It’s hard to believe, but here we are in Week 13 already. Week 13 typically is the final week of the regular season for most fantasy leagues out there, which means it’s one last gasp to make a stand for the playoffs or secure a bye in them. If by some poor fortune you’ve already been eliminated from your postseason, then you can still dabble into daily fantasy games to keep your fantasy fix satiated.
As for the token disclaimer, the goal of this article is to provide a top-down, statistical snapshot for each game each week, running down weekly point spreads, team totals, play calling splits, and statistical bullet points on the players and teams involved. Although we’re focusing strictly on PPR league scoring here as a baseline, there’s more than enough to spread around across formats and daily leagues. The reason we’re operating under a PPR umbrella is it allows us to cover a larger portion of the players involved in action weekly.
Lastly, as the author, it’s imperative that I note that this is NOT a start/sit column, rather an expectations column. The labels for each subset of players for each game are simply a vehicle for those expectations and have a different context for each player that you can find at the end of the column. I encourage that you use the game by game tables and data points here in conjunction with the Start/Sit column posted weekly by Nick Mensio, Pat Daugherty’s rankings in the Goal Line Stand, Evan Silva’s Matchup’s column, Ray Summerlin's Waiver Wired and most importantly, your own information and thought process. Remember, you control your own team. With that out of the way, let’s hit all the Week 13 games with a PPR light…
Washington @ Cowboys
|42.1%||15||Opp. Rush %||40.9%||6|
|57.9%||18||Opp. Pass %||59.1%||27|
- The Cowboys have scored on just 5-of-31 drives (16.1 percent) over the past three weeks, the lowest rate in the league.
- Dallas has scored single-digit points in three straight games for the first time in franchise history.
- Alfred Morris has out-touched Rod Smith 38-16 through three quarters since the Ezekiel Elliott suspension, but Smith has 10 fourth quarter touches to zero for Morris.
- Opponents have run 52.6 percent of their offensive plays against Dallas over the past three weeks, the highest rate in the league.
- Samaje Perine is the first Washington back to rush for 100 yards in back to back games since Alfred Morris in 2013.
- Jamison Crowder is averaging 10.5 targets per game over his past four games, tied for second among all wide receivers in the league over that span.
- 17.9 percent of the completions against Washington have gained 20 or more yards, the second-highest rate in the league.
- Just 10 percent of Dak Prescott's completions have gained 20 or more yards, 34th of 39 quarterbacks with 100 or more pass attempts on the season.
Trust: Samaje Perine (he has 24 and 27 touches now that this backfield is his while the Cowboys are still expected to be without Sean Lee), Kirk Cousins (looking to make up for his Week 8 dud in the rain the last time these teams met, he has 15 or more points in three straight while the Cowboys have allowed multiple touchdown passes in each of their past four games), Jamison Crowder (he’s back as a fixture in this passing game while Dallas has been slaughtered by receivers of his archetype all season long, including Crowder himself when he posted 9-133-0 when these teams last met)
Bust: Alfred Morris (even with Dallas favored, he’s still just a standard league flex only. He’s ran for 4.9 yards per carry, but offers no receiving juice and has been scripted out of each game so far), Dak Prescott (he’s an option in 2QB leagues as this is the best matchup he’s had over the past four weeks and Washington has allowed 50 or more rushing yards to three different quarterbacks on the year, but Prescott has thrown for fewer than 200 yards in four of his past five games and there’s not a lot to love when looking at his weapons elevating him in this matchup), Rod Smith (he’s totaled just 88 yards from scrimmage in three games with Elliott active even with Dallas playing in supremely negative script regularly over that span)
Reasonable Return: Vernon Davis (it’s hard to express extreme confidence when he had just one target against a defense that had been susceptible to tight end play, but he still ran 28 routes, right on par with his season average without Jordan Reed active), Josh Doctson (he’s been right on the flex play line in four of his past five games, but still has a limited ceiling as he’s yet to have more than four catches in a game on the season), Dez Bryant (he carries weekly WR3 expectations at this point, and that’s what he was when these teams last met in a game where Dallas had just 22 targets to spread out), Jason Witten (he’s been a top-10 scorer in two of the three games post-apocalypse while Washington is 30th in receptions allowed per game to tight ends)
Editor's Note: These two low owned Qbs could win you a tournament this week. Find out who they are here!
Chiefs @ Jets
|Kansas City||Rank||@||NY Jets||Rank|
|43.6%||17||Opp. Rush %||44.8%||24|
|56.4%||16||Opp. Pass %||55.3%||9|
- Josh McCown is tied with Matthew Stafford with a league-leading 11 touchdown passes from outside of the red zone, and ranks 26th in touchdown passes in the red zone (six).
- Robby Anderson has a league-leading six touchdown receptions from outside of the red zone, the most by a Jets receiver in a season since Wesley Walker in 1986.
- 39 percent (16-of-41) of Anderson's receptions have gained 20 or more yards, the highest rate in the league.
- The Chiefs are allowing 13.1 yards per completion, 31st in the league.
- Kansas City has scored just four touchdowns on offense since Week 8, the fewest in the league on 48 possessions (8.3 percent) after scoring 21 touchdowns (tied for first) on 74 drives (29.2 percent), which was second in the league.
- Over that span, Alex Smith is averaging 6.3 yards per pass attempt (24th) after averaging 8.7 yards per attempt (first) prior.
- During those four weeks, Smith is 11-of-25 (44 percent) on throws 15 yards or further downfield with one touchdown and those throws have accounted for 31.9 percent of his passing yardage. Prior to that, he was 23-of-41 (56 percent) with seven touchdown passes on those throws, which accounted for 42 percent of his passing yards.
