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Fantasy Football Start Em, Sit Em - Week 12 Matchups Analysis

Patrick Mahomes - Fantasy Football Rankings, DFS Lineup Picks, NFL Injury News

Welcome back RotoBallers to our Week 12 matchups analysis and Start Em, Sit Em column for fantasy football. Happy Thanksgiving! Last week featured a lot of variation, including superstars exploding for week-winning performances, and some of the more talented players busting. There are no teams on bye this week, meaning we will have every single healthy player available for the first time since Week 5, which is great news.

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 also wanted to express my gratitude for some of the great resources that help me write this article each week such as Football Outsiders, Pro Football Focus, Rotovitz, Pro Football Reference, Draftkings Sportsbook, and Fantasy Points. Furthermore, a thank you is deserved by all of you for reading this article.

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, your studs did their job and you had a few additional options come through, resulting in a victory, which will be the goal 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

Denver Broncos at Carolina Panthers

Spread: Broncos -1.5
Implied Total: Broncos (18.75) vs. Panthers (17.25)
Pace: Broncos (16th) vs. Panthers (13th)
Broncos Off. DVOA: -3.1% Pass (25th), -17.0% Rush (29th)
Panthers Off. DVOA: -30.7% Pass (32nd), -3.6% Rush (16th)
Broncos Def. DVOA:
-18.2% Pass (4th), -2.6% Rush (19th)
Panthers Def. DVOA: 12.0% Pass (21st), -1.6% Rush (23rd)

Matchups We Love:

Latavius Murray (RB, DEN)

In a matter of five weeks, Murray has gone from being signed to the practice squad to now being the last back remaining after the team placed Chase Edmonds on IR and waived Melvin Gordon III. Despite their offensive struggles, Denver ranks 12th in rushing attempts per game and 25th in rushing yards per game, creating an opportunity for Murray, who also has the ability to catch passes. The matchup is great, and as the favorites, they should be able to run a lot, making Murray a top-24 back.

Matchups We Hate:

D'Onta Foreman (RB, CAR)

The pattern has been clear; when Foreman faces an easier opponent with a beatable defense the team can compete with he is great, but when they face a difficult one, they are forced to abandon the run, which limits his upside because he rarely catches passes. The Broncos are not a great team, however, their defense is elite, dropping Foreman outside the top 24 again this week.

DJ Moore (WR, CAR)

The team has made another change at quarterback, thanks to Sam Darnold being healthy enough to start. It's wild when you consider that Darnold, who was the starter last year and someone everyone wanted to be replaced, is now being viewed as the savior for Moore, but here we are. The matchup is brutal, particularly with Patrick Surtain II likely to cover him, so expectations need to be held in check. Moore is a risky flex play against the Broncos.

Other Matchups:

Greg Dulcich (TE, DEN)

It was a disappointing day from the entire passing attack against the Raiders. They were the first team to fail to throw at least one passing touchdown against them all year. Dulcich was tied for second in targets, plus it's another good matchup, so he remains a streaming option.

Courtland Sutton (WR, DEN)

It wasn't pretty last week, but the final line was okay. Sutton can't be trusted to deliver a big game because the offense cannot sustain drives long enough to score. With Jerry Jeudy and KJ Hamler both trending toward missing again, he's a top-36 receiver.

UPDATE: As expected, Jeudy and Hamler have been ruled out.

Injuries:

Chase Edmonds (ankle)

Jerry Jeudy (ankle)

KJ Hamler (hamstring)

 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Cleveland Browns

Spread: Buccaneers -3.5
Implied Total: Buccaneers (22.75) vs. Browns (19.25)
Pace: Buccaneers (1st) vs. Browns (14th)
Buccaneers Off. DVOA: 22.5% Pass (9th), -19.3% Rush (30th)
Browns Off. DVOA: 27.9% Pass (6th), 8.7% Rush (4th)
Buccaneers Def. DVOA:
-10.0% Pass (6th), -10.2% Rush (11th)
Browns Def. DVOA: 15.8% Pass (27th), 11.5% Rush (32nd)

Matchups We Love:

Buccaneers RBs

Rachaad White opened the game in Germany as the starter but was trailing Leonard Fournette in touches heading into the second half. Fournette then exited the game with a hip injury, paving the way for a 100-yard game from White. Fournette has been limited in practice coming off the bye, indicating there's a real chance he either misses or plays fewer snaps. White would be a top-30 back with Fournette out there, and a top-15 back if he misses because of the matchup. Fournette would be a risky top-36 back if he's active.

UPDATE: Fournette has been ruled out as anticipated.

Buccaneers WRs

It's easy to forget because of the bye week, but their passing attack looked a lot better against the Seahawks in Week 10. Additionally, Chris Godwin finally caught his first touchdown. Facing a porous Browns defense, it sets up as a good spot for both him and Mike Evans, who slot in as top-15 options.

