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Fantasy Football Start Em, Sit Em - Week 13 Matchups Analysis

Joe Burrow - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, NFL Injury News - icon rotoballer

Welcome back RotoBallers to our Week 13 matchups analysis and Start Em, Sit Em column for fantasy football. Last week featured some wild NFL finishes, with one player, in particular, going off for fantasy. There were also some unexpected boom performances, many of which will impact how we view certain players this week. There are two teams on bye this week, including the Arizona Cardinals and Carolina Panthers, which doesn't have a massive impact but does remove a handful of reliable players.

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, you had that one player or at least avoided playing against him, and found your way to a win, which will be objective once 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.

Be sure to check all of our fantasy football rankings for 2024 fantasy football drafts:


Matchups Analysis - 1:00 ET Games

Pittsburgh Steelers at Atlanta Falcons

Spread: Falcons -1.0
Implied Total: Steelers (20.75) vs. Falcons (21.75)
Pace: Steelers (8th) vs. Falcons (27th)
Steelers Off. DVOA: 2.1% Pass (23rd), -3.7% Rush (15th)
Falcons Off. DVOA: 10.1% Pass (18th), 6.2% Rush (8th)
Steelers Def. DVOA:
5.1% Pass (16th), -13.8% Rush (8th)
Falcons Def. DVOA: 18.2% Pass (29th), 3.4% Rush (25th)

Matchups We Love:

George Pickens (WR, PIT)

Pickens showcased his big play ability with another fantastic sideline catch for 35 yards. The final line wasn't what you would have hoped for, but facing Atlanta, he'll get another shot to hit a long play or to catch a touchdown, keeping him in the top 36 because of his upside. Diontae Johnson resurfaced with eight targets against the Colts, which equated to five catches for 49 yards. In a plus matchup, he returns to being a flex option.

Pat Freiermuth (TE, PIT)

It was a down day from Freiermuth, but a lot of that was because they ran the ball 36 times compared to just 28 passing attempts. He was still third in targets behind Pickens and Johnson, keeping him in the top 10 against the Falcons.

Matchups We Hate:

Falcons Passing Attack

Since their bye week, the Steelers defense has looked better. They gave up 37 points to the Bengals, who are a great offense, otherwise, they limited the Colts to 17 and the Saints to 10, which is what you can expect from Atlanta. It is particularly concerning for their passing attack, where they spread the ball around far too much even when they do throw more often, including seven different players this past week.

Falcons RBs

The same applies when evaluating their backfield, where yet again three different backs and Marcus Mariota all rushed the ball. Cordarrelle Patterson is still the most valuable because he also catches passes, but in this matchup, he's a top-36 back, while Tyler Allgeier would be next up as a flex option.

Steelers RBs

After back-to-back missed practices to begin the week, Najee Harris is surprisingly off the injury report and will play. Jaylen Warren also practiced in full and will be active. Warren has received a lot of praise from the coaching staff, but with Harris now returning it becomes difficult to trust either back. They're both flex options with Harris likely to command more touches.

UPDATE: Harris and Warren are both active.

Other Matchups:



Damien Williams (ribs)


Denver Broncos at Baltimore Ravens

Spread: Ravens -8.5
Implied Total: Broncos (15.5) vs. Ravens (24)
Pace: Broncos (14th) vs. Ravens (31st)
Broncos Off. DVOA: -6.5% Pass (27th), -15.8% Rush (26th)
Ravens Off. DVOA: 26.8% Pass (7th), 12.0% Rush (2nd)
Broncos Def. DVOA:
-12.8% Pass (4th), -4.9% Rush (17th)
Ravens Def. DVOA: -5.7% Pass (8th), -13.4% Rush (9th)

Matchups We Love:

Gus Edwards (RB, BAL)

The Ravens are built to run the ball, the Broncos are much easier to run on than pass against, both of which make Edwards a good play in this one. Just as he did last time he returned from injury, he immediately stepped in as the lead back with 16 carries for 52 yards and a touchdown. He'll always have to contend with Lamar Jackson stealing rushing attempts and goal-line work, but in a game in which they should dominate, he's a top-30 back with a strong chance to score.

Matchups We Hate:

Latavius Murray (RB, DEN)

In his first game as the lead back, Murray accounted for 13 of 15 (87%) running back carries, adding one reception. The usage was good, but so was the matchup, which is the issue this week against the Ravens. Their defense is stout, holding teams to 38, 36, and 48 total rushing yards in their past three games. Without three to five receptions, Murray is going to be in for a tough day, as a touchdown-dependent top-36 back.

UPDATE: Mike Boone has been activated off the IR, he's primarily a receiving back that reduces the ceiling for Murray.

Ravens WRs

The matchup is difficult for wide receivers and quarterbacks, especially if they draw Patrick Surtain II in coverage. Jackson's 16 completions were distributed among six different players, eliminating any individual from stepping up. No one in this receiving corps is in play this week.

Other Matchups:

Lamar Jackson (QB, BAL)

Jackson and company still didn't look quite right, resulting in another subpar fantasy day. He's still not providing the ceiling games we were so accustomed to early in the season, and this is not a defense to expect that from. He's not typically going to finish outside the top 12 because of his rushing upside but it's also highly unlikely he reaches the top five.

