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Fantasy Football Start Em, Sit Em - Week 15 Matchups Analysis

Keenan Allen - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, NFL Injury News

Welcome back RotoBallers to our Week 15 matchups analysis and Start Em, Sit Em column for fantasy football. It's playoff time! Last week featured several unexpected performances both individually and collectively among NFL teams. There were also another six games that hit the 50-plus point mark. Unfortunately, we lost more big names heading into the playoffs. Thankfully, there aren't any more bye weeks to contend with, meaning we'll have access to every healthy option. It's also worth noting that the Saturday slate of football has begun, so make sure you keep an eye out for players from those six teams.

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're still in the running, maybe even with the privilege of a first-round bye. Regardless of what you have to play for this week, we'll make sure you're ready to go! 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 - Saturday Games

Indianapolis Colts at Minnesota Vikings

Spread: Vikings -4.0
Implied Total: Colts (22) vs. Vikings (26)
Pace: Colts (8th) vs. Vikings (6th)
Colts Off. DVOA: -27.5% Pass (32nd), -24.0% Rush (31st)
Vikings Off. DVOA: 9.6% Pass (18th), -7.4% Rush (21st)
Colts Def. DVOA:
3.9% Pass (15th), -8.6% Rush (15th)
Vikings Def. DVOA: 13.7% Pass (27th), -8.8% Rush (14th)

Matchups We Love:

Jonathan Taylor (RB, IND)

Taylor is the lone bright spot on an otherwise lackluster offense. He's coming out of the bye week, meaning he'll be healthy and ready for a big workload. Minnesota has been giving up nearly 30 points per game over the past five weeks, setting Taylor up for a nice game as a top-12 back.

Vikings WRs

In another game with a decent over/under and beatable defense, Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen are both startable options. To demonstrate how incredible Jefferson is, consider that his 223 receiving yards last week would have ranked 18th among all quarterbacks if those were passing yards. He cannot be stopped. Thielen has found the end zone in two of the past three weeks, making him an upside top-36 receiver.

T.J. Hockenson (TE, MIN)

Hockenson had another nice performance while tying Thielen for the second-most targets with eight. He's locked into the top-five against Indianapolis.

Matchups We Hate:

None

Other Matchups:

Kirk Cousins (QB, MIN)

Cousins threw for 425 yards against the Lions, which is unlikely to happen again, but so long as he's hyper-targeting Jefferson and the matchup is okay or better, he's a streaming option. The Colts fit into the okay category, keeping him in the top 15.

Dalvin Cook (RB, MIN)

Cook was the latest back to struggle against the Detroit run defense. Luckily, he was able to find pay dirt. It's a much better matchup this week in a game they should be able to control and win, keeping him in the top 15.

Colts WRs

Michael Pittman Jr. is undoubtedly the most talented receiver on the roster but his production hasn't demonstrated that this season. It's frequently been Alec Pierce or Parris Campbell offering the highest fantasy output each week. There's potential for all three to succeed in a plus matchup, but betting on that to happen with Matt Ryan at quarterback is risky. Pittman Jr. and Pierce would still be the two to target as top-36 receivers, leaving Campbell as a flex option.

Injuries:

None

 

Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns

Spread: Browns -3.0
Implied Total: Ravens (17) vs. Browns (20)
Pace: Ravens (30th) vs. Browns (18th)
Ravens Off. DVOA: 20.8% Pass (11th), 10.8% Rush (2nd)
Browns Off. DVOA: 20.8% Pass (12th), 4.2% Rush (8th)
Ravens Def. DVOA:
-1.1% Pass (10th), -15.4% Rush (7th)
Browns Def. DVOA: 8.7% Pass (20th), 9.5% Rush (30th)

Matchups We Love:

Ravens RBs

J.K. Dobbins returned from injury to handle 15 carries, which he turned into 120 yards and a touchdown. Gus Edwards still saw 13 carries of his own, plus Tyler Huntley stole nine. Dobbins is clearly the more explosive back and the team seems committed to him, so in a plus matchup, the running game will be in full swing, making Dobbins a top-24 back and Edwards a flex option.

Matchups We Hate:

Deshaun Watson (QB, CLE)

Watson did show improvement from his debut in Houston but still struggled against the Bengals. Things won't get any easier facing the Ravens, who have given up an average of 190 passing yards per game since their bye, along with four total passing touchdowns in those five games. Watson is best avoided against Baltimore.

Nick Chubb (RB, CLE)

As expected, the Browns were trailing most of the game, forcing them to air out more in the second half. The result was fewer carries for Chubb, who had only 14. Fortunately, he did catch three passes but totaled only 54 yards. Unfortunately, the matchup is even worse for running backs because the Ravens are allowing 45.4 rushing yards per game since their bye and one rushing touchdown total, dropping Chubb outside the top 15.

Other Matchups:

Mark Andrews (TE, BAL)

The passing attack went from Huntley to Anthony Brown, the two of which combined for 17 passing attempts. It's impossible for the receivers and tight end to succeed on that kind of volume. The matchup favors the ground game, an area Huntley excels in, which could mean reduced targets for Andrews again this week. He's hard to pivot off of but he's not a top-five lock like he historically has been.

David Njoku (TE, CLE)

Njoku found the end zone last week, doing most of his damage on one drive. Nonetheless, it was nice to see him utilized as often as he was, finishing the game with a 21% target share. So long as he remains a focal point of the offense, his upside as a tight end keeps him in the top 10.

Browns WRs

Amari Cooper was banged up entering the contest against Cincinnati, which helps explain how his seven targets led to two catches for 42 yards. Donovan Peoples-Jones on the other hand went off, hauling in eight passes for 114 yards. You would expect the distribution to be more even with Cooper healthy, but Watson does tend to throw downfield more, which would favor Peoples-Jones. In a tough matchup, they're both top-36 receivers.