Matchups We Hate:

None

Other Matchups:

Tom Brady (QB, TB)

A bye week will give the offense a chance to get healthier and make adjustments, something Brady is the master of. Cleveland has given up 30-plus points in five of their last six games, many of which will come from the arm of Brady. He's a top-12 quarterback.

Nick Chubb (RB, CLE)

As expected, Chubb struggled against the Buffalo run defense and saw reduced volume because the team was trailing much of the game. This happened against the Patriots in Week 6 as well. The Buccaneers should be able to establish a lead, and their defense is improving. Chubb is still a very talented back that can score in any game but falls outside the top 10 this week.

Browns WRs

Amari Cooper overcame the tough matchup in a neutral site and returns home to take on the Buccaneers. The matchup is difficult, but he has been so productive, racking up 50 receptions for 698 yards and seven touchdowns as the WR8 on the season, locking him in. Donovan Peoples-Jones found the end zone last week as well, continuing his success. He's a top-36 receiver, despite the matchup.

David Njoku (TE, CLE)

In his first week back, Njoku only played on 37% of the offensive snaps, limiting him to two catches for 17 yards. You would expect that number to rise significantly after another week of practice and recovery. For reference, through the first six weeks, his snap percentages were 89%, 85%, 92%, 88%, 94%, and 80%. Even if he only jumps up to around 65%, that would provide him the opportunity to finish as a top-12 tight end, which is where he fits in this week.

Injuries:

Russell Gage (hamstring)

 

Baltimore Ravens at Jacksonville Jaguars

Spread: Ravens -3.5
Implied Total: Ravens (23.5) vs. Jaguars (20)
Pace: Ravens (31st) vs. Jaguars (18th)
Ravens Off. DVOA: 26.2% (7th), 15.0% Rush (1st)
Jaguars Off. DVOA: 20.1% Pass (11th), -3.6% Rush (18th)
Ravens Def. DVOA:
-6.0% Pass (8th), -7.1% Rush (14th)
Jaguars Def. DVOA: 21.8% Pass (30th), -6.5% Rush (15th)

Matchups We Love:

Mark Andrews (TE, BAL)

Andrews immediately returned to his alpha role in the offense, playing on 93% of the offensive snaps, hauling in six catches for 63 yards on eight targets. He's back in the top five, even with the offense struggling.

Travis Etienne Jr. (RB, JAX)

Etienne Jr. has the sixth-highest elusive rating, 10th-highest yards after contact, fifth-most breakaway runs, and sixth-most missed tackles forced. He's an elite back that is getting a full workload in an average offense. The Ravens defense has played better since acquiring Roquan Smith, but he's too good to push outside the top 12.

Christian Kirk (WR, JAX)

Kirk has been impressive as well, ranking 20th in yards per route run with 1.87. He also has the 10th-most receptions, 13th-most receiving yards, and fourth-most receiving touchdowns. He's firmly in the top 24 with top-12 upside.

Matchups We Hate:

Trevor Lawrence (QB, JAX)

Lawrence has made a lot of progress this season but has consistently struggled in unfavorable matchups such as Denver, Philadelphia, and Houston. Baltimore has shown they deserve to be on the list now that their secondary is healthier, dropping Lawrence outside the top 12.

Evan Engram (TE, JAX)

Engram has seen a drop in targets to four and two in their past two games, both of which were against favorable defenses. The Ravens have been easier for tight ends than the other members of the passing attack, but Engram moves into the streaming category this week.

Other Matchups:

Lamar Jackson (QB, BAL)

Jackson got Andrews back last week, which didn't make quite as big an impact as expected. Jackson threw for 209 yards and no touchdowns, largely because the offense only scored 13 total points. The Jaguars are another beatable defense, so the chance for a better day is there, but something seems off about this offense right now. He's still in the top 12 because of his rushing upside but not in that top tier.

Ravens RBs

Gus Edwards practiced in full on Thursday, indicating there's a strong possibility he suits up. The last time he returned from injury, he was immediately handed the starting role, which is what you would expect to happen again. However, Kenyan Drake and Justice Hill are both likely to remain involved, plus Jackson will steal carries. Edwards would be a risky top-36 back, removing Drake and Hill from consideration.

UPDATE: Edwards is active for Sunday's game against Jacksonville.

Demarcus Robinson (WR, BAL)

It would appear Robinson has taken over as the No. 1 receiver, a role that can be volatile but productive. He's averaged seven targets per game over the last three weeks, resulting in a big game last week against the Panthers, catching nine passes for 128 yards. It would be unrealistic to expect the same production again this week, but he's a top-36 receiver.

UPDATE: Robinson is active and good to go.

