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Fantasy Football Start 'Em, Sit 'Em - Week 6 Matchup Analysis

Stefon Diggs - Fantasy Football Rankings, NFL Injury News, DFS Lineup Picks

Welcome back RotoBallers to our Week 6 matchup analysis and Start Em, Sit Em column for fantasy football. Last week featured two big-name superstars returning, plus a handful of massive performances from players we've been waiting to deliver. The NFL is live in London for the third straight week, so make sure your lineup is ready to go before kickoff on Sunday morning at 9:30 AM EST. The bye weeks continue with the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers, which removes a handful of fantasy-relevant options, causing players you would normally sit to be in your lineup.

For anyone new to the column, each week we'll be analyzing every game from the Sunday slate and the Monday Night Football game, helping you optimize your fantasy lineups and take down your opponent. Check back regularly for any updates on player injuries or other pertinent information. Additionally, you'll notice there are players that are obvious starts included in the "matchups we love" section in the interest of making sure everyone is covered. Furthermore, there will be times when one wide receiver or running back is listed individually but their teammates are included as part of the write-up. I also want to express my gratitude for some of the great resources that help me write this article each week such as RotoBaller's player pages, Pro Football Focus, Rotovitz, FTN Fantasy, Pro Football Reference, NFL Next Gen Stats, DraftKings Sportsbook, and Fantasy Points, along with all of you for reading this article.

There is also a separate article for the Thursday Night Football game each week, so be sure to read that. Hopefully, you stuck with those players if you had them and reaped the benefits. Regardless of how Week 5 unfolded, it's a new week with another shot to get the win. If you have any additional lineup questions, follow me on Twitter/X @JoshCon, and feel free to ask away. Let's dive into the matchups.

Editor's Note: Our incredible team of writers won two writing awards and received 12 award nominations by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. A big congrats to our very own Byron Lindeque (Golf) and Jordan McAbee (NASCAR) for both winning Writer Of The Year awards! Be sure to follow RotoBaller's analysis and advice all year long, and win more. Win More With RotoBaller!

 

Matchups Analysis - 9:30 AM ET London Game

Baltimore Ravens at Tennessee Titans

Spread: Ravens -5.5
Implied Total: Ravens (24) vs. Titans (18.5)
Pace: Ravens (19th) vs. Titans (31st)
Ravens Off. DVOA: 14.
3% Pass (17th), 17.5% Rush (2nd)
Titans Off. DVOA: 2.8% Pass (20th), -9.2% Rush (18th)
Ravens Def. DVOA:
-15.2% Pass (4th), -22.6% Rush (6th)
Titans Def. DVOA: 20.7% Pass (27th), -21.0% Rush (8th)

Matchups We Love:

Lamar Jackson (QB, BAL)

It's fair to wonder about the impact that traveling to London is having on teams. The NFL elected to allow the Jaguars to remain there for a second game, which seemed to provide a significant advantage. In the first game, Atlanta scored just seven points, which is 9.6 fewer than their season average, and last week the Bills scored 20, which is 11.8 points fewer than their season average. This week, it'll be the Ravens and Titans who square off, neither of whom is putting up many points as reflected by the lower over/under. That said, there are still some key starters for fantasy.

It was a disappointing day for Jackson in Week 5, who committed multiple turnovers late in the game that proved costly. However, much of the blame goes to his receiving options, who are now sixth in the NFL in dropped passes. It caused a ripple effect because the mistakes on third down ended drives and cost them the opportunity to score points. Tennessee is a great matchup for the passing attack, so he remains an elite signal-caller despite struggling against the Steelers.

Zay Flowers (WR, BAL)

The offense is becoming increasingly concentrated, which is great news for Flowers. We know Mark Andrews will get his but Flowers is far and away ahead of everyone else in the receiving corps. Additionally, he saw downfield targets in addition to his shorter catches, averaging 14.6 yards per reception. He jumps into the top 24 given the plus-matchup and his stranglehold on the No. 1 wide receiver role.

Mark Andrews (TE, BAL)

Jackson only completed 22 passes, so it's hard for anyone to rack up receptions. Andrews still went six-for-65, which is more than most players will give you at the tight end position.

Matchups We Hate:

Ravens RBs

Aside from Zack Moss breaking the mold against the Titans, it's been a difficult spot for running backs. You'd expect the Ravens to be leading and pounding the rock more because of it, but we thought that last week, too. There was also a shift in the backfield in favor of Justice Hill last week, who played nine more snaps than Gus Edwards. Moreover, he's their clear receiving back, hauling in all four of his targets as the only tailback to be targeted. Not to mention he scored their only touchdown. It's still a timeshare, but Hill now becomes the preferred back as a flex option. We could see the debut of rookie Keaton Mitchell as well, who is listed as questionable.

Other Matchups:

Derrick Henry (RB, TEN)

Tyjae Spears has become a thorn in the side of Henry. He played more snaps and totaled more yards. Neither was overly productive because of the split, but finishing third in targets is a promising sign for the rookie considering they're likely to be airing it out against the Ravens. Henry's still a lock for 15-plus touches, but that number used to be a lot higher, removing some of the guaranteed volume we're accustomed to. Baltimore's run defense is stout, pushing Henry outside the top 12.

DeAndre Hopkins (QR, TEN)

Hopkins spent Weeks 2 through Week 5 dealing with an ankle injury that limited his involvement and production. In Week 1 and Week 5, he earned 10-plus targets with seven or more receptions. He needs that level of work to sustain his production because he's not as explosive as he once was. However, last week he got open down the field and went over 100 receiving yards. He's in a similar spot to Adam Thielen. The leader of a lackluster group on a bad offense that can get you there on volume, especially with Treylon Burks out again. The biggest difference for Hopkins is zero touchdowns this season. It's a tougher matchup, but he's still in the top 36.

Chigoziem Okonkwo (TE, TEN)

With Burks out and no one else to step up behind Hopkins, Okonkwo had nine targets. He caught five passes for 33 yards, but he could be a sneaky streaming option if you're stuck at tight end.

Injuries:

Treylon Burks (knee)

 

Matchups Analysis - 1:00 ET Games

Washington Commanders at Atlanta Falcons

Spread: Falcons -2.0
Implied Total: Commanders (20) vs. Falcons (22)
Pace: Commanders (14th) vs. Falcons (10th)
Commanders Off. DVOA: 20.7% Pass (28th), -10.6% Rush (16th)
Falcons Off. DVOA: 26.8% Pass (29th), -21.7% Rush (7th)
Commanders Def. DVOA:
20.7% Pass (28th), -10.6% Rush (16th)
Falcons Def. DVOA: 26.8% Pass (29th), -21.7% Rush (7th)

Matchups We Love:

Bijan Robinson (RB, ATL)

Robinson's highlight reel catch only adds to the fandom he receives, and rightfully so. Unfortunately, he played a season-low 61% of the snaps, resulting in more carries for Tyler Allgeier (17-14).  He also had just one more target. It seemed like a smash spot against Houston, making his output and usage even more frustrating. The higher pace of play for the Falcons and Texans led to more plays, allowing Atlanta to throw 38 passes along with 36 rushing attempts. That's 10 more plays than their season average, meaning it's unlikely they can throw and run that many times. Against Washington, there should be more success as a whole, including on the ground. Robinson is obviously in your lineup while Allgeier maintains flex value.

