Los Angeles Rams at Baltimore Ravens 1:05 p.m. EST
The Rams’ offense has been playing much better and I think a lot has to do with RB Kyren Williams’ return to the lineup. It wasn’t shocking that the offense moved the ball two weeks ago against Arizona, but last week they did it against a very tough Browns team, racking up almost 400 yards of offense. Of those yards, 70 yards came on a Puka Nacua catch where he slipped behind the defense. This week will be very tough as well, playing against a rested Baltimore team that is coming off a bye. I think it may be tough sledding here and I just don’t think there are going to be many Ram players who are going to show in any winning lineups. Nonetheless, Williams will most likely get 20+ touches.
As for Baltimore, I love QB Lamar Jackson this week. The Ravens have scored 30+ points in their last four home games and I would expect that to continue here. Joe Flacco threw for over 250 yards against the Rams’ D last week so I am expecting that much from Lamar. I would also expect a rushing TD and at least 50 yards on the ground to get close to 30 fantasy points. He has shown up in the injury report with an illness but I expect that he will be ready by Sunday. Who he throws it to is going to be hard to figure out as he has been spreading the ball around. The Rams are a great matchup for TE Isaiah Likely, who is very affordable. WR Zay Flowers is the receiver of choice for me, but I don’t know if I can pull that trigger. I’m not interested in any of the running backs as they split carries, although RB Keaton Mitchell is explosive and can pop one at any time.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Atlanta Falcons 1:05 p.m. EST
There are two players you play every week for Tampa and that’s it. RB Rachaad White and WR Mike Evans, as they get all the volume. I know Atlanta is good at stopping the run, but I have seen games where the running backs do quite well catching passes against them. White did catch six for 66 in an earlier meeting of these two teams. Evans also had a solid game against Atlanta in their first meeting with six catches for 82 yards and a touchdown. Don’t forget Evans is fully motivated as he is looking for a big payday this offseason. Another bonus is Atlanta CB A.J. Terrell, NT David Onyemata, and LB Nate Landman have not practiced because of various injuries. TE Cade Otton is worth a flyer as well as I think he has a chance to score.
The last time these two teams met, RB Bijan Robinson got sick on game day and played sparingly. I think he can have a good game here, but we have to wait and see the status of the Buccaneers’ top three linebackers, who were all out last week. If they are back then I am a little more hesitant to play him. If they are all out again, then Robinson should have a very good day, as Carolina’s Chuba Hubbard scored 25 fantasy points last week. WR Drake London is dirt cheap and has a solid matchup and should be considered here. I have no faith in TE Kyle Pitts or any other Falcon offensive player. You can take a shot with QB Desmond Ridder if you like but he is going to have to do it with his legs and score a rushing TD.
Detroit Lions at Chicago Bears 1:05 p.m. EST
Detroit rebounded against a Saints team that made plenty of mistakes early that led to great offensive opportunities. They took advantage as TE Sam LaPorta had a monster day. This week they play outdoors, though, and I worry about QB Jared Goff and the Lions’ offense outside on grass. I’m also not expecting a big game from Goff as the Bears’ defense is healthy and much improved. I’m looking for the Lions to try to run the ball here. It is a split-carry backfield, but the edge has to go to RB David Montgomery over RB Jahmyr Gibbs. Monty could get 20 touches, depending on the game script. WR Amon-Ra St. Brown was held in check last week even though he did score a first-quarter TD. He is always worth playing but I think we can find better value at receiver.
As for the Bears, there are only two players that come to mind: QB Justin Fields and WR D.J. Moore. We know what Fields can do with his legs, but he should be able to find open receivers against a very bad Lion secondary. Moore should be targeted the most and I believe he scores a TD. TE Cole Kmet would be the second option and will be low-owned considering he only scored five fantasy points in the first meeting between these two. I am avoiding the Bears’ backs.