Injuries:

Gus Edwards (hamstring)

 

Houston Texans at Miami Dolphins

Spread: Dolphins -14.0
Implied Total: Texans (16.5) vs. Dolphins (30.5)
Pace: Texans (21st) vs. Dolphins (22nd)
Texans Off. DVOA: -18.74% Pass (30th), -16.8% Rush (28th)
Dolphins Off. DVOA: 52.5% Pass (1st), -1.8% Rush (15th)
Texans Def. DVOA:
14.6% Pass (25th), 8.4% Rush (31st)
Dolphins Def. DVOA: 20.5% Pass (29th), -12.5% Rush (9th)

Matchups We Love:

Dolphins RBs

Houston has been a great matchup for running backs, which lends itself well to Jeff Wilson Jr. and to a lesser extent, Raheem Mostert. Since his arrival, Wilson Jr. went from 49% of the offensive snaps in Week 9 to 61% in Week 10. Additionally, he has 26 carries and eight targets compared to 17 carries and six targets for Mostert. He's a top-24 back while Mostert is in the top 30.

UPDATE: Mostert, has been ruled out for Sunday's game against Houston, Wilson skyrockets into the top 12 given the matchup.

Tua Tagovailoa (QB, MIA)

As mentioned, running the ball against the Texans is the ideal approach, but the Dolphins are seventh in pass rate over expectation, indicating they'll air it out regardless of the game script or defense. Tagovailoa has been incredibly consistent throwing for 285-plus yards and three touchdowns in each of his last three games, making him a must-start.

Dolphins WRs

His primary weapons, Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle are just as elite, sitting at No. 1 and No. 3 in yards per route run with 3.61 and 2.74. They're the best wide receiver duo in fantasy, locking them into your lineup.

Dameon Pierce (RB, HOU)

Pierce had his worst game of the season against a stout Washington defense that took the lead immediately and never looked back. He still had ten touches but only totaled 17 scrimmage yards. There is some concern about the offense as a whole, including a quarterback switch to Kyle Allen, but Pierce should remain the focal point. Thankfully, Miami offers him a great opportunity to bounce back, thrusting him back into the top 24.

Matchups We Hate:

Mike Gesicki (TE, MIA)

While the Dolphins will still utilize their passing attack, relying on the third option in a game they don't need to throw is not a wise strategy. Furthermore, Gesicki has been very touchdown-dependent this season, making him a risky streamer.

Other Matchups:

Texans WRs

Brandin Cooks returned to contributing with three catches for 70 yards but it was still Nico Collins who led the team in targets with seven. Neither had a great game, but the matchup this week is a lot better against the Dolphins, making them both flex options.

Injuries:

Raheem Mostert (knee)

 

Chicago Bears at New York Jets

Spread: Jets -6.0
Implied Total: Bears (16.25) vs. Jets (22.25)
Pace: Bears (24th) vs. Jets (7th)
Bears Off. DVOA: -5.3% Pass (27th), 0.9% Rush (10th)
Jets Off. DVOA: 3.0% Pass (20th), -5.8% Rush (21st)
Bears Def. DVOA:
22.3% Pass (31st), 2.1% Rush (25th)
Jets Def. DVOA: -10.7% Pass (5th), -13.5% Rush (8th)

Matchups We Love:

None

Matchups We Hate:

Darnell Mooney (WR, CHI)

Mooney is clearly the No. 1 receiving option in the offense, unfortunately, that won't always equate to sufficient volume as we saw early in the season and again last week. Luckily he found the end zone but against a strong defensive unit in New York, there's added risk, especially if he gets Sauce Gardiner in coverage. He falls outside the top 24 this week.

Other Matchups:

Justin Fields (QB, CHI)

Fields came back to earth a little bit against the Falcons, only scoring two touchdowns, one of which was on the ground of course. Throwing for 153 yards wasn't great but rushing the ball 18 times for 85 yards offers a safe baseline for fantasy. To make matters worse, he suffered a shoulder injury that could reduce his propensity to run the ball. When you add in a tough matchup against the Jets, he becomes a more volatile top-12 quarterback.

UPDATE: Fields has been ruled out. Trevor Siemian will now be the starter, which is bad news for the entire offense.

David Montgomery (RB, CHI)

Without Khalil Herbert, Montgomery did precisely what you'd expect. He generated 121 scrimmage yards on 20 touches with a touchdown, ceding only six carries and one target to Trestan Ebner. Some of his production can be attributed to the Atlanta defense, but with the possibility of even more volume, he's a solid top-24 back.

