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Fantasy Football Start 'Em, Sit 'Em - Week 8 Matchups Analysis

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

Welcome back RotoBallers to our Week 8 matchups analysis and Start Em, Sit Em column for fantasy football. After brutal output from quarterbacks in Week 6, last week was much better, including four total touchdowns from three different signal-callers. It did translate across the other positions, although it wasn't always the players you expected. After suffering through six teams on a bye, we're rewarded with all 32 teams active this week. It's a strange scheduling decision but we'll take it nevertheless.

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, rbsdm, 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 had one of the quarterbacks or pass-catchers that blew up. Regardless of which side you came out on, 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 - 1:00 ET Games

Houston Texans at Carolina Panthers

Spread: Texans -3.5
Implied Total: Texans (23.5) vs. Panthers (20)
Pace: Texans (5th) vs. Panthers (7th)
Texans Off. DVOA: 38.2% Pass (5th), -26.2% Rush (30th)
Panthers Off. DVOA: -11.2% Pass (29th), -16.3% Rush (26th)
Texans Def. DVOA:
11.4% Pass (22nd), -5.5% Rush (22nd)
Panthers Def. DVOA: 8.7% Pass (18th), 22.6% Rush (32nd)

Matchups We Love:

Panthers RBs

Chuba Hubbard delivered a solid performance with Miles Sanders sidelined in Week 6. Sanders rested up on their bye week and will rejoin Hubbard in the backfield, further complicating the situation. There was also a report from head coach Frank Reich that both backs would share the starting role, which makes it difficult for fantasy. It is a battle of two teams that run a lot of plays with exploitable run defenses, so they'll both be viable flex options, but neither earns a spot in the top 24 because of the split.

Matchups We Hate:

Bryce Young (QB, CAR)

Young has only been reliable in games they were down 14-plus points, forcing him to air it out late against soft coverage. While the Texans are the superior team, it's unlikely they'll beat the Panthers handedly in this one, resulting in a more balanced attack.

Other Matchups:

Texans RBs

After holding the title as the rush defense to target for so long, Carolina has taken over that claim to fame, which should make Dameon Pierce a great start. Unfortunately, our most recent data set involved a near 50/50 split with Devin Singletary in Week 6. There were also comments from head coach Demeco Ryans indicating this might continue. With Mike Boone also taking away a few touches, it causes Pierce to drop outside the top 24 as an upside flex play, despite the great matchup. Singletary is also an option, but with no bye weeks, he's not someone to force into your lineup.

Texans WRs

Nico Collins put together a nice stretch of performances to open the year. His usage has been solid with a targets per route run of 26%, plus he's been effective with those targets in posting a yards per route run of 3.36, which ranks fourth among qualified receivers. He's become a reliable starter with top-20 upside on a weekly basis. After missing time with a concussion, Tank Dell will make his return to action, which bodes well for the offense as a whole. He's been more up and down, which makes sense given he's the No. 2 behind Collins. He had back-to-back blowup performances in Weeks 2 and 3 before disappointing in Weeks 4 and 5. He comes in as an upside flex option with a good matchup against Carolina.

UPDATE: Woods has been ruled out, increasing the excitement for Collins and Dell. It could open the door for Dalton Schultz as well.

Adam Thielen (WR, CAR)

We saw Jonathan Mingo showing some semblance of relevance before their bye week, but in this matchup, it's best to lean solely on Thielen, who has been incredibly consistent. It is worth mentioning that Panthers offensive coordinator Thomas Brown will be taking over play calling, which is a variable for the passing attack. That said, Thielen is still in the top 24 as usual while Mingo would be more of a risky flex play.

C.J. Stroud

Stroud's thrown for multiple touchdowns in four of six outings with 280 or more yards 50% of the time. He's vastly exceeded his preseason ranking while keeping the team afloat at 3-3. He did struggle against the Saints last time he played in Week 6, but the Panthers are a much easier matchup, making him a streaming candidate.

Injuries:

Robert Woods (foot)

 

Los Angeles Rams at Dallas Cowboys

Spread: Cowboys -6.0
Implied Total: Rams (19.75) vs. Cowboys (25.75)
Pace: Rams (26th) vs. Cowboys (23rd)
Rams Off. DVOA: 23.2% Pass (11th), 8.0% Rush (5th)
Cowboys Off. DVOA: 9.1% Pass (19th), -15.6% Rush (25th)
Rams Def. DVOA:
10.7% Pass (20th), -4.0% Rush (24th)
Cowboys Def. DVOA: -13.8% Pass (3rd), -17.7% Rush (10th)

Matchups We Love:

Tony Pollard (RB, DAL)

Coming off their bye week, the Cowboys ought to be excited at the opportunity to beat both Los Angeles teams back to back. They're home favorites and the Rams' rush defense hasn't been a stout unit. It sets up well for Pollard, who has struggled to find the end zone since Week 1. The usage has been there, especially in the passing, where he boasts a 14.9% target share. It's the fourth-highest among qualified backs and has the potential to lead to big plays as we saw in Week 6. He's a top-15 back.

CeeDee Lamb (WR, DAL)

Dallas finally fed Lamb the way they were in 2022. He hauled in all seven of his passes for 117 yards against the Chargers, which was nice to see. Despite playing second fiddle, Michael Gallup actually bested Lamb with 10 targets but caught only three of those. It wasn't really his fault as only 40% (four) of them were deemed catchable, but you'd like to see that connection click a little better. It hasn't been an ideal matchup for receivers, but Lamb is locked in and Gallup remains a volume-based flex option.

Matchups We Hate:

Dak Prescott (QB, DAL)

The matchup in general for the passing attack has been getting harder as the Los Angeles offense improves and the team plays complementary football. Prescott had a better outing in Week 6 with no turnovers. He also found the end zone on a nice run-pass option play for 18 yards. It's a good sign from an NFL perspective, but with no bye weeks, he's not a signal-caller you need to rely on.

Matthew Stafford (QB, LAR)

They continue to score on the ground, ranking ninth in rushing touchdowns per game. They're only 16th in points per game, so when the majority of those points come from the running backs and their kicker, it's hard for Stafford to excel. The offense also looked lackluster against the Steelers, particularly in the fourth quarter, resulting in just 29 attempts. The matchup is tough and he rarely throws for multiple touchdowns (once this season so far), making him a risky streamer.

Tyler Higbee (TE, LAR)

Unless we're going to get 40-plus passing attempts from Stafford on a weekly basis, it's going to be difficult for Higbee to sustain volume with so many mouths to feed. He remains a touchdown-or-bust tight end.

Darrell Henderson (RB, LAR)

When last week began, many of us believed Zach Evans would get his shot to show what he can do. As the week progressed, it became clear that was not the case. The signing of Henderson was the most significant move given his history and familiarity with the team. He and Royce Freeman shared the workload with Henderson as the starter. He finished with 18 carries for 61 yards and a touchdown. The Rams ran just three plays in the red zone all game, and every one of them was a run or pass to Henderson, indicating he has the goal-line role. It'll be more difficult this week against Dallas, but he remains a strong flex option with Freeman more of a desperation play.

Other Matchups:

Rams WRs

After wondering how Puka Nacua would fair with Cooper Kupp as the centerpiece, he made a statement against Pittsburgh, torching their secondary for 154 yards while earning 12 targets. This time it was Kupp that still had decent volume, seven targets, but couldn't produce with those targets. Tutu Atwell made a nice grab in the end zone on an underthrown ball that seemed meant for Kupp, helping out anyone who started him. However, against Dallas, it's not wise to pursue anyone in the passing attack aside from Kupp and Nacua.

Jake Ferguson (TE, DAL)

The increased market share for Gallup coincided with a dip for Ferguson, who has faded after a couple of decent games. He's only cleared 30 yards twice and found pay dirt once, making him a low-upside streamer.

Injuries:

Kyren Williams (ankle)
Ronnie Rivers (knee)

 

Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers

Spread: Vikings -1.0
Implied Total: Vikings (21.5) vs. Packers (20.5)
Pace: Vikings (1st) vs. Packers (14th)
Vikings Off. DVOA: 16.5% Pass (14th), -15.3% Rush (24th)
Packers Off. DVOA: 18.6% Pass (12th), -19.7% Rush (27th)
Vikings Def. DVOA:
6.1% Pass (16th), -13.5% Rush (12th)
Packers Def. DVOA: 15.9% Pass (25th), 0.7% Rush (26th)

WEATHER: It's expected to be a cold one in Lambeau, but that typically doesn't have too much impact aside from maybe a little more efficiency for the rushing attack.