Injuries:

Lamar Jackson (knee)

Tyler Huntley (concussion)

Amari Cooper (hip)

 

Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills

Spread: Bills -7.0
Implied Total: Dolphins (18.25) vs. Bills (25.25)
Pace: Dolphins (19th) vs. Bills (5th)
Dolphins Off. DVOA: 40.5% Pass (1st), -5.7% Rush (17th)
Bills Off. DVOA: 33.2% Pass (3rd), -4.3% Rush (15th)
Dolphins Def. DVOA:
10.7% Pass (22nd), -12.7% Rush (8th)
Bills Def. DVOA: -6.4% Pass (7th), -21.9% Rush (3rd)

Matchups We Love:

Josh Allen (QB, BUF)

Allen's dual-threat ability is keeping him afloat while his passing production is sinking the elite value he had earlier this season. The matchup last week was difficult but 147 and one through the air are rough. Thankfully, they'll host the Miami defense, which presents an opportunity for Allen. The weather could factor in, but that might be a positive for his value because he'll be the most talented runner on the field.

Stefon Diggs (WR, BUF)

Diggs suffered through the Sauce Gardner experience last week, struggling to produce both because of the coverage and lack of volume. Even if the conditions favor rushing the ball, you can bet he'll find a way to make an impact, keeping him in your lineup. Gabe Davis hasn't had a great game since Allen suffered the shoulder injury against Minnesota in Week 10. He's still a boom-bust top-36 receiver, but the odds of a bust are much higher than a boom currently. Isaiah McKenzie still projects to be the slot receiver, but the team did add veteran Cole Beasley. It's uncertain how quickly he'll be active, but he could threaten McKenzie's value once he suits up. For now, he's a volume-based flex option.

Matchups We Hate:

Tua Tagovailoa (QB, MIA)

Tagovailoa has been so good all season, but the past two weeks were abysmal. The 49ers matchup makes sense, but against the Chargers, you would have expected more. Traveling to Buffalo in December in an important divisional game could bring out the best in this offense, but it could also be a recipe for disaster. He's not completely off the radar this week because of how elite his weapons are, but he's a fade given the situation and matchup.

Raheem Mostert (RB, MIA)

The Miami backfield has been a mess since they played the Texans in Week 12 without Raheem Mostert. Jeff Wilson Jr. suffered an injury in that game before returning for two weeks and leaving with an injury again last week. Mostert is on track to have a full workload, but that hasn't represented much value during the past few weeks. The weather could cause them to lean on him more, but relying on a 30-year-old veteran that has already experienced injuries this season to carry the load against a solid defense is a bit nerve-racking. Assuming Wilson Jr. is out, he'll be a top-36 back because of the potential volume.

UPDATE: Wilson Jr. has been ruled out as expected.

Other Matchups:

Dawson Knox (TE, BUF)

Knox led the team in targets and was the one to find the end zone. He remains a streamer who can find pay dirt on any given week.

Dolphins WRs

Tyreek Hill suffered an ankle injury during the game, but that didn't prevent him from having a vintage long-bomb touchdown for 60 yards. He also picked up a fumble and took it to the house, showcasing his speed. He's too involved and too talented to drop outside the top 12, even if the matchup and weather are working against him. However, Jaylen Waddle has been dealing with a leg injury of his own, which kept him from performing against the 49ers and may have had an impact last week. He's not on the injury report this week, but he's still tougher to trust because of the matchup and his recent dip in production. He's a top-30 receiver that could spike at any point with one or two big plays.

Bills RBs

The hopes of a James Cook breakout game were thwarted by the matchup and timeshare. Devin Singletary received double the number of carries and targets, operating as the lead back. Cook is still the more explosive option, and if the weather is an issue, one or both of them could have a good game, but trusting either as more than a top-36 back is risky.

Injuries:

Jeff Wilson Jr. (hip)

 

Matchups Analysis - Sunday 1:00 ET Games

Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints

Spread: Saints -4.0
Implied Total: Falcons (19.75) vs. Saints (23.75)
Pace: Falcons (27th) vs. Saints (17th)
Falcons Off. DVOA: 10.5% Pass (16th), 7.9% Rush (6th)
Saints Off. DVOA: 3.1% Pass (21st), -6.1% Rush (18th)
Falcons Def. DVOA:
18.8% Pass (29th), 3.8% Rush (28th)
Saints Def. DVOA: 1.9% Pass (12th), -2.7% Rush (21st)

Matchups We Love:

Alvin Kamara (RB, NO)

The last time we saw the Saints in action Kamara had an unfathomably poor game. He was averaging 2.2 yards per carry while losing work to Mark Ingram II on the ground and through the air. Fortunately, he's coming off their bye week with Ingram II out for the season, meaning he'll be the lead back and should be well-rested. It's not a guarantee he'll have a great game, but the matchup is ideal and the Saints are favored, allowing them to run the ball more frequently and effectively. He's back in the top 24.

Matchups We Hate:

Falcons RBs

The Falcons will be featuring Desmond Ridder at quarterback, who much like Marcus Mariota, will take away carries from the backfield, further amplifying the problem that existed entering their bye week. Cordarrelle Patterson will lead the way, but Tyler Allgeier and Caleb Huntley will also factor in. The matchup isn't bad but trusting anyone as more than a top-36 back is difficult because of the timeshare.

Falcons Passing Attack

As mentioned, it'll be Ridder at the helm. There's certainly a chance he proves to be a significant upgrade over Mariota, but as a rookie in his NFL debut on the road at the Superdome, it's a risky bet. Drake London was beginning to flash before the bye, but again trusting him as more than a flex option is difficult.

Other Matchups:

Chris Olave (WR, NO)

Olave will also look to exploit a nice matchup against Atlanta. We know the deal here, the underlying metrics are elite, he's seventh in yards per route run with 2.45 and ranked 10th in PFF grades for receivers. However, the production has been inconsistent because of the quarterback play he's received. That said, he's still a top-24 receiver because of the matchup and his upside.

Injuries:

None

 

Pittsburgh Steelers at Carolina Panthers

Spread: Panthers -3.0
Implied Total: Steelers (17.25) vs. Panthers (20.25)
Pace: Steelers (11th) vs. Panthers (20th)
Steelers Off. DVOA: 3.4% Pass (20th), -4.3% Rush (16th)
Panthers Off. DVOA: -21.3% Pass (30th), -1.9% Rush (13th)
Steelers Def. DVOA:
4.3% Pass (16th), -9.8% Rush (11th)
Panthers Def. DVOA: 7.1% Pass (19th), -3.1% Rush (19th)

Matchups We Love:

Najee Harris (RB, PIT)

Since their bye week, Harris has appeared healthy and explosive, regaining his stranglehold on the lead-back role. During that five-game stretch, he produced the 11th-highest elusive rating with the ninth-most missed tackles forced. He's also found the end zone four times. He's a top-15 back against the Panthers.