Mark Andrews (TE, BAL)

Andrews dropped what seemed like a sure touchdown, but the volume he receives on top of his ability to find the end zone keeps him in the top five even in a tough matchup.

Courtland Sutton (WR, DEN)

So long as Jerry Jeudy and KJ Hamler remain out, Sutton is a viable play because of volume. He's had five or more receptions for 60-plus yards in three straight games, landing him as a low-upside top-36 receiver.

UPDATE: Hamler has been ruled out while Jeudy will return, making him and Sutton players to fade because their volume will decrease.

Greg Dulcich (TE, DEN)

Dulcich underperformed, much like the rest of the offense, which comes as no surprise at this point. He did have a touchdown called back that would have salvaged his day. With such poor quarterback play, he drops into the streaming category, although with more upside than several other options in that range.


Jerry Jeudy (ankle)

KJ Hamler (hamstring)

J.K. Dobbins (knee)


Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears

Spread: Packers -3.5
Implied Total: Packers (24) vs. Bears (20.5)
Pace: Packers (29th) vs. Bears (26th)
Packers Off. DVOA: 13.5% Pass (15th), 6.4% Rush (7th)
Bears Off. DVOA: -7.1% Pass (28th), 1.4% Rush (10th)
Packers Def. DVOA:
-2.3% Pass (11th), 11.2% Rush (32nd)
Bears Def. DVOA: 27.4% Pass (31st), 4.5% Rush (28th)

Matchups We Love:

David Montgomery (RB, CHI)

Montgomery exceeded expectations against a difficult New York defense with over 100 scrimmage yards. He'll now take on Green Bay, who just gave up 363 yards on the ground to the Eagles. He's in a great spot as a top-15 back.

Aaron Jones (RB, GB)

Jones totaled 99 scrimmage yards and a score on 15 touches, showcasing his explosiveness. He's delivered in good and bad matchups, so facing the division-rival Bears is a great spot for another productive day. Additionally, AJ Dillon has put together three straight usable games for fantasy, making him a top-36 back.

Christian Watson (WR, GB)

We knew Watson had a massive ceiling after scoring five times in two games, but he played on 92% of the offensive snaps last week, resulting in a team-leading six targets and four receptions. The volume still isn't elite but given his big-play ability, establishing himself as their No. 1 receiver is exciting. The Bears are a great matchup, pushing him into the top 24. Randall Cobb actually finished second in targets among receivers, ahead of Allen Lazard, limiting each other's upside. In a plus-matchup, you can throw either in as a flex option.

UPDATE: Romeo Doubs is out..

Matchups We Hate:

Bears WRs

Darnell Mooney suffered a season-ending injury against the Jets, pushing Chase Claypool into the No. 1 receiver spot. The Bears best shot to keep this game close is to run the ball a lot, much like they did last week rushing it 29 times compared to 25 passing attempts. This is the area to target the Packers' defense, leaving Claypool as a risky flex option.

Other Matchups:

Justin Fields (QB, CHI)

Fields practiced in full on Thursday, indicating he should be able to start against the Packers. Fields was on fire before suffering the injury, but in his first game back you'd anticipate he'll run the ball less to avoid unnecessary hits. He still has more upside than most of the streaming quarterbacks but without the rushing, his ceiling is capped. He's a streamer with immense upside.

UPDATE: Fields is off the injury report and will play on Sunday.

Aaron Rodgers (QB, GB)

Rodgers got hurt again in this one, exiting with a rib injury. He also entered the game with a thumb that he admitted was broken earlier this season. Despite the injuries, he insists he will play this week, which is likely because traveling to Chicago to beat the Bears is a date he marks on the calendar every year. He's actually been good recently too, throwing for seven touchdowns in his past three games. He's a streaming option as long as he suits up.

UPDATE: Rodgers has no injury designation, meaning he's good to go for Sunday.

Cole Kmet (TE, CHI)

Kmet led the team with six targets, including a spectacular catch. With Mooney out, he's likely to see more volume, plus he should get Fields back, keeping him in contention as a streamer.


Romeo Doubs (ankle)

Justin Fields (shoulder)

Aaron Rodgers (thumb, ribs)

AJ Dillon (quadriceps)

Aaron Jones (shin/glute)


Jacksonville Jaguars at Detroit Lions

Spread: Lions -1.0
Implied Total: Jaguars (25) vs. Lions (26)
Pace: Jaguars (18th) vs. Lions (10th)
Jaguars Off. DVOA: 21.9% Pass (11th), -8.5% Rush (22nd)
Lions Off. DVOA: 15.9% Pass (14th), 1.4% Rush (9th)
Jaguars Def. DVOA:
23.7% Pass (30th), -10.5% Rush (13th)
Lions Def. DVOA: 9.3% Pass (19th), 3.7% Rush (26th)

Matchups We Love:

Travis Etienne Jr. (RB, JAX)

It was really unfortunate to see Etienne Jr. leave the game after only a few touches, thankfully it sounds like he'll be good to go this week, which puts him in a fantastic spot against the Lions. Even if he were to lose a small portion of his workload, the matchup is so good and he's so explosive, he's still a must-start.

UPDATE: Etienne Jr. is active and good to go.

Trevor Lawrence (QB, JAX)

Lawrence had one of his best games as a pro, leading his team to a comeback victory while tossing 321 yards and three touchdowns as the QB4. It gives him back-to-back performances as the QB7 or better, making him a strong start against the Lions' defense. He's a top-12 quarterback.

