Welcome to the Fantasy Football Rundown: a weekly article written by yours truly in which I give at least one sentence on every single fantasy relevant player for Week 13. Starts, sits, sleepers, busts, DFS plays, you name it, I talk about it here. Be warned, this is a beast of a piece. If you’re looking for a specific player, I recommend using your web browser’s search function to head straight to said player. Enjoy reading!
New York Giants at Miami Dolphins
Over/Under Points Scored: 41.5
New York Giants
QB Mike Glennon — Starting QB Daniel Jones suffered a neck strain last week (and is expected to make a full recovery) but he’s likely sitting out Week 13. Enter He of the Long Neck, Mr. Glennon. Glennon saw limited action in Week 5’s tilt vs. Dallas but was unable to produce a decent NECC consistency score. It’s going to be a rough outing. As NBC’s John Daigle noted in this week’s waiver wire column, Miami’s defense has registered a combined 18 sacks and interceptions since Week 9 and is limiting opposing offenses to just 11.5 points per game. Glennon is this week’s lowest ranked QB.
WRs Kenny Golladay – Kadarius Toney (quad and oblique) failed to practice on Wednesday and Thursday. Golladay should operate as the X-receiver with no real role competition as Toney is highly unlikely to play. Golladay’s WR3 floor-play
WR Sterling Shepard – Miami’s had issues fully replacing do-it-all DB man Jason McCourty (IR) but they aren’t awful at the spot. Back-end WR3.
Update 12/5/21: Sterling Shepard is out. Darius Slayton becomes a back-end WR4. Gollady still a locked-in WR3.
Darius Slayton – Slayton is a volatile WR6.
TE Evan Engram – Fantasy TE3.
RB Saquon Barkley – Expect touches aplenty here as the team tries to hide Glennon as much as possible. The Dolphins have allowed just 9.5 .5PPR RB PPG since Week 9 though, fewest in the league. Barkley’s a high-end RB2.
RB Devontae Booker – Booker should be benched stashed in all 12-team leagues as NYG’s primary bellcow backup.
QB Tua Tagovailoa – MIA’s kept things quick and efficient over the last two weeks, where Tua’s finished bottom-5 in Averaged Air Yards Per Pass (IAY) each week, yet top-5 in Completion Percentage Above Expectation (CPAE). He’s a mid-to-high QB2.
WR Jaylen Waddle – As mentioned last week, the coaching staff has begun to ask more and more of the rookie Waddle as the year’s progressed. No longer running the vast majority of routes in the slot, he’s far close to a 50/50 slot/perimeter man–while notably operating as the clear-cut No. 1 pass catcher. His 35 targets since Week 9 are 13 more than any other ‘Fin. That (roughly) 50% slot rate is going to come in awfully handy this week though, as NYG just lost competent slot CB Darnay Holmes to IR. Backup slotster Aaron Robinson has had a decent rookie season, but he’s more of a run-thumper than he is a coverage specialist. Fire up Waddle as a WR2.
WRs DeVante Parker, Albert Wilson, Isaiah Ford, and Mack Hollins – Parker has been activated off of IR and would immediately resume No. 2 WR duties if they put him on the active roster this week. Unfortunately for him, he’d likely lock horns with CB James Bradberry, rendering him a WR6. The others have platooned their way to a Parker replacement but all three would be irrelevant if Parker returns. If not, at best, Wilson is a WR7 and the others can toil in free agency.
TEs Mike Gesicki and Durham Smythe – MIA was No. 1 in the NFL in 2-tight end personnel groupings with Parker healthy in 5 games this year, at a rate of 42%. In the 7 games Parker missed, MIA retained their No. 1 12-personnel status with a whopping rate of 74%–42% higher than any other NFL team, per SharpFootballStats.com. Smythe’s usage has rendered Gesicki just a fantasy TE2. Smythe is not relevant.
RB Myles Gaskin – Gaskin’s still the lead back despite the ascension of recent free agent signee Phillip Lindsay and NYG is 22nd in run defense NEFF while allowing 23.9 .5PPR RB PPG, 6th most in the NFL. He’s a safe RB2.