Logan Thomas (TE, WAS)

Thomas started the season hot with eight catches for 43 yards in Week 1 and a touchdown in Week 2 before suffering a concussion. He blew up again last week against Chicago, leading the team in every receiving category. He also ranks second on the team in targets and leads the team in receiving touchdowns on the season, despite missing six quarters of action. He's a strong streamer against the Falcons, who've allowed the second-most points to tight ends.

Matchups We Hate:

Sam Howell (QB, WAS)

Washington forgot to show up in the first half, forcing them to throw 51 times. They called a pass play 84% of the time, which is an absurd run-pass ratio. Howell couldn't escape pressure or throw the ball away quickly enough, taking five more sacks. He's talking an average of nearly six sacks per game, which puts him well above the pace of the 76-sack record set in 2002. The Falcons pass defense ranks poorly by DVOA because they've allowed seven passing touchdowns to teams that don't typically score through the air. However, they just held C.J. Stroud to his worst performance of the year, so Howell is a riskier streamer this week.

Other Matchups:

Falcons Passing Attack

After begging Atlanta to throw at a league-average rate for over a year, they were finally backed into a corner because teams no longer respect their passing attack. Houston, whose run defense is bad, committed all their efforts to slowing down Robinson and Allgeier. They faced eight-plus defenders in the box on 42.86% and 47.06% of their carries, respectively, which ranked third and fourth on the week.

The result was the best outing of Desmond Ridder's young career with 37 passing attempts for 329 yards. That kind of production meant great things for the receiving options, including Drake London and Kyle Pitts, who combined for a 54% target share. Pitts still trailed Jonnu Smith in snaps but led the team in every receiving category. It offers a level of hope that didn't previously exist. As an interesting wrinkle, the team acquired wide receiver Van Jefferson from the Rams, who they deemed as disposable with Cooper Kupp back. He's nowhere near as talented as Pitts or London, but adding another body isn't ideal. The matchup is good enough to take a shot on Pitts as a streamer and London as a top-36 receiver.

Commanders WRs

The projection entering 2023 was Terry McLaurin and Jahan Dotson as the top two options with Curtis Samuel sprinkled in. So far, that's not the way it's worked out. They both trailed Samuel in targets, receptions, and yards while combining for fewer receptions and targets than Thomas had alone. Further complicating the situation is the distribution of volume. 11 different players caught a pass on Thursday, which is not dissimilar to the rest of the season. McLaurin leads this group with a mere 17.1% target share. It leaves McLaurin as a fringe top-36 option with Samuel, who has the better matchup, as a flex, and Dotson as a bench.

Brian Robinson Jr. (RB, WAS)

Much like the other Robinson, taking on the Bears propelled Robinson Jr. into the top 15 of most rankings. Sadly, the game script destroyed his opportunity for a heavy workload, leading to only four carries. What was a positive sign though was the four receptions for 33 yards. Antonio Gibson had more targets (six) and receiving yards (64) on 13 more snaps, but at least we can rely on Robinson not to vanish when they're trailing. Atlanta's run defense is solid, and they are likely the better team at this point, pushing Robinson into the top-24 range.

Injuries:

None

 

Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears

Spread: Vikings -3.0
Implied Total: Vikings (23.25) vs. Bears (20.25)
Pace: Vikings (2nd) vs. Bears (17th)
Vikings Off. DVOA: 16.9% Pass (14th), -10.5% Rush (19th)
Bears Off. DVOA: -2.9% Pass (23rd), -0.9% Rush (10th)
Vikings Def. DVOA:
14.5% Pass (21st), -11.4% Rush (14th)
Bears Def. DVOA: 37.6% Pass (31st), -8.8% Rush (20th)

WEATHER: This game is expected to have high winds with gusts that could impact long throws and field goals.

Matchups We Love:

Kirk Cousins (QB, MIN)

Cousins has become the speculation of trade rumors with the team's playoff hopes dwindling and Justin Jefferson going down to injury. The latter of those updates is far more important for fantasy, especially when it comes to Cousins' value. After struggling against Carolina, they had a tough time creating offense against the Chiefs. They totaled just 329 yards and 20 points. Combine those numbers with the loss of Jefferson and there's cause for concern. Fortunately, they'll head to Soldier Field to take on a porous defense. Cousins loses some of his ceiling but remains a top-12 quarterback in this matchup.

Vikings WRs

Talent-wise, there is no next man up for Jefferson. In terms of opportunity though, it'll be Jordan Addison and K.J. Osborn who take over as the primary options. Addison is undoubtedly the better player with a higher yards per route run (1.65 to 0.89) and targets per route run (19% to 13%). He'll be the alpha receiver, thrusting him into the top 24 against Chicago, while Osborn becomes an upside flex option.

T.J. Hockenson (TE, MIN)

Hockenson trails only Travis Kelce in targets per game, so vacating another 10 per game without Jefferson could enable him to challenge Kelce for the TE1 throne. It'll come down to touchdowns, but he's going to be awesome.

Justin Fields (QB, CHI)

Fields has been the QB2 and QB1 in the past two weeks, averaging almost 45 fantasy points per week. He didn't have a great passing day in terms of completion percentage (51.7%), but he totaled over 300 yards with four touchdowns for the second straight game. It's an unsustainable pace, but against the Vikings, he'll get another opportunity to finish in the top 10 with a top-five upside.

DJ Moore (WR, CHI)

After an incredible day with eight receptions for 230 yards and three scores, Moore now sits fifth in receiving yards (531) and tied for first in touchdowns (five). Furthermore, he was one of only three Bears players to catch a pass along with Cole Kmet and Robert Tonyan. There's a massive gap in skill level between him and everyone else in the receiving corps, which the team has now realized and is optimizing. He's a must-start against Minnesota.

Cole Kmet (TE, CHI)

Admittedly, I was late to the party to buy into Kmet this season. I wasn't convinced the offense would make him and Moore the focal point, but that's the way it's trending. He has a 19% target share, leads the team with six red zone targets, and is cemented as the No. 2 option, making him a top-12 tight end.

Matchups We Hate:

None

Other Matchups:

Alexander Mattison (RB, MIN)

Cam Akers has begun to gain ground on Mattison, playing 29% of the snaps against Kansas City. Mattison is still the feature back, especially as a receiver, which is where he's making his mark recently. He hauled in a touchdown through the air this week and dropped another pass that could've gone the distance. The mistakes are costing him playing time, but so long as he remains the starter, there'll be opportunities. It's also possible that the offense, which ranks fourth in pass rate over expectation, may lean more on their rushing attack without Jefferson. The matchup is fantastic, keeping him around that top-24 range. Akers would also be a deeper flex option because of the matchup and his growing workload.

Bears RBs

The Vikings aren't the only ones dealing with injuries. Chicago lost Khalil Herbert (ankle), Roschon Johnson (concussion), and Travis Homer (hamstring) last Thursday, forcing them to turn to fullback Khari Blasingame. What a name. Herbert is expected to miss multiple weeks, while Johnson is still working his way through the concussion protocol. The team also has D'Onta Foreman, who was inactive because he doesn't play special teams, but will surely play a role moving forward. The matchup is favorable, so someone will produce. It currently looks like Foreman given that no one else has practiced yet this week.

UPDATE: Johnson and Homer have both been ruled out, making Foreman a top-24 back given the matchup and workload.