Jaguars WRs

It was a down game for Christian Kirk, who has been consistent over the course of the season, leading to a huge day from Zay Jones, who lead all receivers on the week with 145 yards. The 104-yard difference between these two will be a lot closer this week against Detroit, but there's no reason they can't both succeed against a porous defense, in a game with high over/under. They're in the top 36 with Kirk still the preferred choice.

UPDATE: Jones is active for Sunday's game.

Amon-Ra St. Brown (WR, DET)

St. Brown was all over the Bills, racking up another nine catches on 10 receptions for 122 yards and a score. He's averaged over nine targets per game since the team traded away T.J. Hockenson. He's locked in as a top-12 receiver facing the Jaguars.

UPDATE: Jameson Williams has been activated from the NFI list, meaning he'll be active. He's not an option this week but worth monitoring.

Lions RBs

Jamaal Williams kept his touchdown streak alive, unfortunately, he only totaled 66 yards and lost a fumble against the Buffalo. He remains the clear lead back on the ground, averaging about 19 carries per game over the last four weeks. He'll be a top-24 option against Jacksonville. D'Andre Swift's workload was better, especially as a receiver where he saw eight targets. He's still risky because of his touches being capped, but given the matchup and his role as a pass-catcher, he's back in the top 36.

Matchups We Hate:


Other Matchups:

Jared Goff (QB, DET)

One of the reasons Williams only scored once was because Goff threw two touchdowns, something he's done only five times this year. It's hard to predict how the points will come, but with so many points expected to be scored, Goff is a streaming option in this one.


Travis Etienne (foot)

Zay Jones (chest)


Cleveland Browns at Houston Texans

Spread: Browns -7.0
Implied Total: Browns (27.25) vs. Texans (20.25)
Pace: Browns (12th) vs. Texans (22nd)
Browns Off. DVOA: 26.8% Pass (8th), 9.9% Rush (3rd)
Texans Off. DVOA: -29.8% Pass (32nd), -17.4% Rush (28th)
Browns Def. DVOA:
12.4% Pass (22nd), 10.1% Rush (31st)
Texans Def. DVOA: 12.7% Pass (24th), 6.4% Rush (30th)

Matchups We Love:

Nick Chubb (RB, CLE)

Any time this season you get a talented running back facing off against Houston, you go ahead and start that player with confidence, which applies to Chubb this week.

David Njoku (TE, CLE)

After playing on only 37% of the offensive snaps last week, Njoku jumped back up to 81%, which is closer to his typical mark. It led to five receptions for 29 yards and a touchdown, demonstrating why he's been a top-10 tight end this season. The quarterback switch could be a cause for concern because Jacoby Brissett has a tendency to lean on his tight end, but Njoku is too talented to bench unless you have another great option. There is a risk of him missing the game after back-to-back DNPs to open the week.

UPDATE: Njoku has been ruled out, Harrison Byrant will be the starter but he's not a recommended player to start.

Matchups We Hate:

Dameon Pierce (RB, HOU)

It really is too bad when a player is handicapped by his situation, which is the case for Pierce. The offense is abysmal turning the ball over often, falling behind early, and abandoning the run. Adding insult to injury, when they finally did get a goal-line opportunity, they gave it to Dare Ogunbowale, taking away any remaining hope Pierce managers had. The matchup is extremely favorable, but his floor is incredibly low in this offense with Kyle Allen at the helm, making him a flex option that needs to score.

Other Matchups:

Texans WRs

The negative game script works to the benefit of Brandin Cooks and Nico Collins, who have suddenly become startable in the past two weeks. Collins has led the team in targets for three straight weeks, while Cooks has totaled more yards, making both flex options.

UPDATE: Brandin Cooks has been ruled out for Sunday's game, which comes as a bit of a surprise. It boosts Collins's value, making him a more reliable option.

Browns WRs

Amari Cooper and Donovan Peoples-Jones have been reliable receivers for several weeks now. The quarterback transition should, at least in the long term, add upside to their value. It is possible the team elects to run the ball a lot and win this game on the ground, which has capped the ceiling of wide receivers previously when they face Houston, but they're still top 30 receivers with Cooper as the preferred player.

Deshaun Watson (QB, CLE)

After being suspended for 11 games, Watson will make his debut as a Brown against his former team, the Texans. The controversy surrounding his presence on the field cannot be overstated given the allegations and charges he faced, however, the objective here is to focus on fantasy football. His last game was on January 3rd, 2021, which is nearly two years ago. It's impossible to know for sure when or if he'll return to the elite talent he once was, adding risk to starting him this week. Additionally, playing against his former team on the road could make for a difficult environment. That said, the matchup and his rushing ability offer enough upside for you to consider taking a shot.