Pat Freiermuth (TE, PIT)

Freiermuth saved his day by hauling in a touchdown, which is something he did a lot more frequently last season. He also played on only 56% of the offensive snaps last week because of a foot injury. So long as he's healthy, he's a top-12 tight end against Carolina because of his role and target share.

UPDATE: Freiermuth has been removed from the injury report, indicating the foot injury should not be a concern for Sunday.

Matchups We Hate:

Panthers Passing Attack 

Carolina is committed to their rushing attack because it reduces the number of times they put the ball in Sam Darnold's hands. They're coming off back-to-back wins so it's hard to argue with the results. Unfortunately, it sinks the value of DJ Moore and the receiving corps, rendering them impossible to rely on.

Other Matchups:

Steelers WRs

Diontae Johnson was questionable to play, but he suited up and produced one of his better games with six catches for 82 yards. George Pickens made the most of his three targets, turning them into three receptions for 78 yards. Unless the team makes a conscious effort to get more volume for Pickens, he's going to be very volatile. The matchup is particularly good for the receivers, who are likely going to be catching passes from Mitch Trubisky, keeping them in play as upside flex options.

UPDATE: Johnson is off the injury report, indicating he'll be good to go as expected.

UPDATE: Trubisky has been named the starter as expected.

Panthers RBs

46 total carries were more than enough for both Chuba Hubbard and D'Onta Foreman to get a solid workload. They each rushed for 74 yards, but Chubbard added 25 through the air and found pay dirt while Foreman watched Raheem Blackshear run in his touchdown. In a competitive game with a low over/under, you would expect them to run the ball a lot again, keeping both in play as top-36 backs with the edge to Foreman because he's the lead back.

Injuries:

Kenny Pickett (concussion)

Pat Freiermuth (foot)

Diontae Johnson (hip)

 

Philadelphia Eagles at Chicago Bears

Spread: Eagles -9.0
Implied Total: Eagles (28.75) vs. Bears (19.75)
Pace: Eagles (15th) vs. Bears (28th)
Eagles Off. DVOA: 31.5% Pass (4th), 21.4% Rush (1st)
Bears Off. DVOA: -5.5% Pass (27th), 3.7% Rush (9th)
Eagles Def. DVOA:
-18.8% Pass (2nd), 0.0% Rush (24th)
Bears Def. DVOA: 27.6% Pass (31st), 5.7% Rush (29th)

Matchups We Love:

Jalen Hurts (QB, PHI)

Hurts is an MVP candidate in the NFL and in fantasy football. He's been excellent, finding ways to score with both his arm and legs, locking him into your lineup.

Eagles WRs

A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith continue to torch defenses on a weekly basis. The only thing that could slow Smith down is the return of Dallas Goedert, who has been activated from the Injured Reserve but has 21 days to make his debut. So long as he's out, they're both in the top 15.

UPDATE: Goedert will not be active on Sunday, keeping Smith locked in as a top-15 receiver.

Miles Sanders (RB, PHI)

Sanders consistently punishes his opponent when the matchup is easier because the Eagles will lean on their rushing attack. Chicago is a prime example of that, making him a strong top-24 option.

Matchups We Hate:

None

Other Matchups:

Justin Fields (QB, CHI)

Fields received a much-needed bye week for his shoulder to heal. He's not on the Week 15 injury report, indicating he's back to full health. The Eagles are a difficult matchup but with a higher over/under, his rushing upside keeps him in the top 12 with a massive ceiling.

David Montgomery (RB, CHI)

Montgomery figures to lose a few rushing attempts to Fields, but his receiving ability and workload counterbalance what he loses on the ground. The matchup hasn't been as fruitful as it was earlier in the year, but it's not terrible either, keeping Montgomery in the top 24.

Cole Kmet (TE, CHI)

As the last man standing in the passing attack, aside from Chase Claypool, who reportedly still hasn't learned the playbook, Kmet is worth a shot as the primary receiving option, especially in the red zone. He's a potential streamer.

UPDATE: Claypool has been ruled out for Sunday, further cementing Kmet as a volume-based top-12 tight end.

Injuries:

Dallas Goedert (shoulder)

Khalil Herbert (hip)

 

Kansas City Chiefs at Houston Texans

Spread: Chiefs -14.0
Implied Total: Chiefs (31.5) vs. Texans (17.5)
Pace: Chiefs (10th) vs. Texans (21st)
Chiefs Off. DVOA: 38.8% Pass (2nd), 0.6% Rush (11th)
Texans Off. DVOA: -24.0% Pass (31st), -25.1% Rush (32nd)
Chiefs Def. DVOA:
11.3% Pass (25th), -2.9% Rush (20th)
Texans Def. DVOA: 2.9% Pass (17th), 3.1% Rush (27th)

Matchups We Love:

Chiefs RBs

Jerick McKinnon showcased a ceiling not too many thought he had, taking two short passes from Patrick Mahomes to the house. He ended up leading the team in receiving yards, plus he had the second-most targets and receptions. It's unlikely we'll see anything near this moving forward, but his receiving role in this offense is extremely valuable. Isiah Pacheco did his damage on the ground with 70 yards on 13 carries, adding three grabs for 23 yards. Houston presents an opportunity for both to have a great game, thrusting them into the top 24 with Pacheco still the favorite.

Matchups We Hate:

None

Other Matchups:

Patrick Mahomes (QB, KC)

The Chiefs are becoming a team with the perfect blend for fantasy, an absolutely elite offense paired with a porous defense that requires them to keep scoring. While the Houston offense is very bad, so too is the Broncos, and they just scored 28 points against Kansas City. The Texans also put up 23 against Dallas, so anything is possible here. The takeaway is don't be afraid to start the players from their passing attack, including of course Mahomes.

Travis Kelce (TE, KC)

Kelce was good but not great as expected, which is probably about what we can expect this week, although the odds of a touchdown are always very high.

