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Fantasy Football Start Em, Sit Em - Week 10 Matchups Analysis

Saquon Barkley - Fantasy Football Rankings, NFL Injury News, Draft Sleepers

Welcome back RotoBallers to our Week 10 matchups analysis and Start Em, Sit Em column for fantasy football. Last week was another fantastic week for scoring by many fantasy superstars, including a record-breaking performance. There are four new teams on bye this week including the Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, New England Patriots, and New York Jets, which sidelines fewer fantasy options than last week but requires some depth options to be considered, especially because of injuries.

For those who are unfamiliar, each week we'll be analyzing every game from the Sunday slate, helping you optimize your fantasy lineups and take down your opponent. Check back regularly for any updates on player injuries or other pertinent information.

I will cover the entire Sunday slate of games plus the Monday Night Football game. There is also a separate article for the Thursday Night Football game each week, so be sure to read that as well. Hopefully, you had one of the two massive performers, or at the very least avoided playing against them. If you have any additional lineup questions, follow me on Twitter @JoshCon, and feel free to ask away. Let's dive into the matchups.

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Matchups Analysis - 9:30 AM ET Games (Germany)

Seattle Seahawks at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Spread: Buccaneers -3.0
Implied Total: Seahawks (20.75) vs. Buccaneers (23.75)
Pace: Seahawks (14) vs. Buccaneers (1st)
Seahawks Off. DVOA: 30.8% Pass (5th), 2.6% Rush (14th)
Buccaneers Off. DVOA: 19.6% Pass (10th), -23.2% Rush (31st)
Seahawks Def. DVOA:
2.8% Pass (14th), -7.9% Rush (10th)
Buccaneers Def. DVOA: -11.8% Pass (6th), -6.0% Rush (13th)

Matchups We Love:

Kenneth Walker III (RB, SEA)

Walker III just keeps finding the end zone and racking up yards. He personifies the identity of this team perfectly, grinding out tough yards and wearing down defenses. The Buccaneers were once a matchup to fear but have fallen off dramatically this season, setting Walker up as a must-start.

Matchups We Hate:

Tom Brady (QB, TB)

It was a vintage game-winning drive by Brady to get the win, but for fantasy purposes, it was another poor outing. He is accumulating decent yard totals but they're not scoring enough touchdowns for him to succeed. The Seahawks are an average matchup on the season, but they've been a lot better the past few weeks. Brady is tough to trust this week, falling outside the top 12.

Other Matchups:

Buccaneers WRs

Mike Evans and Chris Godwin are too talented and too proven to put them in the section above, but they have really struggled to produce at the same level they historically did. The volume is still awesome, another week of 10-plus targets for both receivers, but much like with Brady though, the offense isn't scoring. They remain in the top 24 with Evans as the preferred option but are outside of that elite tier this week.

Leonard Fournette (RB, TB)

The saving grace once again for Fournette was receptions, he had five of them for 41 yards compared to nine carries for 19 yards. He also lost more rushing attempts to Rachaad White, who had eight, but he remains the lead back, at least for the time being. Fournette stays in the top 24 because of his receiving role while White is creeping into flex territory.

Cade Otton (TE, TB)

So long as Cameron Brate is sidelined, Otton will have a shot to finish as a top-12 tight end every week. He's steadily becoming more involved and possesses the athleticism and size to be a dangerous weapon in the red zone. He's a streaming option again facing Seattle, which has been a fantastic matchup for tight ends.

UPDATE: Brate is active for Sunday's game, limiting the upside and floor for Otton.

Geno Smith (QB, SEA)

As mentioned at the top, the Buccaneers' defense is not as stout as they once were, but their passing defense has been strong. Smith has been excellent, posting back-to-back top-10 performances with both his receivers healthy. The matchup drops him just outside the top 10 this week but still in the top-15.

Seahawks WRs

DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett both found pay dirt against the Cardinals, which was a problematic matchup the last time they met. They're both superb receivers ranking in the top 20 in yards per route run, each with a 24-plus percent target share as top-20 receivers on the year. They're still top-15 receivers despite the challenging matchup.

Injuries:

Russell Gage (hamstring)

 

Matchups Analysis - 1:00 ET Games

Minnesota Vikings at Buffalo Bills

Spread: Bills -3.5
Implied Total: Vikings (19.75) vs. Bills (23.25)
Pace: Vikings (6th) vs. Bills (5th)
Vikings Off. DVOA: 6.5% Pass (17th), 6.2% Rush (8th)
Bills Off. DVOA: 30.5% Pass (6th), -5.9% Rush (20th)
Vikings Def. DVOA:
6.0% Pass (16th), -2.5% Rush (19th)
Bills Def. DVOA: -14.4% Pass (5th), -14.7% Rush (6th)

Matchups We Love:

Stefon Diggs (WR, BUF)

On a day when Allen struggled, completing only 18 passes, Diggs still produced for fantasy. Everything is trending toward Josh Allen missing this game but regardless of who is throwing him the ball, he's locked in against the Vikings. Gabe Davis on the other hand is very much a player to be weary of starting if Allen misses. He's a boom-bust top-30 receiver with Allen and a very risky flex play without him.