Jets WRs

The matchup is very favorable for receivers but their passing attack is a complete mess right now. Zach Wilson has been related to the bench, setting Mike White up as the starter. While it's hard for things to go anywhere but up, it does create some question marks regarding the distribution and usage. Garrett Wilson has been the leader of the receiving corps since Corey Davis got hurt, but he practiced in full, indicating he's likely to return. Elijah Moore had a great connection with White last season, but he's vanished this year and that connection was prior to the team drafting Wilson and signing Davis. The matchup is good enough that it's worth considering one of them as a flex play, and Wilson would be that player.

Jets RB

Michal Carter and James Robinson shared the backfield touches, although Carter played on 50% of the offensive snaps compared to 22% for Robinson. The switch at quarterback could also benefit Carter, who is the better pass-catcher. In a great matchup, Carter remains a top-36 back with Robinson a flex option.

UPDATE: James Robinson will be inactive today, adding further value to Carter, who jumps into the top 24 given the matchup.

Cole Kmet (TE, CHI)

The touchdown streak came to a halt, resulting in three grabs for 35 yards. It's a tough matchup but he's still a threat to score as the No. 2 option in the offense, keeping him in contention as a streamer.

Injuries:

Khalil Herbert (hip)

Justin Fields (shoulder)

 

Cincinnati Bengals at Tennesse Titans

Spread: Bengals -2.5
Implied Total: Bengals (23) vs. Titans (20.5)
Pace: Bengals (25th) vs. Titans (32nd)
Bengals Off. DVOA: 20.2% Pass (10th), 5.0% Rush (8th)
Titans Off. DVOA: 16.5% Pass (12th), -1.2% Rush (14th)
Bengals Def. DVOA:
-3.1% Pass (9th), -5.7% Rush (16th)
Titans Def. DVOA: 2.5% Pass (13th), -32.2% Rush (1st)

Matchups We Love:

Derrick Henry (RB, TEN)

Henry showed off his unique ability to run and pass for a touchdown last week, tossing one to Austin Hooper. He is by far their most talented player on the offensive side of the ball and a must-start back.

Matchups We Hate:

Bengals RB

Joe Mixon suffered a concussion in their game against the Steelers, thrusting Samaje Perine into the starting role. Perine had already caught two touchdowns before Mixon got hurt, adding one more through the air before the day was done. Mixon hasn't practiced at all this week, meaning Perine should get a full game as the starter this week. The matchup is very tough for running backs, but he did his damage as a receiver, adding additional intrigue as a top-30 back.

UPDATE: Mixon has been ruled out as expected.

Hayden Hurst (TE, CIN)

The volume Hurst was seeing the past couple of games took a hit, dropping to three targets against the Steelers. Playing behind both receivers and the primary back, Hurst is a risky streaming option who'll need a touchdown.

Other Matchups:

Treylon Burks (WR, TEN)

The only other player on the Titans offense worth trusting is Burks, who had his breakout game with seven catches for 111 yards. He led the team in every receiving category, despite playing on only 50% of the offensive snaps behind both Robert Woods and Nick Westbrook-Ikhine. Burks is a top-36 receiver with the opportunity to improve as the season progresses.

Joe Burrow (QB, CIN)

Burrow took advantage of the receiving ability Perine possesses, throwing for four touchdowns and 355 yards. Outside of the game against Patrick Mahomes, Tennessee has been tough on quarterbacks since their bye week. Burrow is more than capable of overcoming the matchup, especially if Ja'Marr Chase is able to make it back, keeping him in the top 10.

Bengals WRs

Tee Higgins dominated last week, hauling in nine catches for 148 yards. That was not the case for Tyler Boyd, who received seven targets but only finished with two receptions for 42 yards, both of which came very late in the game. Chase is doing all he can to get back on the field, but that's yet to be determined. Higgins is a top-12 receiver without Chase and a top-15 receiver with him. Boyd is still in the top 30 with Chase out but becomes a top-36 receiver with a lower floor if he's back.

UPDATE: Chase has been ruled out for Sunday's game, making Boyd more intriguing.

Injuries:

Ja'Marr Chase (hip)

Joe Mixon (concussion)

 

Atlanta Falcons at Washington Commanders

Spread: Commanders -4.0
Implied Total: Falcons (18.25) vs. Commanders (22.25)
Pace: Falcons (29th) vs. Commanders (19th)
Falcons Off. DVOA: 13.6% Pass (15th), 4.9% Rush (9th)
Commanders Off. DVOA: -5.7% Pass (28th), -14.8% Rush (26th)
Falcons Def. DVOA:
18.7% Pass (28th), 1.3% Rush (24th)
Commanders Def. DVOA: 5.2% Pass (16th), -22.0% Rush (2nd)

Matchups We Love:

Terry McLaurin (WR, WAS)

As anticipated, the Commanders rushing attack and defense dominated the game, removing the need for the passing attack to contribute. It led to a subpar day for McLaurin, who is in a great bounce-back spot against Atlanta. He's a strong top-24 receiver. Curtis Samuel managed to find pay dirt on the ground, salvaging an otherwise poor outing. He'll be back in consideration as a flex play.

