Teams are listed in order of their Vegas projected team points.
Page 1: OAK, KC, SF, NO, CAR, DAL, BAL (plus bonus Lamar content)
Page 2: MIN, DET, LAC, NE, LAR, IND, BUF, HOU, ATL, TB
Page 3: PHI, JAX, WAS, CIN, NYJ, CHI, MIA, ARI, DEN
TNF: CLE, PIT
Byes: GB, NYG, SEA, TEN
Vikings (25.5, -10.5) vs. DEN
Kirk Cousins has been an efficient quarterback this season, but he’s barely a QB1/2 most weeks due to volume. This week, it’s hard to bank on his efficiency, too, with Adam Thielen out and with the Broncos secondary in town. Denver is in the top 7th percentile against fantasy quarterbacks and can put an elite CB on Cousins’ only good receiver. Cousins is more of a high-end QB2 than a locked-in QB1. … Dalvin Cook is averaging 20.3 carries and 4.0 receptions per game. With the Vikings projected for 25.5 points this week, Cook is obviously an elite RB1. … Alexander Mattison typically sees 5-10 touches per game, but he remains one of the few elite fantasy handcuffs who should be rostered in 10-man leagues with multiple bench spots.
Adam Thielen is on track to miss another game, so the passing attack will once again fall on Stefon Diggs. Somewhere between 6-10 targets should be expected for Diggs, but he will be shadowed by elite Broncos CB Chris Harris. That’s enough to downgrade Diggs to the WR2/3 range -- it will be hard to reach a ceiling because Denver doesn’t allow long passing plays -- but not enough to go further than that as long as Thielen stays sidelined. … Olabisi Johnson ran a route on 89% of Vikings’ dropbacks last week but only saw four targets in a close win. Johnson is a WR5 dart throw with the easiest matchup among Vikings receivers. … Kyle Rudolph has been more involved in recent weeks with Thielen out of the lineup, but he’s still a touchdown-dependent TE2. Rudolph has been scorching hot in the touchdown department, however. Most of that is just good luck and timing, but he’s the best pass-catching red-zone weapon with Thielen out.
Lions (23.5, +4.5) vs. DAL
Matthew Stafford did not practice Wednesday, so I’m assuming he’s out Week 11. That would mean another Jeff Driskel start, which means more pain for Lions fans. Driskel has a career 5.7 YPA and was never a plus passer in college, but he does have some rushing ability (37 rushing yards last week) which gives him a shot at paying off as a low-end QB2 in two-quarterback leagues. … See update above.
Ty Johnson (concussion) is questionable for Week 11, so J.D. McKissic and Paul Perkins will likely form a two-back committee. Last week after Johnson left early, McKissic saw 10 carries and caught six passes, while Perkins chipped in seven carries. Since McKissic is a capable pass-catcher, he’s the better plug-and-play flex, although neither back is a must-play with Driskel at quarterback.
The efficiency difference between Stafford and Driskel is obviously big, but it was at least nice to see Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones keep their high usages (see chart above). Aside from Driskel, the issue for this week is how Dallas schemes its defense. The Cowboys were one of the teams I highlighted as a top team at defending deeper passes after dissecting play-by-play data via NextGenStats, and winning downfield is where Golladay and Jones cash in. The chart below shows how Dallas (“DAL”) is the most prone (red color) in the middle of the field about 5-10 yards beyond the line of scrimmage. That’s where Danny Amendola and T.J. Hockenson will primarily be working. I still like Golladay as a low-end WR2 and Jones as a flex option, but I’m not expecting ceiling games. … T.J. Hockenson has been more involved from Week 7 and on and is in the mix as an upside TE2 based on talent and now volume. With Dallas leaving underneath passes over the middle open, I like Hockenson as a TE1/2 streamer this week.
Chargers (24.25, +4) vs. KC
Philip Rivers just might be washed (he has a career-low 3.8 touchdown rate), and even if he’s not actually washed, it’s going to be tough to do anything behind this offensive line with this coaching staff. It’s a tough scene. The Chiefs are also one of the biggest run funnels in the NFL in terms of both efficiency (see chart above) and volume. Rivers is a mid-range QB2 who will likely be playing in catch up mode once again. … Kansas City is truly awful against the run, and the Bolts have handed Melvin Gordon 20 and 22 carries in the last two games after changing offensive coordinators. Gordon’s arrow is ascending in fantasy and as an actual NFL player. He looked a lot more explosive and decisive in Week 10 after looking completely dusted earlier. Gordon has 20-25 touch upside as long as the game stays somewhat close, locking Gordon into the RB1/2 range. … Austin Ekeler is trending in the other direction. Ekeler has reception totals of 2, 4, and 2 in the last three weeks and is a clear second option as a runner. The matchup, both game flow and scheme, keep Ekeler in the flex mix, but he’s not an every-week RB2 unless his usage picks back up. The Chargers should line him up in the slot more often.
