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Fantasy Football Start Em, Sit Em - Week 11 Matchups Analysis

Jonathan Taylor - Fantasy Football Rankings, NFL Injury News, DFS Lineup Picks

Welcome back RotoBallers to our Week 11 matchups analysis and Start Em, Sit Em column for fantasy football. Last week was proof that anything can happen, especially when division rivals face one another. It was another fruitful day for fantasy, and a ton of fun to watch. There are four new teams on bye this week including the Jacksonville Jaguars, Miami Dolphins, Seattle Seahawks, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, which when compounded with several new injuries, forces us to make some difficult lineup decisions.

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 started one of the many big performers last week and landed a victory, which is what we'll be out do to again here. 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 - 1:00 ET Games

Chicago Bears at Atlanta Falcons

Spread: Falcons -3.0
Implied Total: Bears (23) vs. Falcons (26)
Pace: Bears (24th) vs. Falcons (29th)
Bears Off. DVOA: -5.3% Pass (26th), 2.6% Rush (9th)
Falcons Off. DVOA: 12.9% Pass (14th), 5.5% Rush (8th)
Bears Def. DVOA:
21.4% Pass (30th), 2.1% Rush (26th)
Falcons Def. DVOA: 20.5% Pass (29th), 2.1% Rush (26th)

Matchups We Love:

Justin Fields (QB, CHI)

After breaking rushing records against the Dolphins, he crushed it again with 147 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. This level of production is unsustainable but he's a must-start in another fantastic matchup this week facing the Falcons.

Cole Kmet (TE, CHI)

Kmet rose from unstartable to relevant to a top-12 option in a matter of three weeks. His five touchdowns are tied with Mark Andrews for second behind only Travis Kelce, all of which have come in the past three games. He also saw seven targets last week, cementing him as a top-10 play.

David Montgomery (RB, CHI)

The running back battle was trending in favor of Khalil Herbert, but it won't matter now because he was placed on the Injured Reserve list with a hip injury. It creates an opportunity for Montgomery to take on a larger role in a run-heavy offense. He'll still have to contend with Fields and backup Trestan Ebner, but against Atlanta, he's a top-20 back.

Matchups We Hate:

None

Other Matchups:

Darnell Mooney (WR, CHI)

The only thing holding Mooney back is volume, which is bound to be an issue when Fields is only completing 12 passes. He still managed to catch four of those, but the way this offense is pounding the rock, they don't need to air it out as much. Mooney is a top-36 receiver in a plus matchup.

Falcons Passing Attack

After an unexpected outburst against the Panthers in Week 8, the Atlanta offense fell flat last week. Marcus Mariota did attempt 30 passes, mostly because of the game script, but he missed Drake London and Kyle Pitts on some big throws yet again. The Bears are a great matchup, so Pitts is still an upside streamer while London is a flex play.

Falcons RBs

After finding the end zone twice in Week 9, Cordarrelle Patterson was held to 20 scoreless yards on six touches. The team ran the ball 25 times but it was split amongst four backs and Mariota, making it really difficult for anyone to succeed for fantasy. Additionally, it was actually Tyler Allgeier who led the backfield playing on 48% of the offensive snaps. Patterson and Allgeier are both top-36 backs who'll need a touchdown to come through in a nice matchup.

Injuries:

Damien Williams (rib)

Khalil Herbert (hip)

 

Carolina Panthers at Baltimore Ravens

Spread: Ravens -13.0
Implied Total: Panthers (14.25) vs. Ravens (27.25)
Pace: Panthers (13th) vs. Ravens (31st)
Panthers Off. DVOA: -26.4% Pass (32nd), 1.6% Rush (11th)
Ravens Off. DVOA: 34.2% Pass (3rd), 15.7% Rush (1st)
Panthers Def. DVOA:
17.6% Pass (27th), -1.9% Rush (22nd)
Ravens Def. DVOA: -2.2% Pass (11th), -3.1% Rush (19th)

Matchups We Love:

Mark Andrews (TE, BAL)

Andrews is trending to be back for Week 11, which would be music to the ears of fantasy managers who are scraping by with a replacement. Andrews is too good not to start, even if re-injury is a possibility.

UPDATE: Andrews is active and will play.

Lamar Jackson (QB, BAL)

Jackson simply needs Andrews back to have a chance to be elite again. He's still been solid because of his rushing baseline but hasn't delivered those top-five performances for several weeks now. The matchup sets up nicely for a lot of points from the Ravens, making him a top-five play with Andrews and a top-12 play without him.

Ravens RBs

The matchup is great, the Ravens are heavy favorites, and their rushing attack is deadly. Kenyan Drake torched the Saints in Week 9, but Gus Edwards is back practicing, which could mean he suits up. In either case, Drake is a back you can play, it's just a matter of whether he's a top-24 back as the starter or a top-36 back along with Edwards if both play.

