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DFS Army - Geek's Vegas Lines NFL Week 15 Daily Fantasy Football and Betting Angles Breakdown

DFS Army - Geek's Vegas Lines NFL Week 15 Daily Fantasy Football and Betting Angles Breakdown submitted by texan0322 to DFSArmy [link] [comments]

DFS Army – Geek’s Vegas Lines NFL Week 15 Daily Fantasy Football and Betting Angles Breakdown

DFS Army – Geek’s Vegas Lines NFL Week 15 Daily Fantasy Football and Betting Angles Breakdown submitted by texan0322 to DFSArmy [link] [comments]

The Rookie Report: Week 2 Starts & Sits

Welcome back to the Rookie Report! How great was it to finally have football back last weekend? The NFL season’s opening week went off without a hitch (assuming you didn’t have Mike Evans or Michael Thomas on your team), and hopefully you managed to get off to a 1-0 start. The rookies got off to an interesting start and plenty of them acquitted themselves well considering they didn’t get to play any preseason games. In a reversal of expected roles Jonathan Taylor put on a show as a receiver out of the backfield but struggled as a runner, and Clyde Edwards-Helaire had an impressive debut running between the tackles but didn’t catch a single pass. Both should be every-week starters going forward. Laviska Shenault, Joshua Kelley and Zack Moss all got in the end zone in week 1, and D’Andre Swift nearly did as well. Some other rookies like Michael Pittman, Cam Akers and Bryan Edwards had less successful debuts. Overall, we now have a much better picture of how these guys are going to be deployed and should have a better handle on which ones to consider for your lineups. Let’s dive into week 2…

Rookies to Start:

RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire, KC (Wk. 2: @ LAC): Obviously you don’t need me to tell you to start CEH if you have him. He was fantastic as a runner in week 1 and made people who drafted him feel great about that decision. It was strange to see him do so much of his work running between the tackles though. It would have been nice to see him catch a few passes, and it would’ve been nice to see him cash in one of his 6 carries from the 3-yard line or closer for a TD (4 carries from the 1), but overall it was a strong debut and the fact that he got 6 carries in close should be seen as a good thing. Houston’s D-line dominated in those short yardage situations, but not every defense KC faces will do the same. The Chiefs are comfortably favored in week 2 and face a defense that ranked 25th in Football Outsiders’ run defense DVOA stat last season. I’d also expect the team to make an effort to get CEH more involved in the passing game, even if only to prove a point. Edwards-Helaire is a fine play in all DFS formats as well as a locked-in RB1 for season-long leagues this week.
RB Jonathan Taylor, IND (Wk. 2: vs. Min.): Like CEH, you don’t need me to tell you to start Taylor. He didn’t really fill up the stat sheet as a runner last week (9 carries for 22 yards), but Philip Rivers utilized him a bunch in the passing game (6-67 on 6 targets). With Marlon Mack going down for the year, this backfield figures to be a 2-man tandem with Taylor and Hines. Taylor should dominate the early down work, and while the matchup against the Vikings isn’t that favorable – they allowed the 12th-fewest RB points per game last year, Taylor will see plenty of volume to make him a solid RB2 this week. With a price tag of just $5,700 on DraftKings, I would expect you’ll see Taylor in a high percentage of DFS cash game lineups this week.
RB JK Dobbins, BAL (Wk. 2: @ Hou): I know starting a backup running back in week 2 is a risky proposition. I list Dobbins here just to emphasize how much I like his matchup this week. Houston had a bottom half run defense a year ago and looked overmatched in the opener by CEH and the Chiefs run game (at least away from the goal line). Baltimore is a touchdown favorite this weekend, and I expect them to win the game easily. Houston just didn’t look right in week one, and I don’t think the Ravens are the antidote to what ails them. Dobbins already looked better than Mark Ingram in the opener, and I expect him to get plenty of run as the Ravens open up the lead. This may be me getting ahead of myself on Dobbins, but I like him to go for 80+ yards and a score in this one and finish as an RB2. The Ravens have the highest projected point total of the week at 29.25,
WR CeeDee Lamb, DAL (Wk. 2: vs. Atl.): The Falcons have had one of the worst pass defenses in the NFL for two years running, and they looked as bad as ever in week 1 against Seattle. Russ Wilson can make a lot of defenses look bad, but the Falcons’ pass defense looked non-existent. This game figures to be a shoot-out with Dallas’ implied total of 28.5, so all 3 Cowboy receivers are in play, especially with tight end Blake Jarwin done for the year. It appeared that Dak was force-feeding the ball to Amari last Sunday, but I’d expect the targets to be more evenly divided in this one. Zeke Elliott should have a big game as well, but we could see all 3 Dallas receivers end up as top-30 WRs this week. Lamb was targeted 6 times in the opener. I’d expect that number to be higher in this one.

Borderline Rookies:

QB Joe Burrow, CIN (Wk. 2: @ Cle): Burrow is only worth considering in 2-quarterback or Superflex formats, but this should be a better matchup for him than the Chargers. The Browns ranked just 18th in pass defense DVOA last season and were absolutely shredded by Lamar Jackson and the Ravens in week 1. Burrow proved that he’s capable of running the ball himself a bit in the opener, and only Cincinnati allowed more QB rushing yards in 2019 than the Browns. The Vegas sharps don’t expect a big output from Cincy’s offense, giving them an implied total of just 18.75 points, but I think they overperform in this one. I like Burrow’s chances at a top-15 week.
RB James Robinson, JAX (Wk. 2: @ Ten): Robinson’s performance and usage in week 1 may have been even more of a surprise than the outcome of the game. The Jaguars were heavy underdogs and came out with a win, and they may have found their feature back in the process. Most people expected a heavy dose of Chris Thompson on passing downs, but Thompson played just 12 snaps to Robinson’s 36. The Jaguars are heavy underdogs again this week, so temper expectations a bit, but this matchup has about the same degree of difficulty for Robinson as the last one with Indy. Robinson will be heavily involved and should be a solid RB3 this week.
RB D’Andre Swift, DET (Wk. 2: @ GB): Week one did not end on a high note for Swift, as he dropped what would’ve been a game-winning touchdown pass in the closing seconds as the Lions blew a 17-point lead in losing to the Bears. Here’s the positive – Swift led the Lions running backs in snaps, playing 10 more than Adrian Peterson and 14 more than Kerryon Johnson. He was battling an injury in practice last week and still was on the field a lot. You’d like to see more production come out of those snaps, but that should be coming. Green Bay fielded one of the worst run defenses in the NFL a year ago, and while AP still figures to see a lot of the rushing load, I’d count on Swift being more involved in this one as he gets closer to health. He’ll be a boom-or-bust upside flex option this week with more value in PPR formats.
RB Zack Moss, BUF (Wk. 2: @ Mia): Moss didn’t pile up a lot of yards in week 1 (27 yards on 12 touches), but his usage is encouraging for fantasy players. He was targeted 4 times in the passing game, and 8 of his 12 touches came in the red zone with one of them ending in a touchdown. The other half of the Bills’ backfield duo, Devin Singletary, had zero red zone touches among his 9 carries and 5 catches. Moss was on the field for the vast majority of red zone snaps. Miami gave up 1.2 running back scores per game a year ago and gave up another one in the opener this year. Moss is a solid bet to score a touchdown for the second straight week, which gives him some flex appeal in most formats. The Dolphins ranked 29th in run defense DVOA last season, and were 32nd in that stat in week 1.
WR Brandon Aiyuk, SF (Wk. 2: @ NYJ): Aiyuk looks likely to return this week, and he’ll do so in a matchup against one of the worst teams in the NFL. The Jets do have a stout run defense up front, but they can’t cover on the back end. Buffalo attacked them through the air a ton last week with Josh Allen tallying 33 completions for 312 yards and 2 TDs. Buffalo is typically one of the run-heaviest offenses in the league. George Kittle is fighting through an injury this week and Deebo Samuel will be out again. That puts Aiyuk in line for probably 6-8 targets, and against this defense that could be fantasy gold. He could be a huge value this week if you have the stones to play him. Just make sure he’s active on game day.
WR Henry Ruggs, LV (Wk. 2: vs. NO): Ruggs got off to a hot start in week 1 before being sidelined for a bit with a knee injury. He was able to return and finish the game but did most of his damage before getting hurt. The Raiders clearly focused on trying to get the ball in his hands as you’d expect for a first round pick, and this week he faces off against a Saints team that allowed the 5th-most WR points per game last year. The Saints did revamp the secondary in the offseason adding Janoris Jenkins and Malcolm Jenkins and played a respectable game against Tampa last week, but the best part of that pass defense is top corner Marshon Lattimore. Lattimore doesn’t typically follow receivers into the slot, and that’s where Ruggs played more than 50% of his snaps in week 1. Getting away from Lattimore that often should help Ruggs to a 60+ yard outing this week, and he’s always a threat to take one to the house. If you’re in a deep league or trying to replace an injured starter like Godwin, Golladay or Michael Thomas, Ruggs should be in consideration.
WR Jalen Reagor, PHI (Wk. 2: vs. LAR): Reagor had the longest play of any rookie in week 1 with a 55-yard catch, but it was his only catch of the week. The Eagles had a clear game plan to use Reagor and DeSean Jackson as deep threats, but those tend to be low-percentage throws and neither guy put up a great fantasy day. Reagor and Jackson combined for 11 targets, and both had an average target depth of more than 30 yards. No other receiver on the team was even at 10. It was a good sign that Reagor was involved, but I’d like to see the Eagles diversify the way he’s used and not limit him only to deep shots. He was coming off an injury and played just 59% of the snaps. That was the team-high among the WRs, but I think it will go up this week. I expect Jalen Ramsey will shadow D-Jax, so there is some upside for Reagor on the opposite side. Even if he doesn’t see more short targets this week, it only takes 1 or two deep balls to post a nice fantasy day if he finds the end zone.
WR Jerry Jeudy, DEN (Wk. 2: @ PIT): Courland Sutton seems like a long shot to play again this week, which gives Jeudy another opportunity as the lead wide receiver. Jeudy actually played fewer snaps than either Tim Patrick or DaeSean Hamilton in week 1 but had as many targets (8) as the two of them combined. The Broncos want to get the ball in his hands. The matchup this week is much tougher. The Steelers ranked 3rd in pass defense DVOA a year ago and did a good job limiting everyone other than Darius Slayton in the opener. I’d lean against playing Jeudy this week unless you have to, but his role in the offense gives him enough upside to consider here.

Rookies to Sit:

RB Cam Akers, LAR (Wk. 2: @ Phi): Akers struggled in his debut while teammate Malcolm Brown got the hot hand, and as a result Brown got the lion’s share of the backfield work. Things don’t get much easier for Akers to make a splash this week with Darrell Henderson a week healthier and a tough visit to the Eagles coming up. Philly allowed the 7th-fewest RB points per game last season and ranked 3rd in run defense DVOA a season ago. Peyton Barber found paydirt twice last Sunday against Philly, but the Washington backs combined for just 72 scrimmage yards on 32 touches. If Akers gets the hot hand early he may get more run than last week, but against this defense I wouldn’t bet on it.
RB Josh Kelley, LAC (Wk. 2: vs. KC): Kelly had an impressive debut tallying 12 carries for 60 yards and a score in the opener. The reports that he was going to have a big role alongside Austin Ekeler in this backfield were clearly accurate. He wasn’t targeted in the opener, but Ekeler was only targeted once himself. I think a lot of that has to do with the QB change the franchise went through in the offseason. Philip Rivers was heavily targeting his backs in his Colts debut, but Tyrod has typically not thrown to the running backs at nearly the same clip. The rushing usage should remain strong for both Ekeler and Kelley all year though. The matchup this week doesn’t favor Kelley. The Chiefs did let David Johnson get loose a little bit in the season opener, but this game has obvious blowout potential, and if that happens it’ll be Ekeler handling most of the work. Kansas City is favored by 8.5 points, but I expect them to cover that without much trouble. With no receiving usage to boost his totals, Kelley will need to get in the end zone to return value. I don’t have a lot of faith that he scores one.
RB AJ Dillon, GB (Wk. 2: vs. Det.): Dillon was mostly an afterthought in the Packers’ offense in week one, finishing the game with just 5 offensive snaps and 2 carries for 14 yards. Head coach Matt LaFleur expressed an interest in getting him more involved in week two, and with Green Bay favored by nearly a touchdown there is some chance at some extra run late if the Packers get out in front of Detroit. I still wouldn’t expect him to be used much as a receiver, and the red zone work still belongs to Aaron Jones. Jones handled 3 of the team’s 4 carries inside the 10, and he also had 4 red zone targets. Dillon isn’t worth consideration for fantasy lineups this week unless you expect a blowout win for Green Bay.
WR Laviska Shenault, JAX (Wk. 2: @ Ten): Viska didn’t approach the 10 touches that I was hoping for in the opener. He only got halfway there but did cash in a touchdown. The Jaguars will clearly be a slow tempo offense again this year despite a change in head coach and offensive scheme. That is going to limit Shenault’s weekly upside. They’re going to be creative in getting the ball into his hands each week, but if he’s only handling 5 or 6 weekly touches it’s going to be hard for him to return value in weeks where he doesn’t get into the end zone. He’ll have weekly fantasy starter upside, but he’ll be hard to rely on until he jumps ahead of Keelan Cole on the depth chart. I’d leave him on the pine this week.
WR Bryan Edwards, LV (Wk. 2: vs. NO): Edwards’ stat line in week 1 left a LOT to be desired, as he pulled in just one pass on one target for 9 yards. What you may not know is that Edwards led the Raiders’ receivers with 75% of the snaps played. The targets are going to come. Edwards and Ruggs are clearly the top two receivers in Vegas and they’re going to make an effort to get Edwards more involved. This week could be a rough one though as Edwards may be squaring off with the Saints’ best corner Marshon Lattimore. Lattimore doesn’t follow the opposing number one receiver into the slot, and Ruggs played more than half of his snaps last weekend in the slot. That means plenty of snaps where he’ll be facing off with Edwards. We’ve already seen a week where the ball didn’t find Edwards very much, so I’d be hesitant to trust him this week in a tougher matchup.
WR Chase Claypool, PIT (Wk. 2: vs. Den.): Claypool is the WR4 in this offense, but Pittsburgh did look for ways to get him involved in week 1. He was targeted twice and also got a rushing attempt on a gadget play. With AJ Bouye out for Denver there should be plenty of opportunities for the Steelers’ receivers to produce, but Claypool’s limited snaps will make him a touchdown dart throw for the foreseeable future.
WR Michael Pittman, Jr., IND (Wk. 2: vs. Min.): I wouldn’t be panicking too much just yet if you drafted Pittman in a deep league, but it’s going to take him a few weeks to work his way into a useful role. He’s still running behind Zach Pascal for the WR3 role in the offense. He did play more than half of the offensive snaps but was targeted just twice and ended with 2 catches for 10 yards. There will be better days ahead, but you’ll need to see more from the rookie before giving him flex consideration.
WR Van Jefferson, LAR (Wk. 2: @ PHI): Reports out of Rams camp had Jefferson pegged to be the team WR3 ahead of Josh Reynolds, but it was pretty clear on Sunday night that they’ll share the role early on this season. Neither was a big target priority though, with Jefferson seeing 3 targets and Reynolds just 1 on Sunday night. There could be some sneaky upside for one of those guys this week with Darius Slay likely to be shadowing Robert Woods, but I’d look for Cooper Kupp and Tyler Higbee to be the bigger beneficiaries of the matchup. I’d hold off on trying my luck with Jefferson.
WR Justin Jefferson, MIN (Wk. 2: @ IND): Jefferson and Bisi Johnson seemed to be on about the same footing in the WR pecking order for the Vikings in week 1, but they’re both still a distant second behind Adam Thielen. The Vikings were behind on the scoreboard for all but two of their offensive snaps Sunday, and they still threw only 25 times. This is going to be a run-heavy attack all year, and Jefferson is probably going to have to move clearly ahead of Bisi to be a weekly consideration for fantasy lineups. Keep him sidelined for now.
WR Devin Duvernay, BAL (Wk. 2: @ HOU): Duvernay played just 11 snaps in week one and is clearly behind Hollywood Brown, Miles Boykin and Willie Snead on the depth chart. Baltimore is favored by a touchdown and has a chance to pull away again and get some extra run for their backups, but that is more likely to help their backup running backs than Duvernay. Keep him benched this week.
WR John Hightower, PHI (Wk. 2: vs. LAR): Hightower played a healthy amount in week one, handling just 13 fewer snaps than Jalen Reagor’s team high 40, but he wasn’t used in ways that will give him fantasy value. He isn’t going to see a ton of targets, so he has to be used on deep balls to provide much value. In week 1, Hightower’s average target traveled just 8 yards in the air. I also expect DeSean Jackson and Reagor to see their snaps increase as they get closer to full strength. Hightower is a low-upside dart throw option this week unless something changes in his usage.
WR Tee Higgins, CIN (Wk. 2: @ CLE): Higgins was on the field for just 15 snaps with a big crowd of receivers in front of him on the depth chart. I don’t see a lot of reason why that will change in week 2 without injuries in front of him, and with the Bengals coming into this one with an implied total of 18.75 it’s hard to imagine him making a fantasy impact on so few snaps. Keep him sidelined in your lineups.
TE Cole Kmet, CHI (Wk. 2: vs. NYG): Kmet was targeted just once in the opener and served as the TE3 behind Jimmy Graham and Demetrius Harris. He’s nothing more than a long-shot weekly TD dart throw for now. The Bears are much more likely to look for Jimmy Graham in the red zone than Kmet.