RB Phillip Lindsay – Should at least be bench stash in 12-team leagues and can be started as a RB4 where needed. https://twitter.com/danieloyefusi/status/1466446322798579720?s=21
Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans
Over/Under Points Scored: 46
QB Carson Wentz – HC Frank Reich is very opponent-specific when game planning. https://twitter.com/SharpFootball/status/1465482086542987269
The Texans are 21st in pass defense NEFF and are allowing the 9th most net yards per pass attempt but teams just don’t have to throw on them to succeed; their pass attempts against are bottom-10 in the NFL (368) and their rush attempts against (331) are top-10. Expect an efficient, low-volume outing from Wentz. He’s a borderline QB1/2 but has a high-likelihood of a floor game finish.
WR Michael Pittman Jr. – Building on the theme above, it’s easy to see why this might be a five-target outing for Pittman. All year his box score finishes have featured consecutive games with single-digit target totals and then a big, double-digit explosion. When they faced Houston in Week 6, Pittman was afforded just 3 targets, 2 of which were caught for 35 scoreless yards. His ability and role in the offense as the clear-cut No. 1 WR keep him as a borderline WR1 but understand that he’s extremely volatile and could finish with fewer than 50 yards.
WR Zach Pascal – The No. 2 WR here but very unproductive. WR8.
WR T.Y. Hilton – Designated downfield threat. WR8 with DFS appeal, given the matchup.
TE Jack Doyle – HOU is 6th in the league in .5PPR TE PPG allowed. Mid-to-high TE2.
RB Jonathan Taylor – The expected over/under for this one is a respectable 46 points but the key’s in the spread, where Indy opened with a massive -9.5 points. Accordingly, they’re implied point total is a whopping 32.5 to Houston’s 13.5. That’s about as Taylor-friendly of a game script as anyone could ever ask for. The Texans are also 30th in run defense NEFF and are now allowing the 7th most .5PPR RB PPG, 23.6. He’s the overall RB1.
RB Nyheim Hines – His role as a pass catcher is diminishing and Indy is very unlikely to be playing from behind this week. Low-end RB4.
QB Tyrod Taylor – An abysmal passer with an understaffed pass catching corps. Indy’s stud DL DeForest Buckner will be playing on a recently hyperextended knee though, which should keep Taylor hot as a rusher. Mid-tier, high-floor QB2.
WR Brandin Cooks – Fantasy WR3.
WR Nico Collins – Not fantasy relevant. Needs to be rostered in very large leagues though as he could see a bump in targets with Danny Amendola (knee surgery) shelved.
TE Brevin Jordan – Indy is 4th in .5PPR TE PPG allowed (14). Jordan’s a sneaky DFS play.
RBs Rex Burkhead and David Johnson – Burkhead was the lead rusher in Week 11 while DJ saw work both on the ground and through the air. The former saw a sharp uptick in routes run (PFF.com) and targets in Week 12 though, running 17 routes to DJ’s 8 and the duo tied in the target column with 3 apiece. It’s not sexy, but Rexy is becoming a volume-driven borderline RB3/4. DJ is now a back-end RB4.
Minnesota Vikings at Detroit Lions
Over/Under Points Scored: 46.5
QB Kirk Cousins – Detroit is 29th in pass defense NEFF ratings and is the No. 1 team in net passing yards allowed per pass attempt with 7.5. Cousins is a safe QB1.
WR Justin Jefferson – Top-3 WR.
WR Adam Thielen – Top-15 WR.
WR K.J. Osborn – No longer relevant.
TE Tyler Conklin – High-end TE2.
RB Alexander Mattison – Dalvin Cook dislocated his left shoulder last week, the likelihood of which was the primary reason for him being my RB8, and 10th player overall entering the year. Cook is out for a while. From this week’s standalone RB Rankings Piece: “The Lions are just 25th in run defense NEFF rating and are currently allowing 25.3 .5PPR RB PPG, 3rd most in the NFL. Two of Mattison’s four career starts have come against Detroit. In those two outings, the stud back totaled 208 rushing yards and 1 touchdown while remarkably averaging 4.52 yards per carry each time. Mattison’s receiving ability was also on full display–he also caught 10-of-10 targets for 90-yards and 2 touchdowns. He’s this week’s second ranked running back.”