David Njoku (knee)


New York Jets at Minnesota Vikings

Spread: Vikings -3.0
Implied Total: Jets (20.75) vs. Vikings (23.75)
Pace: Jets (7th) vs. Vikings (3rd)
Jets Off. DVOA: 7.7% Pass (19th), -1.0% Rush (12th)
Vikings Off. DVOA: 7.0% Pass (20th), -6.7% Rush (20th)
Jets Def. DVOA:
-12.6% Pass (5th), -14.3% Rush (6th)
Vikings Def. DVOA: 14.7% Pass (27th), -8.3% Rush (16th)

Matchups We Love:

Garrett Wilson (WR, NYJ)

Wilson exploded with five receptions for 95 yards and two touchdowns. In his past three games, Wilson ranks 14th in yards per route run with 2.34, illustrating the breakout that's happening. We knew Mike White would be an upgrade, plus the matchup was juicy, resulting in Wilson taking advantage of a great spot. Minnesota should enable him to have another good game, making him a top-24 receiver. Elijah Moore had a nice finish thanks to a 22-yard touchdown and a 42-yard bomb he caught. The problem is that those were his only two targets, which is risky moving forward. He's an upside flex play this week.

T.J. Hockenson (TE, MIN)

Joining the Vikings has been a great move for Hockenson. He's had five or more receptions in all four games with yards totals of 70, 45, 34, and 43, plus he found pay dirt last week. The Jets are a tougher defense but the volume he gets at the tight end position keeps him firmly in the top 10.

Matchups We Hate:


Other Matchups:

Vikings WRs

Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen both stepped up against New England, proving they can overcome a difficult matchup. Jefferson is always in your lineup, while Thielen hasn't found the end zone at the same rate as in previous seasons. That said, he's still in play as a top-36 receiver in what could be a high-scoring game.

Kirk Cousins (QB, MIN)

Cousins has enough weapons to score points against almost any defense, Dallas proved to be the exception thus far. He's a fade because of the matchup but after what we did last week, he remains a streaming option, who can lean on the talent around him.

Dalvin Cook (RB, MIN)

Cook has disappointed in three of the past four weeks, finishing outside the top 24 twice. Additionally, since the Vikings returned from their bye in Week 8, Cook ranks 35th in elusive rating, demonstrating the dropoff that's occurred. He's struggled to score and his yard totals have decreased. Given the tough matchup and his recent struggles, Cook falls outside the top 10 this week.

Jets RBs

The way things are trending, it appears Michael Carter will be out, opening the door for Zonovan Knight, Ty Johnson, and James Robinson to form a committee. Based on the reports from the coaching staff, Knight will handle the majority of the work. He carried the ball 14 times last week and saw three targets, meaning he's a top-36 back with upside depending on the involvement of the other two.

UPDATE: Carter has been ruled out as expected.

Tyler Conklin (TE, NYJ)

The transition to White was beneficial for Conklin as well, who has flashed at times this season. He's a potential streamer against the Vikings.

Mike White (QB, NYJ)

Any time a quarterback throws for 300 and three, you have to take notice. Although at home against the Chicago is an optimal spot to be in. Expectations need to be tempered this week, but another top-12 performance isn't out of the question.


Michael Carter (ankle)


Washington Commanders at New York Giants

Spread: Commanders -2.5 
Implied Total: Commanders (21.25) vs. Giants (18.75)
Pace: Commanders (20th) vs. Giants (19th)
Commanders Off. DVOA: -5.8% Pass (26th), -13.1% Rush (25th)
Giants Off. DVOA: 17.8% Pass (12th), -0.7% Rush (11th)
Commanders Def. DVOA:
3.2% Pass (14th), -18.4% Rush (4th)
Giants Def. DVOA: 15.0% Pass (28th), 4.2% Rush (27th)

Matchups We Love:

Commanders RBs

This backfield is becoming difficult to decipher. Antonio Gibson was trending toward overtaking Brian Robinson, but the team elected to ride Robinson against the Falcons, giving him 18 carries compared to nine for Gibson. He also matched Gibson's three targets, scoring through the air. They're both in play as top-30 backs because of the matchup, with Gibson as a slight favorite.

UPDATE: Gibson will play, he's a risky flex option because of the injury concern. Robinson now becomes the favorite given the injury concerns.

Terry McLaurin (WR, WAS)

Not unlike other teams with an average starting quarterback, Washington prefers to run the ball, reducing their overall passing attempts. It makes it difficult for players like McLaurin to remain consistent when only 14 passes are completed. In spite of the low volume, he's still the No. 1 option with a great matchup, keeping him in the top 24. Curtis Samuel's involvement has progressively dropped off, sending him to your bench this week.

Matchups We Hate:

Daniel Jones (QB, NYG)

Jones has rushed for under 25 yards in three of his past four games, capping some of his upside. Furthermore, he lacks the weapons to produce a good game through the air, making him a risky start against the Commanders.

Other Matchups:

Saquon Barkley (RB, NYG)

Barkley finished as the RB20 last week with a rushing touchdown after finishing outside the top 24 the week before, illustrating the difficulties he's been having as of late. Part of the issue is the Giants haven't been keeping the games close enough to run the ball as often, resulting in fewer carries. As home underdogs against the Commanders, he's a little riskier, dropping him outside the top 10.

Darius Slayton (WR, NYG)

Washington's defense has been steadily improving, plus they may get Chase Young back. Slayton remains the lone receiver to start. Richie James finished with a better day because he caught a touchdown, but Slayton has a higher ceiling as an upside flex option.