Injuries:

Khalil Herbert (ankle)
Roschon Johnson (concussion)
Travis Homer (hamstring)
Justin Jefferson (hamstring)

 

Seattle Seahawks at Cincinnati Bengals

Spread: Bengals -3.0
Implied Total: Seahawks (20.75) vs. Bengals (23.75)
Pace: Seahawks (11th) vs. Bengals (19th)
Seahawks Off. DVOA: 37.4% Pass (7th), -0.7% Rush (9th)
Bengals Off. DVOA: -5.7% Pass (24th), -12.2% Rush (20th)
Seahawks Def. DVOA:
16.3% Pass (25th), -32.1% Rush (2nd)
Bengals Def. DVOA: 3.5% Pass (12th), 7.2% Rush (30th)

WEATHER: This game is expected to have moderate wind with heavier gusts and mild rain. The impact should be minimal.

Matchups We Love:

Ja'Marr Chase (WR, CIN)

As a spectator, you often think to yourself why don't they just hyper-target their best player, especially when he's as good as Chase? Chase shared this view, putting up posts of 7/11, indicating he's always open. Thankfully, Joe Burrow obliged to the tune of 15 receptions for 192 yards and three touchdowns. He actually finished ahead of Moore, who we wrote about in the last matchup, which is unthinkable. Chase capitalized on Tee Higgins' absence and will continue to be a force. Without Higgins, the assumption was Tyler Boyd would take on the No. 2 role. However, Trenton Irwin played two more snaps and bested him in targets, receptions, and yards. Boyd did have a touchdown called back, but it seems like more of a 2A and 2B than you would've anticipated. Higgins has been a limited participant on Wednesday and Thursday, indicating he could return. He'd be a riskier top-36 receiver if active.

UPDATE: Higgins is listed as questionable for Sunday's game. At this point, it's best to look at other options even if he plays.

Seahawks WRs

The last time we saw the duo of DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett, it was in an odd struggle against the Giants on Monday of Week 4. The bye week should do good things for this offense, particularly their O-line, which has been riddled with injuries. They're the WR23 and WR40 in fantasy points per game, respectively, but I'd expect those numbers to climb in the coming weeks. The Bengals are a middle-of-the-pack matchup, keeping these two in the top 20.

Kenneth Walker III (RB, SEA)

Kenneth Walker III has been a touchdown machine in 2023, which is a skill set he flashed in his rookie year. He has 11 attempts inside the 10-yard line, five of which he's converted into touchdowns. His red zone usage and efficiency are top five in the league, plus he's averaging 16 carries per game. He's firmly in the top 12 against Cincy, who ranks 30th in run DVOA and 31st in rushing yards per attempt allowed.

Matchups We Hate:

Geno Smith (QB, SEA)

After a breakout season, Smith hasn't looked quite like he did thus far. His on-target percentage of 76.1% ranks 16th, his quarterback rating of 97.8 ranks 10th, he's averaging just 212 passing yards per game, and has only five passing touchdowns. Some of it can be attributed to the offensive line, but something seems off. He's not been a great start for fantasy, and this isn't a matchup to expect a huge performance, making him a lower streaming option.

Other Matchups:

Joe Burrow (QB, CIN)

It was great to see the statistical performance from Burrow, but what was more noteworthy was his mobility and movement. He looked a lot more comfortable, even scrambling for a 10-yard gain. It's tempting to crown him as back to his usual self, but with a bye week lurking and the promising day coming against Arizona, it's wise not to buy all the way back in just yet. It's another good spot for him and Chase to excel so he remains a top-12 signal-caller.

Joe Mixon (RB, CIN)

The two things Mixon thrives on in this offense are scoring opportunities and volume, especially in the passing attack. Neither of those was working out well through the first four weeks with only one touchdown and nine receptions. Thankfully, just like the rest of the offense, those things bounced back against the Cardinals. He tied his season-high of four catches to add to his 25 rushing attempts. He didn't find pay dirt but he had a couple of opportunities, which he's likely to capitalize on in the future.  The Seahawks are a tough opponent on the ground, so scoring or catching passes will need to sustain his value.

Injuries:

Tee Higgins (ribs)

 

San Francisco 49ers at Cleveland Browns

Spread: 49ers -9.5
Implied Total: 49ers (22.75) vs. Browns (13.25)
Pace: 49ers (32nd) vs. Browns (27th)
49ers Off. DVOA: 80.1% Pass (1st), 12.8% Rush (4th)
Browns Off. DVOA: -10.0% Pass (31st), -19.0% Rush (24th)
49ers Def. DVOA:
-13.9% Pass (5th), -13.6% Rush (11th)
Browns Def. DVOA: -26.1% Pass (1st), -29.4% Rush (3rd)

WEATHER: This game is expected to have sustained rain and wind with high gusts, which isn't a good combination. It further limits the upside for the offensive pieces.

Matchups We Love:

Christian McCaffrey (RB, SF)

A sub-40 over/under is never a good thing for fantasy. Add in two elite defenses and two teams that rank in the bottom six in the pace of play, and fantasy points are going to be harder to find. Fortunately, we know McCaffrey can overcome any obstacle. He found the end zone again last week in spite of a poor performance by his standards, which was because he and Jordan Mason faced the most stacked boxes in Week 5. Speaking of Mason, he and Kyle Juszczyk came through if you decided to take a shot on either of them.

UPDATE: Mitchell got in two limited practices, but is listed as questionable. It should be another beatdown, so Mason would be a potential flex option if Mitchell misses.

Matchups We Hate:

Brock Purdy (QB, SF)

Even after getting beat up on by Baltimore before their bye week because they had Dorian Thompson-Robinson in at quarterback, the Browns are still No. 1 against the pass by DVOA and rank second in passing yards per attempt allowed. Purdy has the ability to ride his talented supporting cast to a 200 and two type of day, but the risk of a down game is higher this week.

George Kittle (TE, SF)

Kittle made sure to make his mark following an awesome day from rookie tight end Sam LaPorta. He not only caught a touchdown the same way on the same play, but he added two more trips to the end zone for a 100% touchdown rate on his three receptions. It's safe to assume that won't happen again, especially against the impressive Cleveland defense.

Browns Passing Attack

On the opposite side of the ball, it'll be a rough day for the Cleveland offense against a really aggressive and formidable 49ers defense. What's most concerning at the moment is the health of Deshaun Watson, who was reported to be medically cleared for Week 4 but chose to sit out and has yet to return to practice coming out of their bye week. The latest update is that he'll be inactive. They did report they'd trot out P.J. Walker instead of the rookie, which is a slight upgrade. It's only Amari Cooper that you want to look to here anyway, but without Watson, he's a flex option with a risky floor.

UPDATE: As expected, Watson has been ruled out and Walker will be their starter. David Njoku is listed as questionable, but there's no intrigue there.

Jerome Ford (RB, CLE)

Ford's value is also contingent on a competent signal-caller under center. He was still handling a nice workload in his last outing with 14 touches compared to five for both Kareem Hunt and Pierre Strong Jr., but it's hard to see him as more than a volume-based flex option with Watson out.

Other Matchups:

49ers WRs

Purdy only attempted 24 passes last week because the game was essentially over at halftime. They pounded the rock 41 times, leading to a combined seven receptions for Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk. They were still productive on their catches, averaging 18.3 and 14.5 yards per reception, respectively. There are two different types of risk for them in this one. The first is if the Browns' defense is healthy and slows them down. The second is that without Watson, the game is lopsided and they win on the ground again. In either case, it's hard not to start these two, but the ceiling might not be as high.