Indianapolis Colts at Cincinnati Bengals 1:05 p.m. EST
Last week, RB Zack Moss let many of us down as he laid an egg as the top projected value play on the slate. I think he bounces back here, getting 20+ touches and reaching the end zone. The optimizers I use are in love with QB Gardner Minshew this week, but I’m not sold. The Bengals’ pass defense hasn’t been that great but they have played some top-notch quarterbacks. I don’t think the Colts have enough receiving weapons outside of WR Michael Pittman to expose the Bengals here. Speaking of Pittman, he has been on fire as he is heavily targeted. I think he will have higher-than-normal ownership and will be a fade for me this week.
Bengal QB Jake Browning was very impressive vs. Jacksonville throwing for over 350 yards. He is dirt cheap against a middle-of-the-road pass defense. I think it will be difficult for him to duplicate that performance, but it does give me more confidence in receivers Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins as he can get them the football. Both are very affordable in DFS, and I may consider having one or the other in all my lineups. RB Joe Mixon is also priced cheap for a player with his potential. He had six catches last week to go along with two touchdowns. I think he will get it done here and break the 20-point barrier again.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Cleveland Browns 1:05 p.m. EST
The Jaguar offense is a total pass for me. WR Christian Kirk is going to be out as he needs groin surgery. QB Trevor Lawrence suffered a high ankle sprain and will most likely miss. That means C.J. Beathard will most likely get the start, and I will pass as I don’t see the passing game doing well in Cleveland. RB Travis Etienne should find it tough sledding running against that tough run defense. He has caught four passes in each of his last two games, but I think we can find better options at a cheaper price.
Browns QB Joe Flacco played about as well as expected in his first start of the season. He scored 17.2 fantasy points, and I think he could reach 20 this week vs. a Jaguar defense that has been struggling. Receivers Amari Cooper and Elijah Moore now have hope that they can be targeted down the field. However, Cooper has not practiced this week due to the concussion protocol. If he is unable to play then Moore becomes almost a lock button play. TE David Njoku didn’t get many looks as fellow TE Harrison Bryant came out of nowhere with 15.9 fantasy points. I wouldn’t bank on that type of production from Bryant going forward, and Njoku has been underwhelming. RB Jerome Ford should get more touches this week as I expect the Browns to be playing with the lead. He has only broken 100 yards rushing twice this season, but this could be the week he gets his third.
Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints 1:05 p.m. EST
I think we can avoid all members of the Panthers’ offense and focus on the Saints as a top defense. The Panthers don’t seem to care if they win or not. There was no urgency down two scores last week, and they don’t have any real trust in QB Bryce Young at this point. I know RB Chuba Hubbard is coming off a great game, but I feel we would be chasing points by playing him this week.
The Saints are once again dealing with banged-up QB Derek Carr who left last week’s game with a concussion and back and shoulder injuries. If QB Jameis Winston plays, then I think I like WR Chris Olave a bit more than normal as Winston will wing it with reckless abandon. If Carr plays, then I like RB Alvin Kamara, as he will get more passing volume. Kamara is in a good spot on paper vs. the Carolina defense, but they have been a little better vs. the run of late. Still, 20 fantasy points should be easily obtainable. TE Taysom Hill will also get a ton of touches and is a good bet to score.
Houston Texans at New York Jets 1:05 p.m. EST
The Texans come in winning four of their last five but have been dealt a major blow, losing rookie WR Tank Dell for the season. It’s a huge loss and will hurt them in this game as the Jets’ secondary is a shut-down unit. WR Nico Collins should be avoided in this matchup, and for that matter, I am going to avoid QB C.J. Stroud just for this week. Not all is lost on offense. If TE Dalton Schultz can return then he should be a solid play as the Jets are susceptible to the tight end and he will be a great red-zone target. It appears as though RB Dameon Pierce has reclaimed the lead-back role over RB Devin Singletary, but Singletary will get enough to work to limit Pierce’s production. I do expect more passing to the running backs, so Singletary could get a handful of passes.
I think when it comes to the Jets’ offense, we can just say PASS every week. RB Dalvin Cook could be interesting if Breece Hall doesn’t play, but he will be over-owned because of his cheap price. The Texans’ defense should be looked at as a top option.