QB Jared Goff – DEs Everson Griffen (mental health) and Danielle Hunter (IR) are out, Dalvin Tomlinson is still on the COVID-19/Reserve List after missing last week on it as well, CB Patrick Peterson was placed on the COVID-19/Reserve List this week, DT Michael Pierce has been activated from IR but is no sure bet to play this week, and LB Anthony Barr is battling knee and hamstring injuries. Goff’s quietly a mid-tier QB2.
Update 12/5/21: Minnesota Vikings’ Anthony Barr is out. That’s great for DET.
WR Amon-Ra St. Brown – ARSB is our Fanduel DFS Stream of the Week: “Vikings’ slot CB Mackensie Alexander is always one to target–his 43 slot route targets are 6th most in the NFL (PFF.com) and he’s allowed 30 of them to go for completions (T-8th most). Even more impressive: his 376 slot route yards allowed are tied for 2nd most, his 3 slot touchdowns are tied for the league-lead, and he’s failed to secure a single interception. St. Brown is a mid-to-high WR4.”
WR Josh Reynolds – It took Reynolds a few weeks to get acclimated but he assumed No. 1 WR duties last week, leading the group in targets (7), yards (70), and was the only one to find the end zone. The Vikings’ CB group was already the worst in the NFL, and that was before Patrick Peterson ended up on the COVID-19/Reserve List. Bashaud Breeland has allowed 598 yards in coverage this year, 4th most in the league per PFF.com (min. 100 coverage snaps). Reynolds is quietly a fantasy WR3 this week.
WR Kalif Raymond – Fantasy WR8 with DFS appeal, given the matchup.
TE T.J. Hockenson – A safe fantasy TE1.
RB Jamaal Williams – D’Andre Swift (AC joint sprain) is expected to miss at least one week, possibly two or three which locks Williams into the high-end RB2 ranks as this week’s Fanduel DFS Stream of the Week: “D’Andre Swift (AC joint sprain) is looking like he’s going to sit for Week 13 [and beyond] and Williams, a long time NFC North veteran having played four years as a Green Bay Packer, is first in line for starting duties. In his last 3 contests vs. Minnesota, 2 as a Packer and 1 as a Lion, Williams averaged a decent 4.29 yards per carry and caught all 12 passes thrown his way during that span.” Factoring in the aforementioned Minnesota front-seven absences, it’s easy to see why Williams is a Week 13 must-start.
RBs Jermar Jefferson and Godwin Igwebuike – JJ had been running as the No. 3 but knee and ankle injuries derailed him. He’s no longer on the injury report so we’ll have to monitor the news to find out who the primary backup is this week with Swift out.
Philadelphia Eagles at New York Jets
Over/Under Points Scored: 45.5
QB Jalen Hurts – Hurts is battling ankle soreness but should play in full on Sunday. Elite QB1.
Update 12/5/21: Jalen Hurts is out, Gardner Minshew
WR DeVonta Smith – Wonky target shenanigans are at play with Jalen Reagor still seeing work for whatever reason. The Jets are the league’s worst rated pass defense NEFF unit though, so Smith is a fantasy WR2.
WR Quez Watkins – Watkins flies up to WR4 range with ball-distributor Minshew at the helm.
WR Jalen Reagor – Ignore.
TE Dallas Goedert – Goedert’s been fairly ineffective for some time but the starting-safety-less Jets offer bounce back potential. He’s a borderline TE1/2.
RBs Miles Sanders and Boston Scott – Sanders injured his ankle last week and was in and out of the lineup, which gave Scott the opportunity to operate as the primary ball carrier. Sanders was able to practice in a limited fashion on Wednesday (a good sign) and Scott sat out due to illness. Sanders is a high-end RB3 against the Jets and their 28th NEFF ranked run defense. Scott is an RB3 for now but likely to drop if Sanders continues to practice.
RB Kenneth Gainwell – Gainwell will play on special teams and catch a few passes but he’s hardly redraft-relevant.
New York Jets
QB Zach Wilson – Fantasy QB3.
WR Elijah Moore – Moore’s the clear-cut top dog here. Fantasy WR3.
Update 12/5/21: Corey Davis (groin) is in but very volatile. WR6.