Matchups We Love:

Jordan Addison (WR, MIN)

Admittedly, the Addison breakout game against San Francisco was not one I saw coming. The offense looked very bad against Chicago and prime time is usually bad news for Kirk Cousins. Regardless, Addison had a monster day with seven receptions for 123 yards and two touchdowns, one of which he ripped out of the hands of Charvarius Ward, who coincidentally stole one from him earlier for an interception. It was awesome to see him establish himself ahead of K.J. Osborn the way we all hoped he would. The Packers remain a team to run on, but Addison's usage and talent keep him in the top 24.

T.J. Hockenson (TE, MIN)

Hockenson led the team in targets and receptions, locking him in as an elite option because of his volume.

Alexander Mattison (RB, MIN)

The gap between Mattison and Cam Akers closed in Week 7. Akers technically finished with two more touches, but five of his 10 carries were on their final drive when Mattison was off the field. Mattison still played more snaps (37-27), ran more routes (22-12), and had a higher yards per carry (4.9-3.1). The 49ers are very hard to run against, so Green Bay will be a welcome sight, especially if they're leading, which is my expectation. As we alluded to, the Packers are 30th in rushing yards per attempt allowed, 26th in rush defense DVOA, and 26th in EPA per rush allowed. The Vikings also continue to have 100% of their touchdowns coming through the air, which will regress at some point. Mattison lands just inside the top 24 while Akers is a flex option.

Matchups We Hate:

Jordan Love (QB, GB)

Minnesota's defense has made some improvement, ranking middle of the pack in pass defense categories over the past three weeks, including allowing just 213 passing yards per game. That means it's not a plus matchup, which means it's not a good idea to play Love, who has been trending in the wrong direction since their loss to the Lions.

Other Matchups:

Packers WRs

Not only is Love not helping fantasy managers who were using him as a streamer, but he's distributing the ball to far too many players, including 10 last week. It makes it challenging for anyone to really cement themselves as the leader of the pack. No one did well against Denver. There were only 180 yards to spread around, so once 56 of those went to the backfield, Christian Watson, Romeo Doubs, and Jayden Reed were all doomed to fail. With these three sharing time, the backfield taking touches, and a talented young tight end, there's no one to feel extremely confident about. Watson and Doubs remain the primary outside receivers, but neither is inside the top 24.

Aaron Jones (RB, GB)

The Jones injury situation just continues to linger. It's frustrating to predict his usage, which means until we know he's off the injury report at full health, his floor and ceiling take a hit. AJ Dillon out-carried him 15 to eight against the Broncos while Jones earned five targets compared to three for Dillon. The matchup is worse than last week on the ground, pushing Jones outside the top 24 due to his volatility.

Kirk Cousins (QB, MIN)

Cousins lit it up on Monday in front of the world. It was a season-saving victory that could be the start of a winning streak. We know he's capable of these high-caliber performances, but they don't always come when you'd figure they would. He has sufficient weapons to follow up his miraculous Monday with another top-12 finish in a divisional showdown against a squad that's reeling right now.

Luke Musgrave (TE, GB)

Musgrave exited the game early with an ankle injury, removing his potential to deliver in a nice spot. He's missed back-to-back practices to open the week, so we'll need more information on Friday. His volume and matchup are more of a concern, dropping him into the streaming category if he plays.

UPDATE: Musgrave got in his first practice of the week on Friday and is listed as questionable. It's best to look somewhere else if possible.

Injuries:

Justin Jefferson (hamstring)
Luke Musgrave (ankle)

 

New Orleans Saints at Indianapolis Colts

Spread: Saints -1.0
Implied Total: Saints (22.25) vs. Colts (21.25)
Pace: Saints (8th) vs. Colts (3rd)
Saints Off. DVOA: 0.2% Pass (23rd), -10.6% Rush (20th)
Colts Off. DVOA: 16.2% Pass (15th), 3.3% Rush (6th)
Saints Def. DVOA:
-4.9% Pass (8th), -13.5% Rush (13th)
Colts Def. DVOA: 2.6% Pass (12th), -10.2% Rush (18th)

Matchups We Love:

Alvin Kamara (RB, NO)

The way the offense is leaning on Kamara is a problem for their NFL outlook. However, for fantasy purposes, it's extremely valuable. He racked up another 12 receptions last Thursday to bring his season total up to 35 in four games. It wasn't just the receiving work either because he had 17 carries as well. It's a near-impossible pace to maintain, especially given that Jamaal Williams was coming back from injury, so he only played 20 snaps, and Kendre Miller was hurting, causing him to play just three. Kamara is still a top-15 back because of his current role, but don't be surprised if his touch total drops to around 20.

Matchups We Hate:

None

Other Matchups:

Colts WRs

Gardner Minshew played a wild game against what has been a nearly unstoppable Cleveland defense. He averaged 13.3 yards per attempt with four total touchdowns. The entire game was abnormal with defensive scores, turnovers, and seemingly endless opportunities for both teams. The good news was Josh Downs and Michael Pittman Jr. made the most of their receptions, averaging 25 and 41.5 yards per reception, respectively. Downs also found the end zone for the second consecutive week, appearing to have a connection with Minshew. It's another difficult matchup with Marshon Lattimore on deck, but it's hard to move these two outside the top 24 given their recent production.

Colts RBs

The Saints have been a difficult matchup for running backs all year, which is typically an issue when the workload is being split. In this case, though, Jonathan Taylor and Zack Moss are such focal points of the offense that they're still worth considering. Their usage was similar, including 18 rushing attempts each, and four targets for Taylor compared to two for Moss. The biggest difference was the production and goal-line work. The Colts ran the ball five times inside the 10-yard line. Three went to Taylor, one for a score, and two went to Minshew, both of which he cashed in on. It's unlikely that Minshew keeps vulturing touchdowns, but it shows us that Moss is the odd man out at this point. One thing working in their favor is that both teams have a higher pace of play, typically meaning more overall plays and touches. Taylor moves into the top 24 despite the matchup, while Moss remains a flex option.

UPDATE: Moss went from a limited practice on Thursday to a DNP on Friday and is now questionable. It's concerning for his availability. It would set Taylor up for a full workload if he misses.

Taysom Hill (TE, NO)

It's weird to see Hill being utilized as a receiver consistently. His career-high for receptions in a season is 19, yet he has 11 in the past two contests. He's also averaging about four rushing attempts per game. It has correlated with the absence of Juwan Johnson, who is expected to return this week. Hill is a high-variance streamer with plenty of upside.

UPDATE: Johnson will return as we figured. However, Hill is the one listed as questionable for Sunday's game, which would obviously remove him from contention as a streamer.

Saints WRs

As if this group didn't have enough to contend with between the injuries to Derek Carr and Kamara stealing work, now Hill is a part of the equation. Chris Olave and Carr were not on the same page, evidenced by their heated dialogue after Olave quit running his route. It led to a mere seven catches for 57 yards on a whopping 15 targets. It wasn't entirely his fault though because only 62% of those targets were deemed catchable. Michael Thomas has now totaled between 42 and 65 receiving yards with six to nine targets in every game this season, making his output somewhat predictable. He did haul in a touchdown against the Jaguars, but that was his first of the year. The good news is that Carr threw 105 passes during their past two games. It's a really good matchup, so Olave stays in the top 24 due to volume, while Thomas is a low-ceiling flex option, and Rashid Shaheed is a risky flex play.

Injuries:

Jelani Woods (hamstring)
Kylen Granson (concussion)
Taysom Hill (chest)
Zack Moss (elbow/heel)

 

New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins

Spread: Dolphins -9.5
Implied Total: Patriots (18.75) vs. Dolphins (28.25)
Pace: Patriots (4th) vs. Dolphins (17th)
Patriots Off. DVOA: 1.3% Pass (22nd), -9.1% Rush (16th)
Dolphins Off. DVOA: 52.0% Pass (3rd), 27.3% Rush (1st)
Patriots Def. DVOA:
11.9% Pass (23rd), -17.8% Rush (9th)
Dolphins Def. DVOA: 12.1% Pass (24th), -1.7% Rush (25th)

WEATHER: This game is expected to have sustained winds with a chance of rain, which could impact the passing attack for both teams.

