All Betting Lines are from Bovada as of Friday (Wednesday for Thursday Night Football)
Eagles (-3) @ Giants (Thu 5:20 PM PDT):
Blurb: The Eagles defense has been strong against the run, but susceptible against the pass this year. I expect Odell Beckham to continue where he left off with another solid game against the Eagles this week. Saquon Barkley has a tough matchup on a short week coming off an ankle injury at the end of Sunday’s game so I’m a bit lower on him than usual. This could be his worst performance of the season, but he’s still a must start. With Evan Engram out, Sterling Shepard will have flex appeal as well. On the Eagles side, Carson Wentz should have another solid but unspectacular game, I have him as a low end QB1. Zach Ertz is a must start, but Alshon Jeffery will be going up against Janoris Jenkins, who has quietly been good against #1 WRs this season. For this reason I’m a little lower on Alshon just like last week. Nelson Agholor has proven himself droppable in any format save for 14 team PPR leagues. After the season-ending injury to Jay Ajayi, the Eagles backfield is a bit of a mess. This week, I like Wendell Smallwood over Corey Clement (clement is coming off injury on a short week), but they are both mid to low end flex plays. The Eagles defense is around a top 5 play for me.
Bucs @ Falcons (-3) (Sun 10:00 AM PDT):
Blurb: Another NFC South game, another shootout. Neither team has a good defense, and points will come in bunches. Matt Ryan and Julio Jones are both must starts, while Mohamed Sanu and Calvin Ridley are high end WR3 plays. Tasty Tidbit: Julio Jones last regular season touchdown was against the Bucs. The Falcons backfield has been perplexing, they have a good offense yet neither Tevin Coleman or Devonta Freeman have really gotten it going this season. As of right now, Devonta Freeman is not expected to play with a foot injury. Tevin Coleman will start with Ito Smith serving as the backup. If you’re desperate at TE, throw in Austin Hooper (he got 12 targets last week). The Buccaneers welcome back Jameis Winston, and he could not have an easier matchup for his first start of the year. While he is a little risky, the matchup and weapons make him a borderline QB1 for me. Speaking of his weapons, Mike Evans is a must start and DeSean Jackson and Chris Godwin are both high end WR3 plays as well. With O.J. Howard expected to play, i like both him AND Cameron Brate as TE1s this week. I wouldn’t start a member of this backfield until we see how it shakes out.
Steelers @ Bengals (-1.5) (Sun 10:00 AM PDT):
Blurb: The Bengals recent history against the Steelers has been dreadful. They are 3-14 against them since 2010. This is their best opportunity in a long time, as I think they have the better all around team. Unfortunately, the Steelers are gaining confidence, especially defensively, after thrashing the Falcons at home last week. On the Steelers side of the ball, Big Ben is my #7 QB for this week. You’re starting Antonio Brown and Juju Smith-Schuster, but James Conner has been kind of hot and cold this season. He erupted in a easy matchup against Atlanta, and I think he will have another great game with a good matchup against the Bengals. The Steelers must have saw what their commitment to the running game did for their offense and their defense last week, and I think they will continue this formula. It’s hard to trust Steelers tight ends at this juncture, as they take turns stealing targets from each other. For what it’s worth, Vance McDonald is ranked 15th for me this week. For the Bengals, the Steelers defense will need more than one good week to prove to me they are improved. Andy Dalton is my QB14, so I think you can do better. A.J. Green is a WR1 just like every week. I think Tyler Boyd will do well as a WR2. Joe Mixon is in a blow up spot with a huge workload and an easy matchup. C.J. Uzomah is quite literally the only Bengals TE left standing, and he’s my #14 TE.
Chargers (-1) @ Browns (Sun 10:00 AM PDT):
Blurb: I think this game is underrated from a fantasy perspective. Although the Browns have a solid defense, I think the Chargers have the firepower to put up points on them. I get the narrative of the west coast team travelling east for a 10 AM game, but I feel like it’s only a big deal with a team coming off a sunday night or monday night game. Philip Rivers is a firm QB1, and you’re starting Keenan Allen and Melvin Gordon no matter what. Austin Ekeler and Mike Williams are both firmly in the FLEX discussion every week because of their big play abilities. Antonio Gates is a touchdown prayer. On the Browns side, Baker Mayfield is in play as a streamer if you have Brees or Stafford on BYE (i have him ranked #16). Jarvis Landry is an every week WR2 as the #1 pass catcher in this offense, while Carlos Hyde is an every week RB2 with his locked in role as the #1 running back in this offense. David Njoku has gotten plenty of targets with Mayfield under center, and I like him as a low end TE1 this week. The Chargers have been susceptible on defense and I think the Browns can get after them a little bit, especially if they need to keep pace with the Chargers firepower on offense. I have the Chargers defense as a starting option at #11.