UPDATE: Allen is active, he's a top-10 play.

Matchups We Hate:

Dawson Knox (TE, BUF)

Much like with Davis, playing the ancillary options without Allen is too risky. Knox would be a full bench without Allen at the helm.

Kirk Cousins (QB, MIN)

Cousins draws a very difficult matchup facing the Buffalo defense. He has the weapons to come through, especially if Allen is not there to sustain drives for the Bills, but he's a risky streaming option.

Other Matchups:

Dalvin Cook (RB, MIN)

Cook is too elite to list in the section above because he is so involved as a receiver. He had six targets, one of which resulted in a touchdown last week. He's a fade against Buffalo but still a top-15 back.

Vikings WRs

Justin Jefferson finally found pay dirt for the first time since Week 1. He's had at least 98 yards in each of the last six games, so if he can find the end zone a little more often, he'll take off. Adam Thielen fell behind Hockenson in targets, which is cause for concern. They should need to throw a lot, but he's more of a flex play with upside given the matchup.

T.J. Hockenson (TE, MIN)

In his Minnesota Vikings debut, Hockenson tore it up with nine receptions for 70 yards. He's back in the top 10 with top-five upside.

Bills RBs

Devin Singletary was getting the role as a receiver with five targets but Allen stole the show on the ground, plus James Cook was mixing in again. The offense might look a little different if Allen is out, which creates a little more optimism for Singletary as a flex play with the chance for more rushing attempts and receptions.

Injuries:

Irv Smith Jr. (ankle)

Josh Allen (elbow)

 

Detroit Lions at Chicago Bears

Spread: Bears -3.0
Implied Total: Lions (22.75) vs. Bears (25.75)
Pace: Lions (7th) vs. Bears (25th)
Lions Off. DVOA: 12.7% Pass (14th), 4.7% Rush (11th)
Bears Off. DVOA: -7.2% Pass (27th), -0.3% Rush (15th)
Lions Def. DVOA:
15.1% Pass (26th), 2.7% Rush (26th)
Bears Def. DVOA: 19.6% Pass (30th), 4.8% Rush (28th)

Matchups We Love:

Justin Fields (QB, CHI)

After breaking rushing records and posting one of the highest fantasy scores of the year, Fields turns his attention to the lowly Lions' defense. He's locked in again as a must-start quarterback.

Darnell Mooney (WR, CHI)

The emergence of Fields and a competent offense has made Mooney more reliable. He has 50 or more yards in six straight games with four-plus receptions in four of his six weeks. He also found the end zone this past week. The passing attempts are still limited for Fields, but Mooney is a viable top-30 receiver in a great matchup. They did make a point of involving Chase Claypool in his debut last week but until we see what his role looks like he's a risky flex play.

Jared Goff (QB, DET)

Goff struggled to pile up yards against a difficult Green Bay pass defense, but still threw two touchdowns, and now gets to face the Bears in a juicy matchup with a high over/under. Goff jumps back on the streaming radar with top-10 upside.

Amon-Ra St. Brown (WR, DET)

It was a bit of a letdown performance but he led all players with nine targets, more than double everyone else. He'll remain a focal point of the offense as a top-15 receiver with that same great matchup.

Lions RBs

Fortunately, Chicago's defense isn't much better on the ground, opening the door for Jamaal Williams and D'Andre Swift to take advantage. As expected, Williams handled the majority of carries while Swift resume his role as the receiving back. Williams has also been handed the goal-line role, which when combined with the health concerns for Swift makes him the preferred option as a top-24 back. Swift is still in the top 36 but carries more risk given the limitations he's dealing with.

Matchups We Hate:

None

Other Matchups:

Bears RBs

It's a great day for everyone in terms of matchups. The problem with David Montgomery and Khalil Herbert is they are not only contending with one another but now Fields as well, who is averaging about 12 rushing attempts per game over the past four weeks. Montgomery is still the lead back so he has the edge as a top-24 back with Herbert in the top-36.

Cole Kmet (TE, CHI)

Kmet has three touchdowns in the past two weeks, plus he's coming off his best game of the year. His volume isn't secure enough yet to be a consistent option but he's a potential streamer given the matchup.

Injuries:

DJ Chark (ankle)

Josh Reynolds (back)

 

Jacksonville Jaguars at Kansas City Chiefs

Spread: Chiefs -9.5
Implied Total: Jaguars (20.75) vs. Chiefs (30.25)
Pace: Jaguars (15th) vs. Chiefs (13th)
Jaguars Off. DVOA: 20.6% Pass (9th), -1.4
% Rush (18th)
Chiefs Off. DVOA: 38.7% Pass (2nd), -4.3% Rush (19th)
Jaguars Def. DVOA:
15.5% Pass (27th), -5.5% Rush (14th)
Chiefs Def. DVOA: 12.8% Pass (24th), -1.8% Rush (20th)

Matchups We Love:

Patrick Mahomes (QB, KC)

Even when the passing attack is struggling, Mahomes has the ability to get it done with his legs. He's underrated as a rusher because the volume isn't as high as many of the top-tier dual-threat quarterbacks, but he's averaging about 20 yards per game on the ground, which is a nice bonus. He's locked in against Jacksonville this week.