Antonio Gibson (foot)


Tennessee Titans at Philadelphia Eagles

Spread: Eagles -4.5
Implied Total: Titans (19.75) vs. Eagles (24.25)
Pace: Titans (32nd) vs. Eagles (16th)
Titans Off. DVOA: 17.6% Pass (13th), -4.7% Rush (18th)
Eagles Off. DVOA: 28.2% Pass (6th), 14.4% Rush (1st)
Titans Def. DVOA:
5.4% Pass (17th), -29.1% Rush (1st)
Eagles Def. DVOA: -20.5% Pass (2nd), 2.9% Rush (24th)

Matchups We Love:

Derrick Henry (RB, TEN)

Cincinnati managed to bottle Henry up on the ground, but that didn't prevent him from making his mark in the passing game, taking a screen 69 yards for what should have been a touchdown if not for a fumble that Treylon Burks recovered. The Eagles continue to give up plenty of yards and touchdowns on the ground, locking Henry in as a must-start.

Jalen Hurts (QB, PHI)

Hurts set a record for clearing 125 rushing yards and 125 passing yards in one half. He and the backfield exploited the Packers with their elite rushing attack. They were also forced to compete late into the fourth quarter, resulting in his biggest outing since Week 8. Tennessee should be able to score enough points for Hurts to stay aggressive in this one, keeping him as an elite option.

Eagles WRs

The Titans are one of the more difficult teams to run against, encouraging teams to throw instead, which sets up well for A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith. Brown bounced back from his two-week lull finding the end zone, while Smith continues to see plenty of targets. Brown's ceiling is too high to drop him outside the top 12, while Smith's volume is too elite to move him beyond the top 24.

Matchups We Hate:

Ryan Tannehill (QB, TEN)

One area Philadelphia hasn't dropped off is their passing defense. Tannehill has racked up decent yard totals over the past three weeks, also scoring two touchdowns in two of those games, but he struggled against the Bengals last week and will be in for another tough day on the road.

Other Matchups:

Miles Sanders (RB, PHI)

The Titans only gave up 76 yards rushing on 19 carries to the running backs last week, which is about what you can expect here. Sanders will see the bulk of those carries, but he'll need to score or be utilized as a receiver like he was last week with three receptions, to produce in this one, making him a top-24 back.

Treylon Burks (WR, TEN)

There were three different receivers who saw six targets last week, but only Burks cleared 60 yards, despite playing on only 67% of the offensive snaps. He's another rookie on the rise, evidenced by his 2.56 yards per route run over the past three weeks, ranking 12th among all receivers in that stretch. He's an explosive player that should continue to be more involved moving forward. The matchup isn't great but the Eagles did lose C.J. Gardner-Johnson, which could help. He's a top-30 receiver this week.


Dallas Goedert (shoulder)

DeVonta Smith (groin)


Matchups Analysis - 4:00 ET Games

Seattle Seahawks at Los Angeles Rams

Spread: Seahawks -7.0
Implied Total: Seahawks (24) vs. Rams (17)
Pace: Seahawks (17th) vs. Rams (25th)
Seahawks Off. DVOA: 29.4% Pass (4th), -8.8% Rush (23rd)
Rams Off. DVOA: -3.7% Pass (25th), -17.2% Rush (27th)
Seahawks Def. DVOA:
10.2% Pass (21st), -2.7% Rush (19th)
Rams Def. DVOA: 13.4% Pass (26th), -18.2% Rush (5th)

Matchups We Love:

Geno Smith (QB, SEA)

Smith has been one of the most consistent players at the quarterback position, passing for at least 275 yards and two touchdowns in each of his last three games. He gets another nice matchup against the lifeless Rams, keeping him in the top 12.

Seahawks WRs

At full health with both on the field, the duo of D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett have been great, frequently finding the end zone and putting up yards, combing for 493 yards and six touchdowns in the past four weeks. Lockett has been the better play over that span but both are in the top 12 in a plus matchup.

Kenneth Walker III (RB, SEA)

After losing most of their offensive weapons, the one thing Los Angeles was still doing well was slowing down their opponent's ground game. Unfortunately, they lost Aaron Donald this week to a high ankle sprain, creating a void in their defensive front. Seattle should have no problem gaining a lead and running the ball often, keeping Walker III in the top 12.

UPDATE: Travis Homer, who is often involved as a receiver, has been ruled out, adding additional upside to Walker III.

Matchups We Hate:

Rams Players

It's very rare for there to be a team where not one player is startable for fantasy, but the Rams are now that team. Matthew Stafford is going to be out again, the receiving corps features a complement of backups, and the backfield has no room to run to the ball. If you were forced to choose someone, it would be Kyren Williams because he can catch passes and the team will be trailing often, but even he's a desperation flex play.

UPDATE: Mattew Stafford has cleared the concussion protocol but will miss Sunday's game.

Other Matchups:



Cooper Kupp (ankle)

Matthew Stafford (concussion)

Travis Homer (illness/knee)


Miami Dolphins at San Francisco 49ers

Spread: 49ers -4.0
Implied Total: Dolphins (21.25) vs. 49ers (25.25)
Pace: Dolphins (23rd) vs. 49ers (28th)
Dolphins Off. DVOA: 48.9% Pass (1st), -3.4% Rush (14th)
49ers Off. DVOA: 28.3% Pass (5th), -7.5% Rush (21st)
Dolphins Def. DVOA:
13.1% Pass (25th), -12.8% Rush (12th)
49ers Def. DVOA: -2.5% Pass (10th), -24.2% Rush (2nd)

Matchups We Love:

Tua Tagovalioa (QB, MIA)

This ought to be a fun game to watch, featuring head coach Mike McDaniel and the Dolphins taking on his former team. Tagovailoa was disappointing last week because they decided to bench him up 30-0 in the third quarter. I didn't expect he'd play a full game but two and a half quarters has to be a record this year. That said, he'll face a much more competitive team when they travel to San Francisco. The matchup is tougher but that's actually a good thing because it will force Miami to stay aggressive. He's a top-10 quarterback.

