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Fantasy Football Start Em, Sit Em - Week 5 Matchups Analysis

Jalen Hurts - Fantasy Football Rankings, NFL Injury News, Draft Sleepers

Welcome back RotoBallers to our Week 5 matchups analysis and Start Em, Sit Em column for fantasy football. Week 4 was much better for overall fantasy scoring, featuring an NFL matchup with 93 points scored. Many of the big names came through along with some of the backups or fill-ins we picked up.

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. Be sure to check back regularly for any updates on player injuries or other pertinent information.

I will be covering 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 some players in that wild matchup and found your way to another win, which is what we'll set you up for this week. 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 - 9:30am ET Game (London)

New York Giants at Green Bay Packers

Spread: Packers -8.0
Implied Total: Giants (16.5) vs. Packers (24.5)
Pace: Giants (14th) vs. Packers (32nd)
Giants Off. DVOA: 3.0% Pass (19th), 6.6% Rush (7th)
Packers Off. DVOA: 17.4% Pass (14th), 11.0% Rush (5th)
Giants Def. DVOA:
16.4% Pass (23rd), -2.4% Rush (21st)
Packers Def. DVOA: -5.5% Pass (9th), 12.0% Rush (28th)

Matchups We Love:

Saquon Barkley (RB, NYG)

Barkley rushed the ball 31 times while the team only threw the ball 16 times, and the result was a win. He's pushing to be viewed as the No. 1 overall back with and remains a must-start weekly option because of his involvement in all facets of the game, especially given the matchup against the Packers.

Packers RBs

Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon came through again as the focal point of the offense. The game was also surprisingly close, reducing the amount of late-game carries expected for Dillon. The Giants are next up and with both their quarterbacks banged up, this will be another opportunity for these two to attack the defense and close out the game.

Matchups We Hate:

Giants WRs

On top of the plethora of injuries to the wide receivers, they are now dealing with quarterback concerns. The success of Barkley and injuries to their passing personnel limit the attempts for the offense, plus there isn't a lead receiver. The Packers are a tough matchup, making them all players to avoid.

Other Matchups:

Packers WRs

Romeo Doubs and Allen Lazard played on 96% of offensive snaps, followed by Randall Cobb at 34%. Lazard is 24th among receivers in yards per route run with 1.83 and Doubs isn't far behind at 1.72. They're both talented receivers that Aaron Rodgers trusts, making them top-36 options with top-24 upside.

Aaron Rodgers (QB, GB)

Rodgers continues to be steady for fantasy, posting another day of about 250 passing yards and two touchdowns, which actually should have been a lot less had they not needed to come back and win in overtime. That is about what you can expect this week against New York, keeping him around that QB12 range.

Robert Tonyan (TE, GB)

Tonyan did what tight ends outside the top 10 are played to do, he caught a touchdown. He only had two targets but he is right there with Lazard as the team's best red zone threat, making him a streaming candidate again in this matchup.

Injuries:

Wan'Dale Robinson (knee)

Kenny Golladay (knee)

Kadarius Toney (hamstring)

Sammy Watkins (hamstring)

Daniel Jones (ankle)

UPDATE: Daniel Jones will be active Sunday but is not in play for fantasy.

 

Matchups Analysis - 1:00 ET Games

Pittsburgh Steelers at Buffalo Bills

Spread: Bills -14.0
Implied Total: Steelers (16) vs. Bills (30)
Pace: Steelers (5th) vs. Bills (7th)
Steelers Off. DVOA: -6.9% Pass (26th), -6.9% Rush (18th)
Bills Off. DVOA: 36.4% Pass (5th), -29.5% Rush (31st)
Steelers Def. DVOA:
2.3% Pass (12th), 10.2% Rush (15th)
Bills Def. DVOA: -38.0% Pass (1st), -16.5% Rush (9th)

Matchups We Love:

Josh Allen (QB, BUF)

Allen is the only quarterback to finish inside the top 12 all four weeks this year, finishing as the QB7 or better, highlighting both the consistency and upside he simultaneously provides. The Steelers have an above-average defense but Allen's dual-threat ability combined with the Bills' pass rate over expectation lock him in as a top-five quarterback.

Bills WRs

The information above also translates to the wide receivers. With Stefon Diggs leading the charge, the only unknown is who else should be started. Gabe Davis seems to be struggling to get healthy, which has impacted his production dramatically, Jamison Crowder broke his ankle, and Isaiah McKenzie is dealing with a concussion. Davis practiced in full on Wednesday, indicating he will be good to go, while McKenzie had a limited practice on Thursday so we'll need to see what the weekend brings. Davis will be a top-30 receiver while McKenzie will be a flex play if he's active.

Matchups We Hate:

Steelers Passing Attack

Buffalo is a nightmare matchup for any quarterback, let alone a rookie making his first NFL start. Kenny Pickett may be great one day but this will not be the day. The coaching staff chose to limit his passing attempts, which is likely to be part of their game plan against the Bills. This also reduces the fantasy output for all the receiving options, including Diontae Johnson, George Pickens, and Pat Freiermuth. Additionally, it's unclear who the No. 1 option is with Pickett at the helm making each of them a risky play this week.

Najee Harris (RB, PIT)

Harris watched as Pickett scored two rushing touchdowns from the one and two-yard line. Furthermore, Pickett elected to throw down the field on his 13 attempts, leaving Harris without a target for the first time all season. If he has to share goal-line work and loses receiving work, he will quickly lose most of his value. It was only a half-game sample size so it's not time to panic just yet but he's a player to avoid in this matchup against a stout Buffalo front.