Trust: Travis Kelce (last week was another one of those weeks where the Chiefs seemingly forget he’s on the roster as he had just 11 percent of the targets, but the other two times that’s happened this season, he’s come back with 30 percent of the team looks while the Jets are 24th in points allowed per game to tight ends)
Bust: Austin Seferian-Jenkins (he had another “could’ve/should’ve” touchdown taken away from him last week, but he’s last in yards per target for all tight ends with 50 or more on the season while just 14.8 percent of the receiving output against the Chiefs has been posted by tight ends, which is the fourth-lowest rate in the league), NYJ RBs (Matt Forte is the one to chase for a touchdown, but this is a jumbled committee that isn’t very role specific. With everyone active last week, Forte and Bilal Powell had 10 touches each while Elijah McGuire had six), Kareem Hunt (I kept hanging on for the matchups, but he bottomed out last week as this offense may just be broken at this stage of the season as we highlighted their lack of scoring opportunities a week ago in this space while the Jets are allowing opposing backs to rush for just 3.5 YPC over their past seven games)
Reasonable Return: Robby Anderson (he will line up opposite Marcus Peters the most of all Jets wideouts and six of his seven touchdowns this season have come on the right side of the field, but Peters is not immune to giving up a splash play and Anderson has been a steady option even outside of the touchdowns, posting 75 yards or more in four of his past six games), Jermaine Kearse (we always target wideouts playing in the slot and on the left side versus Kansas City because they inherently get targets funneled to them, and we’re not going to pause in Darrelle Revis’ first game there), Josh McCown (he’s been living on long touchdowns to carry him and the Chiefs have allowed multiple touchdown passes in just two of their past six games, but McCown has 16 or more points in five of past six games), Tyreek Hill (as down as this offense has been, Hill has still had 12 or more points in three straight), Alex Smith (he’s reverted into the player that he was his entire career over the first quarter of the season, but that player can still be a useful floor option and the Jets have allowed six different passers to run for 25 or more yards while allowing multiple touchdown passes in seven games this season)
Patriots @ Bills
|37.3%||4||Opp. Rush %||42.2%||20|
|62.8%||29||Opp. Pass %||57.8%||13|
- New England has led for 59.9 percent of their offensive snaps (second) and have led by multiple possessions for 32.9 percent of their snaps, highest rate in the league.
- The Patriots rank second in passing rate on plays while leading (53.3 percent) and second in passing rate (51.2 percent) while leading by multiple possessions.
- Tom Brady has thrown multiple touchdowns in seven straight games in Buffalo, the longest streak by an opposing quarterback in Bills history.
- The Bills are allowing a touchdown on 3.9 percent of the completed passes against them. League average is 6.9 percent.
- After last week, Rob Gronkowski now has 16 games with multiple touchdown receptions, the most in the league since he was drafted in 2010.
- In his six career games in Buffalo, Gronkowski has 35 receptions for 583 yards and seven touchdowns, averaging 22.5 fantasy points per game with a low of 16.4 points.
- Brandin Cooks has 27.5 percent of the New England targets over the past three weeks after receiving 17.5 percent over the first seven games.
Trust: Tom Brady (the Bills have held down passing scores all season, but they’ve been fortunate in that regard compared to the amount of completions and yardage they allow while Brady leads the position in fantasy points per possession), Rob Gronkowski (the Bills have only allowed two touchdowns to tight ends and they came to the same player, but Gronk has torched the Bills regularly in his hometown), Brandin Cooks (he’s been a more efficient player than he’s been at any point in his career and has seen a target spike now with Chris Hogan sidelined)
Bust: James White (he’s been phased out with the return of Burkhead), Danny Amendola (he still will pop up here and there with a target spike, but the loss of Hogan has meant more for Cooks than elevating Amendola), LeSean McCoy (he’s averaged 12.3 touches per game in the three games in which Buffalo has lost by multiple scores and the Patriots have allowed just one back to reach 100-yards from scrimmage since Week 1 and that involved an 87-yard touchdown run)
Reasonable Return: Dion Lewis / Rex Burkhead (it took us 11 games, but we finally have some stable clarity on using this backfield in fantasy. Lewis has had 14 or more touches in five straight games and has been an RB2 or better in three straight while Burkhead has double-digit touches in three of his past four games and been an RB2 in each of those games he’s had those touches), Tyrod Taylor (he’s a safe floor option, scoring 14 or more points in seven games, but more than 20 just twice), Zay Jones (he’s been a WR3 or better in three straight games with seven or more targets in each of those), Charles Clay (he’s had four or fewer targets in all three of his games since returning, but ran 24 routes last week, his highest in a game since Week 3), Travaris Cadet (I didn’t think I’d ever be typing his name ever again, but he’s been flex worthy the past two weeks while New England is 30th in receiving points allowed to backfields)
Broncos @ Dolphins
|45.3%||22||Opp. Rush %||45.1%||23|
|54.7%||11||Opp. Pass %||54.9%||10|
- Miami has trailed by multiple possessions for 44 percent of their offensive snaps on the season, highest rate in the league. Denver has trailed by multiple possessions for 43.4 percent of their offensive snaps, 31st.
- Opponents have scored a touchdown on 26.9 percent of their possessions versus Miami, the highest rate in the league.
- The Dolphins rank 30th in passing points allowed per attempt (.530) while Denver ranks last (.537).
- Denver has allowed a touchdown pass once every 97.9 passing yards. League average outside of them is once every 171.9 yards.
- Opponents have had 25 drives start in Denver territory, the most in the league.
- Miami has had just five drives start in opposing territory, the fewest in the league.