Travis Kelce (TE, KC)

The list of tight ends who can command 17 targets in a single game is very short. Yet again, Kelce proved he can produce without a touchdown, which is why he's the TE1, and of course in your lineup.

JuJu Smith-Schuster (WR, KC)

After a rocky start to the season, Smith-Schuster has taken off, fulfilling the expectations many had entering the season. There's no question he's the No. 1 receiver, which in an offense led by Mahomes is very valuable. Over the past three weeks, he's averaged about seven receptions for 75 yards and 0.66 touchdowns per game. Given the matchup and his role, he's a top-24 receiver. Mecole Hardman has also put together a stretch of four productive games, scoring in three of four and clearing 70-yards in the other, making him a strong flex play.

UPDATE: Hardman has been ruled out, removing him as an option while adding flex intrigue to Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Kadarius Toney.

Travis Etienne Jr. (RB, JAX)

Etienne was handed a monster workload again this week with 28 carries and two receptions, totaling 126 scrimmage yards and two touchdowns. Given that the Jaguars were down 17-0 in the first half, it's clear the team is committed to their rushing attack, after attempting only 31 passes compared to 37 carries. Etienne is a must-start against a vulnerable Kansas City defense.

Matchups We Hate:

Chiefs RBs

The Chiefs are trending more towards being like the Bills, with a very high pass rate over expectation, rarely leaning on their ground game. Similar to the Bills, they also have a crowded running back room, reducing the ceiling for everyone. Isiah Pacheco operated as the starter, however, it was Jerick McKinnon who played the most offensive snaps at 62%, and excelled in the receiving game with six receptions for 40 yards. The matchup is pretty good, but the Chiefs are unlikely to be trailing the majority of the game again, so Pacheco and McKinnon are both flex options.

UPDATE: McKinnon is active for Sunday's game..

Other Matchups:

Trevor Lawrence (QB, JAX)

Lawrence led his team to a nice comeback victory, even though he still committed a turnover, losing a fumble. As mentioned, the identity of the Jaguars is to run the ball, which is also a great way to kill the clock and limit the opportunities for Mahomes. You can expect that to be the strategy in this one, reducing the ceiling for Lawrence, who will be a streaming option in a plus-matchup.

Christian Kirk (WR, JAX)

Weeks 5 and 6, when Kirk was seeing five or fewer targets now seem like an outlier through half the season. He's averaged about nine targets per game in the other seven weeks, along with about six receptions. He's also back to finding the end zone, with two touchdowns in the past four games, returning to his role as the No. 1 option in the passing attack. He's a top-30 receiver with top-24 upside. Zay Jones is also in consideration as a flex play given the matchup.

Evan Engram (TE, JAX)

Engram suffered a back injury that forced him to exit early against the Raiders. He had been a reliable tight end heading into that game, so if he can suit up he's a safer streamer against the Chiefs.

UPDATE: Engram is off the injury report and will play in Sunday's game.

Injuries:

Mecole Hardman (abdomen)

Evan Engram (back)

 

Cleveland Browns at Miami Dolphins

Spread: Dolphins -3.5
Implied Total: Browns (23) vs. Dolphins (26.5)
Pace: Browns (17th) vs. Dolphins (22nd)
Browns Off. DVOA: 22.5% Pass (8th), 15.9% Rush (2nd)
Dolphins Off. DVOA: 49.2% Pass (1st), -6.3% Rush (21st)
Browns Def. DVOA:
8.6% Pass (18th), 6.5% Rush (30th)
Dolphins Def. DVOA: 24.2% Pass (31st), -10.4% Rush (7th)

Matchups We Love:

Tua Tagovailoa (QB, MIA)

The Dolphins are now 6-0 when Tagovaila starts and finishes the game, with wins over the Bills, Ravens, and Patriots. What's even better news for fantasy is that their defense is allowing a lot of points, creating high-scoring shoutouts. The over/under supports this line of thinking. In addition, the Browns are better against the pass but they aren't elite by any means. Tagovailoa is a top-five play this week.

Dolphins WRs

The two players directly responsible for his success are Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle. They're the top duo of fantasy receivers, both of which deserve a spot in your lineup against the Browns.

Dolphins RBs

As was eluded to above, Cleveland is much worse on the ground, opening the door for the Miami backfield. Something that came as a surprise to many, myself included, was the usage of Jeff Wilson Jr. in his first game with the team, who played on 49% of offensive snaps while receiving 12 touches compared to 48% of offensive snaps and nine touches for Raheem Mostert. Obviously, Wilson is familiar with the system from his time with Mike McDaniel in San Francisco, but this appears to be a full-blown timeshare. It will be worth monitoring their involvement moving forward, but for this week in a great matchup, on an explosive offense, they're both top-30 backs with the preference given to Wilson.