Other Matchups:

Dawson Knox (TE, BUF)

With several of the receivers banged up, Knox received six targets, the most of any game this season. He's yet to catch a touchdown this year, which is a bit concerning after producing nine in 2021. With the receiver injuries and tight end landscape, he's a streaming candidate that could see more volume this week.

Devin Singletary (RB, BUF)

Singletary has been the biggest beneficiary of the team lacking a No. 2 receiver, totaling five targets last week and 11 the week prior. The Bills still refuse to rush the ball aside from Allen scrambling and getting his carries, but if Singletary can maintain this level of passing work, he moves back into the top 24. Pittsburgh is a more difficult matchup, making him a top-30 option with upside.

Injuries:

Diontae Johnson (hip)

Isaiah McKenzie (concussion)

Dawson Knox (foot/hamstring)

UPDATE: Dawson Knox and Isaiah McKenzie are both out. This offers a boost for Davis and Khalil Shakir.

UPDATE: Diontae Johnson is active but best left on your bench if at all possible.

 

Los Angeles Chargers at Cleveland Browns

Spread: Chargers -2.5
Implied Total: Chargers (24.75) vs. Browns (22.25)
Pace: Chargers (8th) vs. Browns (27th)
Chargers Off. DVOA: 35.7% Pass (6th), -29.4% Rush (30th)
Browns Off. DVOA: 24.6% Pass (11th), 15.7% Rush (3rd)
Chargers Def. DVOA:
1.3% Pass (11th), -6.1% Rush (18th)
Browns Def. DVOA: 9.8% Pass (18th), 13.4% Rush (30th)

Matchups We Love:

Justin Herbert (QB, LAC)

Herbert has the 10th-highest PFF grade, fifth-most passing touchdowns, and most passing yards among quarterbacks. He's one of only a few players that does need to run the ball to finish inside the top five at the position. The Browns are a middle-of-the-pack matchup, locking him into your lineup.

Austin Ekeler (RB, LAC)

It's wise not to overreact to the blowup performance Ekeler had last week, but his 13 carries were more than double the next-highest back, seemingly returning him to a three-down role. He also had two rushing touchdowns, although they were both 10-plus yard runs, leaving some concern for the goal-line role. Cleveland is a favorable matchup, returning him to the top 12.

Browns RBs

Nick Chubb now has over 100 rushing yards in three of four games with five total touchdowns. He remains mostly uninvolved as a pass-catcher but he's the overall RB1 right now so he's locked in every week. Kareem Hunt has 10-plus carries in all four games and two or more receptions, unfortunately, he only has two touchdowns, both of which came in Week 1. The matchup suggests the Browns will need to throw the ball, which could lend to a bigger day for Hunt, making him a top-24 back.

Gerald Everett (TE, LAC)

Everett received six targets again with Keenan Allen out, now commanding a 16.5% target share. He remains a top-10 play until Allen is back.

Chargers WRs

Mike Williams bounced back from a down performance in Week 3. He has 10-plus targets and over 100 receiving yards in two of the three games Allen has missed, making him a top-15 receiver if Allen is out again in this matchup. Joshua Palmer only had one reception last week but the opportunity without Allen keeps him in play as a flex option.

Matchups We Hate:

None

Other Matchups:

Amari Cooper (WR, CLE)

Cooper was out-targeted by both David Njoku and Donovan Peoples-Jones, which is a bit concerning. He now has two games with three or fewer receptions and two games with seven or more receptions and 100-plus yards. The matchup is difficult so it's best to err on the side of caution in this one, pushing him outside the top 30.

David Njoku (TE, CLE)

Another week of heavy involvement for Njoku should mean his role is here to stay. He had the fifth-most receiving yards last week and has the seventh-most yards per route run at the position. As referenced above, the matchup is less than ideal but at the tight end position, his volume makes him a top-10 option.

Injuries:

Keenan Allen (hamstring)

Joshua Palmer (ankle)

UPDATE: Joshua Palmer is active and will play, he's a strong flex option with Allen out again.

 

Houston Texans at Jacksonville Jaguars

Spread: Jaguars -7.0
Implied Total: Texans (18.25) vs. Jaguars (25.25)
Pace: Texans (16th) vs. Jaguars (23rd)
Texans Off. DVOA: -14.8% Pass (29th), -15.4% Rush (23rd)
Jaguars Off. DVOA: 31.9% Pass (8th), -17.8% Rush (25th)
Texans Def. DVOA:
8.5% Pass (16th), 12.7% Rush (29th)
Jaguars Def. DVOA: -14.6% Pass (7th), -13.8% Rush (12th)

Matchups We Love:

James Robinson (RB, JAX)

The Jaguars as a whole had their worst game of the year. Robinson was directly impacted because they fell behind and committed five turnovers. He had six carries entering halftime and only received two more after that. As huge favorites in this matchup, against a soft rush defense, Robinson jumps back into the top 15.

Christian Kirk (WR, JAX)

Kirk also had his worst game of the year with only two receptions but had nine targets. Trevor Lawrence only completed 11 passes and attempted 23 passes so he was still the focal point of the passing attack. Kirk has the 11th-highest yards per route run with 2.42 and a 27.9% target share, ranking 13th among receivers. Kirk will be inside the top 15 despite the Texans having an above-average pass defense.

Matchups We Hate:

Davis Mills (QB, HOU)

Mills goes from a difficult matchup against the Chargers last week to another tough one this week in Jacksonville. He's best left out of your lineup.