Commanders RBs

One of the most disappointing performances of last week was Brian Robinson ending the game with 57 scoreless yards against Houston. One of the problems was the team only scored one offensive touchdown, struggling to finish drives. The other was Antonio Gibson not only excelled as a receiver but also accounted for more carries and rushing yards than Robinson. It was reflective of the shift in snaps, which favored Gibson 46-23. The changing of the guard puts Gibson in play as a top-24 back in a nice matchup, while Robinson becomes a flex option.

Matchups We Hate:

Falcons RBs

As a team, the Falcons rushing attack was extremely efficient, rushing the ball 33 times for 149 yards and a touchdown. However, when you split that production between three backs and a quarterback, it's hard for multiple players to succeed. Cordarrelle Patterson led the backfield with ten carries and two targets, but without a touchdown or more work in the passing game, he's a top-36 back facing a really difficult Washington run defense. Tyler Allgeier was next up, he's a risky flex option.

Falcons Passing Attack

The Falcons are 31st in pass attempts and passing yards, plus they're now without Kyle Pitts for the foreseeable future. Drake London could see a bump in volume but also becomes the only threat, allowing defenses to hone in on him, making him a flex option.

Other Matchups:

None

Injuries:

Damien Williams (rib)

 

Matchups Analysis - 4:00 ET Games

Los Angeles Chargers at Arizona Cardinals

Spread: Chargers -3.0
Implied Total: Chargers (25.5) vs. Cardinals (22.5)
Pace: Chargers (2nd) vs. Cardinals (4th)
Chargers Off. DVOA: 4.2% Pass (19th), -19.5% Rush (31st)
Cardinals Off. DVOA: -8.9% Pass (29th), -13.4% Rush (25th)
Chargers Def. DVOA:
-0.4% Pass (12th), 7.4% Rush (30th)
Cardinals Def. DVOA: 8.1% Pass (18th), -4.6% Rush (18th)

Matchups We Love:

Justin Herbert (QB, LAC)

Herbert started a game with both Keenan Allen and Mike Williams active for the first time since Week 1. Unfortunately, Williams exited the game early after re-aggravating his ankle, but Allen and Joshua Palmer were enough for Herbert to capitalize on a plus matchup. The Cardinals just gave up four touchdowns to Jimmy Garoppolo, plus they're good enough to create a competitive game, as evidenced by the higher over/under. Herbert is back to being a top-10 quarterback.

Chargers WRs

Allen was supposed to be on a pitch count entering the game but ended up playing on 68% of the offensive snaps because Williams left early. He's practicing in full, meaning he'll be on the field even more this week, placing him in the top 15, especially in full-PPR formats. Palmer exploded for eight receptions, 106 yards, and two touchdowns, demonstrating a ceiling we suspected he had but had yet to see. He's a top-24 receiver in a potential shootout.

UPDATE: Williams has been ruled out as expected.

Austin Ekeler (RB, LAC)

Ekeler exploited the matchup against Kansas City on the ground, returning to operating more as a runner than a receiver with Allen back in the lineup. He's still capable of doing both, locking him in your lineup this week.

James Conner (RB, ARI)

Conner did everything he could against a stout Arizona defense, meeting the expectation of either a touchdown or a big day through the air. He scored and had five targets, both of which are indicative of his ability to produce in challenging matchups. Fortunately, the Chargers are anything but a tough matchup, creating an opportunity for him to succeed even if he can't find the end zone. He's a top-15 back.

Gerald Everett (TE, LAC)

Everett missed last week's contest with a groin injury but practiced in full, indicating he should be good to go. The Cardinals are an awesome matchup for tight ends, keeping him in play as a top-12 option, especially with Williams likely out.

UPDATE: Everett has been removed from the injury report and will play on Sunday.

Cardinals WRs

DeAndre Hopkins went for nine-plus receptions and 90-plus yards yet again, confirming he is in fact matchup proof. Los Angeles appears more difficult than they are because teams have been so successful on the ground, similar to Houston. Also, many of the teams they've faced lack an elite weapon like Hopkins. In addition, there's room for another receiver to have a good game here, it's just a matter of who. With Rondale Moore out, Greg Dortch filled in admirably last week, posting nine receptions for 103 yards. He's in line as a top-30 option unless he's out or Marquise Brown makes his return, in which case Brown vaults into the top 24.

UPDATE: Moore and Dortch have been ruled out while Brown will play, he's a risky top-24 option.

Matchups We Hate:

None

Other Matchups:

Kyler Murray (QB, ARI)

Murray is set to make his return on Sunday after practicing in full. Given that the team was being cautious, rightfully so, plus their bye week is next week, you'd have to figure he's close to full health for them to let him play. It's a decent matchup, with a high over/under, setting him up as a top-12 quarterback with slightly more risk in his first game back.