Bust: Jay Cutler (he’s finished higher than QB18 just once and while Denver is allowing touchdowns on short fields, they are still allowing the third-lowest yards per game to opposing passers), Jarvis Landry (he’s a hard sit given his floor has been excellent and he has at least five catches in every game, but without Aqib Talib, targets should inherently flow away from Chris Harris, who will primarily be on Landry all game), DEN RBs (the matchup is strong as Miami has allowed season-high rushing output to Dion Lewis, Alex Collins and Jonathan Stewart over their past five games, but it’s a mess of a timeshare at the moment with Devontae Booker and C.J. Anderson totaling just 13 touches last week with an edge to Booker, eight to five), Emmanuel Sanders (he’s reached 20 percent of the team targets in just one of his past six games and has 30 or fewer yards in four of those six)
Reasonable Return: Kenyan Drake (with the backfield to himself, his receiving ability is enough to make him start-worthy for a floor while Denver will also be without Derek Wolfe and Domata Peko, two of their best run defenders), DeVante Parker /Kenny Stills (Denver has allowed just one wide receiver to reach 75 yards in a game this season, but both Parker and Stills move around to each side of the perimeter to make plays with the absence of Talib while the return of Cutler favors Parker in terms of targets), Julius Thomas (for those that need to reach deep into the cookie jar, Thomas was a TE1 a week ago while Denver is 28th in targets faced per game to opposing tight ends), Demaryius Thomas (the past three lead wideouts have all had at least five catches for 80 yards against the Dolphins), Trevor Siemian (he’s back under center and even though you don’t want to play him, Miami has allowed three straight QB1 games and multiple touchdowns in each of those games)
49ers @ Bears
|48.2%||32||Opp. Rush %||44.4%||25|
|51.8%||1||Opp. Pass %||55.6%||8|
- No team has faced more plays run inside of their own 10-yard line this season than San Francisco (56).
- Since Mitchell Trubisky took over as the starter, Chicago has rushed the ball 73.3 percent of the time inside of the 10-yard line, the second-highest rate in the league.
- The Bears average 56.9 combined fantasy points per game to non-QB offensive players, the fewest in the league.
- The Bears backfield ranks ninth in the league in touches per game (30.7) while San Francisco faces 33.7 touches per game from opposing backfields, the most in the league.
- The 49ers have scored just six touchdowns on the road this season, tied for the fewest in the league.
- Carlos Hyde played a season-high 90 percent of the team snaps in Week 12 after playing fewer than 80 percent of the snaps in in every game since Week 2.
Trust: Jordan Howard (he’s been disjointed all season with five top-15 weeks and five weeks at RB33 or lower, but this is as good of a spot to get in on the positive end with the Bears as a home favorite against the defense facing the most touches per game to opposing backfields)
Bust: Jimmy Garoppolo (he’ll make his first start on the road with a limited arsenal while Chicago has allowed multiple touchdown passes in just three games all season)
Reasonable Return: Mitchell Trubisky (he’s yet to have a QB1 week so far, but he won’t have a better opportunity against a defense that has allowed multiple touchdowns in four straight games with two of those coming to Drew Stanton and Eli Manning), Dontrelle Inman (he’s leading the team in opportunity and has been a WR3 or better in two of his three games since the bye), Carlos Hyde (he’s had one of the best floors, finishing as a top-20 back in every game but two and has 50 targets over his past six games. C.J. Beathard targeted Hyde on 22.6 percent of his passes, so that passing volume may be compromised, but there’s almost nothing the San Francisco receiver position offers to severely cut away from him being involved), Marquise Goodwin (an option in a deep bucket of boom or bust flex options, he has a 30-yard reception in each of the past three games, but has more than four receptions just once on the season)
Lions @ Ravens
|42.9%||13||Opp. Rush %||45.5%||30|
|57.1%||20||Opp. Pass %||54.5%||3|
- Opponents have scored a touchdown on 7-of-65 possessions (10.8 percent) in Baltimore this season, the lowest rate in the league.
- The Ravens have allowed just two top-12 scoring quarterbacks at home over their past 13 home games with 11 of those quarterbacks finishing as QB19 or lower.
- Matthew Stafford has faced four defenses in the top-12 in passing points allowed per game, finishing as the QB18, QB22, QB5 and QB21 in those weeks.
- Marvin Jones has scored on 10 percent of his targets, the highest rate of all wide receivers with 60 or more targets on the season.
- The Lions have allowed a rushing touchdown in six straight games, the longest streak in the league and their longest streak since 2011.
- Only San Francisco (56) has faced more plays inside of the 10-yard on the season than Detroit (51).
- Opponents have run the ball on 68.6 percent (35-of-51) of their plays inside of the 10-yard versus Detroit, the highest rate in the league.
- Joe Flacco has eight games with single-digit passing points, the most in the league.
Trust: Marvin Jones (even outside of the touchdown production, he’s had 85 or more yards in five of his past six games while Baltimore has allowed a top-12 scorer on the boundary in each of the past two games)
Bust: Matthew Stafford (Baltimore has faced a slew of backup caliber quarterbacks this year, but their success against the position at home dates back further and while Stafford can still be a fine floor option that can get you near 15 points, he has been a matchup dependent quarterback over the past three seasons in terms of reaching QB1 status), Golden Tate (he is a spike player that is currently in a valley with 39 yards over his past two games while the Ravens has limited production from the slot, holding Jarvis Landry and Adam Thielen to single-digit output), Joe Flacco (regardless of matchups, he’s yet to finish higher than QB16 on the season with nine games at QB21 or lower), Mike Wallace (he’s hit 60 yards just once on the season while he’ll lock up with Darius Slay), Jeremy Maclin (he has a better matchup than Wallace, but he’s had five or fewer targets in three of his past four games)
Reasonable Return: Alex Collins (he’s been a top-15 back in three of his past four games while the Lions have been surrendering touchdowns weekly to the position on the ground at this stage), Danny Woodhead (he’s just a floor flex option as he’s a pass catcher only a team in the bottom half of pass attempts, but Detroit is 24th in targets faced to running backs per game), Theo Riddick (with Ameer Abdullah out, Riddick slides back into an RB2/flex role as he finished RB33 or higher in all eoght of his games played without Abdullah active a year ago)
Vikings @ Falcons
|36.7%||2||Opp. Rush %||40.2%||10|
|63.3%||31||Opp. Pass %||59.8%||23|
- The Vikings have scored a touchdown on 32.6 percent (15-of-46) of their possessions over their past four games, third in the league over that span.