Keenan Allen and Mike Williams are both positive touchdown regression candidates, but they need Rivers, the offensive line, and coaching staff to be better to realize that potential. Keenan’s 7.6 YPT is the worst since 2014, and Williams has four and three targets in his last two games. Both receivers are talented enough to break their funks, but Kansas City being a run funneling defense (see bar chart above) makes this a tougher matchup to bet on that happening. Keenan is a high-end WR2. Williams is a boom-or-bust flex. … On the other hand, Hunter Henry has been fantastic. Since his Week 6 return, Henry is leading tight ends in PPR points, targets, receptions, receiving yards, and air yards. Henry is an elite TE1 right now and is the Chargers pass-catcher I’m most confident in. As a bonus, the Chiefs are in the bottom 29th percentile against fantasy tight ends.
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Patriots (24.25, -3.5) @ PHI
Tom Brady has been a low-end QB1 against bad defenses, and the Eagles qualify. Most of Brady’s production has been volume-based and tied to passing yardage (282 yards per game) because he’s been awful in the red zone. Brady has thrown a touchdown on just 12% of pass attempts (league average 24%), which should positively regress in the second half. Brady offers some passing upside as a borderline QB1/2. … The Patriots backfield is a complete mess again. Snap counts over the last two weeks: James White (56), Sony Michel (43), and Rex Burkhead (37). None can be confidently started with Burkhead capable of stealing looks away from both specialty backs, but at the same time, any of the three can have a ceiling game against any opponent. For now, White is an RB3 in PPR leagues while Michel is a touchdown-dependent RB3 in all leagues. I’m curious to see how touches are distributed after the bye.
Julian Edelman continues to be reliable underneath receiver for Belichick and Brady even with Mohamed Sanu in the mix. Edelman still primarily lined up in the slot and should continue seeing 7-12 targets per game as a high-floor WR1. The Eagles’ bottom 22nd percentile defense against fantasy receivers give him a chance at reaching a ceiling. … Mohamed Sanu ran a route on 100% of the Patriots dropbacks and set a season-high in targets in Week 9. Those numbers were inflated by the scoreboard, but Sanu should be projected for 5-10 targets most weeks, especially against the Eagles. It’s worth noting that Sanu played 58% on the outside when he was mostly a slot receiver in Atlanta. That change may make him more boom-or-bust than what some will think, but he’s firmly entered the WR3 mix. … Phillip Dorsett ran a route on 47 of 49 dropbacks in Week 9, and he has a reasonable shot of having a “boom” week since the Eagles have allowed deep passes at a much higher rate than most defenses (look at the dots in the graph below). Dorsett is a low-volume WR4 dart throw. … Rookie N'Keal Harry could be making a debut as well. ... Benjamin Watson has settled in as a 3-6 target check-down magnet with minimal athleticism. Playing for the Pats gives him touchdown equity, but he’s still a TE2. For as bad as the Eagles have been against the pass, they’ve been in the top 30th percentile against tight ends so far.
Texans (23.25, +4.5) @ BAL
Update: Will Fuller has been ruled out.
Deshaun Watson is one of the highest-floor fantasy quarterbacks. He’s either thrown his way into a lead or will produce in comeback mode. This week, Vegas is projecting the Texans as 4.5-point underdogs to Lamar, which is perfectly fine with me. As the chart shows below, rushing quarterbacks tend to run more often while trailing, which actually gives Watson an even higher ceiling as a QB1.
Carlos Hyde surprisingly doesn’t have crazy game script splits this season with the Texans rushing the ball so often. Hyde has averaged 16.6 carries this season and should see 12-18 touches once again, even as underdogs. The Ravens Defense currently sits in the bottom 12th percentile in run defense DVOA, poor enough for Hyde to remain in the RB2 mix. … Duke Johnson deserves more opportunities (6.0 carries and 2.4 receptions per game) since he’s averaging 5.3 yards per carry and 7.1 yards per target, but he’s primarily a handcuff for fantasy purposes right now. Hopefully that changes.