Matchups We Love:

Tua Tagovailoa (QB, MIA)

We've now seen Tagovailoa struggle twice against contending level opponents, including Philly this past week. It's not all on him because their offensive line was without Terron Armstead and lost Isaiah Wynn midway through the game. Plus, Jaylen Waddle was in and out with back soreness. However, it does mean we need to consider him more matchup-dependent, which is something we noted a few weeks ago. Thankfully, the Patriots defense is a shell of its former self after losing key starters. The bigger concern is the health of Waddle because this offense is so reliant on him and Tyreek Hill, especially when the opposing defense can slow down the run.

Dolphins WRs

Hill had an uncharacteristic drop on what would've been his second touchdown of the game. It also would've helped the offense to come away with points instead of turning the ball over on downs. Nevertheless, the only reason to consider fading Hill at all is because we know New England will try to take him away as part of their game plan.  As for Waddle, the reports are that it's soreness, which is both good and bad. The good news is it won't cause him to miss time. The bad news is it could flare up at any point during the game, adding an additional layer of risk to his outlook. Overall, he's still in the top 24, but he's not automatic like he typically would be.

Matchups We Hate:

None

Other Matchups:

Raheem Mostert (RB, MIA)

The fact that Mostert finished with 45 rushing yards is really quite impressive because he went into halftime with three carries for a loss of eight yards. The Eagles have one of the toughest defensive fronts in the NFL, so it's no surprise that they struggled to run the ball, particularly with the O-line injuries. It's another bottom-10 matchup, but with a week to prepare and adjust to the injuries they suffered, Mostert is primed for a bounce-back performance as a top-15 tailback. The Dolphins ended with a total of 45 rushing yards, meaning neither Salvon Ahmed nor Jeff Wilson Jr. did much. Ahmed played more snaps and saw more touches, which is likely an indication they wanted to ease Wilson in. He was used more in the two-minute drill and long-distance downs, but it's best to avoid these two until one overtakes the other.

Rhamondre Stevenson (RB, NE)

The Patriots got a huge win over Buffalo, silencing those calling for Bill Belichick to retire at least for another week. The backfield was a timeshare as we've come to accept for the most part. However, Stevenson played more snaps, ran more routes, earned more targets, and finished with more fantasy points than Ezekiel Elliott, who had two more carries and found the end zone. Elliott got the only goal-line attempt, which unfortunately will happen from time to time. They've split the carries inside the five-yard line evenly on the year, but Stevenson is dominating in nearly every other metric with double the target share at 12%. That number has been 20% over the past two weeks, which is closer to what to project moving forward. Stevenson lands in the top 24 against Miami.

Patriots Passing Attack

Mac Jones did his best Tom Brady impression in leading multiple scoring drives in the fourth quarter to get the win. While chasing him on a week with no byes is unnecessary, his uptick in competency makes players like Kendrick Bourne and Demario Douglas more trustworthy. JuJu Smith-Schuster was out and DeVante Parker earned just one target, signaling a shift to the other two, who played 93% and 62% of the snaps, respectively. Bourne's now had 16 receptions for 152 yards and a score in their past two contests. The Dolphins' pass defense is giving up the 13th-most passing yards per completion to opponents and ranks 24th in pass defense DVOA. However, Xavien Howard and Jalen Ramsey are both on track to suit up this week, forcing Bourne into the flex range and Douglas as more of a dart throw.

Injuries:

De'Von Achane (knee)
Chris Brooks (ankle)

 

New York Jets at New York Giants

Spread: Jets -3.0
Implied Total: Jets (19.25) vs. Giants (16.25)
Pace: Jets (22nd) vs. Giants (13th)
Jets Off. DVOA: -8.1% Pass (27th), -11.6% Rush (23rd)
Giants Off. DVOA: -16.7% Pass (31st), -30.4% Rush (31st)
Jets Def. DVOA:
0.3% Pass (10th), -12.0% Rush (17th)
Giants Def. DVOA: 5.8% Pass (15th), 4.1% Rush (30th)

WEATHER: This game is expected to be rainy, which could make catching passes harder and lead to more turnovers.

Matchups We Love:

Breece Hall (RB, NYJ)

The battle of New York ought to be interesting. Hall began to emerge in the Denver game when head coach Robert Saleh said he was off his pitch count. During those two contests, he averaged 60% of the snaps, 70% of the rushing attempts, and a 14% target share. His production also cleared 90 total yards and he found pay dirt in both weeks. The offensive line is banged up, but the Giants aren't a very good pressure defense. They have looked a little better but are still beatable on the ground, positioning him firmly in the top 15.

Garrett Wilson (WR, NYJ)

The statement "Zach Wilson is the only quarterback to beat Philly this season," feels wrong but it's accurate. Obviously, much of the credit goes to their defense, but Wilson was good enough to move the offense and continues to target his star receiver.  Wilson has a 32% target share this season with an aDot of about 11 yards. He belongs in the top 24 against their crosstown rivals.

Darren Waller (TE, NYG)

After a slow start to 2023, Waller is heating up. He had his best game of the season with seven grabs for 98 yards and a score. It's possible he begins to live up to the pre-draft value as a top-five tight end for the rest of the season. It also helps that the Jets are giving up the most fantasy points to the position on the year.

UPDATE: Waller is listed as questionable for Sunday's game. He played last week and there wasn't a reported setback, so I'd expect him to be out there.

Matchups We Hate:

Giants WRs

Tyrod Taylor appears set to make another start for the G-Men, which has had a neutral to positive impact on their passing attack, especially last week. He's leaning more on rookie Jalin Hyatt, which is exciting. Wan'Dale Robinson took a backseat to their talented running back and tight end, earning just two targets. Neither of these two is worth throwing out there against the Jets and their elite secondary that gets back Sauce Gardner and D.J. Reed off the bye.

UPDATE: Jones has been ruled out as expected, confirming Taylor will get the nod again.

Other Matchups:

Saquon Barkley (RB, NYG)

Another 20-plus touch game for Barkley enabled the Giants to take down the Commanders in a much-needed win. We saw the Eagles' elite rushing attack stifled against the Jets in Week 6, which ranks sixth in EPA per rush allowed. It could mean a tough day on the ground for Barkley. Fortunately, he's one of the more versatile backs, so he'll be able to use his excellent pass-catching skills to support his production.

Injuries:

Daniel Jones (neck)
Darren Waller (hamstring)

 

Jacksonville Jaguars at Pittsburgh Steelers

Spread: Jaguars -2.0
Implied Total: Jaguars (21) vs. Steelers (19)
Pace: Jaguars (11th) vs. Steelers (12th)
Jaguars Off. DVOA: 23.3% Pass (10th), -6.9% Rush (15th)
Steelers Off. DVOA: -1.6% Pass (24th), -20.9% Rush (28th)
Jaguars Def. DVOA:
-9.2% Pass (6th), -20.2% Rush (6th)
Steelers Def. DVOA: -7.1% Pass (7th), -9.3% Rush (19th)

WEATHER: This game is expected to have sustained winds with a chance of rain, which could impact the passing attack for both teams.

Matchups We Love:

Travis Etienne Jr. (RB, JAX)

There's not much more you can ask of Etienne Jr. right now. He's scored two touchdowns in each of his past three games, including against the Saints. In addition, he's averaging over 18 rushing attempts per game with at least three receptions in every week but one. The matchup is better than last week, so there's no reason to shy away from him.

Christian Kirk (WR, JAX)

Kirk has been the most reliable pass-catcher for the offense. It was a grind for this offense against New Orleans, but Kirk caught 100% of his targets for 90 yards and a score, leading the charge yet again. Aside from the Week 1 oddity, he has six or more targets in every game with at least 78 receiving yards or a trip to the end zone in all six. He's become a dependable top-24 receiver. It's helped that Zay Jones has been out, but there are no indications he'll be ready for Week 8. He missed practice on Wednesday and Thursday to open the week. That leads us to Calvin Ridley, who has been active, but is having a Jones-esque season from 2022, where he was hot and cold with multiple boom performances and several busts. Unless Trevor Lawrence proves to us he's leveled up and the offense is willing to throw the ball 35-plus times per game, Ridley needs to be viewed as more of a boom-bust flex option with a large ceiling, even against the Steelers and their porous secondary.

UPDATE: Jones has been ruled out again for Week 8 as anticipated.

Matchups We Hate:

Trevor Lawrence (QB, JAX)

Lawrence did well not to commit any turnovers this past week, but their approach is to pound the rock and limit his attempts. He's thrown more than 30 attempts just once since Week 3 with a total of five touchdowns, and they're 4-0 during that stretch. There are streaming quarterbacks with more upside this week.

UPDATE: Lawrence is listed as questionable for Sunday's game. This happened once earlier in the season and he played, which is my expectation here but we'll get a concrete answer over the weekend.