- Over that span, Case Keenum is the QB4 in fantasy points per game (21.5).
- Atlanta is allowing a league-low 10.1 yards per completion and has allowed just 26 receptions of 20 or more yards, the fifth fewest in the league.
- Just 35.5 percent of the passing points scored against Atlanta have come from touchdown passes (second lowest) while 36.1 percent have come from touchdown passes against Minnesota (third lowest). League average is 42 percent.
- Adam Thielen has had at least five receptions in 11 straight games, matching the franchise record set by Cris Carter over the 1995-1996 seasons.
- 33.2 percent of Latavius Murray's fantasy output has produced by touchdowns, the highest rate for all top-36 backs on the season.
- Minnesota is allowing 101.9 yards from scrimmage per game to opposing backfields, second in the league.
- Just 25.9 percent of the yardage gained against Minnesota has been from rushing, the second-lowest rate in the league.
Trust: Adam Thielen (he’s had 16 or more points in five straight games while the slot is the best area to attack Atlanta in the passing game), Stefon Diggs (he’s been downgraded to a boom or bust WR3 since Thielen has ascended and Rudolph has become a part of the offense again, posting just one WR2 week over his past four games, but with Desmond Trufant out and Brian Poole possibly out as well, there’s reason to shade towards the boom taking precedence over the bust this week), Case Keenum (he's scored 17 or more points in each of his past four games and his receivers run into stellar opportunity with the Atlanta secondary limping into Sunday),
Bust: Matt Ryan (he’s strictly been a floor play as he hasn’t been a top-10 scorer since Week 1 while the Vikings rank ninth in passing points allowed per game), Austin Hooper (he has just 13 percent of the team targets since Sanu returned from injury with three or fewer receptions in four of those six games), Tevin Coleman / Devonta Freeman (the matchup is tough and with Freeman returning, he's on the board as just a lower-end RB2 as he was averaging just 74.4 yards from scrimmage over his five games before injury and just 13.5 touches per game in his four full games since the bye while Coleman falls back into flex territory as he had more than 10 touches in just three of eight games played with Freeman on field)
Reasonable Return: Julio Jones (he finally crushed a matchup he was supposed to and has 33.3 percent of the Atlanta targets over the past six games, but runs into one of his toughest assignments on the season. While Thanksgiving showed that Xavier Rhodes was human after all, the Vikings have still allowed just three top-20 wideouts on the season and I’d still expect Jones to be more serviceable than week-winning this week), Mohamed Sanu (he’s been a WR3 or higher in every full game except for one), Kyle Rudolph (only Jack Doyle and Travis Kelce have more receptions than Rudolph over his past seven games while the Falcons are 22nd in receptions allowed to tight ends), Latavius Murray (he’s been a top-15 back in four of his past five games and is still on the side of touchdown dependent, but has averaged 81.2 yards from scrimmage over those five games), Jerick McKinnon (Murray’s emergence has relegated him to a floor option, but he’s still getting 16.4 touches per game over his past five while Atlanta is 28th in receiving points allowed per game to backfields)
Buccaneers @ Packers
|Tampa Bay||Rank||@||Green Bay||Rank|
|42.3%||16||Opp. Rush %||44.1%||28|
|57.7%||17||Opp. Pass %||55.9%||5|
- 67.7 percent of the receiving yardage gained against the Packers has been put up by wide receivers, the second-highest share in the league behind the Buccaneers (70.9 percent).
- Davante Adams' target share over the past four games has been 26.3 percent, 32.0 percent, 27.8 percent, and 34.6 percent.
- Adams has been the WR27, WR12, WR8 and the WR11 over that span.
- Tampa Bay is facing the most targets per game (10.5) and allowing the most yardage (100.8 yards) to opposing WR1s while allowing the second-most touchdowns (eight).
- Tampa Bay has allowed the most completions (44), completion rate (55.7 percent) and touchdown passes (nine) on throws 15 yards or further downfield.
- Tampa Bay is allowing a league-high 293.1 passing yards per game to opposing quarterbacks.
- Jamaal Williams is the first Packers player to have 20 or more touches in three straight games since Eddie Lacy in 2013.
- The Buccaneers are allowing 140 rushing yards per game on the road, 30th in the league.
Trust: Davante Adams (he’s getting tons of opportunity from Hundley and has turned it into high-end production while the Buccaneers have been one of our favorite targets on the season for wideouts), Mike Evans (he’s had a great floor, but has been unable to break through his ceiling. This spot is as good as any as the Packers have allowed at least 97 yards or a touchdown to seven of the WR1s they’ve faced on the season and Evans has had 10 or more targets in four of his past five games)
Bust: Jordy Nelson (as awesome of a matchup Tampa Bay is for all involved, Nelson has had 35 yards or fewer in all five of Hundley’s starts), O.J. Howard / Cameron Brate (Brate will get a bump with Winston returning as he disappeared with Fitzpatrick under center, but Howard also ran a season-high 27 pass routes last week, so he may continue to see his passing role expand given the Bucs are all but done this season, but just 11.6 percent of the points scored against the Packers has been put up by tight ends, the lowest rate in the league and they are the only team in the league that has yet to allow a TE1 on the season), Tampa Bay RBs (this team can’t run the football regardless of who is back here and they just lost two more offensive linemen this week while with Doug Martin in concussion protocol, the Bucs gave Jacquizz Rodgers nine touches, Peyton Barber five and Charles Sims four with Barber garnering the goal line opps. I'm avoiding this group), Aaron Jones (he's active this week, but expected to be the low man in the rotation)
Reasonable Return: Brett Hundley (he’s starting to turn in some usable weeks and is coming off his first QB1 game of the season, but as giving as Tampa Bay has been to passers, they’ve actually kept ceiling games in check, allowing just one QB1 game over their past five games but just once passer to finish lower than QB15 over that stretch), DeSean Jackson (he’s had double-digit points in three straight games while the Packers have allowed double-digit points to a pair of wide receivers in five of their past seven games), Jamaal Williams /Aaron Jones (the Buccaneers have allowed a top-5 back in four of their past six games, but any loss of touches for Williams hurts his stock a bit as he was so dependent on pushin gpast 20 touches), Jameis Winston (proceed with tempered expectations for players returning off of long injury related layoffs, especially ones that were playing as poorly as Winston was prior to being shut down, but since we like both Evans and Jackson this week, Winston has to be carried along for the ride to a degree by fefault if both of those players hit)
Texans @ Titans
|42.2%||14||Opp. Rush %||38.6%||5|
|57.9%||19||Opp. Pass %||61.4%||28|
- 83.9 percent of the offensive touchdowns scored against Houston have been passing, tied with Denver for the highest rate in the league.
