Welcome to the Fantasy Football Forecast! My goal with this weekly column is to get you actionable information as quickly as possible, regardless if you're playing season-long fantasy, DFS, or are grinding player props. If you're just looking for fantasy football rankings and only have 10 minutes to skim through for your sit/start decisions, then head over to the "Forecast" sections below where I project each player's PPR finish based on a 12-team league. But if you want to get your research on, then I have full player breakdowns. As always, hit me up on Twitter @HaydenWinks if you have questions.
Teams are listed in order of their implied points.
Page 1: LAR, BUF, SEA, GB, NYG, DAL, NE, ATL, SF
Page 2: IND, BAL, JAX, ARI, PHI, MIN, HOU, DEN, DET
Page 3: TEN, CHI, CIN, OAK, LAC, NO, NYJ, WAS, MIA
TNF: KC, DEN
Byes: CAR, CLE, PIT, TB
1. Rams (28.75, -3) @ ATL
Update: Todd Gurley is expected to play. Malcolm Brown isn't. Gurley is an RB2, but the Rams may limit his touch total after coming up injured in the only game he's seen near full-time snaps. Darrell Henderson is an awesome bench hold.
This is pulled from my Twitter: “Last 14 games including playoffs for Jared Goff: 14 touchdowns, 15 interceptions, 6.7 yards per attempt. Goff is the definition of a system quarterback. He *needs* a good offensive line to produce. Rams are PFF's No. 31 graded pass-blocking team in 2019. They were 7th in 2018.” It’s obviously been a really bad run for Goff, but this is a get-right spot. The Falcons are dead last in adjusted sack rate and are the second-worst defense against fantasy QBs, so Goff should be able to get into a rhythm and produce top-10 numbers. … Todd Gurley and Malcolm Brown are on the injury report, and we might have to wait until Sunday to find out who is playing. If Gurley suits up, he’s an RB2 who should continue to see a modified bellcow workload. If he’s not and Brown is in, then the Rams will deploy a Brown/Darrell Henderson committee. The only thing I can say for certain is that Henderson is worth owning in season-long. The juice is there if he gets a chance at 10+ touches.
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Goff completely tanked the Rams’ receivers last week, but this is a much easier matchup, especially for Cooper Kupp. The slot receiver is leading the NFL in targets, and the Falcons have really struggled defending slot receivers this season according to Fantasy ADHD. Kupp is a bounceback WR1. … I’m more worried about Brandin Cooks and Robert Woods in season-long. Both receivers can hit a ceiling any week, but their usage is less sticky compared to Kupp, so they are more prone to clunkers. Luckily, Cooks and Woods can beat the Falcons’ second-worst pass defense (DVOA) with ease, so both are upside WR2/3s here. The Falcons are dead last in adjusted sack rate, so Goff should find more rhythm. … Gerald Everett’s usage has been up and down, but the matchup is too friendly to not keep Everett on the TE1/2 borderline. Everett is 10th in targets at tight end.
2. Bills (28.5 team total, -16.5 point spread) vs. MIA
Josh Allen’s upside is tied to his legs, his deep-ball, and his opponent. This is a week where Allen can check all boxes. Allen had rushing lines of 9-135-0 and 9-95-2 against the Dolphins last year, and this Dolphins Defense is worse in 2019. Fresh off a bye, Allen is a QB1 with upside this week. … The Bills haven’t had Devin Singletary since Week 2. That should change this week after practicing early in the week, and it’s going to be a tough touch projection since Frank Gore has handled 15.0 carries per game. This will likely be a two-back committee with Gore as the leading rusher and Singletary seeing 8+ carries and most of the pass-catching work. Given the opponent, Gore and Singletary are worthwhile gambles at the flex.
John Brown (groin) has been limited at practice this week, but he should be ready to roll for a dreamy home matchup. This is a week for Brown to get deep downfield because the Dolphins are allowing touchdowns (see red dots below) left and right on passes traveling 20+ yards downfield. Brown’s an upside WR2 with multiple weeks of 100+ air yards this season. … Cole Beasley has WR3/4 usage, but he’s only averaging 6.7 yards per target and has been held out of the end zone. Beasley’s projection can be increased in this matchup, however, so he’s in the WR4 mix. … Dawson Knox has had zero-floor TE2 usage this season and must score a touchdown to be worthwhile as a complete dart-throw streamer.