Injuries:

Elijah Mitchell (knee)
Deshaun Watson (shoulder)
David Njoku (arm, face)

 

New Orleans Saints at Houston Texans

Spread: Saints -1.5
Implied Total: Saints (22) vs. Texans (20.5)
Pace: Saints (16th) vs. Texans (5th)
Saints Off. DVOA: 1.6% Pass (21st), -12.9% Rush (21st)
Texans Off. DVOA: 37.8% Pass (6th), -32.5% Rush (32nd)
Saints Def. DVOA:
-12.5% Pass (7th), -19.1% Rush (10th)
Texans Def. DVOA: 8.7% Pass (18th), -5.8% Rush (22nd)

Matchups We Love:

Alvin Kamara (RB, NO)

As we mentioned earlier, the Texans made a conscious effort to slow down the Falcons on the ground, which opened up opportunities through the air. It's possible they repeat that strategy this week. However, the Saints are a more balanced team with the strength of their offense likely being their receiving corps. That's not to take away from Kamara as a receiver, but rather to highlight their lack of a proven grinder in the backfield with Jamaal Williams still hurt.

New Orleans dominated the Patriots. Their offense did enough while their defense pitched a shutout. The game script enabled them to tote the rock 42 times. It's been an area where Houston is vulnerable and it's possible the Saints are leading again in this one, despite facing a more competent offense. Kendre Miller didn't see a carry until they were up 14-0, and eight of his 12 carries came in the fourth quarter as part of cleanup duty. Kamara slots into the top 20 and Miller is a stash while we wait to see his involvement.

Matchups We Hate:

Dameon Pierce (RB, HOU)

Houston spent the entire game within six points or leading, which kept Pierce in play. He accounted for 100% of the RB rushing attempts and caught the only RB reception, which is by far the highest workshare he's seen this season. It's a great sign for his usage. The concern for this week is the matchup against New Orleans. They're No. 2 in defensive EPA per rush, No. 10 in rush DVOA, and they've allowed the fifth-fewest points to running backs on the season. The volume will need to keep Pierce afloat as a flex option.

C.J. Stroud (QB, HOU)

Stroud kept his streak alive with zero turnovers. They got back a couple of their offensive linemen but they lost Tank Dell to a concussion, which limited their explosiveness. Stroud still aired it out 35 times, but overall they only ran 58 total plays, which was 22nd on the week. Dell is trending towards being out, which removes one of Stroud's top weapons against an above-average defense. It's best to pump the brakes on the rookie sensation this week and look somewhere else for a streamer if you can.

Derek Carr (QB, NO)

Carr played within the confines of the offense, attempting only 26 passes. The longest drive he led was 62 yards, taking advantage of the outstanding performance by his defense. The matchup is about average, but until he proves he's willing and able to throw for 250-plus yards and two scores, he's best avoided.

Other Matchups:

Nico Collins (WR, HOU)

Collins was already establishing himself as the alpha in the offense, but Dell's absence would cement that this week. Marshon Lattimore remains a talented cornerback, but it's actually his counterpart, Isaac Yiadom, who boasts the highest coverage grade of all CBs, according to PFF. That tandem will pose a problem for Collins and potentially Noah Brown, who has been designated to return from Injured Reserve. That might open up opportunities for Robert Woods as a shorter depth-of-target receiver, but he lacks a true ceiling. Collins falls outside the top 24 given the matchup while Woods is a flex, especially in full-PPR formats. It could be an opportunity for John Metchie III to carve out a larger role as well.

UPDATE: Dell and Woods are both listed as questionable. Dell is unlikely to play while Woods figures to be out there.

Dalton Schultz (TE, HOU)

The other player who benefits from Dell missing time is Schultz, who found the end zone and led the team in every receiving category. We saw him excel with Dallas, so it's possible he could soak up enough volume to be a top-12 tight end. Unfortunately, the Saints are a brutal matchup, so he's more of a streamer.

Saints WRs

The news came out that Chris Olave was dealing with a toe injury during warmups. He still led the position in snaps (79%) and routes run (30), but he had just five targets, two of which he caught. Thankfully, one was in the end zone, somewhat preserving his fantasy value. Michael Thomas led the way with four catches for 65 yards. Ultimately, they didn't need to take any chances, so they limited their passing attempts and bled out the clock. It'll be a more competitive game script, which should mean a better day for this group, although the matchup is a tough one. He's a top-30 receiver along with Thomas, who is averaging nearly eight targets per game. Rashid Shaheed remains a boom-bust flex option.

Injuries:

Tank Dell (concussion)
Juwan Johnson (calf)

 

Indianapolis Colts at Jacksonville Jaguars

Spread: Jaguars -4.0
Implied Total: Colts (20) vs. Jaguars (24)
Pace: Colts (4th) vs. Jaguars (13th)
Colts Off. DVOA: 16.0% Pass (15th), 3.8% Rush (8th)
Jaguars Off. DVOA: 20.3% Pass (11th), -7.8% Rush (17th)
Colts Def. DVOA:
9.5% Pass (20th), -10.5% Rush (17th)
Jaguars Def. DVOA: 3.5% Pass (13th), -24.4% Rush (5th)

Matchups We Love:

Jaguars WRs

Zay Jones returned to action only to leave the game injured again. Fortunately for anyone who had to start him, he made a beautiful touchdown catch before exiting. The Bills are dealing with a banged-up secondary, which Calvin Ridley exploited repeatedly. He destroyed man coverage, especially on third downs. He, Jones, and Christian Kirk all had eight targets, but he certainly made the most of his with 122 yards. It's an ideal matchup for outside receivers, which favors Ridley and Jones if active; otherwise, Kirk would benefit from the inexperienced Colts secondary. If Jones is out, both Ridley and Kirk are top-24 options; otherwise, Kirk drops to the top 36.

UPDATE: Jones will miss another week of action, keeping Kirk in the top 24.

Travis Etienne Jr. (RB, JAX)

We mentioned that Etienne Jr. has the ability to make explosive plays, which he did. He had two breakaway runs (15-plus yards) for a combined 66 yards. He has the ninth-highest share of his team's rushing attempts (52.5%) and the 15th-largest target share (10.9%). Tank Bigsby has just 15 carries on the season and has yet to catch a pass. Etienne is a true workhorse that can rip off big runs at any time. He's a top-12 back against Indy.

Evan Engram (TE, JAX)

Ridley eating up so much production impacted Engram's output, but the eight targets are worth pursuing. He's still one of only a handful of reliable tight ends in terms of role and volume.

Matchups We Hate:

Trevor Lawrence (QB, JAX)

Lawrence's yard total went up to 315 plus he added 31 yards on the ground, but he only threw one touchdown, and more importantly, he couldn't take care of the ball. He committed three fumbles, including one the offense recovered, and tossed an interception. His carelessness kept Buffalo in the game for a lot longer than they had any right being in it. Not only is it a negative for fantasy points, but it also dissuades the coaching staff from putting too much on Lawrence. We've seen this in Dallas with Dak Prescott. Turnovers were an issue so they've slowed down the pace of play and run the ball more. The matchup is there if you want to take a shot, but with multiple touchdowns in only one contest, there are likely streaming options with more upside.