- 48.2 percent of the offensive touchdowns scored by Tennessee this season have been passing, the lowest rate in the league.
- The Titans have run for 141.8 yards per game at home (third) as opposed to 93.0 yards per game on the road (21st).
- DeMarco Murray has rushed 43 times for 80 yards over his past four games.
- DeAndre Hopkins averages 103.3 receiving yards per game against Tennessee -- his highest total versus an opponent he's faced multiple times-- with at least 94 yards receiving in seven of those nine career games.
- Hopkins has been a WR1 in six of those games with 14.5 or more points in seven of those games.
- Tennessee has allowed at least 14.6 points to every WR1 they have faced except for T.Y. Hilton (twice) and Kenny Britt while allowing a league-high nine touchdowns to opposing WR1s.
Trust: DeAndre Hopkins (he’s maintained stability as a WR1 through all of the changes this season, leads the league with 34.2 percent of his team’s targets and has roasted the Titans over his career while they have been a prime target for WR1 production this season)
Bust: Tom Savage (he’s been the bottom half of scoring in all four of his starts since taking back over), DeMarco Murray (touchdowns and receptions are keeping him as an RB2/flex option, but he still carries a low floor, but he’s been woefully bad as a runner and if you don’t get a score, he’s been RB24 or lower in all seven games in which he’s failed to score), Derrick Henry (he's the more efficient runner of this combo, but is still not getting enough burn to use outside of a boom or bust flex or soft matchups), Rishard Matthews (he's missed practice all week, leaving him as far too great of a risk to thrust into lineups if he does end up as active)
Reasonable Return: Lamar Miller (he’s also held his floor through the quarterback change, finishing lower than RB2 just twice all season despite not hitting 100 yards from scrimmage in a game since Week 4), Bruce Ellington (he has seven or more targets in each of Savage’s four starts, but is still only a floor WR3 as he’s secured 16-of-31 targets), Marcus Mariota (he’s still a starting option as Houston is 27th in passing points allowed per game to quarterbacks, but Mariota just can’t be completely trusted even in great matchups as he’s squandered games against Cleveland and Indianapolis), Delanie Walker (he finally found the end zone last week and has now had double-digit points in five straight games), Corey Davis (his target opportunity has dropped in each of the past two games and hasn’t finished higher than WR50 yet since returning, but once again will be the lead wideout in a good matchup against a defense that is 31st in points allowed per target to opposing wideouts)
Colts @ Jaguars
|43.8%||21||Opp. Rush %||41.5%||11|
|56.2%||12||Opp. Pass %||58.5%||22|
- The Colts have scored 11 red zone touchdowns, the fewest in the league.
- Opposing teams run just 3.9 red zone plays per game versus Jacksonville, the fewest in the league.
- Jack Doyle has had 28.8 percent of the Indianapolis receptions, the highest share of his team's total for all tight ends in the league.
- Jacksonville leads the league in sack rate per dropbacks at 10.2 percent. The Colts are last in the league in sack rate as an offense at 11.9 percent.
- The Jaguars posted a season-high 518 yards when these teams last met in Week 7. It was the first time Jacksonville had over 500 yards of offense since Week 3, 1998.
- The Colts are allowing 8.2 yards per pass attempt, the highest rate in the league.
- Dede Westbrook has been targeted on 30.2 percent of his routes since being activated two weeks ago. That rate would rank second behind Julio Jones (32.3 percent) if it were over the course of the season.
Trust: Leonard Fournette (he’s been the RB42, RB18 and RB40 since returning to action, but still had 30 touches in the one game over that stretch in which Jacksonville led throughout, something we should anticipate here)
Bust: T.Y. Hilton (his very few hot spots this season have been identifiable, and this is clearly not one them), Jacoby Brissett (on the road against the league’s toughest pass defense), Frank Gore (it’s a full eject on the Colts offense outside of Doyle this week as Gore was the RB59 in the first meeting between these teams, his lowest week of the season)
Reasonable Return: Blake Bortles (he has 16 or more points in four of his past five games while the Colts are 30th in passing yards allowed per game to opposing quarterbacks), Marqise Lee (he was averaging 9.6 targets per game over his five games prior to locking up with Patrick Peterson last week, which should bounce back against a depleted Colts secondary that just lost their best cover man in Rashaan Melvin), Dede Westbrook (his target spike last week was directly correlated with Lee facing a rough matchup, but he’s still gotten more opportunity each week while the Colts have allowed a league-high 48 receptions of 20 or more yards), Jack Doyle (he leads all tight ends in receptions per game)
Browns @ Chargers
|47.0%||31||Opp. Rush %||42.4%||18|
|53.0%||2||Opp. Pass %||57.6%||15|
- After having 74.2 receiving points through six games (second among running backs), Melvin Gordon has had 15.1 points come from receiving over his past five games (45th).
- Over that time, Gordon is averaging 13.8 routes run per game per Pro Football Focus after averaging 23.5 per game prior.
- Over that span, Austin Ekeler has 49.9 receiving points, fourth for all running backs.
