineup.
Los Angeles Chargers at New England Patriots 1:05 p.m. EST
I thought my Vikings may have been the most cursed team in the NFL, but the Chargers are certainly catching up. It starts with coaching, as Head Coach Brandon Staley may have gone to the Rich Kotite School of Coaching. He goes for it on fourth down when he shouldn’t and has no sense or feel for the flow of the game. I think that carries onto the field, as the Chargers are full of follies. They have a receiver wide open on third down, but he drops it. They make a big play but commit a costly penalty. They are on a drive but turn the ball over. They need to make a fourth-quarter stop but always give up the game-winning drive. So how can I trust them in New England, where they should win? I think we have to trust Keenan Allen, as he is a volume machine. The only problem is if you play Allen, you most likely won’t be able to get Hill in your lineup, but he could be the pivot you need and you can still settle for Jaylen Waddle. RB Austin Ekeler also has a high price tag, and I think he is dealing with a lingering injury. He doesn’t have that quickness or breakaway speed that he once had. Plus, Joshua Kelley is on the field more than I like. The other parts of the offense don’t shine enough to play here.
When it comes to New England, you don’t have to wonder where the offense is coming from. It’s RB Rhamondre Stevenson and sometimes WR Demario Douglas. That’s really it. They do have a good matchup vs. a weak Charger pass defense, but that unit is coming off a solid performance in which they kept their team in the game despite their offense playing poorly. Douglas is dealing with injury so there could be value in WR DeVante Parker or WR Tyquan Thornton if Douglas is out. TE Hunter Henry is a flyer as he is in a revenge situation vs. his former team, but let’s be real. Do you want to put your hard-earned money on him? Maybe to get the entire Dolphin stack I would.
Detroit Lions at New Orleans Saints 1:05 p.m. EST
The Lions were simply out of sync vs. the Packers on Thanksgiving. They were a bit banged up on the offensive line but should be full strength up front this week. They take on a good Saint’s that is missing CB Marshon Lattimore, who was placed on IR. Insert WR Amon-Ra St. Brown. He has scored at least 16.6 fantasy points in every game and has a 30-point ceiling. TE Sam LaPorta got back into the end zone last week and should get some targets as the Saints do struggle against the tight end. As for the running game, it gets a bit tricky, I know that both backs David Montgomery and Jahmyr Gibbs can have good games at the same time, but I think they will cancel each other from having a huge game. I don’t see one doing enough to win you a tournament at their current prices.
The Saints have a great matchup vs. a terrible Lion pass defense but who are they going to throw the ball to? Receivers Chris Olave (concussion) and Rashid Shaheed (knee) both left last week’s game. I don’t think Shaheed will play but Olave has been limited and I think there is a good chance he clears protocol. He would be almost a lock-button play. WR A.T. Perry could be sneaky as a punt play. I do like TE Taysom Hill quite a bit, as I think he will be moved around and get into positions to exploit a bad Lion defense. RB Alvin Kamara could also see a boost in targets, but I always worry if he will score.
Atlanta Falcons at New York Jets 1:05 p.m. EST
Let’s just start this off by saying we are avoiding all areas of the Atlanta passing game. I know the Jets are susceptible to the tight end, but I’m not playing Kyle Pitts no matter the matchup. Instead, let’s focus on RB Bijan Robinson, as I see the Falcons’ offensive line moving the Jets around here. He had 19 touches last week and is taking all the goal-line snaps. Can they get into position for him to score? RB Tyler Allgeier has no fantasy value, especially if he is phased out in the red zone.
As for the Jet’s offense. PASS. Oh wait, there is one player who I think can be sneaky: Tyler Conklin vs. a Falcons pass defense that is more than happy to give it up to the tight end. I wouldn’t be mad if you played WR Garrett Wilson, but remember his TD last week came in garbage time and I think his ownership will be high because he is a cheap price for a player of this caliber. He will be covered by CB A.J. Terrell, who is playing fairly well. It’s going to be tough for me to play RB Breece Hall in any situation going forward. Atlanta is a tough team to run against, and they won’t respect the passing game.
Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans 1:05 p.m. EST
Big news this week out of Indy with RB Jonathan Taylor set to miss a few weeks due to a thumb injury. That sets the stage for RB Zack Moss to see all the RB volume. His dirt-cheap pricing will make him a heavily owned player, but how do you pass on him? The last time these two teams met, Moss had 36.5 fantasy points. I wouldn’t expect that this week, but I think 17-20 points is about right. WR Michael Pittman has been a guaranteed 15 points over the past several weeks. We know he is going to get double-digit targets. All we need is a touchdown and he breaks 20 fantasy points. WR Josh Downs is a little too expensive for his recent fantasy production. He has to hit a long TD to be viable, and that’s not a chance I would take unless I was playing 150 lineups.
I was a bit disappointed that RB Derrick Henry did not get over 20 rushing attempts in a game the Titans were winning the entire second half. Thankfully, he did get the two touchdowns to get him over 20 fantasy points, but will he do it again? He isn’t over-priced so he is a play I kind of like but I would be happier if he were to get over 100 yards. WR DeAndre Hopkins is just a name right now with QB Will Levis at the helm. There is not enough volume to go around, but he is the player I would bring back in a Colts stack because game theory would suggest that the Titans would be playing from behind if the Colts are going off. Avoid all other players.
Miami Dolphins at Washington Commanders 1:05 p.m. EST
QB Tua Tagovailoa and the Miami passing offense are in a smash spot here. Tua is one of my favorite quarterbacks on the slate. I think he can get to 350+ passing yards and three touchdowns. I know those are gaudy numbers to expect, but the Commanders’ pass defense is that bad. You can bet that either receiver Tyreek Hill or Jaylen Waddle will be in every one of my lineups, with a chance of both being there. Hill is my favorite player on the slate. I know he’s super expensive, but I don’t care; he wants 2,000 yards badly. If you do decide to pivot off Hill, make sure you have Waddle, as he will go off if Hill does not. I do like RB Raheem Mostert as he leads the NFL in rushing touchdowns. I think there is a good chance he scores again this week, but I am worried about how many touches he will get. RB De’Von Achane is trending like he will play and will get a handful of touches and RB Jeff Wilson is also going to get touches so I am reluctant to play any of these backs.
I am not sold on the Miami defense, and game stacks are in order here. Washington will move the football, making QB Sam Howell a solid play. The only problem is that Washington has many pieces, and figuring out who will get the football can drive you nuts. When you think you have it figured out, you don’t. All receivers are cheap, including Terry McLaurin, Jahan Dotson, and Curtis Samuel. One will break out, but who? I prefer Samuel as he has had increased targets and has a cheap price. It won’t take much for him to crush value compared to the others. TE Logan Thomas is also in a good spot. Can he do enough to take down a tournament? RB Brian Robinson could see a ton of volume as they would prefer to run the ball down Miami’s throat to keep that potent Dolphin offense off the field. As mentioned, most of my lineups will be stacked with this game, but it will be chalk. We will have to find a way to get different somewhere else.
Denver Broncos at Houston Texans 1:05 p.m. EST
The Broncos are on a four-game winning streak, but it’s been more about their defense and not the offense. The defense has created turnovers and big plays at key moments, which has created short fields for the Denver offense. Still, this is a matchup where I think they can move the football against a soft Texan defense. It all starts with RB Javonte Williams; I think he will be the straw that stirs the drink and the offense will funnel through him as the Texans can be run on. WR Courtland Sutton has been their best receiver by far and has a chance for a solid game. WR Jerry Jeudy has been missing for most of the season, but he could be worth a flyer here. The time is now for him to put up some solid numbers. You can try a Denver stack with QB Russell Wilson as games involving the Texans can easily turn into a shootout
The way to beat Denver is to run the ball, as the defense gives up over five yards per carry. The problem with the Texans is that they have a split backfield between Dameon Pierce and Devin Singletary. Can one of them break a long one? I think both are viable with a preference for Singletary, but is this the game they try to get Pierce back on track? He is dirt cheap and could be a sneaky pivot off Zack Moss. The Texan passing game has been the talk of both the NFL and fantasy worlds, but can QB C.J. Stroud go off vs. a Denver defense that is good against the pass? Denver CB Patrick Surtain has been outstanding and he will probably cover WR Nico Collins the most, making WR Tank Dell the more desirable option once again. The player I like the most is TE Dalton Schultz, don’t be surprised if he is Stroud’s go-to guy and finds the end zone for 20 fantasy points.
Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers 4:05 p.m. EST
This is a good matchup for the Panthers’ passing game; it’s too bad they are horrible. WR Adam Thielen is the one player I would like to rely on, but he hasn’t done much in weeks. Three targets against a bad Titan secondary for one catch doesn’t make me rush to put him in my lineup, but no one else will be rushing to include him either, and he does have the potential for a 20-point game. WR Jonathan Mingo did get a bump in targets and catches. Every season, we see a rookie WR start to grow in the final month or so. It just may be Mingo, and if he can continue to get volume a TD will get him into this week’s winning lineups. I’m avoiding backs Chuba Hubbard and Miles Sanders at all costs.
It’s a great matchup for RB Rachaad White, and he will be a mainstay in my lineups. I hope they give him more volume passing and, for the love of God, give him the ball on first and goal from the one. I think he has an excellent chance to be the top scoring back as I think he goes wild here. The Panthers’ pass defense is the team’s strength, so I am not excited to play anyone outside of WR Mike Evans, who continues to produce.
San Francisco 49ers at Philadelphia Eagles 4:25 p.m. EST
This is a rematch from last year’s NFC Championship game and I’m sure the Niners have had this one circled since the schedule came out. If San Fran wants to win this one, RB Christian McCaffrey is going to have to be heavily involved. I know the Eagles are stout against the run and give it up through the air, but the offense goes through McCaffrey. His DFS price tag, on the other hand, may be a bit steep on a slate that has a ton of value at running back. The Eagles’ defense has been better against the tight end of late, and that was against Travis Kelce and Dalton Kincaid. Still, George Kittle could have a solid game, I just don’t know if he is going to be asked to block more than usual. As mentioned, how to beat the Eagles is through the air. I don’t know what to expect from QB Brock Purdy in this situation. This is a big-time game and he going to face some big-time pressure. I like WR Deebo Samuel some, but I think this is a WR Brandon Aiyuk game as he crushes man coverage that the Eagles like to play. Purdy is cheap enough to stack the 49ers but I don’t know if this will get as high-scoring as many believe.
The Eagles are coming off yet another improbable win as the ball continues to bounce their way. I don’t know if I am a huge fan of the Eagles here, but QB Jalen Hurts is getting more mobile and I have to take that into consideration. He too will probably face a heavy pass rush at times, and I am sure 49er linebacker Fred Warner will be on the lookout. I am not going to play RB D’Andre Swift so let’s get that out of the way. I do like the Eagle receivers because I think Hurts can extend some plays, and the 49ers’ secondary can be beat if he gets time. A.J. Brown will be wanting the football, and I think he has a huge game here. WR DeVonta Smith has really upped his production since TE Dallas Goedert has been out, but there is an outside chance Goedert plays this week, which will dip into Smith’s production. I know some want to stack this game, but the pricing makes it very difficult. A Hurts/Brown stack is extremely expensive but will be extremely low-owned, so they have to be considered.
Cleveland Browns at Los Angeles Rams 4:25 p.m. EST
This game is a total pass outside of TE David Njoku. Njoku has been getting a ton of targets, and the Rams give up big plays to the tight end. Let everyone else run to RB Kyren Williams after last week’s performance. His price has jumped up and the Browns are extremely tough to run against.