Steelers RBs

Jacksonville has sneakily become a difficult matchup on the ground. Add in that Najee Harris and Jaylen Warren are sharing the workload, and it's not a great situation for these two. Warren continues to be the more explosive back, but Harris outdid him in terms of snaps, routes run, carries, and targets. It was the first time this season Harris participated more than Warren as a receiver, which is problematic for Warren's flex value. They both found the end zone, which was nice to see, but for this week, it's Harris as the preferred flex option given the change in usage.

Other Matchups:

Evan Engram (TE, JAX)

Engram earned another seven targets as he so frequently does. His five catches for 45 yards weren't spectacular but neither was the matchup. It's another bottom-five situation this week, so he's behind some of the elite options in that TE5-TE10 range.

Steelers WRs

Diontae Johnson's return was not only a positive for the offense but allowed George Pickens to shred the Rams' secondary for big plays. He averaged 21.4 yards per reception, constantly getting open downfield. He's averaging the 18th-most fantasy points per game in half-PPR scoring with three top-20 finishes. He's putting together the breakout year we know he has the talent to do. Johnson was decent, earning six targets on just 66% of the snaps. While I'd expect that number to increase moving forward, it's noteworthy that he was added to the injury report on Thursday as a missed practice with the hamstring. Pickens will be in the top 24 with Johnson in the top 36 if active.

UPDATE: Johnson practiced in full on Friday and is good to go for Sunday's game.

Injuries:

Pat Freiermuth (hamstring)
Zay Jones (knee)
Trevor Lawrence (knee)

 

Atlanta Falcons at Tennessee Titans

Spread: Falcons -2.5
Implied Total: Falcons (18.75) vs. Titans (16.25)
Pace: Falcons (15th) vs. Titans (31st)
Falcons Off. DVOA: 2.3% Pass (20th), -9.4% Rush (17th)
Titans Off. DVOA: 1.7% Pass (21st), -5.9% Rush (14th)
Falcons Def. DVOA:
23.7% Pass (29th), -22.1% Rush (5th)
Titans Def. DVOA: 20.2% Pass (26th), -24.5% Rush (4th)

Matchups We Love:

Drake London (WR, ATL)

London led the team in every receiving category again, which is becoming the new norm since his Week 1 scare. Tennessee remains a pass-funnel defense and they just traded away their best coverage defender, Kevin Byard, to the Eagles. It sets London up as a top-36 receiver with a shot for more.

Matchups We Hate:

Titans Passing Attack

Ryan Tannehill has been ruled out and Will Levis will get the start with the possibility of Malik Willis coming in on certain packages. It's a bad scene for DeAndre Hopkins, who has also been rumored in trades. We have no idea what to expect from Levis, but it's best to tread cautiously with Hopkins, especially when all 32 teams are in action this week.

Derrick Henry (RB, TEN)

It's a similar sentiment here for Henry. He's also a trade candidate, plus the defense will focus their entire attention on him as they have been so far in 2023. He's faced eight-plus defenders in the box on a league-leading 44.9% of his rushing attempts. On top of that, Tyjae Spears continues to eat into his workload and Atlanta is already one of the more stout defenses in the NFL. It's tough to recommend benching Henry, but he's not a must-start by any means.

Other Matchups:

Bijan Robinson (RB, ATL)

The Falcons are being investigated after failing to report an illness for Robinson on Saturday. It burned everyone in fantasy, betting, and otherwise, although they still won the game. His illness allowed Tyler Allgeier to take over as the primary back with 21 carries and three targets. It also opened the door for Cordarrelle Patterson to run the ball eight times. The assumption is that Robinson is fine and will resume his role in Week 8, but it's one more thing plaguing the minds of fantasy managers. It's also a really tough matchup, but we were seeing higher usage as a receiver, so he remains a top-15 back with Allgeier a more risky flex player because it's Tennessee.

Kyle Pitts (TE, ATL)

We noted the matchup against Jamel Dean, figuring it could impact both Pitts and Jonnu Smith. Neither was able to produce. Although, it was partly because Desmond Ridder passed the ball 25 times. Pitts is in a timeshare at tight end but is the No. 2 option behind London, so he's still a streamer.

Injuries:

Ryan Tannehill (ankle)

 

Philadelphia Eagles at Washington Commanders

Spread: Eagles -7.0
Implied Total: Eagles (25.25) vs. Commanders (18.25)
Pace: Eagles (29th) vs. Commanders (16th)
Eagles Off. DVOA: 17.8% Pass (13th), 11.4% Rush (3rd)
Commanders Off. DVOA: -13.3% Pass (30th), -3.5% Rush (30th)
Eagles Def. DVOA:
7.0% Pass (17th), -31.1% Rush (1st)
Commanders Def. DVOA: -14.6% Pass (26th), -19.6% Rush (14th)

Matchups We Love:

Jalen Hurts (QB, PHI)

Hurts just keeps on rolling for fantasy with another top-five finish. He did throw an interception and lose a fumble, perpetuating the issues he's had with turnovers. He's tossed seven interceptions in the past five weeks, which is allowing teams to stay in the game when they otherwise would not. Furthermore, it cost them their only loss to the Jets. It's not as if he's at risk of losing his job or the trust of the play-caller, but it might influence them to lean on their rushing attack, which we know they can do. Hurts alone has six rushing touchdowns in 2023.

Dallas Goedert (TE, PHI)

Since the whole squeaky wheel narrative played out a few weeks ago, Goedert has one okay game and two week-winning performances for a tight end. He's moved behind A.J. Brown as the No. 2 option, which is exactly the scenario you want your tight end to be in.

A.J. Brown (WR, PHI)

Brown tied the NFL record with his fifth straight game of 125-plus receiving yards. He's literally on a historic pace, which while awesome for him, is a real problem for DeVonta Smith. Between Brown and Goedert both taking away volume, there's not much left for Smith, who was dealing with a hamstring during practice entering Week 7. At this point, he needs to be approached similarly to Ridley, as a boom-bust flex option that can go off at any point. This is a really good matchup, so if you're willing to go back to the well against the Commanders, you might get rewarded.

D'Andre Swift (RB, PHI)

Joining the rest of the flock here is Swift, who had a bit of a letdown relative to what he's been doing, mostly because Hurts and Kenneth Gainwell combined for 19 rushing attempts and accounted for both touchdowns. It also didn't help that he had just three targets, tied for his second-lowest since becoming the starter. He should see more work in a game they'll dominate, keeping him in the top 15.

Matchups We Hate:

Brian Robinson Jr. (RB, WAS)

We spoke earlier about what the defensive front did to the Dolphins. On top of the direct matchup, you have a quarterback who is on pace to break the records for sacks in a season, the near guarantee of a negative game script, and multiple other tailbacks taking away work. We referenced Chris Rodriguez Jr. last week as a potential problem, and his usage was there again with seven carries and a target. He's also eating into Antonio Gibson's workload, rendering him to just four touches. It's a full stay-away at this point for all three players.

Other Matchups:

Terry McLaurin (WR, WAS)

Somehow, Sam Howell took six more sacks against New York, who entered the game with one sack all year. It's an issue for the receiving options because it often kills the drive, reducing the number of plays. McLaurin remains the leader of this group, but not by much as Jahan Dotson and Curtis Samuel had only one fewer target. It worked out last week because Howell threw the ball 42 times, but didn't pass for a touchdown. They should be in a negative game script again when the Eagles come to town, making volume the key to success here because Philly acquired Kevin Byard from the Titans to shore up their secondary. McLaurin slots in as a top-36 receiver with Samuel and Dotson as risky flex options.

UPDATE: Samuel is listed as questionable for Sunday. His absence would help to solidify targets for McLaurin and Dotson.

Logan Thomas (TE, WAS)

Thomas's targets jumped back up to six, which is sufficient at tight end. Four catches for 51 yards isn't great, but it's enough to keep in the conversation as a streamer.

Injuries:

Curtis Samuel (foot)

 

Matchup Analysis - 4:25 ET Games

Cleveland Browns at Seattle Seahawks

Spread: Seahawks -3.5
Implied Total: Browns (17) vs. Seahawks (20.5)
Pace: Browns (10th) vs. Seahawks (21st)
Browns Off. DVOA: -18.3% Pass (32nd), -9.6% Rush (18th)
Seahawks Off. DVOA: 32.6% Pass (6th), -9.6% Rush (19th)
Browns Def. DVOA:
-20.9% Pass (2nd), -25.9% Rush (2nd)
Seahawks Def. DVOA: 10.4% Pass (19th), -24.6% Rush (3rd)

Matchups We Love:

None

Matchups We Hate:

Geno Smith (QB, SEA)

After a bad loss to Cincinnati in Week 6, the Seahawks righted the ship against Arizona. However, they still only scored 20 points and let the Cardinals hang around a lot longer than they should have. Smith's numbers were better, but he takes on the Browns, who are right near the top of every pass defense category. Smith is a sit this week.