- After allowing 75.7 rushing yards per game to opposing backfields through nine games, the Brown have allowed 135 and 126 yards to backs over their past two games.
- Keenan Allen is the first Chargers player to have 150 receiving yards in back to back games since Charlie Joiner in 1981.
- The Browns have scored on 22 percent of their possessions this season, the lowest rate in the league.
- The Chargers have allowed four passing touchdowns over their past six games, tied with Baltimore for the fewest in the league over that span.
- The Chargers are allowing 151.2 rushing yards per game at home this season, the most in the league.
- 14.9 percent of the Cleveland rushing attempts have gained 10 or more yards, the highest rate in the league, but they rank 23rd in the league in rushing attempts overall.
- 12.2 percent of the runs against the Chargers have gained 10 or more yards, 24th in the league.
Trust: Philip Rivers (he’s been strong out of the bye, scoring 15 points on the road versus Jacksonville, with 18 against the Bills and 28.9 last week on Thanksgiving while the Browns are 23rd in passing points allowed and 30th in touchdown rate allowed to passers), Keenan Allen (positive regression for Allen has hit in spades the past two weeks while the Browns have been damaged by lead receivers who frequent the slot, allowing touchdowns to Golden Tate, T.Y. Hilton and Jeremy Maclin)
Bust: Josh Gordon (nobody knows what to expect from Gordon in his first game since 2014, but the Chargers are fourth in the league in receiving yards allowed per game to opposing receivers), Corey Coleman (he’s a boom or bust WR3, but the Chargers have allowed just two wide receivers to catch a touchdown pass since Week 6), DeShone Kizer (he’s quietly been a QB1 in three of his past four games, but chasing his rushing production on the road against a premier pass defense as a two touchdown underdog is a lot to ask for)
Reasonable Return: Melvin Gordon (his loss of receiving work is a problem because it was his life raft for fantasy when he had poor rushing performances like last week, but rushing volume is still intact as a big home favorite and the Browns have begun to trend down in the rushing defense department late in the year), Isaiah Crowell (he’s had at least 95 yards from scrimmage in three of his past four games while the Chargers have trouble defending the run at home), Duke Johnson (he’s had double-digit points in eight games this season while the Chargers are 25th in receiving points allowed to backfields), Hunter Henry (he hasn’t topped five targets in a game since Week 6, so he’s far from stable, but Cleveland has been a weekly target for us with far worse players than Henry as they are 31st in points allowed per game to the position and have allowed a tight end to score in four straight games), Austin Ekeler (in the bucket of flex options, he’s had double-digit points in four of his past five)
Rams @ Cardinals
|41.9%||19||Opp. Rush %||41.0%||12|
|58.1%||14||Opp. Pass %||59.0%||21|
- The Rams are third in the NFL in red zone plays (108), yet 18th in plays from inside of the 10-yard line (38). That 35.2 percent red zone play percentage inside of the 10 ranks 31st in the league.
- Jared Goff leads the league in percentage of completions to gain 20 or more yards (20.1 percent) and percentage of yardage (50.8 percent) to come on those completions.
- Goff has 20 or more passing points in four games this season, trailing just Carson Wentz (five) and Tom Brady (six) on the season.
- Arizona has allowed seven top-12 scoring quarterbacks, tied for the most in the league.
- Cooper Kupp had a season-high 25 percent of the team targets in the first game with Robert Woods inactive.
- Arizona has scored on 31 percent (9-of-29) of the possessions with Blaine Gabbert under center after scoring on 29.3 percent (22-of-75) with Carson Palmer and 21.9 percent (7-of-32) with Drew Stanton.
- Ricky Seals-Jones has run just 19 routes on the season, but has been targeted on 63.2 percent of those opportunities.
Trust: Jared Goff (he was the QB11 when these teams played in Week 7 and the only quarterback to fail to hit 17 points against the Cardinals over their past seven games was Tom Savage), Todd Gurley (he leads the league in games with 100 yards from scrimmage or more while Arizona has allowed a top-10 scoring back in four of their past six games), Cooper Kupp (he has six or more receptions in three straight games while Arizona has been vulnerable to slot receivers, including Kupp himself, who was the WR13 when these teams played in Week 7)
Bust: Sammy Watkins (he plays in the slot on just under 30 percent of his routes to avoid Patrick Peterson a little, but will see him when on the perimeter), Adrian Peterson (he’s been an RB1 three times and the RB46 or lower in the three other games with Arizona, so there’s been quite a disparity between his ceiling and floor. One of those down notes was posting 21 yards on 11 carries when these teams last met and he's missed practice all week with a neck injury), Ricky Seals-Jones (the tight end position is lacking upside available, so I understand wanting to grab him and get into lineups. He nearly tripled his routes run last week over the previous game, but still only ran 13 routes in the game. His usage should continue to grow since he’s making plays, but is still far from stable against a defense that is sixth in receptions allowed to the position)
Reasonable Return: Blaine Gabbert (he’s still a streaming option for those in need as he’s had 17 plus points in each of his two starts and the latter was against the Jaguars with his best receiver doing next to nothing), Larry Fitzgerald (as expected, he ran into a rough game last week and this week and although the Rams aren’t a hands-off defense, they have also been a tough draw for ceiling games, allowing just one WR1 to post a top-12 week on the season)
Giants @ Raiders
|45.2%||27||Opp. Rush %||43.7%||26|
|54.8%||6||Opp. Pass %||56.3%||7|
- Opponents have scored on 44.5 percent of their possessions versus the Raiders, the highest rate in the league.
- The Giants have scored a touchdown on just 10 percent (7-of-70) of their drives since losing Odell Beckham in Week 6, the lowest rate in the league.
- Marshawn Lynch played a season-high 47 snaps in Week 12, handling a season-high 52.7 percent of the Oakland touches as a team.
- Lynch's .62 rushing points per attempt ranks 6-of-33 backs with at 100 or more carries on the season.