Deep League Sleepers, Stashes, and Cheap DFS Options:

QB Tua Tagovailoa, MIA (Wk. 2: vs. Buf.): I told you last week that if you’re in a 2-QB league you should be picking up Tua as your QB3 off the waiver wire, and after Ryan Fitzpatrick threw 3 interceptions in week one, I want to reiterate it. Fitzmagic will start again in week 2, but the Bills allowed the 3rd-fewest QB points per game last year and picked up right where they left off in week 1. With another poor start by Fitzpatrick, it may be time for the Tua era to start in Miami. There could be some growing pains in his first couple starts if DeVante Parker is out, but he’s going be an asset in the back half of the season.
RB Antonio Gibson, WAS (Wk. 2: @ ARI): Gibson didn’t play nearly as much as I would’ve liked to see in week 1 and it was a bummer that the team didn’t try to use him at all as a slot receiver, but Gibson led the Washington Football Team’s running backs with 44 scrimmage yards on 11 touches. It was tough sledding against a very good Eagles’ run defense for all 3 backs. Aside from a 20-yard carry by Gibson, the top three backs combined for 28 carries and 43 yards. The matchup gets easier this week and Washington will undoubtedly look to get Gibson involved. He touched the ball on 11 of his 18 snaps a week ago. Peyton Barber will still be the best bet for a touchdown in this offense, but I like Gibson’s chance at a better performance this week than what he did in the opener. He’s worth looking at if you need a flex in really deep league.
RB Anthony McFarland, PIT (Wk. 2: vs. Den.): James Conner is questionable to play this week after leaving Monday night’s game with an ankle injury, which could open the door for McFarland to make his NFL debut this week. He was a healthy scratch last week with Conner, Benny Snell and Jaylen Samuels serving as the 3 active backs. If Conner sits, I’d expect Snell to handle a lot of the rushing load and Samuels to serve as the 3rd down back, but I’d expect the Steelers the try and get the ball in the hands of the speedy McFarland a handful of times. The Broncos aren’t exactly an easy matchup, so McFarland is mostly just a shoot the moon sort of DFS play this week. If Conner plays, ignore all of this.
WR Quintez Cephus, DET (Wk. 2: @ GB): Kenny Golladay looks likely to sit again this week, and Cephus saw a whopping TEN targets in the opener and played 79% of the offensive snaps. He only turned 3 of the targets into catches, but he clearly has some trust from Matt Stafford. He’ll avoid Jaire Alexander’s coverage this week, which makes him a nice play in a game where the Lions figure to be throwing a fair amount. The Packers are favored by 6. A repeat of the 10 targets might be asking a lot, but he’ll be involved enough to warrant flex consideration in deeper leagues, and his $3,800 DraftKings price tag could be a steal in DFS tournaments this week.
WR Gabriel Davis, BUF (Wk. 2: @ MIA): Davis is a guy you should be looking at if you’re in a dynasty league where he’s available. Buffalo’s offense looked different in week one. They played with a lot of tempo and played with a lot of receivers on the field. They went 4-wide on 20 of their offensive snaps. They had that many on the field for just 5 snaps in ALL of 2019. If this continues, Davis is going to be on the field a decent amount this year. He played more than 50% of the offensive snaps in week one, and while he’ll remain low on the target priority list for now, his high snap count is strong evidence that Davis is a part of Buffalo’s plans. He probably doesn’t belong on the waiver wire in most dynasty leagues.
WR Darnell Mooney, CHI (Wk. 2: vs. NYG): Mooney saw limited opportunity in the opener but made the most of his chances. He posted 3 catches for 38 yards on 3 targets in just 21 snaps. He’s already on equal footing with Javon Wims on the depth chart and is ahead of Riley Ridley. With the rumors that Allen Robinson may be on his way out of Chicago, now is the time to scoop up Mooney off the waiver wire, especially in dynasty formats. I can’t imagine Robinson is in Chicago beyond 2020, and if Mooney shows well he could be a big part of the Bears’ future plans at the position. Mooney didn’t put up gaudy receiving stats at Tulane, but he played in a low volume passing attack. He accounted for 41% of the team receiving yards as a junior in 2018 before seeing a dip last year.
TE Harrison Bryant, CLE (Wk. 2: vs. Cin.): New Cleveland head coach Kevin Stefanski clearly wants to recreate the offense he ran for the Vikings a year ago, and that means a ton of 2-tight end sets. Only the Eagles spent more time with two tight ends on the field than Minnesota did last year, and in week one only the Eagles played more snaps with two tight ends than the Browns did. David Njoku was placed on IR after the game and will miss at least the next 3 weeks. The Bengals coughed up 5 catches for 73 yards to Hunter Henry in the opener, and Bryant was a dynamic receiver in college who posted a 65-1004-7 line a year ago at FAU. With Austin Hooper around, it’ll be tough to trust Bryant in normal lineups this week, but he’ll cost the minimum in DFS and is a nice stash for dynasty leagues, two tight end leagues, and deeper TE-premium formats.

That’s all I’ve got for this week. Hopefully it helps you make some tough lineup decisions involving rookies this week. Keep in mind that any players at the same position listed at under the same header are listed in the order that I would play them this week. Keep a close eye on the injury report and make sure you don’t end up playing an inactive player unexpectedly. As always: Good luck, trust your gut, and have fun. It’s just a game. Original article at drinkfive.com
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The Rookie Report: Week 1 Starts & Sits

Welcome back to the Rookie Report! We’re on the brink of a new season, albeit a strange one. Stadiums with no fans, the Raiders in Vegas, 14 playoff spots, and no Tom Brady in New England are just a few of the things that will feel strange this year – but football will go on. Of course, there’s always the looming threat of a Covid-19 outbreak derailing things, but I’m going to operate from the optimistic point of view that things will go on as scheduled. If you’re new to the Rookie Report, each week I’ll be breaking down the matchups that the rookie class will be facing and letting you know which ones are good fantasy options and which ones should be avoided. I’ll throw in some sleepers and guys to stash on the bench as well, and I try to cover all of the fantasy relevant rookies each week (kickers excluded). Make sure to read the details on each player and not just what header they’re under since some of these may be format specific. Any players under the same header that play the same position are listed in the order that I would play them this week.
The rookies are always a tough group to predict for fantasy production, but week 1 is always tough since we don’t have any on field production to go off of when making decisions. This year we don’t even have preseason games. For some of these predictions you have to read the tea leaves a bit and read between the lines of the coachspeak, and sometimes you just have to trust the talent of the player to win out. With all that in mind, let’s dive in and talk about week 1…

Rookies to Start:

RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire, KC (Wk. 1: vs. Hou.): If you have CEH, you likely took him in the first round, so you don’t need me to tell you that you’re starting him every week unless he gives you a reason not to. The Chiefs have the highest projected point total in the league this week at 31.75, and the Texans were in the bottom-6 in the league last year at limiting RB fantasy points. They were especially vulnerable to receiving backs, allowing more receptions per game to backs than every team other than the Colts. There’s no reason to shy away from CEH in DFS lineups despite a $7,000 price tag in DraftKings. Editor's Note: this article was posted here on /fantasyfootball after TNF aired, although it was composed earlier. Sheesh. :)
RB Jonathan Taylor, IND (Wk. 1: @ Jax.): Taylor will be in a prime spot to make a splash in his NFL debut. You likely drafted him as your RB2 unless you started with 3 straight running backs, so you’re probably going to play him regardless of what I write here. I won’t try to stop you. He’ll likely be splitting the backfield work with Marlon Mack and Nyheim Hines this week, but the Jaguars were one of the worst defenses in the league against opposing running backs last year and lost Calais Campbell, Yannick Ngakoue and AJ Bouye from that defense in the offseason. They’re projected to be one of the worst teams in the league and are an 8-point home underdog in week one. The Colts should be able to run plenty in this one, and I expect Taylor’s talent to show through even if his opportunities are limited. He’s a solid RB2 option this week.
WR CeeDee Lamb, DAL (Wk. 1: @ LAR): Lamb is the best of the rookie receiver crop in my opinion, and he gets a great opportunity to start proving me right in week 1. The Rams consistently use Jalen Ramsey to shadow the opposing team’s #1 receiver, and with Dallas that means Ramsey will be chasing around Amari Cooper. This will be good news for both Lamb and Michael Gallup who get to face off with Troy Hill and Darious Williams instead. Advantage Cowboys. Despite Zeke Elliott racking up plenty of carries last season, the Cowboys ranked 10th in pass attempts, 2nd in passing yards and 5th in passing TDs in 2019, so there is plenty of volume to go around, and this week that volume should be finding Lamb and Gallup. The Cowboys also have the 3rd-highest implied point total of the week at 27.5. You may not have drafted Lamb as one of your top 3 wide receivers this season, but this could be a week to get him in the lineup over someone you drafted before him. At just $4,100 in DraftKings, he’s a screaming value for tournaments.

Borderline Rookies:

RB Cam Akers, LAR (Wk. 1: vs. Dal.): Akers enters week 1 listed as the number 3 running back on the depth chart with Malcolm Brown as the starter and Darrell Henderson at #2, but I see ‘starter’ as a nominal title for Brown. He’s a guy the team trusts to do the job if the others don’t step up, but he’s not a feature back that you build around. Darrell Henderson is playing catch-up a little bit after being banged up in camp, and I think Akers has a real chance to take over the lead role in week 1. I expect the team will ride whoever gets the hot hand this week, but this is an offense that creates plenty of fantasy production for the running back position. We know that Todd Gurley was an otherworldly talent at his peak, but McVay has also gotten productive fantasy seasons from Alfred Morris and Rob Kelley when he was in Washington, and an incredible 3-game stretch from a seemingly washed up CJ Anderson in LA. Dallas was a middling run defense last season, so if Akers is able to get the bulk of the work this week, he’s got obvious RB2 upside.
RB Zack Moss, BUF (Wk. 1: vs. NYJ): The Jets boasted one of the best run defenses in the league a year ago, but in the offseason they lost two of the guys that were big reasons why they were so effective. CJ Mosley opted out of 2020, and Jamal Adams was dealt to Seattle. Even if the Jets are able to be a solid run defense again without those guys, they’re likely going to be playing from behind so much that the RB counting stats are still going to add up. Moss enters the season expected to be the Bills’ early down running back. The Bills had the 7th-highest rushing percentage in the league last year, running on 47.5% of their offensive snaps, and they figure to be run-heavy again. I’d expect Moss to finish week 1 around 15 touches, and he’d be first in line for any goal line carries. That puts him firmly on the flex radar in 12-team leagues and is a better play in non-PPR formats.
WR Henry Ruggs, LVR (Wk. 1: @ Car.): Ruggs was the first receiver off the board in April, and he’ll open the season as the team’s WR1 with Tyrell Williams out for the year. Ruggs has the speed to be a dangerous deep threat, but with Derek Carr at QB he’ll likely have to make his living on schemed touches in the short part of the field where he creates yards after the catch. As the WR1, I’m sure Jon Gruden will make sure Carr is getting the ball to Ruggs, but the group of pass catchers that thrives in the short part of the field is crowded in Vegas. Hunter Renfrow, Darren Waller, and Jalen Richard are all good receivers in that area, so I don’t see Ruggs being a target hog early on. His road to being a fantasy standout will be through creating big plays. He’ll get a chance to do that against a Carolina defense that isn’t terrible against the pass but isn’t imposing either. Ruggs is a boom-or-bust option who is capable of a Marquise Brown style week 1 breakout (Brown went 4-147-2 in week 1 last year), but is also capable of falling short of 40 yards.
WR Jerry Jeudy, DEN (Wk. 1: vs. Ten.): Jeudy is an outstanding talent and landed on a team where he’ll walk right into the WR2 role in the offense, but it’s not a high volume passing offense and he’ll likely start the year behind both Courtland Sutton and Noah Fant in the pecking order. That outlook may have changed on Thursday with Sutton suffering a shoulder injury in practice. If Sutton sits, Jeudy could be the WR1 in week 1. No cornerback on the Titans should be capable of stopping Sutton, but they probably won’t be quite as overmatched by Jeudy. Fant should be in line for a nice day as the Titans struggled to contain tight ends last year, allowing the 6th-most points per game to the position. Keep an eye on the Sutton updates. If Sutton sits or is going to be limited, Jeudy should see enough volume to be a playable WR3 option. If it seems like Sutton is going to be fine, I would probably keep Jeudy benched until we see what his target share looks like as the WR2.
WR Brandon Aiyuk, SF (Wk. 1: vs. Ari.): Aiyuk’s status is still up in the air this week, as is Deebo Samuel’s. If Aiyuk plays and Deebo doesn’t, there should be some consideration for getting Aiyuk in your lineup as a flex option. He may be facing off with Patrick Peterson in that scenario, but Peterson was anything but his typical self after returning from a 6-game suspension to open the 2019 season. He rounded into form late in the year, but Peterson is on the wrong side of 30 and Aiyuk is the type of receiver that can win at all levels of the field. The 49ers’ offense is going to run through George Kittle and their running backs, but they do have an implied point total of 27.25, so it’s likely that *some* receiver puts up a nice fantasy game Sunday. If he plays, Aiyuk is likely to lead the wide receiver group in targets, giving him the best shot of being that guy.

Rookies to Sit:

QB Joe Burrow, CIN (Wk. 1: vs. LAC): I like Burrow’s upside over the course of the year as a QB2, but I think there will be some growing pains in the early part of the season. The Chargers are not an inviting matchup for an NFL debut. They’ve got a solid pass rush anchored by Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram. No team blitzed less than the Chargers in 2019, and yet they ranked 13th in the league in QB pressure percentage. It didn’t translate into a lot of sacks, but the addition of Linval Joseph to the middle of the line should help free up the edge rushers to be more disruptive this season. The team will be hurt by the loss of Derwin James to injury, but they still boast one of the best starting pairs of corners in the league in Casey Heyward and Chris Harris. I think there is a good chance the Chargers make Burrow look like a rookie in his debut and would be hesitant to play him in 2 QB leagues if I didn’t have to.
RB JK Dobbins, BAL (Wk. 1: vs. Cle.): If I drafted Dobbins as my RB3 this season, I’d be tempted to play him this week. The Browns ranked 30th in Football Outsiders’ run defense DVOA stat last year, and the Ravens are favored by 8 in the opener. There could be some garbage time for Dobbins once the Ravens get out in front, but Baltimore may still try and keep Gus Edwards and/or Justice Hill involved in the run game as well. The official team depth chart listed Dobbins as the 4th-string back. I expect he’ll work as the number 2 guy behind Mark Ingram but would like to see how the rotation plays out before putting Dobbins in my lineups. I
RB Antonio Gibson, WAS (Wk. 1: vs. Phi.): Gibson has had a ton of buzz around him during camp after Washington cut Adrian Peterson. He’s a versatile player who has drawn comparisons from the coaching staff to Christian McCaffrey. That’s obviously a pretty big stretch, but the head coach and offensive coordinator making the comparison were both in Carolina last year. I think Gibson will be the best fantasy back on the team this year, but I don’t love him for week 1. The Eagles ranked third in run defense DVOA last season, and I expect we’ll see Peyton Barber handle most of the early down work early in the season for Washington. Gibson will also be competing with JD McKissic and Bryce Love for 3rd-down work. The team is thin at wide receiver, so you could even see Gibson line up in the slot a bit since he played a lot of wide receiver in college. All in all, there’s just too much uncertainty about what his week 1 role will look like to trust him in fantasy lineups.
RB D’Andre Swift, DET (Wk. 1: vs. Chi.): Swift has been working through a couple injuries in camp but should be able to suit up on Sunday. The problem is that with the signing of Adrian Peterson this backfield figures to be a three-headed monster, and that’ll be a headache for fantasy players. Swift may get the valuable 3rd down passing work, but I’d like to see how the workload is divided before relying on any Lions running back in my fantasy lineups. I’d take a wait and see approach with Swift.
RB AJ Dillon, GB (Wk. 1: @ Min): Dillon enters week 1 listed as the 3rd running back on the depth chart in Green Bay, and while I would normally tell you to ignore the official team depth charts at this point, this one feels like how it’ll actually play out on the field. I’d expect Aaron Jones to be the clear lead back with a mix of Jamaal Williams and Dillon spelling him for some early down work. The best bet for Dillon getting a healthy workload would be garbage time in a blowout win, but that seems unlikely with the Vikings favored by 3. I’d keep Dillon away from your lineups.
RB Ke’Shawn Vaughn, TB (Wk. 1: @ NO): In case you drafted Vaughn early and have been living under a rock in recent weeks, the signings of Leonard Fournette and LeSean McCoy will make Vaughn mostly useless for now in fantasy leagues. He’ll likely be limited to special teams early in the season and won’t have much value without injuries in front of him. Feel free to drop him outside of dynasty leagues.
WR Michael Pittman Jr., IND (Wk. 1: @ Jax): Pittman should see the field quite a bit in week 1, but I don’t expect it to translate into fantasy production just yet. The Colts played 61% of their snaps last season in 11 personnel (3 WR), and their 3-WR sets to open the year should feature Pittman, TY Hilton and Parris Campbell, but the bulk of the passing volume should go through Hilton and Campbell (along with Jack Doyle and Nyheim Hines). The Colts are an 8-point road favorite this week, and I’d expect them to lean heavily on the running game which will limit how many targets there are to go around. If Pittman makes it to even 5 targets, I’d consider his week 1 to be a successful one.
WR Chase Claypool, PIT (Wk. 1: @ NYG): The Steelers have spent much of the summer talking up Claypool, but this is an offense with a lot of mouths to feed. The return of Ben Roethlisberger should make this a much more fantasy-friendly offense than it was last year, but Claypool enters the season as no higher than 4th in the target pecking order. The Steelers do have a favorable matchup this week and have the 5th-highest implied total of the week, and Big Ben hasn’t really played much with James Washington or Diontae Johnson, so if you want to roll the dice on Claypool in a DFS tournament (just a $3,000 price tag in DraftKings) I wouldn’t fault you for it. For season-long leagues you should have safer options for week 1.
WR Denzel Mims, NYJ (Wk. 1: @ BUF): It sounds like Mims is going to play this week, but after missing much of camp with a hamstring injury, I wouldn’t count on him getting a full workload in this one. It also remains to be seen which outside receiver will tangle with standout corner Tre’Davious White. Breshad Perriman is coming off an injury of his own, and both players make for poor options against a tough Bills defense with the Jets having an implied point total of just 16.5 points.
WR Justin Jefferson, MIN (Wk. 1: vs. GB): Jefferson is a very talented receiver, and the Vikings obviously believe in him after drafting him in the first round in April, but he’ll likely open the season splitting WR2 snaps with Bisi Johnson. The Vikings play with 3 WRs less often than any other team in the league. They consistently operate out of a 2 tight end base set with Kyle Rudolph and Irv Smith Jr. Jefferson will eventually work his way past Bisi, but I’d want to see what kind of opportunities he gets early on before trusting him in my fantasy lineup. His week one matchup isn’t all that appealing either. Green Bay is one of just 2 teams in the league that allowed less than 10 receptions per game to opposing wide receivers last year.
WR Tee Higgins, CIN (Wk. 1: vs. LAC): With AJ Green expected to play week 1, it’ll be hard for Higgins to get on the field much. It looks like Green, Tyler Boyd and Auden Tate will be the trio on the field in 3 wide receiver sets, and Higgins will be competing with John Ross for any leftover reps. There’s no reason to consider Higgins for week 1.
TE Cole Kmet, CHI (Wk. 1: @ DET: Kmet was the first tight end drafted in April, but he doesn’t figure to play a large role early in his rookie season. He’ll open the season behind at least Jimmy Graham on the depth chart, and possibly Demetrius Harris as well. The Lions were a middle of the pack defense against tight ends a year ago, but Kmet shouldn’t be a consideration in any formats this week.