Other Matchups:

Colts RBs

Jonathan Taylor signed a huge contract hours before kickoff, or at least that's when the news broke. One of the reports surrounding it was that the Colts were going to ease Taylor back, which makes sense given the money they agreed to (three years, $42 million, $26.5 million guaranteed). As a result, Taylor only played 15% of the snaps, opening the door for Zack Moss to shock the world with 195 total yards and two touchdowns against one of the best run defenses. While the workload will inevitably shift in Taylor's direction as the season progresses, it seems unlikely he'll operate as a workhorse back that dominates the touches. Most backfields in the NFL are committees to an extent, which seems the probable outcome in Indy.

The other major news is the shoulder injury to Anthony Richardson, who will miss at least four weeks after being placed on Injured Reserve. Gardner Minshew's already made a start this season and come in twice to finish a game that Richardson was hurt during. It's good news for the backfield in the fact that he won't take away rushing attempts or goal-line work, adding more upside to the position. The Colts rank sixth in run-blocking, according to PFF, meaning they're capable of overcoming the matchup. Both Moss and Taylor are top-24 backs with Moss as the safer option and Taylor with the ceiling.

Colts WRs

Similar to the backfield, the switch to Minshew means a boost in volume for the receiving corps. Both Michael Pittman Jr. and Josh Downs showed an ability to produce with Minshew at the helm. It's not the first time either, as they were both productive in Week 3 when he led them to an overtime victory over the Ravens. Jacksonville gives up about 262 passing yards per game and eight passing touchdowns on the season. It's not a fantastic matchup, but there'll be sufficient production for these two to succeed as top-30 receivers.

Injuries:

Jelani Woods (hamstring)
Anthony Richardson (shoulder)
Zay Jones (knee)

 

Carolina Panthers at Miami Dolphins

Spread: Dolphins -14.5
Implied Total: Panthers (16.5) vs. Dolphins (31)
Pace: Panthers (7th) vs. Dolphins (18th)
Panthers Off. DVOA: -9.5% Pass (30th), -21.6% Rush (27th)
Dolphins Off. DVOA: 62.3% Pass (1st), 33.9% Rush (1st)
Panthers Def. DVOA:
2.3% Pass (11th), 21.8% Rush (32nd)
Dolphins Def. DVOA: 15.0% Pass (23rd), -3.5% Rush (24th)

WEATHER: This game is expected to have moderate wind but no rain, which means things should be more or less business as usual.  

Matchups We Love:

Tua Tagovailoa (QB, MIA)

We didn't get the blow-up game we'd hoped for in a juicy matchup with the Giants, largely because of the rushing attack. De'Von Achane is a problem for the passing attack because he breaks off massive chunk plays, often for touchdowns, ending drives before anyone else touches the ball. Sadly for Achane, he suffered a knee injury that's going to sideline him for at least four weeks after being placed on Injured Reserve. We'll dig into what that means for the backfield shortly, but for Tagovailoa and the passing attack, it means more will be required of them. The Panthers were just torched by Jared Goff for four touchdowns, positioning Tagovailoa as an elite option.

Dolphins WRs

Tyreek Hill watched Achane hit the highest speed on a play this season and basically said anything you can do I can do better, besting his miles per hour on a 69-yard house call. He had another huge day as we've come to expect in this offense. What was nice to see was Jaylen Waddle joining him. Waddle found the end zone once, almost twice if not for a penalty. He also finished with 10 targets, partially because Hill spent a few minutes getting examined on the sideline. In either case, they're both superb starts against Carolina.

Dolphins RBs

As we mentioned, Achane is now out of the picture for at least four weeks. While the composition of the backfield is a bit ambiguous, we can say for certain Raheem Mostert is the starter. He's a top-12 back against the dead-last run defense of the Panthers. There's still plenty of opportunity for another player to deliver, which is why knowing who else to target will be valuable.

The place to start is with Jeff Wilson Jr., who the team has designated to return from Injured Reserve, and practiced on Wednesday. If he's active, he becomes the preferred RB2 of this group given his history and familiarity with the system. However, there is a chance they reduce his snaps in a game they should win easily. Next up would be Salvon Ahmed, who handled six touches against the Patriots in Week 2. After that, it's Chris Brooks, but that's more of a desperation play if Wilson misses. Wilson was limited in Wednesday and Thursday's practice. We'll get an official designation on Friday, but he seems probable to play.

UPDATE: Wilson Jr. has been ruled out, making Ahmed the upside RB2 in that offense.

Matchups We Hate:

Bryce Young (QB, CAR)

Young helped dig his team a hole with two interceptions, forcing them to throw 41 times. The Lions were sitting back in prevent defense for most of the fourth quarter, allowing Young to lead two scoring drives. He finished with three touchdowns, which is nice. However, for that to repeat, the game script will need to be similar, which is possible, and all their touchdowns will need to come through the air again, which seems unlikely. He's best avoided despite a decent matchup.

Other Matchups:

Adam Thielen (WR, CAR)

Thielen just keeps getting it done week after week. 13 targets, 11 receptions, 107 yards, and a score. What more can you ask for from him at this stage of his career on a bottom-five team? He's a volume-based top-20 receiver who can find the end zone. Rookie Jonathan Mingo made his return and immediately made an impact, earning six targets. He played behind DJ Chark Jr., who caught the other touchdown Young threw in the fourth quarter, but it was a promising sign for a chance to carve out a role. Chark is a touchdown-dependent flex option while Mingo would be risky to start.

Panthers RBs

Miles Sanders entered the game with a groin injury and left with a shoulder ailment that held him out of practice Wednesday. It's concerning because he's already playing fewer snaps than he did earlier in the season and he's ceding work to Chuba Hubbard. If he was completely healthy, there's a strong possibility he'd lead the way, but these nagging issues are likely to keep this backfield a legitimate timeshare. It's a good matchup with a chance for checkdowns while trailing, but the split forces both into the flex range. Sanders missed back-to-back practices to open the week, increasing the odds he misses on Sunday. Hubbard would be a solid top-24 back if Sanders is out.

UPDATE: Sanders has been ruled out, vaulting Hubbard into the top 24.

Injuries:

Jeff Wilson Jr. (abdomen)
De'Von Achane (knee)
Miles Sanders (shoulder)

 

Matchup Analysis - 4:25 ET Games

New England Patriots at Las Vegas Raiders

Spread: Raiders -3.0
Implied Total: Patriots (19.5) vs. Raiders (22.5)
Pace: Patriots (1st) vs. Raiders (15th)
Patriots Off. DVOA: -7.5% Pass (26th), -20.7% Rush (26th)
Raiders Off. DVOA: -9.0% Pass (29th), -30.6% Rush (31st)
Patriots Def. DVOA:
8.3% Pass (17th), -20.9% Rush (9th)
Raiders Def. DVOA: 15.5% Pass (24th), -4.5% Rush (23rd)

Matchups We Love:

Raiders WRs

No one will be shocked to see Davante Adams here, in spite of his shoulder injury. His output against Green Bay was lower than usual, but he was definitely not fully healthy. He's still dealing with the injury, but hopefully, another week of missed/limited practices will help him heal up. Joining him in this section is Jakobi Meyers. He not only gets a revenge game against his former team that mistakenly replaced him with JuJu Smith-Schuster but he's also been very good. He's the WR15 in points per game with only one down week. The Patriots offense keeps putting their defense in difficult situations, plus they're without their best cornerback. Adams is still a top-12 receiver while Meyers lands in the top 24.