- The Giants are allowing 131.2 rushing yards per game on the road, 29th in the league.
- Opponents have run on 31.3 percent of their plays against Oakland over their past three games, the lowest rate in the league.
- Opposing tight ends have scored 37 percent of the touchdowns scored against the Giants, the highest share in the league.
Trust: Marshawn Lynch (he’s still a touchdown dependent option, but should be expected to perform in these conditions. He has been a top-10 back in two of his past three games while the matchup, absences at wide receiver and being at home as high favorite all align)
Bust: Derek Carr (he’s finished in the top half of scoring in just one of his past eight games while he’s losing his top two playmakers and the Giants have also kept Alex Smith and Kirk Cousins outside of the top half of the position over the past two weeks), Geno Smith (we have no idea what his true leash will be and Davis Webb could play as early as this week despite the notion that he won't play until the final couple of weeks), Oakland WRs (Cook out-targeted all of the supplementary receivers last week and it’s hard to envision the Raiders needing to throw it a lot here. If I had to play one guy, I’d go with Seth Roberts since he’s steadily been involved in the red zone over the past two years compared to the field), Orleans Darkwa (he’s always a threat to be scripted out like last week when he had just 12 touches and the Raiders have held five of their past six opponents under 100 yards rushing as a team)
Reasonable Return: Jared Cook (despite the near donut last week, he still led the team in targets and is facing the most giving defense against tight ends while the Raiders will be without both Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper. Volume is still an overall concern if Oakland doesn’t put the ball in the air much like they did last week, however), Evan Engram (he’s still an option given his target volume and lack of upside at the position, but he’s hit a bit of a wall here to end the season as the Giants fall apart and plan on rotating quarterbacks, finishing as the TE41 and TE26 over the past two weeks), Sterling Shepard (he may have as high of a ceiling with the quarterback change, but the opportunity is still massive for him against a soft defense. In his last two games played, he accrued 29.3 percent of the team targets)
Panthers @ Saints
|37.8%||3||Opp. Rush %||40.1%||9|
|62.2%||30||Opp. Pass %||59.9%||24|
- Alvin Kamara leads all running backs with six touchdowns of 10-yards or longer on the season.
- Kamara is the first rookie to have at least 500 yards rushing and 500 yards receiving over the first 11 games in a season since Hershel Walker in 1986.
- Kamara is the first New Orleans running back to have 100 yards from scrimmage in four straight games since Deuce McAllister in 2003.
- Opposing running backs have scored 23.8 percent of the touchdowns against Carolina, the lowest share in the league.
- Just 7.4 percent of the Michael Thomas' fantasy output has come from touchdowns, the lowest rate for all top-36 wide receivers.
- The Saints averaged 417.5 yards from scrimmage per game, second in the league.
- Carolina allows 305.5 yards from scrimmage per game, second in the league.
- Over the past three games, Devin Funchess has 28.7 percent of the team targets and 51.2 percent of the team receiving yardage.
- Over his past six games, 48.6 percent of Cam Newton's fantasy output has come from rushing output.
Trust: Alvin Kamara (the Panthers have yet to allow a back to hit 100 yards from scrimmage on the season, but his floor is still one of the safest in the league, scoring 12 or more points in nine straight games), Devin Funchess (he’s the only Carolina wide receiver even catching passes and we saw a week ago how much the Saints secondary struggled without Marshon Lattimore and Ken Crawley, who both still may be out again this week), Christian McCaffrey (he had a season-high 117 yards from scrimmage when these teams last played and he’s becoming more of a dual threat as his rushing output has risen and opponents target their backs 24.7 percent of the time against the Saints, the third highest rate in the league)
Bust: Jonathan Stewart (he’s still solely a touchdown or bust option and even when he does score touchdowns, he’s barely been usable as he’s had double-digit points just once since Week 1), Greg Olsen (he couldn't completely make it through his first game back and that will be an ongoing concern if he plays again this week until he can prove otherwise)
Reasonable Return: Mark Ingram (he had 86 yards from scrimmage in the first meeting on just 16 touches, so there’s no reason to hide here, but he’s had the lower floor of the two backs because he’s had just six catches over his past four games after averaging 4.4 per game through seven weeks), Michael Thomas (he hasn’t scored in six weeks and Carolina has only allowed four WR1s to score against them this season, but one was Thomas back in Week 3), Ted Ginn (he’s been a WR3 or better in five of his past six games and has 13 receptions over the past two weeks), Drew Brees (he’s been a QB1 in just four games this season, but it’s hard to run completely away as Carolina has allowed multiple touchdowns in three straight and just allowed over 300 yards and three touchdown on the road a week ago to Josh McCown), Cam Newton (he’s had double digit passing points in just one of his past six games, which keeps some of the shine off here, but if the Saints secondary remains as banged up as it was a week ago, then he will move up and has a real shot to have one of his ceiling games)
Eagles @ Seahawks
|31.1%||1||Opp. Rush %||40.1%||8|
|68.9%||32||Opp. Pass %||59.9%||25|
- The Eagles have won four straight games by at least 23 or more points, their longest streak as a franchise since 1953 and the longest such streak in the NFL since the Colts in 2004.
- Carson Wentz is throwing a touchdown pass for every 94.9 passing yards, the highest rate in the league for all active quarterbacks. League average is a touchdown pass every 171.9 passing yards.
- 26.9 percent of Jimmy Graham's targets have come from inside of the red zone, the highest rate for any player with 50 or more targets on the season.
- Graham leads the NFL with 12 targets inside of the 5-yard line. The next closest player on the season is Zach Ertz with six.
- Russell Wilson has 20 rushing attempts that have gained 10 or more yards, the most for all quarterbacks and seventh in the league for all ball carriers.
- Just 19.6 percent of the scrimmage passing yardage allowed by the Eagles has come on throws 15 yards or further downfield, the lowest rate in the league.