Browns WRs

Amari Cooper has been a steady contributor, demonstrating he hasn't lost his elite talent. He's currently 12th in yards per route run with 2.14, plus he has the 22nd-highest PFF grade, all with Jacoby Brissett throwing him the ball. He has six touchdowns on the year with 70-plus yards in five of eight games. He's a solid top-24 receiver with additional upside given the matchup. Donovan Peoples-Jones has carved out a nice role, clearing 70 yards in three straight weeks himself. He's a top-36 option against Miami.

Browns RBs

While passing against the Dolphins is easier, running the ball isn't so difficult either, as evidenced by Justin Fields last week. With Nick Chubb leading the charge, fresh off a bye week, you can expect a big day in this one, making him a must-start. We also saw Kareem Hunt be more involved in their beatdown of the Bengals, pushing him into the top 30.

Matchups We Hate:

None

Other Matchups:

Mike Gesicki (TE, MIA)

With Waddle and Hill earning so many targets, it's difficult for Gesicki to stay consistent. He'll struggle to produce on a weekly basis but he's a streaming option with touchdown upside.

Harrison Bryant (TE, CLE)

With so few reliable options at the position, Bryant warrants mentioning given his opportunity and the matchup, but after he disappeared in Week 8, he's a more risky streamer.

Injuries:

David Njoku (ankle)

 

Houston Texans at New York Giants

Spread: Giants -4.5
Implied Total: Texans (18.25) vs. Giants (22.75)
Pace: Texans (21st) vs. Giants (24th)
Texans Off. DVOA: -12.3% Pass (30th), -10.8% Rush (24th)
Giants Off. DVOA: 13.1% Pass (13th), 4.2% Rush (12th)
Texans Def. DVOA:
9.2% Pass (19th), 14.7% Rush (32nd)
Giants Def. DVOA: 12.1% Pass (23rd), 1.1% Rush (24th)

Matchups We Love:

Saquon Barkley (RB, NYG)

The Texans are the best matchup for running backs, so when you pit them against Barkley, it's a recipe for a big game. They've been dominated on the ground consistently, making Barkley a must-start with the chance to finish as the No. 1 overall back on the week.

Dameon Pierce (RB, HOU)

Pierce is nowhere near the pass-catcher Barkley is, but he's shown a similar ability to create positive plays and find the gaps to get extra yards, resulting in seven breakaway runs (15+ yards). The matchup hasn't been fruitful on the course of the year as the Giants are giving up the fifth-fewest fantasy points to the running back position, but there's been plenty of big performances along the way including Walker III in Week 8. Pierce is a volume-based top-15 back.

UPDATE: Pierce practiced in full on Friday, indicating he'll be active against the Giants.

Matchups We Hate:

Giants WRs

Wan'Dale Robinson and Darius Slayton slot in as the two targets for Daniel Jones. Unfortunately, neither has shown much consistency because this is a run-first offense with Barkley capable of excelling as a receiver. Additionally, the Giants probably won't need to throw the ball much to win the game. They're both flex options with a low floor.

UPDATE: Kenny Golladay will make his return but is best avoided.

Texans Passing Attack

The Texans are deploying a similar strategy feeding their young tailback as many carries as he can handle. Brandin Cooks is expected back, so he's a flex option but everyone else is best left on your bench in this one.

UPDATE: Cooks and Nico Collins are both active against the Giants.

Other Matchups:

Daniel Jones (QB, NYG)

Jones remains an option because he'll contribute to their rushing attack. He's had six or more carries in every game this season, averaging about 45 yards per game on the ground, making him a possible streamer.

Injuries:

Nico Collins (groin)

Kenny Golladay (knee)

Dameon Pierce (chest/shoulder)

Brandin Cooks (wrist)

 

New Orleans Saints at Pittsburgh Steelers

Spread: Saints -2.0
Implied Total: Saints (21.25) vs. Steelers (19.25)
Pace: Saints (12th) vs. Steelers (11th)
Saints Off. DVOA: -2.7% Pass (24th), 7.0% Rush (6th)
Steelers Off. DVOA: 0.5% Pass (22nd), -18.1% Rush (28th)
Saints Def. DVOA:
2.3% Pass (12th), -4.4% Rush (16th)
Steelers Def. DVOA: 10.9% Pass (21st), -7.9% Rush (11th)

Matchups We Love:

Chris Olave (WR, NO)

This game has a low over/under with two struggling offenses that are facing above-average defenses. Thankfully for Olave, he's the only show in town at the receiver position. He's been consistently leading the team in targets, commanding a 26.9% share on the year. He's also eighth in yards per route run with 2.38. The matchup has been awesome over the course of the year, although they should get T.J. Watt back this week. Olave is a top-24 receiver with top-15 upside.

UPDATE: Jarvis Landry will make his return to the field on Sunday, he's a flex option in his first game back with more appeal in full-PPR formats.

Pat Freiermuth (TE, PIT)

Coming off the bye, he'll allow fantasy managers to breathe a sigh of relief. He's earned an 18.5% target share of his own, which is fantastic at the tight end position. In addition, the team traded away Chase Claypool, opening up more opportunities. Freiermuth is a top-12 tight end.

Matchups We Hate:

Najee Harris (RB, PIT)

It's been a tough few weeks for Harris, who is slowly ceding work to rookie Jaylen Warren. There have been reports that the team wants to expand Warren's role, providing more reasons to fade Harris. The matchup is about average but with only 28 targets this season, operating as part of a committee, Harris is a risky top-36 back.

