Tennessee Titans @ Indianapolis Colts
Projected Vegas Score: Titans 24.5, Colts 21
Quarterbacks- We kick off with a sneaky shootout between Jacoby Brissett and Marcus Mariota. I have interest in both of these Quarterbacks as both teams secondaries have been horrid this season. The Colts rank 27th in pass-defense while the Titans rank 26th...yikes! I would reserve Brissett for tournaments only while Mariota is a viable play in all formats.
Running Backs- I don't have a ton of interest in the backfields here, I prefer the passing games but I think DeMarco Murray is a viable GPP pivot off of Mariota. Murray has quietly been dominating the snaps for the Titans over the last month, silencing the Derrick Henry fans for at least the time being. He has averaged over 70% of the snaps over the last four games, and the Colts run defense is nothing to be afraid of. Marlon Mack has more to offer than Frank Gore at this point in his career, but with the 50/50 timeshare between them it takes them both out of the DFS picture.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends- Enter: Corey Davis! I've been talking about the inevitable Corey Davis breakout game for a few weeks, and now he has his time to shine with Rishard Matthews expected to miss this weeks game. I will say, without Matthews on the field Davis should see a lot of Rashaan Melvin coverage who has been a BEAST this season, and he played a major role in shutting down Antonio Brown a few weeks ago. I like Davis a lot, and he is firmly in play at his price, but temper your expectations a bit if he is going to see a lot of Melvin. As for the Colts, T.Y. Hilton should be able to feast on this Titans secondary and he has been historically better at home throughout his career. Hilton has put up a few monster games in good matchups this season, and it doesn't get much better than this one. Jack Doyle has been seeing insane usage in the passing game for the Colts, racking up just south of 9 targets per game over the last 5 games. He is in play along with Hilton this week.
Overall Outlook- I really like this game, especially in the passing game. Mariota, Brissett, Davis and Hilton being my favorites and I really think we see another T.Y. smash week coming up.
Carolina Panthers @ New York Jets
Projected Vegas Score: Panthers 22.75, Jets 17.25
Quarterbacks- This game is not quite as interesting as the first for DFS, but I do think that Cam Newton is a viable tournament play and should go under-owned once again. Cam has rushed 7+ times in 5/6 games and that has brought his fantasy value back to where it was during his MVP season. Josh McCown has played great for the Jets this season, but I'm not going to target him in DFS against the Panthers who rank 8th in pass-defense DVOA.
Running Backs- Christian McCaffrey remains a full-point PPR play only as he still hasn't been getting the volume in the run game we want for DFS. His value in the passing game could take a slight hit as well this week with Greg Olsen returning from IR. The Jets could be getting Matt Forte back from injury this week, but either way we aren't considering any Jets backs regardless. They are committed to giving everyone work and we can't trust guys that aren't getting volume.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends- I'll just get the Jets out of the way by saying that we aren't considering any of their pass catchers in DFS this week, despite my affection for Robby Anderson and Austin Seferian-Jenkins. As I mentioned above, Greg Olsen returns this week for the Panthers but I'm going to wait and see when it comes to him given the fact that he is coming off of a broken foot. Devin Funchess is the one guy you can look at in tournaments as he has seen a sharp rise in target share since Kelvin Benjamin has been traded. The Jets secondary isn't terrible, but it also isn't great and Funchess has seen 6+ targets in every game this season outside of week one.
Overall Outlook- Cam is really the only person I would consider here and thats tournaments only, you can play him naked given the rushing upside as well.
Cleveland Browns @ Cincinnati Bengals
Projected Vegas Score: Bengals 23, Browns 15
Quarterbacks- This one figures to be pretty one sided, as you can tell by the Vegas line. The Bengals have absolutely owned Hue Jackson since he departed for Cleveland, and this game should be more of the same for the winless Browns. DeShone Kizer is not a DFS option against this Bengals defense on the road. I normally don't like to take Quarterbacks in divisional games, especially this late in the year but I think Andy Dalton is viable in GPPs. The Browns secondary has been burned routinely this season and Dalton has a sparkling track record against Cleveland.