Deep League Sleepers, Stashes, and Cheap DFS Options:

QB Tua Tagovailoa, MIA (Wk. 1: @ NE): I don’t list Tua here with any thoughts of you using him in week 1. I mention him in case you’re in a 2-QB league where he’s sitting on the waiver wire. He’s going to take over for Fitzpatrick at some point this season, and when he does he’s going to have big-time upside. He’s worth stashing if you have the roster spot in superflex and 2-QB leagues. I would rather have Tua than fellow rookie Justin Herbert.
RB Josh Kelley, LAC (Wk. 1: @ CIN): Kelley enters week 1 as the likely backup to Austin Ekeler, but that role will probably come with 10-12 touches and possibly more if the Chargers pull away. Ekeler isn’t built to be a 20+ touch per game kind of back and the Chargers are shifting to a more run-heavy approach this season with Philip Rivers gone. Kelley looks like the back who will pick up the slack the Melvin Gordon left behind. Only 4 teams allowed more rushing yards last season than the Bengals, and while Cincy could be improved with the addition of DJ Reader to their D-line, I expect they’ll still find themselves in a lot of negative game scripts. For week 1, Ekeler has RB1 upside, but Kelley isn’t a terrible option as a flex in deep leagues. He’s someone you should be picking up everywhere if he’s on the waiver wire. I expect his role will grow as the season progresses.
RB James Robinson, JAX (Wk. 1: vs. Ind.): What a difference a week makes for Robinson. A week ago Robinson looked like he was going the be the number 4 or 5 running back on the depth chart, but since then Leonard Fournette was cut, Ryquell Armstead went back on the Covid-reserve list, and Devine Ozigbo landed on IR. Robinson is suddenly the projected starter this week. Chris Thompson will handle most of the 3rd down work, but Robinson is going to be on the field a lot. The Colts didn’t give up many running back touchdowns last season (6), but they gave up plenty of yards to them, both on the ground and through the air. The Jaguars project to be playing from behind in this one, so Chris Thompson is probably the guy that will lead this backfield in fantasy scoring this week, but in deep leagues a starting running back is hard to ignore. Robinson certainly shouldn’t be on your waiver wire and he has 10+ point upside this week.
WR Bryan Edwards, LVR (Wk. 1: @ Car): Ruggs is the guy with the draft capital, but Bryan Edwards may emerge as the alpha receiver on this Vegas team. He excels in the intermediate part of the field where few other receivers on the team do, and he’s easily the most physical of their receivers, which will serve him well in the red zone. His QB has compared him to former teammates Davante Adams and James Jones, both of whom excel at getting in the end zone. The Raiders have a reasonable implied point total of 25.25 this week, and if I had to bet on any Vegas pass catcher getting in the end zone it would be Edwards. He costs just $4,200 in DraftKings and is very likely to outperform that price tag. He may not get as many targets as Ruggs, but don’t be surprised if he outscores the first rounder in week 1.
WR Laviska Shenault, JAX (Wk. 1: vs. Ind.): After all of the changes and injuries that have come up for the Jaguars over the last week or 2, about the only thing that seems clear with this offense is that DJ Chark is going to be targeted a lot. I’ll add a second thing here – Laviska Shenault is going to be very involved in this offense. Reports out of camp this week are that the Jaguars are getting VERY creative with the ways they’re using him. He’s a versatile player that lined up all over the field in college and is dynamic with the ball in the open field. I expect Jacksonville to make it a point to get the ball into his hands any way they can, even if it means handing it to him out of the backfield. Viska has a higher DraftKings price tag than some of the other rookies at $4,400, but he could be a really interesting option in limited slate contests. 10 touches isn’t out of the question in week 1.
WR Van Jefferson, LAR (Wk. 1: vs. GB): I wasn’t high on Jefferson coming into camp, but he’s been impressive. He’s not an explosive athlete, but his football IQ and feel for the game are off the charts. He’s a route running technician who was a tough cover for Jalen Ramsey in camp. It remains to be seen if he’s fully overtaken Josh Reynolds for the WR3 role in the offense, but if he has he’ll be on the field a lot. The Rams like to line up with 3 wide receivers on the field as much as anyone. Dallas was stingy against wide receivers a year ago, but they said goodbye to their number one corner Byron Jones in the offseason. Jefferson is more of a stash right now, but if he’s on the field as the WR3 a 4-60 kind of game wouldn’t be that crazy for him this week.
WR John Hightower, PHI (Wk. 1: @ Was): Hightower has a chance to benefit from a couple of injuries ahead of him this week, and also from the extra attention the Washington secondary will give to DeSean Jackson. D-Jax burned them in the opener last year with 2 TDs of 50+ yards. They’re going to do everything they can to make sure that doesn’t happen again. That means less attention for JJ Arcega-Whiteside, Greg Ward, and Hightower. Of that trio, Hightower is the only one with the burner speed to hurt Washington deep. He’s a DFS tournament dart throw who will cost the minimum in DraftKings, and can have a nice NFL debut with just one or two deep balls.
That’s all I’ve got for this week. Hopefully it helps you as you try to figure out what to do with the rookies on your team for week 1. Keep a close eye on the injury report this week to make sure you don’t end up playing anyone inactive. Feel free to hit me up on twitter (@Shawn_Foss) if you have any questions or want to yell at me about anything written above. As always: Good luck, trust your gut, and have fun. It’s just a game. Original article from drinkfive.com
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Studs & Duds: NFL Week 2 Fantasy Football Predictions

Originally posted here: https://optimaldfs.blogspot.com/2020/09/studs-duds-nfl-week-2-fantasy-football.html
Every NFL week, we'll go game by game and name a Stud and a Dud for each contest. Studs and duds are relative to their consensus rankings and salaries on DraftKings and FanDuel. Meaning the Stud will not always be the player I expect to have the most fantasy points for a given game and the Dud will not always be a player I expect to get zero snaps.
Editor's Note: Optimal DFS is the #1 app for building fantasy lineups for DraftKings and FanDuel in Apple's App Store. Download Optimal DFS in the App Store to build customized optimized lineups and get breaking news before everyone else in your league.

Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns

Stud: Joe Mixon

The usage was there for Joe Mixon in Week 1. 19 rush attempts and 2 targets. Unfortunately for him, the game script was garbage. That will not be the case in Cleveland. I see them moving the ball down the field on the back of Mixon Week 2. He also has Joe Burrow who looked impressive for a rookie QB with no preseason action.

Dud: Odell Beckham, Jr.

There is still time to fade OBJ and be contrarian. People are going to look at his 10 targets from Week 1 and see potential, but it will end in frustration. There is zero chemistry between Baker and Beckham. I'm avoiding him in Week 2 even with his embarrassingly low salary on DK and FD.

New York Giants at Chicago Bears

Stud: Allen Robinson

Mitchell Trubisky attempted 36 passes and targeted 11 different receivers in Week 1. Allen Robinson scooped up 9 of those targets for 5 receptions and 74 yards. He's the best offensive talent the Bears have and I'm expecting more looks to go his way Week 2. I'll be surprised if he doesn't score a TD against the Giants.

Dud: Saquon Barkley

Saquan Barkley is an incredible talent, but he has not been living up to expectations. In Week 1 against the Steelers, he started the game with 8 rushes for -8 yards. 8 rushes for -8 yards. Figured I'd write it a 2nd time to let it sink because I had to check multiple sources to confirm that stat. He's really good, but his consensus ranking is higher than his production. The Giants offensive line needs help.

Atlanta Falcons at Dallas Cowboys

Stud: Calvin Ridley

Which Atlanta Falcon WR had 9 receptions on 12 targets in Week 1? All of them, essentially... Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, and Russell Gage all had 9 receptions and 12 targets! However, Ridley was the only player to score a TD and did so twice. There is potential in this game for another shootout. I'm a big fan of Ridley season long and love him Week 2.

Dud: Russell Gage

Yes, Gage is coming off a 12 tgt / 9 rec / 114 yrd showing. Although I think we're going to see another shootout here for the Falcons, I'm selling that he sees the same volume Week 2.

Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers

Stud: Davante Adams

Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams tore up the Minnesota Vikings defense. An absolute monster game for Adams tallying up 17 targets, 14 receptions, 156 yards, and 2 TDs. Aaron Rodgers looked as crisp as ever and Davante Adams will continue to benefit.

Dud: TJ Hockenson

I had high hopes for TJ Hockenson Week 1. Especially with Kenny Golladay out. 5 target, 5 receptions, 56 yards, and 1 TD. It's a good game on paper, but it felt to me like this was TJ's ceiling. I worry he's shaping up to be a touchdown-dependent TE start week in and week out. The targets went to the WRs Quintez Cephus (10), Marvin Jones Jr. (8), and Danny Amendola (7).

Minnesota Vikings at Indianapolis Colts

Stud: Jonathan Taylor

I was a seller on Jonathan Taylor coming into Week 1. I wasn't buying that he won the starting job from Marlon Mack, which did appear to be the case. Now that Mack is out with a torn Achilles, the backfield will be in the hands of Nyheim Hines and Jonathan Taylor. Hines made the noise with 2 TDs, but they both got a lot of play. 9 carries and 6 targets for Jonathan Taylor and 7 carries and 8 targets for Nyheim Hines. I like both of them, but coming into Week 2 I like Taylor as the higher value play. Phil Rivers is truly proving to be Captain Dump-off. Bold prediction: Nyheim Hines and Jonathan Taylor can turn out to be this year's Austin Ekeler and Melvin Gordon.

Dud: TY Hilton

The targets were there for TY Hilton, but he didn't do much with them. 9 targets, 4 receptions, and 53 yards for TY. I'm staying away from him until I see a little bit of chemistry with Captain Dump-off.

Buffalo Bills at Miami Dolphins

Stud: John Brown

John Brown is always overlooked and consistently produces. The new addition of Stefon Diggs to the receiving core added to the low valuation of John Brown. I see Diggs and Brown as 1A and 1B options for Josh Allen. 10 targets, 6 receptions, 70 yards, and 1 TD for John Brown in Week 1. He was wide open for a 2nd TD, but Josh Allen spazzed and could not hit him. Josh Allen did look good outside of that 1 pass and both fumbles.

Dud: Ryan Fitzpatrick

0 TDs and 3 INTs for Fitzmagic in Week 1 against the Patriots. The Pats are the Pats, but the Bills defense is pretty good too. A hammy issue for DeVante Parker isn't helping his cause. I'm waiting for the "Tuaaaaaa" chants before I take a chance on Fitz. He's always good to muddy the waters with a good game as soon as he's counted out.

San Francisco 49ers at New York Jets

Stud: Raheem Mostert

He's the best talent in the 49ers backfield and it's NOT EVEN CLOSE. The 49ers rode him through the playoffs and will continue to do so this season. He has the possibility for multi-touchdown 150+ all-purpose yardage week in and week out.

Dud: Jimmy Garoppolo

I like Jimmy G in general, but I think the 49ers run away with this one and don't have a need to pass the rock. He'll have to get his in during the 1st half if he wants to have any fantasy value.

Los Angeles Rams at Philadelphia Eagles

Stud: Jared Goff

This one is going to be a beat down and Jared Goff is going to be the benefactor. I see him spreading the football around and tallying up 3+ TD. Dwayne Haskins Jr. had what I consider to be a good game last week against the Eagles (for him). A win and 0 INT. This should be a piece of cake for the Rams and Goff.

Dud: Carson Wentz

The Los Angeles Rams just held Dak Prescott in check. This isn't going to go well for Carson Wentz. He's coming off of a 2 pick game against the Washington Football Team. The jury is still out if Washington's DEF is good or if the Eagles offense made them look good. Week 2 should shed some light on the answer.

Denver Broncos at Pittsburgh Steelers

Stud: Ben Roethlisberger

Big Ben was doing Big Ben things on MNF. He looks fully recovered from his surgery and has a lot of weapons to throw to. JuJu Smith-Schuster, James Washington, Chase Claypool, Eric Ebron, Vance McDonald, and Diontae Johnson. Good luck picking the WRs/TEs that will hit... Put Roethlisberger in your Week 2 lineup with confidence.

Dud: James Conner

I liked James Conner coming into the season and tried to steal him (unsuccessfully) in my draft. Turns out I'm happy I didn't get him. He looks stuck in the mud and now has an ankle injury he's nursing. Benny Snell looks Jr. spry. I'd think twice about firing him up in your Week 2 lineups against the Broncos if he gets clearance to play on the ankle.

Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Stud: Christian McCaffrey

Alvin Kamara just ripped the Bucs for 2 TDs (should've been 3) in Week 1. Christian McCaffrey is prime for a monster game here. Anything less than triple-digit yardage and multiple TDs is a letdown.

Dud: Rob Gronkowski

This is a crowded receiving core in Tampa Bay. Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Scotty Miller, OJ Howard, Cameron Brate, and Rob Gronkowski. The chemistry between Brady and Gronk I'm sure is still there, but OJ Howard is the youngefresher talent. I liked him to lead Buc's TEs season long before Week 1. Week 1 that proved to be the case and I think the pattern continues.

Jacksonville Jaguars at Tennessee Titans

Stud: Derrick Henry

He's unstoppable and Vrabel knows how to use him. The Titans are going to control this game on the ground. No TDs Week 1 was disappointing, but he'll get in the endzone in Week 2.

Dud: Gardner Minshew II

I caught a case of Minshew Mania, so it pains me to mark him as a Dud, but it's going to be extremely difficult to maintain his Week 1 efficiency. 19 completions on 20 attempts with 3 TDs and 0 INTs. With little help in the backfield, Minshew will most likely struggle to move the ball Week 2 against the Titans defense.

Washington Football Team at Arizona Cardinals

Stud: Washington DEF

I'm a buyer of this Washington defense. Chase Young came out of the gates hot Week 1 and lead The Football Team to a big win. I'm not expecting Washington to shut down the Cardinals, but I am expecting them to keep this game close and cover the 6.5 point Vegas spread.

Dud: Antonio Gibson

Later this season Antonio Gibson will be the guy, but Washington isn't ready to give him that role yet. I fired up Antonio Gibson Week 1 in my 14-team season-long league after Miles Sanders was ruled out. It started off promising as he was getting the early work. Then after 1 goalline series, it all went downhill. Gibson got stuffed on the 1st goalline carry. In came Peyton Barber who eventually pooonded it in. Barber finished with 2 TDs and appeared to the main RB for the latter half of the game. Barber is the safer play heading into Week 2.

Baltimore Ravens at Houston Texans

Stud: Marquise Brown

This game will be a little more competitive for the Baltimore Ravens compared to their Week 1 beatdown on the miz Cleveland Browns. Lamar Jackson only had to throw the ball 25 times, but Hollywood Brown was still able to tally 6 targets, 5 receptions, and 101 yards. Mark Andrews and Willie Snead took the 3 TDs thrown. I'm expecting a big week from Brown here in Week 2.

Dud: JK Dobbins

A lot of excitement after Week 1 for season-long JK Dobbins. Yours truly is a Dobbins owner. Unfortunately for me, I only felt pain Week 1 because I am also a Mark Ingram owner and had Ingram locked in as the starter. 4 total TDs vultured from my Week 1 starters Mark Ingram and Antonio Gibson. Dobbins is the future for the Ravens, but I think his 2 TDs were flukey in this blowout game. When push comes to shove I'm betting on Ingram over Dobbins and will keep Ingram in my Week 2 lineup.

Kansas City Chiefs at Los Angeles Chargers

Stud: Clyde Edwards-Helaire

CEH is a lethal weapon for the Chiefs and they know it. He put up big fantasy points in the opener without catching a pass and while getting stopped multiple times on the goalline. I'm not worried about his goalline abilities. Week 2 he'll continue to smash. It'll be tough to compete with McCaffrey season-long, but I can see CEH as the #2 overall RB when it's all said and done.

Dud: Austin Ekeler

The fantasy world is panicking about Austin Ekeler's usage in the passing game Week 1. He only saw a single target. He did have a respectable game on the ground picking up 84 yards on 19 carries. I am indeed pressing the panic button as well. Austin Ekeler is not a ground and pound RB. He's a scatback and Captain Dump-off is no longer in town. Maybe things change when Justin Herbert inevitably takes control. We're looking at a lot of 3 and outs with Tyrod trying to force the ball down the field as the Chargers play from behind in this one.

New England Patriots at Seattle Seahawks

Stud: Julian Edelman

Cam Newton only threw 19 passes Week 1. Julian Edelman was targeted on 37% of those pass attempts and put together an OK game in PPR. He was also used once on a successful end-around. The game script Week 2 against the Seattle Seahawks will be different and the Patriots will need to pass to keep up.

Dud: Sony Michel

(See thoughts above on Julian Edelman). The Patriots came in against the Dolphins wanting to pooond the rock. And Sony Michel was still lackluster. He had a fantasy saving TD, but only registered 10 carries for 37 yards. This is a low-floor low-ceiling touchdown-dependent situation for Michel.

New Orleans Saints at Las Vegas Raiders

Stud: Latavius Murray

Alvin Kamara stole all the TDs, but Latavius Murray lead the team in carries Week 1. 15 carries for Murray compared to 12 for Kamara. The game script here calls for a Saints blowout. I'm expecting Latavius Murray to put the finishing touches on this one with a lot of pooonding the rock in the 2nd half.

Dud: Josh Jacobs

Josh Jacobs is no dud, but his Week 1 numbers are going to be hard to replicate. Especially against a New Orleans Saints team that held the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to under 100 yards rushing and only 1 rushing TD (Tom Brady). I see the Raiders playing from behind in this one making it difficult for Jacobs to perform for fantasy purposes.
Editor's Note: Optimal DFS is not responsible for any decisions made, financial or otherwise, based on information provided by this application or blog. Optimal DFS cannot guarantee the correctness of the information contained within our application or blog.
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NFL Week 5 Betting Tips - PreSnap Podcast by LineStar App - 10-9-20

October 9, 2020
QuickLink | iTunes | Google Podcasts | Spotify | iHeartRADIO | Stitcher | YouTube
Summary:
Joe Pisapia and Scott Bogman break down all the NFL betting lines, picks and upset specials for NFL Week 5!
Show Rundown:
The PreSnap Podcast is brought to you by LineStar - The top rated Daily Fantasy Sports analytics app
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NFL Week 3 Betting Tips - PreSnap Podcast by LineStar App - 9-25-20

September 25, 2020
QuickLink | iTunes | Google Podcasts | Spotify | iHeartRADIO | Stitcher | YouTube
Summary:
Joe Pisapia and Scott Bogman break down all the NFL betting lines, picks and upset specials for NFL Week 3!
Show Rundown:
The PreSnap Podcast is brought to you by LineStar - The top rated Daily Fantasy Sports analytics app
submitted by lategames to dfsports [link] [comments]

NFL Week 2 Betting Tips - PreSnap Podcast by LineStar App

September 18, 2020
QuickLink | iTunes | Google Podcasts | Spotify | iHeartRADIO | Stitcher | YouTube
Summary:
Joe Pisapia and Scott Bogman break down all the NFL betting lines, picks and upset specials for NFL Week 2!
Show Rundown:
The PreSnap Podcast is brought to you by LineStar - The top rated Daily Fantasy Sports analytics app
submitted by lategames to dfsports [link] [comments]

Week 15 Matchup Strategy Guide - Part 3 (DFAroto)

Part 3 of 3

Part 1 Right Here: https://dfaroto.com/nfl/week-15-matchup-strategy-guide-part-1

Part 2 Right Here: https://dfaroto.com/nfl/week-15-matchup-strategy-guide-part-2

GLOSSARY

DVOA (Defense-adjusted Value Over Average): calculates a team's success based on the down-and-distance of each play during the season, then calculates how much more or less successful each team is compared to the league average.
DVOA Pass/Run Defense Rank: Team’s NFL rank in DVOA pass or run defense so far this season. #1 means best DEF against the pass/run, #32 means worst DEF against the pass/run.
Weighted DEFENSE: is adjusted so that earlier games in the season become gradually less important. It better reflects how the team was playing at the end of the season.
ATS = Against the spread
DVOA from https://www.footballoutsiders.com/stats/teamdef/2019

Jacksonville Jaguars at Oakland Raiders (-6.5)

Jaguars ATS: 5-8-0 Raiders ATS: 6-7-0
Projected Team Totals: Jaguars 19.5 Raiders 26

Jaguars

Opp (OAK) Pass DVOA: #31
Opp (OAK) Run DVOA: #27
Opp (OAK) Weighted DEF: #31
Injuries to Watch DEF (OAK): LB Marquel Lee (Q) LB Kyle Wilber (Q) CB Daryl Worley (Q) S Erik Harris (Q)
Injuries to Watch OFF (JAX): WR DJ Chark (OUT)
Key WCB matchups: None
Relevant Target Share %’s (Last 6 Weeks): D.J. Chark (20%) Leonard Fournette (19%) Dede Westbrook (17%) Chris Conley (14%) Seth DeValve (11%)
RB Snap %/Touches/Targets Week 14: Leonard Fournette (77%, 18, 6) Ryquell Armstead (23%, 2, 2)

QB/WTE Breakdown

The Jags got blasted at home against the Chargers last week, and Gardner Minshew (2QB stream) did little to instill confidence that he is an upgrade over Nick Foles. While last week was a struggle, Minshew gets an extremely vulnerable Raiders secondary this time around. Oakland has the 31st ranked pass defense by DVOA, and has given up the 2nd most FPPG to QBs on the season. While it would be unwise to trust the rookie signal caller in a 1QB league, he makes for a possible streamer in 2QB or superflex leagues, and should be considered a mid-range QB2 with some upside in Sunday’s matchup. The loss of one of his top weapons does downgrade his outlook slightly, however..
DJ Chark has been ruled out for Week 15 with an ankle injury, leaving the Jags without their most explosive offensive playmaker. That should provide Dede Westbrook (upgrade) with an opportunity to see a high volume of targets against this leaky Raiders secondary. Oakland has allowed the 13th most FPPG to WRs, but their 31st ranked pass DVOA portrays a team that is quite vulnerable through the air. Chris Conley (upgrade) should also see a bump in usage, but he has been extremely boom or bust this season, and is reliant on big plays. Consider Westbrook a borderline WR2 under the circumstances, while Conley can be viewed as risk-reward WR3/4, just know his floor is extremely low. Keelan Cole will step into 3-WR sets with Chark on the sidelines, but he isn’t a realistic fantasy option at this point. None of the Jags TEs have been able to stand out after dealing with so many injuries, but Nick O’Leary did snag a TD last week. O’Leary is a hail mary TE2, although he does have a favorable matchup against a defense ceding the 4th most FPPG to TEs.
RB Breakdown
The running game didn’t have any more success than the passing game against the Chargers, as Leonard Fournette (auto-start) was held to 63 total scoreless yards. The Raiders are less vulnerable to the run than the pass, but have given up the 9th most FPPG to RBs, so Fournette remains a volume based RB1. He’s especially valuable in PPR leagues, as he is consistently among the RB target leaders each week. Ryquell Armstead (stash) is the clear handcuff to Fournette, so roster him if you want to have insurance through the playoffs.