UPDATE: Murray is off the injury report and will be active for Sunday's game.

Trey McBride (TE, ARI)

In his first game taking over for Zach Ertz, McBride finished with four receptions for 14 yards. However, he ran 36 routes, which was tied for the most at the position last week, and played on 76% of the offensive snaps. The matchup is a lot better for tight ends, keeping him in the streaming conversation.

Injuries:

Marquise Brown (foot)

Mike Williams (ankle)

Gerald Everett (groin)

Kyler Murray (hamstring)

Greg Dortch (thumb)

Rondale Moore (groin)

 

Las Vegas Raiders at Seattle Seahawks

Spread: Seahawks -3.5
Implied Total: Raiders (22.25) vs. Seahawks (25.75)
Pace: Raiders (20th) vs. Seahawks (17th)
Raiders Off. DVOA: 10.7% Pass (18th), 5.7% Rush (5th)
Seahawks Off. DVOA: 31.9% Pass (3rd), -4.6% Rush (19th)
Raiders Def. DVOA:
32.5% Pass (32nd), -1.6% Rush (22nd)
Seahawks Def. DVOA: 7.4% Pass (17th), -5.1% Rush (17th)

Matchups We Love:

Geno Smith (QB, SEA)

Coming off the bye, Smith gets a great matchup with a week of rest for him and his weapons. Coming off back-to-back games of 250 and two, he's positioned to be a top-10 quarterback this week, especially because he usually adds another 20 yards on the ground.

Seahawks WRs

The weapons referenced above are DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett, who will also enjoy the matchup. They're ranked 18th and 14th in yards per route run with 1.91 and 2.02. They're also both ranked in the top 24 on the season, despite coming off their bye week and missing time earlier in the year. Facing the Raiders, they're locked into the top 15.

Kenneth Walker III (RB, SEA)

Walker III showed off his pass-catching ability before the bye week, with six receptions for 55 yards, on a day he only rushed for 22 yards. Adding this element to his game makes him even safer for fantasy, not to mention the upside we've seen. He's a must-start this week.

Josh Jacobs (RB, LV)

Speaking of workhorse backs who can do it all, Jacobs put his receiving skills on display against the Broncos last week. He too is in a good spot, as a must-start.

UPDATE: Jacobs popped up on the injury report on Friday but he's cleared to play against Seattle.

Davante Adams (WR, LV)

The theme continues here with one of the most elite receivers in the NFL. The torrent pace continued with seven receptions for 141 yards and two touchdowns. No one has been on the same level as Adams over the past three games, locking him into your lineup.

Matchups We Hate:

None

Other Matchups:

Foster Moreau (TE, LV)

It wasn't a good week for Moreau, who only caught one pass for 33 yards. That said, the Broncos have a really strong defense and the team has no other legitimate weapons after Adams and Jacobs, so he's back in contention as a streamer this week facing Seattle.

Injuries:

Darren Waller (hamstring)

Hunter Renfrow (oblique)

 

Los Angeles Rams at Kansas City Chiefs

Spread: Chiefs -15.5
Implied Total: Rams (13) vs. Chiefs (28.5)
Pace: Rams (26th) vs. Chiefs (11th)
Rams Off. DVOA: 0.3% Pass (22nd), -15.6% Rush (27th)
Chiefs Off. DVOA: 46.4% Pass (2nd), -3.6% Rush (17th)
Rams Def. DVOA:
15.4% Pass (26th), -17.7% Rush (5th)
Chiefs Def. DVOA: 12.2% Pass (22nd), -1.7% Rush (21st)

Matchups We Love:

Patrick Mahomes (QB, KC)

Mahomes and Kelce put on a clinic against the Chargers, who have some talent in their secondary but could do nothing to stop these two. There's no reason to believe the Rams will fair any better, setting Mahomes up for another top-five finish.

Travis Kelce (TE, KC)

Kelce should be ranked as the TE1 each and every week unless something strange happens down the stretch.

Matchups We Hate:

Isiah Pacheco (RB, KC)

While Los Angeles would be lucky to slow down Mahomes and Kelce, they are better when it comes to shutting down the run, largely thanks to Aaron Donald. Pacheco capitalized on a good matchup against the other Los Angeles squad last week with over 100 yards on the ground, but Jerick McKinnon was the only one to receive a target. The line suggests the Chiefs will be blowing out the Rams by the second half, but that will not dissuade them from throwing the ball. Pacheco could easily score and won't completely bust, but he's more of a top-36 back this week, while McKinnon is a flex player who could catch five-plus passes.