Bills @ Texans (-10) (Sun 10:00 AM PDT):
Blurb: Big shout out to the Bills, who are somehow at 2-3 with wins over the Vikings and the Titans. This defense isn’t as bad as people make it out to be, and against a porous Texans offensive line, they could have some success this week. That being said, I’m still a big fan of the Texans: I have Watson as a top 5 play, Hopkins is a must start, and Fuller/Coutee are both in that low end WR2 / mid WR3 range. Lamar Miller didn’t play any snaps last week despite being active because of an injury, and Alfred Blue had a huge workload and put up good fantasy numbers. I expect Miller to be back this week, and against the Bills I think he could have a solid game if he gets the work. Unfortunately, if it’s a split between him and Blue it could be another disappointment similar to week 4. I have Miller as a low end RB2. On the Bills side, LeSean McCoy is a low end RB2, and that’s the only Bills player worth talking about. The Texans defense is a top 3 play for me.
Bears (-3.5) @ Dolphins (Sun 10:00 AM PDT):
Blurb: This is a really tough spot for the Dolphins offense, even at home. The Bears defense has been out of this world good this season, and the Dolphins offense is struggling to score points. The Bears are my #2 ranked defense this week, and I really don’t trust anyone on the Dolphins offense. Kenyan Drake and Kenny Stills are both low flex plays if you’re desperate. The Bears offense showed that they can be good against the Buccaneers before their bye week, and while I don’t expect them to score that much, I think they will be competent against a banged up Dolphins defense. I think they will stick to the ground / short passing game and attack Miami’s weakness, so Jordan Howard could be in for a huge game. Allen Robinson is a mid-level FLEX as he should see a lot of Xavien Howard. Tarik Cohen is a desperation flex but he could exploit Miami’s weakness against pass catching RBs.
Cardinals @ Vikings (-10.5) (Sun 10:00 AM PDT):
Blurb: The Vikings are going to destroy the Cardinals. One thing to watch for is the Vikings running game, which has been struggling, to get on track against a Cardinals run defense that has allowed the 3rd most fantasy points to opposing running backs. Dalvin Cook is expected to play in this game, but I expect him and Latavius Murray to split work which hurts them both. I think the Vikings passing game will keep it going as well, so fire up Cousins Thielen Diggs and Rudolph. Expectations for Diggs should be lowered as he’s going up against Patrick Peterson on the outside and this will funnel more targets to Rudolph and Thielen. On the Cardinals side of the ball, David Johnson is the only start and that’s it, and I even have him downgraded. The Vikings defense is my #1 play of the week.
Colts @ Jets (-2) (Sun 10:00 AM PDT):
Blurb: This game is going to be fantasy friendly because of the way I think the matchups will play out. On the Colts side, they have a banged up offensive line and struggle to run the ball and are playing a defense in the Jets that play the run significantly better than the pass. I have Andrew Luck ranked higher than most at #8 despite T.Y. Hilton and Jack Doyle expected to miss this game. Eric Ebron should default as the #1 target again, so fire him up at your TE spot with confidence. Chester Rogers and Ryan Grant are both low upside fill ins at WR. Nyheim Hines is the best bet from this backfield, and if Marlon Mack doesn’t play he is a fine RB3. As of right now Mack is expected to play. On the Jets side, they are playing an all around bad defense in the Colts. Bilal Powell and Isaiah Crowell are both firm RB2s, while Quincy Enunwa is a safe WR3 and Robby Anderson is a WR3 with loads of upside. Isaiah Crowell is a game time decision, if he’s out Bilal Powell is a top 15 play.
Seahawks (-3) vs Raiders (In London, Sun 10:00 AM PDT):
Blurb: I think the Seahawks are a neutral matchup, and they won’t affect Raiders players from what I think of them. Marshawn Lynch is a solid RB2 play, while Amari Cooper and Jordy Nelson are both WR3s. Since it’s an even week, Amari Cooper is due for an explosion (ha – ha). To expound a bit on the receivers: Jordy Nelson is a safe WR3, while Cooper is a boom/bust WR3. Jared Cook is an every week TE1 as usual. On the Seahawks side, this could be a spot for them to get right as an offense. That being said, the way they have been relying on the run game doesn’t give me much confidence in Russell Wilson as more than a low-end QB1 at best. I would start Jameis Winston over him, for example. The resurgence of the run game gives me a lot of confidence in Chris Carson this week, he’s a RB2 for me in a wonderful matchup, the only concern is Mike Davis eating into his carries. In the passing game, Doug Baldwin and Tyler Lockett are both WR3s in a good matchup with how inconsistent Seattle’s passing game has been.