JuJu Smith-Schuster (WR, KC)

Smith-Schuster bounced back the way we had hoped he would the week before, partly because the game was so competitive and they were forced to keep airing it out. He led the team in targets with 11 and totaled 74 yards on nine grabs, adding a trip to pay dirt. It's wise not to overcorrect here, but he's a solid top-30 receiver despite the matchup. When he's in the alpha role, it resorts back to the Kelce and Tyreek Hill days when no one else could be trusted, which is how to approach the remaining receivers this week.

UPDATE: Kadarius Toney will suit up, he's best avoided.

Texans WRs

Speaking of the last man standing, Chris Moore found himself in the same position with Nico Collins and Brandin Cooks both out. He capitalized on the opportunity, hauling in 10 passes for 124 yards. It's possible both are out again this week, which would make him an intriguing flex option.

UPDATE: Cooks and Collins have been ruled out, making Moore the receiver to target as an upside flex option.

Injuries:

Clyde Edwards-Helaire (ankle)

Nico Collins (foot)

Brandin Cooks (calf)

Kadarius Toney (hamstring)

Dameon Pierce (ankle)

Mecole Hardman (abdomen)

 

Dallas Cowboys at Jacksonville Jaguars

Spread: Cowboys -4.0
Implied Total: Cowboys (26.25) vs. Jaguars (22.25)
Pace: Cowboys (7th) vs. Jaguars (13th)
Cowboys Off. DVOA: 10.3% Pass (17th), 8.8% Rush (4th)
Jaguars Off. DVOA: 24.0% Pass (8th), -8.6% Rush (22nd)
Cowboys Def. DVOA:
-18.9% Pass (1st), -15.9% Rush (6th)
Jaguars Def. DVOA: 24.3% Pass (30th), -7.5% Rush (16th)

Matchups We Love:

Cowboys RBs

Dallas is running the ball so much and Tony Pollard is so explosive, that he's performing almost as well with Ezekiel Elliott as he was when he was out. He has the eighth-highest elusive rating, 11th-most missed tackles forced, and sixth-most yards after contact, all while sharing the workload. He deserves to be viewed as a top-12 back. Elliott had four tries to score the eight-yard line and couldn't score, but was still provided with a chance to win the game on third-and-goal from the two, which he converted. It demonstrates the trust the team has in him, especially around the goal line, keeping him in the top 24.

Dak Prescott (QB, DAL)

Prescott played a poor game, along with the rest of the passing attack, nearly costing them a win against Houston. He was able to get the job done on the final drive, but he now has five interceptions in the past three games. The matchup is fantastic, keeping him in the top 12, but he's outside that elite tier because his mistakes may encourage the team to lean even more on their rushing attack.

Dalton Schultz (TE, DAL)

Schultz led the team in targets, receptions, and yards, a feat very few tight ends can accomplish. As such an integral part of this offense, he remains a must-start tight end.

CeeDee Lamb (WR, DAL)

Lamb had a down game as expected, although not because the offense didn't need to throw, but because Prescott spread the ball around and the only passing touchdown went to Pollard. Six different players had five or more targets, which is not ideal for Lamb. Fortunately, last week should be an outlier performance, thrusting him back into the top 12. Michael Gallup played only two more snaps than Noah Brown, who had the same amount of targets and more receptions and yards. He's a riskier top-36 receiver, who probably needs to score.

Matchups We Hate:

Travis Etienne (RB, JAX)

Etienne has struggled since suffering a foot injury, which has also coincided with back-to-back difficult matchups against Detroit and Tennessee. Unfortunately, it doesn't get any easier this week facing Dallas, whose been the fourth-worst matchup for running backs this year. Two things that were sustaining his elite production earlier this year were targets, he was averaging three per game over the first 10 games but didn't receive any last week, and explosive plays, he had eleven breakaway runs during that stretch and none the past two games. Unless one of those two things changes this week, he's a top-36 back with a higher ceiling.

Other Matchups:

Trevor Lawrence (QB, JAX)

Lawrence exploited the Titans and their pass-funnel defense for 368 yards and three touchdowns. It's the second time in three games he's cleared 300 yards and thrown for three touchdowns. He'll face a tougher matchup against the Cowboys, but with a nice trio of weapons in the passing attack and his rushing baseline of over 20 yards per game, he's still in the top 12 this week.

Evan Engram (TE, JAX)

The tight end performance of the year goes to...Engram. He did his best elite wide receiver impression with 11 receptions for 162 yards and two trips to the end zone. It's memorable and showcases a ceiling no one thought was possible, but it's important not to overreact. Dallas is the second-worst matchup for tight ends this season and there have been four times that he finished a game with one reception, so while he's certainly still a streaming option, he's also a fade against the Cowboys.

Jaguars WRs

Even though Lawrence put up 368 yards, almost half of it went to Engram, leaving less for the receivers to divvy up. Zay Jones bounced back as the leader this week while Christian Kirk found himself as the third option, resulting in a poor outing. They'll both have a shot to perform in a game with a higher over/under that they'll need to throw a lot to keep up, landing them in the top 30 with Kirk as the preferred option.

Injuries:

None

 

Detroit Lions at New York Jets

Spread: Lions -1.0
Implied Total: Lions (22.5) vs. Jets (21.5)
Pace: Lions (9th) vs. Jets (4th)
Lions Off. DVOA: 22.8% Pass (9th), 1.6% Rush (10th)
Jets Off. DVOA: 2.6% Pass (23rd), -1.0% Rush (12th)
Lions Def. DVOA:
9.2% Pass (21st), -0.9% Rush (22nd)
Jets Def. DVOA: -11.8% Pass (6th), -12.4% Rush (9th)

Matchups We Love:

Garrett Wilson (WR, NYJ)

It was a tough matchup against the Bills on the road in a weather game, but Wilson still finished with six receptions for 78 yards, which isn't too bad. He's in a nice spot to best that this week at home against the Lions, but will now deal with Zac Wilson throwing him the ball. It removes a lot of his upside, dropping him to more of a top-24 receiver. His teammate Elijah Moore actually led the team in targets with 10 and played on 82% of offensive snaps, partly because Corey Davis got hurt. Unfortunately, he's off the radar now that Wilson is the starting quarterback.