Raiders

Opp (JAX) Pass DVOA: #21
Opp (JAX) Run DVOA: #31
Opp (JAX) Weighted DEF: #29
Injuries to Watch DEF (JAX): None
Injuries to Watch OFF (OAK): WR Hunter Renfrow (OUT) OT Trent Brown (Q) RB Josh Jacobs (Q, expected to play) WR Marcell Ateman (Q)
Key WCB matchups: Tyrell Williams vs. A.J. Bouye (Rotoworld)
Relevant Target Share %’s (Last 6 Weeks): Darren Waller (19%) Hunter Renfrow (18%) Tyrell Williams (14%) Jalen Richard (11%) Zay Jones (10%) DeAndre Washington (8%) Josh Jacobs (7%)
RB Snap %/Touches/Targets Week 14: DeAndre Washington (63%, 20, 7) Jalen Richard (38%, 9, 3)
QB/WTE Breakdown
A nightmare second half of the season continued for the Raiders last week in a blowout loss to the Titans, but Derek Carr (2QB only) was able to finish with a serviceable final fantasy line. Carr has gone over 21 points just once this season, so his ceiling is not something to get excited about. The Jags have given up the 11th most FPPG to QBs, so Carr has a reasonable floor, but can’t be viewed as anything more than a mid-range QB2. Leave him on the wire in most leagues.
A battle with plantar fasciitis might help to explain Tyrell Williams’ (drop) extreme dropoff over the second half of the season, but it appears the wideout will continue playing through the pain this week against the Jags. He hasn’t been a worthwhile starting option in quite some time, and the Jags surrender the 13th fewest FPPG to WRs, so consider him a TD or bust WR4, and keep him on your benches outside extremely deep leagues. Darren Waller (volume upgrade) is the real WR1 on this team, and his high weekly target floor makes him an attractive TE option at a position that is so heavily TD-dependent. The Jags have given up the 11th fewest FPPG to TEs, but Waller is too involved to be anything less than a top-6 TE1. Get him fired up this week to ensure you get a stable floor from that spot on your roster. No other Raiders pass catcher has emerged as fantasy relevant, so Waller is likely the only player that should be near a starting lineup this week.
RB Breakdown
Stud rookie RB Josh Jacobs (upgrade if healthy) was unable to play through his shoulder injury last week, leading to a workhorse level role for DeAndre Washington (stash). Jacobs currently plans to play on Sunday, so owners should put Washington on benches, and continue to leave Jalen Richard on the waiver wire. The Jags are an exploitable matchup on the ground - 4th most FPPG to RBs - so if Jacobs is active he needs to be in all lineups as a solid RB2. Washington should remain rostered as a solid handcuff.
Score Prediction: Raiders 21, Jaguars 20

Cleveland Browns (-2.5) at Arizona Cardinals

Browns ATS: 5-7-1 Cardinals ATS: 7-5-1
Projected Team Totals: Browns 25.5 Cardinals 23

Browns

Opp (ARI) Pass DVOA: #29
Opp (ARI) Run DVOA: #13
Opp (ARI) Weighted DEF: #26
Injuries to Watch DEF (ARI): CB Kevin Peterson (Q) LB Joe Walker (Q)
Injuries to Watch OFF (CLE): C JC Tretter (Q) OT Chris Hubbard (Q)
Key WCB matchups: Odell Beckham vs. Patrick Peterson (Rotoworld)
Relevant Target Share %’s (Last 6 Weeks): Jarvis Landry (30%) Odell Beckham (23%) Kareem Hunt (17%) Antonio Callaway (12%) David Njoku (12%)
RB Snap %/Touches/Targets Week 14: Nick Chubb (70%, 16, 1) Kareem Hunt (62%, 11, 3)
QB/WTE Breakdown
Cleveland won the battle of Ohio last week, it wasn’t pretty, and it wasn’t without drama. Baker Mayfield (upgrade) was inconsistent yet again, throwing for only 192 scoreless yards, with two interceptions. He’s sandwiched two serviceable fantasy outings with three that weren’t over the last five, so a bounce back seems likely. Arizona has proven time and again they can’t guard anyone, ranking 29th in Pass DVOA and 26th in Weighted Defense - ceding 24.5 FPPG to QBs, and 25.4 to WRs. Mayfield becomes an appealing matchup based QB1 this week, consider him a top-10 option.
The Cleveland passing game has been a wasteland all season, with Jarvis Landry (upgrade PPR) being the only solid fantasy asset. Odell Beckham is having the worst season of his career, and is reportedly playing through a sports hernia. His expected shadow matchup with CB Patrick Peterson isn’t imposing, as Peterson has struggled against No. 1 WRs (Rotoworld). A viable fantasy day isn’t out of the question, yet OBJ is far from trustworthy at this point in the season, especially since we know now he’s been playing through injury. That being said, Arizona cedes explosive pass plays (20+yards) at a 12% clip, 3rd worst in the NFL (sharpfootballstats). Consider him a boom-or-bust WR2 in the great on-paper matchup. Landry on the other hand, has vacuumed up at least seven targets in every game over the last five weeks, clearing 10 targets in three out of five. He’s seeing monster usage, and there’s no reason to expect it to slow down. He’s a borderline WR1, and needs to be in all lineups. David Njoku returned last week, splitting time with fellow tight ends Stephen Carlson, and Ricky Seals-Jones. This is a smash spot for the position - ARI hemorrhages 13.1 FPPG to TEs, league worst - but with Njoku popping up on the injury report again with a knee issue, plus the timeshare at tight end, there really isn’t a viable fantasy play here.
RB Breakdown
Like many other backfields in the NFL, the Cleveland Browns are now utilizing a committee, to the dismay of Nick Chubb (upgrade standard) owners everywhere. Fortunately, both Chubb and Kareem Hunt (upgrade PPR) are seeing solid touch counts, and having both on the field at the same time has become a regular occurrence since Hunt became available. Arizona possesses a much better Run DVOA than Pass DVOA, but game-script and scoring opportunities should work in favor of the Cleveland backfield. Arizona plays at the 3rd fastest pace in the NFL, so there should be plenty of opportunities to go around. Consider Chubb an RB1, and Hunt a borderline RB2 play in PPR settings - ARI cedes 19.5 FPPG to the position.

Cardinals

Opp (CLE) Pass DVOA: #13
Opp (CLE) Run DVOA: #25
Opp (CLE) Weighted DEF: #19
Injuries to Watch DEF (CLE): DE Olivier Vernon (OUT) CB Eric Murray (OUT)
Injuries to Watch OFF (ARI): WR Andy Isabella (Q) OL Justin Pugh (Q)
Key WCB matchups: None
Relevant Target Share %’s (Last 6 Weeks): Christian Kirk (24%) Larry Fitzgerald (19%) Kenyan Drake (16%) Pharoh Cooper (11%) KeeSean Johnson (9%)
RB Snap %/Touches/Targets Week 14: Kenyan Drake (65%, 14, 3) David Johnson (37%, 5, 2)
QB/WTE Breakdown
The Cardinals season has taken a downward plunge in recent weeks, and Kyler Murray and company have only managed to score 24 combined points in back-to-back matchups (Rotoworld). Murray has made some downright silly mistakes, and while some of it can be chalked up to being a rookie, some mistakes shouldn’t be seen at the NFL level. His O-line isn’t doing him any favors either, he’s the most-sacked QB of 2019 (teamrankings.com). At home against Cleveland is the easiest matchup he’s seen in recent weeks, but it’s no cakewalk - Cleveland has a sturdy secondary, ranking in the top-half for Pass DVOA - and cedes just 18.2 FPPG to QBs and 20.6 to WRs. Still, Murray has demonstrated a high-floor through multiple tough matchups, and warrants every week QB1 consideration. Just be aware that although he always has boom potential, this week projects more as a floor performance.
Although he’s done little since his Week 10 explosion, Christian Kirk’s (upgrade volume) 8.8 targets per game rank 13th among wideouts this season (Rotoworld). Again, the matchup doesn’t scream boom week, but Cleveland has been inconsistent at best this season, and Kirk’s volume should keep him in the WR3 ranks. Larry Fitzgerald, after turning back the clock in the beginning of the season, has bottomed out over the second half. He shouldn’t be considered anything more than a low-end WR4, so look elsewhere. The auxiliary passing options shouldn't be considered for Arizona.
RB Breakdown
Like the Cleveland backfield, the Arizona backfield is devolving into a two man RBBC. Unlike Cleveland, it’s not bearing fruit in the way of fantasy points for either running back. Kenyan Drake has ceded snaps to David Johnson since the bye week, and at this point neither can be fully trusted. Drake is the preferred option, and the matchup is good on paper, but due to DJ’s involvement, he’s no more than a back-end RB2. DJ is a big-balls dart throw; it can’t be recommended. CLE cedes 18.6 FPPG to RBs.
Score Prediction: Browns 24, Cardinals 21

Atlanta Falcons at San Francisco 49ers (-10.5)

Falcons ATS: 5-8-0 49ers ATS: 8-4-1
Projected Team Totals: Falcons 18.75 49ers 29.25

Falcons

Opp (SF) Pass DVOA: #2
Opp (SF) Run DVOA: #9
Opp (SF) Weighted DEF: #2
Injuries to Watch DEF (SF): DE Dee Ford (OUT) DT DJ Jones (OUT) CB Richard Sherman (OUT) S Jaquiski Tartt (OUT) DT Jullian Taylor (OUT) CB K’Waun Williams (OUT)
Injuries to Watch OFF (ATL): OG James Carpenter (OUT) OT Ty Sambrailo (OUT)
Key WCB matchups: None
Relevant Target Share %’s (Last 6 Weeks): Julio Jones (22%) Calvin Ridley (20%) Russell Gage (16%) Austin Hooper (16%) Devonta Freeman (11%) Christian Blake (10%)
RB Snap %/Touches/Targets Week 14: Devonta Freeman (67%, 21, 4) Brian Hill (19%, 9, 0)
QB/WTE Breakdown
Atlanta’s second half resurgence continued against a rudderless Carolina team last week. Matt Ryan (downgrade) has returned to form of late, posting back-to-back solid fantasy performances. His ankle injury may have been the reason for the mid-season stumble, but either way, against a ferocious 49ers defense and without offensive weapon Calvin Ridley (OUT-IR), just isn’t the time to chase points. While the argument can be made that the San Francisco defense is banged up, they still possess most of the pass rushers that have carried them this season. Atlanta has struggled to keep Ryan upright, he’s been sacked the 5th most in the NFL (teamrankings). He’s no more than a back-end QB2 in a tough matchup - SF gives up just 15 FPPG to QBs and 17.9 to WRs.
Ridley’s injury vacated 20% of the target share to Atlanta’s pass catchers, and Russell Gage is the best bet to assume his snaps and some of his target share. Yet, he still projects as a distant third option to Julio Jones (upgrade volume) and Austin Hooper (upgrade volume). The remaining receivers split snaps evenly last week, and aren’t realistic options in the tough draw. Julio should be peppered with targets san Ridley, and should be treated as an every-week WR1 regardless of matchup. Same goes for Hooper, both should be active in most lineups.
RB Breakdown
Since returning from injury, Devonta Freeman (upgrade volume) has accumulated 20+ touches in two of three games. As long as he’s operating as the clear lead back and receiving the bulk of the touches, he’ll continue to be a floor-play RB2. The matchup is imposing - SF cedes just 12.2 FPPG to RBs - but Freeman’s volume should stabilize his floor, just don’t expect a big day.

49ers

Opp (ATL) Pass DVOA: #26
Opp (ATL) Run DVOA: #16
Opp (ATL) Weighted DEF: #23
Injuries to Watch DEF (ATL): DE Allen Bailey (OUT) CB Isaiah Oliver (Q)
Injuries to Watch OFF (SF): None
Key WCB matchups: None
Relevant Target Share %’s (Last 6 Weeks): George Kittle (23%) Deebo Samuel (20%) Emmanuel Sanders (17%) Kendrick Bourne (12%) Ross Dwelley (12%) Tevin Coleman (8%) Raheem Mostert (5%)
RB Snap %/Touches/Targets Week 14: Raheem Mostert (60%, 12, 2) Matt Breida (18%, 7, 1) Tevin Coleman (16%, 3, 0)
QB/WTE Breakdown
The 49ers won the game of the year last week, in an exciting shootout on the road against the New Orleans Saints, 48-46. Jimmy Garoppolo (upgrade) showed critics a side of him many thought he didn’t possess, by not just managing the game, but gun slinging his way to victory when facing a deficit. He may be more than an elite game manager, rolling up 349-yards passing, with four touchdowns and an interception. On tap is an exploitable secondary that has been dissected by opposing signal callers routinely - ATL cedes 22.1 FPPG to QBs and 24.3 to WRs - Jimmy G is a very attractive QB1 streaming option in the plus matchup.
The addition of Emmanuel Sanders (upgrade) and Deebo Samuel, with the emergence of Kendrick Bourne, has created an explosive receiving corps for the 49ers. The three have settled in as the fulltime wideouts, clearing up what used to be a mess of a rotation. Sanders and Samuel are both solid fantasy plays against an Atlanta team that boasts a true pass funnel; ranking much higher in Run DVOA than Pass DVOA. Adding to that, CB Desmond Trufant has been placed on IR, creating an even softer matchup. The concern is volume. Positive game-script early could erase the need for passing, so hopefully the injuries to San Francisco’s defense allow Atlanta to stay in the game. Consider Sanders a WR2, and Samuel an upside WR3. Kendrick Bourne is a no more than a DFS dart throw. George Kittle is an every week top-3 option at tight end. Fire him up - ATL cedes 7.5 FPPG to the position.
RB Breakdown
Two camps exist when it comes to the 49ers backfield. There are those that think Raheem Mostert has completed a hostile takeover, and is now the lead back. And there are those that think a Kyle Shanahan offense takes the hot hand approach, and that Matt Breida or Tevin Coleman could be next in-line to have the big week. Kyle Shanahan has stated that Mostert has “earned” his role as the lead ball-carrier, but we’ve seen that talk before from coaches, just look at Ronald Jones. Either way, Mostert has earned every-week RB2 consideration, but be warned, this backfield can change in an instant. Breida and Coleman are much riskier propositions, and can’t be started as more than desperation dart throws. They’ll likely still be involved in some capacity, but it’s not worth betting on.
Score Prediction: 49ers 30, Falcons 17

LA Rams (-1.5) at Dallas Cowboys

Rams ATS: 9-4-0 Cowboys ATS: 7-6-0
Projected Team Totals: Rams 25.25 Cowboys 23.75

Rams

Opp (DAL) Pass DVOA: #24
Opp (DAL) Run DVOA: #19
Opp (DAL) Weighted DEF: #21
Injuries to Watch DEF (DAL): LB Leighton Vander Esch (OUT) LB Sean Lee (Q)
Injuries to Watch OFF (LAR): TE Gerald Everett (OUT) OT Rob Havenstein (D)
Key WCB matchups: None
Relevant Target Share %’s (Last 6 Weeks): Robert Woods (30%) Tyler Higbee (19%) Cooper Kupp (16%) Gerald Everett (15%) Josh Reynolds (10%) Todd Gurley (9%) Brandin Cooks (7%)
RB Snap %/Touches/Targets Week 14: Todd Gurley (80%, 27, 4) Malcolm Brown (20%, 5, 0)
QB/WTE Breakdown
After his first blow-up week in a long time, Jared Goff (streamer) returned to his mediocre 2019 levels in Week 14’s win over Seattle, at least in terms of fantasy points. The positive is that the Rams offense suddenly looks at least partially back to its old ways, scoring 28 and 34 points the last two weeks, albeit against questionable defenses. This week, Goff will take aim at the Cowboys - 24th ranked pass DVOA but allowing the 13th fewest FPPG to QBs. Dallas got lit up by Mitchell Trubisky last week, and are on a downward trend overall, so this actually sets up as a favorable matchup for Goff. Consider him on the QB1/2 borderline, and ride him if you are thin at QB as he should be able to produce a point total that lands somewhere in between his last two performances.
What started as a year for the record books has turned into a disappointment in a hurry for Cooper Kupp (start). Despite the Rams being without their top TE Gerald Everett (out again this week) the past few weeks, Kupp hasn’t gone over 70-receiving yards since Week 8. He snagged a TD last week to salvage his day, and could be on the verge of a breakout day with the Rams offense starting to hum again. The Cowboys have given up the 8th fewest FPPG to WRs, so this isn’t an ideal matchup, but Kupp should still be viewed on the WR2/3 borderline and be in most lineups this week. The only consistent producer over the last month at WR for the Rams has been Robert Woods (auto-start). Woods has gone over 90-yards in 4 straight games he’s played in, and looks to be Goff’s #1 target at this point in the season. Consider him a borderline WR1 this week. Brandin Cooks (volume downgrade) just hasn’t seen much volume since returning from his multi-week concussion absence, and played about a third of the offensive snaps last week. He can break a big play at any time, but his role is too tough to trust as more than a WR3/4 at this point. If you have the depth, Cooks should likely be on your bench as only a part-time player in a difficult matchup. With Everett out again this week, Tyler Higbee (volume upgrade) will resume his role as the clear pass-catching TE for the Rams. He’s won a lot of matchups for owners the past two weeks, and should continue to thrive as long as Everett is sidelined. The Cowboys have given up the 10th most FPPG to TEs, so there’s no reason to view Higbee as less than an elite TE1 this week.
RB Breakdown
Perhaps part of the reason that the Rams have looked re-energized the last two weeks is the commitment to the run game with Todd Gurley (volume upgrade). The offensive line and entire team are getting healthier, and Gurley is getting the volume necessary for an RB1 valuation. The Cowboys have given up the 16th fewest FPPG to RBs and have the 19th ranked rush defense by DVOA, so the matchup is basically a wash. Consider Gurley on the RB1/2 borderline, and get him locked into your lineup for a game the Rams absolutely have to win to remain in the playoff race. Malcolm Brown makes for a worthwhile handcuff.