Other Matchups:

Kenneth Walker III (RB, SEA)

I toyed with the idea of putting Walker Jr. in the matchups we love section because he's been on fire, but the opposing defense and my confidence in this offense as a whole have me feeling like this will be a low-scoring close game, so he ends up here. Zach Charbonnet was out last week, resulting in 100% (26) of the rushing attempts and three of the four RB targets for Walker. In a surprising turn of events, it's now Walker who has missed practice on Wednesday and Thursday while Charbonnet is good to go. Charbonnet would become a top-20 back if Walker misses.

UPDATE: Walker is good to go for Sunday and resumes his role as the lead back.

Seahawks WRs

DK Metcalf, who has been dealing with a hip and rib injury for multiple weeks, finally sat out in Week 7. It makes sense given that the team surely knew they could beat Arizona without him. It was the opportunity Jaxon Smith-Njigba needed to earn a significant role. He still played fewer snaps than Tyler Lockett and Jake Bobo, but his targets per route run went up to a season-high 30%. He led the team with 63 receiving yards and found the end zone. Not to be outdone, their other rookie wideout, Bobo, also had 61 yards and a touchdown. Both players are emerging in this offense with Lockett struggling to produce. Metcalf will be back this week but the matchup is difficult, dropping him outside the top 24 while Lockett, who has been missing practice and could be out, falls into the flex range with Smith-Njigba and Bobo as long shots.

UPDATE: Lockett is questionable for Sunday's matchup. Smith-Njigba and Bobo would move into the flex range despite the tough matchup if Lockett is out.

Amari Cooper (WR, CLE)

What a mess in Cleveland right now. Deshaun Watson never looked quite right before leaving the field to be evaluated for a concussion and then being held out for precautionary reasons. Fast forward to this week, and he's been ruled out already, meaning P.J. Walker will get the nod. This injury saga is a disaster for the team on and off the field, although it feels a bit like karma after the contract he was given. In any case, we know now it's Walker's team this week, which isn't great news for the offense. He completed 47% of his passes, threw one pick, and no passing touchdowns while averaging 5.6 yards per attempt. It was brutal, especially against the Colts. Cooper earned eight targets, but only half were catchable. He did have an egregious drop, but it's hard to fault him and to a lesser extent, Elijah Moore, for failing to produce. It's another good matchup for this group, keeping Cooper in the top 36 and Moore as a low-upside flex option, but there is some volatility given the quarterback situation.

Kareem Hunt (RB, CLE)

The running game and defense led them to a win over Indy, but they lost Jerome Ford in the process. It positions Hunt to lead the way with Pierre Strong Jr. factoring in, more so on the ground. Hunt continues to manage a thigh injury, so he's likely to see about 14-18 touches, leaving plenty of work for Strong Jr. to be involved. Cleveland runs the ball 33 times per game, which is the second-highest in the NFL. The volume makes both players flex options with Hunt as the favorite for more work and receptions.

UPDATE: Ford surprisingly practiced on Friday and has been listed as questionable for Sunday's game. It still seems unlikely that he plays and Hunt would still be an option if he does, but Strong would become the odd man out.

David Njoku (TE, CLE)

Njoku had his best outing of the year as the TE11 last week. He's been outside the top 20 in four of his games, so he's a low-ceiling streamer that won't burn you in a below-average matchup.

Injuries:

Deshaun Watson (shoulder)
Jerome Ford (ankle)
Tyler Lockett (hamstring)

 

Baltimore Ravens at Arizona Cardinals

Spread: Ravens -9.5
Implied Total: Ravens (27) vs. Cardinals (17.5)
Pace: Ravens (27th) vs. Cardinals (6th)
Ravens Off. DVOA: 29.6% Pass (8th), 17.2% Rush (2nd)
Cardinals Off. DVOA: 9.3% Pass (18th), 3.0% Rush (7th)
Ravens Def. DVOA:
-24.9% Pass (1st), -19.2% Rush (7th)
Cardinals Def. DVOA: 36.4% Pass (31st), 2.7% Rush (29th)

Matchups We Love:

Lamar Jackson (QB, BAL)

The Ravens demolished the Lions. The game was over in a hurry with four total touchdowns from Jackson. He's forced himself back into the MVP conversation. More importantly, the offense finally looked like we hoped it would with Todd Monken as the OC. Arizona has the privilege of being his next victim.

Mark Andrews (TE, BAL)

Andrews found the end zone twice and continues to make chunk plays, averaging 12.8 yards per reception. He's back to his elite status.

Zay Flowers (WR, BAL)

Flowers had a nice 46-yard catch to boost his day, which featured six targets. He's back in the top 24 this week. Odell Beckham Jr. actually led the team with seven that he turned into five catches for 49 yards. It seems to rotate between him and Nelson Agholor with Rashod Bateman mostly left behind, so it's hard to know who to bet on. Beckham was dealing with injuries early in the season, so he gets the preference as a flex option.

Matchups We Hate:

Emari Demercado (RB, ARI)

After seemingly in line to be the starter two weeks ago, Demercado played behind Keaontay Ingram and Damien Williams. That led to this backfield being one to avoid last week. However, they elected to remove Ingram from the equation (zero touches) and limit Williams to one carry in favor of giving Demercardo 13 rushing attempts and five targets on 80% of snaps. It's a tough matchup this week, but the receiving work keeps him in the flex range so long as they repeat their plan from last week, which is not a guarantee.

Other Matchups:

Ravens RBs

There was consideration to include Gus Edwards with his teammates in the section above given the matchup against the Cardinals is very good, but the offense is relying less on their running backs and airing out more. He had an awesome game against Detroit, thanks to a rare screen pass that he took for 80 yards. He also found the end zone. He's a strong top-24 back this week with Justice Hill not as interesting because there are no bye weeks, but still a flex option.

Marquise Brown (WR, ARI)

It's the same story for Brown. He leads the team in targets, but only 60% are catchable so he finishes with lower production. He had a nice stretch where he was scoring and the offense was clicking, but the past two weeks finished as the WR54 and WR47 in half-PPR scoring. Kyler Murray has been listed as doubtful for this week and seems on track to return as soon as next week. They'll likely provide him with an additional week of rest by holding him out until Week 10 so he doesn't reaggravate the injury but we'll see how they handle it. Hosting Baltimore is not a great spot for Brown or the offense, dropping him outside the top 24.

Trey McBride (TE, ARI)

After placing Zach Ertz on Injured Reserve, we'll get to see at least four weeks of McBride as the starter; hopefully, two or three with Murray at the helm. For now, it's Joshua Dobbs, who did target him six times against Seattle. The matchup lessens the excitement a little, but he's still a capable streamer.

Injuries:
James Conner (knee)
Zach Ertz (quad)
Keaton Mitchell (hamstring)

 

Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos

Spread: Chiefs -7.0
Implied Total: Chiefs (27) vs. Broncos (20)
Pace: Chiefs (24th) vs. Broncos (19th)
Chiefs Off. DVOA: 46.3% Pass (4th), -10.6% Rush (21st)
Broncos Off. DVOA: 11.8% Pass (16th), -4.6% Rush (12th)
Chiefs Def. DVOA:
-13.0% Pass (4th), -6.0% Rush (21st)
Broncos Def. DVOA: 46.8% Pass (32nd), 8.6% Rush (31st)

WEATHER: This game is expected to have light wind and flurries, which could impact the running game and receivers's ability to grip the field.

Matchups We Love:

Patrick Mahomes (QB, KC)

It turns out the Chargers were the solution to the Mahomes struggles. He torched them for 424 yards and four touchdowns through the air with 29 more using his legs. If it feels like you just saw these two teams play each other, it's because you did. They faced off in Arrowhead two weeks ago. Another odd scheduling decision by the NFL. Nevertheless, that loss seemed to spark the Denver defense because they played well then and again when hosting Green Bay in Week 7. That said, it's not enough to push Mahomes outside the top five.