WRs Jamison Crowder, Braxton Berrios, and Denzel Mims – Perimeter man Davis (groin) has been all but ruled out and Keelan Cole (COVID-19) has already been ruled out. Crowder will operate as the primary slot man while Berrios plays an inside/outside role. Mims will run cardio on the perimeter. None of them are redraft-reliable.
TE Ryan Griffin – The Eagles are the most fantasy-friendly defense to opposing TEs, allowing 15.4 .5PPR TE PPG. He’s a back-end TE2 with DFS appeal.
RB Tevin Coleman – Operated as the team’s lead (16 carries, 67 rushing yards plus 3 targets, 2 catches, and 3 yards) between the 20s–had just 1 red zone opportunity. He’s a back-end RB3 against Philly’s 24th ranked run defense in NEFF.
RB Ty Johnson – Technically an RB4 this week due to byes.
RB Austin Walter – New York fired up a 5’8”, 190lbs no-namer to operate as their scoring position back. Walter was given six carries in the red zone including two inside the five-yard line and converted one of them for a touchdown. He’s a low-end RB3, regardless of how baffling the usage is.
Arizona Cardinals at Chicago Bears
Over/Under Points Scored: 45.5
QB Kyler Murray – Murray’s back (ankle) and is once again an elite QB1. Chicago’s front-seven will be missing edge rusher Khalil Mack (IR), DL Akiem Hicks (ankle), and rangey LB Roquan Smith (hamstring).
WR DeAndre Hopkins – After a month off (hamstring) Hopkins looks ready to return. High-floor WR2.
WRs A.J. Green, Rondale Moore, and Christian Kirk – Weeks 5-7, the last time that the ARI WR corps was healthy, featured Kirk as the No. 2 target, Moore as the No. 3, and Green as the No. 4 while Kirk and Moore hogged slot route snaps. With Hopkins on the shelf in Weeks 10 and 11, Moore took over as the preferred passing game option (especially in Week 11 when he had 11 targets) and as the primary slot receiver. Kirk played inside/outside, while green lined up on the perimeter. With Hopkins back, we find out if Moore earned himself more work. Kirk’s a WR3 while Moore and Green are high-end WR4s.
TE Zach Ertz – High-floor TE1.
RB James Conner – Conner will once again operate as Arizona’s bellcow. Chase Edmonds isn’t going to return (IR) until next week. He’s a mid-to-high RB2 with multi-touchdown upside against the injury-plagued Bears’ front.
RB Eno Benjamin – Benjamin has seen six carries and one target in consecutive games, running as the No. 2 back in Arizona. Undesirable RB4.
QB Andy Dalton – Justin Fields (ribs fractures) returned to practice this week but Dalton was taking first-team reps on Wednesday, indicating The Red Rifle has another start incoming for Week 13. Arizona’s defense was plagued by injuries early on but are returning to full health (sans J.J. Watt). Mid-tier QB2.
WR Darnell Mooney – Mooney’s usage over the last 2 weeks: 5-of-16 for 121 yards and 1 touchdown, 5-of-8 for 123 yards. Although downfield routes are Mooney’s bread and butter, the team’s asked much more of him over the last two weeks. Per PFF.com, he leads the team in targets 20+ yards deep (5), targets 10-19 yards deep (10), and targets between 0-9 yards deep (6). His one target behind the line of scrimmage trails only Jakeem Grant and his two. Mooney’s average depth of target (aDot) during that span and he’s helpfully running a near 50/50 split, lining up in the slot vs. the perimeter (PFF.com). All of Arizona’s CBs are good players but Mooney’s usage is nearly elite. He’s a WR2.
WRs Damiere Byrd and Jakeem Grant – These two are filling the target hole left by the injured Marquise Goodwin (foot). Neither man is particularly good though. Neither are reliably redraft-relevant.
TEs Cole Kmet and Jimmy Graham – Kmet’s 11 targets last week were a career-high but the young tight end injured his groin in the process. Rangey coverage linebacker Isaiah Simmons awaits whoever gets the start so it’s not as though it’s a huge missed opportunity. Monitor Kmet’s practice status though (DNP on Wednesday). If active, he’s a borderline, TE1/2. If inactive, Graham is a mid-tier TE2 at best.