Cowboys

Opp (LAR) Pass DVOA: #9
Opp (LAR) Run DVOA: #3
Opp (LAR) Weighted DEF: #6
Injuries to Watch DEF (LAR): None
Injuries to Watch OFF (DAL): None
Key WCB matchups: Amari Cooper vs. Jalen Ramsey (Rotoworld)
Relevant Target Share %’s (Last 6 Weeks): Michael Gallup (20%) Amari Cooper (19%) Randall Cobb (15%) Jason Witten (15%) Ezekiel Elliott (10%) Blake Jarwin (8%)
RB Snap %/Touches/Targets Week 14: Ezekiel Elliott (99%, 21, 5)
QB/WTE Breakdown
While the Cowboys have been a huge disappointment overall, they remain firmly in the playoff race due to the antiquated NFL seeding rules, and their QB Dak Prescott (auto-start) has shown he is deserving of a huge contract extension. The Rams have given up the 12th fewest FPPG to QBs, and have the 9th ranked pass DVOA, but Prescott will be needed for a big day if Dallas is to get a win at home. Their solid projected point total, and Dak’s consistent presence as a top-5 QB in fantasy, means that Prescott should be a fixture in fantasy lineups in the second week of fantasy playoffs. He’s a solid QB1.
Amari Cooper (slight downgrade) may not like the term “garbage time”, but it’s hard to argue that’s not the scenario in which he caught his TD pass and salvaged his day against the Bears. Regardless, Cooper was able to produce despite looking less than 100%, and isn’t on the injury report this week. However, he’s likely to face Jalen Ramsey in shadow coverage this week, which is a concern considering just how good Ramsey has been since landing in LA. Cooper has been more effective against shadow coverage this year than in previous years, and his role in the offense combined with his individual talent make him tough to bench. View him as a high-end WR2 that is capable of breaking Ramsey’s coverage, but could also finish with a disappointing 2-30-0 type of day as well. Michael Gallup (upgrade) has been relatively productive over the last month, and he could benefit from Ramsey’s focus on Cooper. The Rams overall cede the 15th fewest FPPG to WRs, so this is a spot for Gallup to potentially come through for owners. Consider him a mid-range WR2 with upside this week in a game the Boys will likely need to throw heavily to win. Randall Cobb has benefitted from the high volume of passing in the Cowboys rough last five games, but will likely see a lot of highly-graded CB Nickell Robey-Coleman in the slot (PFF). Consider Cobb a low-end WR3 whose ceiling isn’t extremely high, but whose floor makes for a useful asset in deeper leagues. Jason Witten and Blake Jarwin have rendered each other relatively unstartable this season, and both should be viewed as low-volume TE2s. Neither is worth starting this week against a Rams squad giving up the 7th fewest FPPG to TEs.
RB Breakdown
The Cowboys were without Tony Pollard last week, but that didn’t serve to change their game plan much as Ezekiel Elliott (auto-start) has been a workhorse all year long. Pollard is expected to return on Sunday, but Zeke will get his 20+ touches again this week regardless. The Rams are stout on the ground - 3rd best DVOA and 10th fewest FPPG to RBs- but Zeke is an easy RB1 due to his volume and talent. Get him locked into your lineup, and keep Pollard rostered as a feel-good insurance policy.
Score Prediction: Rams 21, Cowboys 17

Minnesota Vikings (-2.5) at LA Chargers

Vikings ATS: 7-6-0 Chargers ATS: 4-7-3
Projected Team Totals: Vikings 24 Chargers 21.5

Vikings

Opp (LAC) Pass DVOA: #20
Opp (LAC) Run DVOA: #23
Opp (LAC) Weighted DEF: #18
Injuries to Watch DEF (LAC): LB Uchenna Nwosu (Q)
Injuries to Watch OFF (MIN): RB Alexander Mattison (Q) WR Bisi Johnson (Q)
Key WCB matchups: Stefon Diggs vs. Casey Hayward (Rotoworld)
Relevant Target Share %’s (Last 6 Weeks): Stefon Diggs (20%) Dalvin Cook (15%) Kyle Rudolph (13%) Irv Smith (13%) Bisi Johnson (11%)
RB Snap %/Touches/Targets Week 14: Dalvin Cook (47%, 20, 2) Alexander Mattison (37%, 16, 2)
QB/WTE Breakdown
Last week was a game that fantasy owners always fear; the home favorite Vikings so outmatched the injury riddled Lions that none of the offensive weapons were needed for a big day to capture the win. Kirk Cousins (low-end QB1) was solid as a game manager, but finished with only 242 yards and 1 TD. This week he’ll likely be in a more competitive game with the Chargers, who have given up the 5th fewest FPPG to QBs. While this should lead to higher volume for Kirk, the matchup concern is a legitimate reason to consider keeping him on the bench. Getting Adam Thielen back from injury should help to establish his floor, but his ceiling isn’t as high considering the Chargers are not often involved in shootouts. Owners can view Cousins as a low-end QB1, and throw him in lineups if they don’t have a safer and higher upside option.
Cousins will have stud receiver Adam Thielen (downgrade) back on the field this week, and that means owners will have a tough decision to make with their lineups. Stefon Diggs (start) is likely to see Casey Hayward in shadow coverage this week, which would leave Thielen with more positive matchups, but Diggs is easier to trust given his body of work throughout the year. The Chargers have given up the 3rd fewest FPPG to WRs this year, giving both receivers a slight downgrade in outlook. Consider Thielen a WR3, and Diggs a WR2. Both have a solid case to be in starting lineups this week, but Diggs is the slightly preferred play. Kyle Rudolph (downgrade) gets a tough potential individual matchup with stud safety Derwin James, and needs to be pushed just outside the TE1 ranks this week. The Chargers have given up the 9th fewest FPPG to TEs, and Rudolph is quite TD-dependent, so consider your options before plugging him in. Irv Smith simply isn’t seeing the volume to be trusted at this point, so he should be viewed as a low-end TE2 in a tough matchup.
RB Breakdown
Fantasy superstar Dalvin Cook (auto-start, upgrade) was subject to the same issue as Cousins, as he saw an uncharacteristic 47% snap share, but still was able to save his line with a few nice runs and a short TD plunge. This week sets up much better for Cook, as the game should be competitive throughout, and the Chargers are more vulnerable to the run than the pass. They’ve given up the 13th most FPPG to RBs and have a bottom-third run DVOA, so get Cook fired up as an elite RB1 once again. Keep Alexander Mattison (stash) rostered as a top-3 handcuff, even if he ends up being ruled out. If Cook were to suffer a setback or pick up a minor injury, Mattison would be an elite RB1 for the fantasy finals assuming he’s healthy.

Chargers

Opp (MIN) Pass DVOA: #11
Opp (MIN) Run DVOA: #7
Opp (MIN) Weighted DEF: #9
Injuries to Watch DEF (MIN): S Jayron Kearse (OUT) CB Xavier Rhodes (Q)
Injuries to Watch OFF (LAC): None
Key WCB matchups: None
Relevant Target Share %’s (Last 6 Weeks): Keenan Allen (23%) Hunter Henry (20%) Austin Ekeler (17%) Mike Williams (13%) Melvin Gordon (11%)
RB Snap %/Touches/Targets Week 14: Austin Ekeler (49%, 12, 5) Melvin Gordon (46%, 17, 5)
QB/WTE Breakdown
The Chargers came a bit out of nowhere last week to drop 45 points in their win over the Jags. Philip Rivers (slight downgrade) eclipsed 25 points for the first time this season, and was dealing all game long. He’ll face a stiffer matchup from the Vikings - Minnesota cedes the 11th fewest FPPG to QBs and has the 11th ranked pass DVOA. Consider Rivers a mid-range QB2; his ceiling isn’t extremely high but his weapons should establish his floor as a solid asset in 2QB or superflex leagues.
Still not producing at levels owner are accustomed to, Keenan Allen (start) has at least returned solid value over his past 4 games with good yardage and 2 total TDs. Mike Williams (downgrade PPR) FINALLY scored his first TD of the year, after getting 10 last year, and continues to make impressive contested chunk catches week in and week out. The Vikings have given up the 8th most FPPG to WRs, and Xavier Rhodes is no longer a shutdown shadow corner, so both WRs are worth starting consideration. Consider Allen a WR2, with upside in PPR leagues, and view Williams as a WR3 with an upgrade in standard leagues. The Vikings pass rush is impressive, and the Chargers O-line has struggled to keep Rivers upright against top defensive lines, so having the time to throw downfield might make Allen more productive than Williams this week. Hunter Henry (start) found the end zone last week, and despite some low yardage totals the last month remains a solid TE1 this week. The Vikings have allowed the 14th most FPPG to TEs, so this isn’t a shy-away matchup by any means. Get Henry active unless you have a top-3 alternative, as he might benefit from additional short throws due to Rivers needing to get the ball out quick.
RB Breakdown
Perhaps the most important player to the Chargers this year has been the explosive and dynamic all around back, Austin Ekeler (auto-start). He put up a career-high 213 scrimmage yards in the win last week, which was buoyed by an impressive 84 yard catch and run TD. Melvin Gordon (PPR downgrade) got in on the action by rolling up 84 total yards and a TD, and should continue to handle a slight majority of the carries. Ekeler’s role is slightly more valuable, however, as his looks in the passing game often give him room to make plays in the open field, and give him a higher floor in PPR leagues. Consider Ekeler on the RB1/2 borderline, especially in PPR formats, and Gordon can be viewed as a solid RB2. Both should be in lineups this week, despite the Vikings giving up the 6th fewest FPPG to RBs, but Ekeler is a bit safer as he doesn’t require rushing lanes up the middle or goal-line opportunities to be able to rack up the points.
Score Prediction: Vikings 23, Chargers 16

Indianapolis Colts at New Orleans Saints (-8.5)

Colts ATS: 6-5-2 Saints ATS: 8-5-0
Projected Team Totals: Colts 18.75 Saints 27.25

Colts

Opp (NO) Pass DVOA: #10
Opp (NO) Run DVOA: #10
Opp (NO) Weighted DEF: #7
Injuries to Watch DEF (NO) Friday Report: LB Kiko Alonso (DNP) S Vonn Bell (DNP) CB Patrick Robinson (DNP) DE Cameron Jordan (LP) LB AJ Klein (LP)
Injuries to Watch OFF (IND) Friday Report: WR TY Hilton (LP) OL Le’Raven Clark (DNP)
Key WCB matchups: None
Relevant Target Share %’s (Last 6 Weeks): T.Y. Hilton (24%) Zach Pascal (20%) Jack Doyle (15%) Parris Campbell (15%) Nyheim Hines (12%) Deon Cain (6%)
RB Snap %/Touches/Targets Week 14: Nyheim Hines (56%, 8, 5) Marlon Mack (41%, 13, 0) Jordan Wilkins (14%, 1, 0)
QB/WTE Breakdown
This season has gone south fast for the Colts, dropping five of their last six games, and Jacoby Brissett (downgrade) has been much less effective in the second half of the season. He was able to take advantage of the Buccaneers ridiculously bad secondary last week in a close loss, but will face a stiffer challenge this week. The Saints give up the 10th most FPPG to QBs, but have the 10th best pass DVOA, and Brissett may be without his top WR again this week. Consider him a low-upside QB2, and don’t look his way unless desperate in a 2QB or superflex league.
TY Hilton (injury downgrade) is currently listed as a game time decision for MNF, making him a risky starting proposition due to the fact that most of the alternative options in your lineup will have already played by the time we get final clarity on his status. Unless there is a report stating definitively he will suit up, it’s best to avoid him this week. If you own Zach Pascal (start only if Hilton sits), you could also use him as a pivot option in case Hilton is ruled out before kickoff. If that’s the case, it would leave Pascal in position to soak up another high target total. He’s been extremely productive the past two weeks, and the Saints give up the 3rd most FPPG to WRs, so if he’s the #1 option this week he should be in your lineup. However, it’s hard to bank on this as Hilton likely won’t be declared active or inactive until just before kickoff, so it’s tough to bench more established studs for him during Sunday’s games. Consider Pascal a borderline WR2 if Hilton sits, but he’s no more than a boom-bust WR3/4 if Hilton plays. It’s likely best to avoid this situation entirely if you can, and either player could potentially see Marcus Lattimore in shadow coverage if the Saints decide to go that route as well. With Eric Ebron out for the year, Jack Doyle (upgrade) has shown flashes, but put up a 2-27 dud last week. Brissett likes throwing to his TEs, and Doyle is a great red-zone threat, so with the scarcity of quality options at the position Doyle is a mid-range TE1. The Saints are middle of the pack against TEs, so get him in your lineups this week unless you have a higher floor elite option.
RB Breakdown
Another tough draw is on deck for Marlon Mack (volume upgrade). He played 41% of snaps in his return from injury, receiving only 13 touches. Still, he looked healthy, and was clearly the lead back. The Colts will likely increase his workload moving forward, and he should see closer to 20 touches this week, game-script permitting. New Orleans has only ceded 14.2 FPPG to the position, but Mack’s projected volume keep him in the RB2 ranks. Nyheim Hines and Jordan Wilkins are merely afterthoughts in this offense with the return of the Mack, and both can be safely dropped.

Saints

Opp (IND) Pass DVOA: #14
Opp (IND) Run DVOA: #20
Opp (IND) Weighted DEF: #15
Injuries to Watch DEF (IND) Friday Report: CB Kenny Moore (DNP) CB Pierre Desir (LP)
Injuries to Watch OFF (NO) Friday Report: OT Terron Armstead (LP) OL Will Clapp (LP) OG Andrus Peat (DNP)
Key WCB matchups: None
Relevant Target Share %’s (Last 6 Weeks): Michael Thomas (30%) Alvin Kamara (22%) Jared Cook (15%) Ted Ginn (10%) Tre’Quan Smith (6%)
RB Snap %/Touches/Targets Week 14: Alvin Kamara (76%, 17, 6) Latavius Murray (33%, 9, 3)
QB/WTE Breakdown
Lamar Jackson broke Michael Vick’s single-season rushing record for a quarterback on Thursday Night Football this week, so it would be fitting for Primetime Drew Brees (upgrade) to break the all-time passing touchdown record on Monday Night Football in the same week. Brees is sitting at 537 career touchdown passes, just two shy of Peyton Manning. However, Tom Brady is at 536, so it’s possible that going into MNF, Brees will be chasing both Manning and Brady (NFL.com) Indianapolis has been fading of late, Jameis Winston just posted 456-yards and four touchdowns against a usually solid secondary. Monday feels like it’ll be a special moment for Brees, he’s a top-5 QB option, fire him up.
Michael Thomas (upgrade) is also chasing greatness, going after Marvin Harrison’s single-season reception record of 143. Thomas is just twenty-three catches shy with three weeks left to go (NFL.com). Indy’s zone defense should provide plenty of underneath windows for the stud wideout, he’s an every-week elite WR1. The other wideouts are riskier: neither Ted Ginn or Tre’Quan Smith can be relied upon, and should be treated as boom-or-bust dart throws. Jared Cook has emerged as the No. 3 passing option since Brees returned from injury, vacuuming up a 15% target share in the last six weeks. He’s expected to suit up Monday, after a concussion knocked him out of last week's barn burner. He’s an every week TE1 - IND cedes 7.3 FPPG to the position.
RB Breakdown
It was extremely disappointing to watch the Saints roll up yards and points in the shootout last week, while Alvin Kamara (upgrade) busted on 17 touches. Latavius Murray was given fewer snaps and touches than Kamara, but was able to parlay his limited opportunity into a successful fantasy outing. Unfortunately, that’s just fantasy football sometimes; a plethora of variables exist and many cannot be predicted. Kamara owners that managed to survive the opening round of playoffs, despite his unfortunate bust week, need to renew their faith for this one. Indy cedes just 14.4 FPPG to RBs - but they are bottom-12 in Run DVOA. Additionally, we may be back to a reality in which the Saints score 30 a week in The Big Easy. I’m not betting against the positive game-script the home matchup should provide; Lat “Pulldown” Murray can be considered a viable, albeit slightly unpredictable, flex option as well.
Score Prediction: Saints 35, Colts 20
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gpngc's Week 14 QB Rankings