Travis Kelce (TE, KC)

You can all but lock Kelce in as the TE1 for 2023 at this point. His production is outrageous. He's averaging 3.5 more points per game than Andrews, who is the TE2 in half-PPR scoring, and sits more than six points per game higher than anyone else.

Isiah Pacheco (RB, KC)

No ground game, no problem. Pacheco is on the verge of becoming matchup-proof because when the team decides to throw it 42 times and run it 21, he just gets it done as a receiver with four receptions for 28 yards and a touchdown. He still led the way with 13 carries and deserves a spot in the top 12 this week.

Matchups We Hate:

Javonte Williams (RB, DEN)

There were two perspectives on Williams. The first was that he's not healthy and the injury will open the door for Jaleel McLaughlin to take more work, and the second was that the quad injury was more of a one-off situation and as he gets healthier, he'll become the clear starter. After last week, the second appears to be the most probable. Williams played more than double the snaps of McLaughlin and Samaje Perine, had triple as many carries, ran more routes, and had a higher target share. It's not an ideal matchup, but the workload and his role make him a flex option with the other two left on your bench.

Broncos Passing Attack

Courtland Sutton did it again, scoring for the fifth time in seven weeks. It seems unsustainable given the ineptitude of the offense, but he led the way in every other receiving category, including targets (six), receptions (five), and yards (76). Jerry Jeudy wasn't far behind with one fewer target, one fewer catch, and 12 fewer yards. The team doesn't utilize the tight end position without Greg Dulcich, and they aren't playing Marvin Mims Jr., so Sutton and Jeudy are locked in as the top two. Kansas City just slowed down the Chargers' passing attack, so Sutton and Jeudy fall to the flex range with Sutton as the preferred choice.

Other Matchups:

Rashee Rice (WR, KC)

Rice has been steadily building momentum for several weeks. He trailed only Kelce in targets, hauling in five passes for 60 yards and a score. Justin Watson being out did lead to a season-high 59% of snaps, and he'll be back this week, but it's becoming increasingly difficult for the coaching staff not to give him more snaps. He's the one non-Kelce option to consider in the passing attack as a top-36 receiver because he'll still likely avoid coverage from Patrick Surtain II.

Injuries:

Greg Dulcich (leg)

 

Cincinnati Bengals at San Francisco 49ers

Spread: 49ers -4.0
Implied Total: Bengals (19.75) vs. 49ers (23.75)
Pace: Bengals (20th) vs. 49ers (32nd)
Bengals Off. DVOA: -4.9% Pass (25th), -11.3% Rush (22nd)
49ers Off. DVOA: 64.3% Pass (1st), 10.4% Rush (4th)
Bengals Def. DVOA:
2.0% Pass (11th), 1.3% Rush (27th)
49ers Def. DVOA: -9.5% Pass (5th), -8.6% Rush (20th)

Matchups We Love:

Christian McCaffrey (RB, SF)

McCaffrey is a unicorn at the running back position. We knew that about his usage, but after question marks about his availability all week, he played 100% of the snaps. I underestimated the willingness of the coaching staff to leave him out there the whole game coming off an injury. Obviously, that meant almost no usage for Elijah Mitchell (one carry for a loss of a yard) and Jordan Mason (no touches). It's possible the snap percentage drops because it cannot be any higher, but he's a true outlier.

Matchups We Hate:

Joe Mixon (RB, CIN)

The Bengals gutted out a win against Seattle in Week 6 before their bye. Mixon was inefficient as usual, turning 16 touches into 62 yards, but his three receptions provided somewhat of a floor. It's a rough matchup, so he'll need the receiving work or a trip to the end zone to come through as more than a flex option.

Other Matchups:

Joe Burrow (QB, CIN)

There are several variables to gauge here. How healthy is Burrow coming out of the bye week? Is the 49ers defense more vulnerable than we thought? How will Burrow fair with his dynamic duo at receiver ready to roll? These are what will determine the outcome for Burrow. He was looking more spry the past two games he played, so you'd expect his health to be in a better place, and certainly having all his weapons is a plus. As for the matchup, despite being underdogs on the road, I suspect they'll be able to put up enough points for Burrow to be a streamer.

Bengals WRs

Ja'Marr Chase rounded into form entering the bye week. He's a must-start of course. The question is how aggressive to be with Tee Higgins, who is not on the injury report. The matchup has been easier for receivers as of late, so as long as the catch rate of 39% corrects itself, he deserves to be back in the top 24.

Brandon Aiyuk (WR, SF)

The 49ers offense slowed down dramatically late in the game. They were without offensive lineman Trent Williams and could be again, but the biggest story is Brock Purdy entering concussion protocol. There are some videos of when he likely suffered the hit and his stats certainly took a hit after that play, which could provide an explanation for the worst game of his career. Regardless of the reason, it'll likely be Sam Darnold under center unless he can miraculously clear the concussion protocol. It's not a plus-matchup, so Darnold at the helm is a little concerning, but Aiyuk is still in play as a top-24 receiver if Deebo Samuel misses again and a top-30 wideout if not. It's also worth noting that Jauan Jennings earned nine targets and caught five of them, so he'd be a flex option if Samuel, who has yet to practice, is out.

UPDATE: Samuel has been ruled out but Purdy has cleared the concussion protocol and will get the start.

George Kittle (TE, SF)

The history is well established. Samuel or Aiyuk misses and the odds of a big game from Kittle skyrocket. He led the way with five receptions for 78 yards. Similar to Aiyuk, the instability at the QB position adds some risk to his outlook, but he remains firmly in the top 12, especially if Samuel is out.

UPDATE: Samuel has been ruled out but Purdy has cleared the concussion protocol and will get the start.

Injuries:

Deebo Samuel (shoulder)

 

Matchup Analysis - Sunday Night Football

Chicago Bears at Los Angeles Chargers

Spread: Chargers -8.5
Implied Total: Bears (19) vs. Chargers (27.5)
Pace: Bears (25th) vs. Chargers (2nd)
Bears Off. DVOA: -6.2% Pass (26th), 1.5% Rush (9th)
Chargers Off. DVOA: 27.9% Pass (9th), -5.7% Rush (13th)
Bears Def. DVOA:
26.0% Pass (30th), -12.1% Rush (16th)
Chargers Def. DVOA: 23.1% Pass (28th), -4.1% Rush (23rd)

Matchups We Love:

Justin Herbert (QB, LAC)

After hosting the Cowboys and traveling to Kansas City, Herbert gets some relief here against Chicago, who has looked better the past two weeks but is nowhere near the tier of the first two. Turnovers have been an issue with four interceptions in his past three games, which coincides with the injury to Mike Williams. He's also thrown for multiple touchdowns just once during the past three weeks without Williams and had a quarterback rating of less than 60. We'll get a better look at how he performs in a nice matchup this week, but he remains a top-10 signal-caller.

Keenan Allen (WR, LAC)

Allen had another game that left a lot to be desired. He still led the team with nine targets but caught just four for 55 yards. Meanwhile, Joshua Palmer blew up for 133 yards on his five receptions. We know Palmer gets the downfield passes, evidenced by his aDot of 14.4 compared to 10.08 for Allen, so when those hit, it'll equate to big-time output. Allen's cold streak is hard to absorb as a fantasy manager, but he's right back in your lineup against the Bears. Palmer has missed consecutive practices on Wednesday and Thursday, so we'll need to monitor his status on Friday and likely into the weekend. He's a top-24 receiver if he plays with Quentin Johnston and Jalen Guyton next line, neither of whom is worth chasing.

UPDATE: Palmer got in a limited practice on Friday but is listed as questionable for Sunday's game. We'll see what how he progresses over the weekend.

Austin Ekeler (RB, LAC)

The 14 carries for Ekeler were fine but just two targets is disappointing. It's partially that Herbert only attempted 30 passes, so the volume for everyone was lower, but he hasn't hit his stride since returning from injury as of yet. Much like Allen, you're going to have to keep playing him, especially as heavy favorites at home with an implied point total approaching 30.

Matchups We Hate:

Bears RBs

Chicago manhandled the Raiders 30-12, leading from wire to wire. They scored a touchdown in each of the first three quarters, all of which were by D'Onta Foreman. It was a shocking outcome, especially for Foreman, who went nuclear with 121 yards and three scores on 19 touches. Unfortunately, things are about to get complicated because Roschon Johnson is practicing in full, meaning he's on track to clear the concussion protocol. Furthermore, Darrynton Evans did not fade away with Travis Homer back. Instead, he had 15 touches on 48% of the snaps. We're headed for a full-blown committee where Foreman is likely the starter but cedes work to the other two. In a contest they'll be trailing, it makes Foreman a flex option with the other two risky dart throws.