Other Matchups:

Brandin Cooks (WR, HOU)

Cooks caught all seven of his targets for 57 yards and a score, producing a nice game against Los Angeles. He has a 25.9% target share as the clear-cut alpha in the offense. As mentioned, the Jaguars are a tough defense to pass against but his volume keeps him inside the top 30 with top-24 upside.

Dameon Pierce (RB, HOU)

Pierce had a huge game last week, although the 75-yard touchdown run he had accounted for all but 56 of his rushing yards. That said, he received six targets, which increases his reliability knowing he will not be removed from a matchup when the team is losing and passing often. The matchup is difficult but his volume and role keep him inside the top 30 with touchdown upside.

Trevor Lawrence (QB, JAX)

Lawrence lost four fumbles and threw one interception. It's impossible to be successful in the NFL or fantasy when that happens, but you can expect a better game this week. The matchup isn't as easy as we thought entering the year so he's more of a streaming candidate this week.

Injuries:

Brevin Jordan (ankle)

Zay Jones (ankle)

UPDATE: Zay Jones is active, making him a possible flex option.

 

Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings

Spread: Vikings -7.5
Implied Total: Bears (18.75) vs. Vikings (25.25)
Pace: Bears (22nd) vs. Vikings (3rd)
Bears Off. DVOA: -33.9% Pass (32nd), 1.2% Rush (11th)
Vikings Off. DVOA: 14.5% Pass (15th), 2.0% Rush (10th)
Bears Def. DVOA:
6.0% Pass (15th), -0.2% Rush (24th)
Vikings Def. DVOA: 11.6% Pass (20th), 8.5% Rush (27th)

Matchups We Love:

Khalil Herbert (RB, CHI)

Herbert handled 19 carries for 77 yards, adding one catch for 24 yards. His 100-plus scrimmage yards were nice to see. He might be in line for another start with David Montgomery missing practice Wednesday and limited on Thursday. Minnesota is very susceptible on the ground, giving up the sixth-most fantasy points to running backs, so he's a top-24 back if Montgomery misses.

Vikings WRs

Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen both delivered in London against the Saints and now travel back home to host the Bears in a divisional clash they are heavy favorites. Chicago has actually given up the fewest fantasy points to the wide receiver position but that has a lot to do with the personnel they've faced from the Giants, Texans, and Packers receiving corps. This duo is by far the most talented, earning a spot in your lineup for both.

Dalvin Cook (RB, MIN)

Cook was able to suit up despite the shoulder injury and looked good against the New Orleans. Alexander Mattison played on 38% of offensive snaps and happened to catch a short pass for a touchdown early in the game. Having had another week to heal up, Cook will slot back in as a top-10 back against the Bears.

Matchups We Hate:

Bears Passing Attack

Justin Fields passed the ball 22 times, the most this season. Darnell Mooney caught a 56-yard pass that propped up his final line and Cole Kmet managed three targets. All three remain players to bench in this matchup.

Other Matchups:

Kirk Cousins (QB, MIN)

Cousins had a better day for passing yards with 273 yards but only managed one touchdown. He's just inside that top-15 mark with top-12 upside as usual, in an average matchup.

Irv Smith Jr. 

Smith Jr. saw his targets drop this week but still caught three passes for 23 yards. Cousins doesn't tend to throw a lot of touchdowns, and the two receivers dominate such a large target share that the upside for Smith Jr. is capped. He's a touchdown-dependent streaming option.

Injuries:

David Montgomery (knee)

UPDATE: David Montgomery is in, he's a top-36 back while pushing Herbert out of your lineup.

 

Detroit Lions at New England Patriots

Spread: Patriots -3.0
Implied Total: Lions (21.25) vs. Patriots (24.25)
Pace: Lions (2nd) vs. Patriots (29th)
Lions Off. DVOA: 24.0% Pass (12th), 12.5% Rush (4th)
Patriots Off. DVOA: -11.1% Pass (28th), 23.6% Rush (1st)
Lions Def. DVOA:
18.9% Pass (24th), 18.5% Rush (32nd)
Patriots Def. DVOA: -2.7% Pass (10th), 13.5% Rush (31st)

Matchups We Love:

Jamaal Williams (RB, DET)

Williams was everything you could ask for with over 100 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns. The Patriots' defense has mostly underwhelmed this season, especially against the run. Additionally, Detroit has the 10th-most rushing attempts, sixth-most rushing yards, and second-most rushing touchdowns, all without a mobile quarterback, making Williams a top-15 option.

Patriots RBs

The team entered the game without Mac Jones and then lost Brian Hoyer mid-way through, forcing them to turn to rookie Bailey Zappe and lean on their rushing attack. The result was 18 carries for Damien Harris and 14 carries for Rhamondre Stevenson with five targets. The split between these two is getting closer and if the team is going to offer this much volume, both will be great options. The Lions are a fantastic matchup and have produced extremely high-scoring games, making both top-24 backs.

T.J. Hockenson (TE, DET)

Injuries to Amon-Ra St. Brown and D.J. Chark opened the door for Hockenson and he absolutely destroyed the Seattle defense to the tune of eight receptions for 179 yards and two touchdowns. He had more receiving yards than six starting quarterbacks had passing yards. Obviously, this kind of production is unrepeatable from week to week but he has huge potential with all the injuries to the other pass-catchers.

Matchups We Hate:

None

Other Matchups:

Jared Goff (QB, DET)

Goff struggled against Philly and Minnesota while crushing Washington and Seattle. New England has a stronger passing defense but has been a top-10 matchup for fantasy quarterbacks. Having thrown four passing touchdowns in two of four games, Goff remains a streaming option despite facing the Patriots.