Dolphins WRs

The same situation applies to the duo of Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle, who were okay but performed below expectations. The 49ers are a talented defense but they lack the personnel the shut down either of these two, keeping them both in the top 12 given the over/under and concentration of targets.

Christian McCaffrey (RB, SF)

McCaffrey was in and out of the game against the Rams with "knee irritation," which has also limited him in practice this week. Typically, this would be a red flag but his backup Elijah Mitchell suffered an injury of his own that will sideline him for several weeks, probably the remainder of the fantasy season and playoffs. The team will still utilize one of Tyrion Davis-Price, Jordan Mason, and/or Tevin Coleman, but none of them are a threat to take away goal-line work or receptions.

George Kittle (TE, SF)

Kittle is still a tier below the top options at the position because he's inconsistent with a lower floor, but his ceiling is worth chasing each and every week, especially given the matchup, locking him into the top 10.

Matchups We Hate:

Dolphins RBs

Their passing attack is elite enough to overcome the matchup but their running game is more pedestrian. Jeff Wilson Jr. failed to capitalize on a juicy matchup against Houston last week, partly because he left with an injury briefly. He still found pay dirt but only totaled 52 scrimmage yards. Further complicating the backfield is the likely return of Raheem Mostert. It's still possible for these two to produce because they could get goal-line opportunities but they're outside the top 24 this week.

UPDATE: Mostert is off the injury report and will play this week. He's a risky play coming off the injury, plus he hurts the value of Wilson Jr.

Other Matchups:

49ers WRs

Deebo Samuel was questionable entering the game and spent time on the bench with an injury, limiting his output. He still saw seven targets and two carries, but his explosiveness took a hit. Brandon Aiyuk led the team in targets and receiving yards once again. He's been the more consistent player, keeping him in the top 24. Samuel stays in that range as well but possesses more risk because of the injury.

UPDATE: Samuel is active for Sunday's game but has a little more risk because of the injury.

Jimmy Garoppolo (QB, SF)

As always, when the team is facing a beatable pass defense that can force the 49ers to throw, Garroppolo enters the mix as a streamer. His weapons are a little banged up but everyone is expected to play, keeping him in the mix.


Raheem Mostert (knee)

Deebo Samuel (quadricep)

Christian McCaffrey (knee)


Kansas City Chiefs at Cincinnati Bengals 

Spread: Chiefs -1.5
Implied Total: Chiefs (27) vs. Bengals (25.5)
Pace: Chiefs (9th) vs. Bengals (24th)
Chiefs Off. DVOA: 43.3% Pass (2nd), -4.0% Rush (16th)
Bengals Off. DVOA: 23.2% Pass (9th), 8.0% Rush (5th)
Chiefs Def. DVOA:
7.8% Pass (18th), -2.7% Rush (18th)
Bengals Def. DVOA: -2.6% Pass (9th), -9.2% Rush (15th)

Matchups We Love:

Patrick Mahomes (QB, KC)

Getting a rematch of last year's AFC championship game, which includes the highest over/under on the week, and one of the highest all year, is going to be great for fantasy. It all starts with two of the most talented young quarterbacks in the game. The Chiefs failed to finish drives last week, kicking four field goals in the red zone, compared to only one touchdown. The game was never close, so the offense backed off, but that won't be the case in this one. Mahomes has a shot to be the QB1 on the week.

Travis Kelce (TE, KC)

Kelce still got his, finding the end zone early on an impressive catch-and-run. He'll be an integral part of the offense this week.

JuJu Smith-Schuster (WR, KC)

I mentioned last week that his snaps could be limited in his first game back, which was the case, playing on only 38% of offensive snaps. He still saw three targets, demonstrating his importance to the offense. He may not get back up to the 80-plus percent mark he was at prior to the injury, but you can expect a significant increase because they'll need him to beat the Bengals, pushing him into the top 24. None of the receivers were very productive last week, but Marquez Valdes-Scantling led the way. He would be the next option to target as an intriguing flex option given the potential for a shootout.

UPDATE: Kadarius Toney has been ruled out as expected.

Joe Burrow (QB, CIN)

The other quarterback referenced above is Burrow, who did an unusual amount of damage on the ground against the Titans, rushing the ball nine times for 32 yards. It's nice to see he has that ability when he needs it. He should also be in for a big day, especially if Ja'Marr Chase makes his long-awaited return. He has top-five upside this week.

Bengals WRs

Tee Higgins put on a clinic again last week, outmuscling defenders for big plays. He's locked in as a top-12 receiver regardless of the status of Chase. Tyler Boyd's splits have actually been better when Chase is in the lineup this season, which although counterintuitive, means he might have a game better if Chase is back. Either way, he's a top-36 receiver with a lot of upside. Chase is more difficult to assess. The recent reports have him trending toward playing but that's not a guarantee. If he does suit up, he could be limited like Smith-Schuster was last week. The ceiling he has in this type of matchup would land him right around the top 24, recognizing there's a risk.