gpngc’s Week 14 QB Rankings
I love the weekly post that details expert rankings compared to each other. I think falling into groupthink is a mistake most fantasy owners make. I have a football background and an understanding of DFS, which is overlooked in yearly fantasy decision-making. These rankings will differ greatly from normal rankings. They are not best used for following blindly, but more for finding a different perspective. If they are well-received I will share other positions.
QB
  1. Lamar Jackson @ BUF - Matchup proof. Can’t wait to cash his MVP ticket.
  2. Matt Ryan vs CAR – With Julio and Hooper back, he’s my BOOM of the week. 47.5 total and the Falcons haven’t been able to run the ball all year. The Panthers D is bad. The Falcons D is also bad. Ryan has a high ceiling and high floor. He’ll get sacked, but in some shootouts sacks just mean more yards. I don’t foresee a particularly inspired defensive effort from a team that just got shredded by the Redskins at home.
  3. Deshaun Watson vs DEN – His floor is very high due to rushing and TD necessity (only 5 RB rushing TDs). They’ve done a great job designing creative plays, especially in the red zone. Denver is good at limiting the passing game, but so was NE. Watson has historically gone on hot streaks (winning streak last year, ridiculous stretch in rookie season). Last week started one.
  4. Sam Darnold vs MIA – BOOM. People will assuredly overreact to last week’s performance which featured multiple mind-numbing drops by Jets receivers. This is a tremendous spot for Darnold versus a terrible pass D. The O/U opened at 43.5 and has now moved up to 45. The Jets are implied to score 25 points, 7th highest this week. Two bad pass defenses = a ton of fantasy points for the QBs. Darnold has also been much better at home than on the road this season.
  5. Carson Wentz vs NYG – 2nd highest implied total of the week (27.75) and the Giants have a good run D and terrible pass D. Wentz went through a rough stretch against really good pass defenses. He also went to the locker room with an injury against Seattle. Last week he sure looked healthy. NYG have the 3rd worst pass D DVOA in the league and give up the 3rd most fantasy points per game to opposing WRs. Philly will force Eli to try to beat them which will either mean incredibly lucky TDs for guys like Slayton and Shepard or multiple turnovers giving the Eagles better scoring opportunities.
  6. Ryan Tannehill @ OAK – The O/U in this game has gone up and will probably keep going up. We know Tanny has been efficient and the Titans should score more than 3 TDs. Only concern is that the D/ST and Henry are very capable scorers. Oakland is bad against both the run and pass, but the only gameplan that makes sense is to contain Henry. Look for plenty of bootlegs and playaction, and Henry to catch a couple of passes. A 4-TD game is more likely than a 1-TD game for Tanny.
  7. Jimmy Garoppolo @ NO – The O/U is down from 45.5 to 44.5 and both teams go relatively slow, so any shootout potential will come from passing game execution. NO is bottom-5 in RB fantasy pts allowed but has given up 76 receptions to RBs (4th most). Jimmy G performed admirably on the road in BAL and will probably get back his LT against the Saints good pass rush. I don’t see the Saints allowing the 49ers to beat them on the ground (the Ravens aren’t a great run D), so Jimmy G will have to keep them in it.
  8. Kirk Cousins vs DET - DET is really bad against the pass and 28.25 implied total for MIN is the highest of the week. They have given up the most receiving TDs to RBs in the NFL (8). Cook is banged up, so I’d put Cousins’ floor at 2 TDs. This could be a blowout, which would keep Cousins’ attempts down, but how they get to a blowout will probably be due to his success. There’s a very high floor here.
  9. Jacoby Brissett vs TB – The Colts want to run the ball. That won’t happen this week, so they’ll be forced to pass. Raw data-based projections can mislead people. Based on prior performances by the Bucs D and Colts O, Brissett’s passing attempts projections based solely on math will be underrepresented. The Bucs DL has feasted on some atrocious OL play in their recent defensive surge, which has caused a lot of unsustainable turnovers. The Colts OL will give Brissett time and allow him to produce versus a terrible secondary. If TY comes back, that’s a boost. Even if not, I expect a big day from Doyle (TB 4th-worst vs TEs) and Pascal.
  10. Kyle Allen @ ATL – Atlanta is good against the run and 6th-worst in DVOA against the pass. McCaffrey won’t be shut out, but in a possible shootout, bad ATL DBs will be exposed by Moore and Samuel. 22 implied total in a close division game, and McCaffrey keeps getting stuffed at the goal line. Plus, they want to see what they have in Allen going forward. Pretty obvious spot for a lot less rushing attempts than usual.
  11. Aaron Rodgers vs WAS – Washington is bad against RBs and hasn’t even given up that many TDs (7). Aaron Jones struggled against the Giants as Rodgers took advantage of DBs and DL literally stuck in snow instead. It wasn’t a spot for a twitchy explosive back like Jones. These are two of the slowest teams in the league and with Washington’s new-found rushing attack, I expect them to work the clock a bit. Washington is just about average against the pass and the low O/U and blowout risk gives Rodgers a low floor.
  12. Patrick Mahomes @ NE – BUST. I don’t think his floor is that low, but it’s pretty obvious how NE is going to approach this game at home. Sony Michel and the running game has looked much better in the past few weeks. The Pats are well aware that their weapons are bad. They are going to try to control the clock and take advantage of a porous KC run D. It will work. They’ll also look to take away Kelce and Hill, and make a RB beat them. Expect light boxes and bracket coverage on Kelce and Hill.
  13. Jameis Winston @ IND – The total in this game opened at 49.5 and has been bet down to just 47. IND D is above average against the pass, but below average against the run. IND is one of the slower teams in the league in neutral game circumstances. Jameis is a turnover machine and this is a spot to be impatient and force things. The D is playing better and the Tampa backs have shown flashes so I expect the game plan to be somewhat conservative.
  14. Ryan Fitzpatrick @ NYJ – The Jets D is terrible and just lost its best player. The Dolphins struggle against good edge rushers and the Jets have none. The Jets have a top-5 run defense and the Dolphins have the worst running game in the NFL. Fitzmagic might have 50+ passing attempts.
  15. Josh Allen – Allen keeps proving people wrong. His rushing production was supposed to be unsustainable (it hasn’t been), and his accuracy flaws were supposed to be his downfall (they haven’t been). Betting against him is tough to do but I have to stay true to my process. He has thrown for less than 200 yards 4 times. His season average is 215.9 yds passing per game. BAL has given up just 109 rushing yds to QBs all year and has the 3rd-best pass D DVOA in the league. Allen has a 2-1 TD-INT ratio and the Ravens have a great secondary. He’ll throw a pick or two in this spot. The Bills D is not good versus the run and the Ravens rarely punt. Possessions will be limited.
  16. Dak Prescott @ CHI – BUST. Raw numbers will like Prescott this week, as he’s been a terrific fantasy QB, and is coming off a very productive game in a difficult matchup. CHI is middle of the pack in RB pts against, but 29th in QB pts against. The O/U is just 43 pts and they’ll be in 30-degree weather with Chicago winds at night. Also, Zeke is due for some positive TD regression and the Bears have given up just 13 passing TDs all year.
  17. Jared Goff vs SEA – Goff had 395 yds passing @ SEA in their first game. 23.75 implied total. SEA has gotten better against the pass since the Diggs trade and Reed came back from suspension, but McVay has had the SEA defenses number since Gurl Harbor in 2017. Seattle is bad against TEs and RBs in the pass game so look for chunks or TDs on playaction and screens.
  18. Derek Carr vs TEN – The Titans are less than 3 pt favorites @ OAK with an O/U of 47. There will be scoring, and Tennessee is very good against the run. However, they give up the 2nd-most receptions to RBs and have a below average pass D. Carr has not been a good fantasy option but his floor in this spot is relatively high. The Titans are also bad against TEs.
  19. Kyler Murray vs PIT – Tough to trust Murray here after a dismal performance at home last week. He’s facing a top-3 DVOA D and top-4 DVOA pass D in PIT, who have the DL and edge players to dominate the bad Cardinals OL. Even more worrisome is the expected PIT gameplan and low 20.5 implied total. Tomlin just wants his QB to not kill them, and they’ll be able to run the ball and control the clock. Murray’s best fantasy games will come in shootouts. This is not one. Expect a Fitzgerald TD (PIT terrible vs the slot), but not much else. His rushing upside keeps him in the top-20.
  20. Russell Wilson @ LAR – The Seahawks OL has quietly become one of the better units in the league. Their rushing attack is legit. Wilson has only eclipsed 250 passing yards or 19 fantasy points ONCE since Week 6 (ridiculous shootout vs TB). Their evolution into a run-heavy offense is working. The Rams give up the 19th-most fantasy points to opposing QBs, and that’s including Lamar Jackson putting up 40+. It’s a tough matchup and a letdown spot for Seattle.
  21. Tom Brady vs KC – Everything about this game points to the Pats working to establish the run and control the clock. KC has the 6th-best pass D DVOA and the 3rd-worst run D DVOA in the league. There is a clip making the rounds where Belichick explains how he uses the strategies from the Art of War – expose opponent weaknesses and protect your own weaknesses. They’re going to feed Sony to not have their receivers exposed and give the Chiefs light boxes to not let Mahomes beat them. 48.5 is a high total but I truly think there will be more rushing TDs than most fantasy players want.
  22. Drew Brees vs SF – Brees has had some head-scratching low-output fantasy performances the past two year, including both Falcons games this year. The Saints are implied to score 23.5 pts, 13th-highest this week. The 49ers have the best pass D DVOA in the NFL and are giving up just 13 fantasy pts per game to QBs. The Saints have three red zone rush TD threats in Kamara, Murray, and Hill. In a game against a stout front, wildcat gets an extra hat in the run game.
  23. Baker Mayfield vs CIN – 41 pt total against a defense that has played better of late. I expect Chubb and Hunt to run all over the Bengals. Besides a 3-TD game against Miami, Mayfield hasn’t been a good fantasy option.
  24. Andy Dalton @ CLE – 16 implied total against a D that has been much better since they got their DBs back. He’ll have to throw a lot so it’s not a terrible spot but it’ll be an uphill battle on the road.
  25. Eli Manning @ PHI – There would be nothing more Eli than to come off the bench and light up the Eagles hideous secondary. His OL is terrible though.
  26. Philip Rivers @ JAC – The Jags rush D is awful so I expect Gordon and Eckeler to do work on the ground. Rumors of being benched is usually not good (see: Nick Foles).
  27. Mitch Trubisky vs DAL – Long week for preparation. He’ll probably score a designed rushing TD but he’s also two picks away from getting benched for good.
  28. Drew Lock @ HOU – The Texans don’t have a great pass D but I don’t think Drew Lock is a good bet to produce well in his first road start. He struggled with pre-snap management and delay of game penalties at Missouri.
  29. Gardner Minshew vs LAC – The Chargers run D is bad but their pass D is good.
  30. David Blough @ MIN – His first start was hilarious. He was ridiculously lucky that the Bears blew coverages and his OL was phenomenal. The NFL is not as easy as it was for him that day.
  31. Duck Hodges @ ARI – Just don’t kill us.
  32. Dwayne Haskins @ GB – Give Guice the ball and get out of the way please.
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Divisional Weekend Matchup Guide (Part 1)

Part 1 of 2

Part 2 Right Here: https://dfaroto.com/nfl/divisional-weekend-matchup-guide-part-2

GLOSSARY

DVOA (Defense-adjusted Value Over Average): calculates a team's success based on the down-and-distance of each play during the season, then calculates how much more or less successful each team is compared to the league average.
DVOA Pass/Run Defense Rank: Team’s NFL rank in DVOA pass or run defense so far this season. #1 means best DEF against the pass/run, #32 means worst DEF against the pass/run.
Weighted DEFENSE: is adjusted so that earlier games in the season become gradually less important. It better reflects how the team was playing at the end of the season.
ATS = Against the spread
DVOA from https://www.footballoutsiders.com/stats/teamdef/2019
What’s up fellow fantasy football connoisseurs, hope everyone had a great holiday and New Year. We are going to continue to publish our matchup guide through the playoffs for those that play DFS or fantasy playoff leagues. We will give estimated valuations of players, as well as game flow projections and possible implications of injuries or trends on those involved. Best of luck to all!

DFAroto Playoff Record for Predictions

Moneyline: 2/4
ATS: 3/4

Minnesota Vikings at San Francisco 49ers (-7)

Vikings ATS: 10-7-0 49ers ATS: 9-6-1
Projected Point Totals: Vikings 18.75 49ers 25.75

Vikings

Opp (SF) Pass DVOA: #2
Opp (SF) Run DVOA: #11
Opp (SF) Weighted DEF: #4
Injuries to Watch DEF (SF): DE Dee Ford (P) DE Kentavius Street (P)
Injuries to Watch OFF (MIN): WR Adam Thielen (Q)
Key WCB matchups: None
Relevant Target Share %’s (Last 6 Weeks Reg Season): Stefon Diggs (23%) Adam Thielen (12%) Dalvin Cook (10%) Kyle Rudolph (10%) Irv Smith (10%)
RB Snap %/Touches/Targets Wild Card Round: Dalvin Cook (78%, 31, 5) Alexander Mattison (18%, 6, 2) Ameer Abdullah (4%, 1, 0)
QB/WTE Breakdown
How you like me now?! Kirk Cousins (downgrade) got the first big win of his career last week in a shocking upset of the Saints in The Big Easy. On tap is another beastly defense; San Francisco ranks second in Pass DVOA, while also producing the 11th best Run DVOA. Needless to say, it projects as tough sledding for the entire Vikings offense. Mike Zimmer’s game plan will flow through the run game again, capping Cousins upside in the box score. He again projects as a fade for DFS, especially considering the other signal callers available on the slate. The matchup isn’t a good one - SF cedes just 15 FPPG to opposing QBs and just 19.1 to opposing WRs - Plus, the 49ers defense will be bolstered by the return of LB Kwon Alexander and SS Jaquiski Tart. DT Dee Ford was also expected to return, but his status is now a bit murkier as we head into the weekend. All of this is to say, it’s probably best to go a different route at QB.
Stefon Diggs (slight downgrade) busted last week, but if you read our Wild Card article it was to be expected. San Francisco has been second best in the NFL for limiting explosive pass plays (20+ yards), giving them up on just 6% of plays (sharpfootballstats). Considering Diggs role in the Vikings offense as the main downfield threat, he again faces an uphill battle to DFS success. If not for the midweek injury to fellow wideout Adam Theilen (Q), Diggs would be receiving a full downgrade. If Theilen is in anyway limited, however, Diggs could see a volume upgrade that would keep him active in the WR2 conversation. Plus, he’s always just one deep ball away from hitting value. Either way, Diggs is no more than a contrarian play in a tough matchup - according to PFF his matchup disadvantage is set at -5%, he’s expected to see primary coverage from Ahkello Witherspoon (PFF’s No. 72 CB). While that matchup isn’t exactly imposing, considering the 49ers also field the No. 1 ranked CB (Richard Sherman), and the No. 9 (K’Waun Williams); it’s going to be tough for Diggs. The midweek injury to Theilen renders him no more than a dart throw due to volume and playing time concerns. Proceed at your own risk, but again he’s the preferred play to Diggs if active and not limited. Kyle Rudolph hauled in the game winner last week, but outside of that barely managed to produce. He and Irv Smith are no more than touchdown dependent tight end options. The edge again goes to Rudolph due to his nose for the endzone.
RB Breakdown
Dalvin Cook (volume upgrade) handled an amazing 31 touches in the Wild Card Round, parlaying them into 94 yards on the ground with two touchdowns, also adding a 3-36-0 receiving line. San Francisco has been a bit weaker against the run than the pass, so Cook can again be considered a volume based RB1 with a great chance at finding the endzone. His monster volume should alleviate any concerns of the tough matchup - SF cedes just 12.2 FPPG to opposing RBs, giving up an average of 112.6 yards per game on the ground - still, Cook can’t be counted out, and may be under-owned due to the expected negative game-script. Remember, this offense flows through Cook.

49ers

Opp (MIN) Pass DVOA (Regular Season): #7
Opp (MIN) Run DVOA (Regular Season): #9
Opp (MIN) Weighted DEF: #6
Injuries to Watch DEF (MIN): S Jayron Kearse (D) CB Mackensie Alexander (OUT)
Injuries to Watch OFF (SF): G Mike Person (P)
Key WCB matchups: None
Relevant Target Share %’s (Last 6 Weeks Reg Season): George Kittle (31%) Emmanuel Sanders (19%) Deebo Samuel (18%) Kendrick Bourne (9%) Raheem Mostert (8%)
RB Snap %/Touches/Targets Week 17: Raheem Mostert (54%, 11, 2) Tevin Coleman (30%, 6, 2) Matt Breida (16%, 4, 1)
QB/WTE Breakdown
The 49ers head into Saturday as 7 point home favorites. This is in large part due to their success on defense in 2019, but also because Jimmy Garoppolo (slight downgrade) has proven to be a massive success. The guy is sporting a perfect QBR when throwing the ball 20+ yards between the numbers (Next Gen Stats), plus, he’s been pretty damn good throwing to every other place on the field as well. The Vikings have been very good against imposing signal callers - limiting QBs to just 14.2 FPPG and WRs to 22.4 FPPG - plus, they held Drew Brees to just 208 yards passing in the Wild Card Round. Another thing to consider, Jimmy G is making his first career playoff start, and historical trends show us that quarterbacks generally struggle. Since 2010, teams are 9-17 when starting a first-time quarterback in the playoffs (washingtonpost.com). Still, it feels different with Jimmy G. However, considering that the Vikings were able to get pressure against the Saints, who have a better ranked offensive line according to PFF than the 49ers, and that San Francisco is a run first team, Jimmy G should likely be faded this weekend.
Deebo Samuel (slight upgrade) and Emmanuel Sanders are the only wideouts in this offense with over 10% of the target share, making them the only ones worth considering. Sanders has taken on the role as field stretcher with an aDOT of 12.6 yards, while Samuel has thrived as an underneath play maker with an aDOT of 6.5 yards, while also churning out 201 YAC this year. The Vikings corners are a bit banged up, plus were never an imposing matchup anyway - Trae Waynes (PFF’s No. 27 CB), Mike Hughes (PFF’s No. 101 CB), and Xavier Rhodes (PFF’s No. 141 CB) have all been exploitable, while Mackensie Alexander (PFF’s No. 59) has been announced as out for this weekend. Samuel has the second best matchup advantage for the weekend according to PFF, behind only Tyreek Hill. He’s sitting at a 20% advantage, while Sanders isn’t far behind at 18%. One thing to consider is the explosive pass rate (20+ yards) given up by the Vikings. They only yield them on 7% of plays (sharpfootballstats.com), making Samuel the preferred play as the underneath option. George Kittle (upgrade) has been an absolute stud in 2019, not only is he the No. 1 ranked tight end by PFF, he’s also the highest ranked player in the NFL by PFF. He’s a freaking monster. Still, the Vikings have been very good against opposing tight ends - ceding just 4.8 FPPG to the position, second best. Either way, I’m not willing to bet against Kittle, and considering the other tight ends on the Saturday slate, he should likely be locked into most lineups. The only other to be considered is Mark Andrews (see below), who draws an extremely favorable matchup against the Titans.
RB Breakdown
The 49ers backfield has been a bit of a mess to predict all year, but has shaped up in favor of Raheem Mostert in recent weeks. The emergence of Mostert has relegated Tevin Coleman and Matt Breida to complementary roles, with neither offering much in the way of fantasy value. Minnesota has been average against enemy backs - surrendering 16.5 FPPG to the position - but they have allowed an average of 146.3 rushing yards per game over their last three contests. The Vikings defense played above their season average in terms of rushing yards allowed against the Saints, only giving up 97 yards, but New Orleans only ran the ball a meager 17 times. Mostert is in a good spot to produce considering the expected positive game-script at home, but the concern in a Kyle Shanahan offense is the hot hand approach used by the coaching staff. If Mostert doesn’t get it going early, he could see his touches dwindle in favor of a producing back. Still, he’s the cheapest starting RB on the Saturday slate, and offers the same touchdown upside as the other options. Proceed at your own risk, but Mostert could be a fixture in lineups finishing in the money.
Score Prediction: 49ers 27, Vikings 21

Tennessee Titans at Baltimore Ravens (-9.5)

Titans ATS: 9-7-1 Ravens ATS: 10-6-0
Projected Point Totals: Titans 18.5 Ravens 28

Titans

Opp (BAL) Pass DVOA: #4
Opp (BAL) Run DVOA: #19
Opp (BAL) Weighted DEF: #2
Injuries to Watch DEF (BAL): None
Injuries to Watch OFF (TEN): WR Adam Humphries (OUT)
Key WCB matchups: None
Relevant Target Share %’s (Last 6 Weeks Reg Season): AJ Brown (26%) Corey Davis (16%) Tajae Sharpe (12%) Adam Humphries (12%) Jonnu Smith (10%)
RB Snap %/Touches/Targets Wild Card Round: Derrick Henry (81%, 35, 1) Dion Lewis (18%, 3, 1)
QB/WTE Breakdown
The Titans passing offense predictably found little success against the shutdown secondary of New England last week, but thanks to strong work in other facets of the game, they are on to the second round. Ryan Tannehill (potential volume upgrade) was a dud in lineups last week, going 8/15 for only 72 yards in the win, despite starting strong on his first drive with multiple completions and a TD throw. As the game wore on, he struggled to find anything downfield and the Titans settled into a ground and pound approach to bleed the clock and pull out a win. The Ravens secondary is unlikely to be much softer on Tannehill this week, as their four main CBs all rank in the top-35 in yards per cover snap as graded by PFF (Rotoworld). The one factor that may work in his favor is a potential shootout forced by the Ravens’ potent offense; if the Titans are facing a big second half deficit they will be less able to lean on their run game. Tannehill isn’t a great play, but makes for a possible dice roll in hopes this turns into a high-scoring and pass-happy affair.
With Tannehill limited by both volume and ineffectiveness, none of the Titans WRs were able to produce last week. That could change if the Ravens force this game into a higher scoring affair - their offense is in another world from the Patriots this season - so there is hope for these pass-catchers this week. While the Ravens secondary is among the best in the NFL, they did rank middle of the pack in FPPG allowed to WRs over the course of the season. Still, they are now ranked by DVOA as the 2nd best defense in the league (based on Weighted DVOA, since weighted DVOA is meant to lower the strength of older games, these ratings do not include Weeks 1-4, and Weeks 5-10 are somewhat discounted), so this will be a tough matchup. The projected negative game flow could play in the Titans WRs favor though; any increase in volume would be welcomed. AJ Brown (slight upgrade) is the safest bet of this group as he was on an extreme hot streak to finish the regular season, and is not the first WR to be shut down by the Pats defense, so prospective owners should try to have a short memory. Expect him to lead the team in targets and/or catches, and he has a solid shot of bouncing back. He makes for a quality Saturday play based on hope for volume and high-scoring conditions. Corey Davis (volume downgrade) is much riskier, as he hasn’t seen the targets to believe he can produce well this week. He’s no more than a low-end dart throw in hopes of a red zone target or two. Jonnu Smith (matchup downgrade) was ineffective last week, and now faces a Baltimore defense that ceded the fewest FPPG to TEs in the regular season. He still has the upside and athleticism to pop off a big play or two, but he is not a trustworthy play. Ultimately, only Brown is worthy of rostering unless you are willing to roll the dice.
RB Breakdown
There is really no other way to describe Derrick Henry’s (upgrade) performance last week other than pure dominance. Yes, he is running behind a strong O-Line, and yes he is in a scheme that plays to his strengths. However, in watching the tape it’s clear that on many of his runs he is creating a large portion of the yards on his own. This season, he was tops in the NFL in yards after contact with 973, and was third in broken tackles at 29 (theringer.com). He continues to run around, past, and through defenders on a weekly basis. Baltimore’s defense did well to limit RBs through the regular season, but that was in part due to their lack of RB receptions allowed, which doesn’t affect Henry as much (Rotoworld). They will do everything they can to limit Henry this week, and potential negative game script may limit his second half touches, but Henry is still a top play for Saturday. He will get 20+ touches, likely see at least one goal line opportunity, and is the only real hope the Titans have of springing the upset. Just be aware there is concern of negative game-flow limiting him slightly. Dion Lewis is not a realistic fantasy option.