Patriots WRs

The matchup itself is very conducive to fantasy points for wide receivers as the Lions are allowing the sixth-most points. The issue is the Patriots receiving corps is hard to trust, especially with the lower volume. Jakobi Meyers is their best receiver but he's still dealing with an injury so even if he suits up, he could be limited in his first game back. It's best to avoid this receiving corps.

Lions WRs

Josh Reynolds was able to take advantage of St. Brown and Chark out, emerging as their top receiver. The Patriots have been tougher on opposing wide receivers but the volume and efficiency of this offense make the No. 1 option intriguing for fantasy. St. Brown and Chark could miss again, which would allow Reynolds the chance to be a flex option.

Injuries:

Jonnu Smith (ankle)

D'Andre Swift (shoulder)

Mac Jones (ankle)

Ty Montgomery (ankle)

Amon-Ra St. Brown (ankle)

D.J. Chark (ankle)

Jakobi Meyers (knee)

UPDATE: Amon-Ra St. Brown and Josh Reynolds will play while D.J. Chark has been ruled out. St. Brown is a top-24 receiver and Reynolds is a risky flex option.

UPDATE: Mac Jones is out but Jakobi Meyers will play Sunday, making him the receiver of choice but still not a strong play given the QB situation.

 

Seattle Seahawks at New Orleans Saints

Spread: Saints -5.5
Implied Total: Seahawks (20.25) vs. Saints (25.75)
Pace: Seahawks (24th) vs. Saints (11th)
Seahawks Off. DVOA: 43.5% Pass (3rd), 2.4% Rush (8th)
Saints Off. DVOA: -2.6% Pass (24th), 2.1% Rush (9th)
Seahawks Def. DVOA:
37.9% Pass (32nd), -4.9% Rush (19th)
Saints Def. DVOA: 3.3% Pass (13th), -13.1% Rush (13th)

Matchups We Love:

Chris Olave (WR, NO)

Even without Jameis Winston throwing him the ball, Olave finished as the WR16 against the Vikings. He has the ninth-most yards per route run with 2.46, the 17th-highest PFF grade, and a 25.9% target share, demonstrating his elite talent. Olave has earned weekly consideration as a top-24 receiver, who is quickly emerging as a future star. Michael Thomas will miss another game, leaving Jarvis Landry as a possible flex play.

Matchups We Hate:

Rashaad Penny (RB, SEA)

Penny saw a similar workload with a slight increase in carries because there were so many offensive plays run by both teams yet he had a massive output, much of which came on his two long touchdown runs of 36 and 41 yards. Outside of those two carries, he rushed the ball 15 times for 74 yards. This is to say, his production was more of an outlier performance against the league's worst defense. He remains a top-36 back with upside but the matchup is much tougher against the Saints.

Other Matchups:

Alvin Kamara (RB, NO)

Kamara is set to return from injury, adding another weapon to the offense. He's yet to make an impact for fantasy in either of the two games he played, so it's difficult to determine the extent of his role with all the new receivers. The matchup is less favorable for running backs but he's a top-24 back with upside.

Seahawks WRs

DK Metcalf scared everyone with his chariot ride to the bathroom but both he and Tyler Lockett cleared 90 receiving yards. Again, it is worth mentioning how perfect the matchup and the insane amount of points scored was, but this duo is proving they can succeed with Geno Smith leading the team. New Orleans has a talented defense featuring Marshon Lattimore as their shutdown corner but they've given up some nice performances to receivers, pushing Metcalf inside the top 24 and Lockett inside the top 30.

Andy Dalton (QB, NO)

The Seattle pass defense can make any passing attack look better, they've also allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks. Dalton warrants consideration as a streamer with Kamara back and the soft matchup.

Injuries:

Jameis Winston (back, ankle)

Michael Thomas (toe)

UPDATE: Jameis Winston and Jarvis Landry have been ruled out. This gives a small boost to Olave but lowers the upside for Dalton. It could also create an opportunity for Marquez Callaway as a flex option.

 

Miami Dolphins at New York Jets

Spread: Dolphins -3.5
Implied Total: Dolphins (24.75) vs. Jets (21.25)
Pace: Dolphins (26th) vs. Jets (1st)
Dolphins Off. DVOA: 51.4% Pass (2nd), -13.1% Rush (20th)
Jets Off. DVOA: -1.8% Pass (23rd), -13.4% Rush (21st)
Dolphins Def. DVOA:
33.6% Pass (31st), -23.4% Rush (4th)
Jets Def. DVOA: 26.4% Pass (29th), -11.3% Rush (14th)

Matchups We Love:

Dolphins WRs

Tyreek Hill proved he can succeed with Teddy Bridgewater in at QB, and Jalen Waddle would have been just fine if not for his lingering injury. Bridgewater is an above-average backup that figures to be capable of distributing the ball to these two excellent playmakers. They've combined for a 56.9% target share, which is part of why they continue to thrive. Hill is an elite must-start option with Jaylen Waddle inside the top 24 when at full health.

Matchups We Hate:

Jets RBs

Breece Hall continues to work towards securing the lead-back role. He played on 66% of offensive snaps, carried the ball 17 times, received six targets, and has a 19.1% target share over the past two weeks. He also has four breakaway runs. Michael Carter is still siphoning away carries and targets but Hall is on his way to taking the job. The Dolphins have a stout run defense, allowing the 8th fewest fantasy points to the position. Hall ranks outside the top 24 this week and Carter is outside the top 30 given the matchup.