UPDATE: Chase will be active, plus there are reports he'll get a full workload, moving him up into the top 12.

Joe Mixon (RB, CIN)

Mixon is back practicing with all signs indicating he will be active on Sunday. Samaje Perine will still be involved as a receiver, but Mixon should resume his role as the goal-line back, who sees the majority of the carries. In this matchup, facing the Chiefs' run defense, he's a top-12 back.

UPDATE: Mixon has been ruled out, Perine becomes a top-24 back.

Matchups We Hate:


Other Matchups:

Isiah Pacheco (RB, KC)

The Chiefs established a lead immediately and never trailed last week, enabling them to hand the ball to Pacheco 22 times. He found pay dirt and totaled 86 yards from scrimmage but that was about as ideal of a situation as he could ask for. There's zero chance he carries the ball 22 times in Cincinnati, so he'll need to find the end zone again to produce. The backfield is a bit muddied right now because Jerick McKinnon is dealing with an injury, Ronald Jones returned from injury last week, and the team just signed Melvin Gordon III to their practice squad. If McKinnon is active he'll act as the pass-catching back, making him a flex option. Otherwise, Gordon would be the most likely to take on that role if he plays. Additionally, if both Gordon and Jones are on the field, Pacheco becomes riskier because he could lose more carries.

UPDATE: McKinnon will play, he'll be an upside flex option.

Hayden Hurst (TE, CIN)

Hurst performed well again in Tennesse, tying Higgins for the team lead in targets with nine. It still sets up well for Hurst because Chase might play fewer snaps and it should be a high-scoring affair, removing some of the concerns about volume. He's a top-10 tight end.


Mecole Hardman (abdomen)

Kadarius Toney (hamstring)

Ja'Marr Chase (hip)

Joe Mixon (concussion)

Jerick McKinnon (hamstring)


Los Angeles Chargers at Las Vegas Raiders

Spread: Raiders -1.0
Implied Total: Chargers (24.75) vs. Raiders (25.75)
Pace: Chargers (2nd) vs. Raiders (21st)
Chargers Off. DVOA: 4.7% Pass (21st), -19.1% Rush (30th)
Raiders Off. DVOA: 13.1% Pass (17th), 8.1% Rush (4th)
Chargers Def. DVOA:
4.7% Pass (15th), 4.6% Rush (29th)
Raiders Def. DVOA: 33.1% Pass (32nd), -1.4% Rush (23rd)

Matchups We Love:

Josh Jacobs (RB, LV)

After destroying the Seahawks last week, capped off by an 86-yard touchdown run in overtime, Jacobs is now the overall RB1. So long as he's active, he's a must-start against a terrible Los Angeles run defense.

UPDATE: Jacobs is active and will play.

Davante Adams (WR, LV)

Despite a down game, Adams still led the team in receptions, targets, and yards. His ceiling is massive, locking him in as a must-start.

Justin Herbert (QB, LAC)

With healthy weapons at his disposal, Herbert is once again an elite quarterback. He was the QB11 two weeks ago and the QB1 last week. Knowing that is now a potential outcome, plus the matchup against Las Vegas, he's a top-five play.

Keenan Allen (WR, LAC)

One of the main reasons Herbert is back playing at a high level is that Allen is finally healthy. He only finished with five receptions for 49 yards but he did find the end zone. What's more important is that he played on 89% of the offensive snaps and emerged without any re-aggravations or setbacks. Facing the Raiders, he's a top-15 receiver. After multiple good games from Joshua Palmer, it was DeAndre Carter who stole the show, leading the team with 10 targets and adding a touchdown of his own. Both of these two have the shot to score or lead the team in targets this week in a potential shootout, making each an upside top-36 receiver.

Austin Ekeler (RB, LAC)

Although all three receivers were heavily involved, it was Ekler who paced the team in targets with an outrageous 15 of them. He caught 11 and accounted for Herbert's other touchdown. He leads all running backs with 80 receptions, making him a must-start as well.

Gerald Everett (TE, LAC)

Everett was the odd man out, failing to catch a touchdown or exceed four targets. That said, he'll have a chance to accomplish one of those feats this week in a great matchup.

Matchups We Hate:


Other Matchups:

Derek Carr (QB, LV)

Carr is hyper-targeting Jacobs and Adams, which is leading to success. He's thrown for 248 or more yards in four straight games, adding nine passing touchdowns during that stretch. He's a fringe top-12 quarterback in this one.

Foster Moreau (TE, LV)

Moreau found the end zone to send the game to overtime, which is an opportunity he'll have again in a high-scoring affair with Darren Waller out.


Darren Waller (hamstring)

Hunter Renfrow (oblique)

Mike Williams (ankle)

Josh Jacobs (calf)


Matchups Analysis - Sunday Night Football

Indianapolis Colts at Dallas Cowboys

Spread: Cowboys -10.5
Implied Total: Colts (16.75) vs. Cowboys (27.25)
Pace: Colts (11th) vs. Cowboys (6th)
Colts Off. DVOA: -24.5% Pass (31st), -23.6% Rush (32nd)
Cowboys Off. DVOA: 13.2% Pass (16th), 7.1% Rush (6th)
Colts Def. DVOA:
2.4% Pass (13th), -13.1% Rush (11th)
Cowboys Def. DVOA: -21.7% Pass (1st), -13.2% Rush (10th)

Matchups We Love:

CeeDee Lamb (WR, DAL)

Lamb was one toe-tap away from another monster game. He's been dominating since Prescott came back as the focal point of the passing attack. He's in the top 12 again this week.