Ravens

Opp (TEN) Pass DVOA: #21
Opp (TEN) Run DVOA: #10
Opp (TEN) Weighted DEF: #17
Injuries to Watch DEF (TEN) Wednesday Report: LB Jayon Brown (OUT)
Injuries to Watch OFF (BAL) Wednesday Report: Mark Ingram (Q) Mark Andrews (Q)
Key WCB matchups: Marquise Brown vs. Adoree Jackson (unlikely full shadow, Rotoworld) Relevant Target Share %’s (Last 6 Weeks Reg Season): Mark Andrews (22% Marquise Brown (14%) Jaleel Scott (14%) Seth Roberts (12%) Willie Snead (11%)
RB Snap %/Touches/Targets Week 16: Mark Ingram (41%, 10, 2) Gus Edwards (41%, 13, 1) Justice Hill (18%, 6, 4)
QB/WTE Breakdown
The Ravens head into Divisional Weekend fresh and rested, and Lamar Jackson (upgrade) now gets the opportunity to rack up the first of what should be many playoff wins in his career. The all but certain 2019 NFL MVP last took the field in Week 16 when he orchestrated a win over the Browns to lock up the #1 seed in the NFC. Fantasy owners need no reminder of the ridiculous numbers Jackson put up in the regular season, and there is little reason to expect much of a dropoff on Saturday. The Titans were strong against the pass in the regular season, and looked impressive in holding Tom Brady to 209 yards with no scores and one interception. However, Jackson’s game is as much running as it is passing, and there has been no team that truly slowed him from racking up yards in either area during the regular season. Jackson is the top play at QB for the weekend, and should pay off well for prospective owners that choose to invest in him.
Jackson’s historical rushing production meant that owners were unable to glean much from this passing game. Only Mark Andrews (upgrade) was a consistent fantasy option throughout the year, and he quickly became a top-5 weekly option. Tennessee gave up the 6th most FPPG to TEs through the regular season, so this is a plus matchup for the stud TE. Andrews is a top option for the Saturday slate, or the weekend overall, and should be a staple in lineups that can afford him. After that, things get tricky. Marquise Brown (slight upgrade) proved to be worth owning this season, but he was still a weekly bust candidate if not catching a deep ball or snagging one of Jackson’s five passing TDs on a given week. The Titans were middle of the pack against WRs, and have a below-average pass DVOA, but Brown should see a lot of Adoree Jackson in coverage as well. Jackson has the speed to keep up with Brown in theory, so there’s less of a perceived advantage there. However, if Jackson gets his passing game going, Brown is second only to Andrews in terms of likely production received from said passing. Consider Brown a boom or bust WR3 type this week; he’s an intriguing tournament option to go against the grain. No other Baltimore pass-catcher can realistically be put into a lineup.
RB Breakdown
Thursday’s practice report brought about a limited session for veteran starting RB Mark Ingram (questionable), and there are mixed reports about his potential availability. If he is able to play, Ingram may see slightly reduced snaps, although he has already been only about a 50-60% snap guy in the regular season, but his touch count could be further limited. The matchup with the Titans is somewhat favorable - they had the 19th worst run DVOA but gave up the 13th fewest FPPG to RBs - and the Ravens are huge home favorites, which increases his odds of punching in a TD or two. This gives his outlook a boost, but the injury concern merits close monitoring, and could put him at risk for an in-game aggravation that would tank any lineup. If he is ultimately ruled out prior to kickoff, Gus Edwards (volume upgrade if Ingram sits) and Justice Hill immediately vault into potential solid plays. Edwards would likely see the bulk of the early down work, with Hill mixing in as a change of pace and passing game option. Still, Hill didn’t get much passing involvement in the regular season, and would be virtually impossible to trust unless clear reports emerged stating his expected involvement (unlikely). Edwards would be the much stronger play, and would actually become one of the best value options of the weekend. He would likely see around 15-20 touches and have first shot at goal line opportunities. Keep a close eye on the injury reports, and consider avoiding the situation entirely unless a definitive report about Ingram surfaces in advance of lineups locking.
Score Prediction: Ravens 24, Titans 17
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Week 12 Matchup Strategy Guide - Part 3

Part 3 of 3

Part 1 Right Here: https://dfaroto.com/nfl/week-12-matchup-strategy-guide-part-1

Part 2 Right Here: https://dfaroto.com/nfl/week-12-matchup-strategy-guide-part-2

GLOSSARY

DVOA (Defense-adjusted Value Over Average) calculates a team's success based on the down-and-distance of each play during the season, then calculates how much more or less successful each team is compared to the league average.
DVOA Pass/Run Defense Rank: Team’s NFL rank in DVOA pass or run defense so far this season. #1 means best DEF against the pass/run, #32 means worst DEF against the pass/run.
ATS = Against the spread
DVOA from https://www.footballoutsiders.com/stats/teamdef/2019

Jacksonville Jaguars at Tennessee Titans (-3)

Jaguars ATS: 5-5-0 Titans ATS: 4-5-1
Projected Team Totals: Jaguars 19.25 Titans 22.5

Jaguars

Opp (TEN) Pass DVOA: #22
Opp (TEN) Run DVOA: #4
Injuries to Watch DEF (TEN): None
Injuries to Watch OFF (JAX): TE Seth DeValve (OUT)
Key WCB matchups: D.J. Chark vs. Adoree’ Jackson (Rotoworld)
Relevant Target Share %’s (season): D.J. Chark (23%) Dede Westbrook (19%) Leonard Fournette (16%) Chris Conley (15%) Keelan Cole (7%)
RB Snap %/Touches/Targets Week 11: Leonard Fournette (71%, 15, 7) Ryquell Armstead (22%, 3, 2) Devine Ozigbo (7%, 0, 0)
QB/WTE Breakdown
The return of Nick Foles (upgrade) didn’t go according to plan, as Jacksonville was throttled by the Colts, 33-13. Foles himself didn’t look too shabby, compiling 295-yards passing and two touchdowns with an interception in his first game back from a broken clavicle. Going up against a top-5 Run DVOA and a bottom-tier Pass DVOA in the Titans, one would surmise that Doug Morrone’s game plan would be to pass on TEN rather than run, but we also thought that should be the Colts game plan for Thursday Night Football and look where that got us... Either way, Foles gets the upgrade, it’s likely he’ll need to throw to overcome a suddenly surging TEN team fresh off an upset of KC - the Titans give up 17.6 FPPG to QBs and 23.3 to wideouts - consider Foles a back-end QB1 option.
It’s likely that waiver wire pickup of the year D.J. Chark (upgrade) is shadowed by stud CB Adoree Jackson. Jackson is ranked as PFF’s No. 36 corner this season (Rotoworld), so he’s no slouch. Still, Chark has earned every week WR1/2 treatment, and most wideouts have won their matches with Jackson over the last two years (Rotoworld). The loss of CB Malcolm Butler for TEN is big from a depth perspective, but Butler has hardly been elite this season. With Butler out and Jackson on Chark, it sets Chris Conley (upgrade PPR) up nicely with a date against CB LeShaun Sims (Rotoworld). Conley can be considered as a solid WR3 streamer this week in most PPR formats. Dede Westbrook (stash) also draws a solid matchup against Slot CB Logan Ryan, but he’s been hard to trust in lineups this season. With Foles back last week, he disappointed with a 4-30-0 receiving line on just 6 targets. It’s just one game however, and we saw in preseason plus Week 1 before Foles went down, how heavily Westbrook was used. Stash him if you can, but it’s probably best to take a wait and see approach before getting him in your lineup. JAX continues to be heavily injured at the TE position, with Josh Oliver (OUT) being the latest causality to hit the IR. No need to roster a JAX TE at this point.
RB Breakdown
After last week's blowout loss to IND, Doug Marrone mentioned that it was a “Big Mistake” not to run Leonard Fournette (downgrade) more often. While that may be, the lack of running game wasn’t the sole reason they lost. As long as Fournette continues to get the touches, he’ll stay in the RB1 ranks. This week projects as tough sledding though, TEN ranks 4th in Run DVOA, only gives up 102-yards rushing per game, and cedes only 17.7 FPPG to RBs. Start Fournette as usual, just keep expectations in check. His volume and passing game usage have kept his floor high all year, and it seems likely that positive touchdown regression is coming. Ryquell Armstead remains Fournette’s handcuff.

Titans

Opp (JAX) Pass DVOA: #11
Opp (JAX) Run DVOA: #30
Injuries to Watch DEF (JAX): None
Injuries to Watch OFF (TEN): OL Kevin Pamphile (D) TE Delanie Walker (D)
Key WCB matchups: None
Relevant Target Share %’s (season): Delanie Walker (18%) Corey Davis (16%) A.J. Brown (15%) Adam Humphries (14%) Jonnu Smith (11%) Derrick Henry (6%)
RB Snap %/Touches/Targets Week 10: Derrick Henry (71%, 25, 2) Dion Lewis (29%, 0, 0)
QB/WTE Breakdown
Unfortunately for us Oregon Duck fans, the Ryan Tannehill (downgrade) experiment is going swimmingly as the Titans are now 3-1 with the Texas A&M product at the controls. You weren’t starting him in any format anyway, but JAX has been significantly tougher to beat through the air than on the ground, so the volume shouldn’t be there to consider streaming the journeyman QB - JAX cedes 17.8 FPPG to QBs and 20.7 FPPG to WRs.
Along those same lines, you shouldn't be considering any of the TEN receivers either, the volume just hasn’t been there. A.J. Brown is seeing the most targets with Tannehill under center, but averaging only 5/6 per game. That’s just not enough to bank on. Corey Davis and Adam Humphries are the same story. It’s expected that Delanie Walker sits again this week even though he’s returned to practice, making Jonnu Smith a viable streamer for one more week. Consider him a low-end TE1 while Walker remains sidelined - JAX gives up 7.4 FPPG to the position.
RB Breakdown
If you took the risk on Derrick Henry (upgrade), congratulations, you have been handsomely rewarded. The former Alabama running back has crushed his way to the overall RB7 position, and doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. On tap is a matchup against one of the worst run defenses in the NFL, fire up Henry as usual - JAX gives up 134.6-yards a game on the ground, plus 21.1 FPPG to RBs. Henry should again vie for the overall RB1 finish this week. Dion Lewis (downgrade) just isn’t seeing the field enough to warrant consideration in any format.
Score Prediction: Titans 27, Jaguars 24

Dallas Cowboys at New England Patriots (-6.5)

Cowboys ATS: 6-4-0 Patriots ATS: 7-3-0
Projected Team Totals: Cowboys 19.5 Patriots 26

Cowboys

Opp (NE) Pass DVOA: #1
Opp (NE) Run DVOA: #13
Injuries to Watch DEF (NE): LB Ja’Whaun Bentley (Q) S Patrick Chung (Q) S Nate Ebner (Q) CB Jason McCourty (Q) DE John Simon (Q)
Injuries to Watch OFF (DAL): OG Connor Williams (Q)
Key WCB matchups: Amari Cooper vs. Stephon Gilmore (Rotoworld)
Relevant Target Share %’s (season): Michael Gallup (23%) Amari Cooper (22%) Randall Cobb (16%) Jason Witten (14%) Ezekiel Elliott (10%)
RB Snap %/Touches/Targets Week 11: Ezekiel Elliot (89%, 18, 3)
QB/WTE Breakdown
The Cowboys picked up a much needed win against the Lions last week, but now head on the road to play one of the best teams in the league. Dak Prescott (downgrade) has turned out to be a huge draft bargain for owners that snagged him, as he a top-5 fantasy QB on the season in most formats. However, the Patriots boast the #1 pass defense DVOA, and have given up the fewest FPPG to QBs this year. The only QB to really break them down was Lamar Jackson, and while Prescott does have quality mobility in the pocket, he’s certainly no LJax when it comes to dual-threat abilities. Prescott is still a low-end QB1 due to his weapons and quality play all year long, but owners would be wise to weigh their options before plugging him into lineups. The Cowboys low projected team total is concerning, and the Patriots have been a machine at creating turnovers.
While it doesn’t provide owners much solace in retrospect, Amari Cooper (downgrade) admitted a knee injury limited him against the Lions last week. He claims that the injury won’t affect him this week, so he’ll be close to 100%. However, the bigger concern is the Patriots ability to shut down #1 WRs, more specifically Stephon Gillmore’s shut down abilities at CB. Cooper will likely see Gillmore in shadow coverage most of the day, so he’s deserving of a slight downgrade. In previous seasons, Cooper had been extremely susceptible to shadow matchups, but he seems to have overcome that somewhat this year. While a low-floor game is possible, Cooper should still be fired up as a high-end WR2 in this tough matchup. Michael Gallup may benefit from the increased attention to Cooper, but the rest of the Patriots secondary isn’t exactly exploitable. The Patriots have given up more than 200 yards passing only twice this year, so its unwise to expect a big day from any Cowboys receiver (Rotoworld). Instead, consider Gallup a solid WR2, and fire him up in most season-long leagues while avoiding him in DFS formats. Randall Cobb (bench) has been surprisingly productive the past two weeks, but is best to avoid this week against the Patriots. He’s no more than a WR4 this week, but should still be owned in most leagues, especially in PPR formats.
RB Breakdown
The Cowboys have gone away from their run game slightly the past two weeks, instead focusing on their electrifying passing game. That may change this week, as the Patriots will likely limit Prescott’s ability to fling the ball around at will, and the game-flow may dictate a grind it out defensive battle. Ezekiel Elliot (auto-start) remains a true workhorse, playing 89% of the snaps last week, and may be asked to carry the offense this week with the Pats slightly more vulnerable to the run than the pass. They still give up the fewest FPPG to RBs, but the Cowboys elite offensive line will make this a matchup to watch. Consider Elliott an elite RB1 this week on volume and talent alone, as he can get his points in a variety of ways.

Patriots

Opp (DAL) Pass DVOA: #19
Opp (DAL) Run DVOA: #17
Injuries to Watch DEF (DAL): LB Leighton Vander Esch (OUT) LB Joe Thomas (Q) S Donovan Wilson (Q)
Injuries to Watch OFF (NE): QB Tom Brady (Q, expected to play) OT Marcus Cannon (Q) WR Phillip Dorsett (Q) WR Julian Edelman (Q, expected to play) RB Damien Harris (Q) WR Mohamed Sanu (Q, likely OUT) WR Matthew Slater (Q)
Key WCB matchups: None
Relevant Target Share %’s (season): Julian Edelman (25%) Mohamed Sanu (18%) James White (17%) Phillip Dorsett (13%) Rex Burkhead (9%)
RB Snap %/Touches/Targets Week 11: James White (38%, 9, 7) Sony Michel (26%, 12, 4) Rex Burkhead (25%, 7, 3) Brandon Bolden (12%, 0, 0)
QB/WTE Breakdown
It’s hasn’t always been pretty, but Tom Brady and Bill Belichick continue to find ways to win. This year, it’s been 100% due to the Pats outstanding defense, as Brady has been mostly relegated to an elite game manager in his old age - well that, and the lack of elite offensive weapons around the GOAT. The Cowboys have been very good against the pass from a fantasy standpoint - only giving up 14.8 FPPG to QBs, and 16.8 FPPG to WRs, 4th best - but their DVOA metrics show that they boast a bottom-half secondary. Regardless, it’s hard to recommend Brady as a sure-fire QB1 with all the injuries piling up on offense.
Mohamed Sanu (ankle) and Phillip Dorsett (concussion) are likely out for Sunday, although they haven’t been formerly ruled out yet so be sure to check back before kickoff. That leaves Julian Edleman (upgrade volume), and rookies N’Keal Harry and Jakobi Meyers to hold down the fort. Outside of Edleman who can be considered an every week WR1, there isn’t much to like here. Harry caught 3 passes for 18-yards in his Patriots debut last week, but only played 32 snaps. Meyers played even less last week, catching just 1 pass for 7-yards. He has largely been out of the rotation when all the other NE wideouts are healthy. If you must stream a Patriots wideout, it seems like Harry is the better bet, but the matchup isn’t great, plus it’s nearly impossible to predict where the volume goes week to week in Belichick's game plans. It’s just as likely that the running backs or tight ends pick up the slack, rather than the rookie wideouts. Ben Watson has played a near full time role in the last four games, soaking up 11-15 targets for 124 scoreless yards (Rotoworld). He can’t be trusted as a TE1, but does have some streaming appeal considering the injuries to the receiving corps - DAL gives up 8.8 FPPG to TEs, 5th worst.
RB Breakdown
Dallas has been decent against the run this year, but they will be missing their best run-stopping linebacker in Leighton Vander Esch. This is great news for Sony Michel (upgrade standard), who has mostly disappointed this year - failing to clear 100-yards rushing in a single game so far - his six rushing touchdowns have saved his value. DAL has given up one rushing touchdown a game so far in 2019, 23rd worst in the NFL, so it’s likely that Sony finds his way into the endzone again. That is, if touchdown opportunities are not vultured. New England played four running backs last week, as James White (upgrade PPR), Rex Burkhead, and even Brandon Bolden saw snaps. Michel and White are the only two that should be considered, with Michel better suited for standard formats and White for PPR.
Score Prediction: Patriots 24, Dallas 17

Green Bay Packers at San Francisco 49ers (-3)

Packers ATS: 7-3-0 **49ers ATS: 5-4-1
Projected Team Totals: Packers 22.25 49ers 25.25