Panthers @ Redskins (-1) (Sun 10:00 AM PDT):
Blurb: The Redskins have been middle of the pack versus all positions this year. I think Cam Newton is a low-end QB1 with a lot of upside this week, so fire him up hoping for a huge game. Christian McCaffrey is a must start as he is locked in to a big workload. Devin Funchess is a bench for me with Greg Olsen is expected to make his return this week. On the Redskins side of the ball, I don’t really like their players all that much this week. I have Alex Smith ranked 17, and I’m not a fan of Adrian Peterson this week or any of the Redskins receivers. It’s hard to predict if the Redskins go with Peterson or Thompson each week, so I’m fading both against a tough defense, especially since both are banged up and game time decisions. If neither plays, Kapri Bibbs would be a desperation flex.
Rams (-7) @ Broncos (Sun 1:05 PM PDT):
Blurb: The Broncos defense hasn’t been that good compared to previous years. Their pass rush has been ferocious, but they have been bad against the run and their secondary has allowed completion after completion. That does not stack up well for a matchup against the Rams. As of right now, Kupp and Cooks are expected to play, so that makes all 3 Rams WRs starts, and puts Goff as a low end QB1 for me. Todd Gurley is a must start as usual. The Rams quietly haven’t been that good in coverage. Aqib Talib is injured, and Marcus Peters has not played that well at all. I think Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas are solid WR2 and WR3 plays respectively. Royce Freeman and Philip Lindsay are facing a tough matchup this week, and I’m fading them both. I have the Rams defense ranked 6th.
Jaguars (-3) @ Cowboys (Sun 1:25 PDT):
Blurb: Ezekiel Elliott is a must start, but it could be tough sledding for him and the Cowboys as a whole against this Jaguars defense. The Jaguars defense is a top 5 play for me. For the Jaguars, T.J. Yeldon has moved into top 12 RB territory with Fournette’s injury and Corey Grant being on IR. He has a good matchup with Sean Lee missing from the Cowboys defense. Take your pick at WR between Dede Westbrook, Donte Moncrief, and Keelan Cole. They are all low end WR3 plays. The Cowboys defense is ranked 12th for me, as they could have some success in a plus matchup.
Ravens (-3) @ Titans (Sun 1:25 PDT):
Blurb: This game could be really defensive. I have the Ravens as my 8th ranked defense and the Titans as my 10th. Both teams have been solid against both the run and the pass, so most of the fantasy options involved are going to be downgraded. On the Ravens side, John Brown is a high upside WR3, but Michael Crabtree should be on your bench if not dropped. Alex Collins and Javorius Allen are both unexciting flex plays. For the Titans, Corey Davis falls into that same category as John Brown, and Dion Lewis is in the Collins/Allen territory. Derrick Henry should be benched if not dropped.
Chiefs @ Patriots (-3) (Sun 5:20 PM PDT):
Blurb: This is the most exciting game of the week and you’re starting every fantasy relevant player because I don’t think either of the defenses will be able to keep up. On the Chiefs side, Mahomes, Hill, Kelce, and Hunt are all must plays. Sammy Watkins is firmly in WR2/3 borderline territory for me. For the Patriots, Brady and Gronk are must starts. Edelman is in that Sammy Watkins WR2/3 range, I think he’ll get a lot of those possession style targets. Josh Gordon is an interesting flier, I think this week could be his coming out party. James White and Sony Michel are both solid high end RB2s. This game is going to be high scoring, so it’s worth throwing all these players out there if you are deciding between them and someone else ranked similarly.
Packers (-9.5) @ 49ers (Mon 5:15 PM PDT):
Blurb: The Packers offense is in a great spot at home against a pretty bad 49ers defense. Rodgers and Adams are must starts, but the other guys on the Packers are a bit difficult to gauge. Aaron Jones is my highest ranked Packers RB, and I’m fading Williams and Montgomery because they play more when the Packers are chasing the game, which they certainly won’t be this week. Randall Cobb and Geronimo Allison are both expected to play, and they would slot in as WR3s. If either are out, just sub in Marques Valdez-Scantling in their place. For the 49ers, there really isn’t anyone worth starting. Alfred Morris could be a decent desperation play if you have no one else. The Packers defense is a top 12 option for me.