RB David Montgomery – Usage based RB2.
RB Khalil Herbert – One of the league’s premier primary bellcow backups.
Los Angeles Chargers at Cincinnati Bengals
Over/Under Points Scored: 50.5
Los Angeles Chargers
QB Justin Herbert – Extremely compelling quarterback duel on tap here: https://twitter.com/tejfbanalytics/status/1466434901549400068/photo/1
Herbert’s an every-week elite QB1.
WR Keenan Allen – Allen’s only caught 2 touchdowns this year but his post-Week 7 bye run tells you all you need to know about his consistency. Since Week 8, he’s averaged 11.5 targets, 8.4 catches, and 95 yards. Still running over 60% of his routes lined up in the slot, Allen should have a heyday teeing off on Bengals’ slot CB Mike Hilton. Per PFF.com (min. 150 slot coverage snaps), Hilton is top-5 in slot route receptions allowed (37), top-10 in yards (299), and T-top-6 in touchdowns (2). Mid-tier WR1.
WR Mike Williams – Williams’ downfield usage is heading in the wrong direction:
Cincinnati has allowed 42 explosive pass plays this year, 6th most in the NFL (SharpFootballStats.com), so there’s hope for Williams hauling in a long ball or two, even on limited usage. Still, he’s on shaky ground. Volatile, high-end WR3.
WRs Jalen Guyton and Josh Palmer – As mentioned above, this is a great deep throw matchup. Guyton and Palmer are splitting reps, playing the same position. Redraft WR7s but both should be in DFS lineups.
TE Jared Cook – Cincinnati lost ho-hum LB Akeem Davis-Gaither to IR after Week 8 and although he’s not coverage dynamo, Cincy went from being one of the 8 best teams at limited tight end fantasy production to allowing 15.4 .5PPR TE PPG, 3rd most in the league. Start Cook as a borderline TE1/2. Great DFS play.
TE Donald Parham – Parham is a mid-to-high TE2 with immense DFS appeal given the aforementioned matchup bonus.
TE Stephen Anderson – Contrarian DFS option.
RB Austin Ekeler – The league’s 3rd most targeted RB (66) vs. the league’s worst defense at containing pass catching RBs. CIN’s currently allowing 10.1 RB targets per game (the most), 7.5 RB receptions (T-the most), and 55.5 RB receiving yards (4th most). Top-3 fantasy back for Week 13.
RBs Joshua Kelley and Justin Jackson – Kelley’s pulled ahead in the competition for the No. 2 job but this tends to swing like a pendulum.
QB Joe Burrow – Tampa Bay at Atlanta is the only other game to open with an over/under at or above 50.5 points. Mid-to-low QB1.
WR Ja’Marr Chase – Cincy’s worked to distribute the ball more since their Week 10 bye but Chase will be needed to keep pace with the Chargers. Mid-to-low WR1.
WR Tee Higgins – High-floor WR3.
WR Tyler Boyd – Boyd’s likely to suffer from TE C.J. Uzomah’s plus-matchup.
TE C.J. Uzomah – Cincy’s done a decent job of incorporating CJU when the matchup is right. LAC is allowing 13.6 .5PPR TE PPG, 5th most in the NFL. High-end TE2/great DFS play.
RB Joe Mixon – His 234 touches rank 4th at the position. Top-5 RB1 vs. the league’s worst ranked run defense per NEFF.
RBs Samaje Perine and Chris Evans – Much more of a timeshare No. 2 RB situation since the Week 10 bye. Back-end RB5s.
Update 12/5/21: Chris Evans is out. Samaje Perine’s an RB5.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Atlanta Falcons
Over/Under Points Scored: 50.5
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
QB Tom Brady – Massive over/under here but TB opened with the 2nd largest spread -10.5 road favorites. Brady will be integral to that likely outcome. Mid-to-high QB1.
WR Mike Evans – ATL’s 28th in pass defense NEFF. Mid-tier WR1.
WR Chris Godwin – Ranked exactly one spot behind Evans as a WR1.