UPDATE: Edwards has been ruled out, making Drake a strong top-24 play if Edwards misses.

Matchups We Hate:

Panthers Passing Attack

With PJ Walker injured, the team will turn back to Baker Mayfield. It's already a difficult matchup against a defense that looked ferocious the last time we saw them against the Saints, so adding in Mayfield is not a good situation. DJ Moore is coming off back-to-back disappointing performances, making him a fade this week.

Ravens WRs

The matchup is there for someone to emerge but from what we saw the last time the Ravens took the field, they'd much rather impose their will on the ground. Furthermore, there really isn't a standout player to target, making all the non-tight end receiving options risky.

D'Onta Foreman (RB, CAR)

Foreman ran wild last week in another great spot against the Falcons, racking up 130 yards and a score on 31 carries. Chuba Hubbard only had five carries, demonstrating the commitment the team has to Foreman. He's been great in the three of the last four weeks, the concern is that his down game was when the team got blown out by the Bengals because he's rarely used as a receiver, which is certainly a possibility when they travel to Baltimore. He's a top-36 back with a lower floor in this one.

Other Matchups:

None

Injuries:

Gus Edwards (hamstring)

Mark Andrews (knee/shoulder)

P.J. Walker (ankle)

 

Cleveland Browns at Buffalo Bills

Spread: Bills -8.0
Implied Total: Browns (17.5) vs. Bills (25.5)
Pace: Browns (14th) vs. Bills (6th)
Browns Off. DVOA: 17.1% Pass (10th), 14.6% Rush (3rd)
Bills Off. DVOA: 32.9% Pass (4th), -6.7% Rush (21st)
Browns Def. DVOA:
15.3% Pass (26th), 12.8% Rush (32nd)
Bills Def. DVOA: -18.0% Pass (5th), -15.4% Rush (6th)

Matchups We Love:

Josh Allen (QB, BUF)

Despite the UCL concerns entering the game, Allen was more than capable of leading his team. Unfortunately, his costly turnovers at inopportune times were too much to overcome. With an extra quarter of play to pad his stats, he finished with over 300 passing yards and added nearly 100 rushing yards. The Browns' defense has not been great in either category, setting Allen up for another top-five outing.

Bills WRs

Stefon Diggs was his usual dominant self, commanding 16 targets for 12 receptions against the Vikings. While he did not find the end zone, his teammate Gabe Davis did. Davis put together a great game after two poor outings, confirming the volatile nature of his production. In a nice spot against a vulnerable defense, Diggs is a must-start and Davis is a boom-bust top-24 receiver.

Matchups We Hate:

Browns Passing Attack

On the road against a difficult Buffalo defense, it's going to be tough for Jacoby Brissett and company to deliver. Facing a very beatable defense last week in Miami, they struggled to produce, with the exception of Donovan Peoples-Jones, who has emerged as a strong top-36 receiver with big play ability. His counterpart, Amari Cooper, continues to disappear in road games with unfathomable consistency. The game has been moved to Detroit, but the strange road curse along with the matchup, make him a flex option.

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

Other Matchups:

Nick Chubb (RB, CLE)

Chubb has been incredible this season, rushing for 904 yards and 11 touchdowns in nine games. There are several reputable backs that couldn't hit those numbers in a full season. The difficulty of the matchup hasn't stopped him from producing, but he has seen fewer carries in the games they're getting hammered in, which makes sense. In this one, he'll likely be in that 10-15 attempt range, meaning he'll need a couple of big plays or a touchdown.

Devin Singletary (RB, BUF)

Singeltary typically only has a good game when he receives a bunch of targets, so it was a bit surprising to see him find paydirt twice as a rusher. He's now played on 70-plus percent of the offensive snaps in four straight games, re-establishing his role as the lead back. There's always a risk the team scores through the air and he's not necessary for them to win, but he's a top-24 back given the matchup.

Dawson Knox (TE, BUF)

Knox was able to produce a decent game without a touchdown, catching four passes for 57 yards, which is something he's struggled to do historically. He remains an upside streamer on a great offense that can score every week.

Injuries:

David Njoku (ankle)

 

Washington Commanders at Houston Texans

Spread: Commanders -3.0
Implied Total: Commanders (22) vs. Texans (19)
Pace: Commanders (19th) vs. Texans (21st)
Commanders Off. DVOA: -6.8% Pass (27th), -13.3% Rush (25th)
Texans Off. DVOA: -11.4% Pass (30th), -13.4% Rush (26th)
Commanders Def. DVOA:
11.0% Pass (20th), -19.6% Rush (2nd)
Texans Def. DVOA: 14.5% Pass (25th), 9.3% Rush (31st)

Matchups We Love:

Commanders RBs

Week in and week out, we've seen great games from the backfield facing Houston. Cue Brian Robinson and Antonio Gibson, who both looked great and found the end zone against the Eagles on Monday. Robinson will handle the majority of the carries while Gibson will take on the receiving role along with several rushing attempts. Robinson jumps into the top 24 this week with Gibson in the top 36.