- After receiving 27.2 percent of the team targets in their first three games out the bye, Doug Baldwin has received just 13.7 percent of the targets over the past three games.
- Just 20.6 percent of Eddie Lacy's carries have gained at least five yards, the lowest rate for all players with 50 or more carries on the season.
Trust: Carson Wentz (he has been the QB8 or higher in seven straight games and while the Seahawks have allowed just one QB1 on the season, their recent injuries paired with how hot Wentz should still have him in the same atmosphere he’s been performing at with the added upside that Seattle could score more points than teams have been putting up on the Eagles over the past month), Russell Wilson (he has 19.4 points or more in six straight and while Vegas is suggesting a potential down week, Wilson is head and shoulders the best quarterback the Eagles have faced over the past month when Philadelphia was previously a weekly target for quarterback production), Alshon Jeffery (he’s scored in four straight games and has averaged 28.4 percent of the team targets over the past six games while he’ll line up against Byron Maxwell), Zach Ertz (after a stretch where he was lightly targeted, he matched a season-high with 12 targets last week while Seattle has allowed a TE1 in five of their past six games)
Bust: Tyler Lockett (he’s been better than a WR4 in just one of his past seven games), Mike Davis/ Eddie Lacy (no matter which lead back gets the crux of work, this position hasn’t been useful in strong matchups, let alone when facing the defense that is allowing the fewest rushing yards per game), PHI RBs (the split here is frustrating because it’s an effective running game overall and a high-scoring team, but the touches are tough to predict and Seattle is allowing 2.7 YPC to backs over their past eight games)
Reasonable Return: Doug Baldwin (he goes through these droughts where he lacks targets, but Seattle will have to maintain points here and get him involved), Paul Richardson (he has the highest touchdown upside of this group and will line up across from Jalen Mills the most often), Jimmy Graham (he’s the primary touchdown producer for this offense, but Philadelphia has allowed just two TE1 scoring weeks and are 20th in touchdown rate allowed per target to the position on the season), J.D. McKissic (he’s stuck in flex mode, but has had a flex floor in each of the past three weeks while the Eagles are 26th in receiving points allowed per game to backfields), Nelson Agholor ( a boom or bust flex option you can play while Wentz is on fire, but has a low floor if he fails to score a touchdown)
Steelers @ Bengals
|40.7%||7||Opp. Rush %||45.5%||29|
|59.4%||26||Opp. Pass %||54.5%||4|
- Opposing teams are averaging 10.8 red zone plays per game against the Bengals, the most in the league.
- Le'Veon Bell leads the league in touches inside of the red zone (55) and inside of the 10-yard line (23), but is 17th in touches inside of the 5-yard line (six).
- The Steelers have called a pass on 61.1 percent of their plays inside of the 10-yard line (fourth highest) and 64.7 percent of the time inside of the 5-yard line (second highest rate).
- 82.1 percent of the rushing attempts against the Bengals have gained positive yardage, the second-highest rate in the league.
- Last week was Bell's seventh career 20-point game without a touchdown, the most of any running back since he entered the league in 2013.
- Ben Roethlisberger has just three top-12 scoring weeks over his past 11 games against the Bengals since 2012, throwing multiple touchdowns just three times.
- Antonio Brown has been a top-12 scoring wide receiver in two of those 11 games, but has finished outside of the top-24 just three times.
- A.J. Green has scored a touchdown in four of his five career games against the Steelers at home.
- The Steelers are allowing 9.3 yards per pass attempt over the past four weeks with every quarterback passing over 9.0 yards per attempt.
- Pittsburgh has allowed five touchdown passes of 50 or more yards over the past three weeks which is more than any other team has allowed on the season.
- Andy Dalton has been a QB1 in just four of his 18 primetime starts since 2012, throwing 20 touchdowns to 15 interceptions in those games.
Trust: Le’Veon Bell (the league leader in touches per game at 28.5 is facing the team that is allowing the second most touches per game to backfields at 33.2 and one that faces the highest target rate for backs in the league at 25.5 percent), A.J. Green (he’s gone over 70 yards just once over his past six games, but the Steelers have allowed seven top-20 wideouts over their past four games with a plethora of home run plays)
Bust: Martavis Bryant (he found the end zone last week, but still has just 13 percent of the team targets), Andy Dalton (he’s thrown multiple touchdowns in five of his past six games and the Steelers pass defense has started to spring leaks, but Dalton has cleared 250 yards passing just once over that six-game span and has a history of letting us down under the lights), Tyler Kroft (the short touchdowns are nice, but also a fine deodorant that covers that he has just six catches for 30 yards over his past three games and although one of those short scores came against the Steelers in Week 7, Pittsburgh has allowed just two touchdowns to the position on the season), Brandon LaFell (you can chase a touchdown or big play since the Steelers have allowed three pairs of teammates to have top-30 scoring weeks over their past four games, but LaFell has had 44 yards or fewer in every game but one on the season and just two touchdowns)
Reasonable Return: Antonio Brown (he hasn’t hit his ceiling often in these matchups because Roethlisberger hasn’t and now he's dealing with a toe injury that has his status truly questionable), Ben Roethlisberger (if Brown is inactive, then run away asexpectations for another four-touchdown game on the road against a team he’s had limited success against are lofty, but the Bengals have given up a string of usable games to opposing quarterbacks, allowing 16.9 points per game to the position over their past six games), Joe Mixon (he had his first RB1 game of the year last week, but he should revert back to a volume-based RB2 this week against a Pittsburgh defense that is 11th in rushing yards allowed to backs and 1th in yards from scrimmage allowed per game to the position), JuJu Smith-Schuster (monitor his status this week, but if he's ready to roll, he was averaging 8.3 targets per game over his previous three weeks)
Trust = Player to outperform baseline expectations
Bust = Player to underperform baseline expectations
Reasonable Return = Baseline Play that won't hurt you
**All Vegas Lines are taken from Yahoo listings on Tuesday Evenings