Running Backs- I'm simply going to take the approach that I've been taking with the Browns which is to simply #FadeTheBrowns at all costs in DFS for the time being. Joe Mixon has taken command of the Bengals backfield with Jeremy Hill on IR and you all know I'm a fan of his...but I cannot use him this week. I can see it in GPPs given the the Bengals should be winning easily, but the Browns have been stout against the run this season and I'm not going to attack them on a full slate of games.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends-Remember what I said above? #FadeTheBrowns. As for the Bengals, there are two viable plays in A.J. Green and Tyler Kroft. I'm sure that Green will be a popular option across the industry this week, but I'm bearish on him. Jason McCourty did well on Green in their first meeting, and should be matched up on him for the whole game this week. Green also has performed better on the road throughout his career, I will most likely be under-exposed compared to the field. Tyler Kroft had a big game against the Browns, and the Browns have been tortured by Tight Ends all season. He has seen increased usage without Tyler Eifert and he is viable in all formats at his price.
Overall Outlook- Tyler Kroft is the only play I love here, and I'm scared about not having enough AJG but I really think it's not an optimal play this week.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Atlanta Falcons
Projected Vegas Score: Falcons 29.5, Buccaneers 19.5
Quarterbacks- I expect the Falcons to be able to win this game pretty easily, and Vegas agrees. Ryan Fitzpatrick will start again for the Falcons and yes, he had success against the Dolphins last week but it's difficult to think he can replicate that success against the Falcons. Whether it's Super Bowl hangover or the new OC, Matt Ryan just hasn't been the same this season. The Falcons have strung together a few wins, but Ryan hasn't eclipsed 20 fantasy points all season. I won't be going with him this week.
Running Backs- I can't trust the workload that Doug Martin has been getting and that will eliminate any Bucs backs from DFS consideration for me. Tevin Coleman figures to be pretty chalky this week with Devonta Freeman sidelined again for the Falcons. he is firmly in play as a cash option given his expected bloated ownership, but I don't think he is in the greatest of spots. The Bucs rank 14th in run-defense DVOA and have been getting healthier over the last three weeks.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends- Mike Evans is always going to be an option, and he could of had a huge game last week if he hadn't dropped at least one would-be touchdown. He is a contrarian GPP play this week against a Falcons team that ranks 17th in pass-defense DVOA. Julio Jones is in yet another prime spot this week, and I will be interested to see if he finally explodes. He's been incredibly close to having one of those classic Julio games a few times this season, and he has routinely punished Tampa Bay. He's viable in all formats this week and should be fairly highly owned at his price point.
Overall Outlook- The only elite play in this game is Julio Jones with Evan ranking in the GPP only category.
Miami Dolphins @ New England Patriots
Projected Vegas Score: Patriots 32, Dolphins 15.5
Quarterbacks- This game has all the makes of a legit blowout with Tom Brady taking on what I think is the worst team in the NFL. Matt Moore will start for the Dolphins and while I do think he is better than Jay Cutler, I don't think he is viable in DFS. Tom Brady destroyed the Raiders last week going 30-37 for 340 yards and 3 touchdowns...and this Dolphins secondary is even worse! He's the GOAT, we all know that and he is in play pretty much every week.
Running Backs- I don't any interest in the Dolphins, and even the Patriots backfield is tough to gauge. Kenyan Drake has looked good as of late, but as long as he is going to split time with Damien Williams I can't use him in DFS. We know there are a lot of mouths to feed on the Patriots, but if I need to use one I would be looking at Dion Lewis. His role has been locked in and growing over the past few weeks, and I trust him the most. Rex Burkhead will see some targets with Chris Hogan sidelined again, but I prefer Lewis.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends- Despite my lack of faith in the Dolphins as a whole, I do have some interest in their pass catchers. Jarvis Landry and Kenny Stills have been Moore's favorite targets when he has seen action, and the Patriots rank just 29th in pass-defense DVOA. Landry is in line for a lot of targets, and Stills is a boom or bust play. The two main guys we will look at for the Patriots is Brandin Cooks and Rob Gronkowski. I think I prefer Gronk, due to ownership, but both are in great spots against arguably the leagues worst secondary.
