All Bettings Lines from Bovada
Teams on BYE this week: Chiefs, Rams
Bears (-3) @ Lions (Thu 9:30 AM PDT):
Blurb: Chase Daniel will start instead of Mitchell Trubisky, who is injured. This automatically vaults the Lions defense into streaming territory, but this is a pretty strong week for defenses so I still think there are many better options. I expect Bears coach Matt Nagy to feed Jordan Howard, but the Lions have actually been in the top 10 in the NFL in YPC allowed since trading for Damon Harrison. I’m not confident starting any wide receiver on the Bears, but I still think Tarik Cohen and Trey Burton will have chances underneath with Nagy trying to keep it simple for the backup, especially if the Bears can’t run over the Lions with Howard. On the Lions side of the ball, Kenny Golladay is a must start, as he’ll see upwards of 12+ targets. Kerryon Johnson and Marvin Jones are expected to miss this game because of injuries, so Theo Riddick becomes a PPR FLEX option.
Redskins @ Cowboys (-7.5) (Thu 1:30 PM PDT):
Blurb: Another backup QB, Colt McCoy, will play for the Redskins after Alex Smith suffered a season ending injury last week. This makes the Cowboys one of the top defense plays of the week. I am not playing in a single Redskins player outside of Jordan Reed and Adrian Peterson. I think Peterson will get a ton of carries, and Reed will be the underneath dump off guy that McCoy feeds. On the Cowboys side of the ball, Zeke and Cooper are the only guys to play. Although Cooper had a bad week last week, he still has had a >20% share of the targets since he arrived in Dallas, and against a so-so Redskins pass defense, he should be in most lineups. I’m not scared of Josh Norman shadowing him, as Norman has been bad in man coverage this year.
Falcons @ Saints (-13.5) (Thu 5:20 PM PDT):
Blurb: Start everyone on the Saints: Brees, Kamara, Ingram, Thomas, and Tre’Quan Smith. They are going to score a lot of points so everyone should get a piece of the pie. On the Falcons side, you’re starting Matt Ryan and Julio Jones. I’m not as confident in the Falcons outside of Ryan and Jones because they are inconsistent, but they should get theirs because the Falcons will have to throw a bunch, so it looks good for Ridley and Sanu. Tevin Coleman goes up against a tough Saints run defense, while Austin Hooper is playing a defense that is great against TEs. Coleman I’m pretty concerned about as the Falcons probably won’t run the ball much. The high passing volume should keep Hooper as a low end TE starter just like previous weeks.
Raiders @ Ravens (-11) (Sun 10:00 AM PDT):
Blurb: Last week was not a good week for the Ravens D in fantasy, but I’m back on them this week at home in an even better matchup against the hapless Raiders. I wouldn’t start a single Raiders player this week. Lamar Jackson makes his second start for the Ravens, and I think he and Gus Edwards (the new Ravens starting RB) are good plays this week. Alex Collins falls into desperation FLEX territory, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he fell into the end zone. I don’t have faith in any Ravens pass catchers.
Jaguars (-3) @ Bills (Sun 10:00 AM PDT):
Blurb: This is going to be an extremely low scoring game, and both defenses are nearly must start options. Leonard Fournette is a must start for the Jaguars, he is going to get nearly 30 touches this game and is almost a lock to score a touchdown if the Jaguars score. I don’t like any Jaguars receiver. On the Bills side of the ball, LeSean McCoy should get a lot of work, and while it is a really difficult matchup, you could do worse than McCoy.
Seahawks @ Panthers (-3) (Sun 10:00 AM PDT):
Blurb: Newton, McCaffrey, and Olsen are must starts for the Panthers, but Devin Funchess has proven to be unusable. He’s not a good player in real life or in fantasy. Fortunately, you don’t have to make a decision on Funchess because he will miss this game with a back injury. D.J. Moore is a big play threat, but the Seahawks have been decent against wide receivers this year. He is a worthwhile play with the usage he’s been getting lately. On the Seahawks side of the ball, Russell Wilson is a good play because the Panthers have not been good against QBs, but he also hasn’t been passing a lot which makes him a little risky. I think he will have to pass more than usual due to the Panthers stout run defense having success against Chris Carson. Carson is someone you’re probably starting because he gets a lot of work, but I’m not confident in him having a big week. Doug Baldwin and Tyler Lockett are both FLEX considerations, the Panthers haven’t been good against WRs so both could have good weeks, especially if the Seahawks have to pass more.
Browns @ Bengals (-3) (Sun 10:00 AM PDT):
Blurb: The Browns have favorable matchups across the board against one of the worst defenses in the NFL. Nick Chubb is a must start this week, he’s a lock for 20 touches against a bad run defense. Mayfield, Landry, and Njoku are all good plays as well, the Bengals also struggle against the pass. Duke Johnson should also have a decent game catching passes out of the backfield, but he’s risky because his usage is hit or miss. On the Bengals side of things, A.J. Green is out for another game. This hurts as the Bengals offense has been struggling as of late. Joe Mixon is a must start, and even though Tyler Boyd has struggled being the #1 option, I still think he’s a good play against the Browns. Andy Dalton isn’t a bad streamer this week, but with A.J. Green out and there being so many good QB options, I wouldn’t consider playing him.
Patriots (-10) @ Jets (Sun 10:00 AM PDT):
Blurb: I expect the Patriots to come off the BYE and steamroll the Jets. Tom Brady hasn’t been putting up good numbers this season, and historically his numbers at the Jets haven’t been great. He’s a lower end QB option this week. James White and Rob Gronkowski are must starts. Sony Michel, Josh Gordon, and Julian Edelman are all strong plays. I expect Gordon and Edelman to carve up a weak Jets pass defense, while Michel will get lots of carries as the Patriots sustain a lead. On the Jets side of the ball, I’m not confident in anyone. Chris Herndon is worth a look because the Patriots struggle against TEs. Elijah McGuire and Isaiah Crowell are both desperation options, I think McGuire will perform better as he is the pass catching back.