Other Matchups:

Steelers WRs

Diontae Johnson and George Pickens will also benefit from the departure of Claypool, concentrating the targets. Neither ranks inside the top 50 in yards per route run, yards after the catch, or PFF grades. That said, they're both in the top 36 against the Saints with Pickens as the preferred option because of his big-play ability.

Alvin Kamara (RB, NO)

Kamara and the offense have struggled against defenses that are mediocre or better, beating only the Falcons, Seahawks, and Raiders. His touchdown woes continued last week after a massive three-score day in Week 8. Kamara's relied heavily on his receiving work to produce, which is likely what he'll need again this week. He's right around that top-12 mark facing Pittsburgh.

Andy Dalton (QB, NO)

Dalton struggled as expected last week, committing another interception while experiencing a lot of pressure from the Ravens. The Steelers have the 29th-ranked pass rush grade from PFF, so he should have more time to distribute the ball this week, but the other issue is a lack of weapons. Dalton remains a streaming option but without the ceiling some of the other quarterbacks possess.

Taysom Hill (TE, NO)

Hill still saw a target, threw a pass, and carried the ball but with a lot less volume than he typically does. He also failed to find the end zone. He'll be on the streaming radar again but the shine of this new and exciting toy is starting to wear off.

Injuries:

Jarvis Landry (ankle)

Mark Ingram II (knee)

 

Denver Broncos at Tennessee Titans

Spread: Broncos -3.0
Implied Total: Broncos (20.25) vs. Titans (17.25)
Pace: Broncos (16th) vs. Titans (32nd)
Broncos Off. DVOA: -2.2% Pass (23rd), -11.7% Rush (25th)
Titans Off. DVOA: -4.1% Pass (25th), 4.9% Rush (10th)
Broncos Def. DVOA:
-32.7% Pass (1st), 1.8% Rush (25th)
Titans Def. DVOA: 5.1% Pass (15th), -26.5% Rush (1st)

Matchups We Love:

Derrick Henry (RB, TEN)

Henry was well on his way to another massive performance against the Chiefs before the offense stalled in the second half and struggled to move the ball. He still came away with over 100 rushing yards and two touchdowns. The team will lean heavily on him yet again, even if Ryan Tannehill makes his return, making him a must-start against a beatable Denver run defense.

Matchups We Hate:

Broncos RBs

Facing the league's top-ranked rushing defense on the road with a committee of backs that features at least Melvin Gordon and Latavius Murray, if not Chase Edmonds as well, is a tough situation to be in. The over/under is low and neither team operates at a fast pace, lowering the number of overall plays. Gordon is still being viewed as the lead back but all three of these players are best avoided if possible.

Titans Passing Attack

Similarly, the Titans will be attempting to throw against the league's top-ranked pass defense with minimal weapons and question marks at quarterback. With or without Tannehill, none of the receiving options are anything more than a desperation flex play.

UPDATE: Tannehill is active, still trying to avoid the passing attack against Denver.

Other Matchups:

Greg Dulcich (TE, DEN)

The Titans have improved week by week on defense, especially versus the pass. They were already stout against the run, making them a difficult unit to generate offense against. However, at the tight end position volume is so hard to find that a player like Dulcich, who is averaging four receptions per game with 50-plus yards or a touchdown all three weeks, is still a strong option.

Broncos WRs

The duo of Courtland Sutton and Jerry Jeudy possessed a ton of hype entering the season. Sadly, after nine weeks, they're both outside the top 30, mostly because of the inconsistencies at quarterback and the offense as a whole. Jeudy has four games you'd be happy with, three of which included a touchdown while Sutton has about five, only one of which included a trip to the end zone. The hope is that coming out of the bye week, Russell Wilson is feeling healthier and the offense improves. In either case, these two are top-36 receivers in this matchup.

Injuries:

Treylon Burks (toe)

Ryan Tannehill (back)

 

Matchups Analysis - 4:00 ET Games

Indianapolis Colts at Las Vegas Raiders

Spread: Raiders -4.5
Implied Total: Colts (18) vs. Raiders (22.5)
Pace: Colts (9th) vs. Raiders (20th)
Colts Off. DVOA: -23.6% Pass (31st), -29.8% Rush (32nd)
Raiders Off. DVOA: 3.2% Pass (20th), 5.5% Rush (9th)
Colts Def. DVOA:
7.0% Pass (17th), -17.8% Rush (5th)
Raiders Def. DVOA: 30.8% Pass (32nd), -3.2% Rush (17th)

Matchups We Love:

Davante Adams (WR, LV)

Adams finished with nine catches for 146 yards and two touchdowns after the first half, adding only one catch for zero yards the in the final two quarters. It was disappointing for him, fantasy managers, and the Raiders who blew their third 17-point lead of the season. Facing the Colts, who are dealing with their own mess, and have an even worse offense, ought to help their struggles. Adams is firmly in the top 10 this week. Mack Hollins also enters this game as a flex play because Hunter Renfrow and Darren Waller are both out.

