All Betting Lines are from Bovada as of Friday (Wednesday for Thursday Night Football)
Teams on BYE this week: Seahawks, Steelers, Raiders, Packers
Broncos (-1.5) @ Cardinals (Thu 5:20 PM PDT):
Blurb: The first thing you think of when you see the Cardinals as a matchup is their atrocious run defense. They made the Vikings offensive line along with every other line they’ve faced look like road-graders. This is a great matchup for both Royce Freeman and Philip Lindsay, and with four teams on BYE, put them in your lineup. Emmanuel Sanders has shown he is an every week starter at WR, but with Patrick Peterson looming, I’m concerned about Demaryius Thomas. The Cardinals have been good against outside #1 receivers, where Thomas primarily plays but have allowed inside / #2 receivers to have good games (this is Sanders’ role). The Cardinals are a top 10 defense for me this week. On the other side of the ball, the Broncos ALSO have a horrible run defense. This is a good spot for David Johnson. Because of the BYE weeks, Ricky Seals-Jones is a desperation starter at TE for me. Other than those Johnson I don’t have a lot of confidence in anyone else, but Christian Kirk is someone you could throw into your lineup if desperate. The Broncos defense is a good option this week against Josh Rosen. Their pass rush will be able to beat this offensive line if they can be competent against the run.
Titans v Chargers (-7) (London) (Sun 6:30 AM PDT):
Blurb: The Titans have gone downhill after their 3-1 start, consecutive losses against the Bills and the Ravens have dropped them to 3-3. The main culprit is an offense that has simply been atrocious. You cannot trust any Tennessee Titans players, Dion Lewis and Corey Davis are the only ones I would consider starting (as low end flexes). This shapes up perfectly for the Chargers: I would start Rivers as a low end QB1 and play Ekeler over Lewis and Davis (as a flex) this week. The Chargers defense is a top 5 option.
Browns @ Buccaneers (-4) (Sun 10:00 AM PDT):
Blurb: On the Browns side of the ball, this is a get right game. The Bucs defensive coordinator was just fired, and for good reason: this defense is NOT good. Baker Mayfield is a good streamer, Jarvis Landry is a fantastic option at WR, and with Carlos Hyde being traded, Nick Chubb is a mid-level RB2. I like Duke Johnson as a sneaky FLEX play because the Bucs struggle against pass catching RBs. On the Bucs side of the ball, Mike Evans is a must start as usual. Jameis Winston and the other WRs are good starts as well. You could throw Peyton Barber out there because he is the starting RB, although I’m not too thrilled about it. O.J. Howard has become a must start at TE.
Patriots (-3) @ Bears (Sun 10:00 AM PDT):
Blurb: This is going to be a tough game for the Patriots rushing attack. The Bears are 8th in the league in rush yds / attempt allowed (as in they allow the 8th least). I expect a down game for Sony Michel, but it’s hard to keep the Patriots offense down. That will lead to a lot of passing volume for Tom Brady and this Patriots offense. The Bears are beatable through the air, if the Patriots can hold up in pass protection (I think they can). Therefore even though Michel is downgraded a bit, I still like James White, Josh Gordon, and Julian Edelman this week. Tom Brady is my #5 QB this week. Rob Gronkowski is a must start just like every week. On the Bears side of the ball, here is a team that is coming into this game scorching hot on offense. Mitch Trubisky has tossed 9 TDs the past 2 games, and the Bears offense has looked good. I think the Bears can have success, which makes every piece of this offense a viable start. Trubisky is a streamer, Robinson and Gabriel are WR2 / FLEX options respectively while Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen are RB2 options respectively as well. Trey Burton is a low end TE1 play.
Bills @ Colts (-7.5) (Sun 10:00 AM PDT):
Blurb: The Bills will start Derek Anderson this week after Josh Allen injured his throwing elbow. That tells you all you need to know about the state of this offense. Since they’re going against the Colts defense, LeSean McCoy is in FLEX territory if he gets a big workload like the past two weeks. The Colts defense is 3rd for me this week. For the Colts, they go against a Bills defense that has been bad against the run, but solid against the pass. I have Andrew Luck as my 10th ranked QB this week, because I don’t think he will have to pass it nearly as many times as usual with a neutral/positive game script. This gives me a lot of confidence in Marlon Mack as an RB2/FLEX option this week. He came in last week and gave the Colts a great spark in their running game. T.Y. Hilton should also be making his return this week, so fire him up! I’ve downgraded Eric Ebron to my 9th TE this week because of Hilton’s return / the game script, but most people will still be starting him. I don’t like anyone else on the Colts.
Texans @ Jaguars (-4.5) (Sun 10:00 AM PDT):
Blurb: This is a bad spot for the Texans. They’ve been struggling and were in a contested game with the Bills before Nathan Peterman gave the game away. Now they are travelling to Jacksonville against a Jaguars team that was humiliated last week. I wouldn’t start anyone on the Texans except for DeAndre Hopkins. I have every other player buried in my rankings. I have the Jaguars D/ST ranked #1 this week. For the Jaguars, they don’t have an easy matchup on offense by any means either. With Carlos Hyde not expected to play after being traded, T.J. Yeldon slots in as an RB2/FLEX play. I’m not excited to start anyone in the passing game as Westbrook and Cole are low end flexes. The Texans D/ST is a low end start for me, because Blake Bortles.