Other Matchups:

Dolphins RBs

Raheem Mostert is also earning the nod as the starter for his team, playing on 72% of offensive snaps with 10 more carries than Chase Edmonds and the same amount of targets. The Jets are stronger against the run but as a whole are an easier matchup for the Dolphins to exploit. Mostert slots in as a top-36 back with Edmonds more of a desperation flex play.

Jets WRs

Part of the concern for Garrett Wilson was Zach Wilson taking over as the starter. The snap counts shifted toward Elijah Moore who played on 90% compared to 77% for Wilson and 74% for Corey Davis. The targets were also similar with seven for Davis, six for Wilson, and four for Moore. Wilson is still the most talented of the trio but through one week it looks to be a nearly even split. Attacking Miami through the air is preferable but determining who to trust is a challenge, leaving all three as flex options.

Tyler Conklin (TE, NYJ)

Conklin was alright with Wilson back, receiving five targets that he turned into three catches for 52 yards. The offense is still questionable but he's a streaming candidate again in this matchup.

Teddy Bridgewater (QB, MIA)

Bridgewater threw for 193 yards and a touchdown in limited action against a better Bengals defense, so against New York for four quarters with these weapons he could be a streaming option.

Injuries:

Tua Tagovailoa (concussion)

UPDATE: Jaylen Waddle and Tyreek Hill are both active and in your lineup with a little more risk for Waddle. With these two banged up, Bridgewater is no longer on the radar.

 

Atlanta Falcons at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Spread: Buccaneers -10.0
Implied Total: Falcons (18.25) vs. Buccaneers (28.25)
Pace: Falcons (17th) vs. Buccaneers (4th)
Falcons Off. DVOA: 8.7% Pass (18th), 19.3% Rush (2nd)
Buccaneers Off. DVOA: 25.3% Pass (10th), -26.5% Rush (29th)
Falcons Def. DVOA:
9.7% Pass (17th), 5.8% Rush (26th)
Buccaneers Def. DVOA: -29.2% Pass (3rd), -6.5% Rush (17th)

Matchups We Love:

Buccaneers WRs

Mike Evans had his biggest game of the year with Chris Godwin back healthy, largely because the offense looked competent, bordering on dangerous again. There is a long history of both co-existing and succeeding in fantasy. Add in a decent matchup against the Falcons and these two are both inside the top 20.

Leonard Fournette (RB, TB)

Kansas City made a concerted effort to take away the ground game and force the Buccaneers to air it out. This resulted in six total carries compared to 52 pass attempts. What's great about Fournette's value is he caught seven passes for 57 yards and a touchdown. This was the role he had last year, which means he's right back into the top 15 with top-10 upside.

Matchups We Hate:

Falcons RBs

The injury to Cordarrelle Patterson opened the door for Tyler Allgeier and Caleb Huntley to step up. Both had 10 carries, although Allgeier was more explosive with those carries and added a reception for 20 yards. The matchup is more difficult than the DVOA depicts, the Buccaneers have given up the third-fewest points to running backs despite Clyde Edwards-Helaire scoring 21.9 FP last week. Allgeier would be the preferred option but really the best choice is neither if you can avoid it.

Drake London (WR, ATL) & Kyle Pitts (TE, ATL)

These two are lumped together because they have a Marcus Mariota problem. Arthur Smith appeared frustrated with his quarterback, proceeding to call 14 straight run plays before finally calling a pass play. Furthermore, these two drives resulted in a touchdown and a field goal, meaning it was a successful strategy. It's impossible to sustain this over the course of a game, especially facing Tampa Bay but it makes both Pitts and London players to fade. Pitts is still playable because of his upside but he's headed toward being a streamer.

Other Matchups:

Tom Brady (QB, TB)

Brady finally looked comfortable with a full complement of weapons at his disposal. This offense showed what it's capable of, which places Brady back in contention as a top-12 quarterback with additional upside given the matchup.

Injuries:

Cordarrelle Patterson (knee)

Damien Williams (ribs)

Russell Gage (hamstring)

UPDATE: Kyle Pitts has been ruled out for Sunday's game, further reducing the excitement for London or Allgeier.

UPDATE: Julio Jones has been ruled out while Russell Gage will play. He's behind Evans and Godwin but has some low-end flex value.

 

Tennessee Titans at Washington Commanders

Spread: Titans -2.5
Implied Total: Titans (22.75) vs. Commanders (20.25)
Pace: Titan (30th) vs. Commanders (12th)
Titans Off. DVOA: 29.0% Pass (9th), -14.6% Rush (22nd)
Commanders Off. DVOA: -9.2% Pass (27th), -23.2% Rush (27th)
Titans Def. DVOA:
22.4% Pass (26th), -19.1% Rush (8th)
Commanders Def. DVOA: 27.7% Pass (30th), -21.5% Rush (6th)

Matchups We Love:

Carson Wentz (QB, WAS)

As expected, Wentz struggled against the Cowboys just like he did against the Eagles in Week 3. He is in the tier of quarterbacks that can exploit easier matchups but will struggle against the tough ones. Fortunately, next up is Tennessee who has given up the seventh-most fantasy points to the position. Wentz is a strong streamer this week.

Commanders WRs

Just like with quarterbacks, the Titans have given up the fourth-most points to wide receivers. Add in that Jahan Dotson is expected to miss this game with an injury and Terry McLaurin and Curtis Samuel become intriguing top-24 receivers.