Matchups We Hate:

Colts Passing Attack

The quarterback play has destroyed the value of Michael Pittman Jr. and Alec Pierce. It's about as good a matchup as you can ask for, but it's still risky to trust this duo so long as Sam Elhinger is behind center. Pittman is a top-36 receiver because of the matchup but Pierce is a risky flex option.

Other Matchups:

Derek Carr (QB, LV)

Carr's production is closely tied to that of Adams, but that's perfectly fine for fantasy. Indianapolis has been much harder to run against, which should create the opportunity for another decent game from Carr. He's right around the top 12 mark.

Josh Jacobs (RB, LV)

The Raiders are the favorites and their pass defense isn't as much of a liability against the Colts, which should enable them to obtain and maintain a lead. After tearing it up for three straight weeks, Jacobs has fallen off the past two weeks but he's catching passes and handling the bulk of the carries as the lead back on a decent offense. The matchup is challenging, dropping him outside the top 12 this week.

Jonathan Taylor (RB, IND)

Taylor returned to a full practice on Thursday, indicating he might be able to suit up for this one. Coming off an injury, with the potential to aggravate it, in a poor offense, Taylor would be a top-36 back with plenty of upside if he looks like his old self.

Injuries:

Darren Waller (hamstring)

Hunter Renfrow hamstring/ribs)

Jonathan Taylor (ankle)

Deon Jackson (knee)

 

Dallas Cowboys at Green Bay Packers

Spread: Cowboys -4.5
Implied Total: Cowboys (23.75) vs. Packers (19.25)
Pace: Cowboys (8th) vs. Packers (29th)
Cowboys Off. DVOA: 11.8% Pass (15th), 15.5% Rush (3rd)
Packers Off. DVOA: 6.0% Pass (18th), 3.2% Rush (13th)
Cowboys Def. DVOA:
-27.2% Pass (3rd), -7.9% Rush (9th)
Packers Def. DVOA: -3.7% Pass (9th), 8.2% Rush (31st)

Matchups We Love:

Cowboys RBs

Green Bay is reeling and their defense has struggled against the run, setting the Dallas backfield up for a nice day. There is also some concern that Ezekiel Elliott could miss this game, despite coming off the bye. Tony Pollard is in play no matter what but he moves from a top-15 option with Elliott active to a must-start if he misses. The injury could limit his touches if he's active, so Elliott would rank behind Pollard if he suits up.

UPDATE: Elliott has been ruled out, making Pollard a must-start like last game.

Matchups We Hate:

Aaron Rodgers (QB, GB)

Three costly interceptions against the league's worst defense resulted in a loss to the Lions last week. This has to be an all-time low for Rodgers, who is not the only one to blame for their struggles but definitely needs to own some of the responsibility. Dallas has an explosive pass rush that is likely to give Rodgers problems all game. He also lost Romeo Doubs for multiple weeks, removing one of his few reliable weapons. He's a bench this week.

Aaron Jones (RB, GB)

Jones has been one of the only contributors the offense has but he left with an ankle injury last week. He's expected to return to action but with the possibility that his explosiveness is reduced, facing a stout defense, he's a fade in this matchup. AJ Dillon is a very talented backup, who at times has secured a role of his own, but he's only an option if Jones misses.

UPDATE: Jones has been removed from the final injury report and will play on Sunday, he's a top-24 back despite the matchup.

Other Matchups:

Dak Prescott (QB, DAL)

The Packers' pass defense has done everything it can to put the team in a position to succeed. Ultimately, it hasn't mattered because the offense and run defense are so bad, but it'll make life a little harder for Prescott and company. Prescott is in the top 12 but loses some of his ceiling with the team likely to pound the rock repeatedly.

CeeDee Lamb (WR, DAL)

Lamb has been consistent but hasn't produced as many blowup games as fantasy managers hoped he would. He's only found pay dirt three times on the year and hasn't cleared 100 receiving yards at all. The upside still seems like it's there but he's best viewed as a top-15 receiver that probably won't win you your week but will help your team. Michael Gallup on the other hand has been abysmal outside of his first game back when he caught a touchdown. He's a risky flex option with a very low floor.

Dalton Schultz (TE, DAL)

Schultz has played in three full games this season, finishing as the TE10, TE16, and TE9. What's really hurt him is the same thing as the other Dallas receivers, he's yet to find the end zone. The combination of a strong defense and an elite rushing attack is eliminating the need for the offense to air it out. He's involved enough to be in the top 12 but needs a touchdown to be a difference-maker.

Allen Lazard (TE, GB)

Lazard returned from injury and immediately made an impact, leading the team in targets, yards, and touchdowns. As the one reliable player in the passing attack, he's a top-36 receiver against the Cowboys.

Robert Tonyan (TE, GB)

Tonyan was out-targeted by Josiah Deguara, which seemed like it was in part due to injury. Nonetheless, in a difficult matchup with Rodgers struggling and the potential for Deguara to be involved, he's a touchdown-dependent streamer.