Matchups We Hate:

None

Other Matchups:

Commanders WRs

Terry McLaurin dominated Darius Slay and the Eagles' secondary with eight receptions for 128 yards. He has a 29.8% target share since Taylor Heinicke took over, resulting in three massive games during the four starts Heinicke has made. He's now 18th in yards per route run with 1.93, earning himself a spot in the top 15, with the only concern being they might not need to throw much. Curtis Samuel maintained his hybrid role, rushing the ball four times and receiving four targets. Unfortunately, this week it only resulted in 40 total yards. He's a high-floor low-ceiling flex option.

Dameon Pierce (RB, HOU)

Pierce is getting everything in terms of workload, accounting for 17 of the 18 backfield carries, plus three targets, which was one more than Rex Burkhead had. The issue is that the offense is very bad, limiting the number of overall plays and scoring opportunities for Pierce. Without a touchdown, he's unlikely to have a big week, but his workload is so secure he is a very safe top-24 back, even against a difficult run defense like Washington.

Nico Collins (WR, HOU)

Collins finally made it back from his injury, making an immediate impact against the Giants. He assumed the No. 1 receiver role with a team-leading 10 targets, one of which he turned into a 12-yard score. Brandin Cooks has struggled with consistency all year, opening the door for Collins to step up. The Commanders will be a tough spot for them to excel, but Collins is an upside flex option with Cooks a floor play.

Injuries:

J.D. McKissic (neck)

 

Philadelphia Eagles at Indianapolis Colts

Spread: Eagles -6.5
Implied Total: Eagles (26) vs. Colts (19.5)
Pace: Eagles (15th) vs. Colts (10th)
Eagles Off. DVOA: 31.6% Pass (6th), 11.6% Rush (4th)
Colts Off. DVOA: -23.8% Pass (31st), -23.7% Rush (31st)
Eagles Def. DVOA:
-26.1% Pass (1st), 4.9% Rush (28th)
Colts Def. DVOA: 6.6% Pass (16th), -18.2% Rush (5th)

Matchups We Love:

Jalen Hurts (QB, PHI)

While it was a night to forget for the offense as a whole, Hurts still totaled three touchdowns in a losing effort. He scored on the ground again for his seventh rushing touchdown of the season, adding 28 yards on 12 carries. The team was playing with fire the way they played against Houston, and it cost them at home last week, but you can expect a bounce-back performance from the entire cast against the Colts.

Eagles WRs

A.J. Brown dealt with an injury early in the game that didn't cost him much playing time but may have impacted his ability, resulting in his worst game of the year. Much like with Hurts though, it's a game to mostly discount and toss him back out there as a top-10 receiver. DeVonta Smith found the end zone, en route to his best game since Week 7. He led the team with eight targets, which now that Dallas Goedert is injured, becomes more sustainable. He moves into the top 24.

UPDATE: Brown and Smith have both been cleared to play as expected.

Jonathan Taylor (RB, IND)

The biggest question mark with Taylor was his health. He made a statement that he wouldn't return to action until he was fully healthy, but that was still tough to trust in his first game back with a rookie quarterback. Fortunately for him, the stars aligned. The team turned to Matt Ryan, Taylor was in fact healthy, and they were facing the porous Raiders defense. It's unlikely we get another blowup game like that this week, especially if the Eagles recent signings, Ndamukong Suh and Linval Joseph are able to play, but he's back in the top 12.

Matchups We Hate:

Colts Passing Attack 

As mentioned above, following a strange sequence of events, Ryan was named the starter. The player who benefited the most from the switch was actually Parris Campbell who in his last three games with Ryan at the helm has gone seven for 57 and one, 10 for 70 and one, and seven for 76 and one last week. His role and skill set fit perfectly with the tendencies of Ryan, especially now that Nyheim Hines is in Buffalo. Michael Pittman Jr. was also brought back to life, hauling in seven catches for 53 yards. It's hard to project another good week from this passing attack with the Eagles coming to town, but Pittman Jr. and Campbell are both top-36 receivers.

Other Matchups:

Miles Sanders (RB, PHI)

Sanders's workload has dwindled over the past three weeks, averaging about 12 carries with one total target. In a high-powered offense with plenty of scoring opportunities that can work out but it makes him riskier with a lower floor than other tailbacks who catch passes. They'll likely run a lot more plays than they did last week with a big lead against the Colts, keeping him in the top 24.