3. Seahawks (27, -3.5) vs. BAL
Russell Wilson is the QB1 overall (depending on your league settings) despite being 16th in pass attempts. He’s the MVP front-runner right now, and he gets a friendly home matchup against the Ravens who are in the bottom 35th percentile in pass defense DVOA. Wilson is obviously a top-five fantasy QB. … Chris Carson has dominated touches (26, 29, 28) in the three games since his infamous bad fumble game in Week 3. The Seahawks believe in him, and Carson’s touch projection isn’t too different with Rashaad Penny active. Carson is a volume-based low-end RB1, while Penny remains a handcuff.
Tyler Lockett’s usage has been very inconsistent, but he’s incredibly efficient (11.1 yards per target) and has immense weekly upside whenever the Seahawks pass the damn ball. Lockett is a boom-or-bust WR1/2 in a matchup against a bottom 33rd percentile defense against fantasy receivers. … DK Metcalf’s usage has also been up-and-down. Like Lockett, Metcalf can pop for a long touchdown, but he’s also due for some positive touchdown regression in the red zone since he’s caught zero of his seven inside-the-20 targets. Metcalf is an upside WR3/4. … No Will Dissly (Achilles) means more reps for Luke Willson, who is a zero-floor streamer for those in bye-week hell. He’s at least on a team projected to score 27 points. Other touchdown-dependent tight ends can’t say that.
4. Packers (26.5, -6.5) vs. OAK
Update: Davante Adams is out. Coach Matt LaFleur is waiting 48 hours to see if MVS and Allison can get healthy. Allison is likely out, while MVS seems like a true game-time decision. If MVS plays, he'll be a WR3. If he can't, Lazard and Kumerow come into play. Their analysis can be found below.
Aaron Rodgers has been a QB2 through six 2019 starts and is now 17 games removed from his last three passing touchdown performance. Rodgers is no longer elite and can’t be viewed as if he is, especially given his pass-catchers’ injuries. Luckily for Rodgers’ drafters, he gets the visiting Raiders’ bottom 20th percentile pass defense DVOA. Rodgers is on the QB1/2 borderline. … Aaron Jones followed up a four-touchdown game with a disastrous performance that included a bad fumble and a wide-open dropped touchdown. But even worse than those negative plays is Jamaal Williams’ near-even split of snaps and touches. Williams’ 39 snaps and 18 touches were more than Jones’ last week (36, 15). In a home game as 6.5-point favorites, both backs should see more than one dozen touches, making both at least RB2/3 options. If forced between the two, I’d keep Jones, who is a better player, slightly ahead of Williams.
Davante Adams (toe), Marquez Valdes-Scantling (ankle, knee), Geronimo Allison (concussion, chest), and Jimmy Graham (ankle) all did not participate in practice Wednesday. Adams and Allison appear the most questionable with MVS and Graham more likely to play. If MVS is the No. 1 receiver as I expect, he’ll be a startable WR3 with quality usage (see above chart) against the Raiders’ bottom 20th percentile pass defense DVOA. … If Adams and Allison miss, Jake Kumerow and Allen Lazard will slide into bigger roles. Last week, Kumerow ran a route on 87% of Packers’ dropbacks while Lazard popped for 4-65-1 on limited routes. They are names to remember as we watch the Packers’ injury report Friday.
5. Giants (26.25, -3) vs. ARI
Daniel Jones has three-straight games with just one touchdown, but he gets one of the best matchups imaginable against the traveling Cardinals who have allowed the third-most fantasy points to quarterbacks. Jones should also get some reinforcements back in the lineup, which elevates his floor and ceiling. Jones offers upside as a QB2. … Saquon Barkley is set to return after a full practice, and he’s an obvious elite RB1 play against Arizona. Barkley said he has full confidence in his ankle and I’d be surprised if he didn’t see approximately 20 touches in his return.