Injuries:

Randall Cobb (ankle)

Christian Watson (concussion)

Romeo Doubs (ankle)

Aaron Jones (ankle)

Ezekiel Elliott (knee)

Sammy Watkins (knee)

 

Arizona Cardinals at Los Angeles Rams

Spread: Rams -1.5
Implied Total: Cardinals (19.5) vs. Rams (21)
Pace: Cardinals (4th) vs. Rams (26th)
Cardinals Off. DVOA: -7.9% Pass (28th), -14.6% Rush (26th)
Rams Off. DVOA: -0.5% Pass (21st), -21.6% Rush (30th)
Cardinals Def. DVOA:
10.3% Pass (20th), -5.5% Rush (15th)
Rams Def. DVOA: 11.4% Pass (22nd), -20.6% Rush (3rd)

Matchups We Love:

Kyler Murray (QB, ARI)

Murray averaged only five yards per attempt against Seattle, as a means to avoid the pressure and sacks. He's still an elite option because he's averaging over seven carries for about 57 yards per game over the past four weeks. He's firmly in the top 10.

UPDATE: Murray has been ruled out. Colt McCoy will step into the starting role, which is a downgrade for the offense and receivers.

Cardinals WRs

DeAndre Hopkins went from 10-plus receptions in two consecutive weeks to only five targets against the Seahawks. You'd have to imagine the team prioritizes getting him the ball more, especially considering they lost last week. He's a top-12 receiver. Rondale Moore actually led the team in targets with 10, which aligns with the short passing attack led by Murray. He's a top-36 receiver against the Rams.

Zach Ertz (TE, ARI)

Ertz was second on the team in targets and found the end zone again, he's a top-five option in Los Angeles.

Cooper Kupp (WR, LAR)

Kupp survived the ankle scare and dominated as he always does. There's no reason to move away from the receiver who is second in targets, second in receptions, and fourth in yards, not even if Matthew Stafford were to miss the contest.

UPDATE: Stafford is inactive, which will force the Rams to turn to John Wolford, downgrading the offensive weapons slightly.

Matchups We Hate:

Rams RBs

Darrell Henderson maintained his role as the lead back but Cam Akers and Malcolm Brown stole enough rushing attempts to limit his production. The matchup isn't too bad, but the committee approach and minimal scoring opportunities are enough to push all three to the bench this week.

UPDATE: Kyren Williams has been activated from the injured reserve and will play on Sunday while Brown has been ruled out, all three remain players to bench.

Tyler Higbee (TE, LAR)

Higbee has disappeared over the past three weeks totaling just three catches for 22 yards. The offense is really struggling, plus Allen Robinson II has been more involved, eliminating the necessity to throw to Higbee. He's a risky streamer with no floor, especially if Stafford is out.

Other Matchups:

James Conner (RB, ARI)

Conner came back and immediately played on 70% of the offensive snaps, leading the backfield in carries and targets. He'll operate as the lead back, which because he receives so many targets is enough to keep him in the top 24 despite the matchup.

Injuries:

Marquise Brown (foot)

Matthew Stafford (concussion)

Kyler Murray (hamstring)

Malcolm Brown (hamstring)

 

Matchups Analysis - Sunday Night Football

Los Angeles Chargers at San Franciso 49ers

Spread: 49ers -7.0
Implied Total: Chargers (18.75) vs. 49ers (25.75)
Pace: Chargers (2nd) vs. 49ers (28th)
Chargers Off. DVOA: 11.7% Pass (16th), -21.2% Rush (29th)
49ers Off. DVOA: 24.3% Pass (7th), -9.3.% Rush (23rd)
Chargers Def. DVOA:
-2.2% Pass (10th), 5.5% Rush (29th)
49ers Def. DVOA: 2.5% Pass (13th), -18.4% Rush (4th)

Matchups We Love:

Christian McCaffrey (RB, SF)

After completing the cycle of touchdowns (pass, catch, run) in Week 8, he returns to face the putrid Chargers run defense, who were gashed for 201 yards on the ground last week by the Falcons. He's a must-start with No. 1 overall potential.

George Kittle (TE, SF)

Kittle put together a stretch of three great games, finding the end zone twice. As a top target for the offense averaging eight targets per game the last three weeks, he's a top-five play.

Matchups We Hate:

Justin Herbert (QB, LAC)

Herbert was underwhelming in a great spot last week, finishing as QB19. Since the rib injury occurred in Week 2 against the Chiefs, he's finished inside the top-15 just twice. More concerning than the injury is the lack of weapons. Until he has a healthy Keenan Allen or Mike Williams, he's hard to trust as anything more than an upside streamer, which is what he'll be against the 49ers.

Other Matchups:

Austin Ekeler (RB, LAC)

Ekeler ceded some work to rookie Isaiah Spiller on the ground but he still scored twice inside the five-yard line, including a two-yard reception. The seven catches on nine targets are largely why he is so elite and secure. The 49ers are a tough matchup but his receiving role keeps him in the top 10.