Injuries:

Dallas Goedert (shoulder)

DeVonta Smith (knee)

A.J. Brown (ankle)

 

New York Jets at New England Patriots

Spread: Patriots -3.0
Implied Total: Jets (17.5) vs. Patriots (20.5)
Pace: Jets (7th) vs. Patriots (27th)
Jets Off. DVOA: 6.3% Pass (18th), 1.0% Rush (12th)
Patriots Off. DVOA: -7.0% Pass (28th), -8.0% Rush (22nd)
Jets Def. DVOA:
-12.3% Pass (6th), -9.8% Rush (10th)
Patriots Def. DVOA: -25.6% Pass (2nd), -2.5% Rush (21st)

Matchups We Love:

None

Matchups We Hate:

Patriots Passing Attack

This game features two ascending defenses facing off against two mediocre offenses, which aligns with the very low over/under. Mac Jones has yet to prove he's an NFL-caliber starter, so squaring off against the Jets' defense is not a good situation for him or his weapons. Sauce Gardiner will take away one of the perimeter receivers, leaving Jakobi Meyers as the only player worth starting, and even he's struggled with inconsistent volume. He's a flex option while everyone else is a bench.

Jets Passing Attack

It's more or less the same story for New York, except that Garett Wilson has flashed his talent and upside, making him a more intriguing player to start as a top-36 receiver with upside.

Michael Carter (RB, NYJ)

Carter produced a nice game against Buffalo before their bye week, totaling 86 yards and a touchdown. The problem is he's in a timeshare with James Robinson, plus it's difficult to know what the split will look like coming out of their bye. Additionally, the Patriots have been a difficult matchup, allowing the second-fewest fantasy points on the year. Carter and Robinson are both flex options with Carter as the preferred choice because of his role as a receiver.

Other Matchups:

Rhamondre Stevenson (RB, NE)

Since the takeover began in Week 3, Stevenson has scored 14.5 or more fantasy points in all but one week in half-PPR scoring, finishing as a top-12 back in five of his seven games, including a No. 1 overall finish in Week 6. His involvement in the receiving game keeps him in the top 15 against the Jets.

Injuries:

Corey Davis (knee)

 

Los Angeles Rams at New Orleans Saints

Spread: Saints -3.0 
Implied Total: Rams (17.75) vs. Saints (20.75)
Pace: Rams (26th) vs. Saints (9th)
Rams Off. DVOA: -1.5% Pass (23rd), -19.4% Rush (30th)
Saints Off. DVOA: -5.2% Pass (24th), -0.3% Rush (15th)
Rams Def. DVOA:
11.1% Pass (21st), -18.3% Rush (4th)
Saints Def. DVOA: 1.7% Pass (14th), -3.3% Rush (18th)

Matchups We Love:

None

Matchups We Hate:

Rams RBs

The impact that losing Cooper Kupp will have on this offense cannot be overstated. He was the only reliable and productive player, limiting the upside and appeal for everyone else. Not only does that include the running back room, but they were already having issues. They rank last in rushing attempts and rushing yards in the league, plus that minimal volume is being split between three different players. No one from this backfield should be started.

Alvin Kamara (RB, NO)

The Saints have problems of their own, stemming from the quarterback position and injuries to their offensive line. Andy Dalton has struggled to make throws and elude pressure, resulting in fewer overall plays for the offense. It's impacted all of their fantasy-relevant players including Kamara, who has 17 carries for 56 yards and six receptions for 41 yards total over the past two games. Taking on a stout Rams defense is bad news for Kamara, dropping him outside the top 15.

Other Matchups:

Tyler Higbee (TE, LAR)

Higbee is the only Los Angeles player to consider starting because we've seen the team hyper-target him when they don't have other options. He's a volume-based streaming candidate with a lower ceiling.

UPDATE: Matthew Stafford is off the injury report, meaning he'll return to action against the Saints, solidifying Higbee's value.

Saints WRs

Jarvis Landry returned from injury and immediately saw six targets, trailing only Juwan Johnson. He's long been more of a full-PPR receiver that catches a lot of passes for smaller yard totals, which is where his appeal is this week as a flex option. The bigger concern is Chris Olave, who is in the middle of a breakout campaign with the 11th-most yards per route at 2.29, slowed only by his quarterback's performance. Olave has still produced two nice games over the past five weeks but he drops from that top-15 range to more of a top-24 receiver with upside.

Juwan Johnson (TE, NO)

One of the few players who has excelled in the offense with Dalton is Johnson. He's found the end zone in three of the past four games including twice in Week 7 against the Cardinals. He's another streaming option, who has shown he can score.

Injuries:

Mark Ingram II (knee)

Matthew Stafford (concussion)

Cooper Kupp (ankle)

 

Detroit Lions at New York Giants

Spread: Giants -3.0
Implied Total: Lions (21) vs. Giants (24)
Pace: Lions (8th) vs. Giants (23rd)
Lions Off. DVOA: 17.0% Pass (11th), -0.1% Rush (14th)
Giants Off. DVOA: 15.8% Pass (13th), 0.5% Rush (13th)
Lions Def. DVOA:
14.1% Pass (24th), 4.0% Rush (27th)
Giants Def. DVOA: 13.7% Pass (23rd), -0.9% Rush (23rd)

Matchups We Love:

Amon-Ra St. Brown (WR, DET)

It was clear this game was coming, it was simply a matter of time. The target share was too elite, plus we've seen it already from St. Brown. He accounted for 11 of the 26 (42.3%) attempts and 10 of the 19 (52.6%) completed passes. He's locked in as a top-12 receiver against the Giants.