Matchups We Hate:

Titans WRs

Unfortunately, Treylon Burks is dealing with turf toe, which is expected to sideline him against the Commanders. He was really the lone bright spot in the offense, outside of Derrick Henry. Robert Woods and Kyle Philips are the top-two options but neither has a ton of appeal despite a favorable matchup. Woods would be the better selection but remains a flex option with a lower ceiling.

Other Matchups:

Derrick Henry (RB, TEN)

Henry has clearly regained his form with back-to-back huge weeks as the RB3 and RB7. The biggest shift has been his role as a pass-catcher, receiving one target through the first two weeks and then 11 over the last two weeks. The matchup is difficult but if he continues to see a target share of this magnitude he'll be a top-five back again.

Antonio Gibson (RB, WAS)

There are a number of concerns for Gibson. First, he only accounted for 50% of the running back carries, losing five to Jonathan Williams and eight to J.D. McKissic. Second, Brian Robinson has returned to practice and appears on track to play in the near future. Third, the matchup favors the passing attack. Gibson is a risky flex option in this matchup while McKissic, because of his receiving volume, is actually the preferred choice.

Logan Thomas (TE, WAS)

Thomas also benefited from the absence of Dotson, however, John Bates received an equal of targets with six, had one less reception, and played on 41% of offensive snaps. Thomas becomes the No. 3 option behind McLaurin and Samuel but his upside is capped if Bates remains this involved. He's another streaming candidate in a plus matchup.

Ryan Tannehill (QB, TEN)

The offense looked a lot better last week but that was in large part because of Henry's success. Tannehill has totaled two touchdowns in three of four games but has also passed for less than 200 yards twice. The matchup is favorable but he's outside the top-15 still.

Injuries:

Treylon Burks (toe)

Jahan Dotson (hamstring)

Curtis Samuel (illness)

UPDATE: Logan Thomas has been ruled out, Bates could be a streaming candidate if you're in real need.

 

Matchups Analysis - 4:00 ET Games

San Francisco 49ers at Carolina Panthers

Spread: 49ers -6.5
Implied Total: 49ers (22.75) vs. Panthers (16.25)
Pace: 49ers (28th) vs. Panthers (6th)
49ers Off. DVOA: 12.0% Pass (16th), -16.6% Rush (24th)
Panthers Off. DVOA: -31.3% Pass (31st), -4.4% Rush (16th)
49ers Def. DVOA:
-26.7% Pass (4th), -33.3% Rush (1st)
Panthers Def. DVOA: 10.0% Pass (19th), -14.1% Rush (10th)

Matchups We Love:

49ers WRs

Deebo Samuel finally produced the blowup game we were waiting for, mostly thanks to an impressive 57-yard touchdown catch and run. What was unusual was he had only two carries but that's still more than most receivers. He has the 17th-highest yards per route run at 2.24, the third-most yards after the catch, and is commanding a 26.9% target share. So long as he's the focal point of the offense, he's a top-15 weekly receiver. Brandin Aiyuk has been left to battle George Kittle and even Jauan Jennings for the leftover targets. Aiyuk continues to be a flex option that lacks volume.

Jeff Wilson Jr. (RB, SF)

The Panthers have an average rush defense but the 49ers are heavily favored, which will create additional opportunities later in the game. Furthermore, Wilson Jr. accounted for 82% of the team's carries, the most this season. If Samuel only sees two or three carries each game, Wilson Jr. will move into the top 20 given his volume and touchdown upside. He's a strong play in this matchup.

Matchups We Hate:

Panthers Passing Attack

San Francisco's defense has been shutting down opposing quarterbacks, giving up the fewest fantasy points, and wide receivers, giving up the sixth-fewest fantasy points. Kupp, Courtland Sutton, and Lockett managed to do alright otherwise, everyone else has struggled. Baker Mayfield is a must-bench and DJ Moore is a player to fade.

Other Matchups:

Christian McCaffrey (RB, CAR)

McCaffrey finally saw the target share we have become accustomed to with nine targets (26.5%) this week. He led the team in receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns. This kind of usage would propel him back into the top three with No. 1 overall potential. It's a nightmare matchup but his skill set makes him matchup-proof.

George Kittle (TE, SF)

After missing the first two weeks, leaving fantasy managers to find other options, he has not helped them since returning. It's hard to assess if he's still returning to form or if his target share will remain this low but he's still inside the top 10 because of his talent and upside.

Injuries:

Elijah Mitchell (knee)

Tyrion Davis-Price (ankle)

 

Philadelphia Eagles at Arizona Cardinals

Spread: Eagles -5.5
Implied Total: Eagles (27.25) vs. Cardinals (21.75)
Pace: Eagles (15th) vs. Cardinals (10th)
Eagles Off. DVOA: 39.9% Pass (4th), 7.3% Rush (6th)
Cardinals Off. DVOA: -6.9% Pass (25th), -1.4% Rush (14th)
Eagles Def. DVOA:
-36.8% Pass (2nd), -1.0% Rush (23rd)
Cardinals Def. DVOA: 24.1% Pass (28th), -13.9% Rush (11th)

Matchups We Love:

Jalen Hurts (QB, PHI)

Hurts finished outside the top 12 for the first time this season against a tough Jaguars defense in a rainy game. The Cardinals are a nice bounce-back spot in a game featuring a high over/under. Hurts slots right back in as a top-five quarterback.

Eagles WRs

As expected the weather hurt DeVonta Smith much more than A.J. Brown because of their depth of target and role. Playing in Arizona this week, the weather will not be a factor, causing both to land inside the top 24.