UPDATE: Corey Davis has been ruled out as expected.

Matchups We Hate:

Lions RBs

The saga of D'Andre Swift has grown tiresome. He popped up on the injury report last week, but it didn't sound concerning. Unfortunately, it impacted his playing time, resulting in only 25 snaps compared to 26 for Jamaal Williams, while allowing Justin Jackson to become a factor with 20 snaps.  The three of them totaled 95 scrimmage yards, two targets, and one touchdown, which went to Jackson. In a difficult matchup with all three players splitting time, it's hard to be confident in any of them. Williams is always a threat to score, Swift has the pass-catching upside, and Jackson only hurts the value of the two, making Swift and Williams top-36 backs against the Jets.

Jared Goff (QB, DET)

Goff punished the Vikings with an excellent deep ball, capitalizing on the talented receiving corps he has. He did everything we hoped for and more against a soft pass defense, but now takes on an elite unit in New York. There's a chance with the array of weapons he has at his disposal he can still produce a nice game, but on the road against the Jets, he's a fade this week.

Jets RBs

Zonovan Knight and Michael Carter split the offensive snaps 37-35 in favor of Carter, but the workload favored Knight, who accounted for 17 of the 22 (77.2%) running back carries. Carter still out-targeted him six to two, but overall Knight remains the lead back. The issue is the Lions are tough to run on, which means Carter may end up with more total yards. The matchup, timeshare, and Wilson being named the starter push them both outside the top 24.

Other Matchups:

Lions WRs

It was great to see Jameson Williams make his mark with a 41-yard score, providing a lot of excitement for dynasty managers who have him rostered. It ended up being his only reception, so he's not someone you can play yet, but the future is bright. Josh Reynolds and DJ Chark also found the end zone on their way to a nice game, leaving Amon-Ra St. Brown as the odd one out. He still led the team in targets, tied for the lead in receptions, and produced 68 yards, but it was a disappointing outcome. The Jets have an excellent secondary, featuring Sauce Gardiner, who will shut down one of the perimeter receivers, likely Chark. St. Brown drops outside of the top 15, while Reynolds and Chark are risky flex options.

Injuries:

Mike White (rib)

Corey Davis (concussion)

 

Matchups Analysis - Sunday 4:00 ET Games

Arizona Cardinals at Denver Broncos

Spread: Broncos -3.0
Implied Total: Cardinals (16.5) vs. Broncos (19.5)
Pace: Cardinals (3rd) vs. Broncos (12th)
Cardinals Off. DVOA: -7.5% Pass (28th), -16.2% Rush (27th)
Broncos Off. DVOA: -2.4% Pass (25th), -19.0% Rush (28th)
Cardinals Def. DVOA:
11.3% Pass (24th), -0.4% Rush (23rd)
Broncos Def. DVOA: -17.0% Pass (3rd), -6.2% Rush (17th)

Matchups We Love:

James Conner (RB, ARI)

Typically teams beat the Broncos on the ground, with the exception of Kansas City last week, which sets up well for Conner. Additionally, the team is now relying on Colt McCoy as their signal-caller, who we know tends to target the backfield more than Murray, providing a slight boost to Conner's already great receiving baseline. He's a top-12 back this week.

Greg Dulcich (TE, DEN)

It could have been a better day for Dulcich, who saw eight targets. He's now hit that mark in consecutive weeks, positioning him as a talented tight end who gets a dream matchup against Arizona. He's a top-12 option this week.

Matchups We Hate:

Colt McCoy (QB, ARI)

Few quarterbacks have excelled when facing Denver, and McCoy is unlikely to be one of those success stories. There will be weeks where he has appeal as a streamer, but this is not one of them.

Other Matchups:

DeAndre Hopkins (WR, ARI)

Hopkins takes a slight hit without Kyler Murray, mostly because the total points scored by the offense will be lower. However, his target share and production will still be sufficient to keep him afloat as a top-20 receiver with top-12 upside when he finds the end zone. Marquise Brown falls further down because he's clearly behind Hopkins and hasn't played with McCoy to have that same connection. He's outside the top 24 against a talented Denver secondary. Greg Dortch is off the radar because it was Brown who took over the slot role, forcing him off the field in favor of A.J. Green and Robbie Anderson, neither of whom are worth considering.

UPDATE: Brown, who was dealing with an illness, is good to go for Sunday's game.

Latavius Murray (RB, DEN)

Everything that could go wrong for Murray did, he lost work to two other running backs and both quarterbacks on the ground, plus his five targets resulted in three catches for negative-one yards. Mike Boone did suffer an ankle injury that will end his fantasy season, removing his primary threat. Marlon Mack happened to take a screen pass to the house but was otherwise not much of a factor. Murray's volume will jump back up, keeping him in play as a top-36 back in a plus matchup.

Jerry Jeudy (WR, DEN)

Once again, getting the opportunity is one half of the equation for fantasy, and Jeudy made the most of his. Three trips to pay dirt in one game will be a season-high, if not a career-high for Jeudy, but if Courtland Sutton is out again, he's a top-30 receiver in a nice matchup.

UPDATE: Kendall Hinton and Sutton has been ruled out as expected, keeping Jeudy in play. Russell Wilson has also been ruled out, meaning it will be Brett Rypien who gets the start. It doesn't significantly lower the appeal Jeudy has.

Injuries:

Courtland Sutton (hamstring)

Russell Wilson (concussion)

 

New England Patriots at Las Vegas Raiders

Spread: Patriots -1.0
Implied Total: Patriots (22.75) vs. Raiders (21.75)
Pace: Patriots (26th) vs. Raiders (22nd)
Patriots Off. DVOA: 1.4% Pass (24th), -12.1% Rush (24th)
Raiders Off. DVOA: 8.1% Pass (19th), 8.1% Rush (5th)
Patriots Def. DVOA:
-15.2% Pass (4th), -12.0% Rush (10th)
Raiders Def. DVOA: 28.4% Pass (32nd), -3.8% Rush (18th)

Matchups We Love:

None

Matchups We Hate:

Derek Carr (QB, LV)

It was an absolute meltdown in prime time for Carr and Co. on Thursday night. He's had his struggles all year, but that may have been the peak. Nonetheless, against New England is not the spot to hope for a turnaround, forcing him onto your bench.