UPDATE: Adams and Meyers are good to go as expected.

Matchups We Hate:

Patriots Passing Attack

Their passing attack is broken, much like the rest of their roster. Mac Jones has been benched in back-to-back weeks and their points scored has steadily decreased from Week 1, hitting rock bottom at zero last week. They rank dead last in points scored and offensive EPA per play. The matchup is quite good, but outside of Hunter Henry as a streaming tight end, there is no one to force into your lineup.

UPDATE: Smith-Schuster and Demario Douglas have been ruled out while Tyquan Thornton is listed as questionable. It still doesn't make anyone else an exciting start, aside from Henry.

Jimmy Garoppolo (QB, LV)

Without Adams at full strength, Garoppolo has no business being in your lineup. He had the one nice game against the Steelers, but that was on the back of Adams, who continuously broke loose in the secondary. It's not a plus-matchup and he's not someone you can trust to deliver.

Other Matchups:

Josh Jacobs (RB, LV)

Jacobs is rounding into form just in time for fantasy managers who are struggling with running back injuries across the NFL. He exploited a beatable run defense Monday night for his best day on the ground so far. He also maintained his involvement as a pass-catcher, hauling in five more passes. The matchup on the ground is still subpar against the Patriots, so he'll need more volume to compensate for that, but his role as a receiver keeps him solidified as a top-12 back.

Rhamondre Stevenson (RB, NE)

It's been a brutal run for Stevenson. He was banged up midway through last week and struggled against the Saints as most tailbacks do. The offense is league-worst and the playcalling isn't utilizing his excellent skill set in the passing attack. He has just a 9.1% target share, which ranks 26th. It's not as if Ezekiel Elliott is soaking up volume either because he's even lower at 7.5%. It's an area that will need to improve if Stevenson is going to offer consistent top-24 value. The matchup is much better than what he's been dealing with and the game shouldn't get out of hand like the past two have, so Stevenson is in the top 30.

Injuries:

JuJu Smith-Schuster (head)
Demario Douglas (head)
Tyquan Thornton (shoulder)

 

Detroit Lions at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Spread: Lions -3.0
Implied Total: Lions (22.75) vs. Buccaneers (19.75)
Pace: Lions (29th) vs. Buccaneers (22nd)
Lions Off. DVOA: 38.9% Pass (4th), 11.1% Rush (5th)
Buccaneers Off. DVOA: 12.4% Pass (18th), -24.3% Rush (28th)
Lions Def. DVOA:
-10.0% Pass (8th), -25.1% Rush (4th)
Buccaneers Def. DVOA: -17.9% Pass (2nd), -7.8% Rush (21st)

WEATHER: This game is expected to have sustained wind but no rain, which shouldn't have much impact.

Matchups We Love:

David Montgomery (RB, DET)

Montgomery could have easily racked up another 30 carries, but they chose to shift some work to Craig Reynolds instead. Jahmyr Gibbs missing the game really didn't affect his value and his presence, and once he's back, it won't make much of a difference either. Montgomery is a must-start until proven otherwise. With Gibbs still missing practice, it's worth noting that Reynolds is the clear No. 3 ahead of Zonovan Knight, who suffered a season-ending shoulder injury. The Buccaneers should put up more of a fight than the Panthers did, but receiving six to nine carries is in the cards for Reynolds in an offense that loves to pound the rock in the red zone.

UPDATE: Gibbs has been ruled out as anticipated.

Amon-Ra St. Brown (WR, DET)

The theme of Reynolds making the most of their opportunity continues here. Jared Goff only threw the ball 28 times. Fortunately, Josh Reynolds caught four of those passes, including one for a touchdown. Kalif Raymond was also involved while Jameson Williams earned three targets, but did very little with them. It's a tougher matchup but this offense is firing on all cylinders. They're eighth in offensive EPA per play, fourth in points per game, and fourth in offensive pass DVOA. The hope is that St. Brown suits up, in which case Reynolds would be a flex option. If he's out again, then Reynolds moves into the top 36 and Raymond becomes someone to take a shot on.

UPDATE: St. Brown is cleared to play, earning him a spot in your lineup and pushing Reynolds to the flex range.

Sam LaPorta (TE, DET)

Much like Montgomery, LaPorta is now a must-start tight end. He found the end zone twice, including the play we spoke about earlier that Kittle repeated. He did pop up with a calf injury on Thursday that caused him to miss practice. It'll be worth monitoring into the weekend.

UPDATE: LaPorta is listed as questionable. It appears the injury is more significant. Even if he suits up, he might be hampered, but at the tight end position, there aren't a lot of great pivots.

Matchups We Hate:

Rachaad White (RB, TB)

White had 18 touches in their Week 4 outing, demonstrating his secure workload. The efficiency won't be there against Detroit, but the volume and his receiving role will keep him in the mix as a safer flex option.

Other Matchups:

Jared Goff (QB, DET)

It wasn't a matchup that favored scoring through the air, but with so many short fields and red zone trips, he found the end zone three times with his arm and once with his legs. On the road against an above-average pass defense is usually a time to shy away from Goff. He's not completely off the radar because the talent surrounding him and the offensive scheme is maximizing his potential, but he'll need the touchdowns to show up.

Buccaneers WRs

Mike Evans has turned back the clock for a banner year. Unfortunately, he left their Week 4 contest with a hamstring injury and was limited in practice on Thursday. Chris Godwin, who has really been disappointing, took advantage with eight receptions for 114 yards. The Lions have been a poor matchup, so it's not wise to chase the other receivers like Trey Palmer and Deven Thompkins if Evans is out, but Godwin would be a top-24 receiver on volume. He'd drop outside the top 24 if Evans is back.

UPDATE: Evans is good to go for Sunday, locking him in as a top-24 receiver.

Injuries:

Jahmyr Gibbs (hamstring)
Sam LaPorta (calf)
Mike Evans (hamstring)

 

Arizona Cardinals at Los Angeles Rams

Spread: Rams -7.0
Implied Total: Cardinals (20.5) vs. Rams (27.5)
Pace: Cardinals (9th) vs. Rams (24th)
Cardinals Off. DVOA: 24.4% Pass (10th), 8.2% Rush (6th)
Rams Off. DVOA: 19.5% Pass (12th), 4.0% Rush (7th)
Cardinals Def. DVOA:
33.2% Pass (30th), -1.0% Rush (26th)
Rams Def. DVOA: 14.8% Pass (22nd), -1.7% Rush (25th)

Matchups We Love:

Matthew Stafford (QB, LAR)

Cooper Kupp returns and Stafford has his first multi-touchdown game of the season. Sometimes it's just that simple. While the Eagles' secondary has been beatable, their defensive front is still elite. They rank seventh in pass rush, according to PFF, which is part of what caused so many incompletions from Stafford. The Cardinals sit 20 spots lower, meaning he'll have a lot more time to throw the ball to his trio of receivers, tight end, and tailback. He's a high-end streamer.