Panthers @ Eagles (-5) (Sun 10:00 AM PDT):
Blurb: This game has sneaky shootout appeal for me. Cam Newton is someone you start in your lineup every week and live with the booms or the busts. Christian McCaffrey has a tough matchup on the ground, but his receiving volume more than makes up for it. Devin Funchess is a solid but not spectacular option, while Greg Olsen is back for his 2nd game since being cleared. For the Eagles, Carson Wentz is in the same vein as Newton for me. Last week Corey Clement took control of the backfield, so I like him as an RB2/FLEX while Wendell Smallwood is a low end FLEX for me. Zach Ertz is a must start, and I would throw Alshon Jeffery out there as well.
Lions (-3) @ Dolphins (Sun 10:00 AM PDT):
Blurb: Brock Osweiler will make his second start for the Dolphins, and his first went better than even his mom could imagine, as he threw for over 300 yards and led them to an upset over the Bears. He gets an even worse defense this week, and I think Adam Gase’s scheme is good enough to overcome Osweiler’s deficiencies. That’s why the Lions defense on the road is only 12th for me. The Lions rush defense is bad, so both Kenyan Drake and Frank Gore have appeal in your starting lineups. I wouldn’t start any Dolphins WR. The Dolphins rushing defense is bad too, so I will make sure I say my daily Saturday prayer for Matt Patricia to give Kerryon Johnson over 15 touches. Johnson is a great start, I have him ahead of Drake and Gore. I would rank the Lions receivers in this order: Golladay, Tate, Jones. All of them are solid starters. I have Stafford as a low end QB1.
Vikings (-3.5) @ Jets (Sun 10:00 AM PDT):
Blurb: After experiencing a lot of success rushing the ball last game, the Vikings hope to build on that against a Jets team that is in the bottom half of the league in yards allowed per rush attempt. Dalvin Cook is out, so Latavius Murray slots in as an RB2 against a decent matchup. Kirk Cousins is a solid start, and you’re starting Diggs and Thielen no matter what. Kyle Rudolph has been struggling, and he’s in that borderline starting range for me now. On the Jets side of the ball, Isaiah Crowell is a risky play against the Vikings solid rush defense. Bilal Powell should be the more productive back, but I’m not that high on him either. Murray/Cook are both easily ahead of them for me. The Jets only healthy receivers right now are Robby Anderson and Jermaine Kearse, and if you’re in bye week hell, plug them both into your lineup as the Vikings are 27th in yards allowed per pass attempt, and the Jets will most likely be trailing and unable to run the football. To be clear: Anderson and Kearse are desperation dart throws. The Vikings are my 5th ranked defense.
Saints @ Ravens (-2.5) (Sun 1:05 PM PDT):
Blurb: This game matches the #1 scoring offense vs the #1 scoring defense. On the Saints side, you’re still starting Kamara and Thomas like business as usual. The two players I have slightly downgraded but you’re probably still starting are Ingram and Brees. I don’t have any other Saints players ranked because of the Ravens defense. On the Ravens side, they have a great matchup for the passing game. I have Joe Flacco ranked 16th, so if everyone in your league loves holding two quarterbacks, maybe he’s available in a pinch. John Brown and Michael Crabtree should have solid games. I’m afraid of starting Alex Collins because the Saints have the #1 rush defense in the league based on yards per attempt. Javorius Allen gets a bump up because of his passing role. The Ravens are my 13th ranked defense, they are a very risky play but are a great defense at home.
Cowboys @ Redskins (-1) (Sun 1:25 PM PDT):
Blurb: I’m not going to overreact to the Cowboys performance last week. They usually play better at home, and the Jaguars simply laid an egg. I’m still not starting a single player on the Cowboys not named Ezekiel Elliott. On the Redskins side of the ball, this sets up well for an Adrian Peterson game. Chris Thompson is still banged up, and I don’t expect Washington to trail much, if at all. In the passing game, the only player I’m starting is Jordan Reed. Washington is my 8th ranked defense this week.
Rams (-10) @ 49ers (Sun 1:25 PM PDT):
Blurb: The Rams will be without Cooper Kupp this game. Josh Reynolds will slide in to his spot, and becomes a FLEX option right away given how bad the 49ers defense is and how great the Rams offense is. Everyone else on the Rams offense is a must start. On the 49ers side, I don’t mind Marquise Goodwin, George Kittle, and Matt Breida this week, as the 49ers will have to try to keep up with the Rams and these are their main passing targets. Don’t start anyone else though. The Rams are my 2nd ranked defense.
Bengals @ Chiefs (-6) (Sun 5:20 PM PDT):
Blurb: Another Chiefs game, another shot at a shootout for fantasy owners. On the Bengals side you’re starting every relevant fantasy player, and you can throw out C.J. Uzomah at TE and Andy Dalton at QB as well. For the Chiefs, everyone knows if you have Mahomes, Hunt, Hill, and Kelce that you’re starting them. Sammy Watkins has been disappointing, but throw him out there too as a boom/bust FLEX. Chiefs games are always pretty simple: start Chiefs players, start the other team’s players too.
Giants @ Falcons (-4.5) (Mon 5:15 PM PDT):
Blurb: The Giants travel to the Georgia Dome to face the Falcons, which has been one of the best fantasy matchups for offenses as a whole this season. I wouldn’t start Eli Manning, but everyone else on the Giants offense is a full go this week. Beckham, Saquon, and Engram are all locked in starts at their positions, while Sterling Shepard is a good FLEX play. From the Falcons perspective, Calvin Ridley and Mohamed Sanu are both very questionable with injuries, while Devonta Freeman is out for the season. Tevin Coleman and Ito Smith will be the Falcons RB duo from here on out. Matt Ryan and Julio Jones are must starts every week, while Ridley Sanu and Smith are all FLEX options. Coleman is a firm RB2. Austin Hooper is a borderline starter at TE.