Other Matchups:

Chiefs WRs

The Chiefs really only needed Kelce to win, prohibiting any of the receivers from having a great day, despite the offense scoring 30 points. JuJu Smith-Schuster practiced in full, providing optimism he will clear the concussion protocol and play. He would be the preferred choice as a top-36 receiver in a plus matchup. After that, it gets complicated because Kadarius Toney, who fooled us all, missed practice, so next up would be Marquez Valdes-Scantling or Justin Watson, neither of whom are strong options unless Smith-Schuster is out.

UPDATE: Toney has been ruled out while Smith-Schuster is expected to make his return, making him the Chiefs receiver to start.

Tyler Higbee (TE, LAR)

Higbee saw eight targets, four of which he hauled in for 45 yards. That level of volume at the tight end position is hard to find, keeping him as a top-12 volume play, despite the quarterback roulette he's dealing with.

UPDATE: Higbee has been listed as questionable for Sunday's game, adding additional risk to playing him if he suits up.

Injuries:

Cooper Kupp (ankle)

Mecole Hardman (abdomen)

JuJu Smith-Schuster (concussion)

Matthew Stafford (concussion)

Clyde Edwards-Helaire (ankle)

Kadarius Toney (hamstring)

 

New Orleans Saints at San Francscio 49ers

Spread: 49ers -9.5
Implied Total: Saints (17) vs. 49ers (26.5)
Pace: Saints (9th) vs. 49ers (28th)
Saints Off. DVOA: -0.8% Pass (24th), -0.2% Rush (13th)
49ers Off. DVOA: 23.1% Pass (8th), -10.1% Rush (23rd)
Saints Def. DVOA:
3.0% Pass (15th), -2.0% Rush (20th)
49ers Def. DVOA: -2.0% Pass (10th), -18.8% Rush (4th)

Matchups We Love:

Christian McCaffrey (RB, SF)

Much has been made about Elijah Mitchell getting two more carries than McCaffrey but that has a lot to do with the game script and the way they utilized McCaffrey as a receiver, hauling in seven passes for 67 yards. He still totaled over 100 scrimmage yards, he just missed out on a touchdown. He remains an elite back. The more interesting takeaway is the value Mitchell has as a flex option. It's highly unlikely he'll be involved in the passing game, but with such a strong defense and an elite offense, he's a good bet for eight to twelve carries with the chance to find the end zone, earning him flex status.

Matchups We Hate:

Alvin Kamara (RB, NO)

Kamara was very involved with 12 carries and five targets, but against a solid Pittsburgh defense, he struggled to run the ball. It's a similar situation here, facing an even better defense, meaning he'll rely on his receiving ability only because he isn't finding the end zone. He's still incredibly talented but falls outside the top 12 this week.

Juwan Johnson (TE, NO)

Johnson is the latest tight end to sustain a multi-game touchdown streak. Betting for that to continue against the 49ers is a little bold, but the possibility is there, keeping him in the streaming conversation.

Other Matchups:

49ers WRs

The offense scored 38 points, enabling everyone to have a great day. That won't always be the case, but Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk are a threat for a big game each and every week. The matchup is a bit tougher, but the play calling is so creative, they'll surely find ways to get these two the ball. They're back in the top 24 again this week.

UPDATE: After three straight limited practices, Samuel was listed as questionable but he's active and good to go.

George Kittle (TE, SF)

Kittle exploited one of the easiest matchups down in Mexico, having his best game of the year. It's a tougher matchup but touchdowns and big plays are always a possibility with Kittle, keeping him in the top 10.

Jimmy Garoppolo (QB, SF)

Garoppolo understands how to execute the offense and take advantage of his elite weapons. He plays within himself, maintaining his composure as an experienced leader. It led to 228 yards and four touchdowns against Arizona, which is certainly a ceiling game, but he's a strong streamer with top-10 upside again.

Chris Olave (WR, NO)

Olave finally broke the big play all the metrics indicated he was capable of doing. It had been a while, but the way he torched Jaylen Ramsey was impressive. The floor remains lower because the offense often struggles with Andy Dalton at the helm, especially when facing difficult defenses like San Francisco. That said, he's a top-24 receiver because of his upside.

Injuries:

Deebo Samuel (hamstring)

 

Matchups Analysis - Sunday Night Football

Green Bay Packers at Philadelphia Eagles

Spread: Eagles -6.5
Implied Total: Packers (19.75) vs. Eagles (26.25)
Pace: Packers (30th) vs. Eagles (15th)
Packers Off. DVOA: 13.0% Pass (16th), 5.6% Rush (6th)
Eagles Off. DVOA: 28.8% Pass (5th), 10.4% Rush (2nd)
Packers Def. DVOA:
-0.7% Pass (11th), 6.7% Rush (29th)
Eagles Def. DVOA: -22.7% Pass (3rd), 2.2% Rush (26th)

Matchups We Love:

Miles Sanders (RB, PHI)

Sanders has become increasingly touchdown-dependent because he doesn't catch passes and his yard totals have dropped off the past two weeks with 47 and 54 on the ground. It's a much better matchup against Green Bay, offering him the chance to rack up more yards and score, keeping him in the top 24.