Dallas Goedert (TE, PHI)

Goedert is currently the only tight end to finish inside the top 12 every week of the season. He's also produced 60 yards or a touchdown each game and has the fifth-most yards per route run at the position with 1.90. He's a must-start in a decent matchup.

Miles Sanders (RB, PHI)

The two players holding Sanders back from scoring touchdowns have been Hurts and Boston Scott. The Eagles did not pass for a touchdown instead rushing in four of them, one of which went to Hurts, another to Kenneth Gainwell, and the other two to Sanders because Scott missed the game to injury. The weather also prompted Philly to rush the ball 49 times compared to just 25 passing attempts, which is likely to correct itself this week. He'll see a dip in production this week but he's a top-24 back with additional upside if Scott is out again.

Matchups We Hate:

Kyler Murray (QB, ARI)

Murray returned to utilizing his dual-threat ability, rushing the ball 12 times for 26 yards and a score. He's in a tough spot against a very strong Eagles pass defense but it's hard to bench him unless you have a really solid second option.

Other Matchups:

Marquise Brown (WR, ARI)

Another week, another 10-plus target outing for Brown. He's now third among receivers in targets with 45, behind only Kupp and Adams. This is exactly what fantasy managers hoped for while DeAndre Hopkins is out. The matchup is not ideal but his volume is so secure that he remains inside the top 24.

Zach Ertz (TE, ARI)

Similar story here for Ertz, who has the fourth-most targets behind only Tyler Higbee, Andrews, and Kelce. He remains inside the top 10 again in a tough matchup.

James Conner (WR, ARI)

Conner was dealing with an injury entering the game and lost work to Murray as described above, along with nine more carries between Eno Benjamin and Darrell Williams. He's received seven carries inside the 10-yard line including five inside the five-yard line so he still has the goal-line role, and is averaging four receptions per game. The Eagles are more vulnerable on the ground, so his role keeps him inside the top 24 in this matchup.

Injuries:

A.J. Green (knee)

Boston Scott (rib)

UPDATE: A.J. Green is active for Sunday's game, however, not a player to start.

UPDATE: Boston Scott is inactive, which creates additonal touchdown upside for Sanders.

 

Dallas Cowboys at Los Angeles Rams

Spread: Rams -5.0
Implied Total: Cowboys (18.75) vs. Rams (23.75)
Pace: Cowboys (9th) vs. Rams (19th)
Cowboys Off. DVOA: 19.2% Pass (13th), 0.0% Rush (12th)
Rams Off. DVOA: -0.9% Pass (22nd), -8.9% Rush (19th)
Cowboys Def. DVOA:
-26.1% Pass (5th), 0.4% Rush (25th)
Rams Def. DVOA: 21.8% Pass (25th), -27.5% Rush (3rd)

Matchups We Love:

Cowboys WRs

CeeDee Lamb has finished as the WR8 in back-to-back weeks, flashing the potential for a breakout year, many touted him to have. He has the 22nd-most yards per route run at 2.09 and a 33.1% target share. Additionally, Michael Gallup's return drew some attention from the defense. Gallup himself was also productive, finding pay dirt on one of his two receptions. Lamb is a top-15 receiver and Gallup is inside the top 30 in a plus matchup.

Matchups We Hate:

Matthew Stafford (QB, LAR)

Stafford has shown us he cannot overcome difficult defenses. Week 1 was the Bills, last week it was the 49ers, and this week he faces the Cowboys. Relying on only two players is not working and while they'll likely spread the ball around more, the matchup pushes him outside of the top 15.

Rams RBs

Just when it seemed like Cam Akers had taken the job, Darrell Henderson played 16 more offensive snaps, received three more targets, and only had one less carry. Part of the issue was that they only ran the ball 18 times because they were trailing most of the game. For at least one week, it was back to a timeshare. The Cowboys are more susceptible on the ground and the Rams are favored to win but both take away from one another leaving them as flex options with upside.

Cowboys RBs

The Cowboys crushed the Commanders, which led to 19 carries for Ezekiel Elliott. Tony Pollard only had eight but neither was efficient or scored. Dallas is the underdog, which should force them to pass more frequently this week, keeping Pollard more involved. The Rams have allowed the fewest points to running backs, so with these two splitting work, it's hard to rank either inside the top 24.

Other Matchups:

Cooper Kupp (WR, LAR)

Just like last week, it's a difficult matchup but it's irrelevant because Kupp is the only show in town aside from Higbee. His connection with Stafford remains elite and he's a must-start receiver once again.

Tyler Higbee (TE, LAR)

As mentioned above, Higbee has emerged as the target king this season with nine or more targets in three of four games. This level of volume is among the best players in the NFL, locking him in as a top-10 tight end.

Dalton Schultz (TE, DAL)

Schultz did not appear fully healthy and had to contend with Gallup back on the field. He should be healthy this week but he's now relegated to at least the third option, perhaps even the fourth behind Noah Brown. He's a streaming candidate who requires a touchdown.

Injuries:

Dak Prescott (thumb)

 

Matchups Analysis - Sunday Night Football

Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens

Spread: Ravens -3.5
Implied Total: Bengals (22.25) vs. Ravens (25.75)
Pace: Bengals (20th) vs. Ravens (31st)
Bengals Off. DVOA: 2.4% Pass (20th), -25.5% Rush (28th)
Ravens Off. DVOA: 53.5% Pass (1st), -2.2% Rush (15th)
Bengals Def. DVOA:
-7.6% Pass (8th), -19.6% Rush (7th)
Ravens Def. DVOA: 4.7% Pass (14th), -1.3% Rush (22nd)

Matchups We Love:

Joe Burrow (QB, CIN)

After an atrocious Week 1 performance, Burrow has begun to figure things out with a QB5 and QB9 finish over the past two weeks. The Ravens are a dream matchup for quarterbacks allowing the third-most points to the position, making him a top-10 play this week.