Minnesota Vikings at Las Vegas Raiders 4:05 p.m. EST
The Vikings are coming off their bye week, and I look for the offense to be focused here. WR Justin Jefferson is set to make his return, and it will be interesting to see how things look with him and QB Joshua Dobbs. Can Dobbs get him the ball on big plays? Will Jefferson open it up more for WR Jordan Addison, who becomes the No. 2 receiver instead of the No. 1? What about TE T.J. Hockenson? I think Dobbs is a good play and could have 260-300 combined yards passing and rushing, along with two to three touchdowns. Jefferson and Addison are fairly expensive but we know Dobbs likes to focus on the tight end so T.J. is firmly in play. I am avoiding the running game altogether as Alexander Mattison doesn’t do enough to win a tournament and Ty Chandler gets in the way of fantasy production.
The Raiders are also coming off a bye week, but they don’t have as many questions on offense as the Vikings do. We know who is going to get the ball. We know RB Josh Jacobs will get 20 touches, WR Davante Adams will be heavily targeted in every game, and WR Jakobi Meyers can also go off. The Vikings have been solid vs. the run, but they aren’t dominant, so I think Jacobs will get fed here and I do think he will reach the end zone. Meyers may do fairly well, but I don’t think he has that big game you need to take down a tournament. I think Adams will have that eight-catch game for over 100 yards and will be a big-time play if he reaches the end zone. I think the Vikings’ defense could also be sneaky here as they are going to blitz a ton which could lead to sacks and to QB Aidan O’Connell turning the ball over.
Seattle Seahawks at San Franciso 49ers 4:05 p.m. EST
I want to avoid the Seattle offense altogether, but I can understand if someone wanted to play either D.K. Metcalf or Tyler Lockett. They are talented and fairly priced, but will QB Geno Smith have time to get them the ball? Running backs Kenneth Walker and Zach Charbonnet have yet to practice this week, and it’s a tough matchup for them anyways.
QB Brock Purdy has been simply amazing and, more importantly, underpriced. What’s it going to take to get him priced over $7K on DraftKings? He has a solid matchup vs. Seattle, who were just torched by Dallas. The only player standing in Purdy’s way is RB Christian McCaffrey, as he could get all the volume and the touchdowns like he did in their previous meeting on Thanksgiving. CMC has a great chance to lead all backs in fantasy points. I like both receivers Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel, but wouldn’t play them together. Samuel has been on fire and has a higher upside. I will pass on TE George Kittle, as the volume hasn’t been there the past couple of weeks.
Denver Broncos at Los Angeles Chargers 4:25 p.m. EST
QB Russell Wilson hasn’t played well but has averaged 17.5 points over his last four games. Those games were against much tougher defenses than he is about to see this week in the Chargers. He is going to be a very sneaky option and can be stacked with either Courtland Sutton or Jerry Jeudy. I have to think that one of them, maybe both, scores. RB Javonte Williams has been underwhelming, but as mentioned, the matchups were tough. He could do some damage here and is a good bet to get into the end zone.
The Chargers’ offense is dealing with too many injuries. Their offense has been mainly WR Keenan Allen, but he has a tough matchup vs. CB Patrick Surtain, making him less appealing. WR Joshua Palmer is back to practice, but it is uncertain if he will be taken off IR for this game. If he is, then he becomes a punt option at minimum price. TE Gerald Everett is in a good spot as Denver gives it up to the tight end. The Chargers should be able to run the ball, but RB Austin Ekeler doesn’t look right. He looks slow and tired, and the Chargers have no other backs that I like.
Buffalo Bills at Kansas City Chiefs 4:25 p.m. EST
The Chiefs’ defense has looked vulnerable as of late, and I am expecting another big week for QB Josh Allen and the offense. WR Stefon Diggs is due for a huge week, and I think he can get that here. WR Gabe Davis is hit or miss, but his ceiling is in the mid-20s. TE Dalton Kincaid has been amazing, but TE Dawson Knox is expected to play, so it will be interesting to see what type of volume he will get. RB James Cook has been getting solid volume, but he doesn’t get the big game you need to take down a tournament.
I hate to say it, but I am avoiding the Chief players. Their offense looks messy to me, and TE Travis Kelce looks like he is wearing down.