Giants @ Eagles (-6) (Sun 10:00 AM PDT):
Blurb: I don’t expect the Giants to put up much resistance against the Eagles offense, the Eagles come into this game fighting for their playoff lives and I think that they will put on a great performance. I expect Josh Adams to take the Eagles starting RB job and run with it, as the Giants have struggled badly against the run after trading Damon Harrison. Carson Wentz and Alshon Jeffery are good plays as well against a so-so Giants secondary, but I’m not confident in Golden Tate this week, I need to see more usage before I recommend him. Zach Ertz is a must start. The Eagles secondary is in shambles right now, they are playing mostly backups. On the Giants side of the ball, Eli Manning is a streamer-worthy QB, while Saquon Barkley and Odell Beckham are must starts. Sterling Shepard and Evan Engram are solid plays because of that secondary.
49ers @ Buccaneers (-3.5) (Sun 10:00 AM PDT):
Blurb: This game has the second highest over/under of the week. I’m all for starting almost anyone you can get in the game. On the Bucs side of the ball, Jameis Winston is back as the starting QB, and he’s a fine play in your fantasy lineups, albeit with a bit of risk. Mike Evans is a must start, and with the injury to O.J. Howard, Cameron Brate is a great start at TE. Chris Godwin and DeSean Jackson are both boom/bust guys in a high octane passing offense, and this is a good spot to put them into your lineup against a injured 49ers secondary. The 49ers have been a pretty good rush defense, so I’m not that confident in Peyton Barber despite the over/under. He could fall into the end zone though. Nick Mullens is a viable streamer, George Kittle is a must start, and Matt Breida is basically a must start against a defense that can’t stop him running the ball or catching it out of the backfield. Unfortunately, Marquise Goodwin will miss this game.
Cardinals @ Chargers (-12) (Sun 1:05 PM PDT):
Blurb: The Cardinals are going to get blown out in this game. The only player I trust on their team is David Johnson, because I’m uncertain about the Chargers run defense and the Chargers pass defense should shut down Larry Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk and allow checkdowns to Johnson. The Chargers defense is a must start. Keenan Allen and Melvin Gordon are must starts. Tyrell and Mike Williams are both desperation guys that you pray break a big play, I’m not a fan of taking a chance on them since the Chargers won’t have to pass much. I still think Philip Rivers can have a solid day to create the blowout though. Austin Ekeler might come in to relieve Melvin Gordon late in the game, so he’s worth a shot as well.
Dolphins @ Colts (-8) (Sun 1:25 PM PDT):
Blurb: This game has the third highest over/under of the week, but I think a lot of it will come from the Colts side of the ball. Marlon Mack is a must start this week. The Dolphins cannot stop the run to save their lives. Andrew Luck has seven straight games of multiple TD passes, so he’s a must start. Jack Doyle and Eric Ebron are both so-so tight end plays because Ebron takes away from Doyle in the red zone, while Ebron virtually only plays in the red zone. The Colts use their tight ends a lot so they aren’t the worst of plays. T.Y. Hilton is basically locked into your lineup, he can beat this secondary regardless of if Xavien Howard shadows him or not. On the Dolphins side of the ball I would only start players if you’re desperate. Drake, Gore, and Amendola are the only candidates.
Steelers (-3) @ Broncos (Sun 1:25 PM PDT):
Blurb: The Broncos got a big win last week against a division rival, while the Steelers came back against all odds to win against a team that has had their number historically. I think the Steelers train is going to keep rolling in Denver. Big Ben on the road is still a scary proposition, and against a tough Denver passing D I’m not high on him this week. James Conner, Antonio Brown, and Juju Smith-Schuster are must starts. Vance McDonald is a solid play as the Broncos allow a lot of points to tight ends. On the Broncos side of the ball, I’m not as confident in Philip Lindsay this week as I was last week because the Steelers have a solid run defense. That makes Royce Freeman a bad play even if you’re desperate. Emmanuel Sanders is a good play every week, but Courtland Sutton is really boom/bust and I think Joe Haden will be able to contain him.
Packers @ Vikings (-3) (Sun 5:20 PM PDT):
Blurb: I’m going to come out and say I think Dalvin Cook gets back on track this game. The Packers are bottom five in the league in YPC. I think it’s a good game for the whole Minnesota offense since the Packers secondary isn’t that good either. Cousins is a good play, and Diggs and Thielen are must starts. I’m lower on Aaron Rodgers than usual this week because he goes on the road against a tough defense. Davante Adams is a must start, and Aaron Jones is a solid play. I’m concerned about Marquez Valdez-Scantling because of the matchup and his lack of targets. Don’t play Jimmy Graham even if he does suit up. He can’t effectively catch passes with a broken thumb.
Titans @ Texans (-6) (Mon 5:15 PM PDT):
Blurb: I don’t like this game at all for fantasy purposes. Both defenses have the ability to smother each offense. I’m not confident in any fantasy player outside of DeAndre Hopkins. I like both defenses, but I only recommend the Texans for fantasy. There are so many good options out there this week that I don’t want to risk the Titans defense on the road. I’ll list all the players I’m not confident in: DeShaun Watson, Corey Davis, Lamar Miller, Dion Lewis, Derrick Henry, Keke Coutee and Demaryius Thomas. I hate to be negative, but all of these players have tough matchups, and it’ll be a low-scoring game. Try to get away from starting players not named DeAndre Hopkins in this game.