49ers WRs

Deebo Samuel has yet to play a game where McCaffrey had a full workload so this will be an opportunity to see how he affects Samuel's role. The assumption would be that he receives fewer carries, but whether he is more involved as a receiver is the real question. Samuel has experienced massive negative touchdown regression on the season as expected while averaging only about 4.5 receptions per game. He's still an explosive receiver but without the same volume, he's best viewed as more of a top-20 receiver moving forward. Brandon Aiyuk has actually been the more productive player over the past three games, one of which Samuel was out. Aiyuk is a top-30 receiver with upside.

Jimmy Garoppolo (QB, SF)

With a full complement of players at his disposal including McCaffrey, Kittle, Samuel, and Aiyuk, Garroppolo is an intriguing streaming option in a slightly more difficult matchup because any one of them can turn a short pass into a big play.

Joshua Palmer (WR, LAC)

Palmer came through in an awesome matchup against Atlanta with eight grabs for 106 yards. Palmer has been opportunistic, capitalizing on the absence of their top-two wideouts, which is likely to be the scenario in San Francisco. Palmer is a top-30 receiver with secure volume. DeAndre Carter actually saw fewer targets than Michael Bandy but still produced the same amount of receptions and more yards. In a worse matchup sharing the No. 2 role, they both drop to being risky flex options.

UPDATE: Allen has been ruled out as expected.

Gerald Everett (TE, LAC)

Everett saw eight targets, which was tied for third at the tight end position last week. He also has a 15.6% target share on the year. As one of the primary weapons for Herbert, Everett remains a top-12 option with upside if he scores.

Injuries:

Mike Williams (ankle)

Keenan Allen (hamstring)

 

Matchups Analysis - Monday Night Football

Washington Commanders at Philadelphia Eagles

Spread: Eagles -11.0
Implied Total: Commanders (16.5) vs. Eagles (27.5)
Pace: Commanders (18th) vs. Eagles (19th)
Commanders Off. DVOA: -8.2% Pass (29th), -15.7% Rush (27th)
Eagles Off. DVOA: 34.7% Pass (3rd), 8.1% Rush (5th)
Commanders Def. DVOA:
13.6% Pass (25th), -22.9% Rush (2nd)
Eagles Def. DVOA: -28.3% Pass (2nd), 3.3% Rush (27th)

Matchups We Love:

Jalen Hurts (QB, PHI)

Hurts and the Eagles had a bit of a lull against the Texans but all their fantasy-relevant players except for DeVonta Smith had a great game. Additionally, the matchup heavily favored running the ball last week but it's the complete opposite against the Commanders, which should mean a bigger day for the passing attack.

Dallas Goedert (TE, PHI)

Goedert had his biggest game of the year clearing 100 yards and finding the end zone. It won't always be that good but he's in the tier right below Kelce and Mark Andrews as a weekly must-start.

Eagles WRs

A.J. Brown scored for the third consecutive week, which along with higher yard totals is his calling card. Much like in Tennessee, he's averaging exactly six receptions per game, meaning he relies on big plays and touchdowns, but in this offense with Hurts throwing the ball, that's sustainable. He's a lock again this week. Smith is the only member of the passing attack not excelling but when you're the second or third option in an offense with a great rushing attack, that will happen. His ceiling is much higher than the players ranked around him most weeks, keeping him as a high-upside top-30 receiver.

Matchups We Hate:

Commanders RBs

The Eagles have been getting exploited by their opponent's running backs, mostly recently by Pierce who ran for 139 yards. With McKissic out last week, Brian Robinson ran the ball 13 times with two catches, although those yielded negative six yards, compared to Antonio Gibson, who rushed the ball 11 times and had two receptions. They both failed to total 50 scrimmage yards, making neither a particularly exciting start. They're both flex options with the edge going to Gibson because of his pass-catching ability.

UPDATE: J.D. McKissic has been ruled out, keeping it to just Gibson and Robinson again this week.

Other Matchups:

Miles Sanders (RB, PHI)

Sanders capitalized on a juicy matchup with another score and nearly 100 rushing yards. However, he had zero targets compared to three for Kenneth Gainwell, who also ran in a touchdown. With so much competition around the goal line and in the receiving game, Sanders possesses more risk than other reliable backs. Plus Washington has been beaten so easily through the air and is more difficult to run on, making Sanders a slight fade as a top-24 back.

Commanders WRs

Terry McLaurin didn't meet expectations last week but it wasn't a terrible game. He's been more valuable since the return of Taylor Heinicke, keeping him in the top 30 despite the difficult matchup. Curtis Samuel was the one who found the end zone last week, but it was a really strange play that shouldn't have happened. He's a flex option with a higher floor.

UPDATE: Jahan Dotson will play against the Eagles, he's not an option in his first game back but could help the offense. He does remove some of the touchdown upside from McLaurin and Samuel.

Injuries:

Carson Wentz (thumb)

Jahan Dotson (hamstring)

J.D. McKissic (neck)

 



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We've heard the phrase running backs don't matter before. That's evident in the real-life NFL Draft, with only 12 running backs going in the first round since 2014. That list includes Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Josh Jacobs, Melvin Gordon, Todd Gurley, Saquon Barkley, Sony Michel, Leonard Fournette, Christian McCaffrey, Ezekiel Elliott, Najee Harris, Bijan Robinson, and Jahmyr... Read More