Sterling Shepard (concussion) is questionable to play. If he’s active, he’s an upside flex option given the matchup, but his volume is difficult to project since this will likely be the first game with Saquon, Golden Tate, and Evan Engram all active. In his lone game with Tate, Shepard lined up outside on 64% of his snaps after playing outside on just 35% of snaps in the three games before Tate showed up. … Tate has lined up in the slot on 82% of snaps and figures to see 5-7 targets with the other pass-catchers active this week. The matchup makes Tate a startable flex option, but he’s not someone I’m going out of the way to play because he’s admitted that he’s still building chemistry with Jones. Outside of the 64-yard touchdown, Tate is averaging 3.6 yards per target. … Evan Engram practiced in full, so he’s ready for the best fantasy matchup at the position. The Cardinals aren’t only leading the NFL in production allowed to tight ends, but their 17.0 fantasy points allowed is 5.7 more points than the Bucs who are the second-worst defense against the position. Engram is an elite TE1 with at least seven targets in every game thus far.
6. Cowboys (26.25, -3) vs. PHI
Update: To my surprise, it now looks like Amari Cooper and Randall Cobb are on track to play. Cooper is a top-10 option despite the re-injury risk, while Michael Gallup needs to be slightly downgraded to the WR2/3 mix, especially with Philly getting back two starting corners this week. LT Tyron Smith is also expected to play, which helps Dak Prescott immensely. I've upgraded Dak to a rock-solid QB1 after dropping him to the QB1/2 borderline earlier this week.
Dak Prescott has serious splits with/without LT Tyron Smith and with/without Amari Cooper (In the eight games without Cooper, Dak has averaged one passing touchdown per game). Both Smith and Cooper are very questionable this week. If they can’t suit up, Prescott’s outlook needs to be downgraded against an Eagles’ pass rush that’s graded as the sixth-best in the NFL. I’m downgrading Prescott to the QB1/2 borderline. … Ezekiel Elliott is on pace for 48 receptions after catching 77 passes last year, but Zeke could see a few more chances this week with Cooper likely sidelined and is still seeing elite usage as a runner regardless. Elliott is on pace for 301 carries, 1,309 rushing yards, and 13.3 rushing touchdowns. This week’s matchup with an injured offensive line isn’t ideal, but he’s being fed too much to drop outside of the top-four at the position.
Amari Cooper (quad) and Randall Cobb (back) look unlikely to play Week 7. Michael Gallup has WR2 usage in his four healthy games and should take advantage of the Eagles’ secondary that’s allowed the most points to fantasy receivers. I’m not viewing CBs Ronald Darby and Jalen Mills’ projected return to the Eagles’ starting defensive lineup as much of a difference to Gallup’s projection. He’s an upside WR2. … Devin Smith (questionable) would slide into Cooper’s spot if he’s healthy. If not, it will be Cedrick Wilson, who is a raw 2018 sixth-rounder with average 4.55 speed. Tavon Austin projects to slide into the slot if Cobb is out. All of the replacements are zero-floor dart throws. I anticipated most of the passing volume to flow through Gallup, Zeke, and Jason Witten. … Witten’s usage has increased in every single week of the year (see above chart), a trend that may have to continue this week as well given the injuries. Witten is a volume-based TE1/2 play.
7. Patriots (26.25, -10) @ NYJ
Tom Brady had 300+ yards in 4-of-6 games, and he now faces a Jets Defense that is very average against the pass. Brady’s floor is still lower than you’d like behind a below-average offensive line, but this is a matchup with a ceiling. In Brady’s last five games against the Jets, he’s averaging 257 yards and 2.4 touchdowns, including a 306-2 game in Week 3 of this year. Brady is a low-end QB1 with the Patriots’ 26.25 projected points. … James White is averaging 6.2 receptions per game, but that’s been slightly boosted with Rex Burkhead’s two-game absence. Burkhead has been limited at practice this week and is questionable for Week 7. Burkhead’s status will alter White’s and Sony Michel’s outlooks. I’d be a lot more comfortable with White in the flex if Burkhead was still sidelined. … Michel is 37th of 38 in PFF’s elusiveness rating, avoiding just eight tackles on 100 carries. Michel’s biggest issues, however, aren’t his inability to make a defender miss, but rather his 1.0 receptions per game and 29% team share of inside-the-five carries. If Michel isn’t scoring touchdowns, he’s nearly worthless in fantasy. Michel is a touchdown-dependent flex option if Burkhead is out. I’d try to find a replacement for Michel if Burkhead is active.