Other Matchups:

Chargers TEs

Gerald Everett and Donald Parham Jr. continue to share the work at tight end. Everett found the end zone, saving his day. He remains the preferred option as a touchdown-dependent streamer.

UPDATE: Everett practiced in full on Friday but is listed as questionable for Sunday's game. If he suits up and Palmer misses, he'd become more intriguing with the vacated targets.

DJ Moore (WR, CHI)

The man operating the offense was the undrafted rookie, Tyson Bagent. While his stats were not eye-popping, he took care of the ball, completed 72% of his passes, and let the running game do the rest. Fortunately, he also understood the value of focusing on Moore, who caught eight of his nine targets. Bagent's 5.6 yards per attempt meant only 54 receiving yards for Moore, but that's good enough to consider him a top-36 receiver against the Chargers in a game they'll need to throw more.

Injuries:

Khalil Herbert (ankle)
Justin Fields (thumb)
Gerald Everett (hip)
Joshua Palmer (knee)

 

Matchups Analysis - Monday Night Football

Las Vegas Raiders at Detroit Lions

Spread: Lions -8.0
Implied Total: Raiders (19) vs. Lions (27)
Pace: Raiders (18th) vs. Lions (28th)
Raiders Off. DVOA: -8.9% Pass (28th), -30.5% Rush (32nd)
Lions Off. DVOA: 29.9% Pass (7th), 2.3% Rush (8th)
Raiders Def. DVOA:
10.8% Pass (21st), 2.1% Rush (28th)
Lions Def. DVOA: -1.9% Pass (9th), -19.0% Rush (8th)

Matchups We Love:

Amon-Ra St. Brown (WR, DET)

Sometimes when things go horrifically wrong, you just have to toss that performance in the garbage and move on. That's what you can expect the Lions to do after last week. They got pummeled by the Ravens, but it's their first bad loss of the year, so there's no reason to panic. Fortunately, the hole they dug forced them to throw the ball 53 times, including 19 to St. Brown, who caught 13 balls for 103 yards. The combination of the passing volume and Marvin Jones Jr. playing zero snaps allowed Jameson Williams to hit a season-high 44% snaps and earn six targets. Sadly, he caught zero of those passes, including a drop in the end zone. The team has officially parted ways with Jones Jr., enabling Williams to grow his role if he can perform. He and Josh Reynolds are flex options with Williams having the potential for a long touchdown.

Jahmyr Gibbs (RB, DET)

Gibbs finally had his coming out party, thanks in large part to repeated checkdowns from Jared Goff. He finished with nine receptions for 58 yards, plus he ran the ball 11 times for 68 yards and a score. David Montgomery has yet to return to practice, so it's looking like we'll get another week of Gibbs. If that's the case, he'll be in the top 12. He'd move down but stay in the top 24 along with Montgomery if he's a surprise active.

UPDATE: Montgomery has been ruled out as expected, which brings Craig Reynolds into the mix as a flex option.

Sam LaPorta (TE, DET)

LaPorta had a good game with six catches for 52 yards but took a bit of a backseat to St. Brown and Gibbs. That said, he's back in the top five against the Raiders.

Jared Goff (QB, DET)

As we mentioned, it's a game Goff will want to forget. He'll be happy to be back on home soil where he thrives. Goff is averaging 16.3 fantasy points per game on the road compared to 27.46 at home. Some of that can be attributed to the matchups, but it's clear he plays better at Ford Field. He moves into the streaming conversation in what should be a home victory.

Matchups We Hate:

None

Other Matchups:

Raiders WRs

When you have Brian Hoyer and Aidan O'Connell splitting time at quarterback, you know it's going to be a bad day. Hoyer's been a competent backup in the past, but he wasn't getting the job done and they were down big, so they pulled him out along with many of the other starters. Davante Adams saw the first four targets of the game, catching three passes on the first drive. Unfortunately, it began to fade as the game went on, resulting in seven receptions for 57 yards. It's not as if Jakobi Meyers was tearing it up either, but he hauled in a nine-yard touchdown with under two minutes to go that saved his day. Thankfully for the offense, Jimmy Garoppolo is back at practice and on track to suit up on Monday. His presence elevates these two into the top 24 in spite of a difficult matchup.

Josh Jacobs (RB, LV)

It's understandable that Jacobs saw just 11 carries because they were down for the whole game, but to only earn four targets and catch one is rough. Detroit has been hard to run on, so you can forecast around three yards per carry as his average. It'll come down to how many touches he receives and his target share. With Garoppolo back, they should be more successful on offense, keeping Jacobs in the top 20 due to volume.

Michael Mayer (TE, LV)

Just as Mayer was attempting to break out, he was stifled by their quarterback play and game flow. It's wise to give him a pass for last week and hit the reset button against the Lions, who have given up the highest number of fantasy points to tight ends this season. He rejoins the streamers.

Injuries:

David Montgomery (ribs)



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REAL-TIME FANTASY NEWS

Marco Luciano40 mins ago

Activated And Optioned To Minors
Addison Barger59 mins ago

Back With Big-League Club
Tatsuro Taira1 hour ago

Looks To Win 16th Fight In A Row
Alex Perez1 hour ago

An Underdog At UFC Vegas 93
José Abreu1 hour ago

Astros Release Jose Abreu
Brady Hiestand2 hours ago

Looking To Extend His Win Streak
Garrett Armfield2 hours ago

A Favorite At UFC Vegas 93
Jose Johnson2 hours ago

Looks To Win Back-To-Back Fights
MMA2 hours ago

Asu Almbayev Looks To Win His Third UFC Fight In A Row
Breece Hall3 hours ago

Jets Being Cautious With Breece Hall
Ben Brown4 hours ago

Diagnosed With Stress Reaction In His Neck
Jackson Jobe4 hours ago

Set To Make Rehab Start On Tuesday
Ricky Tiedemann4 hours ago

Making Rehab Start On Friday
Atlanta Hawks4 hours ago

Hawks Potentially Eyeing Donovan Clingan In NBA Draft
Everson Pereira4 hours ago

To Undergo Internal-Brace Surgery
Nolan Arenado4 hours ago

Back In Action Friday
Los Angeles Clippers5 hours ago

Clippers Targeting Jeff Van Gundy For Assistant Coach
Donovan Mitchell5 hours ago

Expected To Sign Extension With Cavs
Dennis Schröder5 hours ago

Dennis Schroder Wants To Remain In Brooklyn
Leon Draisaitl7 hours ago

On First Three-Game Scoring Drought Since March 2020
Connor McDavid7 hours ago

Finishes Game 3 Loss With Two Assists
Sam Bennett7 hours ago

Extends Point Streak To Six Games
Vladimir Tarasenko7 hours ago

Nets Fourth Postseason Goal
Sam Reinhart7 hours ago

Ends Goal Drought During Multi-Point Effort
Aleksander Barkov8 hours ago

Establishes New Panthers Record With Eighth Multi-Point Outing
Garrett Crochet14 hours ago

Strikes Out 13 Thursday
Joc Pederson14 hours ago

Hits Grand Slam Thursday
Christian Walker14 hours ago

Crushes Pair Of Homers
Taj Bradley14 hours ago

Punches Out 11 On Thursday
Giancarlo Stanton19 hours ago

Could Return To Outfield This Weekend
J.D. Martinez19 hours ago

Slugs First Career Walk-Off Homer
Alec Marsh19 hours ago

Throws Seven One-Hit Innings
Wilyer Abreu19 hours ago

Takes Batting Practice Thursday
Josh Jung19 hours ago

Continuing Rehab At Triple-A
Sasha Vezenkov20 hours ago

Reportedly Will Remain In The NBA
Luka Doncic20 hours ago

Probable For Friday Evening
Kristaps Porzingis20 hours ago

"Has A Chance" To Play In Game 4
Darius Slayton20 hours ago

Expected To Be Ready For Training Camp
Cleveland Browns21 hours ago

Myles Garrett Tweaks His Hamstring In Minicamp
Amari Cooper21 hours ago

Holds Out Of Final Day Of Minicamp
Clayton Kershaw21 hours ago

Has Successful Sim Game
Trea Turner21 hours ago

Running Close To 100 Percent
Trevor Lawrence21 hours ago

Jaguars, Trevor Lawrence Agree On Five-Year, $275 Million Extension
Corey Seager22 hours ago