Aaron Jones (RB, GB)

Jones did everything he could against the Titans, who are a top-five defense against the run. He'll be in a better spot against the Eagles, although they'll get another week to integrate Ndamukong Suh and Linval Joseph into their defense. Jones is an excellent receiver, which is an area he's been producing in, averaging about four receptions per game over the past five contests. His skill set and the matchup make him a top-15 back.

Matchups We Hate:

Packers Passing Attack

Philadelphia has a very talented secondary that will make it difficult for Aaron Rodgers, Christian Watson, and Allen Lazard to move the ball through the air. Rodgers won't be completely shut out, but he's off the radar this week. Watson has five touchdown receptions on eight catches over the past two games, defying the odds. Unless his volume increases, which as a rookie is certainly possible, he'll either score or give you almost nothing. Lazard offers more of a floor but has seen his ceiling disappear since Watson emerged. They're both flex options for very different reasons.

Other Matchups:

Jalen Hurts (QB, PHI)

The combination of a more difficult matchup and the offense's inability to move the ball since Dallas Goedert was injured, drops Hurts and his receivers this week. He is still capable of producing a big day on the ground when the passing game isn't firing on all cylinders, keeping him in the top 10.

Eagles WRs

As mentioned, the absence of Goedert has allowed defenses to focus more on these two. On the other hand, it has led to more volume for DeVonta Smith, who has 12 receptions from 17 targets over the past two games. He remains a top-24 receiver. A.J. Brown has gone back-to-back games without a touchdown, failing to surpass 60 receiving yards. His health may have also impacted his performance, which another week of rest should help with. He's still a top-15 receiver because of his elite upside.

Injuries:

Romeo Doubs (ankle)

Dallas Goedert (shoulder)

 

Matchups Analysis - Monday Night Football

Pittsburgh Steelers at Indianapolis Colts

Spread: Colts -2.5
Implied Total: Steelers (18.25) vs. Colts (20.75)
Pace: Steelers (12th) vs. Colts (10th)
Steelers Off. DVOA: 2.5% Pass (21st), -9.8% Rush (22nd)
Colts Off. DVOA: -21.5% Pass (31st), -24.3% Rush (32nd)
Steelers Def. DVOA:
9.1% Pass (19th), -14.4% Rush (7th)
Colts Def. DVOA: 2.8% Pass (14th), -17.0% Rush (6th)

Matchups We Love:

Pat Freiermuth (TE, PIT)

After leading the team with 12 targets, Freiermuth now has a 20.7% target share on the year, which is the sixth-highest among all tight ends. He also ranks seventh in yards per route run at the position with 1.76. He's become an elite option, warranting top-10 consideration each week. The Colts have improved on defense since the coaching change to Jeff Saturday, but the matchup isn't bad enough to fade him.

Colts WRs

Michael Pittman Jr. and Parris Campbell continue to make an impact with Matt Ryan throwing them the ball. Alec Pierce actually led the team in targets, unfortunately, it only amounted to three catches for 28 yards. The Steelers have been the best matchup for receivers over the course of the year, so even with T.J. Watt back, they're a favorable spot for Pittman Jr. and Campbell, who are both in the top 36.

Matchups We Hate:

Najee Harris (RB, PIT)

The two issues for Harris were his health and the involvement of Jaylen Warren. He appeared closer to the version of himself we saw last year on Sunday, plus Warren left with an injury. It's unclear whether Warren will suit up, but if he misses Harris will have a much larger workload. Indianapolis has been strong against the run, landing him right around that top-24 range.

UPDATE: Warren has been ruled out, securing the workload for Harris as a stronger top-24 back.

Other Matchups:

Jonathan Taylor (RB, IND)

Taylor is another back who looks recovered and has performed well the past two weeks. Additionally, he's being utilized in the passing game, which adds to his value. It's another tougher matchup, but the Colts are favored, meaning it will at the very least stay competitive, enabling them to run the ball. Taylor is in the top 12.

George Pickens (WR, PIT)

Pickens showcased his big play ability racking up 83 yards and a score on four receptions. The six targets are still low, but his upside cannot be denied. He's a top-36 receiver that can give you a better day than many of the other players around him. Diontae Johnson, who is supposed to be the No. 1 receiver, had fewer targets than Pickens and fewer yards than four other players. He's no longer a player you need to start, even as a flex option.

Injuries:

Jaylen Warren (hamstring)

 



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