UPDATE: DJ Chark has been activated from the IR, meaning he could play on Sunday, while Josh Reynolds has been ruled out again. Chark would be a flex option if he plays.

Saquon Barkley (RB, NYG)

Barkley has been blessed with the opportunity to play Houston and Detroit in back-to-back games, setting him up for another massive day. He's tied for most breakaway runs with 14, demonstrating his home-run-hitting potential. He's a top-five back this week.

Daniel Jones (QB, NYG)

Jones was efficient with minimal volume, completing 13-0f-17 passes for 197 yards and two touchdowns. He also added 24 rushing yards. He's right around that top-12 mark given the fantastic matchup against the Lions.

Matchups We Hate:

None

Other Matchups:

Jared Goff (QB, DET)

Goff was mediocre for fantasy purposes against Chicago, primarily because he only threw one touchdown, but he'll get a chance to best that performance against the Giants, who just gave up 319 yards to Davis Mills. He's a streaming option this week.

Jamaal Williams (RB, DET)

Williams deserves to be viewed as the clear-cut lead back until proven otherwise, especially when it comes to the ground game, where he saw 16 carries. The real value is his goal-line role, resulting in a league-leading seven rushing touchdowns inside the 10-yard line. He's a top-24 back in a plus matchup. D'Andre Swift is now losing work to Justin Jackson and was limited to six carries and three targets. He found the end zone again this week, which is what he'll need to do again in New York as a flex option.

Giants WRs

Darius Slayton managed to turn three receptions into 95 yards and a touchdown, which is impressive. Sadly his three receptions were tied for the team lead. The distribution of targets is too wide for any one receiver to emerge currently, making all of them flex options with Slayton as the one who has the most upside.

UPDATE: Wan'Dale Robinson and Kenny Golladay are both active. Robinson was a flex option, but because he's nursing the hamstring he's best left on your bench along with Golladay.

Injuries:

DJ Chark (ankle)

Josh Reynolds (back)

Wan'Dale Robinson (hamstring)

 

Matchups Analysis - 4:00 ET Games

Las Vegas Raiders at Denver Broncos

Spread: Broncos -2.5 
Implied Total: Raiders (19.5) vs. Broncos (22)
Pace: Raiders (20th) vs. Broncos (16th)
Raiders Off. DVOA: 3.8% Pass (20th), 5.5% Rush (7th)
Broncos Off. DVOA: -5.2% Pass (25th), -15.8% Rush (28th)
Raiders Def. DVOA:
31.2% Pass (32nd), 0.8% Rush (24th)
Broncos Def. DVOA: -24.1% Pass (3rd), -2.9% Rush (20th)

Matchups We Love:

Josh Jacobs (RB, LV)

In a low-scoring game against a divisional opponent that possesses a very talented secondary, running the ball will be the best approach. Jacobs has been receiving a massive workload this season, he has the fifth-most attempts and fourth-most rushing yards, plus he's found the end zone seven times. He's a top-12 back against Denver.

Courtland Sutton (WR, DEN)

The last time everyone in the passing attack did well was against the Raiders in Week 4, which is not surprising given how bad their passing defense has been. With Jerry Jeudy banged up, Sutton should command an ever larger target share, moving him right around the top 24.

UPDATE: Jeudy has been ruled out, opening the door for Sutton to have a bigger target share.

Greg Dulcich (TE, DEN)

Dulcich has skyrocketed up the ranks because so many of the viable players at the position are injured. In addition, he's also stepped into a big role, playing on 89% of the offensive snaps last week while running 40 routes, both of which were in the top seven at the position. The matchup plus his usage pushes him into the top 12.

Matchups We Hate:

Derek Carr (QB, LV)

The Broncos have been the most difficult matchup against quarterbacks in fantasy, removing Carr, who has struggled at times in good matchups, from streaming contention this week.

Other Matchups:

Davante Adams (WR, LV)

Adams has been a man on a mission the past two weeks, doing everything he can to will this team to victory. He's posted 19 receptions for 272 yards and three touchdowns after, disappearing in Week 8. He also put up nine catches for 101 yards in the same matchup earlier this season.

Foster Moreau (TE, LV)

Moreau has become a necessity as a result of the injuries to tight end Darren Waller and wide receiver Hunter Renfrow. Additionally, the tight end position has done better against Denver than the receivers or quarterbacks. He's a strong streamer with top-10 upside.