Overall Outlook- Brady-Gronk/Cooks and bring it back with Landry. I like that stack in GPPs, though it is expensive.
Buffalo Bills @ Kansas City Chiefs
Projected Vegas Score: Chiefs 28.25, Bills 18.25
Quarterbacks- This is going to be an intriguing game to watch as the Chiefs offense is in a major get well spot at home against this joke of a Bills defense. Tyrod Taylor is back to his rightful throne as starting Quarterback of the Buffalo Bills, but you guys should know my rule now that we never use TyGod on the road. He has extreme home/road splits and he is only DFS viable at home, despite the solid matchup against the Chiefs. Alex Smith struggled in the wind last week in New York, and I don't love him this week. He's a fine low-owned GPP play as a big home favorite, though I prefer Kareem Hunt.
Running Backs- LeSean McCoy is the one Bills player I have interest in for GPPs, as he ran wild on the Chargers last week in a blowout. McCoy needed just 13 carries to reach 114 yards and a touchdown, he also added a touchdown through the air. The Chiefs rank dead last in the NFL in terms of run-defense DVOA and Shady could go under-owned in GPPs once again. I LOVE this spot for Kareem Hunt as everything is working in his favor. Big favorite, at home, tremendous matchup against what has been the worst run defense over the last 3 weeks AND nobody will want to play him because everyone got burned by him last week. I'll be overweight compared to the field. Sign me up!
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends- The Bills will be missing both Kelvin Benjamin and Jordan Matthews this week and I really have no interest in their passing game on the road. You could look at Charles Clay, but even that is stretching it for me. Tyreek Hill plays better on the road, so I think I would be looking at Travis Kelce for exposure to the Chiefs passing game. He also will fall victim to recency bias as he let down everyone who rostered him in week 11.
Overall Outlook- I love both of the Running Backs in this game and I will have a ton of Kareem Hunt who will be under-owned due to recency bias.
Chicago Bears @ Philadelphia Eagles
Projected Vegas Score: Eagles 28.75, Bears 15.25
Quarterbacks- The Eagles should roll once again this week as huge home favorites against Rookie game-manager Mitchell Trubisky. I don't have any DFS interest in Trubsiky as they are using him in a Bortles-like role early on his career. The Bears want to run the ball and make it as easy as possible on the rookie. I have been all over Carson Wentz for the past few weeks, but it's hard to recommend him this week. The Bears rank 12th in pass-defense DVOA and there is the concern that the Eagles will just be up too much in the 2nd half to warrant much passing volume.
Running Backs- The Eagles rank top 10 in rush-defense DVOA and feature a sick pass rush making it hard to use Jordan Howard. They want to pound the ball with Howard and play defense, but the game script could hurt him here and the matchup isn't good to begin with. Jay Ajayi is clearly the biggest name in the Eagles backfield, but Pederson seems committed to giving all four backs usage and that really hurts the DFS value of all of them.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends- Given my lack of confidence in Trubisky, that eliminates the Bears pass catchers for me. Zach Ertz still doesn't look fully healthy, so that makes Alshon Jeffery my preferred tournament target here. The mtahcup is not good, but it's a #RevengeGame and he is averaging 18 fantasy points over his last 3 games, scoring 4 touchdowns in that span.
Overall Outlook- Alshon Jeffery is a great GPP option, other than that I'm pretty luke warm on this game.