DeAndre Hopkins has a tough matchup against CBs Marcus Peters and Jimmy Smith this week, but Hopkins has been a reliable WR1 for years and can’t be dropped too much. It’s hard to complain with 8-13 targets in just about every game, but it would be nice to see Hopkins used downfield more often so he can reach a higher ceiling. … Will Fuller has practiced in limited fashion and is likely going to be a game-time decision. The deep threat has re-injury risk as an upside flex in a potentially high-scoring game, but once again, the Ravens’ cornerback play has been drastically better in recent weeks. … Fuller’s return would put a dent in Kenny Stills’ already low usage. Stills could lose a ton of snaps if the Texans use 2-TE sets with Hopkins and Fuller as the top receivers. … Those two tight ends are Darren Fells and Jordan Akins. Both have been low-aDOT, low-volume targets, but they are at least attached to an explosive offense. In fact, Fells has somehow scored a touchdown on 6-of-9 red-zone targets. Both are pure dart throws against a top 23rd percentile defense versus fantasy tight ends.
Colts (23.25, -3) vs. JAX
Jacoby Brissett is expected to start after returning to practice. When healthy, Brissett has been a functional QB2 in a run-heavy offense, but it will be very hard for him to reach a ceiling if T.Y. Hilton is unable to play, which looks likely as of Thursday night. I’m projecting the Colts to play into the Jaguars’ run funneling defense, making Brissett a forgettable QB2. It also doesn’t help that Brissett is a negative touchdown regression candidate:
Getting Brissett back helps nobody more than Marlon Mack, who reaches ceilings when the Colts build leads. As 3-point favorites against a bottom 25th percentile run defense DVOA, Mack has upside as an RB2, especially since he’s a positive touchdown regression candidate.
T.Y. Hilton looks very questionable to play and would be a risky WR3 even if he suits up. I’m assuming it’s going to be Zach Pascal and Chester Rogers at receiver once again with Eric Ebron and Jack Doyle very involved, too. Last week, Ebron set a new season-high in targets and air yards. Those totals are locks to come down since the Colts aren’t likely to pass as much this week, but Ebron has touchdown equity as the best red-zone weapon and should see 5+ targets. Ebron is a low-end TE1 without Hilton. … Jack Doyle doesn’t have the red zone equity and therefore the upside of Ebron, but 3-5 targets are enough to keep him at the top of the TE2 conversation. … Zach Pascal, who is averaging 10.2 yards per target this season, has had WR3-level usage in his two games without T.Y. and has a better chance of turning in WR3 value with Brissett than Brian Hoyer. The Jaguars’ middling defense against fantasy receivers doesn’t move Pascal up or down the receiver rankings. … Chester Rogers has four and five targets in the two games with T.Y. but he has been a near full-time route runner at least. He’s a WR5 with volume concerns.
Rams (23.25, -6.5) vs. CHI
Here are Jared Goff's stats in the last 17 games: 6.9 YPA, 18 passing touchdowns, 17 interceptions, 17 fumbles, and 59% completions. Continuing to view Goff as an every-week QB1 will continue to cost you money. The offensive line hasn’t been as good this season and is now relying on backups. The Bears should test Goff’s pressure splits. Goff is an upside QB2 as one of the 10-worst starting quarterbacks in the NFL right now. … Todd Gurley has averaged 13.0 carries and 1.9 receptions per game and hasn’t been as efficient while clearly not playing with the same lateral ability as he once had. Gurley’s volume could ramp up down the stretch as offseason reports indicated, but I’m not betting on that happening. Darrell Henderson and Malcolm Brown should continue splitting a dozen or so touches behind Gurley, who is an RB2 against a Bears Defense that is in the bottom 29th percentile against fantasy running backs.
I was surprised to see such drastic game script splits for Cooper Kupp, who apparently feasts while trailing and has average usage with a lead (see chart below). It’s likely that we’ve seen the best of Kupp already, and I’m very confident that he’s not as consistent as we thought after the first five weeks. Kupp is a WR2 against a top 10th percentile defense against fantasy receivers. … Robert Woods came alive last week after multiple down weeks. His usage has been all over the place, but it would be somewhat surprising if he didn’t see 6-10 targets this week with Brandin Cooks (concussion) out. Woods is also one of the biggest positive touchdown regression candidates with 45 receptions and 566 yards on the season with zero touchdowns. Woods is a volume-based WR3 despite the tough matchup. … Josh Reynolds’ air yards have been nice the last two weeks, but this probably isn’t the matchup to take a buy-low flier on the No. 3 option. … Gerald Everett is prone to complete clunkers but so are all of the other low-end TE1s right now. Everett, at least, has shown weekly upside as a down the seam target looking for play-makers. Everett has double-digit targets in three of his last five games. He’s one of my preferred low-end TE1s.
Bills (23.75, -6.5) @ MIA
Josh Allen has been Josh Allen as a passer (not good), but the matchup is sweet and he offers a fantasy ceiling as a dual-threat quarterback. In his three starts against Miami, Allen has averaged an absurd 83 rushing yards, which is obviously not sustainable but shows his upside in this matchup. Allen is an upside QB1/2 with a higher floor than normal. … Devin Singletary is the leader of the Bills’ backfield, but he’s not a bellcow right now. Frank Gore is still seeing 20+ snaps per game and remains involved as a runner, especially in short-yardage situations. Starting a committee back in a bottom half offense is a recipe for disaster, but game script (5.5-point favorites) and matchup (see chart above) are too good to not put Singletary on the RB2/3 radar. Singletary should see 12-18 touches this week.