Russell Wilson (QB, DEN)

Coming out of the bye there was hope the offense would improve. They still only managed to score 10 points, and Wilson committed one turnover, which was fortunate considering he had three fumbles that were recovered by the offense. If there was ever a spot to trust him in your lineup, this has to be it.

Broncos RBs

The matchup is favorable for running backs as well, the problem is there are three players splitting the work. Chase Edmonds made his debut rushing the ball twice and receiving two targets, while Melvin Gordon III and Latavius Murray shared the majority of the touches. Gordon did make his mark in the passing game, catching four of his six targets for 46 yards, which makes him the preferred option. He's a top-36 back with Murray as a flex option.

Injuries:

Darren Waller (hamstring)

Hunter Renfrow hamstring/ribs)

Jerry Jeudy (ankle)

 

Dallas Cowboys at Minnesota Vikings

Spread: Cowboys -2.0
Implied Total: Cowboys (24.75) vs. Vikings (22.75)
Pace: Cowboys (3rd) vs. Vikings (5th)
Cowboys Off. DVOA: 7.9% Pass (16th), 15.2% Rush (2nd)
Vikings Off. DVOA: 5.6% Pass (19th), 2.4% Rush (10th)
Cowboys Def. DVOA:
-21.7% Pass (4th), -9.4% Rush (11th)
Vikings Def. DVOA: 6.1% Pass (15th), -4.9% Rush (14th)

Matchups We Love:

CeeDee Lamb (WR, DAL)

Immediately after accusing Lamb of being steady but never winning fantasy managers their week, he blew up with 11 receptions for 150 yards and two touchdowns. The game was competitive right until the end, and even featured an overtime period, forcing the Cowboys to throw the ball 46 times. While it's unlikely he repeats this level of production, the Vikings are a team that will compete and require Dallas to keep scoring.

Cowboys RBs

Tony Pollard delivered another big game without Ezekiel Elliott. It's unclear whether Elliott will be able to suit up, but Pollard is a player to start either way. He's a top-15 back without him and a top-24 back with him, in what figures to be a high-scoring game.

UPDATE: Elliott is expected to make his return on Sunday, but there are reports Pollard could see a larger workload even with Elliott back. Elliott is a top-36 back, who needs a touchdown to come through, while Pollard remains a top-15 play with the increased workload.

Dalton Schultz (TE, DAL)

Schultz trailed only Lamb in targets with eight, turning in six catches for 54 yards and a score. As discussed previously, the touchdowns had been going to other players including backup tight ends, but last week it was his turn. The combination of secure volume and his presence in the red zone lock him into the top 10.

Dak Prescott (QB, DAL)

Prescott only averaged 5.8 yards per attempt but he found the end zone three times with increased attempts. It was exactly the game fantasy managers were waiting for, and it figures to continue in Minnesota, keeping him firmly in the top 10.

Matchups We Hate:

None

Other Matchups:

Kirk Cousins (QB, MIN)

On the other side of the ball, Cousins clearly understands his best chance to succeed is by peppering Justin Jefferson with targets. So long as he continues to employ this strategy, he'll remain a great quarterback streamer.

Vikings WRs

Speaking of Jefferson, wow. After what many are calling one of the greatest catches of all time, he showcased why he's among the NFL's most elite. He is incredible both in the NFL and in fantasy, be thankful if he's on your team. Adam Thielen is still getting enough targets on a good offense to keep him in the top 36, the matchup isn't great, but neither were the Bills and that didn't much matter for these two.

T.J. Hockenson (TE, MIN)

Hockenson has 16 receptions for 115 yards in his two games as a Viking. He's a top-five tight end despite the matchup.

Dalvin Cook (RB, MIN)

Cook's rushing total is inflated by an 81-yard touchdown run, which has been part of his skill set with six breakaway runs this season. Furthermore, his role as a pass-catcher makes up for any inefficiencies or lack of carries. He's had five or more targets in each of the past three weeks, keeping him on the field in all situations. He's in the top 12 because of his workhorse status.

Injuries:

Ezekiel Elliott (knee)

 

Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers

Spread: Bengals -3.5
Implied Total: Bengals (22) vs. Steelers (18.5)
Pace: Bengals (25th) vs. Steelers (12th)
Bengals Off. DVOA: 16.7% Pass (12th), 6.6% Rush (5th)
Steelers Off. DVOA: 1.1% Pass (22nd), -12.5% Rush (24th)
Bengals Def. DVOA:
-6.4% Pass (9th), -7.8% Rush (12th)
Steelers Def. DVOA: 7.6% Pass (18th), -14.2% Rush (7th)

Matchups We Love:

None

Matchups We Hate:

Najee Harris (RB, PIT)

Credit to Harris who rushed for a season-high 99 yards against the Saints last week in a victory. The Steelers made a conscious effort to run the ball, totaling 43 carries in a close game. The concern is that he finished zero receptions compared to Jaylen Warren who had three. Warren also handled nine carries. If the team finds themselves trailing, which is the expectation, Harris won't see enough volume to produce. In a difficult matchup, sharing work with Warren, he's a flex option.