WRs Scotty Miller and Tyler Johnson – Antonio Brown is out for at least two more weeks and the team has evidently not been pleased with fill-in No. 3 Johnson as they’ve tried signing/playing Breshad Perriman and activating Jaelan Darden. Miller returned from IR last week though, and he’s the most tried-and-true one of the bunch, having produced a number of strong performances during TB’s 2020 Super Bowl run. He may still be eased in a bit but he’s a WR5 in this one. Johnson’s a WR7.
TE Rob Grokowski – Top notch TE1.
RB Leonard Fournette – Ronald Jones and Gio Bernard sporadically mix in but they aren’t redraft-relevant. Fournette’s a top-6 fantasy back this week against the Falcons’ 26th ranked NEFF run defense.
QB Matt Ryan – Likely to be sacked into oblivion. Borderline QB2/3.
WR Russell Gage – WR7.
WR Olamide Zaccheus – WR8
WR Tajae Sharpe – WR9
TE Kyle Pitts – Can’t be trusted for TE1 production here. TE2.
RB/WR Cordarrelle Patterson – As noted on episode 299 of the Establish The Run podcast, Patterson’s seen a dip in pure WR usage as of late. It’s still there, but his 23.1% rate of lining up on the perimeter of the formation was the lowest it’s been since Week 3 (PFF.com). Expect the target volume to stay high here though as Ryan will routinely checkdown to avoid the Bucs’ vaunted pass rush.
RB Mike Davis – Now the No. 2 but not at all fantasy relevant.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Los Angeles Rams
Over/Under Points Scored: 48
QB Trevor Lawrence – LAR’s pass rush is going to be a problem. Back-end QB1.
WR Marvin Jones Jr. – Borderline WR4/5.
WR Laviska Shenault – This week, HC Urban Meyer said he wanted to get Shenault more involved in creative ways. Borderline WR4/5 but should be rostered to find out “if true”.
WR Laquon Treadwell – Outside the top-60.
WR Tavon Austin – Meyer indicated Shenault would be taking the Jamal Agnew looks.
TE James O’Shaughnessy – Low-end TE2 but they could force targets his way.
RB James Robinson – Jaguars’ beat reporter Mark Long reported Robinson as a DNP on Thursday but the team website says otherwise, listing him with back-to-back LPs on Wednesday and Thursday. If active, he’s a back-end RB1.
Los Angeles Rams
QB Matthew Stafford – LAR opened with the single highest spread of Week 13 as -13 point home favorites. Mid-tier QB1.
WR Cooper Kupp – Elite WR1.
WR Odell Beckham Jr. – Beckham’s dealing with a hip pointer but should be able to play: https://twitter.com/TheRealAdam_H/status/1465491584053567489
With Ben Skowronek out of the way, Beckham hogged a 98% Week 13 target share, catching 5-of-10 targets (tying Kupp for the team-lead) for 81 yards and 1 touchdown–including a 54-yard touchdown bomb. The Jaguars’ 31st ranked NEFF pass defense doesn’t stand a chance. Back-end WR2.
WR Van Jefferson – While Beckham lined up on the perimeter of the formation, working with an aDot of 11.8-yards, Jefferson operated as a 64.3% slot receiver/35.7% wideout field stretcher. His aDot 19.0 yards helped him to a fantastic day: 3-of-9 for 93 yards and 1 touchdown. Back-end WR2.
TE Tyler Higbee – Run of the mill TE2 right now. Could be a sneaky DFS play as JAX will surely be plotting to stop the shiny new Beckham.
RB Darrell Henderson – Hendo missed practice on Wednesday (thigh) but HC Sean McVay expects him to play. Henderson’s workload should be massive as, mentioned above, LAR owns this week’s largest point spread at -13 points.
Update 12/5/21: Sony Michel is the starter today but Henderson will be active. Back-end RB2s but Hendo has zero floor.
RB Sony Michel – Excellent primary bellcow backup.
Washington Football Team at Las Vegas Raiders
Over/Under Points Scored: 48.5
Washington Football Team
QB Taylor Heinicke – Good matchup but he’s not very good. Mid-tier QB2.
WR Terry McLaurin – Mid-tier WR2. Having TE Logan Thomas operating in a larger capacity will work wonders.
WR/KR DeAndre Carter – Fantasy WR4 with increased value in leagues that reward return production. The do-it-all speedster always carries long-TD upside.