Julian Edelman is coming off his best game of the season, which coincided with Josh Gordon’s knee injury, one that is likely to keep Gordon on the sidelines for Week 7. Edelman just torched the Jets for a 7-62-1 game in Week 3 and is a locked-in WR1. … Phillip Dorsett is shaping up as an upside flex option now that he’s getting in reps at practice. Dorsett saw seven and nine targets in his last two healthy games and is likely going to be the Patriots’ No. 2 receiver with Gordon on the wrong side of questionable. The Jets are in the bottom 12th percentile at preventing 20+ yard gains through the air. … The Patriots are using their tight ends as pass catchers as little as possible.
8. Falcons (25.25, +3) vs. LAR
The Falcons can’t play defense and have struggled to run the ball. That’s led to Matt Ryan leading the NFL in pass attempts (43 per game). Matty Ice is still really efficient, too -- he’s top-10 in YPA (7.8) and TD% (5.8). The Rams’ defense isn’t a matchup to be scared of either, so Ryan should extend his six-game streak of 300+ yards. He’s a top-five fantasy QB. … Last week, Devonta Freeman out-snapped Ito Smith, 48-18, and had a season-high 22 touches. There are still major questions surrounding the Falcons’ offensive line (20th in PFF’s team run-blocking grade), the game script Freeman will have with the Falcons constantly trailing, and with Freeman himself (37th of 38 in PFF run grade), but Week 6 was encouraging. Freeman is due for some positive rushing touchdown regression, and Vegas projects Atlanta to score 25.25 points. Freeman is a more secure RB2 in Week 7 than he’s been all year long.
Julio Jones will, unfortunately, be getting the Jalen Ramsey treatment, but he’s far too talented and seeing far too much usage to drop Jones lower than the top-eight at the position, especially since this game has the highest over/under of the week (54.5). … Calvin Ridley is a prime receiver to buy in DFS tournaments this week. Ridley’s WR2/3 usage has been awesome in all non-zone matchups this season, and he should see an extra target or two with Ramsey on Julio (Ridley gets CB Troy Hill). But to top it all off, his splits with a high Vegas over/under are awesome (see splits in Tweet below). Ridley is an upside WR2. … Mohamed Sanu also benefits with Ramsey on Jones. Sanu’s 4-7 targets per game put him on the WR4 map for all the reasons I’ve laid out above. … Austin Hooper is fantasy’s TE1 overall. His usage is elite and there’s not a real reason to expect that to change this week. The Rams don’t have the linebackers or safeties to knock Hooper outside of the top-five at the position this week.
9. 49ers (25.25, -9.5) @ WAS
Jimmy Garoppolo doesn’t have a 300-yard passing game yet with the 49ers passing the ball fewer times per game than any team in the NFL outside of the Vikings. Jimmy G’s ceiling and floor are low because of that, although the Redskins’ non-existent defense is an opportunity for some time of ceiling. Garoppolo is a QB2 this week. … Just look at the RB Fantasy Points Per Game bars for the 49ers and Redskins. Tevin Coleman is the 1A to Matt Breida’s 1B. Coleman had 18 carries and two receptions last week, with Breida seeing 13 and three. Coleman will also see most of the goal-line work, making him an upside RB2. Breida is a playable flex option with less bankable volume, especially near the goal-line, than Coleman.
None of the 49ers receivers have broken out. Only Deebo Samuel has reached the “10 PPR Expected” threshold based on air yards in a game this season, and he barely did so. Samuel, Marquise Goodwin, and Dante Pettis are touchdown-or-bust WR5s, even in a plus matchup. … I’ve pointed this out a few times, but here I go again. Last season, George Kittle’s usage was elite (very elite) when the 49ers were trailing but very forgettable when the 49ers were playing with a lead (see the image in the Tweet below). Vegas has the Niners as 9.5-point favorites. Kittle is still very much a top-five tight end, but not one I’d pay a premium for in DFS tournaments.