Other Matchups:

Josh Jacobs (RB, LV)

The team rode Jacobs to a lead before foolishly assuming they could win the game without throwing the ball. It was good news for Jacobs, who carried the ball 27 times, but led to heartbreak for the Raiders. Jacobs takes on a difficult Patriots defense this week, but he's such a focal point of the offense he's hard to push outside the top 15.

UPDATE: Jacobs is active as expected.

Davante Adams (WR, LV)

Adams was embarrassing Jaylen Ramsey, catching contested passes in shadow coverage with ease. Unfortunately, he finished with only three receptions, all of which came in the first half. You wouldn't expect Las Vegas to make that mistake again, so even in a poor matchup, he's locked into your lineup.

UPDATE: Darren Waller and Hunter Renfrow have been activated and are eligible to play on Sunday.

Patriots Passing Attack

The matchup is literally the best in the league by DVOA, meaning there's a strong chance someone has a good game. If Jakobi Meyers can suit up he would be the one to rely on, otherwise, it's hard to trust any of the other receivers because Mac Jones is so bad, they want to run the ball, and they frequently target their running backs or tight ends. Speaking of tight ends, Hunter Henry came through against the Cardinals last week with three receptions for 70 yards, so he's in play again as a streamer.

UPDATE: DeVante Parker has been ruled out as expected while Meyers will play.

Patriots RB

Rhamondre Stevenson exited their game Monday in the first quarter with an ankle injury and has yet to practice this week. Meanwhile, Damien Harris was inactive last week but has practiced on back-to-back days, indicating he might suit up. He would be the starter and handle the majority of the carries if he plays, while Pierre Strong Jr. would be the receiving back. Kevin Harris took over the ground role on Monday after Stevenson got hurt, so he would share duties with Strong Jr. if Harris cannot go. Harris would be a top-36 back if active, with Strong as a flex play. Harris (Kevin) would also be a flex option if Harris misses.

UPDATE: Harris (Damien) has been ruled while Stevenson is active, he has top-15 upside.

Injuries:

Darren Waller (hamstring)

Hunter Renfrow (oblique)

Jakobi Meyers (concussion)

DeVante Parker (concussion)

Rhamondre Stevenson (ankle)

 

Tennessee Titans at Los Angeles Chargers

Spread: Chargers -3.0
Implied Total: Titans (22.25) vs. Chargers (25.25)
Pace: Titans (32nd) vs. Chargers (2nd)
Titans Off. DVOA: 10.9% Pass (15th), -6.6% Rush (20th)
Chargers Off. DVOA: 2.7% Pass (22nd), -19.4% Rush (29th)
Titans Def. DVOA:
15.5% Pass (28th), -27.0% Rush (1st)
Chargers Def. DVOA: 2.1% Pass (13th), 2.4% Rush (25th)

Matchups We Love:

Derrick Henry (RB, TEN)

Henry was on his way to one of his legendary performances and another 200-yard game against the Jaguars until the team fell apart and he committed two fumbles. He still totaled 155 scrimmage yards, including 34 on three receptions. He's quietly put together a nice season as a pass-catcher with a 10% target share. Dontrell Hilliard will be out for at least this game, meaning Henry should continue to see volume in the passing game. He's a must-start taking on the Chargers.

Justin Herbert (QB, LAC)

Herbert and his weapons are finally healthy, enabling him to showcase the talent and ability he possesses. The offensive line is still a problem, but he's finding ways to overcome that issue and succeed. The Titans will shut down your running game, allowing you to throw the ball more easily, which plays right into the strength of this offense. Herbert is a top-10 quarterback.

Chargers WRs

Keenan Allen and Mike Williams play very different but equally important roles for this offense. Allen is the short pass, possession receiver, who receives a large target share while Williams is the deep ball contest catch wideout who racks up higher yard totals. Both are fantastic and worthy of starting as top-15 receivers this week. Joshua Palmer remains the odd one out, but he still offers upside as a flex option.

Gerald Everett (TE, LAC)

Everett saw eight targets, cementing his role as an integral part of the offense. He's a top-12 tight end because of the volume and role he has.

Austin Ekeler (RB, LAC)

Typically, the running back facing Tennessee finds themselves in one of the other two sections, but Ekeler is as much of a pass-catcher as anyone else on the roster, keeping him locked in here. When everyone else is thriving and he still delivers eight catches for 59 yards, the matchup has minimal impact.

Matchups We Hate:

None

Other Matchups:

Chigoziem Okonkwo (TE, TEN)

Okonkwo made managers everywhere happy when he found pay dirt, plus he scored on a two-point conversion. It's important to note that his success was predicated on Treylon Burks being out, so his status is key this week. The matchup was also very good, although it's still okay this week. He's an upside streamer once again, especially if Burks misses.

UPDATE: Burks has been ruled out as expected, locking Okonkwo in as a streamer.

Injuries:

Treylon Burks (concussion)

 

Cincinnati Bengals at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Spread: Bengals -3.5
Implied Total: Bengals (23.75) vs. Buccaneers (20.25)
Pace: Bengals (25th) vs. Buccaneers (1st)
Bengals Off. DVOA: 26.1% Pass (7th), 8.8% Rush (3rd)
Buccaneers Off. DVOA: 17.2% Pass (13th), -20.7% Rush (30th)
Bengals Def. DVOA:
-1.3% Pass (9th), -9.2% Rush (13th)
Buccaneers Def. DVOA: -0.5% Pass (11th), -9.8% Rush (12th)

Matchups We Love:

Joe Burrow (QB, CIN)

Burrow was en route to another great performance before losing both Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd. He was able to rely on Ja'Marr Chase and to a lesser extent Trenton Irwin, but missing those two receivers definitely hurt his final numbers, especially because Hayden Hurst was inactive. Tampa Bay just got torched by the 49ers and Brock Purdy, meaning there is no reason Burrow can't come through, even if he's missing one of his weapons. He's a top-12 quarterback no matter what, but the top-five upside won't be there if both Higgins and Boyd are out.