Rams WRs

Kupp immediately took back his No. 1 role, which was easy to anticipate. He also earned the most targets and finished as the WR11 without a touchdown. The long-term concerns of re-injury are there, but on a weekly basis, he's back to being among the elite wideouts. Puka Nacua proved they can co-exist, which is reassuring. Their roles are different, but the ball can only go to one player every play, so there was some hesitation from that perspective. He and Tutu Atwell were the ones to find pay dirt, which is promising for their future usage in that area of the field.  They operated out of three-wide receiver sets 100 percent of the time last week, which is exciting for Atwell. Also, the great news is that the team traded away Van Jefferson. It locks him into the No. 3 spot on the depth chart and enables him to have flex value, especially this week.

Kyren Williams (RB, LAR)

53 yards rushing against Philly is around what you'd guess he ends up with. The two targets weren't as many as you'd hope for, which might mean reevaluating his receiving role. He still played 84% of the snaps and saw all but one of the backfield touches, so against Arizona, it'll be a better day. We'll look to note how frequently he's used in the passing attack this week, but for now, he's a top-15 back.

Matchups We Hate:

Cardinals RB

James Conner suffered a knee injury that will sideline him for at least four weeks after being placed on the Injured Reserve. Yes, there's a lot of that this week. Emari Demercado, who we identified as the pass-catching backup, took over after Conner exited. It's a bit murky though. The team is hopeful that Keaontay Ingram, who sat out last week with a neck issue, will play. They also claimed Tony Jones Jr. and Damien Williams while promoting Corey Clement from their practice squad. Add in Rondale Moore taking away carries and it's messy. Demercado is the best of the bunch. He'd be a flex option with Ingram out and a desperation flex option if he's active.

UPDATE: Ingram is good to go, reducing the excitement for Demarcado, who remains the preferred choice.

Joshua Dobbs (QB, ARI)

It was a poor performance from Dobbs, who committed three turnovers and only ran the ball three times. Placing him here is not so much a reaction to his output, but rather a caution because they lost Conner, are struggling more offensively, and the Rams are gaining confidence. He still tossed two touchdowns and has the ability to run, so he's a streaming candidate, just one with more risk.

Other Matchups:

Tyler Higbee (TE, LAR)

As we mentioned off the top, incompletions were an issue. With only 22 completed passes, it's difficult for the auxiliary pieces to succeed. Higbee may become more matchup-dependent. Thankfully, the Cardinals would fit that description.

Marquise Brown (WR, ARI)

Brown operated as the alpha wide receiver in the offense, earning 10 targets. He only finished with four catches but did find the end zone to make him worth a start. His yards per route run of 2.01 rank a few spots below his teammate Michael Wilson at 2.09, but the targets per route run of 28% rank 14th among qualified receivers. He's surviving on volume more so than talent, but part of that is the recent decline in the offense, including just 15 completions from Dobbs against the Bengals. Wilson disappeared with only one catch for 18 yards, but as a rookie, these sorts of situations are more common. We referenced Moore's involvement in the backfield, which is likely to continue given their personnel at the RB position. He and Wilson are flex options while Brown is in the top 36.

UPDATE: Brown is listed as questionable, but is expected to suit up.

Zach Ertz (TE, ARI)

The lower passing completions hurt Ertz's value as well. Luckily, he salvaged his day with a touchdown. At the tight end position, that's enough to be a streamer, which is where he fits in this week.

Injuries:

Kyler Murray (knee)
James Conner (knee)
Keaontay Ingram (neck)
Marquise Brown (illness)

 

Philadelphia Eagles at New York Jets

Spread: Eagles -6.5
Implied Total: Eagles (24.5) vs. Jets (18)
Pace: Eagles (28th) vs. Jets (26th)
Eagles Off. DVOA: 25.7% Pass (9th), 14.1% Rush (3rd)
Jets Off. DVOA: -8.6% Pass (28th), -16.0% Rush (23rd)
Eagles Def. DVOA:
8.9% Pass (19th), -34.6% Rush (1st)
Jets Def. DVOA: 7.8% Pass (16th), -11.2% Rush (15th)

Matchups We Love:

Jalen Hurts (QB, PHI)

Hurts put forth his best performance so far, especially as a runner. He ran the ball 15 times for 72 yards and a score. He's averaging 0.8 touchdowns per game on the ground thanks to the "tush push," or "brotherly shove," as some are calling it. The Jets have a talented defense led by Sauce Gardner, but Hurts can beat you so many different ways that he's too good to move away from.

A.J. Brown (WR, PHI)

Brown just keeps monopolizing the wide receiver market share. He's up to 32.5% on the season while DeVonta Smith sits at just 22.1%. It's a significant drop for Smith, who earned a 25.4% share in 2022. Outside of the targets, he's averaging an identical 12.6 yards per reception and 0.4 touchdowns per game but his receptions and yards are down because of the decreased volume. We did see some inconsistency early in the 2022 season when Dallas Goedert was healthy, which may be part of the issue. It's not the passing pie as a whole because Hurts is actually averaging two more attempts per game. Smith is still capable of spike weeks, and he'll draw the easier coverage in this one, so he remains in the top 24.

UPDATE: The Jets will be without both D.J. Reed and Sauve Gardner, making Brown and Smith even more intriguing.

Matchups We Hate:

Tyler Conklin (TE, NYJ)

New York upset the Broncos, although it's barely an upset at this point. Zach Wilson was good enough to get the win. He threw a pick and fumbled twice, but the offense got them both back. Thanks to the attention they had on Garrett Wilson, Tyler Conklin emerged in an opportunistic spot. He's been fairly involved through five weeks, but it's not wise to chase secondary options in a Wilson-led offense against the Eagles.

Other Matchups:

Dallas Goedert (TE, PHI)

After an outcry from fantasy managers across the land regarding the strange utilization of Goedert, the coaching staff spoke about making him a focal point entering Sunday's game. And man did they deliver. He went four-for-45 on the opening drive with a touchdown and never looked back. It was like four weeks of missing production all at once with 117 yards total. It doesn't automatically mean we'll see this moving forward, but we now know it's still a possibility. Obviously, he's out there for you this week against New York, who has given up the most points to tight ends.

D'Andre Swift (RB, PHI)

When your quarterback's rushing production alone would've made him the RB13 in half-PPR scoring and you still find a way to finish in the top 12, there's not much left to say. Swift can get it done as a receiver when the rushing production dips. His versatility makes him a must-start on this offense.

Breece Hall (RB, NYJ)

Another instance of coaches telling us the truth. Robert Saleh said the pitch count would be gone and Hall would see more work. 22 carries and three receptions definitely constitute more work. Hall sliced and diced his way through the Denver defense for nearly 200 total yards, including a 72-yard trip to the end zone. He led the league in breakaway runs last week with three. It'll likely go down as his best game of the year, and he now faces a polar opposite matchup. That said, he needs to be viewed as a top-24 back with massive upside if the offense can move the ball at all.

Garrett Wilson (WR, NYJ)

Wilson did his best to produce against Patrick Surtain II, but in the end, Surtain prevailed. Other teams were finding ways to get the ball to their stars and avoid Surtain, but Wilson seemed to take him on mono-e-mono. Regardless, the matchup this week will be better in terms of personnel, although the pressure his quarterback will have to deal with could be an issue. Wilson should see enough volume to stay in the top 24.