John Brown is a very easy evaluation. He has at least 50 yards in every game this season, thanks to WR2-level usage (see chart above). Brown is a positive touchdown regression candidate (680 yards but just two touchdowns) and has the matchup to cash those tickets in this week. Brown is an upside WR2. … Cole Beasley has been on a touchdown heater recently but that can be chalked up to good luck, not skill. I’m putting more weight into his low air yard and target totals, which keep him out of the WR3 discussion, even against the Dolphins. Beasley is a flex option but carries a low ceiling and floor. … Dawson Knox has had inconsistent usage since Tyler Kroft returned but is a low-end TE2 streamer given the matchup and six targets last week.
Falcons (22.75, +4) @ CAR
Matt Ryan has had back-to-back games with under 200 yards (ankle injury) after starting the season with six-straight games with at least 300 yards. The Panthers are in the top 7th percentile in pass defense DVOA, but the secondary is banged up right now, making them an easier matchup than what the bar charts would indicate. To be fair, the Falcons Offense is also missing weapons (Mohamed Sanu, Austin Hooper, and Devonta Freeman) and Ryan is still not at 100% himself, so I’m inclined to call Ryan a QB1/2 than a sure-fire QB1. … With Devonta Freeman out, Brian Hill is shaping up as a bellcow back for at least 1-2 weeks. When asked about Hill, coach Dan Quinn said, “We’ve got a lot of trust and belief in him.” Hill can be safely projected for 15+ touches including goal-line (219 pounds) and pass-catching (20-catch season at Wyoming) work for now, and the matchup is pretty ideal. The Panthers are last in run defense DVOA and third-worst against fantasy running backs. Hill is an upside RB2.
Julio Jones’ and Calvin Ridley’s outlooks were already better without Mohamed Sanu, and they might be even better with Austin Hooper sidelined. Hooper leaves behind 14% of the Falcons’ air yards, 18% of the targets, and 28% of the red zone looks. That’s a ton of production. Jones is an elite WR1 like always, but I wouldn’t trip on the matchup because Panthers CBs James Bradberry (limited), Ross Cockrell (DNP), and Donte Jackson (DNP) are all on the injury report. Ridley is squarely in the upside WR2 mix with volume and matchup on his side. … Russell Gage is also entering the fantasy mix after seeing 14 targets in his two weeks as a near full-time route runner. Gage probably stands to benefit the most with Hooper’s injury, so he’s a decent desperation flex option this week, especially if those corners actually miss Week 11. … TEs Luke Stocker and Jaeden Graham are on my radar but won’t be in any of my fantasy lineups. Stocker has been a blocker and Graham is completely unproven right now.
Bucs (22.25, +5.5) vs. NO
Since playing the 49ers and Panthers to start the season, Jameis Winston is averaging 337 yards and 2.1 touchdowns per game. He’s arguably an every-week QB1 with volume and play-makers on his side, but Winston isn’t very trustworthy in matchups like this. Winston only managed 204 yards and two touchdowns against the Saints in Week 5, his only non-300 yard game since Week 2. This game, however, is at home and the Bucs do look more composed since the bye, so Winston can be utilized as an upside QB1/2 this week. … Ronald Jones surprised with 8-of-8 receiving for 77 yards last week, and coach Bruce Arians made post-game comments suggesting his pass-game role was here to stay. I kind of buy it in the sense that 2-4 receptions per game is achievable in this offense, even for a running back like RoJo who hasn’t caught many passes since high school. Jones will be put to the test as a receiver with the Bucs projected to lose by six points, but RoJo should deliver RB2 value. In his last three games, Jones has averaged 13.3 carries.
Mike Evans and Chris Godwin have been high-volume WR1s, but they have flip-flopped big games. One theory I have is they're utilized differently depending on game script with Evans operating as the desperation deep threat while trailing and Godwin acting as the safer target when the Bucs have a lead (evidence is below). That would set up well for Evans this week, especially with stud CB Marshon Lattimore (hamstring) expected to be out. Evans is a locked-in WR1, while Godwin is a low-end WR1. Both have plenty of upside. … O.J. Howard predictably had his best game against the Cardinals’ vulnerable defense last week, but it was still good to see. Howard has the talent to have a bounceback second half of the season, although he’ll have to get it done as the clear No. 3 target behind two stud receivers. Howard is an upside TE2.