Steelers WRs

George Pickens salvaged his day with a rushing touchdown but continues to struggle to earn targets. Since Chase Claypool departed for Chicago, he's actually been less involved, which may have more to do with their opponents the past two weeks but is not a good sign nonetheless. He's still hyper-talented but without more volume, he'll need to find the end zone to produce. Diontae Johnson, on the other hand, is getting the targets but isn't doing much with them. In addition, he's yet to find pay dirt on the year, which should change at some point. Cincinnati is a challenging matchup, causing both to drop outside the top 24.

Other Matchups:

Joe Mixon (RB, CIN)

The return of T.J. Watt is significant for the Pittsburgh defense. He's a talented pass-rusher who also helps in the running game. Mixon lit the world on fire against the Panthers in Week 9 but will have a tougher time in this one. Fortunately, he is so involved as a pass-catcher, averaging about four receptions per game, that he'll be just fine as a top-12 back.

Joe Burrow (QB, CIN)

We still don't know really know how well the Bengals passing attack will perform without Ja'Marr Chase because they struggled against the Browns and then let Mixon single-handedly destroy the Panthers. They're also facing their division rivals, which often lowers the scoring. Burrow still has the weapons to come through, plus he's found the end zone four times on the ground this season, which provides a nice boost. He's a strong top-12 option.

Bengals WRs

Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd will lead the charge once again, operating as the primary weapons for Burrow. In the two-game sample, Higgins has averaged five receptions for 55 yards with one total touchdown, while Boyd has averaged four receptions for 41 yards and one total touchdown as well. Part of the issue has been the distribution of targets, Mixon and Hayden Hurst have been very involved. The opportunity for a big game is there, placing them both in the top 24 with Higgins as the preferred choice.

Hayden Hurst (TE, CIN)

The Steelers haven't been quite as favorable to tight ends, but Hurst has nine receptions for 77 yards with a one-hundred percent catch rate in the past two games. He's involved enough to be a reliable streaming option.

Pat Freiermuth (TE, PIT)

Freiermuth has seven-plus targets in each of his past three games, leading the team during that stretch. He's also 14th in yards per route run at the position with 1.69. He's a top-10 play, even in a more difficult matchup.

Injuries:

None

 

Matchups Analysis - Sunday Night Football

Kansas City Chiefs at Los Angeles Chargers

Spread: Chiefs -5.0
Implied Total: Chiefs (28.5) vs. Chargers (23.5)
Pace: Chiefs (11th) vs. Chargers (2nd)
Chiefs Off. DVOA: 45.4% Pass (2nd), -6.1% Rush (20th)
Chargers Off. DVOA: 3.6% Pass (21st), -23.8% Rush (32nd)
Chiefs Def. DVOA:
12.4% Pass (22nd), -3.8% Rush (17th)
Chargers Def. DVOA: -1.7% Pass (12th), 5.9% Rush (29th)

Matchups We Love:

Austin Ekeler (RB, LAC)

The Chargers could not overcome their lack of weapons facing a difficult 49ers defense last week but should have more luck against the Chiefs. Ekeler had an outrageous 12 targets, seven of which he caught for 39 yards. He just couldn't get much going because they didn't sustain drives, plus San Francisco ate up a lot of the clock. He jumps right back into the top 12 this week in a better spot.

Justin Herbert (QB, LAC)

Herbert entered the game without Mike Williams or Keenan Allen and then lost Gerald Everett, which proved to be too much for him to overcome. It's a solid matchup for Herbert, in a potential divisional shootout, he just needs some weapons back. He'll be tough to trust as more than an upside streamer unless two out of those three players are active.

Chargers WRs

Allen and Williams both returned to practice, creating optimism they might be able to suit up. There would be an additional risk in their first game back but the matchup is favorable with a high over/under. Joshua Palmer has been the next man up, making him the receiver to start if one or both are out again. DeAndre Carter has also been productive, bringing him into the fold if they're both sidelined.

UPDATE: Williams and Allen are both active, they're risky top-30 options with high ceilings in a potential shootout.

Patrick Mahomes (QB, KC)

Mahomes has somehow been overlooked because of the record-breaking performances by Fields. He's finished as a top-three quarterback in four of the last five games, cementing him is a must-start.

Travis Kelce (TE, KC)

Kelce cannot be stopped. Tyreek Hill's departure was the best thing that could have happened for him. He's the king of volume as the TE1.

Matchups We Hate:

None

Other Matchups:

Chiefs WRs

Mecole Hardman sat out against the Jaguars, while JuJu Smith-Schuster suffered a concussion midway through the game. It created an opportunity for both Kadarius Toney, who had his best game since early last year with four grabs for 57 yards and a score, along with Marquez Valdes-Scantling, who caught three passes for 60 yards with a touchdown, to produce. The game has the potential for a ton of points, thrusting them both into the top 24, with Toney as the preferred option because of his role.