WR Curtis Samuel – Really should not be playing on his groin injury at this point. Far too risky for our purposes.
TE Logan Thomas – LV’s allowing 15.1 .5PPR TE PPG, 2nd most in the NFL. Locked-in TE1.
RB Antonio Gibson – With J.D. McKissic likely out due to a concussion and an overall increased workload since their Week 9 bye, Gibson’s suddenly a Fantasy RB1.
RB Jaret Patterson – Should be bench-stashed in 12-team leagues.
Las Vegas Raiders
QB Derek Carr – WFT’s NEFF pass defense score of 39.1 ranks 3rd worst in the NFL. Carr is a back-end QB1.
WR Hunter Renfrow – Has averaged 7.75 targets, 6.5 catches, 64.75 receiving yards, and 0.5 touchdowns since Henry Ruggs was cut 4 weeks ago. He’s the .5PPR WR13 during that span. Keep him in as a mid-to-high WR2 this week.
WRs Zay Jones and DeSean Jackson – One of these guys will be a viable WR5. Jackson’s nursing a calf ailment but would be the preferred option if active.
TE Foster Moreau – Moreau is a locked-in TE1 with Darren Waller (IT band) out this week. In his Week 6 spot start for another Waller absence, Moreau went a perfect 6-of-6 for 60 yards and 1 touchdown. Mark of the Beast–he’s this week’s TE6.
RB Josh Jacobs – Mid-range RB2. The team stated a desire to get him more involved last week and they did so–there have been plenty of occasions when that failed to manifest though.
RB Kenyan Drake – Bench stash.
Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers
Over/Under Points Scored: 44
QB Lamar Jackson – CB Joe Haden (foot) isn’t playing and superstar edge rusher T.J. Watt was placed on the COVID-19/Reserve List early this week. It’s unknown if he’s vaccinated and could return in time but him playing is unlikely either way. Elite QB1.
WR Marquise Brown – It’s a Hollywood Week:
WR Rashod Bateman – Back-end WR3.
WR Devin Duvernay – Borderline WR5/6 but it’s worth noting that Pittsburgh’s slot coverage is lacking. Consider him in DFS.
TE Mark Andrews – Elite TE1.
RB Devonta Freeman – Freeman’s the clear-cut lead back here. High-end RB3.
RB Latavius Murray – Fairly washed up at this point. Fantasy RB4.
QB Ben Roethlisberger – Baltimore is 4th in QB pressure rate (27.5%). Roethlisberger doesn’t stand a chance. Back-end QB2.
WR Diontae Johnson – A member of the nebulous WR1/2 blob who can finish anywhere from WR15 to WR8. Lock him (and his enormous workload–6 games of 13 targets or more this year) into your lineup and throw away the key.
WR Chase Claypool – High-end fantasy WR3 who would be a WR1 if he had a halfway decent QB.
WR James Washington – Too many cooks. Back-end WR5.
TE Pat Freiermuth – The rookie’s in the concussion protocol but is practicing in full. He’ll be good to go and Baltimore is allowing the 3rd most .5PPR TE PPG, 14.1. He’s a TE1.
RB Najee Harris – It took 4 week but Harris finally surpassed Henry’s monstrous 237 8-week touches. Harris is now the NFL’s Touch King with 248 to his name. Locked-in RB1.
RB Anthony McFarland Jr. – PIT is still cycling other backs in but AMJ is the most talented dual threat behind Harris and should be stashed in 12-team leagues.
San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks
Over/Under Points Scored: 46.5
San Francisco 49ers
QB Jimmy Garoppolo – Although not dynamic, Garoppolo is allowing SF to move the ball. Seattle is in shambles and Garoppolo’s quick game should be a featured aspect of the -3.5-point home favorite’s route to victory.
WR Brandon Aiyuk – San Fran’s been hit with a number of injuries as of late, most notably 2021-breakout WR Deebo Samuel who is expected to miss a week or two with a groin strain. A commitment to being a Niner, so to speak allowed Aiyuk to emerge from Kyle Shanahan’s doghouse and it’s paid major dividends for both the second year receiver and the team overall:
Keep in mind, Aiyuk was drafted as a Deebo 2.0: Great route runner with elite run-after-catch skills. Over the last three weeks, Deebo’s been featured as both a rusher and a receiver, totaling carry counts of five, six, and eight–and is actually tied with Jeff Wilson Jr. for the team-lead in red zone carries (5, PFF.com). Bet on Aiyuk getting the same treatment. He’s a back-end WR1 this week.