Scratched From Thursday's Lineup
Ozzie Albies22 hours ago

Delivers Four Hits In Thursday's Win
Alvin Kamara24 hours ago

Skips Practice For Contract-Related Reasons
Courtland Sutton1 day ago

Hints At Training Camp Holdout
Gus Edwards1 day ago

"Likely" To Be Back For Training Camp
SJ1 day ago

Sharks Appoint Ryan Warsofsky As Head Coach
Jalen Chatfield1 day ago

Agrees To Three-Year Extension With Hurricanes
Kaapo Kakko1 day ago

Signs One-Year Extension With Rangers
Patrik Laine1 day ago

Poised To Move On From Columbus
Evan Rodrigues1 day ago

Promoted To First Line Thursday
Aleksander Barkov1 day ago

Will Play In Game 3 Versus Oilers
Juwan Johnson1 day ago

To Undergo Foot Surgery
Atlanta Falcons1 day ago

Falcons Lose 2025 Fifth-Round Pick Following Tampering Investigation
Josh Quinlan1 day ago

On Two-Fight Losing Streak
Adam Fugitt1 day ago

Could Be Fighting For His Job At UFC Vegas 93
Douglas Silva de Andrade1 day ago

Searching For 30th Career Win At UFC Vegas 93
Miles Johns1 day ago

Looking To Continue Success At UFC Vegas 93
Timmy Cuamba1 day ago

Searching For First UFC Win At UFC Vegas 93
Lucas Almeida1 day ago

Looks To Snap Losing Skid At UFC Vegas 93
Tim Hardaway Jr.1 day ago

Re-Enters Rotation In Game 3
Dereck Lively II1 day ago

Makes Finals History In Game 3
Luka Doncic1 day ago

Fouls Out For First Time In Postseason Career
Kyrie Irving1 day ago

Puts Up 35 Points In Losing Effort
Derrick White1 day ago

Stays Productive In Game 3 Win
Jaylen Brown1 day ago

Finishes Near 30-Point Triple-Double Wednesday
Jayson Tatum1 day ago

Leads Celtics With 31 Points In Game 3 Victory
Sam Darnold2 days ago

Considered The Starter At The Moment
Jaxon Smith-Njigba2 days ago

Injured In Practice Wednesday
Darius Garland2 days ago

Teams "Backing Off" Trying To Aquire Darius Garland
Courtland Sutton2 days ago

Had Offseason Ankle Surgery
Kristaps Porzingis2 days ago

May Miss The Rest Of The Finals
Josh Jacobs2 days ago

Taking Part In Mandatory Minicamp
Markelle Fultz2 days ago

Hoping To Stay In Orlando
Juwan Johnson2 days ago

Expected To Miss A Good Chunk Of Time
Luka Doncic2 days ago

Good To Go On Wednesday
Kristaps Porzingis2 days ago

Won't Play In Game 3
Laurent Brossoit2 days ago

Maple Leafs Have "Mutual Interest"
Jaccob Slavin2 days ago

Working On Long-Term Extension With Hurricanes
Corey Perry2 days ago

Set To Re-Enter Oilers Lineup On Thursday
Evander Kane2 days ago

Uncertain For Thursday's Game 3
Darnell Nurse2 days ago

Expected To Play In Game 3
Aleksander Barkov2 days ago

Practices On Wednesday, Will Travel To Edmonton
Jonathon Brooks2 days ago

Panthers Non-Committed About Jonathon Brooks' Training Camp Availability
Alvin Kamara2 days ago

Present For Mandatory Minicamp
Amari Cooper2 days ago

Absent Again Wednesday
Aaron Rodgers2 days ago

To Skip All Of Mandatory Minicamp
Keegan Bradley2 days ago

A Sleeper Pick At U.S. Open
Rickie Fowler2 days ago

Tough To Trust At U.S. Open
Tom Kim2 days ago

Striking The Ball Well Heading To Pinehurst
Sahith Theegala2 days ago

A Major Wild Card At Pinehurst
Tony Finau2 days ago

Seeking First Major Victory At U.S. Open
Cameron Smith2 days ago

The Best LIV Bet For U.S. Open
Ludvig Aberg2 days ago

Trust Ludvig Aberg At Pinehurst
Xander Schauffele2 days ago

A Top-10 Lock At U.S. Open
LeBron James2 days ago

"Staying Clear" From Lakers' Coaching Search
Luka Doncic2 days ago

Reportedly Playing With Pain-Killing Injections
Jordan Love3 days ago

Packers Could Extend Jordan Love By Training Camp
Dean Burmester3 days ago

A Risky Play At U.S. Open
Jon Rahm3 days ago

Withdraws From U.S. Open
Xavier Legette3 days ago

Expected To Be Full-Go For Training Camp
PGA3 days ago

Alex Noren Brings Improved Short Game To Pinehurst
Dustin Johnson3 days ago

Can Dustin Johnson Put A Rough Spring Behind Him?
Jordan Spieth3 days ago

Fighting Poor Form Heading To U.S. Open
Tommy Fleetwood3 days ago

Makes Pinehurst No. 2 Debut
Bryson DeChambeau3 days ago

Looks To Continue Major Success
Russell Henley3 days ago

In Top Form Heading To U.S. Open
PGA3 days ago

Byeong Hun An Could Contend At U.S. Open
Jason Day3 days ago

In Excellent Form Heading To U.S. Open
Tyrrell Hatton3 days ago

Back For Another U.S. Open
Will Zalatoris3 days ago

Finding Consistency Heading To U.S. Open
Wyndham Clark3 days ago

Trending In The Wrong Direction For U.S. Open
Kyle Larson4 days ago

Retakes Points Lead After Sonoma Win
Kyle Busch4 days ago

Misses Out On Valuable Points After Getting Dumped By Ross Chastain
Matt Duchene4 days ago

Hopes To Stay In Dallas
Sidney Crosby4 days ago

Penguins Hope To Have "Quiet" Extension Talks With Sidney Crosby
Patrick Kane4 days ago

Blackhawks Not Planning A Reunion With Patrick Kane
Ross Chastain4 days ago

Earns First Top Five Since Las Vegas, but Not Without Controversy
NASCAR4 days ago

AJ Allmendinger Had a Quiet but Very Strong Run at Sonoma
NASCAR4 days ago

Cam Waters Caught Up In Multi-Car Pile-Up In NASCAR Cup Series Debut
Michael McDowell4 days ago

Recovers To Second At Sonoma After Off-Track Excursion
Denny Hamlin4 days ago

Engine Failure Gives Denny Hamlin His Second Straight Last-Place Finish At Sonoma
Christopher Bell4 days ago

Earns Surprise Top-10 Finish After Mid-Race Crash
Jared Cannonier4 days ago

Suffers Controversial TKO Loss
Nassourdine Imavov4 days ago

Scores Controversial Stoppage At UFC Louisville
Brunno Ferreira4 days ago

Scores Vicious First-Round Knockout
Dustin Stoltzfus4 days ago

2-5 In Last Seven Fights After UFC Louisville Loss
Miguel Baeza4 days ago

Takes Decision Loss
Tyler Reddick4 days ago

Earns 10th Top-10 Finish Of 2024 At Sonoma Raceway
Joey Logano4 days ago

Despite Starting On The Pole, Joey Logano Finishes 21st At Sonoma
Will Brown4 days ago

Supercars Star Will Brown Finishes 31st In His NASCAR Debut
Chris Buescher4 days ago

Puts up Massive Score for Fantasy Owners at Sonoma
Martin Truex Jr4 days ago

Runs Out of Gas on Last Lap at Sonoma, Finishes 27th
Todd Gilliland4 days ago

Keeps Momentum Rolling with Top 10 at Sonoma
Brad Keselowski5 days ago

Avoids Chaos To Place 13th
Chase Elliott5 days ago

Scores Strong Finish of Fourth At Sonoma
Ryan Blaney5 days ago

Quietly Obtains Seventh At Sonoma
Julian Marquez5 days ago

Gets KO'd Early At UFC Louisville
MMA5 days ago

Zach Reese Gets 20-Second KO Win At UFC Louisville
Ricky Turcios5 days ago

Gets Submitted At UFC Louisville
Raul Rosas Jr.5 days ago

Picks Up Submission Win
Cam Waters5 days ago

Will Start 31st In His Cup Series Debut
NASCAR5 days ago

Should DFS Players Roster Bubba Wallace At Sonoma?
Zane Smith5 days ago

Is Zane Smith Worth Rostering At Sonoma?
Tyler Reddick5 days ago

Expect Tyler Reddick To Compete For The Win At Sonoma
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