UPDATE: Smith-Schuster has been ruled out as expected, creating an opportunity for Toney and Valdes-Scantling.

Chiefs RBs

Isiah Pacheco and Jerick McKinnon have both clearly supplanted Clyde Edwards-Helaire, who played on only four offensive snaps. Pacheco led the way in snaps with 35 and carries with 16, while McKinnon played 24 snaps and took on the receiving role with eight targets. Both backs are intriguing as top-24 options because the Chargers are easy to run against and the over/under is high.

Gerald Everett (TE, LAC)

Everett exited early with a groin injury, prohibiting him from contributing. The missing weapons are enough to keep him in the mix as a streamer in a decent matchup, where a lot of points could be scored.

UPDATE: Everett has been ruled out.

Injuries:

Mike Williams (ankle)

Keenan Allen (hamstring)

Mecole Hardman (abdomen)

JuJu Smith-Schuster (concussion)

Gerald Everett (groin)

 

Matchups Analysis - Monday Night Football

San Francisco 49ers at Arizona Cardinals

Spread: 49ers -8.0
Implied Total: 49ers (25.75) vs. Cardinals (17.75)
Pace: 49ers (28th) vs. Cardinals (4th)
49ers Off. DVOA: 23.3% Pass (7th), -8.9% Rush (23rd)
Cardinals Off. DVOA: -8.8% Pass (29th), -13.8% Rush (27th)
49ers Def. DVOA:
-2.9% Pass (10th), -18.4% Rush (3rd)
Cardinals Def. DVOA: 8.2% Pass (19th), -4.5% Rush (16th)

Matchups We Love:

Christian McCaffrey (RB, SF)

McCaffrey found himself in a 50/50 split with Elijah Mitchell, limiting his upside in this game, but he still found the end zone and received the six targets. Head coach Kyle Shanahan spoke about deploying both backs, but the high-value touches are still going to McCaffrey, plus the matchup last week heavily favored running the ball. He's still an elite option with top-five upside.

George Kittle (TE, SF)

The 49ers ran the ball 41 times, electing to attempt only 28 passes, which makes it difficult for everyone in the passing attack to succeed. Kittle possesses such explosiveness and yards-after-the-catch ability, that he needs to be started to get those big games. Additionally, he gets the No. 1 matchup for tight ends, making him a must-start.

Matchups We Hate:

James Conner (RB, ARI)

It was a massive day for Conner, who received 21 carries and three targets. The Cardinals established a lead in the second quarter and never looked back, enabling Conner to score twice on the ground. The matchup against the 49ers has been the worst for fantasy running backs, so he'll need to find the end zone and catch passes to succeed in this one, which is well within his potential outcomes. There's also the possibility of a high-scoring game given the over/under.

Cardinals QB

Kyler Murray missed last week's game, thrusting Colt McCoy into the starting role. McCoy filled in admirably, supporting the value of all the primary weapons and getting the victory. It's a difficult defense to move the ball on, and both of them are currently dealing with injuries, lowering their appeal. Murray would still be in the top 12 because of his rushing ability, while McCoy is best left on the bench if he starts.

UPDATE: Murray has been listed as questionable for Sunday's game, adding additional risk if he does suit up. Fantasy managers would be wise to pivot to another option unless we receive an official update prior to kickoff on Sunday. McCoy has been removed from the injury report, meaning he'll be good to go if Murray is out.

Other Matchups:

49ers WRs

As discussed above, the volume issue is impacting all their pass-catchers, which includes Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk. Samuel actually participated more as a runner than a receiver with four carries compared to two receptions, which is not ideal for his fantasy value. Aiyuk yet again finished with more points, catching six passes for 84 yards. They're both going to be volatile top-24 receivers because of the volume, but Aiyuk has been more valuable for several weeks now.

Jimmy Garoppolo (QB, SF)

Garoppolo benefits from having so many awesome weapons but doesn't need to air out and score touchdowns to win. In this matchup though, he'll likely need to throw more often and should find the end zone at least once, making him a solid streamer.

Cardinals WRs

Two of the weapons McCoy was able to support were DeAndre Hopkins and Rondale Moore, both of whom caught nine-plus passes for 90-plus yards. Since the return of Hopkins, which coincided with the Marquise Brown injury, Moore has finished in the top 24 in three straight weeks including a WR7 finish in Week 8. They're both solid top-24 receivers because of their concentrated volume and target share.

UPDATE: Hopkins has been listed as questionable for Sunday's game, he seems likely to play but it's worth monitoring in case he doesn't. Moore would get a bump if he misses.

Injuries:

Marquise Brown (foot)

Kyler Murray (hamstring)

 



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