Packers

Opp (SF) Pass DVOA: #2
Opp (SF) Run DVOA: #19
Injuries to Watch DEF (SF): DE Dee Ford (OUT)
Injuries to Watch OFF (GB): OG Cole Madison (OUT)
Key WCB matchups: None
Relevant Target Share %’s (season): Davante Adams (27%) Aaron Jones (13%) Marquez Valdes-Scantling (12%) Jimmy Graham (12%) Geronimo Allison (12%) Allen Lazard (12%) Jamaal Williams (9%)
RB Snap %/Touches/Targets Week 10: Aaron Jones (50%, 13, 0) Jamaal Williams (50%, 13, 1)
QB/WTE Breakdown
Held in check Week 10 by a solid Panthers secondary, Aaron Rodgers (downgrade) comes out of the bye to face an even more impressive defense. The Niners rank as the second best pass defense by DVOA and have given up the second fewest FPPG to QBs this season. Rodgers’ entire group of weapons is healthy, and he looks as impressive as ever in terms of efficiency and ball placement. However, the biggest difference this year has been his lack of TDs, as the running backs have vultured a huge number of the scoring opportunities. Now going up against a vaunted Niners pass defense on the road in a game that has the makings of a defensive grind-it-out type battle, Rodgers is deserving of a downgrade this week. He’s still a solid top-15 option, but is outside the top-10 for us this week. If you have a safe alternative option with higher upside, benching Rodgers wouldn’t be the worst call. Rodgers floor has been relatively safe this year, scoring under 12 points just once, but his ceiling is capped by the lack of TDs and the difficult matchup.
Somehow still searching for his first TD of the year, Davante Adams is healthy and ready to return to his WR1 ways. This might not be the best week for a blowup spot, but Adams has been a target share monster when healthy this year. He was able to push through a tough matchup against the Panthers before the bye in Week 10, and should have little trouble producing a solid line again this week. The Niners are a shy-away type matchup - 7th fewest FPPG to WRs - but Adams is too talented and too secured of a role to consider benching. The Niners also don’t shadow receivers, so Adams will be able to lineup in different spots and find ways to exploit any hole or gap in the coverage. Expect Rodgers to pepper him with targets, and view him as a WR1 this week on volume and talent alone. Unfortunately for the Packers secondary targets, the volume and consistency just hasn’t been there. With Adams healthy, none of Marquez Valdes-Scantling (drop), Geronimo Allison (deep PPR), Allen Lazard (drop), or Jimmy Graham (downgrade) have been able to surpass 6 targets in the past two weeks. MVS saw his snap % drop to 16% in Week 10, so he is drop in most formats at this point. Allison could have some deep PPR value down the stretch, but is also a drop depending on league size and depth. Lazard has actually been the #2 WR the past two weeks for the Packers, but is unlikely to be a worthwhile target the rest of the way. Graham is worth rostering in most leagues, as the TE position is so shallow and Graham has shown some big-play and red zone ability this year, but this likely isn’t the week to use him. The Niners have given up the second fewest FPPG to opposing TEs, and Graham’s floor is extremely low if he doesn’t score a TD. Keep him on benches this week.
RB Breakdown
Despite having only three games with 100+ total yards, Aaron Jones (auto-start) has been able to churn out high-end RB1 value on the strength of 14 total TDs. The Niners are suddenly somewhat vulnerable on the ground - 19th ranked DVOA but 2nd fewest FPPG to RBs on the season - and the Packers boast one of the best run-blocking units in the league. Expect them to look to #establishtherun early on, and Jones should receive multiple opportunities near the goal-line. He’s still in a committee, but Jones is a solid RB1 again this week. The other half of the RBBC is Jamaal Williams (PPR RB2), and his pass-game chops and trustworthy hands have earned him a near 50% share of this backfield. With Jones getting almost all of the goal-line opportunities, Williams has scored most of his TDs on short passes, but Rodgers is the best graded QB in the NFL at throwing to his RBs (ESPN). Williams makes for an intriguing RB2/flex, but is more valuable in PPR formats due to his uncertain carry count each week. Both backs should likely be in lineups, but Jones has a significant edge on Williams due to his role as the goal-line back on one of the better offenses in the NFL.

49ers

Opp (GB) Pass DVOA: #16
Opp (GB) Run DVOA: #28
Injuries to Watch DEF (GB): None
Injuries to Watch OFF (SF): OT Joe Staley (OUT) RB Matt Breida (D) TE George Kittle (Q) WR Deebo Samuel (Q) WR Emmanuel Sanders (Q)
Key WCB matchups: None
Relevant Target Share %’s (season): George Kittle (25%) Deebo Samuel (18%) Emmanuel Sanders (15%) Ross Dwelley (10%)
RB Snap %/Touches/Targets Week 11: Tevin Coleman (49%, 15, 4) Raheem Mostert (49%, 8, 3) Jeff Wilson (1%, 1, 1)
QB/WTE Breakdown
Despite missing many of his top weapons, Jimmy Garappollo (downgrade) shredded the Cardinals vulnerable secondary for 424 yards and 4 TDs last week. It’s not clear which (if any) of the injured Niners will return this week, but Jimmy G proved he can put up numbers in the right matchup. Unfortunately, the Packers have been quite stout against the pass this year, and this projects as a game the Niners will win with good defense and a solid running game. Green Bay has given up the 8th fewest FPPG to QBs but their pass DVOA has slipped the past few weeks to just about league-average. If all of his weapons are healthy, Jimmy G is worth consideration as a QB2 streamer, but if he’s working with Kendrick Bourne and Ross Dwelley as his top targets, it will be hard to roll him out there against a good defense. Keep an eye on the injury report before you consider plugging him into your lineup, and be wary of chasing the points from last week’s matchup against an Arizona team known for giving up big fantasy lines.
Saturday injury reports from beat writers suggest that the Niners may be close to full health in the passing game this weekend. George Kittle (upgrade if healthy) has a good chance to play and faces a Packers defense giving up the 3rd most FPPG to TEs. If he is active, and there aren’t any reports about a limited snap count, deactivate and drop Ross Dwelley, and immediately plug Kittle back into your lineup as a solid TE1. Emmanuel Sanders (downgrade) and Deebo Samuel are also expected to play, but both are listed as game-time decisions. If active, Sanders should be viewed as a low-end WR3 due to his solid volume but potential for re-injury and tough matchup. Samuel is also in the WR3 mix, as he is coming off back-to-back 100+ yard receiving games. The Packers haven’t shadowed receivers since early in the season, but they do boast a quality secondary - they’ve given up the 8th fewest FPPG to WRs. Keep a close eye on injury reports leading up to kickoff, but be aware that tough decisions may be required due to the late evening kickoff. Proceed with caution with all three of the Niners top passing options, but your patience may be rewarded if this turns into a shootout (as Vegas projects with a 47.5 oveunder). Still, this is a run-heavy offense with a quarterback that hasn’t been overly impressive outside of his blow-up performances against the Cardinals, so keep expectations in check.
RB Breakdown
Well that was fun. Tevin Coleman (upgrade) and Raheem Mostert (flex deep-PPR) split the backfield with Matt Breida (doubtful) out last week, but Jeff Wilson (why?) outscored them both on his one snap and one touch, busting a 25-yard TD catch to seal the game for the Niners. Breida is likely to sit again this week, so we THINK that Coleman will lead the backfield with Mostert mixing in as a change-of-pace and on passing downs. However, in this backfield you just never know. The opportunity is there - the Packers give up the 3rd most FPPG to RBs - and the Niners will likely look to exploit it given Green Bay’s stout secondary. Despite the uncertainty, treat Coleman as a solid RB2 who is likely to bounce-back this week. Mostert is a flex option in deeper PPR leagues, but his role is less solidified and his chances of a TD are lower than Coleman’s. We like the Niners chances of having success on the ground, and Coleman is the likely beneficiary. Keep an eye on Breida’s injury status, as his involvement would complicate things.
Score Prediction: Packers 21, Niners 20

Seattle Seahawks at Philadelphia Eagles (-1.5)

Seahawks ATS: 5-5-0 Eagles ATS: 4-6-0
Projected Team Totals: Seahawks 23.25 Eagles 24.75

Seahawks

Opp (PHI) Pass DVOA: #12
Opp (PHI) Run DVOA: #7
Injuries to Watch DEF (PHI): S Ruby Ford (OUT)
Injuries to Watch OFF (SEA): TE Luke Willson (D)
Key WCB matchups: None
Relevant Target Share %’s (season): Tyler Lockett (23%) D.K. Metcalf (20%) Jaron Brown (11%) Chris Carson (10%) David Moore (8%) Josh Gordon (6%)
RB Snap %/Touches/Targets Week 10: Chris Carson (95%, 28, 4) Rashaad Penny (4%, 2, 0) Nick Bellore (1%, 0, 0)
QB/WTE Breakdown
Seattle's defense has not been good by most metrics this year, but sometimes it doesn’t matter when you have the best quarterback in the league, Russell Wilson (upgrade). Philly got everyone back in their secondary at the beginning of November, and it shows in DVOA, they have steadily climbed the rankings almost into the top-10. Regardless, Wilson should be active in all lineups, he’s been too good to sit. PHI gives up 17.1 FPPG to QBs and a whopping 27 FPPG to WRs - but both of those numbers are heavily skewed by Philly’s injured secondary in the beginning of the season.
Tyler Lockett (upgrade) spent a few nights in a bay area hospital after a season defining win against division rival SF in Week 10, but he has healed over the bye week and is ready to rock and roll. This game carries the second highest projected point total of the week, and Lockett needs to be in all lineups. Both Lockett and D.K. Metcalf (upgrade) have been force fed fantasy friendly targets this season - Lockett has 8 end zone targets; Metcalf has 13 - Lockett has 17 deep ball targets; Metcalf has 16 (Rotoworld). Lockett is a WR1 and Metcalf an upside WR2. Josh Gordon was mixed-in last week, but still only saw a 37% snap rate. He’s a strong candidate to see the field more, but it’s likely that David Moore and Malik Turner stay in the rotation, spoiling Flash as a solid fantasy option. He should be stashed but not started. SEA continues to find fantasy relevant TE gold this year, with Jacob Hollister being the latest to breakout. Ed Dickson was placed back on IR Friday, after being activated on Wednesday, and Luke Willson is making his way back from a hammy injury. Still, with a dearth of options at the TE position, you could do worse, continue to roll Hollister out there as a low-end TE1.

RB Breakdown

Another congratulations seems in order, for those who took the leap and drafted Chris Carson (downgrade). He’s turned into an every week RB1, and most folks got him outside of the first three rounds during draft season. Great work. Sadly, PHI has a very imposing front seven - they cede only 86-rushing yards per game, and just 15.4 FPPG to the position. Still, Carson has earned every week RB1 treatment regardless of matchup, so get him active, just keep expectations in check. Rashaad Penny has essentially been a bust in the NFL to this point, Carson owners can handcuff if they feel the need, but he shouldn’t be rostered in shallow formats.

Eagles

Opp (SEA) Pass DVOA: #18
Opp (SEA) Run DVOA: #16
Injuries to Watch DEF (SEA): DE Jadeveon Clowney (Q) CB Neiko THorpe (Q)
Injuries to Watch OFF (PHI): T Lane Johnson (OUT) WR Nelson Agholor (Q) RB Jordan Howard (Q) WR Alshon Jeffery (Q)
Key WCB matchups: None
Relevant Target Share %’s (season): Zach Ertz (25%) Alshon Jeffery (24%) Nelson Agholor (18%) Dallas Goedert (13%) DeSean Jackson (13%) Miles Sanders (9%)
RB Snap %/Touches/Targets Week 11: Miles Sanders (82%, 13, 4) Boston Scott (18%, 7, 0)
QB/WTE Breakdown
The Eagles season has been extremely up and down, resulting in a 5-5 record, yet they still have a window to make playoffs. That would involve getting ahead of the 6-4 Cowboys to win the NFC East, as the NFC wildcard is probably already locked up between SF/SEA/MIN. Carson Wentz has been dealing with a plethora of injuries to his wideouts, and it’s likely that he will again be without at least one. Due to the injuries, it’s hard to recommend Wentz as anything more than a low-end QB1/2 streamer, even in a good matchup - SEA gives up 18.8 FPPG to QBs and 23.1 to WRs.
Both Alshon Jeffery and Nelson Agholor are considered truly questionable for Sunday, but it’s not like Agholor should have been in lineups anyhow. Jeffery has been as touchdown dependent as they come, but if he suits up, he can be treated as a low-upside WR3. It’s unlikely that Jordan Matthews is relevant even with the injuries, so continue to fade the veteran wideout. PHI has been utilizing two-TE formations in the absence of Jeffery (Rotoworld), and will likely continue to do so with the injuries to the wideouts. Zach Ertz (upgrade) and Dallas Goedert (upgrade) continue to be the focal points of the passing game, and should be in most lineups moving forward - SEA surrenders 8.8 FPPG to TEs, 8th worst. Goedert himself is averaging 5.6 targets a game over the last 5 (ESPN), he needs to be treated as a low-end TE1 on a weekly basis.
RB Breakdown
With Jordan Howard sitting last week, Miles Sanders (upgrade PPR) was handed the keys to the backfield, but the tough matchup against the Patriots prevented any sort of breakout. Still, Sanders saw 85% of snaps, and if Howard is again inactive, he can be rolled into lineups as an upside RB2. Jay Ajayi is expected to be involved in some capacity, but he can’t be trusted in any format. It would not surprise us, however, if Ajayi managed to snipe a few goal line carries from the talented rookie. If Howard is active, the RBBC is likely in full effect again, relegating both Howard and Sanders to just flex status. Still, it seems likely than not that Howard sits again, as he hadn’t been cleared for contact as of Friday afternoon. SEA cedes 17.4 FPPG to RBs. It’s worth mentioning that All-Pro Tackle Lane Johnson is sitting, which could very well hurt the PHI run game.
Score Prediction: Seahawks 24, Eagles 23

Baltimore Ravens (-3) at Los Angeles Rams

Ravens ATS: 5-5-0 Rams ATS: 7-3-0
Projected Team Totals: Ravens 24.75 Rams 21.75

Ravens

Opp (LAR) Pass DVOA: #17
Opp (LAR) Run DVOA: #3
Injuries to Watch DEF (LAR): None
Injuries to Watch OFF (BAL): WR Chris Moore (D)
Key WCB matchups: Marquise Brown vs. Jalen Ramsey (Rotoworld)
Relevant Target Share %’s (season): Mark Andrews (24%) Marquise Brown (21%) Nick Boyle (11%) Willie Snead (10%) Mark Ingram (6%)
RB Snap %/Touches/Targets Week 11: Mark Ingram (46%, 16, 4) Gus Edwards (40%, 8, 0)
QB/WTE Breakdown
The MVP season just keeps rolling along for Lamar Jackson (cheat code). Although his only game over 300 passing yards was Week 1 against the Dolphins non-existent defense, he has more rushing yards than many teams’ starting running back. The Rams are aren’t an overly imposing matchup - 17th ranked pass DVOA and 12th fewest FPPG to QBs - but not even the Patriots vaunted defense was able to stop LJax. He’s likely to finish top-3 overall among fantasy QBs, and has a great shot at the #1 overall spot. Lock him into your lineup as usual.
The Ravens have been one of the more run-heavy teams in the league, and when they do throw, the ball is spread around quite nicely. The only consistent pass-game option for fantasy has been TE Mark Andrews (auto-start). Expect Andrews to remain Jackson’s main option moving forward, especially in a week where Jalen Ramsey will be shadowing the top WR for Baltimore, Marquise Brown (downgrade). Andrews is a top-6 TE1 again this week, while Brown is deserving of a downgrade due to the stud CB’s coverage. Ramsey has shut down almost ever WR he’s been matched up against, and Brown hasn’t been a high volume player since returning from his ankle injury. Brown is more of a WR4 this week, albeit one with the upside for a big-play TD every week, and should be benched if owners have a more trustworthy option. All other Baltimore pass-catchers are off the fantasy radar at the moment, so don’t get cute and consider starting Willie Snead, Seth Roberts, or Miles Boykin. The volume simply isn’t there, even with Ramsey’s attention on Brown, it would be impossible to say which WR would have a breakout week.
RB Breakdown
The Ravens have done an excellent job of distributing the carries to keep their stud RBs healthy. Mark Ingram (auto-start) has consistently received around 50% snaps and 15-20 touches, even in close games that may have tempted them to use him more. This is good for his long-term health and production, and it hasn’t hurt his ability to pop big games for fantasy owners. Gus Edwards (downgrade) also got in on the action last week, breaking a 63-yard TD run to finish with 100+ yards for the first time this season. It would be unwise to chase these points this week, as Edwards was on pace for his usual 4-8 points before the long run. The Rams are a tough matchup on the ground - 3rd ranked DVOA and 10th fewest FPPG to RBs - so Edwards doesn’t make for a good streamer this week. Ingram remains in the RB1 mix despite the tough matchup, and his involvement in all areas of the game on one of the best offenses in the NFL keeps his floor and ceiling as high as most elite backs.

Rams

Opp (BAL) Pass DVOA: #3
Opp (BAL) Run DVOA: #25
Injuries to Watch DEF (BAL): DT Michael Pierce (Q)
Injuries to Watch OFF (LAR): WR Brandin Cooks (Q) OT Rob Havenstein (Q)
Key WCB matchups: None
Relevant Target Share %’s (season): Cooper Kupp (25%) Robert Woods (20%) Gerald Everett (15%) Brandin Cooks (14%) Todd Gurley (9%) Josh Reynolds (8%)
RB Snap %/Touches/Targets Week 11: Todd Gurley (75%, 28, 3) Malcolm Brown (20%, 5, 0)
QB/WTE Breakdown
The Rams offense has a lot of issues, but Jared Goff (downgrade) has been chief among them. Coming off a breakout season, many thought he would be a top-10 QB considering the high pace of the offense and his wealth of weapons, but instead he sits outside the top-20 in most formats. The Ravens are a tough matchup with their secondary at full health - giving up the 6th fewest FPPG to QBs - so it’s safe to bench Goff (or drop him) outside of deep 2 QB leagues. His fantasy playoff schedule isn’t overly favorable, but he does face the Cardinals next week, so perhaps consider keeping him on your roster for Week 13 before moving on to better options. The one factor Goff has going for him this week is that he’s playing at home, but that’s becoming a thinner and thinner argument these days.
The good news is that Cooper Kupp was able to get a catch last week after being goose-egged in Week 10 vs. the Steelers. The bad news: he caught three balls for 53 scoreless yards. The Ravens have been somewhat vulnerable to slot WRs this season - giving up solid lines to Julian Edelman, Jarvis Landry, Juju Smith-Schuster, and others - and Kupp is likely to be extremely active as Goff’s top target this week even if he gets Marlon Humphrey in coverage. Consider Kupp on the WR1/2 borderline, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see him breakout of his slump with a big game on Sunday. Brandin Cooks (downgrade) is likely to return this week, but will face tough matchups on the outside and is becoming a dangerous re-injury threat every game. Consider him a boom-bust WR3 that has a low floor in this suddenly deficient offense. Robert Woods has been able to put up decent lines despite his lack of TDs (1 total) and remains in low-end WR2 range for this week. He should be in your lineup, but owners shouldn’t get their hopes up for a “boom” week. Gerald Everett (downgrade volume) surprisingly saw only 25% of the snaps last week, and now looks to be part of a 3-way timeshare at TE. The Rams should look to establish the run again this week, considering that is the Ravens weakness, so Everett is a only a TE2 while splitting time with the run-blocking TEs on the Rams roster. There are likely better streaming options.
RB Breakdown
Sean McVay finally unleashed Todd Gurley (upgrade) last week, and while he still looks like he’s lost a step this year, the results were quite positive for the Rams. He racked up 100+ total yards for the first time since Week 1, and dominated both the snaps and touches in the backfield. The Ravens aren’t an overly imposing matchup on the ground - 25th ranked run DVOA but 8th fewest FPPG to RBs - and with Goff struggling, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Rams go back to Gurley for 20+ touches again this week. The issue will be whether he can hold up to that type of workload, but with LAR in must-win mode, it’s now or never for Gurley. He’s been off the injury report through practice this week, which is a great sign after such a heavy workload. Consider Gurley an RB1 this week, as his increased usage in the pass-game would be a huge positive development for his value. Malcolm Brown (stash) remains a premier hand-cuff due to his position behind Gurley’s balky knees, but he has almost no standalone value at this point. Keep him rostered if you have the space.
Score Prediction: Ravens 24, Rams 20
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