Seattle Seahawks @ San Francisco 49ers
Projected Vegas Score: Seahawks 25.75, 49ers 19.25
Quarterbacks- This is going to be a very popular DFS game, at least on the Seahawks side. Russell Wilson has been an anomaly over the last month for the Seahawks doing it all. He's posted over 25 fantasy points in 4 of the last 5 games and now he lines up against a 49ers team that ranks 30th in pass-defense DVOA. C.J Beathard is my guy, you all know that, but there are too many QBs in stellar spots this week to consider him in DFS.
Running Backs- J.D. McKissick is in play for GPPs, he has seen his workload increase due to the plethora of injuries in the Seahawks backfield and has seen 5+ targets each of the last two weeks. Carlos Hyde has been a volume whore for the 49ers dominating the carries and passing game work. He's in play as a GPP flier this week.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends- Two words. Doug Baldwin. Baldwin perennially has gotten better and been more productive as the season goes on, and he has scored a touchdown in 2 of the last 3 weeks. These 49ers corners should be abused on Sunday and I love Baldwin in both cash games and GPPs. Jimmy Graham has seen INSANE red zone usage (FINALLY!) this season and is also playable in all formats as a stacking option with DangeRuss. As for the 49ers pass catchers, #JustSayNo.
Overall Outlook- ALL THE SEAHAWKS!
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Arizona Cardinals
Projected Vegas Score: Jaguars 21.25, Cardinals 16.25
Quarterbacks- This game is a legit snooze fest and I'm struggling to find one DFS viable play. I never use Blake Bortles, let alone on the road against a formidable secondary and I think that Blaine Gabbert is actually a decent Quarterback, but I don't mess with the Jaguars defense.
Running Backs- I don't think that Leonard Fournette is 100% healthy, and I also think they want to be conservative with him for later on in the season. Adrian Peterson has been seeing tons of usage for the Cardinals, but the Jaguars run-defense has been night and day better with the addition of Marcell Dareus and I will pass on him once again.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends- I'm high on Dede Westbrook going forward, but I'm just not using anyone in this game in DFS on a full slate. The one guy I think you possibly consider is Larry Fitzgerald. Aaron Colvin has been fantastic in the slot for the Jaguars this season, Fitz has just been so good and someone is going to score points in this game. Even then thats pushing it.
Overall Outlook- Just X this game out.
New Orleans Saints @ Los Angeles Rams
Projected Vegas Score: Rams 28, Saints 26
Quarterbacks- This is my absolute favorite game of the week and it's not even close. I've been all over Jared Goff and the Rams in general and the spot could not be better against this banged up Saints defense at home. The Saints secondary has been shutdown this season, but they will be missing Marshon Lattimore and Ken Crawley this week who have been insane in coverage. This Saints defense should get shredded and I'm going right back to Goff. Drew Brees has surprisingly played better on the road than at homes this season, and he is firmly in play this week in an expected shootout. The Rams defense is solid, but they can be thrown on and Brees is going to have to put up a big game for them to stay in this game.
Running Backs- Both of the Saints Running Backs are going to be in play every week, the bad part is figuring out which one you want to use. I think that Alvin Kamara profiles better for this game, but both him and Mark Ingram are solid options and can be used in all formats. Todd Gurley is one of my favorite plays of the entire week. The Saints rank 26th in run-defense DVOA and the ground has been the place attack them all season. Todd Gurley is locked into a high-volume role for the Rams and is a fantastic play in all formats.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends- Michael Thomas and Ted Ginn Jr are both in play as partners with Drew Brees. Ginn still has big play ability, but I prefer Michael Thomas who has seen a huge target% over the last month. He has seen just under 40% of the Saints targets over that span, and is going to explode soon. He should fly under the radar this week and that makes him a great tournament play. Robert Woods is out for the Rams which means we could see some more Sammy Watkins targets and Cooper Kupp will see some action on the outside. I like both of them as a tournament stacking option with Goff.
Overall Outlook- Just stack this game up. Simple as that.
Analysis for the Primetime games will be posted on Sunday!
Written by Ben Hossler (Follow @BenHossler on Twitter)