Bengals WRs

Tee Higgins has vastly outperformed Ja'Marr Chase thus far this season but Chase still has the seventh-most targets among all receivers, it just hasn't worked out yet. Both are must-start options in a great matchup.

Joe Mixon (RB, CIN)

Mixon is a true workhorse back, accounting for all but one running back carry and all four of the running back targets. His efficiency isn't great, averaging 2.5 yards per carry last week and 2.7 on the year but with this much volume, he's a must-play even in a challenging matchup.

Matchups We Hate:

None

Other Matchups:

Lamar Jackson (QB, BAL)

Jackson goes from facing an elite Buffalo defense to another talented unit against the Bengals. He still rushed the ball 11 times for 73 yards, he just couldn't get it going in the passing game. The matchup drops him outside the top five but he's too good to bench.

Mark Andrews (TE, BAL)

Andrews finally had a poor game after leading the position both of the last two weeks. He has the fourth-highest yards per route run at 2.05 at the position and the second-highest PFF grade. He's still matchup-proof and a must-start.

J.K. Dobbins (RB, BAL)

Dobbins led the team in carries with 13, plus he added four receptions for 22 yards and two total touchdowns. Justice Hill still had eight carries and Jackson had 11 so he's not getting massive volume as of yet, but in this offense, with his athleticism and explosiveness, he can produce with fewer touches. He's a top-30 back given the matchup and lower volume, who has a high probability of finding the end zone.

Hayden Hurst (TE, CIN)

Hurst delivered a touchdown against the Dolphins, which is something he always has the potential to do in this offense. His reception and receiving yard totals aren't great but he's a streaming candidate who might score in any week.

Injuries:

Gus Edwards (knee)

Rashod Bateman (foot)

Justice Hill (hamstring)

UPDATE: Justice Hill has been ruled out for Sunday's game, this removes the primary back behind Dobbins, making him a little safer.

UPDATE: Tee Higgins is active, he goes right into your lineup.

 

Matchups Analysis - Monday Night Football

Las Vegas Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs

Spread: Chiefs -7.0
Implied Total: Raiders (22) vs. Chiefs (29)
Pace: Raiders (13th) vs. Chiefs (21st)
Raiders Off. DVOA: 1.0% Pass (21st), -0.8% Rush (13th)
Chiefs Off. DVOA: 35.0% Pass (7th), -6.5% Rush (17th)
Raiders Def. DVOA:
15.0% Pass (22nd), -7.9% Rush (16th)
Chiefs Def. DVOA: 13.5% Pass (21st), -22.8% Rush (5th)

Matchups We Love:

Patrick Mahomes (QB, KC)

Mahomes had no issues against the Buccaneers' defense, torching them for 249 yards and three touchdowns, plus it actually could have been more if not for two rushing touchdowns scored by the offense. He gets an even easier matchup now against the Raiders, vaulting him into the top 10.

Travis Kelce (TE, KC)

Kelce is averaging 8.5 targets per game and has scored in three of four weeks. He's right there with Andrews as the TE1, making him a must-start again in a plus matchup.

Clyde Edwards-Helaire (RB, KC)

Edwards-Helaire just continues to get the job done. This week he did his damage on the ground with 19 carries for 92 yards and a touchdown. Isiah Pacheco had 11 carries of his own but did not take away from Edwards-Helaire. The usage is not elite but the results have been, which is a scary train to ride but a necessary one on an elite offense as the lead back. He's a top-24 play against the Raiders, who have allowed the 10th-most points to running backs.

Davante Adams (WR, LV)

Josh McDaniels realized they needed to make Adams the focal point, resulting in Carr targeting him 13 times, which coincided with their first win of the year. Adams jumps back into the top 12 against the Chiefs. Hunter Renfrow is set to return from his concussion, however, as the third option in the offense, he's more of a flex play with minimal upside given his role.

Josh Jacobs (RB, LV)

Jacobs went full beast mode in this one against a typically stout defense. He had 28 carries for 144 yards and two touchdowns, to go along with five receptions for 31 yards. He has the seventh-highest elusive rating and is making a case to be viewed as a workhorse back with top-12 upside in an above-average offense. The Chiefs have made a concerted effort to force teams to throw against them but are still giving up the fifth-most fantasy points to running backs, making Jacobs a top-24 back.

Darren Waller (TE, LV)

Waller has had five or more targets in every game this season. He finds himself in a plus matchup, with a high over/under, which makes him a top-10 play this week.

Derek Carr (QB, LV)

Carr had thrown for 250-plus yards and two touchdowns in three straight weeks entering the matchup against the Broncos. He played pretty well from an NFL standpoint but the rushing attack dominated in that game. Carr faces an easier defense this week, in a potential shootout, making him a top-15 option.

Matchups We Hate:

None

Other Matchups:

Chiefs WRs

As per usual, Mahomes, Kelce, and Edwards-Helaire carried the offense. JuJu Smith-Schuster led all receivers with eight targets but finished five for 46, Marquez Valdes-Scantling was next up with five targets, finishing three for 63, and Skyy Moore was next with four targets, finishing two for 31. There is no reason to force any Chiefs receiver into your lineup, despite the opportunity they all have.

Injuries:

None



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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