WR Jauan Jennings – Jennings is this week’s Stream of the Week: “Jennings has been operating as the team’s primary slot receiver as of late. He made the most of his 3 Week 12 targets by catching 2 of them for 24-yards and 1 touchdown (and almost had another score!). Seattle’s slot CB Ugo Amadi is as underwhelming as it gets and San Fran’s going to be looking for receiving help with No. 1 WR Deebo Samuel (groin) temporarily on the shelf. Jennings is a mid-to-high WR4.”
WR Trent Sherfield – Back-end WR5.
TE George Kittle – Elite TE1, especially with Deebo out.
RB Elijah Mitchell – Playing with a surgical pin in his finger, Mitchell returned to action last week, taking 27 carries for 133 yards and 1 touchdown, while also leading the backfield in routes with 15 (PFF.com), targets with 6, catches with 5, adding 35 receiving yards. Back-end RB1.
RB JaMycal Hasty – Trey Sermon is reportedly an IR candidate but Hasty (ankle) should return this week. He may see a few looks in the passing game but Mitchell owns this backfield now.
QB Russell Wilson – Wilson’s finger is likely to be an issue for a while.
The whole offense is in disarray and Pete Carroll has no idea what’s going on:
Wilson’s a borderline QB2/3.
WR D.K. Metcalf – Carroll’s gone so run-crazy that Seattle didn’t even give Metcalf a single target in the first-half last week. He’s a fantasy WR4.
WR Tyler Lockett – Lockett’s mindmeld with Wilson is one of the only things going for Seattle right now. Back-end WR3.
WR Dee Eskridge – Not redraft relevant.
WR Freddie Swain – Not redraft relevant.
TE Gerald Everett – Everett’s been a beneficiary of Wilson’s accuracy issues and he’s just plain tough to miss. SF coverage LB Fred Warner is out this week. Borderline TE1/2.
RBs Adrian Peterson, Alex Collins, and DeeJay Dallas – Things are so bad that Pete Carroll signed the ancient, washed up Peterson. Ignore all of them.
Sunday Night Football: Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs
Over/Under Points Scored: 47.5
QB Teddy Bridgewater – Gamescript could help him but he’s tough to trust. Mid-tier QB2.
WR Jerry Jeudy – KC’s slot coverage has been weak but there are so many mouths to feed here, Jeudy can’t be trusted as more than a high-end WR4.
WR Courtland Sutton – The best of the bunch but he’s a mid-tier WR4.
WR Tim Patrick – Back-end WR4.
TE Noah Fant – Opposing tight ends are averaging 12.5 .RPPR PPG, 7th most in the league, against KC. Albert Okwuebunam isn’t going anywhere though. Low-volume, mid-to-high TE2.
TE Albert Okwuegbunam – Low-end TE2.
RB Javonte Williams – KC’s run defense ranks T-26th in NEFF and Melvin Gordon failed to practice (hip/shoulder) on both Wednesday and Thursday. Williams would be a high-end RB2 if running alone.
Kansas City Chiefs
QB Patrick Mahomes – Von Miller’s gone to LA and perimeter CB is making a fool of himself, trying to fill in for injured slot CB Bryce Callahan. Mahomes is a mid-tier QB1.
WR Tyreek Hill – Elite WR1.
WR Byron Pringle – Pringle has been hot and cold as of late but a date with the aforementioned Fuller gives him a chance to return WR7 value.
WR Mecole Hardman – The dream is dead.
WR Josh Gordon – Mostly running cardio. If he doesn’t do anything post-bye this week, drop him.
TE Travis Kelce – Elite TE1.
RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire – CEH handily took his job back in his return to action and he’s got a nice matchup on deck. ILBs Alexander Johnson, a true terror in the run game, and Josey Jewell are both on IR. He’s a back-end RB2.
RB Darrel Williams – Now just a high-end primary bellcow backup.