Ja'Marr Chase (WR, CIN)

As mentioned, Chase was left to carry the baton, and he did so with ease, accounting for 56% of Burrow's completions and a 45% target share. He's locked in as a top-10 receiver that could finish as the WR1 if he's a solo act again. Higgins destroyed fantasy managers with a throwback to earlier in the year when he was declared active and never played, making him extremely risky if he suits up. Boyd on the other hand would slot in as a top-30 receiver if he's out there, although he also has risk given the injury is to his hand. Irwin would be an upside flex play if both miss.

UPDATE: Hayden Hurst has been ruled out while Higgins and Boyd are active. They each carry additional risk because of their injury but have a lot of upside.

Matchups We Hate:

Tom Brady (QB, TB)

From one tough matchup to another, things are not going to be easy for Brady to will his team to a division crown. There's always a chance his late-game heroics produce another top-12 finish, but he's more likely to wind up outside the top 15 like last week.

Other Matchups:

Joe Mixon (RB, CIN)

In his first game back, Mixon played 39 offensive snaps compared to 29 for Samaje Perine and ran three fewer routes with 16. That said, he still out-carried him 14-to-four and caught one more pass. The Buccaneers have a stout defense but gave up 209 yards on the ground to the 49ers last week. Mixon could see his snap count and routes increase as he re-establishes his workhorse role, making him a top-24 back despite the matchup. Perine is also a flex option, particularly because of his receiving ability and the injuries to their receiving corps.

Rachaad White (RB, TB)

White totaled 76 yards on 18 touches, which is quite impressive considering how tough the 49ers are to run against. Leonard Fournette only had 10 touches, potentiality signaling a changing of the guard. The team is currently in a position to win the division, so they will be deploying these two in whatever way gives them the best shot to win, which I suspect is keeping White as the lead back. The Bengals are not a plus matchup, but they're still easier than San Francisco, making White a top-30 back because of his receiving upside and perceived role, while Fournette remains a flex option.

Chris Godwin (WR, TB)

Godwin did his best to contribute as part of a forgettable day for the entire offense. Brady threw the ball 55 times, generating only 253 yards and one touchdown, which was actually in the hands of Godwin before he juggled it and Russell Gage hauled it in. That one play would have been enough to turn the tide for Godwin. Nonetheless, he remains a top-15 receiver because of his target share and opportunities near the end zone. Mike Evans had a beautiful long touchdown catch called back because of a penalty, which is of little comfort to his fantasy managers but does offer a glimmer of hope. He's a top-36 receiver that needs to score.

Injuries:

Tee Higgins (hamstring)

Tyler Boyd (fingers)

Hayden Hurst (calf)

Julio Jones (knee)

 

Matchups Analysis - Sunday Night Football

New York Giants at Washington Commanders

Spread: Commanders -4.5
Implied Total: Giants (18) vs. Commanders (22.5)
Pace: Giants (16th) vs. Commanders (23rd)
Giants Off. DVOA: 21.2% Pass (10th), -2.1% Rush (14th)
Commanders Off. DVOA: -7.6% Pass (29th), -12.4% Rush (25th)
Giants Def. DVOA:
12.4% Pass (26th), 10.7% Rush (31st)
Commanders Def. DVOA: 3.4% Pass (14th), -19.2% Rush (4th)

Matchups We Love:

Brian Robinson (RB, WAS)

In a rematch of the NFC East division clash that took place two weeks ago, Washington is in a great spot to enforce its will and take down the Giants. That all starts with their rushing attack, led by Robinson, who totaled over 100 scrimmage yards in the last meeting and has a shot to do so again. Antonio Gibson is dealing with a foot injury, plus he's been playing second fiddle to Robinson over the past two games. Robinson will be a top-24 back in a plus matchup, with Gibson a flex option.

Terry McLaurin (WR, WAS)

McLaurin will also be geared up for the rematch, after roasting the New York defense for over 100 yards and a score last time. He's an upside top-24 receiver, who should produce another great game. Curtis Samuel is the No. 2 receiver, but he's been very unreliable over the past four weeks, relegating him to the bench. However, Jahan Dotson is now healthy, and despite being third in the pecking order, he's by far the more talented player. He also has a nose for the end zone with five touchdowns on only 19 receptions. Furthermore, he actually caught five passes on nine targets in their last outing, making him a top-30 receiver.

Matchups We Hate:

Saquon Barkley (RB, NYG)

Barkley entered the matchup with a neck injury that nearly caused him to miss the game. While he was able to play, he was quickly left on the sideline because they were down 21-0 midway through the second quarter. He only played 31% of the offensive snaps. He's off the injury report, which is a great sign for his ability to produce in this one. However, the matchup is brutal, and the offense is hard to trust. He's too good to bench unless you have another great option, but he's outside the top 15 this week.

Other Matchups:

Daniel Jones (QB, NYG)

The game marks their fourth consecutive week playing against a tough defense in a divisional matchup. So far Jones has averaged 199 passing yards and one passing touchdown in those contests.  Fortunately, he's added on average about 34 rushing yards, finding the end zone on the ground last week. That offers him a baseline of about 19 fantasy points, which keeps him in play but doesn't make him particularly intriguing because his upside is capped.

Darius Slayton (WR, NYG)

One of the issues has been a lack of weapons, leaving Slayton as one of the few remaining options. Richie James has also emerged, scoring in three of the past four weeks, but he's currently in the league's concussion protocol. With James trending toward missing, Slayton would be the one to take a shot on as a flex option.

UPDATE: James sis off the injury report, indicating he'll play while tight end Daniel Bellinger are listed as questionable for Monday's game. James and Slayton are now both flex options.

Injuries:

Antonio Gibson (foot)

Brian Robinson (quad)

Richie James (concussion)

 

Matchups Analysis - Monday Night Football

Los Angeles Rams at Green Bay Packers

Spread: Packers -7.0
Implied Total: Rams (16.25) vs. Packers (23.25)
Pace: Rams (24th) vs. Packers (31st)
Rams Off. DVOA: -3.8% Pass (26th), -13.2% Rush (26th)
Packers Off. DVOA: 11.4% Pass (14th), 7.6% Rush (7th)
Rams Def. DVOA:
11.0% Pass (23rd), -17.5% Rush (5th)
Packers Def. DVOA: -2.0% Pass (8th), 12.0% Rush (32nd)

Matchups We Love:

Christian Watson (WR, GB)

The touchdown streak survived by default last week because the Packers were on a bye, but we'll find out just how much longer Watson can keep this up. Taking on a broken and battered Los Angeles secondary, the odds are in his favor. Jaylen Ramsey may choose to shadow him, but he won't be able to match his speed. Watson remains a top-24 receiver with a top-12 ceiling. Allen Lazard will contend with Randall Cobb and possibly Romeo Doubs, who is trying to suit up, for the remaining targets. Lazard is still the preferred player of those three, making him a flex option.