Injuries:

None

 

Matchup Analysis - Sunday Night Football

New York Giants at Buffalo Bills

Spread: Bills -15.0
Implied Total: Giants (14.5) vs. Bills (29.5)
Pace: Giants (21st) vs. Bills (30th)
Giants Off. DVOA: -33.4% Pass (32nd), -30.5% Rush (30th)
Bills Off. DVOA: 62.1% Pass (3rd), -3.7% Rush (13th)
Giants Def. DVOA:
19.9% Pass (25th), 4.5% Rush (29th)
Bills Def. DVOA: -17.3% Pass (3rd), -12.1% Rush (13th)

WEATHER: This game is expected to have mild to moderate wind but little if any rain, so it shouldn't have much impact.

Matchups We Love:

Josh Allen (QB, BUF)

London was not kind to Allen and Co., who elected to fly in on Friday and play on Sunday. That plan backfired as they sputtered on offense. If not for two fourth-quarter scoring drives, Allen's numbers would have been very poor. The tables will turn this week back on home soil against the Giants. Their defense is bad in every metric, providing an ideal bounce-back spot for everyone, including Allen.

Stefon Diggs (WR, BUF)

Diggs is not only matchup-proof but situation-proof now, too. He was great once again, but more importantly, so was Gabe Davis. He's found pay dirt in four straight weeks and sits as the WR18 in points per game. With no one else emerging behind him, he's putting together the type of year we thought he could in 2022. He's a top-24 option at home against New York.

James Cook (RB, BUF)

Nothing was going well for Cook to open the game. He was getting stuffed behind the line of scrimmage and the offense couldn't move the ball. They tried turning to Damien Harris and Latavius Murray, neither of whom did much better. Unfortunately, it sunk his day as a rusher. He still caught three passes for 25 yards, and now gets a grand matchup to find more success on the ground. He's in the top 24 because of the offense and matchup.

Matchups We Hate:

Giants Passing Attack

The Giants are falling from grace at a rapid pace. Daniel Jones left their beatdown from Miami with a neck injury that might keep him out. Darren Waller hurt his groin, causing him to miss practice. Even Wan'Dale Robinson, who had five catches for 18 yards, exited with an ailment. It's a complete stay away aside from Waller, who possesses additional risk with the injury if he's active.

UPDATE: Jones has been ruled out, meaning Tyrod Taylor will get the nod, Waller is listed as questionable, but is expected to suit up. He remains a risky option but is still safer than a lot of other tight ends.

Saquon Barkley (RB, NYG)

If there's even a glimmer of hope for New York, it's the impending return of Barkley. He's missed three weeks with a high-ankle sprain, which lines up with the suggested timeline. Assuming he's on the field, he's a top-30 play for volume and opportunity alone. If he misses, it's a group to be careful with because Eric Gray actually led the team in rushing on Sunday, so it's best to take your shot somewhere else.

UPDATE: Barkley is listed as questionable for Sunday's game. It seems likely he plays, but he might be less effective, so it'll be the volume that he relies on.

Other Matchups:

Dalton Kincaid (TE, BUF)

Both Kincaid and Dawson Knox are on the injury report and practiced in a limited fashion on Thursday. If one were to miss, it would add to the opportunity of the other in a very good matchup. If they're both active, Kincaid remains the one to stream.

UPDATE: Both Knox and Kincaid practiced again on Friday and are listed as questionable. Both seem to be trending towards being active.

Injuries:

Saquon Barkley (ankle)
Gary Brightwell (knee)
Daniel Jones (neck)
Dalton Kincaid (concussion)
Dawson Knox (wrist)

 

Matchups Analysis - Monday Night Football

Dallas Cowboys at Los Angeles Chargers

Spread: Cowboys -1.5
Implied Total: Cowboys (26.25) vs. Chargers (24.75)
Pace: Cowboys (24th) vs. Chargers (3rd)
Cowboys Off. DVOA: 6.1% Pass (19th), -13.4% Rush (22nd)
Chargers Off. DVOA: 33.9% Pass (8th), -4.2% Rush (15th)
Cowboys Def. DVOA:
-13.2% Pass (6th), -13.5% Rush (12th)
Chargers Def. DVOA: 6.5% Pass (15th), 2.8% Rush (28th)

Matchups We Love:

Tony Pollard (RB, DAL)

Pollard was on fire to open the year. He was a top-10 back through three weeks, then things went awry. The Cowboys pounded the Patriots, aided by two defensive touchdowns. Then they were on the receiving end of a smackdown from the 49ers. Taking on the Chargers should be a more prototypical game script with two competitive and competent teams.

CeeDee Lamb (WR, DAL)

It's been a similar story for Lamb, who has had just one big game so far. Part of that is the play of Dak Prescott as well. He's still demanding volume with a target per route run of 23% and performing with it given his 2.36 yards per route run. Ultimately, he needs better consistency from Prescott and the offense with more looks his way, which is likely to occur against the Chargers.

Matchups We Hate:

Dak Prescott (QB, DAL)

You can see why the team has been sheltering Prescott from having to do too much. When the moment was thrust upon him, he folded like a deck of cards. He threw three interceptions, costing his team any chance of competing with what most would agree is the best team in the NFL, San Francisco. There's not much positive to take away from last week. The Chargers present a better opportunity, but they're coming off a bye week and have some dangerous pass-rushers, including Khalil Mack and Joey Bosa.

Gerald Everett (TE, LAC)

With Austin Ekeler set to return and Donald Parham Jr. expected to be active, there are too many mouths to feed to be excited about Everett in this matchup. He's part of a great offense and could still find the end zone, so he's a streamer, but not one with much of a floor.

Other Matchups:

Austin Ekeler (RB, LAC)

The gap between the starter and the backup in this backfield may be one of the largest. It was partly the way they ran the offense, but Joshua Kelley could not do nearly what Ekeler does. Then again, not too many backs can. Nonetheless, he's healthy and ready to roll coming off their bye. It may not be the dream matchup you want for his return to action, but there's no way he falls outside the top 12.

Keenan Allen (WR, LAC)

A week off is a long time in the NFL for fans, so it's easy to forget how dominant Allen has been. Through four weeks, he's averaging about nine receptions for 109 yards and 0.75 touchdowns per game. He also trails only Tyreek Hill in points per game. Safe to say you're starting him. Where it gets interesting is the secondary receivers, including Joshua Palmer and Quentin Johnston. We know Palmer can be an average wideout who keeps the offense going, but the upside of Johnston is unknown. He struggled with drops during training camp and the season while failing to earn a significant role. We'll have a better gauge of where he stands after this week. Dallas's secondary is down their best CB, Trevon Diggs, but they're still an above-average unit. Palmer is a top-36 option with Johnston a risky flex play, especially now that Ekeler is back.

Justin Herbert (QB, LAC)

The last time we saw Herbert play, he struggled to take down the Aidan O'Connell-led Raiders. We learned in 2022 that he needs sufficient weapons. He won't get Mike Williams back, but the return of Ekeler to pair with Allen should suffice. As Meatloaf sang, two out of three ain't bad. Even after the embarrassing loss, the Cowboys still rank fourth in defensive EPA per play and seventh in points per game allowed. They've also given up the fifth-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks. It drops Herbert to the lower part of the top 12.

Jake Ferguson (TE, DAL)

Ferguson had his worst performance since Week 1, but he's a tight end, so there's more leeway and tolerance for volatility. He's back in the top 12 against the Chargers, whose pass defense is about average.

Injuries:

None



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