Dalton Schultz (TE, DAL)

Schultz found the end zone twice last week, showcasing his red zone prowess. He's a top-five tight end given his target share and ability to score.

Cowboys RBs

The Cowboys' philosophy of playing strong defense and running the ball should work well against the Colts. Their run defense has been a strength of theirs over the course of the season but their inability to generate offense has hurt them. They gave up 172 yards on the ground last week to Pittsburgh. Ezekiel Elliott averaged 5.8 yards per carry last week compared to 3.3 for Tony Pollard. He also found pay dirt yet again. Elliott remains a problem for Pollard, preventing either from landing in the top 15.

Matchups We Hate:

Colts WRs

Dallas is a tough matchup, particularly at home. Michael Pittman Jr. remains the No. 1 receiver with a 26.1% target share. He's had six or more receptions and 50-plus yards in four of five weeks, earning him a spot in the top 30. Parris Campbell and Alec Pierce combined for only five targets, which makes it difficult to trust either as more than a flex option against the Cowboys.

Other Matchups:

Dak Prescott (QB, DAL)

Prescott found himself in a feisty divisional matchup against the Giants, committing two turnovers, which hurt his overall output. He's averaged fewer fantasy points at home this season, often because they establish a lead and run the ball, which is likely to occur against Indianapolis. It caps his upside, pushing him toward the back of the top 12.

Jonathan Taylor (RB, IND)

Taylor has three consecutive games of 20-plus carries for 84 or more yards and a touchdown, looking like the player many fantasy managers hoped they were getting when they drafted him No. 1 overall. He's back in the top 12.




Matchups Analysis - Monday Night Football

New Orleans Saints at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Spread: Buccaneers -4.0
Implied Total: Saints (18.25) vs. Buccaneers (22.25)
Pace: Saints (15th) vs. Buccaneers (1st)
Saints Off. DVOA: -1.2% Pass (24th), -3.2% Rush (13th)
Buccaneers Off. DVOA: 22.2% Pass (10th), -20.3% Rush (31st)
Saints Def. DVOA:
2.3% Pass (12th), -1.9% Rush (21st)
Buccaneers Def. DVOA: -10.3% Pass (6th), -9.8% Rush (14th)

Matchups We Love:

Chris Godwin (WR, TB)

Godwin was unstoppable last week, catching 12 passes for 110 yards and a touchdown. It's clear that he's feeling healthy and looking like his usual self. He moves to the top 12 after what we've seen the past two weeks, taking on a banged-up New Orleans defense. Mike Evans and Tom Brady are lacking their typical connection on deep throws, which has really hurt his fantasy value. He's really only had four nice games this year, none of which have occurred since Week 8. The volume is still there, he's had nine or more targets in four of his last five games, but that's only turned into about four receptions per game. He still has the ability to score and produce big plays but his floor is much lower, especially if Marshon Lattimore plays, sending him outside the top 24.

UPDATE: Russell Gage is listed as questionable for Sunday's game, his status does not have a significant impact on anyone except Julio Jones.

Matchups We Hate:

Saints TEs

The tight end group as a whole saw five targets, which were spread out among three different players. Taysom Hill added six carries and one passing attempt, but the way this offense is playing, none of them have much appeal on the road against the Buccaneers in a game Tampa Bay needs to win.

UPDATE: Juwan Johnson has been ruled out, removing him from the tight end room, and providing a slight boost for Hill.

Other Matchups:

Rachaad White (RB, TB)

White was a reception machine last week, finishing with nine of them for 45 yards. He added 64 on the ground for a decent day, although a trip to the end zone would have been the cherry on top. It's unclear whether Leonard Fournette will return this week, which would have an impact on White's value. White is still the more explosive player, but the goal-line role might shift back to Fournette. He'll still be the preferred choice as a top-30 back with Fournette and a top-15 back without him. Fournette would be a risky flex option if he suits up.

UPDATE: Despite practicing in full this week, Fournette is still listed as questionable. He's likely to play but it's difficult to determine the extent of his workload.

Tom Brady (QB, TB)

Brady failed to lead his team to victory, losing in overtime, but he produced another top-15 finish for fantasy. The Saints are depleted and struggling to stay competitive, keeping Brady on the radar as a streamer.

Alvin Kamara (RB, NO)

Kamara had another poor outing despite six receptions for 37 yards because he lost two fumbles. The offense was shut out, generating 260 total yards. The matchup will be better against the Buccaneers, but they're still an above-average defense with a lot to play for. He can no longer be viewed as an elite option but his role keeps him in the top 24.

Chris Olave (WR, NO)

Olave continues to be held back by the play of his quarterback and the overall quality of the offense. The underlying metrics are still there, he's eighth in yards per route run with 2.45 and he has the ninth-highest PFF grade. Additionally, he's clearly the No. 1 option, and the potential for a big game is there each week, keeping him in the top 24.


Russell Gage (hamstring)

Leonard Fournette (hip)


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