Matchups We Hate:

Rams Passing Attack 

Baker Mayfield deserves all the credit in the world for his amazing Hollywood-esque comeback. However, for fantasy purposes, he wasn't great and shouldn't be expected to be against the Packers. The same goes for the receiving options, any of whom could emerge but none of whom you really want to trust this week.

Other Matchups:

Packers RBs

The Rams are still pretty stout as a defensive line, but they give up enough production overall to enable their opponent's backfield to succeed. In this case, that refers primarily to Aaron Jones, who is one of the more talented tailbacks, evidenced by the seventh-highest elusive rating, fifth-most missed tackles forced, and 11th-most yards after contact. He's a top-12 back. AJ Dillon put together back-to-back productive outings before their bye week, although one of those was because Jones was injured. He's a flex option with more upside than some of the other players in that range.

Aaron Rodgers (QB, GB)

Rodgers was dealing with multiple injuries after their victory over Chicago but is expected to remain the starter on Monday. He was on a run of two or more touchdowns in three straight games before their last contest, and his health should be improved, so he's a potential streamer.

Cam Akers (RB, LAR)

Green Bay is a great matchup for running backs, which makes Akers an intriguing player this week. He found the end zone again on Thursday but shared the workload with Kyren Williams and Malcolm Brown. He's not really involved as a receiver, making him a touchdown-dependent flex option.

Injuries:

Romeo Doubs (ankle)

 



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Dallas Cowboys 2024 Fantasy Football Team Preview - QB, RB, WR, TE Outlooks

Welcome to my 2024 fantasy football preview for the Dallas Cowboys as part of my team-by-team fantasy football outlooks series. This new 32-part series will dissect each NFL team through a fantasy football lens. We'll look at each of the four primary positions‚ÄĒquarterback, running back, wide receiver, and tight end‚ÄĒand identify each player's value at... Read More


Jaleel McLaughlin - Fantasy Football Rankings, DFS and Betting Picks, NFL Injury News

Fantasy Football Best Ball Sleepers: Who To Target After Round 10

The 2024 NFL regular season is still a few months away. While redraft leagues won’t start drafting until mid-August, July is the perfect time for a best ball draft. There are a few differences between a redraft league and a best ball draft. Unlike redraft leagues, fantasy players don’t set their lineup or make weekly... Read More


Kyler Murray - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, NFL Injury News

Five Quarterbacks Set To Outperform Their ADP In 2024 Fantasy Football Leagues

Quarterback is arguably the most important position in all of professional sports. If a team can find a stud quarterback, it makes their life much easier. This applies to fantasy football managers and their teams as well. While paying up for quarterback is a necessity in the NFL, it’s not always the most prudent approach... Read More


Tee Higgins - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, Waiver Wire Pickups

Fantasy Football Bounce-Back Candidates To Target In FFPC Best Ball Drafts

Disappointment is unfortunately a large part of fantasy football. Despite the best research and intentions, we are all wrong on many players after the draft season is over and the cleats are laced up for real games. Consider Austin Ekeler in 2023. He was drafted fifth overall in most formats, but finished the year as... Read More


MIles Garrett - Fantasy Football Defense Rankings, D/ST Streamers, Waiver Wire, IDP Pickups

Fantasy Football Defense Rankings (D/ST)

    Fantasy Football Rankings by NFL¬†Position ALL¬†-¬†QB¬†- RB¬†-¬†WR¬†-¬†TE¬†- DEF   Defense (D/ST) Rankings Articles On this page you will find all of RotoBaller's¬†fantasy football¬†rankings¬†for team defenses (D/ST) and the NFL¬†season. All of RotoBaller's fantasy football¬†rankings analysis, advice and articles related to the defense¬†position appear here. Our fantasy football¬†rankings articles include analysis on numerous league... Read More


Sam LaPorta - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, NFL Injury News

Fantasy Football Tight End Rankings (TE)

    Fantasy Football Rankings by NFL¬†Position ALL¬†-¬†QB¬†- RB¬†-¬†WR¬†-¬†TE¬†- DEF   Tight End (TE) Rankings Articles On this page you will find all of RotoBaller's¬†fantasy football¬†rankings¬†for tight ends (TE) and the NFL¬†season. All of RotoBaller's fantasy football¬†rankings analysis, advice and articles related to the tight end¬†position appear here. Our fantasy football¬†rankings articles include analysis on... Read More


Jared Goff - Fantasy Football Rankings, NFL Injury News, DFS Lineup Picks

Fantasy Football Players To Target And Avoid ‚Äď NFC North

The 2024 NFL regular season is still a few months away. However, the Scott Fish Bowl is underway, meaning it’s officially redraft fantasy football season. While most redraft leagues won’t kick off until mid-August, it’s never too early to prepare. Fantasy players can build a winning roster in multiple ways. Your draft strategy could change... Read More


Will Levis - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, Waiver Wire Pickups

2024 Fantasy Football Draft Sleepers List by Nick Mariano

This premium article is part of our 2024 Fantasy Football Draft Kit and a free sample of the expert analysis loaded up in RotoBaller's Draft Kit. Enjoy this premium article for free for a limited time. All other Premium Tools can be accessed on the premium dashboard. Sleeper remains a mythical word that can mean... Read More


Sam LaPorta - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, NFL Injury News

Fantasy Football Early-Round Overvalued Draft Picks for QB, RB, WR, TE (Premium Content)

This premium article is part of our 2024 Fantasy Football Draft Kit and a free sample of the expert analysis loaded up in RotoBaller's Draft Kit. Enjoy this premium article for free for a limited time. All other Premium Tools can be accessed on the premium dashboard. While writing about sleepers and positive outcomes is... Read More